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Zoom towns: the new destination for american teleworkers
Aspen, Kingston, The Hamptons… before the health crisis they were places you just visited for the weekend or a holiday. With the proliferation of remote working, many American employees are now deciding to settle down here. It is certainly a challenge for New York or Philadelphia to compete with this new breed of ‘zoom towns’, whose proximity to nature is considered more and more attractive to city dwellers. And the consequences of this exodus? House prices are rising in pleasant towns and cities with lower levels of urbanisation: the Lake Tahoe region in the Sierra Nevada recorded a 50% jump compared to spring 2019 while urban areas saw their rents decrease: by 31% for San Francisco, for example. According to the housing site Zillow, 2 million tenants plan to buy in a zoom town.
Gandhi's glasses sold for £260,000
A pair of round glasses with a golden frame that belonged to the famous icon of the Indian independence movement was valued at £260,000, East Bristol Auctions auction house stated. Their previous owner never imagined that they would be in receipt of such a sum just by putting the old glasses that had been lying forgotten at the bottom of a drawer of the family residence in the letterbox of the auction house. “If they’re not worth anything, just get rid of them,” he said to the auctioneer when he called him back. An investigation found the glasses, estimated at between £10,000 and £15,000, were given to the seller’s uncle by Mahatma Gandhi in the 1920s. It is likely that he gave him this gift to thank him for a good deed.
A Dance lesson in three EASY steps
Everyone on their toes! The House of Dior is offering an introduction to classical dance, thanks to three free classes that are available on its YouTube channel and that are open to all. At the helm, two star dancers and a choreographer-dancer duo teach the five basic positions, but also include a choreography workshop with directed improvisation. This is an opportunity to reminisce about the haute couture house’s historic links with dance: Christian Dior worked with Roland Petit on Treize Danses (photo) as early as 1947 and Maria Grazia Chiuri, the brand’s artistic director, designed the costumes for the Nuit Blanche ballet, choreographed by Sébastien Bertaud, for the Rome Opera in 2019.
Paper packaging for wine and champagnes
While Ruinart packages its wines in a natural wood-fibre case, the British company Frugalpac, has created Frugal, a wine bottle made of recycled cardboard, weighing five times less than a glass bottle, and with a carbon footprint six times smaller. Ruinart packaging like the Frugal bottle — which has a thin plastic lining — is fully recyclable, making them both part of a sustainable sector. And all this without sacrificing style: a second case is moulded to the shape of a bottle for the French champagne house. And for the specialist in sustainable packaging, a bottle whose surface can be printed all over.
The whale, where whales meet between sea and mountain
300 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, on the Norwegian island of Andøya, the small town of Andenes is one of the world’s best places for whale watching. This is where The Whale, a sumptuous and monumental project by Danish architect Dorte Mandrup, dedicated to cetaceans and the preservation of marine life, is being built. The building — a curved concrete shell covered with natural stone from the region — blends completely into the landscape, like a whale just peaking out of the water, trying to stay unobserved... Inside, a large exhibition space, open to the mountain and the sea, will honour marine mammals and tell the story of their relationship with man through art and science. Entry into the belly of the whale is planned for 2022.
The GRAND return of the drive-in
A world in lockdown has brought new life to the drive-in. In the United States, Iran, South Korea and Germany, existing drive-ins were full from the very start of the lock-down, while pop-up venues sprung up everywhere. It doesn’t matter if everyone is in their car, the presence of other people, even ‘keeping their distance’, is far more immediate than when everyone is hidden behind their own screen. The success of the drive-in was not confined to cinema. In France, nearly 500 attended mass from the car park of the Châlons-en-Champagne exhibition hall. In London, the National Opera launched Drive & Live in September, a series of open-air operas to watch and listen to from your car or bicycle.
A treatment to finally turn down tinnitus
It may soon be the end of the nightmare for 1 in 10 adults in France. Scientists have developed a solution for reducing tinnitus, the sometimes very annoying, phantom noises that manifest themselves as whistling, buzzing or crackling in one or both ears. The solution, designed by the Irish-German company Neuromod Devices and called Lenire, consists of a device that simultaneously stimulates both the hearing system and the tongue through the simultaneous emission of sounds and small painless electrical impulses. The results of a double clinical trial are encouraging: 66.5% of patients who followed the treatment protocol faithfully experienced a decrease in symptoms over the year following the trial. Finally something to give hope to people who suffer from this often debilitating disorder that until now has never had a truly effective therapy.
The vertical farm: reinventing agriculture
Specialising in vertical agriculture in living soil, Futura Gaïa is setting up a pilot farm in Tarascon. It will test the growing system already developed in its Research and Development laboratory in Rodihan, near Nîmes, but on a larger scale. Large stackable cylinders, equipped with sensors, give each plant the right amount of water, light and natural fertiliser. The system, which is economical with natural resources, does not use pesticides and guarantees constant production volumes, whatever the climate... These are all strengths that Futura Gaïa intends to use over the long term, by being able to offer a turnkey farm solution, including both the structure, the technology and the business model, ‘ready to grow’.