Architects Design Transparent House in Tokyo – Could You Live In This?

This revolutionary design was commissioned by a Tokyo couple and was conceived by Japanese architects Sou Fujimoto

The footprint is just 914 sq ft (85 sq meters). The architects have managed to elegantly combine 21 floor plates positioned at various levels and connected by a system of stairs and ladders that create an easily accessible, light-filled space.

The house is surrounded by homes of a more conventional design in a quiet neighborhood of Tokyo. At night curtains provide some privacy as you’ll see in the short (3:27) video above (5 photographs).
Continue reading Architects Design Transparent House in Tokyo – Could You Live In This?

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Can South Africa Win Gold Again At The 2012 Chelsea Flower Show?

Model of South Africa's 2012 Exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show in London
Model of South Africa's 2012 Exhibit to be created at the Chelsea Flower Show in London. With members of the Kirstenbosch team, from left to right: Sarah Struys; David Davidson; Kuphumla Zenze and Alison Pekeur -- click to enlarge

For the 37th year South Africa’s National Biodiversity Institute will exhibit at the famous Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show, taking place in London from 22 to 26 May.

“We wanted to give people the sense of an arrival at a destination. We have to come up with a new way of representing the country every year. This year, each scene is a different place in South Africa.”
— David Davidson, Designer.

Chances are good that South Africa will win gold again — for the 33rd time.

Designers David Davidson and Ray Hudson have come up with an innovative and exciting concept which is designed to showcase South Africa’s rich floral heritage on the one hand, and on the other, South Africa’s cultural “Rainbow Nation” diversity.
Continue reading Can South Africa Win Gold Again At The 2012 Chelsea Flower Show?

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Diagrams Can Help To Detail Data In Presentations And Assignments

Bar graph
Using diagrams is an effective way of presenting data and helps to engage an audience visually

Many students struggle every year on class projects because today most, if not all, assignments require presentations or reports. Beyond just text, students should incorporate additional elements like diagrams into their assignments to engage their audience visually.

Diagrams, as opposed to plain text, allow information to be displayed in a format that is easier to understand and digest which makes student presentations more engaging. The concept is simple enough, but there are many kinds of diagrams, and deciding which chart or graph to use can quickly become confusing.

Consider the following tips when adding visual elements or effects to your next presentation:
Continue reading Diagrams Can Help To Detail Data In Presentations And Assignments

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14-Year-Old Real Estate Investor Buys Bank Repossessed Home

Volunteer Work
14-year-old Willow Tufano is co-owner of this $100,000 value Florida home — Image: Chana Joffe-Walt/NPR — click to enlarge

This heart-warming story caught my attention. Good news is scarce in real estate, today.

With the US sub-prime crisis in 2005 an unprecedented real estate tsunami signalled the start of a worldwide recession. It was a phenomena known as the United States Housing Bubble.

Real estate markets everywhere went into free fall, a decline that may only now be bottoming out. Bank repossessed properties, or foreclosures, went through the roof and may still be on the increase.

Whenever clouds are about, sometimes, we’ll find one with a silver lining. 14-Year-old Willow Tufano from Florida was in the right place at the right time when a $100,000 value, 2-bedroom, home became available on an auction for just $12,000. Her mother, a Florida real estate agent, went into the deal with her on a half-share basis.
Continue reading 14-Year-Old Real Estate Investor Buys Bank Repossessed Home

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Ethiopia: King Solomon The Queen Of Sheba And The Black Jews — Part 2

Ethiopian black Jews making aliyah or ascent or going up to the Land of Israel
Ethiopian black Jews making aliyah or 'ascent' or 'going up' to the Land of Israel

In Part 1 we tell the little known story, with roots that reach back to the time of Abraham, of the union of the great King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.

In Part 2 a promise is fulfilled. They are welcomed by the Jewish state, like prodigal sons returning to the land of Israel.

The first modern contact with the Ethiopian Jews was by Scottish explorer James Bruce, who was searching for the source of the Nile River.

Early one morning in the late 1940s, an elderly Ethiopian Jew stood with his young grandson at the top of a small mountain, waiting for sunrise. As the sun broke over the horizon, the old man, pointing toward the sun, said, “Remember, this is the way to Jerusalem.”
Shmarya Scott Rosenberg

When Bruce came upon the ancient Jewish community of Ethiopia at Gonder In 1769, many had the sign of the crucifix tattooed on their foreheads to signify their link, as messianic Jews, to Christianity. The Beta Israel population at that time was estimated to be about 100,000 souls.
Continue reading Ethiopia: King Solomon The Queen Of Sheba And The Black Jews — Part 2

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Ethiopia: King Solomon The Queen Of Sheba And The Black Jews — Part 1

King Solomon receives the Queen of Sheba
King Solomon receives the Queen of Sheba. This beautiful example of medieval stained glass dates from 1180AD and is the Second Typological Window in the north quire aisle of Canterbury Cathedral — Image: Sacred Destinations

The modern history of the Jews in Ethiopia begins with the reunification of Ethiopia in the mid-19th century during the reign of Theodore II. At that time the Jewish community, known as Beta Israel, numbered between 200,000 to 350,000 people.

This little known story, with roots that reach back to the time of Abraham, starts with the union of the great King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. In Part 2 a promise is fulfilled. They are welcomed by the Jewish state, like prodigal sons returning to the land of Israel.

The name Beta Israel originated in the 4th century AD when the community refused to convert to Christianity during the rule of Abraha and Atsbeha

Perhaps the earliest Hebraic people came to the land of Ethiopia during the time of the prolonged drought and famine in Canaan at the time of Abraham (1812-1637BC).
Continue reading Ethiopia: King Solomon The Queen Of Sheba And The Black Jews — Part 1

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Smartphones: Top Five Apps to Use for School Assignments

Smartphone Apps
Smartphone apps save you time and increase your productivity

Every new Smartphone app is created to assist you in some way, whether it’s to facilitate shopping, follow your favorite sports teams or check the weather forecast.

There are even apps to help you improve your learning experience. Such apps help you stay organized, reduce the amount of time you spend tracking down reading assignments and information, and help you complete higher-quality assignments.

Once you try the following apps, you may never start another semester without them.
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Gold In The Sky At Sunset On The Bot River Estuary

Sunset On The Bot River Estuary
Sunset On The Bot River Estuary -- click to enlarge

Here on the southern tip of Africa it’s 7:50pm and the sun is sinking on the beautiful Bot River Estuary.

One can just make out the estuary mouth at extreme left on the horizon.

The estuary mouth remains closed to the sea for long periods, sometimes years, before it opens naturally to start a new breeding cycle for the many species of fish that populate the estuary.

Image: John L Bradfield

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Botswana Guitar Fretting Technique You Have To See

This technique is straight out of Africa.

Botswana is an independent, democratic, African country on South Africa’s border.

Formerly it was known as the British Protectorate of Bechuanaland.

Source: Boing Boing

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Hermanus Based Artist Terry Kobus Lighthouse at Danger Point

Danger Point Lighthouse
Dangerpoint Caretaker -- oil on wood -- artisit Terry Kobus

An exercise in stillness, this superb oil-on-wood study of a the famous Overberg historical landmark “Dangerpoint Caretaker” painted by Hermanus based local artist Terry Kobus.

Terry and some of his works have been featured in an earlier post on this website. Most paintings, in the artist’s own words . .

“. . capture moments in time away from big city in the grasslands of the Drakensberg and Transkei and along the beaches of the Western Cape.”

For me this painting is no exception and beautifully captures the deep tranquillity, the stillness, of the landscape in this beautiful part of the coast near Gansbaai and Hermanus.

Danger Point Lighthouse was built in 1895. Danger Point was named Ponte de Sao Brandao by Bartholomew Dias on 16 May 1488. The light house received its name because of the treacherous reef and submerged rocks which make this a very hazardous passage for ships hugging the coast. The tower itself has an interesting octagonal construction.

You can find Terry at work most days in his studio at the Originals Gallery in Hermanus. It’s right in the heart of the waterfront area of Hermanus and it’s also known as a very popular destination for land-based whale-watching tourists.

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And the Long, Short 'n Tall of it