A bubble gum company in Japan–a nation conscious of the relationship between chewing and cognitive function–has invented a chewing-sensor. The sensor, invented by a Tokyo-based gum manufacturer, counts chewing rate and intensity.

“Chewing, unless you make a conscious effort, can be seen as a bit of a pain,” said Katsumi Kawai, chief marketing officer at Lotte.

“As a gum maker, this is a great concern.”

Chews are recorded by special earphones created by the gum company. Sensors within the ear pieces also record the speed and strenth of each bite.

Data is sent from the earphones to a smartphone ap that tracks chewing by time periods.

The technology can also be used to turn music on and off, which can be done by chewing in a certain pattern.

The device has been called “Rhythmi-Kamu,” a play on the English word “rhythmical” and the Japanese “kamu” (to chew).

It employs technology developed by Hiroshima City University engineer Kazuhiro Taniguchi, who said that the product pleased him and that it had “satisfying functions.”

Japan, a country that already had a belief in the connection between chewing and health, had their belief fortified by a studly last year that showed a correlation between the two.

The Rhythmi-Kamu is not bound for the commercial marketplace, but Lotte has expressed a desire for research institutions to use it to study chewing.

By Heidi Woolf

Cairo's Walls Of Freedom Demolished - Photo Document

Mohamed Mahmoud street, one of the most iconic locations of modern Egyptian history, famous for its walls graffitied by artists who gave color to the Revolution of 2011, is now being demolishing as part of a renovation project.

Online news website Ahram Online reported that the order for demolishing the walls of The American University in Cairo, where the most famous graffiti is located, came from the Cairo Governorate. The instructions also include tearing down the university’s science building.

The indignation of the the Egyptian youth was immediate. Many consider Mohamed Mahmoud Street’s graffiti to be a monument to the 2011 revolution, in which President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown after almost 30 years in power.

A meme has been circulating on social media showing President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi peeking behind the wall that is now being destroyed, raising questions about the leader’s responsibility for the demolition of the iconic revolutionary locale, right next to Tahrir Square.

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Image credit: Ahmed M. Tuni

A law that recently passed in Egypt dictates that any anti-government graffiti is now considered a criminal act. Many Egyptians have voiced opposition to the legislation, saying the law hits strongly against freedom of speech in the country.

 

With the destruction of the revolutionary graffiti wall, some fear that an era will sadly come to an end in Mohamed Mahmoud Street and the symbolic center of the Egyptian Revolution.

Text and photography by David A Córdova M.

Mohamed Mahmoud Street Graffiti

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Tiny House Leaves Room for Parking Below

Well prefab and modular home builders, have have ever considered building a tiny house that’s just a second floor? That’s what these guys did here, and it’s actually a somewhat common practice when it comes to certain building locations. Not only that, it has a few interesting benefits.

One is, especially if you’re building a tiny house — whether its a prefab or modular house or not — it’s not difficult to do. The foundation is just simple blocking but it’s posts, and the house is set up higher. Also, these elevated houses get good ventilation because of the wind they are exposed to. Then there’s the safety from flooding. And finally, they have the benefit of leaving room below the small house for storage, a social area in shade, or parking (like the picture). This can be a good benefit for those who have a small space to build on, but don’t want to miss out on having a certain amount of parking area.

Some of you out there might be wondering about the stairs, though. Not everyone wants to walk up and down stairs every time they enter or exit their prefab home or tiny house, right?

Actually, a read a woman writing about just this issue a while ago. She had a friend who had pets that were getting old (and the friend also planned to age in the house), and she had a house on stilts like the one in the photo. So she installed an electric stair lift. Her advice was that we don’t need to worry too much about limitations because we have ways of getting around them. That sounds quite a bit like the prefab house movement philosophy, too.

If you’re thinking of building a tiny house like this on a beach, make sure to check the local building inspector’s office (or whatever its called where you happen to live). In order to get insurance for a small house — even a prefab house in some cases — not all prefabs are set on wheels and classified as mobile homes — builders need to find out the guidelines for new constructions.

Also, some of you might have noticed, this picture shows what can be considered a tiny house in the same frame as, parked below it … a hummer, one of the more famous expensive gas-guzzling vehicles going. That’s because this house design is actually from Koa Campgrounds. They have beach house rentals, tent campgrounds, RV parks and other places (you can see what they have to offer and their locations by clicking here).

They actually built this design — not as a prefab but you can see how it would easily translate into a prefab or even a shipping container house design.

Tiny House Leaves Room for Parking Below (2)

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