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Rabbit Festival Fashion Show in Japan

Posted by admin on Feb 13, 2013 in Animal Oddities, geekery, news, random, Strange events, style

Can somebunny share the love for Rabbit Fashion Week?

In recent years I’ve noticed a trend towards pet owners taking various animals and dressing them up in costumes. I just discovered the Japanese Rabbit Festival, an annual event where bunnies are dressed up in all types of couture and make their adorable flip floppy way down a rabbit runway, as part of a two day rabbit fiesta.

As far as I can ascertain (Google translate Japanese is a little hairy) each  Rabbit Festival follows a particular theme, and the bunnies are adorned to match. The festival is about more than just the rabbit fashion show, as there are hug a bunny workshops, video diaries of bunny activity and rabbit accessories to buy. People who visit can come WITH their own rabbit, and it sounds like a strange but sweet meetup.

schoolgirl rabbit

I’m not 100% sure but I also think there’s a bunny cosplay event going on as well; – though whether that’s for the owners of the pet or the animals I’m uncertain. Read more…

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Three Brand new Weird High Tech ways to lose Weight in 2013

Posted by admin on Jan 16, 2013 in beauty, news, technology, Yum

Weightloss products come in many weird and wonderful forms, but the latest inventions to hit the market takes the cake- literally, in some cases. They have to be seen to be believed, so enjoy the surreal thoughts that went into the creation of these unusual weightloss aids.

HapiLabs Weightloss Electronic HAPIfork

We all know that eating too fast isn’t ideal- think trapped wind, bulging waistbands and yogurt on your top (OK, that last one might be just me). Ideally we’d all slow down a little and chew our food properly.. or we could just invest in the brand new electronic HAPIfork to help us do this. The HAPIfork is designed to monitor your eating habits and its LED lights will glow if it thinks you’re eating too fast.

Details on your fork to mouth intake will stream via Bluetooth to the related app (or you can upload via USB) so you can be fully shamed when going onto your dashboard and seeing how quickly that Ben and Jerry’s got demolished. The HAPIfork (which can also be a HAPIspoon with the  forthcoming adapter) measures fork mouthfuls per minute, intervals between servings and length of meal, and the plan is that you’ll eat more slowly, and that your whole life will be generally more HAPI. Sorry, that was too much of an easy pun. On the other hand, you could just work out, eat less, and save the fork money for a personal trainer. Up to you…

Price TBD from HapiLabs

The Reverse Feeding Tube : AspireAssist Aspiration Therapy System

Think of it as bulimia IN REVERSE and you’ll start to see why this is mind boggling. Created by the guy who invented the Segway- yes I don’t get the connection either– the AspireAssist Aspiration Therapy System is a feeding tube in reverse.

In REVERSE.

Basically, the idea is that you scoff that McDonald’s SuperSize and wash it down with a large milkshake then use the AspireAssist Aspiration Therapy System to extract 30% of the food you’ve just chowed down on. The process isn’t particularly fun or dignified as it involves creating a small hole- or ‘port’ in your stomach where you can attach a pump to and then pump out the food you’ve just eaten. To start the process, a small tube is inserted into your tum, and 20 minutes after you’ve eaten you thread this tube through the SkinPort valve (also known as hole in your stomach) and remove the food into the toilet bowl. Read more…

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Ten Must Have Free New York apps for newbies

Posted by admin on Oct 15, 2012 in lists, news, technology

AlmostZara has now gone international, and I’ve moved my main residence from London to New York City. After going through the various stages of culture shock- meeting after midnight is normal, everyone takes home leftovers from restaurants and my monthly metro card is a quarter of the price it is in London– I’ve been getting to grips with local apps.

A hardcore cellphone junkie, I can’t live without my handset, and in a new city making sure you have the most relevant and useful apps is a must. The following apps are the ones that have become invaluable to me in the last few months, and they help me manage everything from transport issues to finding out cinema times. This might sound pretty basic, but most of these are ones that I had to be told about by my peers- a search through the Android marketplace proved pretty useless in helping me narrow down the apps I needed for everyday life.

In no particular order here are my top ten apps for navigating New York City.

Embark NYC

The New York metro is many things- 24 hour, air conditioned, and full of crazy people offering you candy for $3. What it doesn’t have is any easily accessible maps for the system- unless you like holding a broadsheet to your face as you work out where the C train is (Clue: There is no C Train-FAIL!) Embark NYC is a free app, and its wonderfulness lies in its basic simplicity. You have the whole NYC Metro stations at your fingertips, you can zoom in and out with finger swipes and it’s great to work out just where the different trains interest. If you want to be more advanced you can set it to calculate different journeys for you and to alert you to the best route, but I prefer it for its simple navigation and basic layout. It beats Google Maps and the MTA app by miles, and though it’s basic, that’s just what makes it so wonderful. Did I mention it’s free? Read more…

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Bunny doodles might soon be recognized by search engines

Posted by admin on Sep 22, 2012 in geekery, news, technology

Apps such as DrawSomething are turning everyday people into miniature Picasso’s,  but for every well defined line drawing you’ll get some confusing blobs that bear as much resemblance to a sailboat as they do a Rorschach inkblot test. It would be pretty handy if you could somehow take those random shapes and identify what they were actually meant to represent, and this could have more ramifications than just allowing you to cheat your way to a high score.

Computer researchers from Brown University and the Technical University of Berlin have created a computer application that can recognize simple sketches of objects almost as well as humans, with a 56 percent success rate (humans have a 73% rate). This isn’t a first for computers- they can already recognize detailed sketches, such as those used in crime scene mockups, but this is new ground in terms of very simple drawings- such as those of the bunnies shown above. Here you have very few identifiers to go on, and the programme is still able to recognize key traits such as ear shape and whiskers to call the sketches a ‘bunny’. If this evolves, sketch based search applications might be more prevalent and could enable people with limited literacy to find information quickly, as well as aid children using search tools who can’t vocalize what they are looking for.

Some examples of what the sketch based search program recognizes.. and doesn’t.

Read more…

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Outdoor London Summer 2012 : Five cool activities to do

Posted by admin on Jun 14, 2012 in lists, news, travel

I realize that when the word summer and 2012 get placed in a sentence the images of athletes and torchbearers automatically come to mind,  and though this will no doubt be a ‘once in a lifetime opprotunity’ (to quote) there’s also a lot of OTHER super cool stuff going on in London this year. Naturally, I’m drawn to the unusual and the surreal that London Town offers up, and this summer there’s a full array of cool activities to help you get your London love affair on.

I think it’s important to keep rediscovering the place you live in, as you’ll constantly be surprised by what you find by turning down a new street or checking out the backroom of a bar. Some of my coolest London experiences have been accidental- a night at Shunt turned into a marathon weekend, secret supper clubs popping up in London landmarks- and by making sure I never (or rarely) say not to an invitation out means I get to see many sides of London.

Up at the 02: A trip OVER the Millennium Dome

The 02 (formerly known as the Millennium Dome) is a iconic London monument, and now you get to enjoy a rather different view of this structure. Forget about the weightlifting trials that will be happening inside- how about going over the dome? Up at the 02 offers a cool way to see London Town, and an extra shot of adrenalin for people who aren’t too afraid of heights. An amazing looking walkway has been erected over the roof- 53 metres over ground level.

Your experience starts at ‘Base Camp’ where you get briefed and outfitted in a jumpsuit, and then get harnessed and lead up the structure. You’ll get to see a 360 view of the city- and feel like king of the world (possibly). This takes place from 10am-10pm, so if you time it right you could catch the sun setting on the capital which I imagine would look pretty epic. Read more…

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The five top technological trends at CES 2012

Posted by admin on Jan 29, 2012 in lists, news, opinion, technology, Television

The year 2011 was all about the tablet computer, we saw the first ever affordable (and good) Android options launch, and people went gaga over the idea of 4G and LTE and the BlackBerry PlayBook. This year, the atmosphere was a little different on the show floor. Yes, we did have a lot of new products coming out, but the main points seemed to be more about the long term trends than any particular product per se. I found this new way of assessing technology pretty interesting however as ways in which the average consumer could integrate some of the trends slowly started to emerge. Here’s my overview of the top five tech trends at CES 2012- let’s see if any of these make it into your home or work this year.

The year of the connected TV

We’ve heard mumblings about connected TVs for some time now (and you can read my article on future predictions here) but there generally have been two barriers to them going mainstream. One has been the pricepoint as most people simply aren’t ready to invest in a new LCD TV so soon, and the second barrier has been confusion over the services offered and the many complex buttons on the remote controls. This year is a little different, as not only were all the big names (SHARP, LG, and SAMSUNG) offering up web ready televisions but they’d also started integrating some pretty helpful features.

I’m talking about TVs that come with an integrated forward facing camera installed, TV’s that feature an upgradeable card slot so that you don’t need to replace the hardware and TV’s that offer remote assistance where the helpdesk can actually program your TV for you if you’re struggling (Sharp Aquos is offering this service). We’re also seeing super slim bezels on offer from a lot of brands, with some a mere 3mm thick- very gasp worthy. One of the new TV areas I’m intrigued by is the increase in peripheral devices, as these allow you to upgrade your TV without buying a new one- such as snap on cameras for Skypeing. Read more…

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The truck with a nipple on top: Mobile breastfeeding unit to the rescue

Posted by admin on Oct 19, 2011 in news, opinion, Yum

Yes, that is a nipple on top of the truck, and no, it DOES need to be there. The nipple truck- also known as The Milk Truck is a brand new feature in Pittsburgh, where it’s part feminist protest, part art installation. The premise is shockingly simple- it’s a rescue van for women in a breastfeeding crisis. Though it’s not something I’ve experienced firsthand, I imagine that breastfeeding can be pretty awkward out and about. Do you want to get your jubblies out in front of everyone- or should you use the sketchy bathroom to feed your babe? Add to that, a general lack of understanding of compassion about why a woman breastfeeds (E.g. ‘can’t she wait till she’s at home? Answer:NO) and it’s clear we need to re-educate people.

This is the modus operandi behind the Milk Truck- sick of getting stares in restaurants or ordered to the bathroom by the managers, the Milk Truck makes an in your face statement (hence the giant nipple) about breastfeeding, as well as give women a sheltered area to for their business.

To contact the truck, you simply summon the Milk Truck (you can call them by Twitter if you wish), they rock up with the neon nipple flashing, you get in and have your baby time and then you wave goodbye. During this time the restaurant owner will become very aware of the scene they have helped create by asking you to go to the bathroom/ cover up and will no doubt be less inclined to ask somebody to do so next time due to the scene.

Carnegie Mellon University art professor Jill Miller (the brains behind the project) says, ‘We are using The Milk Truck to start a conversation in our community about a basic human right: feeding a baby.When a woman finds herself in a situation where she is discouraged, harassed, or unwelcome to breastfeed her baby in public, she summons The Milk Truck. The truck arrives to the location of the woman in need and provides her with a shelter for feeding her baby. The woman feeds her child, the shopkeeper who harassed her feels like a dweeb, and the truck does what it does best – creates a spectacle.’ Read more…

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