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Guitar Shaped Plush Toys

They’re made and designed by The Grateful Thread, a tiny company made up of two people who share a love of music and crafts.

Three models of guitar: The Rebel, The Classic y The Rock Star
Three models of guitar: The Rebel, The Classic y The Rock Star
  If you’ve always wanted to play guitar but never found the time to take some basic lessons, we suggest you give one of these guitar shaped plush dolls a squeeze. They’re a very practical alternative: you don’t need to learn to read music to enjoy them and they’re just as cool as the real thing.

They were designed and made by two people who are equally passionate about crafts and music and live in London: Jami, an American with experience in 3D design for film, and Nicolas, a French architect who now spends his days drawing musical instruments.

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 on 27 Mar 2009 by Marta Reig in Unusual gifts Comments Send this to a friend

Ohanami

When the cherry trees begin to blossom, japanese all over the country celebrate by organizing picnics, games and karaoke sessions.

Cherry blossoms and Obento
Cherry blossoms and Obento
  What is Ohanami?
The time of year many Japanese people have anxiously awaited is about to begin: Ohanami, the cherry blossom festival. Between the end of March and the beginning of April, cherry trees all over Japan begin to blossom, generally starting in the south and moving up north, depending on the climate in the different regions of the country.

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 on 26 Mar 2009 by Ayumi Nakai in Japanese Culture Comments Send this to a friend

Animal House

This book is a collection of images of animals photographed against wallpaper backdrops. The artist is a prestigious American photographer.

A crocodile making itself at home
A crocodile making itself at home
  How do you manage to get a crocodile to pose in your living room? And, even worse, how do you get him to smile? If you were to see that same animal up close in a Florida swamp, you’d probably be terrified, but this one here looks so adorable, it almost makes you want to pet it.

The same is true of the cow, it’s totally in it element.

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 on 25 Mar 2009 by Marta Reig in Art, design and architecture Comments Send this to a friend

Films based on anime series

Japanese cartoons have inspired many film directors and today it’s quite fashionable to make live-action anime films with real actors.

Yatterman, the movie
Yatterman, the movie
  The film "Dragon Ball" was launched not long ago. It was filmed with real people rather than as an animation. This US production, based on a Japanese anime series, has been very controversial among Dragon Ball fans in China who do not like the new version since, among other things, the protagonist’s name has been changed and the Turtle Master is not as perverted as they expected.

But it’s not just Americans who dare dress flesh-and-blood people up as anime characters; films and series based on animes are also trendy in Japan.

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

mitemite

This Spanish company defines itself as a "laboratory of useless objects". They design things that’ll brighten up your day.

Once you try them, they’ll become a wardrobe staple
Once you try them, they’ll become a wardrobe staple
  No doubt your house is full of stuff that’s basically useless but brightens up your day just the same. A perfect example is that Chinese kitten waving its hand at you. It doesn’t really serve a purpose, but you smile every time you look at it. It’s so kitsch! At Mite Mite, a Catalonian design studio, they design useless objects with this aim: to make our lives more fun.

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 on 23 Mar 2009 by Marta Reig in Gadgets, inventions and prototypes Comments Send this to a friend

Proyecto Cartele

Proyecto Cartele is a collective archive of photographed posters that include unusual, surprising, and very comical messages.

If you see a sign like this one, send it in to Proyecto Cartele
If you see a sign like this one, send it in to Proyecto Cartele
  For years, a group of 3 friends form Argentina, armed with their cameras, dedicated themselves to immortalizing the most curious and amazing posters they could find on the street: advertisements, store signs, official orders, or threatening messages from pissed-off neighbors.

Some years later, Machi Mendieta’s, Gastón Silberman’s and Esteban Seimandi’s favorite pastime become Proyecto Cartele, a very extensive photographic archive that they decided to present as a book.

They simultaneously created a web site, which is updated with new posters and which, thanks to the "Participate" section, has made it possible to make the project known to everyone.

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 on 18 Mar 2009 by Marta Reig in Art, design and architecture Comments Send this to a friend

The Japanese Wedding

Western customs combine with local traditions and the highlight of the wedding is the speech.

Online game where brides and grooms can share their wedding speeches
Online game where brides and grooms can share their wedding speeches
  Weddings are an important moment in life for the Japanese. The celebration is a long process and is full traditional details. However, there are also strong influences from the West.

Omiai Celebration
Omiai means marrying through an intermediary who is in charge of finding a single woman and organizing a date with the right man. If you end up getting married, you have to pay the intermediary.

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 on 17 Mar 2009 by Ayumi Nakai in Japanese Culture Comments Send this to a friend

Tea Bags That Glow

It’s not the latest thing in the tea aisle; it’s an ingenious portable lamp invented by a Korean designer.

As the bag’s contents dissolve, the cup is filled.... with light
As the bag’s contents dissolve, the cup is filled.... with light
  It’s called Lighting Bag and, although it looks like a tea bag, it really isn’t. And it’s not exactly a "lamp" either. To be more precise, it’s a "chemical light source" composed of 2 elements.

There’s a transparent glass cup full of chemical liquid on the one hand, and, on the other, a bag containing florescent molecules. How does this curious lamp light up? Well, the light is created thanks to a catalytic converter that is activated by the chemical reaction produced when you mix the ingredients in the cup with those in the bag.

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 on 16 Mar 2009 by Marta Reig in Gadgets, inventions and prototypes Comments Send this to a friend

Koolhaas HouseLife

This documentary is about Guadalupe Acedo’s chores. Guadalupe is the housekeeper in charge of a modern home designed by Rem Koolhaas.

Guadalupe airing out the house
Guadalupe airing out the house
  La Maison à Bordeaux is a home situated high atop a hill outside Bordeaux, France. It was built in 1994 and was commissioned by a family whose father had been handicapped as a result of an accident. They choose Rem Koolhas to carry out the project, and they also asked him to design a complicated house.
The reputable architect surprised them by presenting a 3-story home with easy wheelchair access to all three stories.

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 on 12 Mar 2009 by Marta Reig in Art, design and architecture Comments Send this to a friend

Pedometers that motivate

They give you reasons not to drink beers after exercising and calculate the money you would have spent if you’d taken a taxi.

Iiwa-kei and Metabo-kamen
Iiwa-kei and Metabo-kamen
  When you have a few beers after exercising, you can’t help feeling guilty: you’re afraid you’ll regain the weight you just lost! How can you relax and drink without feeling bad? Recently, a Japanese company called Banpresto put a pedometer out on the market that gives you reasons why you deserve that beer. It’s called Iiwa-kei, and the name comes from the Japanese words iiwake (excuse) and kei (calculate).

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 on 11 Mar 2009 by Ayumi Nakai in Japanese videos Comments Send this to a friend
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