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Pop-up Garage Stows Your Car Safely Underground

November 19th, 2011 David No comments


 Pop up Garage Stows Your Car Safely Underground

pop up garage 01 Pop up Garage Stows Your Car Safely Underground
The Cardok garage is an interesting parking solution that is starting to be seen around more affluent London locales. The owner’s car is raised and lowered by means of a hydraulic lift. At present there are eight in action around London, four under construction and another ten that have been ordered, which is no small feat as the price for the single model is $61,181 and if you want an over and under double it will be $72,816.

pop up garage 02 Pop up Garage Stows Your Car Safely Underground
Incidentally, here in Japan these are even creeping into cities in the more rural parts of the country. [Daily Mail via Design Blog, Born Rich]

Categories: Cars Tags:

Weird Restaurants

October 1st, 2011 David No comments

hajime restaurant xl Weird Restaurants
Hardwired Host

Restaurant: Hajime Restaurant, Bangkok, Thailand

Culinary Concept: Robot run. Owner Lapassarad Thanaphant (pictured) has high hopes for her robot-run restaurant. Thanaphant invested nearly $1 million to purchase four dancing (yes, they also dance!) robots who serve diners Japanese delicacies.


ithaa undersea restaurant hilton maldives xl Weird Restaurants
Eating with Sharks

Restaurant: Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Rangali Island, Maldives

Culinary Concept: Fish-eye view. Ever dine on octopus and oysters surrounded by octopus and oysters? Well, you can do just that at the luxurious Ithaa restaurant beneath the Indian Ocean. Ithaa, meaning “pearl,” sits between three and six feet below sea level (depending on the tides) and weighs over 200 tons, so the chef won’t drift out to sea. On the menu: crustaceans and wild game.


modern toilet restaurant2 xl Weird Restaurants
New Meaning for Noodle Bowl

Restaurant: Modern Toilet, Taipei, Taiwan

Culinary Concept: Bathroom themed. If you’re into poop jokes (and can get over the gross-out factor), then you will find this toilet-themed restaurant plenty entertaining. Guests slurp up Asian noodles from commode-shaped bowls while sitting on their very own can. Keep the seat down.

snow village 2 xl Weird Restaurants
On the Rocks

Restaurant: Laino Snow Village Ice Restaurant, Ylläsjärvi, Finland

Culinary Concept: Ikea meets igloo. Just north of the Arctic Circle the winters are cold enough to sustain Snow Village’s Ice Restaurant for the season. Inside the 200-square-meter all-natural ice structure, diners sit on solid-ice chairs at solid-ice tables while savoring local fare like cream of Lappish potato soup with cold smoked salmon, tender reindeer, and game meatballs served with — what else? — vodka-lingonberry jelly.


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dinner in the sky Weird Restaurants

Floating in Air

Restaurant: Dinner in the Sky, worldwide

Culinary Concept: Suspended supper. Dinner in the Sky brings new meaning to alfresco dining. If you have $40,000 to spare, you and 21 of your closest friends can lavishly dangle 150 feet above any city (or golf course) while conspicuously consuming beef and foie gras mille-feuille (savory layered puff pastry) and sipping Dom Pérignon.


yellow treehouse xl Weird Restaurants

treehouse restaurant Weird Restaurants

Foodie Forest

Restaurant: Yellow Treehouse Restaurant, Auckland, New Zealand

Culinary Concept: Treehouse treats. Using resources from inside the Yellow Pages, Pacific Environments architects constructed this pod-shaped eatery accessed by an 180-foot “treetop” walkway. There, 18 diners savored a multicourse menu that included pan-fried lamb loins with baby beetroot and mandarin salad with caramelized garlic. (Unfortunately, the restaurant was just a temporary project and has since closed.)


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Wine for Whiners

Restaurant: Le Refuge des Fondus, Paris, France

Culinary Concept: Bottle service. As rumor has it, this favorite tourist attraction in the Montmartre neighborhood first began offering patrons wine in baby bottles as a way to avoid the French tax on wine served in proper glasses. While sucking down the grape juice, winos can fill their bellies with toothsome cheese or beef fondues.


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Life on Mars

Restaurant: Mars 2112, Times Square, New York City

Culinary Concept: Earthling eats. NASA predicted by 2112 we’d be making commercial flights to Mars. Why wait for the airfare wars when you can pay a visit right in New York’s Times Square? Upon arrival, friendly Martians guide hungry earthlings into the hot, dry, red planet, where they can dine on the Martian Seafood Platter — exotic ocean shellfish, squid, shrimp, mussels with a spicy seafood sauce.


alcatraz er japan xl Weird Restaurants
Beverages Behind Bars

Restaurant: Alcatraz E.R., Tokyo, Japan

Culinary Concept: In(ti)mate atmosphere. If you were ever curious (and who isn’t?) about life in a medical prison, Tokyo’s Alcatraz E.R. will serve that sentence. Diners are handcuffed upon arrival and taken to their “cells,” where they can choose from a list of bizarre elixirs served in blood-transfusion apparatus by hospital orderlies.


opaque server xl Weird Restaurants
Dining in the Dark

Restaurant: Opaque, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco, CA

Culinary Concept: Blind taste-test. At Opaque, patrons are led into the restaurant by visually impaired or blind employees to experience dining in the dark. The absence of light allows the senses to spring into action, enhancing the smell, taste, and texture of favorites like luscious mango panna cotta with coconut crème anglaise.



roller coaster restaurant xl Weird Restaurants
The Long and Winding Road
Restaurant: ‘s Baggers, Nuremberg, Germany
Culinary Concept: Roller-coaster service. At this futuristic eatery, the waitstaff is a thing of the past. Guests place their orders via a touch-screen computer at each table. When the food — which, according to the restaurant, is based primarily on local, organic ingredients and cooked with minimal fat — is ready, it zips to the table along a twisting track from the kitchen above.

ninja new york Weird Restaurants

Ancient Japanese Underworld

Restaurant: Ninja New York, New York, NY

Culinary Concept: Japanese warrior fare. Forget Ninja Turtles. This Japanese venue with a labyrinth-like interior was modeled after an ancient Ninja castle. After your waiter impresses you with his gravity-defying acrobatics, dine on the Katana, a $50 prime steak marinated in teriyaki sauce, and finish the ninja-filled night with the smoking piña colada-assorted diced fruits with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream sinking in a mysterious pineapple coconut pond. Don’t forget your sword.


airplane restaurant xl Weird Restaurants

a380 restaurant Weird Restaurants

Food Flight

Restaurant: The Airplane Restaurant, Colorado Springs, CO

Culinary Concept: Mile-high meals. Onboard this grounded 1953 Boeing KC-97 tanker, diners feast on atypical airline food like the Reuben von Crashed — tender corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing served on fresh marble rye bread.


cannibal restaurant Weird Restaurants

Image via Weird Asia News

Restaurant: Cannabalistic Sushi – Tokyo, Japan

Culinary Concept: ‘Nyotaimori’ in Japanese literally means ‘female body plate’, and this restaurant named after the tradition of eating sushi and sashimi off a nude woman’s body takes the concept to a whole new level. An edible body, with dough ‘skin’ and sauce ‘blood’ is wheeled into the room on a hospital gurney and placed upon a table. The hostess begins the meal by cutting into the body with a scalpel and then patrons dig in, operating on the body to reveal edible ‘organs’.

Categories: Travel Tags:

Modern Bathrooms You Need To Pee In

September 10th, 2011 David No comments

Unless you’re feral, peeing in bathrooms is a mundane task. But pee in one of these crazy bathrooms, and it becomes a fantastical adventure!

By Zack Zeigler

TEMP Image 2 1 Modern Bathrooms You Need To Pee InGuys will pee anywhere. On the side of a highway, against a building, in a public swimming pool. Because of our anatomical makeup, we have the luxury of not being bathroom snobs.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate a good bathroom. And it’s nice to turn a mundane daily activity into something interesting (without getting arrested). And peeing into the gaping mouth of an alligator, or while people walk by inches away oblivious to what we’re doing, or while watching Goldfinger in a bathroom seemingly made out of gold definitely qualify as interesting.

And you can do all of those things in at least one of these bizarre bathrooms. Just be sure to wash your hands after you’re done.

1x10 Modern Bathrooms You Need To Pee In

TEMP Image 2 2 Modern Bathrooms You Need To Pee InThe World’s Largest Public Bathroom | Chongqing, China
This monstrosity in the home of our future overlords has 1,000 toilets, TVs, calm music playing, and urinals shaped like alligators, open-mouthed creatures, and, naturally, the Virgin Mary. And yet for some reason our favorite part is the sinks.

1x10 Modern Bathrooms You Need To Pee In

look here Modern Bathrooms You Need To Pee InThe That’s It! Bathroom | Queenstown, New Zealand
The urinals at the Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa are overseen by life-size photos of women holding stuff like a digital camera, magnifying glass — real funny, lady! — and measuring tape. Other women simply look on as though they’re either impressed or horrified. We’ll just go with impressed.1x10 Modern Bathrooms You Need To Pee In

1x10 Modern Bathrooms You Need To Pee In

0601 mouth Modern Bathrooms You Need To Pee InThe Roseenmeer Facility | Mönchengladbach, Germany
Controversy erupted when the Rosenmeer Hotel in Germany unveiled its new restroom — and we can certainly understand why. The garish checkered background totally clashes with the classy, understated urinals.

1x10 Modern Bathrooms You Need To Pee In

6 floating bathroom lg 1974035 1 Modern Bathrooms You Need To Pee InThe Floating Bathroom | Lake Powell, UT/AZ
The National Park Service hated people voluntarily adding to Lake Powell’s water levels, so they installed floating bathrooms to minimize contamination. For the fishes’ sakes, we hope it isn’t glass bottomed.

1x10 Modern Bathrooms You Need To Pee In

Best Western The Croft Hotel Darlington1 1 Modern Bathrooms You Need To Pee In
Best Western The Croft | Darlington, United Kingdom
We’d opt to go for the distance record juuuuust in case we possess the fabled Magic Stream prophesied to reanimate the gargoyles. They look kinda hungry.

Categories: Funny, Travel Tags:

During a Hurricane – USA Goverment Warning.

August 26th, 2011 David No comments

If a hurricane is likely in your area, you should:

  • Listen to the radio or TV for information.
  • Secure your home, close storm shutters, and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
  • Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
  • Turn off propane tanks.· Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
  • Moor your boat if time permits.
  • Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water.

You should evacuate under the following conditions:

  • If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.
  • If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure—such shelters are particularly hazardous during hurricanes no matter how well fastened to the ground.
  • If you live in a high-rise building—hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.
  • If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an inland waterway.
  • If you feel you are in danger.

If you are unable to evacuate, go to your safe room. If you do not have one, follow these guidelines:

  • Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
  • Close all interior doors—secure and brace external doors.
  • Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm – winds will pick up again.
  • Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level.
  • Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
Categories: News Tags:

What to Do During an Earthquake

August 23rd, 2011 David No comments

Stay as safe as possible during an earthquake. Be aware that some earthquakes are actually foreshocks and a larger earthquake might occur. Minimize your movements to a few steps to a nearby safe place and if you are indoors, stay there until the shaking has stopped and you are sure exiting is safe.

If indoors

  • DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
  • Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
  • Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
  • Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you know it is a strongly supported, loadbearing doorway.
  • Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.
  • Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.
  • DO NOT use the elevators.

If outdoors

  • Stay there.
  • Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
  • Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits and alongside exterior walls. Many of the 120 fatalities from the 1933 Long Beach earthquake occurred when people ran outside of buildings only to be killed by falling debris from collapsing walls. Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.

If in a moving vehicle

  • Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
  • Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.

If trapped under debris

  • Do not light a match.
  • Do not move about or kick up dust.
  • Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
  • Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.
Categories: News Tags:

Yes, That Was Just an Earthquake You Felt [Updated]

August 23rd, 2011 David No comments

The quake was a 5.8 magnitude, centered in Virginia and felt up and down the east coast from North Carolina to New York. Now we know how Americans will respond to an emergency: They will make jokes on Twitter.

Update: The USGS has upgraded the quake, which struck in Mineral, Virginia, to a magnitude 6.0. The Pentagon and the Capitol building are being evacuated.

Update II: Nate Silver, who is apparently an expert in everything, tweets: “Virginia earthquake was quite shallow — just 6 km underground. May explain why folks felt quite a bit of shaking.”

Update III: President Obama is reportedly playing golf with Vernon Jordan. Earthquakes are great excuses for missed putts.

Categories: News, Uncategorized Tags:

Smartphone Home: The 5-Minute Android Analysis

August 16th, 2011 David No comments

With so much choice, there’s never been a better—or more bewildering—time to pick a side in the smartphone wars. We present a quick, four-part guide to soothing your phone-fevered brow

November 18, 2010
android Smartphone Home: The 5 Minute Android Analysis

Let’s face it: This was always going to be about the iPhone. Like comparing your new girlfriend to your ex, or every other woman on earth to Ms. Johansson, the competition has to not merely compete with, but obliterate Apple’s 500-pound gorilla. From the day Google’s smartphone platform was announced, it’s been hailed as the alternative, an open-source savior from the do-no-evil geniuses in Mountain View. So, has Android lived up to its hype? Has it become a proper cure for our iAddictions?

The Good: You can have any iPhone you’d like as long as it’s an iPhone, but on Android there’s a zoo of hardware to choose from, some of them with quite the killer features, from quality QWERTY sliders like the Motorola Droid 2 to 4.3-inch behemoths like HTC’s Evo 4G. If you want your pick of form factor, Android’s the place to be; hell, even on the Samsung Galaxy S I took a liking to, with its unremarkably iPhone-esque design, the Super AMOLED screen’s incredibly dark blacks and deep contrast got more than its share of oohs and ahhs.

In some areas, Android isn’t just on par with the competition, it’s in the lead. It has features like homescreen widgets, giving you quick access to clocks, news feeds, and the like. There’s also the pull-down notification bar, which unobtrusively shows text and e-mail notifications, not just how many signal bars you’re death-gripping away. The Android Market has matured well, and if nothing else covers all the essentials (Yelp, Angry Birds), unless you’re inconsolable without your beloved iGarageDoorOpenCloser 2.5. There’s no doubt, from first glance down to the gritty details, this is a mature platform that’s ready to rumble.

The “Meh”: More than a few people I handed an Android phone to commented, “You know what I notice? The scrolling isn’t as good.” Touch inputs aren’t as fluid or precise as their Apple counterparts, and though it’s come a long way from its beginnings on the dork-tastic T-Mobile G1, the interface still lacks that last bit of shine and polish around the corners. Without a really close comparison—or a smartphone review—in mind, however, for the most part you’d be hard-pressed to care.

The “Huh?”: What’s “Sense,” “Blur,” or “TouchWiz”? The thing about open-source software is, it’s open for meddling. Most smartphones these days are little more than big rectangles with screens on them. If you’re making an Android phone, how do you differentiate yourself from everyone else slapping the same software on their own slabs? Thus, manufacturers are fond of adding what they call “user interface enhancements”; we’ve come to call it “screwing everything up.”

The net result is the Android experience that can vary widely (and disasterously) from phone to phone. What does the home screen look like? How do I unlock my phone? What order are the hardware buttons in? It depends. You’ll constantly hear the anguished cries of reviewers across the land, wishing that Manufacturer X’s sexy new Phone Y would’ve just stuck to Google’s stock code. The carriers get in on it too, hard-wiring each phone with their own usually useless (AT&T Maps?) sometimes unforgivable (the search engine is Bing, and can’t be changed?) modifications. It’s like if a McDonald’s franchise could swap out fries for onion rings… or candy corn: You never know what you’re getting. It’s why Google tried its hand at standardization with its self-branded Nexus One, and why the rumored/upcoming Nexus S has Android enthusiasts all aflutter.

The Cool Factor: As of today, pulling out one of the glitzier Android phones at a party is bit of a conversation piece. But, with its rapidly growing user base, it’s one that’ll soon lose its novelty. So when the day comes that you’re in the subway with four dozen other Googlephoners, what are you left with?

Well in some ways, a pretty freakin’ nerdy phone. Full-on multitasking sounds great, until it can be a bit of a drag; in fact, Advanced Task Killer, one of the most popular Android apps, does nothing but quit all the background apps you forgot to close. “Hey babe, I’ll jot down your number, right after I free up some RAM…”? We think not. And that’s one of the ways you can see its techie roots still showing: It’s just that bit steeper of a learning curve, and the slightest bit less of a solid, consumer-friendly device. It’s certainly a compelling choice. Depending on how you look at it, it might even be the right choice. But is it cool? Call it ease of use, call it Cupertino’s voodoo magic, but even as the iPhone becomes so ubiquitous your dog probably just got one, it still reigns.

Buy one if… you don’t mind a slight learning curve, maybe because you and your comp-sci buddies had a great time modding Linux distros back in the day. Or if you’re just sick of Jonathan Ive making off with your wallet every Christmas.

Categories: mobile, Podcast & Blogs Tags:

Pools of the world

August 10th, 2011 David 27 comments

moz screenshot 5 Pools of the world76223251474EDAC7FEF8B6470EB Pools of the world

© Bob Hurwitz/Hurwitz James Co.

Malibu, Calif.

The Henman House estate is set on 16.9 acres and offers mountain and Pacific Ocean views from the steel and glass structure. Its asking price is $7.95 million.

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© Bob Hurwitz/Hurwitz James Co.

La Jolla, Calif.

Architect Wallace Cunningham designed The Razor, listed for $32 million. Among its many cutting-edge features is a pool that seems to disappear into the view of the Torrey Pines State Reserve.

A unique feature

The infinity pool certainly sets the 11,000-square-foot home apart.

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© Hilton & Hyland

Los Angeles

Infinity pools are all the rage for the optical-illusion-loving set that enjoys a nice view. This pool offers a more urban view of L.A. Just minutes up Doheny Drive from downtown, this 5,000-square-foot home designed for indoor/outdoor living is for sale for $6.29 million.

Plenty of windows

Next to the pool are a spa and outdoor shower. Inside the home are three bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms and more than enough windows to enjoy the views.

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© Maggie Kent/CORE Group

A rare New York treat

On the garden level, the 8-foot deep, 26-foot long pool is perfect for laps. The pool is a rarity in New York, where the Department of Buildings no longer permits them. The pool opens into a 16-foot high solarium sanctuary that connects to a private garden. The five-floor home also has a sauna, five wood-burning fireplaces and a rooftop deck. An indoor pool in the heart of New York City is the ultimate luxury statement. In this 22.5-foot-wide Chelsea town house, you can haveyour own indoor oasis for $11 million.

24E0E644B8BC37621C7B1135D9180 Pools of the world

© Joseph Barbieri/Sotheby’s International Realty


More than a mosaic?

Inside, a dramatic natatorium/ballroom features an elaborate mosaic floor that lowers at the touch of a button …

5FA3B1B2FFBF476262D9CB8C8AEE96 Pools of the world

© Joseph Barbieri/Sotheby’s International Realty

A hidden swim

… and transforms into the indoor pool.

Four Seasons Resort Bali

World Coolest Pools 8 Pools of the world

More of a pond than a pool, this photo shows it side on. As a piece of architectural narrative, the Bali Four Seasons pool entry is exceptional. A wooden bridge takes you over a chasm to an infinity pool with the jungle wrapping around the background, the pool floating 50 feet above it.

The entrance to the hotel is through a slit in the pool to the lobby underneath and is worth of a James Bond movie set.

200911 w pools hong kong Pools of the world

Intercontinental Hong Kong Pool

Why It’s Cool: Its underwater music is novel, but it’s the entire roof terrace complex that makes this pool unique. Not only does it have sexy sunbeds, beautiful teak decks, and a pool concierge, but there are three infinity spa pools (cool, medium, hot) with views of bustling Victoria Harbour.

Interesting Fact: Legendary tai chi master William Ng offers complimentary lessons poolside on the roof terrace for guests.

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Viceroy Pool at Icon Brickell Miami

Why It’s Cool: Designed by Philippe Starck, the three pools at the swanky new Viceroy hotel are connected, making it the longest pool complex in the country. At 205 feet, the main pool is the longest in Florida, while the 80-person hot tub is the world’s largest. Quirky details include a reflection pool with submerged tables and chairs.

Interesting Fact: Designed to mirror the Miami River running through downtown Miami, the pool literally runs through the condo “metropolis” of Icon Brickell.

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Grace Hotel Pool New York City

Why It’s Cool: Home to some of the hottest parties and events in NYC’s Times Square, this indoor pool is conveniently connected to a 40-foot bar (the only swim-up bar in the city) and comes equipped with mood lighting, stadium seating, and a projector to show movies. There’s a large coed steam and sauna near the DJ booth.

Interesting Fact: Celebrity pool sightings include Nelly Furtado, Michael Stipe, and Tyson Beckford.

200911 w pools grand wailea Pools of the world

Grand Wailea Canyon Activity Pool Maui, Hawaii

Why It’s Cool: This 25,700-square-foot wet playground is a destination in itself (guests receive a map upon entry). Nine free-form pools at six levels (from 40 feet to sea level) are connected by a “river” that carries swimmers along at varying speeds, from lazy river currents to whitewater rapids. Highlights include seven slides, grottoes, scuba certification pool, and a “Tarzan pool” with rope swing.

Interesting Fact: Going up? The pool is home to the world’s only water elevator—swimmers are lifted to the surface in a sealed chamber.

200911 w pools fort lauderdale Pools of the world

W Fort Lauderdale

Why It’s Cool: Conceived by über-hip Clodagh, the pool features a stunning glass-encased centerpiece staircase. It stretches 28 feet into the middle, so swimmers can easily gawk at guests-and vice versa.

Interesting Fact: Visitors in the hotel’s Living Room lounge can ogle bathing beauties through slits in the ceiling.


hotel joule Pools of the world

The Hotel Joule, Dallas, TX.rooftop pool nyc Pools of the world

NYC Rooftop

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In Bali, Indonesia.

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Now that’s a view.


Crown Towers Hotel in Taipa Island Macau

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This is a cool infinity pool that looks out over a breathtaking skyline from several stories up. This is definitely a great place to enjoy the sunset in Taipa Island.

Burj Al Arab in Dubai

pools 1 iskandar Pools of the world

Leave it to the hotel designer in Dubai to create a pool of this magnitude.  It’s just too bad you probably have to own a helicopter to be able to comfortably afford to swim here.

Golden Nugget Las Vegas

pools 2 byhotel Pools of the world

While the pool might not seem too cool at first glance, notice the salt-water aquarium complete with sharks that is flush with the pool.  There is also a clear tube slide that goes through the aquarium and into the pool.

Blue Lagoon Geothermal Resort in Grindavík, Iceland

pools 4 byhotel.thumbnail Pools of the world

Ok, technically this isn’t a pool in the typical sense of a hotel pool. But, it is a warm body of water that you have to pay a pretty penny to get into. Therefore it falls into the category of a luxury hotel pool.

Begawan Giri Hotel in Ubud, Bali

pools 5 byhotel Pools of the world

This small villa style hotels pool might not be big, but it has a million-dollar view.  Combine that with the fact that at any given time you will probably be the only person in the pool and you get one luxurious little swim.

Mandarin Oriental in New York

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At the Mandarin Oriental hotel, you can enjoy the famous New York skyline while lounging in the pool any time of the year.

San Alfonso del Mar in Chile

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The pool at the San Alfonso del Mar is a mini ocean in and of its self.  This pool is easily large enough to enjoy water sport activities like paddling and sailing, and it’s by far the largest freshwater pool in the world.

Four Seasons in Costa Rica

pools 8 by shaolopaolo four seasons cr Pools of the world

There is no better way to appreciate the coast of Costa Rica than from this infinity pool at the Four Seasons Hotel.

Six Senses Hideaway in Zighy Bay, Oman

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This small infinity pool might not look like much at first, but when you take into account that the pool comes with your own private section of beach, cabana, pool, and more; it gets pretty luxurious.

Perivolas Luxury Hotel in Santorini

pools 10 byhotel Pools of the world

The infinity pool at the Perivolas Luxury Hotel may be one of the most famous hotel pools.  It has one of the best views from any hotel pool and has been featured on a large number of travel magazine covers.

Atlantis Resort in Paradise Island, Bahamas

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The sheer size of the pool at the Atlantis Resort is enough to get it on the list.  But the pool features a number a slides, waterfalls, grottoes, and more.

Hotel Villa Mahal in Turkey

pools 12 by cloudzilla Pools of the world

The infinity pool at the Villa Mahal made our list because it is a simple infinity style pool that does what infinity pools were made to do; give you the illusion of a pool that drops into the sky.

New Infinity pool on Rangali Island4111492859 24140466ae b Pools of the world


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Volkswagen Aqua hovercraft concept

July 26th, 2011 David No comments

volkswagen aqua hovercraft Awb7n 48 Volkswagen Aqua hovercraft concept

Designed by 21-year-old Yuhan Zhang from China, the Volkswagen Aqua hovercraft concept offers an insight of a futuristic vehicle powered by hydrogen and propelled by an impeller. It has been designed as a solution to address the variety of terrain covering China, from the lakes, rivers and coastal waters to the roads, wetlands and snow. The futuristic vehicle was also shortlisted in the CDN Car Design Awards China, based on the brief titled “Chinese off-road vehicle” by Volkswagen.

The Volkswagen Aqua air cushion vehicle runs on more than one engine. Its hydrogen fuel cell-powered primary motor runs the main fan to inflate the skirt around the vehicle, which help raise the VW Aqua just above the ground. The fans at the rear run on individual electric motors to provide forward thrust and directional control. The Aqua has a minimalist exterior and interior design, and it can seat two inside.

The telescopic steering wheel enhances the driving experience. The Aqua all-terrain vehicle is capable of traveling to any place with an adjustable ground clearance. Aqua perfectly interprets the philosophy of Volkswagen Design with no parting line and laconic appearance. Designer Yuhan is a graduate from Xihua University with a degree in Industrial Design.


Categories: Cars, Custom, Gadgets, Gear, Video Tags:

Top 10 Skills to Master Your Grill

July 4th, 2011 David No comments

77363 32 Top 10 Skills to Master Your Grill Kevin Purdygrilling splash Top 10 Skills to Master Your GrillThere’s something about grilling food outdoors that’s both exhilarating and terrifying. It’s great to commune with your food in such a straight-up way, but what if it goes wrong? We’re here to help overcome your fear of the flame, or step up your grilling game, with these 10 techniques.

Photo by adactio.

10. DIY marinades

Learn the Basic Chemistry of Marinades Top 10 Skills to Master Your GrillNot every cut can be filet mignon, and some meats, like pork, almost always deserve a lengthy dip in some flavor-infusing sweet and salty stuff. Your grocery store wants to sell you a 12 oz. bottle of sickly-sweet stuff for a hefty markup. But you’ve got oil, acids, and flavoring agents at home, so learn to make a basic marinade, and open up your grill to a whole cabinet of ideas. You won’t turn super-tough meat into tender tournadoes, but you’ll learn a lot about how to impart flavor to big, seemingly impenetrable cuts of the good stuff.

9. Steak improvement through salt

Salt and Cheap Steak Top 10 Skills to Master Your GrillIt makes your grandmother cry, but totally covering cheap, firm meat with salt, especially cheaper cuts of steak, just an hour before grilling or otherwise cooking is like giving it a really, really deep Shiatsu rubdown. The salt you cover the surface with—and then wipe off, rinse, and pat dry—denaturizes the long protein strands and mixes up the moisture spread in your steak. That turns them, in the Steamy Kitchen blog’s words, from cheap “choice” steak into Gucci “Prime” steak.

8. Chill soda, beer, or wine in two minutes

Waiting for meat to cook leaves you with a good amount of time to stand around and, well, drink something. But what if you forgot to drop your Coke/Sam Adams/Pinot grigio in the cooler or fridge before you cranked up the coals? Mythbuster Adam Savage, one of our favorite interviewees, explains a last-minute chilling technique at Metafilter: Spin it around in some heavily salted ice water. Savage claims it’s based in science instead of backyard lore, and I believe him—it’s amazed many a dinner party host with a “I forgot to” dilemma.

7. Easy grill cleaning

Clean Your Grill with an Onion Top 10 Skills to Master Your GrillMaybe you’re pulling out the grilling can for the first time this weekend, and … eee-yuck. Here’s what you do. Swipe off whatever big, grungy stuff you can with a stiff (preferably wire) brush and then toss it in your oven on self-clean. Now that a majority of the tough stuff is off, or at least loosened, you probably won’t have to swing for any specialty tools—a wad of aluminum foil can suffice. For light, between-meal cleaning, rubbing a face-down half onion on a heated grill is an eco-friendly way to get in and around the bars without burning your hands or leaving non-compatible scents for your food.

6. Use your broiler as a backup

nytimes chicken Top 10 Skills to Master Your GrillUnless you live in Hawaii, you really can’t count on the weather to hold for your grilling just because you bought buns and paper plates. If it’s just a drizzle and you can make do with the garage door open, go to it. If the weather or temperature really put a crimp in your style, or you just lack for grill space, consider braising and browning with your broiler. Slow-cooking the food in liquid, then crisping the exterior with a quick broil, gives you surprisingly grill-like results. For big groups or days when it just doesn’t seem like standing outside is feasible, consider the tiny grill your already own in your kitchen.

5. Get started with smoking

kettle smoker Top 10 Skills to Master Your GrillThere exists a comfortable middle ground between having spent a summer working for the barbecue kings of Kansas City and just wanting a little hickory flavor in your food. Hank Shaw, who’s one serious meat fan, knows exactly where that sweet spot. Using just two grocery-store-standard aluminum pans and some wood chips, he turns a kettle grill into a smoker, one that turns out certifiably tasty ribs with real smoke flavor. Like any barbecue exercise, the real secret ingredients are time, patience, and a tasty rub or sauce.

4. Make your own BBQ sauce

diy bbq sauce Top 10 Skills to Master Your GrillYou’ve already put the time and care into tending to your flame, your meat, and your sides, so why settle for a bottle of stuff found next to the ketchup, laced with corn syrup? The BBQ Recipe Secrets blog runs down three basic sauces, covering the traditional tomato sauce, a Carolina-esque vinegar version, and a basic mustard variant. We’ve made this tomato sauce template and been happy to tweak it in different ways, which you can, too. Photo by INeedCoffee / CoffeeHero.

3. Use a cheat sheet

cheat sheet Top 10 Skills to Master Your GrillWe like Real Simple’s grid-style grilling cheat sheet, as it provides both basic, reassuring timings for a standard grill that won’t leave anyone with undercooked food, and won’t turn out dried-out cinders or hockey pucks, either. It also helps you arrange items across your cooking surface, as you move items from direct flame heat to indirect, ambient cooking. Got another favorite, printable guide? Link it for everyone in the comments.

2. Know when meat is done

Five Finger Palm Steak Technique Top 10 Skills to Master Your GrillUnless you’ve got a serious instant-read thermometer, it’s a pain to keep stabbing your meal-to-be, or, even worse, cut it open, to determine just when it’s just at the edge of safe to eat. Skip the torture and use your hands. By touching your thumb to each of your fingers, and then pressing on your thumb muscle as it changes firmness, you’ll get an idea of how your steak should feel, moving from rare to well done as your thumb muscle moves from your index to your pinky finger. Whole chickens are a similar matter of intuitive touch, or, actually, a twist of the chicken leg. If the leg won’t move, it’s not quite ready—you want there to be a slight amount of tension, and then feel the joints release as you apply soft pressure.

1. Perfect burgers

How to grill a perfect burger Top 10 Skills to Master Your GrillWe asked and our commenters responded about what makes the perfect grilled burger: Good meat, preferably ground while you watch, kept at room temperature right before grilling, and not pressed and overly handled. We’d just add that you shouldn’t try to compress your homemade patties into chain-restaurant-style discs, and that seasoning your patties with salt and pepper right before they hit the heat makes a big difference.

Our list covers a lot of what the average griller would cook up for their friends or family, but we’re certainly open to suggestions—especially vegetarian ideas and technique suggestions. And be sure to check out last year’s guide to becoming the memorial day grill master for more techniques and basic starter tips.

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