Author Archive

Japanese Convenience Stores are cool

January 3, 2011

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

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?

Top Ten Toxins

December 13, 2010

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.

At Your Attention!

September 1, 2010

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!

Generative Exhibition

July 14, 2010

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

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

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…


May 13, 2010

According to CNN, we spend approximately 60 hours a year on hold. Ughh.. Welcome Lucyphone, she does the holding for you.  Genius. Check out their site for more information: Oh, and it is free!

Conspicuous Consumption

May 12, 2010

Call me crazy but I think that conspicuous consumption will once again finds its place in the American consumer-scape.  While we all privately meditate on our personal definition of value, some high lux brands are still churning a profit, even in these lean times.  Vertu Phones, a division of Nokia, specializes in phones in the range of $5,000 – $325,000.  Made of sinful materials like gold, platinum, leather or even pave diamonds, Vertu believes that the phone is replacing the watch as the badge luxury product.  So, if your Rolex is feeling yesterday, get yourself a Vertu in ostrich skin.  It will be a conversation piece, no matter how you look at it!

Get your sleep!

May 6, 2010

A new study by researchers in the UK and Italy suggests that abnormal sleeping pattern may result in an increased risk of premature death. (The research took data from Europe, the US and Asia over the past 25 years, covering more than a million people and over 100,000 deaths.)

There were two key findings from the research as reported by The Guardian in the UK.

1. Those who sleep for less than six hours a night were 12% more likely to experience a premature death than those who got six to eight hours’ sleep – the ideal amount.

2.  Those who consistently sleep more than nine hours a night are possibly more likely to die early. (Basically, oversleeping is not a risk but a potential indicator of underlying ailments!)

The fastest growing group on Facebook…

April 28, 2010

Is not what you think.  According to a Morgan Stanley Research Report, women aged 55+ have increased 175 percent since September of 2008.  18-24 year olds account for less than 25 percent of total users!!!!!  Finally, over 70 percent of Facebook users live outside of the US.  Hey, I thought we were a super power!