The Charm Abandoned Places

Abandoned Ottmanic Train Trailer, Saudia Arabia Desert.

I have something for abandoned places. There is something both eerie and striking about them they truly charm me. Whether it’s a train cemetery in Bolivia or an Art Deco subway station underneath New York City, each location is a snapshot of history frozen in time. Take a tour of these mesmerizing sites around the world—stark reminders of what used to be, yes, but with beauty seeping through the broken glass and dust.

Valle dei Mulini (Valley of the Mills), Sorrento, Italy

Such places bring me into a silent and forgotten world, into places that was once lively and crowded. I’ve always wondered whether if any of the places we use now will be that charming when they’re left abandoned 1000 years from now. I think countries that has such beautiful abandoned buildings must maintain them and protect them.

Power Station, Belgium

The whistling of the wind penetrating into broken windows and doors, the sounds from surrounding nature are just magical for me at least.  I would not hesitate to roam the world if I had time, searching for abandoned sites, sanctuaries where time seems to have stopped after humans have evacuated them. Here I post captivating and melancholic images of abandoned places from all around the world.

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Aston Martin’s limited edition submarine is totally my next car ;)

Aston Martin has a new concept submarine designed in partnership with submarine maker Triton Submarines. The project is codenamed “Neptune,” and the concept designs envision a sleek underwater craft with aggressive pointy-ended pontoons and a central passenger bubble cockpit with an unobstructed, all-around view.

The Neptune submersible combines Aston Martin’s design skills with Triton’s ability to produce functional submersibles for researchers, explores and the super-rich. Triton’s expertise lies in making sure that submarines can actually submerge safely, which is what gives me hope that this concept will indeed proceed to the limited edition production phase, as Aston Martin says it will.

Project Neptune is based on an existing three-person submarine platform from Triton’s lineup, so that’s another win in terms of production viability. And even when it does get made, it’s going to be an “exclusive, strictly limited edition vehicle” so you probably won’t see these dotting the local harbor regardless.

Japan’s Wisteria Flower Tunnel Is Like Walking Through A Rainbow

 

This isn’t a Monet painting—it’s a photograph.
It shows a flower tunnel at The Kawachi Fuji Gardens, a private garden on rural Kyushu Island in southern Japan. The garden is open to the public for only a few months a year.

 

 

The garden includes 20 different species of wisteria plants, but the wisteria tunnel is the garden’s prime spot. The pastel passageway looks like something straight out of a fairytale when the flowers are in bloom—all you need are roaming unicorns to complete the picture.

 

 

In the Buddhist religion, wisteria is a symbol of prayer. The Chinese flower is a member of the pea family and is known for its climbing vines and winding branches. The plants can climb as high as 65 feet above ground and can spread 32 feet laterally, according to University of Florida’s Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants. The flowers bloom in lavender, violet, pink and white.

 

 

Visit in late April or early May to experience the full magic of the tunnel. Try to go during the “Fuji Matsuri” (“Wisteria Festival”) when the tunnel is in full bloom.

These houses can survive natural disasters

 

Japan Dome House, a modular home manufacturer, has been making and selling its styrofoam dome houses for over fifteen years, but since the April 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes, there has been a surge of interest in the company’s products.

Some readers may do a double take, as the material used for these homes is indeed styrofoam.

Polystyrene (more commonly known as styrofoam) is widely used for everything from cups and food containers to packaging material. Polystyrene is a petroleum-based product made from the styrene monomer, which is classified as a possible human carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

 

Some countries and municipalities around the world (including Taiwan and Portland, Oregon and Orange County, California in the U.S.) have also banned the use of polystyrene foam.

Nevertheless, the future of earthquake-resistant home building in Japan may very well come in the shape of domed houses built from this material.

Aso Farm Land
On April 16, 2016, a magnitude 7.0 main shock struck the city of Kumamoto in Kyushu Prefecture (following a foreshock two days earlier). The two earthquakes killed at least 49 people and injured some 3,000 others.

Many structures in Kumamoto and Oita Prefectures collapsed and caught fire, and more than 44,000 people were evacuated from their homes due to the disaster. Thousands of evacuees are still living in temporary housing.

However, among the structures that were not damaged was a small village of 480 houses at the Aso Farm Land resort, a health-themed national park built on a somma volcano, in Kyushu. Visitors to Aso Farm Land can enjoy numerous open-air hot springs and stay overnight in differently-themed accommodations.

The “Village Zone” of Aso Farm Land consists of 480 closely-packed dome-shaped houses made of a next-generation form of polystyrene foam. When the Kumamoto earthquake struck, none of these dome houses were damaged. This has has lead to a surge of interest in the technology behind their construction.

Fourth-Generation Building Material
Japan Dome House, based in Kaga City, Ishikawa Prefecture, claims that it has developed a fourth generation building material (following wood, iron, and concrete); and that its dome house has a number of characteristics that makes it superior to conventional materials and house shapes.

Using proprietary technology, it has developed an expanded polystyrene (EPS) product that is much stronger and more compact than the foam that is used for shipping material and food containers.

 

The company believes that its dome houses have a number of benefits. These include:

Ultra-Short Building Time

A dome house can be assembled in about a week by three or people, using modular dome pieces that weigh only about 80-kg (176 pounds).

Ultra-Low Cost
The company says that the total construction cost of a basic dome house is between ¥7 million and ¥8 million ($68,700 and $78,500) for a house with a floor space of about 36-sqm (387-sqft) and a ceiling height of 3 meters (9.8 feet).

Highly Earthquake Resistant
Because of its dome shape, the lack of a need for posts and beams in construction, and its extremely light weight the dome house is highly earthquake resistant.

Ultra-Thermal Insulating

Expanded polystyrene also has very high thermal insulating properties. This combined with the dome shape (which allows air to circulate by convection and prevents it from accumulating in corners) makes the dome house highly energy-saving.

Highly Durable
Polystyrene also does not rust or rot and is not subject to termite infestation. After assembly, the walls of the Dome House are also coated with fire retardant making the houses fireproof.

The dome shape of the house also makes it resistant to high winds.

Antioxidant Building Construction
The company also claims that its houses are healthy to live in because an anti-oxidant solution is kneaded into the polystyrene foam building material. Formaldehyde is also not used in the construction process which means that Japan Dome Houses do not suffer from “sick-house” syndrome.

Certification
The Dome House and the company’s specially developed polystyrene foam have also been certified by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Tourism and Industry as being compliant with national building codes.

Customizable Dome Houses
Japan Dome House has developed a number of modular parts for its dome houses, which makes them highly customizable.

The company says its dome houses are used around Japan not only as residences but also as small hotels, steam rooms, temples and churches, child care centers and educational facilities and even karaoke bars. Because they can be quickly assembled there is also growing interest in using them as temporary housing for evacuees from natural disasters.

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Perfection: Greek Hotel Made For Families with Little Travelers

Based on my personal experience traveling with kids is 10x harder Than traveling with adults. The kids nends special places that satisfy their desires and needs ! On the other hand though, I experienced  more that traveling with kids has become much easier (such a contradiction I know) but it all depends on the destination. It does take a bit more effort on the parent’s part but hotels have become much more accommodating and even have suites dedicated to traveling en-famille. You don’t have to forgo your love of travel just because you’ve added a couple additional travelers to your family. The Ekies All Senses Resort, a member of the Design Hotels collective, understands this sentiment and has created a Greek oasis for families on vacation with little travelers.

Located on the paradisiacal coastline of Halkidiki, Greece, the Ekies All Senses Resort owned by Alexandra Efstathiadou features 10 eco-luxury suites that encourage children to run free and explore, all the while encouraging adults to do the same. The newer Pine and Evergreen suites designed by Athens-based architectural firm Agarch+ seem to blend into the lush, rustic landscape of fauna and flora. The materials and decor incorporated into the suites, like the hand-laid herringbone stone flooring, are a nod to traditional Greek artisanship alongside modern furnishings, like pieces by Philippe Starck and Achille Castiglioni.

The suites come equipped with cozy loungers, hammocks and private soaking pools. And Alexandra’s mother’s family co-own Coco Mat, a company that produces natural sleep products, bed linens, towels, and furniture, all of which are used throughout the hotel.

Blue accent walls and tiles reflect the waters of the Aegean shores just mere steps away from the property. Illustrations and typography showcasing Greek poet Aesop’s fables adorn the walls of certain suites. There are 69 rooms and suites in total, each with their own pool, sea or garden view and each are unique in terms of color and decorations.

 

Alexandra shares her vision for the property:

” I wanted to display Greek culture but in a modern way. I wanted to create a new way for people to look at the country. It is a place filled with love. In other words, it’s the perfect place to spend with your family and little ones.”

What: The Ekies All Senses Resort
Where: Sithonia, Halkidiki, Vourvourou, 63078
How much:  Rates for the Pine suites start from $264 USD, rates for the Evergreen Suite start from $522 USD.
Highlights: This Greek hotel has all the modern amenities you need to stay more than comfortable while on vacation (we’re going to assume that it won’t be that hard on a beautiful property like this) but is a true escape into paradise with the lush landscaping, scenic views (Mount Itamos is just a drive away) and Greek-influenced interiors.
Design draw: Agarch+ chose materials and decor that give a nod to Greek craftsmanship while also maintaining a contemporary aesthetic with modern furniture and fixtures.

Book it: Visit the Ekies All Senses Resort

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Via Design Milk.

Prinker Introduces Tattoos that Are Pain-Free and Non-Permanent

SketchOn’s Technology Recognized at Finland’s Slush

Launched in 2008 in Helsinki, Finland, Slush is Europe’s largest startup conference, where startup
hopefuls gather to attract investment and share information and anyone interested in startups comes
to discover the next “big thing.” Last year’s Slush, held for two days in November, drew about 1,700 startups,
800 investors, and 16,000 visitors. This startup event has given rise to some of the world’s largest mobile game
creators, including Rovio and Supercell, the creator of “Clash of Clans,” as well as a series of Fintech startups
representing Finland.

Notably, SketchOn, a Korean startup under Samsung Electronics’ in-house venture “C-Lab,” was selected
as one of the top four companies in Slush’s pitching competition last year. Of the 100 companies that pass
the competition’s preliminary round, the top 20 are selected and given a chance to pitch their products.
Among them, four finalists are selected and pitted against each other, with only one winner coming out on top.
Although, SketchOn did not emerge as the winner, it was a strong runner-up, proving that its technology rivals
that of other startups around the world.

 

Harmless, Easy-to-Erase Printed Tattoos

SketchOn has developed “Prinker,” a printer capable of printing images on human skin.
All you need to do is draw the image you want using the Prinker smartphone application and apply Prinker
to the part of your body where you want the image to be, and the image will be printed on your skin,
just like a tattoo. Creating something similar to a tattoo sticker, the biggest advantage of Prinker,
however, is that it poses no risk to human health, as it uses only cosmetics-grade color materials.
It is easy to remove as well, and lasts only about a day, unless you rub it with your hands.

Prinker has applications in a wide range of areas. It can be used at amusement parks, clubs, or stadiums
to replace paper tickets or bracelets, thereby preventing loss and helping preserve the environment.
It can also be used to draw pictures on children’s faces or bodies at amusement parks. Another interesting
application is the printing of QR codes on skin for marketing purposes.

 


CEO Lee Jong-in says that Prinker is not looking to compete in the tattoo industry; he believes that
the tattoo is an art of its own. Rather than replacing existing tattoos, Prinker is targeting those people
who are reluctant to get tattoos, due to the health risks, permanence, and pain involved.
People can enjoy Prinker’s “contemporary tattoos” at festivals, special events, or amusement parks
and then remove them and go back to normal when the fun is over.
There is also a certain “analogue-meets-digital” aspect to the device, in that it prints hand-drawn images.
Lee said, “Tattoo stickers provide a limited number of choices, and can irritate the skin and cause allergic
reactions. Also, the disadvantage of body painting is that it requires professional skill and takes a long time.”

 

Planning to Expand into the Amusement Park, Premium Club, and Sports Markets


SketchOn is expected to begin selling Prinker in earnest this year. Starting in the business-to-business
(B2B) market, the company plans to gradually target the B2C market.
The main target customers in the B2B market include premium clubs, amusement parks, and sports companies.
A version of Prinker designed for the B2C market will be launched in the second half of this year, with a price
around USD 200. With this, SketchOn aims to post sales of USD 4.37 million this year. With the market for
devices designed to print on skin expected to grow from USD 480 million in 2016 to USD 1.15 billion by 2020,
SketchOn has strong growth potential. CEO Lee Jong-in said, “I hope that Prinker will be able to position itself
as a “self-expression tool,” with which people can express themselves through images printed on their bodies.”

I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT 🙁

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take Quick beautiful Product Photos Using Your Smartphone

When setting up your ecommerce store, it’s important to remember that good photographs are crucial for sales. However, fancy-looking photography doesn’t have to break the bank! Nowadays we have smartphones with cameras that can capture photos up to 12 megapixels. (For non-camera nerds: that’s a lot!) This new technology in our pocket is perfect for capturing product images. Read on to learn about the simplest setup for product photography, and how to edit photos with Apple’s tools.
Materials you’ll need:

1. Smart Phone
2. Foam Core 24×36
3. White Poster Board 24×36 or larger
4. Table
5. Window
6. Tape (Optional)

 

How to set up your tabletop photography studio

 

Capturing Your Product

Tip:

When you’re looking at your product through your smartphone you can tap around to have the camera focus and adjust the brightness of the image.

 

Basic Editing Techniques

Now that we have a few photos to work with let’s edit our favorite selection.

 

Step 1
Open your “Photos” App.

Step 2
Select the photo you want to edit and select the “edit” icon.

Step 3

Select the Photo Filters.

 

 

Step 4
For this particular photo, the “Chrome” filter was best option to show more detail of the wood grain.

Step 5
After applying this filter the photo looks a little dark. To adjust the brightness, you can go into the slider controls and select the “Light” arrow.

Step 6
Once you’re in the “Light” editing area you can increase the Brilliance, Brightness and Contrast of the photo. I was pretty happy with the results!

 

                                          Original                                                                                             Edited

 

The results are pretty great, considering the fact that we used a simple tabletop and the basic photo editing tools on the iPhone!

Via: VelusionBlog

 

A Venice, California Home Wrapped in Computer Cut Flowers

Located in Venice, California, 4016 Tivoli is a residence that boasts lots of personality with a 3,000 square foot facade of metallic, computer-cut flowers. Reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s oversized flower pattern, the house is the brainchild of Electroland architect Cameron McNall who looked to his California childhood for inspiration. The colorful house was designed for his family as kind of a living experience that reflected his love of art, architecture, and design. The house is clad in Aluminum Composite Material (ACM) that was designed in CAD and cut using CNC technology.

The facade not only brings an art component to its curb appeal, it creates cool light patterns from either side you view it.

The house features four bedrooms (plus a flex room) and four and a half bathrooms, each with a bold tile color. In addition, the home was built to LA’s “Green Building” stands (Calgreen 2013) and includes two high-efficiency heating/cooling units, double-pane thermal low-E windows and doors, LED lights, low VOC paints and adhesives, low-flow toilets, rain barrels, permeable pavers, eco-compliant insulation, and EV vehicle 100-amp Tesla quick-charging capability.

Via Design Milk.

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Rainbows are actually circules not arcs 🌈

It’s possible to see the whole circle of a rainbow – but sky conditions have to be just right. Plus you have to be up high.


When sunlight and raindrops combine to make a rainbow, they can make a whole circle of light in the sky. But it’s a very rare sight. Sky conditions have to be just right for this, and even if they are, the bottom part of a full-circle rainbow is usually blocked by your horizon. That’s why we see rainbows not as circles, but as arcs across our sky.


When you see a rainbow, notice the height of the sun. It helps determine how much of an arc you’ll see. The lower the sun, the higher the top of the rainbow. If you could get up high enough, you’d see that some rainbows continue below the horizon seen from closer to sea-level. Mountain climbers sometimes see more of a full-circle rainbow, though even a high mountain isn’t high enough to show you the whole circle.
Pilots do sometimes report seeing genuine full-circle rainbows. They’d be tough to see out the small windows we passengers look through, but pilots have a much better view from up front.