Damien Hirst and the New Mental Disorder – On the Contemporary Art Market

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Damien Hirst’s much touted compilation of agglomerated objects, ‘beautiful in my head forever’, a pretentious assembly of second-rate rubbish unusually commonplace in conception and void of any qualitative content, has now been consecrated art by the art-buying public, a no small feat! What a splendid accomplishment by the small but cunning ‘business intelligentsia’ masterminding what can now contemptuously be called the contemporary art scene. Thanks to a formidable campaign, to application and method, the art market has been made to believe that what we see here is art and that it’s worth money. The success reaped by these manipulating forces is total. The world is seeing and yet it doesn’t doubt a second. The mental leap is as giant and as unbelievable as the 9/11 scam. The Emperor’s-new-clothes-syndrome seems to be a human constituent. The manipulator’s war cry resounds over the still smoking battlefield: ‘if you want to get away with it, do it in the open for everyone to see’.

Are we then totally insane? Do we just need to be fed insanities to believe them? Does the so called art collector buying these items keep on believing when face to face and at home?

The Jeff Koons exhibition at Versailles shows the gravity of this state of affairs. Even without the auction-room environment, respectable people seem nowadays to think that anything goes, anything, be it to any sub-standard, be it just for the sake of celebrity, anything goes as long as it is sensational.

The professionals have thoroughly understood how to manipulate to maximum profit the exasperating mass of just-believing-anything ‘art collectors’ (i.e. evident idiots with money). In this role, Hirst is not even original but just faithfully following the examples of Duchamp and Warhol. Their simple working principle is: the more evidently stupid the creation, the more the perplexed parvenu art-collector will want it. In this commodity market, where the commodity has nothing to do with beauty nor sense, and not even with any particular interest, the only major and totally primordial role is taken up by hype.

The evident answer is that we are, in great majority, still not out of our minds. The surprising prices paid during the Sotheby’s event concerns an infinitesimal small portion of the art-buying public and the most striking revelation of this activity is the mind-boggling total amount of money these buyers must dispose of in order to spend such sums on crap. Even out of speculative reasons no one in his right mind will pay anything like that in the hope of finding another sucker on the short term. This is prestige and inner-circle show-off and nothing else.

However, the repercussions of such inflated sales events are reverberating down the ladder to reach and contaminate the common world. The most damaging consequence of this absurd circus is that art tends to be valued in celebrity terms. Neither scarcity nor quality will guarantee monetary value, only celebrity will.

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Source by Michael De Bruges

Japanese Art and Language

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A technological leader located on over three thousand islands in East Asia, Japan has a truly fascinating history, the second largest economy in the world, a challenging language, prolific arts, a diverse population.

Japan has a rich history of art spanning over centuries. Painting is the traditional form of art. Native painting techniques are mixed with techniques from continental Asia and the West to create a hybrid style of modern Japanese art. Calligraphy, also known as Sumi-e, is also a highly valued form of art. Calligraphers make ink by grinding a solid ink stick on stone and mixing it with water and compose phrases, poems, stories, and single characters in unique handwritten fonts.

Visitors to Japan will know that sculptures of Buddhist images is a common art form The most common images are of Tathagata, Bodhisattva and MyM-M. Another unique are form is ikebana, the art of flower arrangement. It focuses on the use of harmony, color, rhythm, and design to express the season and symbolize greater things than the flower itself. Ukiyo-e means "pictures of the floating world" and is the Japanese form of woodblock printing. The most famous print is The Great Wave at Kanagawa by Hokusai. Traditional Japanese architecture is exemplified by temples, Shinto shrines, and castles in Kyoto and Nara. Famous modern architects include Yoshio Taniguchi and Tadao Ando, ​​whose styles are a fusion of Japanese and Western influences.

The Japanese language consists of three scripts-Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana. There are many more dialects than scripts. In central Japan the Western-type dialects are most prevalent. The Tokyo-type dominates in Western Japan and Kykshk-type is the least common dialect. In modern Japanese the Latin alphabet rMmaji is sometimes used. Japanese is one of the most difficult languages ​​to learn. Choosing the right program is paramount in learning the language.

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Source by Misa Takahiro

The Art of Taking Action Without Taking Action

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Sometimes in life you just have to let things go. Sometimes you just have to let bad things happen. Sometimes you just have to "let it be" as the Beatles used to sing. You've heard the saying, "Pick your battles …" Energy is not unlimited and it is imperative that you use your energy wisely.

Realize that no matter what you say to some people, they will never let the facts confuse them or sway them from their own firmly entrenched viewpoints. If it appears that their minds are made up about a particular issue, is it really wise to utilize your energy and resources trying to change it?

Wouldn't these resources and energy be better used to persuade those who might be open to considering an alternate viewpoint? Energy ebbs and flows so, while it's at its greatest, use it in a way where you obtain maximum effect and leverage. This is the essence of being effective.

However, do not use the "taking action without taking action" maxim as an excuse to avoid your responsibilities or to avoid taking action when you know you should. There is a difference between being able to recognize when being proactive is the proper course and whether something can better be delayed or ignored altogether.

Develop the ability to abandon the ego. The ego is perhaps the greatest driver of foolish behavior in people. Most do not realize the powerful hold their own ego has on them. It can truly be a blinding force and, when we are blinded, we will surely run into a brick wall or two. Examine what kinds of situation or comments have a tendency to get you stirred up and you've found your ego lurking in the shadows waiting to complicate your life and destroy your integrity.

Just because someone slights you it doesn't necessarily have to be addressed. Instead, outwit your adversary, just like in the movie, Enter The Dragon , where Bruce Lee talks about the art of fighting without fighting while being physically challenged by an opponent.

In this scene, Bruce manages to outwit his opponent into thinking a fight would take place. Since they were on a boat with limited space, Bruce suggests they take a smaller boat to a nearby shoreline. Bruce lets his opponent get on the smaller boat first and then lets out the tow line while the boat, along with his opponent, is tugged behind the larger boat.

He defeated and humiliated his opponent without actually having to fight. Similarly, when you refuse to take any overt action and, instead use your wits, your opponent is left drifting or standing in a mess of their own making. Staying detached from your ego and / or the outcome removes any power your opponent may have over you.

Many times we find ourselves overwhelmed with all the things happening in our lives. A lot of things which present themselves as urgent, aren't. Simply delaying, delegating, or ignoring things altogether frees you up to concentrate on more important things. The essence of being effective is to be able to wade through all the demands like a laser and focus on the things that will truly make a difference.

Another aspect of the urgency issue applies to those who run a business or run a household. You're always delaying or putting off a vacation or a break for yourself because, in your view, if you leave temporarily, the business or household will literally "fall apart". But, will it? How do you know that? Maybe now is the time for a little experiment. What is the worst that could really happen? And, if a problem arises, will it be the end of the Earth as we know it?

Sometimes you just have to let situations unfold as they should. This includes letting people sink or swim particularly if you have counseled them or shown them a path to greater effectiveness. Yes, you can open the door for them, but ultimately they are the one who has to walk through on their own volition.

So, as you go about your hectic day or week, remind yourself that what presents itself as urgent, often isn't. Also, remind yourself, that slights (real or imagined) do not have to be addressed and, often, when they are ignored, they lose all power. Most importantly, remember to give yourself a break and realize that if you leave your business or household for a few days, not much of significance is going to really happen. Peace be with you!

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Source by Allan Gregoire

Tattoos in Gold or Platinum – Shine Up Your Skin With the Newest Treat

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Would it not be cool to have your tattoos done in gold, silver, platinum or other metals as a unique jewel on your skin? A company in Japan might be starting a new trend.

For the skeptics who would immediate think that this would be some kind of health hazard to inject metal into the skin where it could easily enter the blood stream–you are right. There are no tattoos in the classical sense of the word which includes coloring with gold or other metals.

If you have a design that needs to look metallic, a good tattoo artist would instead use other colors to make it look metallic without directly using gold or silver ink. Such colors would, indeed, be toxic for the body and not something you would want to have lodging inside your skin.

The kind of tattoos are something else. These are not injected into the surface of the skin. Instead they consist of gold or platinum foil applied to the surface of the skin with a new technique developed by a Japanese company which I will present later in this article.

Technique

They consist of 99.99% pure gold or platinum which is applied to the skin in various artistic and aesthetic patters along with other elements such as colored stones and glitter powder. Thus they will not constitute any allergic reaction. Of course, if you are amongst the minority who would have any allergic reaction to normal jewelry made of gold or platinum, you should abstain from this “treatment” also.

Contrary to ordinary tattoos they do not last forever. The estimate is around 2-5 days. I imagine one would have to abstain from a nice Turkish bath in the period of wearing this unique and, no doubt, costly form of jewelry. They can be removed quite easily. Since they are applied to the very surface of the skin they will basically wear off along with the skin cells you are shedding.

A new trend in the making?

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Source by Stig Andersen

His Most Famous Painting (The Treachery of Images) Rene Magritte

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Belgian artist Rene Magritte (1898-1967) was a 'Surrealist,' who was known for his unconventional ideas and depictions. Magritte often painted arbitrarily, picking general everyday use objects as subjects and painting them in obscure settings. He liked to choose puzzling themes with underlying ideas to invoke curiosity and to intrigue the human mind. One of Rene's most prominent and celebrated contributions to art is "The Treachery of Images (La trahison des images)," a 63.5 cm x 93.98 cm (25 "x 37") sized oil painting, created during 1928-29. Its inscription, "This is not a Pipe (Ceci n'est pas une pipe)," is the most striking part.

At first glance, "The Treachery of Images" looks like an advertisement of a tobacco product or store. The painting may not be extraordinary, but the philosophy behind its creation is, and that makes it truly incomparable. The painting, inscribed with "Ceci n'est pas une pipe," simply depicts a smoking pipe on a peach pale neutral background. The source of light bouncing off its surface is unknown, is obvious however, due to the gleam. The colors used are wood brown and black. The texturing given to the pipe and the colors chosen are quite similar to the natural look of a pipe.

The placement of the pipe in Magritte's "The Treachery of Images" seems slightly odd, as it appears to be hanging in mid air. There seems to be no correlation between the pipe and its background. At the bottom of this painting, Magritte wrote 'Ceci n'est pas une pipe' in French, which means 'this is not a pipe.' He even signed his last name on the lower right corner of the painting. When Rene was reproached about the inscription, 'this is not a pipe,' he wittily replied, "If it were a pipe, they should try to fill it with tobacco." The statement below the pipe is paradoxical, yet actually true, since the painting is merely an image of a pipe and not the 'object' pipe. The text below the picture forces a viewer to reassess of what is observed at the first glance.

With "The Treachery of Images" Magritte questions, the inherent tendency of the human mind to habitually label everything we see, overlooking the need to find a deeper meaning. Magritte presents a very simple example to convey how our perceptions and the habitual use of language can falsely manipulate our thinking. "The Treachery of Images" was a powerful work with which Rene Magritte challenges the common norms of communication and interpretation. It was a great influence on many conceptual artists. The painting with "Ceci n'est pas une pipe," now rests at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California.

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Source by Annette Labedzki

ZARA Franchise: Invest in Your Future

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When we look at the current market scenario where jobs are a scarce commodity as the economy is in a downward spiral, there is a big cause for concern. Therefore, it is of a paramount importance that we meticulously plan our future well in advance. For a middle class person like me, it’s a dream to own a business and ZARA Franchise gives you that rare opportunity. It is a business model which yields relatively high returns on a low to medium investment. ZARA is a very well-known and a very well respected brand all over the world. An opportunity to associate with the ZARA Franchise would give you an entrance into, and understanding of, the ever growing and extremely lucrative industry of apparel retail.

ZARA Franchise was founded by Amancio Ortega and Rosalía Mera in A Coruña, Galicia, Spain in 1975.It was however opened out of desperation and as a last resort, when a wholesaler cancelled a large order in which all of Ortega’s capital was invested. So he decided to sell the merchandise himself and opened the first ZARA store. The first store also featured low priced lookalikes of popular high end brands and it proved to be a huge success.

As the ZARA Franchise gained popularity, Ortega started the global expansion of the brand in 1980 and entered the US in 1989. ZARA is controlled by the parent company called Inditex group which also own the companies like Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Oysho, Pull and Bear, Stradivarius, and Uterqüe. As of 31st January 2012 ZARA has over 1631 outlets in around 82 countries and has over 42 stores in the US. With the contribution of US being marginal at the moment to the $2.5 Billion profits posted by Inditex, the growth opportunities of the ZARA Franchise in America are immense and with ZARA planning to open multiple outlets in all the major US cities the future of the brand is looking very bright.

The business model of the ZARA franchise is based on the motto “High Fashion at affordable price”. ZARA stores don both men’s and women’s clothing and subdivided into lower and upper garments, accessories, shoes and cosmetics. ZARA boasts low prices for smart in-fashion clothes. It takes two weeks for ZARA to develop and display the products in their stores. ZARA Franchise launches over 10,000 different designs in a year which is way higher that of the industry average. ZARA has over 200 designers who design new products keeping in mind the current trends. They also take into account the feedback received from various store managers from all over the world and therefor keep abreast with the consumer’s likes and dislikes and design their products accordingly. They produce in small batches per product with an extensive variety.

The other unique factor in ZARA Franchise business model is that, it’s a vertically integrated retailer unlike other apparel retailers. This gives them a tremendous control over all the aspects of production like supply chain, designing, manufacturing and distribution of it’s product. This makes the business more cost effective as they don’t have to outsource the different processes. ZARA also boasts “word of mouth marketing” as they believe that if the product is good it will sell. Window displays also play an important role in promoting the products.

ZARA offers their franchisees full access to corporate services, such as human resources, training, and logistics at no extra cost. They also allow the stores to return up to 10% of purchased merchandise, which is a higher level than many other franchises. The ZARA Franchise usually runs into profit by the end of the first year and if there is any debt on the start-up cost, it would be recovered by the end of the third year. All you have to do is contact the corporate office and depending on the city you live in, you can apply for the ZARA Franchise.

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Source by Sarab P Singh

Famous Michelangelo Inventions

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Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo are frequently compared across their careers to try to decide who was the most important artist from the Renaissance era. One aspect of their work to study is in that of invention, and it is here that Da Vinci holds the edge. This article will however give examples of how Michelangelo was still influential in this sphere of creativity and place them in context with the rest of the work that he produced during his illustrious career.

Da Vinci produced sketches of his own ideas, and these have become well known inventions, which in some cases have even been turned into reality. Michelangelo, however, only worked on other people’s ideas and so was not a true inventor in the normal way. He did however work very closely on many inventions, being signed up to add his considerable drawing skills to help illustrate and promote various new products.

After producing notable sculptures and frescos, Michelangelo had built up an exceptional reputation as an artist and also had some high profile contacts that commissioning inventors may also have looked to take advantage of in their attempts at bringing their respective products to market.

Michelangelo may not have invented anything, in terms of real products, but he did invent and create a lot with in the sphere of art with new techniques and ideas around how fresco art and sculpture could be done. The major impact of the Renaissance was through new ideas such as these, and this is why Michelangelo remains to be considered as one of the masters of this era.

Leonardo da Vinci was well known for having invented early versions of a diving suit, an armoured tank and a parachute. It is perhaps the difference between Da Vinci and Michelangelo in the invention stakes, plus the fame of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa which proved the difference between these true Renaissance masters. Thankfully, they both remain highly revered and respected by those who understand the importance of this artistic period where so many changes and new ideas came into fluition.

We can conclude that as creative and innovative as Michelangelo was, he was no inventor, in terms of coming up with new products. But he was inventive, in a way, with his new ideas for how art, literature and architecture could work within the Renaissance, and his influential work was to shape much that followed in each of these areas of society.

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Source by Tom Gurney

Buying Modern Art Paintings For Your House

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Buying paintings for your home is the first step in adding your personal touch to an interior decoration. Decorating your personal living space is a vital need; we all want to live in a space that makes us feel good and relaxed. Our homes are small havens and sanctuaries; Therefore displaying art in your home is a way to personalize and mark the space you live in. Modern art paintings are a great way to make your space breathe artistic creation and style.

Modern art paintings have been the most popular art pieces the last few years, either displayed in art galleries for random visitors and enthusiasts, or as part of the decoration in our living or working space. There are thousands of avid collectors of Modern art paintings all over the world, who are willing to spend some serious amounts of money in order to buy the objects of their desire. Whether you see them as an investment or as art pieces for personal pleasure, original modern paintings are an absolute must have.

Displaying modern art pieces and paintings on the walls of your living or working space, can be a significant move in order to completely change the tone in the room or enhance some of its features: a landscape painting can automatically create a more serene and peaceful atmosphere , a painting that depicts water and sea can add to your desire for traveling or help your mind escape; artworks featuring animals or trees can be the perfect complement of furniture in a rural house or help you create a more informal and lodging ambiance, always in a very sophisticated way.

No matter what their subject might be, modern art pieces and paintings can have a quite soothing effect; they can also be perfect decorative pieces. Even if you have never been a savvy art person and lover you cannot help it but value their uniqueness.

Modern art paintings are considered to be the most essential pieces of decoration since they can differentiate and enhance the atmosphere in your space, helping you personalize it according to your particular artistic orientation, style and taste.

Oil, for example, compared to all other painting media, has the ability to add warmth and liveliness in any room: every modern art painting, no matter what the subject is, features a rather unique way of depicting reality, which is always eloquent and lucid, communicating their message in a rather life like and unique way.

It comes as no surprise that most people have been intrigued, at least once in their life by an art painting; this media is known to intrigue the viewer and lead him in their atmosphere and particular world, due to its liveliness and aesthetics. Especially when referring to authentic and modern pieces of art, the result can be even more beguiling.

Modern art painters and artists have been creating pieces already characterized classic and timeless; just think of artists like Warhol, who created modern art paintings so many years ago, but still today they are modern and stylish, although considered some sort of classic pieces. Modern art does not need to be extravagant.

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Source by Al Smitty

The Appeal of Contemporary Art Tapestries

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Since antiquity people have used textiles for all range of purposes. From blankets for warmth, to elaborate woven fabrics for commerce, they have been at the very center of human life.

The need for textiles, combined with our desire to embellish the world around us, has given rise to a huge range of fabric based art, everything from basic colored cloth to complex woven textiles. Tapestries and wall hangings have long been one of the most accomplished forms of this art, having a history dating back millennia, and artists from almost all cultures have contributed some form of textile wall art.

Recently tapestries and wall hangings have enjoyed a rise in interest, with many people looking beyond traditional options for wall decor. The tactile nature of tapestries, combined with their long history, has made them once again a choice for the discriminating home improver.

Contemporary tapestry design

Although there are a vast range of traditional designs available, a more recent development is the growth in contemporary art as a basis for modern tapestry designs. Because of the nature of the modern weaving process almost any design can be successfully incorporated into a tapestry, providing the weaver has the skill to do so. This has led many contemporary artists to consider wall tapestries as an alternative medium to framed canvases and prints.

The range of artists who now license their original work for tapestry wall hangings is impressive, and growing. Leading contemporary artists such as Malenda Trick, Elizabeth Brandon and Stewart Sherwood are now being introduced to a whole new group of art lovers.

Encompassing a vast range of subject matter, from modern cityscapes and impressionist inspired landscapes, to idyllic coastal scenes and fantasy art, these contemporary works of art are adding a new dimension to fabric design, marrying traditional weaving techniques with modern, vibrant images.

Although prints enjoy a unique position in home décor, paintings and designs from these popular artists are increasingly exploiting the unique qualities of woven textiles. The tactile nature of wall hangings adds depth and texture to these already impressive works and makes a distinctive alternative to framed art often bringing alive the designs in ways not originally planned by the artists.

Modern textile art

Additionally many textile artists who use fabric as their main medium are enjoying a renewed prominence in the art world. Rather than plying their art in paintings there are a growing number of artists using tapestries and other types of wall hanging as their primary medium for expression. Modern artists such as Ulrika Leander, Monique Lehman and Elda Abramson combine their artistic vision with the depth and range available through fabrics to create a new, modern twist on this ancient art.

Many of these textile works of art are abstract in nature, often employing bold colors and striking, modern designs that incorporate the weave of the fabric as an essential part of the design to create a depth not available with traditional materials like canvas. As a home décor option they can add a splash of color to brighten up a room, and often become a great focal point in almost any setting.

Like abstract art prints, contemporary tapestry designs often allow art lovers to take more of a chance with their wall décor choices. Unlike a traditional painting, where the subject matter can be too modern, old-fashioned, fussy or just plain wrong, contemporary art allows us to concentrate more on the hues and tones of a piece to match the ambience of a room. Because of this they often afford a great deal of flexibility when decorating, adding to the reasons so many are looking towards contemporary tapestry art for their wall décor choices.

An ancient appeal

Contemporary artists are increasingly attracted to tapestries and textiles primarily because the individuality of the weaving process makes each piece produced a unique work of art unlike any other. In a world driven by mass production art lovers are often drawn to the uniqueness of wall tapestries as an antidote to the monotony of many other options.

Now, despite their ancient origins, many people are again looking toward tapestries and wall hangings as an answer to their modern home decor aspirations. With an ever growing range of options the choice has never been better for art lovers.

Copyright © The Tapestry House, all rights reserved

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Source by Godfrey Bazalgette

The History of Rice Cookers

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Rice has been a staple food of mankind across thousands of civilizations for almost as long as recorded history. As such, the cooking of rice dates back almost as far, which in essence requires the same basic principle steps today as it ever has. In short, the rice itself, hot water or steam and something in which to cook it.

Of course, never content with doing things the old fashioned way, manufacturers have moved away from tradition methods of cooking rice in favor of modern alternatives which offer both convenience and quality of end product. However, that state of the art rice cooker which takes pride of place in a huge number of modern kitchens may not in fact be as modern as many would think.

Using electrical heating to cook rice is fairly old concept, dating back to the first half of the 20th century. In fact, it is known that as far back as 1937, the Japanese Imperial Army created something of a primitive electric rice cooker in the form of a wooden box with a pair of electrodes attached at opposite ends. In order to cook the rice, the wooden box would be filled with water and washed rice, to which an electrical current was subsequently applied. The electricity would then heat the water to boiling point and cook the rice exactly as would be done conventionally. The first japanese rice cooker.

Upon completion, the electrodes were removed and ambient heat of the box coupled with the evaporation of most of the water provided a wonderfully effective and natural keep-warm facility for the cooked rice, which is one of the most essential features found on the modern equivalent . The main downsides of the initial invention were that the quantities of water and rice could not be adjusted, and that the presence of a live electric current posed the very real danger of electrocution to those operating the cooker.

1945 saw the Japanese Mitsubishi Corporation become the very first manufacturer to produce a electric commercial rice cooker suitable for general use with a moderate level of safety. The engineering principals were fairly simple, featuring no specific components for the regulation of the cooking process. As such, the aluminum container with a heated coil inside required constant attention throughout the cooking process.

During the early stages of their development, rice cookers were incredibly basic basic appliances whose purpose was to simply heat up water and rice to a desired temperature and remove power to the heater when said temperature was met. However, the temperature readings were heavily influenced by the environment in which they were placed, therefore seasonal changes and general differences in ambient temperature could cause inaccurate temperature reading and therefore result in improperly cooked rice. The idea was almost foolproof, though inherently flawed.

December 1956 saw the world's first commercially successful rice cooker hit the shelves courtesy of the Toshiba Corporation. The device used a twin-pot cooking process which featured advanced thermostats and safety devices which ensured the cooker was automatically turned off before rice could spoil or burn. As such, it was not long before Toshiba was producing and selling upwards of 200,000 such units every month for the Japanese market alone. Within the space of four years, at least 50% of Japanese homes featured one of Toshiba's rice cookers and the rest, as they say, is history!

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Source by Debbie Parkinson

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