What We’re Reading: June 22-26

Rooftop home, the Watcher, apartments vs. condos, owning a small village, #Dadcatch, news from Chicago’s Navy Pier, home inspections, millennials in the office, Gmail lab, and Hershey’s Chocolate! 

This week in “Why Can’t I Live There?” And this week in “Thank All That Is Holy I Don’t Live There.

Does renters’ transience negatively affect the community, or can they bring vitality to aging communities? That’s part of the debate over a proposed apartment building project in Chicago’s North Center.

If you have $26 million laying around, maybe you should buy Johnny Depp’s southern France home. “Village” might be more appropriate. It comes complete with guest houses, swimming pools, skate park and gym. To sweeten the deal, it also comes with his furniture, books, art, and more!

Could you catch a foul ball while holding a baby you are bottle-feeding, and not interrupt the feeding? Or would it end in disaster?

Watch this awesome time lapse video showing Chicago Real Estate Development over the past 10 years. A development too new to make the video: a new Ferris Wheel will be built at Navy Pier, coming Summer 2016! ferris wheel

Buyer beware! Always get an inspection when you buy a house, but be aware not every issue might get caught.

Millennials to the rescue! The under-34 crowd seems to be the go-to group for any questions tech-related. Does this ring true in your office?

You might want to rethink that fashion choice — skinny jeans have been reported to cut off circulation! Here are five questionable fashion trends worth reconsidering for the sake of your health.

So you tap out an email, quick glance, hit send — NO! You notice a glaring mistake a split second after hitting send. Did you know Gmail has an unsend option?

Milton Hershey set out to make caramels, not chocolate? Here are 11 things you didn’t know about Hershey’s Chocolate.

What We’re Reading: June 15-19

On this day in history: Civil Rights Bill Passed, Father’s Day fun, Stanley Cup excitement, incredible home improvements, cat videos, password hacking, Facebook crowdsourcing, and living in the future!

On June 19, 1964 the US Senate passed the Civil Rights Bill. Here is the coverage by the New York Times on that day.

It is a little to late to send one of these, but don’t forget this Sunday is Father’s Day!


3 wins in 6 years! “Dynasty“is the word you are looking for!

What’s on your home improvement dream list? Hidden staircase? Secret passages? Pneumatic tube system?

Still on LOLcat? You’re really doing your boss a favor by watching those cat videos at work…

What precautions do you take with your passwords?

Getting a building approved by the public is tough—a few strong voices in the neighborhood could easily bring down the entire process. This might be the first one designed by a Facebook poll.

Nest’s smart Learning Thermostat, received an upgrade. The upgrade will push to existing units in about two weeks. We live in the future.

What We’re Reading: June 8-12

What’s your dream home style?, What ugly building can you just not help loving?, New York housing game, How to avoid insects this Summer, Rise of the yuccie?

villaDiscover your dream home style, through this interactive Wall Street Journal quiz.  I’m a Tuscan Style Villa!

We know they’re bad for us. We know we shouldn’t like them. BUT STILL WE DO. What building that everyone else considers ugly occupies an architectural soft spot in your heart?

New York’s housing crunch can be complicated to understand, what with tax-break programs, regulations for renters and affordable housing required by law. Luckily, a new game can help you make sense of it.

Remember how your mom always told you to wash your hands after you played outside?  Here’s the proof she knew what she was talking about.  Yikes!

It’s the season for outdoor parties, cookouts picnics AND mosquitoes. Vox has tips to avoid these insects—wear light colors, don’t drink alcohol and stand away from other people.  Doesn’t sound like much fun, but you will remain bite free.

The time-tested combo of pizza and a movie recently got a little bit easier to pull off — well, assuming you live in Hong Kong.

If your tablet is too small, and you don’t care if your device is portable or not, the new Microsoft Surface Hub is for you.  It has an 84-inch diagonal screen and weighs in at 220 pounds and is priced at $20,000. It is reviving manufacturing in Wilsonville, OR, since the screen is too large to be produced in Asia.

The hipster is dead; long live the “yuccie.”  The yuccie?

Can money buy happiness? Yes. But you might be surprised by the ways you should spend it.

Something we missed last week:  Housing through the centuries: We like this video except for the fact that The Atlantic thinks chateaus were built in the 3rd Century and black and white timber frame houses were built in the 1st Century.   This year, a house was printed for the first time. For around $160,000 you could print your own mansion in 2015.

What We’re Reading: June 1-5

Interesting reference questions from the New York Public Library, Talking Barbie coming this Fall, Legal marijuana is having an impact on the Denver housing market, Worlds tallest wooden structure

LibraryLibrarians love questions and finding answers.  The New York Public Library just unearthed some interesting reference questions, asked before Google was even a gleam in Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s eyes.  Here are a few questions.  Please give me the name of a book that dramatises bedbugs?  How much did Napoleon’s brain weigh?  See more questions at #letmelibrarianthatforyou.

Is the new Barbie too creepy? Little girls have always talked to their Barbies, but one coming this fall will actually listen and talk back.

Remember all those times you spoke to your smartphone, said “OK Google…” and asked a question? Or tapped the microphone to dictate a text message? Chances are, Google kept every audio recording. And you can play them back to yourself.

Legal marijuana is having an impact on the Denver housing market, according to CNN. People moving to Denver to work in the pot business need to buy homes, along with users of medical marijuana who have moved to Denver for health issues. “There are a lot of first-time buyers,” said Toby Waters, a real estate agent with Vision Denver Homes. “The rental market is insane, you can save money by buying a house.”

What do the homeless need? A city of geodesic domes, apparently.

At first glance, the warm, luminous development proposed for a Paris site doesn’t look much different than any other mixed-use project rising in other cities. But this village of high-rises is unique in that it would be made completely from wood—even the 35-story tower at the center.

Fancy living in a house that spins?  There is one for sale in New York for a bargain price of $975,000.   The rotation of the house allows the homeowners to take advantage of the daily and hourly weather and light, and you get the freedom to live in a round open space, instead of boxy rooms.

If you don’t want to be reliant on (or still don’t really like using) a trackpad, and tire of dragging a full-sized mouse around, then the Odin, a laser-projected mouse, might be worth a look.