Nearly two decades ago, Francis Fukuyama announced the "end of history," the triumph of liberal democracy, and the end of clashes between political ideologies. He got it wrong: Since then, we've had our fair share of "history." Similarly, a few weeks ago, no one would have predicted that the Obama administration would be engaged in three wars in the Middle East, or succeed in killing Osama bin Laden.
Now that raising livestock is the merit badge of Kombucha-drinking, Bikram-loving urban yuppies everywhere, it was probably inevitable that someone would design a slick little chicken coop explicitly for city living.
And not just any chicken coop. A high-end chicken coop. A chicken coop that represents the "forefront of sustainable building," the product brochure says. The cost: $3,500. Because tomorrow's dinner deserves to live in the lap of luxury, too!
New York is crawling with designers of every stripe. But big business hasn't followed: You can count on one hand the number of American furniture companies actually cultivating American-bred talent.
As Carl Sagan memorably reminds us, we're not leaving Earth anytime soon. But as Carl Sagan also memorably reminds us, that's no reason not to keep learning about how we could leave Earth for other worlds someday. That's what NASA's Kepler Mission is about: identifying other planets in distant solar systems -- some of which might be Earthlike.
Most of the electronic "generative music" apps we've written about before are flat -- not in terms of their musical tones, but their 2-D interface design. A new toy called OscilloScoop adds a little depth to the scene, by letting you scoop, scratch, and swipe electronic beats out of rotating cylinders. The interaction is kind of like that infamous pottery scene from Ghost, but a lot less messy. Check it out:
Skype has unveiled a happy, neato, fun-fun office in Stockholm for 100 of its happy, neato, fun-fun employees. Designed by Sweden's own PS Arkitektur, the design revamps the inside of an old brewery with soft, poofy furniture and bright, berry-colored walls and lighting inspired by clouds -- clouds! The office is so damned cheery, we half expect to see people doing trust falls and skipping merrily to the water cooler. Remember this image. Remember it well. It's Eden before The Fall.
It's the ultimate Kickstarter success story. Unable to secure a manufacturer, the Chicago-based designer Scott Wilson placed his TikTok and LunaTik wristbands -- which convert the Nano into a watch -- on the funding site. Within a month, he raised nearly $1 million from 13,500 backers -- a Kickstarter record. All of a sudden, retailers came calling, including the most prestigious of all: Apple, which is rolling out the wristbands in North American stores this week.