I've always found the most intriguing puzzles to be those that look beautiful as objects and cause people to over think the solution. And this Bubble Trouble glass puzzle fits that perfectly. The goal is to move the single air bubble into the center chamber of this glass vial. It's elegant in design and solution, and i love the typography on the packaging as well. Tempted to purchase this one to leave on my desk and watch people tilt it up and down and all around in hopes of achieving their goal. Ok, and if you simply can't stand not knowing, solution is below.
Entries tagged with: gifts
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Although this post trilogy on Cup Noodles started out in good fun, and we found ourselves giggling and amused by the 20 ads as well as the custom Cup Noodles... we became inspired by the innovative thinking behind this brand when stumbling across a pdf from Nissin Foods about how "Cup Noodle Looks Ahead", where President Komori sat down with Koki Ando, president of Nissin... For the most noteworthy excerpt first:
Making the impossible possible. One of my plans for our company is to double the number of 'eccentrics' in Nissin Foods. As a manufacturer, we must continue to make new breakthroughs. We must 'make the impossible possible,' and common-sense individuals often can't accomplish this. Breakthroughs can only be achieved by those who are a bit eccentric. organizations, however, necessarily aim at efficiency, and eccentrics, who may only work one week out of a year tend, to vanish from the organization. When the chips are down, though, these people are capable of great feats. Corporate leadership must find and keep these valuable human resources. By 'encouraging eccentrics' we can achieve our impossible dreams.
Isn't that an inspiring thing to hear someone in a corporation say? That passage has given me a whole new level of respect for Cup Noodle - don't get me wrong, i'm also slightly horrified to find that the noodles are deep fried for efficiency, and are really mostly fat and salt... so luckily we don't indulge in the college staple often! As for the sweet Eco Style Cup Noodle Refill pack? Read more below...
On bizarre 4am spontaneous research projects... we just got inspired to learn far too much about Cup Noodle (or Cup O' Noodles). Best thing we found? Ok well there's a tie, but we'll show you the other part in the next post... there is a Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum! And in that museum that is in the factory in Osaka ~ you can make CUSTOM Cup Noodles, where you draw on the cup, fill it with your noodles, choose your toppings and flavors (including cheese, curry, corn, the usuals), seal it up, plastic wrap it... and then even put it in a crazy inflatable bag! Anyhow, watch the videos below to see the custom Cup Noodle Bar, as well as how those noodles came to be as kids work with the factory workers (think crazy happy ikea meets wonka factory look) to make the noodles from scratch!
Koren Shadmi is the most inspiring thing i've seen today. Particularly his live journal, which gives us all a peek into the madness that comes before the final illustrations, and a chance to see how things evolve from rough sketch to pencil to brush to photoshop and beyond. My exploration through his work today started with his great illustration in the NYTimes today for the article "Putting Your Best Cyberface Forward" about who we are, and the bizarre behavioral adaptations to show our better sides and alter egos on the internet, be it dating sites, facebook, or just emailing. See some of my favorite pieces of inspiration from his work below... and for the Koren Shadmi's portfolio here.
Browsing Oh Joy, i noticed Wickle and their simple, pretty line of perfumes... while i have no idea what their scents are like, the packaging is sweet, in that old fashioned girly feeling way. Fig & Mace sure sounds like a strange one though... their usual come in scents like Muskmallow, Periwinkle, and Scented Tea Leaf with various limited edition packaging - The limited edition line with Katie Brinsley features a delicate chain with porcelain objects hanging from them and Takako Copeland editions come with pure silver silhouette pendants.
I gave in the day after xmas and finally went over to the Red Monkey store/workshop in West Hollywood, played with all their beautiful leather goods, and ordered one of their camera straps (i wrote about them before and featured them in the photography gift guide!)... what i didn't know was how sweet the packaging was, with the strap in bubble pack, with sticker and warranty, in a black matte plastic chinese take out container with the logo pressed into it! Also the store itself is pretty sweet as well, if you're anxious, jump ahead to the store pics here, with guitars hanging from the walls, chandeliers, mirrors, motorcycles and more. The quality of their workmanship is really high, and their service and really fast turnaround for custom jobs was quite impressive (they got this one ready for me in half the expected time)... Anyhow, browse the many pics below!
Negativity Refuse Bags would have been the *perfect* New Years gifts! Although merely a Positive* Branding/Campaign Concept... still would be a pretty fun gift, particularly for placing all that baggage emotional and otherwise into before burning at a bonfire? The bag states "Here at Positive, we believe that a physical action can reflect your emotional state. We encourage you to dispose of your pessimism and mental demons in a physical manifestation, to help purge your mind. So throw away that photo of the ex, or that poor performance report, and forget about it."
Instructions for use:
Place items within bag
Dispose of bag in nearest trash receptacle
Take a deep breath
Think Positive thoughts.
IMPORTANT: DO NOT RE-OPEN ONCE SEALED. HIGH RISK OF EMOTIONAL RELAPSE. Contains items of personal significance.
Wow. Yay for emails with new products that blow my mind as i wake up. Just im-ed these images over to Shade Elaine (aka Linhchi our NotCouture/scissor loving editor) and the response is a definite "OMG I WANT IT". Gogo of Toy-Me just gave me a sneak peek at one of the latest pieces from their upcoming collection, and knowing our thing for scissors (remember our sticker collection?)... is taunting us with this incredible silver scissor cuff bracelet, that can be worn two ways! Incredible that it actually opens, now the real question is: can it actually cut? I think we need two each, one for each wrist! More close ups below! And the full collections will be presented at Pitti Uomo next week.
Here's the teaser: "Paris designer Thomas Jaillot together with Marco De Michelis will introduce a Silver Scissor that wraps around your wrist and mixes with paper art transformations into silver, Origami earings and a Paper Windmill charm and earing."
Q-BA-MAZE - you may have noticed this new designer twist on the old school 3d wooden marble mazes on the gift guide. Well i played with it a bit before then, but only had enough free time on my hands tonight to build more silliness with it and take a few quick pics... I must say there is something calmingly mesmerizing about playing with all the ball bearings ~ and the quality of the pieces are far nicer than i expected just looking at images ~ my only complaint would be that sometimes they dont hold together as well as i'd hope, and in building my silly nearly 5ft tall twisty single helix/staircase tower some of the core center pieces weren't clicking together and it came tumbling down once... Also, some of the best packaging ever, i love that they managed to put the packaging together so that you can actually flip the box over to reset the balls to roll down the maze in the box! It's fully functional to play with before it even gets opened! Anyhow, take a look at the huge images below, and to find out more, go watch the videos at Q-BA-MAZE!
So we've been through quite a few reusable shopping bags here on NOTCOT, and now when i find new unique ones, i just can't seem to help myself. Latest interesting simplistic luxury variations come from Porter that was featured on HighSnobiety. Their replacement for the standard plastic bag-The Porter x Club King Shopping Bag in nylon (and it seems to have nylon lining layer as well, looks much like a baggu with flaps to secure things) and there is The Porter Grocery Tote replacing your paper bags, only this one is decked out in leather and cotton! And its as brown as your paper, but with a sky blue interior. Honestly i can't believe this is the 14th reusable shopping bag post... thanks dan implementing tagging and forcing me to start tagging things i can actually know that now... although of the nearly 2000 notcot.com posts, i've only tagged everything from 2007 so far, so 2 years to go when i have free time!
On upcoming things to look forward to at CES ~ Liquid Image ~ the ultimate underwater third eye cam? A new level of strap-on waterproof wearable tech? But this really would be pretty fun for everything from diving to playing in the pool, bathtub, hot tub, fish tank? And the images aren't bad with the camera coming in a 3 and 5 megapixel option for pictures and videos! See examples below!
Another option? How about they have strap on bluetooth camera/headset in my mask/regulator? and then my phone can just come with in a drysack? With voice activated "email image to..."? And while we're at it might as well add a heads up display in the mask? and google maps with gps and instead of traffic it could have current tracking? with a dot for where i am and where my boat is? Ok ok, so maybe getting a bit out of control here, since my favorite part of scuba diving was always that serene relatively tech/internet free peacefulness of the vast unknown under the surface.
Brains + Shiny + Puma Urban Mobility + instant gallery thanks to the Serpentine for $1,400? This new collaborative Reality Bag project looks great. "The Reality Bag is an exciting new product, adapted from the PUMA Urban Mobility Edition Bag, which launched last season. The Reality Bag is designed to reflect the world inside and out through a clever use of innovative materials and design detail. To develop the concept of this original accessory, the Serpentine Gallery invited artist John Armleder to create its look and feel. Armleder also created the concept of the content and invited young artists to create artworks to go inside each of the 1000 Reality Bags. This makes The Reality Bag an original, multiple artwork containing original pieces by the artist himself and by invitees including John Trembley and Philippe Decreuzat. Many other artists will contribute books, DVDs, or anthologies, as Armleder plays with the idea of the bag as a portable gallery. The result is a truly individual work of art."
I've been a big fan of diesel for years now ~ and honestly as much as i liked their clothes, i've always LOVED their branding, packaging, graphics/interaction design! But what really blew me away was how horrendous their Fuel For Life customization ended up being. I must admit i'm relieved to see that there are *some* decent packaging/product offerings in this space that aren't embarrassing... Before i get into this sweet new limited edition ~ i've updated the Fuel For Life Customization post with images of the finished product... its more expensive AND uglier than i ever imagined. I had assumed that the mediocre flash imagery would be made up for by the usual diesel packaging/product quality, but instead the result is something i would probably be accused of peddling a bad fake and slapped for if i tried to sell it on ebay or craigslist.
Anyhow, excited to see that they came out with some edgy fun limited editions this season! The limited edition black lacquered box is beautiful and the packaging/bracelet idea with refillable minis is adorable for a gift, but doesn't it seem redundant to have a clasp when it already opens where the bottle goes? And can't you think of many different things you could put in that? The main bottles are a bit overly bling'd out for me, but playful and giftworthy none the less.
The Pingmag holiday delights post had these crazy little Kaomoji characters from Yojin on them, and i had no idea what to expect when i clicked through... one thing's for sure though, i didn't see the super crazy animation coming! These Kaomoji are part ascii art, part emoticon, and part crazy japanese toy character... more images of them below!
Twilight Turtle is another baby/toddler toy i came across the other day. Made by Sleep Sheep and Friends or Cloud B ~ this turtle is cuddly under its shell, lights up in various colors, and projects the night sky on to the ceiling (or your tent, fort, etc). "Choose from three soothing color options – blue, green, and white – to create magical, tranquil environments that are ideal for helping children of all ages ease into a restful sleep." And it projects 8 constellations for kids to learn. Also interesting is their Sheep Sleep, which plays 4 sounds that comfort babies ~ Mother's Heartbeat, Spring Showers, Ocean Surf, and Whale Songs. You can actually control the volume and it auto times out after 23 minutes. This one even now has a stroller/to-go version. More images of all below!
Honestly, with both of these being priced in the 25-40$ range, they've totally made my list for new parent gifts!
PeekABoo Stuff makes these seemingly simple PeekABoo Bags which are pretty brilliant, especially when it comes to keeping kids quiet... assuming of course that the kids don't have sharp objects (or teeth... or razor sharp claws) such that they can tear it open and ingest the bits... But basically, its a clear bean bag pouch with plastic pellets and random objects that the kids can try and find, and each bag comes with a list of all the objects inside so you can challenge them to find them all. For the creative ones, there is certainly a DIY project here waiting to happen, just make sure you double/triple those seams to keep those beads in! Close up images below, and video with a super perky demonstrator.
For pen lovers, I just received this new alternative to space pens and INKA pens ~ that can write upside down, under water, in space, etc due to the pressurized ink cartridges! Tombow (whose markers and glues i've loved since childhood) have their own version, the Object XL that we found over at adorable Tortoise Life on Abbot Kinney last night. The although a little larger than my INKA Titanium that has been on my keychain for some time, i love that with one action you can extend the top which makes the pen tip appear, and makes it the perfect length to comfortably write with... no caps or little pieces to lose, or clickers to accidentally help a pen scribble in the innards of your purse/wallet. Apparently you can even put a Fischer PDA Stylus in. Full unboxing images below ~ it makes a gorgeous gift!
A box full of RayD8s just showed up ~ they are the stocking stuffer of choice for my NOTCOT team this year... and i can't stop playing with it... and watching the videos (great interviews with suckloard and poykpac right now!) in Mimozine 1 that comes loaded on him! Also really cool screensavers, icons packs, music, wallpapers... these little guys really are TOYS with some digital depth to them... and you can use them as the 4gig USB keys they are too. And more reasons why i'm obsessing on RayD8... he GLOWS in the dark and has a split personality... and he actually has FEET on the bottom! You can see all my favorite parts in his photoshoot below... the kids over at Mimobots even sent them over ready for this cold weather with their furry jump suits (different colors so we can keep track of who's who).
As you know, i've played with Mimobots before (remember my ramona?) ~ and they were one of our gift guide sponsors (had SO much fun making that guide) ~ but somehow i hadn't gotten the chance to fully explore the Mimozine till now... i wish all usb devices came with fun content/magazines to enjoy! It's been an honor to have them as such strong supporters of NOTCOT!
You're running out of time! For all the xmas shoppers out there ~ good luck with the crowds and madness in the real world. It seems like you only really have today left to be ordering online where you can still cross your fingers and hope for it to show up with
Santa Mr. UPS and/or Ms. FedEx by xmas day. SO here's an insane collage of all 30 gift guides to date... with over 350 items. *phew*. Last one drops tomorrow!
Gift Guide Day 2 ~ the second to last of our 31 Days of Gift Guides! So today's is all about Photography! Unexpected mounts, tripods, suction cups, lens distorters, look around corner adapters, sd-usb sd cards, rockstar guitar straps.... you know, the fun stuff your camera needs! Afterall, what fun are the holidays without lots of pictures to document it with?
Gift Guide Day 3 is all about some musical gadgetry that can accompany the mp3 players/ipods that we all have... as well as a fun mini guitar amp, portable mp3 dj device launching in feb, and more! As usual ~ you can view all the gift guides to date on one page!
On more affordable designer options on green friendly reusable shopping bag options... Beau Soleil has stepped in with their new Beau Bag. "A stylish grocery sack! Price is affordable to entice people to help the environment without shelling out a lot of cash." It is $44 at ShopBop, $40 at Beau Soleil, and $25 (shipping in Jan) at El Sueño Verde. The typography was nice and clean on this one, and its great that there are snap pockets on all sides (including inside!) for all those random magazines, packs of gum, keys, etc! ~ see below for closeups.
On random holiday gifts ~ my father and sister just got back from the Amazon ~ and brought me a pile of amazonian craftiness. It's pretty incredible what they can carve into a brazil nut! (the snake, octopus, and ant)... and although these certainly aren't the same as getting to have their incredible adventures living on a boat ~ fishing and exploring the Amazon ~ wrestling caymans ~ capsizing dingies ~ following monkeys ~ playing football barefoot on the beach ~ and watching a million and one species of insects smack into the boats lights nightly... these are still pretty fascinating! Also check out the spear below that you tie a string to, mount on a bamboo stick, and use to fish the old fashioned way...
For some reason, these new Tank Theory tee illustration graphics have really grabbed me tonight while i was browsing 80's Purple: I'm not a violent person, Revolution! (close up below of the black/gold going across the back as well), Survivor!... and there is also the Comrade tee below, with the gun behind her back... and on exciting Tank Theory news, i just noticed the really sweet Dungeons buckle that we've gushed about before is back in stock (images below to remind you which one)!