Coffee Growlers | DRINK / RETAIL TRENDS

Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times
Beer growlers have been gaining big popularity here in NYC, with local delis, Whole Foods and even Duane Reade (NYC) selling draft beer in the refillable 64-oz bottles. Now, the trend is catching on in other drink categories...Nolita Mart and Espresso Bar at 156 Mott Street in Manhattan is selling growlers full of cold-brewed coffee, inspired by the trend in beer.

via NY Times
Duane Reade, Williamsburg Brooklyn



Skittles Touch | ADS / ONLINE VIDEO

Skittles never ceases to---weird us out? This new semi-interactive online video campaign is for sure on par with what we're used to with Skittles. Smart, strange and smile-worthy. Although, it doesn't necessarily make us want to 'taste the rainbow'.



Shazam that Show! | ENTERTAINMENT/TECH

Shazam, the popular mobile music identifier app (for iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and Android) has opened up their door to a world of new potential partnerships. Last week, the app hooked up with SyFy channel's original series, Being Human, allowing viewers to tag any point of dialogue in the episode for exclusive footage, info and promotions. Now that Shazam has the clear capability of tagging more than just music, we think trend-forward entertainment outlets are going to start making use of the free app for promotions and other specialty-feature-unlocking-campaigns. Not only is it fun for the viewer/consumer, but it's also great for the sponsor, and super great for Shazam, who locks in extra cash and user interest. Everybody wins!

Meanwhile, we're still waiting for an image-based Shazam-style app to hit the mobile market...



Are Aliens The New Vampires? | ENTERTAINMENT TRENDS

(New tween/teen heartthrob Alex Pettyfer stars in I Am Number Four.  Has Edward Cullen met his match?)

Aliens seem to have been sneaking up in pop culture lately. And as vampires tire out, alongside their werewolf counterparts, there's some good opportunity for otherworldly characters and themes. Some recent examples of alien pop culture invasion are the recent Twilight-esque film, I Am Number Four (DreamWorks), the upcoming Mars Needs Moms (Disney) and the reboot of 'V' (ABC) - now in it's second season (albeit mixed ratings). And we certainly can't forget the power of last year's Avatar...The next installment is scheduled to drop in 2014. Meanwhile, alien invasion films never get old - with Sony Pictures' Battle: Los Angeles hitting theaters next week.

Katy Perry's newest single, E.T., has been inching up the top 40 charts, and is currently number 6 on iTunes. And with a weirder take on the trend, Lady Gaga has taken to an alien persona for her new album, music video and even appearances (clad in body modifying costume & facial prostheses, Gaga arrived to the 2011 Grammy Awards in an alien egg).

So keep your eyes to the sky, or screen...There's still a ways to go before this trend hits it's peak...



Go swimming on Xbox w/ Michael Phelps! | GAMING / SPORTS

For the first time ever, swimming is getting some exergaming attention, by way of the Michael Phelps branded game, Push The Limit for Xbox 360 Kinect system. The game focuses on stroke technique (albeit while standing), as taught to players by the famed olympian.

We're pretty excited about the new game on a few fronts…
- Firstly, it's simply pretty cool that swimming will have some exposure to young people, outside of Olympic season.
- Secondly, it's a nice evolution in movement-based gaming -- the Kinect system allows for a real(ish) swimming experience. A technological hurdle past systems simply couldn't offer.
- And thirdly, thumbs up to Michael Phelps, who parlayed into the sports gaming arena…He was one of the only celebrity-athletes left without a game to call his own…

Good stuff all around. Can't wait to go for a virtual swim!

USA Today: Dive in with Michael Phelps to 'Push the Limit'



Google Art Project: Visit museums around the world - from home | TECH / ART

Completely enamored with the new Google Art Project! Google has taken it's street view technology, and partnered up with about 20 or so museums around the world to deliver a spectacular interactive virtual experience of their collections, complete with solid info on a breadth of work and a selection of mega high-res images. Go on an international art exploration without leaving home. While it's not quite the same experience (and the site could use a little bit of tightening up), we here in Zandland give Google a big thumbs up for bringing the art world a bit closer us all...



Coca-Cola's 'Unlock the Secret Formula' | ADS / INTERACTIVE

Just saw this Coca-Cola 'Unlock the Secret Formula' commercial on TV last night. A delightful homage to the brand's many decades of solid advertising.

The YouTube version comes with some secrets of it's own. Click on the keyhole when it pops up to unveil secret files of Coca-Cola inventor John Pemberton, along with a few other goodies. Nothing too extreme or riveting, but definitely showing off some classy interactive spirit!



Last Stretch: Nintendo 3DS to hit US shelves March 27 | TECH & GAMING

Last week, Nintendo announced the March 27th release date for the long-awaited Nintendo 3DS, for $250. Our panelists have been aching to get their hands on the new mobile gaming device since it was originally announced, back in March 2010. We're sure it's going to be a solid hit for Nintendo, and a major move in the glasses-free 3D entertainment landscape.

In addition to glasses-free 3D, the 3DS comes jam-packed with some pretty kickin features, such as a motion/gyro sensor, a 3D camera, and StreetPass™ technology, allowing users to 'exchange game data like Mii™ characters, high scores, and custom characters with other users you pass on the street' (even in sleep mode). The device also comes with an Augmented Reality card and a couple games to bring your real life surroundings to the virtual 3D world.

Nintendo 3DS Official Site

Nintendo to release 3D portable gaming device, 3DS | TECH / GAMING / ENTERTAINMENT



Must See: 'Babyland' at Sundance | FILM / EVENTS

Massive congratulations and best of luck to Zandland friend, director Marc Fratello on his truly spectacular short film, 'Babyland' (with producer Zandland-alum Anna D'Agrosa). Check it out at Sundance this weekend! For screening times, go to sundance.slated.com. Sure to be a massive crowd-pleaser!

'Babyland' made big waves at last year's Columbia Film Festival at IFC theatre here in NYC, collecting some big awards including the Focus Features Best Film and Student Choice Best Film. A must see for anyone planning on checking out the festival this year.

Also, follow 'Babyland' on Facebook

Dark, funny, subtle and bold, 'Babyland' is an original and rewarding filmic experience. Check it out!



Photoshop Rap! | TECH / HUMOR VIDEO

HYSTERICAL rap video from College Humor featuring tips and tricks for Photoshop. A big laugh for all, an even bigger laugh for all you Photoshop-heads. I've personally tried to explain some of these very same tricks to others, but think it would've been way more effective had I just had this video on hand...Good work, College Humor!

Thanks for the tip AD!

College Humor via FreeWilliamsburg



Thom Browne Women's Collection, Spring/Summer 2011 | FASHION / TRENDS

(image via Jak & Jil Blog)
Totally inspired.

This month's issue of our Trend Tracking report covers the Neo-Prep trend we've been seeing developing over the last couple of years. One of the highlights from the report is Thom Browne's new Women's line of spectacular fashions - an explosion of delicious patterns and trims that are simply making us gush. We're holding out for a Thom Browne collaboration with Target -- hint hint.
Back in June Thom Browne announced his fore into womenswear. First will come a small womenswear Spring 2011 collection, we were told, then in February we will get a full Fall 2011 runway show.

Browne promised this collection will be, in his words, “understandable” and embody a strong but sexy woman’s spirit. Indeed it does. The ultra-refined waspy silhouettes that he created with superb tailoring, he broke down with bold colors and whimsical prints. These are no ordinary preppy clothes. In a sea of today’s grungy too-cool-for-school looks, Thom Browne’s womenswear is what really will make you stand out.

Thom Browne Women’s Spring 2011 collection will be sold in Thom Browne’s flagship store in Tribeca and Barney’s.
[via fashionlvr.com]

And what's going on in the always lovely Thom Browne Mens? Check it out at WWD

Lookbook Preview images via Jak & Jil Blog; Runway images via <fashionlvr.com.



Cherry juice turns Brooklyn bees and honey red | TRENDS / EAT

(David Selig of Red Hook, Brooklyn, a restaurant owner and amateur beekeeper, was disappointed that instead of honey his bees had produced a red concoction more reminiscent of maraschino cherries, or of cough syrup. via NYTimes.com)
We've been following the urban beekeeping trend for some time now. In an interesting twist, the New York Times reported this week on a mystery solved involving a Red Hook, Brooklyn hive of bees changing color. That's a change of color in both the bees themselves (added bright red stripes) and the honey they were producing. So what was the culprit, you ask? Apparently, the bees were indulging in the sweet flavor of maraschino cherry juice from a nearby factory.
But Mr. Selig [who owns the restaurant chain Rice and raises the bees as a hobby] said there was something extraordinary, too, about those corn-syrup-happy bees that came flying back this summer.

“When the sun is a bit down, they glow red in the evenings,” he said. “They were slightly fluorescent. And it was beautiful.”
[via NYTimes.com]
Personally, the sound of maraschino flavored honey isn't so terrible…in fact, it sounds quite tasty. Maybe these bees are just bored of making the same old stuff season after season? Whatever the case, now that the mystery is solved, all involved parties are going to work to prevent the bees from overindulging in the red stuff...