Posted by: JCleggman | June 22, 2008

Winter blue? Creepy Snow Globe

Artist Walter Martin and Palmoa Munoz construct eerie detailed artistic scenes inside of snow globes. They sculpt miniature figures set in snowy outside scenes that depict sometimes horrible situations. Each snow globe tells a story and it’s up to the viewer to fill in the blanks of those stories. Some of these miniature people seem trapped in a fairy-tale like story. Traditional snow globes house relaxing winter scenes of Evergreen trees, snow-capped houses and horse drawn carriages, however, these haunting snow globes tell a different story. If that doesn’t leave you shaken and stirred, then I don’t know what will.

To view more of Martin-Munoz’s works, check out at

If you are not in mood for Christmas cheers, these creepy snow globes are perfect for you. You can have it for about $750 if you look for it via internet somewhere.

Sources: Gizmodo, Dvice, InventorSpot.

Posted by: JCleggman | June 19, 2008

Clever Idea – The Progress Bar

Mad Props to David Friedman for coming up with this incredibly clever idea for a bar name, The Progress Bar. Ideally, this bar could be a great addition to the newly constructed Park Point complex at Rochester Institute of Technology campus. Apparently, we spend too much time on our computers as it is, but I think this bar is a good way to vent and get loose. I’ll have to ask David for his permission to pitch this idea to somebody in charge of the Park Point. David Friedman’s blog is at Iconic Sans.

Posted by: JCleggman | June 19, 2008

Sushi Heaven

I’ve been meaning to post this blog about Japanese seafood buffet restaurant called Minado a while ago. My girlfriend and I went to New York City for our Christmas shopping for about a week while visiting our friends there. Well, yeah before I got really broke, we decided to do the final damage to my wallet at pricey Minado, which is located on the Long Island (Carle Place, NY), to satisfy our sushi fix before heading back home to Rochester, NY on the next day. It was well worth the trip.

Minado serves a variety of all you can eat dishes including sushi, tempura, beef or chicken teriyaki, barbecue ribs, savory udon noodles, and meaty selections of seafood. Don’t forget about delicious Japanese salad and desserts as well. The bite size sushi allow to try different ones til you’ve had your fill of ’em.

Of course, the “buffet” term may cringe some because of quantity-graded foods that you would normally find anywhere else. You don’t often align the words like fresh and quality together when it comes to buffet, but it really does at Minado. The buffet foods are being replaced constantly before they even lose any freshness just to maintain its high-quality reputation. As a proof of this, I’ve snapped few pictures before having my camera banned (which is quite surprising).

Posted by: JCleggman | June 18, 2008

Customs of Hugging

I’m sure you probably have already heard of Free Hugs movement that began in 2004 by Juan Mann, right? Well, it has already reached the part of Asian countries long before even as I started blogging about this. For now, I’ll just talk about what the Westerners are most familiar with, which are Japan, Korea, and China. Needless to say, these countries are aptly known as the “East.”

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be a cultural anthropologist or even pretending to be one, but I do know the real significance of public display of affections in the Asian countries. The Asian countries are generally not touch oriented societies and that hugging in the public is relatively new to them in their respective countries.

Maybe it’s because in recent years, the Western and contemporary values and ideas have become more popular and has either influenced, altered, and even replaced, some of the more traditional gestures. So, understanding human behavior is tricky stuff. We see a lot of Western-influences in Japan and South Korea, but not so much in China (except perhaps for Hong Kong).

Hugging may be universal, or at least the Olympic events proved that, but it appears to me that Westerners are more willing to give hugs than Asian people in their respective countries as you will notice in some of the videoclips below. These videoclips will show Free Hugs movement that took place in Japan, South Korea, and China. Watch and see how these people react bit differently in each of their countries.

Free Hugs in Japan

Free Hugs in South Korea

Free Hugs in China (this guy got arrested at the end of this videoclip)

As the global village continues to shrink and cultures collide, it is essential for all of us to become more sensitive, more aware, and more observant to the myriad motions, gestures, and body language that surround us each day. And as many of us cross over cultural borders, it would be fitting for us to respect, learn, and understand more about the effective, yet powerful “silent language” of gestures as hugging.

Posted by: JCleggman | June 18, 2008

Take-G: Stunning Wood Toys

I realized this post may sound a bit too juvenile for some of you, but seriously these remarkable wood toys hand-crafted by Takeji Nakagawa are, to me, nothing short of a true genius craftsman and artist.

Takeji Nakagawa hand-crafts his toys so meticulously piece by piece all by himself, just so that wooden materials’ true quality and beauty can shine through. He runs a small toy company with his wife, yes just him and his wife, in Japan. The Take-G toys are really a “toys” in the truest sense and it’s meant to be. In his own words, he shares his view about why he made these toys:

I often get asked “Why do you make robots with wood?” I don’t really have an exact answer for it but I often relate my robots with ‘future’. 

What do you relate future with? Cities full of metals, glasses and plastics in a SF movie? What we really want is not that kind of future but one full of trees and something more natural. I don’t think humans can live without trees no matter what advances technology makes. 

When I think of ‘future’, I cannot help thinking of ‘past’ at the same time. Trees take long time (tens and hundreds years) to grow and show us their beauty (the product of their past). I think that I have responsibilities as a craftsman and an artist of breathing new life into these trees. I have a job to link 100 years in the past and 100 years in the future through my work. This is my values toward my work. 

I wish my work, which carries such values, can grab imaginations of children of the past, present and future.” 



Unfortunately, the Take-G toys can’t be bought by any conventional means, not yet anyway. Take-G, however, only sells them at exhibitions and art galleries. I guess that would really make them all the more rare and valuable collectible items for anybody. Here, you can check out his website at The english version Take-G website will be coming soon. 

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