Drainspotting: A Book About Japan’s Manhole Cover Subculture
Kenji Summers points to Drainspotting – a photography book of Japan’s custom manhole covers, found across nearly 95% of the country’s 1780 municipalities.The book features a curated selection of over 100 photographs, capturing the best and most visually compelling of Japan’s 6000 distinct manhole cover designs, part of a 20-year beautification program — orchestrated by what’s essentially Japan’s version of the WPA — aiming to make manholes reflect the uniqueness of each city — its mythology, its aesthetic sensibility, its legacy and essence.
As you can see from the chart below (and if you give a sh-t), more than 30% of Twitter
’s visitors were under 25 up from about 20% of its visitors at the end of 2008; thank you in part to celebrity adoption and the mainstream media mentioning Twitter over 20,ooo times last year on television (can’t find the source). Twitter has also extended its global reach expanding in Indonesia, Japan
Mattel’s Puppy Tweets collar ($30) is equipped with a motion and sound sensor to help it somehow select which of the 500 pre-recorded Tweets best describes what your dog is doing. It then beams the Tweet wirelessly to a USB
receiver, which in turn updates the Twitter account you’ve set up. Christ.
Puppy Tweets: Tweeting Dog Collar Lets Your Dog Share On Twitter (huffingtonpost.com)
Rover’s woofs now limited to 140 characters (news.cnet.com)
Mattel to Launch Puppy Tweets at Toy Fair (shoppingblog.com)
Tweeting Dog Collar Posts Your Dog’s Movements to Twitter (mashable.com)
Puppy Tweets will turn your Pooper into a world-class twitterer (engadget.com)
New device will let your dog Tweet (timesunion.com)
Puppy Tweets For Your Beloved Puppy (ubergizmo.com)
I have seen a lot of coverage of the new Louis Vuitton x Takashi Murakami: Designer QR Codes. Sartorially-challenged savant Piers Fawkes opines: “QR Codes are the bar codes of the future, linking online and physical graphics to websites and multi-media. For the most part, the codes have still maintained an abstract look akin to their predecessors. A recently released designer QR symbol, produced by Tokyo based creative agency SET is looking to change all that with a stylized remake of the standard code. Mixing design with technological innovation, SET teamed up Takashi Murakami with Louis Vuitton to create a distinctive code featuring one of the artist’s characters and the classic LV pattern. The agency hopes this will add much needed style and character to the bland world of machine readable codes.”
Josh Spear adds: “How many of you know what to do with the image to the left? Hopefully most of you. Aside from identifying it as Murakami work, it’s a QR code for your mobile phone. QR (quick response) codes are like the Japanese version of bar codes, because they started in Japan. The code is scanned into your mobile phone via the camera and outputs a link. Think of it as a way to add hyperlinks in the real world. Normally, these QR codes look like deformed boxy versions of bar codes. But as soon as Murakami touches one we are all gaga. It’s amazing what a little Louis Vuitton pattern and color can do to a QR.”
My humble opinion? I am fascinated and excited by the opportunties offered by QR codes … as a connections strategist I am always thinking of ways to engineer links between the digital and offlien world and help people get to the next phase of their consumer journey…
Couplelook: Dressing the Same in Seoul Evidently there is a trend among young South Korean couples and honeymooners known as “Couplelook.” Essentially, couples match their clothing together. Originally, it was full on matching of outfits, but recently, the trend has evolved into more subtle details, such as matching watches, glasses, or sneakers. The most common manifestation are matching t-shirts. Some high end brands are even offering special Couplelook outfits and there are even a few stores that specialize in the look.
Woman arrested for killing virtual husband in Maple Story A Japanese piano teacher has been arrested for the murder of her virtual husband after an abrupt but messy online divorce. The 43-year-old from Kyushu province in southern Japan faces a maximum sentence of five years in jail if she is found guilty of killing off her digital partner. She is accused of hacking into the profile of a 33-year-old office worker from Sapporo 620 miles away, whose avatar on the Maple Story computer game was married to her character until he unexpectedly demanded a divorce. The spurned make-believe wife was so angry at being jilted that she logged into the game using her partner’s password and destroyed the character that he had spent a year creating. She was arrested at home in Miyazaki yesterday on suspicion of illegal access on a computer and manipulating electronic data, according to police in Sapporo where she is being detained. The woman has not been formally charged. If convicted she could be jailed or fined up to £3,100.