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International

Lighting Gets Ill: Lichtinfusion by Christian Maas

It seems there is a trend arising in hospital-based design in interior furnishings. Lichtinfusion, Cologne-born Christian Maas' latest creation, is modeled after a traditional saline drip.

In Japan, Waffle + Mochi = Moffle

The waffle, in typical Japanese fashion, has been dissected and re-concocted. Substituting the gooey rice paste, mochi, for the wheat flour used by westerners in the waffle, Japanese chefs have created the moffle, Japan's latest food craze. And a quick-thinking entrepreneur stepped up the craze by creating the Moffle, a moffle cooker.

Anime Star 'Doraemon' Appointed Japan's Cultural Ambassador

In an effort to harness the power of anime to boost Japan's relations with the rest of the world, the Japanese government has officially appointed Doraemon, an animated robotic cat from the 22nd century, to be Japan's cultural ambassador to the world.

Toshiba 'Invitation Only' Designer Cellphones Exude Exclusive Luxury

Toshiba's FanFun 815T handset is a popular choice among Japanese phone users thanks to its many features and adaptable design. Japan's rich, however, go for exclusivity and the $4,000 Cosmic Shiner version gives them that in spades.

New Intel Technology Sends Wireless Signal Up to 60 Miles

Connecting rural and remote areas of a country has long been a lofty goal. Intel takes us one giant step closer to achieving that goal with the introdcution of their Rural Connectivity Platform (RCP) technology.

Jero Bridges Cultural Divides as Japan's First Black Enka Singer

Jero, an African-American computer geek who found his voice singing karaoke, is parlaying his Japanese heritage into big bucks crooning "Enka" tunes to a legion of graying - and growing - fans.

Design Collaborative NEL Invites Us to Play (and Think)

Playful by nature and focused more on the conceptual side of design, Mexican design collaborative NEL's projects include both experimental endeavors as well as large scale projects. Running the gamut in terms of subject matter, I've chosen a few of my favorites for you to peruse below.

ASCII Code Curtain Branches Into Home Decor

Inspired by the incredible volume of information transmitted via the ASCII coding system, Dutch designer Nienke Sybrandy has captured its cryptic flow in the good and wholesome form of a tree.

The 6 Stages of Drunkenness in Japanese Cellphone Charms

This series of 6 Drunken Salaryman cellphone charms illustrates not only the affection Japanese have for these pillars of the economy, but at the same time reminds us that we're all human and act pretty much the same once we've had a few too many.

BedUp Touches Down in Space-Saving Style

On the eternal quest for space-saving innovations, the BedUp by French designers Décadrages takes the idea of a Murphy bed to new heights. Not your standard fold-down version which requires the daily moving of furniture, the BedUp gracefully descends from the ceiling in the manner of an elevator.

Pontiac Lets You Name Your Own Sport Truck

For months there have been rumors of a Pontiac G8 based Sport Truck, called an Ute in Australia. At the Chicago Auto Show, GM showed of the GMC Denali XT Concept, but said it was a hit or miss for production. Now, Pontiac has broken the silence and offered up some information, including the fact that you can name the new Ute.

Mirrored Cellphone Peep Blocker Provides Vanity and Security

Flexible and trim able one way mirror cellphone peep blocker sheets keep text messages private while allowing you to fix your face on Japan's (or New York's) crowded subway trains.

Tudou: China's YouTube

Reach the growing Chinese market online with Tudou, China's answer to YouTube.

Video of the Visualeyes Rayzer

Back in December, Inventorspot.com got a tip about a new product to help with nighttime driving. At the time it was still being developed and a limited amount of information was available. Now, the Visualeyes Rayzer is being produced and will be available for purchase by April.

Test-tube Baby Whales? Cow-Whale Hybrids?

Japan's annual hunt for hundreds of whales under the guise of "scientific research" has long been castigated as a sham. Now, a new analysis of published research papers has exposed a long-running litany of frivolous, esoteric, even bizarre experimentation including "attempts at cross-breeding cows with whales".

Kia Shows Some Soul

Kia hasn't been at the forefront of the industry in the past few months, but that didn't stop them from bringing a hard hitting campaign to the Geneva Motor Show this year. To help promote the personalization capability of the new Kia Soul, they had 3 custom designs present to help kick-start the customization.

Wasabi Fire Alarm Alerts the Deaf with the Power of Scent

Wasabi, or Japanese Horseradish, has a particularly pungent taste and scent. Now researchers in Japan are using wasabi's overpowering odor in a new type of smoke detector / fire alarm that wakes the deaf through scent instead of sound.

The CatVantage Has Every Advantage

There's a new cat tree from DesignWerks called the CatVantage, that will fit anywhere in your home and may even blend with your decor. Sans cat, this floor to ceiling spiral, might even be mistaken for a sculpture. CatVantage is a functional sculpture, one that your cats can climb, perch, and cat-nap upon.

Louis Vuitton Roses, the Right Gift for Japan's White Day

Louis Vuitton... it's the one brand name status-seekers in Japan prize over all the others. On "White Day", Louis Vuitton monogrammed roses will ensure that YOUR name receives the same appreciation.

2008 Subaru Outback with A Diesel

Subaru finally decided it was time for a diesel, and what better to toss it into than the Outback or the Legacy? The best part? It's a boxer with a turbo and the first to go into a passenger car.