(via) Though it doesn’t come all that close to Dick Proenneke’s “Alone In The Wilderness” masterpiece of a cabin, “The Watershed” – a tiny writer’s retreat in the wilds of Oregon – is nevertheless totally covet-worthy. It was designed by architect Erin Moore for her mother, nature writer and university professor Kathleen Dean Moor, in 2007. The 70 sqft room is framed in prefab steel and made out of red cedar and glass.
(via) Japanese designer Hiroshi Kajimoto has created a new kind of umbrella. It’s called the unbrella. The design sees the well known structure of the usual rain shield turned on its head, which is to say the folding spokes are on the top of the shield rather than on the bottom. This allows for more head room within and for the unbrella to be folded and stood up to dry with the wet inside instead of outside (no more umbrella stands). And in a fierce wind, it merely blows closed instead of completely apart. How smart is that? And how have we never seen something like this come down the engineering pipe before? (Or have we, but we’re suffering a major brain fart?) In any event, the new product won’t be available until mid-February (aka the Ides of Rainbruary), but it’s available to pre-order online right now. The cost is listed at Y9,450, which works out to just under $100 CAD.
(via) The Library: A World History, is a new book from Thames & Hudson by architecture historian James W.P. Campbell and photographer Will Pryce. From CNN: “When Dr. James Campbell of Cambridge University could not find a book that traced the history of library buildings through the ages, he decided to write one himself.” From the publishers: “Ambitious and wide-ranging, this is the first single volume to tell the story of libraries around ?the world, from the beginnings of writing to the present day.” The 320 page hardcover tome features over 292 images of libraries from around the world and from different eras, from ancient Mesopotamia to modern China. We’ve not yet seen a copy in Vancouver to date (although we haven’t looked that hard), but copies are selling for $60 or so online.
The blaster that Han Solo used in The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi went up for auction yesterday. Remember that scene where Lando double crossed Han, Leia, and Chewbacca and Han tried to shoot Darth Vader at the dining room ambush but Vader used the force and snatched the blaster right from his effing hand? Yeah, same blaster.
“Harrison Ford’s charismatic smuggler, Han Solo, is arguably the most popular character in the original Star Wars trilogy. The space-scoundrel-turned hero’s persona is irrevocably tied to his blaster pistol. Solo was modeled after the rogue gunslingers of the westerns that influenced creator George Lucas. This non-firing blaster was created for The Empire Strikes Back and was also used in Return of the Jedi. It would have been used in the majority of scenes that feature Han, with the heavier, live-fire weapon being used for close-up shots. Particularly noteworthy scenes requiring this lighter version are when Darth Vader uses the Force to lasso the blaster out of Han’s hand in Empire, and in Jedi when Han wrestles with a Stormtrooper to regain possession of his blaster during the Rebels’ encounter with Imperial forces on Endor. Based on the German issue Mauser C96 pistol, this piece, measuring 11 in. long, was custom made for the film from resin by casting the original hero prop from the first Star Wars: A New Hope, it therefore exhibits the same serial number as the hero prop, which is thought to no longer exist. The blaster is exactly in its original filming condition and therefore exhibits wear from use, but retains all of the original details, including the flash suppressor and scope (the eye-piece of which is detailed with reflective scotch-lite tape). The added distinction of this particular piece is that it was also likely used by Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, as both characters shared the same style of weapon in Empire. Accompanied by a letter of authenticity from a noted Star Wars collector. To our knowledge this is the only known example of this type of blaster in private hands. This is a truly incredible item of motion picture history and quite possibly the most exciting science fiction weapon to have been offered for public auction.”
The starting bid for the gun – which doesn’t shoot lasers in real life – is $200,000, because “hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster by your side, kid.” Pew pew.
(via) We’ve never really been cat people, but we like the idea of sprawling on top of this, a 3.5 meter long art installation in Antwerp (dubbed ”felix domesticus”) made out of felt by Belgian design firm Unfold.
Railtown’s Union Wood Co. makes a lot of awesome things (kickass aprons, an outdoor communal table for Boneta, boxes for Victory Gardens, seats for Wildebeest, and much more), so it was entirely appropriate for them to have someone else make something awesome for them. Check out their brand new “Go West” t-shirt, which was designed by Massachusetts artist Shane Swift. The hand-drawn work is now being screened on premium cotton T’s. You can grab your own either online or in the shop.
$25 | Union Wood & Supply Company | 503 Railway Street | 604 675 9033 | www.unionwoodco.com
Via GQ: “This chart shows the major distilleries operating in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana, grouped horizontally by corporate owner, then subdivided by distillery. Each tree shows the type of whiskey made, and the various expressions of each style of whiskey or mash bill, in the case of bourbons. For instance, Basil Hayden‘s is a longer-aged version of Old Grand-Dad, and both are made at the Jim Beam Distillery. Some of this is imprecise. Buffalo Trace has two bourbon mash bills, but it isn’t known which of its many brands are made from each, so this is a rough guess based on online commentary. Willett, formerly only a bottler as Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, has been distilling its own product for about a year; I include the brands that it bottles from other sources for reference. The ages are taken from published age statements if they exist; if they don’t, brands have been plotted in the general area where I would guess they belong.” Click either image above to view and study the larger version, because you’ll want to.
Vancouver designer Stephanie Schneider works with waxed cotton and leather. The minimalist style and quality workmanship of her line, Glasnost, is timeless and strong and totally built to last. “Inspired by necessity, and designed to be practical and functional”, Glasnost coats, aprons, back packs and wallets are handmade in a little East Van studio. Scout took a short tour of the Glasnost workspace this week and immediately fell for a navy waxed cotton Parachute coat ($400), a small and simple snap wallet ($50), and a new line of Roll Top Backpacks ($225). Because Stephanie makes everything by hand, batches are small and get snapped up quickly. If you’re interested in checking Glasnost out, make a stop in to see Stephanie at Circle Craft this weekend or visit her at Make It at the end of the month.
Probably the coolest whisky tumbler ever made was the prop used by Harrison Ford in the 1982 movie Blade Runner. It was big, meaty, angular; the sort of glass designed to put a final punctuation mark on the end of a rough day. Whisky fans and movie buffs will be happy to know that artisan Italian glass-maker Arnolfo di Cambio (the original maker) is at it again, crafting 584 gram replicas. They’re hardly cheap at £54.99 each, but we want a pair just the same. Bonus: Harrison Ford really has a thing for whisky…
We’re digging the Tiny House concept of NOMAD, a 10’ x 10’ micro house with a 60’ loft space developed right here in Vancouver. It’s easy to assemble and flat packed so it can be shipped worldwide. They cost between $25,000 and $28,000, depending on how well you want it to be kitted out. You can also get “green” off-grid models (ie. solar-equipped), but those are custom-priced.
The impetus: “The Tiny House Movement is currently driven by individuals at a grass-roots level who, for the most part, have built their own homes and are living sustainable, mortgage-free lives. Recognizing the importance of these progressive dwellings and the philosophy adopted by their occupants, NOMAD has taken on the challenge of making this affordable housing option accessible worldwide.” Where do we sign up?
They recently started the funding process via Indiegogo. At the time of writing, they’ve raised over $15,000 of their $120,000 target, and have 40 days left.
by Andrew Morrison | When we were together at Smuts Hall, my friend Mark Shuttleworth sold a security software program that he’d developed in his room for $575 million. Among the many things that he did with his fortune was take a trip into space, pulling a full eight days of duty aboard the International Space Station. Mark was the second “self-funded” human being to ever go into space, and it cost him $20 million to do so. Nothing has ever made me more envious. Fast forward to today: an Arizona start-up company called World View is aiming to send tourists to the edge of space – 100,000 ft. up – dangling from a helium balloon in a capsule. “The sky’s going to be completely black. You’ll be able to see the curvature of the Earth,” says company CEO Jane Poynter. How much? A cool $75,000 for two hours all alone, looking down at the world. The first flights should launch in 2016. There is no doubt in my mind that the trip would be worth every penny.
I saw a blanket at Old Faithful today. It came from The Woolen Mill on the Cannon River in Faribault, Minnesota, which for some reason made me think of this Will Ferrell beer commercial. I don’t know if it was Robyn’s last article about tartans or Michelle’s gallery of this morning’s fog that did it. Either way, I want it
$159 | 320 West Cordova St. | Vancouver, BC | 778-327-9376 | www.oldfaithfulshop.com
(via) Dig this custom-designed pizza oven, made of concrete and faced with roughly 7500 special cut mirror tiles. And yes, it actually turns. “The mechanism allowing the oven to rotate is hidden underneath the baking surface where the heat does not damage sensitive parts.” It’s the main attraction at Pizzeria Disco Volante in Vienna, and was put together by a group of pizza-loving architects and designers from the Viennese collective Madame Mohr. More photos here.