Books: The New York Times Book Review – Nov 27, 2022

Illustration by Eleanor Taylor

New York Times Book Review – November 27, 2022:

A Life of Shirley Hazzard, Sublime Chronicler of Affairs of the Heart

A new biography by Brigitta Olubas is the first to examine the life of the Australian novelist celebrated for her refined poetic fiction and acute moral vision.

Big ‘Pippin’: The Harmony and Dissonance of an American Classic

Elysa Gardner’s “Magic to Do” goes backstage at Bob Fosse and Stephen Schwartz’s 1972 musical about a lost prince.

Read Your Way Through Mexico City

Juan Villoro, who spent over two decades perfecting one book about Mexico City, recommends reading on the city he loves. “Mexico is too complex,” a visitor said. “It needs to be read.”

Walks: Vicosoprano In Southeast Switzerland

AKSense – Zurich – Vicosoprano village – the old capital of the Val Bregaglia valley in Graubunden region of Switzerland. This beautiful valley is framed by glaciated mountain ridges and opens up towards the south and Italy. The peaceful valley landscape surrounding this medieval village is in contrast to its eventful past.

The “Pretorio”, the old town hall and main courthouse, in the village was built in 1583. From the old town hall rises the round, medieval “Senvelen” Tower. The sight of the torture chamber and torture devices send chills down one’s spine. During the 17th century, many alleged witches were caught and held here and more than a few ended up on the gallows. Walking through this area, one comes to an arched bridge from which there is a magnificent view of the stunning mountains on both sides of the valley.

This medieval village is situated far from city life. It can only be reached by an hour long bus ride from St. Moritz train station or by car. The Maloja and Septimer passes link the Graubunden Val Bregaglia valley with the rest of Switzerland. Fragrant chestnut groves and the stone buildings of the Bergell villages lend the valley a Mediterranean ambiance.

Cover Preview: Barron’s Magazine – Nov 28, 2022

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Barron’s Magazine – November 28, 2022 issue:

How to Keep Your Retirement On Track in an Unpredictable Market

You don’t need a miracle to have a secure retirement. You need a plan.

How to Maximize Your Wealth Over the Next Decade

With markets expected to produce lower returns in coming years, it’s crucial that you optimize the tax efficiency of your portfolio and spend wisely.

Quantum Computing Will Change the World. Just Don’t Buy the First Wave of Stocks.

Investors finally have ways to play the first radical shift in computing since the 1950s, but you’re better off waiting before jumping in.

Stocks Are Clawing Their Way Back. Consider These Moves for 2023.

Searching for a Bottom in Crypto After FTX

6 Preferred Stocks That Offer Safety and High Yields

Goodbye, Bear Market? The Worst Could Be Over for Stocks.

Politics: Mass Shootings & The Lame-Duck Congress

PBS NewsHour – New York Times columnist David Brooks and Washington Post associate editor Jonathan Capehart join William Brangham to discuss the week in politics, including recent mass shootings in America and what can be done during the lame-duck session of Congress.

Front Page: The New York Times – November 26, 2022

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At Protests, Guns Are Doing the Talking

Armed Americans, often pushing a right-wing agenda, are increasingly using open-carry laws to intimidate opponents and shut down debate.

Retailers Push Sales, and Normalcy, but Economic Uncertainty Looms

Black Friday deals returned, drawing shoppers back into stores, but inflation worries left many companies unsure what the holiday shopping season would look like.

A Rising Star in the Biden Administration Faces a $100 Billion Test

Gina Raimondo, the commerce secretary, has made a career of tackling increasingly larger challenges. Could the next one be too big?

Italy Walks : Grottammare On The Adriatic Sea (4K)

Still Wanderer | Italy in 4k – Grottammare is a town on Italy’s Adriatic coast, in the province of Ascoli Piceno, Marche region. It receives over 500,000 tourists a year. The ‘Pearl of the Adriatic” in Marche, Grottammare is a medieval village beloved by Franz Liszt . In fact, every year around the second half of August, the Festival Liszt brings together pianists from all over the world

Filmed in August 2022.

World Economic Forum: Top Stories – Nov 25, 2022

World Economic Forum – Top stories of the week of November 25, 2022:

0:15 This island nation has moved to the metaverse – Rising seas are due to swamp Tuvalu by the end of the century. So the Pacific archipelago of 12,000 people has taken a remarkable step, declaring itself the world’s ‘first digital nation’.

1:39 Crosswords battle memory loss – Researchers studied 107 elderly people with mild cognitive impairment. 4 times a week, they spent half an hour either doing a crossword or completing tasks on a popular brain-training computer platform. Then they were reassessed after 12 and 66 weeks. Crossword players scored better on cognitive decline and daily functioning tests.

2:50 UK is rolling out ‘buzz’ stops for bees – The UK is planting bee-friendly native flowers on the roofs of roadside bus shelters, creating a parallel transport network for bugs. Management company Clear Channel aims to convert 1,000 shelters overall with native plants such as pansies and thyme.

4:05 Entrepreneur running 200 marathons for water – Guli is an Australian entrepreneur and environmental activist. She plans to complete Run Blue in time for the UN Conference on Water in March 2023 and to inspire as many people as possible along the way. Guli’s mission has taken her to the front lines of the global water crisis.

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The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. We believe that progress happens by bringing together people from all walks of life who have the drive and the influence to make positive change.

Sustainable Architecture: TMRW Home In Melbourne

The Local Project – Passionate about creating a small home that considers a sustainable future, Marc and Felicity Bernstein at Hütt Homes collaborated with Blum to bring functionality into their family’s sustainable home.

Video timeline: 00:00 – Introduction to the Small, Sustainable and Timeless Home 00:48 – The Shape of the Land 01:12 – A Walkthrough the Home 01:41 – Making the Most of the Small Space 02:00 – Blum Addicts 02:14 – Blum’s Input 02:45 – Blum Storage Options 03:10 – The First Floor 03:38 – The Top Floor 03:54 – 5 Principles of a Passive House 04:44 – Creating a Carbon-Neutral Home 05:13 – A Home That Ticks Every Box

From the exterior of the small home, the architecture considers brick and concrete as main elements of the design, while the interior uses timber as a key material to minimise the home’s carbon footprint. Utilising an open plan approach in the small home allows for a connection to the rear and first-floor gardens. Throughout the residence, a sense of communal living has been infused alongside sustainable elements.

In the sunken living room – where the sense of the communal spirit of the small home is evoked – the surrounding timber edges allow for extra seating for larger gatherings. At the other end of the house, the kitchen and dining room showcase the collaboration with Blum through storage units and cupboards. Helping to provide functionality, organisation and ergonomics while increasing the home’s passive living, Blum specified products such as the LEGRABOX in the kitchen and first-floor bedrooms to enhance storage and aesthetic function.

Moving upstairs to the private spaces, Blum has assisted with the home’s organisation and ergonomics with floor-to-ceiling cupboards in the master to staircase storage systems in the children’s rooms. Additionally, a net has been installed in the children’s rooms, hanging over the ground level and allowing for extra play space without taking away from liveable areas. Further assisting with the passive living of the home, a garden has been installed on the first level and a living green wall in the bathroom adds a natural flow of oxygen. Continuing the importance of indoor air quality, a mechanical heat recovery system has been installed to capture fresh air and remove any stale air.

Furthermore, a heat exchanger allows for temperature stability all year while maintaining energy efficiency. Throughout the small home, an emphasis on creating a carbon neutral project is referenced in the architecture and interior design choices. From the use of timber to the living green wall and connections to the gardens, sustainability is the key focus of Blum and Hütt Homes’ collaboration. An inspiration for upcoming architects and designers to think and design responsibly, TMRW Home is a responsible family residence that considers the present and the future.

Reviews: ‘The Week In Art’

This week: as the exhibition Velvet Terrorism: Pussy Riot’s Russia opens at the Kling & Bang gallery in Reykjavik, Ben Luke talks to Masha Alekhina, one of the founding members of Pussy Riot, and the artist Ragnar Kjartansson, one of the co-curators of the show.

As protests continue across Iran, Aimee Dawson, The Art Newspaper’s acting digital editor, speaks to Shirin Neshat, the artist whose work expressing solidarity with women in Iran was recently installed outside the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin.

And this episode’s Work of the Week is by the Puerto Rican artist Gabriella Torres-Ferrer. Their 2018 sculpture—called Untitled (Value Your American Lie)—is part of a major new show at the Whitney Museum in New York, exploring art in Puerto Rico in the five years since the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Maria in 2017.

Velvet Terrorism: Pussy Riot’s Russia, Kling & Bang, Reykjavik, until 15 January 2023. Pussy Riot: Riot Days, National Theatre of Iceland, Reykjavik, 25 November. Proceeds from the concert and the exhibition go to supporting Ukraine. You can hear an in-depth interview with Ragnar Kjartansson from 2020 on our sister podcast A brush with… on the usual podcast platforms.No existe un mundo poshuracán: Puerto Rican Art in the Wake of Hurricane Maria, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, until 23 Apr 2023. 

Scotland Films: ‘The Spirit Of 1926’ – Macallan (2022)

The Macallan – Celebrating the extraordinary woman behind the most valuable bottle of spirit ever sold at auction, The Macallan has released a film biopic of former managing director, Janet Harbinson.

Paying homage to her quiet heroism, the film centres on the real-life story of Janet Harbinson, known as Nettie. Following her husband’s sudden death in 1918, Nettie assumed control of his whisky distillery and, through her sheer passion, unwavering commitment, and dedication to craftsmanship, she kept the business afloat and helped to rebuild the local area.

Without setting out to do so, she also crafted The Macallan Fine & Rare 1926, which achieved legendary status after it fetched £1.5m at Sotheby’s 2019. Several years on, it continues to be the world’s most valuable bottle of spirit ever sold at auction. Its very existence is a direct legacy of Janet Harbinson’s commitment to doing the right thing for her family, her community and The Macallan.

The beautiful wardrobe worn by the characters in the film is the work of Scottish fashion designer Christopher Kane, who created a series of 1920s outfits using historic, luxury fabrics from artisan suppliers, including hand-crafted lace and bespoke The Macallan tweed.

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