Travel: The Historic Trans-Bhutan Trail Is Reopened

BBC News (March 14, 2023) – Once the lifeline of Bhutan, the 403km Trans-Bhutan Trail connected the affluent western districts of Haa to the remote far eastern Trashigang. The trail dates back to the 16th Century, and was used by monarchs, traders, pilgrims and messengers for hundreds of years, but fell into disuse soon after Bhutan developed its highway in the 1960s. Now, more than 60 years later, the historic trail has reopened.

Trans Bhutan Trail
A local walks in a field in Paro; 70 percent of the kingdom is covered with greenery.

READ MORE

Books: Literary Review Of Canada – April 2023 Issue

A Series Interrupted | Literary Review of Canada

Literary Review of Canada – April 2023:

Crisis Mismanagement: Homelessness in our largest city

Displacement City: Fighting for Health and Homes in a Pandemic‘ Edited by Greg Cook and Cathy Crowe

Canada’s major cities have faced the humanitarian disaster of homelessness for decades, but the COVID-19 pandemic laid bare a massive deficit in social programs and widespread inattention to human rights. Are municipal public services designed to essentially produce displacement? Or can we do something to end the growing problem of urban homelessness in Canada?

Left Behind – Maybe we’re just not that into them

‘From Layton to Singh: The 20-Year Conflict behind the NDP’s Deal with the Trudeau Liberals’ by Matt Fodor

“As it entered the twenty-first century, the New Democratic Party of Canada ( NDP) faced its greatest identity crisis since its founding four decades earlier,” writes Toronto-based author and political scientist Matt Fodor, in his recent book From Layton to Singh.

Science Review: Scientific American – April 2023 Issue

Image

Scientific American – April 2023 Issue:

Quantum Physics Falls Apart without Imaginary Numbers

Imaginary numbers—the square roots of negative numbers—are an inescapable part of quantum theory, a study shows

Fixing the Hated Open-Design Office

Fixing the Hated Open-Design Office
An early open-plan office, designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright for the S. C. Johnson company in the 1930s, was intended to boost productivity.

Open-office designs create productivity and health problems. New insights from Deaf and autistic communities could fix them

No One Knows How the Biggest Animals on Earth—Baleen Whales—Find Their Food

How do giant filter-feeding whales find their tiny prey? The answer could be key to saving endangered species

Concrete Design: Ground House – New South Wales

The Local Project (March 14, 2023) – Inspired by jungle living and the whimsical idea of a spaceship crash landing into the landscape, Ground House 107R by David Fewson is a structure unlike any other. Beginning as a joint family effort, the guesthouse is complete with thoughtful design, build, furniture and artwork choices.

Video timeline: 00:00 – Introduction to the Concrete Bunker Home 00:43 – The Location 01:16 – Ground House Space Station: A Vision 01:34 – A Collaboration of Friends 01:53 – The Layout 02:24 – Ground House’s Space-Inspired Bedroom 02:47 – Ground House’s Ship Lighting 03:13 – The Gift of Natural Light 03:47 – Materials Used Throughout 03:55 – Ground House Spaceship Control Panel: Kitchen 04:09 – Ground House Crash Aftermath: Landscape 04:59 – The Collaborative and Fun Process

The building is a precisely curated space in which one can find respite from urban living. With its charming jungle living experience, Ground House 107R sits on a section of undulating land surrounded by rainforest and is covered in a myriad of flora that helps it to disappear further into the land. Starting from approach, the home’s calming yet magical ambience is first seen as it emerges over the ridge.

First appearing as a brutalist compound of concrete, the guesthouse is softened by foliage that cascades over the sides of it like a form of art. Organic in its design, the structure features a bedroom, kitchen, living space and bathroom. As the house tour leads around the space, the open plan layout allows for an effortless flow to the outdoors and enforces the feeling of jungle living. In the bathroom, the view through the windowed wall offers a unique view of the home’s material make up.

Additionally, the light that is gifted to the finished structure allows for the guesthouse to breath and emphasises the idea of jungle living. Using only authentic and natural materials, David Fewson and his family have added an element of truth to the interior palette. Using a combination of concrete, real timber and brass, the architect and designers extend their idea of the home forming the shape of a crashed spaceship. Found only a few metres away, the hot tub is settled into the landscape and allows guests to immerse themselves further into jungle living.

At one with the landscape, Ground House 107R’s unique architecture and design elements offer a take on the bygone era and transports it to the contemporary age in which David Fewson hopes guest will find alluring. Located in northern New South Wales, the guesthouse is shrouded in a layer of secrecy that only deepens the charm and characteristics of the site. With its jungle living ideals and employed naturally made materials, Ground House 107R is a place in which serenity can be found in every detail.

Views: 2023 Sony World Photography Awards

Discover the results of the Sony World Photography Awards 2023 Open competition which awards the best single contemporary images.
Sony World Photography Awards 2023 open horse
Zhenhuan Zhou/Sony World Photography Awards 2023; Motion category

Sony World Photography Awards 2023 open wildlife
Dinorah Graue Obscura/Sony World Photography Awards 2023; Natural World & Wildlife category
Jordi Coy/Sony World Photography Awards 2023; Landscape category
Bing Li/Sony World Photography Awards 2023; Landscape category

READ AND SEE MORE

Travel & Nature: National Geographic – April 2023

Image

National Geographic Magazine – April 2023

​There’s a true story behind ‘Cocaine Bear’—and it’s no laughing matter

​The new comedic horror film is based on the real-life drug overdose of an American black bear—and illustrates how human recklessness endangers wildlife.

Black bear eating dandelion.

Unlike the movie, the real-life cocaine bear didn’t go on a coke-fueled rampage, but it did consume a fatal amount of cocaine left in the woods by smugglers. Here, an American black bear, Ursus americanus, eats dandelions. 

Medicine: AI Verifies ‘Brain Age’ To Detect Alzheimer’s

National Science Foundation (March 13, 2023) – Harnessing the power of AI, researchers calculate our brain’s age leading to earlier detection of Alzheimer’s and other cognitive diseases.

Researchers at USC have developed a new artificial intelligence model that more accurately captures brain age. This study could result in earlier detection of Alzheimer’s and other cognitive diseases and provide important information about how quickly our brains age.

READ MORE

News: U.S. Banking Failure Fallout, Moldova Foils Russian-Backed Unrest

March 14, 2023: Following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, is Joe Biden facing a crisis of confidence in US financial institutions?

Plus: political turbulence in Moldova, Nicaragua’s decision to suspend relations with the Vatican and a special interview with Estonia’s former president Toomas Hendrik Ilves.

Front Page: The New York Times – March 14, 2023

Image

Regional Banks Slammed by Fear of a Broader Financial Crisis

Across the country, banks of various sizes are battling market turmoil as customers rushed to withdraw their deposits and investors, worried about more bank runs, dumped bank stocks.

Back-to-Back Bank Collapses Came After Deregulatory Push

On Sunday, regulators shut down Signature Bank, fearing that a sudden exodus of deposits had left it on dangerous footing.

Officials with Signature and Silicon Valley banks, which regulators seized in recent days, called for looser financial requirements for midsize banks.

Federal Reserve’s Path Is Murkier After Bank Blowup

The Fed has been rapidly raising interest rates to fight inflation. But making big moves could be trickier amid instability.

‘Russia Outside Russia’: For Elite, Dubai Becomes a Wartime Harbor

In the exclusive neighborhoods and palatial shopping malls of the United Arab Emirates’ biggest city, wealthy Russians can build a new life without having to cut ties to their home country.

New Books: Wanderlust Nordics – May 2023

Gestalten Publishing (May 2023) – From spectacular fjords in Norway, the arctic tundra and serene forests in Sweden, to a plethora of enchanting lakes in Finland and the Ice Sheet of Greenland —the Nordics offer a breathtaking variety of landscapes and endless options to hike.

Mid-June to late September. Due to the warm currents of the Gulf Stream, the Lofoten Islands experience a relatively mild oceanic climate. Despite it lying at a similar latitude to places such as Alaska and Greenland, average winter and summer temperatures in the archipelago are a comparatively balmy 1°C (33.8°F) and 13°C (55.4°F), respectively. Get more hiking tips with Wanderlust Nordics, a book by gestalten and Cam Honan.

Wanderlust Nordics invites you to boast into this distinctive wilderness with a wide range and appealing mix of trails. This is a book that will have you heading north.

Approximately 80 percent of Greenland is covered by a vast ice sheet. The remaining 20 percent of this ironically named island is a coastal corridor that is mostly ice-free during the summer months. It is here among the sparsely populated bays, inlets, and fjords, that the Arctic Circle Trail (ACT) can be found, a legendary hiking route that traverses the most extensive strip of terra firma in Western Greenland. Discover more in Wanderlust Nordics by gestalten and Cam Honan.

Cam Honan has trekked across 61 countries and six continents, logging over 60,000 mi (96,500 km) in three decades. He has authored four bestselling titles for gestalten—WanderlustWanderlust USAWanderlust Himalaya, and The Hidden Tracks. Cam has been described by Backpacker Magazine as “the most travelled hiker on Earth”.

Traverse the World's most beautiful Archipelago with Wanderlust Nordics, a incredible book by Cam Honan.

READ MORE