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Redrawing the World’s Climate Maps

As human-caused emissions change the planet’s atmosphere and people reshape the landscape, things are changing fast. The receding line of Arctic ice has made headlines for years, as the white patch at the top of our planet shrinks dramatically. The ocean is rising, gobbling up coastlines. Plants, animals, and diseases are on the move as their patches of suitable climate move too. Sometimes, the lines on the map can literally be redrawn: the line of where wheat will grow, or where tornadoes tend to form, where deserts end, where the frozen ground thaws, and even where the boundaries of the…

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Holiday Gift Guide 2018: 9 Gifts That Give Back

What to get the do-gooder in your life? Here are nine gift ideas that come with a promise to give back. Above: The Cotton Hot Water Bottle Cover is £34 from Aerende, a UK shop offering “a lovingly sourced collection of handmade items for your home,” founder Emily Mathieson says. “All of our products are created in the UK by people facing social challenges.” (For more, see our post A New Range of Life-Improving Housewares from a UK Travel Editor.) Above: Our London correspondent Christine Chang Hanway clued us in to newly launched company Ishkar, founded by Flore de Taise and Edmund le…

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Tiny Houses in the Woods

Getaway has spread 80 tiny houses in clusters around three major East Coast cities and has plans to expand across the U.S. (Photo: Getaway) A pair of Harvard entrepreneurs is putting a new twist on a very old idea: spending a few days in the woods is good for what ails you. But rather than recommending tent space at a state campground, or a slot at an RV park, Getaway suggests renting one of its tiny houses within a two-hour drive of a major urban center. The company is the invention of two Harvard grads, Pete Davis and Jon Staff.…

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East Meets West: Inside Range Life in California

Should you find yourself in the small Northern California wine town of Livermore, stop into newly opened Range Life, a restaurant and cocktail bar in a historic brick carriage house. The project is a collaboration between a couple from New York (Lauren Heanes-Longwell, a commercial set designer, and Waine Longwell, a mixologist from Brooklyn’s craft cocktail scene) and a couple from San Francisco (Bill Niles, the former chef at Tartine Manufactory, and sommelier Sarah Niles). Lauren, a Livermore native, remembered the 1800s brick building from her childhood. “It used to service the railroad going up to the Sierra and was sited…

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Urban Rustic: Choosing Windows

Editor’s note: This post is one of a series by Eric Whetzel about the design and construction of his house in Palatine, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. A list of Eric’s previous posts appears below. For more details, see Eric’s blog, Kimchi & Kraut. When my wife’s cousin found out we were trying to build a high-performance new home (a mix of Passive House and Pretty Good House), he suggested we incorporate his company’s self-tinting glass. Used largely in commercial applications since its introduction, the product (Suntuitive) is beginning to make inroads into the residential market as the cost comes…

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Kentucky Italianate for $9,990 | Save This Old House

Kentucky Italianate for $9,990 | Save This Old House 3 × Impractical Addition Impractical Addition Photo by Eric Whisman, Kentucky Trust for Historic Preservation What it needs: The house is structurally sound, but will require new plumbing, electrical, and HVAC when it arrives in its new location, as well as a new roof, kitchen, and bathroom, plus exterior and cosmetic repairs. Preserved under the vinyl siding are original clapboards, which appear to have years of life left once restored. A good selection of suitable parcels are available nearby, starting at around $50,000. Located in the Ohio River Valley, about 12…

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