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Police Snipers' Nests at the Super Bowl

In the dark 1976 movie Two-Minute Warning, an evil sniper sets up a nest in the L.A. Coliseum, during a Super-Bowl-like event. He fires randomly into the crowd, and people are killed both by his bullets and in the panicked stampede he causes.I don't know how long after the movie it was until police developed pre-emptive measures—the year after the movie...

Early 20th-Century Safety-Ignorant Ways to Transport a Dog by Car

Back when cars were newfangled, we were completely ignorant of their hazards. We drove around with freaking plate-glass windows until safety glass was invented around 1937. Seat belts weren't even offered as an option until 1949, and no one wanted them. They weren't even required in U.S. cars until 1966.It's unsurprising, then, that this was advertised...

Joseph Joseph's Compact Folding Ironing Board with Onboard Storage

For those of you that still need to iron stuff: Do you do a bunch of ironing at once, or one or two pieces as needed?"We researched the ironing category," writes Youmeus, a UK-based consultancy founded by industrial designer Chris Christou, "and discovered several key insights that informed the design architecture of this product. How we iron today...

An Assortment of Designey Cigarette Lighters

With cigarettes in decline the U.S. (just 14% of the population here smokes), Zippo has expanded their product offerings beyond cigarette lighters. In Japan, however, smoking has declined more slowly, with 18.2% of the population still puffing away. Thus Japanese manufacturer Tsubota Pearl is still cranking out cigarette lighters, and pretty designey...

Items Invented to Make Eating in a Car Easy

Eating fast food while sitting in your car is kind of sad, but I still do it. When you're in the middle of nowhere and starving, it's often the only option, with ubiquitous burger joints having COVID-closed dining areas and offering drive-thru only.Unsurprisingly, there's a category of objects designed to ease in-car dining. For starters, this plastic...

The Nasal Ranger: A Tool for Measuring Odors with Precision

My college roommate's dad had an unusual and high-paying job: He was blessed with an extraordinary sense of smell, and worked for a major whiskey manufacturer in quality control. His job was to travel to various plants, and use his nose to confirm that each blend would taste exactly like the same blends made at the other plants.Because his nose was...

Tattoos for Cars: Japanese Finishing Expert Develops Metal Paint Engraving Technique

Automotive finishing expert Takahiko Izawa runs Rohan Izawa Art Design, a car customizer with peerless techniques. Izawa spent over ten years perfecting "IZ METAL," a type of metal paint that he can spray onto a car and actually engrave into.Other finishers can do similar things on small parts of a car, like side mirrors and door handles, that can be...

Local Motors Shuts Down

Local Motors, the company that introduced the radical concept of what they called the "co-creation design" of small-batch automobiles, with royalites paid to the designers, has gone out of business.Two years before the emergence of Quirky, a product development platform that also championed co-creation design, Local Motors set up shop in 2007 and began...

A Cleverly Designed Tool (That We Shouldn't Need in the First Place)

This has me pretty conflicted. I love a cleverly designed tool, and this one clearly fits the bill, but I am questioning what we are doing as a society that creates the need for this tool.The HydroFlask Flex Strap Customizer was designed to allow you to easily remove the strap on your HydroFlask and replace it with one of a different color. Here's how...

Tactile Toy: A Touchable Tamagotchi

This strange Japanese amusement device walks the line between innovative and creepy. The Punirines Touchable Digital Pet is, like the original Tamagotchi……a digital pet trapped inside an electronic case. But there's a finger-sized hole in the Punirines' case, so you can insert a digit and "pet" your Punirines. An animation of your finger appears on-screen,...

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