Daily nuggets of inspiration from the good folk
Neighbours. Everybody needs good neighbours. With a little understanding, you can find the perfect sledge, lawnmower or ironing board. Whilst the residents of Ramsay Street in Australia’s most popular soap opera generally shared more intimate experiences, residents of Switzerland can now help their neighbours out on more practical matters through Pumpipumpe.
The name may sound comical (and slightly saucy) but Pumpipumpe is a social sharing community that allows people to let neighbours know of any useful tools/ appliances/ disco balls they can borrow. All you do is display the relevant stickers on your post box, and probably make sure you agree a date that they’ll return them.
It was all started by cyclists who used the idea to let those with the misfortune of a flat tyre know where a handy pump was. Which hopefully explains the name.
The moment everyone dreads. You reach inside your beautiful new jumper/shirt/dress/onesie, fumble for the label and read the fatal words ‘dry-clean only’.
Now, thanks to a collaboration between P&G and Whirlpool, that sinking feeling will be replaced by one of smug satisfaction. Swash, a new ‘home garment care system’, lets you ‘refresh, restore and dewrinkle’ your clothes from the comfort of your own home.
The contraption works a bit like a Nespresso or Keurig coffee-maker. Just open it up, pop in a pod, then come back ten minutes later to find clean, pressed and ready-to-wear clothes.
There are even different fragrances to choose from, including Recharge, ‘to energise and revive your day,’ Unwind, to ‘exhale and relax as the day comes to a close’, and Awaken, to ‘embrace the start of each day’.
No free hanger or oversized sandwich bag, though?
Ever tried one of those dance arcade games? The ones where you have to hop like an idiot from one foot to the next, looking nothing like anyone dancing in the history of dance?
Finally, someone has put the technology (well, something similar) to good use.
Designed to help train the final 30 Nike RISE contestants – a competition to find the best young Chinese basketball players – Nike’s LED/LCD basketball court is the largest touch sensitive screen in the world.
The court tracks players’ movements during training drills, then records the data for analysis. It can then be used to identify strengths and weaknesses and help people improve their game. (Tip: this isn’t the time or place to practise your Saturday night fever moves.)
Reduce, reuse and recycle. The three R’s that form the cornerstones of responsible packaging. Now it looks like ‘consume’ could be added to the list thanks to Wikifoods, Inc. (After a brief flick through our thesaurus, we failed to find any suitable synonyms beginning with R.)
The edible packaging experts have collaborated with New Hampshire-based Stonyfarm Foods to produce Frozen Yogurt Pearls. Each pearl contains a portion of frozen yogurt, encased in an edible strawberry, coconut or peach skin.
The skin’s made from natural ingredients and is washable, just like a fruit skin, and although the pearls still require a degree of packaging to contain them in freezers, the bags are made with a wood-based film, not plastic. Time to save the planet, one bite at a time.
As the world becomes increasingly obsessed with mobile technology, so the places that you can get away from it become increasingly scarce. Churches, hospitals, and airplanes spring to mind, as do certain train carriages, cinemas and (hopefully) the changing room at your local gym.
But one film director in China is actually encouraging the use of mobile phones during performances of his latest movie The Legend of Qin. Special cinemas in Beijing and Shanghai have been fitted with equipment that allows viewers to broadcast their thoughts onto the screen via text. Known as ‘danmu’, which translates as ‘bullet screen’, it’s proving popular with younger generations who are far more adept at absorbing multiple messages.
“Some bad movies are suitable to be bullet-screened because the audiences get bored during the film, and they can’t wait to give snarky comments,” said Yang Weidong, president of the company who co-produced the movie. Good to see he has plenty of faith in his team, then.