Lego Fett

The boys and I just finished the Lego Star Wars complete trilogy, 98.7% of it anyway. We have the Wii version and it is great. The three of us played it in almost equal portions but Ian is probably the most impressive jumper and Edison has a real knack for memorizing where things are in the game. This game has really sparked their interest in the movies and we have since bought the entire six movie collection and been watching them all on a regular basis. It is interesting to note that even at 5 and 8 they recognize that episode five is the best but they also like episode two. Great piece of marketing and co-branding.



Also and interesting use of colors and materials, by Rukon I think, unfortunately the concave handle still looks cheap even in this sexy finish. I like the logo placement but the size is a bit heavy handed.

Chef n zip flip

The team at Chef n has some interesting things going on. Their materials and attention to finishes are exception but what is up with the color? I understand that their marketing team is enamoured with the brand color (pea green) and it does create a strong identity, unfortunately it is a color that most people are not into, which seriously limits add on and set purchases. Here is what they have to say about themselves and the ZIp- Flip "It's time to replace that old turner in the kitchen and upgrade with the new Chef'n Zip Flip. These colorful tools spice up an old boring must-have in the kitchen while their innovative design simplifies daily tasks. The durable nylon construction protects nonstick cookware, while the silicone handle doubles as a spatula! Now one tool has two completely different functions!" I am not so sure about the exclamation points either.


Aperion Audio hat

Caleb just sent me this hat...probably for telling the world that Aperion makes the best sounding speakers on the planet. Of course, I would have done it for nothing but the hat is really nice. By the way, the speakers look as great as they sound.


The Gold, Silver and Bronze winners for the IDEA competition have been posted on the website. Here are some of the more interesting winners.


The volume makes doing something ideal for this a challenge but this robotic welding arm interface controller does a nice job of balancing the constraints. It would be even better and easier to locate information if they went back and unified the aesthetic details across the virtual and tangible elements



Nice color work in the new catalog and I like their swedish meatballs but the paragraph below explains some of how they are able to sell everything so cheaply. It is an excerpt from the IKEA page on Wikipedia. I wonder if it is true.

The IKEA corporate structure is divided into two main parts: operations and franchising. Most of IKEA's operations, including the management of the majority of its stores, the design and manufacture of its furniture, and purchasing and supply functions are overseen by Ingka Holding, a private, for-profit Dutch company. Of the IKEA stores in 36 countries, 235 are run by the INGKA Holding. The remaining 30 stores are run by franchisees outside of the INGKA Holding. INGKA Holding is not an independent company, but is wholly owned by the Stichting Ingka Foundation, which Kamprad established in 1982 in the Netherlands as a tax-exempt, not-for-profit foundation. The Ingka Foundation is controlled by a five-member executive committee that is chaired by Kamprad and includes his wife and attorney. While most IKEA stores operate under the direct purview of Ingka Holding and the Ingka Foundation, the IKEA trademark and concept is owned by an entirely separate Dutch company, Inter IKEA Systems. Every IKEA store, including those run by Ingka Holding, pays a franchise fee of 3% of the revenue to Inter IKEA Systems. The ownership of Inter IKEA Systems is exceedingly complicated and, ultimately, uncertain. Inter IKEA Systems is owned by Inter IKEA Holding, a company registered in Luxembourg. Inter IKEA Holding, in turn, belongs to an identically named company in the Netherlands Antilles that is run by a trust company based in CuraƧao. The owners of this trust company are unknown (IKEA refuses to identify them) but are assumed to be members of the Kamprad family. In 2004, the last year that the INGKA Holding group filed accounts, the company reported profits of €1.4 billion on sales of €12.8 billion, a margin of nearly 11 percent. Because INGKA Holding is owned by the nonprofit INGKA Foundation, none of this profit is taxed. The foundation's nonprofit status also means that the Kamprad family cannot reap these profits directly, but the Kamprads do collect a portion of IKEA sales profits through the franchising relationship between INGKA Holding and Inter IKEA Systems. Inter IKEA Systems collected €631 million of franchise fees in 2004, but reported pre-tax profits of only €225 million in 2004. One of the major pre-tax expenses that Inter IKEA systems reported was €590 million of “other operating charges.” IKEA has refused to explain these charges, but Inter IKEA Systems appears to make large payments to I.I. Holding, another Luxembourg-registered group that, according to The Economist, “is almost certain to be controlled by the Kamprad family”. I.I. Holding made a profit of €328 million in 2004.
In 2004, the Inter IKEA group of companies and I.I. Holding reported combined profits of €553m and paid €19m in taxes, or approximately 3.5 percent.

The Berne Declaration, a non-profit organization in Switzerland that promotes corporate responsibility, has formally criticized IKEA for its tax avoidance strategies. In 2007, the Berne Declaration nominated IKEA for one of its Public Eye “awards,” which highlight corporate irresponsibility and are announced during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Along with helping IKEA make non-taxable profit, IKEA's complicated corporate structure allows Kamprad to maintain tight control over the operations of Ingka Holding, and thus the operation of most IKEA stores. The Ingka Foundation’s five-person executive committee is chaired by Kamprad. It appoints the board of Ingka Holding, approves any changes to Ingka Holding’s bylaws, and has the right to preempt new share issues. If a member of the executive committee quits or dies, the other four members appoint his or her replacement.

With an estimated net worth of $36 billion, the foundation is unofficially the world’s largest charitable organization, beating out the much better known Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has a net worth of approximately $33 billion. Despite its enormous wealth, the Ingka Foundation does very little charitable giving. Detailed information about its grantmaking is unavailable, as foundations in the Netherlands are not required to publish their records. But IKEA has reported that in 2004-2005, the Ingka Foundation's donations were concentrated on the Lund Institute of Technology in Sweden, and the Lund Institute reported the receipt of $1.7 million grants from the foundation during both of those years. By way of comparison, the Gates Foundation made gifts of more than $1.5 billion in 2005.


Pine Cone Cottage

This is one of my favorite pictures from our trip to Maine. Dennis, do you still have to ask which one of the boys has the punky attitude?

At Pemaquid lighthouse

This was the boys favorite part of their vacation in Maine, looks for rocks on the Maine coast.


This skate says "since 1986" on it and unfortunately it looks like it is from 1986. Like Oakley, OP and several other brands that were so prolific in the 80's these guys have allowed themselves to fade from the top of the pile to the bottom of the heap through lack of aesthetic innovation. I have an original pair of the lightenings and they are still great, but technically the product has gotten way better, especially in terms of fit and materials (I tried a new pair on a few weeks ago). It is odd, and a little sad, to see them becoming so irrelevant when the sources that could inspire change are so accessible (Hollister, Athleta, Crocs, DG, etc). It reminds me of what happened in the skiing industry and is now starting to happen with snowboarding.


Jason Peters

This is not the same Jason Peters who is a pro-bowler for the Buffalo Bills. Different guy. This is an artist who seems to primarily sculpt using found objects in a sort of collage. The technique is interesting as is the effect of creating apparent animation type movement with static objects. I am not sure about the title though, Tea with Liberty?

more stationary

Another cool stationary pattern and color palette from iota. The full spectrum palettes they use are well managed but I think that the more controlled ones are more sophisticated without getting stuffy. This one is called pebbles or stones or something like that.


There has been a lot written about the potential for Lofu, with its superior form and fit, replacing Crocs. While I would like to think that this was a real possibility I think that Crocs are here to stay for a while longer. I am not a fan of Crocs but I know many people (including my sons) that are huge fans and it seems to me that part of the allure is that they fit differently and do not have the same proportions in relation to the foot as a sneaker. Lofu seems to have missed that.


The is a crudely interpreted clip from a french blog "With "Rolly" the latest MP3 from Sony, you will be able to listen to the music differently and to also create new experiments. Equipped two loudspeakers and Bluetooth this small egg is compatible with your computer and your hi-fi system and will play your sound as you have it mixed or arranged. At $350 it remains to see whether the public will see the charm!" I am not sure exactly what the features are, since everything has bluetooth, but the form is interesting.


Tommy Forsgren

www.toyfon.com Also a very interesting take on a classic value study style. This is even more interesting than Daniel Simon because he retains a bit more of that water color/ink wash influence

More Daniel Simon

From a distance the style reminds me of the Star Wars sketchbook but with less emphasis on line weight variation. When a look a little closer it is even more impressive than that. The airbrush style shading and the fluid yet wispy line work is really an entirely new style that shows an appreciation for the craft and reminds me of how much effort/talent it takes to create a signature style like this. My only criticism is that many of these guys seem to draw the same things over and over again and miss the chance to break new ground in terms of content rather than just technique.


Iota Stationary

Cool stationary

Really interesting colors and patterns, this one is called pomegranate http://www.everyiota.com/index.cfm



In reading Thomas Edison's biography by Randall Stross I learned of Edison's once famous camping trips that included other famous people and presidents. Here is a picture of one from the Ohio Historical Society archives.

"Friends Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, President Warren G. Harding and Harvey Firestone pictured on a camping trip that the four took together in Maryland with members of their families. This image gives us a candid look at four of the countrys most influential men of their time. These men were the powerbrokers of politics and industry in the early twentieth century, yet they took time to enjoy each others company far away from the source of that power."


Thomas Edison's company or at least a far removed subsidiary included a small appliance company that made several convenience electrics. Including this nickel plated and black bakelite version. According to the toaster museum "The Edicraft toaster has an very unusual opening mechanism: Pull the lever at the side to close the doors and start the timer. When time is over the doors open automatically like a butterfly."


Rescue Me - minisodes

You can watch them all on www.crackle.com. Everyone is excellent. Just search rescue me minisodes


This is what I was talking about earlier when we were discussing the new level of importance being given to finishes. It has been that way for a few years but this is a great example of form taking the back seat. If you take away the finish changes what design have you got left?

daniel simon

Another inspiring designer full of cool technique courtesy of Mike M. http://www.danielsimon.net/

Thanks Dan

Referral to a cool site courtesy of Dan H. http://www.daskunst.com/


This comes to me courtesy of John and Gimodo but I found this better image in a google search. It is a model of Shanghai and it claims to be the largest model ever constructed.



Mike D just mentioned to me that he is considering selling his TT and getting a classic instead. The only things holding him back are the power features that the classics lack...and the crappy MPGs. Wouldn't it be great if you could get the classic shell with the technological and mechanical benefits of new? I would get one of these, the most fun car I have ever driven.



My old Samsonite bag broke after almost ten years and I replaced it with this InCase bag. The details are excellent and it is actually even wearable as a backpack even with the laptop inside. There is also way more room than the Merrell bag I was given as a gift a few years ago.

you probably know this but...06

Thanks to John Apanites I have added this to my CD collection. It is sort of half way between country and folk and really great to listen to on a long drive.

L1 system

Although the ID is looking a little dated and the functionality seems to have dictated some odd proportions, the interface on this seems really intuitive and refined. Check it out on the professional section of the Bose website.


good grips

You have to admire the commitment to line expansion. I like the functionality and it does appear to take a pretty tedious and messy task and make it a lot easier but they seem to have lost their aesthetic direction. It also looks a lot like the TV advertised Pediegg


This is made of dark and light bamboo and uses BioShield Organic Herbal Oil to get the satin finish. It is a great example of a material efficient design that is still visually interesting and interestingly detailed.

- Made from rapidly renewable bamboo
- Organic, non-toxic finish
- Low VOC adhesives

Simple human

It is about time that the dish rack got some design attention. Many of the features, including the bamboo block and the steel frame are interesting but the overall exterior could be further simplified. It looks like the unit would be as difficult to clean as others on the market. The materials changes are working well.