Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Sporks & Foons: Top 12 Hilarious Hybrid Spoonfork Designs

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Sporks & Foons: Top 12 Hilarious Hybrid Spoonfork Designs: [ Filed under Tableware or in the Furnishings category ]

Foon is fine, but spork sounds so much better. It has been around for over a century, but this odd-man-out has had a much tougher time finding a permanent seat at the standard table. Forks, spoons and knives have been staples of place settings for generations, the traditional utensils of everyday use in the Western World. Yet when you saw your first spork in some school cafeteria, how could you help but be struck by ingenious simplicity of this fork-and-spoon hybrid?

Metal Sporks – Colorful Titanium to Stainless Steel: Carved wood, dull metal and cheap plastic varieties have made been tried time and again, so to break the mold (so to speak) some designers have cranked the materials up a notch: how about a sleek and shiny stainless steel or even a super-strong titanium spork? For the camping folds, there are folding Swiss-Army-style spork options or even the spork-and-chopsticks combination pack if you are hiking from West to East (ThinkGeek &Moosejaw)

Plastic Sporks – Compact Portables to Folding Flip-Outs: But do not give up on classic plastic yet: the flip-side of such a cheap, flimsy and disposable material is, well, the assets of each of those aspects. Take, for instance, the self-assemble spork shown on the left – it tucks neatly into a small space but can be put together when you need it. Likewise, the rotating fold-out spork on the left slides easily on plastic hinges. (DorothyReinhardt & MPGear)

Wooden Sporks – Carved Curves to Small Stackables: Wood has its advantages as well. For sustainability-minded cutlery connoisseurs there are some cool variants carved out of bamboo. Some have the spoon on one side and fork on the other, while others tuck into even neater little packages of tiny stackable sporks great for mini-meals at work or take-out lunches-to-go. (Bambu & MOMA)

Sporks Insufficient? Add a Knife! If the classic fork-plus-spoon design simply is not enough to satisfy your tastes, you guessed it: some people have attempted to integrate knives as well for the ultimate all-in-one dining utensil. Made of anything from teflon to titanium, these variants offer a cutting surface to be reckoned with (LightMyFire & Wikipedia)

Of Sporks, Foons & Knoorks: Perhaps the spork is destined to forever be the fourth wheel in the world of classy tableware, but who knows: perhaps some designer will hit upon the exact right three-in-one combination foon, spork or knoork and change our culinary habits forever.

Morphing Modernism: Minimalist Kitchen Island Design Idea

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Morphing Modernism: Minimalist Kitchen Island Design Idea: [ Filed under Space-Saving or in the Interiors category ]

Modern, minimalist, mobile and more. Part space-saving folding table, part flexible surface and part portable kitchen island, this may be the ultimate all-in-one cooking, preparing and working unit for the contemporary home chef working with limited layout possibilities.

Extending like an ultra-modern, giant-sized accordion, this compact kitchen unit sits on wheels for maximum portability and easy storage when not in use … and then folds open to reveal twice as much surface area, extra slots, shelves and more as needed.

Black, white and silver when it is fully closed, a set of optional colors emerge as the design unfolds – also indicating which storage spaces are temporary (only to be used in the ‘open’ condition) versus the drawers and other spaces that can be slid out of the sides in both convertible modes.

For the contemporary cook, this design idea by Olga Kalugina blends the best of modern minimalism and ultra-modern functionality, simplicity of style with the flexible benefits of an extendable counters and extra storage to suit any occasion.

9 Hours: A Small Boutique Pod Hotel with Minimalist Luxury

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9 Hours: A Small Boutique Pod Hotel with Minimalist Luxury: [ Filed under Space-Saving or in the Interiors category ]

9 Hours is its name, brand, identity and purpose all rolled into one. Efficiency, order and functionality are not normally the hallmarks of a boutique hotel – yet this latest (and coolest) in the capsule hotel design chain does share much in common with its overt opposite: the high-end, niched and luxury accommodations that have become the rage in recent decades.

So is it cheap or classy? Well, both. While its layout is simple, black-and-white icons and walls are minimal and overall aesthetic is austere, one cannot escape the feeling of walking into a posh place with understated class when entering this capsule hotel in Kyoto, Japan.

In addition to 125 capsules, the structure contains locker rooms, lounges and showers for a comfortable overnight stay. The stark blacks and whites continue all the way through the entry halls and rows of pods and into the individual capsules themselves, surprisingly spacious and complete with adjustable lighting and digital entertainment options.

Somehow, the simple elegance is almost elitist – from the branded towels and water bottles to minimalist shampoo and conditioner packs – despite this being an inexpensive place stay for frequent fliers and other stop-over travelers on the go.

All of the iconography to guide one through the hotel complex and introduce people to its concepts reinforces the core concept of the place: simple, functional, black, white and basic from start to finish. This place serves a set of architectural and interior needs for the nine-hour period people sleep in it, then allows them to move on to the city, their next flight or other destination without needing to worry about the time spent in between.

14 Offbeat Green Cleaning & Personal Care Recipes

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14 Offbeat Green Cleaning & Personal Care Recipes: [ By Steph in Food & Health, Home & Garden, Tricks & Hacks. ]

If putting laxatives on your face and vodka in your laundry sounds like something you’d only do when you’ve had a few too many alcoholic beverages, you’re not alone – yet these bizarre tips might actually serve a purpose. For all the goofy, oddball cleaning and personal care recipes passed around the internet, there are a few that actually work – like polishing silver with aluminum foil, shining shoes with banana peels and even putting cheese whiz on fabric stains.

Vodka Laundry Freshener

(images via: john steven fernandez, mysza831)

If you somehow find yourself with a surplus of vodka that you don’t want to drink, put it in a spray bottle and spritz it onto your clothes to freshen them up between washes. It will kill the bacteria that cause odor, but the scent evaporates so you don’t walk around smelling like a liquor cabinet.

Beer Hair Rinse

(images via: deusxflorida, s-a-m)

A friend left some beer that you don’t particularly care for in your fridge again. What to do with it? Perhaps you’d like to pour it over your head. No, really. Beer actually gives hair a glossy sheen if you work it through after shampooing and then rinse it out. Some people even use it as a styling tonic.

Polish Silver with Aluminum Foil

(images via: basykes, muffet)

According to Good Housekeeping, this method doesn’t work as well as regular old silver polish, but it seems sort of amazing that it even works in the first place. Tarnish on silver has some sort of reaction with aluminum foil, causing it to “jump” to the foil. You simply line a plastic bin with foil, place your silver inside, sprinkle in ¼ cup of washing soda and pour in a gallon of boiling water. Let it soak for 15 minutes, then remove the silver, rinse, and buff with a clean, soft cloth.

Shine Copper with Ketchup

(images via: a2gemma, tymcode)

Some people put ketchup on just about everything, from eggs to macaroni and cheese. But ketchup is more than just America’s favorite condiment. Thanks to the acid it contains, smearing ketchup onto copper will actually dissolve stains.

Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Conditioner

(images via: andyrob, metaldoll)

Vinegar seems like one of the last things you’d want to put in your hair, but it actually makes a great conditioner. After shampooing, rinse with a solution of 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a pint of water and you’ll find that your hair is super-soft without the weight that conventional conditioners often leave behind. Bonus: it fights dandruff.

White Bread Wallpaper Shine

(images via: arkadiusz benedykt, house of sims)

When little Timmy smears his Wonder Bread sandwich across Grandma’s dining room wall, it’s not so cute. But that same bread can actually be used to clean dust and grime off wallpaper. This trick, used at least since the 1800’s, reputedly removes marks without damaging the surface – just remember to cut off the crust first.

Cornstarch Deodorant

(images via: argostarch, little house in the suburbs)

For those seeking to get away from parabens, aluminum or other potentially harmful ingredients in conventional deodorant, a homemade recipe may be the way to go. But would you ever have thought of cramming some cornstarch into an old deodorant container? A tutorial by Little House in the Suburbs details a recipe that combines the moisture-absorbing properties of cornstarch with antibacterial essential oils and coconut oil as a binder.

Black Tea Furniture Polish

(images via: prudencebrown121, clab4design)

There are all sorts of homemade cleaners and polishes that can bring wood floors and furniture back into their prime, and one common folk remedy often repeated on the internet is simply black tea. The claim is that tannins in the tea make the floors shiny, while the pigment enhances the wood grain. Wood floor pros warn that while this method may well work, it could also void your warranty if your floors are new.

Fade Scars with Potatoes

(images via: la grande farmer’s market, flavio@flickr)

Does applying raw potato to the skin really help fade scars from acne and burns? If people who have tried this treatment have noticed tighter skin and more even pigmentation, it may be due to the astringent and cell-healing properties of this vitamin and antioxidant-packed vegetable. The National Potato Board (no surprise there) recommends applying a mask of grated raw potato or even washing your face with potato juice.

Remove Water Stains with Mayonnaise

(images via: live-showtime, antonis lamnatos)

If you’ve got some unsightly water stains on a wood surface, just cover it in mayo and let it sit overnight – by morning, the stains will be significantly reduced. This method supposedly works because the greasy oil-and-egg concoction pulls moisture out of the wood.

Treat Oily Skin with Milk of Magnesia

(images via: walgreens, presley jesus)

Smearing laxative on your face seems like a positively crazy thing to do, but Milk of Magnesia can actually help control oil. Many people use it as a face mask or even apply it as a primer before applying makeup to keep breakout-causing sebum in check.

Banana Peel Shoe Shine

(images via: darwin bell, hectorir)

The next time you eat a banana, don’t toss that peel – the sticky inside part can be used to buff your shoes to a shine worthy of the military. It’s pretty self-explanatory: just rub it on your shoe in a circular motion and then do the same with a soft cloth.

Peanut Butter Face Mask

(images via: doc18)

Peanut butter isn’t just for toast. Some people advise massaging it into dry spots or using it as a face mask to combat dryness. Leave it on for about 15 minutes, then wipe it off and rinse with water.

Cheez Whiz Stain Remover

(images via: velkr0, jencu)

This tip isn’t exactly green, but perhaps a warning to watch what you eat: it’s a far better idea to smear that goopy, food-like substance known as Cheez Whiz on your laundry than to put it in your mouth. Cheez Whiz contains trisodium phosphate, an industrial-strength cleaner sometimes added to processed foods, hence its reputation for getting out tough fabric stains.

Bizarre BFFs: Unlikely But Awwwsome Animal Friends [PICS]

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Bizarre BFFs: Unlikely But Awwwsome Animal Friends [PICS]: [ By Angie in Animals & Habitats, Nature & Ecosystems, Science & Research. ]

Aww, best friends forever can be adorable but unlikely animal pairs. Interspecies BFFs show an authentic portrayal of acceptance and love. You can’t make this stuff up. These differing species are creatures which experience no prejudices and no fears toward each other. Unlikely yet too cute animal friends look beyond immense differences and across all boundaries. Here are many interspecies friends which might make you think aww or can’t we all just get along?

Liger and Dolphins

(image credits:Daily Mail)

This six-week-old cub is a liger, the baby of a male lion and a female tiger. The three dolphins and baby liger came nose to glass at Shenzhen Safari Park in Southern China, becoming fast friends. Ligers are the largest big cats in the world, growing up to 12 feet long. It’s a good thing they met while the liger was still a curious baby. Fins and fur, there is no prejudice only friendship. Interspecies friendships are somewhat common and definitely heartwarming.

Anjana the Chimp & Baby Tiger

(image credits:Tita Carre Agulha e Tricot)

Anjana the chimp became surrogate mother to these two white tiger cubs, Mitra and Shiva. Twins are a handful for anyone, but this two-year-old chimpanzee has previously stepped in as a surrogate mother to other babies like lions, leopards and orangutans. The tiger mother became aggressive after a hurricane, so infant animal caretaker China and Anjana took over their care. Anjana and Mitra and Shiva formed this bond at TIGERS (The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species) in South Carolina. The chimp gave these cubs love and playtime as well as bottle fed them.

Suryia and Roscoe

(image credits:Baxter Boo,The Poodle (and Dog) Blog,

Suryia the orangutan and Roscoe the Blue Tick hound became immediate best friends when they met at TIGERS in Myrtle Beach. They go around the preserve for endangered animals helping out in any way they can. When Suryia and Roscoe aren’t “working” then they spend time playing, swimming, and going for walks.

Tara & Bella

(image credits:cbs news,kidzworld)

When the former 8,700 pound Asian pachyderm retired from the circus, Tara was moved to an Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee. That’s where Tara and the dog Bella became inseparable BFFs. Not only is it an odd pair, but when Bella suffered a spinal cord injury, unable to move her legs or tail, her best friend Tara stood beside a gate outside the sanctuary office. Tara waited and watched for three weeks until Bella was carried outside for them to be reunited. Bella’s tail started to wag and the best friends forever stayed together until Bella could walk again.

Owen & Mzee

(image credits:The Sister Project,melissaomarkham)

After a tsunami, survivor and 650 pound baby hippo Owen imprinted on 130-year-old tortoise Mzee. At Haller Park wildlife sanctuary in Mombasa, Kenya, Owen started following Mzee everywhere. The two became inseparable BFFs. As one-year-old Owen grew, the two lived, slept and played together. In a picture of perfect interspecies cooperation, they even created their own language. Using both noises and gentle prodding, they nudge each other and nod. Isn’t that something all best friends do?

Making Friends With Your Food

(image credits:Interspecies Friends,,izismile,Interspecies Friends)

If you know any little kids, then you’ve probably noticed they like to play with their food. These animals give “playing with their food” a whole new meaning. Indeed it’s more like making friends with what should be their food. In fact, these pairs became best buddies and started playing with each other. A zookeeper in Taizhou, China, explained that the newborn chicks were given to the tiger cubs to “bring out the savage nature of the tigers while they were still cubs.” Yet to everyone’s disbelief, the tigers and chicks start playing together. The zookeeper stated, “Maybe in their eyes, there are no enemies, only friends.”

Papillon Giselle Adopts Squirrel

(image credits:Interspecies Friends)

Debby Cantlon took over care of an orphaned newborn squirrel and named the baby Finnegan. Her pregnant dog, a Papillon, took an interest in Finnegan. Shortly before Mademoiselle Giselle went into labor, the dog pulled the squirrel’s cage next to her bed. When Finnegan was let out of his cage, Giselle invited the squirrel into her litter. Puppies and newborn squirrel all thought of Giselle as their mother.

Squirrels and Friends

(image credits:kidzworld,Lets be Friends,Interspecies Friendsblogspot)

Some squirrels must really be lovable as they seem to enjoy interspecies friendships. Norma the Chihuahua adopted three orphaned squirrels. It’s not only dogs though, a baby squirrel made friends with a hedgehog. Neither the kitten nor the squirrel understand any reasons they shouldn’t bond and be buddies. Even a giraffe found the little squirrel so adorable, it had to give it a “kiss.”

Tiger & Her Piglets

(image credits:hkfreezone)

You might be thinking that this Royal Bengal tigress sees the six tiny piglets as bacon snacks. Amazingly, however, the tigeress adopted these piglets and took them under her paw as their unusual protector. They lived together at the Sriracha Tiger Zoo in Thailand. The suckling piglets might have wondered, “Are you my mother?” The tigress gave them every bit as much love as their mother by blood could have.

Dogs and Tigers

(image credits:kidzworld)

Although not everyday common by any means, many dogs have taken in tiger cubs as their own “pups.” At the Safari Zoological Park in Kan, Isabella, a yellow lab, adopted three white tiger cubs. At Jinan Paomaling Wild Animal World in China, three newborn tiger triplets were adopted by Huani, a mixed breed farm dog. Huani had previously played surrogate mother to tiger cubs. In Japan, at Shirotori zoo, a French bulldog became BFFs with a 2-week-old baby Bengal tiger which had been rejected by its mother. Another dog at Changchun Zoo in China plays surrogate mother to two tiger cubs which are not much smaller than she is. At Warsaw Zoo, three-month-old tiger cub Zoya was rejected by its mother but became the best of friends with three-month-old Alsatian puppy Frida.

Dema & Irma

(image credits:Meeshy Weeshy)

Both the 5-month old orangutans and the endangered Sumatran tiger cubs were abandoned by their mothers. Caretakers at Taman Safari Indonesia Animal Hospital put them together. These orphans bonded. Dema the tiger cub and Irma the orangutan turned into best buddies. The fact that they love one another is obvious.

Lion & Tiger & Bear – Oh My!

(image credits:izismile,Telegraph)

This touching bond between Baloo the bear, Leo the Lion and Shere Khan the tiger started when they were barely two months old. They were rescued during a drug raid. The owner kept them a status symbol. Noah’s Ark animal rescue center in Locust Grove, Georgia, took in the trio. Eight years later, the three animals seem to believe they are brothers by blood. They play and eat and sleep together. Still bonded as brothers, Baloo the bear is now 1,000 pounds; Shere Khan is now a 350 pound tiger; and Leo the lion is also 350 pounds. Doesn’t it make you wonder, can’t we all just get along and be friends?

Polar Bears Love Dogs

(image credits:Interspecies Friends,Common Tragedies)

Have you ever thought about adopting a dog? Even polar bears seem happier and more playful around canines. After Norbert Rosing captured shots of a 1,200 pound polar bear playing with a husky sled dog, it became viral. Yet that polar bear in Hudson Bay, Canada, was not the first and will doubtfully be the last unlikely friendship between bear and dog. On the right, that polar bear is giving a wolf and big love hug.

Dogs with Ducklings & Chicks

(image credits:Interspecies Friends,Interspecies Friends)

Is nurture stronger than nature? In some cases, yes; this could easily be over with one tightening of the dog’s jaw. However, some dogs seem to adopt ducklings and chicks. Ben the border collie adopted an entire flock of ducklings at a farm in Devon, England. You see, it’s more than something odd in UK water causing animals to act this way. In China, Huahua the chihuahua is protecting the chick, not chowing down on it. Huahua “regards the chick as her baby and stands guard to make sure it comes to no harm.” People often give pitbulls a bad rap, but check out pitBull Sharky and his chicks. He even helped teach them to swim. In the video, you’ll see Snarky, a cat, and a pack a chicks all seemingly the best of friends.

Dog & Babe Pig

(image credits:Daily Mail)

Wildlives, an animal rescue center, saved the sickly five-week-old runt piglet, Prudence, (not Babe) from being shot by her owners. Since the piglet was puny, they kept it close to the house where Prudence became part of a pack with six dogs. Before long, Prudence and Henry the puppy became tight. Prudence seems to believe she is a dog, jumping around, chasing and fetching sticks. Henry and Prudence curl up to doze with the other puppies in the pack.

Dog & Kangaroo

(image credits:Interspecies Friends)

Here’s another unlikely friendship between a German short-haired tiger-cross dog and a joey. The dog, Rex, discovered a dead kangaroo on a Victoria, Australia, road. Rex rescued the surviving joey, took it home, and delivered the baby kangaroo to the owner. Rex then adopted the kangaroo and they became the best of buds.

Dog, Cat and Rat BFFs

(image credits:santa barbarian,thegambiaecho,neatorama)

Gregory Pike and amazing trio became famous in a youtube video. It’s wild to see the three animal stacked on top of each other, a rat riding a cat which is riding on a dog. The back story of this street act includes Booger the dog who selected and raised Kitty. Booger thinks Kitty is her baby. Kitty treats Mousey the rat like a sibling. Although Mr. Pike went through a rough spell in the press, he also helps to show that we could live in a friendlier and more tolerant world.

Dog Buddies

(image credits:izismile,Interspecies Friends)

Dogs are called man’s best friend. Humans are not the only species with which dogs bond. An 18-year-old capuchin monkey, Whiplash the cowboy monkey, rides his trusty sheep-herding steed. Bizarre to us perhaps, but neither the dog nor the sheep see anything to gawk at regarding their friendship. In fact, a Chinese Zoo gave an orphan monkey its very own guard dog to protect it from bigger primate bullies. I love you too, the dog seems to be saying as it slurps a big sloppy wet kiss on the donkey.

Monkeys With Their Beloved Kitties

(image credits:Interspecies Friends,Interspecies Friends,izismile,blogspot)

There are hundreds of pictures showing monkeys cuddling cats as if it were their baby. Koko, the gorilla famous for learning American Sign Language, loves kittens. Sometimes a little monkey can be as much of an imp as a child, but still the cat loves it. Humans have had pets throughout history, different species sharing love. As the Nigerian Proverb goes, “Hold a true friend with both your hands.”

Aww Dogs

(image credits:dosengInterspecies Friends,izismile)

A critically endangered Père David’s fawn was rejected by his mother and adopted by Geoffrey a golden retriever. You don’t need to be Dr. Doolittle and talk to the animals to see and understand the love. Fawns and surrogate dog parents seem to work well. Yet it’s not only dogs and deer which form this loving bond. There’s Billy and Lilly, another inseparable pair, after Billy the boxer adopted Lilly a 12-day old kid.

Deer and Bunny

(image credits:Interspecies Friends)

You thought Bambi and Thumper was just a fairytale? This wild rabbit and fawn went from grazing in the same area to spending the winter together as BFFs. Not so quick to the warm fuzzy happily ever after, since the townspeople decided the fawn had grown and needed to be returned to the wild. The fawn was tranquilized and the images under the tree were taken as the deer was being pulled under by the drug. Unknown to either species, even while the bunny tried to hold up the fawn’s head, it was goodbye. Don’t you hate it when your best friend moves away?

This dog did not run for safety during a house fire. In fact, he risked his life to save tiny kittens. It nearly cost the hero dog his life.

Bird Friends

(image credits:izismile,Interspecies Friends)

The little 12-week-old macaque monkey was abandoned by his mother and close to death when a Chinese animal sanctuary rescued it. Although the monkey’s health improved, the little fella was spiritless until his friendship with a white pigeon. Natural animal instincts do not always kick in and some baby animals, like human baby species, don’t know prejudice until tainted and taught it. You can see the loving friendships between very different species. Peace is always an option. Make love, not war.

Cat & Iguana and Other Cats Friends

(image credits:Interspecies Friends)

Strange, bizarre even, but still aww too cute. A cat made friends with an iguana which acted as the cat’s pillow. Cats can love rats. As Abraham Lincoln stated, “Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?” A cat can even love that monkey riding on its back. A cat adopted a trio of newly hatched ducklings. Kitties and bunnies sleeping together? Can it get any more odd? Oh yes, one cat is BFFs with an alpaca. Cats can even love ponies and pelicans. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The only way to have a friend is to be one.” Emerson also said, “A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.”

Hairless Cat & Hairless Rat

(image credits:izismile)

This hairless cat and hairless rat can see they have more in common than most within their own separate species. It makes sense for them to bond and become best friends forever. Is it bizarre? You betcha, but anything is possible with a little love.

Go hug somebody and make a new friend.