Archive for April, 2007

See what 300- to 400-calorie meals look like

Posted on April 28, 2007. Filed under: Food, Health |

The Diet Blog has a great gallery of 300- to 400-calorie meals that look mighty healthy and tasty to boot.

This is a good follow up to the previously mentioned 200-calorie gallery, which put into perspective a 200-calorie portion of healthy foods versus less healthy fare. This gallery actually displays several healthy 300- 400-calorie meals, most of which look delicious. These are the kind of well put-together meals that make dieting seem not so bad, helping you realize that a chicken and rice dish looks a lot more appealing than that unsexy stack of rice cakes.

+ What Do 300 Calorie Meals Look Like? [diet blog] via LifeHacker

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Chilly Billy Ice Pops

Posted on April 28, 2007. Filed under: Food, Health, Ice-Cream |

Amidst the chaos of dietary requirements, five-a-day, buying organic, food miles and a new fangled sense of providence, choosing food has never been so wrought with issues. Whatever happened to buying something based upon the principle it tasted good?

Well, thankfully, one company has ticked all the ethical boxes and made sure their new lollies taste of something. Bensons, a small family run business based in the English countryside, has produced an ice-pop that contains nothing but fruit. Chilly Billy consists of no added sugars, waters, preservatives, or artificial colours – just pure English pressed apples and a handful of raspberries. In fact, eating two counts as one of your five portions of fruit and veg a day.

Jeremy Benson, managing director of Bensons said, “We really felt there was a gap in the market where ice-pops are concerned.”  Taking a look in the freezers at a local supermarket, you can see why. So far they have only produced the Apple and Raspberry flavored pop, but if their current range of fruit juices are anything to go by, expect rhubarb, elderflower and cinnamon flavors making their way into iced-format.

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Terrorist Chic

Posted on April 28, 2007. Filed under: Fashion, Yeading |

“No doubt these will be the next big thing in Yeading..”

 Terror fashion” is about to invade cities. The new French brand Anticon is launching a new concept of hooded sweatshirts. Graffiti artists, people with acne, snowboarders or simply superheroes would certainly be into them. To order your sweatshirt, you’ll have to wait a few more weeks but we wanted you to be first in the know. Definitely an eye-catching fashion statement!

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Top 10: Exercises For Back Pain

Posted on April 28, 2007. Filed under: Advice, Back, Exercise, Pain |

If you don’t suffer from back pain, there’s a good chance that someone in your family or your workplace does. In fact, back pain is one of the most common work-related injuries; it is the second leading cause of missed workdays after the common cold. But people with physically demanding jobs that require heavy lifting aren’t the only ones at risk; working in front of a computer in the same position all day is also a major risk factor for developing back problems.

There are many ways to prevent non-accidental back injuries, such as making sure your workstation is user-friendly, taking breaks to stretch or walk around, and lifting weights to strengthen your back muscles.

However, if you are part of the 70% of Americans who suffer from some form of back pain at one point in their lives, there are exercises you can do to relieve the aching.

Keep in mind that the back is a very sensitive area and that performing inadequate exercises could have serious consequences. If you are experiencing more than mild to moderate pain or are unsure about any of these exercises, consult a doctor for advice.

The following exercises, which mostly concentrate on the lower back since this is the most common site of pain, should be performed every day or at least every second day. Choose five or six exercises to do per session and rotate through the 10 on subsequent days. They should be done on a firm but soft surface, such as a carpet or a yoga mattress. And remember: If an exercise hurts, stop immediately.

+ Read more (via

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Download of the Day: Thunderbird 2.0 (All platforms)

Posted on April 28, 2007. Filed under: Downloads, eMail, Software |

Windows/Mac/Linux: The good folks at Mozilla dropped the latest version 2.0 of the Thunderbird email client today, which supports Gmail-like tagging, Windows Vista and better search capabilities.

Gmail users will love this T-bird build, which makes setting up a Gmail POP account a one-step affair. My initial tests, searching over an archive of thousands of messages, show that T-bird 2’s search-as-you-type is quite snappier than past versions; and while I’m not yet used to the tagging interface, it’s definitely a step in the right direction. One thing I’d love to see in the future is support for already-assigned tags on downloaded Gmail messages. (They call me a dreamer.) See what Rick had to say about T-bird 2.0’s RC1. Thunderbird 2 is a free download for Mac, Windows and Linux.

+ Thunderbird [Mozilla]

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Fresh & Frozen Gourmet Baby Food

Posted on April 28, 2007. Filed under: Baby Food, Food, Health |

While organic and gourmet baby food aren’t new, they’ve mostly been limited to jarred varieties. Start-ups in two categories are widening the options for parents who want to feed their infants something fresh, but don’t have the time or talent to prepare their own gourmet purées. They also provide inspiring examples for entrepreneurs interested in catering to this niche.


First, there’s the refrigerated, prepared foods section. Following the lead of fresh convenience foods for adults, companies like Swedish Gapa are focused on creating fresh, healthy and tasty foods for tiny people. Gapa, which is Swedish for open your mouth, is conservative-free and sold in cheerful containers in Sweden’s second largest supermarket, as well as in four trendy restaurants, a smart move for reaching parents who enjoy taking their babies out for dinner.

In the United States, several entrepreneurs have developed similar concepts. Californian Homemade Baby’s certified organic and kosher food for infants and toddlers is freshly made each day. Stressing an important selling point of gourmet baby foods, Homemade Baby claims that “when babies learn what real food tastes like and how good it makes their little tummies feel, they are on their way to making good food choices for life.”

Californian tots can also dine on fresh organic baby foods from Bohemian Baby, available for those aged 6–15 months. Bohemian Baby offers home delivery within LA. A USD 45 start kit contains a special cooler and four jars of food. On the East Coast, Evie’s Organic Edibles delivers freshly made foods within Manhattan. Parents can select dishes from menus that vary weekly and are designed to help stimulate developing taste buds.


Gourmet, ready-made baby food also extends to the frozen food aisle, where inspiration can be found from Mom Made, Plum Organics, Happy Baby and NummyNums, all offering food that’s organic and flash-frozen, locking in flavour and nutrients.

Most of these brands are relatively small and regional start-ups, founded by parents who couldn’t find foods they wanted to feed their babies and toddlers. We haven’t spotted any of the major manufacturers venturing into fresh or frozen baby food, so now’s the time to start your own line of delectable and healthy dinners for wee ones. As Happy Baby puts it, “think outside the jar.” How to make your brand stand out? Beautiful and informative packaging will obviously help win shelf space at upmarket supermarkets, and Gapa’s idea of selling to restaurants is clever. As are Happy Baby’s combined packs, containing two flavours each, and all of the convenient frozen portion concepts that can go straight from freezer to microwave. Last but not least, home delivery is a good way to get this type of business up and running. So get cooking! 😉


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Learn to use Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn)

Posted on April 28, 2007. Filed under: Training, Ubuntu, UNIX |

Hot on the heels of the celebrated 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) release of Ubuntu comes the Unofficial Ubuntu 7.04 Starter Guide, a free online guide to using the Linux distro.

The guide covers a massive range of subjects, everything from updating Ubuntu to mounting Windows partitions to working with various kinds of hardware. I wouldn’t say it’s a particularly novice-friendly reference, as it assumes some basic Linux know-how on your part (like performing command-line operations). But it certainly is comprehensive, so if you’ve just taken the Feisty Fawn plunge, you’ll definitely want to bookmark this guide.

+ Unofficial Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) Starter Guide

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Gloucester Road Tube Station Art – London

Posted on April 28, 2007. Filed under: London Tube, Travel |

For years now, the London Underground have been running their underground art programme ‘Platform For Art’ in order to promote London’s eclectic art scene and to entertain and enlighten commuters on the cities bustling underground.

Gloucester Road Tube station has been graced with the imaginative and beautiful work of artist Chiho Aoshima , who’s digital prints on vinyl cover all 17 arches of the underground station. City Glow, Mountain Whisper , is on display until the end of the month and is Aoshima’s first solo exhibition. The inspiring landscape she has created runs along all 17 archways which sees the scene graduate from day to night and from urban to rural. With such a rich visual focal point to enjoy whilst traveling, one can almost enjoy the daily commute.

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Where Are The World’s Best Hotel Rooms?

Posted on April 28, 2007. Filed under: Hotels, Travel |

Cool Hunter believe they have one of the most influential subscriber lists around. Over the past 18 months, their subscribers have come from all over the globe, with hot tips, suggestions and ideas for the site as well as an insight into their own creative lives. Through your help they have brought you the world’s best, be it hotels, fashion, art and technology, together they have roamed the globe so that you’re in the know.

Here’s a preview of a couple.

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World’s Healthiest Cuisines

Posted on April 28, 2007. Filed under: Cuisines, Food |

Dieting is usually viewed as a temporary process that one endures in order to shed a few pounds before the summer, shape up for a big event or lose a beer belly that may have sprung up after an indulgent vacation.

Unfortunately, the majority of Americans today are constantly battling with food and searching for the next best thing in the world of weight loss.

If you walk into a shopping center, watch television, read the newspaper or even listen to the radio, it is impossible to avoid seeing advertisements for a new diet plan, pill, book, DVD or health club.

The U.S. is packed with fitness and health clubs and our grocery stores are filled with more low-fat, low-carb, sugar-free, and salt-free products than any other country in the world.

So why are the majority of Americans overweight and unhealthy while the rest of the world is not?

Consisting largely of soda, candy, fried food, and meat, the American diet ranks low in nutrients and high in fat and processed ingredients. Processed foods contain higher levels of saturated fat, sugar and salt than unprocessed foods, and have been directly linked to increasing obesity rates. Additionally, Americans eat larger portions and exercise less than any other country in the world.

Needless to say, America could stand a diet and lifestyle lesson from several other countries and regions that live healthier, fitter lives without trying half as hard.

+ Read on (via

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Ice Cream Vans

Posted on April 28, 2007. Filed under: Ice-Cream |

As Cool Hunter mentioned previously , ice-cream vans and mobile treat delivery are going to be big this year.  They’ve scoured the neighborhoods to provide you with a selection of what you might find trundling down your street in the forthcoming months.

Not content with selling their fruit concoctions in shops, the people at Innocent have created two mobile smoothie-vans to help quench thirst in the forthcoming months. The first, known as the Dancing Grass Van (DGV), is a turf-tarnished ice-cream van with matching cow-lined interior. Oh, and it dances. The vans have a hydraulic system attached to the wheels that makes it bob around to attract the attention of potential smoothie-drinkers. They’ve also got Tiny Grass Vans (TGVs) for emergency fruit cravings around town. These little pasture clad nippers are perfect if you need a fruit-fix pronto.

If buying squashed fruit from a grassy van isn’t your thing, Innocent have also made Cow Vans. Complete with horns, eyelashes, udders and a tail, these bovine impersonators ‘moo’ on command.

Over to LA for the Hearts Challenger’s candy-colored van selling top international ice-cream, candy and toys. As part of the fairy-tale story; boy from country meets girl from city, girl designs ice cream van to spread fun and magic, boy makes soundtrack to accompany van and sells fun and pleasure, Lo and Benjamin are obsessed with spreading the love they have for things flavor-some and fun.  Their motto, “the greatest challenges are ones from the heart” will be ringing in your ears as the two bring impromptu dance parties to a street near you.

Packing a more philosophical punch for ice-cream lovers, The Tactical Ice Cream Unit (TICU) provides a bit more than just food for thought. With its primary aim to replace cold stares with frosty treats, the TICU is an oasis for community activists. Supplying water, first-aid, film, gas masks, water balloons in addition to ice-cream, who knew caring-for-the-community could be so much fun?

Look out for the TICU around California this spring, Vancouver in the summer followed by the San Francisco Bay Area in Autumn.

Something for real kids now, the “Own Your C” is a traveling advice centre for teens unsure about what decisions to take in their lives. The van travels around rural and mountain communities in America distributing tobacco cessation leaflets and free advice for anyone who may need it. All conducted from the C-Ride – a branded ice cream truck with custom alloys, graffiti paintwork and a freezer full of C Popsicles.  The C message combines social responsibility with a love for iced treats and will be traveling across America this summer.

+ via

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The Dream Makers

Posted on April 28, 2007. Filed under: Inventions |

When Osman Ozcanli and his team of technology hunters get their hands on the world’s best technologies, something remarkable happens.

When Griffin Technology was developing their iTrip nano, they needed a better way to attach the player to the transmitter. So they turned to a tape dispenser they’d recently been sent by Inventables––a Chicago-based innovation company. There was nothing particularly unusual about the dispenser except that its bottom was coated with microscopic suction cups that allowed it to stick to most surfaces an unlimited number of times without losing adhesiveness or leaving a residue. The material turned out to be a perfect solution, and today every iTrip nano has a thin line of micro-suction tape that adheres it to the iPod.

Griffin Technology is just one of Inventables’ many clients, a group that includes companies like Procter & Gamble, Nike and Mattel. Every quarter these companies receive samples of new technology––a piece of paper that changes colors when exposed to odors, for instance––as well as applicable concept designs (one idea for the color-shifting paper was a milk carton that could visually display when the milk soured).

Discovering these technologies takes some legwork. At any given moment, Inventables’ team of “technology hunters” is combing the Internet, parsing through tradeshows, and circling the globe in hopes of finding the next micro-suction tape. The team’s head, Osman Ozcanli, whittles the thousand finds per quarter down to a workable number, and every week sits with a group of designers, students and Inventables employees to brainstorm applicable concepts. But in the end, what Inventables ends up selling is no more than a way to think outside of the box. “Each company already has its own advanced research team,” explains Ozcanli. “We help them make sense of technologies they aren’t able to consider.” Unhemmed by specifics or even practicality, they create lavish innovations giving new life to some of the world’s most creative, if underutilized, technologies.

+ view photos
+ Inventables LLC (via

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Create an organization chart with OrgChartWiki

Posted on April 28, 2007. Filed under: Online Applications, Org Chart, Wiki |

Need an organizational chart for your company? You might want to check out Forbes’ new site aptly named OrgChartWiki, where you can create org.charts for your company or take a looksee at a few publicly listed companies such as Google, Motorola, and Microsoft.

The interface is very simple: all you do is pretty much drag and drop. You can also use this site to search within companies employee databases – you’ll be able to pull up their current organizational status. It’s simple, yet oh so super nichey functional.

+ OrgChartWiki [via Digital Inspiration]

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The Science of Spying

Posted on April 28, 2007. Filed under: Children, Museum, Science, Spying |

Most people have fantasized about being a spy at one time or another. Be it after a James Bond film or like me, throughout most of your childhood. Well, here’s your chance to make it a reality. Well, sort of. The Science Museum in London (and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis) has opened an exhibition devoted to modern espionage.

Created by Jump Studios, the show’s conceptual aim is to offer an insight into spying techniques and the issues surrounding identity in modern society. However, for the more childlike among you, it’s the opportunity to see if you’ve got what it takes to crack a safe and root through rubbish for clues.

Built upon various role-play situations, you’ll assume a new identity and sleuth your way through seven zones trying to uncover a hostile threat by the shady OSTECK Corporation. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. It’s for kids and kids only. Wrong! The exhibition was designed for all ages, so there’s no need to feel your muscling in. Even if you are in your mid thirties.

For those of you not based in London or Indianapolis, the show will go on a world tour when the exhibition finishes in September this year.

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Send An Email To Post A Letter

Posted on April 28, 2007. Filed under: eMail, Post |

Using Postful, anyone with access to email can send a real, paper letter to anyone with a postal address. How it works? Send an email to, with the mailing address in the subject line, write the letter in the email’s message body, click send, and the email is printed and posted. Postful does not add branding or advertising.

Users can set up special email addresses for frequent contacts. Rather than typing out Aunt Kate’s postal address every time, a user can create, specifying her address, and Postful takes care of the rest. Combine that with Jott, the voice to text service we featured last week, and anyone can send a printed letter by ‘jotting’ a voice message. Not limited to text, letters can also include photos—view a sample letter (PDF).

Pricing is simple: USD 0.99 for the first page and USD 0.25 for each additional page, which includes full-colour printing, paper, envelope and first-class postage. Currently only available in the United States, but international mailing is one of the most requested features from beta users, so Postful is hard at work to start offering that as soon as possible. The first step will be to offer international airmail service from their printers in the US, which is planned for June 2007, and the next step will be to set up international print stations. The latter would speed up delivery and lower costs; Postful’s target is to reach a single flat fee for a letter sent anywhere in the world.

Postful currently sends out any email entering the system within 24 hours, excluding weekends. The start-up aims to decrease turnaround time over the next months, aiming for any email received by 3 PM PST to go out as post the same day. Meanwhile, Australian L-Mail offers a very similar service, including international printing stations which are already up and running. L-Mail users can also send Braille and audio letters (the company turns an email into a recorded talking letter, which is posted by CD or cassette tape), but only prints in black and white.

Sounds like something national postal companies should hurry up and partner with. And how about niche services, for small businesses, wedding planners, children’s birthday parties, etc? As it’s becoming harder for email to get through to readers, snail mail could see a revival.


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Xplorer2 file manager (Windows)

Posted on April 28, 2007. Filed under: Downloads, Explorer, Software |

Windows only: The Xplorer2 lite file manager is a superior alternative to Windows’ built-in file Explorer.

Xplorer2 sports a tabbed, 3-paned interface. The first displays the file and folder hierarchy for easy navigation. The other 2 panes are specific folders, which make it really easy to move files between two places or work with two sets of files at once. You can save favorite locations or even bookmark sets of folders associated with particular tasks and projects. Xplorer2 is self-contained (therefore thumb drive-friendly) and has a very mature set of keyboard shortcuts, which reader Ludwig summarized for us in an email. Check ’em out after the jump.

After just a few minutes of playing with Xplorer2 it’s easy to see all the places where Windows Explorer really does fall short.

+ xplorer2 Lite []

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Fill out PDFs online with PDF Filler

Posted on April 28, 2007. Filed under: PDF |

Web app PDF Filler lets you upload and fill out PDF forms online.

Just upload your PDF, then click and enter text anywhere on the form you need. PDF Filler is a great tool for filling out any PDF when you don’t have access to the right desktop tools to accomplish the same thing. On the other hand, you should keep an eye on what kind of form you’re filling out, since you probably shouldn’t be too eager to enter your SS#, for example, on a third party web app like this. However, PDF Filler is a good tool to have in your toolkit should you find yourself with a PDF that needs filling out and need a quick way to do it.

+ PDF Filler

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How to get the best looking garden in the street

Posted on April 28, 2007. Filed under: Advice, gardening, Home |

It’s beginning to look a lot like spring/summer in my neck of the woods, with the dulcet tones of lawnmowers filling the air. British DIY store Godfrey’s has a few tips that practically guarantee jealous fits from your neighbors, such as:

  • Cut it regularly, ideally once a week.
  • Water occasionally – watch your moisture levels.
  • Check out the lawn food, but apply sparingly.

I know from experience that many fertilizers and other lawn supplements can do more harm than good, and wil actually “burn” your grass, so use with caution.

+ Your Guide to a Better lawn [Ask Godfrey]

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