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Living News Reports

Confined Argentinian Home Arranged Around a Small Courtyard Illuminating Modern Spaces
Collect this idea Within the confinement of a small plot, a modern home offering an open layout for enjoying both the inside and outdoors might seem close to impossible. But then again, architects have a way to
Read More 24 Hits 0 Ratings
Hillside Dream Home Embedding Dramatic Panoramas Into Casual Californian Lifestyle
Collect this idea Beautifully isolated to shape a luxurious environment, the Holmby Hills Residence rests on a 57,250 square feet site in Holmby Hills, Bel Air, Los Angeles, so you can see where it gets its name from. The
Read More 28 Hits 0 Ratings
Small Apartment in Stockholm Encapsulating A Glass-Walled Bedroom
Collect this idea This small apartment in Stockhom, Sweden impressed us with its original layout and stylish decorating scheme. Discovered by Freshome on Svensk Fastighets, the 34 square-meter crib displays comfortable
Read More 27 Hits 0 Ratings
10 Exterior Design Lessons That Everyone Should Know
Collect this idea There are some basic exterior design lessons that everyone should know about. Image Source: Cardello Architects While we all want a spectacular home that stands out amongst the rest; we also want a home
Read More 32 Hits 0 Ratings
Seattle’s First Certified Passive House: Modern Family Home Marrying Luxury and Sustainability
Collect this idea What you are about to visualize is the architecture and interior design of one of Washington State’s most energy efficient homes. Occupying 252 square meters in Seattle’s Madison Park neighborhood,
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Young coral won't move into smelly ocean neighborhoods
Deciding where to live is important for the continuation of marine species, and coral and fish have evolved so that they can identify polluted areas. Corals thrive in the marine protected area of Votua Village in Fiji, a
Read More 20 Hits 0 Ratings
The surprising reason hummingbirds love sweet stuff
Scientists want to know why hummingbirds have kept their sweet receptors when the rest of their winged cousins have lost them. Hummingbirds are constantly wavering between a sugar rush and starvation, and to find stability,
Read More 18 Hits 0 Ratings
How to see the Milky Way in the summer night sky
You'll need a clear and moonless sky away from the lights of nearby cities to catch even a glimpse of our home galaxy. The Milky Way shines over the Bumpass Hell parking area in Lassen Volcanic National Park on Aug. 2 in
Read More 19 Hits 0 Ratings
Is heat trapped in the ocean responsible for the global warming 'pause'?
A new study puts a lot of the focus on the Atlantic Ocean, but some scientists remain convinced that the Pacific has played a larger role. Where, oh where, is the planet's missing heat? In 1999, the feverish rise in Earth's
Read More 25 Hits 0 Ratings
Could virtual reality convert skeptics into environmentalists?
A new breed of virtual reality games promises to not just teach about the environment, but change people's behaviors too. Photo: Igor ZH/Shutterstock The New Forest National Park in England recently opened a Tech Creche, a
Read More 12 Hits 0 Ratings
No one, not even animals, can copyright animal selfies
The U.S. Copyright Office recently ruled that photos taken by animals belong in the public domain, but photographer David Slater argues there's more to his 'monkey selfie' than meets the eye. In 2011, British photographer David
Read More 10 Hits 0 Ratings
Why Italian Household Goods Are The Best Choice
Collect this idea This luxurious bedroom features a lot of Italian stylings and furnishings. Image Source: Exclusive Home Bath Amazing craftsmanship does not happen overnight. Rather, it evolves throughout decades. Skills
Read More 19 Hits 0 Ratings
Minimalist “Catch the Views House” Frames Nature’s Perfection with Charming Design Lines
Collect this idea When your home is known as the “Catch The Views House “, the sheer joy of living each day overlooking unique panoramic landscapes can be enough to motivate you in the morning. And when your home is
Read More 25 Hits 0 Ratings
Intriguing LASSO Lamp Showcasing A Powerful Minimalist Design
Collect this idea Designed by Quentin de Coster Design Studio for French company Cinna, LASSO lamp pays tribute to minimalism and functionality. As its name suggests, this unconventional lighting unit resembles a lasso, but
Read More 53 Hits 0 Ratings
Modern Residence With a Luminous Character in Singapore: 65BTP-House
Collect this idea ONG&ONG Pte Ltd. completed the design and development of 65BTP-House, a private residence with a luminous contemporary character in Singapore. The project is surrounded by a vast garden that converges
Read More 18 Hits 0 Ratings
Engaging DNA Bench By True Design Adding Appeal To Public Spaces
Collect this idea Inspired by the DNA molecule, Leonardo Rossano of True Design together with Debora Mansur developed an engaging furniture piece. The twisting DNA Bench is meant for public spaces, bringing a highly
Read More 23 Hits 0 Ratings
Chances of eruption increasing at Iceland volcano
An eruption at the remote Bardarbunga volcano doesn't immediately pose a risk to any Iceland communities but it could threaten European air travel routes. Bardarbunga and Hamarinn lie under the westernmost part of Vatnajökull.
Read More 20 Hits 0 Ratings
SpaceX video shows reusable rocket returning to Earth
The video will give SpaceX engineers useful data that could be applied to future tests and rockets. The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket in July. The rocket managed a smooth splashdown. (Photo: SpaceX/Wikimedia Commons) An
Read More 21 Hits 0 Ratings
Toothless pterosaurs once dominated the world's skies
Scientists aren't sure what happened during the Cretaceous period that resulted in a shift away from toothed pterosaurs. An artist's illustration of the Azhdarchid pterosaur species Quetzalcoatlus northropi. (Image: Mark Witton
Read More 20 Hits 0 Ratings
Weirdest worm ever? Clawed creature adds new branches to family trees
The Hallucigenia sparsa's spines links it to velvet worms, but it disrupts the evolutionary connections among worms and other arthropods. The fossil of the bizarre-looking worm Hallucigenia sparsa that lived some 505 million
Read More 18 Hits 0 Ratings
Richard III ate and drank like the king that he was
Ribs and teeth can provide insight into the types of food, wine and even pollution that people were exposed to during their lives. Richard III ruled England for just two years and two months before he was killed in battle in
Read More 16 Hits 0 Ratings
Watch a cosmonaut toss tiny satellite from International Space Station
In addition to deploying the Peruvian nanosatellite, the two Russian spacewalkers collected and installed science experiments. The small Peruvian Chasqui-1 nanosatellite (the green and black box toward the lower right) is seen
Read More 13 Hits 0 Ratings
White Loft Apartment With Lovely Views Near Stockholm’s Hammarby Lake
Collect this idea Lumafabriken is an old lamp and light bulb factory from the 1920 that was completely redesigned in 2010 by Oscar Properties into an  apartment building near Stockholm’s Hammarby Lake. This loft
Read More 19 Hits 0 Ratings
Inspiring Kitchen Makeover Adapted To A Family Of Six in Virginia, USA
Collect this idea A family of six relocated from California to Virginia and purchased a large home, but knew the kitchen area needed a total transformation. The homeowners had an aggressive timeframe and chose to work with
Read More 19 Hits 0 Ratings
Remarkable Home Overlooking a Golf Course in Arizona Where Life Unravels Differently
Collect this idea Traditional is one way to describe this home, fabulous is another. Overlooking golf course views across the fabulous property all the way to the horizon line beyond, the elegant mansion was imagined by
Read More 21 Hits 0 Ratings
Experience Raw Nature While In Your Comfort Zone: Casa Quebrada in Chile
Collect this idea Casa Quebrada in Curacaví, Santiago de Chile was envisioned and implemented by UNarquitectura and showcases a high level of originality. Located on the creek, elevated by pillars, the uncommon retreat is
Read More 19 Hits 0 Ratings
 Asymmetric House in Canada Flaunts Surprising Design Solutions for Modern Living
Collect this idea Beautifully integrated into the neighborhood while still managing to turn heads, this contemporary asymmetric house seems guarded by two trees at the entrance. Cladded in cedar, the home showcasing a
Read More 22 Hits 0 Ratings
Bold Intervention on a Provoking Steep Site: Waiatarua House in New Zealand
Collect this idea Waiatarua House in Auckland, New Zealand was developed by Hamish Monk Architecture on a provoking steep site. One of the design challenges was to insert a bold intervention into a sensitive bush reserve
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Distinguished Pair of Homes with Contemporary Appeal Collecting UK Coastline Panoramas
Collect this idea What you are about to see in detail is an outstanding pair of homes in the city of Poole, England, United Kingdom. We’ve seen a fair share of modern English homes shining and this duo makes its clear
Read More 25 Hits 0 Ratings
The Terminators of the high seas: Lionfish's ruthless killing alarms scientists
The lionfish has proven a successful invasive species due to its venomous spikes, high rate of reproduction, and their willingness to eat everything in their path. In some places in the Atlantic Ocean, lionfish may be wiping
Read More 15 Hits 0 Ratings
NASA probe may've picked up interstellar dust bunnies
The biggest of the particles weighed only a trillionths of a gram, and it would take a trillion of them to fill an entire teaspoon. This false color image shows a diffraction pattern from the first interstellar dust candidate
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What is a red tide? 15 August 2014, 18.25 Living
What is a red tide?
Harmful algal blooms pop up nearly every summer along the nation's coasts, often turning the water an eerie red and creating problems for marine life and humans alike. We have a lot of reasons to thank algae. Running the gamut
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Whee! Whales and dolphins squeal with delight 15 August 2014, 18.25 Living
Whee! Whales and dolphins squeal with delight
Like some other animals, the aquatic creatures experience a dopamine surge to the brain after completing a task. Researchers originally thought the squealing sound was related to informing other animals that food was nearby.
Read More 11 Hits 0 Ratings
Explore the neon world of nudibranchs (Photos) 15 August 2014, 18.25 Living
Explore the neon world of nudibranchs (Photos)
If you think hummingbirds and butterflies are beautiful, then prepare to be amazed at this underwater fashion show. There are tiny jewels decorating the ocean in every part of the world. The jewels are nudibranchs, gastropod
Read More 9 Hits 0 Ratings
Flock of ancient 'butterfly-headed' pterosaurs discovered in bone bed
Based on the sediment around the bones, the winged dinosaurs thrived in an area was once a vast desert with a central oasis nestled between the sand dunes. A new species of flying reptile from the Cretaceous Era, Caiuajara
Read More 7 Hits 0 Ratings
China uses drones to police its biggest polluters
China's pollution has sparked untold numbers of innovative--and sometimes far-fetched--plans to improve air quality from smog-sucking vacuums and air-cleaning bikes to the development of a thorium nuclear reactor and more
Read More 86 Hits 0 Ratings
How to track movement without a wearable device
From smart watches and sensor-laden shirts to electronic tattoos and rings synced to smartphones, wearable technology feels ubiquitous these days. What if instead of wearable sensors that track movement and monitor your health,
Read More 115 Hits 0 Ratings
Modern Private Residence Defined by Light, Tranquility and Reflection
Collect this idea A modern private residence stands out among neighbors with enticing design lines that hint towards an upgraded comfort and relaxation level. Occupying an urban plot in Winchester, England, this new family
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Raw and Sophisticated Design for Tough Mudder’s Brooklyn Headquarters
Collect this idea Working in a modern office should induce an understanding of the brand through the surrounding design. Clients who step inside the offices should be able to describe what you do and how you do it just by
Read More 126 Hits 0 Ratings
Why Interior Design Is Essential When Listing Your Home
Collect this idea Interior design is essential when listing your home. Image Via: Margaret Donaldson Interiors The decision to list your home for resale is a big one. No doubt it came about after much thought, weighing pros
Read More 92 Hits 0 Ratings
Delightful Modern Cottage Inducing a Warm Family Atmosphere in California
Collect this idea This charming modern cottage in Healdsburg, California, shelters an inspiring collection of open spaces perfectly suited for urban living. Known as Alley One Residence, the modern home was imagined by
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Majestic Residence in South Africa Pours the Exotic Landscape Inside 
Collect this idea Eye-catching both during the night and the day, the Aloe Ridge House rises above the ground with its volumetric architecture in an attempt to dethrone the landscape. Inspirational design lines shape a
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How to Sell Your Home Quickly In a Crowded Market
Collect this idea Beautiful mediterranean white house with water view. Image Source: Vanguard Studio Next to death and divorce, selling your home is one of the most stressful times in your life. Some of us get lucky—we
Read More 111 Hits 0 Ratings
Easy-To-Use Online Calculator Helps You Decide Whether to Rent or Buy
Collect this idea Has it ever been fun to stand face to face with your future? When you find yourself in the position of deciding whether to rent or buy a home, you must take into account a wide array of elements and
Read More 148 Hits 0 Ratings
Provocative Modern Architecture Approach for Bathroom Showroom in India
Collect this idea Mumbai-based architecture practice NU.DE came up with a provocative modern concept for bathroom showroom ABC Emporio in Kannur, India. Playing with perceptions, the team envisioned a sculptural geometric
Read More 115 Hits 0 Ratings
Swedish Apartment Revealing One Cozy Corner After Another
Collect this idea Living in the center of Gothemburg, Sweden has its many perks and Scandinavian interior design is definitely one of them. Just have a look at this tastefully decorated three-room Swedish apartment in
Read More 58 Hits 0 Ratings
Meet the desert rain frog, world's cutest amphibian
Yes, adorableness is in the eye of the beholder, but this super-squeaker takes the cake. Thu, Jun 26, 2014 at 02:43 PM Mother Nature shows a quirky sense of humor with the desert rain frog. (Photo: Dean
Read More 52 Hits 0 Ratings
Disco clams! The secret behind the mollusk's flashy light show finally revealed
Unlike fireflies and plankton, this dazzling display is not due to bioluminescence. Thu, Jun 26, 2014 at 11:51 AM The wondrous disco clam's rhythmic flicker lights up the seafloor. (Photo: Lindsey Dougherty/UC
Read More 85 Hits 0 Ratings
Nearby 'super-Earth' may be capable of supporting life
The system around the star Gliese 832 seems to resemble our own, from the Earth-like planet to a gas giant similar to Jupiter. Potentially habitable super-Earth Gliese 832 c appears in an artist's conception against a
Read More 91 Hits 0 Ratings
How to spot a scorpion in the night sky 27 June 2014, 16.43 Living
How to spot a scorpion in the night sky
Not only is the constellation Scorpius a treat to behold, but it also contains some finest deep-sky objects you can see. Image: Starry Night Software Scorpius is one of the prettiest constellations in the sky, and one of the
Read More 82 Hits 0 Ratings
1 in 10 beaches in the U.S. not fit for swimming
Beaches in the Great Lakes region had the highest rate of pollution, with beaches along the Gulf Coast not far behind. The NRDC looked for contaminants like E. coli when determining the cleanliness of the country's beaches.
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Why clearing forests for farming may not solve 'hidden hunger'
In 21 African countries, children who lived near forests had more varied diets, a study by the Center for International Forestry Research finds. People in the villages surrounding Ndélélé in Cameroon cannot afford many of
Read More 83 Hits 0 Ratings
Iconic Lamp Design by Alessandro Zambelli: Woodspot
Collect this idea Alessandro Zambelli has conceived Woodspot, an iconic lamp design assembled and varnished entirely by hand for Mantua-based furnisher Seletti. Joined to the molded support are a base and a light diffuser,
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Sculptural Rotating Lounge Chair Bringing Unique Contemplation Moments
Collect this idea Imagine yourself in your favorite outdoor setting – what would you be resting on? Try the impressive Etazin Lounge Chair as a contemporary alternative that embodies function, aesthetics and high-quality
Read More 99 Hits 0 Ratings
10 Pool Maintenance Tips That You Need To Try Right Now
Collect this idea Image Via: Bravo Interior Design  The idea of having a pool in your own backyard will always be incredibly glamourous. It’s easy to give into daydreams of hosting weekend parties, adopting an
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Stylish Penthouse Overlooking Limmat Valley in Zurich
Collect this idea Design-Duo Dyer-Smith Frey envisioned a stylish penthouse located on the top floor of Hard Turm Park in the upcoming West of Zurich. This exquisite maisonette-loft (having a total surface of 120 square
Read More 94 Hits 0 Ratings
Residential Interior Showroom Evoking an Urban Feel: life.style.galleria
Collect this idea Stanley Tham and his team at KNQ Associates + Vievva Designers reveals life.style.galleria in Singapore, a residential interior showroom with a twist. Be it the tunes one streams on a music system, the art
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National Park Service bans drones (for now) 21 June 2014, 18.59 Living
National Park Service bans drones (for now)
Visitors to the 59 U.S. national parks can hike, camp and even fish. Flying drones, however, is officially on the no-no list--at least for now. The U.S. National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis signed a policy memorandum
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New York deal agreed on medical marijuana 21 June 2014, 18.59 Living
New York deal agreed on medical marijuana
New York is set to become the next state to legalize marijuana use for medical purposes after U.S. officials reached a deal with pro-marijuana legislators. On Thursday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and legislators reached an agreement
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NASA's new spacesuits are made for Mars explorers
The Z-series suits are designed to be more flexible, with a wider variety of uses than the current Extravehicular Mobility Unit suits. NASA's 'Technology' Z-2 spacesuit design is depicted here on a rocky terrain. (Image:
Read More 98 Hits 0 Ratings
NASA offers whiff of what the air smells like on Saturn's moon Titan
Ever wonder what it would be like to breath in the air from another world? NASA has managed to recreate the scent of Titan. Surface pictures of faraway worlds, such as those from Mars and the Moon, only go so far toward
Read More 98 Hits 0 Ratings
Spiders dine on fish everywhere except Antarctica
A nursery web spider will wait along a water source for a fish to brush up against its legs, and then plunge into the water to inject a toxin into the fish. An adult male of the Ancylometes genus catches a tiny ray-finned fish
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Summer is coming: Saturday is the summer solstice
The solstice won't be the warmest day of the year, however, as it takes Earth a little while to warm up. The Earth will reach one of its four major way stations Saturday, June 21, during its annual trip around the sun. The sun
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Universe's rate of expansion measured with unprecedented precision
Scientists have announced a new measurement of the expanding universe at a rate to 42 miles per second per 1 million light-years. An artist's view of how quasars and BOAs work together to measure the expansion of the universe.
Read More 105 Hits 0 Ratings
Newfound dinosaur sported 'wings' on its head
Researchers theorize that the over-sized 'wings' may have been a way for the males to attract mates. This artist reconstruction reveals the horned dinosaur Mercuriceratops Gemini, a new species of horned dinosaur that sported
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Harley-Davidson unveils its first electric motorcycle
In 1903 William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson made their first motorcycle available to public. Now, more than one hundred years later, Harley-Davidson is coming out with another first for the company, an electric motorcycle
Read More 82 Hits 0 Ratings
This new business-class only airline is cheaper than you'd think
Airlines have spent big money recently to improve seating in their premium cabins (while coach seats get smaller) because spending on premium cabins is a "disproportionate contribution" of airline revenue. A new airline
Read More 77 Hits 0 Ratings
FCC investigates Netflix speed throttling 15 June 2014, 20.24 Living
FCC investigates Netflix speed throttling
US regulators are reviewing agreements between content and Internet service providers to discover whether slow video download speeds are being enforced deliberately. The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has received
Read More 106 Hits 0 Ratings
Starbucks pledges payment of college fees for US staff
Starbucks has signed an agreement with Arizona State University to offer its workers the chance to earn online qualifications for discounted rates. The partnership will give 135,000 Starbucks employees across the United States
Read More 113 Hits 0 Ratings

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Spiritual Life Reports

When you are paralyzed into in-action 20 November 2012, 18.02 Spiritual
When you are paralyzed into in-action
How to put the dynamic of hope into action. You have the same DNA as Gandhi, Václav Havel and Goenawan Mohamad DAVID RICKEY — Hope is a great four-letter word, but it gets lost in the shuffle of our lives if it
Read More 4289 Hits 0 Ratings
To die for 09 August 2012, 15.37 Spiritual
To die for
Will Baby Boomers choose to expire in hospitals and nursing homes? Or will they take matters into their own hands? BY DAVID RICKEY —  Would you prefer to die on purpose — or with purpose? Late, great writers like Arthur
Read More 5796 Hits 1 Rating
Meditation lite 23 May 2012, 18.50 Spiritual
Meditation lite
They say that meditation is sitting on a cushion and emptying your mind. But I do mine while I’m thinking BY DAVID RICKEY  — I know it doesn’t come as a surprise to say that meditation is important for spiritual growth.
Read More 5746 Hits 0 Ratings
Can an ‘Easter moment’ cure loneliness and fear?
How would you survive the loss if your best friend, mentor or shrink were crucified? You’d have to awaken your own inner guru. DAVID RICKEY — His career was short and ended with his crucifixion. It looked like failure. What
Read More 5894 Hits 0 Ratings
Decoding codependence 20 March 2012, 01.46 Spiritual
Decoding codependence
If we are all co-dependents now, what is America’s turn-around? * BY DAVID RICKEY — Marriages, mortgages, and just-missed connections. In the annals of clinical psychology, the term “Co-Dependence” describes a
Read More 7644 Hits 0 Ratings
Haiti, consciousness and charity 20 March 2012, 01.46 Spiritual
Haiti, consciousness and charity
A psychotherapist and Episcopal priest makes healing in Haiti a life – and spiritual – mission BY DAVID RICKEY – Haiti is a fascinating place in its own right, but for me it serves as a kind of microcosm of issues that
Read More 6636 Hits 0 Ratings
What is codependence? 10 March 2012, 17.32 Spiritual
What is codependence?
If we are all co-dependents now, what is America’s turn-around? * BY DAVID RICKEY — Marriages, mortgages, and just-missed connections. In the annals of clinical psychology, the term “Co-Dependence” describes a
Read More 6402 Hits 0 Ratings
Are we All codependents now? * 07 March 2012, 16.12 Spiritual
Are we All codependents now? *
If America is the most codependent culture on the planet, what is the turn-around? BY DAVID RICKEY — Marriages, mortgages, and just-missed connections. In the annals of clinical psychology, the term “Co-Dependence”
Read More 6672 Hits 0 Ratings
We are All codependents now * 03 March 2012, 23.44 Spiritual
We are All codependents now *
If America is the most codependent culture on the planet, what is the turn-around? BY DAVID RICKEY — Marriages, mortgages, and just-missed connections. In the annals of clinical psychology, the term “Co-Dependence”
Read More 6719 Hits 0 Ratings
On Ash Wednesday: Is your life filled by Ego, or Grace?
Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down. Ashes on your forehead can begin a reorientation of your heart. BY DAVID RICKEY — In the Judeo-Christian tradition, ashes are a symbol of penitence and mortality. In the Old
Read More 6293 Hits 0 Ratings

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Confined Argentinian Home Arranged Around a Small Courtyard Illuminating Modern Spaces PDF Print E-mail

Within the confinement of a small plot, a modern home offering an open layout for enjoying both the inside and outdoors might seem close to impossible. But then again, architects have a way to visualize the given space in its completed stage and walk around construction sites like they’d walk across the finished home. This compact plot measuring 10 meters wide by 14 meters deep stands 20 meters from the property line. In the middle of such a tight space, the modern home was supposed to be basked in natural light and extend living outdoors. Spreading over just 120 square meters, the modern Argentinian house was imagined by Rosana Sdrigotti and Julio Cavallo as having a central courtyard opened to the sky.

Space efficiency was the framework used for stacking up modern design lines. Two opposing volumes generate a void shaped as a relaxing space where BBQs and lounging in the sun can become habitual activities. A minimalist budget and space confinement led to the creation of a highly functional minimalist home with flexible environments. Photographs by Federico Cairoli extend our knowledge about the home’s layout: main living space on the lower floor and private spaces above oriented north for light opposing the volume of the study space that has independent access from the east. This small courtyard allows a full transparency within the home and privacy from neighboring homes. Adorned with an existing palm tree, the compact courtyard allows for a smooth transition between outdoors and indoors.

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Interesting Architecture Duo: Modern Extension to Small Farmhouse in the Netherlands

Interesting Architecture Duo: Modern Extension to Small Farmhouse in the Netherlands

New IKEA LED Lamp For Illuminating Storage Drawers

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Family Home Developed as a “Small Village”: Arbour House in Australia

Family Home Developed as a “Small Village”: Arbour House in Australia

Redesigned Singaporean Residence With Illuminating Skylights

Redesigned Singaporean Residence With Illuminating Skylights

  Section:  Articles - File Under:  Living  |  
 
Hillside Dream Home Embedding Dramatic Panoramas Into Casual Californian Lifestyle PDF Print E-mail

Beautifully isolated to shape a luxurious environment, the Holmby Hills Residence rests on a 57,250 square feet site in Holmby Hills, Bel Air, Los Angeles, so you can see where it gets its name from. The location inspired not only its name, but its openness towards panoramic views of the Hollywood Hills beyond. Designed by London-based Quinn Architects, the luxury Californian home itself spreads over 15,250 square feet of perfectly manicured spaces. The luxurious villa built for for international property developer Estate Four as a speculative residential development can be easily seen as a hillside dream home.

The design and architecture team worked from the ground up to create a masterfully elegant home design: “A detailed soil survey was commissioned to understand the below ground condition of the hillside, which then became a catalyst for both the architectural, civil and structural design. “The Holmby Hills Residence is surrounded by luscious vegetation and showcases a basement and first floor terrace emerging from the landscape. “The entrance sequence from the street to the house itself was designed to be dramatic, with a significant motor court and powerful 20 ft high canopy above the main entrance. A descending staircase followed by an over-sized entrance door heightens the sense of arrival to the residence.The expansive first floor level gives 7,000 sq ft of living accommodation that is set around 6,500 sq ft of terrace space, that in turn hugs the edge of the 60 ft long infinity-edged pool and Jacuzzi. The terrace gives access to over 30,000 sq ft of landscaped gardens and tennis court, via a sunken gym that is surrounded by rich vegetation. A 75 ft long gallery links the primary living spaces with a private guest suite and is designed to exhibit a significant art collection.”

Designed for an art-lover, the elegantly proportioned luxury villa has plenty of display places and natural light coming from a collection of skylights, clerestory windows and full height sliding panels. Secluded and private, the beautiful residence blends the inside with the outdoors in a successful attempt to wash away any worries.

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Residential Viewing Platform Overlooking San Francisco Bay

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Modestly Sized Korean Dream Home With Dramatic Surroundings

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An Architect’s Long-Due Dream Beach House

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Inspiring Californian Residence with Luxurious Features in Los Angeles

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Embedding 3D Art in Your Home for Spectacular Visual Effects

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Smart Hillside Home Using Solar Orientation And Passive Ventilation

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  Section:  Articles - File Under:  Living  |  
 
Small Apartment in Stockholm Encapsulating A Glass-Walled Bedroom PDF Print E-mail

This small apartment in Stockhom, Sweden impressed us with its original layout and stylish decorating scheme. Discovered by Freshome on Svensk Fastighets, the 34 square-meter crib displays comfortable living spaces with a powerful aesthetic appeal. The first interior you are likely to observe upon entering this apartment is the bedroom, creatively separated from the rest of the project through glass walls. Pebbles under the bed, a giant mirror and framed graphics contribute to the Scandinavian personality of this space.

A series of accent items such as the coffee table, the candles or the fireplace give the apartment a mixed ambiance, a touch of rusticity and  traditionalism, connecting the crib with the historic character of the building. The living zone, kitchen and dining table are organized in an open layout. And when it comes to Scandinavian apartments, an irresistible terrace is a must. In this case, the small balcony extends living spaces, creating a charming venue for having coffee and breakfast during warm summer mornings.

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Sleek and Functional Two Bedroom Apartment Showcasing Family Scandinavian Design 

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Charming Penthouse in Stockholm Generating a Cozy Atmosphere

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Urban Terrace Larger Than The Compact Penthouse Apartment

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Light and Airy Stockholm Apartment with Quiet Surroundings

Light and Airy Stockholm Apartment with Quiet Surroundings

Coziness and Good Taste Showcased by 7-Room Stockholm Duplex

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10 Exterior Design Lessons That Everyone Should Know PDF Print E-mail

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There are some basic exterior design lessons that everyone should know about. Image Source: Cardello Architects

While we all want a spectacular home that stands out amongst the rest; we also want a home that blends with its surroundings and neighborhood.

Designing the exterior of a home can be a complicated process of color choices, materials, balancing shape and lines— it is not a job for novice designers.

Do you ever wonder what makes a home exterior visually appealing? Why are there certain homes on the street that make you stop in your tracks and gawk in awe of its beauty?  It is more than likely that those jaw-dropping homes have followed some key design principles.  Yes, every design, interior or exterior, needs to follow some simple “rules” of design in order for the final outcome to be visually appealing.

Let’s look at 10 basic exterior design principles that will help make your home a haven:

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stone home 10 Exterior Design Lessons That Everyone Should Know

Follow these  basic design principles to achieve an amazing home exterior. Image Source: Vanbrouck

1) Balancing Shapes With Symmetry

Like in all types of design, balance and symmetry play an important role in achieving a well-designed space. The facade of every home needs some semblance of balance and symmetry in order to appear pleasing to the eye and properly designed.

Whether it is the eye-catching appeal of a symmetrical Georgian home, where the door is centered and the windows equally flank either side, or a home where the balance is achieved through pointed roof lines or dormers that are equally placed among the exterior.

There are numerous ways to achieve a proportional home exterior—some through obvious symmetry, while others are not as apparent. Either way, a properly designed home has  an exterior that is proportional and balanced.

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A home exterior should be properly balanced. Image Source: Highmark-Builders

2) Form Follows Function

Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright’s mentor, coined the phrase, form follows function. Essentially, this means that the purpose of the building should be the starting point of the design.

What is the purpose of your home? What do you plan to use your home for? Consider all your families needs and then decide what is required in your home in order to accommodate those needs.

The exterior of your home will mimic the form of the interior designs that you have chosen. Maybe you are an artist who chose large windows because you need natural lighting to paint/create. Maybe you needed a granny suite over the garage, so the exterior of the home has a dormer in order to make the window in that room look balanced. Always remember that your interior design affects the exterior one, as well.

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white house 10 Exterior Design Lessons That Everyone Should Know

The form of your interior design will always drive the exterior design. Image Source: Avalon CBG

 3) House Materials and Textures

With the plethora of options, it is very difficult to decide what materials we should use on our home exterior. Between cedar shingles, vinyl siding, aluminum, brick, wood, stucco, steel…how do we choose?

It is best to balance durability with aesthetics. Of course, you want the exterior of your home to reflect your personal style— are you a country guy/girl? Then you may want tumbled stone and cedar shingles. Are you a modern minimalist? Then you may prefer the lines of sleek steel or simple wood panels.

In order to avoid costly mistakes, it is always best to consult with a skilled design architect. There are also a lot of online visual tools that can help you see what your material choices will look like before you make that final financial investment.

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stone mediteranean 10 Exterior Design Lessons That Everyone Should Know

This house is a nice mix of stone, stucco, roof tiles and wrought iron. Image Source: Steigerwald-Dougherty

4) Exterior Color Combinations

Oh, the cornucopia of color choices! How do you decide what is the right color for your home exterior? Do you go bold or basic? As in all decorating, color choice is vital—it can hide flaws or when done poorly, draw attention to flaws.

Sherwin Williams suggest that a safe and effective approach to color placement is to select two tints or shades from the same color strip a few shades apart. Either the lighter or the darker shade could be used for the body and the opposite for the trim. The a third contrasting accent color could punctuate the door.

Color can play up so many features of your home exterior. Paint your front porch a bright fresh white to draw the eye to the cozy entrance, or make your too-tall home look shorter with a dark color on top and a lighter color on bottom. The ways that color can trick the eye and play up the positive are endless!

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Try choosing 3 colors or shades for your home exterior. Image Source: Sortun-Vos

5) How to Choose the Right Roof

A durable roof is imperative—choosing a roof for your home is more than just deciding upon color and aesthetics.

There are so many building options, with varying costs and life-expectancies.  Material like slate and tile may seem ideal but remember that they are very heavy, so be sure your home can carry the load.  Asphalt shingles seem to be most prevalent due to their lower cost and easy install. Surprisingly, wood is also a viable option with the same life expectancy ( 25 years) as asphalt shingles. Slate and metal are costly and heavy options, but may work for some designs.

While there are numerous choices, they do not all work within budgets and home design. Always consider cost, durability, weight, and what suits your homes style best.

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metal roof 10 Exterior Design Lessons That Everyone Should Know

Deciding upon roofing materials and color can be difficult. Image Source: Design Guild Homes

6) How to Choose Your Garage Doors

One may not think of a garage door as part of our homes style statement—but they would be wrong.  Door manufacturer, Wayne Dalton, suggests that buyers go through their online tutorial before choosing a garage door for their home.

Aside from design style, you need to gain knowledge in the doors insulating properties, safety features, material durability spring designs, warranties and cost.

Once you are past the nitty gritty of mechanics, then you can have fun deciding upon the style that best suits your home design.  Whether it’s a clean, classic  steel door or a cozy carriage house design—the options are endless.

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garage doors 10 Exterior Design Lessons That Everyone Should Know

Garage doors are a balance of form and function for the home exterior. Image Source: Witt Construction

7) What Windows Look Best

Just like garage doors, your homes windows are much more than functionality—windows are like the soul of your home, shining light onto all the moments shared within those four walls.  We can offer you numerous tips in choosing the right window style for your home.

First and foremost, the windows you choose need to be durable. Secondly, your windows should reflect your homes character. Modern homes look best with large expanses of  floor-to-ceiling windows, while a traditional home may look best with symmetrically placed, white-paned, rectangular windows.

Other factors to consider are: UV rating, privacy, proper ventilation, ease of cleaning and outdoor views. Consider all your options in order to open the soul of your home with durable and aesthetically appealing windows.

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exterior windows 10 Exterior Design Lessons That Everyone Should Know

Windows look into the soul of your home. Image Source: DJ Architects

8) Design An Amazing Entryway

The most common question: What color should I paint my front door? As we touched upon above in the section titled, Color Combinations, choosing 2 shades or tints  from the same color strip is best for the main exterior trim and siding colors. Then a third color should be chosen for the front door.

You can go bold by adding a contrasting color that is opposite on the color wheel of your trim and siding colors, or you can choose a third lighter/darker shade that mimics the trim and siding.  In order to make your entry stand out , it is best to choose a darker or bolder shade than the rest of your home.

Aside from color, there are a lot of other features that can freshen up your entryway and speak to your homes style—lighting, plants, door knobs, door knocker, door kick plates, rugs, and porch seating all add to the  overall appeal of your homes entry.

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Make your entryway amazing with pops of color and plants. Image Source: Dennis Allen Associates

9) Landscaping Is Essential

Landscaping your home involves much more than simply plunking a tree in your front yard.  Most often it is well-placed plants that add that jaw-dropping appeal to a home, making it stand out amongst the rest in the neighborhood.

It is difficult to know what plants to choose for your landscape, so we suggest researching local soils and native plants. Greenhouse staff are usually very knowledgeable in plant species; they know what works best locally, and they can even draft a landscape plan for your yard.

Get your green-thumb on and start planning your lush landscape today. Remember it takes time for plants to establish and fill in, so patience is a must. The sooner you begin, the better.

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landscaping 10 Exterior Design Lessons That Everyone Should Know

Landscaping is the final decorating touch for your home exterior. Image Source: Princetonscapes

10) Light Up Your Home

Don’t let your home fade into the darkness. Proper lighting is paramount for home safety and nighttime appeal. Aside from the obvious light fixtures that straddle your doorways and garage doors, there are other outdoor lights that should be placed around your home.

Choose lights that mimic your homes style. Traditional homes look great with lantern-style chandeliers hanging over a covered entryway, or flanking the garage.  Angular steel lights add appeal to the entryway of modern homes. Then you must consider what other features of your home could use some nighttime light.

The picture below  shows a well-lit home; there are lights on the rise of the stone steps that leads to the entry (adding a nice safety feature and visual appeal), pot lights under all the roof lines and lanterns flanking the garage.

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exterior lighting 10 Exterior Design Lessons That Everyone Should Know

Light up the night with exterior lighting for your home. Image Source: Stonewood

While the design of your home exterior is a complicated process that is fraught with decisions and choices, do not give up—a well-designed home CAN be achieved with patience and a little help. During the design process, we suggest that you follow all 10 tips offered here with regard to color, materials, form & function, balance & symmetry, lighting, doors, landscaping, windows and roofing.

Remember that there are a lot of online tools available that can show you a virtual picture of what your design could look like—it’s always best to see it and love it before you make the final financial investment.

What exterior materials are your favorite? Do you have any unique materials incorporated into your home exterior?

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Seattle’s First Certified Passive House: Modern Family Home Marrying Luxury and Sustainability PDF Print E-mail

What you are about to visualize is the architecture and interior design of one of Washington State’s most energy efficient homes. Occupying 252 square meters in Seattle’s Madison Park neighborhood, the home that came to be know as Park Passive House was designed by Marie Ljubojevic and Lauren McCunney of NK Architects and built by Sloan Ritchie of Cascade Built. Showcasing an eye-catching facade, the geometric house spreading over 2,710 square feet cleverly hides its eco-friendliness behind a modern luxury appearance.

Although occupying a compact urban infill lot (just 2,000 square feet), the passive house shelters owners in a collection of spaces where the average indoor air temperature of 70 degrees is easily maintained by “opening and closing its Intus high performance windows and doors in summer and using the heat recovery ventilator when it’s colder.” Thanks to photographer Aaron Leitz, details shaping this modern home in Seattle offer inspiration and an infectious joyfulness. Seattle’s first certified Passive House has 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms and a day lit open stairwell with punctuated views to the street as its spine. Encouraging vertical living, this light-flooded urban family home  is a heaven for its four members.

According to the architects, other media helped this house become a dream home: ” a salvaged site tree was used for stair treads, wall paneling, and a live-edge bathroom counter top. Other sustainable features include heat pump hot water, zero VOC finishes, a heat recovery ventilator, high performance windows, 16-inches of insulation in the walls and 20+ inches in the lid, and wiring for solar. Luxurious aspects include a Liebherr refrigerator, induction cook top, custom cabinetry, Teregren bamboo strand flooring, and a roof deck with panoramic views of the lake and nearby mountains.”

Apparently, “Park Passive demonstrates that luxury and sustainability can co-exist.”

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Young coral won't move into smelly ocean neighborhoods PDF Print E-mail

Deciding where to live is important for the continuation of marine species, and coral and fish have evolved so that they can identify polluted areas.

Corals thrive in the marine protected area of Votua Village in Fiji, a protected area used in a study to determine where marine life decides to live. (Photo: João Krajewski)

Young corals and fish in the Pacific Ocean can smell a bad neighborhood. When looking for a place to settle down, these animals use chemical cues to avoid reefs that are littered with seaweed and flock to healthy habitats instead, according to a new study.
Scientists have seen corals decline around the world over the past several decades, and the new findings help explain why some reefs aren't recovering or recruiting new corals, despite conservation efforts.
Fiji's "Coral Coast" might be an ideal lab to look at the difference between bad underwater neighborhoods and good ones. [Photos: Underwater Google Street View Reveals Stunning Corals]

"The reefs in Fiji have such a stark contrast between the healthy areas and the degraded areas," said Danielle Dixson, an assistant professor of biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, who led the study.

Dixson and colleagues studied the waters off of three villages along the southern side of Fiji's main island, Viti Levu, which each managed a small marine protected area, or MPA, next to another area where fishing was allowed. Each MPA was a little less than a square kilometer in size (about 0.3 square miles) and had someone on patrol to enforce no-fishing laws 24 hours a day, Dixson told LiveScience. Life thrives inside the MPAs, but the nonprotected areas often lack the large populations of herbivores, such as parrotfish, which would normally trim the seaweed from corals and keep them healthy, Dixson explained.

"If you're snorkeling on those reefs, it's almost like you can see where the line of protection stops," Dixson said.

Snorkelers and scientists aren't the only ones who are able to notice the difference; fish and corals can sense it, too, even in a lab setting.

Dixson and colleagues collected 15 different species of fish — 20 specimens of each — from both the healthy, protected areas and the degraded, nonprotected areas. The team set up a tank that had one plume of water from the healthy habitat and another plume from the degraded habitat. Given a choice, the fish consistently preferred to swim in streams of water from the healthy habitats, even if they had grown accustomed to swimming in a degraded, seaweed-choked habitat in the wild.

The same was true for coral larvae. Before they settle on a reef and morph into hardened polyps, coral larvae look like free-floating, popcorn-shaped blobs covered in hairlike cilia. They can't see or swim, but they can decipher chemical cues in their surroundings and control when they settle down.

"Settlement selection is one of their most important decisions, and it really dictates whether they'll live or die," Dixson said.

When dropped into the same two-flume tank, coral larvae overwhelmingly chose to swim in the water from healthy areas, the researchers found.

"Seaweed has practically become synonymous with the degradation of coral reefs globally," Bob Steneck, a professor in the School of Marine Sciences at the University of Maine, who was not involved in the study, told LiveScience. "This is a very elegant experiment suggesting that the larval coral and the fish are choosing not to be in a harmful environment. It makes perfectly good evolutionary sense."

Dixson and colleagues also showed that coral have very nuanced preferences for the surfaces they choose to call home. In the field, the researchers put raised, square tiles in both the protected and nonprotected habitats. They found that in the nonprotected areas, the corals tended to settle on the artificial tiles, a sign that the animals were avoiding the seaweed-strangled natural reef. But the tiles in the protected areas remained coral free, indicating the corals were joining the rest of the coral colony, the researchers found. [In Photos: Bizarre-Looking Reef Fish]
When sniffing out a potential home, fish and corals can even smell which kinds of corals and seaweed are already living there. The researchers found that the creatures were more attracted to water from degraded habitats if an Acropora coral had been soaked in the tank before the experiment.
Acropora corals are very sensitive to changes in temperature. They're usually the first to get eaten when crown-of-thorns starfish invade a reef, and they're vulnerable to bleaching, a phenomenon in which corals kick out the tiny symbiotic algae that provide them with food. Because of their vulnerability, these corals can only thrive in the healthiest reefs, and the coral larvae and fish seemed to sense that.

"That's a very a surprising result," Steneck said. "I take graduate students down to the Caribbean every year, and most of them can't identify coral species as well as coral larvae can."

The researchers also found that the fish and baby corals were less attracted to water that had been imbued with chemical cues from the common seaweed Sargassum polycystum, which blooms and can take over a reef.

The findings, published in the journal Science on Aug. 21, suggest conservation efforts that involve removing harmful seaweed from reefs might be most effective at boosting healthy coral populations.

Follow Megan Gannon on Twitter and Google+. Follow us @livescienceFacebookGoogle+. Original article on LiveScience.

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The surprising reason hummingbirds love sweet stuff PDF Print E-mail

Scientists want to know why hummingbirds have kept their sweet receptors when the rest of their winged cousins have lost them.

Hummingbirds are constantly wavering between a sugar rush and starvation, and to find stability, these hyperactive creatures often consume more than their body weight in food each day. (Photo: likeaduck/Flickr)

Nectar-slurping hummingbirds clearly ­have a taste for sweets — but they shouldn't. Like all other birds, they lack sweet-taste receptors on their palates and long tongues, so in theory, they should be immune to the temptations of sugary foods.
However, new research reveals why hummingbirds feast freely on nectar: At some point in their evolution, the birds transformed a taste receptor that's typically used to detect savory or umami flavors into one that's used to taste sweets instead.
Hummingbirds are constantly wavering between a sugar rush and starvation. Their metabolisms are hyperactive, their hearts can beat 20 times a second, and they often need to eat more than their body weight in food each day to stay alive. [Images: Beautiful Hummingbirds of the World]
The small birds eat the occasional insect, but they largely subsist on nectar from flowers, which is not a typical source of food for most other birds. As a result, hummingbirds have been able to carve out a distinct environmental niche. The birds can now be found throughout North and South America, in habitats ranging from high-altitude mountains in the Andes to tropical rainforests, and they're quite diverse. They have split into more than 300 species in the estimated 42 million years since they parted from their closest relative, the insect-eating swift.

Scientists have been puzzled by the fact that hummingbirds maintain such a sugary diet without a sweet-taste receptor. For most mammals, the sweet-taste receptor that responds to sugars in plant-based carbohydrates is made up of two proteins: T1R2 and T1R3. The taste receptor that detects savory, or umami, flavors found in meat and mushrooms is made up of the proteins T1R1 and T1R3.

But after the chicken genome was sequenced in 2004, researchers noticed the birds lacked the gene that encodes T1R2, a crucial component of the sweet-taste receptor. This same pattern was seen in other bird genomes.

"If a species is missing one of those two parts, then the species can't taste sweet at all," said Maude Baldwin, a doctoral student of evolutionary biology at Harvard University and one of the researchers on the study.

When scientists sequenced the genomes of cats, lions, tigers and cheetahs — true carnivores that also don't have a taste for sweets — they found these species still have a nonfunctional "pseudogene" (a nonfunctional gene that's lost its protein-coding powers) for the sweet-taste receptor. But in bird genomes, scientists never even found a trace of a pseudogene for a sweet tooth, Baldwin told LiveScience.
To figure out what made hummingbirds like sweets despite their lack of the sweet-taste receptor, Baldwin and colleagues cloned the genes for the T1R1-T1R3 taste receptors from omnivorous chickens, insectivorous swifts and nectivorous hummingbirds. The researchers then tested how the taste-receptor proteins produced by these genes reacted to different "flavors" in a cell culture.

For chickens and swifts, the receptor had a strong reaction to the amino acids behind umami flavors. The hummingbird receptor, on the other hand, was only weakly stimulated by umami flavors, but it did responded strongly to the sweet flavors of carbs, the researchers found.

Then, to look for the molecular basis for this change in function, Baldwin and colleagues made taste-receptor hybrids using different parts of the chicken and hummingbird receptors. They found that by mutating the chicken receptor in 19 different places, they could get it to respond to sweets, but the researchers suspect there are more mutations that contributed to the change in hummingbirds.

Further research could eventually show where this change for hummingbirds arose in the evolutionary process — and how other nectivores like orioles and honeyeaters developed a taste for sweets. It's still not clear why birds lost their sweet receptor in the first place, but perhaps it was due to the loss of sweets in their diet.

"Birds are the descendants of carnivorous dinosaurs, so maybe this gene was lost early on because of the diet of their ancestors," Baldwin said. "That would be very cool, but we're still not sure."

The findings were detailed on Aug. 21 in the journal Science.

Follow Megan Gannon on Twitter and Google+. Follow us @livescienceFacebookGoogle+. Original article on LiveScience.

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How to see the Milky Way in the summer night sky PDF Print E-mail

You'll need a clear and moonless sky away from the lights of nearby cities to catch even a glimpse of our home galaxy.

The Milky Way shines over the Bumpass Hell parking area in Lassen Volcanic National Park on Aug. 2 in California. (Photo: LassenNPS/Flickr)

Late summer is one of the best times of year to view the full splendor of our galaxy, the Milky Way.
The Milky Way used to be visible on every clear, moonless night, everywhere in the world. Today, however, most people live in places where it's impossible to see the Milky Way because of widespread light pollution caused by lights left on all night long. Seeing the Milky Way requires a special effort for most people, but it's well worth the trouble.
To see the Milky Way, you'll need to travel far from any city, to a wilderness area. Even in rural farming country, there are still a lot of bright lighting fixtures that wipe out the night sky. (I'm lucky; I live on a farm where my nearest neighbors are about half a mile away. And they don't have any bright lights in their yards, so I can see the Milky Way on any clear and moonless night.) [Stunning Photos of the Milky Way]

"Clear and moonless" are the key words here. Because of widespread air pollution, our skies are not as clear as they used to be. In particular, jet planes deposit water vapor into the sky, which serves to condense natural moisture, resulting in a haze that blocks the faintest stars. Some nights out here in the country, I can't see any more stars than I used to see 20 years ago, when I lived in a city.

The clearest skies appear just after a cold front passes through. Even then, you need to spend some time under a dark sky before your eyes become fully adapted to the darkness. It takes about 20 minutes for human eyes to become fully sensitive to faint light.

What does the Milky Way look like? Not like any of the photographs you see online, because those are made with cameras that accumulate light in ways the human eye cannot. What you will see is a faint, whitish glow, stretching in a huge arc from the southern to northeastern horizon. It has a mottled effect, kind of like a fluffy cloud. There are brighter areas, especially down toward the core of the galaxy in the southern part of the sky. There are also darker patches, where nearby clouds of interstellar dust block the light from beyond.
The most obvious of these dark nebulas is the Northern Coalsack, just below and to the right of the bright star Deneb in the constellation Cygnus. Just below Deneb is one of the brightest parts of the northern Milky Way, worth examining with binoculars. This is the North America Nebula, famous in pictures for its resemblance to the continent of North America. Under a very dark sky with binoculars, you may be able to see the "coast of California."

Milky Way arches across the sky from northeast to south in this sky guide

Around 10:30 p.m. on a late summer night, the Milky Way arches across the sky from northeast to south. (Image: Starry Night Software)

One thing you won't see in the Milky Way, either in binoculars or with the naked eye, is any color. Photographs register the reddish glow of hydrogen gas, but the light is too faint to trigger the color receptors in the human eye, so all you'll see are shades of gray.

In the northern range of the Milky Way's arc, you'll see the constellations Cassiopeia and Perseus. When you look in that direction, you're looking outward from the spot within the wheel of the Milky Way toward its outer edge, and the stars are far less dense than when you look inward toward Sagittarius.

On a clear dark night, it's easy to see the grand sweep of the Milky Way galaxy, and to picture Earth's tiny island of life within its grand architecture.
This article was provided to Space.com by Simulation Curriculum, the leader in space science curriculum solutions and the makers of Starry Night and SkySafari. Follow Starry Night on Twitter @StarryNightEdu. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Originally published on SPACE.com.

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Is heat trapped in the ocean responsible for the global warming 'pause'? PDF Print E-mail

A new study puts a lot of the focus on the Atlantic Ocean, but some scientists remain convinced that the Pacific has played a larger role.

Where, oh where, is the planet's missing heat?
In 1999, the feverish rise in Earth's surface temperatures suddenly slowed, even as greenhouse gas emissions escalated. This unexpected slowdown has been called a global warming hiatus or global warming pause. Most climate scientists don't think this hiatus means global warming went kaput, but the reason (or reasons) for the slowdown has scientists flummoxed. Researchers have offered more than two dozen ideas to explain the missing heat.

Now, a study published on Aug. 21 in the journal Science suggests a natural climate cycle in the North Atlantic Ocean gobbled Earth's extra heat. While the study is unlikely to settle the scientific debate, it does support the idea that Earth's global warming continues in the ocean, even when air temperatures stay flat.

"It's important to distinguish between whether ocean heat storage is responsible for the hiatus versus not enough heat reaching the surface of the Earth," said study co-author Ka-Kit Tung, of the University of Washington in Seattle. "We did find enough heat stored in the North and South Atlantic that, if it had remained on the surface, it would have resulted in rapid warming." [Infographic: Earth's Tallest Mountain to Deepest Ocean Trench]

Global storage closet

Scientists have blamed the oceans for the global warming pause before, but they pointed their fingers at the Pacific, not the Atlantic. However, in seeking to test this idea with temperature data, oceanographer Xianyao Chen, of the Ocean University of China in Qingdao, and Tung, an atmospheric scientist, said they couldn't find the missing heat in Pacific Ocean temperature measurements.

"If these models are true, we should be able to find the missing heat, and under the Pacific we couldn't find enough heat to explain the hiatus," Tung told LiveScience.

Tung and Chen then searched ocean by ocean until they hit on the North Atlantic, where the heat was playing hooky. The pair primarily relied on Argo floats, which record ocean temperature and salt content down to 6,560 feet (2,000 meters). These worldwide floats reached their most comprehensive levels beginning about 2005. Other records from floats, ships and buoys filled in the timeline since 1970.

But the millions of data points don't conclusively prove that the North Atlantic Ocean is devouring heat. "Unfortunately, the massive array of ocean temperature measurements by Argo floats has only been made after the early 2000s, just when the present hiatus in surface warming was starting," said Matthew England, a climate scientist at the University of New South Wales in Australia, who was not involved in the study. "So being conclusive about each ocean basin is limited by data availability."

Tung and Chen noticed that the North Atlantic's heat content (a measure of stored energy) shifted in 1999, about when the hiatus began. The ocean started absorbing heat at depths below 984 feet (300 m). (The South Atlantic Ocean also took up some heat.) These regions stored more heat energy than the rest of the world's oceans combined, even the enormous Pacific Ocean, the researchers' temperature data show.

A grpah that charts global and ocean temperatures

Top: Global average temperatures. Middle: Heat content measured in the North Atlantic Ocean. Bottom: Seawater salinity in the North Atlantic Ocean since 1950. (Image: K. Tung/University of Washington)

Small basin, big effect

So how does the Atlantic cool an entire planet? The likely culprit is a natural climate cycle linked to the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) current, Tung said. The AMOC is part of a worldwide ocean conveyor belt. Here's how the AMOC works: In the North Atlantic, salty tropical water flowing north cools off and sinks. This water, dense because it is cool and salty, heads south toward the equator, then eventually rises again in the South Atlantic. When the water sinks, it traps heat in the ocean depths. Ocean surface temperatures drive the current: fast when cold, slow when warm. [Images: The World's Biggest Oceans and Seas]

Between 1945 and 1975, the cycle was in a cool phase, sucking up atmospheric heat at a rapid pace. Toward the end of this cycle, in the 1970s, scientists noticed a suspected "global cooling" that was touted as the beginning of a possible Ice Age. But then the AMOC flipped to warming, corresponding to the rapid uptick in global temperatures. Finally, in 1999, the current switched back to a cold, speedy plunge into the ocean depths, taking extra heat along with it. 

Such natural cycles make global warming look more like a staircase than a steady rise in temperatures, Tung said. "Right now, we're on the flat part of the staircase. We still have a few more years of the hiatus."

However, others scientists remain convinced the Pacific plays an important role in the global warming hiatus. Several recent studies affirm the link between the pause and the changes in the Pacific. An Aug. 3 study in the journal Nature Climate Change found that faster trade winds over the Pacific bring up cold water and cool the atmosphere. An Aug. 17 study, also in Nature Climate Change, suggested the Pacific Decadal Oscillation climate cycle might be responsible for the hiatus. That cycle flips every 20 to 30 years.

"I still think the Pacific Ocean is playing the lead role in this ocean heat uptake, but this study is important as it points to an additional role from the Atlantic and Southern Oceans," said England, who co-authored the Aug. 3 Nature Climate Change study.

Email Becky Oskin or follow her @beckyoskin. Follow us @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on LiveScience.

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This story was originally written for LiveScience and was republished with permission here. Copyright 2014 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company.
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