The African cargo bike is coming to Europe – and the US.

We have posted on the African cargo bikes before. They have been manufactured in Kenya among other places, but as far as we know they have so far only been sold in Africa. Now, however, one manufacturer — Yuba – is going to try and sell their bikes in both Europe and the US. The Yuba Mundo has a longer wheel base than ordinary bikes and a large cargo holder with room for two people or 220 kg (485 lb.) of cargo. They are supposedly going to sell three versions; a one-speed, a six-speed, and a five-speed with a specially reinforced transmission. In the US prices will start at USD 750:- and in the EU it will start at EUR 540:- (about USD 798:-).brbr

Safety lock for nervous hotel guests.

There are occasions when you might want a little extra privacy. In hotels, offices or maybe student accommodations. At the same time, door locks are not always up to the standard you might want them to be. The How Sar lock has been made to address this problem and to offer a little more safety to those who want it. It consists of two parts. The flat one is placed by the recess where the door latch goes and it will sit between the door and the sill when the door is closed. By inserting the crescent-shaped part you lock the latch in its position and the door cannot be opened. To unlock, you simply remove the crescent part.brbr

Bike stand with integrated bike pump.

This stainless steel bike stand has been made for an art project in Ypenburg (a new dwelling area in the Netherlands). Eight stands will be placed outside eight buildings, with the purpose of stimulating neighborhood interaction as people pump their bikes. An added benefit is that bikes will be a lot easier to top up with air. We should have these in Stockholm.brbr

Slippery-tape with extremely low friction.

This tape can be used whenever you want to reduce friction between two surfaces. Like drawers, for instance. The tape is transparent, and is promised to be very tough, so it will not wear down any time soon. The slippery-tape is USD 11:70 per roll of 18′. That should be enough for all the drawers in an average home.brbr

Automatic turn indicators for cyclists.

Safe Turn is an Australian invention aimed at improving safety for cyclists. It is a small automatic turn indicator to be attached to a sleeve or glove with a clip or an elastic strap. It is completely automatic; a tilt switch reacts as you raise your arm to signal a turn (you do signal your turns, don’t you?) and starts the flashing light. As you bring your arm down after the turn, the switch turns the indicator off. Pretty smart. It is AUD 19:95 (about USD 18:-) a piece.brbr

Cook pots that can cook different dishes at the same time.

The pot to the left is the Eco-Cook, a concept for a new cook-pot insert by French designer Camille Kechenyi. It is not yet in production, but we guess one or other of the world’s cook-pot manufacturers will adopt (or steal) the idea pretty soon. By cooking more than one food in the same water you will not only save time, but energy, too. As a comparison, we offer the triple-partitioned pot on the right, that we ourselves found in use at a street restaurant in Thailand recently. The Thai pot has permanent partitions, which of course allows simultaneous cooking of foods whose flavors are not supposed to be mixed.brbr

I Google

Smooth and soft. I have launched a new theme on iGoogle. The theme changes based upon the time of day (every 4 hours), and is based upon a series of strokes I drew by hand and a simple algorithmic…

The Assistant

On the ride from Tokyo to Narita Airport, a co-worker from my past escorted me to say goodbye. He related how his professor at Tokyo University (sort of like the Harvard of Japan) was probably the #1 or #2 people…

Smart towel wins Muji Awards.

Muji is one of our favorite stores, and has been for years. Their simplicity and no frills attitude to the products has great appeal to our inner minimalist. Muji has sponsored an international design contest where the entries of course all have been in the Muji spirit. The first prize winner was this idea for a towel, called towel with further options. It begins life as a large bath towel, but as it gets worn it can be cut down to face towel, bath mat, wash cloth, cleaning cloth and dust cloth. The ready made cutting grid means there will be no fraying along the cut edges. More on the prize winners on Muji’s competition pages.brbr

Wall for flat tv combined with home office.

Anyone who works from home, and do not have a spare room to use as an office, may find this idea appealing. It is a swiveling mounting wall for a flat-screen tv combined with a fold out workspace. You work on one side and when it is time for play you just swing the leisure side forward. Come to think of it, it could be just great for people with lots of space, too. Then you do not swing the thing, but let it be a room divider between the home office and the living room. From Gruber+Schlager.brbr