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Inside the studio of John T. Unger, creator of gorgeous sculptural firebowls

I first met my friend John T. Unger back in the early 2000s when I stumbled upon his amazing sculptural firebowls — crafted from the round ends of recycled propane tanks. 

I adored the meta nature of this form he invented: The bowls are crafted from a substance that’s related to fire itself (propane tanks), decorated with licking-flame patterns redolent of the paint jobs on 1950s hotrods, and are, in the end, functional containers for flame — you build a fire inside, and it casts gorgeous flame-shadows in all directions …

I love layered, functional art like this.

John became a regular and brilliant commenter on my old blog Collision Detection, a prolific blogger himself, and has continually cranked out evermore ambitious art using reclaimed materials, including a series of huge mosaics — one of my favorites is his massive American flag mosaic made from 20,000 Budweiser beer caps.

But

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  • December 5, 2020
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Fenyx Rising’ is a worthy adventure wavering between cringe and charm

Aphrodite says she wants to extend her “apple care.” Hermes needs a haircut, because what a slob, right? And according to the game, Greek columns are so “played out.”

The comedy in Ubisoft’s “Immortals: Fenyx Rising” may be beyond endurance for some folks. It’s also unrelenting. Zeus and the Titan Prometheus narrate Fenyx’s entire adventure, but never shut up even for a few minutes. Every new area demands new snark from the oafish Zeus, who complains about needing to get back into shape, and that the story took too long to get to the title screen. It’s another semi-self-aware, open-world Ubisoft game with an overly long introduction. It’s a new intellectual property, albeit set in the “played out” world of Greek mythology, and built from the foundations of the “Assassin’s Creed” series. And like most Ubisoft games, the writing and character work leaves a lot to be desired.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

So it’s

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  • December 5, 2020
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An escape to mountains in North Carolina



a person standing in front of a bridge over a body of water


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This was supposed to be the year of the bucket-list trip for us. My wife and I had both planned to take extended time off from work as we carefully crafted our month-long adventure throughout Southeast Asia with our kids. As we watched the pandemic sweep the globe, we knew we’d have to cancel our aspirational trip to the Far East and put it off for another year at least.

Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve stayed home in South Florida almost entirely, except for a few local road trips where we could isolate safely. We canceled all other travel plans and instead refocused our energy on homeownership again. But with the colder weather arriving in

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  • December 5, 2020
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‘I never thought I wouldn’t climb it’: Lancaster man climbs Mount Kilimanjaro after receiving lung transplant | Food + Living

David Skalski was hiking Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania on the Rongai route, moving from east to west, advancing through the alpine desert of Kibo Hut at 15,931 feet, approaching Gilman’s Point at 18,885 feet. In the distance he could clearly see the ice cap of Uhuru Peak at 19,341 feet. He couldn’t speak with the tube down his throat. His hiking sticks were two rolled up hand towels. He saw the red exit sign in the corner of his room in Lancaster General Hospital.

Skalski was delirious from the anesthesia and heavy sedatives.

“I was climbing the mountain in my brain,” says Skalski, 65, of Lancaster.

While Skalski, a former fighter jet pilot, was hooked up to a ventilator and hiking through the hazy altitudes of Mount Kilimanjaro in his mind, the doctors at LGH were performing a biopsy surgery on his lungs.

The doctors determined Skalski needed a left

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  • December 5, 2020
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Lancaster man receives lung transplant and climbs Mount Kilimanjaro | Food + Living

David Skalski was hiking Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania on the Rongai route, moving from east to west, advancing through the alpine desert of Kibo Hut at 15,931 feet, approaching Gilman’s Point at 18,885 feet. In the distance he could clearly see the ice cap of Uhuru Peak at 19,341 feet. He couldn’t speak with the tube down his throat. His hiking sticks were two rolled up hand towels. He saw the red exit sign in the corner of his room in Lancaster General Hospital.

Skalski was delirious from the anesthesia and heavy sedatives.

“I was climbing the mountain in my brain,” says Skalski, 65, of Lancaster.

While Skalski, a former fighter jet pilot, was hooked up to a ventilator and hiking through the hazy altitudes of Mount Kilimanjaro in his mind, the doctors at LGH were performing a biopsy surgery on his lungs.

The doctors determined Skalski needed a left

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  • December 5, 2020
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After 15 years I’m leaving London, and it’s a bittersweet farewell

After the far west tip of Cornwall, where life feels relatively sane, London feels wrecked. In Soho, vibrant streets have collapsed into silence. Even Dalston, where hipsters don’t care about Covid, is eerily still.

Most of my friends have left the city, swapping expensive rents for their parent’s homes. Others had already been priced out. Now it seems madness to me that a young couple is willing to spend a fortune to drive each other crazy working from home in my cramped flat. Still, I’ll take the cash.

Perhaps they will pull out? Then I could fantasise about moving to the country without actually having to do it.

I lie awake doing long-multiplication – juggling the cost of the mortgage and the bills; balancing the stamp-duty saving vs the expense of a short-term rental. Then catastrophising about what I’ll do if house prices fall and I become a mortgage prisoner,

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  • December 5, 2020
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5 software acquisitions Salesforce’s Slack deal could spur

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Salesforce’s nearly $28 billion Slack-quisition is shaking up the software world by pushing competitors to consider big bets of their own.

The jumbo-size deal for the workplace instant messaging service, announced Tuesday, can be viewed as a salvo directed at a common foe. Salesforce and Slack are most obviously taking on Microsoft, the Office juggernaut whose grip on virtual workplaces tightened this year as the number of people working remotely soared during the pandemic.

Slack was wounded by the surging use of Microsoft Teams, the company’s newly popular teleconferencing tool. Videoconferencing service Zoom added to Slack’s challenges.

But there’s more to the Slack-force combo than joining forces against Microsoft. Salesforce is also trying, preemptively, to keep ahead of rising rivals like Google. The search giant is keenly interested

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  • December 5, 2020
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Mystery Takes Downtown Back To Future

Thomas Breen photos

Archaeologists from the future have sent a backpack of clues back to present-day New Haven. They need our help solving an outdoor puzzle.

If you solve the challenges laid out below by the end of this article, it will reveal to you the secrets behind a new brain-crunching, pandemic-safe way to explore downtown.

This new outdoor puzzle is called The Chauncey Conundrum.

It was created by the real-life adventure game designers at Escape New Haven. It launched two weeks ago.

The game starts with 19th-century industrialist Chauncey Jerome.

It turns out that, when he wasn’t running the Hamilton Street clock factory, Jerome was tinkering away on quite the novel discovery: time travel.

According to the game, Elm City archaeologists from the future need the help of present-day puzzle solvers to crack the code on how Jerome’s time-hopping tech really works.

So they’ve sent a backpack full of objects, maps, instructions,

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  • December 4, 2020
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Christmas events in Alabama 2020: Lights, skating rinks, concerts, Santa visits and more

Christmas can’t be stopped by the coronavirus pandemic.

Holiday events are happening in Alabama, aimed at bringing good cheer during stressful times. Some have gone virtual, streaming live or available online during specific time periods. Other events come with new guidelines such as timed entry, reduced capacity, social distancing and face mask requirements. (Let’s stay safe out there!)

Here’s our annual guide to holiday happenings throughout the state, with info on skating rinks, visits with Santa, lights displays, concerts, movie screenings, holiday markets, dance performances and more. If you’re planning to take part, make sure to check the details for 2020, which may have changed significantly because of the pandemic. Here’s wishing you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season!

SANTA’S WONDERLAND

What: “Contactless Claus” visits with Santa.

When: Through Dec. 24, reservations required, can be made up to seven days in advance.

Where: Bass Pro Shops, 5000 Bass

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  • December 4, 2020
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Brits reveal their ideal road trip

THE perfect road trip would last just under three hours, feature a sea view – and include a sing-a-long to 56 songs.

A study of 2,000 Brits suggests three is the magic number, with this being revealed as the ideal amount of people in the car and also the number of breaks that would be taken.

A study of 2,000 Brits found that the ideal road trip is less than three hours

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A study of 2,000 Brits found that the ideal road trip is less than three hoursCredit: Getty – Contributor

These pit-stops would include taking in a nice view (58 per cent), grabbing something to eat (53 per cent) and even taking a walk (43 per cent).

The research, commissioned by Honda, also found the ultimate journey would feature views of mountains (51 per cent) and countryside roads (68 per cent).

As a result, if there was the option of getting to an end destination via a motorway and scenic route, 77 per

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  • December 4, 2020