Japanese Convenience Stores are cool

January 3, 2011 by

In Japan, convenience stores are the bomb – in post-recessionary times, low price point and high selection equals busy traffic.  With 100 new products introduced a week, convenience stores are prime locations for consumer activity.  Since shelf space very limited, products are only given a three-week lifespan. If they don’t hit, the stores make room for the next round of new products. Japanese consumers demand fresh goods according to their day so deliveries happen constantly. Keep in mind, these are not like your local Circle K.  You can buy plane tickets, book a house cleaner, drop off your laundry, buy fresh bread or even have a drink. (information from Future Trends 2010, Nicole Fall, Five by Fifty)

What’s more powerful, brands or religion?

December 16, 2010 by

According to Edelman, “Brand preference ranks with religion and ethnicity as top personal identifiers” for Millennials – those born between 1980 and 1995.  After all, Americans are exposed to 1500 – 3000 advertising messages a day and, in bad economic times, it is seeping into the school system.  It is no surprise that schools need funding and advertisers are only too happy to penetrate adolescent brain matter.  So, this does beg the question: for today’s youth, what is more powerful, brands or religion?

Take 5 Minutes and Watch

December 15, 2010 by

Astonishing 5 minute piece on levels of global growth (or ungrowth) over the past 200 years, relating historical health to historical wealth. Beautiful information design and delivery from Hans Rosling and the BBC.

Top Ten Toxins

December 13, 2010 by

At Future Trends this year, I had the luxury of listening to Dr. Mark Liponis, Corporate Medical Director at Canyon Ranch, speak about living in a toxic world. This is stuff we don’t like to think about but should, every once in a while.

Nanoparticles – Manufacturers not federally regulated to state they they use them on their ingredient lists. (The European Parliament and the U.K. require mandatory labeling of nanoparticles and ban them in certain sunscreens.)

GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) – We don’t know the effects on our health and there is no label requirement. Soy products are predominantly GMO’s.

Phthalates – the softeners in plastics such as soft toys, IV tubing, baby bottle nipples, gel caps on vitamins and supplements. These are considered endocrine system disruptors.

Cosmic Rays – Really, any form of radiation such as x-rays, catscans, imaging, security at airports or air travel, when you are not as protected by the earth’s atmosphere. Flying from NY-LA is equivalent to getting a chest x-ray!

Rocket Fuel (Perchlorate) – common water contaminant in the US, also in fireworks and explosives. It disrupts the thyroid.

POS’s (Persistent Organic Pollutants) – Once POP’s get into the environment, there is no way to get rid of them, they have a very long lifespan.

Heavy Metals – Mercury, lead etc – Once they get into your system, they are there forever. They accumulate in the body, sequester and get in the bones. This is especially a problem with women and menopause. With naturally occurring bone-loss, the heavy metals are released and blood pressure tends to rise.

BPA – Bisphenol A – Very widespread chemical and an endocrine disruptor. BPA’s are found in CD’s, DVD’s, the heat printed receipts you get at the pump/the ATM and in metal cans to prevent food from touching the metal.

Second Hand Smoke – Lung Cancer is the 3rd leading cause of lung cancer and 3000 cases of lung cancer a year are attributed to second hand smoke.

Radon – It is in the earth’s crust and gets trapped in buildings, especially in new homes. The EPA will send you a test for an accurate reading. Oh, and also check your water while you’re at it.

Clean Air

November 9, 2010 by

The negative can be positive too, as John Cage, eastern philosophies, and countless others have shown. Now this, a billboard for clean air in our modern times. Strange and beautiful.


Design: Lead Pencil Studio
Source: Fast Company

At Your Attention!

September 1, 2010 by

Conceptualized by a recent product design graduate, Jeremy Innes-Hopkins, the Nokia Kinetic stands upright when a call or text message is received, adding movement to a traditionally static object. Now, if I can only get my dog to walk himself, I will be all set!

African Baobab The New Superfood

August 22, 2010 by

Acai berry has been the superfood darling the past few years, but the fruit of the famed African Baobab tree has gotten noticed outside of Africa for its vitamin richness. According to National Geographic, the baobab tree has “six times as much vitamin C as oranges, twice as much calcium as milk, and plenty of B vitamins, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, and antioxidants.” The fruit looks like little marshmallows with seeds stuffed into a papaya-shaped coconut and the flavor is described as both tart and sweet.

Bat Signal

August 5, 2010 by

I see this as a really great early 21st century way to summon the Batman.

[via AmnesiaBlog]

Generative Exhibition

July 14, 2010 by

This inventive show is a new collection of works that are a collaboration between Alex Dodge and Brookyln-based tech startup Generative.  On view are prototypes such as “Sleep Talker’ which allows for an unconscious dialog on a kind of dream-based social network.  Man, that is cool!  Show closes Sunday, July 18th at Klaus Von Nichtssagend Gallery.

Dream catching continues to seep into culture with the upcoming release of Inception this weekend.

Kindle ‘Popular Highlights’

June 21, 2010 by

With so much information floating around these days, it is no wonder that Amazon has created a new top 25 list. Think of it as the future of the New York Times Best Seller List but in byte sized pieces.

Basically, Kindle readers have the power to highlight passages in books that they deem important, cool or just interesting. The result is that these passages will be highlighted for other Kindle users – unless they choose to disable this new feature called ‘popular highlights’ – as well as featured on Amazon.com.

Depending upon how you look at this, this can be a positive or negative. While it gets you to the heart of what America is reading, it can also be seen as another way that we are weakening our brain matter. Akin to multitasking, relying on this type of technology can result in further lack of concentration. What is better? Being more connected or less focused? Hummm…