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Hayao Miyazaki

He’s the great master of Japanese anime films who produced "Heidi" and "Spirited Away". A documentary tells the story of how his latest film, "Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea", was made.

"Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea"
"Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea"
  Who is Hayao Miyazaki?

Did you know that the films "Heidi" and "Spirited Away" were made by the same director? Hayao Miyazaki directs anime films and his influence both in Japan and around the world has been enormous. He has produced over 10 feature-length anime films and his work has won many prestigious awards, but he’s not that interested in obtaining prizes.

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 on 24 Apr 2009 by Ayumi Nakai in Japanese videos Comments Send this to a friend

Michael Hughes’ Souvenirs

This British photographer travels the world replacing tourist monuments with cheap souvenirs.

A toy yellow cab on the streets of Manhattan
A toy yellow cab on the streets of Manhattan
  During a trip to NY in 1998, the photographer Michael Hughes was drinking coffee out of a paper cup on a ferry to Staten Island. As he observed the Statue of Liberty, he realized that his coffee cup had a drawing of the monument printed on it, so he took a picture of it, putting the drawing of the monument in front of the monument itself.

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 on 22 Apr 2009 by Marta Reig in Art, design and architecture Comments Send this to a friend

Delicious Bath Salts

Bath salts shaped like different foods are all the rage in Japan. These products will keep you entertained at bath time.

A set of <i>Frozukin-cyan</i> fried food shaped bath salts
A set of Frozukin-cyan fried food shaped bath salts
  For many Japanese people, taking a bath is a relaxing moment of the day and, as you can imagine, there are thousands of products that also turn bath time into a fun time. A wide variety of salts are used to liven up baths and many products look so delicious that you almost want to eat them:

Curry Cubes
Japanese people love curry and the dish plays an important role in Japanese cooking.

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 on 21 Apr 2009 by Ayumi Nakai in Japanese Culture Comments Send this to a friend

"Google Insights" Reveals the Day-to-Day Intimacies of US Soldiers in Iraq

According to this tool, the relative volume of searches for many word combinations such as "Christmas gifts" or "Valentine’s gifts" is surprisingly higher in Iraq than in countries such as the United States and Great Britain.

Regional interest for "anniversay gifts" in 2008
Regional interest for "anniversay gifts" in 2008
  The approximately 140,000 US army soldiers living in Iraq comprise the great majority of that country’s web surfers. They are also very active users because they spend a great deal of their free time surfing the web.

Google Insights is a tool devised by Google that calculates the relative volume of searches for a certain phrase or word and also determines the most popular searches for a given country.

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 on 21 Apr 2009 by Juan Sebastián Alarcón in News and curiosities Comments Send this to a friend

Tetris Furniture

Now you can decorate your living room with a Tetris theme with this furniture: these pieces are shaped like the different figures from the popular videogame.

You won’t get points for fitting these together
You won’t get points for fitting these together
  Tetris is one of the most popular and successful games of all times. It’s as simple as Pac Man, as intuitive as Lego figures, and as attractive as Rubik’s cube. It’s also as addictive as chocolate: who’s never been hooked on Tetris?

A Russian man named Alekséi Pázhitnov invented it in 1985 while he was working for the Academy of Science in Moscow.

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 on 21 Apr 2009 by Marta Reig in Art, design and architecture Comments Send this to a friend

Chocolate Pencils

A Japanese design studio has created a box of chocolate pencils. The pencils are used to decorate desserts... using a pencil sharpener.

Luxurious packaging
Luxurious packaging
  Chocoholics will love this new invention. A Japanese design firm called Nendo , working along side the pastry shop Tsujiguchi Hironobu, has created a new dessert that promises to become legendary. And not for its ingredients, but for its finishing touches: it comes accompanied by a little box of chocolate pencils and also includes a pencil sharpener. Guess what you’re suppose to do with the pencils? Just what you used to when you were a kid in school: you have to sharpen them so you can decorate your dessert with delicious, freshly made, chocolate shavings.

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 on 20 Apr 2009 by Marta Reig in Unusual gifts Comments Send this to a friend

Magnetic Pixels

These magnetic pixels are the latest trend in kitchen magnets. They are little colored squares that you can use to create your own compositions.

Box of pixel magnets for decorating the fridge
Box of pixel magnets for decorating the fridge
  Had these magnets existed in the 1960’s, no doubt painters such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein would have spent hours on end creating their own special pixilated designs.

Magnetic Pixels is the latest trend in fridge decor: they are made up of very small (10mmx10mm), square magnets in different colors that you combine to create compositions such as faces, objects, famous paintings, letters...

Can’t come up with a design? Here’s an idea: open a picture on your computer using Photoshop and use the zoom option to enlarge it to maximum size.

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 on 17 Apr 2009 by Marta Reig in Unusual gifts Comments Send this to a friend

Is This Your Luggage?

This curious web surfer collects lost luggage, opens it, photographs the contents and posts them on the web. Maybe you’ll find your suitcase.

Someone out there is missing these things
Someone out there is missing these things
  Collectors know no limits. A few days ago, we told you about that guy who collects garbage around New York, puts it in little boxes and sells it. We thought that was pretty incredible and we figured he had to be the strangest collector in history, until we found Is this your luggage, a web site created by a person (we’re not sure whether it’s a man or a woman) who collects none other than lost luggage.

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 on 16 Apr 2009 by Marta Reig in Art, design and architecture Comments Send this to a friend

10 Best Gifts for Mother’s Day

We love mothers. And we love gifts, too!. That's why we've picked the 10 best gifts for your mom. Let her brag about how great her kids are.


  1. Sushi Cushions
They’re comfy and cool! Now your mom can nap and rest her head on her favorite food. They’re ideal for decorating dark houses and for moms with a sense of humor. If she’s a real sushi addict, you can buy her the full pack of 6, although we also sell them individually.

2. Giant Post-it Block
She complains that you and your siblings ignore the notes she leaves you on the fridge.

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 on 15 Apr 2009 by Marta Reig in Unusual gifts Comments Send this to a friend

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

Young male Japanese manga fans are crazy about the protagonist of this cartoon series.

Haruhi and her club mates
Haruhi and her club mates
  Haruhi Suzumiya is the main character in a cartoon series that’s very popular in Japan, and young male manga fans are especially crazy about her. Japanese Otakus have coined a word, moe, which means something like "having a fetish for something". Many Otaku use this slang expression to express their passion for Haruhi Suzumiya, they say they feel moe towards her.

Suzumiya Haruhi no Yūutsu (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya) is a series of novels written by Japanese author Nagaru Tanigawa and targeted at Japanese adults.

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 on 14 Apr 2009 by Ayumi Nakai in Japanese Culture Comments Send this to a friend
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