Like a normal featureless cube, but sings comical songs.
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Delicate Negotiations

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emdeesee
18 hours ago
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Is Elliot distant-past Church? 🤔 😲
Lincoln, NE
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World’s First Tatami-Style Starbucks to Open in Kyoto

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Starbucks’ first international market outside of North America began in Tokyo in 1996 and now with 1,100 stores across the country, Japan is Starbucks’ 4th largest market globally. Now, after 21 years, they’re opening the world’s first tatami-style Starbucks in Kyoto on June 30, 2017.

the first floor bar counter

The new location will be located along the historic Ninenzaka street, which leads directly to Kiyomizu-dera, one of Kyoto’s most popular shrines. And the coffee shop will be located inside a 100-year old traditional Japanese townhouse. Beginning with the noren at the entrance and extending into the 1st and 2nd floors, every effort has been taken to retain much of the charm of the historic structure. In fact, among the many historic townhouses that are situated along this path, this is the only one that retains its original daibei walled-fence.

The ground level will have a bar counter and 3 courtyards, each with gardens and unique stone water basins, known as tsukubai. On the 2nd floor will be 3 rooms where visitors will remove their shoes and sit on tatami mats with zabuton coushins while enjoying their beverage.

Starbucks Coffee Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Tea Parlor (Map)
Hours: 8:00am – 8:00pm
Grand opening on 6/30/2017 at 1:00pm

a narrow path leads back to one of the three courtyards

one of the three tatami-style rooms on the 2nd floor

the historic Ninenzaka road

the historic townhouse, prior to renovations

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emdeesee
6 days ago
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Nicely done, Starbucks. Nicely done Starbucks.
Lincoln, NE
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The Eerie Humanoid Driftwood Sculptures of Nagato Iwasaki

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all photos courtesy Nagato Iwasaki

Artist Nagato Iwasaki‘s lifelike driftwood sculptures are perfect examples of the uncanny valley — the feelings of revulsion and uneasiness one experiences from non-human objects that appear a bit too similar to real human beings. Japan seems to excel at this in areas like robotics technology, and indeed, the term “uncanny valley” itself was coined in 1970 by a Japanese roboticist, Masahiro Mori. Iwasaki takes this concept out into nature, blurring the line between flesh and wood.

 

installation at Mount Fuji, November 2008

Over the past 25 years, Iwasaki has been crafting these sculptures as part of a collection he simply calls “torso.” The sculptures themselves are life-sized at around 180 centimeters tall, or 5 feet 9 inches and made entirely of driftwood the artist collects in various locations in Japan. No one sculpture is exactly like another which makes them all seem like individuals with their own quirks and personalities. Descriptions of Iwasaki’s sculptures by viewers run the gamut from scary, unsettling, and imposing, to profound, intriguing, and otherworldly.

“Gathering bits of wood from here and there, like an insect building a nest, I create sculptures”

Iwasaki’s driftwood sculptures have been exhibited in installations both in Japan and abroad. They have been featured in solo and group exhibitions in the Tokyo area for the past 25 years, and in 1996, a collaboration with fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto was included in that year’s Florence Biennale in Italy. A bit more recently, Tokyo-based indie rock band The Back Horn used Iwasaki’s driftwood sculptures for the cover of their 2008 compilation album. Though there is little written by the artist about his work, perhaps it is intentional as the sculptures themselves are powerful enough on their own.

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emdeesee
8 days ago
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"Eerie" is right...
Lincoln, NE
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How My Brain Works

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emdeesee
9 days ago
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we are brun
Lincoln, NE
jlvanderzwan
8 days ago
Yeah, pretty much
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Important Considerations

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emdeesee
13 days ago
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See the tank, be the tank, Bubbles.
Lincoln, NE
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Haunting Photographs of Japanese Vending Machines at Night

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Vending machines in Japan were first introduced in 1888 and sold cigarettes. But their proliferation has been astounding and the country now has an estimated 5.5 million vending machines nationwide. Its penetration rate is the highest in the world with roughly 1 vending machine for every 23 people. In fact, they’ve become so ubiquitous and common that they blend in with Japan’s landscape. Maybe that’s why it takes an outsider to shine a light on them.

In 2012 German photographer Benedikt Partenheimer visited Japan on a residency program and captured, among other things, a series of eerie photographs of vending machines quietly glowing at night. Devoid of any human behavior, it felt as though the machines existed alone in some post-apocalyptic world.

The work was presented in an exhibition at the Hara Art Museum in 2014. “You can find them on almost every street corner,” says the artist. “Especially at night they become a visible reference of energy consumption and likewise emanate an absurd surreal and sad beauty.”

In the wake of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster and the ongoing debate over Japan’s energy policy, Partenheimer’s work was meant to raise public awareness on energy usage. “Japanese vending machines [as a total] consume about as much energy as one nuclear power plant produces,” says the artist. “Do we need all the machines we create and do we want to live in a world that is becoming more and more ‘convenient’?”

It’s worth noting that Japan continues to make progress in energy efficiency. And vending machines in more populated regions of Japan are consistently swapped out for newer versions. In 2014 Suntory announced that it had developed a vending machine that consumes roughly half the electricity of its conventional counterparts.

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emdeesee
16 days ago
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Lincoln, NE
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