Tag: Design News

‘The Last Photo’ Reveals Smiling Photos Taken Before Subjects Took Their Lives

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Image via CALM


Through June 26, anyone walking along the River Thames in London would be surrounded by portraits of smiling people.

None of those subjects, however, are alive today. Their photos were taken not long before they took their own lives.


There is no one face of suicide, nor is there an easy way to tell if someone is hiding their grief behind a mask.

An outdoor gallery set up by the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) reminds the public that even people who have suicidal thoughts can appear cheerful for fear of worrying their loved ones or being judged. According to the suicide prevention nonprofit, 125 people die by suicide every week in the UK.


Image via CALM


The faces of 50 dearly-departed individuals, eternalized by their smiles, included Rob Bell, who committed suicide at the age of 39, the Huffington Post UK reports. His photo was snapped right after he had left a James Taylor gig and was waiting for a train.


Bell is survived by his wife Poorna, an author and journalist. She remembered that her husband “couldn’t stop smiling” at the time the photo was taken and that he was humming Something In The Way She Moves.

Steffan Rees was just 26 years old when he took his own life. “He was the best. Always laughing and joking. The life and soul of the party,” his sister Sian wrote. Rees even taught his niece to sing If You’re Happy And You Know It, according to LADbible.


The exhibition follows research by YouGov and CALM revealing that 61% of people would struggle to know if a person they knew felt suicidal, and only 24% admitted to being aware that someone who smiled and joked could also be suicidal. 51% were unsure how to help a loved one who was dealing with suicidal thoughts.



The charity hopes to eradicate stigma and encourage more conversations about suicide, even with people who are always smiling.


By spreading awareness about the fact that suicidal faces can take different forms, it believes the community can save countless lives.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, please do not hesitate to reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 to talk to an expert.




[via Huffington Post UK and LADBible, images via CALM]


‘The Last Photo’ Reveals Smiling, Final Photos Before Subjects Took Their Lives

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Image via CALM


Through June 26, anyone walking along the River Thames in London would be surrounded by portraits of smiling people.

None of those subjects, however, are alive today. Their photos were taken not long before they took their own lives.


There is no one face of suicide, nor is there an easy way to tell if someone is hiding their grief behind a mask.

An outdoor gallery set up by the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) reminds the public that even people who have suicidal thoughts can appear cheerful for fear of worrying their loved ones or being judged. According to the suicide prevention nonprofit, 125 people die by suicide every week in the UK.


Image via CALM


The faces of 50 dearly-departed individuals, eternalized by their smiles, included Rob Bell, who committed suicide at the age of 39, the Huffington Post UK reports. His photo was snapped right after he had left a James Taylor gig and was waiting for a train.


Bell is survived by his wife Poorna, an author and journalist. She remembered that her husband “couldn’t stop smiling” at the time the photo was taken and that he was humming Something In The Way She Moves.

Steffan Rees was just 26 years old when he took his own life. “He was the best. Always laughing and joking. The life and soul of the party,” his sister Sian wrote. Rees even taught his niece to sing If You’re Happy And You Know It, according to LADbible.


The exhibition follows research by YouGov and CALM revealing that 61% of people would struggle to know if a person they knew felt suicidal, and only 24% admitted to being aware that someone who smiled and joked could also be suicidal. 51% were unsure how to help a loved one who was dealing with suicidal thoughts.



The charity hopes to eradicate stigma and encourage more conversations about suicide, even with people who are always smiling.


By spreading awareness about the fact that suicidal faces can take different forms, it believes the community can save countless lives.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, please do not hesitate to reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 to talk to an expert.




[via Huffington Post UK and LADBible, images via CALM]


Captivating UN Ad Peers Into The Distant Future—Still Has No Gender Equality

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Video screenshot via UN Women Australia


Bionic eyes, walks on Mars, and a Moon colony are all projects that are being worked on as we speak. As for gender equality, that’ll only arrive way further into the future.

Last year, the World Economic Forum projected that it would take 135.6 years before the global gender gap is finally closed. We’d sooner be living on the Moon than for gender equality to fully be achieved—imagine that.

A stirring new animation by UN Women Australia teleports viewers into the future, where all the technologies one can only dream of already exist. Yet, even in this reality, women still don’t feel safe.

Created by advertising agency The Monkeys and FINCH, with support from UM and Edelman Australia, the film imagines a woman leaving a protest march in the present and trudging into the future. In spite of the revolutionary inventions that surround her, she continues to be objectified and harassed.

As a touch of authenticity, the protagonist is based on a real woman, who was rendered with AI techniques by film collective Assembly. Motion design director Jonny Kofoed directed the film.

The campaign, aptly titled Equality: Our final frontier, coincidentally arrives just as Roe v Wade was overturned. Watch the video below.





[via B&T and Mumbrella, video and cover image via UN Women Australia]


KFC Debuts Sporks For Your Fingers To Pick Up The Last Drop Of Gravy

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Image via KFC


KFC’s famous “it’s finger-lickin’ good” slogan just doesn’t have the same zing as it did pre-pandemic. Though, if you’d like to relive the experience, you’re in luck—the fast-food behemoth is giving out ‘Finger Sporks’ that keep those fingers grub-free.


As the name suggests, the new eating utensil is a spoon-fork hybrid that you carry on your fingers. Not only that, but it also promises an “ergonomic and gastronomic” solution to “tableware-tech” with “precision prong articulation, anterior branding optimization and sporkasticity technology,” says the press release.


Image via KFC


In other words, this product is a want, not a need, taking inspiration from the ‘As Seen on TV’ products touted by television channels from back in the day.

KFC says the ‘Finger Spork’ is an update to the original sporks that Colonel Harland Sanders brought to his Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in the early 1970s. It’s optimized to scoop up that last bite of macaroni and cheese or corn kernel, the chain describes.


Image via KFC


Outside of meals, KFC imagines the piece of cutlery being useful for things like “enhancing high-fives” and playing the saxophone.

The utensil comes free as a pair with orders of the KFC Sides Lovers Meal at KFC locations in the US, the KFC website, or KFC mobile app through July 12, while supplies last.


Image via KFC


“KFC Finger Sporks are taking sides off the sidelines and putting them in the spotlight,” says Nick Chavez, CMO of KFC US. “Every detail of the innovative Finger Spork has been carefully crafted and pressure tested—by way of eating many KFC sides—for the optimal finger-lickin’ good experience.”





[via NDTV Food and Food & Wine, video and images via KFC]


School Kids Got To Operate A Life-Size Gundam Robot During A Field Trip

Image via Gundam.info


Most kids get a fun day out at a petting zoo or to a local farm to pick fruits, but these schoolchildren in Japan don’t mess around as their field trip included an opportunity to operate a life-size Gundam


Taken from a page right out of a mecha-anime, the school children got the opportunity of a lifetime to operate the hand of the giant robot.


Located in Yokohama, just outside of Tokyo, the intricate, full-scale RX-78 Gundam robot stands tall and proud. Not only is it spectacular to look at but it also is a feat of engineering.


Image via Gundam.info


Image via Gundam.info


In November of last year, the Yokohama Municipal Board of Education partnered up with Evolve G, the pilot of this mecha-suit robot. The goal was to inspire a new generation of engineers and mechanics by using a fun medium, and what better way to do so than to teach them through anime?


Since then, 23 schools have sent students out to learn the mechanics behind the robot, and recently a lucky group of 26 students from Yokohama’s Kurogane Elementary School got the chance to control the robot themselves, according to SoraNews24


Image via Gundam.info


To make it more special, the operation didn’t include just the pressing of a simple button but the students had to don a glove with sensors attached to be able to move the hand—taller than them—in real-time. This allowed them to act as the robot’s hand, moving it in tandem with their own.


Imagine their excitement when recounting their day to their parents and friends!




[via SoraNews24 and Boing Boing, cover image via Gundam.info]


Netflix Shares Vintage ‘Stranger Things 4’ Posters Recapping Its Key Moments

Images by Butcher Billy for Netflix, featured with permission


Stranger Things fans are running up the hill in anticipation of the second volume of Stranger Things 4. Ahead of this release, Netflix has commissioned Brazilian illustrator Butcher Billy (previously featured here) to design posters highlighting the most memorable moments and symbols from each episode.


Thanks in large to the show’s throwback aesthetics and deep pop-culture references, the fourth season of this sci-fi cult favorite has been a blockbuster hit, to say the least. It brought the streaming giant its biggest premiere weekend ever for an English-language television show, and was Netflix’s most-viewed English-language series in a single week, Deadline reports.


Butcher Billy was the right person to help relive these moments in poster form. Over the years, the artist has gained quite the following for reimagining modern-day films and series as nostalgic posters, often finishing his work with folded lines and printer bleed marks.

As of the time of publishing, the first five posters from this ongoing series have been released by Netflix. Incoming are the last two posters for volume one, with the artwork for volume two well on the way.

IllustrationX, Butcher Billy’s agent, describes that the artist first sketches his concepts before exporting them into his Mac. “Though he creates his work digitally, he’s absorbed by the typography, imagery and creative concepts of the 70s, 80s and 90s and loves the little imperfections of the pre-web era,” the site explains.


Check out the first five posters from the project, and head over to Butcher Billy’s Instagram account to follow the rest of the series. Stranger Things 4 Volume 2, which comprises just two episodes, will stream on July 1. The clock is ticking!



Chapter One: The Hellfire Club


we’ve collaborated with the incredible Butcher Billy who created a custom series of posters dedicated to each epic…

Posted by Stranger Things on Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Image by Butcher Billy for Netflix, featured with permission



Chapter Two: Vecna’s Curse


Chapter 2. Vecna’s Curse. I want you to join me. 🎨 Butcher Billy

Posted by Stranger Things on Friday, June 10, 2022

Image by Butcher Billy for Netflix, featured with permission




Chapter Three: The Monster and the Superhero


Chapter 3. The Monster and the Superhero. A war is coming to Hawkins. 🎨 Butcher Billy

Posted by Stranger Things on Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Image by Butcher Billy for Netflix, featured with permission




Chapter Four: Dear Billy







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Image by Butcher Billy for Netflix, featured with permission



Chapter Five: The Nina Project







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A post shared by Butcher Billy (@thebutcherbilly)

Image by Butcher Billy for Netflix, featured with permission




[via Netflix, images by Butcher Billy and featured with permission]


Tesla Is Paying Homeowners To Run A Virtual Power Plant In California Together

Image via Tesla


The largest Tesla battery could actually exist across several homes. The automaker is now inviting Powerwall owners to unite and help launch a virtual power plant so as to temper California’s frequent blackouts.


Debuting in conjunction with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Tesla’s virtual power plant in California will even compensate homeowners for supporting the grid. The program was piloted last year, but users only sublet their energy as volunteers.

Participants will now earn US$2 per kilowatt-hour contributed to the distributed battery. According to the company, some 50,000 Powerwalls are eligible for this public service, which could be incredibly useful to prevent outages in the state, or give it a reboot during emergencies.


Image via Tesla


A fully-charged unit with 20% backup reserve and 3kWh of energy, for instance, could give out 7.8kWh to the network during event hours, adding up to US$15.60 of compensation. Meanwhile, a fully-charged two-Powerwall system with a backup reserve of 40% and 5 kWh of output would deliver 11.2 kWh during times of emergency, earning the owner US$22.40


Powerwall owners signed up to the program will receive push notifications when a deployment is being scheduled, as well as after the event. Their home battery could then prioritize charging to gain enough juice for the discharge.


The total amount of energy generated by the Powerwalls will be calculated by PG&E at the end of the year, and Tesla will issue the payments before the end of March 2023.

You can find out more about the virtual power plant program here.




[via CleanTechnica and PCMag, images via Tesla]


Google Engineer Creates AI Tool That Identifies Anonymous Faces In WWII Photos

Photo 83082760 © Bratty1206 | Dreamstime.com


The present has access to a deluge of photos from the Holocaust, but many of the subjects in them remain unknown. 80 years on, one Google software engineer from New York and his growing team of engineers, data scientists, and researchers, are hoping to identify these “invisible” figures to bring closure to survivors and their families.

In his free time, Daniel Patt runs Numbers to Names (N2N), a facial-recognition artificial intelligence platform that scans hundreds of thousands of photos from pre-war Europe and the Holocast—dating back to 1914–1945—that hail from the collection of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) to identify some of the people in those pictures.

N2N is free for the public to use, and visitors can simply upload a photo from these eras to potentially find a match with the database.


Photo 76336414 © Giuseppe Crimeni | Dreamstime.com

The web tool, however, makes no promises of perfectly identifying subjects. More specifically, it sends back 10 of the most likely matches from its dataset, along with similarity scores. It’s up to the user to ascertain whether any of the individuals in the results is a long-lost loved one, Patt tells The Times of Israel, which first profiled the project for Holocaust Survivor Day on June 26.

All told, N2N has successfully linked some anonymous faces to survivors and their descendants, who include celebrities, says the report. One of them is Canadian musician Geddy Lee, who affirmed that a woman in a photo taken at the displaced persons camp in Bergen-Belsen was indeed his mother.

Patt acknowledges that the cost to run the site will increase as more photos, and now videos, are being studied by the AI. To keep costs low in the future, he and his team are considering rolling out an offline search for users to find a match within a day, instead of seconds.

The software engineer, 40, was inspired to create N2N after a visit to the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. As the grandson of three Polish survivors of the Holocaust, he felt compelled to help his family and others discover photos of loved ones killed during the Shoah.

One of Patt’s grandmothers, who is 91, was just nine years old when she escaped her hometown of Zamosc with her father and siblings. Her mother stayed behind and was eventually shot and killed.

The engineer couldn’t shake off the feeling that he was possibly walking past the faces of murdered relatives at the museum, and built the search engine to bring comfort to others in the same boat.

The next step for Patt and his teammates is to gain access to 700,000 more photos from these eras. In time, he anticipates that more people, such as students, could help run the software and discover new connections.

He notes the urgency of identifying anonymous figures in these photos. It is, of course, hoped that connections can be made when the grieving survivors are still alive.




[via The Times of Israel and Mashable, images via various sources]


Israeli Military Tech Lets Soldiers ‘See Through Walls’ For People & Objects

Image via Camero-Tech


“If walls had ears” might be an expression, but military equipment can now give them eyes.


Camero-Tech, an Israeli military technology firm, has unveiled the latest generation of its wall imaging systems. The ‘Xaver-1000’, as the tool is called, uses an AI-based tracking algorithm to identify people and objects through walls in real-time.

The equipment detects the presence of life inside rooms, even pinpointing the number of people behind the wall, their heights and distance from the system, and the general layout of the unseen area.


The Xaver-1000 was presented for the first time at the Eurosatury 2022 exhibition in Paris, and it’s touted as an essential asset for military personnel, law enforcement, search and rescue teams, and intelligence units.


Image via Camero-Tech


Its ability to capture high-resolution images enables it to distinguish specific body parts, along with whether the people inside the rooms are sitting, standing, lying down, or have been motionless for a while in real-time. The Xaver-1000 is also able to discern if a subject is an adult, child, or animal, and it can bypass the thickness of most building materials.


Using the Xaver-1000 is fairly simple and doesn’t require a lot of training. There’s a 10.1-inch touchscreen display that lets its user access a navigation menu, in addition to playbacks for post-mission briefings and training. All it takes is the push of a button, says the firm.


“The system creates an unprecedented situational awareness 3D visual picture, providing a clear operational advantage and the ability to step into the known,” says Camero-Tech.




[via Insider and Israel Defense, images via Camero-Tech]


How Green Became The Color To Light Up Abortion Rights Rallies

Photo 173281763 © Carolina Jaramillo | Dreamstime.com


Green is the color of Mother Nature, as well as women seeking freedom everywhere.


Argentina was where it began, as the movement known as the ‘green tide’ or ‘green wave’ spread through Latin America. Marta Alanis, the founder of Catholics for the Right to Decide, had proposed in 2003 the notion of wearing green to celebrate “hope, health, and life,” quotes Le Monde.


Since then, the color has been the choice at abortion rallies in the form of scarves, flags, shirts, and posters to symbolize the desire for choice.


Photo 206010967 © Carolina Jaramillo | Dreamstime.com


And on December 30, 2020, abortion was finally legalized in Argentina after years of strife and grief.  


The hue has since been adopted by campaigns everywhere to unify their messages with one another. More specifically, it was a demonstration with the motive of “A Global Call For Legal Abortion” held on September 28, 2017, where the green scarf was first spotted and rang through the hearts and minds of many watching, taking the symbol global.



Photo 247377734 © W Pilkington | Dreamstime.com


Rallies for access to abortion are now bathed in a sea of green as the color resonates with the freedom of sex healthcare and a life that is not governed by the choices of other people.  


A single color to tie all supporters together made an impact on the movement, especially recently when the Roe v. Wade ruling had been overturned. Now more than ever has green been needed to unite all women and supporters together as their fight for freedom continues.  




[via Bloomberg and NBC Chicago, Photo 173281763 © Carolina Jaramillo | Dreamstime.com]


Frank Lloyd Wright’s Smallest House—A Doghouse—Is Now On Display

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Photo 121573758 © Jim Roberts | Dreamstime.com


Frank Lloyd Wright—the prolific architect behind the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo—is also responsible for a lesser-known structure: the Doghouse in Jim Berger’s Backyard.  


Little Jim Berger of San Anselmo, California, had just moved into a house designed by Wright himself when he took a look out at his backyard and figured his best four-legged friend, Eddie, should be given the same privileges.


So, the boy set out to write a letter to the architect himself to ask if he could extend the favor to his dog and construct a house for him too. In the note, Berger gave the dog’s measurements so that Wright would have an easier time designing the house.


In his response, Wright revered the idea of building a house for Eddie as an “opportunity,” but said he was too busy at the moment to take on anything new and that would only be able to do the project in November. On the back, as with all of the letters he receives asking for something to be built, was a rough sketch of the doghouse.  


OMFG – Frank Lloyd Wright designed a triangular dog kennel called Eddie’s House. This makes me happy. #psychodography pic.twitter.com/Z1J6Rix79G

— Myles Jackman – Obscenity Lawyer (@MylesJackman) November 18, 2014


Wright set out to complete the project as promised to young Berger, following the same methods as he would for large-scale projects and enlisting the aid of his assistants at Taliesin. The final work was a four-square-foot structure with a triangular roof that jutted out, called Eddie’s House. Wright didn’t charge Berger nor did he fall suscept to his attempts to pay him with this paper route money.  


The F LL Wright dog house:
Eddie’s House was a doghouse designed by Frank Lloyd Wright as an addition to the Robert Berger House.#franklloydwright #architect #doghouse pic.twitter.com/dXBr74yjC3

— Javier Alonso Madrid (@javieralonsomad) February 19, 2021


The doghouse was made from the same cedarwood and Philippine mahogany used for Berger’s own abode. Unfortunately, the pooch still preferred the larger of Wright’s structures on the property.


Eventually, the doghouse was discarded but the family held onto the drawings and had it recreated in 2010 before donating the kennel to the County of Marin.  


In a fitting end to the journey of Eddie’s House, the smallest creation of Wright’s now resides in his largest creation, the Marin County Civic Center.  





[via The Architect’s Newspaper and Smithsonian Magazine, images via various sources]


Gucci, Now 101 Years Old, Imagines Its Next Century In Gallery Of NFTs

Images via Gucci


A showcase of Gucci’s past, present, and future has been captured in the form of non-fungible token artworks on its digital platform, Vault. In collaboration with the digital art marketplace SuperRare, the brand has created an exhibit called The Next 100-Years of Gucci.  


Vault was launched by Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele to celebrate Gucci’s 100th anniversary in 2021. Now, as it enters the next century, the brand is celebrating its history and future with purchasable digital artworks. This collaboration comes after Gucci invested in SuperRare by purchasing US$25,000 worth of DAO (digital autonomous organization) native tokens, according to CoinDesk.


The collection is being auctioned directly from Vault’s website on June 23, and will roll out in intervals through the summer.  


Image via Gucci


Artists like Alanna Vanacore, D. ARTA, Sasha Katz, and Tyler Spangler, among others, were invited to produce their own interpretations of the brand.


For example, the Gucci Glitch Frame by Alanna Vanacore encapsulates the colorful and old-timey stylings of Gucci in an understated bamboo framed portrait of a lady barely smiling for her painter. Artist Aliina Kauranne infuses a lava lamp into a metal Gucci boot, and Sasha Katz imagines a future of Gucci that uses bionic models with the GG logo monogrammed onto them. 


Image via Gucci


Overall, this isn’t Gucci’s first foray into the metaverse as the Italian luxury brand was one of the first to launch NFTs, with a film inspired by its Aria collection, as well as constructed Gucci Town in the Roblox universe.


The eclectic mélange of art beautifully captures the whimsical spirit of Gucci in a futuristic way as it lays out the history and future of Gucci in a style that is so true to the Gucci name and brand.







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[via Input Mag and Artnet, cover image via Gucci]


Royal Mail Honors 50 Years Of Pride With Stamps Walking Through The Ages

Image via Royal Mail


The UK’s largest Pride parade has hit its golden anniversary, and to mark the occasion, specially-made stamps depicting the LGBTQ+ community at Pride walks have been created.


Under the theme A March Through Time, the artworks begin with portrayals from 1972, when the Pride celebrations first kicked off in Trafalgar Square, before taking you through the decades of LGBTQ+ activism and support.


Image via Royal Mail


NB, a London-based branding studio, was the creative mind behind the stamps, which were illustrated by English queer artist Sofie Birkin.







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A post shared by Sofie Birkin (@sofiebirkinillustration)



The stamps are a colorful medley of people from numerous sexualities and identities, and include banners representative of era, like “Love Always Wins.” We also get to see the Pride flag evolve over the stages.


Image via Royal Mail



As an accompaniment to the stamps, an animation studio called, Animade, created a video for the stamps. The video brings the artwork to life and tells how Pride has changed over the years. 


The bright and vibrant colors harmonize well with the Pride flag and radiate positivity and, unsurprisingly, pride in the community.


NB was approached with the project at the beginning of 2021 and had been worked on it since, making sure to not only narrate these stories well but also have everyone’s identities included and respected.


With Royal Mail’s far and widespread reach, the team continuously worked on the designs over and over again to make sure they were worthy of the community.  


NB was tasked with creating eight landscape stamps—which when put together, line up like a tapestry painting. They include a filler card, three handstamps, an envelope, a coin cover, a presentation pack, and a first-day cover.  




[via Design Week and Independent UK, cover image via Royal Mail]


Four-Day Workweek A Success For Companies That Have Learned To Embrace It

Photo 58368402 © Rawpixelimages | Dreamstime.com


While the concept of a four-day workweek has been floating around for years, a focus on maintaining a work-life balance and positive wellbeing during the pandemic helped nudge it into implementation.


Such policies give employees an extended weekend or additional rest day to recuperate or spend more time with their loved ones without cutting their wages, and workers have come out of it feeling more recharged and motivated, even if they sometimes have to put in more hours during workdays.

CNBC brings to light a few of these companies that have worked the four-day week into their process to great success.


Board game developer Big Potato Games in London, for one, began experimenting with a shorter workweek in 2019. Since then, it’s seen a 350% increase in sales, the news outlet reports. The firm incorporated the policy into its contracts the following year.


Employees at the games company have reported a “massive difference” in their day-to-day lives, seeing as how they are now able to run errands or do chores during the extra day and actually have a full two-day weekend to themselves.


They have an “unwritten understanding” about having to work on some Fridays to meet deadlines, but they still get much more rest than if they were to commit all five days throughout the year, says Big Potato Games co-founder Dean Tempest.


Edinburgh-based marketing agency Lux trialed a four-day workweek in 2020—but with a twist. Clients were not aware that this policy was in place, and the agency used this to assess the effectiveness of the proposed change.

Lux assigned its staff to work either from Monday to Thursday or Tuesday to Friday. This way, there’d always be someone around to communicate with clients or finish projects.


The verdict? No one outside the company was even aware that it was working a four-day week. It’s now a permanent policy written into contracts.


Countries including the United Arab Emirates and Belgium have officially implemented the four-day week as an option, with shorter workweeks currently being tested in the UK, Ireland, US, Australia, and New Zealand. Microsoft, too, tested the program and witnessed a 40% jump in productivity.


Joe O’Connor, CEO of the 4 Day Week Global initiative, shares that the tech and finance sectors, along with some professional services, have been receptive to the reform, and he foresees the policy quickly catching on in two or three years as employers move to remain competitive.


The Ford Motor Company is often attributed for pioneering the shorter workweek. Back then, the workforce was expected to work on Saturdays too, but Henry Ford believed that squeezing the six days into five while paying employees the same would do wonders for productivity. A five-day week has been the standard practice since.


Besides the obvious gains in morale and improved mental health, companies have also seen reduced costs after enforcing a four-day week. Offices have saved more on electricity and coffees, while employees themselves do not have to fork out as much on commuting and lunch.


Then, there are the environmental benefits. The 4 Day Week initiative reported last May that moving into a four-day regime by 2025 c0uld reduce the UK’s annual carbon footprint by 127 metric tons—about the same as the output of the nation’s entire fleet of 27 million private cars.


Eco events firm Legacy Events agrees with these rewards, and more. Ever since it implemented the four-day week in 2018, it’s had a difficult time convincing employees to take vacations, since they no longer need to take as many breaks.


The policy, however, may not fit into every existing corporate model. Furthermore, not all employees might be open to the idea of toiling harder to make up the difference or potentially working longer hours.

Managers, too, would have to change their perceptions of employees deemed to be less hardworking since they are seeing each other less. The BBC reports one instance where a worker who’d been allowed a four-day schedule ended up being promoted with the condition he’d go back to a five-day policy.

Though, just as the entire workforce gradually adapted to a work-from-home model, an easing into a four-day week could just be a matter of getting used to.



[via CNBC, BBC, Breathe HR, cover photo 58368402 © Rawpixelimages | Dreamstime.com]


New Thrill Slide Near Mount Fuji Has You Zipping Down A Seemingly Endless Tube

Image via PR Times

Views of Mount Fuji are just the tip of the iceberg (or volcano) at Fuji-Q Highland, which is known for its exhilarating rides that have even been responsible for breaking bones.


Last year, the theme park opened Fujiyama Tower, an observatory sky deck next to its world-famous roller coaster, with a walking course that challenges visitors to traverse around it while being held by a harness. In exchange for making their way up, parkgoers are treated to sights of Mount Fuji. 


Image via PR Times

Now, an equally wild slide completes the look. Stretching 393 feet, the Fujiyama Slider is Japan’s longest tube slide and is wrapped around the tower.


Image via PR Times

Not only will the ride be especially daunting for people with a fear of heights, but those scared of the dark might want to sit this out—as riders are made to bolt through the tube in complete darkness.


The entire journey lasts for about 20 seconds, but without sight, it’ll probably feel like an eternity.

According to SoraNews24, visitors prepare for the ride by lying down and putting their feet into a sliding mat, before being pushed from the back.

The theme park’s promotional artwork of a rider with tears in his eyes is so meme-worthy, it’s launched a social media challenge for fans who can come up with the wittiest captions.

The Fujiyama Slider will debut on July 22, with tickets priced from ¥800 to ¥1,200 (US$5.92 to US$8.88).


Image via PR Times



[via SoraNews24 and Time Out Tokyo, images via PR Times]


Bali Announces ‘Digital Nomad Visa’ That Lets You Work On Island Tax-Free

Photo 214387632 © Lila Koan | Dreamstime.com

After about two years of being cooped up at home, the idea of working in the tropics all year round—with the sun’s warmth pouring down on your skin—might sound like a dream to you. Soon, you’ll be able to do just this, and better yet, it won’t be expensive.

In hopes to rekindle Bali’s heyday in tourism, Indonesia is planning a “digital nomad visa” that could position the province as a prime destination for remote work. Its scenic views, warm climate, culture, and low living costs are a bonus, of course.

At present, anyone hoping to work in this travel destination would have to apply for either a 30-day Visa on Arrival (VoA), a tourist visa that can be extended to 60 days, and a business visa good for 180 days.

The new digital nomad visa, which is still in the works, will be valid for five years—making it the longest-lasting of its kind across the globe. Plus, the permit will entitle holders to live in Indonesia tax-free, so long as their income hails from outside of the country, according to Bloomberg.

The remote work visa is being introduced as part of the nation’s aspirations to rebrand as an eco-friendly destination based on serenity and spirituality, instead of one of sun, sand, and sea, tourism minister Sandiaga Uno told the news outlet. With this permit, Indonesia also hopes to draw 3.6 million foreign travelers and create a million new jobs for locals.

To enhance the appeal of working in Indonesia and Bali, the government intends to implement a relatively simple application process and welcome more flights into the country.



[via Euronews, NDTV, Bloomberg, cover photo 214387632 © Lila Koan | Dreamstime.com]


Mercedes-Benz Concept EV Just Traveled 747 Miles Without Running Out Of Battery

Image via Mercedes-Benz

What leaves drivers most apprehensive about going electric is the fear that their cars would run out of juice before they find a charging station. Mercedes-Benz is envisioning future drives that wouldn’t be this unpredictable. Back in April, its experimental ‘Vision EQXX’ car set out on its maiden journey from Stuttgart, Germany, to Cassis, France, and covered an impressive 626 miles on a single charge.

Most recently, the car literally went the distance and beat its own record, departing from Stuttgart, Germany, and arriving in Silverstone, the UK—a summer road trip that stretched 747 miles without further charging.

According to Insider, this drive exceeds the capabilities of the longest-range electric cars on the market. In comparison, the popular Tesla Model S can reach a little over 400 miles on one charge.

The concept model is this efficient thanks to its aerodynamic and lightweight design, which includes a teardrop silhouette and cooling system that keeps heat at a minimum. Further, its battery has the same 100 kWh capacity as the EQS luxury sedan but with half the size and 70% the weight.


Image via Mercedes-Benz

Impressively, the air-conditioning was on during eight of the 14.5 hours that the Vision EQXX was on the move, so comfort wasn’t compromised.

Even though it beat its past record, the Vision EQXX weathered an even more challenging journey this time. In contrast with the cooling ride back in spring, it handled temperatures going as high as 86°F enroute to Silverstone. Traffic was also busier in the UK, and the car didn’t have the luxury of resting by the Alps.

The EV still had some power at its destination, so Dutch Mercedes-EQ Formula E driver Nyck de Vries took it for a spin.

The Vision EQXX remains a proof of concept to demonstrate that Mercedes-Benz’s future EVs could be this formidable. It also represents the automaker’s goal of going all-electric by 2030.



[via Insider and CNET, images via Mercedes-Benz]


‘Batman’ Boots (That Are Really Nikes) Worn By Michael Keaton Now On Sale

Image via Propstore


Have you ever wanted to step into the shoes of Batman and feel what it must be like to have Gotham sitting under your wings? Well, now you can literally step into his shoes, as a pair worn by Michael Keaton from Tim Burton’s Batman is going on auction under Propstore Auctions.


The custom-made Nike boots have Air Trainers as their base and a black leather armor for the shin extended from the sneakers up to the knee, creating a sleek leather boot effect.


Image via Propstore


The comfort of having Nikes as the base allowed for the superhero to zip around Gotham to protect a city wracked with villainy.


For the mere price of US$20,000 to US$30,000 potentially, so could you.  


Image via Propstore


The shoe was designed by Nike designer Tinker Hatfield, who produced the footwear for free in a bid to further integrate the Nike name into pop culture.


Hatfield was also part of the creation of the Batsuit, where he helped streamline and add more muscular elements to it. Eight pairs of Bat Boots were made for Keaton and his stunt double to use during filming, as part of a deal struck by Nike and producer Jon Peters.


Image via Propstore


After 33 years, signs of aging are visible on the shoe. As with any pair of time-worn sneakers, crumbling midsoles and cracked leather are inevitable. However, that probably would not deter hardcore Batman fans from getting their hands on this pair of iconic superhero-approved Nikes.  




[via Sneaker Freaker and Input Mag, cover image via Propstore]


Can You Outsmart AI? ‘Wordalle’ Is ‘Wordle’ That Makes You Guess AI-Created Pics

Screenshot via Wordalle


Two of the best new gifts to have emerged on Web 2.0—Wordle and DALL-E Mini—have morphed into the third-best thing: Wordalle.


Wordalle follows the premise of Wordle; only this time, players are challenged to guess the prompts behind AI-generated images, instead of five-letter words.


Screenshot via Wordalle

For context, there’s a new artificial intelligence tool on the block called DALL-E 2 (named after Salvador Dalí and WALL-E) that can conjure up images of various art styles within seconds, simply by being fed phrases. However, this program isn’t available to the public due to biases that its creators haven’t been able to get rid of, along with concerns that the technology might be used for malice.

Following the announcement of DALL-E 2, a new (unrelated) variation called DALL-E Mini surfaced online. This one can be used by anyone on the internet as its end products aren’t quite as realistic. In fact, they’re the stuff of memes. DALL-E Mini can handle all kinds of prompts, so its hilariously bad results don’t really bother anyone.

The nightmarish images spat out by DALL-E Mini have now inspired a new version of Wordle. Here, you’ll find out if you’re smart enough to guess what AI thinks humans are thinking.


Screenshot via Wordalle

If further training is required to beat these overlords, the good news is that Wordalle doesn’t limit players to one puzzle a day. 

See if you can decipher the AI-generated hints below. You can play Wordalle here.


Screenshot via Wordalle


Screenshot via Wordalle


Screenshot via Wordalle


Screenshot via Wordalle



[via Boing Boing and Product Hunt, images via Wordalle]


Fake ‘Snoop Dogg’ Fools Visitors At NFT Event In NYC

Image via Fair.xyz


What better way to garner attention for your non-fungible token services at NFT.NYC than to have Snoop Dogg come down and attend it himself? Hiring a professional double and tricking everyone into thinking they met him, apparently.  


At Times Square, fans swarmed around who they believed to be Snoop Dogg, only to find out much later that it was professional impersonator Eric Finch. Bystanders were apparently too starstruck to notice the glued-on mustache and the name tag on his shirt that read, “Doop Snogg”. 







View this post on Instagram












A post shared by THE CANVAS FOR NFT LAUNCHES (@fair.xyz)


NFT platform Fair.xyz was the mastermind behind this stunt in hopes to stand out from the saturated NFT scene. It worked, but at the cost of broken-hearted fans who thought they really met The Doggfather himself.  


Besides a really good impersonator and great makeup and clothing to deceive the fans, what sold it is the actual Snoop Dogg’s personal involvement with the NFT space. His record label, Death Row Records, had just signed a deal with MoonPay which has the likes of Justin Bieber and Gwyneth Paltrow on their roster. Beyond that, he filed for a trademark to sell “virtual cannabis goods.” So, it wouldn’t be too crazy of an idea that he would show up to NFT.NYC.  


Eric Finch was hired to take up the role as he is a registered Snoop Dogg impersonator who has worked with the actual rapper as well. Following the little stunt, Snoop himself retweeted a tweet acknowledging the whole thing.  


Doop Snogg https://t.co/tLy3vAhmqn

— Snoop Dogg (@SnoopDogg) June 22, 2022


As NFTs take a nosedive in the market, Fair.xyz looked for innovative ways to keep user engagement. Needless to say, they hit the mark with this stunt alright.  




[via The Guardian and Cointelegraph, cover image via Fair.xyz]


First-Responders Of The Future Could Fly Around In Jetpacks Like IRL Superheroes

Image via Gravity Industries


Although jetpacks seem straight out of a kid’s dream, one company has made it its mission to bring that dream into reality. And in this reality, they can even save lives.


Gravity Industries has introduced its own jetpack, called the ‘Jet Suit’ (last featured here), that can set its user soaring into the skies. With a thousand horsepower thrusters on the back and two engines on the arms of the pack, flying can now be achieved by just about anyone.


You won’t need a lot of upper body strength or dexterity to navigate one of these jetpacks around. Gravity Industries has created jetpacks for a wide variety of people of different shapes and sizes to easily pilot around.  


Image via Gravity Industries


The suits can be propelled by diesel, jet fuel, and even eco-friendly alternatives of fuel.


Over 500 people have reportedly learned to fly with the gear, with some even perfecting the art of jetsetting in a day. 

The suits aren’t
just only a fancy gimmick or potentially fun way to travel around, Euronews reports that they’re being mainly tested for rescue missions.


Having an easy-to-use transport device could open the doorway to quicker and more advanced rescue scenarios, especially when people get trapped in an avalanche or are stranded on a mountain. This means rescuers will no longer need to scale mountains, volcanoes, or buildings to get to survivors, increasing the chances of survival. 


In one instance, a paramedic at the Great North Air Ambulance Service was trained within six days to scale to the top of Helvellyn, the third-highest peak in London’s Lake District, cutting the time down to three minutes instead of the usual one-hour hike up to the top.


The hope is to get first-responders to emergency sites more quickly as a few minutes can change the outcome of a cardiac arrest.








View this post on Instagram












A post shared by Gravity Industries (@takeongravity)



All in all, it is nice to see jetpacks be used for good, in the same way heroes in blockbuster movies would use them.


Moving forward, Gravity Industries hopes to test the gear in other rescue operations, such as in avalanche scenarios.




[via Robb Report and Euronews, cover image via Gravity Industries]


N˚ 100 Bacon Perfume Could Turn You Into A Smokin’ Love Magnet

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Image via Wright Brand Foods / PR Newswire


Is that the smell of bacon cooking nearby? Nope! It’s the new perfume by meat corporation Wright Brand Foods, Inc. in a collaboration with Ann Gottlieb, the name behind popular cult-classic fragrances such as CK One and 5th Avenue by Elizabeth Arden.


Now comes the smoking new fragrance from the perfume master, ‘Wright N˚ 100’.


The perfume is in celebration of Wright’s centennial anniversary, and there is arguably no better way to do it than to douse fans in bacon-scented perfume. And some might agree that the smell of bacon is way more enticing than the taste of it.  


Wright N ˚100 was inspired by the rich wood-smoke smell of Wright’s bacon. The company wanted to deliver something completely unique and memorable to its fans. Although, it isn’t the first company to deliver bacon-scented fragrances—just this year, a vegan food brand did the same for Valentine’s Day.


Nevertheless, if you’re concerned about what this bottle of greasy bacon could smell like, you don’t need to worry. It has hints of smoky bacon with undernotes of bergamot, patchouli, applewood, and Mousse de Saxe, which is the popular combination of vanilla and leather—which would incidentally make this perfume completely wearable out in public. With Gottlieb on the team, we can rest assured that the perfume is sure to bring home the bacon for the company.  





[via Highsnobiety and PR Newswire, cover image via Wright Brand Foods / PR Newswire]


Dior Shovels Deep Into Customers’ Pockets With $8,700 Gardening Kit

Image via Dior


Forget putting flowers in your hair—Dior’s latest it-item for garden parties behoves you to get your hands dirty.

Designed by the luxury house’s artistic director Kim Jones, the Dior Gardening Set pays homage to founder Christian Dior’s passion for flowers and gardens. The brand has been letting this affinity with florals blossom of late; it recently teamed up with Birkenstock to create flower-heavy mules.

The fancy gardening set, constructed from calfskin leather, arrives in two colors: there’s black, and a light beige you wouldn’t want to stain with soil. And while luxury labels are notorious for making obscenely expensive versions of everyday items that don’t work, green-fingered shoppers with money to spare can rest easy that the kit is functional.


Image via Dior

Aside from a foldable leather stool shaped like Dior’s iconic saddle bag, the set arrives with a hand rake “for raking and leveling soil” and a spade “that’s ideal for digging and replanting,” the label details in the product description. There’s at least the assurance that these are quality gardening essentials, and that they aren’t just here for ornamental purposes.


Image via Dior


Images via Dior

In spite of this, fans are still taking a dig (no pun intended) at the product due to its steep US$8,700 price. According to In The Know, Instagram users have swarmed to a post by Hypebeast to share their two cents about the launch.


“How [the f***] does a gardening kit cost more than my car?” one user asks. “Hand rake and spade are made of vibranium,” says another.


One Instagram user adds that, with that amount of money, they could purchase a tractor.

“Is this what rich people use to bury or hide their diamonds in their backyard?” another person questions on Twitter.

Shoppers have made their opinion about the opulent gardening kit loud and clear: Why can’t we just call a spade a spade?


Image via Dior




[via Uncrate, Lifestyle Asia, In The Know, images via Dior]


Miller Lite Celebrates America’s First Known Brewer—A Woman!—On New Cans

Image via Miller Lite

Beer has long been billed as a man’s drink. History would counter this association; long before male brewers like John Molson, Adolph Coors, and Frederick Miller came into the scene, beer in America was brewed by women in their own kitchens.

In spite of this, the industry has only sloshed over women’s influence in the world of ale. It has even disrespected them, objectifying the female form to draw the gaze of male drinkers.

This Independence Day, though, Miller Lite is giving beers’ founding mothers the acknowledgment they’ve been lacking, and stressing that “there’s no beer without women.” The Fourth of July cans place Mary Lisle, the first documented brewster in America, at the forefront.


Image via Miller Lite

The special packaging not only sports an illustration of Lisle, but it also replaces Miller Lite’s own logo with Mary Lisle’s name. Their matching initials certainly help this tribute along.


Image via Miller Lite / PR Newswire

The beermaker has additionally swapped out its slogan, “a fine pilsner beer,” with the affirmation: “There’s no beer without women.” And at the back of the cans, you’ll find a writeup of how women were erased from the history of American beer.


Image via Miller Lite

We couldn’t bring up Mary Lisle without mentioning her involvement in the beer trade. Lisle took over her father’s brewhouse in 1734 after he died, and she kept it going until 1751.

“Women have been written out of brewing history in America, and we want to remind people during the biggest beer-drinking weekend of the year that without women, there’s no beer,” shares Kelsey Ott, associate marketing manager for Miller Lite.


“Mary Lisle is the first documented brewer in American history, but it took 100 years to record her name,” Ott continues. “There were countless women who came before her and played an incredibly important role in brewing beer in America.”

Startlingly, when Miller Lite asked drinkers if they were aware women first brought beer into the country, only 3% said yes.

Keeping in faith to Lisle’s HERstory, Miller Lite will debut the cans at a special event on June 30 in Philadelphia, where she operated her business. Here, fans would be able to discover Lisle’s impact in the beer-brewing world.

Miller Lite is also commemorating the other forgotten female brewers by donating US$5 per case sold on Instacart and Drizly during the Fourth of July weekend. Proceeds will go to the Pink Boots Society, a nonprofit supporting female and nonbinary brewers.



[via Marketing Dive and Delish, images via Miller Lite]


Instagram Begins Scanning Selfies To Verify That Users Are Of Legal Age

Photo 168174850 © Daniel Constante | Dreamstime.com


Instagram is trialing a new system that allows users to be verified of their age with just a simple video or selfie. The tech uses artificial intelligence to scan images and assess their age, and only if it believes the user is at least 13 years old or older can they create an account. 


The previous system of scrolling down a list of years and being trusted to choose your birth year obviously could be sidestepped by any quick-witted youngster. As a solution, two new measures have been put into place to ensure the safety of teenagers. 


Image via Instagram


The first is a new AI development of facial recognition. The system was developed by Yoti where the videos are sent and carefully examined based on facial features that other people of the same age share in their database. Yoti, however, does have an issue of gender and skin tone bias coming into factor when determining the age of someone.


The second is the ‘social vouching’ system, where users would have to enlist two friends who are over 18 to confirm their age via a request form. IDs or driver’s licenses will also have to be uploaded for confirmation. Instagram has said that the ID cards will only be stored on its own database and will be deleted after 30 days. 


Users will not have to worry about their identity being tracked as the AI can only verify ages and cannot recognize the user, says Instagram.


This, however, may not be enough to quell the concerns of some users, given the security controversies Instagram and Meta have been entangled with. Just like easily faking a legal birthdate by scrolling, who’s to say teenagers can’t figure out the ability to get an older friend to get their face recognized instead of their own?


Instagram is not only trying to stop teenagers from accessing certain areas of the app but adults as well. Separating the two groups also stops adults from messaging minors. Though, with potential loopholes, can there ever be a perfect way to safeguard teenagers on the internet?




[via Engadget and Reuters, Photo 168174850 © Daniel Constante | Dreamstime.com]