7 of the best places to view autumn foliage around the world

August 28, 2017 by  
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It may not feel like it, sweaty and sticky as you may be, but if you are a resident of the Northern Hemisphere, autumn is right around the corner. As fun as it has been to soak up the summer sun, the crisp air, slower pace, and dazzling foliage of autumn sounds like heaven right about now. For those who wish to take advantage of the imminent seasonal beauty, we’ve compiled a list of locations across the Northern Hemisphere that will be bursting with autumnal splendor in the weeks to come. 1. Montreal, QC -> Burlington, VT I’m cheating a bit with this first one, but with less than two-hours in a car separating these two fine cities, it is highly recommended that appreciators of autumn pair both lovely spots. Montreal and Burlington are among the earliest major cities in Eastern North America to reach peak foliage, starting in mid-September and continuing into October. While in Montreal, visitors should hike or bike to the top of Mount Royal, or visit the elevated St. Joseph’s Oratory, for a view of the gorgeous patchwork of color along the St. Lawrence River. Autumn is short but sweet in the city, so enjoy the magic while it lasts. Related: Tiny Fern Forest Treehouse Provides a Cozy Vacation Hideaway in the Woods of Vermont While in Burlington , be sure to bike along the Island Line Rail Trail, from which you can catch breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, framed by Lake Champlain. Of particular interest is the causeway section, which connects Colchester and South Hero, where visitors can journey out into the lake itself, thanks to a narrow land bridge. 2. Fujigoko Region, Japan Due to its island location and varied elevation, Japan boasts an impressive diversity of climate zones, from subtropical to cold temperate continental. The fall foliage of Fujigoko, also known as the Fuji Five Lakes Region, benefits from its northern location and higher elevation. Underneath the towering Mount Fuji, the five lakes located in an arc to the north of Fuji provide an excellent contrast to the vivid fall foliage. After the sun has set and the cool air becomes cold, visitors should warm up with a bowl of Fujigoko’s famous udon noodles. 3. Prague, Czech Republic Prague seems to be at the top of many people’s list of favorite European locations, and for good reason. The gorgeous architecture, befitting a city founded in the 6th century, is well complemented by the seasonal changes of autumn. As the leaves change color and the sun retreats, Prague shines. The cool air complements the warm, hearty traditional Czech cuisine, which may be enjoyed on a heated patio if the weather cooperates. For breathtaking views of the foliage, take a trip to the top of Petrin Hill or walk through Kampa Island. Related: Imposing Communist-Era Television Tower Transformed Into a Unique Hotel in Prague 4. Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina/ Tennessee Although New England receives the lion’s share of praise as the American autumn experience, one would be unwise to ignore the majesty of fall in the South. Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the most visited in the United States, offers unparalleled views of a diverse, rich ecosystem that sheds its leaves in waves, from the top of the Appalachian balds down to the foothills. Related: Jimmy Carter built a new solar plant on his old peanut farm Beyond the park, there are endless spots to explore in the mountains of North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia . For those based in or traveling from Atlanta, Tallulah Gorge State Park is only a short drive for breathtaking views that may include whitewater rapids, depending on the weekend. 5. Huangshan, China Huangshan, or the Yellow Mountains, is a beautiful mountain range known for its hot springs, sunsets, unique jagged peaks, and top-down views of clouds. Understandably, it is a popular destination all year round, but it truly peaks in the autumn. Maple trees turn vivid red, various deciduous trees become golden, and the Huangshan pine trees provide an evergreen hue. Add in Huangshan’s unparalleled sunrises and your portrait of fall excellence is complete. 6. Highlands, Scotland Though the Scottish Highlands may be known for their plentiful pine trees, the golden aura of deciduous trees play well against this more traditional backdrop. Peak foliage in the Highlands tends to begin in late September and continue into October. Paired with Scotland’s numerous and famous lochs and the rolling mountains, the Scottish autumn is a must-see. After a hike through Cairngorms National Park, relax with a dram and seasonal produce, including wild game, fresh fruit, and oysters. 7. Michigan If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look no further than Michigan. Whether your fall travels takes you to Michigan’s breathtaking, extensive shoreline bounded by four of the Great Lakes or further inland in the Wolverine State, you are guaranteed to be dazzled by Michigan’s natural beauty. In autumn, all things apple are there in Michigan for your enjoyment; after all, the state produces over 900 million pounds of apples each year. If you seek true wilderness, check out Keweenaw National Historical Park for bold fall foliage, historic towns, and shoreline views. Lead image via Pixabay , others via Depositphotos 1 2 3 , Rob Taylor/Flickr , Justin Henry/Flickr , sunnywinds/Flickr , Andreas Manessinger/Flickr, Xiaojia He/Flickr , daveynin/Flickr , yue/Flickr , Robert Brown/Flickr , and Rachel Kramer/Flickr

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7 of the best places to view autumn foliage around the world

This carbon nanotube yarn generates power when pulled

August 28, 2017 by  
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Power-producing materials are the stuff of wearable inventors’ dreams. And scientists just created a yarn that generates electricity with a simple tug. The yarn, comprised of carbon nanotubes and submerged in an electrolyte gel, isn’t ideal for sweaters – but can harvest power from a wearer’s breathing. And there’s another surprising application: it could collect energy from ocean waves . An international team of 29 researchers devised the the yarn material, known as twistron harvesters, “by tying a carbon nanotube string into a tangled weave of carbon and submerging it into an electrolyte gel,” according to Science Magazine. When covered in gel and tugged, the yarn can illuminate a light-emitting diode with a small current. The yarn’s peak power generation – when strands are hooked together – is 250 watts per kilogram, and Ars Technica pointed out a professional cyclist’s peak exertions are only around 10 percent of that figure. Related: New type of fabric harvests energy from the sun and movement The researchers tested the yarn by sewing it in to a shirt, and saw it generated a tiny amount of electricity as the wearer breathed in and out. The researchers also connected the yarn to an artificial muscle – a polymer that contracts when warmed, according to Ars Technica – and were able to convert fluctuations in temperature into energy . A still more unexpected way the yarn could be used is in wave power . The material operates when it’s placed in saltwater similar to the ocean, and the motion of the waves moves the yarn, allowing it to generate power. Ars Technica notes the device does need a platinum electrode as seawater can be corrosive. The proof of concept yarn strands aren’t yet powerful enough to brighten a home, but the scientists say their technology is scalable. The journal Science published the research in late August. Scientists from institutions in South Korea, the United States, and China contributed to the study. Via Science Magazine and Ars Technica Images via The University of Texas at Dallas and screenshot

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This carbon nanotube yarn generates power when pulled

A lacy skin fills this Kenyan apartment building with sunlight and fresh air

August 28, 2017 by  
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This modern apartment building in Mombasa, Kenya is wrapped with a lacy structural skin that allows natural light to filter inside. Urko Sánchez Architects wrapped the building in two layers: the first acts as a barrier against excessive heat and sunlight. The second layer, comprised of handcrafted wood-lattice shutters , further manages light and provides privacy. The building occupies a narrow, sloping lot located on the waterfront of Tudor Creek, Mombasa. This privileged location offers stunning breathtaking panoramic views on the creek. In order to ensure optimal privacy, the architects designed a two-layer shell that provides natural ventilation and prevents heat gain . The facade is inspired by traditional Swahili design and redirects the tendency of local people to put bars on their windows. Related: Lace-like screen inspired by Portuguese tiles cover the rear facade of the charming Restelo House in Lisbon Vegetation is integrated in the patios and on the terraces , offering freshness and greenery. The patios allow natural ventilation via permeable wood lattices facing the water. They are accessible via lateral stairs that descend towards the creek, passing by an integrated gym at the bottom, and arriving to an infinity pool. Related: Ofis’ Colorful Lace Apartment Complex is Wrapped in a Sun-Shading Facade “The skin was rendered entirely structural thanks to the engineering team,” said the architects. “A novelty to Kenya, such structural skin was possible thanks to local and international engineers working hand by hand, and to the steel workers on-site who managed, by dedication and care, flawless bar bending work without access to any technology,” they added. + Urko Sánchez Architects Via World Architecture News Photos by Javier Callejas

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A lacy skin fills this Kenyan apartment building with sunlight and fresh air

Snhetta unveils spectacular makeover for nations second-largest waterfall

June 2, 2017 by  
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The nation’s second largest waterfall by volume will soon reopen to the public for the first time in over 150 years. Architecture and landscape firm Snøhetta recently revealed new renderings for their designs to restore public access to Oregon’s Willamette Falls. A mix of adaptive reuse and new build, the design will renovate the 22-acre site’s existing industrial buildings and add a new ecological riverwalk. Industrial infrastructure has cut the breathtaking Willamette Falls from public access for over a century, however, a redevelopment scheme for the area sparked newfound interest in reclaiming and rehabilitating the landscape. Snøhetta, along with Mayer/Reed, inc. and DIALOG , won an international design competition to reimagine the falls and collaborated with the community to refine their proposals. “The new design treats the whole site as a single landscape, with a network of promenades and lofted pathways that lace through the physical strata of the site, immersing visitors in a tactile experience that celebrates the changing water level, the feeling of the spray on your skin, the dramatic play of light and the roar and presence of the falls,” says Snøhetta. Key to the design is the new riverwalk that will “serve as a portal to the Northwest’s collective history” and connect Oregon City’s historic downtown to the crest of the fall. The riverwalk will feature a mix of materials, from ancient basalt and wood to industrial steel, as well as layered references to the site’s natural, ecological, cultural, and geological contexts. Related: Snøhetta’s ready-made cabin can fit into any landscape In addition to restoring public access, the design seeks to rehabilitate the landscape with the removal of select industrial structures. Five unique habitats will be restored and special attention paid to endangered species. Greater access will also be provided to the five confederated tribes who annually fish the waters. The Willamette Falls riverwalk conceptual design will be unveiled at a public event tomorrow and construction is expected to begin June 2018. + Snøhetta Images via Snøhetta

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HOW TO: Make hearty and healthy roasted butternut squash with sage

October 30, 2016 by  
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If you’re looking for a healthy and hearty dish to warm you up this fall, you’ll love this recipe for roasted butternut squash with sage. Packed with vitamins A and C as well as essential minerals, butternut squash is a powerhouse vegetable that’s adored by both kids and adults for its naturally sweet taste. Click through to learn how to whip up this crowd-pleasing caramelized dish in just a few easy steps.

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HOW TO: Make hearty and healthy roasted butternut squash with sage

Rehabilitated Longroiva’s Hotel & Thermal Spa blends into the countryside of northeast Portugal

October 5, 2016 by  
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The thermal baths are located in Mêda, a municipality in northeast Portugal, and go back to Roman times. Built in the late 19th century, the existing Thermal Spa was rehabilitated to accommodate 17 rooms and various common areas where guests can meet and socialize. A walkway connects the existing building to the addition, which comprises five room modules built along the slope, with several gathering spaces in between them. Related: Thermal Pool Wrapped With a Living Wall Service areas and 10 new bungalows are located above the rooms. By combining traditional references and modern architecture, the development establishes a dialogue with its natural surroundings while providing its guests with a contemporary facility. + Rebelo de Andrade Via Archdaily Photos by Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

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Rehabilitated Longroiva’s Hotel & Thermal Spa blends into the countryside of northeast Portugal

5 vegetables to plant in your fall garden now

September 26, 2016 by  
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Fall brings pumpkin spice lattes and kids going back to school, and it also means the start of your fall garden . Many people neglect their garden during the start of fall because of their busy schedules. However, there are several vegetables that are easy to grow and are hardy enough to outlast the frost. Here are 5 of those low-maintenance veggies that you should plant this fall, including radishes, lettuce, beets, carrots and squash (or, if those aren’t your bag, you can find additional options here ). To find out when you should plant these vegetables in your area, check this planting chart created by Almanac. + Safe Brands Lead image via Shutterstock

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Sinuous concrete pavilion is a spiritual oasis at the City of Hope research and treatment center

September 26, 2016 by  
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Located at the City of Hope research and treatment center in Duarte, California, the pavilion features undulating, sinuous concrete walls that create seating areas around a century-old camphor tree. Functioning as a serene sanctuary where visitors can relax and take in the air, the pavilion features a subtle lighting system of 75 backlit LED plaques installed along the surfaces of both concrete walls. Related: Schmidt Hammer Lassen’s New Aalborg University Hospital is Designed to Heal Through the Environment The 7,000-square-foot project comprises two buildings with exhibition and event spaces, offices and storage areas. Drought-tolerant plant species populate the site and, together with the openness of the building, help reduce heat gain . + Belzberg Architects Via Archdaily Photos by Bruce Damonte

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Warmer weather expected to ruin fall colors

September 1, 2016 by  
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Revelers in the vibrant, colorful leaves that come along with the first few weeks of fall may find themselves disappointed this year. The northeastern region of the U.S. known for its colorful change of seasons is also anticipating drier conditions and warmer weather. These elements are said to create a recipe for a delayed and short-lived foliage display. The first half of autumn is going to be dry and warm in the northeast, according to Accuweather . The trees that depend on certain cues to start their color change and leaf die-off processes will likely receive those cues much later than usual. “The trees will probably be too dry and the vibrant colors won’t come out,” Accuweather forecaster Paul Pastelok said. “If they do come out, they’ll be short-lived and probably knocked down too fast to be enjoyed.” Related: Unchecked global warming could bring the worst hurricanes ever seen by the end of this century The shift should come as no surprise, seeing as July was the hottest month on record and the 10th consecutive hottest month in a row, according to NASA. The agency also warns that the planet is warming up at a rate that is “ unprecedented in the last 1,000 years.” A delayed fall foliage spectacle is both a bummer and indicative of worsening trends to come. Via Accuweather Images via Pixabay ( 1 , 2 )

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Warmer weather expected to ruin fall colors

Diller Scofidio + Renfro wins competition to design Chinas artificial Eco-Island

September 1, 2016 by  
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Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s (DS+R) winning design was selected by an international jury over proposals from the likes of Foster + Partners , Morphosis , and UNStudio . All ten proposals feature a crescent-shaped island design reminiscent of the yin-yang, a Chinese symbol that signifies harmony and balance. DS+R succeeded in fitting all the programmatic needs into a relatively compact footprint while creating a landscape that looked as natural as possible. “The jury found the strength of the project was that it was singular and clear in realizing the Ecoisland as a whole,” wrote the jury. “It would create a beautiful, iconic form rising naturally out the landscape, recalling the volcanic caldera of the area, and shape the island into a continuous structure that would be an extremely efficient compaction of resort, retail, and housing. The project leaves the rest of the island as a place for aquaculture and agriculture, recreation, resort living and cultural facilities. This proposal is one for a truly a human-made island that celebrates all that makes such water-bound places so attractive and beautiful, while contributing to our understanding of deep, intrinsic ecology.” Related: Planned eco-tourism center will pay respects to Cambodia’s wildlife and dark history Construction on the South Sea Pearl Eco-Island is slated to begin in 2017 and is expected to be complete by 2027. The development costs are estimated to be $1.25 billion. + Diller Scofidio + Renfro Via ArchDaily

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