Tuesday, March 25, 2008

There's something fishy here...

Vincent van Gogh's "Sunflowers" made entirely of sushi. Hmmmmmm. This edible art was created by a Japanese sushi chef, Ken Kawasumi, to promote his new book called (ironically) The Simplest Way to Make Decorative Sushi Rolls.

The book is in Japanese, so even if you were tempted to use sushi to "paint" with, you'll have to wait until there is an American translation. Kawasumi has published two earlier books, though, that have been translated: Encyclopedia of Sushi Rolls and Sushi for Parties.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I want these chopsticks

Pylones is one of my favorite stores. Everything they sell appeals to my whimsical sense of humor. And what could be better than chopsticks with faces? The advantage to these chopsticks is that at the "head" end, there is actually something you could use as a fork (shhhh).

Unless you live in Paris, New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo or Istanbul (Istanbul??), you'll have to get these on line at the Pylones' website. The Ping & Pong chopsticks come in 9 colors and cost $10 a pair.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Norwegian Global Seed Vault

Sort of like a giant time capsule for plants, the Global Seed Vault in Norway officially opened for business on February 26, 2008. The seed vault will ultimately house and preserve the seeds from hundreds of thousands of plants (at the moment the count is around 730,000). The purpose is to "store duplicates of seeds from collections around the globe. If seeds are lost for any reason--natural disasters, war or power failure--the seed collections could be reestablished using seeds from [the seed vault]."

The seed vault is built into a mountainside in Svalbard (a group of islands in the Arctic Ocean off the coast of Norway) and looks for all the world like something straight out of a Sean Connery-era Bond movie.

To read more about the efforts of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, check out the Global Seed Vault website.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Saving the planet with smart design

I hate, hate, hate plastic bags. (I'm glad to see that there are some places that are considering making them a thing of the past in grocery stores.) And ever since I lived in France, I've loved, loved, loved the concept of carrying a small shopping bag to hold the ingredients for dinner that night.

So I always like to carry a small, folded-up bag with me in my purse. This is why I was really pleased to discover the 24/7 bag from a little company called flip & tumble.

The bag was designed by two graduates of Stanford University's Product Design program. It's made of ripstop nylon, which makes it very strong and--best of all--very light. It comes stuffed into a stretchy nylon sack and is about the size of a baseball. When you deploy the bag, the stretchy sack (which is actually attached to the bag) ends up on the inside of the bag as a handy little pocket for keys and whatnot.

It's really an extremely clever design, and the color combinations available are very modern and attractive. You can buy the bag from the flip & tumble website for $12 plus $4 flat shipping for up to 4 bags.