Flipping the flip-flops

This video from Made in Kenya shows us how old flip-flops have been turned into works of art. You can learn more about the project here: oceansole.co.ke


“Say no to plastic; say yes to pasta”

Banning plastic straws is something more and more restaurants and shops are doing in the U.S. New York City is the latest to consider a ban. On this morning’s NHK news, one segment focused on Malibu, California’s new ban, which begins in January. Some restaurants are moving to paper straws, and one is trying pasta straws.

It seems at least one place in Bristol, England is also doing this too: (image links to video on BBC)

Here’s an article from USA Today about these and other alternatives:

“Glass straws? Straw straws? Here are some eco-friendly alternatives to plastic”

Controlled chaos

Bike culture in Amsterdam is not a subculture, it’s THE culture.

I live in a place where I don’t really need a bicycle, and of course I don’t need a car: trains and buses are plentiful and punctual. But recently I had the opportunity to try one of Tokyo’s (relatively) new bike share systems, and it was, like most other things in Tokyo, efficient and fun.

The one I used seems to be the most comprehensive — it has bike ports in 9 wards: Chiyoda-ku, Chuo-ku, Minato-ku, Shinjuku-ku, Bunkyo-ku, Koto-ku, Shinagawa-ku, Ota-ku, and Shibuya-ku.

There are several different plans, but the one I tried allows you to register your credit card online and then anytime you want to pick up a bike, you just swipe the panel on the back fo the bike with your credit card and the bike unlocks for you. The first 30 minutes cost ¥150, with each additional 30 minutes costing ¥100. You can pick up a bike at one port in one ward and drop it off at any other port in any other ward.

Oh, and these bikes are electric.