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Heat-Retaining Swimwear
Sportswear makers in Japan are answering demand for swimwear that helps retain body heat by using textiles with raised fibers, primarily designed for the country's chilly public pools.
Asics Corp released its Hoon Separates collection in September, which has raised fibers on the skin side to reduce coldness when the wearer gets out of the water.


Playboy Swimwear Fashion
Photographs by Russell VanBrocklen

Playboy Swimwear Fashion Show Continued Page 5

Things You Would Love 
       to Say At Work
1. I see your point, but I still think you're full of crap. 
2. I don't know what your problem is, but I'll bet it's hard to pronounce. 
3. How about never? Is never good for you? 
4. I see you've set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public. 
5. I'm really easy to get along with once you learn to see it my way. 
6. I'll try being nicer if you'll try being smarter. 
7. I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message. 
8. I don't work here. I'm a consultant. 
9. It sounds like English, but I can't understand what you're saying. 
10. Ahhh... I see the screw up fairy has visited you again... 
11. I like you. You remind me of when I was young and stupid. 
12. You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers. 
13. I have plenty of talent and vision. I just don't care. 
14. I'm already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth. 
15. I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you. 
16. Thank you. We're all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view. 
17. The fact that no one understands you doesn't mean that you're an artist.
18. Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental. 
19. What am I? Flypaper for freaks? 
20. I'm not being rude. You're just insignificant. 
21. It's a thankless job, but I've got a lot of Karma to burn off. 
22. Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial. 
23. And your cry-baby, whiny opinion would be...? 
24. Do I look like a people person? 
25. Nice perfume. Must you marinate in it? 
26. I started out with nothing and still have most of it left. 
27. Sarcasm is just one more service we offer. 
28. If I throw a stick, will you leave? 
29. Errors have been made. Others will be blamed. 
30. Whatever kind of look you were going for, you missed. 
31. I'm trying to imagine you with a personality. 
32. A cubicle is just a padded cell without a door. 
33. Can I trade this job for whatever is behind door number 1? 
34. Too many freaks, not enough circuses. 
35. Chaos, panic, and disorder- my work here is done. 
36. How do I set the laser printer to stun? 
37. I thought that I wanted a career. It turns out I just wanted paychecks.

Wedgie-proof Underwear
Wedgie-proof underwear earned 8-year-old twin boys a spot on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
Using rigged boxers and fabric fasteners to hold together some seams, Jared and Justin Serovich came up with the “Rip Away 1000.”
“When the person tries to grab you — like the bully or the person tries to give you a wedgie — they just rip away,” Justin explained by phone from Los Angeles, where the TV segment was taped.
The third graders began brainstorming one day after they were horsing around, giving each other the treatment. Their mother’s partner sarcastically said someone ought to invent wedgie-proof underwear, the family said.
The project got the boys to the finals of a central Ohio invention competition earlier this year, followed by the television appearance. 

              Chopsticks Bra
For millions of Japanese every day, the snap of a pair of cheap wooden splints signals the start of a meal. But the ritual of pulling apart two disposable chopsticks before eating has for years been accompanied by the unappetizing sound of collapsing forests and angry protests from environmentalists. Now a lingerie maker has developed a novel remedy: a chopstick bra.
Unveiled in Tokyo, the bra's cups holster a pair of collapsible chopsticks which are pulled out before a meal. Triumph International Japan, the maker of the "My Chopsticks Bra", says it hopes it will promote environmental awareness. "It's a small step, but because many Japanese chopsticks are disposable, big chunks of forests are being cut down," a spokesman said.
Japan ploughs through about 25 billion sets of wood and bamboo waribashi, disposable chopsticks, a year – more than 200 for every person in the country. The splints, the vast bulk of which are imported from China, are handed out in noodle shops, sushi bars and convenience stores, then thrown away with tons of plastic wrapping. Cheap and hygienic, the chopsticks are popular with Japan's fussy diners, and despised by environmentalists.
But the waribashi habit has taken a hit from China, which last year imposed a 5% tax on the 45 billion pairs of chopsticks it produces a year. The world's largest producer of chopsticks cuts down 25 million trees a year to supply the industry, which employs over 50,000 people. The media has reported that Beijing intends to stop exporting the chopsticks to Japan altogether by next year.
The tax rise has doubled the cost of disposable chopsticks to nearly two yen a pair, leaving thousands of Japanese restaurants struggling to find alternatives. Several chains have already switched to reusable plastic chopsticks and some offer small refunds to customers who bring their own. South Korea has gone further, banning disposable chopsticks in restaurants in favor of metal ones.
"I always carry my own chopsticks," said Naoko Koshimura, a student, displaying a handsome set of lacquered wooden utensils she says she has had for months. "We have to be kinder to the environment."
The Triumph bra is not for sale and would in any case probably struggle to find many buyers.
Each cup is made up as a bowl: one for rice and the other for that great staple of Japanese dining, miso soup. The reusable chopstick rests in the "cleavage". "Anything that stops people using throwaway wooden chopsticks is a good thing," said Jun Hosokawa, head of Greenpeace Japan.

Wacoal's H1 Hurt by Weather
Rollercoaster weather in its home Japanese market sent first-half net profits crashing 70% at Wacoal Holdings, the world's largest intimate apparel manufacturer. 
Net sales for the six months ended September 30, inched up 0.7% to JPY84.5bn (US$772.7m), but operating income fell 2.2% to JPY9bn and net income plummeted 69.9% to JPY1.9bn. 
The company described business results in the women's fashion industry as "generally weak", due to low temperatures in early spring and a later heat wave, with record temperatures recorded across Japan. 
Japan accounted for 84.2% of group sales, with Asia responsible for 4.7% and the US and Europe 11.1%. 
Looking ahead to the second half of the fiscal year, Wacoal said: "Although we expect a gradual expansion of the economy, sales of autumn products in the women's fashion apparel domestic industry remain stagnant due to the effect of the late summer heat.
"The US market is unclear due to financial market turmoil, in addition to signs of a slowdown, and we are concerned about such effects on our business. The economies in most of the Asian countries are performing steadily and economic expansion is expected to continue." 
Wacoal said the company was aiming to expand sales and profits by reducing costs, thus building a high-profit business structure, while also renovating its brand image.

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