When the news broke that El Bulli would be closing indefinitely, we imagine that more than a couple molecular gastronomes glanced over at the six-volume sets of Modernist Cuisine weighing down their bookshelves and wondered, “What’s next?”
We've grown accustomed to devices that can see better than the human eye – from binocular telescopes to electron microscopes – but now technology is moving on to the human nose. In fact, a new electronic nose, from Florida-based iSense, can not only better the human sense of smell, it can leave even specially trained bloodhounds in the dust. About the size of a mobile phone, the new eNose analyzes puffs of air Breathalyzer-style, to detect everything from spoiled food to cancer in its earliest stages.
We'd chalk it up to the heat wave, but it started months ago. Still, with temperatures around the country going crazy, the time seems perfect for a look at one of the more wacky trends we've noticed this year. Perhaps inspired by the ambigrams (word designs that can be read backwards or reflected in a mirror) featured in Dan Brown's "DaVinci Code" prequel, "Angels and Demons" (currently logging its 148th week on the bestseller list), America appears ready to embrace all things backward or upside down.
More, more, more! According to Mintel’s GNPD (Global New Products Database) a staggering 156,125 new consumer products were introduced in 2005... one every 3.5 minutes. So we thought it was time to play a little catch-up. As ever, adding new benefits (via supplementary ingredients) to old favorites was a popular ploy. Herewith, our pick of some of the more offbeat and colorful of the new fortified products:
Shower Shock Caffeinated Soap
If It Quacks Like A Duck
...it may not be a duck. The fashion industry, for one (having fully embraced faux fur) is now trying to push pleather as the next big must-have (it was featured in recent collections from Gucci, Prada and Stella McCartney). But this trend is bigger than fashion. Lately, it seems even entire animals can go faux.
Something Warm To Curl Up With
We've reached the season of the year when all of us spend a lot of time trying to avoid (and then, inevitably, trying to deal with) having the flu. We think the important thing is to keep a sense of humor about it, and hey, if you do get the flu, use it as an excuse to pamper yourself a little!
Animal Gauze Mask
Every time we think that technology developers can't compress power and performance any more than they already have, that's just what they go ahead and do. And, despite being used to it, sometimes we can't help but still be impressed. Not just at how tiny, but at the diversity of products that are getting the mini treatment.
Don't drop it in your coffee by mistake.
Anti-bacterial windows? Sofas that filter the air around them? They're not science fiction, they're part of the cutting-edge movement to detoxify the American Home. Since the EPA has found indoor air to be on average 5 times more polluted than outdoor air, looks like the movement isn't a moment too soon.
Dining out is one of the biggest challenge dieters face, because usually they can only guess at the caloric content of the dishes they order. Now there’s a movement to take the guesswork – and guilt – out of the restaurant experience.