Roomba for mobile devices

Check out AutoMee S – the latest invention of toymaker Takara Tomy. It is a robot much like that of roomba except that, instead of roaming on the floor, this latest toy, a 7 cm disk-shaped “robot”, automatically roams the screens of smartphones and tablets to remove fingerprints and oil.

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The AutoMee S has three small rollers on the bottom and two sheets of unwoven fabric for cleaning the screen. When switched on, the robot automatically moves around the screen, turning around when it reaches the edge so as not to fall off.
The robot is powered by a single AA battery and can operate for three hours. It takes about four minutes to clean a smartphone screen and eight minutes for a tablet.
The product will be launched in Japan in March 2013 and will come in orange, blue, pink or white.
Tomy is targeting customers aged through their 20s, and hopes for sales of 100,000 units by the end of March 2014.
Nikkei Asian Review
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Terraced rice fields

No, this is not a painting. This is a photo of terraced rice fields. Ploughed more than a millennium ago by the peasants of Hani people, these rice fields extend up to the summits of the mountains in Yunnan, south-west of China.

Generation upon generation of the peasants have tirelessly modeled the mountain to widen their fields, using the least centimeter square available. Some terrasses have thus been ploughed on the slopes at more than 75%. A technical prowess that is unique in the world.

Every year, between April and September, the Hani people will cultivate the fields. After each harvest, the basins are then flooded to prepare for the next cultivation. An unchangeable rItual, this flooding of these rice fields attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world.
Translated from Le Figaro
Photo credit : ISABELLE CHAUVET/SOLENT NEWS/SIPA/ISABELLE CHAUVET/SOLENT NEWS/SIP

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More photos are found from the net – proof of the tourist attraction for these picturesque fields.

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The World’s first 3D printing pen – 3Doodler

Meet the inventors – Pete & Max in 3D print using their invention 3Doodler

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3Doodler is a printing pen that you can hold in your hand and draw in the air! Yes, that’s cool. What’s makes it even better than cool is that you don’t even need a software or a computer! You just need to plug it and then draw anything within minutes! No, it’s not a toy for kids below 12 years but it does make 3D creation fun, easy and accessible.

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3Doodler oozes out heated ABS or PLA plastic, which quickly cools and solidifies into a strong stable structure. This allows you to build an infinite variety of shapes and items with ease!

3Doodler is a brand new way of creating objects and artistic works, whether you are an artist, hobbyist or 3D printing fanatic.

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check out kickstarter.com

As an aside , watch this amazing 3D printer – built in Massachusetts.

Tokyo’s power-nap cafés

Japanese are known to work at least 12 hours a day. And each year, about 150 of them die from overwork – a situation known as karoshi.

Recent trend in Japan is to have a power nap ( known as inemuri) during the work day. Cafés in Tokyo are offering “nap” services for as little as 10 mins to as long as four hours or more. These ” third spaces” ( i.e. neither work nor home) provide rest, privacy and of course, food and drinks.

The latest café in Tokyo is called Qusca : a women’s only sleeping café located in business district Akasaka. It allows women to catch forty winks during their lunch break or in between yet another few hours of overtime, at a cost of only ¥150 (about $1.60) per ten minutes, or ¥3,120 (just over $33) for a four-hour slot.

In this way it will no doubt appeal to women with only thirty minutes at lunch to spare — or who are between appointments for a few hours and want to relax.

Qusca
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Men or women can also go to Mahika Mano – a Hammock Café and Gallery showroom where you are invited to lay down for a nap—within a time limit.

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At foot & body care zzz, a nap and a professional massage at the same time can be provided

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Some spas are also offering futons or reclining chairs for your post-spa nap, such as this one below.

Asian Breeze
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Adapted from Japan Trends website

Adapted from Rocket News website

Foodsharing – German style

Foodsharing is an Internet platform based in Germany, where individuals, retailers and producers have the possibility to offer for free, a surplus of food to consumers.

Members of this Foodsharing movement will salvage foodstuff that is thrown away by supermarkets, grocery stores, bakery shops and the like, for no other reason than being in excess of what they need for the day.

Hope this movement will catch on in other developed countries as well.

A member salvaging some foodstuff which is still in boxes
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According to Food and Agriculture Organisation, about 1.3 billion tons of foodstuff is wasted per year
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Benjamin Schmitt and Helena Bachmann, both members of the movement, posed with the foodstuff they have found during one of their rounds at a supermarket in Berlin
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One third of food is produced to be thrown away. So, each year, on average, we throw away 20kg of food into the bin
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Raphaël Felmer and Nieves Palner Muntaner, both members of the food sharing movement, having a meal made of vegetables collected from trash bins of an organic supermarket in Berlin
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Sapporo Snow Festival

The 64th Sapporo Snow Festival will be held from Feb 5 – 11 this year. As one of Japan’s largest winter events, it attracts a growing number of visitors from Japan and abroad every year. Sapporo is the largest city in Hokkaido, a northern island of Japan.

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About two million people are expected to see 300 + splendid snow statues and ice sculptures which line Odori Park, the grounds at Community Dome Tsudome, and the main street in Susukino. The theme of the statues usually varies, and often features an event, famous building or person from the past year.

There will also be snow rafting and snow slides for visitors to enjoy.

Sapporo will be a winter wonderland of crystal-like ice and white snow during this festival.

(adapted from official website)

Some sculptures to see

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Chinese New Year a.k.a Spring Festival 2013

The Chinese New Year, a.k.a Spring Festival begins on Feb. 10 this year and ends with the Lantern Festival on Feb 15. The Chinese population in any Asian country (Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Mauritius, Korea, etc.), as well as those in countries where Chinatowns exist are expected to celebrate this festival. It marks the beginning of the lunar new year. This year is the year of the Snake.

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How do they celebrate?

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·New Year Cleaning
Days before the New Year begins, most household will do spring-clean of their house. Sweeping on New Year’s Day itself is not recommended as it is said to sweep away the year’s good fortune. Breaking dishes or using sharp objects is also seen as potentially unlucky.

Family Reunion Dinner
OnNew Year Eve, all family members will return home for a grand reunion dinner.Foods in the typical menu are chosen for their auspicious meanings, such as fish for richness and glutinous rice cakes (Nian Gao) for better life. Usually the fish is intentionally not finished, and the remaining is stored overnight. It comes from a Chinese pun “Nian Nian You Yu”, where the pronounciation of fish (Yu) is the same as leftover/surplus, thus giving a message of “having profit every year”.

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·The Character Fu
The Character Fu, literally meaning luck, auspiciousness, happiness or blessing, is a must in Spring Festival decorations. It can be found on a poster, on a red envelope, as a paper-cutting work, on a Chinese knot, and in many other New Year decorations for the festival.
An interesting fact is that the Character Fu is usually displayed upside-down. That’s because in Chinese, the words for “upside-down” and “to arrive” sound similar. Therefore, pasting the Character Fu upside-down on a door indicates “Good luck arrives”.

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·New Year Couplets
New Year Couplets are an essential part of Spring Festival decorations. New Year Couplets are written in black ink on two vertical strips of red paper which is then pasted each on one side of a door. The first (or upper) line is on the right side while the second (lower) line is on the left. A third horizontal piece is pasted on the door frame.
Typically the New Year Couplets present a happy and hopeful message and sincere wish for a better New Year.

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·Worship Ceremony
Ancestral worship and God worship are important parts of festivals for paying respects to ancestors or fairies, and wishing for a smooth and harvest year.

·Red Envelope or Red Packet
Red Envelope or Red Packet is a monetary gift (lucky money packed in a red envelope) presented at social and family gatherings such as weddings or on holidays such as the Lunar New Year. It symbolizes good luck and is supposed to ward off evil spirits. It is also named as Ya Sui Qian, meaning money to guard against evil and bless with happiness.
Traditionally the lucky money is in even number (especially in a number with auspicious meanings). For example, 88 is a lucky number for the pronounciation of eight is similar to the words for getting rich.

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origin of this article – china holidays.com

Previous year celebrations

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