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This Textured Bar Promises to Change the Way You Experience Chocolate

There’s a chocolate bar out there for every taste—from white to bittersweet, almond-flecked to gold-leafed. But a new series of chocolate bars is banking on the idea that what's on the outside of a dessert counts just as much as (if not more than) what's on the inside.

Japanese design company Nendo is behind “chocolatetexturebar,” a line of chocolate bars that put the emphasis on texture. The “chocolatetexturebar” has 12 snap-off sections—with everything from dots to zigzags—that are designed to add a different flavor component.

The firm writes on its website: “... although 'eating' is generally thought of as one action, actually the taste is recognized after going through various procedures such as 'place on top of the tongue,' 'bite,' 'roll inside the mouth,' 'melt' and 'swallow.' “chocolatexturebar” is a single bar of chocolate, but the surface is divided into 12 faces each with diverse texture. By tasting each face with the tongue … one can enjoy a new taste dimension that is unlike any other conventional chocolates.”

The bars come in milk chocolate, strawberry, white chocolate, bitter chocolate, and matcha flavors. Nendo also offers a “chocolamixture” set, which allows you to mix flavors like freeze-dried mango and raspberry in a chocolate flask, complete with a white chocolate cork. As Slate notes, “While the set takes the mystery out of biting into a filled chocolate, it instead offers the chance to play Willy Wonka.”

This isn’t the first time Nendo has taken a innovative approach to chocolate. Last year, the company created a series of chocolates to celebrate one of its own, designer Oki Sato who was named Designer of the Year by the Paris design trade show Maison et Objet. That “chocolatexture” line focused on shape—with nine different chocolate sculptures, each within the size of a 26mm cube.

Unfortunately, the “chocolatetexturebar” and “chocolamixture” are only available for purchase in Japan, so you’ll need to hop on a plane if you want a taste of the cocoa creations.

[h/t Slate]

Images via Nendo.
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History
The Secret World War II History Hidden in London's Fences

In South London, the remains of the UK’s World War II history are visible in an unlikely place—one that you might pass by regularly and never take a second look at. In a significant number of housing estates, the fences around the perimeter are actually upcycled medical stretchers from the war, as the design podcast 99% Invisible reports.

During the Blitz of 1940 and 1941, the UK’s Air Raid Precautions department worked to protect civilians from the bombings. The organization built 60,000 steel stretchers to carry injured people during attacks. The metal structures were designed to be easy to disinfect in case of a gas attack, but that design ended up making them perfect for reuse after the war.

Many London housing developments at the time had to remove their fences so that the metal could be used in the war effort, and once the war was over, they were looking to replace them. The London County Council came up with a solution that would benefit everyone: They repurposed the excess stretchers that the city no longer needed into residential railings.

You can tell a stretcher railing from a regular fence because of the curves in the poles at the top and bottom of the fence. They’re hand-holds, designed to make it easier to carry it.

Unfortunately, decades of being exposed to the elements have left some of these historic artifacts in poor shape, and some housing estates have removed them due to high levels of degradation. The Stretcher Railing Society is currently working to preserve these heritage pieces of London infrastructure.

As of right now, though, there are plenty of stretchers you can still find on the streets. If you're in the London area, this handy Google map shows where you can find the historic fencing.

[h/t 99% Invisible]

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The Force Field Cloak
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Design
This Glowing Blanket Is Designed to Ease Kids' Fear of the Dark
The Force Field Cloak
The Force Field Cloak

Many kids have a security blanket they bring to bed with them every night, but sometimes, a regular blankie is no match for the monsters that invade their imaginations once the lights are off. Now there’s a glow-in-the-dark blanket designed to make children feel safer in bed, no night light required.

Dubbed the Force Field Cloak, the fleece blanket comes in several colorful, glowing patterns that remain invisible during the day. At night, you leave the blanket under a bright light for about 10 minutes, then the shining design will reveal itself in the dark. The glow lasts 8 to 10 hours, just long enough to get a child through the night.

Inventor Terry Sachetti was inspired to create the blanket by his own experiences struggling with scary nighttime thoughts as a kid. "I remember when I was young and afraid of the dark. I would lie in my bed at night, and my imagination would start getting the best of me," he writes on the product's Kickstarter page. "I would start thinking that someone or something was going to grab my foot that was hanging over the side of the bed. When that happened, I would put my foot back under my blanket where I knew I was safe. Nothing could get me under my blanket. No boogiemen, no aliens, no monsters under my bed, nothing. Sound familiar?"

The Force Field Cloak, which has already surpassed its funding goals on both Indiegogo and Kickstarter, takes the comfort of a blanket to the next level. The glowing, non-toxic ink decorating the material acts as a gentle night light that kids can wrap around their whole body. The result, the team claims, is a secure feeling that quiets those thoughts about bad guys hiding in the shadows.

To pre-order a Force Field Cloak, you can pledge $36 or more to the product’s Indiegogo campaign. It is expected to start shipping in January 2018.

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