Just discovered the work of German photographer Bernd Edgar Wichmann. His portfolio is chalk-full of accomplished commercial work for dozens of brands, agencies, and magazines, but it’s his landscape work shown above that’s truly inspiring to me. It’s as if his camera is hovering in the sky above the images he shoots.
This Barcelona apartment comes with cartoon doodles on the walls, toy boxes and an indoor hammockYes, a city break with the kids can be enjoyable, if you stay in child-friendly pads like these – from a Barcelona apartment with toys galore to Budapest with babysitters
With a comic-strip-print sofa, cartoon doodles on the walls, toy boxes, and an indoor hammock, this small but sleek apartment has been designed with kids in mind. There’s no television, but the owner Mavi runsmammaproof.org, a blog about exploring Spain with children in tow, so she’ll have plenty of ideas about how to keep the nippers entertained. Guests can even use a brand new Bugaboo Bee 3 during their stay, the perfect vehicle for transporting sleepy little ones to Gaudí’s Park Güell (15 minutes’ walk) or his Sagrada Família (20 minutes).
Voted best for kids by i-escape last year, these two-bedroom apartments are in a 19th-century block in Berlin’s bohemian Prenzlauer Berg district, within walking distance of dozens of child-friendly cafes and twokindercafes (play cafes): Onkel Albert on Zionskirchstrasse, and Das Spielzimmer on Schliemannstrasse. The owner, Simon, lives in the block with his family and is on hand to share tips on Berlin, recently proclaimed Europe’s most family-friendly city by home rental website Housetrip.com. Simon recommends the children’s museum Machmit, a five-minute tram ride away, and the Moritzhof children’s farm at the Mauerpark, with pony riding and a petting zoo. English-speaking babysitting available.
• i-escape.com/brilliant-apartments/kids. From €132 a night for a family of four
Close enough to the action but in a quieter residential area that is dotted with leafy parks and playgrounds, laid-back cafes and boulangeries, this two-bed apartment is a favourite with families. The number 76 bus takes you to the Louvre in 20 minutes and, if the kids behave themselves, afterwards to the Jardin de Tuileries next door. Here you can hire model boats to sail on the lake (€1 for 30 minutes). Trains from the RER station (10 minutes’ walk away) take you to Disneyland Paris within an hour.
• homeaway.co.uk/p89542. From £400 a week for four people, minimum seven-night stay in peak season
Palma de Mallorca
Next to its food market, Mercat de l’Olivar, in the buzzy pedestrianised old town, five minutes’ walk to a park and an indoor pool, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better-situated family apartment in Palma. It’s only a 15-minute walk to the beach and there’s an ice-cream shop on the corner too. There are two apartments – contemporary Lotus and Bougainvillea, more shabby chic – both with two bedrooms and sleeping up to six people. The owner, Zaretta, lives next door and is happy to share tips, let you borrow children’s books, DVDs, and a bucket and spade for beach days. The apartment is double-glazed and has a lift, although there are a few steps to climb first.
• homeaway.co.uk/p438979. From €120 a night for up to six people
Parents of toddlers beware: most apartments in Amsterdam come with steep, narrow stairs. Many also come with balconies. That’s why this spacious stair-free, balcony-free two-bedroom apartment is such a find. It’s ground floor but, thanks to the high ceilings, skylights and large windows, feels more like a loft apartment. It sleeps four comfortably but can accommodate six, or eight with the sofa bed. The location is great too – a short walk to the city’s largest park, Vondelpark, where kids can clamber about at the old-school playground and sample child-pleasingpoffertjes (mini Dutch pancakes) at Groot Melkhuis cafe.
• airbnb.co.uk. From £148 a night for four people
Kids will love rummaging around in the fancy dress cupboard in this large four-bedroom ground-floor apartment, with high ceilings, a large open-plan lounge and kitchen and access to a central courtyard garden. The apartment owners can arrange babysitting and an English-speaking kids’ day camp. They also run a minibus business, so can do airport pick-ups, city tours and get you discounts on family attractions, including Aquaworld(17 pools, 11 slides) and the hire of a bringo hintó, a four or six-man pedal-powered vehicle for exploring Margaret Island, a landscaped park in the middle of the Danube with a small zoo, playgrounds, and a musical fountain.
• housetrip.com/en/rentals/5452. From €98 a night for seven people (10 with sofa beds)
Children aged five and under can stay for free at these two funky ground-floor apartments, which can be joined together via an interior hallway for larger families (nine maximum). They’re just a five-minute walk from the city’s 3,200-acre Prater Park, home to one of the world’s oldest amusement parks with rollercoasters, bumper cars, a ghost train, maze, go-carts, trampolines, mini-golf, and Vienna’s famous giant ferris wheel. Also nearby is the traffic-free campus of the University of Economics, perfect for letting little ones run wild – and it has a toddler-friendly cafe. Another smaller park is just across the road. If the kids still aren’t tired, back at the apartment there’s a little front yard, lovely wooden toys, finger puppets and a rocking horse.
• praterloft.at. €100 a night for four people
This pretty three-bedroom apartment is five minutes from the Vatican and the Piazza del Popole and is even closer to two beautiful parks and arguably Rome’s best ice-cream parlour, Gelateria dei Gracchi. Tech-crazy kids, meanwhile, will be begging to go to Vigamus, the video-game museum, which is nearby. The owner, Audrey, used to live in the apartment with her son and daughter and they have kindly left behind many of their favourite toys and games, tidied away in boxes in their bright and cheery bunk-bed room.
• homeaway.co.uk/p1187828. From €149 a night for up to six people
Little ones will love catching the funicular to these small but charming hilltop apartments in Lisbon’s Pena district. Both have two bedrooms (one double, one twin) and spectacular views: across tiled rooftops and the river to the Rossio, Lisbon’s main square, or from Travessa to the ruins of Igreja do Carmo, Lisbon’s gothic monument to the city’s 1755 earthquake. Both apartments are packed with local antiques, but also have wooden train sets, jigsaw puzzles, children’s books, DVDs, and beach toys. The family-friendly beach, Santo Amaro, is a 30-minute train ride away.
• sawdays.co.uk. From €85 a night, five-night minimum booking in peak season
Even the children will appreciate the magical views from these elegant riverside apartments, looking across the Vltava to the Charles bridge and the city’s famous castle. These spacious and well-equipped apartments are on the first and second floor, accessed by 600-year-old spiral sandstone steps, but don’t worry, there’s also a private lift. Close by is the Kampa Park, which has a great playground for little ones and is home toHergetova Cihelna, a restaurant which does a lively Sunday family brunch with a kids’ corner, toys, professional babysitters and children under 1 metre tall eat for free. Each week there’s face-painting and entertainment, from magicians, pirates or Batman.
• ownersdirect.co.uk. From €114 a night for four people
A new report from Pew Research brings together almost 2,000 experts to comprehensively assess the effect of robots on the workplace
Experts are divided over the role of robots over the next decade, with some arguing that they will create more jobs than they displace, and others worrying that they could lead to income inequality and a breakdown in social order.
The findings come from a report by Pew Research, which surveyed almost two thousand individuals with expertise in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and economics, to find out their predictions for the role of automation between today and 2025. The experts were almost perfectly split, with 52% predicting an optimistic path, and 48% worrying about the future.
The optimists envisioned “a future in which robots and digital agents do not displace more jobs than they create,” according to Aaron Smith, the report’s co-author. But the pessimistic view was that automation “will displace significant numbers of both blue- and white-collar workers.
“A number of the respondents warned that this aspect of technical evolution will lead to vast increases in income inequality, masses of people who are effectively unemployable and the possibility of breakdowns in the social order.”
Almost all of the respondents are united on one thing: the displacement of work by robots and AI is going to continue, and accelerate, over the coming decade. Where they split is in the societal response to that displacement.
The optimists predict that the economic boom that would result from vastly reduced costs to businesses would lead to the creation of new jobs in huge numbers, and a newfound premium being placed on the value of work that requires “uniquely human capabilities”. In the end, as Lee Rainie, another co-author of the report, puts it, it could result in a “freedom from day-to-day drudger that allows people to define work in a more positive and socially beneficial way”.
Microsoft’s Jonathan Grudin told researchers that “Technology will continue to disrupt jobs, but more jobs seem likely to be created. When the world population was a few hundred million people there were hundreds of millions of jobs. Although there have always been unemployed people, when we reached a few billion people there were billions of jobs. There is no shortage of things that need to be done and that will not change.”
But the pessimists worry that the benefits of the labor replacement will accrue to those already wealthy enough to own the automatons, be that in the form of patents for algorithmic workers or the physical form of robots.
The ranks of the unemployed could swell, as people are laid off from work they are qualified in without the ability to retrain for careers where their humanity is a positive. And since this will happen in every economic sector simultaneously, civil unrest could be the result.
“Unlike previous disruptions such as when farming machinery displaced farm workers but created factory jobs making the machines, robotics and AI are different,” says Nasa’s Mark Nall.
“Due to their versatility and growing capabilities, not just a few economic sectors will be affected, but whole swaths will be. This is already being seen now in areas from robocalls to lights-out manufacturing. Economic efficiency will be the driver. The social consequence is that good-paying jobs will be increasingly scarce.”
One thing many experts agreed on was the need for education to prepare for a post-automation world. ““Only the best-educated humans will compete with machines,” said internet sociologist Howard Rheingold.
“And education systems in the US and much of the rest of the world are still sitting students in rows and columns, teaching them to keep quiet and memorise what is told them, preparing them for life in a 20th century factory.”
Seattle, WA-based photographer Griffin Lamb inspires serious wanderlust with his breathtaking shots of sweeping landscapes in the Pacific Northwest.
Influenced by the gorgeous scenery of Washington, Lamb travels to places like the North Cascades to capture dramatic images that showcase the splendor of our world.
Magnificent mountains, ice-blue lakes, and towering trees are rendered in subdued tones and vivid pops of color in Lamb’s stunning photos.
The images, nearly devoid of human presence save for the occasional tiny figure soaking in the raw beauty around him, serve as a reminder of just how small we are in the face of the awe-inspiring, expansive nature surrounding us.
The ozora crew managed to put down another great edition !
Many thanks to all the people, volunteers and crew for putting this up every year and make it better each time. See you next year beautifull people !! Filmed and edited by : NVVD, 2013
The vibrant green wall pictured above seems to climb miles above this quaint table for two. I can imagine that while dining, the air would be fragrant with a fresh green scent. I love what climbing plants can do for empty walls in an indoor space. One of my recent favorites are stylishly modern green tiled walls.
2. Three-for-One: Hydroponic, Solar Powered, Vertical Garden Can’t you just experience your eco-fantasy with this combination of the urban gardener’s beloved trilogy: solar power, vertical garden and hydroponics?
3. Productive Verticals for Small Space Harvests This vertical garden is something we can all do ourselves. I love how it is placed between city windows and surrounded by rusted buoys. There are many options for building your own indoor vertical garden, but this one looks particularly fun.
5. These Planters Come in Peace These alienesque planters have so much personality! I love to think of them in a minimalist room, keeping the residents company and cleaning the air to boot. Creative planters add so much to a space and these “speak” to me.
8. Floating Garden! Don’t ask me how you water this–I’m guessing a pulley system is involved–but wow, this is fantastic. Its shape and color make this floating garden at once chic and playful. Can you imagine having this stunning structure in your garden?
9. Fantasy Nap I’m relaxing just thinking of having a crisp bed in a room that opens to a lovely garden. Taking a swim and napping poolside in this romantic and minimal space sounds just about perfect right now.
10. A Light in the Woods This striking light sculpture is made from Coastal Northern California Monterey Cypress. Each piece designed by SplitGrain is totally unique and 100% handmade. I love the elegance and texture of this piece.