Posts Tagged ‘Fun Stuff’
This years #1 favorite home improvement is an Outdoor Living Room. Homeowners, feeling more confident in the value of their homes, are remodeling and making improvements like we haven’t seen in years. This year, creating an outdoor living space, is the hands down favorite project for DIYers and professionals, alike.
Must Have/Wish List Features for Outdoor Living:
- Arbor. Arbor. Arbor.
- Built in seating with cushions
- Firepit or fireplace
- Grilling or Kitchen area
- Drapes for shade and ambiance
- Dining area
- Water Feature
- TV or Projection screen
Consider adding some outdoor life to your dull backyard or builder slab patio. You not only create more space, economically, you create a whole new spot to relax and entertain.
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The warning on the gates, ‘These Plants May Kill’ should not be taken lightly by anyone, for with familiarity comes contempt, and from contempt – danger.
Come take a stroll with us through a deadly garden located in Northumberland, UK. Behind the locked gates of the Poison Garden, guides and marshalls share tales of deadly plants. Myths and legends are uncovered, along with facts from science and history. No touching, no sniffing and no cutting is allowed.
The Poison Garden at Alnwick Gardens is on around the clock surveillance for the safety of the public and would be thieves. Some of the plants are even kept in specially fenced areas to avoid accidental poisoning or theft of the plants for use in making narcotics. In this garden, the plants are so dangerous and toxic that they may be kept in large cage like structures. To highlight its hazardous nature the garden’s beds are laid in the shape of flickering flames.
There are over 100 plants of varying deadliness grown in the Poison Garden. Some of the plants are beautiful despite being deadly, and other look so harmless it is hard to imagine their dangerous, even fatal, qualities. Also grown within the guarded confines of the Poison Garden are many other plants which are easily recognisable by even the most reluctant gardener, for many killers grow in your own back yard.
Foxgloves, Wolfsbane, Mandrake, Ricin, Belladonna, Poppies, Laburnam and varieties of Aquilegia thrive among the rarefied atmosphere of the Poison Garden. Those who work here treat the plants with the utmost respect, wearing gloves when working with them. The owner also has a licence to grow marijuana, cocaine and magic mushrooms in the poison garden – for educational purposes.
A few of the plants you will find inside this poison garden….
Foxglove (digitalis) may contain several deadly physiological and chemically related cardiac and steroidal glycosides. Thus, the digitalis plants have earned several, more sinister, names: dead man’s bells and witch’s gloves. The entire plant is toxic (including the roots and seeds).
Foxgloves fatal accidents involve children drinking the water in a vase containing digitalis plants. Drying does not reduce the toxicity of the plant. The plant is toxic to animals, including all classes of livestock and poultry, as well as felines and canines.
Belladonna or Nightshade (Soleanaceae) has a long history of use as a medicine, cosmetic, and poison. It was used as an anesthetic for surgery and embedded a poisonous sting with arrows made for battle. The name “bella donna” is derived from Italian and means “beautiful woman” because the herb was used in eye-drops by women to dilate the pupils of the eyes to make them appear seductive.
Nightshade is an incredible poison, but an amazing aphrodisiac, too, and you see it everywhere. In Argentina, even nowadays, some people put a bell of datura like this one (pictured above) on a baby’s pillow at night, then take it away after five minutes and the baby has gone to sleep. If it were left all night the baby would be dead in the morning. Victorian ladies used to sit around a table with a nightshade plant in the middle and play cards or have tea. They’d pop their cup under a bell, tap it, and pollen would fall into the cup. They would experience similar effects to that of LSD.
Belladonna is one of the most deadly plants on the earth. All parts of the plant are poisonous, but the sweet, pretty berries are especially alluring for children. Although no eye surgery is performed today without the help from the nightshade family…The plant’s deadly symptoms are caused disruption of the nervous system, inhibiting its ability to regulate involuntary activities, such as sweating, breathing, and heart rate.
Lily of the Valley, popularily used in wedding bouquets is highly poisonous. Its toxicity is the plant’s defense against animals eating its seeds. All parts of the plant—the stems, the leaves, the flowers and the berries—are extremely poisonous and close to 40 different cardiac glycosides have been found in the plant so far.
Ingest just a bit of Lily of the Valley if blurry vision, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea, disorientation, drowsiness, headaches, red skin rashes, excessive salivation, sudden alterations in your cardiac rhythm and possible death sound like your idea of fun.
Its Nux vomica’s Latin name implies much, but it perhaps rings more bells as strychnine. Interestingly, hemlock, a poison in its own right, can be used as an antidote to Strychnine, but don’t tell Socrates, who was sent to his death with a cup of hemlock.
Strychnine (pictured above) is not the most poisonous substance known to man (you need at least 50 mg to kill someone), but a you’d have to go a long way to find something that provokes a more violent death.
Strychnine poisoning can be fatal to humans and animals and can occur by inhalation, swallowing or absorption through eyes or mouth, as explained above. It produces some of the most dramatic and painful symptoms of any known toxic reaction. For this reason, strychnine poisoning is often used in literature and film. It is also used as a rat poison, but is not specific for unwanted pests and may kill other small animals.
Hemlock was used in ancient Greece to kill condemned prisoners, including Socrete’s, as mentioned above. The plant also kills animals. A dose of the poison results in an ascending muscular paralysis with eventual paralysis of the respiratory muscles which results in death due to lack of oxygen to the heart and brain…but it has also been used in medicine to treat arthritis, muscle spasms and works as a seditive.
Those of a certain age will be familiar with Castor Oil, which is made from the plant Ricinus communis (above), but a single seed from the same plant will kill an adult in the most horrible way. Ricin causes nausea, severe vomiting, convulsions and subsequent disintegration of the kidneys, liver and spleen…
The old expression ”It will either kill you or cure you” could not have been more apt!
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On a palatial estate in Cornwall, a massive and unique garden has been restored to its original beauty after 75 years of languishing unloved.
Since the late 1500s, The Lost Gardens of Heligan belonged to the Tremayne estate evolving and becoming more extravagant with each passing generation. One head of the household inspired the jungle gardens, while another requested that giant rhododendrons be cultivated. Although the Tremayne family often inspired new additions to the garden, they were above manual work and hired countless low-paid gardeners to take on the tasks of improving and maintaining the gardens.
Throughout the 19th century, the gardens thrived, growing larger and requiring greater staff to manage them. Before the outbreak of World War I, the Tremayne estate employed 22 gardeners. Many of those loyal gardeners went to fight, and after the war their numbers had diminished so that the gardens fell into severe disrepair. As the rest of the estate was rented out, the gardens became an afterthought and were not rediscovered until the 1990s.
Their rediscovery by a distant relative of the Tremayne estate, led to a widely publicized attempt to bring the gardens back to life. The restoration of the Heligan Gardens was undertaken by Tim Smit, the same architect who conceived The Eden Project, the largest Greenhouse complex in the world.
Under his innovative and watchful eye, the Heligan Gardens were restored to their original size. Besides restoration, floral art was commissioned as well, resulting in the Giant’s Head and the Mud Maid, a sleeping woman of the forest made out of wood, grass and earth. As the gardens quickly became a tourist attraction, the gardens also served to bring life back to St. Austell, and some of the other neighboring towns in Cornwall.
Today, the spectacular gardens feature everything that they were once renowned for including massive rhododendrons, Italian gardens and the jungle gardens. Along with being beautiful, they are also productive, growing large amounts of vegetables for consumption and sale.
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Garth Britzman’s installation, called (Pop)culture, is a colorful canopy made recycled soda bottles that are filled with a little bit of colored liquid. The bottles, which are suspended by strings, create undulating waves of color that almost remind me of the Dale Chihuly ceiling at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
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This once vacant site is nestled at the eastern bookend between a row of single fronted Victorian terraces and a double fronted Edwardian weatherboard house. The strategy was to critique and respond to ongoing research into the Terrace typology. The built form is essentially an urban infill within a 5.5×14.4m envelope. The perforated house is our response to establish an alternative language to the accepted notion of our cultural attitude towards critical questions of identity and heritage.
Kavellaris wanted the house to be more than just a facade. More than just a message or a graphic stuck to a building. The building was not an urban canvas paying tribute to Venturi’s “decorated shed”, instead the external facade could be experienced internally and is also a multi functional device that constantly transforms the built form from solid to void, from private to public, from opaque to translucent.
By day the building is heavy and reflective and by night inverting into a soft translucent permeable light box. The operable wall or the absence of the facade enabled us to remove the idea that houses are static.
The use of operable walls, doors, curtains and glass walls enables the occupants to change the experience and environment. This architectural manipulation of space blurred the boundaries between inside and outside, the public and private realm. The manipulated spaces overlapped and borrowed the amenity and context of it’s surrounding environment.
The plan inverts the traditional terrace program with the active living zones on the first floor opening onto a north facing terrace thereby generating a primary northerly orientation to a south facing block. The perforated house incorporates passive sustainable interventions by orientating north glass bifolds doors and louvers for cross ventilation as the primary means of cooling. In addition, solar hot water and 5 star rated sanitary ware fixtures were incorporated. The north facing terrace redefines the “family” backyard, reinforced by the childlike mural reminiscing on a past era and making commentary on the changing demography of the family unit and ultimately the inner city house typology. The mural also hides a not so attractive view of the back of the neighbors house.
InfoTube Loves this house…and the way it transforms to fit the life of the owners. We need to see a lot more of this type of architecture in the USA. If you aren’t a Friend of InfoTubes Facebook page, you are missing a lot smart, fun and cutting edge stuff. Click the button at the top right of the page and never be out of the loop again.
Use foam gaskets to seal electrical boxes
According to energy experts, electrical boxes that hold switches or outlets are major sources of heat loss. Foam gaskets ($3 for a pack of 12 at home centers) won’t completely seal the boxes, but they’ll help. They’re quick to install— just take off the cover plate, stick the gasket over the box, then put the plate back on.
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If you are considering a bathroom redesign, take a look at some of these new sinks. Why just buy the “same old” when you can install an art piece?
Taking inspiration from Nature is the Ammonite Sink, named after the extinct marine animals that have left such bewitching fossils for us along the shorelines of the world. It is fashioned from concrete to a variety of widths, and will give you hours of fun chasing dropped bars of soap out of its depths.
The Artic Sink bowl is looking especially tranquil on a sm0king hot summers day.
Don’t know how hard this is too clean…but it is very relaxing to look at. The Moody Aquarium Sink is from Italbrass. It’s all the rewarding work of a fully-functional fishtank, coupled with the odd sensation of washing your hands in it. The soap dishes on either side of the watertight main basin conceal entrances into the tank, allowing feeding and maintenance, and the whole structure is mounted on an integrated chrome finish brass stand.
We hope that seeing these wonderful sinks will get your creative juices flowing. For daily inspirations and great new product photo’s and reviews…Like our Facebook page. We update it at least once everyday with something unusual or smartly designed.
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A score of billionaires have recently caused a run on condo units at the Survival Condominiums project based in Kansas. The facility is built deep underground in an old, 1960′s nuclear missile silo, and is said to be self-sustaining in the event of a nuclear attack.
A few of the Doomsday ammenities include:
This project offers is much more than just a “Survival Condo Unit”. This “Package” includes mandatory training, a five-year per person food supply, fully furnished and custom designed interior, special equipment for registered members, computer access to condo systems, and much more. Only a portion of the total fee is for the actual Survival Condo Unit.
Each Full-Floor $2 Million Dollar Unit Includes these Key Features:
- Approx. 1820 sq. ft. of Living Space (accommodates 6 to 10 people)
- High-end floor and trim packages of your choosing.
- 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, Kitchen, Dining room, and Great Room.
- LED Big Screen TV in every unit.
- State-of-the-art Kitchen: Stainless steel kitchen appliances include refrigerator, dishwasher, dual-fuel (electric & propane) professional range, wall oven, professional ventilation hood, wine cooler or beverage center. Granite or custom concrete countertops.
- State-of-the-art energy efficient washer and dryer in each unit.
- Built in recessed full spectrum LED lighting.
- Kohler bath fixtures and jetted Jacuzzi tub in each master bath.
- Digital HVAC controls.
- State-of-the-Art Home Automation System with structured wiring throughout including closed circuit security system camera viewing, public address/intercom system, digital weather station access, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, satellite TV feeds, public and private Internet access.
- Outdoor “simulated view” window in each unit. Window simulates “Life-Like” outdoor views complete with varying light levels that reflect time of day, creating a normal living experience as if you were above ground.
- Biometric Key locks (you won’t need to worry about losing a key).
- Elevator and Stairwell Accessibility to all Units.
- The $1 million units offer the same ammenity with the half the square footage and serve 3-4 people.
- The Missile Silo is capped by a type of monolithic dome known as a Torus. This dome is capable of withstanding winds in excess of 500 MPH, well beyond the winds of the most powerful F-5 Tornodos which produce winds up to 300 MPH.
- The air supply for the entire facility is filtered by Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical (NBC) filters and the physical air intakes are protected by what are known as blast valves. Blast valves function to prevent an overpressure air wave created by a nearby explosion from entering the facility and killing those inside.
- The facility has a military grade security system that includes visible spectrum cameras, infrared cameras, proximity sensors, microphones, trip sensors, passive detectors, as well as confidential defensive systems both automated and manually operated.
- The facility has two floors of hydroponic gardens that will provide fresh produce as well as an aquaculture system designed to provide fish for food.
- Additional amenities include a minor medical/surgery center, an indoor pool with waterfall, a workout room, a home theater, a classroom & library, pub & game room, bulk storage, walk-in freezer, elevator, security & communication control center, spare parts, machine shop, high-speed fiber optic network, both online and offline Internet and computer communications.
- And, finally, there is a full-sized pool featuring a massive wall mural and curved ceiling to enhance the feeling of space and height.
- Of course, there will be plenty of guns and ammo, too.
If you think that this project is just a dream of a crack pot…think, again. The developer, Larry Hall, reported that every one of the $2 million full-floor units have been sold…and only a few of the $1 million, half floor units are still available. Doomsday Prophets with an extra $1 million on hand may want to inquire today. Evidentally, these units are selling like there is no tomorrow
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We just love this smart, green designed, micro house that lives BIG.
The architecture blends into the environment and requires no maintenance.
The bright, open and contemporary design offers everything you need in a guest house or secret hideaway.
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Infotube LOVES smart and flexible housing like this worry-free, Fold and Go Writers cabin.
When the walls are lowered, they make a great ourdoor deck to set on and take in the starlit skies.
Smart and worry free design inspires your artistic side.
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Take a look at the imagination and resourcefullness that this home builder used to convert two, abandoned, semi truck trailers into a sweet 2 bedroom cabin in the woods.
First, Locate an abandoned truck trailer that is no longer road worthy.
Place the trailers onsight and weld the two structures together.
Sketch up your Floor Plan and get to work.
Cut through and bring your two worlds together
Stucco over the metal on the trailers to add insulation and prevent further rusting. Cut out your windows.
Install double insulated windows and french doors.
Frame out the house. Add batt insulation between the studs.
Panel the walls, put in the floors and move your furniture in.
Hang up your flat screen and watch the game.
Congratulations to this Green, Creative Homeowner!! Home Sweet Home for a few thousand dollars. Stucco exterior. Double Paned Windows. French Doors. And, 1162 square feet of warm, cozy living space.
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The male-dominated industry has never seen anyone quite like Lynn Tilton, a New York financier who since 2000 quietly has been amassing an empire, acquiring or investing in more than 70 companies, with holdings totaling $8 billion.
Lynn Tilton, New York financier and owner of MD Helicopters, gives out signed photos of herself to well wishers as a line formed in front of her exhibit booth at Heli-Expo recently in Anaheim, Calif.
Rotor blades and turbine engines were supposed to be the showcase at the annual helicopter convention in Anaheim, Calif., the last week of February, so pilot James Costa wasn’t sure what to make of the crowd surrounding a woman in a leopard-print dress and knee-high boots.
She had long, blond hair who was signing glossy photos of herself as a line formed in front of her exhibit booth.
“I thought she was a stripper,” said Costa, a helicopter pilot from Tulare, Calif., before he found out that the woman was Lynn Tilton, owner of one of the nation’s largest helicopter makers.
“Very cool,” Costa said in disbelief. “You know, she brought that company back from the brink of destruction. She’s our rock star.”
The male-dominated industry has never seen anyone quite like Tilton, a New York financier who since 2000 quietly has been amassing an empire, acquiring or investing in more than 70 companies, with holdings totaling $8 billion.
“She doesn’t fit the usual pattern of an executive,” said Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst for Teal Group. “but she has stayed in this game a lot longer than people thought.”
Part Warren Buffett and part Dolly Parton, the 49-year-old native of the Bronx borough of New York owns or has an equity stake in companies that are as eclectic as her wardrobe — and include brand names such as Arizona Ice Tea, English Leather cologne and Isotoner gloves.
Through her private-equity firm Patriarch Partners she also owns companies with some of the world’s most iconic names, including mapmaker Rand McNally, firetruck manufacturer American LaFrance and Italian factory-machine maker Ansaldo Sistemi Industriali.
In 2005, Tilton acquired Mesa, Ariz.-based MD Helicopters, a company founded by Howard Hughes.
Although diverse, the companies had a common trait before Tilton began investing in them. They produced well-known products but were about to go out of business.
“We turn dust to diamonds,” she said at the Anaheim Convention Center. “We buy what everybody else tosses away.”
Although some of her companies have had to lay off people because of the economy, they employ a total of 60,000 workers in the U.S. The return on her investments has averaged 25 percent annually, she said.
“Making money and making the world a better place don’t have to be mutually exclusive objectives,” she said.
Within the aviation industry, Tilton often has been described as the “dominatrix lady” because of her penchant for black-leather dresses and high-heel shoes.
“Well-behaved women seldom make history,” she said when asked about the initial impression some people might have. She has a bachelor’s degree from Yale and an MBA from Columbia.
She acknowledged that she has used the image to her advantage because many people upon first meeting her underestimate her abilities.
Before she began signing autographs, Tilton already was shaking up the helicopter convention. As four executives of the world’s largest helicopter makers, including Bell Helicopter Textron and Sikorsky Aircraft, finished up their presentations, Tilton, who was running late, walked up to the podium wearing that leopard-print dress.
“I don’t have pretty slides,” she said. “But I’m wearing a sexy dress. I hope this will do for some of you.”
Then, taking a more serious tone, Tilton said that the industry was “not a chosen one that defies gravity” and warned the audience that more improvements were needed, including making helicopters safer.
Tilton, who has three siblings, said she grew up in a dynamic family. Her father was a professor, and her mother later became publisher of a newspaper in Teaneck, N.J.
At 23, Tilton became a single parent, and for the next several years she “worked 100 hours a week on Wall Street” to support herself and her daughter. “Compared to then, this is nothing,” she said of her workload juggling more than 70 companies.
Tilton worked at top Wall Street companies including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch before becoming an expert on distressed loans. She later would obtain a patent for a method of turning around bad bank loans.
Tilton had enough money to retire comfortably at age 40 but decided to form her own company to “give back to the world.”
Her most challenging and endearing acquisition has been the helicopter company, one of the few that she personally has overseen and managed, Tilton said.
Because of parts problems, the company stopped producing helicopters in 2005, putting more than 250 jobs in jeopardy just before Tilton acquired an equity stake.
After going through three chief executives in one year, she personally took charge, handling the company’s reorganization while acquiring faltering businesses.
At the same time, she began to be the “face of the company” as she led the sales force and was able to regain the attention of its customers.
“She’s turned things around at MD, and I think that’s helped her gain some respect,” said Matthew Arnold, chief executive of Alabama’s Marshall County Economic Development Council, which has worked with Tilton on aviation matters.
The company expects to deliver 70 new helicopters this year, up from 52 last year.
“My ultimate legacy would be if I could keep people from going home and telling their families they’re unemployed,” Tilton said.
By Peter Pae Los Angeles Times. Source for this article is the Seattle Times Company.
InfoTube.net salutes Lynn Tilton and applaudes her effort to employ Americans and rescue US companies. If I can be of service to you Ms Tilton, please let me know. It would be an honor to work for you and I would do it for FREE. Tommi Crow
Christmas 2011 — Birth of a New Traditions the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods — merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor.
Make this year different. Make it the year that Americans give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes there is!
It’s time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?
Everyone — yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?
Gym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.
Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.
Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down the Benjamines on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.
There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants — all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn’t about big National chains — this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.
How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?
Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.
My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.
OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.
Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre.
Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.
Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.
You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn’t imagine. THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.
Forward this to everyone on your mailing list — post it on Facebook and to discussion groups — throw up a post on Craigslist in the Rants and Raves section in your city — send it to the editor of your local paper and radio stations, and TV news departments. This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn’t that what Christmas is about?
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