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NEW IDEAS AND TRENDS (old)

What Did Poor Pets Get This Christmas?

Though it's reported that British pets suffered, gift-wise, from the downsized economy this Christmas, the American Pet Products Association estimated that 53 percent of dogs and 38 percent of cats in the U.S. received Christmas gifts this year - a relatively good stash for them, I'd say.  But what about pets from families who can hardly afford to feed them, let alone buy Santa hats for them?

 

Taking the High Road: Tibet Invests in 53 New School Buses

The wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round... even in Tibet, “the roof of the world”. The recent purchase of 53 new school buses by local authorities in Lhasa means many students in far-flung farming regions will ride to and from school in style (and safety) for the very first time.

Hello Kitty's Tribute to Visionary Apple CEO, Steve Jobs

Sanrio, Japan's kawaii character company and home of cuteness queen Hello Kitty, teamed up with California goods retailer LoungeFly to thank Apple's inspirational CEO, the late Steve Jobs, for a lifetime of creativity. The result was a bizarrely cute "Hello Stevie" love-child that ended up pleasing nobody.

Newest Japanese Rice Field Art Sends Living Messages of Hope

The 2011 crop of “Tanbo” rice field art is bolder and more beautiful than ever before. This year, though, Japan's artistic rice farmers are going against the grain by growing messages of hope and perseverance meant to encourage a nation fed up with natural and unnatural disasters.

Genghis Khan's Genome Successfully Sequenced by Chinese Scientists

Charlie Sheen may have Adonis DNA but when it comes to winning, Genghis Khan DNA conquers all! Chinese scientists have announced they've successfully sequenced the genome of one of the Great Khan's direct descendants, and they didn't need a fossilized mosquito to do it.

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.

Sensing Microneedles Developed For Continuous Monitoring Of Body Chemicals

In the future, maybe not too distant, diabetics may be able to monitor their glucose levels continuously, rather than at one point in time, thanks to the researchers from North Carolina State University, Sandia National Laboratories, and the University of California, San Diego.  These researchers have incorporated sensors into multiple microneedles, each less than a millimeter long, that may make today's glucose analyzers, the annoying skin prick tests, obsolete.

 

Eco-Friendly Oil-Filled Space Heaters Exude Retro Radiator Styling

Cool heaters! The FZ Series Oil Radiator Heaters from Japan's Eureks may look film-noir retro but look beyond their finned skins and you'll find environmentally friendly, non-polluting, oil-filled space heaters designed to match the needs of today's power-saving, post-nuclear Japanese households.

Surgeons Check Out Donor Lungs 'Ex Vivo' Prior To Transplant

Surgeons at the New York Presbyterian Hospital at Columbia University performed the very first 'ex vivo' lung transplants yesterday, placing a deceased donor's lungs into a test dome for four hours to get the lungs in shape for their new human recipients.  Organ testing procedures have been available prior to now, but none as sophisticated as the XVIVA Perfusion System employed in these particular transplant surgeries.

 

'Pillow Talk' Phone Headrests Enable Conversations via Cushion

Old and busted: phone headsets. New hotness: phone headrests! The “Dare to Demo” star-shaped plush pillow from Willcom allows users to rest their weary heads while conducting hands-free conversations.

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!

Reactive Lighting Brings Safety, Efficiency, And The WOW Factor To Your Stairs

Traditional staircase lighting fails to impress functionally.  Even when lit with a fancy chandelier from an arched ceiling, which basement and attic stairs seldom deserve, the light cast may not be the safest.  But the Web's famous gadget hacker from Manitoba, Canada, Alan Parekh, has developed a complete kit for safe, energy-efficient, and versatile LED stair lighting that can express your individual style as well.

Colored Car Tires from China Look Wheel Strange

Black tires too dull & gloomy for you? Double Star Tires is hoping their colorful new line of Rainbow Tires will replace basic boring black rubber road rollers wheel, er, real soon.

Nissin's Big Cheese Meat Cup Noodle Gives Cheeseburgers Stiff Competition

Cup Noodle can really hit the spot when you're studying, gaming or satisfying the between-meal munchies but it's not really a “meal”, is it? If you believe that, you haven't seen Big Cheese Meat Cup Noodle! Japan's newest flavor sensation is the closest thing yet to a cheeseburger in a cup.

New Year, Next Dimension: China's First 3D Television Channel Rings In 2012

A dozen years into the 21st century and just over 50 years after citizens watched their first nationally broadcast programs, China boasts over 3,000 TV stations. Now Chinese television is about to enter the third dimension with the country's first 3D TV channel set to hit the airwaves on January 1st, 2012.

For-Profit Vs. Non-Profit: A Scary Study Of Nursing Homes

Those of you whose parents are at the age where a nursing home is being considered as an option for their care may just want to pay attention to the results of a recent study led by the University of California San Francisco (UCSF).  It compares the staffing and quality of care at for-profit nursing homes with that of non-profit facilities.

X Prize: Geneticists Compete To Duplicate Genomes Of Centenarians

The search is truly on for what makes people live past 100 years ... aside from eating right, exercising regularly, and having lots of social contact.  It's about their genomic makeup, and Archon Genomics is holding a big, as in 10 million dollars, prize for the first genetics team to develop the sequence of genes that can produce medical grade genomes from 100 centenarians.  Personalized medicine, here we come!

iPhone Geiger Counter Calls Out Concealed Radioactivity

The Geiger Fukushima iPhone was designed to be cheap yet effective in exposing radiation hotspots. It accomplishes these goals by working with the owner's iPhone and a dedicated app, thus reducing duplication of components. Bonus: it's made in Japan's hard-hit Fukushima prefecture!

Katy Perry's AMA Dress: Wearable Propaganda or Fashion Foible?

Is Katy Perry moonlighting for China's government or merely modeling a dress from designer Vivienne Westwood's Spring/Summer 2012 Gold Label collection? Maybe both: the Chinese calligraphy on her form-fitting AMA frock spells out “Green Economy”, a popular catchphrase oft-spouted by China's official media.

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.