Science

Forensic scientists overwhelmed by number of donors to NSW body farm

Forensic scientists say they have been overwhelmed by the number of people wanting to donate their corpses to the southern hemisphere’s first body farm.

The secret bushland facility on the outskirts of Sydney is being used to study how human bodies decompose.

It was established in early 2016 by Professor Shari Forbes, a forensic scientist from the University of Technology Sydney.

We’re not CSI, we don’t solve investigations in an hour, but we can solve investigations through the research that we do, Professor Forbes said.

The facility is currently the only body farm outside the United States and Professor Forbes said the public interest had been higher than anyone had expected.

The level of interest has definitely surprised us, she said.

We already have 30 of our donors who have arrived at our facility, and that’s in just over a year.

We weren’t expecting anywhere near that number.

More than 500 people have now said they will also donate their bodies to the cause once they die.

We do have a slight bias towards seniors and the elderly, thankfully because they live long and healthy lives and intend to die from natural causes, Professor Forbes said.

We don’t hope to see young people out there, but the few that arrive are really beneficial to the work that we do for the police — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Design

Danilo Biello operates Customcreations — a motorcycle garage located in the mountainous province of Isernia in central Italy. And his Ducati Monster S2R 800 is one of the most alluring examples of the model that we’ve seen — via Bike EXIF

Politics, Technology

How Australia Bungled Its $36 Billion High-Speed Internet Rollout

The story of Australia’s costly internet bungle illustrates the hazards of mingling telecommunication infrastructure with the impatience of modern politics. The internet modernization plan has been hobbled by cost overruns, partisan maneuvering and a major technical compromise that put 19th-century technology between the country’s 21st-century digital backbone and many of its homes and businesses.

The government-led push to modernize its telecommunications system was unprecedented, experts say — and provides a cautionary tale for others who might like to try something similar.

Australia was the first country where a totally national plan to cover every house or business was considered, said Rod Tucker, a University of Melbourne professor and a member of the expert panel that advised on the effort. The fact it was a government plan didn’t necessarily make it doomed. In Australia, we have changes of governments every three years, which really works against the ability to undertake long-term planning, and the long-term rollouts of networks like this.

Australia poses natural connectivity challenges. It lies oceans away from other countries, and any network would have to connect far-flung cities separated by its sparsely populated interior.

Still, Australia had high hopes for its ambitious internet project. Started in 2009, the initiative, known as the National Broadband Network, was intended to bring advanced fibre-optic technology to the doorstep of just about every home and business. It was initially estimated to cost 43 billion Australian dollars, shared by the government and the private sector — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Design

This is the Ron Wood lightweight Norton, owned by Jamie Waters, and the archetype of retro flat track style. Anyone with a passing interest in flat track history will have heard of the legendary red big tube Nortons. Ron Wood built the first one around 1971 or 1972, and the second a few years later. Around the same time, he constructed this National-winning lightweight bike — which has a single-backbone, dual down tube frame designed to reduce weight. Jamie bought the lightweight from Ron directly, after they met at the Legend Of The Motorcycle show nearly ten years ago, where Jamie was showing his unrestored Ron Wood big tube Norton — via Bike EXIF

Design

This 1930s Connell, Ward and Lucas-designed modernist property in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire is now on the market. Dating back to 1937, grade II-listed and quite simply, a stunning piece of architecture. £3,000,000is the asking price — via WowHaus

Design

This is Kaffeemaschine’s latest cafe racer, Maschine 20, created for a client who wanted more oomph than he was getting from his Norton Commando. Axel Budde sourced a Le Mans Mk III as the donor bike and gave the entire drivetrain a rebuild — via Bike EXIF

Design

Elegant and distinctly Southern Californian, this gorgeous 1960 home by pioneering female architect Edla Muir perches atop the Fire Mountain neighbourhood of Oceanside, the third largest city in San Diego County. Muir was known for designing homes for stars like Shirley Temple and Barbara Stanwyck. Located at 1812 Baily Drive, the property is the only Muir design to be commissioned in San Diego and is offered at $3.5 million — via Curbed

Design

The Automatic Field Issue is a significant departure from the other watches in the Weiss Watch Company’s collection. Sure, it still has a basic field watch look (down to the sub-seconds at nine o’clock), but that’s about it. The case here is 38mm instead of 42mm and the movement inside is automatic instead of hand-wound.

The Weiss 38mm Automatic Issue Field Watch is available in three dial colours: black or white, both on a green Cordura canvas strap and both priced at $1,895, and blue, on a natural Horween shell cordovan strap and priced at $1,995 — via Hodinkee

Design

This commission came straight from Royal Enfield Indonesia themselves, with an open brief and only two months to turn it around. So Jakarta based Thrive Motorcycle’s builders Indra Pratama and Barata Dwiputra knuckled down and got busy — via Bike EXIF

Design

Over in Salzburg, Austria, Vienna-based firm Smartvoll won a competition to redesign the 350-square-metre roof space of a former storage shed for military vehicles and boy did they put their mark on the place. Using primarily concrete, the designers created a swoopy futuristic apartment intervention that feels like one huge, liveable sculpture — via Curbed

Design

It belongs to Jeff Gittleson of Kinesis Moto, who built it by marrying a Ducati 160 Monza Jr motor to a Honda CB175 frame — via Bike EXIF

Design

Klopf Architecture, the San Francisco firm known for its mid century modern-inspired residences and renovations of Eichler homes, has designed a bright and airy ranch-style home in Orangeville, a community in Sacramento, California.

Taking cues from mid century design, naturally, the single-story residence incorporates signature characteristics from the era, like a gently sloping, overhanging roof, walls of windows, and a free-flowing layout that promotes cross breezes and that quintessential indoor-outdoor lifestyle — via Curbed

Design

The Type 1H goes for a totally different look altogether, and one never seen before. The convex dial discs are made of solid German silver and they have been sandblasted and skeletonised to reveal the mechanics underneath. The edges of the discs have been sharply bevelled, outlining the openings with just a bit of shine. The markings and hands are milled and filled with a dark grey SuperLuminova that glows bright green in the dark.

The Ressence Type 1H Limited Edition For HODINKEE is limited to just 20 pieces and is priced at $22,500 — via HODINKEE

Design

It might surprise some to learn that natural light plays a leading role in the creation of an open, airy living space.

But to Boston-based firm NADAAA, the importance of light is a given. When overhauling this 1920s brick house in Washington DC, the firm put lighting front and centre, essentially transforming the rear facade into a curtain wall punctured by a geometric splatter of rectangular windows. Floor-to-ceiling glass was used on some portions of the home, and boxy windows project out from the façade towards the garden beyond.

But inside is where the light play really begins. NADAAA is known for fancy mill-work and materials exploration. In the DC home, they artfully installed plywood panelling to shepherd light into the space. Throughout the home, the panelling is arranged parallel to a north-south axis, optimizing light. Even the banisters seem to visually break apart when confronted with the possibility of blocking the view of a window beyond — via Curbed

Design

This 1965 home in Garland, Texas oozes serious Mad Men vibes. The property, designed by industrial architect Richard Craycroft of Craycroft-Lacy & Associates, is one of only two single family dwellings he designed. Recently updated, the three-bedroom-three-bath measures 390 square metre and offers period living enhanced with contemporary updates.

The spacious split-level floor plan includes a front parlour space and a warm, wood-panelled step-down great room. Here, beamed ceilings, an impressive fireplace, and a wall of windows create a cosy space, replete with period carpeting that doesn’t feel stuffy and instead ups the mod vibe.

Located at 3621 Glenbrook Court, the property includes a private guest suite and is offered at $425,000 — via Curbed

Wildlife

Paignton Zoo’s South American Maned Wolves are rearing a litter of three pups. This is the first litter for the pair. The male, Tolock, arrived at Paignton Zoo in September 2016 from Katowice Zoo in Poland, where he was born in 2015. Female Milla was born in December 2012 and arrived in the UK a year later from Nordens Ark Zoo in Sweden — via ZooBorns

Design

An enchanting stone house overlooking the Hudson River in Rockland County, New York, is on the market in Grand View-on-Hudson. Known as Willow Knoll, the six-bedroom cobblestone Craftsman home was built circa 1891 by Joseph Ellicott, the inventor of the air brake and the first commodore of the Tappan Zee Yacht Club, and recently restored, in 2015.

The 430-square-metre property sits on 0.5 hectares of what used to be an old sandstone quarry site and is surrounded by lush greenery and river views, which can be enjoyed on the extensive wraparound porch featuring a curved ceiling and stone archways — via Curbed

Design

Cañas Arquitectos were tasked with designing a space for their clients that wanted to have a dedicated room for entertaining friends and family, where they could enjoy the view — via CONTEMPORIST

Design

Patek Philippe has launched the Ref. 5320G Perpetual Calendar, inspired by many of the predecessor models from the 1940s and 1950s, such as the Ref. 1518 from 1941, and the Ref. 1526 from 1942. Both of these timepieces feature a double aperture for the day and month at 12 o’clock, and subsidiary dial at 6 o’clock for the date by hand and the phases of the moon. The retail price is $82,784 — via Professional Watches

Craft, Entertainment, Wildlife

May the fourth be with you everyone! As all the nerds know, today is Star Wars Day, so I wanted to celebrate with this super-cute-squishy little Wampa plush. I knew right away that I wanted to make a plush when I saw Star Wars day coming around, and while we’ve seen the classic characters in plush form all the time, I thought a stumpy little chibi Wampa with a bloody little arm was too good to pass up! The arm is even detachable for use in your own lightsabre battles. I made him with some long-pile minky that I had lying around that I thought suit him wonderfully; with just a scrap of red flannel and a sew-in snap, he came together perfectly — via Choly Knight

Design

2LOUD is the one-man operation of Ma Yicheng, known to his English friends as Max Ma. Originally launched in 1994, the Suzuki TU250 is effectively a little Universal Japanese Motorcycle — as humble as they come. But Max saw its potential, and he’s extracted every last ounce of charm and style — via Bike EXIF

Design

Architecture firm McLean Quinlan have designed this home that sits high above the town of Jackson, Wyoming, for their clients that fell in love with the location — via CONTEMPORIST

Rights

Let’s Stop Pretending Christianity is Actually Relevant, Okay?

A recent Barna survey reports only 18% of Millennials find Christianity relevant to their lives. That’s not surprising if we’re honest. After the Supreme Court decision regarding the ruling on gay marriage things got really weird. Some Christians put up straight pride profile pictures on social media and reminded people of what the Bible teaches (which, just for clarification, the church is currently split over because of how they view the interpretation). It’s a strange practice to ask people who don’t hold the same beliefs as you to conform to your morals because you quoted a book they don’t read. My friends that aren’t Christians have never tried to force their morality on me, so this is an odd practice in Christendom. Even Jesus didn’t blame pagans for acting like pagans. Yet, many Christians insist their beliefs apply to the culture at large even though most don’t share the same beliefs. With the Supreme Court ruling in Oklahoma, Christians raged about how the government was “forcing their beliefs on them and how they were no longer allowed to have theirs any more”. Well, no, it was Christians who forced their views in the public forum by putting the 10 Commandments there first (if we look at it objectively). And never mind that as of late, many evangelical Christians care more about keeping refugees out of the US despite what their sacred literature teaches.

What we need to face is that public perception has shifted. We live in post-Christian America where we’re no longer relevant to the culture at large. Whatever influence Christians used to have, much like a parasite trying to reconnect to its host for fear of dying, many Christians are thrashing about trying to create waves and convince people they are relevant within our culture. But sadly, instead of men and women looking like Jesus we sure have a lot of talking heads. We sure have a healthy dose of condemnation in our ranks. We love being right instead of the hard task of humility.

Is it any wonder we’re not relevant? — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Science

Darwin Was a Slacker and You Should Be Too

When you examine the lives of history’s most creative figures, you are immediately confronted with a paradox: They organize their lives around their work, but not their days.

Figures as different as Charles Dickens, Henri Poincaré, and Ingmar Bergman, working in disparate fields in different times, all shared a passion for their work, a terrific ambition to succeed, and an almost superhuman capacity to focus. Yet when you look closely at their daily lives, they only spent a few hours a day doing what we would recognize as their most important work. The rest of the time, they were hiking mountains, taking naps, going on walks with friends, or just sitting and thinking. Their creativity and productivity, in other words, were not the result of endless hours of toil. Their towering creative achievements result from modest working hours.

How did they manage to be so accomplished? Can a generation raised to believe that 80-hour workweeks are necessary for success learn something from the lives of the people who laid the foundations of chaos theory and topology or wrote Great Expectations?

I think we can. If some of history’s greatest figures didn’t put in immensely long hours, maybe the key to unlocking the secret of their creativity lies in understanding not just how they laboured but how they rested, and how the two relate — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Design

This hot-rodded Suzuki Katana is the latest release from bike builders Sébastien Guillemot and Mathieu Ménard’s workshop, FCR Original, based in northern France. The Furiosa retains the sharp-edged aggression of the original Target design, but adds a whole raft of tasteful upgrades—a true resto-mod — via Bike EXIF

Design

Architect William Hefner together with his interior designer wife Kazuko Hoshino, have completed this modern home in the Pacific Palisades neighbourhood of Los Angeles, California — via CONTEMPORIST

Craft

World’s Fastest Bumper Car / Colin Furze

It’s finished and it’s fast… so fast it’s the worlds fastest as approved by Guinness World Records. This 600cc monster is the work of hours of shed time working out how to squeeze a sports bike and so wheels into a dodgem shell without making a death trap, but surprisingly in a straight line it’s actually quite a solid ride, even when reaching three figure speeds — via Youtube

Wildlife

Dingo relative rediscovered in remote highlands of New Guinea

Scientists have confirmed the existence of an ancient dog species in one of the world’s most remote places — the mountains of Papua New Guinea and Indonesia’s Papua provinces.

The international team led by scientists from Indonesia’s University of Papua captured evidence of the New Guinea highland wild dog during a 2016 expedition to an austere, high-altitude region near the Grasberg mine, one of the world’s largest copper mines.

The discovery is the first confirmed sighting of the species in more than 40 years.

The dogs are believed likely to be the same species as the New Guinea singing dog, a wild dog that has been bred in captivity since several pairs were taken from the remote New Guinea highlands on both sides of the border in the 1950s and 1970s.

There are about 200 New Guinea singing dogs in zoos around the world, but little is known about the ancient breed famous for their unique vocalisations.

However, scientists are certain it shares ancestry with the Australian dingo — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Design

There are three NOMOS Glashütte Club Campus models, in two sizes. The first watch is a 36mm Club, with the familiar long-lugged case, and the other two are 38mm Clubs, all in stainless steel. This means you can now get the Club in 36mm, 37mm, 38mm, 40mm, and 41.5mm, so there’s really a size for everyone. The Club Campus are all three-handers, luminous hour and minute hands and a sub-seconds register down at six o’clock. The dials are California dials, meaning there are Arabic numerals up top and Roman numerals down below.

The NOMOS Glashütte Club Campus retails for $1,500 in the 36mm size and $1,650 in the 38mm size — via Hodinkee

Design

Over the last few years, we’ve grown accustomed to getting imaginative creations from MB&F that aren’t watches. Chief amongst these are clocks made in collaboration with L’Epée and what we have here today is the latest result of this partnership. Meet the Destination Moon, a rocket-shaped table clock with little details that will bring a smile to your face.

The Destination Moon is available in four limited edition colours, black, blue, green, and palladium, all of which retail for 19,900 CHF. Only 50 pieces will be made in each colour — via Hodinkee

Design

Set into the foothills of the Franklin Mountains, 245m above the city of El Paso, Texas, sits this modern family home designed by Darci Hazelbaker and Dale Rush of Hazelbaker Rush — via CONTEMPORIST

Design

The Speedmaster Racing Master Chronometer collection focuses on the Speedmaster’s racing heritage, because, while the watch had its best days on the moon, it was originally made for the race track. Omega made that a little clearer in 1968, just one year after the model’s launch, when the company started making a special version of the Speedmaster with an unusual staggered minute track later dubbed the racing dial version of the Speedy.

The stainless steel models will be available from 7,800 CHF, while the Senda gold model will retail for 22,750 CHF. Omega will be offering a couple of strap options for the new collection, including an aged brown leather strap and a sportier black leather racing strap — via Hodinkee

Design

Inspired by the undulating hills of the landscape around the site, Seeley Architects designed this family home in Kyneton, Australia, around the idea of creating connection to the outdoors and fostering a sense of cohabitation with the wildlife in the area. The roof of the home is the most unique detail, featuring a wavy appearance that almost appears to be floating and was designed to mimic the rolling hills surrounding the home. Stone pathways lead to the entrance, the grassy areas, and around the side of the home, while natural vegetation, like the olive trees, have been left in place to allow and encourage the wildlife to interact with the area — via CONTEMPORIST

Design

The Chronoris Date is a modern version of the vintage watch, of the same name, released by Oris 47 years ago. The Chronoris was first introduced in 1970 and was a stop-seconds chronograph, not to mention the first chronograph for the Swiss maker. The name, as you might have guessed, is a combination of the words chronograph and Oris, and the last Chronoris was released in 2005, so it has been a little while.

The new Chronoris Date is a reinterpretation of the 1970s model. It features a 39mm brushed stainless steel tonneau-shaped case. The dial features several chapter rings in varying shades of silver, grey, and black with bright orange accents on the hands and indexes. Additionally there is a date window at three o’clock that stands out due to the white disc.

The Oris Chronoris Date retails for $1,750 on the straps and $1,950 on the steel bracelet — via Hodinkee

Art

If you didn’t speak English as a native, you’d be tempted to figure out new words by pulling them apart into smaller words you know. Then you’d be really wrong. This method wouldn’t work for placate if you are learning British English, as they pronounce it differently. This is the latest from John Atkinson at Wrong Hands. See more of his phonetically defined words — via Neatorama

Design

Coates Design Architects recently completed this vacation house in Tumblecreek, Washington, for a family with a lot of extended relatives. It was designed with entertaining in mind but was also intended to have a low impact on the environment — via CONTEMPORIST

Craft

Clear, well-lit photos of your projects are among the best ways to share your work with others. Few techniques highlight your project as well as an all white light box with soft, even, shadow-free lighting. Not only is the white background distraction free, it will also serve to bounce your light source onto your object from nearly all angles.

This is an effective, inexpensive, and easy way to build a light box for project and product photography. Plus, you can quickly break it down for flat storage, and set it back up in seconds! — via Adafruit Learning System

Design

This BMW belonged to a 75-year-old Swiss gentleman who had just decided to hang up his helmet. So he took his R75/7 to his local dealer and asked them to sell it for him. That dealer just happened to be Stucki 2Rad — and the Beemer just happened to be perfekt for their VTR Customs division — via Bike EXIF