Why do people choose beers on the left side of the menu?

One of the most famous pubs in Prague, Czech Republic, is Strahov Monastery Brewery. Perched atop the city part of the Strahov Monastery compound and the lush surrounding Petrin Hill, the Strahov Brewery is a delightful find in the bustling city of Prague. Just steps from the massive Prague Castle complex, the microbrewery serves about ten…

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How could we stop cigarette butt litter?

Cigarette butts are the tail ends of the cigarette left over after someone has smoked it. They are under-acknowledged, but widespread, pollutants. At the Quora, someone said the following. In fact, thanks to the fact that for decades smokers just didn’t care where they threw them, there are very likely cigarette butts in the Amazon…

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How many items should be displayed in a store?

When we are curious about value of an unknown object, we often consider how many people surround it. If it is alone, we believe it is expensive. If it is surrounded by many others, we believe it is cheap. This is because, according to O’Guinn’s et al. (2015), as the social density of a given…

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Why do we doodle?

According to Wikipedia, doodles are simple drawings that can have concrete representational meaning or may just be composed of random and abstract lines. However, all doodles are not same. Some doodles are hedonic and others are utilitarian. Hedonic doodles are personal. They are drawings about interpretation of subjective experience, mostly for fun. For instance, I…

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We humanize machine behavior and mechanize human behavior

In order to spice up our daily communication, we often humanize what electronic devices do. For instance, we say, our mobile phone is “stupid” or our storage space “gains weight.” This “anthropomorphism” is defined as the attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities. According to Wikipedia, it has ancient roots as storytelling…

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Jasper Morrison, Super Normal designer

Piknic, a unique building in Seoul, hosted an exhibition of a British designer Jasper Morrison. The title of the exhibition was THINGNESS. For the hundredth anniversary of the Bauhaus, piknic presents an exhibition offering a general introduction to the world of British designer and modernist interior Jasper Morrison, who has created a sensation with his…

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Chinese people need more than a drinking fountain

We know that westerners and easterners think differently. Markus and Kitayama (1991) argue that different cultural thoughts come from different self concepts. Roughly speaking, a US citizen has an independent concept whereas a Japanese citizen has a dependent one. Markus, H. R., & Kitayama, S. (1991). Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion, and…

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Street signs for kids

I have never met any street sign which encourages someone to DO something. Instead, most street signs ask someone NOT to do something. For instance, they ask pedestrians not to run fast or they ask drivers not to drive fast. However, at a school in Hong Kong, I finally met a different street sign designed…

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Foreigners form impressions instantly about countries

In Berlin, Germany, I met a vending machine in a steel cage. Covering the machine with a cage surprised me because it was inside one of downtown subway stations. My friend told me the machine could be damaged at night by drunken people. I formed an impression that Germany was unsafe; juvenile vandalism, an action involving deliberate…

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What makes Copenhagen the most bike-friendly city in the planet?

Many cities aim to be bike-friendly but only few succeed. Wired ranked Copenhagen as the most bike-friendly city in 2015 and in 2017. Interestingly, an article in the same magazine estimated the cost to have a bike-friendly city. … a fully-realized protected bike lane costs about $445,000 per mile, according to the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. (Infrastructure costs vary widely…

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Artwork at ICN airport

Something colorful was hung some distance below the ceiling at the Incheon international airport (ICN). At first it looks like a bunch of tiny colorful balloons. However, each one has different shapes and even move up and down.     The name of this interesting artwork is “Hello.”   This work uses Hangeul, a major…

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Do we enjoy brunch more if we combine foods to create it?

In cafes in Copenhagen, Denmark, customers are often asked to create their own meals by combining foods. I succeeded in this creative task in one cafe but did not in the other. Two cafes have slightly different menus.     I enjoyed the meal in the Mad & Kaffes (Food & Coffee). Foods were divided into six categories…

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Why do people exit the bus at the front door?

At Quora, someone asked “Why do people exit the bus at the front door even when it’s not crowded?” It received seven answers.     Habit. If a bus has two doors it is actually more efficient for passengers to exit by the back door as any new passengers enter through the front door. However, most…

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A choice architecture to reuse hotel towels

Banff Aspen Lodge has an interesting environmental incentive program. If guests stay two or more nights and prefer no housekeeping service in this hotel, it offers a choice of options for the guest’s consideration:   Option 1: The hotel will make a donation of $4 on behalf of guests to the Banff Community Foundation, which supports environmental initiatives…

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Positioning map helps consumers make decisions

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is a hotel in Alberta, Canada. Surrounded by mountain peaks and an emerald lake in the Banff National Park, this hotel has a pub for the outdoor enthusiasts coming from all over the world. At the pub, the menu was carefully designed for foreigners by mapping local drinks in two dimensions:…

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A surprising ride at Legoland

Lighthouse is a ride in Legoland Billund, Denmark. It looks like a small-sized drop tower exclusively designed for kids or even toddlers. I expected young riders would experience free-fall initially, followed by modest deceleration.     Surprisingly, it is not a drop tower. Instead, riders need to pull the rope until they hit the top. Legoland website explains it. Children…

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Language barrier makes virtual reality more real

At Prague, Czech Republic, visitors experienced riding a new tram called T3 Coupe in virtual reality. The T3 tram is an iconic component of the Prague city scape. In collaboration with Anna Marešová designers, the Prague Public Transit Co. has created a new pleasure tram concept based on the tradition of the Tatra T3 tram, putting this legendary vehicle…

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How does Taipei MRT differ from Copenhagen metro?

Taipei Metro covers more stations than Copenhagen Metro. It covers 117 stations (vs. 22 stations). Like other Asian trains, it has seats designated for the people who are in need. A poster in the train asks us to “stand up for someone in need” in a gentle and polite way, that is, “也許他/她有需要,只是你看不到 (maybe she/he has…

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A pink litter bin on the London Bridge

River Thames flows through London. People come to the London Bridge to see the Tower Bridge which allows ocean-going ships to pass beneath it.     Many visitors stopped in front of a pink public litter bin momentarily and threw litter away before crossing the bridge.     We knew adding human faces or adding controversial messages nudge our prosocial…

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Why are antibiotics over prescribed in some countries?

Antibiotic prescription rate differs across countries. It is two times greater in Korea than in Norway (27.9 vs. 15.8: Defined Daily Doses (DDDs) per 1000 people per day, 2015 OECD report). Why are antibiotics over prescribed in Korea?         One reason might be that it is difficult to find traditional medicines in Korean market. In contrast,…

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Is Iron Man banned in Denmark?

There is a Ninjago World at the Legoland in Denmark. In front of a flying dragon brick, I met an unfamiliar sign.     At first, I questioned why Lego hates Marvel so that pushing hand out like Iron Man was banned. Very soon, I realized it means “do not touch.” Later, I found the same sign at a construction site…

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How crowded is crowded?

Copenhagen differs from Seoul. In Copenhagen, I have ample opportunities to feel emptiness. When I go to a shopping mall (Kronen Vanlose) at 5PM on a weekday, it is literally vacant. Only few are spotted.     In Seoul, people constantly bump into people on street. By default, I feel crowdedness. When I go to Costco Wholesale at…

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People tip more when they disagree with a statement

Flam is a small village in Norway. Tourists who take the Norway in a Nutshell tours switch ferry boats here. A cozy restaurant called Bakkastova Cafe is located up on the hill.     This restaurant had a note at the cash register. It says, statistics say that women are tipping better than men. I added coins to…

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Food tastes different at rooftop bar

Vertigo offers a Bangkok’s ultimate rooftop dining experience. Sixty one floors above the city, people dine on premium steaks while feasting eyes on the skyline. When I visited this rooftop terrace, it was neither windy nor noisy, a perfect place to enjoy dish under the completely dark black sky.     However, food they served had very…

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Hibi lights like a match and burns like incense

Songshan Cultural and Creative Park is a creative hub in Taipei, Taiwan. It organizes art events, displays creative goods, and sells design items. An incense attracted my attention. Although I like candles and incenses (e.g., red rose scents of Jo Malone and burning sound of Wood Wick), lighting them is a headache. I found a…

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