Maids of the Mist: 15 Steamy Humidifier Designs

[ By Steve in Architecture & Design & Furniture & Interiors & Various Uncategorized. ]

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could mist it… and these 15 humidifier designs will ensure you do just that. Running the gamut from cute to clever, these cool steam dream machines will bring you back up when dry air’s got you down.

Wool Ball Hybrid Humidifier

(images via: Coroflot and EcoFriend)

It’s a humidifier! It’s a cat toy! It’s… both? Yes indeed, the Wool Ball Hybrid Humidifier from Cincinnati-based designer Yuan Gu humidifies your home while entertaining your poor, bored, house-bound kitty cat. Maybe “entertaining” isn’t the right word… by playing with this self-contained, kinetic-powered orb your cat will actually be doing some work for a change – just don’t tell it.

(images via: Coroflot and EcoFriend)

The Wool Ball Hybrid Humidifier functions in either of two modes. Placed on a small pedestal and plugged into a nearby electrical outlet it spews mist much like run-of-the-mill home humidifiers. Unplugged and switched on via the integral LCD control panel, it’s free to roll around the floor under the impetus of the resident feline. Though the interior fan runs on a kinetic power source, we much prefer to call it “kitten-powered”.

Mast Humidifier

(images via: Rakuten)

Designed by Shin Okada and crafted from natural Hinoki (Japanese Cypress) wood by Masuya Koubou, the Mast Humidifier adds beauty to one’s home yet doesn’t subtract any electrical power from the grid. Just assemble the humidifier’s components, fill the “hull” base with water, and natural capillary action plus evaporation does the rest. No on/off switch is needed – water won’t evaporate into an already-humid room environment. Bonus: natural Hinoki wood exudes a fresh, lemony aroma and is resistant to rot, mildew and decay.

Penguin Humidifier

(images via: Joe Shlabotnik, Remodel This House and Chris Moseley)

The Adorable Humidifier from Crane is an ultrasonic cool-mist humidifier ideal for infants and children’s rooms. A removable 1-gallon tank can be filled with tap water and runs quietly for up to 11 hours – when the tank’s dry the humidifier shuts off automatically.

(image via: Eliduke)

Costing around $30 and available at most major retailers, the Adorable Humidifier is a perfect example of a clever concept making the transition to successful retail consumer product. Don’t like penguins? No problem, the design is also available in Cow, Elephant, Frog, Pig, and Hello Kitty livery.

Sauna Boy Portable Mini Humidifier

(images via: Good Design Products and Special Election Now)

The Sauna Boy Portable Mini Humidifier blows off steam so you won’t have to! Combining the functions of a humidifier, an aroma diffuser and an air purifier, this compact USB-powered device goes anywhere you and your laptop may roam. An especially neat feature are the decals included with each humidifier that allow you to design your Sauna Boy’s unique facial expression.

Middle Colors Humidifier Supersonic Wave

(images via: Japan Trend Shop and Rakuten)

With a name like Middle Colors Humidifier Supersonic Wave, it’s got to be Japanese – and it is. Even better, this organically curved and beautifully tinted humidifier comes with a matching remote control.

(images via: InventorSpot and Rakuten)

The AC-powered Middle Colors Humidifier Supersonic Wave is designed by Hironao Tsuboi and will run for up to 8 hours on a full tank of tap water. The remote control allows users to select from three settings: Low, Medium and Strong. Seriously, with a setting called “Strong” you know dryness doesn’t stand a chance.

Cup Noodle USB Humidifier

(images via: Strapya World and Gigazine)

Nothing like a steaming Cup Noodle instant ramen to warm the cockles while working late, amiright? What’s also true is that office air can get uncomfortably dry in cooler months. What to do? Set up a Cup Shitsuki ultrasonic humidifier on your desktop, plug it in to your comp via the handy USB connector (or AC adapter) and enjoy moist, soothing mist – calorie-free.

R2D2 USB Humidifier

(images via: Shop NCSX and Technabob)

The R2D2 USB Humidifier begs the question: how does one humidify the chill vacuum of interstellar space? While you’re chewing on that one, Chewbacca, consider the fact that the interiors of spaceships (not to mention the cramped confines of Mom’s basement) can get to feeling uncomfortably droid… er, dried.

(image via: Trendhunter)

Just twist off R2′s head (ignore his pitiable bleeping and blooping) and fill him up with water… hot water, preferably. That’s because this is an old-school steam humidifier that can take up to 20-25 minutes to warm up sufficiently to spew hot vaporized Dihydrogen monoxide into the air.

Oskar Humidifier

(images via: Generate and Gadget HIM)

Be the first one on your block to own an Oskar Humidifier, which is appropriate since the Oskar Humidifier is shaped like a block. It even comes in bright green like the H & R Block logo, though at press time no lawsuits have been filed. Designed by Matti Walker, the Oskar Humidifier features an integrated hygrostat to maintain optimum humidity and automatically shuts off when the water tank is empty. Last but not least, an interior scented-oil container adds aromatherapy to its usual humidifying functionality.

Stitch Humidifier

(images via: Akihabara News and TIKI Stitch)

Can you believe we’re coming up on the 10th anniversary of Lilo & Stitch? What better way to celebrate Disney’s 42nd animated feature than with a Stitch Humidifier? If you answered “a Lilo Humidifier”, you’re out of luck ’cause there isn’t one. You’re stuck with Stitch, like it or not, and there’s no use Hawaiian.

(image via: Runat)

The Stitch Humidifier runs off either a standard wall socket or via USB from your PC or laptop. It was available online for the princely sum of $179.80 but unfortunately (or fortunately, for the budget-conscious) it’s out of stock.

Love Pot Aroma Humidifier

(image via: Trendhunter)

The Love Pot Aroma Humidifier from Nanum is about as environmentally friendly as one can get. The design, by Sangmin Bae & ID+IM Design Lab, is non-electric and functions by natural wicking and evaporation. The red or blue heart-shaped moisture diffuser is made from laminated wool felt that can be safely laundered and re-used. best of all, Nanum promises that 100% of the profits from every Love Pot Aroma Humidifier sold are charitably donated to provide educational scholarships for impoverished children.

Beer Can USB Humidifier

(images via: Green House and ZAKKA Green)

Just wait ’til your boss walks in one morning and spies a can of beer on your desk… that explains the quality of your work lately, he might think. Be sure to interrupt him while he’s filing out a pink slip and explain that the Beer Can USB Humidifier from Green House is, well, a Beer Can USB Humidifier made by Green House.

(image via: Green House)

Green House certainly stressed the detail on this device, down to using German script on the can – the “Grünhaus” name is a nice Teutonic twist. If your boss wants a closer look, let him have it and be sure to point out the “Clear Taste Humidifier” text inscribed beneath the label. After you both have a good laugh over your close encounter with unemployment, explain to him that he can type a ü or any other umlaut character on his keyboard by holding down the ALT key and typing 129 on the Numbers keypad.

Fred Humidifier

(images via: SlipperyBrick and TechyChick)

“Fred” seems like an incongruous name for a UFO-shaped humidifier… unless that’s just one part of it’s evil plan. The organic exterior of the device exudes a cool retro vibe while the insides boil water into soothing steam shot out through a brushed aluminum snout, er, spout. Available in your choice of 6 different colors, the Fred Humidifier offers High and Economy settings and is designed to run extra-quietly. Yep, you’ll sleep like a baby while our friend Fred is out mutilating cattle.

Too Much Aroma Vaporiser

(images via: DeskStore and Made In Design)

The Too Much Aroma Vaporiser from avant garde designer Karim Rashid and Lexon UK may look monolithic but it’s actually quite the multitasker as humidifiers go. Interior air is moisturized and perfumed, improving the atmosphere to promote feelings of well-being. The device also incorporates ambient LED lighting to further set the mood.

(image via: Apartment Therapy)

The Aroma Vaporiser is one of Karim Rashid’s “Too Much” collection, a wide-ranging series of interior lifestyle designs that include everything from dedicated LED lighting to custom computer mice.

The Host Lamp

(image via: TECH@mikeshouts)

The Host Lamp by designer Minsung Bae is a curious concept: a humidifier powered by an incandescent light bulb. Here comes the science: A Thermo-Electric Module inside the device is made up of an aluminum heat sink that captures heat emanated by the light bulb and diverts it to a battery which then provides the power required to run the humidifier. The Host Lamp’s appearance is intriguing as well, being part rustic, slightly Steampunk and anything but commercial plastic.

Steam Mug Eco-Friendly Mini Size Cup Humidifier

(images via: Yanko Design and Zurmat)

Your morning cuppa java won’t steam for long but the Steam Mug Eco-Friendly Mini Size Cup Humidifier will… as long as it’s switched on, at least. Designer Young-Suk Kim engineered the Steam Mug to run on very low water levels, such as what’s left after you return from the office water cooler, take a long sip or two, and get down to work.

(image via: Yanko Design)

The Steam Mug automatically turns on when its placed on the saucer-like holder that’s connected to a convenient USB port. The cool-mist ultrasonic functionality ensures you can still take sips from your cup without steaming your mouth shut.

(image via: SEXY Gadgets)

Do humidifiers have to be high-tech to be cool? Not at all: take the plainly named Radiator Humidifier, for instance. Simply fill the plastic receptacle with water and hang it on your radiator using the integral hooks. No chemicals, no filters, no… radiator? Erm, never mind.

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Foreign Ramen: 12 Cup Noodle Soups You Can’t Get Here

[ By Steve in Gadgets & Geek Art & History & Factoids & Various Uncategorized. ]

All hail Cup Noodle instant ramen, the iconic styrofoam-packed snack (or sometimes meal) that’s sustained American college students, office temps and basement-dwelling gamer geeks since 1971! While most supermarkets and convenience stores stock the basic Chicken, Beef and Vegetable flavors, there’s a world of exotic, hypnotic and quixotic Cup Noodles out there that you can’t get here – even if you wanted to. Here are a dozen of the weirdest.

Campbell’s Noodle Chicken

(images via: Ceron, Family Caravan and Saya_Foxhill)

Mmm, mmm good, or just good to go? Campbell’s Instant Noodle Chicken combines the best of both worlds – or at least the best of each hemisphere – in a single, lightweight cup. The result looks familiar yet foreign regardless of where you hail from.

(image via: Gigazine)

Campbell’s Instant Noodle Chicken came about as a collaborative venture between Campbell’s, Nissin Foods and Costco Japan, where the dehydrated delights have been sold by the case since last November. It’s anyone’s guess why Campbell’s hasn’t bolstered their domestic canned soup line with something the younger generation should eat right up. C’mon Campbell’s, where’s your can do spirit? Er, can don’t?

Cup Noodles Mini Gunpla

(images via: Ringology and Zhang Jingna)

“Waiter, there’s a Gundam in my soup!” And so there should be, since Gundam and Nissin teamed up last September to celebrate Cup Noodle’s 40th anniversary. The limited time promotion featured 4 different “gunpla” (plastic snap-together Gundam models) housed in kit form and attached to the tops of individual Cup Noodle cups.

(image via: Zhang Jingna)

For Gundam geeks who care about these things, and oh boy do they ever, the available models were Gundam RX78, ZAKU II, CHAR ZAKU II and the DOM. The models bore the distinction of being the smallest Gundam model kits ever made: 1/380 scale!

Cup Nudeln Broccoli

(images via: The Philippines and Beyond)

“Vile weed!” C’mon Newman, you know the Germans always make good stuff but “Cup Nudeln Broccoli” sounds awful, even if it was deep fried in chocolate sauce, which it ain’t.

(image via: FDDB)

Who could possibly appreciate broccoli-flavored ramen, besides your Mom providing she doesn’t have to eat it herself? Perhaps the name of the photographer who brings us the above image offers some clue… it’s CharlyManson. Any more questions?

Cup Noodle Bacon

(images via: A DST, Tomobun and That’s Nerdalicious)

From Hell to Heaven in a styrofoam cup, it’s Bacon Ramen, y’all! Of course, dehydrated and re-hydrated bacon might not be the best way to enjoy the esteemed fruit of the noble swine but beggars can’t be choosers and one takes what life (or in this case, Nissin) doles out. Besides, anything (and we do mean ANYTHING) has to be better than Cup Noodle Broccoli… Nudeln, whatever.

(images via:, Studio BOON and Photozou)

And for those who need more starch with their noodles, try BIG Cup Noodle Bacon Potato Mayonnaise… er, we could do without that last ingredient but Japanese are reluctant to hold the mayo no matter what. At least Nissin is nice enough to provide the mayonnaise in a separate packet that comes stuck to the top of the cup. Pour in the boiling water, wait 3 minutes, open the lid and squeeze out a dollop of ivory white joy… ohhh yeahhh!

Meat King

(images via: and IMKing)

Pork may be the meat of kings but when it comes to big, meaty Cup Noodles the king is… Meat King! For just 170 yen (about $1.90) per cup you get a seriously heaping helping of beef cubes, diced chicken, and minced pork flavored with pepper and soy sauce. How serious, you ask? The 80 grams (2.82 oz) of meat outweighs the 60 grams (2.11 oz) of noodles.

(images via: Nishi and SIDE)

Meat King is one of several “BIG” Cup Noodles that take the erstwhile snack deep into the meal red zone. Curious that while the supersizing fast food trend is in retreat across the USA, in Japan it’s not only surviving but thriving.

Cup Noodle Tacos

(images via: @DROP)

If your stereotypical fast-food fanatic geek-o-nerd could choose his ideal meal, it’d probably be Doritos Nacho Extreme Ramen or something like that… and lo & behold, the Ramen Gods (or Nissin, at least) were listening. How else to explain Cup Noodle Tacos?

(images via: and @DROP)

Cup Noodle Tacos includes beef, tomatoes, cabbage, onions, cheddar cheese and spices mixed to impart the aroma of tortillas. It can be prepared two ways as well: the usual “add boiling water and wait 3 minutes” procedure or just add water and pop the cup in the microwave. ¡Yo quiero Cup Noodle Tacos!

New Orleans Style Gumbo Noodle

(images via: Spicebrothers, and HASH)

“Let’s eat together with sandwich!”, goes the tag line for Maruchan’s New Orleans Style Gumbo Noodle… for reasons known only to the head honchos at Maruchan. Though not an official Cup Noodle variety made by Nissin, Maruchan’s outrageous entry in the Ramen Wars stands out simply for being Louisiana Gumbo, made & sold only in Japan.

(image via: Mental Masala)

New Orleans Style Gumbo Noodle features “spicy hotness” diffused through an Okra-based sauce and flat noodles. Not a speck of rice to be seen… dem Cajun’s, dey gonna be a’ragin’!

Cup Noodle Batchoy

(images via: Flavours of Iloilo)

Batchoy is a Philippine specialty originating in Iloilo City that’s something like Haggis Soup. Typical ingredients include pork organs (liver, spleen, kidneys and heart) crushed pork cracklings, vegetables, shrimp, beef loin, shrimp broth, and chicken stock… now in a handy portable version!

(images via: Philikosa, Sari-Sari Store and Kahit_Saan)

Until Nissin actually introduces Cup Noodle Haggis (and you know it won’t be long), you’ll have to be satisfied with Cup Noodle Batchoy or its kissin’ cousin, Cup Noodle Bulalo… that’s Beef Bone Marrow flavor to the uninformed by the way.

BIG Cup Noodle Chicken Rush

(images via: and Kumu)

How big is BIG Cup Noodle Chicken Rush? When you open the lid, it echoes with the sounds of salesmen. Salesmen! Sorry, couldn’t resist – and it’s likely YOU won’t be able to resist this cloyingly complex concoction should you ever have the chance to try it; a circumstance that either requires you to be in Japan or have a friend there willing to mail some to you.

(image via: Gulliver Diary)

We’re not saying BIG Cup Noodle Chicken Rush is close to delicious, mind you, just closer to the heart… OK, enough RUSH refs, promise. Some of the key ingredients are music to any ramen-lover’s taste buds, however: cabbage, scrambled eggs and diced red bell peppers. If that doesn’t give you a Chicken Rush, what will?

Manhattan Clam Chowder Cup Noodle

(images via: Kuimakuru)

Of all the soups less likely to get the Cup Noodle treatment, Clam Chowder would surely top the list. “Challenge accepted”, sez Nissin… is there anything those guys can’t whip up & dry out? Even better, this interesting tomato clam chowder soup is stated to be “Range Style”… do they use Free Range Clams or something? Maybe it’s just the latest entry in the ever-expanding Nissin Cup Noodle range of styles.

(images via: Kuimakuru)

So you don’t like Manhattan Clam Chowder and prefer the New England variety? Even in Cup Noodle format?? No problem, Cup Noodle’s got you covered even if a steaming reconstituted cup might just get you permanently banned from Bahston Hahbuh.

SDF Cup Noodle

(images via: Yu30Sama and Training Ration)

They say an army travels on its stomach, and that old maxim goes for an army of geeks, an Army of Darkness, or the Japanese Army. The latter, known since WW2 as the non-threatening-sounding SDF (“Self Defense Forces”) doesn’t get much choice in their military-issue Cup Noodles but they DO get them: in specially marked Soy Sauce and Seafood flavors.

(images via: HyperDouraku, Tsukimiyu and LongLongAgo)

SDF Cup Noodle is sold through a number of domestic websites so you don’t have to enlist to enjoy. Honestly though, you’re not missing much if you miss it: side-by-side comparisons with their civilian Cup Noodle counterparts indicate the Japanese GIs are left holding the wet end of the noodle.

Wild & Mild Cup Noodle

(images via: Gigazine)

It really seems like you can get Cup Noodle instant ramen in almost any flavor from wild to mild… actually, INCLUDING Wild and Mild! Yes indeed, Cup Noodle WILD Hot Chili Pepper and MILD Creamy Chicken are a match made in heaven, or hell, or more likely somewhere in between: such as the Cup Noodle test kitchen. Gotta hand it to Nissin, they’ll go to any extreme in order to satisfy their fan base.

(images via: Kokoku Kaigi)

Had enough of Cup Noodle? Of course you haven’t, unless you’re some sort of geek jet setter who makes it his business to try every possible Cup Noodle flavor from Finland to Formosa and back again. We’ll just post the abridged smorgasbord above so you’ll see some of the other offbeat flavor savors we didn’t cover in depth.

(image via: OC Weekly)

Cup Noodle connoisseurs should make it a point to visit the Cup Noodle Museum in Yokohama, Japan, where getting into hot water is a good thing! Opened in September of 2011 to coincide with Cup Noodle’s 40th anniversary, the museum offers snackers, slackers and undercover hackers a glimpse into the mind of Cup Noodles inventor, the late great Momofuku Ando.

(images via: Huffington Post and YouOffendMeYouOffendMyFamily)

If you get hungry during your visit (and you know you will), pop into the on-site My Cup Noodle Factory where you can whip up your very own custom Cup Noodle with ingredients allowing for 5,460 flavor combinations. Ramen to that!

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25 Leap Day Posters to Make You Jump for Joy!

[ By Steve in History & Factoids & Urban & Street Art & Various Uncategorized. ]

2012 is a Leap Year and what’s a Leap Year without a Leap Day? An ordinary year, obviously, which means 2012 is kinda extraordinary and February 29th is all kinds of awesome! Let’s celebrate this quirky and quixotic quadrennial calendar event by displaying a quarter of a hundred cool & creative Leap Day posters!

Caesar’s Salad Days

(image via: Maison)

Leapin’ lizards, Louise, it’s a Leap Year this year! Just what we need, one extra day of dreary, gloomy, snowy and slushy February. Those groundhogs weren’t kidding when they said we wouldn’t have an early spring, though it’s unlikely Punxsutawney Phil and his prognosticatin’ pals can grasp the concept of Leap Day… not with those wee paws, at least.

(images via: Trés Sugar, Latitude 47 and USA Weekend)

On the bright side, the 29th is the last day of the month, which is nice, and it gives us one more reason to celebrate something, anything… Leap Day? That’ll do!

(images via: Fly Magazine and Ultimate Ecards)

Leap Day has been around for longer than you might think. Roman Emperor Julius Caesar decreed it into existence in the year in 45 BC. as part of the Julian Reform of the calendar, with the first Leap Day occurring in 42 BC. Ol’ Julie may have had reason to fear the Ides of March but now at least he knew exactly when they would occur.

Lend Me Your Years!

(image via: Good Blog)

Anyway, the result was a vast improvement over the old way of keeping track of time. You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, however, and realigning the seriously out-of-whack Roman calendar effective January 1st, 45 BC necessitated adding some extra days to 46 BC – actually, quite a few extra days: that year ended up being 445 days long!

(images via: The Lookout and Fairfield Church of Christ)

Caesar may have made salad out of the old, imperfect Roman calendar but his fix was far from prefect, er, perfect. Since the actual length of the year is 365 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes and 16 seconds, the 365 days plus 6 hours long Julian Calendar slowly began to drift out of sync with the true solar year, gaining the equivalent of an extra day every 134 years.

(image via: Cafe Cargo)

It was a full 10 days out of alignment by 1582, which brought about the introduction of the current Gregorian Calendar. Due the inconvenient actual length of the year, Caesar’s quadrennial Leap Day doesn’t occur in end-of-century Leap Years unless the date is exactly divisible by 400.

(images via: Marine Marathon, Life Choices Center and Lake Elsinore Outlets)

Using this arcane but indispensable rule, 1600 and 2000 were leap years and 2400 and 2800 will be as well. The years 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not, however, and neither will 2100, 2200 or 2300. Note for trivia buffs: February 29th’s occurring in end-of-century Leap Years always occur on Tuesday.

Birthday Blues

(image via: Themes Bank)

So here we are, the 60th day of the year and it’s still February – an event that won’t happen again for another four years. You’d think those born on February 29th would thus suffer a shortage of birthday cakes three years out of four, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Leap Day discombobulation.

(images via: UK Fundraising and Wheatstack)

Several countries have enacted laws that specify which days in ordinary years are considered as official birth dates for the so-called “Leaplings”, though most simply set February 28th (the last day of the month) as a Leapling’s birthday in non-Leap Year years.

(image via: The Barkyard)

In the year 1999, New Zealand passed a law designating February 28th as the official birthday of Leap Year babies in ordinary years. The United Kingdom and Hong Kong, however, consider March 1st to be the day Leaplings reach the official age of majority and are subsequently entitled to all the privileges adulthood entails… except for Scotland; at 15 it’s the country with the world’s youngest official age of majority.

February 29 Fame & Four-tune

(images via: Themes Bank and Viva Las Vegas Weddings)

Who are some of these “unfortunate” Leaplings, you ask? Wikipedia provides a surprisingly extensive listing, or maybe not so surprising since it extends back to the birth of Pope Paul III in the year 1468.

(image via: Meredith Cutler)

Other notables born on February 29th include composer Gioachino Rossini (1792), Big Band leader Jimmy Dorsey (1904), and infamous serial killers Aileen “Monster” Wuornos (1956) and Richard “Night Stalker” Ramirez (1960).

(image via:

Leap Day captures us coming in and going out, of course. The list of those who shuffled off this mortal coil on a February 29th includes Billy the Kid’s killer Pat Garrett (1908), major league baseball player and manager Rebel Oakes (1948), and commercial auto repainter Earl Scheib (1992).

(images via: Choctaw Casinos and AngryElvis)

Scheib very nearly made it onto both the Leap Day birth AND death lists, having entered this world on February 28th of 1908. Although undoubtedly there are many others who came and went, as it were, on February 29th, the only historical figure of note to accomplish the feat was former Premier of Tasmania Sir James Wilson (1812 to 1880). You devil you!

(images via: Stackin Paper, Disney World Stories and Time and Date)

Leap Day births have also played their part in fiction, most recently in that Superman is a Leapling and most pointedly in Gilbert and Sullivan’s 1879 comic opera The Pirates of Penzance.

(images via: Louve Notes, Manhattan Hotel and Captain Blue Hen)

Librettist W. S. Gilbert contrived that the character Frederic, who was apprenticed to pirates until he reached the age of 21, was a Leap Day Baby. Sadly for Frederic, his inferred birth date of February 29th, 1852 meant he would not be eligible for freedom until 1940 when he would have actually lived 88 years. Harsh.

Leap Dazed

(image via: My God, It’s Full of Nerds!)

For a date that comes by only every 1,460 days (or every 2,920 days every quarter-millennium), February 29th isn’t really big deal unless you’re a modern-day business advertising a sale – the ancients didn’t really give a hoot one way or another.

(images via: MNN and TVFanatic)

They also didn’t have Leap Day William, who “lives in the Mariana Trench and emerges every four years to trade children’s tears for candy”, according to NBC’s most engaging page, the inimitable Kenneth.

(image via: The Inspiration Room)

You’d think that some sort of Leap Day tradition would have become established over the centuries and actually there is one: women are “allowed” to propose to men. Blame it on Irish saints Bridget and Patrick… though the latter likely agreed just to get the former to quit badgering him.

(images via: Trib Local, My History Museum and Theme Bank)

Supposedly, the penalty for turning down a woman’s Leap Day proposal on February was buying her a new set of gloves – to cover up the embarrassing lack of an engagement ring. Sorry guys, guess you can’t win for losing!

(image via: The Telegraph)

Leap Day also carries some connotations of bad luck not contingent on one’s being apprenticed to pirates. Scottish legends speak of Leap Day births as being unlucky while in Greece, to marry on a Leap Day is considered most inauspicious.

(image via: File Downloading)

I’m blaming wives for that one: a hubby who married on February 29th would only have to remember the date (and buy a gift!) every four years instead of annually. If you’re determined to go that route, dude, don’t even think of asking her to sign a pre-nup!

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Pretty Pointy: 15 Cool Concept Toothpick Holders

[ By Steve in Architecture & Design & Furniture & Interiors & Various Uncategorized. ]

You can pick your friends and you can pick your teeth, but you can’t pick your friends’ teeth… thanks coinci-dentally to 15 cool concept toothpick holders sweet enough to make anyone smile! Designed to display your wee wooden weapons to best advantage, these wholesome (mainly) holders add a dash of designer chic to any kitchen, bar, cafe or chicken wing restaurant.

Caatinga/Cactooph Cactus Toothpick Holder

(images via: ZingerStuff and Green Tea and Cupcakes)

A toothpick holder that looks like a cactus is almost too obvious yet somehow nobody thought of this before – not counting ancient desert tribes who no doubt employed actual cactus spines around the pueblo firepit after roasting, serving and dining on Gila Monster… they can be sorta tough, y’know? The spiny splinter server above goes under the retail name “Cactooph”, which is a might too cutesy for our ears but then, toothpicks shouldn’t be used in one’s ears anyway.

(image via: Coroflot)

A similar, yellower variation on the Cactooph is the Caatinga Toothpick Holder, conceived by Brazilian designer Naissa Zeh and named after the Caatinga eco-region in Brazil’s arid northeast. It’s manufactured from waste pine scraps sourced from furniture factories and the paints & varnishes are water-based and environmentally friendly – it may be yellow but it’s also green, is what we mean.

Dom-Dom Condom Toothpick Tube

(images via: Commerce Marketing and Planet Unik)

The Dom-Dom Toothpick Tube from OOU! brings together two things that were made for each other: condoms and sharp pointed objects… wait, what? According to the fine print on the product page, this cheeky toothpick holder was made in mainland China, the world’s most populous country. We’re sure that’s completely coincidental.

(image via: DHGate)

The Dom-Dom Toothpick Tube is made from non-toxic, food grade plastic, which is nice. It also, again according to the company website, features “Lifelike modelling Inner Tibet unexpected tallies extremely the functionality, does smiles does not forget practical. The color change has increased taste bud’s fantasy.” Sounds good, put us down for a dozen!

Pick Pocket Toothpick Holder

(image via: Walyou)

The Pick Pocket Toothpick Holder from Chetan Sorab of Epicenter Design encourages users to pick your pocket to “steal your pick”, though it seems all parties concerned will end up disappointed by that particular action. Even so, the concept has a certain appeal: a pocket for your toothpicks that you can keep in your pocket. Sure beats poking holes in your pants (or possibly worse) every time you pocket a pick.

(image via: Epicenter Design)

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, but when Peter Piper polished off the peppers and proposed to pocket a pick, his pre-poked pockets proved pick-less! Now thanks to the Pick Pocket Toothpick Holder, Peter Piper’s picks in his pockets remain fixed, so picking specks of pickled peppers is a quick & simple trick.

Voodoo Doll Toothpick Holder

(images via: The Food Pornographer and CultCase)

Off to do that voodoo that you do so well? If you’re doing it over lunch or dinner, be sure to bring along your Voodoo Doll Toothpick Holder. Not only will you have something handy to excise that piece of chive clinging so obviously to your right bicuspid, you can enjoy the anxious squirming of your dining partner as you casually toy with the toothpicks and make him or her an offer they can’t refuse.

(image via: Funny Daily Dose)

The Voodoo Doll Toothpick Holder comes in your choice of colors, allowing to you freak out those of most any race or creed. Especially Creed, that guy’s just too creepy to share an office with.

Toothpickup Toothpick Holder

(image via: This Next)

The 4.5” long by 2” wide Toothpickup Toothpick Holder takes the concept of “pickup sticks” to the next level. Designed to ape the appearance of a classic early Fifties pickup truck, this white porcelain wonder actually rolls on its 4 rubber tires allowing for special deliveries to all points of the dinner table.

Molar Toothpick Holder

(images via: Panik-Design and This Next)

Flippin’ toothpicks, how do they work? With the Molar Toothpick Holder, one look is all even a junior juggalo needs to put 2 and 2 together. Can’t handle the tooth? No need to try, the Molar Toothpick Holder has got the chops to handle YOU!

(image via: Gadget Him)

The 4” by 4” by 4” Molar Toothpick Holder is surely a dentists dream. Designed by Chaiyut Plypetch of Panik-Design, the oversized chomper is made from translucent silicon rubber in your choice of white, amber or ice blue (but really, white just seems right). It can hold up to 40 toothpicks in its central cavity. Uh oh, did we say “cavity”?

Pick-Ur-Pine Toothpick Holder

(images via: Home Designing, SPGRA and Notcot)

When Rafael Morgan set out to design a stylish and practical toothpick holder, he likely did so with fire in his eye and a steely determination to change the way people looked at toothpick holders. We can definitely state he succeeded on all accounts, which is why dubbing this animalistic toothpick-holding concept the “Pick-Ur-Pine” seems somewhat of a letdown.

(image via: Coroflot)

Not to take anything away from the clean look and undeniable class of this holder, but the name Pick-Ur-Pine, well, just seems to take away from the clean look and undeniable class of this holder. Woody Allen once described a character who, upon reading the word “Lobstermato” (a tomato stuffed with lobster) on a restaurant menu, “wished he could scratch the face of the man who conceived it.” Lord only knows what would have occurred had a Pick-Ur-Pine been on the table.

Mohawk Toothpick Holder

(images via: Walyou and Coroflot)

The Mohawk Toothpick Holder comes to us by way of Bangalore, India… not the Indians you were thinking of, hmm? Credit Pankaj Upadhyay with this punked-out design, and be sure to look for it next time you make reservations (ahem) for dinner, maybe at that New Delhi downtown.

Shark Tooth Tooth Pick Holder

(images via: Walyou and Epicenter Design)

Looks like our old pal Chetan Sorab is no one trick pony… more like a two trick Great White Shark! And this latest toothpick holder is a treat indeed: the Shark Tooth Tooth Pick Holder! Sorab, who works at Epicenter Design, needed no help from the Department of Redundancy Department when he brought the Shark Tooth Tooth Pick Holder from concept to conference table. That’s his story and he’s sticking to it.

(image via: Epicenter Design)

The Shark Tooth Tooth Pick Holder doesn’t just sit there like most garden (or ocean) variety toothpick holders. The holder features two-part construction with the top swiveling 180 degrees to cover the toothpicks when they’re not required. Good thinking, Chetan, nobody wants to stick a dusty toothpick in their, er, Jaws.

Hocus Poke Us Death-Defying Toothpick Holder

(images via: The Greenhead)

The Hocus Poke Us (groan) Death-Defying Toothpick Holder represents not only the next generation of toothpick holders, it goes one better by improving on the humble toothpick itself. We guess it had to… poking ordinary wooden toothpicks into a miniature replica magician’s body box can’t hold a candle to doing the same thing with tiny little swords!

(image via: InventorSpot)

The twists just keep on coming with the Hocus Poke Us Death-Defying Toothpick Holder: the toothpicks are plastic but the holder is wood! The lovely lady immobilized within the box can’t comment, unfortunately, as she’s involved in a high-stakes game of poke her.

Screamer Gene Wooden Toothpick Holder

(image via: ObjetPetita)

There’s not much we can say about the Screamer Gene Wooden Toothpick Holder because, well, there’s not much to be said, really. Roughly carved from wood and painted in bright, primary colors, ol’ Screamer Gene is a throwback to rougher, more primal times when men were men and women were wishing the toothpick holders weren’t quite so scary looking.

(image via: ObjetPetita)

The Etsy seller who displayed the Screamer Gene Wooden Toothpick Holder at their website didn’t show it stuffed with toothpicks, which is kind of odd because it’s assumed that’s the cornerstone of its frontier saloon existence. Then again, doesn’t it look eerie enough without looking like an unfortunate victim of multiple sword-swallowing syndrome?

Smiling Animal Party Pickers

(images via: Zedomax and Southern Candles & Gifts)

When you need a toothpick really REALLY badly, you’ll do just about anything to get one – including pulling a splendid splinter right out of some non-human critters crazily grinning mouth. Wonder of wonders, you can now do this without any desperation whatsover.

(image via: This Next)

You supply the picks, they’ll provide the goofy perforated grin within which you get to stick ‘em now, remove for use later. Choose from shark, pig, dachshund, cat, hippo and frog… yes, we know frogs don’t have teeth but if you want to use the real thing, good luck and mind the warts.

Personalized Silver-Plated Toothpick Holder

(images via: Not On The High Street and Harriet Carter)

Snooty is as snooty does, and the Personalized Silver-Plated Toothpick Holder from Harriet Carter is about as snooty (snotty?) as it gets. According to the copy at the product page, the “Order of the 3 initials should be: First, Middle, Last.” Geez Louise, er, Harriet, you’d think someone smart enough to reach the stratospheric level of professional achievement needed to own a personalized silver-plated toothpick holder would know the proper order of their initials. This is REALLY gonna confuse Ignace I Ibercrombie the III.

Alessi Officina Toothpick Holder

(images via: Worthpoint and Domina Design)

This timeless (OK, it was designed in 1991 by Andrea Branzi) toothpick holder simply exudes class… and also toothpicks. Crafted with care from polished steel and aged varnished pear-wood, this rather large (it’s 6” tall) toothpick holder takes pride of place on any majestic dining table.

(image via: Panik-Design)

Reminiscent of those old-time coin banks that had cats, dogs, monkeys or whatever grabbing your penny, the Alessi Officina Toothpick Holder features a graceful ballerina who daintily grasps one toothpick at a time, thus keeping the stored toothpicks “hygienically untouched by human hands”. Of course, you still have to grab the toothpick with your own mangy mitts in order to actually use it. Eww.

Tiki Toothpick Holder

(images via: Tikiroom)

Last but not least, a little toothpick holder history. Once a staple of late 1950s Polynesian restaurants and bars, Tiki Toothpick Holders have seemingly scattered to the four winds, ending up on knickknack shelves at flea markets and secondhand stores. The few survivors harken back to a time when “Made In Japan” meant what “Made In China” means today.

(images via: Flavorstitch and Sugarlily Vintage)

Tiki Toothpick Holders were once sold in supermarkets and came pre-filled with toothpicks. Time passed and the cool sculpted ceramic holders morphed from kooky tiki faces to bland rum barrels to light, thin, plastic holders completely devoid of class and character. Turn one upside down… can you guess what it says?

(image via: Superlative Sewing)

Well, hopefully this rundown gave you plenty of food of thought and a number of design ideas to chew on. Of course, you’ve come to the right place if all that chewing has left you up the proverbial creek without a toothbrush. We know the next best thing!

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Going Viral: 10 Neat Gadgets for Germaphobic Geeks

[ By Steve in Furniture & Interiors & Gadgets & Geek Art & Various Uncategorized. ]

Computer viruses aren’t the only infections you have to worry about, especially if you’re a geek, gamer and/or gadgeteer who lives in the scary, paranoid land of germaphobia. These 10 neat gadgets target both germaphobic geeks and the evil nano-beasties that torment them.

The Cole Cleaner

(images via: Switched and

These pixels are making me thirsty! Join the club, friend, and crack open a cold one for yourself as well… but not before you annihilate any unseen pathogens that might be (ha!) lurking on the can. Leon Peng designed The Cole Cleaner just for you paranoid drinkers who can’t be bothered to go upstairs and get a glass from the kitchen.

(image via: Yanko Design)

The Cole Cleaner’s mission is to make the world safe from unwanted bacteria, one can at a time. Install your aluminum-encased beverage of choice into Peng’s sterilizer and watch (not too closely) your can get blasted wuth UV radiation, rendering it free from infectious organisms. Too bad it’s now going to touch your biohazard of a mouth.

Vioguard™ Self-Sanitizing Computer Keyboard

(images via: and Geekwire)

It’s hard to imagine any piece of computer hardware that’s touched more than one’s keyboard – to use it is to touch it, basically. Wouldn’t it be nice to start each working (or playing) day with a brand new, clean-as-a-whistle keyboard? Now there’s the next best thing: the Vioguard™ Self-Sanitizing Computer Keyboard.

(images via: Vivalageek and InventorSpot)

The Vioguard Self-Sanitizing Keyboard is a self-disinfecting computer keyboard slides back into a specially designed sheaf after using, where germicidal UV-C ultraviolet light beams its way into those tiny nooks and crannies where infectious germs hide. It only takes a few seconds to eliminate those harmful microorganisms it took hours for you to put there.

Handheld Disinfectant Steam Cleaner

(images via:, HSN and

“Give me steam, and how you feel to make it real, real as any place you’ve been…” That was Peter Gabriel, a dude who knows a bit about steam and what it can do for you, your desktop, your filthy electronic devices and the rest of your grubby lifestyle.

(image via: Red Ferret)

UV is cool and all, but when heat (203°F heat, to be exact) is required to wipe out viruses and mold as well as stubborn bacteria like E. Coli and Staphylococcus, the Hoover Handheld Disinfectant Steam Cleaner comes into its own. This handy device heats up in just 3 minutes and comes with two steam nozzles and a window squeegee… for cleaning windows, not Windows.

Shocking Thumb Wars

(images via: Firebox and Deviltronics)

Back in the days when kids walked 3 miles to school and back through raging blizzards and fashionable men wore onions on their belts, which was the style at the time, Thumb Wars was the game of games! Nowadays, however, no young OCD-afflicted whippersnapper wants to touch some other young OCD-afflicted whippersnapper’s thumb… and that’s why we have Shocking Thumb Wars.

(image via: Firebox)

Shocking Thumb Wars removes the actual hands-on warring of actual germ-infested thumbs in favor of digitized thumb-operated games titled 50/50, Rebound and Endurance. The latter variation is reminiscent of those weird CIA experiments in which some test subjects were allowed to shock other test subjects and were found to enjoy it. This is pretty much the home version.

Plane Clean Air Filter

(images via: Gizmodo, Plane Clean Air and Giz Wiz Search)

Germophobic types often have a fear of flying that has nothing to do with the plane crashing: it’s the air they’re worried about. Scaremongering headlines about supposedly sickness-inducing recycled air have got folks reaching for their… Plane Clean Air Filters!

(image via: Allergy One)

Just snap on of these blue babies over on of the the overhead air nozzles (also known as a “gasper nozzle”) and rest comfortably knowing the Plane Clean Air Filter is busily removing more than 99.5% of the airborne visuses, bacteria, allergens and other particulate matter from the air stream. AS for your cabin-mates, they’ll be slightly less comfortable as they wonder what the heck that blue thing is stuck to the overhead console.

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Clearly Cool: 15 Amazing Glasses, Sunglasses & Frames

[ By Steve in Architecture & Design & Gadgets & Geek Art & Various Uncategorized. ]

Now see here! The ayes may have it but now you can too, thanks to these amazing eyeglass and frame designs that cornea the market on out-of-this-world eyewear. It’s a pity, really, that you only have two eyes with which to make a spectacle of yourself but at least there are other options for living a life made in the shades.

Ketevane Maissaia Eyewear

(images via: Cherry Gal Blossoming, Slamxhype and Fresh Train)

Who is Ketevane Maissaia, and why is he/she foisting these maximalist eyeglasses on us? According to HypeBeast, the concept for the sunglasses was “inspired by Soviet architecture”… which tells you just about everything you need to know. Oh, you can pick up a pair (don’t strain your back) at the Think Silly Store in Hong Kong.

Pierced Bridge Frameless Specs

(images via: ChooseUrFun and AnswerBag)

Tired of eyeglasses constantly sliding off the bridge of your nose? Sure you are, but wanting to screw the darned things on and actually doing it are two different things – both of them kinda nutty. This “edgy” implanted eyeglasses mounting may look like a clever, creepy photoshop but as much as you’d like to believe that, pierced bridge glasses are as real as the pain of installation.

(image via: All About Colored Contacts)

The concept was originated by James Sooy working with Oliver Gibson. Tiny magnets in the frames attach to flat areas on the bridge implant for a secure and exact fit. They aren’t available to paying customers just yet but one thing is certain: people will want it done if only for the shock value.

Staffan Preutz “SP” Temple Glasses

(images via: Jeremiah Owyang, JoselinMane and Polaris Eyewear)

Staffan Preutz “SP” rimless frames don’t actually monitor one’s brainwaves via implanted electrodes, they just look that way.

(image via: Only Ideal)

The unusual design relies instead on an ultra-lightweight (2.2 grams) springy titanium alloy frame that grasps the temples by way of a soft pad on either side. Borg nanoprobes not included.

Stix Eyeware Chopsticks Glasses

(images via: UberReview and Yanko Design)

“Don’t leave home without it,” cautioned Karl Malden in those old American Express ads, and if you’re on your way to a swanky Japanese restaurant for dinner you don’t want to forget your eyeglasses or chopsticks either. What to do? Wear a pair of Stix Eyeware, of course! Brad Gressel‘s curious combination of glasses and chopsticks melds the best features of both, solving your little problem in one fell swoop… unless you forget to wear them, I guess, thereby doubling your trouble.

Ann-Sofie Back’s Dripping Sunglasses

(images via: Anna Ter Haar and Incredible Things)

These “dripping” sunglasses look like the product of a glassblower in a hurry but not to worry, they’re not all that hot… and we mean that in a good way.

(image via: Your Vogue Glasses)

Debuting on models strutting high-end fashion runways back in 2009, the ghoulish & gothic sunglasses originally designed by Anna Ter Haar were subsequently made mass-marketable by designer Ann-Sofie Back, and are now available in your choice of Smoke or Red… more like Smoke or Fire, hmm?

Linda Farrow’s Beak Sunglasses

(images via: Sunglasses Fashion and Trendhunter)

Say hello to my leetle friend with the beak sunglasses… and thank fashion designer Linda Farrow for these and other eye-popping (sorry) designs favored by Lady Gaga and the like. Of course, the Poker Face hitmaker (gah, can’t believe I wrote that) can get away with wearing oddball eyeball covers while you most likely can’t.

(images via: BapeTalk)

One exception is (are?) the Beak Sunglasses above, which are ideal for sunbathing and beach-combing as they sport a built-in nose shade. The hoi polloi can use zinc oxide.

Black Bars Sunglasses

(images via: Stupididiotic and StuffToTweet)

What was unseen, cannot be seen… or something like that. Seize your very own day of infamy with Black Bars, the censor bar privacy specs (dis)approved by paparazzi everywhere.

(images via: Art-Of-Noise and I Hate Your Fashion)

Stupididiotic Black Bars (that’s their name, not our judgement) will, in the words of the ad copy, make you “immediately popular with the “IN” crowd” and are “great for webcams and MySpace photos”… not to mention, they coordinate perfectly with a Three Wolf Moon t-shirt.

Look Left Glasses

(images via: Robot Nine)

“BokitoKijker” glasses can’t be bought; they’re free with your paid admission to the Rotterdam Zoo’s gorilla exhibit. It seems that the great apes get anxious, annoyed and angry when rude humans stare directly at them… and they respond by jumping over the wall and attacking the tactless onlookers. OK, only ONE gorilla (a silverback named Bokito) attacked a visitor but that was more than enough to get the point across.

(images via: Urkobold and Circus No Spin)

The glasses are designed not to offend the gorillas, while still allowing humans to gawk at their leisure without the fear of sudden onset ape attack syndrome – SOAAS, for short. Perhaps they should distribute them to the gorillas as well so everyone involved can just chill out.

Unibrow Shades

(image via: I Hate Your Fashion)

Back in the day, folks imagined a future where men shaved their heads and wore strange, inscrutable, single-lensed sunglasses. Now that the world of tomorrow is here today, men do indeed depiliate their noggins. Those psycho hipster shades, on the other hand, just didn’t pan out… and someone forgot to tell the dude above.

Sexy Legs Sunglasses

(images via: Goggles and Glasses and Freaking News)

Sexy Legs Sunglasses are said to be inspired by the Can Can Girls of Paris. Funny, I never noticed any of the Can Can Girls wearing glasses but then, I didn’t notice if they have eyes. In any case, these novelty shades are ideal for parties where you want to get a leg (or two) up on your fellow partygoers… or just want to look like Bono.

Pixel Frames

(images via: Dzmitry Samal Eyewears)

I see your 20/20 vision and I raise you… eight bit frames! Inspired by the early days of video arcade games and the primitive digital imagery of our misspent youth, Dzmitry Samal‘s pixel frames add a dash of nostalgia to any eyeglass-wearing experience. That’s Dzmitry himself above top, doing some self-promotion.

(image via: Dzmitry Samal Eyewears)

Samal’s choice of contrasting colors for the lens holders and earpieces serves to enhance the retro look. Pixel frames can be used with prescription clear or color-changing lenses, tinted lenses for sunglasses, or just wear the empty frames if you don’t actually need eyeglasses and are only out to make a fashion statement.

Slanties Eyewear

(images via: StyleKandi, Trendhunter and NNSL)

When you’re trudging across the permafrost and need to watch out where the huskies go, do what the Inuit do: whip out your trusty pair of Slanties!

(images via: eStrip/Paul, Johns Hopkins News-Letter and Farmland City)

This ancient, tundra-tested sunlight dimmer amounted to a technological breakthrough north of 60 so it’s sad that the no-nonsense design of Slanties (a questionable term, btw) has lately been co-opted by hipsters. The modern version is reinforced with fiberglass to ensure they won’t snap, shatter or splinter (ouch!) on your next PBR run.

Silhouette Futura 570 Shades

(image via: BapeTalk)

Sick and tired of those “Hey four-eyes!” taunts? Cut ‘em down to size by wearing a pair of Silhouette Futura 570 shades. This rare tour de force of 1970s design provides the ultimate in UV eye protection, which is saying something since “UV eye protection” wasn’t on anyone’s agenda 40-odd years ago.

(images via: Silhouette, Luxury Vintage Sunglasses and Adventures and Ramblings)

Style being subjective and all, the odd “treye-ball” design of Silhouette Futura 570 sunglasses has aged remarkably well regardless of their suddenly fashionable UV-fighting prowess… or maybe it’s just that the deeply tinted wraparound design was a forerunner to those deeply tinted wraparound sunglasses favored by today’s senior citizens.

“YURI” Sunglasses from Mykita Eyewear

(images via: High Snobiety, ThisNext and If It’s Hip, It’s Here)

Inspired by the late Soviet cosmonaut and space pioneer Yuri Gagarin, Mykita Eyewear’s “YURI” Sunglasses were designed by Romain Kremer to protect the wearer… from alien attack, perhaps? If you’re not convinced these sunglasses are weird, look who’s wearing them: yep, Lady Gaga (again). Now you too can emulate the newsworthy pop star or look like an interplanetary insect queen, or both!

(images via: If It’s Hip, It’s Here)

When asked the reason for the unusual styling, Romain Kremer explained the sunglasses are “made to protect the 3rd eye and the brain, reinforcing the idea of a new type of man, with a sci-fi warrior touch.” Alrighty then! The ultra-oversized frames come in your choice of black or red-orange, and they’re a limited edition item so you’d best order early and often.

Kim Jong-Il’s Vintage Courreges Sunglasses

(images via: Louis Marino and Zone7style)

The late and lamented (in his country) Kim Jong-Il was North Korea’s “Dear Leader”; was it asking too much for him to be a fashion leader as well? KJ wore a variety of prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses but his favorites appear to have been a pair of vintage Courreges Sunglasses straight outta the Eighties.

(images via: Huffington Post and Linde Gallery)

Kim Jong-Il left North Korea to his son but, more importantly, did he leave him his outsized shades as well? Kim Jong-Un has yet to be spied sporting any eyewear but as the weather warms he may find the Courreges to try on a pair. Junior had best be advised, however, that should a new pair (or pairs) be required, he’ll find them priced at €445.00 each at Linde Gallery’s Women’s Wear page… ooh, awkward.

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Trash Hits: 11 Scent-sational Concept Garbage Trucks

[ By Steve in Technology & Futurism & Urban & Street Art & Various Uncategorized. ]

Seeing art is one thing, but have you smelled it lately? These 11 scent-sational concept garbage trucks trash traditional artistic sensibilities while maintaining the “can”-do spirit today’s waste management demands.

Dirty Jobs Garbage Truck

(images via: Paweena Prachanronarong)

You see advertising plastered all over city buses these days, why not city garbage trucks? OK, some advertisers might object to seeing their budget go to waste, so to speak, but not the Discovery Channel! The TV network that hosts “Dirty Jobs” featuring the comedic and non-germaphobic Mike Rowe thought garbage trucks were the ideal medium for hosting a guerrilla ad campaign to promote the show.

Philly’s Frilly Garbage Trucks

(images via: 2DayBlog)

You might wrap your trash but the City of Brotherly Love does one better: it wraps its garbage trucks. The frillified Philly fleet boasts gorgeous graphics inspired by historic textile patterns. The trucks might still smell bad but they definitely look better.

(images via: Urban Places and Spaces and 2DayBlog)

Philadelphia’s garbage truck beautification program got off the ground in the spring of 2009 when city authorities prompted the Mural Arts Program to hook up with The Design Center at Philadelphia University. The resulting textile patterns were transferred to mylar and a total of 10 garbage trucks got wrapped. It’s likely that Philly’s program was inspired by the amazing Bonkers Yonkers garbage trucks – a case of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery.

Garbage Truck Concept by ~Stepdesign

(images via: ~Stepdesign)

This retro-futuristic garbage truck concept by ~stepdesign displays hints of GM’s massive Motorama buses of the 1950s while looking ahead to the practical waste management concerns of today – and tomorrow.

(images via: ~Stepdesign)

The concept envisions a single driver occupying the front cab, who would be responsible for navigating the truck through urban and suburban living labyrinths. The pick-up crew rides at the very back. As for the trash, it’s stored in capacious clamshell side bins.

RV Garbage Truck

(images via: Apartment Therapy)

You don’t have to be a real-life Oscar the Grouch to live in a garbage truck… and really, it’s hard not to crack a smile at the sheer wonder inside the Unicat‘s all-business exterior. A custom kitchen, hardwood floors and a cozy sectional sofa fit snugly inside the Unicat, providing the driver/homeowner with a veritable palace on wheels with which to navigate post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested highways.

(images via: Apartment Therapy)

You might know a bachelor or two who lives in a virtual garbage dump; the Unicat is the polar opposite as it’s a garbage truck that looks like a bachelor pad – one seen in the pages of GQ, Ask Men or Playboy. One very cool feature of the Unicat involves the windows: the rear portion of the truck extends vertically to expose them. Hmm, I wonder where they load the garbage…

Double-Decker Garbage Truck

(image via: Artsology)

Taken a trashy tour of the Big Apple lately? This very rough concept seems to hold out the possibility of seeing New Amsterdam the way its sanitation engineers do – street by street, can by can. We’re not sure why the precarious contraption above was on display in an NYC shop window but give the designer some credit, he/she had the foresight to route the semi-tractor’s exhaust stacks to the rear of the truck… the better to take in the sights, sounds and smells of Olde New Yorke!

Japanese Musical Garbage Truck

(images via: MrJapanMan and Dark Roasted Blend)

Everything’s cute in Japan, and Japanese garbage trucks are no exception. The cherry blossom special above patrols the streets of Osaka, picking up carefully sorted trash while luring unsuspecting children with a little happy musical repartee. Check out this short video of the pink patrol doing their cheery rounds:

Osaka Garbage Truck, via MrJapanMan

(images via: Pan-O and Facts and Details)

Imagine being a kid in Japan, hungry and overheated on a blistering summer’s day, and what to your wondering ears should appear but those cloying, tinkling, dulcet tones that could only mean… the garbage truck?? Good humor, Osaka waste management trucks don’t haz it.

Patrick Ehlers’ Garbage Truck

(images via: Sidequesting)

If Thunderdome had a garbage pickup service, Patrick Ehlers’ Garbage Truck would do the picking up – hey, you thought The Toecutter was a neat freak? This trash terminator concept was crafted by Ehlers for Sidequesting’s 2011 Dystopia Competition and as a mobile waste grabber, it’s outstanding in a very messy field.

Garbage Truck: The Movie

(image via: Adrian Lazar)

Got a mania for garbage trucks? Then get your trash to Romania and watch Garbage Truck, the Movie… actually “Trei Fratzi de Belea” in Romanian, which translates to “Three Loony Brothers”. IMDB just about blew a sprocket trying to find this 2006 flick but we’re sure it was as big in Bucharest as Ceau?escu’s pompadour.

(images via: Adrian Lazar)

Adrian Lazar‘s concept Garbage Truck art is the true highlight of the film – at least, it’s the only part relevant to today’s topic. Now that’s some mean machine there… with a dash of goofiness tossed in. Just what you want rattling your cans at five in the morning.

Saudi Garbage Truck Funny Car

(images via: AutoBlog and Jalopnik)

Who says Saudi Arabia’s dull, boring and rigidly policed? OK, everyone, but fun can be found if you look hard enough. A garbage truck cruising around on two wheels? I’d walk a mile for a cam, er, to see that. The driver of this dashing Jeddah drifter is unknown and as for the music, we suggest a switch to Tone Loc’s Funky Cold Medina. Watch Saudi Arabia’s version of NASCAR meets Demolition Derby right here:

Garbage truck drifting in two wheels, via ArabMotorsTV

Garbage Truck Rocket Launcher

(images via: Snopes)

Unfortunately, not all Middle Eastern garbage trucks are deployed for distraction; some have been modified to deal in destruction. The Gaza garbage truck above was captured by Israeli forces and its “interesting” modifications (to fire up to 9 Qassam rockets) are being displayed. That note on the driver’s door reads “In case of traffic violations, please contact The Palestinian Authority.” Would that be road traffic or air traffic?

Space Junk Recycling Garbage Truck

(images via: MTV Geek and Funkmaster Flex)

Design student Vaughan Ling’s orbiting garbage truck concept is useful, practical and awesome! Ling envisions all sorts of space junk being snagged, stored and recycled by this flying one-stop-shop. The latter function involves salvaging valuable rare earth metals from burnt-out satellites. NASA should build and launch this space-sweeper soon… before the orbiting garbage patch over our heads makes it impossible to do so!

(image via: Freaking News)

Wherever humans may go, garbage will follow and if the Space Shuttle was America’s “space truck”, then somebody (besides Deep Purple) is going to be space garbage truckin’.

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