Vollebak's 100 Year Pants Promise to Outlast Every Clothing Item You Own


Vollebak, the same clothing company behind the world's first graphene jacket, has developed a pair of trousers built to outlast every item in your closet. The 100 Year Pants promise to be tough enough to endure in the harshest conditions, and soft enough to wear while loafing around your home.

As Fast Company reports, the secret to the 100 Year Pants's durability lies in their three-layer design. The outer later is water-resistant and can stand up to decades of wear-and-tear, while the innermost layer is made from a synthetic material that doesn't burn or melt. In between is a fireproof layer that automatically expands when exposed to extreme heat, creating a barrier between your skin and the flames. The pants are also outfitted with four spacious pockets, adjustable ankle belts, and leg vents you can zip open on hot days.

The material was originally designed for soldiers, and it's manufactured in Switzerland. But unlike typical military or space gear, the 100 Year Pants work just as well as lounge wear as active wear. The outer layer feels like sweatpants and the inner layer feels like cotton on your skin, while the fireproof middle layer allows the garment to breath. The pants are also designed to stretch with your body whether you're climbing a mountain or practicing yoga.

Vollebak has experience designing clothes meant to last longer than the average wearer. In 2017, the company released its 100 Year Hoodie, made from a softer version of Kevlar, for $300. At $645, the 100 Year Pants are an even more serious investment, but they may be worth it if you plan on making them the last pair of pants you buy for awhile.

[h/t Fast Company]

How Seiichi Miyake and Tactile Paving Changed the World for Visually Impaired People


More than 140 years after Louis Braille invented the Braille reading system, Seiichi Miyake came up with a different system based on touch that allows visually impaired people to navigate public spaces. Today, tactile paving is used by major cities and transportation services around the world. Miyake was so influential that he's the subject of the Google Doodle for March 18, the 52nd anniversary of tactile paving's debut.

The Japanese inventor designed the influential system with a specific person in mind. His friend was losing his vision, so in 1965, Miyake used his own money to build special mats with raised shapes that lead blind and visually impaired people away from danger and toward safety. Pavement with round bumps was meant to signal nearby danger, such as a street crossing or the edge of a train platform, while a stretch of pavement with straight bars was meant to guide them to safe areas. The tactile design allowed pedestrians to detect the features with canes, guide dogs, or their feet.

Originally called Tenji blocks, the tactile pavement was first installed outside the Okayama School for the Blind in Okayama, Japan in 1967. They quickly spread to larger cities, like Tokyo and Osaka, and within a decade, Miyake's system was mandatory in all Japanese rail stations.

Seiichi Miyake died in 1982 at age 56, but the popularity of his invention has only grown since his death. In the 1990s, the U.S., the UK, and Canada embraced tactile pavement in their cities. Miyake's initial design has been built upon throughout the years; there are now pill-shaped bumps to indicate changes in direction and raised lines running perpendicular to foot traffic to signal upcoming steps. And even though they're often thought of as tools for blind people, the bright colors used in tactile pavement also make them more visible to pedestrians with visual impairments.

Show Houseguests Who's in Charge With This Game of Thrones Doormat


If you’re prone to houseguests who shed crumbs on your sofa and use all the toilet paper without replacing it, it might be time to demand a little respect. This Game of Thrones doormat from the merchants at ThinkGeek offers some guidance. Emblazoned on the mat is an order to “bend the knee” before entering your home.

A doormat from the HBO series 'Game of Thrones' is pictured

The 17-inch long by 29-inch wide mat arrives in time for the eighth and final season of the popular HBO series, which is set to debut April 14. Chronicling the lives of disparate characters vying for control of the Iron Throne, the show has often depicted Daenerys Targaryen, also known as the Mother of Dragons and played by Emilia Clarke, ordering subjects to “bend the knee” before addressing her. In season seven, King in the North Jon Snow famously refused to do so before eventually capitulating. Had she laid out the doormat, it’s possible he wouldn’t have taken as long.

The mat retails for $24.99 and can be purchased online here.