cool

Get Your Fruit for Nothing and Your Veg For Free

It’s famously said that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and while that may be true, you can at least get some of the ingredients without laying down a penny. We check out a new website that claims to offer free produce, straight from the farmer to you. Swag!
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Researchers at Osaka University Create Energy-Producing “Solar Paper”

Next stop, paper passenger planes!

In a news story over at Gizmodo Japan, the creative problem solvers at Osaka University announced that they have engineered a new type of “paper” that can actually generate and store energy from sunlight.

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Kutani-ware Porcelian Skulls Remind Us of Our Mortality, Art’s Longevity

Kutaniyaki, or Kutani ware, is a style of porcelain making that dates back to the 17th Century. It’s known for its bold colors and designs, but one company is taking the traditional form in a decidedly modern direction with its new series of Kutaniyaki Skulls. Read More

Take Sweet Pics with this Awesome New Doughnut Camera

Want!

We feature a lot of cool new gadgets here on RocketNews24, but this is by far the sweetest we’ve seen this year so far. Boasting a three mega-pixel sensor, a whole host of shooting modes and a number of hidden buttons and slots built into its surface, this PVC-coated doughnut-shaped camera is just begging to be poked and prodded. And let’s face it, who wouldn’t have a nice big smile on their face after having a doughnut pointed at them and asked to say “cheese”?

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Forget Water Coolers, Catch up with Coworkers Around the Instant Miso Soup Dispenser

Ladies and gentlemen, the water cooler is dead. From now on whenever they want to get the latest office gossip or slack off for a while, anyone who’s anyone will be drinking hot, individually made miso soup. Presenting: the One Shot Miso Soup dispenser.

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Second Unbelievable Piece of Architecture Found Right Next to Namba Parks

Previously we reported on the global reaction regarding a beautiful piece of architecture in Osaka, the shopping center Namba Parks (pictured above), which looks especially stunning when viewed from a high place.

However, another amazing photo surfaced on 9GAG a while back. Taken from a high angle it revealed an even more shockingly designed building that’s arguably even more impressive than Namba Parks.

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Tohoku Emotion: Japan’s Newest Tourism Incentive Where the Journey is the Star

Unveiled earlier this week, the “Tohoku Emotion” is a train unlike anything ever seen before in Japan.

Combining “food, art and scenery”, on board this train the journey itself takes the main role and passengers are able to cruise through Northeastern Japan’s beautiful countryside while sampling food freshly prepared before their very eyes.

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It’s the Little Things: One More Reason Why We Love Japan

After a long week at the office, our Japanese writer Yoshio was in dire need of a pick-me-up. After stretching and clicking his back, he stood up at his desk, tucked his wallet into his back pocket and announced in unusually glum tones that he was popping out to the convenience store to grab a few things.

A few minutes later, Yoshio walked back into office and placed his little white plastic bag down on his desk with a tired sigh. But then he stopped. Looking down at his purchases inside the bag, he suddenly began beaming with a level of happiness that we hadn’t seen in quite some time.

“Oo! Sugoi!” (“Oh! That’s awesome!”) he softly exclaimed.

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Honkey Kong: Making Hong Kong’s Streets Look Like 2-D Games 【Photos】

Life was so much simpler in 2-D. Move right, jump, duck, jump again. You knew where you were going. Now that we can move in three dimensions there are just far too many choices and mistakes to be made; it’s little wonder we all spend so much time staring at our flat smartphone screens instead of looking at the real world around us.

Swedish photographer Christian Aslund is evidently a man who appreciates the simplicity of old-school side-scrolling platform games. These photos, taken from his “Honkey Kong”series (name after the city in which the photos were taken and with a nod to classic platformer Donkey Kong), show us what happens when you approach seemingly ordinary urban scenes from an unusual angle and with a little creativity.

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Waves Frozen in Place on Lake Kizaki, Nagano Prefecture

Winter. It’s cold and miserable most days, but every so often the freezing winds produce something magical that is awesome enough to take your mind off of your frozen toes. This is one of those things.

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Want! Seven Weird and Wonderful Smartphone and Tablet-Integrated Toys for Grown Ups

There has arguably never been a more popular big kids’ toy than the smartphone. While models, personal music players, action figures and board games have existed for generations, never has the human race been more enamoured with a single gadget. Smartphones have become such an integral part of our lives that, on the rare occasion that they are separated from their rectangles of plastic and finger-friendly glass, many people experience genuine feelings of anxiety and simply cannot get through their day as they normally would.

With traditional board games and toys already falling to the wayside and smartphones, tablets and laptops now topping kids’ Christmas wish lists, it’s only natural for toy makers to strive to implement the new technology into their own creations. But what happens when old toys meet new tech? As it turns out, the result can sometimes be quite wonderful.

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The Mona Lisa: Kind of a Babe During College

Despite generations of art lovers remarking on her beauty, we had no idea until now that the subject of Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous painting was such a cutie.

In an effort to treat the world-famous subject to a much-needed image change, a clever Internet user over in China took the interesting step of giving her an Asian college student-style haircut, instantly transforming her from smirking lady-in-waiting to smoking hottie.

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New Video Game Evoland Turns Technological Advancement into a Game in its Own Right

While it’s true that a number of the world’s best-selling action RPGs – including those that this new video game emulates – hail from Japan, we have to admit that we’re taking the unusual step of reporting on non-Asia specific news with this article; the reason being that it’s simply it’s too awesome not to share.

What you’re about to witness is a short promotional video for Evoland, a new game from Boreaux-based Shiro Games that’s just a few weeks away from release. But this is no ordinary video game. Imagine playing a game that quite literally evolves as you progress; its graphics, sound and gameplay mechanics gradually changing from those of the early 80s to the multi-million dollar standards set by this generation’s sprawling action RPGs.

Taking its cues from industry greats like The Legend of Zelda, Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, Evoland allows players to experience first-hand both the growth of the genre and the technological advancements that the video game industry has made over the past three decades, meaning that the game you finish will be almost unrecognizably different to that which you originally began.

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Fact: CDs and Candles Produce Stunning Effects When Microwaved (Don’t Try This at Home)

Man, I wish someone told me this in the days of free AOL trial CDs.

It seems that putting an ordinary Compact Disc into your average microwave creates freaky lightning and a dramatic fiery demise.

Although you might expect them simply to burn up like an iPhone does, these data storage discs actually provide a kick-ass light show first.

This little known scientific gem was beautifully photographed and uploaded to Twitter, which then led to the discovery of a YouTube video documenting microwaved CDs.  So please don’t kill your microwave or yourself trying this – just check out these videos and pictures instead.

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Sony Unveils New Walkman for Swimmers– Light, Sturdy and on Sale for Under $170 this February

If you’re of the sporty persuasion and wish that you could take your tunes to the pool without having a funny-looking contraption strapped to your goggles or having your earphones fall out every other stroke, Sony’s newest addition to the Walkman series will definitely be of interest.

Scheduled for a February 16 release in Japan, the new NWD-W270 series features a compact, lightweight design and boasts 4GB of onboard storage space. Plenty of delicious images and details after the break.

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From D-Cup T-Shirts to Nostril Power Outlets — the Creative Clowning of Takayuki Fukuzawa

Quirky Japanese designer Takayuki Fukuzawa is on a mission to make people smile.

A graduate of Tokyo’s Nihon University, Fukuzawa started designing his own unique brand of “humourous art and design” products not long after entering full-time employment as a home designer. After bringing smiles to exhibition attendees’ faces and realising that he might be on to something, he quickly established his own company, ekoD Works (pronounced “eco doh”), and hasn’t looked back since.

Japan’s Excite News sat down with Fukuzawa to pick his brains about his unusual product line-up, the meaning behind the company name and the runaway success of his mercilessly cheeky “Wild Idea Mapping red Bra T-shirt”.

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Lotteria x Evangelion Fukubukuro! What Anime Surprises Await Inside!?

Fukubukuro, lit. “lucky bag”, are a wonderful way for stores to shift merchandise at the start of the year, not unlike western stores’ New Year’s sales but with far more mystery and intrigue involved. Shoppers take a gamble when they purchase these gift bags as they are completely sealed and their contents unlisted, and they don’t always contain products that we desperately need, but fukubukuro usually contain items whose cash value far exceeds the bag’s asking price.

So when our reporter Kuzo heard that the fast food chain and home of 30-patty cheeseburgers Lotteria was offering up special collaborative Evangelion bags for just 2,000 yen each, he powered down his Wii U, stepped out into the sunlight and sprinted – well, sort of jogged while wheezing quietly – to his nearest store to grab one for himself.

Was it worth the US$22 purchase, or was Kuzo lumbered with a cooking-oil-scented bag of tat? Find out after the jump.

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This Coffee Ring Portrait Will Blow Your Mind 【Video】

Being both a huge coffee addict and a minor clean freak, I can’t stand spilling even a drop of my precious black liquid. Drops of tea of coffee in a saucer annoy me so much that I’ve been known to decant my drink into a fresh cup and start over. Similarly, if I’m in a restaurant and the condensation from my glass leaves wet marks on the table I’m forever cleaning them up with paper napkins.

Not this artist. Where most of us see annoying table-cloth-ruining stains and wet patches to soak our sleeves, Malaysian artist Hong Yi, also known simply as Red, sees a tool to paint with. By spilling a little coffee into a saucer, dipping her cup into it and pressing it down onto a canvas over and over again, she has created this portrait.

The entire mesmerizing process in video format after the jump!

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New Year New iPhone Cover: Concrete and Steel Just Got Cool

Get a shiny new iPhone 5 for Christmas? Already own one but looking for a way to spruce it up for the new year? These covers may be just the ticket!

Designed by Japanese writer and photographer Ken Oyama, these snappy smartphone covers are sure to draw plenty of interested glances on your next train ride or visit to a trendy coffee-house.

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A Procrastinator’s Dream! A Pencil That Must Be Assembled Before Use

You have a term paper due tomorrow that’s not going to write itself, but you just can’t bring yourself to sit down and write it. You have to clean off your desk first. You know, a cluttered desk means a cluttered mind. Once that’s done, you’ll be sure to start writing. But wait, a rerun of your favorite TV show is on. It’s only thirty minutes… how much work can you really get done in half an hour anyways? Alright, you’ve wasted enough time! You have to get serious or you’re going to land up pulling an all-nighter again. But dang, look at your pencil! It’s in pieces! Better assemble it first before you get down to taking notes, underlining things in your textbook, doodling on the pages, and then eventually writing that paper…

OK, now this one’s going to take a while…

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