five years ago

March 27, 2012

Poh Poh’s hand-embroidered kebaya blouse, 30 years old but as beautiful as ever.
Georg Jensen meets some Malaysian leaves.
Mr. Snow, I can’t wait for the next five years!


December 19, 2008


I’ve been very selective about joining social/specialist networks until now. Then this week, due to this list of the Top 100 sites for the year ahead and an invitation, I ended up joining two. And have already been told off for not being active enough!

The first, Goodreads, allows you to share books and your ratings and reviews of which with friends. This morning I finally filled in some books (happy now, L?), and I’ve used it a fair amount (considering I’ve only been a member for a week) to see what everyone else is reading and what they thought about it. It also has the added benefit of the best-looking ‘currently reading’ flash-based widget I’ve found so far (despite it not being supported by WordPress!).

Dopplr is different in that it aims to hook you up with your friends during your random wanderings around the world. A recent such coincidence meant I had a great weekend in Boston, but also missed the French Troll (I’m not quite sure how) while attending the same large meeting in LA once. There’s also a Tripadvisor-like section for recommendations and questions, but I think Tripadvisor is still better by far.

The downside with both networks is that they require a certain amount of (manual) data entering to be of any use, though the process is easy in both. Dopplr will suffer more than Goodreads if this isn’t done, but at least for me the number of trips I make is a bit more limited.

I suppose only time will tell which of these sites will thrive and which will just crash and burn, but these are the two that I’ve decided to test. Jeans suggested Tripit and of course fun stuff happens when all these applications collide, like when Moo met Dopplr.

Have you found something cool I should know about?


November 17, 2008


I don’t know why I’m so excited about Wordle, especially as I can’t even figure out what to do with its gorgeous looking output (apart from posting it here), but I am!

Just enter any piece of text or URL with an Atom or RSS feed, and Wordle will generate a word cloud which is customizable in a variety of delicious-looking fonts and colours. Save to the online gallery, post to your blog or print to a file for any purpose – poster printing, screen wallpapering or learning either to read or words in a new language. And comment below if we can see the result online!

Thanks Jonathan for a cool tool.

call of the mall

November 4, 2008

I know, shopping is so out, isn’t it? But those of you who know me will also know that I fall for a particular kind of design in marketing with the same certainty as the sun will rise tomorrow. The composite image above (and especially that of the birds on the branch wine bottles) illustrates that design particularly well. No matter what the object actually is, I’ll pick it off the shelf in a split second. But luckily these days, looking is enough for me. That, and the overpowering sense of all the things that we have at home.

Paco Underhill’s catchily titled ‘Why We Buy‘ and ‘Call of the Mall‘ seek to understand the dynamics of the product moving off the shelf into my hand better, though I haven’t read either. It might help me build my barriers better.

nine cups of coffee

October 3, 2008

Came across this funky-looking guide to coffee that you can choose from at cafes these days, thanks to Lokesh Dhakar. But strange, Mr. Snow’s cuppa of choice (much to the horror of his tough-riding biking mates), latte macchiato, doesn’t seem to be there, nor is my kopi ais kurang manis.

How do you drink yours?

the colour shower

October 2, 2008

Got the threads, got the pad, got the job… but what does the man about town today really need to maintain his edge?

Luckily, we have The Bachelor to show us. Last night we were privy to the wonder that is his Colour Shower. This amazing device turns your shower into a polychromatic playground. Here I show you but one magenta-coloured possibility.

And just in case that isn’t enough, the coloured tap is (dare I say it) almost better. The water is colour coded – red for hot,

blue for cold,

and purple for in between

so you’ll never scald yourself again. Amazing.

2700m sleep lab

October 1, 2008

I confess, I have made fun of Inspector Gadget’s Mammut gear in the past. Silly name, silly logo, I thought. Silly me. Because now, they have come up with a really funky advertising campaign. First I saw of it was the Sleep Lab at 2700 altimeters. 60 Mammut employees trekked up, all carrying their gear, and snuggled in at -15C to test sleeping bags.

I have to say, that looked a lot cozier than the underwear test, shown below. Great pic, but quality underwear or not, brr!

getting lippy

September 29, 2008

I try to stay in control of my love for the material. Luckily for me, in Norway the prices often make coveting objects much less fun. But it doesn’t make sense to save on one thing in particular in Norway: lip balm. I’m happy for you if this is a non-issue in your life but it’s a big one in mine here!

When visiting the Grove in LA in February, I made my most exciting lip balm discovery to date, courtesy of fresh: their Sugar SPF15 Lip Treatment. Perfect texture, not too greasy but easy to apply, very pleasant scent and a nice matt metal case. A very luxurious feel.

Their soaps are gorgeous too, at the moment we have this on our sink:

For the truly interested, here’s my lip balm history over the last couple of years. Wow, a girly Myyear post? I don’t even know which category to file it under!

Burt’s Bees Lemon Lime Lip Gloss – So promising, but so disappointing. Very hard, the balm only comes off in a thin layer, so very hard to apply, after which it feels thin and watery. Yum smell though.

Burt’s Honey Beeswax Lip Balm – Far too overpowering honey smell, just can’t get past that. What’s going on, I love this company usually!

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Moisturizing Lip Balm w/SPF 15 – Swear by Palmer’s cocoa butter moisturizer, the lip balm version is pretty good too. Sneaky Palmer’s gave away free lip balm with big bottles of moisturizer. On the other hand, it was free, so…

Without a doubt Lypsyl’s eXtrem with SPF20 is the worst lip balm I have tried in ages (and go here for a quite unrelated but funny rant about the ‘Norwegian’ product name). It’s supposed to protect from the wind and cold as well. As if. The minty flavour wasn’t at all soothing when it was cold outside, and the stick melted quickly if it was at all warm. So I got some squashed up in the lid and in the end the whole thing disintegrated. Waste of money, don’t go there. I’m shocked it’s still on the market.

Picked up the Body Shop’s Almond Lip Butter on half-price sale in the summer. Great smelling, a tiny bit sweet, a little (too) thick and creamy when spreading but lasts.

Nivea’s Hydrocare Lip Balm is the lip balm version of comfort food. It applies really easily, doesn’t have any flavour or scent to speak of, but feels good, lasts ages and doesn’t cost much. Very soothing, and as such very high on my list, er, once all the other ones have finally run out!

bath time

September 11, 2008

Sorry, but this is cool. The industrial designer Ron Arad came up with this rotating shower/bath with Italian manufacturers Teuco (the shower section of their website was particularly funny). You can have a bath in the lip, or rotate it around to give you a shower cabinet if you fancy that instead.

Of course, you’ll need a bathroom the size of most of our entire flats to fit it in. And it also doesn’t explain why this girl is having both a shower and a bath with her clothes on. Still, it’s COOL!

open house

September 9, 2008

How to handle high tourist season when your flat is only little? We managed by putting our guests on a boat together to the Viking Ship Museum, and then escaping for a cultural visit of our own. We’d walked past the DogA (the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture) many times, and even eaten at their restaurant, but never visited the actual museum.

Museum is perhaps a big word for this place, and it certainly raised our expectations, possibly unfairly. It is more a space for temporary exhibitions, and as luck would have it the one we saw was quite possibly the oddest one I have ever seen in my life.

Open House showcased the fifteen different designers’ and architects’ ideas on the houses of the future. The word house is used in the loosest sense of the word, in that the concepts ranged from just that, a living concept to the way-out-there wild.

The coolest of the former was Seoul Commune’s Green Towers in the Park, in a gristly eXistenZ-looking kind of way (see picture above). The maddest of the latter was tied between the accoustic house that channels all the surrounding ambient sound into your house instead of blocking it out (fine if you live in the forest, dread to imagine if you live downtown) and the amazing house-less house, an ‘alternative to living in closed spaces’. Who needs walls when you (and your dog) have a super-duper temperature controlled suit?

I guess a lot of people had fun letting their imaginations go wild on this theme, but Mr. Snow and I left a little bemused (after wandering around a little looking for the rest of the museum). A case of mismatched expectations I guess, so next time I’ll go in with a more open mind. Who knows what I’ll find… a museum-less museum?