Coin-Operated Lamp Drives Home the Cost of Energy Consumption

Moak Studio
Moak Studio

You consume energy every time you switch on a light, and that ends up costing you, your power company, and the planet. This cost is easy to ignore when just a few minutes of light adds only cents to your electric bill, but over time, all that usage adds up. A new conceptual product spotted by Co.Design visualizes our energy consumption in a creative way.

Moak Studio presented their coin-operated Dina lamp at the Promote Design DIN Exhibition for Milan Design Week. To turn it on, users must first insert a medium-sized coin into a slot on the shade, whether it's a nickel, a quarter, or a euro. The coin fills in a gap in the lamp's circuitry, providing the conductive metal needed to light it. After switching the lamp off, users can flip a knob on the base to retrieve their coin.

The Dina lamp isn't meant to solve our global energy problems singlehandedly; rather, it's designed to get people to pause and think about the impact of their daily choices before they make them. But other strategies, like paying people to conserve energy rather than making them pay to use it, may be more effective when it comes to spurring real change.

Dina Lamp from MOAK Studio on Vimeo.

[h/t Co.Design]

22 Whimsical Clear Phone Cases That Let You Show Off Your Favorite Art

Society6
Society6

It seems like Society6 is constantly coming up with more and more products that you can get emblazoned with your favorite artists' work. From notebooks to shower curtains, we're getting to a point where an entire apartment can be covered in artful sloths. And so can your phone.

The art print site's clear iPhone cases are transparent and incorporate the look of the phone underneath into the design. Often, the patterns look like stickers, but with the advantage of never peeling. The protective cases come in two versions: slim (a frosted plastic case) or tough (a two-piece, impact resistant case) and are available for $36 for iPhone 6 and later.

We collected all our favorite designs to give you a quick look at what's available.

1. WITCHCRAFT

2. BANANA!!

3. MY SLEEPY PET

4. FRIDA KAHLO

5. PUG YOGA

6. UNICORN LAND

7. NATURE WALKS

8. SNEAKY CAT

9. CACTUS OUTFIT

10. FLY ME TO THE MOON

11. GOLDEN CELESTIAL BUGS

12. HAMMERHEADS

13. I SHOW YOU THE STARS

14. FOR THE TREES

15. SKELETON

16. GREEN AND BLACK GARDEN WITH RED FLOWERS

17. CAT'S EYES

18. BABY AXOLOTL

19. SOLAR SYSTEM

20. BEAR GARDEN

21. TRICKSTERS

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

A version of this story first ran in 2017. It has been updated to reflect current availabilty.

Boston-Area Students Convince their City to Install 3D Crosswalks

iStock.com/olaser
iStock.com/olaser

Motorists driving through Medford, Massachusetts may notice something unusual on the street outside Brooks Elementary School. On April 22, the city installed a new pedestrian crosswalk painted to look like 3D objects raised from the ground. The new crossing path aims to make the intersection safer, and it's one of several set to debut around Medford, Curbed reports.

By painting additional, shaded shapes around the traditional white strips of a crosswalk, the city was able to create an optical illusion for drivers. From far away, the flat shapes look like blocks in the middle of the street. The effect is meant to make drivers slow down before they reach the crossing, and to make them more alert to pedestrians in the area.

Two students—a fourth- and a fifth-grader—worked with their teacher and the Brooks Center for Citizenship and Social Responsibility to convince the city to add the safety feature. The 3D walkway, designed by Boston artist Nate Swain, will be painted outside three other elementary schools in the city.

Medford is the first city in the Boston area to experiment with 3D crosswalks, but the illusion has been used for years in other parts of the world. In 2016, Shakuntala Pandya and her daughter Saumya Pandya Thakkar designed their own version of the blocks for a highway in Ahmedabad, India, and in Chicago, the crosswalks have been around for nearly a decade.

[h/t Curbed]

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