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Thursday, January 27, 2011

10 Tantalizing Indoor Swimming Pools

What is one of real estate’s rare luxuries? How about your own golf course? Or maybe your own helipad?

Or, better yet, your own indoor swimming pool. Ah, now we’re talking. Even the rich and famous would admit that having an indoor pool is one of life’s luxurious amenities. Here are 10 homes that feature fabulous indoor swimming pools. Some have celebrity lineage, some are quite ornate, while others are simply well-appointed spaces to swim some precious laps. Take a look:

1. Malibu, CA Home for Sale – $75,000,000 (below)
26848 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
Notable: Known as “La Villa Contenta,” this magnificent neoclassical-style natatorium in Malibu was used in the HBO miniseries, “True Blood” as the fictional home of the vampire queen of Louisiana, Sophie-Anne Leclerq (played by Evan Rachel Wood). Read more about the True Blood home.
> See more Malibu real estate
> See Malibu homes for sale

2. Greenwich, CT Home for Sale — $42,500,000 (below)
Undisclosed location, Greenwich, CT
Notable: The two photos below show the ingenious design of this indoor pool that features an elaborate mosaic floor that retracts with the touch of a button, transforming the space into an indoor pool. The top photo shows the pool “closed” and the bottom photo reveals the pool open.
> See Greenwich real estate
> See Greenwich home values

3. Greenwich, CT Home For Sale — $17,950,000 (below)
309 Taconic Rd, Greenwich, CT 06831
Notable: Yes, Greenwich again. Not only does this 26,000-sq ft Mediterranean manor home have its own private theater and elaborate wine-tasting room, but it also boasts an elegant lap pool under a Tuscan-yellow arched ceiling.
> See Greenwich real estate
> See Greenwich home values

4. Austin, TX Home – (previously listed for $12,900,000) (below)
7014 Greenshores Dr, Austin, TX 78730
Notable: Situated on 7 acres along the Lake Austin waterfront, this 10,642 sq ft mansion includes a slick natatorium that contains a 20×40-foot Italian glass-tile pool with 18 sets of double glass doors and a summer kitchen.
> See more Austin real estate
> See Austin home values

5. Yountville, CA Home for Sale – $25 million (below)
5681 Silverado Trl, # 0, Yountville, CA 94599
Notable: Welcome to the heart of Napa and the former estate of California wine giant Robert Mondavi, who hired renowned architect Cliff May to design it, incorporating his signature indoor-outdoor California style. Surrounding the home are views of thousands of acres of vineyards.  The living room includes a 50-foot indoor swimming pool and spa with retractable skylights.
> See more Yountville real estate
> See Yountville home values

6. Coeur d’Alene, ID Home for Sale – $17,500,000 (below)
3155 E Harrison Ave, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
Notable: Set in the spectacularly rugged landscape of Coeur d’Alene, ID, this sprawling corporate retreat-like estate of 14,933 sq ft contains a large indoor pool in addition to an outdoor pool, plus unique features such as a helipad, par-three golf course, one-lane bowling alley, waterfall, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, and nine-car garage. Extra perk: new owners will get two lifetime memberships to the Coeur d’Alene Country Club.
> See Coeur d’Alene real estate
> See Coeur d’Alene home values

7. Brookline, MA Home for Sale – $15,750,000 (below)
333 Lee St, Brookline, MA 02445
Notable: Large-scale color murals and rich, wood-trim detailing around arched ceilings creates a warm, inviting space for this indoor pool pavilion that is accessible via an underground passageway. This classic Brookline estate was built in 1929, and has 9 beds, 9 baths, a four-car garage and a one-bedroom guest apartment.
> See more Brookline real estate
> See Brookline home values

8. Garfield, MN Home for Sale – $14,900,000 (below)
11902 County Road 12 NW, Garfield, MN 56332
Notable: Reminiscent of a mini-theme park, this private family retreat is situated on 30 acres and is surrounded by manicured walkways, sitting areas amid playful gardens, lush forests, and well-maintained ponds. Special amenities include indoor pool, hot tub, home theater and stage, billiards room, library, and private elevator. Adding to the fun is a large garage converted to a 1950s-style sock hop/soda shop space.
> See more Garfield real estate
> See Minnesota home values

9. Hartland, WI Home for Sale – $4,995,000 (below)
N61W29181 Parkside Pl, Hartland, WI 53029
Notable: Choose  your recreation fun spot in this enormous 18,000-sq ft home that includes an outdoor pool, cabana and hot tub for warmer months and an indoor pool, basketball court, and exercise room for year-round use. Other playthings include a private theater room, game room, and kids playroom. An elevator accesses all floors.
> See more Hartland real estate
> See Hartland home values

10. Los Angeles, CA Home for Sale – previously listed for $1,677,000 (below)
868 Mount Washington Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90065
Notable:  Gated estate contains indoor pool and spa in a space with soaring ceilings and a wall of windows overlooking green space. Friends who come to crash the pool party will have plenty of parking space: the estate contains a 3-car garage and 4-car guest parking pad at the top of driveway.
> See Cypress Park real estate
> See Cypress Park home values

The Most Profitable Concert Tours of 2010

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  • GOOD, Infographics, Most Profitable concernts, Transparency, Lady Gaga, The Eagles, Bon Jovi, Dave Matthews Band, Black Eyed Peas
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    The music industry might be dying, but people are still shelling out big money to see their favorite artists on tour. They just aren't the same artists who are topping the charts. These are the highest grossing concert tours in the United States in 2010.
    SOURCE: Pollstar

    Canadian woman first to graduate with Beatles degree


    In this image made available by Liverpool Hope University, Wednesday Jan. 26, 2011, former Miss Canada finalist Mary-Lu Zahalan-Kennedy poses next to the Penny Lane street sign in Liverpool, England, after becoming the first person in the world to graduate with a Masters degree in The Beatles. (Alan Edwards / Liverpool Hope University) In this undated file photograph British pop band The Beatles, John Lennon (left) Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and George Harrison (right) pose for a photograph. Apple Inc. said Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010, its iTunes service will sell music from the Fab Four. (AP)
    In this image made available by Liverpool Hope University, Wednesday Jan. 26, 2011, former Miss Canada finalist Mary-Lu Zahalan-Kennedy poses next to the Penny Lane street sign in Liverpool, England, after becoming the first person in the world to graduate with a Masters degree in The Beatles. (Alan Edwards / Liverpool Hope University)

    In this image made available by Liverpool Hope University, Wednesday Jan. 26, 2011, former Miss Canada finalist Mary-Lu Zahalan-Kennedy poses next to the Penny Lane street sign in Liverpool, England, after becoming the first person in the world to graduate with a Masters degree in The Beatles. (Alan Edwards / Liverpool Hope University)

    The Associated Press
    LONDON — A Canadian has become the first person to graduate from a Liverpool university's master's program on The Beatles.

    But Mary-Lu Zahalan-Kennedy says she wasn't a Fab Four fanatic when she started the degree.
    Zahalan-Kennedy, a music teacher at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ont., was the only one in the program who "didn't know every intimate detail" about the Beatles' lives, she said.

    "I mean, I certainly liked their music, but I hadn't read every book ever written on them," she said Wednesday in a phone interview from Liverpool.

    Now, of course, she knows enough about them to teach a course, which she intends to do at Sheridan in the fall. Zahalan-Kennedy said she is working on an undergraduate popular music course that will draw heavily on what she learned in the program.

    A former Miss Canada finalist, she signed up for the degree at Liverpool Hope University when it launched in 2009 and graduated Wednesday.

    She is one of 12 full-time students enrolled.

    The program, "The Beatles, Popular Music and Society," is considered by the university to be the first of its kind.

    It involves much more than "just being a Beatles fan and listening to their music all day," Zahalan-Kennedy said.

    "It's really about history and genres of music and semiotics, which is the language of music and ... how communities are forged with different identities happening because of the way music is delivered," she said.
    The course also deals with how the port city of Liverpool helped shape the group's identity -- the university is based in the band's hometown in northwestern England.

    While she doesn't have a favourite song, Zahalan-Kennedy said Paul McCartney is her favourite Beatle.

    These Are the World's Most Expensive Apartments

    One Hyde Park from Jesus Diaz on Vimeo.

    The world's most expensive apartment buildings are officially finished. Some people paid $225 million for these houses, bringing the price up to $9,500 dollars per square foot.
    The name of the apartment complex is One Hyde Park, which is made of four glass and metal buildings connected with each other. Designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, they have huge windows with beautiful views to Hyde Park—which to me is one of the most beautiful city parks in the world—and Knightsbridge, in London. The owners—most of them Russian, Chinese and Arab—can move in their 80s-looking furniture, black silk sheets and smoke-mirrored tables today.

    Future Genius

    future genius

    This baby is pure genius!!!

    10 Creepy Plants That Shouldn't Exist

    By David Dietle


    article image

    We spend a lot of time here at Cracked pointing out horrors of nature that slither on the land and lurch through the sea. But staying under the radar in nature's landscape of nightmares is the twisted carnival of things that grow out of the ground.

    Like ...
    #10. Bleeding Tooth Fungus
    The bleeding tooth fungus looks kind of like a wad of chewing gum that leaks blood like a rejected prop from The Shining.
    They're also called the strawberries and cream, the red-juice tooth, and the devil's tooth. Whoever is in charge of naming scary bullshit seems really insistent that this thing looks like a tooth, while mostly skirting over the fact that it freaking sweats blood.

    Oh, and they are listed as "inedible," which implies that someone attempted to eat one at some point. On the other hand, the bloodlike substance has anticoagulant and antibacterial properties. It's nature's next penicillin! All you have to do is lick it. Go ahead.

    #9. Chinese Black Batflowers

    There's a good reason that Batman uses bat imagery to strike terror into the hearts of Gotham's criminals, rather than, say, some kind of shrew. Bats are freakin' scary. For the same reason, nature has decided to use that same mold to make plants that can induce spontaneous bowel movements, with the addition of some tentacles just to be sure, like we have on the Chinese black batflowers.
    It is kept as an ornamental plant by gardeners who prefer to cultivate nightmares, and have the balls to live in the presence of a plant that looks like it crawled out of a Bosch painting and wants to plant its young in their head.
    Their dangling fruit even looks like bats sleeping upside down, as pictured here ...
    ... and here ...
    Oh, sorry that last one was an actual bat. Though you can't tell the difference until you get to the bottom, by which point it's far too late.

    #8. Doll's Eye
    At best, this thing looks like the plants you'd find on some hostile alien world. At worst, it looks like eyeballs on bloody stalks, tied together by their stems like the deranged trophy of some serial killer, used to mark the grave of half a dozen victims.

    It's called the doll's eye plant, also known by the equally unsettling name "white baneberry." Just in case you were actually thinking of eating this thing, those eyeballs are highly poisonous. Obviously.

    #7. Sea Anemone Mushroom/Octopus Stinkhorn

    We tend to think that pretty much all fungi came out of God's adolescent goth phase. Sure, some mushrooms look cute and taste good on pizza, but many of them look more like the dog-beast from The Thing and smell like a rotten asshole. For instance, we have the sea anemone mushroom above and the similar-yet-horrifying-in-a-different-way octopus stinkhorn below:
    Both are closely related and smell about as pleasant as they look. Would you believe both are from Australia? We weren't surprised either.

    We're pretty sure that Australia sits right next to Cthulhu's sunken city of R'Lyeh.
    They start out looking like traditional Mario-style 'shrooms, but that's just so they can gain your trust. Once they mature, they "erupt" their red tentacles of smelly horror to attract flies, which then transport their "gleba" to another location to reproduce, which is about the closest thing to the plot of a Lovecraft story that you'll find in reality.

    Seriously, Hugh Jackman is cool and all, but fuck Australia.

    #6. Devil's Claw
    Devil's claws are kind of like those little thistle burs that get stuck to your clothes when you walk through a field, except instead of being tiny, mild annoyances, they look more like some unholy spider beast from some twisted American McGee version of our childhood. They come from Arizona, where they are used by Native Americans to weave baskets and likely as a ward for enemies who are probably smart enough to stay the fuck away from anything that looks like a minefield of headcrabs:
    The horrifying seed pods are designed to latch on to the feet of passing animals, which will then transport them to another location before crushing them underfoot and releasing the seeds.
    Funny how nature knew people would stomp the shit out of that after finding it on their feet; evolution is kind of intuitive sometimes.

    #5.  Porcupine Tomato

    The porcupine tomato is one of the crops you'll find growing in Pinhead's vegetable patch after he retires from abstract horror and turns to horticulture. It hails from Madagascar, the island nation that brought us the Hellbeast lemur and Dracula ants, earning it the nickname "Little Australia."

    Quick, take a picture of the word "pain." Good job.
    Aside from being sharp and poisonous, the porcupine tomato is a potentially invasive species, since it is difficult to kill, even in drought. Among the features you don't want in a poisonous dagger monster, "hard to kill" has to be way up there.

    Did we mention that it spreads quickly, and can reach 8 feet tall by 8 feet wide in a relatively short amount of time? What we're saying is that you should be careful stepping out your front door in the morning, because you never know when a toxic, razor-filled hedge may have sprung up in the middle of the night.

    #4. Cedar-Apple Rust Fungus
    What looks like a piece of rotting fruit giving birth to either a family of worms or a single, tentatcled horror? If you said "cedar-apple rust fungus," then ... well, you probably just read the title of this entry, we guess.
    CARF is a fungal infection that attacks, you guessed it, cedar and apple trees. It produces globular fungal balls anywhere from a 1/4 inch to 2 inches in diameter and inflates "spore horns" when the weather gets wet, transforming it into the Koosh ball from hell. Or, if you prefer, gummi Cthulhu.

    Or what happens when slugs mate with mac and cheese.

    #3. Buddha's Hand
    We don't know what kind of Buddha they were thinking of whose hand looks like a writhing ball of giant maggots. It looks more like what Brian Lumley envisions when his wife asks him to pick up a bushel of grapefruit.
    Buddha's hand is a citrus fruit popular in China and Japan for its strong fragrance. It fails as a fruit since it's pretty much all zest and no pulp, but it has other uses, such as being a feature in Stephen King's fruit basket centerpiece.

    #2. Chinese Fleeceflower

    The Chinese use this plant in their traditional medicine for kidney health, strong bones and hair restoration, and as a mild laxative, and it's ... Hey, wait a second ...
    OK, weird, it's a root that looks like a little dude. But that's a rare, onetime fluke, right? It's not like that's what this species typically looks like or anything.
    OK, now nature is just straight fucking with us. According to traditional Chinese herbalists, these little dirt trolls are a cure-all for everything from high cholesterol to vaginal discharge ...
    They also ... um ...

    We here at ... uh ...
    We don't know. We just don't know.

    #1. Various Dick-Shaped Plants
    This will make us feel better.

    First off, we have the above Peter Popper Red Hot Peppers, and yes, that is a link to Amazon, where you can pick your own peck of pecker peppers.

    Then we have the below mushroom, which is actually related to the Cthulhu mushrooms further up the list. It's a common stinkhorn, though its proper name is Phallus impudicus, literally, immodest wang.
    Next is the penis cactus, a variation on a Bolivian cactus that breeders have encouraged. That's right, someone actually discovered a mutant variety of cactus that looked like dick and worked to encourage it. Makes that hunt for the boob-shaped watermelon you've been on since you were 15 seem almost noble, doesn't it?

    We'll just leave the rest of these here:
    Stay classy, nature.