A Dedication to wood with the Oak Bicycle.

The cask, re-imagined

A creative collaboration in wood

 

With such elegant curves and smooth lines, it is certain to draw the eye. But there is more to this beautiful wooden bicycle than appearances suggest. Meticulously engineered to create the smoothest of rides, its innovative frame contains a small proportion of sapele wood and is hand-crafted from the finest American oak which, intriguingly, has already given years of exceptional service to Glenmorangie’s award-winning Highland single malt whisky…

The Glenmorangie Original bicycle is the culmination of a creative collaboration between Glenmorangie single malt Scotch whisky, and Renovo Hardwood Bicycles, inventors of the first engineered wooden bicycles. United by their passion for wood, exceptional craftsmanship and zeal for innovation, these kindred spirits were inspired to celebrate the casks which bring to maturity Glenmorangie Original, the Distillery’s signature single malt, in the world’s first bicycles made from whisky casks.

Dedication to wood

Since 1843, Glenmorangie has been revered for its masterful whisky creation, challenging the bounds of single malt in pursuit of excellence. The Distillery’s dedication to its craft is never more apparent than in The Original. Created from spirit distilled in Scotland’s tallest stills, it is matured for ten years in the finest hand-selected ex-bourbon casks.

And unlike other distilleries, who may use their casks many times, the casks of The Original are only ever used twice, to ensure they enrich Glenmorangie’s delicate spirit with their fullest depths of flavour

In honour of these casks, which so shape The Original’s uniquely smooth and rounded character, Glenmorangie has searched the world to find brands which share its respect for wood and pioneering spirit. The single malt’s Beyond the Casks series began last year, with an innovative collaboration with British eyewear brand Finlay & Co. to create the world’s first Scotch whisky sunglasses from The Original’s casks. Renovo seemed a perfect partner for the second inspiring limited edition.

 

A meeting of minds

“From the moment we began talking to Renovo, we realised there was a natural affinity between our brands,” explains Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation. “Renovo shares our uncompromising approach to craftsmanship and, like Glenmorangie, is known for its pioneering work with wood. So, we shipped a pallet of staves from second-fill casks which once contained The Original from our Highland Distillery to Renovo’s workshop in the U.S. Then, we began to imagine the possibilities…”

 

Renovo was founded in 2007 by Ken Wheeler, a keen touring cyclist. He was inspired by wood’s unrivalled ability to absorb shock and resist fatigue to begin designing unique, hollow-framed wooden bicycles that displayed all the durability and beauty of an heirloom. Ken, who has a background in aeroplane engineering, was delighted by the prospect of working with Glenmorangie’s casks. “The American oak from which Glenmorangie makes its casks is a great wood,” he says. “Its engineering properties are ideal for bikes, as hard woods have a high stiffness. For us, the only aspect that was different was the shape of the staves, which have a curve to them, and the fact that they were a little damp, after spending years with whisky inside them… which, by the way, made them smell pretty good. Although, we have to admit to whisky fans, the scent has now diminished!”

 

Ken soon set his skilled craftsmen to work on these invitingly scented staves, creating innovative designs which would embrace the staves’ trapezoidal shape and their unique curvature. “We finally decided upon a design which would celebrate that curve in the downtube – the largest tube of the bicycle, which carries the most load,” he explains.

 

Creating an heirloom

Once the design was finalised, it took more than 20 hours – and 15 staves – to create each bicycle. At Renovo’s workshop, in Portland, Oregon, the wood was carefully cut into the shape required and any remaining charcoal (bourbon barrels are traditionally charred on the inside) was smoothed away. Ken’s craftsmen married the American oak with darker sapele wood, to bring an intriguing colour contrast to the hollow frame. Finally, they added a durable coating, and decorated the frame with Glenmorangie’s Signet icon and each bicycle’s individual number.

 

The finished bicycle, fitted with superior handlebars, pedals and other accessories, is a celebration of the values that Glenmorangie and Renovo share. Dr Bill adds: “In these beautiful bicycles, we have created a lasting tribute to Glenmorangie Original’s casks to which our award-winning whisky owes so much. I’m delighted that through our pioneering collaboration with Renovo, founded on a shared passion for innovation and expertise in wood – we ensure that these wonderful casks live on and on.”

The Original

The original expression of our elegant, floral spirit and the showcase whisky in the Glenmorangie range.

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World’s fastest go-kart reaches 0-60mph in 1.5 seconds

The world’s fastest go-kart, the C5 Blast Go-Kart Ultimate, is claiming a 0-60mph (97km/h) time of just 1.5-seconds, making it nearly twice as fast as the most potent Tesla Model S.

Canadian kart maker Daymak claim to have made an electric kart that can accelerate quicker than an F1 car.

You have to get through Canadian winters somehow, and Toronto-based kart manufacturer Daymak clearly spend theirs pushing the boundaries of how fast they can make a go kart, er, go.

Enter the firm’s new C5 Blast Go-Kart Ultimate. Daymak are claiming an astonishing 0-60mph time for the kart of just 1.5 seconds – that’s quicker than a MotoGP bike, F1 car or rallycross supercar. Now imagine all that acceleration with your bum hanging mere millimetres off the tarmac…

The kart is packing full 12 EDF – or Electric Ducted Fan – motors, with eight located on either side of the driver, and four behind, making it look like an angry, protective peacock.

The price? Well, the C5 Blast Go-Kart Ultimate will set you back $60,000 in Canadian Dollars – about £34,000 – which does sound a lot for a kart. But then again, we doubt you could find a machine that will let you go faster for less, right?

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“Speed will not be an issue, and we think we can eventually go under one-second 0-to-60mph, making it faster than any vehicle in existence,” said Aldo Baiocchi, President of Daymak.

Each go-kart is custom built and tested, with delivery taking 60 days after purchase.

Ask yourself, Are you smarter than a pigeon?

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Before you answer “Yes!” — look at these three quick scenarios. And if you find out you’re a bit bird-brained, remember: intelligence is all relative, says psychologist Ben Ambridge.

What makes humans special? What makes us different from animals? After reviewing many studies of both humans and animals, my conclusion is: less than you might think. While we may not choose to call them civilizations, many animals — from chimpanzees to chickens — live in groups with a clearly defined pecking order and display many kinds of abilities. Ants and bees will give you a good run for your money on tests of route-planning and puzzle-solving; starlings “make music” in that their songs are constructed around the same scales as most traditional Western compositions, and abstract thinking is shown by crows, squirrels and box turtles in tests that involve using patterns or rational inferences to figure out the location of a tasty treat. Whether or not other animals can learn human language is a long-running debate, but many — dogs in particular — can learn an impressive number of individual words. And while it might be a stretch to call it science and engineering, chimpanzees are one of a number of animals who can use tools: they’ve figured out how to ant-dip (use a shoot as a spoon to pick up ants) and termite-fish (use a thin twig as a rod to catch termites).

Of course, nobody is denying that humans can do plenty of things that other animals can’t. All I hope to persuade you is that, in the words of Charles Darwin, the difference is “one of degree and not of kind”: the same abilities that allow starlings to sing, parrots to count and fish to find their way home allow humans to write symphonies, do calculus and invent Google Maps. We don’t do anything different from other animals; we do the same things, only better. While the below tests might sound a little frivolous, they have a firm scientific basis and they’re based on peer-reviewed articles from reputable academic journals. By exploring the similarities and differences between humans and other animals, we can begin to understand when and how our abilities, our likes and dislikes, and even our foibles and mental blind spots arose in the course of evolution. Now get set to pit yourself against a pigeon in three short scenarios. After answering all them, you’ll see the answers.

Scenario #1: Two many phones!

You’ve just saved up to buy a fancy new phone, and you had to really put in the hours in a part-time job (which you hate) but it was worth it. You place your order online, and the phone arrives first thing in the morning. That afternoon, an identical phone arrives. You contact the company, and — after keeping you on hold for an hour and failing to phone you back twice — a representative says the system can’t process a return and, in fact, you’d be doing the call center a favor if you just kept the phone. You agree and decide to treat your brother, whose birthday is coming up and whose current phone is all but unusable. But which of the two still-shrink-wrapped phones do you give him?

  1. The first one
  2. The second one

Scenario #2: Band-aid, please

Three months ago you bought a $190 ticket to see one of your favorite bands. Then yesterday, your #1 favorite band announced a new tour, and you snapped up a $125 ticket. In your excitement, you forgot to check the dates and — you guessed it — the shows are on the same night. You can’t sell either ticket: both bands are so obscure that their gigs never sell out, and everyone you know hates them. Which do you attend?

  1. The £150 gig
  2. The £95   gig

Scenario #3: Don’t be a mug

You want to buy some cool vintage coffee mugs and the more mugs the better (you hate washing up and have big cupboards). You go to a flea market. One seller has a box of 20 mugs, though three have nasty chips and two are missing handles. Another seller is offering, for the same price, a box of 12 intact mugs. You can’t buy both because — oh, I don’t know — the two sellers hate each other and each won’t deal with you if you’ve bought off the other. From whom do you buy your mugs?

  1. First seller
  2. Second seller

Answer #1: Two many phones

Well, there are no right or wrong answers here; the whole point is that it makes no difference. But, if this happened for real, I bet you’d give your brother the second free one, wouldn’t you? If so, you are showing a justification of effort effect: you value things that you have to work hard for much more than (identical) things that come cheap or for free. But in cases such as this one, this is a logical fallacy: it makes absolutely no difference which phone you give away and which you keep.

Pigeons show the same fallacy. Take pigeons that are trained to know both a red key and a green key give two seconds of access to grain when pecked. The clever part is that, in order to access the red key, the pigeons need to give one peck on a white key; but in order to access the green key, they need to give twenty pecks on the white key. Finally, pigeons are given a free choice — without needing to peck on the white key at all — between the red and green key. Which key do they prefer? Yes, the one that they usually had to work hard to get, even though, just as with the two phones, the results are exactly the same, two seconds of access to grain.

Answer #2: Band-aid, please

This time, there is a right answer: you should just go and see your favorite band. If you decide to go to see the other band, you are showing a sunk cost effect. Having already sunk a lot of money into the ticket, you can’t bear to waste it. Again, this is a fallacy. The past is gone forever whatever you do, so just go to the gig you’ll prefer.

Again pigeons (and also starlings) show the same fallacy. Suppose a pigeon has already pecked ten times on a green key. Now, in order to earn its food reward, it must give either another twenty pecks on the green key or ten new pecks on a red key. Even though it could save itself ten pecks worth of effort by switching to the red key, the pigeon prefers to stick with the green key, so as not to waste the ten pecks that it has already sunk into this key.

Answer #3: Don’t be a mug

The first seller is, in effect, offering 15 mugs, whereas the second is offering 12 mugs for the same price. You would be crazy to go with the second seller. If you did so, you are showing the less is more effect (thinking you’re getting more value by getting fewer pristine mugs). Again this is a fallacy. Less is not more. More is more. The fallacy arises because people tend to average over the whole set when making their judgement. For example, in one study, participants guessed that a hamburger had 734 calories but that a hamburger plus three sticks of celery (the saddest Happy Meal I’ve ever seen) had only 619 calories (and, no, they didn’t think that eating a stick of celery burns calories).

And pigeons again show the same fallacy. When given the choice between a pea alone and a pea plus a piece of milo (a relatively unappetizing grain), pigeons choose the pea — unless they have been starved beforehand, in which case they go for the meal deal. Similarly, dogs will choose a piece of cheese over a piece of cheese plus a bonus carrot, and macaques will choose a grape over a grape plus a bonus green bean. It’s not that they hate the milo, pea, carrot or green bean — they’ll eat it if that’s all that’s on offer — it’s just that pigeons, dogs and monkeys, like humans, sometimes think that less is more.

How did you do overall? Did you beat the pigeons? Probably not. The point of these studies was to show that pigeons show the same logical fallacies that are known to be widespread in humans. Why do we share these fallacies? Nobody knows for certain, but Thomas Zentall, who published a few papers that summarized these studies (and inspired another), has some suggestions. If an animal places more value on food that it has had to work hard for (justification of effort), then that may motivate it to persist longer when looking for food. Sunk cost effects may arise from the fact that, once you’ve got a food source you’re relatively happy with, moving seems unnecessarily risky, and this conservatism spills over into choices where there is in fact no such risk. Less is more effectslook puzzling to humans, but remember that most animals can’t count (or, at least, not very well). This means that, often, the best they can do is judge the overall average quality of two rival sources of (mixed) food, rather than work it out piece by piece.

If you made the same choices as pigeons, try not to feel so bad. Darwin was right: when it comes to the differences between humans and other animals, everything is relative and everything is a relative: we are all part of one big family.

Excerpted from the new book Are You Smarter Than a Chimpanzee? by Ben Ambridge. Copyright © 2017 by Ben Ambridge. Reprinted by permission of Profile Books, Inc. All rights reserved.

Do Pilots Have The Best Office Views In The World ?

747 Pilot Takes Stunning Photos From His Cockpit proves they Do.

The flying Dutchman, aka JPC Van Heijst, has probably the most awesome office on the planet. And although we’ve already seen some of the amazing photos he’s taken, we still haven’t seen the actual spectacle these pilots witness, with all the lights and switches in the way. Until now.

Being the first officer with Cargolux, Van Heijst flies Boeing 747s around the world: “Seeing the entire world in my job, I feel privileged to be in a position to capture many different parts of the planet through my camera and immortalize the beauty of the places I visit,” he told Daily Mail.

And while sure, not many of us can relate to this kind of ‘office’ experience, we’d love to see what sort of working environment you find yourself in daily. So feel free to share your office pics in the comments!

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50 Interesting Facts about the Human Body.

Few things are as complex and interesting to us as our own bodies. We each only have one, and it’s supported by thousands of parts working in unison. Understanding the pieces that make us who we are and how they work together is cool! Here are our favorite 40 facts about the human body!


50. Who shed all over the carpet?

Humans shed about 600,000 particles of skin every hour. In fact, most of the dust underneath your bed is probably your own dead skin.

49. Baby bones.

A human baby has 99 more bones than an adult. A baby’s skeleton is mostly made up of cartilage. As a person grows up, most of this cartilage turns into bone in a process called ossification, and the ossification process results in the joining of certain bones. Consequently, new born babies have around 305 bones, while an adult has just 206 bones.

48. A few small pieces.

An adult human being is made of approximately 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms. Obviously, this varies based on the size of the person and their body composition.

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47. Pumping the distance.

There are 100,000 miles of blood vessels in an adult human body. The largest blood vessel is the aorta, which is just over an inch in diameter.

46. Our awesome noses.

Researchers estimate that the average human being can distinguish between 1 trillion different odors. This is much more acute than the human eye, which can distinguish about 10 million different colors.

45. Swimming in spit.

In a lifetime, an average person produces about 25,000 quarts of saliva, enough to fill two swimming pools. We also produce about a litre of mucus per day.

44. It lives in you.

Your body has enough iron in it to forge a 3-inches-long nail. You also have enough sulfur to kill all fleas on an average dog, enough carbon to make 900 pencils, enough potassium to fire a toy cannon, enough fat to make 7 bars of soap, enough phosphorous to make 2,200 match heads, and enough water to fill a ten-gallon tank.

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43. Close your eyes.

We all have tiny mites living in our eyelashes. These little mites actually aren’t too choosey; they’ll live anywhere as long as they have access hair follicles. They’re found on other parts of the body and on a host of other mammals.

42. The strongest muscle.

Pound for pound, the strongest muscle in the human body is the masseter (jaw muscle). It can clamp your chompers shut with 55 pounds of force on the incisors and 200 pounds of force on the molars.

41. Stinky humans.

Sweat itself is odorless. It’s the bacteria on the skin that mingles with it and produces body odor. Bacteria that are naturally present on our skin thrive in sweaty regions.

40. Growing strong.

Your ears and nose will never stop growing until the day you die. In fact, your earlobes will also elongate from gravity.

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39. Don’t lick the gun.

Similar to fingerprints, everyone also has a unique tongue print. It may be some time before your local police station starts taking tongue prints, but research on the required 3-D imaging technology is already being developed and tested.

38. Strength if steel.

Ounce for ounce, human bones are stronger than steel. A cubic inch of bone can bear a load of 19,000 lbs.—roughly the weight of five pickup trucks.

37. Booze and blue.

People with blue eyes have a higher alcohol tolerance. Interestingly, they also have higher rates of alcohol abuse and dependency.

36. Better sight than your iPhone.

If the human eye was a digital camera it would have 576 megapixels. Currently, the most expensive digital camera in the world has 200 megapixels.

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35. Carrying some friends with you…

All of the bacteria in our body collectively weighs about 4 pounds. That’s enough to fill a big soup can. In fact, there are more bacteria in your mouth than there are people in the world.

34. Move to the music!

In some cardiovascular units, slow and quiet music is used to relax the patients and lower their blood pressure and heart rate.

33. Brain power.

Your brain accounts for only 2% of your body weight, yet it uses 20% of the total oxygen and blood in your body.

32. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).

If uncoiled, the DNA in all of your body’s cells would stretch 10 billion miles, which is long enough to reach from here to Pluto and back.

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31. Eaten from the inside…

Within three days of death, the enzymes that once digested your dinner begin to eat you. Ruptured cells will become food for the bacteria in your gut, which will release enough noxious gas to bloat your body and force your eyes to bulge outward.

30. Supercomputer storage.

In a lifetime, your brain’s long-term memory can hold up to 1 quadrillion (1 million billion) bits of information.

29. The perilous journey of a hot dog.

The gastrointestinal tract is a 30-foot tube that runs from your mouth to your anus. There’s a few moving parts, but a long story short is that food comes in and poop goes out.

28. Barrels of blood.

Your heart will pump about 1.5 million barrels of blood during your lifetime. That’s enough to fill 200 train tank cars.

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27. You can’t stop the beat.

As long as it has an oxygen supply, your heart can keep beating even if it’s separated from the body because it has its own electrical impulse.

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26. Brain age.

Your brain keeps developing until your late 40s.

25. Sweet cilia.

Our lungs and nasal passages have exquisitely tiny hairs called cilia that can “taste” bitter flavors. They also serve to remove dust and foreign particles from the respiratory tract.

24. You feel me?

Human fingers can feel objects as small as 13 nanometers. This means that if your finger was the size of the Earth, you would feel the difference between houses and cars.

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23. A heck of a fever.

The highest recorded body temperature in a human being was a fever of 115.7°F. A fever over 107.5°F is enough to damage the brain and, if untreated, cause death.

22. Touch your heart.

The human heart is not on the left-hand side of the body. It’s in middle of your chest, in between your right and left lung. It is, however, tilted very slightly to the left.

21. Brain genes.

Half of your genes describe the complex design of your brain, with the other half describing the organization of the other 98% of your body.

20. Cell replacement.

Your taste buds are replaced every 10 days. Conversely, the average age of a human fat cell is 10 years.

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19. Shave if you want to!

There is no scientific evidence that shaving or waxing will make your hair come back thicker. There are believed to be two reasons that the myth continues to flourish. First, humans just aren’t the best observers. Second, hair often does grow back thicker when people first start to shave, but this isn’t caused by shaving. When an adolescent boy shaves his mustache for the first time, it’s likely to grow back thicker. This isn’t because shaving caused this; it’s because the hormonal changes in his body (which occur regardless of shaving) are encouraging new and thicker facial hair growth.

18. Organ flipping.

1 in 10,000 people has their internal organs reversed or “mirrored” from their normal positions. The condition is called situs inversus.

17. Grasping the strength of your pinky.

Without your pinky finger, you would lose about 50% of your hand strength. While the index and middle fingers function with the thumb in pinching and grabbing, it’s the pinkie that teams up with the ring finger to provide grip power.

16. Keeping cool down there.

Men’s Testicles hang between the legs to keep cool because sperm dies at body temperature. Keeping those baby-makers cool is a top priority, so make sure to keep your laptop off those bad boys!

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15. Extra bones.

1 person out of every 200 people has an extra rib.

She likely doesn’t have extra ribs.

14. Keeping up with abrasion.

Your mouth is made of the same skin cells as a vagina. Flattened epithelial cells are well suited to areas in the body subject to constant abrasion, as layers can be sloughed off and replaced before quickly.

13. Cute little muscles.

Muscle comes from the Latin “musculus.” Musculus means “little mouse,” and this was used to describe muscles because biceps were thought to look like mice.

12. Liar, liar, pants on fire!

When telling a lie, people blink less frequently than normal. After the lie is told, they speed up to around eight times faster than usual.

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11. Voices and words.

More than 3% of people are born with phonagnosia: they can’t recognize the voices of familiar people. People suffering from phonagnosia do not suffer from aphasia (an inability to comprehend and formulate language), which suggests that separate areas of the brain govern linguistic comprehension and voice recognition.

10. Annoying? Yes. Unhealthy? Maybe not.

A scientist cracked his knuckles on one hand for over 50 years to prove it did not cause Arthritis. After 50 years, he concluded that there was no arthritis in either hand, and no apparent differences between the two hands. This is, of course, a rather small data set, but it’s interesting none the less!

9. Doing it in the morning.

You can burn 20% more fat by exercising in the morning on an empty stomach. Sex burns 3.6 calories a minute, so fifteen minutes of morning sex should burn off 130 calories.

8. Take that, worm brain!

Humans have no more genes than worms. We have less genes than a tomato. How could this be, given that the all-powerful homo sapiens are clearly a more complex species? We’re not sure, but scientist have noted that the number of genes in the genome may be less linked to complexity than we thought.

7. Coughing at the speed of sound.

A strong cough forces air out of the airways at speeds up to 620 mph, which is almost as fast as the speed of sound.

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6. Can you hear your mouse scrolling?

Hearing is the fastest human sense. Your brain can recognize a sound 10 times faster than the blink of an eye, in as little as 0.05 seconds.

5. Controversial bras.

Bras make breasts sag. Bras also do not reduce back pain. A leading study found that women who never wore bras had nipples an average of seven millimeters higher each year than regular bra users. Before you go throwing away your bras, note that the benefits of not wearing a bra will only be seen in younger women who are not obese, according to those managing the study.

4. Recovering from the miracle of giving life.

After child birth, a woman’s vaginal muscles can take up to 6 months to get back to their normal shape and size.

3. A green diet.

We can’t digest grass because our bodies don’t have what it takes to break down the cellulose found in the plant. Grass also contains a lot of silica, an abrasive that quickly wears down teeth, so your dentist wouldn’t be thrilled about a grass diet. Grazing animals have teeth that continually grow to replace worn tooth surfaces.

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2. Toe to toe.

Your big toe carries more weight than any other toe, bearing about 40% of your body weight. To enlist in the United States army, you need to have all ten toes intact.

1. Evolution stinks!

One prevailing theory as to why butt hair exists is that there’s simply no significant evolutionary pressure against butt hair. I.e. it doesn’t affect our ability to mate, so the random mutations that caused butt hair persisted.

Other theories take a smellier view of things, suggesting that butt hair helps scent communication. We have body hair in the same areas where we produce odors. The hair is there to hold onto oily secretions that have their own smell and are consumed by bacteria that produces even more smells. Early human ancestors used their personal smell to actually help them with everything from broadcasting territorial rights to attracting mates.

Our bodies are both weird and amazing. Share this with your friends by clicking below!

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Hotels in the UK and Ireland with incredible rooftop pools

The UK and Ireland are not known as your typical rooftop pool destinations, and yet our islands offer some of the most spectacular pools with incredible views over cityscapes, beaches, and clifftops in Europe!

We’ve scoured the two countries/nations and found some real gems that are perfect for a romantic weekend away or simply a friend’s weekend of champagne and pampering. So, pack your swimsuit and get ready to dip your feet in some of the most decadent pools in the country.

Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa

Edinburgh

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Overlooking Edinburgh Castle, the Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa is in prime position for a weekend in the heart of the city. Surround yourself with modern luxury, including a rooftop hydro-pool providing jets of warm water at optimal body temperature complimented by the fabulous view. Sneak in early in the morning to watch the city come alive and to start your day invigorated by the fresh morning air.

sheraton-grand-hotel-spa-rooftop-pools-roomYou’ll also find an indoor pool and a thermal suite including a Hammam, Aroma Grotto, Rock Sauna and Bio Sauna. There’s also a first-rate gym as well but if you don’t put in a personal appearance we won’t judge – you’re on holiday. All the rooms are modern and follow a kind of minimalist chic, with pure white linen and elegant furniture. Choose from a castle view room or classic room or upgrade yourselves to a suite and enjoy the increased space and luxurious décor including tartan wall paper!

King Street Townhouse

Manchester

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What more could you want on a romantic city break than stylish interiors and an amazing rooftop infinity pool right in the centre of Manchester? With views over the iconic spire of Manchester Town Hall, the pool is ideal for capturing unique sunsets or people watching from on-high. Accompanied by a steam room and relaxation room, there’s no excuse not to spend hours in the spa recharging your batteries.

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The hotel is housed in a beautifully renovated Italian Renaissance building, and many of the rooms maintain period features such as high ceilings, but have been updated to include floor-to-ceiling windows with views over the city. Opt for a suite and the cityscape views come courtesy of a free-standing bath placed directly in front of the windows.

When you’re feeling peckish, head downstairs to the King Street Tavern for plenty of seared steak and red wine. If you are looking to treat yourselves go for a classic Afternoon Tea, or catch the bottomless brunch including bottomless bottles of champagne.

St Bride’s Spa

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A luxury spa hotel with a killer view over Saundersfoot Beach, this hotel features an infinity hydrotherapy pool that looks as if it simply melts into the sea beyond. Heated to body temperature, this is a cosy rooftop pool perfect for relaxing in – even on the chilliest of winter days.

The spa also features an aroma steam room, salt infusion room, herbal rock sauna, and ice fountain, plus a host of treatment rooms should you be looking for that extra mile of pampering.

swanshower, roooftop pools, st brides hotelThe hotel is home to 34 individually designed rooms, and most feature a balcony looking out across the sea. Each of the rooms are decorated in a style that recalls summer holidays filled with salt in your hair and the smell of sun cream, with light grey walls, blue accents and artwork depicting seascapes, as well as handmade wooden furniture and woven bed throws.

Canary Riverside Plaza

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An elegant 5-star hotel in Canary Wharf, The Canary Riverside Plaza allows all hotel guests access to the health and leisure club adjacent to the hotel, featuring a rooftop pool with panoramic views over the Thames and a state-of-the art gymnasium.

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Where indulgence meets comfort, every room at the Riverside Plaza comes with large bay windows to make the most of those views over landmarks such as The Shard and Tower Bridge. The rooms are designed with the ultimate of comfort in mind, meaning plush fluffy carpets, high and bouncy beds, a lavish bathroom with soaking tub and l’Occitane toiletries.

The Cliff House Hotel

Ardmore, Ireland

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A 15-metre pool facing floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Irish sea is what awaits you at The Cliff House Hotel. This is joined outside by a natural rock pool, a relaxation terrace complete with Jacuzzi and two stone baths, so you can take in the refreshing sea air whilst remaining warm and cosy in the water.

the-cliff-house-admore-ireland-rooftop-pools-roomsIndoors, the spa features a sauna, steam room and four treatment rooms including a couple’s treatment room for those on a relaxing romantic break. The rooms are equally luxurious, you can select a cottage, a deluxe room or a suite. The cottages are decorated in a blue and white seaside style, and offer space for up to 6 adults and extra space for children. These are a great self-catering option whilst enjoying all the perks of a luxury hotel.

If you are looking for a romantic break then a deluxe room or suite are perfect, with options including sea view rooms, or even those including a balcony or terrace. From here you can head downstairs in the evenings for Michelin-starred cuisine at the ocean-side restaurant.

The Scarlet

Newquay, Cornwall

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The pool at the Scarlet is not technically a rooftop pool, but rather a cliff-top pool. Floor-to-ceiling windows look down a crevasse to the sea below and outdoors there’s a hot Jacuzzi and a natural pool that doesn’t use chlorine, but instead cleaned by reeds. Why reeds, you ask? Well, that’s because this is one of the UK’s premier eco hotels and combines 5-star luxury with earth-friendly innovations.

the-scarlet-cornwall-rooftop-poolsOn top of reed pools and cliff-top Jacuzzis, the hotel spa also boasts a steam room, copper tub, Hammam and a Rhassoul used for messy mineral mud sessions – you can literally slather yourself in mud without worrying about damaging the décor.

Opt for a spacious room to enjoy floor-to-ceiling views over the clifftop and out to sea – this is not for the faint hearted, as you’ll also have your own balcony with seating area, seemingly over the drop.

The Berkeley

London

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A serene retreat in the heart of London’s opulent Knightsbridge area, The Berkeley hotel is home to a ‘seventh heaven’ outdoor pool on the seventh floor of the building. The pool is tiled in iridescent white and gold mosaic and the surrounding relaxation area features padded sun loungers and windows with views out over London. The pool has a retractable roof so even if the weather is less than favourable, you can still enjoy some time by the water.

the-berkeley-london-rooftop-pools-roomAt every turn, The Berkeley is luxurious whether it be the light filled Collins Room dining room where you can also enjoy the über fashionable Pret-a-portea a witty take on a fashionista afternoon tea, or enjoying a sophisticated cocktail in the Blue Bar.

Tasteful and stylishly decorated, the rooms at The Berkeley are designed with comfort in mind so that after a long day of exploring the city, the fluffy carpets and thick mattresses are exactly what you need to feel relaxed in this home-from-home.

The Ned

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London’s latest hot-spot hotel, The Ned is a converted Georgian bank right in the centre of the bustling Bank district. The hotel is a wealth of luxurious outlets and it doesn’t come more luxury than a rooftop heated pool with a view over St Paul’s cathedral. Plus, an indoor heated pool and Turkish hammam spa downstairs.

The vaulted ceilings and large open spaces of this grand building lend themselves to the grandeur of nine diverse restaurants and live jazz bands that add to the ambiance in several areas of the hotel. There’s also a secret bar downstairs in the bank vaults, which you may recognise from the James Bond film Goldfinger.

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When you aren’t gorging yourself on nine different types of cuisine or lazing by one of the pools, you can explore your seriously stylish bedroom. Decorated in a 1930’s style, the rooms include eye-catching upholstery and bespoke floral wall paper, whilst maintaining modern touches such as a rainforest shower and Cowshed spa products.

5 Huge Driverless Car Problems (Besides The Obvious Ones)

Driverless cars used to be nothing more than the wet dream of engineers and science fiction nerds, the kind of thing they’d rock themselves to sleep fantasizing about.

But now that we’ve reached 2017, the future, that wet dream has become a messy reality. Actual autonomous machines sweep across our roads every day. We’ve talked about the safety issues of these before and how they’re likely to murder every one of us. But the widespread adoption of these cars has potentially even greater implications, even world changing ones. Things like …

#5. They’ll Create A Legal And Political Minefield

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Currently, the laws around self-driving cars are both simple and complicated. They’re simple in the sense that there are damned few actual laws covering the things. That’s also the complicated part.

Broadly speaking, something can be considered legal simply because no one has said otherwise, and that’s kind of the situation self-driving cars find themselves in now. A few states have written laws regulating, restricting, or otherwise addressing these cars, but unfortunately, all those laws totally contradict each other. That kind of legal free-for-all has some serious consequences. Companies don’t want to invest billions of dollars in something if it will shortly be made illegal, which is why many of them are now practically begging to have set down and far firmer national laws about self-driving cars.


Nice work, guys. Time for another seven week recess.

Federal agencies regulate the technology used in cars (think airbags, seatbelts, that kind of thing), which is obviously relevant in the case of self-driving cars. But at the moment they’re reluctant to pass judgment on technology that’s still so new. They’d prefer a little more research be done to find out what the “safest” type of autonomous car is before they make any regulations.

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“Just please no Skynet, that’s it for now.”

In short, self-driving cars present a really confusing overlap between traffic regulation and car technology regulation; even if the Federal government does lay down some national guidelines, you can imagine how some states — say ones with automakers, or tech companies, or more public transportation infrastructure — might have a different opinion on this than other states. They’re not all going to be happy with a national solution, which means self-driving car regulation is going to hit a political crash test wall pretty fast. Want to see your elected representatives forcefully arguing about “ghost-riding the whip” on C-SPAN? Because it’s coming …

#4. The Parking Revolution Will Mean The Roads Are Full Of Cars With Nobody In Them

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On-demand valet services like Luxe and Zirx came and went so fast that many people never heard of them. “Like Uber, but for parking,” was the general idea, but there was no real way to make that concept profitable. The main problem being that they had to pay their fleet of human valets actual money.

Self-driving cars could be the solution. Here’s how it would work. Your self-driving car drives you to the airport, gives you a kiss on the cheek, and then drives itself back to your house. A week later, you fly home, all tanned and oily, and find your car has driven back to the airport on its own and is waiting for you at Arrivals. Commuters might try the same thing. Why pay for expensive parking downtown, when you can order your car to drop you off then find free street parking five miles away?

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“Go on car! Have fun with your friends.”

Think about how much space is devoted to parking that sits empty almost all the time. Like a mall after hours, or a stadium when there’s no game on. If self-driving cars can use our supply of parking spots a little more efficiently, we could reclaim some of that space for something more useful.

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Although this would mean less places to hide in when you’re trying to get high.

There’s a but though. Those clever self-parking schemes would involve an awful lot of empty cars cruising across town to park themselves. Cars cruising around with no-one in them is not really ideal from a traffic point of view. It gets worse when you consider the possibility that at least a few geniuses will also be sending their car around the block a few times while they run errands.

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“Car-Bot, could you inconvenience everyone else in the city for the next two hours while I shop for vape pens?”

This will almost certainly be one of those things politicians go to absolute war over; you can easily imagine some cities and states banning moving vehicles that don’t have passengers in them. Or maybe putting in special, extra-shitty Zero-Passenger lanes where pedestrians are allowed and even encouraged to spit on cars as they pass by.

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Spit will hardly be the worst thing that happens to these things.

But that kind of discrimination could hurt self-driving taxi like systems, which would necessarily be empty some of the time. And those types of systems, if efficiently utilized, could lead to dramatically less congestion.

In short, the implications of it all are hard to predict, and the ultimate decision likely wouldn’t be made by a traffic engineer, but an angry councilman who got stuck behind an empty Tesla for twelve blocks that morning.

#3. They Will Only Benefit Rich People

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One of the nice things about our existing system of cars and roads is that, for the most part, it doesn’t really matter how nice your car is. Whether you’re in a Tesla Model S or a Hyundai Pony, everyone’s following the same speed limit, and using the same lanes, and parking in the same parking spots.

But that will change with the arrival of self-driving cars, because the average person isn’t going to get a whiff of these for quite some time. Even the Tesla Model 3, which will supposedly come out next year and have partial autonomous capabilities, will be at least $35,000. That’s not crazy expensive, but it’s far from cheap, especially considering the average person drives a much less expensive used car.

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In some cases, far cheaper.

And that’s just Tesla’s limited autopilot, which isn’t quite fully autonomous yet. The real hands-off self-driving car stuff, like the tech that Google is working on, doesn’t even have a price yet. Some industry experts anticipate that a decade from now, self-driving features will add $10,000 or more to the price of a car. Basically, purchasing a bare bones autopilot feature will cost you almost twice the price of a decent used Toyota.

So a lot of the benefits of self driving cars – easy parking, extra free time, exclusive lanes on the interstate – will only be experienced by the wealthy, further stoking the class warfare in this country until we inevitably storm Trump Tower the Bastille.

#2. Self-Driving Cars Will Force You To Work While You Commute (And Finally Kill Radio)

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Cars are basically the only place where radio still makes sense. Obviously we can’t read or watch television while we’re driving, but we need something to distract us, because we dare not be alone with our thoughts for even a moment.

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Hold it together, Karen.

Hence, the enduring success of the radio. You can listen to it while driving. The industry has based its entire business and advertising model around it.

Which is good, because just about anything the radio does is done better somewhere else. We’ve got like a billion better options for listening to music now, whether it’s via streaming apps or iTunes or Youtube. Traffic reports are much more usable when you can see a map on a screen. And news radio doesn’t compare very favorably to the Internet.

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Also, the crunchy granola discussions on public radio are all done better by podcasts now.

But all those things require your full attention, right? You can’t navigate YouTube or the AP News Wire while trying to keep from steering into a bridge abutment and hurtling your passengers through the windshield and into the next world. A radio does all the work for you with minimal input required, which is why it’s stuck around for so long. But with self driving cars, that need to be read to goes away. You can hand control over to your robot chauffeur and kick back with an iPad, which will probably mean the end of Top 40 radio and morning zoo shows. And while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, there’s something else to consider — now that your hands are free from the burden of holding the steering wheel, what’s to keep you from typing up a few reports or emails for your boss during your commute?

When Blackberrys first hit the work force, one thing almost everyone complained about was the intrusiveness of the device. By making emails so accessible, it created an expectation that people could and would respond to work emails at any hour of the day, extending work hours into well beyond what they were being paid for. If you have a smartphone connected at all to your job, you’ve probably sprung out of bed to take care of some urgent message you just received from your boss more than once. It’s like leaping into action after getting a late night text from an ex, only without the expectation of sex at the end of the rainbow.

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u up? wot r u wearin? also, need regulatory impact memo revised and on my desk by tmrw morning

That same deal is going to happen with the arrival of self-driving cars. An hour of sitting around with nothing to do? Tell us your manager won’t start giving you some tasks to work on for the ride home. Heck, tell us you won’t start volunteering to do it yourself. That expectation of being available around the clock is a two-way street, soon to be navigated by self-driving cars that allow us to be even more available.

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We are our own worst enemies.

Oh, and speaking of things that will happen a lot more in cars …

#1. People Are Absolutely Going To Have Sex In Them, All The Time

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Ok, so imagine you and your date/special someone/Craigslist respondent are riding around in a fantastic future machine that can pilot itself. You don’t have to pay any attention to it, it won’t give you any weird looks, and it doesn’t require any kind of conversation. It’s happy to just drive wherever you tell it to drive, completely oblivious to whatever you and your fellow passenger are doing.

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“Car, take us to pound town.”

There has never been a finer recipe for boning. Hell, it would be weird not to have sex in a self-driving car, especially on long road trips. Which means the highways, byways, and thoroughfares of the nation, at any given time of day, are going to be loaded with foggy sex pods. It varies from state to state, but as of now, having sex in a car is considered sex in public, which is a misdemeanor. But all of those laws assume that you’re parked in a neighborhood or rest stop or something. That might all change when the car is in motion, being steered by an unfeeling automaton that is literally impossible to distract (see “things are sometimes legal only because they aren’t explicitly illegal,” above). There’ll be like a 40% chance you’re going to see someone’s taint every time you drive to Piggly Wiggly.

Also, think of all the additional effects this could have on things previously unrelated to driving. Tinder will add a carpooling tab. The airline industry will suffer (it’s still way difficult to have sex in a plane, and way cheaper to have your robot butler drive you home for the holidays). The DOT traffic camera websites will become subscription based. And the traffic report would suddenly become the most popular local news segment in history, because there is zero chance people wouldn’t fuck their way through a gridlock on the 405.

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Wear your condoms and seatbelts everyone.