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Posted by Kat Bauman  |  24 Nov 2014  |  Comments (0)

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It's easy to hate those lists of obviously untested "lifehacks" and bluetooth-strapped "innovations," but if you do nothing to combat them aren't you effectively condoning them? The Stupid Shit No One Needs & Terrible Ideas Hackathon stands up to the tide of bad concepts and needlessly tech-infused bullshit. Organized by Amelia Winger-Bearskin and Sam Lavigne, this year's hackathon produced some truly inventive and horrific creations. Here are some of my favorite innovative stupid hacks (possibly NSFW after the jump):

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Tweet Your Food automatically updates Twitter with every bite you take. Now you can plug in and go to town, secure in the knowledge that your meals are finally keeping up with your information age lifestyle.

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iPad On A Face is what it sounds like. This "artisanal, handmade, and Certified Organic" invention hacks the necessity of dropping grands and grands on a telepresence robot, by projecting your face digitally via an iPad. The iPad On A Face is mounted with an exclusive "holsterhat" to a human host, and your live projected presence is ready to go!

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Posted by Moa Dickmark  |  24 Nov 2014  |  Comments (0)

MD_A_PKGAZA_00.jpgYasser Fathi Qudih

Some projects can create a surprisingly extensive ripple effect. They can inspire the creation of new projects or light a spark of curiosity within a single individual. In this case, the project that is causing the ripple effect is a group of guys in the city of Khan Younis, Gaza, who use parkour to find common ground and hope in an area of the world where that is exactly what is needed.

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MD_A_PKGAZA_19.jpgVycheclav Guz

Who would ever think that one of the things you might end up seeing when walking around in Gaza is a bunch of young guys practicing parkour in the middle of the ruins. Well, if you happen to be in the city of Khan Younis, and you walk around when school is over, that is likely to happen. I had the great pleasure of interviewing one of the gents from PK Gaza, Ahmed Matar, to hear more about the organisation and their plans.

After the withdrawal of the Israeli army from the Gaza Strip back in 2005, Captain Mohamed Algakhbeer and Abdallah Enshasy created the very first parkour crew in Gaza, a crew that's now seen as the best parkour team in the Arab world. Back then, it was just the two of them, but steadily the numbers of member in the crew have grown and now they are up to 18 official members from age 17–25.

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Posted by Coroflot  |  24 Nov 2014

Work for Johnson & Johnson!

With annual sales of $11 billion, the Johnson & Johnson Global Surgery Group is the world's largest, most innovative surgical company. The strength of the Global Surgery Group is illustrated by the fact that more than 80% of their sales come from businesses with #1 or #2 global market share positions. The Industrial Design|Human Factors team provides user-centered design leadership to business partners across several businesses within the J&J Global Surgery Group. How would you like to join this powerhouse brand as an Industrial Designer?

The best candidate for this job will embrace the various roles this position requires, using traditional sketching, digital tools, CAD models, and physical mock-ups to communicate unique ideas and product concepts. They'll also be a problem solver with a keen understanding of how things work who is self-directed and organized. If this sounds like you, Apply Now.

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  21 Nov 2014  |  Comments (0)

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It was on the photography-based PetaPixel website that I first heard of what are called cinemagraphs. While cinemagraphs are uploaded as GIFs, in essence a cinemagraph is to a standard GIF what color footage is to black-and-white. With a cinemagraph, a photographer uses photo compositing techniques to animate only selective elements of a photograph, while the rest of it remains still.

In the hands of a master photographer like Julien Douvier, who produced the three shots below, the effect is simply stunning.

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Posted by Carly Ayres  |  21 Nov 2014  |  Comments (0)

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When Poltrona Frau turned one hundred in 2012, the Italian furniture maker decided it was time to rethink its classic armchair, which had been around since the very beginning. An overstuffed wing chair with a built-in ashtray for the gentleman who likes to smoke at home—clearly it was time for a revamp. So the CEO reached out to 12 designers to take part in a competition for the "centenary armchair"—one that not only brought new life to Poltrona Frau's classic, but that also predicted the future of the armchair in the home.

The winning design was by Satyendra Pakhalé, an Amsterdam-based industrial designer originally from India (who answered our Core77 Questionnaire last spring). Pakahalé envisions a future where work and life intersect more than ever. "The concept was inspired from contemporary life in an increasingly connected world where the boundaries between the domestic space and the workplace are further blurred," Pakhalé says. "The resulting collection is a synthesis between the contemporary and the traditional; between the needs of an evolving society and the excellence of Poltrona Frau's craftsmanship in processing leather and hide."

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In addition to the new armchair, the Assaya collection includes a table, a lap tray and a pouf. The idea, Pakhalé says, is for the armchair to provide "a flexible way of living and working, where one could use it as a writing desk and also as a place to relax." The lap tray is provided for the use of digital devices, while the pouf and side table can be used in formal or informal settings for work and leisure.

The project began with a trip taken by Pakhalé to the Poltrona Frau factory in Tolentino, Italy. "I was curious, keen to grasp, assess and evaluate in my own manner the legendary heritage of Poltrona Frau," Pakhalé says. The designer drew upon the company's extensive leather production facilities and craftsmen in the design of Assaya, which is constructed in hide and leather all sourced from Italian and Swedish tanning factories owned by Poltrona Frau.

SatyendraPakhale-AssayaChair-3.jpgPoltrona Frau's original armchair, with its built-in ashtray

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  21 Nov 2014  |  Comments (1)

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We've periodically covered Big Ass Fans (here and here), the Kentucky-based company that shrewdly changed their name from High Volume Low Speed Fan Company. Due to their no-nonsense marketing approach, the efficient, sturdy design of their product and periodic design refreshes, they've grown into something like the Dyson of overhead air movement systems. And now they've moved into a new product category, with another line of overhead-mounted objects: Big Ass Lights.

So here we see how selling directly to customers can help a company develop new products: Direct feedback, which would likely get lost or mangled if filtered through a distributor middleman. By interacting directly with customers and visiting their facilities, the company is in a position to overhear their needs—and gripes. "One we heard over and over again: employers' once-bright lights now glowed a dim yellow, making it difficult for workers to do their jobs and forcing maintenance teams to constantly replace bulbs," the company writes. "Those inefficient bulbs also kept energy costs high."

Seeing an opportunity, they then hired new talent, adding lighting experts to their stable of engineers. The resultant design of their LED-sporting Big Ass Light isn't actually that physically big—the smaller model's a little over three feet in length, and the larger model just under four—but the company reckons they've created "The last light you'll buy," as it's energy-efficient, well-designed and durable.

The main body of the light is an aluminum extrusion, finned to serve as a heat sink:

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  21 Nov 2014  |  Comments (2)

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I'm cheap, so I save all hardware and fasteners that aren't bent out of shape or stripped. As I disassemble one DIY project and prepare to move on to the next, all of the old screws and such go into the sad "system" you see below, a collection of plastic containers. When they're full I dump them out onto a tray and sort more precisely.

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It's a lame system, I know. And I became aware of just how lame when I saw this killer idea from "Wulf" over on the Craftster community:

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At the shop where I work we just toss loose screws, bolts, nails and other bits and pieces of hardware from the workbenches and the floor into a bucket and, every couple of years when the bucket gets too full, somebody has to dump the whole mess out and sort everything back to where it belongs. When that job fell to me this Spring, I decided there had to be a better solution. So I designed a bin that would help to at least divide things by type to make the final sorting easier. Though built for an industrial situation, it would work equally well in the home craft room for jewellery findings, sewing notions, etc.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  21 Nov 2014  |  Comments (0)

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I once got stabbed in the head with a wooden knife. It was an accident that occurred during a martial arts training exercise. I'd heard that head wounds bleed badly, but as I waited for the taxi to take me to the hospital (an ambulance is not what you take in NYC if speed is a priority) I was shocked at the amount of blood that came out of my head.

While head wounds are bad, severing a femoral or carotid artery is way worse in terms of blood loss. If you slice one of these open and can't stop the bleeding, that's basically the last selfie you'll ever take. But now a tiny biotech company in Brooklyn can change that equation, having developed a product that stops bleeding, whether pinprick or grievous wound, almost instantly.

Called VetiGel, the material is a plant-based polymer. It requires no training to use and can be loaded into an ordinary plastic syringe; rather than needing to learn how to prepare a field dressing, someone providing aid can simply aim and squirt it like toothpaste onto a brush. Watch how it works in this video:

The leftover material, by the way, can be safely resorbed into the body or removed.

As for why it's called VetiGel, the material is first being marketed towards veterinarians, with approval for human use planned for further down the line.

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Should the product pass human trials and prove affordable enough to manufacture, it could be a real game changer: Simple syringes loaded up with the stuff and placed into every ambulance, soldier's pack and first aid kit around the world could mean the difference between life and death for countless people, particularly those for whom a hospital is more than a cab ride away.

Posted by Sam Dunne  |  20 Nov 2014  |  Comments (0)

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During the holiday season, there's something about being a creative industry professional that makes you a prime target for delegation of certain tasks requiring an appreciation for the visual and delicate hand-eye coordination. But every year it's the same humiliation, OCD irritability and disappointment of small children everywhere when we reach the annual realization that sick Adobe technique, awesome CAD modelling skills or even decades of workshop experience doesn't always translate to graceful arrangement of tinsel or prim and proper present wrapping.

Icing biscuits—of course a prime and reoccurring example of this phenomenon of holiday ham-fistedness (what is it about coloured liquid sugar that can look so appalling despite being spread with the upmost care!)—has fallen into the sights of home-making bloggers and entrepreneurs this year with (an industry already well into it's cycle) videos and new products aimed at the icing-incompetent.

In a lengthy video tutorial, Amber of SweetAmbs—YouTube cookie decoration sorceress—gives an highly informative if insanely detail breakdown of the process to iced cookie perfection. It seems we've been destined to failure with attempts to spread on the sugar coating—only a piping technique will suffice, not forgetting a dry time of 8 hours for the base layer. Jokes aside, you got to give her credit for her use of a scribe manipulating the sugar to form the delicate patterns.

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Posted by Jeri Dansky  |  20 Nov 2014  |  Comments (0)

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As a professional organizer, I often recommend that gift-givers consider consumables—things that will get used up, and won't become clutter. There are many ways to design a normally mundane item so that it becomes an interesting gift (whether a stocking stuffer or more), and to design a commonly gifted item so it stands out in the crowd.

Idea #1: Take a common product and make it a work of art, such as this toothbrush from Bogobrush.

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Idea #2: Get creative with the holiday offerings. Many companies offer special products for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. But not many have an offering for Burns Day, as L. A. Burdick does with its limited edition Scotch whisky chocolates.

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Idea #3: Combine items in interesting ways. For example, Hen & Hammock sells seed combinations: four kinds of chills, four purple vegetables, four Christmas dinner vegetables, etc.

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