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Design*Sponge: Weeder's Digest

For all you clueless — or potentially clueless — romantics out there who are looking to pick up flowers for your loved one, a guide to what they say is key. You don’t end up telling your lover you want friendship and not a wild romp on the kitchen table. Of course, these are only one florist’s interpretations, but we think she nailed it. And by the way, stop being a curmudgeon about Valentine’s Day. It’s not going to help you get what you really want: laid.

Turnleft's Free Urban Guides

We’ve written about plenty of travel guides, but this time we thought a) what’s one more? and b) it’s free! Whether you have a hankering for a happening lounge or a dose of architectural innovation in a distant land, Turnleft has got you covered. While their sphere of tourist influence currently only encompasses Paris, Helsinki, Amsterdam, and Berlin, the around-the-world adventure advice guides will be expanding their reach from the Americas to Scandinavia shortly. Pretty soon you’ll be able to find a tasty concept restaurant in Reykjavik or a dope design spot in Denmark. Did we mention it’s free?

Been There, Haven't Done That

Fodor’s and Lonely Planet do an admirable job of helping first timers get around unfamiliar locales, but what about repeat visitors? After the obvious museums and landmarks, there are still plenty of cultural must sees and dos that escape our vacation radar. Le Cool publishing have found a way to bring all of the missing links of leisure to the attention of the jaded jetset. On the heels of their hometown “A Weird and Wonderful Guide To Barcelona”, the Spanish publishers have released four graphic guides: Amsterdam, Lisbon, London, and Madrid. They feature the work of top designers and insiders who find hidden gems in these Euro cities, and prove that while they may have been there, they might not necessarily have done that.

The Book of Surfing: The Killer Guide

If you’re planning on catching some waves while you’re sitting on top of the world this summer, you’ve got to know your fellow surfers’ lingo. There’s nothing worse than boosting through a barrel on your beavertail and not knowing what that means. Thankfully, A-Side studio has done a fine job putting together a guide to everything pantheon pipeliners need to know. The Book of Surfing: The Killer Guide combs the beach for all of the important tidbits of surf culture, covering everything from classic surf graphics to the tunes of Brian Wilson. It’s totally worth hanging ten for … or however much it costs.

Art Space Tokyo

Most guide books are, well, dull. And even if you think you’ve picked the “local” spots, you’re likely to end up at the same bar or strip club with all the other tourists. Lame. But check out the new book Art Space Tokyo, and you’ll be able to really find what you’ve been looking for — at least in Japan.

The book introduces you to the neighborhoods that house the most important art galleries in the city by pairing illustrations by artists such as Nobumasa Takahashi and Craig Mod, with insightful descriptions of the areas and suggestions of spots to check out. Follow it, and we doubt you’ll run into any loud, gum-smacking tourists.

Inquiringmind: The Buyers Buyble Fall 2007

Not that we think any of our readers need help dressing themselves , but just in case, online lifestyle magazine inqmnd has put together a fairly comprehensive, user-friendly Fall Lookbook. The guide, which primarily features streetwear (veering, however, head-long into hipsterism upon occasion), mixes easy-to-find items with a higher-end pieces to create some awesome (though admittedly safe) looks. Brands repped in the lookbook include class favorites like New Era, John Varvatos, ALIFE, Arcteryx, and Poets and Thieves, as well as close to 20 other well-loved labels. Again, I’m not pointing fingers, but if, say, you’re too busy saving starving kittens or african orphans to give dressing yourself the attention it deserves, this will help you more than you know.

Core77's Hack-2-School Guide 2007

Those of you wielding freshly-sharpened pencils should bookmark/del.icio.us Core77′s Hack-2-School Guide immediately; packed to the gills with humor and frank advice for the classroom to dormroom — and everything in between — from designers, teachers, retail folks and editors (such as yours truly), it’s essential reading for everyone pursuing a design education and definitely worthwhile reading for those past that stage as well. Any/all praise and thanks should directed towards Allen and the rockstar team at Core77 for putting together such a phenomenal resource for future designers.

Core 77 Presents: 77 Design Gifts

The gang at the Core 77 workshop have been hard at work on their ‘Ultimate Designer Holiday Gift Guide‘. Hot, cool, classic, alternative, hipster, nerdy, iconic and random–the list is an explosion of holiday goodness with a pepper sauce chaser and some rainbow sprinkles on top. Woo! They chose 77 design gifts all under $77, pretty nifty and some great gems here. I won’t ruin the surprise, go check it out!

Real World Software: Web 2.0 Resource

I’m sure if you’re reading our blog, you’re pretty computer savvy, and you probably know what Web 2.0 sites are. But for those of you who need a little explanation: Web 2.0 sites are ‘new and improved sites that make the web their platform, provide users a way of interacting with each other, and organize and categorize their content.’ Basically, Web 2.0 sites are the ‘second coming of the World Wide Web.’ The best resource I’ve seen for finding these great new sites is Real World Software Development’s list. Not only does Real World provide a comprehensive list of sites, but it links you into other helpful lists. Real World’s list is broken into categories like social bookmarking, social network, communications/email, mapping, job search, shopping, travel, calendars, etc. Thanks to my brother and advertising guru Brendan Starr over at GSD&M in Austin, TX for the tip on this great resource.

Neiman Marcus Christmas Book

Okay, so we can change our minds fast about this kind of thing. We were pretty set on the new Audi R8 we mentioned early this week as the next JS company car, but when Neiman Marcus introduced their legendary Christmas Book and we found this limited edition BMW M6 with ruby black exterior paint, piano black trim and gold brown merino leather seats– we had to wipe the drool off our chin before anyone saw us. Other highlights of the guide include a Virgin Galactic charter to space (for a cool 1.765 Million), a sports dream package (VIP Travel, accommodations and tickets to every all star game, world series, etc.), and much, much more. Put a bib on to protect your shirt from drool stains and go check out the most luxurious, borderline disgusting Christmas shopping list we’ve ever seen.

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