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December 2007 Archives

December 2, 2007

Pillow Talk and Suspicious Reviews

It's THAT difficult to find pillows, believe it or not...

Just recently, I had to shop for pillows, so I bought four from Macy's that were branded Ralph Lauren. I must say these pillows were awful. Every morning I would wake up, and all four were on the floor. I was going to return them, but couldn't find the receipt because I probably threw it away, intending to keep these pillows.

I visited Macy's web site to search for information on their return policy. Low and behold, they have a fabulous one. All you have to do is go to their store, and they scan your credit card and your item to find the transaction. So you, don't need a receipt. The downside of shopping in-store is that they don't have the variety that you see on the web or customer reviews, although when I was reading the reviews, all the products seem to be positive, even for the styrofoam-like pillows from RL, which seem suspect. They were also having a promotion that if you write a review, you win a $1000 gift card:

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First there was spin in the news, and now there is spin in reviews
So I decided to login and write a review. First of all, it seems that ANYONE can login or sign up to write a review. The problem is that people who didn't buy a product can review it anyway, which to me seems like, either the brands can hire people to write positive reviews about their own products, or people who want to win that $1000 gift card are trying to increase their chances of winning it. The difference in Amazon reviews is that you can only review a book after you purchase it. Of course there are some authors out there that promote themselves by buying their own book and writing a positive review about themselves under a different screen name. I tried cross-referencing products from Macy's, Overstock.com, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Linens-N-Things, and Costco to Amazon's reviews, but this was extremely difficult because some of the brands sell the same product under different names and change the product just slightly to appease their retailers (e.g. thread count, fill power, "ecodown," feathers, etc.) Some manufacturers trademark their process or design, so you don't even know what they're really selling (e.g. confusing illustrations) or what the product is named at say Macy's versus Linens N Things (e.g. "The Hotel Collection" or "Hotel Down Pillow"), which look similar except for the label on the bottom right corner and the price. Case in point: Kaboodle (a shopping community where people recommend and discover new things), and although I was able to find some pillows, most recommendations seem to be about self-promotion (e.g. Designer recommends their designed pillows) and targeted at the youth market, where sleep is less important.

Early on, I had Googled "nytimes, pillow, review," and wasn't able to find any articles, but when I changed my search from "nytimes, pillow, recommendations," I was lucky enough to find this review by the New York Times (2004). Ms. Joyce Cohen wrote about the same frustrations in shopping for a pillow that I had. I ended up going with DownFactory.com because of the owner's knowledge that was stated in the review and that's what Ms. Cohen ended up going with. I will later post if Ms. Cohen's review is current. I checked every link mentioned in her review, and most are current except for this site, idfb.org (acronym for International Down and Feather Bureau, but is now a parked site).

I was also convinced with DownFactory because their designs were used in a couple of Olympics and because they've been in business since in 1932.

ADDENDUM:
Okay, I just received two pillows, and was kind of worried about them, when I saw it arrive in a small box.
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Luckily, they have a warranty that when a pillow is squeezed, it can only be reduced to 20% of their former size.
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So far, they are comfy.

December 10, 2007

Penny Harvest at Rockefeller Center

Common Cents


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Common Cents Penny Harvest grew from one child’s desire to feed the homeless...

Reminds me of the movie, Pay It Forward. This is probably the most successful installation I've seen, where people collectively donate to the pool. Every person that walked by must have thrown change into this pool of pennies. Since 1991, this organization has raised at least $5.9 million since 1991. 71 million pennies weigh at least 2 tons and is worth at least $711,000.00. There are some prized if you can guess how many pennies are in the pool.

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So far Penny Harvests have hit 5 states, including NY, Colorado, Florida, Tennessee, and Washington.

You can even vote on which cause you want the Penny Harvest to donate to:
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December 12, 2007

Electronic Jewelry...

This electronic necklace is composed of one surface mount white LED light and a Swarovski crystal. The clasps are switches and have a coin cell battery. I find it funny that the display needs to DD batteries.

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This bracelet is funny, get it? Slightly on the pricey-side.
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Anthropologie Window

They are so good and designing there windows. I believe part of the reason is because of they integrate a narrative in their display (e.g. santa letters in the pocket of the sweater), and the other reason is their unique (e.g. balls of yarn) and resourceful use of materials (e.g. straws and empty, plastic, water jugs).

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Flavia Sparacino, Founding Principal, Sensing Places

I saw a lecture by Ms Sparacino at the Center for Architecture. Her presentation, ‘Interactive Media Environments & Architectural Machines’ uses sensors and camera-tracking to make physical spaces interactive.

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She worked with a lot of famous architects, and was responsible for creating the technology infamous in the scene from Minority Report. More about her work on my design conferences wiki/notes and my Flick'r account.

Center for Architecture

Pretty cool fabricated form...

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Nice information graphics:
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December 15, 2007

Funniest Flash site I've seen in a long time

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PETA does a spoof on the Olsen twins. On the PETA site, they are the Trollsen twins, Hairy-Kate and Trashley, yikes! You can dress them in fur outfits, persuade someone not to wear fur (by sending them a prewritten email), watch a reappropriated video of Full House on the Tanner Family Crisis, buy t-shirts, and download free banners. Interesting that they are targeting the youth market. I wonder what happens if they do stop wearing fur, who will they go after next? Now all they need is a Facebook app.

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About December 2007

This page contains all entries posted to keeyool.com in December 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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