Tagged With chopsticks

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If you're in the business of designing and selling novelty chopstick sets, you might as well pack up and close down shop now, because no one will ever be able to top this USS Enterprise set that ThinkGeek has created. The BPA-free plastic chopsticks look like glowing blue warp trails coming out of its engines, and the ship's saucer section opens up to reveal a soy sauce dish.

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Recently, Stephen Colbert lampooned gadgets that track what you drink and other seemingly inane metrics. But the trend may have just found its ideal market. The Chinese search giant Baidu just introduced a pair of "smart chopsticks" designed to alert users to the presence of "gutter oil", or the illegal use of oil dredged up unsavoury places.

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It's estimated that over 130 million wooden chopsticks are produced every day, and most are destined to end up in the bin after just one use. Sure, wood breaks down a lot better than plastic, but a couple of engineers from Barcelona have a better idea. They're producing chopsticks made from rice husks — an unwanted by-product of rice production.

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Created roughly 4000-5000 years ago in China, the earliest versions of something like chopsticks were used for cooking (they're perfect for reaching into pots full of hot water or oil) and were most likely made from twigs. While it's difficult to nail down a firm date, it would seem it wasn't until around 500-400 AD that they began being used as table utensils.

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Over at the Maker Faire New York this past weekend, there was this wonderful creation that turns mastering chopsticks and dining on sushi into a skill-testing game. NYU students Christina Carter and Jess Jiyoung Jung's ChopsticKing challenges players to not only snatch a moving target but also do it while properly holding and manipulating chopsticks.

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Forks are for amateurs; if you're going to eat you're going to work for it, dammit. Enter the chopstick. But all those splinter-laden, wooden eating-twigs don't come without a price, you tree killer. The Compact Chopsticks, however, will let your live your life environmentally friendly and fork-free. Just like God intended.

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The gentle curve of the tines on a fork make spearing food a little easier, but it also helps to keep them from getting dirty when placed on a table. It's an issue that has made chopstick rests a necessary accessory at many restaurants, at least until these brilliant Restless Chopsticks become more mainstream.

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If you thought nothing could ever top those Star Wars-themed chopsticks that looked exactly like miniature lightsabres, you're about to have your mind blown wide open again. Because thanks to improvements in miniature LED and battery technology, those lightsabre chopsticks now feature a glowing blade.

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You're in a Japanese restaurant. Or a Chinese restaurant. Or a Korean restaurant. Or any restaurant that uses chopsticks as its main conduit for food. It smells so good! But you're sweating, your hands are shaking, you're starving because you can only get one rice morsel at a time with those damned wooden sticks.

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If you went back in time with all the knowledge you have now but none of the habits, what utensil would you invent to eat with? Is the fork, a tiny and instinctive spear, the ideal utensil? Or is the chopstick, a dexterous extension of your fingers, the winner? Which makes the most sense?