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Butterstick: Why dirty a knife? (Image and description from ''The Big Bento Box of Unuseless Kapanese Inventions,'' by Kenji Kawakami (W.W. Norton)) Examples of chindogu
Butterstick: Why dirty a knife? (Image and description from ''The Big Bento Box of Unuseless Kapanese Inventions,'' by Kenji Kawakami (W.W. Norton))
Examples of chindogu

The art of (un)uselessness

Thanks to a few MIT grad students, the Japanese art of chindogu, or ‘unuseless inventions,’ is challenging convention (and causing smiles) on the Cambridge campus

By Katharine Dunn
May 1, 2005

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CORYN KEMPSTER, a graduate student in architecture at MIT, was tired of close calls with swerving cars and buses on his daily bicycle commute to class. So he took matters into his own hands and devised a way to travel less fearfully. The invention, which Kempster calls ''Hairy Bike,'' is currently under construction, but on paper it consists of a ... (Full article: 1180 words)

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