Archive for January, 2010

Bloomframe Disappearing Balcony

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

POSSIBLY THE COOLEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN!

Bloomframe Disappearing Balcony

Bloomframe is an innovative window that transforms into a balcony at the touch of a button.

 

Engineered by Hurks, this modern balcony consists of tough all-weather materials and controlled by a smooth electronic system.

Bloomframe Window

Window Turns Into a Balcony

Bloomframe

Bloomframe Balcony

Innovative Balcony

For more information about Bloomframe balcony, visit bloomframe.com

Bloomframe Balcony on Demand

 

Article By www.Toxel.comBalconywatch?v=UrVuJ7WXvQU

Calgary home ownership becoming more affordable

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Downtown Calgary skyline, with the Calgary Tower on one side and the lights of The Bow project on the other, stand in contrast to the sunset.

Calgary housing became slightly more affordable in 2009, but it’s still just the 23rd most affordable place to own a home from a list of 28 Canadian cities, according to the Winnipeg-based Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

In a study released Monday, the centre found Thunder Bay and Windsor, both in Ontario, were tied for most affordable Canadian cities and Vancouver was the least affordable.

In fact, Vancouver was also the least affordable among the 272 cities in the international study, which covered Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

As Canada’s resale housing market boomed and prices rose in 2009, affordability fell, sending the national average to a reading of 3.7 from 3.5 the year before. (A higher score indicates less affordability).

That would place Canada’s overall housing market in the “moderately unaffordable” category — from 3.1 to 4.0. The numbers are calculated by dividing the median residential house sale price for the third quarter by median annual gross household income.

In Vancouver, for example, a median home price of $540,900 was divided by median household income of $58,200 to create a multiple of 9.3, which the group describes as “severely unaffordable” — any reading of 5.1 and over.

Calgary, with an affordability index of 4.6, is just slightly less affordable than Prairie rivals Saskatoon (4.4) and Edmonton (4.1). On the international list, Calgary is 188th and its nearest neighbours are Eugene-Springfield, Ore.; Palmerston North-Manawatu, New Zealand; and Dundee, U.K. It’s just slightly more affordable than Dublin, Ireland.

Calgary and Edmonton became fractionally more affordable in 2009 after climbing two points over the previous four years. In 2008, Calgary’s index was 4.8 and Edmonton’s was 4.2.

Toronto moved from a reading of 4.8 to 5.2, moving it into the severely unaffordable category, while Montreal moved from a reading of 4.6 to 4.9.

“Montreal is approaching severely unaffordable for the first time. It appears Montreal has caught up to its urban growth limit and this has now become a real constraint on land supply,” the group said.

Victoria was second only to Vancouver, with its reading rising from 7.4 to 7.9, while Ottawa’ hot housing market remained within the realm of the moderately unaffordable, at least as measured as part of the Ottawa-Gatineau metropolitan area, with a reading of 3.8, up from 3.4 the year before.

dhealing@theherald.canwest.com

Calgary Herald

Last Call for Home Reno Tax Credit

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

It’s not too late to renovate and get the Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC) … if you don’t mind long lines at your local home-improvement store. But you only have exactly one week to do so.

Know What Qualifies (and What Doesn’t)

It might be a good idea to check out all the details at the Canada Revenue Agency website. (Apparently, the Post Office is also handing out the Canada Revenue Agency General Income Tax and Benefit Guide for 2009.)

Basically, the rule of thumb is anything that stays with your property counts for the HRTC. Here are a few items that do qualify that you may not have thought of:

  • A new hot water tank
  • Blinds or shutters 
  • Paint (interior and exterior)
  • Re-shingling a roof

Even if you spend as little as $1,000 (but no less) you can get 15% off in tax credits when you file; just be sure you keep all your receipts.

There are rumblings about the federal government extending the deadline for the HRTC – or adding a new one later in 2010 but given how transient ruling governments can be (especially in a minority government!) it might be best to race towards this month’s deadline since it is a sure thing (even if you live in a condo).

And remember, you can “double-dip” on your renovation spendings if the products and/or services relate to energy-efficiency, thus qualifying for the HRTC and ecoEnergy Retrofit grants from Natural Resources Canada (and matched by your province in most cases).

How is your renovation spending going? Are you trying to get government money for the HRTC tax credit and/or ecoEnergy retrofit grant money?

For More information Please call the Home Sweet Home Team

Unusual and Creative Glassware Designs

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Unusual and Creative Glassware Designs

Collection of unusual and creative glassware designs from around the world.

 

Little Heart Wine Glass

Beautiful wine glass design by Etienne Meneau features four interconnected glass tubes. [link]

Little Heart Wine Glass

Little Heart Wine Glass 2

Write-On Glassware

Feed the cat, take out the trash, mow the lawn; there are so many things to remember and now you can take your to-do list with you! Write on this glass mug or tumbler then erase when you are done with each task. [link]

Write-On Glassware

Zipper Wine Glass

“Half-empty or half-full? Half-zipped or half-unzipped? These are life’s big questions. [link]

Zipper Wine Glass

Self-Stirring Tea Glass

Two young French designers have created a self-stirring teacup. It’s a glass, actually, and it has a ceramic ball at the bottom that mixes around and mixes the tea as you lift the cup or swirl it gently. [link]

Self-Stirring Tea Glass

Float Tea Lantern

The tea lantern is designed with a double layered glass wall which encloses a vacuum, creating a thermal space that insulates steaming hot, or icy cold liquids. The double wall maintains an ideal serving temperature, while still allowing the lantern to be easily held and poured, like a wine bottle. [link]

Float Tea Lantern

Fast Glass Cup

It looks like a plastic cup. But it is made from glass. [link]

Fast Glass Cup

Botanical Martini Glass

Creative glass with unique silhouette and challenging yet functional design.  [link]

Botanical Martini Glass

Happy People Reversible Glasses

Collection of reversible glasses consisting of diverse forms inspired by the mixture of people who come from various origins around the world. [link]

Happy People Reversible Glasses

Modern Wine Glass

Unusual wine glass designed by Jeremy Brown. [link]

Modern Wine Glass

Rainman Carafe

Instead of the usual stream of liquid exiting from the end of the carafe, several small holes transport the wine to the glass. [link]

Rainman Carafe

Ghost Goblet Glass

Pour in your favorite wine and the Ghost Goblet transitions from being a glass on your counter to a piece of art, proudly displayed. [link]

Ghost Goblet Glass

Tripod Wine Glass

Refreshing take on glass design, Marten Baptist took a typical dutch perspective on a triangular aesthetic. [link]

Tripod Wine Glass

Glass Beer Boot

Glass from the movie Beerfest, holds two liters of beer. [link]

Glass Beer Boot

Rocking Glass

A different definition of tipsy, the Rocking Glass features a curved bottom that allows it to rock without spilling over. Suitable for cocktails or as a decorative accessory, it’s a fresh take on the simple tumbler. [link]

Rocking Glass

Riedel Decanters Glassware

Beautiful wine glassware series from Riedel impresses with fluid shapes and simple forms. [link]

Riedel Decanters Glassware

Coke Can Glass

You can recapture those carefree times with a set of 6 glass tumblers styled to look like a classic 6-pack with raised logos and “wave” motif. [link]

Coke Can Glass

Hopside Down Glass

Fred likes to drink his beer right from the bottle, but Mrs. Fred is appalled. So Fred went out and did something about it – he created this bottle-in-a-glass as an homage to real men like him. [link]

Hopside Down Glass

Fair Share Fountain

Six champagne glasses, each one a bit smaller than the other, hand made out of Pyrex and each one has a tiny lip so that the champagne will flow over into the next smaller glass. [link]

Fair Share Fountain

Article by www.toxel.com

Food Plates and Creative Dishware Designs

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Food Plates and Creative Dishware Designs

Modern food plates and creative dishware designs from all over the world.

 

Lily Plates

These handcrafted ceramic Lily plates will make a great addition to your wall or tabletop. [like]

Lily Plates

Handful of Plates

Creative ceramic plates that are folded like a taco shell. The way they are curved allows you to keep the plate in one hand while eating the food with the other one. [like]

Handful of Plates

Handful of Plates Dishware

Smiley Bowl

Eva Solo smiley bowl always smiles at its surroundings, and it is always ready to lend a helping hand to hold nuts, sweets or all the stuff that you carry around in your pockets. [link]

Smiley Bowl

Frame Plates

The aesthetics of the food is defined by the mixture of shape and color. These plates function as a canvas for food as a work of art. [link]

Frame Plates

Lithos Dishware

Inspired from the impressions left in rock formations, Lithos presents a landscape of two shallow canyons. [link]

Lithos Dishware

Flat Knot Bowl

Unusual fruit bowl made from a flat sheet of steel which is then warped and knotted into itself. [like]

Flat Knot Bowl

Impression Dishware

Modern design uses the traditional shapes of a bowl and spoon to make softened natural indentations in the rectangular earthenware dish. [link]

Impression Dishware

Rollercoaster Fruit Tray

Beautiful fruit tray by Janne Kyttanen can hold up to 9 oranges. [link]

Rollercoaster Fruit Tray

Grooveware

Creative series of three porcelain dishes and an ashtray. The basic forms are generic, except for the fact that each is paired with, and indented by an appropriate utensil. [link]

Grooveware

Chrome Ring Platter

Jewelry for your table. Thick glass supported by solid chrome rings. [like]

Chrome Ring Platter

Zipper Plate

Creative silky white food plate design made from porcelain. [link]

Zipper Plate

K-wine Dishware

The difference between K-wine and a traditional plate with glass holder is that K-wine moves the weight from the side to the middle of the plate. Therefore, even if the glass is full, the weight of the plate is balanced. [link]

K-wine Dishware

Floorplan Dishware

Whether it’s a penthouse, a three bedroom, or a studio…why rent when you can own? Best thing about this pattern; no board approval needed! [link]

Floorplan Dishware

Earth Bowls

Fluid Earth bowls are unique works of art in the form of your chosen part of the earth. The beloved online service Google Maps enable you to quickly and easily design your own work of art. [link]

Earth Bowls

Akitoka Dishware

Portuguese designer Rosa Lemos has produced a range of cake dishes for Italian ceramics manufacturer Bosa Ceramiche. [link]

Akitoka Dishware

Wasara Paper Dishes

Beautiful disposable paper dishes have curved corners that naturally follow the shape of fingers or thumbs for easy gripping, deliberately designed so that people can hold their plates while they mingle. [link]

Wasara Paper Dishes

Nambé Lounge Platter

Beautiful dishware created by designer Neil Cohen for Nambé. [like]

Nambé Lounge Platter

Snap and Dine Dishware

Portable lunch setting by talented product designer Demelza Hill. [link]

Snap and Dine Dishware

Tire Bowl

Rev up your meals with Tire Bowl especially designed for your favorite gear head or engine-er. [link]

Tire Bowl

Benta Plates

Designed by Angela Schwab. The unexpected upward bend functions as a one-handed grip that also prevents spillage. [link]

Benta Plates

Article by www.toxel.com

Ranchlands Elementary School – Calgary Public Schools

Monday, January 25th, 2010
Ranchlands School View Home page  
Walk Zone Map: View Walk Zone Map
Email: ranchlands@cbe.ab.ca
Phone: (403) 777-6350
Fax: (403) 777-6352School Hours: AM: 8:54 ~ PM: ~ 3:25
School Location610 Ranchlands Blvd. N.W.
Calgary , AB
T3G 2C5
 
Ranchlands School is located in and serves the northwest community of Ranchlands. Ranchlands School is also the location of the Gifted And Talented Education program for Area I and two Paced Learning Program classrooms serving Area I. Students move from Ranchlands School to H. D. Cartwright School for Grades 7 to 9 and then on to William Aberhart High School. Students in the GATE program move from Ranchlands to Queen Elizabeth High School. Students in the PLP transition to either Montgomery School or Thomas B. Riley School.
About the School
Built in 1981, Ranchlands School is situated on 12.63 acres. The school has 12 classrooms, 8 relocatables, and 3 portables in addition to a library, a high school-sized gymnasium, a music room, and a computer lab.
About School Name
As was the custom during the 1980’s, the first school built in a new neighbourhood bore the name of the community. A group of parents who were actively involved in setting up the new school in Ranchlands applied for “community school” status long before the school was even built. This group of interested citizens were successful in obtaining the designation, hence the name Ranchlands School.
School Mission
School PhilosophyTo foster the love of lifelong learning, we believe:

  • ·  We take ownership for our learning.
  • ·  Mutual respect and responsibility guide our interactions and relationships.
  • ·  A child’s learning is a shared journey involving communication and collaboration between children, parents, teachers, and the community.
  • ·  Learning is supported by sharing, planning, and valuing each other’s diversity.
School Motto
Respect Responsibility Relationships
Unique Points  
  • Has developed strong partnerships between parents, staff, and students in order to improve communication and provide opportunities for discussing important educational issues.
  • Operates an extensive volunteer program which includes grandparents. The grandparent program is just one example of effective use of in-class volunteers.
  • Has a well-established learning resource centre where technological literacy is valued.
  • Has developed an atmosphere of respect, safety, and caring coupled with high expectations for student conduct, work habits, and performance.
  • Established and maintains a quality, daily physical education program that has been recognized by CAPHER for the past several years.
  • Established and maintains a quality, music program that serves students from Kindergarten to Grade six.
Student Enrolment (September 2009 )
Total Enrolment: 359  

Info provided by : www.cbe.ab.ca

A few Reasons to Visit Calgary

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Here is a good video I found on YouTube about Calgary. Even though we have Country Bars & Stampede, we’re definitely not that Country :) .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9S02NDPs_s

watch?v=U9S02NDPs_s

World’s craziest restaurants

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Cannibalistic Restaurant (JAPAN)

“Nyotaimori” (which literally means “female body plate”) is the name of the japanese restaurant that serves sushi and sashimi on a naked woman’s body. The body is made from food and placed on an operating table, much as though in a hospital. You can “operate” anyway and anywhere you want by cutting open the body and eating what you find inside. The body will actually bleed as you cut it and the intestines and organs inside are completely editable. It’s a banquet of Cannibalism.


Toilet Restaurant (TAIWAN)

Have you ever heard of people eating out of a bathroom toilet and having great fun? A restaurant named Marton Theme Restaurant, in Kaohsiung (Taiwan) has a toilet theme and is a great hit among people. The restaurant has a bathroom decor, with colorful toilet seat being the standard chairs at the restaurant. It also serves food in plates and bowls shaped like western loo seats and Japanese “squat” toilets. Customers sits by a tables converted from a bathtub with a glass cover while looking at a wall decorated with neon-lit faucets and urinals turned into lamps. The restaurant is named after the Chinese word “Matong” for toilet and is doing really well. The owner Eric Wang says “We not only sell food but also laughter. The food is just as good as any restaurant but we offer additional fun. Most customers think the more disgusting and exaggerated (the restaurant is), the funnier the dining experience is.” The meals are cheaply priced with a meal set including soup and ice cream costs from 150 to 250 Taiwan dollars ($6 – $10).

Restaurant in the Sky (BELGIUM)

“Dinner in the Sky” is a Brussels based restaurant that serves dinner for up to 22 people… 150 feet in the air! The specially-designed table and chairs are lifted by a crane. Dinner anywhere in Belgium will set you back almost 8 thousand euros; other locations are also available. Remember, you must wear your seat belt, and don’t drop your fork!

Dark Restaurant (CHINA)

The first dark restaurant in Asia is officially opened on the 23 December 2006. This restaurant, located in Beijing, China, has its interior painted completely black. Customers are greeted by a brightly lit entrance hall and will be escorted by waiters wearing night vision goggles into the pitch dark dining room to help them find their seats. Flashlights, mobile phones and even luminous watches are prohibited while in this area.

The meal will be taken in this environment with the complete loss of vision. By starving one’s sense, your other senses are stimulated to full alert “all so the theory goes” and your food will taste like it’s never tasted before. In case you are wondering about the washrooms, they are all brightly lit.

Graveyard Restaurant (INDIA)

The bustling “New Lucky Restaurant” in Ahmadabad is famous for its milky tea, its buttery rolls, and the graves between the tables. Krishan Kutti Nair has helped run the restaurant built over a centuries-old Muslim cemetery for close to four decades, but he doesn’t know who is buried in the cafe floor. Customers seem to like the graves, which resemble small cement coffins, and that’s enough for him.

“The graveyard is good luck,” Nair said one recent afternoon after the lunch rush. “Our business is better because of the graveyard.” The graves are painted green, stand about shin high, and every day the manager decorates each of them with a single dried flower. They’re scattered randomly across the restaurant – one up front next to the cash register, three in the middle next to a table for two, four along the wall near the kitchen.

Restaurant in a Prison (ITALY)

A restaurant situated inside the top security prison Fortezza Medicea in Italy is so popular that officials have since opened more branches. Serenaded by Bruno, a pianist doing life for murder, the clientele eat inside a deconsecrated chapel set behind the 60ft high walls, watch towers, searchlights and security cameras of the daunting 500-year-old Fortezza Medicea, at Volterra near Pisa. Under the watchful eye of armed prison warders, a 20-strong team of chefs, kitchen hands and waiters prepares 120 covers for diners who have all undergone strict security checks. Tables are booked up weeks in advance.

Robot Restaurant: run by two identical couples (CHINA)

People are confused how a Chinese couple managed to run a busy restaurant 21 hours a day without getting tired. Turns out the restaurant is run by two couples … both the men and women are identical twins!

Locals had nicknamed the eatery the “robot couple restaurant” as they couldn’t understand how the same couple seemed to be on duty from 6am through to 3am. However, a journalist from Today Morning Post interviewed the restaurant owner and found out the truth. It turned out that the twin brothers, 32, married a set of twin sisters from the same township three years ago and moved to Yiwu to run the restaurant together. “Many diners thought we worked too hard and are like robots, but they don’t know that we are actually four people,” said Mao Zhanghua, 32, the elder brother.

Undersea Restaurant (MALDIVES)

The first-ever undersea restaurant in the world has been introduced at the Hilton Maldives Resort & Spa in April 2007. Ithaa (which is pronounced “eet-ha” and means “pearl” in the language of the Maldives, Dhivehi) sits five meters below the waves of the Indian Ocean, surrounded by a vibrant coral reef and encased in clear acrylic, offering diners 270 degrees of panoramic underwater views. This innovative restaurant is the first of its kind in the world, and is part of a US $5 million re-build of Rangalifinolhu Island, one of the twin islands that make up Hilton Maldives Resort & Spa. This re-build includes the construction of 79 of the most luxurious beach villas in the country as well as the Spa Village, a self-contained, over-water “resort-within-a-resort” consisting of a spa, restaurant and 21 villas.

Condom Restaurant (THAILAND)

“Cabbages and Condoms” is a chain of restaurants in Thailand. There are condoms on the walls and pictures of condoms printed on the carpets. Instead of after-dinner mints, patrons are offered a bowl of condoms at the counter. Profits from the restaurants go to support the Population and Community Development Association (PDA).

Medical Restaurant (TAIPEI)

D.S. Music Restaurant in Taipei, Taiwan is a medical-themed restaurant with crutches on the wall, waitresses dressed a nurses, and drinks served from an IV drip bottle! The owner came up with the idea to express his gratitude for care he received at a local hospital

15 Unusual and Creative Buildings

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

15 Unusual and Creative Buildings

Creative houses and unusual building designs from all over the world.

 

Barcode Building

This unusual office building is located in St. Petersburg, Russia. [link]

Barcode Building

Crooked House

Designed by Szotynscy Zaleski, the 4,000 square meter house is located in Rezydent shopping center in Sopot, Poland. [link]

Crooked House

Sanrio Strawberry House

Creative strawberry house located in Denenchofu, Tokyo (Japan). [link]

Sanrio Strawberry House

Basque Health Department Building

New headquarters of the Basque Health Department created by Coll-Barreu Arquitectos are located in the Ensanche, New Town (Spain). [link]

Basque Health Department Building

Solar Ark Building

Located in Japan, the Solar Ark building is a solar power generation facility that offers activities to cultivate a better appreciation of solar power generation. [link]

Solar Ark Building

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Beautiful concert hall located in Los Angeles, California seats 2,265 people and serves as the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. [link]

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Upside Down House

Creative house designed by Daniel Czapiewski is located in the tiny village of Szymbark in Poland. [link]

Upside Down House

Digital Beijing Building

Olympic technical support center for the Beijing 2008 Olympics. [link]

Digital Beijing Building

Dancing House

Designed by Czech architect Vlado Milunic in co-operation with Canadian architect Frank Gehry, the house vaguely resembles a pair of dancers. The building is located in downtown Prague, Czech Republic. [link]

Dancing House

Cybertecture Egg Building

James Law have been commissioned by Vijay Associate to create an office unlike any other in Mumbai, India. The building is due for completion by the end of 2010. [link]

Cybertecture Egg Building

Piano Building

Located in Anhui province of China, inside the transparent violin is the staircase to the building upstairs. [link]

Piano Building

Burj Al Fateh Hotel

Beautiful five-star hotel located in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. [link]

Burj Al Fateh Hotel

Ray and Maria Stata Center

Unusual academic complex designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. [link]

Ray and Maria Stata Center

Stata Center

Sliding House

Located in London, the Sliding House is equipped with a mobile roof/wall enclosure which adds the ability to change the overall composition of the building according to season. [link]

Sliding House

Longaberger Basket Building

Unique building that looks like a giant basket, located in Newark, Ohio. [link]

Longaberger Basket Building

Pictures provided by : www.toxel.com

The World’s Most Beautiful Garages

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Came across these pictures of the World’s Most Beautiful Garages and figured lots of people would like to take a look.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Calgary Real Estate Board. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.
MLS® MLS REALTOR® Realtor