*NOTCOT in food+drink -

Muji Silicon Ice Ball Maker

mujiiceball.jpg With all of this Ice Ball talk on my mind from the Macallan, when i saw the Muji Silicon Ice Ball Maker at the Muji To Go store in JFK’s Jet Blue terminal, i couldn’t resist grabbing two to play with. Been rushing around a bit non stop, but as tired as i was when i got in, first thing i had to do was fill one of these up with water and stick it in the freezer! Was too tired to wait for water to boil before filling it ~ so it does lack some of the potential clarity due to the cold tap water that went in. Overall it worked pretty well though! And the novelty of spherical ice is pretty fun! Though not nearly as exciting as making it with the Macallan ice machine… see more pics of the instructions and muji device on the next page… been starting to think about what else you can do to get creative with spherical ice…

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*NOTCOT in travel - 01.17.10 -

Operation Window Seat: LA Sparkles At Night

lanight1.jpg I had one of my “wow, i love LA” moments as i was flying in from NY the other night… after not sleeping the night before, i crashed hard in a strange and contorted position for 5 hours on my JetBlue flight home, and as my eyes started to open, i was disoriented and fascinated by the sparkles of the city below me. It was such a clear night. and the colors felt different… i couldn’t help but wonder if it was the increase of things like LED billboards that are so blindingly bright when i’m on the ground changing the landscape of lights from above. They felt brighter and sharper ~ twinkling as we approached… and of course, i couldn’t help but snap a few pics to share with you. Also, nice placement of your URL, JetBlue, it’s as if you knew people would be taking pics out of the window… or just looking out of the window constantly…

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*NOTCOT in food+drink - 01.15.10 -

The Macallan - Flights of the Decades

macallan0.jpg Tonight, Macallan brought me out to Soho House in NY for quite the surreal experience: Flights of the Decades. Beyond the amazing ice balls (which i’ve been dying to see in action for some time now) ~ tonight i had the opportunity to talk so the inspirational visionary @MacallanKen (aka Ken Grier, Director - Malts) about everything from photography to life adventures to how baking cakes is a lot like scotch… but most importantly, about doing/enabling extraordinary things and people. Also finally got to meet @LivingTheDram (aka Graeme Russell - Macallan Ambassador) ~ with whom i’ve long tweeted about scotch from afar. And everyone at this lovely event was tweeting up a storm ~ all of which were showing on the screen (in fact, if you were using the #macallan hashtag during dinner, you too were up on screen!) To take it even further, we had the opportunity to taste not only the New Make Spirit straight from the source before reaching casks… Macallan cask strength 18 year sherry oak… Macallan 50 year… and even Macallan 52 year. It was. WOW. And seeing the Lalique decanters and the carbon fiber (looking?) box it’s packaged in… as well as one of the 1000 unique Rankin bottles up close… all in all it was a beautiful experience, with fun people, delicious food, great conversations… now go see the many random photos on the next page for a peek at the experience!

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*NOTCOT in food+drink -

The Macallan Ice Ball Machine

iceballs0.jpg Sure its 4am, but i couldn’t go to sleep before showing you the magic of the Macallan Ice Ball “Machine”. Did you know it runs on GRAVITY? Yes, high tech stuff… also the magical frictional heating of copper also comes in to play somehow just perfectly at room temperature. Really you stick a roughly right sized chunk of ice in between the two heavy pieces, and let gravity go to work on it. And with in moments ~ right before your eyes ~ it melts down to a perfectly glossy sphere. It’s magical really. This incredible device was discovered in japan (side note: where the macallan team also discovered japanese taking straight razors to carve perfect spheres of ice) ~ and they have exclusive rights to the device for a few years! I’m secretly wanting one to play with at home… See the pictures on the next page…

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*NOTCOT in wearable - 01.14.10 -

Maison Martin Margiela Perfume Launch

mmmlaunch2.jpg So i’ve been getting a little double, triple booked lately ~ trips overlapping ~ but all so tempting i try to do them all. Until i can’t. So i’m trying to find some help! Thank goodness, NOTCOT’s new features editor + giveaway coordinator + writer + friend + inevitably more to be added to this list shortly, Marcia Simmons, was able (and willing) to pop over for two nights in Paris with a mere few days notice. While we’re still working on finding a nice pretty new way to show you posts my friends share with us on NOTCOT, for the moment, we’ll first get you the great content ~ and time + energy permitting, we’ll transition in to some new way to denote it. For now you will have to just bear with silly introduction notes from me! So on the next page, we have a bunch of pics and stories from Marcia of her whirlwind adventures in Paris for the first Maison Martin Margiela Perfume launch! And i’m already envious of the amazingly packaged press kit (with flowers!!! and feather pens!!! and books!) ~ and the stunning presentation of the new perfume. I’ll have to sniff the goods myself next time i see her in person!

p.s. i adore that they went all dot matrix ascii art print out on the press kit. TOO FUN.

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*NOTCOT in travel -

The Mercer - Soho, NYC

mercer00.jpg Mmmmm. Doing that bicoastal commmute again, this time thanks to the Macallan folks who have brought me out to NY for an event tomorrow night, more to come on that later though. Long day of travel ~ popped over on JetBlue (i miss Virgin America, they spoil me with wifi. I thought i might be happier without it when flying, but i was wrong) ~ luckily i feel like i’m at home away from home as i slipped in to The Mercer Hotel ~ another Andre Balazs property, this one in the heart of Soho… and i absolutely adore it. Got in, got room service, and got to work! Well, after taking a bunch of pics of all the little design details that grabbed my eye. Also bonus points to them for super fast room service and bringing me some benadryl at midnight. They’ve been so kind and taking such good care of me here already! And so many details of this room make me want to go home and remodel already… Ready to take a peek?

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*NOTCOT in tech - 01.13.10 -

CES Top Secret: Belkin

belkinces0.jpg Leave it to Belkin to understand me well enough to be the ultimate tease and torture me just enough. I always love their booths, the design is above and beyond ~ becoming this fabulous, beautiful experience, with such fun logical user flows as you navigate it… this year, no booth, but they emailed saying that there is a suite, and invited me to come check it out. BUT, they aren’t inviting media in. AND the majority of the products won’t be launched until spring 2010, so no writing about those, yet. BUT, they trust me, so i can take pics to my heart’s content ~ and then stare at them. In my computer. For months. So now i’m finding ways to share the really cool displays and carpet and paths and installations… cropping strategically not to give anything away that i’m not allowed to. SO, here is one post filled with everything BUT products (except a few! which are out ~ and quite awesome!)… so take a peek at the very fun subway map themed suite of Belkin at CES 2010! It’s a beautiful room ~ they really did a number on it to make it feel more like an awesome science museum exhibit instead of the big box of a hotel suite it is. You have to see the way the paths flow from hardwood to carpet and up the walls so nicely. So take a peek inside at this collaboration between the Belkin team and Commonwealth… a few products to share… and many more to come (2010 has some REALLY fun stuff coming from Belkin. AGH. The agony. I promise i’ll show you more when i can.)

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*NOTCOT in playful - 01.11.10 -

Tenga Eggs : Easy Ona-Cap

tenguegg0.jpg On bizarre and fascinating design found at AVN this weekend… i found these Tenga Eggs in person, and i couldn’t help laughing when i saw them (yes, i tried to hold it in, but it was just so fascinating!). If they seem familiar, they were on NOTCOT.org as #18467 a while ago. And when they were first submitted, we couldn’t make sense of what they were for a bit… well now that they are being distributed by Liberator (they specialize in “bedroom adventure gear”)… so they were part of a big booth at AVN filled with beautifully designed toys. We even had a chance to meet the designer himself. Now as for how they work… these are bizarre eggs that are male pleasure toys, but they come in the most adorable plastic eggs (like kids easter eggs, or toys from machines you pop a quarter in to)… and inside you find an “egg shaped masturbation sleeve” ~ and they come in 6 different internal textures. “Although intended for a single session, the cup could be used a couple of times if handled and cleaned carefully.” Anyhow, take a peek at the pics of the packaging, products, and funny video on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in tech -

CES: Canon Booth

canon0.jpg You know my favorite parts to show you from CES aren’t the products (we can all read press releases everywhere), but the bizarre exhibition design details that are so strange and fascinating? Well camera booths (by booth i mean humongous expo spaces you can lose a friend in within seconds) ~ always have these random setups for you to try their cameras on… sometimes it is a wintery toy train set up going round and round or some women wrestling in the center of the pit or a toy rollercoaster… well Canon’s was like Mr. Wizard… and friend… in this crazy colorful, tv show styled science lab! (i say tv show, because while it feels classroom, it feels staged classroon with the giant foot and ear as well as lots of HUGE beakers with colorful liquids that all look gorgeous.) None the less, it was too cute a set up, and since it was there just for taking pictures, i couldn’t resist. Check out more pics on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in tech - 01.10.10 -

CES: Intel Infoscape HD Wall

intel1.jpg Wow. Possibly the coolest UI to play with at CES this year ~ with all of these spinning cubes of links, you can touch any of them and details will pop up. the Intel’s Inside Scoop blog gives us the specs: “Two - 7x7 - 1920x1920 resultion - double-HD, double-touch touch screen glass walls. Each wall is powered by a single all new 2010 Core i7 processor w/ Intel Hyper-Threading technology and Intel HD graphics. Its rendering 576 live links of information, pulling from 20,000 different content sources and over 20 live feeds from global news sources and networks like Flickr, Twitter, YouTube and intel.com.” It was quite a thrill to watch people walk up to this enormous touch screen cube ~ touch it ~ have a huge grin spread across their faces… and it all made perfect sense. It could even handle dozens of people browsing at once! Take a look at more pics and a video on the next page! (While the pics are mine ~ i had a bit too much fun playing with it ~ sorry i got too distracted to make a video at the time!)

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*NOTCOT in tech -

CES: Samsung Kaleidoscope of TVs

samsung1.jpg I think i now feel for any ant that gets stuck in a kaleidoscope. While often CES has a slew of ginormous booths with pyramids of TVs… Samsung got a little more creative this time… and… WOW. That picture above is just one view as it kept changing colors… i literally couldn’t help standing inside the huge booth spinning around in awe of the experience. I would have made a video for you, but i think i may have fallen over as people kept bumping into me (it was a sheep feeling kind of day at CES… if you stand still for too long the crowd just moves you)… also their rainbow wavey stripes for the netbook/laptop displays (the GOs looked so adorable mounted!) are fun to take a peek at too! See more pics on the next page…

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*NOTCOT in design -

Adventures in Vegas + HTC + Cool Hunting

htcvegas0.jpg CES is always madness, but in recent years when there have been more and more people i get excited to meet up with there, you’ll notice that my posts about the technology become more discriminating (and there’s less awesome to share, sadly) ~ and i actually end up finding more inspiration in the unexpected and beauty in the chaos. The other night patterns seemed to be my thing… large crazy vegas patterns that were popping up and screaming to be photographed… Or maybe me + drinks that night = pattern obsessed, but really i blame the mandarin oriental bar. It started with dinner hosted by HTC (where i might have gone unexpectedly fangirl when next to me was PCMag’s Sascha Segan mentioned his wife is the awesome artist Leontine Greenberg)…. great conversations with some fun journalists, the HTC marketing and design folks (SO fun and sweet)… followed by “O”… then regrouping for drinks at the Aria with the boys of Cool Hunting… then drinks at the Mandarin Oriental… and as the group dwindled down, and the drinks and inspiration kept flowing… you can take a peek on the next page of the visuals that captivated me!

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*NOTCOT in design - 01.07.10 -

Puma Penguin Army

penguina.jpg One team of the Puma Penguin Army stands guard in my house, roaming between the hallway and office, to the media center and fireplace… a second team has gone on an adventure with the amazing Birds of a Feather photo-blog photographers Lou Mora and Sarah Yates. Where they will go and what they will get up to is in their hands now! First i got a mysterious messaged that they were getting carded by security… next i get these pictures. Somewhere on their roadtrip between LA and San Diego they seem to have stopped off outside the refineries near El Segundo… See the super fun pics on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in tech -

Mint Cleaner

mint0.jpg It’s always hard after a full day of racing around the show floor at CES to decide what to share first - as my body wants to dive in a bubble bath and my brain is getting ready for drinks, dinner, etc. SO, don’t laugh, but the first thing i have been craving since i saw the adorable minimalist mod booth… Mint: Automatic Floor Cleaner… think swiffer meets roomba, but with a design treatment by Yves Behar’s Fuseproject… and hyperintelligent guts by Evolution Robotics, Inc. This feels like my Method oMop’s futuristic robotic relative. So yes, stunning, wicked smart, cleans with popular we/dry cleaning cloths (think swiffer/pledge/etc), AND charges upright!

Also fun? Besides the booth design and beautifully designed product? They throw coffee on the floor… let it dry a little… then demo the machines. And i love how versatile the concept is, you can use any cloth ~ and the panel that they attach to is MAGNETIC! More pictures of the details and a video on the next page from my CES discovery of Mint! (It officially launched at midnight!)

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*NOTCOT in food+drink - 01.04.10 -

Adorable Aladdin Sake Bottles

alladinsake0.jpg As delicious as certain liquors are… you all know that spontaneous packaging based impulse buys are how the weird stuff often ends up here. Well recently at Mitsuwa, the adorable little sakes were calling out to me and i couldn’t resist. I also couldn’t resist shaking up the nigori ones… which of course meant i then had to let them sit for a day or so in my fridge so they’d fully settle (all that unfiltered sediment sinking to the bottom) so i could show you the difference when i took pics! But how amazingly cute are these Aladdin Sake bottles? They’d make the prettiest little vases for your desk… And the way the top opens is fascinating as well. So take a peek at them all on the next page! (And no, i haven’t tasted any of them yet ~ too tired tonight, but wanted to show you the packaging first!)

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