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The Lost Ones

Zune Arts is an absolute must-see for anyone who wants to be on the cutting edge of emerging art. The collaborations they foster between artists are dependably kick ass and always push the envelope.

They continue to break new ground with "epic intergalactic adventure" The Lost Ones, an upcoming graphic novel written by 30 Days of Night comic horror master Steve Niles. In the collaborative spirit, The Lost Ones' four chapters will be illustrated by a different graphic artist, giving each section its own style, while also working in tandem to visually bring Niles' story to life.

Particularly impressive is the diversity of these fantastic four: Dr. Revolt, an original in the legendary NYC graffiti crew The Rolling Thunder Writers; amazing surrealist illustrator Gary Panter (pictured left); innovative Brooklyn-based art and design studio Morning Breath; and up-and-coming fashion designer/painter Kime Buzzelli. Scheduled for release in June, The Lost Ones will be up for grabs in both paperback and collector's editions. And grab it we will.

Dick & Jane Art

See Dick get vintage cool. See Jane become art. See Dick and Jane on your wall as a whimsical conversation piece. Whether they're part of your memories of early childhood education or not, the nostalgic kick of Dick and Jane has become a universal part of North American culture. Anyone who doesn't know See Spot Run just hasn't been paying enough attention. With a blend of retro-chic and a naughty wink, Sundance has given authentic grammar school Dick and Jane flashcards a second life. The cards come in neutral tones on matte black metal frames. But the twist is that these elementary vocabulary words are mixed into more adult themes: "I Work For A Clown", "Let Them Eat Cake," and our personal favorite, "Go Go Boots". Each piece is totally unique and range from $150 – $225. See us spend.

London Delft x Lovegrove & Repucci

Just because you want to entertain in high style doesn't mean you have to break out your Grandma's bone china. If you're feeling the urge to get a little more classic with your tableware, but aren't into the floral designs you were subjected to every Thanksgiving, then New York-based design collaborative Lovegrove & Repucci have the answer.

Their freshly released London Delft collection is a play on the 18th century tradition of Dutch Delft porcelain. Building on the success of the previously launched New York Delft collection, this time around they've mixed the timeless, high-art vibe of the famous blue glazed dishes with a little London street art edge. Each setting is made up of five pieces: a dinner plate, side plate, soup bowl, cup and saucer, and are available for $100.

If the general coolness of the collection isn't enough to impress your design-savvy dinner partygoer, then just wait until they reach the bottom of their soup bowl and find a good "˜ol lorry. (For us non-Brits, that's a truck.)

VEIL Solar Shades

We all know that protecting the environment has shifted from a nice-to-do to a must-do. One of the most promising, but still mostly unexplored, frontiers is green energy. As the world finds new ways to harvest nature to create power, it's inevitable that designers and engineers will find increasingly innovative ways to mix this technology into our lives.

Created by Australian design firm Büro North in partnership with the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab, the VEIL Solar Shades do more than just transfer sunlight into energy. They also, thankfully, look really damn cool. Unlike old skool solar panels, the shades have an organic, natural sloping design. The pattern across the top looks like the veins of a leaf, harkening to the photosynthesis that solar collection is modeled after. Partially funded by the Aussie government, the VEILs are designed for schoolyards where they have the practical benefit of shading tykes from the hot sun.

The shades are also meant to actively engage both kids and adults in their operation: markings on the base show which positions are best to get maximum energy collection at different times of the day, and they are lightweight enough for a child to adjust. Underneath the awning, an LED feedback system shows whether the shades are getting enough sunlight. A pattern of indicator lights glows green if the shade is getting enough power, but turns red if the shades need to be re-positioned. Brilliant.

Ten:15

The web has allowed a whole new range of collaborative photography projects to flourish. Artists teaming up are obviously nothing new, but the ease and instant gratification afforded by the Internet makes for free-flowing ideas around the world to congeal into one artistic idea. Some of these collaborations have found a way to focus on one thing that’s universal and immutable: time. Our locations, cultures, and languages are all different, but it's always going to be 10:15 a.m. somewhere. With that in mind, Ten:15 wants you to send in a picture of whatever you happen to be doing at 10:15 a.m., no matter where you are in the world.

Participants can create their own user portfolio and link it back to their personal site, making it a great way to search for new photographers — or just be a voyeur in other people's lives. You can search the archives by photographer, date, or location. Somehow, the communal collection of our banalities turns them into something fascinating. Having photographic proof that some dude in Manila is putting cream in his morning coffee just creates a little more balance and order in the universe. The casual nature and spontaneity of the photographs can't be faked. They capture that laid-back moment where someone picked up their camera or phone at 10:15 a.m. and just snapped away.

STIX glasses

If you've ever found yourself in the rare, but nonetheless frustrating predicament of needing to eat sushi while you have only your glasses on you, Brad Gressel's got an inventive solution. The American industrial designer's STIX eyeglasses give you a whole new reason to keep your eye on what you're eating. Combining the practical (needing to see, needing to eat) with the fashionable, you'll find a pair of handy stainless steel tipped chopsticks inside the hollow plastic arms of these glasses. Covering all the bases, they're also fully washable, and the ends of the glasses are left open so there's no nasty bacteria build-up. Plus, there’s a third function. if you're not eating or trying to see, you can always use them to put up your hair.

CineVegas' Viral Videos

Normally, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Unless your mission is to hype the 10th anniversary of one of the hottest and fastest-growing film fests in the world. Then, it's all about getting the word out.

Just like Sin City where it all goes down, the CineVegas Film Festival is known for pushing our sensory limits. The filmmakers chosen are cinematic daredevils, and their equally dangerous flicks aren’t the kind you’d find on the slate at more conservative fests. Selecting entries is no easy task, but there are some heavy hitters working behind the scenes. With former Sundance Senior Programmer Trevor Groth as Artistic Director and famed actor Dennis Hopper as Chairman of the Creative Advisory Board, you know the festival is in good hands — whether they're rolling film or dice.

To celebrate their 10th anniversary, CineVegas had alum directors create viral videos with the title "Ten Things I Know About Vegas." Short pieces by Cam Archer, James Fotopolous, and Kevin Everson are already up on the CineVegas YouTube site, with more to be added during the run up to festival’s start on June 12th at the Palms Resort and Casino.

Smiley®

This made me happy. Maybe not for the reasons it intended to, but the end result was still joy. Bright laughing yellow-colored joy.

The iconic smiley face has expanded into the world of aromatherapy and fragrance with Smiley. Claiming to be the “very first anti-stress perfume,” Smiley offers a full range of olfactory uppers. Naturally derived from cocoa, the unisex fragrance is filled with an “olfactive substance with euphoriant bio-mechanics.” Containing Phenylethylamine (a hormonal joy booster) and Theobromine (an adrenaline blocker and stress reliever) to help get you pepped up and then keep you that way.

Smiley's website is a playground. Not only are they selling something called a “psycho-tonic,” but the English section of the site is a lost in translation dream (or nightmare, depending on how you look at it). It sounds like everyone working at Smiley mush be high. Even if a sniff of smiley does nothing for you, reading the line “these two cardio-tonics associated together dope the vitality and sets up the moral” should amuse pretty much anyone. I've totally been looking for a new way to dope my vitality. And of course, once your vitality is doped your moral is set up too.

Smiley's online store, called the "Happy Therapy Centre," sells the whole range of smiley products "“ including "epidermal stimulating massage oil with micro-nutrients to activate happiness." The site also ships worldwide and has a store locator in case you want to go pick up some happy in person.

Universal Everything x Nokia x YOU

Josh Spear fave Matt Pyke, founder of Universal Everything, is continuing his stunning video and branding work with Nokia but this time wants us to all join in too.

To help create a new animation for Nokia stores, Universal Everything is throwing a collaborative animation competition. To enter, all you need to do is take pictures of you, or anyone you know, holding a blank piece of paper. Upload the pics to the contest's Flickr site and the design wizards at Universal Everything will draw cell animation onto each blank frame. The aim is to engage thousands of people around the world and create a truly global animation project that keeps growing and growing.

The contributor who gets the most frames into the final animation wins a Nokia N95 8GB. That's good, but the real prize would be getting to see your shot in one of Universal Everything's industry-leading animations.

St. Regis Hotel: Interactive Menu

Paper just got a little more obsolete. A week after Orange and UK ad agency The Alternative debuted a much buzzed about no touch interactive phone menu in the window of its Carnaby Street store, NYC's legendary St. Regis Hotel has taken the new-age menu up a notch.

The St. Regis is home to celebrated chef Alain Ducasse's Adour Restaurant and, despite the opulent old-skool feel of the sheepskin covered gold wine bar, ordering a drink is decidedly high tech. Created by Potion Design, an electronic touch sensitive menu is displayed onto the bar from a built-in projection system in the ceiling. Foodies can check out Adour's extensive wine list just by tapping their hands on the interactive menu before them. Once you've narrowed it down to a specific wine, a flower icon appears displaying info about the bottle on each of its petals; country, vineyard, grape varietals, and all that fancy sommelier stuff is displayed, literally, right at your fingertips.

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