andantevivace

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Destination unknown: the top-secret holidays for people who hate planning

You can glean a lot about a person from where they decide to go on holiday. Paris, for example, has long been synonymous with old romantics; Goa has a history of hippies; and the Costa-del-Sol has a well-documented association with on-the-run cons (hence its nickname, “Costa del Crime”).<p>However, a …

Travel

The Voyeur’s Motel

Gerald Foos bought a motel in order to watch his guests having sex. He saw a lot more than that.<p>I know a married man and father of two who bought a twenty-one-room motel near Denver many years ago in order to become its resident voyeur. With the assistance of his wife, he cut rectangular holes …

Amazing snaps from inside world’s deepest swimming pool

The Y-40, also known as The Deep Joy, is the incredible swimming pool near Venice in Italy, that has a variety of depths — the deepest is a maximum …

Why even driving through suburbia is soul crushing

I’ve written some in the past about how the predominant suburban design in the US is among the worst features of life here—viewed from the perspective of a European immigrant like me, at any rate.<p>Far from posing a mere logistical or aesthetic problem, it shapes–or perhaps more accurately, it …

Urbanism

This Sleek Desktop Greenhouse Uses Plants To Clean Your Office Air

A new air purifier is designed to look better than the typical plastic tower–and, if you like, it can also grow a little basil for your lunch.<p>The EcoQube Air uses an activated charcoal filter and a HEPA-like filter to clean pollen, dust, and VOCs from the air. When fans recirculate the filtered …

Aquaponics

"Look at All the Asians!"

Among the most startling experiences I have had with race is seeing other Asian Americans. I mean being around a critical mass whose lives span the range of human experience versus being virtually alone save for scant contact with a circumscribed subculture.<p>My wife, also Asian American, and I had …

Detour app offers guided ‘un-tours’ of SF

Andrew Mason, who made a fortune turning Groupon into an online discount marketplace and an Internet sensation, is a man who likes to travel — and who dislikes touring the old-fashioned way, in a group led by a guide.<p>“I love to learn about places,” he said. “But I want to do it with my wife and …

San Francisco Bay Area

110 years later, San Francisco remembers quake victims

Scores of hardy San Franciscans and history buffs came together Monday to commemorate the anniversary of the great earthquake of 1906 with period costumes, a moment of silence and the traditional wailing of the sirens at the moment the quake struck 110 years ago.<p>Bob Sarlatte, the master of …

San Francisco Bay Area

Magnificent Hume Castle in Berkeley hits market at $5 million

The storied Hume Castle in Berkeley just hit the market at $5 million.<p>The Gothic masterpiece at 2900 Buena Vista is tucked away behind a gate and shrouded in oak and olive trees. Many residents don't even realize it exists.<p>Built in the style of a 13th century French monastery, this magnificent home …

Second Eatsa leads to crowds, delays in the Financial District

San Francisco’s second modern automat opened on Thursday — and once again, hordes of downtown office workers followed.<p>The new Eatsa, an automated restaurant that operates without waiters or cashiers, is located at 1 California St. — only four blocks from the original Eatsa at 121 Spear St., which …

San Francisco Bay Area

How Shyp Is Shaking Up Shipping

With this intrepid startup’s service, everything you ever hated about shipping stuff–from rustling up a box to waiting in line–is history.<p><b>A Hulk Hogan</b> costume. An oxygen tank. A couple of packages of Ghirardelli chocolate. A Comcast cable box, a table lamp, and a pile of laundry.<p>I’m lurking in a …

San Francisco, then and now

The gold rush, the earthquakes, the civil rights movement, the Summer of Love, the rise of Silicon Valley. Guardian photographer David Levene travelled across the San Francisco Bay Area photographing the sites that transformed one of the great cities of the world.<p><b>1. Gold rush abandoned ships</b><p>1849: …

Need a friend in Iceland? Icelandair will give you one for free

Icelandair already offers transatlantic passengers the option to make a stopover in Iceland for up to seven days at no additional charge. Now the …

The Santa Clara Valley’s “Appointment with Destiny”

<b>The Santa Clara Valley’s “Appointment with Destiny”<br>By Leonard Downie, Jr.<br>San Jose, California<br>October, 1971</b><p>Eye-smarting, mustard-colored haze hides …

Housing

Turns out, you don’t need a car to see America

Ever dream of taking a trip across America but never had the time or funds? In 2011, San Francisco entrepreneur David Low did, at the low cost of $213.<p>Low chose the American railroad system as his mode of transportation from the San Francisco Bay to the Hudson River. The train ride took a total of …

This Abandoned Waterpark In Vietnam Is Not For The Faint Of Heart

*Shudders*<p>You won't see the Ho Thuy Tien waterpark on a tourists' guide to Vietnam. You won't see it labeled on a map. And if you ask a local to show you the way, there's a good chance they'll have no idea what you're talking about.<p>It takes a motorbike and some SERIOUS guts to explore this …

This Kickstarter Jacket Will Keep Your Stuff Safe While Traveling

Ladies and gents, your travel wardrobe woes are about to be solved — in the form of a jacket. This Kickstarter campaign is sourcing funding to bring their super sweet travel jacket to market. Based in Minneapolis, MN, Anywhere Apparel was started by a group of young wanderers who realized during …

Kickstarter

North Korea’s Abduction Project

On the evening of July 31, 1978, Kaoru Hasuike and his girlfriend, Yukiko Okudo, rode bikes to the summer fireworks festival at the Kashiwazaki town beach. They whisked down the winding lanes of their coastal farming village, a hundred and forty miles north of Tokyo. Then they parked their bikes …

This Is How Paris Hilton Fooled the Entire United States of America

Through the power of a fake baby voice, Paris Hilton launched a business empire, invented reality TV superstardom, and disrupted American culture years before Facebook or the Kardashians.<p>On the seventh floor of a building in downtown Manhattan, Paris Hilton holds scissors over a male model's head. …

Andy Warhol

The Gonzo Vision of Quentin Tarantino

The New Intolerance of Student Activism

A fight over Halloween costumes at Yale has devolved into an effort to censor dissenting views.<p>Professor Nicholas Christakis lives at Yale, where he presides over one of its undergraduate colleges. His wife Erika, a lecturer in early childhood education, shares that duty. They reside among students …

Higher Education

Don't let your smartphone be lazy: Make it help cure cancer as you sleep

While you sleep, your smartphone could be doing something much more useful than acting as your alarm clock.<p>DreamLab, a three-year collaboration …

Danville cow abandons bovine ways to become family dog - SFGate

(Photo by Pamela Abad/Getty Images)<p>Goliath is not interested in moo-ing. He does not care for grazing and he is not into sitting in hay like some kind of bovine plebeian. No thank you.<p>The Danville calf might be young, but he already knows who he is. He is a dog, and he does dog things.<p>Since his …

Pets

Why the Web Won't Be Nirvana

After two decades online, I'm perplexed. It's not that I haven't had a gas of a good time on the Internet. I've met great people and even caught a …

Omni Is Cloud Storage For Your Physical Stuff

Omni is trying to find a solution for the problem of shrinking apartments and rising rent in urban areas. The company launched their iOS app in the Apple App Store today, the first full release of a product that has been in the works for a while.<p>Omni has been operating in the San Francisco area for …

This site will tell you how common your surname is worldwide

You've know the feeling. You're having to spell your last name again because it doesn't read the same way it's pronounced. Or you're hearing your last name butchered by the restaurant host trying to seat your family. Maybe it's spelled wrong on the wedding invitation you just received. Again. …

Sweden

I never realized how dumb our cities are until I saw what a smart one looks like.

Cities

The rating game

Soon, you’ll be able to go to the Olive Garden and order your fettuccine alfredo from a tablet mounted to the table. After paying, you’ll rate the server.<p>Then you can use that tablet to hail an Uber driver, whom you’ll also rate, from one to five stars. You can take it to your Airbnb, which you’ll …

This guy used a frequent-flyer loophole to take a $60,000 trip in a first-class suite on Emirates — here's what it was like

Travel blogger Sam Huang recently cashed in his Alaska Airlines frequent-flyer miles for a $60,000 trip around the world, and luckily he took plenty of pictures documenting what it was like.<p>"Unlimited Dom Perignon, wild caviar, and a shower spa while flying 40,000 feet in the air — it's no wonder …

'Million Dollar Shack' documentary looks at Bay Area's insane housing market

You've already heard the stories told in the new documentary <i>Million Dollar Shack</i>.<p>Rentals are scarce; home prices are staggering. The wealthy elite are scooping up Silicon Valley properties. These investment homes are sitting empty or rented by people who spend more time on the road than at home, …