Tag Archives: Government

The sweet smell of thrift

Uruguay’s president José Mujica is known for his austere lifestyle. He donates 90% of his salary to charity, drives a 1987 Volkswagen Beetle and lives on a farm on the outskirts of Montevideo. Inspired, Uruguayan visual artist Martin Sastre has proposed the idea of distilling Mujica’s earthiness into a fragrance using flowers found in the president’s garden. The perfume’s first sample is called U For Uruguay and comes in a purple pyramid-shaped bottle.

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Medical melodies

Montreal-based interactive media specialists Moment Factory have developed an interactive musical wall that helps patients and visitors to pass the time in hospital waiting rooms.

The musical wall designed has been designed to stimulate children’s imaginations as they wait for their hospital appointment. The experience, which is located at the CHU Ste-Justine Hospital, is comprised of a projector and motion sensors.

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Novel travel

As part of its National Reading Plan, the Catalan Government Railways has teamed up with Random House publishers to get more passengers into a good book.

On ten services, posters on the outside of middle carriages encourage commuters to join the ‘reading train’. Once inside, posters offer a selection of first chapters from 40 popular novels, which can be downloaded with a QR code.

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Bedside advice

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unwanted Pregnancy has created Bedsider.org, a service design solution for birth control awareness.

The website is packed with interactive tools on birth control methods, educational and entertaining animated clips (complete with dancing condoms) and video clips of people sharing their real-life sex and birth control stories.

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QR stamp

Croatia’s postal service has made stamps with QR codes that can be used to closely track mail (thanks again to Zoe S).

Senders receive instant delivery confirmation as well as a variety of statistics about their letter’s travels. More than 200 of the new stamps have been used so far and a dedicated website includes an interactive map displaying all the points visited.

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Death & Taxes

Data only becomes useful once it’s digested into information. Jess Bachman has taken the mother of all data – a year of US government spending – and distilled it into a 6-ft infographic. (Many thanks to Amy K Chicago.) This visual guide manages to demystify where federal tax dollars go, revealing the power of data turned into information.

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Sealed with a kiss

In Beijing, divorce rates have doubled since 2004. The local post office is addressing this with a service where newlyweds send each other love letters, which get stored and delivered seven years later. The hope is that the love letters may save marriages in the future.

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iDrink

 

The Department of Health has announced that people can download a mobile phone application to keep track of their festive drinking. Public health minister Gillian Merron launched the ‘alcohol tracker’, which is available from iTunes and www.nhs.uk.

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A different way to celebrate your city

 

It’s no secret that cities promote Christmas shopping as a way to boost the local economy. What we hadn’t yet spotted, however, was a city selling its very own holiday gift-wrap, which is what Manchester is doing this season.

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How can you provide antidotes to dishonesty?

 

Take inspiration from the Indonesian government. In the province of East Kalimantan, whose natural resources have been routinely plundered by corrupt government officials and businessmen, the government has opened almost 1,500 cafes without cashiers. At these ‘honesty cafes’, people are expected to take what they want and leave the appropriate payment behind. The cafes will first be introduced to schools, then offices and even the street.

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