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Miscellaneous

Holiday Social Media Competition Lights Up "Home Decoration Smackdown" In Jersey City, Newark & Roselle

What's a little friendly competition amongst neighboring towns in New Jersey? Well this Christmas season, two councilmen and one mayor have decided to lighten up this year's holiday festivities with a house decoration competition in Jersey City, Newark and Roselle.

Roll-Up Remote Control Speaker Keyboard for Well Rounded Types

Roll-Up keyboards are nothing new but the DN-SKB-MF02 Roll-Up Speaker Keyboard from Shanghai Donya takes the concept to the next level. The USB-powered and remote-control operated device features a keyboard, stereo speakers and MP3 music player compatibility all wrapped up in a sleek silvery cylinder.

Wacky Wax 'Candelier' is one Wick-edly Clever Lamp Design

Wax on! What's bright and white but uses no light... bulbs? The Candelier, of course, a majestic (and messy) chandelier made entirely from white wax by Japanese designer Takeshi Miyakawa. We're certain Mr. Miyagi would approve.

American Freedom, Made In China? Them's Fightin' Words!

“American Freedom, Made In China?” Them's fightin' words in some parts; a sad commentary on the state of the nation's economy in others. What's behind this incendiary phrase stamped on the side of an otherwise ordinary cardboard box?

Chinese Medicinal Plants Garden is World's Largest According to Guinness

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM for short) has roots that extend back thousands of years, with seeds in folk cures that were already old when ancient Chinese scholars first began writing them down. It's no wonder, then, that one of China's oldest official medicinal plants gardens has been declared by Guinness World Records to be the world's largest of its kind.

Homemade 'Hummer' Lets Chinese Chef Show Some Swagger

By night, Qu Zhibo is a chef and restaurant owner from Zigong City in China's Sichuan Province. By day, however, he's “Qu Zhibo, Hummer Driver!”... or something vaguely resembling a Hummer. Qu designed and constructed his 1-of-a-kind, 4-wheeled, 8-tired tribute to American rolling stock with GM's mighty military machine in mind.

USB Christmas Tree Brings Holiday Cheer to Your Desktop

Celebrate digital Xmas 2011.0 with the USB Christmas Tree from Japan's Thanko! The tiny tinsel-trimmed tannenbaum merrily glows with fiber optic lighting powered by your PC or laptop computer.

With IPOs & Bankruptcy In The Air, Zynga Soars, American Airlines Zags & Alec Baldwin Zings

There's seems to be a glint of irony taking to the not-so-friendly skies, or so one popular TV-star would like the world to believe. While online gaming giant Zynga hopes to reap between $850 million and $1.15 billion with its impending IPO offering on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, the venerable American Airlines files Chapter 11 to reorganize its massive debt. So what's the connection between the two companies where one's on an uptick and the other is in dire straits financially? Well… Alec Baldwin, oddly, it seems!

Japanese Earthquake Seismogram Sculpture Created by Luke Jerram

Dry statistics and flat printouts do little to convey the awesome destructive power of earthquakes. British multimedia artist Luke Jerram has found a way to bring data to life, as it were, and by doing so express not only the measured progress of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake over 9 minutes terrifying but also display the pure esthetic beauty of nature's fury in action.

10 Bizarre Christmas Party Costumes from Japan

If you haven't been asked to join in any reindeer games, get your antlers to Japan where the Christmas costumes are unlike any those found anywhere else. Check out ten of Japan's oddest seasonal costumes and accessories, offered by the fine folks at Village Vanguard in the spirit of “St. Christmas”... whoever or whatever that is.

DIY Theremin Kit from Japan Makes Sounds Only Lenin Could Love

The Gakken Theremin Mini DIY Kit is the ideal holiday gift for your niece or nephew provided you can't stand their parents. They say Lenin loved the theremin's eerie sound the first time he heard it, so full Marx to him.

Magic Spiker Slip-On Soles Give Black Ice a Black Eye

I see your snowshoes and I raise you: Ice Shoes! Actually these Magic Spiker winter soles stretch over almost any shoe, turning the most mundane loafers into ice-gripping, non-slipping, cold-weather warriors. Pretty slick, huh?

China's Buses Include DIY Emergency Exits Disguised as Bricks

In case of emergency, brick glass? Goodbye, yellow brick, road? Have brick, will travel? The puns come fast & furious when attempting to explain a low-tech safety measure found on Chinese passenger buses: yellow-painted, window-breaking bricks.

Pickmaster Plectrum Punch Owes a Debt to Credit Cards

Attention indebted guitarists, don't be so quick to cut up those maxed-out credit cards. The Pickmaster Plectrum Punch quickly recycles VISA, Master Card and other name brand credit cards into cheap “green” plastic guitar picks. Sing with me now, “E I E I Owe!”

Esthetic Prosthetic Designed for the Disabled

With prosthetic devices, function comes first while form too often places a poor second. Not anymore! Perhaps inspired by the footwear flaunted by footless South African runner Oscar Pistorius, a Japanese industrial designer has unveiled a very esthetic prosthetic.

Washable Toilet Seat Liner Warms Hearts, Saves Power

If your pet peeve is a cold toilet seat and you're dreading the onset of winter weather, Japan's got something that'll warm your heart (and more): fluffy, furry, reusable and washable toilet seat liners. Next time nature calls, don't let American Standard give you the cold shoulder - plop your posterior on a poodle instead!

Portrait Of 60s Protester Adds Perspective To Occupy Movement In Song

Where have all the protest songs gone? Are they still blowing in the wind, or have new ones surfaced to chronicle life's current strife? While it seems like only yesterday, it's actually been over 40 years since Americans felt angry and disenfranchised enough to assemble in solidarity and  protest against injustice and greed.

Chinese Compensation Scheme Saves Wild Predators, Reimburses Herdsmen

Cry wolf, prey tell? China's innovative compensation program has proven to be a roaring success, protecting endangered wildlife as well as the pocketbooks of farmers and herders.

Call it Edgy: The Parental Advisory iPhone 4 Case

Got a few choice words to tell those bleepin' telemarketers? Making prank calls to Tipper Gore again? The polycarbonate plastic, custom designed Parental Advisory iPhone 4 Case lets the world know you're the “Bad Apple” of the bunch.

Eco-Friendly Heat Pad Pencil Combo Composts As You Compose

Care to shave a few cents off your monthly heating bill? Looking to be the next hot writer? Say “yes!” to both, provided your purple prose is penned with the Heat Pad Pencil!