1. Cano’s Castle
“After first building an underground potato cellar on the site, the castle began in 1980 when Cano built a steam room above the cellar, and took improvised shape as found materials presented themselves over about twenty years.”
Born in 1948, ‘Dominic “Cano” Espinoza’s enlisted in the US army in 1968 and, upon returning in 1970, he went to work in the potato fields. Affected by losses in the Vietnam war, and fascinated by the Buddhist temples there, his Colorado castle is his “way of building something for our religion”. The primary structure of his castle is stone, with wood sheathed in sheets of applied metal scrap and hundreds of cut-off aluminium can bottoms. Illuminated at night by electric lights, strings of bottles clink together in the wind.’
Espinoza enjoys it when cheerful groups of curious onlookers stop by to see his creation. “I have people here every day. If it wasn’t for the visitors, I wouldn’t be doing this,” he said. “They’re like energy for me.” If you would like to visit Cano’s Castle, it’s located at East 10th Avenue and State Street in Antonito
Fred Scruton travels extensively throughout the United States to find, photograph, videotape, and write about artists working outside the mainstreams of contemporary art. See more from his time at Cano’s Castle here.
2. This Swedish dollhouse from 1912
Four-storied, features a functioning elevator made out of the metal innards of a clock and electric lighting in all its rooms. Crafted by one very patient and generous John Carlsson for his younger sister, it also housed a telephone that rang; a mini typewriter, sewing machine, and chandelier; and 30 dolls.
Found on Mansions of the Gilded Age.
3. Remnants of Window Tax
England wasn’t the only country to have a “window tax” – it was a significant social, cultural, and architectural force in England, France, and Ireland during the 18th and 19th centuries. People refused to disclose how much money they made, considering it an invasion of privacy – so you would be charged based on how many windows your house had. In retaliation, people bricked up their windows, which you can still see today.
DAYLIGHT ROBBERY documents the bricked up windows of London, originating from the Georgian-era Window Tax. The works examine the role that light and air play for our wellbeing in the spaces we inhabit, something more important than ever after the year we’ve all experienced.
4. L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped: Christo’s dream being realised
Work begins next month to swathe the monument in blue fabric a year after the Bulgarian-born artist’s death. Read more on The Guardian.
5. This art installation that’s ticked off a lot of hikers
in september 18, 2020, austrian artist group steinbrener/dempf & huber installed the cliffhanger — a tourist information booth embedded on a sheer rock face next to the scenic mira falls in austria… following its apparition, the installation has caused some controversy following complaints that it ruined the view for visitors… the cliffhanger installation by steinbrener/dempf & huber was commissioned by florian schublach, head of the oetscher-tormaeuer nature park. ‘the installation was not intended to be a popular attraction,’ schublach told zenger news. ‘it was intended to be the opposite of a popular attraction. it was not set up to make a lot of people want to go there; more like the other way around.’
Article found on Design Boom.
6. He bought a cheap house in Italy. This is what happened next…
He recalls that the mayor had to climb up a ladder to enter a window in order to open the building up. It had been shut for decades and the door was jammed, with the keys nowhere to be found. A later structural disaster turned into a positive story. When one Christmas Eve an unstable chimney collapsed due to heavy snow, one of Patrick’s neighbors volunteered to climb onto his roof to make it safe. Patrick says he was astonished when the man refused to be paid. People are welcoming, he says, they want to help newcomers and don’t want anything in return. At the most, a glass of heady red wine to sip together. Patrick says he’s made plenty of friends in the village and enjoys his Italian dinners with them. During the minimal renovations needed to make the old school habitable, Patrick says he’s unearthed a treasure trove of historical finds. In the attic, he discovered relics from the building’s former life: dusty piles of old text books, inkwells, glass bottles, pupil registers and other quirky items harking to the bygone days when 20 pupils were taught in what is now Patrick’s living room. On the doorstep there’s a mosaic with Roman numerals indicating the year the school was built. Patrick has decided to keep the original tile floors and wood-covered walls.
Read the full article found on CNN. Further reading: A Beginner’s Guide to Italian Ghost Towns Selling Houses for €1
7. This Alien Bar inside a Chateau turned Museum in the Swiss Alps
In 1998, the late Swiss surrealist painter, sculptor and set designer H. R. Giger acquired the castle, and it now houses the H. R. Giger Museum, a permanent repository of his work. He was part of the special effects team that won an Academy Award for the visual design of Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-fi horror film Alien. Adjacent to the museum is the Museum HR Giger Bar, completed by him in 2003. More found here.
8. The Toaster Museum, the world’s largest Online Toaster Exhibition
9. Why swap your boring lawn grass with red creeping thyme?
It grows 3 inch tall max, requires no mowing, lovely lemony scent, can repel mosquitoes, grows all year long, better for local biodiversity. Tip found on Reddit.
10. A Cotswolds Cottage For Sale, comes with a 94-year-old tortoise called Hercules.
Would-be-owners of this picturesque Costwold Cottage will inherit an unusual ward with their purchase: a 94-year-old tortoise called Hercules. Hercules has outlasted at least two sets of owners of the Grade II-listed Wiltshire property, which is for sale for £825,000 via Hunter French. And while the Old Dairy has four bedrooms, a large landscaped garden and an outbuilding that used to be the village cafe, it’s the tortoise that is the key selling point for the Box home, as she’s something of a local celebrity.
11. Why you’ve never had ‘real’ sushi
For the past 18 generations, one family has preserved a 400-year-old recipe showing how sushi once tasted, and it doesn’t use raw seafood, but fish aged for three years.
Read more – Funazushi: The fermented predecessor of modern sushi.
12. Beijing subway allows riders to pay with plastic bottles, a good way to re-cycle them
Found on Reddit.
13. The Horrors of Bull Island, “the Worst Music Festival of All Time” (1972)
It’s maybe a little unfair to compare 1972’s “Bull Island” Festival to Fyre Fest, the music festival scam so egregious it warranted dueling documentaries on Hulu and Netflix. But “Bull Island” — or what was originally called the Erie Canal Soda Pop Festival — was an epic catastrophe, maybe the worst in music festival history, and well deserving of its own media franchise. Still, its organizers had every intention of following through on the event. What happened wasn’t entirely their fault, but partly the result of a campaign to route thousands of hippies out of the state of Indiana. Found on Open Culture.