Zombie-licious tidbit: housing!

Hi, kids! Happy Saturday! So my ever-alert sibling sent me the most awesome link yesterday. It’s the zombie-proof house. OMG.

Here is the link, from All That Is Interesting. (shout-out to ATII!)

And here are a couple of photos, to give you a sense of it all:

When it’s locked down:


Not very appealing, is it? I mean, in terms of zombie-proof-ness, that’s pretty decent. But wouldn’t you love to have a fab living space, too? Well, ta-da!


There’s also a drawbridge between building one and building two (building two houses a swimming pool).

I did a little research, and thanks to ATII, the designers of this “safe house” (probably not intended, necessarily, to fend off zombies but rather warfare or some such) are the firm KWK Promes. This house is located outside Warsaw, Poland. Here’s another link that gives you a ton of info about the house, along with more photos, thumbnail photos, and the plans of the house.

Seriously awes-matic, friends. The house is like a plant. It opens up in the morning and closes up at dusk. CRAZY! I couldn’t find a price for this pup, but at 6100 square feet with all those amenities and fortifications? I’m sure we’re talking serious moolah.

The only drawback to a place like this in a zombie apocalypse is if you don’t have access to food/supply lines. Because sure, the zombies will be gathered outside your giant concrete wall, but who cares? You can pick ’em off at your leisure, I guess (there’s a disgusting, macabre image for you) while your kids are frolicking in the yard or the spouse is taking a few laps in the pool. But again, if you don’t have access to supply lines and no way to get to ’em, the house proves to be a prison as well as a castle.

However, I find myself strangely drawn to this thing. Seriously decorative protection.

There you go! Happy surviving and happy weekend!

Cool reading

So there I was, skipping around the interwebs, and I came across this in The Atlantic: “Nearly 100 Fantastic Pieces of Journalism.” That is, a list of nearly a hundred articles The Atlantic listed as TEH AWESOME in journalism. You’ll find the link to the list at the end of the blog. In the meantime…

The articles are grouped by topics. For example, the first topic is “The Art of Storytelling” and in that you’ll find articles like Mariah Blake’s “Dirty Medicine,” from the Washington Monthly, which profiles the dysfunctional health and medical industry and how health care reform hasn’t changed a thing. Another is Malcolm Gladwell’s “Pandora’s Briefcase,” which appeared in The New Yorker. It’s a story about one of the most successful acts of espionage in WWII.

Or, if that’s not your thing, try something in the Crime and Punishment section, like Sean Gardiner’s “A Solitary Jailhouse Lawyer Argues His Way Out of Prison,” in The Wall Street Journal, which details how a high school dropout educated himself in a law library, confronted witnesses who testified against him, and proved the corruption of the prosecutor who wrongfully convicted him. Or how about “The Ballad of Colton Harris-Moore,” by Bob Friel in Outside Magazine, which traces the actions of a teen fugitive in the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington, and how he made a mockery of law enforcement.

Perhaps something from Science, Religion, and Human Nature? Like Forrest Wilder’s “He Who Casts the First Stone,” about a militant Christian group in Amarillo, Texas that targets people and businesses with campaigns of constant harassment. You can find that in the Texas Observer. Or a story from The Atlantic about the first person diagnosed with autism, and what his long, happy life could tell us. That’s “Autism’s First Child,” by John Donvan and Karen Zucker.

And that’s just a teeny tiny bit of what you’ll find at this link right here. Each listed story has a link to that story, so browse, find something that appeals to you, and…

happy reading!

Sunday Readin’ Tip

Hi, kids. This weekend has been crazy bizzy and I haven’t been the lovely blog hostess that I tend to be (HA HA!).

I’m finally able to sit down and give you a reading tip.

As some of you know, I read a lot of nonfiction and different magazines. I came across this essay in High Country News, a bimonthly western-based news magazine, called “Ghosts, Walking” by author Craig Childs.

It’s a painfully beautiful essay about a walk across the Navajo Nation. Here’s a taste of Childs’ absolutely delicious prose:

We change the way we move, try to make ourselves invisible, traveling away from animal trails through a busted topography of fallen cliffs and deeper canyons. In the evening, I walk by myself along a canyon made of soaring rock and massive columns of fir. It is last light, and the forest looks pointillist, nothing solid enough to seem real. I reach a water hole, punch through the ice, fill my bottles. Loping back to camp with fresh supplies, shadows grow thick and I move faster. Everything has eyes.

Here’s the link to “Ghosts, Walking.”

The essay garnered some controversy.

This author was not happy that Childs trespassed across Navajo land. You’ll see that letter plus Childs’ response at the link.

Writers like Childs collapse boundaries between built world and wild, between human and nonhuman, and allow us to feel the sting of wind, hear the eerie hoot of an owl echo off canyon walls, and feel the weight of time and history. And he makes us think about land and how we define it. So get a taste of Childs with this essay, and then maybe try some of his book-length works. Reading him is a sensory experience.

Happy reading, happy writing, happy Sunday!

Sunday readin’ tip

Hey, kids–

I read a lot of different things, as I’ve explained in the past. That includes magazine articles. I’d like to call your attention to a fascinating piece Rolling Stone mag did in February on former president Jimmy Carter. I wasn’t quite old enough to vote yet when Carter was elected in 1976, but I do remember some of the big things that happened during his administration.

I’ve always been intrigued by Carter because he seems approachable as a man, but also aloof. Enigmatic, I think, is one of the words I’ve used to describe him. He’s a mixture of idealism and hard, cold statistics and it seems he’s been able, to a certain extent, to balance those two things, especially in the years since his presidency. Currently, he’s engaged in some big humanitarian issues, and he has said some immensely unpopular things, but what I find fascinating about Carter is that he is a man of conviction — whether I agree with him or not — and he’s also willing to consider different angles and possibilities when confronted by different facts and situations.

This piece clarified a few things for me with regard to Carter, and I find looking back on people who were representative, to a certain extent, of a particular aspect of an era I lived through (in this case, Carter as a representative of a political context) a useful exercise in comparing what I was thinking then with who I am now and how my views and perspectives have changed or not. So regardless of your political leanings, reading about political leaders and figures is always helpful to shed some light on historic context.

Anyway, here’s the link to the piece, at Rolling Stone Magazine. It’s called “The Riddle of Jimmy Carter.”

Happy Sunday, whatever you celebrate.

Sunday Readin’ Tip

So I don’t always post info about books I read that I think are groovy. I also read a lot of magazines, and when I come across an article I think is cool/provocative, I’ll post a link to it. And that’s exactly what I’m doing now!

Here’s a link to Henry Shukman’s “Chernobyl: My Primeval, Teeming, Irradiated Eden,” published in the March, 2011 edition of Outside Magazine.

Here’s the intro:

Twenty-five years after the Soviet-era meltdown drove 60,000 people from their homes in the Ukraine, a rebirth is taking place inside the exclusion zone. With Geiger counter in hand, the author explores Europe’s strangest wildlife refuge, an enchanted postapocalyptic forest from which entirely new species may soon emerge.

This is a fascinating journey through an area that nature is slowly reclaiming, but we still don’t know the price we’ve paid for that. Shukman’s narrative style sucks you right into the story and his descriptions are superb. He really captures the weird vibe that this off-limits area exudes, and the questions that linger about it. For those of us who remember the meltdown, it’s a reminder about the impact it still has, and what could ultimately come of it. Give it a read, and see what kinds of comments it generated.