Wednesday, 06 December 2017 00:00

Care for a Little Pampering with Your Activism?

Hotels continue to evolve into more than places to rest a weary body. Some offer themes that cater to specific interests or activities, from family vacations to gambling to...activism?

Yes, the daughter of a billionaire hotel magnate recently announced that she's beginning a new co-working and hotel space where activists can engage in wellness classes as well as more highbrow activities, like lectures.

The 209-room Eaton hotel, planned for Downtown Washington, DC, is meant to be a destination for social good. A trio of other Eaton hotels are in the planning stages -- locations in Hong Kong, Seattle, and San Francisco are slated to open within the next two years.

A couple of years back, Katherine Lo, 36, who previously held the position of executive director of Langham Hospitality Group, wanted to create her own hotel brand after taking in what she refers to as a cultural momentum. (Lo's billionaire dad is Langham chairman Ka Shui Lo.).

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Designed to be healthier for the workers who toil in toxic shoe factories, these revolutionary kicks incorporate a strap, manufactured out of a recyclable material, that snaps into the tread of the outsole much like pieces of a puzzle come together. The whole shoe is then held together by laces -- all without a single drop of harmful glue.

The inventor of the glueless shoes, Gyudeog Kim, recently talked to Fast Company about part of the thinking behind his creation: “The first time I went to the production line to see my designs being manufactured, even though there was ventilation, the painful smell of toxic adhesives nearly made me faint,” he said. “It was even more shocking that workers at the production line work eight hours a day within that space.”

The final product, called Ki Ecobe, is assembled at home by customers -- saving factories about 30 minutes per shoe.

Kim explained, "[I]t takes no more than five minutes to assemble your own shoe....So it’s actually much faster and more efficient to assemble your own shoes, and can eventually reduce the cost, similar to flat-pack furniture.”

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Beatbot goes beyond fitness wearables that merely track athletic performance. The device is a self-driving mini-machine that can be programmed to push runners to their limits. And it can also be used to simply help runners keep pace on their runs.

Advertising agency J. Walter Thompson New York created the Beatbot, which is described by Fast Company as looking like "a shoebox on wheels." Because it can drive on its own, even following a racing stripe line on a conventional running track, the device can be a boon to those runners who tend to race faster against competitors instead of a stopwatch. It's along the lines of that fake rabbit that encourages dogs to race. Or the "rabbit" of a thoroughbred that gets a horse race off to a faster start.

Here's how it works: Users enter the distance they'd like to run as well as a projected time. Then, they place the Beatbot on the starting line and begin running. The device will create a pace that will permit runners to challenge their own personal best times, the best times of their competitors, or even the time of a champion like Usain Bolt. The robot is said to have the capability of matching speeds up to 44 kmh/27.34 mph.

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