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Pamper Your Butt

I recently upgraded from the wooden kitchen chair I've used for years to a real swiveling office chair on wheels, so I'm a bit behind the curve on office chair innovations. When you spend the biggest part of your waking life sitting at a computer, what you sit on can make all the difference in your mood. Some of the gadgets developed to enhance your working comfort and health may be worth the added expense.

The Best Seat Cushion

This cushion has twelve air cells inside that inflate and deflate intermittently. The idea is that this will relieve pressure points and stimulate circulation in your butt and thighs. Yes, it's possible to  do the same thing by shifting your weight or changing position, but it sounds like it would give you a lovely massage. The Best Seat is powered by a rechargeable battery that will last 48 hours on a two-our charge. Get yours for $225 at Magellan (when they restock) or $299.99 at Hammacher-Schlemmer.

Suzukaze Seat Cushion

MFac.jpgThings can get hot under there. The Suzukaze seat cushion has a built-in air conditioner for your butt! The fan pushed 170 liters of air through the cushion per minute. It runs on 4 AA batteries, with an estimated energy cost of 5 cents a month if you use rechargeable batteries. There is also a car seat model available. Only $93 from the Japan Trend Shop.

Embody Office Chair

200_MFembody.jpgThis chair designed by Jeff Weber and the late Bill Stumpf shapes itself to your body. Seven different adjustments let you find the position that is most comfortable. The lower back has constant support, while the upper back conforms to your shape. The seat has four layers -suspension, coils, weight-supporting rings, and a cooling mesh. It's yours for $1,495.00 (or a bit more with some options) from Herman Miller. Shipping is free.

I'm still giddy from just having a comfy office chair. Still, one of these days I'm going to splurge a bit to make myself feel really pampered while working. Meanwhile, I'll keep buying lottery tickets.

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Courtesy of Studio Segers
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Design
These Unique Benches Are Made From Yogurt Cups and Plastic Bags
Courtesy of Studio Segers
Courtesy of Studio Segers

When sent to a landfill, some plastic waste will sit there for centuries before breaking down. The Belgian design firm Studio Segers has found an alternative use for the plastic containers some people throw away by re-purposing them into innovative outdoor seating. This modular bench spotted by design milk is made from used yogurt cups, butter tubs, and plastic bags and is 100 percent recyclable.

Commissioned by the recycling company ECO-oh!, the H-bench consists of slender, plastic components. They come with or without backrests and are available in dark gray, medium gray, light gray, pastel green, pastel blue, and beige. Snap three of them together and you have a chair. Keep adding pieces to build a snug love-seat or a bench long enough to fit a crowd.

Recycled bench.
Courtesy of Studio Segers

The seat is designed to be customized to suit the user’s taste. Chair backs can face one way or alternating directions; the bench can feature multi-colored stripes or a uniform shade; one side can have seat backs while the opposite end is built for laying down.

The makers didn’t skimp on quality to make their product sustainable: The H-bench is made from plastics called polyolefins, which means it's durable enough to stay strong and vibrant even in harsh outdoor conditions. Get a closer look at the smart design in the video below.

[h/t design milk]

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The Elements
Sit Down at a Periodic Table That Holds Samples of Every Element
iStock
iStock

The periodic table maps out the atomic numbers, electron configurations, and chemical properties of all the elements found on Earth (both in nature and in the lab). But have you ever wondered what a traditional periodic table would look like as a physical table? That’s the question Wolfram Research co-founder Theo Gray asked himself years ago, and the wooden Periodic Table Table was his answer.

As you can see in the video below from Reactions, the furniture piece he built at his office looks like something you might find in your dining room, albeit a little more educational. Its surface features dozens of wooden squares, each one etched with the information for a different element. Beneath each wooden panel, there's a compartment that contains a sample of that element from the real world.

Gray’s table includes straightforward examples of the elements, like a jar of mercury and a chunk of bismuth, as well as some more creative entries like an aluminum knee implant. The 2400-plus items in his collection have long since spilled beyond the table and onto his shelves. While many of the objects are stored within the table itself, in some cases, he has too many examples of one element to keep them in the same spot. Some, like the knee implant, are just too bulky to fit. Valuable elements like gold and dangerous items—like a radioactive bottle of the early 20th-century quack-medicine Radithor—are also kept in more secure locations.

Even Gray’s vast inventory reflects just a small slice of how we see the chemical elements manifested in everyday life. For more examples of where you can find elements in the world around you, check out this illustrated table.

[h/t Reactions]

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