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January 24 to 30, 2005
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It's time for Hawaii to promote innovate mixed-use businesses that foster community development. Mentioned last week was the concept of "bike stations", which could be placed next to mass transportation hubs (bus stops, rail and ferry) and combined with a wi-fi cafe, repair shop, newspaper stand, and storage lockers:
How about a wi-fi cafe combined with a print-on-demand bookstore? Now that so many book sales are online, how about putting the bookstore in the cafe instead of the cafe in the bookstore? A suitable print-on-demand area could offer periodicals, posters and books from local artists and writers, hard-to-find foreign books and dictionaries, and high-resolution coffee table books. Use recycled paper (such as from New Leaf) and eco-friendly inks, and you've got a bookstore with a minimal landfill footprint. Put up printed artwork by local creatives and offer free sample books to read while eating your sandwich, and you've got a community-oriented social scene. I'm not even going into burn-on-demand CDs and DVDs from local artists here. Xerox has long been a proponent of print-on-demand technology:
Or how about emulating the business model of San Francisco's Brainwash, a successful cafe-and-laundromat that also sells t-shirts and hosts local musicians as well as comedy nights? They've got a Web site with an events calendar and webcams, and was packed when I last visited it. They also provide dry cleaning and wash-and fold service. Let's make doing the laundry fun for a change:
The high cost of filming in Hawaii is leading productions to think twice about shooting in the islands. This article compares Hawaii's incentives to other locations:
New Tech
Scientists have succeeded in turning stem cells into nerve cells. This may allow cures for those with nervous system injuries and diseases:
Currently under development, the PALV flying car is the best flying car design I've seen yet:
Amazon adds 20 million pictures of storefronts to its Yellow Pages search:
Finally, an MP3 player with a swappable 2.5-inch hard drive:
Bio-nanofibers and bio-luminescent transistors are allowing the development of transparent, flexible displays:
Scientists find a way to create petrified wood in days. Implications for new types of filters:
Fujitsu announced the development of plant-based plastic in PCs:
All about the new spacesuit of the future, now under development at MIT. It looks nothing like those suits in "2001":
Tag graphing allows people to see relationships between topically-sorted content on the Web:
Modern Life
This was the week of world-wide coincidences that could only happen thanks to the wonder of the Internet. Now that so many are sharing photos online, people are beginning to find interesting "correspondences":
Two strangers took different halves of the same rainbow at the same time:
Two tourists took the same shot of an obscure bridge from a difficult vantage point, 20 years apart:
Two strangers took a photo of the same sunset in New York:
Using Skype (voice over the Internet), John Perry Barlow was called at random by two young women, one in Vietnam and one in Korea, wanting to learn how to speak English. Here's his reflections on "the intimate planet":
A man sold his forehead as advertising space for $37,375:
McDonald's is outsourcing drive-through ordering, which means that people ordering food in Oregon actually are talking to people in Michigan:
The first feature film to be delivered via wireless internet technology was shown at the Sundance Film Festival:
This was understandably popular - people are worrying about hybrid human/animal experiments, including human/rabbit egg combinations and mice with human brain cells:
Here's a good summary of related links:
The 101 dumbest moments in business. Number three: the chairman of gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson was forced to resign after it was discovered that he spent 15 years in prison for a string of armed robberies:
Ever been taken by one of these? Here's the 25 hottest urban legends, with "tsunami photos" at number one:
Terrorism and You
The Bush administration OKs drilling for oil in rare grassland in New Mexico, despite objections from the state's governor, who used to be the Secretary of Energy in the Clinton administration. This is also despite the fact that over 100 wells have been dug in New Mexico in the last 100 years, and only two produced oil or gas:
Newsweek on the decline of the American Dream:
Whole-grain foods are becoming an industry trend. Wonder Bread now makes a whole-grain alternative, following "unprecedented consumer interest in healthier foods":
The government is accusing DuPont of hiding materials that suggest that a chemical in Teflon leads to cancer and birth defects. Not only that, the chemical's been found in people's bloodstreams. After 50 years of Teflon use, DuPont may be liable for $300 million:
Only nine chlorine plants in the U.S. put eight tons of mercury into the environment each year, although some say 65 more tons are unaccounted for annually. This is mostly due to the use of obsolete 19th-century technology that the EPA overlooks:
Thanks to rampant over-prescription of antibiotics for over half of U.S. patients, antibiotics may be useless in 50 years:
Why don't local supermarkets sell reusable shopping bags at time of checkout? Here's how some towns in Australia managed to ban disposable plastic bags at supermarkets, saving 350,000 bags in the first year:
Incredible before-and-after comparisons of the faces of meth users:
It appears that the very healthy white tea is getting popular:
Unusual events "unheard of in the history of seismology" have been recorded in the Andaman and Nicobar islands since the tsunami:
The Pack 'n' Chair, a foldable chair/backpack/cooler:
Photography by Misty Keasler: Japanese love hotels, deep East Texas, Russian orphanages, holy places, and Guatemala city dump:
Here's how to make your own Life Poster with iPhoto:
Generate, print, and cut your own 12-sided calendar:
This Target ad is a clever look into how design shapes our culture and environment:
About the production of Richard Linklater's new movie
"A Scanner Darkly", which may be the most faithful adaptation of a Philip K. Dick novel ever made. The style is similar to but goes far beyond that of Linklater's previous film "Waking Life":
Bembo's Zoo, which makes animals out of letters. The site is fun for kids and designers:
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