According to Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh, whose idea it was to invent a substance that could mend or improve on just about anything, humans are natural hackers who, given half a chance, will come up with a fix. Sugru, the product of that notion – and five years of experimentation – is a clay-like polymer made from a type of silicon that can stick to almost any substance and can be moulded to any specification. When it cures, it retains its malleable, rubber-like quality. Sugru held a workshop recently to come up with as many uses as possible to demonstrate Sugru's effectiveness. It was used – see the video on sugru.com – to mend shoes, glasses and tv remotes and in a myriad other ways to improve existing products and fix broken ones. Sugru sold their first 1000 packets in six hours but have promised that they will come up with more of the magic stuff. Jane says of Sugru, an Irish word for play: "I was inspired by the internet and the whole idea of user-generated content. I wanted something that people could make their own and use in their own way."
Toys.brando.com have come up with a gadget that will make the idea of setting up metres of dominoes just for the fun of seeing them knock one another over seem far more appealing. The Auto Domino Building Truck is a battery operated toy that poops up to 200 dominoes in straight lines, or in circles if you lock the steering. The truck is loaded via a magazine that clips onto its roof.
According to a recent study by University of Rochester psychologists Netta Weinstein, Andrew Przybylski and Richard Ryan, people exposed to nature, even if only in the form of slideshows, become more caring. Participants were instructed to look at images of either the built environment or natural landscapes. Then they answered a series of questions or were given tests of generosity. The researchers found that the subjects who had been familiarised with nature were more willing to open their wallets and share. Coauthor Andrew Przybylski's theory is that nature helps to connect people to their authentic selves which are inherently communal because humans evolved in hunter-gatherer societies that depended on mutuality for survival.
Split the bill in style
The Piece of Cake is a conceptual device designed to iron out the complexities of splitting the lunch bill with friends when everyone is insisting on paying with their credit cards. The touchscreen interface in the centre of the cake is where you choose how many people are to share the bill. Each user isolates the items on the bill that they are responsible for and then swipes and pays accordingly. (yankodesign.com)