Design

It’s the kind of listing that makes you Google how much house can I afford? even when you don’t live in that state — not because it’s the home of your dreams, per se, but because it’s got that killer combination of history, charm, and a price tag that feels palatable when compared to what you’re used to seeing in your own megalopolis.

Located in Eugene, Oregon, the 190-square-metre mid century three-bedroom was completed in 1967 as a personal residence by Robert Mention, who helmed the 1980s expansion of the Eugene Airport. With a swooping and beamed ceiling, soaring windows, open floor plan, two decks, and serene views of the surrounding nature, the home sits pretty on a 688-square-metre lot.

The original architecture has largely been preserved — down to the avocado-green sink in the bathroom—while the kitchen was recently updated (though it could use an even better refresh). Located at 2695 Cresta de Ruta Street, it’s yours for $480,000 — via Curbed

Design

MB&F launched the first Horological Machine in 2007, positioning itself as an independent watchmaker primarily interesting in futuristic design. Ten years and eight Horological Machines later, (MB&F actually skipped over the HM7 a few months ago when it released the HM8), Max Büsser and his friends have remained steadfast in their mission, creating watches that look as if they were made without any standard watch parts at all. That is not longer true after today. The diver’s bezel is one of the most instantly recognisable elements of modern watch making, and, in a departure from form, Büsser has made it one of the chief design elements of the HM7.

Of course, he’s done something quite unexpected with it. Instead of laying it on top of the case, where one usually finds a bezel, Büsser has surrounded the double-domed case with the bezel. It ends up looking almost like Saturn’s rings — which is not what the watch is meant to look like — but the result is awesome. One of the great pleasures of MB&F’s sometimes strangely shaped horological machines usually comes not when the watch sits on the wrist, but off, discovering the watch from many different angles. And the brand new Horological Machine No. 7 might be the maker’s most three-dimensional creation to date. There simply isn’t one straight edge to it — even the lugs are dramatically arched and articulated — via Hodinkee

Design

How does the idea of something weird and wonderful grab you for your next home? If it does, you need to have a look at the Bloom House in Austin, Texas, USA.

Built in the late 1970s, the house was apparently built by visionaries looking for a more natural and peaceful way to live. They found it on a two-acre plot, with the sculptors behind it then creating the frame, following on with the walls and eventually the fixtures and fittings of a liveable home.

The end result is actually a house. Have a look round and you will find a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen, living/reception areas, stairs and of course, a front door and patio area. In a way, this is still traditional living. But the space age look of the place sets this apart from (almost) everything else out there.

This is up for $695,000 — via WowHaus

Design

Baume & Mercier has just released a new collection of sports watches. The Clifton Club is a nice addition to one of the more affordable Richemont brands’ portfolios, offering up a sporty, casual vibe with some pops of colour. The Clifton Club is available in five versions at launch. The pricing for these watches range from $1,950 to $2,200 — via Hodinkee

Rights

Squatters turn oligarch’s empty London property into homeless shelter

A veteran group of squatters has occupied an empty £15m central London property purchased by a Russian oligarch in 2014 and opened it as a homeless shelter.

The extensive, five-storey Grade ll-listed Eaton Square property was bought by Andrey Goncharenko, a little-known oligarch who has bought a number of luxury properties in London in recent years.

The squatters — Autonomous Nation of Anarchist Libertarians, known as ANAL — said they entered the building through an open window on 23 January and have accommodated about 25 homeless people so far, many of whom had been sleeping rough around Victoria station.

Tom Fox, 23, one of the squatters, said: It is criminal that there are so many homeless people and at the same time so many empty buildings. Our occupation is highlighting this injustice.

New rough sleeper figures published this week have revealed an increase of 16% from last year, to more than 4,000.

More than 200,000 homes have been empty for more than six months, according to new government figures — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Design

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Tiranna, a 1955-built residence named after the aboriginal word for running waters, has just gone on the market in New Canaan, Connecticut.

Purchased by memorabilia mogul and philanthropist Ted Stanley and his wife Vada about 20 years ago, the incredible 15-acre property, also known as the Rayward-Shepherd House and the John L Rayward House, has been well-preserved after undergoing an extensive restoration that also added a few updates.

The horseshoe-shaped house measures nearly 7,000 square feet and is arranged around a courtyard and includes seven bedrooms, eight baths, expansive open-plan living space, a rotating steel-and-glass observatory on the roof, wood panelling throughout, built-ins like storage, shelving, and furniture, multiple fireplaces — including one with a gold-leaf chimney, carved beams, floor-to-ceiling windows, a greenhouse, guest studio, and so much more.

The hemicycle is situated beside the Noroton River and a waterfall and is surrounded by woods. Other amenities include a swimming pool, tennis court, a large barn, and original gardens and landscaping Frank Okamura and Charles Middeleer. Located at 432 Frogtown Road, this one-of-a-kind home is available for $8,000,000 through Houlihan Lawrence — via Curbed

Design

It’s usually a long time between builds from Deus’ LA workshop supremo Michael Woolaway — but they’re always worth the wait. Like this seriously hot rodded Harley cafe racer, the Bel Air 1200 Framer. It’s got more curves than a racetrack, and enough grunt to spin the wheels at will — via Bike EXIF

Design

hyperSity Architects designed Cave House in Loess Plateau in Weinan, China — via ArchDaily

Obituary: John Hurt

Veteran actor Sir John Hurt has died aged 77, his agent has said.

The Bafta-winning star, known for his roles in Alien and The Elephant Man, continued working despite being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2015.

He recently starred as Father Richard McSorley in Jackie, the biopic of President John F Kennedy’s wife.

US director Mel Brooks described Sir John as cinematic immortality, as tributes poured in for the star — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Design

Pepo Rosell has become a cult figure within the bike building business, because he has the knack of giving fast road bikes an appealing vintage race vibe.

This gnarly-looking machine is called Rocket. But despite the BSA logo on the tank, it started life as a Triumph Legend TT—a short-lived derivative of the Thunderbird 900 — via Bike EXIF

Politics

Sales of George Orwell’s 1984 surge after Kellyanne Conway’s ‘alternative facts’

Sales of George Orwell’s dystopian drama 1984 have soared after Kellyanne Conway, adviser to the reality-TV-star-turned-president, Donald Trump, used the phrase alternative facts in an interview. As of Tuesday, the book was the sixth best-selling book on Amazon.

Comparisons were made with the term newspeak used in the 1949 novel, which was used to signal a fictional language that aims at eliminating personal thought and also doublethink. In the book Orwell writes that it means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.

The connection was initially made on CNN’s Reliable Sources. Alternative facts is a George Orwell phrase, said Washington Post reporter Karen Tumulty.

Conway’s use of the term was in reference to White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s comments about last week’s inauguration attracting the largest audience ever. Her interview was widely criticized and she was sub-tweeted by Merriam-Webster dictionary with a definition of the word fact. On last night’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, the host joked: Kellyanne Conway is like someone trying to do a Jedi mind trick after only a week of Jedi training.

In 1984, a superstate wields extreme control over the people and persecutes any form of independent thought — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Rights

Punch a Nazi / Warren Ellis

I understand there’s been some confusion online as to whether it’s ever right to punch a Nazi in the face.  There is a compelling argument that all speech is equal and we should trust to the discourse to reveal these ideas for what they are and confidently expect them to be denounced and crushed out by the mechanisms of democracy and freedom.

All I can tell you is, from my perspective as an old English socialist and cultural liberal who is probably way to the woolly left from most of you and actually has a medal for services to free speech — yes, it is always correct to punch Nazis. They lost the right to not be punched in the face when they started spouting genocidal ideologies that in living memory killed millions upon millions of people. And anyone who stands up and respectfully applauds their perfect right to say these things should probably also be punched, because they are clearly surplus to human requirements. Nazis do not need a hug. Nazis do not need to be indulged. Their world doesn’t get better until you’ve been removed from it. Your false equivalences mean nothing. Their agenda is always, always, extermination. Nazis need a punch in the face.

(And the argument that such assaults allow Nazis to get more attention doesn’t work so well when they were already going live on a national television network, because this is where we are now. This is how normalised their presence in our culture is.)

Glad we got that cleared up — via Orbital Operations Transdimensional Distribution

Design

Atelier Alter designed the Paradise of Colour, a rehabilitation project for No. 12 Middle School in Beijing, China — via ArchDaily

Rights

How the town of Whitefish defeated its neo-Nazi trolls — and became a national model of resistance

If you were to judge the small, northwestern Montana town of Whitefish solely on the national media frenzy that has descended upon it in recent weeks, like a blizzard that blots out everything else, then you’d probably write it off as a frightening place — an intolerant place, an unwelcoming place, a place where the worst of the United States has taken hold.

But what if the opposite were true? What if, at a moment of mounting political anxiety and creeping Internet thuggery, of fear and loathing and all the rest of it, Whitefish has, in fact, been demonstrating how America, at its best, can defeat such ugliness in the months and years ahead?

Because that’s what I found when I actually bothered to spend some time there. In the first weeks of January, I made two extended trips to Whitefish. I got to know dozens of locals — activists and actors, skiers and shopkeepers, loggers and L.A. transplants. What I found was a story that was a lot more interesting — and inspiring — than the one I had been reading about on the Internet — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Design

The designs are more complex and interesting than the majority of balance bikes out there, based on the classic cafe racers of the 1960s from…” />
Fancy treating the kids to something vintage? You could always invest in one of these Jokos balance bikes.

The designs are more complex and interesting than the majority of balance bikes out there, based on the classic cafe racers of the 1960s from the likes of Norton and Triumph. If you love your vintage bikes, you’ll probably like the idea of your children riding on one of these.

Each one is produced in Chile from wood and titanium and sold as kits. Do make sure you have a screwdriver handy when it lands. Each one is also made to order, so get in touch with the company to enquire about the price and shipping for your country — via Retro to Go

Technology

In 1998, Mattel began selling the electronic Barbie Typewriter to replace the earlier mechanical typewriter in the Barbie line, thus continuing the toy industry habit of introducing young children to technology that is 30 years out of date. Nonetheless, it could keep children busy learning to read and write away from your word processor. But the typewriter had a secret. It was manufactured by Mehano in Slovenia, which already made other children’s typewriters. Mehano took an older model and made it pink and purple for Mattel. The base model they used had a wonderful secret capability that was sadly never included in Mattel’s marketing.

Apart from a range of typesetting features, such as letter-spacing and underline, this children’s toy was capable of encoding and decoding secret messages, using one of 4 built-in cipher modes. These modes were activated by entering a special key sequence on the keyboard, and was explained only in the original documentation.

When the E-115 was adopted by Mattel as an addition to the Barbie product line, it was aimed mainly at girls with a minimum age of 5 years. For this reason the product was given a pink-and-purple case and the Barbie logo and image were printed on the body. As it was probably thought that secret writing would not appeal to girls, the coding/decoding facilities were omitted from the manual. Nevertheless, these facilities can still be accessed if you know how to activate them.

If you happen to have one of these typewriters sitting around, you can find the instructions for using the crypto codes at Crypto Museum — via Neatorama

Politics

Voting Should Be Mandatory

When you survey the wreckage of 2016, it’s easy to forget that the most seismic democratic events were brought about by minorities.

Only 37 percent of eligible Britons voted to leave the European Union. The case is even clearer in the American election, which Donald J Trump won despite having persuaded only a quarter of the American electorate to support him. Mr Trump triumphed in a low-turnout election.

As we scramble to explain the upheavals in democratic politics, we may be describing shifts that, while significant, are smaller than we think.

It’s time for democracies to adopt compulsory voting. I say this from Australia, one of about a dozen countries where people can be penalized for not voting (about a dozen more have compulsory voting on the books but don’t enforce it). We’ve done so at the federal level since 1924, following a drop in voter turnout. We’re now required by law to enrol at 18 years old (though this isn’t strictly monitored), and we’re fined if we fail to vote. Around three-quarters of Australians have consistently supported compulsory voting, and there is no meaningful movement for change.

The evidence is mixed on whether compulsory voting favours parties of the right or the left, and some studies suggest that most United States federal election results would be unchanged. But all that misses the point because it overlooks that compulsory voting changes more than the number of voters: It changes who runs for office and the policy proposals they support — redwolf.newsvine.com

Art

Who knew that the humble, utilitarian traffic light could look so haunting—and beguiling? As seen through the lens of Lucas Zimmermann, they take on an otherworldly aspect, their red, yellow, and green lights casting an altogether ghostly aura that emanates like a very basic rainbow in a dark, foggy sky.

The Weimar, Germany-based photographer is self-taught and began the series over two years ago, taking to the streets at night and training his camera on what are normally overlooked and under-appreciated objects. But with a little magic, he has manipulated them into tableaus that suggest something sinister.

The empty streets are visible just as far as the signals’ rays’ reach, exposing bare trees and minimal side-of-the-road landscaping. But beyond that, who knows what lurks? — via Curbed

Health, World

Iceland knows how to stop teen substance abuse but the rest of the world isn’t listening

Today, Iceland tops the European table for the cleanest-living teens. The percentage of 15- and 16-year-olds who had been drunk in the previous month plummeted from 42 per cent in 1998 to 5 per cent in 2016. The percentage who have ever used cannabis is down from 17 per cent to 7 per cent. Those smoking cigarettes every day fell from 23 per cent to just 3 per cent.

The way the country has achieved this turnaround has been both radical and evidence-based, but it has relied a lot on what might be termed enforced common sense. This is the most remarkably intense and profound study of stress in the lives of teenagers that I have ever seen, says Milkman. I’m just so impressed by how well it is working.

If it was adopted in other countries, Milkman argues, the Icelandic model could benefit the general psychological and physical well-being of millions of kids, not to mention the coffers of healthcare agencies and broader society. It’s a big if — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Design

In Elk, California — along the state’s famed Pacific Coast Highway about three hours north of San Francisco — this gorgeously weird timber house by architect Lee Aaron Ward, a one time apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright, has hit the market, and it is quite the mid century pad.

The 270 square metre house, built circa 1960, sits on a 5,400 square metre cliff top site with pretty spectacular views of the ocean. The house comprises two multi-story wings connected by a central volume, where the larger wing is the two-bed, two-bath main house; The smaller holds one-bedroom, one-bathroom guest accommodations with lofted sleeping quarters.

Where the exterior is eccentric, with its hefty, buttress-like supports, the interiors are, though still eclectic, more classically mid century modern: Wood panelled, high-ceilinged rooms and the original custom cabinetry are all still on offer. It’s quite impressive.

But perhaps the most impressive thing here are the knock-out views of the ocean, which you can take in from a number of vantage points inside the house or outdoors, on a number of decks, including a spacious one off the living room — via Curbed

Business, Food

Vegemite bought by Bega from US food giant Mondelez International

Vegemite is set to return to Australian ownership after dairy company Bega announced it would buy most of Mondelez International’s Australia and New Zealand grocery and cheese business.

Bega, in a note to the Australian Stock Exchange, said it would use bank debt to fund the $460 million acquisition.

The deal does not include Philadelphia products but will see Australian ownership of Kraft-branded products, including peanut butter, cheeses and mayonnaise — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Politics

NSW Premier Mike Baird announces retirement

NSW Premier Mike Baird has announced his retirement from politics.

In a statement on Twitter, Mr Baird said he was ready to move on from politics after 10 years in public life.

As I have reflected on the approaching halfway mark of our current term of government, and the opportunity it presents to refresh the Cabinet team, I have decided that this is the perfect time for me to hand the reins over to a new Premier, it read.

Serving as Premier of NSW has been a tremendous honour, but I have made clear from the beginning that I was in politics to make a difference, and then move on.

After 10 years in public life, this moment for me has arrived.

Mr Baird has been Premier of NSW since April 2014, taking over after Barry O’Farrell’s resignation — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Entertainment

Adidas: Break Free / Eugen Merher

Adidas is one of the largest athletic shoe companies in the world, so they have plenty of funding for their advertising campaigns and don’t need to go looking for free submissions from film students.

But Eugen Merher, a 26-year-old student film maker from Germany, decided to submit the ad he’d made for Adidas to their communications department anyway — and found his submission completely ignored.

Determined to show off his hard work despite the cold shoulder he received from Adidas he posted the ad online, where it instantly went viral and gave viewers all sorts of feels — via Youtube

Design

Have you been searching high and low for that perfect ski lodge, one that would accommodate not only your extended family and your friends, but also their extended family and friends? One that was massive, yet private, cosy, rustic, modern, and quaint? With beautiful nature vistas and amazing amenities that would ensure that no one would ever be bored in the event of a crippling, days-long blizzard?

Consider your quest over, for this incredible Colorado property, known as Aspen Grove Ranch, may be the answer to your dreams. Situated on 1,400 hectares within the 7,280 hectare shared ranch community of Grand River Ranch in Kremmling, the 2,200 square metre compound boasts a whopping 10 bedrooms and 17 bathrooms.

And that’s not all, of course. There are multiple fireplaces, enormous windows, an indoor bowling alley, separate bar room, kitchens — that’s plural, in-wall bunk beds, walk-in closets galore, sauna — not to mention the many water features of the home — plus, truly, so much more. If Aspen Grove Ranch — 15 minutes from the Kremmling Jet Aiport, and just two hours from Denver — is what you’ve been looking for, then it’s yours for the cool sum of $28,500,000 — via Curbed

Weird

Aggretsuko / Sanrio

Aggretsuko is a cute Red Panda, working as an office associate in the accounting department of a highly respected trading company. She works in one of the biggest metropolitan areas of Tokyo.

It’s always been a dream of Aggretsuko to work as an accountant, especially in this part of the city. But in reality, her bosses are unsympathetic and give her harsh deadlines. She ultimately has become a pushover within the company. When she gets pushed to the limit, she goes out after work and takes out her frustration and stress with heavy metal Karaoke sessions! — via Youtube

Politics

Catch the Fire ministries stripped of charitable status after raising funds for Rise Up Australia party

Controversial Melbourne evangelical church Catch the Fire, which solicits donations for the Rise Up Australia Party, has had its charitable status revoked by authorities.

The ministries, based in the south-eastern suburbs, have been run by Sri Lankan-born pastor Daniel Nalliah since the late 1990s.

Mr Nalliah launched the Rise up Australia party in 2013 on an anti-Islam, anti-multiculturalism platform and fielded candidates at last year’s federal election.

He openly preaches his political message from the pulpit and collects donations for the party at church services.

As a registered charity, Catch the Fire had access to Commonwealth tax concessions including GST waivers, income tax exemptions and fringe benefit tax rebates.

But the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission (ACNC) has now revoked its charitable status. Charities are not allowed to promote or fund political candidates — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Design

Located in South Eastern Utah, the three-bedroom, two-bath Cliff Haven sits on 12 acres and comes with all the modern amenities you’d expect—WiFi, a detached 2-car garage, and Amazon delivery, for example.

But that’s where the similarities to urban life stop. Unlike your average tract home, the 195-square-metre, energy-efficient house was built inside a cliff. Similar in colour to the stunning red rock formations in nearby Arches National Park, the cliff house lets nature take centre stage. Even the master bedroom features the red rocks as backdrop.

The property is also self-sufficient. Solar panels power the entire house, while a private well provides fresh water and a 12,000-gallon cistern collects rainwater and run off. There’s a backup diesel generator to ensure power as well.

When the original home owner built the property in 1986, they created a tunnel behind the house to help with water run off and create a natural fresh air circulation system. Throw in a vineyard, vegetable garden, and a mature orchard—think apples, peaches, cherries, and more—and you’ve got the makings of a complete off-the-grid cave castle — via Curbed

Wildlife

Cheetah Cubs Venture Outside For First Time / Longleat Safari Park

A rare pair of cheetah cubs have ventured outside for the first time at Longleat Safari Park. Thirteen-week-old cubs Poppy and Winston, who were named by the public, are the first to have been born at the Wiltshire wildlife attraction, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The pair, both still sporting Mohican-style juvenile fur, were allowed outside to explore their paddock under the watchful eye of mum Wilma — via Youtube

Design

Mejorada del Campo Cathedral / Justo Gallego Martínez

A huge cathedral with tall towers and a magnificent dome rises slowly in the municipality of Mejorada del Campo, 20 kilometres from Madrid. It seems like a common occurrence, but it is not. The building has been under construction for 50 years — brick by brick — by one man: Justo Gallego Martínez, farmer, ex-monk and a self-taught architect of 91 years of age. — via Arch Daily

Politics

President Trump: The Inauguration

After a long absence, The Twilight Zone returns with one of the most ambitious, expensive and controversial productions in broadcast history. Sci-fi writers have dabbled often with alternative history stories – among the most common is the What If The Nazis Had Won The Second World War setting — but this huge interactive virtual reality project, which will unfold on TV, in the press, and on Twitter over the next four years, sets out to build an ongoing alternative present. The story begins in a nightmarish version of 2017 in which huge sections of the US electorate have somehow been duped into voting to make Donald Trump president. It sounds far-fetched, and it is, but as it goes on it becomes more and more chillingly plausible. Today’s feature-length opener concentrates on the gaudy inauguration of President Trump, and the stirrings of protest and despair surrounding the ceremony, while pundits speculate gravely on what lies ahead. It’s a flawed piece, but a disturbing glimpse of the horrors we could stumble into, if we’re not careful — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Wildlife

Alice Springs Desert Park, in central Australia, has produced two new resident marsupials.

The Greater Bilby is currently listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, so the birth of the two healthy little male Bilbies puts the Desert Park on the conservation front and helps ensure that the unique marsupial will survive for generations to come — via ZooBorns

Design

This is a fully functioning motorcycle with stone bodywork. It’s a 1982 Honda CX500 modified by Chris Zernia, who lives in Mendig, Germany, and is clearly one wave short of a shipwreck. The bike is Zernia’s entry into the charmingly-named Build da Fukker contest run by the German magazine Custombike. The stone is basalt, mined from the Eifel mountain range a few kilometres away from Zernia’s house. Basalt is a dense volcanic rock, and rather heavy, but it can be shaped relatively easily — via Bike EXIF