Chairs: No Need Ever to Get Up

A chair should be functional, inviting and comfortable. But it can also be a work of art. At the latest Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan, Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka unveiled for Moroso his simple yet stunning Bouquet chair, which "blooms" on a slim chrome stem with "petals" made of individually sewn fabric squares (prices not set yet; try a seat in the Fantasy Fantasy chair by New Zealander designer Phil Cuttance. It's a bit like being transported into a world of mythical creatures and fantastical human forms. The large, boxy piece is covered with fabric illustrated by artist Jared Kahi, who created the images using an inkjet textile printer ($1,590; Lathe Chair V by Sebastian Brajkovic features a hand-embroidered, rainbow-shaped backrest, which gives the impression of a chair in motion, on the verge of tipping over ($29,160; cwgdesign .com). It's best to take it sitting down, especially at that price.

Quick Read

Too bad his U.S. publisher opted to retitle Dennis' chart-topping U.K. best seller "The Getting of Money." The original nicely captured both the author's single-mindedness in pursuing wealth and the quirky raconteur's voice that makes the Maxim publisher's tome a better read than the typical rags-to-riches saga. Whether he's condemning the debilitating effects of a regular paycheck or praising the virtues of inexperience, Dennis is an enthusiastic contrarian and voluble storyteller, though given the recent flap over his claim (now recanted) that he once pushed a rival to his death from a cliff, readers may prefer to season his tales with a few grains of salt.Bing, the pseudonymous alter ego of CBS PR chief Gil Schwartz, is a familiar name to connoisseurs of corporate satire. But in purporting to reveal how to slack successfully at the top of the corporate food chain—using your BlackBerry to fake omniscience, traveling in lieu of working—he also reveals a timid side. Instead of...

Speedo: Making a Splash

Speedo's new and controversial high-tech LZR suit is helping swimmers smash dozens of records. How the company plans to capitalize on Olympic gold.

My Turn: When Inflation Means Starvation

Food prices have surged for many reasons. But giving timely assistance to ward off further suffering among the world's poor has become a moral obligation.Inflation is a cruel tax. It places a very heavy burden on the poorest countries. And when the driver of inflation is higher food prices, the issue becomes one of survival for the most vulnerable segments of the population. Economic concerns can, and do, morph into political ones as citizens take to the street to express anger at their governments' apparent failure to act.This is the situation today. Food prices have surged as higher demand has been turbocharged by other factors. Caught by surprise, policymakers at both the national and international levels are scrambling to understand and fix the situation. At its root, the increase in food prices is part of the bigger phenomenon of the development of key emerging economies like China and India. As they become richer, populations in these economies consume more cereals and meat— a...