Architecture: ‘Horizon House’ – Catalonia, Spain

Olot (Catalonia, Spain, population 34,000), an old town in the midst of the Pyrenees’ foothills, is well known for its forested volcanoes, country estates (“masías”) & evergreen pastures, but when Fina Puigdevall talked to her former classmate Carme Pigem about revamping her restaurant Les Cols plus building her new house, neither of them could have imagined that, later on, the former would become a celebrated Michelin-starred chef, and the latter a Pritzker-prize-awarded architect.

Puigdevall grew up in Les Cols, her family’s 15th century masia. In 1990, in an attempt to save it from development, she opened a restaurant in the former stables downstairs. With no formal culinary training, she worked her way to two Michelin stars by 2010 (which she has held since). In 2000, she hired Pigem and RCR architects to open up the space to the outdoors: they designed a light/water cube in the kitchen and a huge glass wall framing the apple orchard and chicken run.

The result is a dining experience that feels immersed in the outdoors. When Puigdevall wanted to expand her own home – a former mill straddling a creek – to accommodate her husband and three daughters, RCR Architects told her they wouldn’t touch the original structure, but proposed something completely new in the middle of the former corn fields. What they dubbed “Horizon House” is a corten steel structure carved into the hill. Large walls of glass can be opened to allow the fields – now planted with native crops like buckwheat- to enter the home.


Poetic Travel: ‘Santorini – Cyclades Islands’ (Video)

Film & Edit: Carsan Choong

Santorini is one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea. It was devastated by a volcanic eruption in the 16th century BC, forever shaping its rugged landscape. The whitewashed, cubiform houses of its 2 principal towns, Fira and Oia, cling to cliffs above an underwater caldera (crater). They overlook the sea, small islands to the west and beaches made up of black, red and white lava pebbles.

Top HIkes: ‘Devil’s Garden Trail’ – Arches National Park In Utah (4K Video)

Devils Garden Trail at Arches National Park is considered by many fans to be their favorite trail in the Park. View 7 Arches in this 7.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail. The Park rates the trail as difficult.

Arches National Park lies north of Moab in the state of Utah. Bordered by the Colorado River in the southeast, it’s known as the site of more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches, such as the massive, red-hued Delicate Arch in the east. Long, thin Landscape Arch stands in Devils Garden to the north. Other geological formations include Balanced Rock, towering over the desert landscape in the middle of the park.

Analysis: Multiresistant Bacteria That Outsmart Antibiotics (Video)

Antimicrobial resistance is one of the greatest medical challenges of our time. Among the causes are industrial livestock farming, poor hygiene in hospitals, and the misuse of antibiotics. This documentary looks at approaches to fighting multiresistant strains of bacteria.

Each year 33,000 people in Europe die after becoming infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Hygiene specialist Dr. Ron Hendrix has been working for years to prevent outbreaks of infectious disease in hospitals. Dr. Hendrix says that he and other experts in the Netherlands recognized early on that they’d have to fight the spread of bacteria just as actively as they would the actual infection.

Hendrix has convinced a number of German hospitals to re-open their diagnostic laboratories, as well. In the early 2000s, many of these labs had been shut down as a cost-cutting measure. And farmers in Denmark voluntarily chose to sharply reduce their use of antibiotics, after evidence showed that intensive livestock farming caused multiresistant bacteria to multiply.

Infectious disease specialist Dr. Patrick Soentjens was able to convince Belgium’s health ministry to allow the use of “phages” to treat stubborn antimicrobial resistant pathogens. Phages are special viruses that kill bacteria. Dr. Soentjens is certain that this well-known, but largely forgotten option could save many lives. Belgium has become the first western European country where phages have been officially recognized as a legitimate medical treatment.

Europe: An Economic History Of Iceland (Video)

Iceland’s Economy had a banking debt ten times larger than its GDP. Iceland was that one Economy which went left when everybody else went right. Whilst most thought the banks were too big to fail, Iceland thought they were too big to save. It let its largest banks go bankrupt and threw dozens of bankers in jail. And yet despite its unusual approach, its Economy recovered. Going on to enjoy a decade of unbroken economic growth and high standard of living. But why did an island just outside the arctic circle have a financial crisis? What strategies did it deploy to rack up such monumental debts? How did it recover? And does its future rely on impressive tourist growth and crypto currencies?

Walks: ‘Tübingen’ In Southwest Germany

Tübingen is a city in southwest Germany and home to one of Europe’s oldest universities. In the old town, Stiftskirche St. Georg is a late-Gothic church with stained-glass windows and city views from its tower. The ornately painted 15th-century City Hall is topped with a functioning astronomical clock. Hilltop Hohentübingen Castle is home to the Museum of Ancient Cultures, with Greek, Roman and Egyptian artifacts. 

Aerial Views: ‘Sacramento – California’ (4K Video)

Sacramento, capital of the U.S. state of California, lies at the confluence of the Sacramento River and American River. The district of Old Sacramento harkens back to the city’s Gold Rush era, with wooden sidewalks and wagon rides. One of several museums in Old Sacramento, the California State Railroad Museum depicts the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, one of the country’s earliest technological feats.

Innovation: Diamonds Made From CO2 Emissions

A UK company named Skydiamond hopes to revolutionize the traditional diamond mining industry by using carbon capture technology to do just that. The company calls it a ‘zero-impact diamond’ because the process pulls carbon dioxide right out of the air.

Although, a diamond traps only a modest amount of carbon — one carat contains just 200 milligrams. Pure carbon can take many forms — it all depends on how the atoms are arranged. Graphite is arranged into multiple layers, graphene in a single layer, and if it’s rolled-up, it forms carbon nanotubes. But when each carbon forms 4 strong bonds in a tetrahedral structure, it becomes a diamond.

Most natural diamonds were formed over a billion years ago, more than 120 kilometers beneath the Earth’s surface. This is where intense temperature and pressure cause carbon atoms to strongly bond together and arrange into crystal structures. Volcanic eruptions bring these crystals embedded in magma to the surface. When the magma cools, it hardens in long vertical shafts called kimberlite pipes. And these pipes are what’s sought after in the mining industry.