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Gaudían fantasy

In 1900, the powerful industrialist and patron Eusebi Güell commissioned Gaudí to build the urbanization of some estates he had acquired on the side of the Muntanya Pelada to build a garden city imitating those being developed in England. The result was Park Güell, where Gaudí was able to express, as well as his extraordinary gifts as an innovative architect, his role of urban planner in the layout of paths, roads and shared services for the urbanization. In 1903 Gaudí had already made the porticoes-viaducts, the enclosing wall, the entrance pavilions, the grottoes and the stairway, due to the use of innovation such as modular and prefabricated constructions in situ, which also enabled the production of surface and structure at the same time, being decades ahead in the use of prefabricated …

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Home from work or work from home?

Do you let work follow you home? Perhaps, more correctly, do you gladly invite it inside your house? It sometimes feels that fate has conspired very well with our employers to give us a sort of mixed blessing in our smartphones, laptops, and ubiquitous internet. Taken together, these devices make us possible to attend to work – even if it means replying to an e-mail or two – even if we’re about to sleep. Of course, there is nothing wrong with ensuring you deliver outputs on time. Telecommuting, stay-at-home businesses, and flexible working arrangements are, in fact, beneficial in different ways. Many appreciate not having to brave interminable traffic and spend these long hours being productive instead. But like many things, too much of something is not always good. Before you …

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Beat the rainy blues

Don’t let the rain dampen your pets’ spirits. Whether  you stay indoors or outdoors, Dogs and the City shows you how to combat boredom and keep your furry friends safe and dry with these tips and top essentials. When you have no choice but to stay indoors: ”Our pets love to keep active. Dogs and the City offers different kinds of activity games that are particularly suitable for providing indoor dogs lots of fun and entertainment. This eliminates boredom especially during rainy days and also prevents related negative behaviors like destructive chewing,” explains Haydee D. Chua of Dogs and the City. She also adds that “It is a downer for your dogs to stay indoor during rainy season.  It affects their physical and psychological health. As a responsible dog owner, you should …

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Plastic-eating mushrooms

Intriguing right? Who would’ve thought that the answer to some of our most distressing global conundrums may be mushrooms? Industrial Designer, Katharina Unger sure did, sparked by a recent discovery made by students from Yale in the great Amazon Rainforest. The trip was part of the university’s Annual Rainforest Expedition and Laboratory—a unique course where students enrolled are given opportunities to explore diverse ecosystems of various forests, collect plant samples, and engage in full time research of their own design. While working on the samples retrieved from the most bio-diverse place on Earth, researchers at Yale were able to isolate a variety of mushroom (Pestalotiopsismicrospora) that is capable of breaking down a key component of plastic, polyurethane. These mushrooms were also found to survive in anaerobic environments, meaning they do not …

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Tile style

The history of tile is entwined with the history of civilization. Ancient man discovered that wet clay would dry hard in the sun; then, undoubtedly by accident, he found that when clay was left in smoldering ashes it became harder, more water resistant, and able to tolerate higher temperatures than sun-baked clay. Fired clay tile was in use as a building material before recorded history. The ancient Egyptians used colored glazes more than six thousand years ago and from then on each culture has gloried in the possibilities inherent in the medium. Despite a crack here, crumbled grout there, many of the monuments to the tile artist's craft are still intact hundreds, even thousands, of years later. Over the centuries tile has covered virtually every type of surface, from the …

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Words of wisdom from the ‘titas’ of Manila

“You better learn how to cook or else your husband will leave you!” “Wait until you taste my adobo.” “Your place is so plain! Why not try printed curtains?” Welcome to the so-called “titas of Manila” zone where offbeat life lessons are given – whether you like it or not. They come not from your mother but, rather, titas (aunts) which may also refer to someone older though not necessarily of blood relation. These titas might be women you connect with at the office, the gym, or even in post-graduate school. We all have different kinds of titas. In fact, you might even be one yourself. Titas mostly specialize in dishing out “food for thought” about home and family. Solicited or otherwise, you can count on titasto have an opinion about how you run …

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The beauty of the true bird of paradise

The true Bird of Paradise, or scientifically known as Strelitzia reginae is a beautiful tropical dwarf banana-like plant indigenous to South Africa. Its common name is often associated with the Heliconias, which is also a relative of this unique plant, including the travelers’ palm. It is also popularly known as Crane Flower, due to its unusual form and color. This, together with its long post-harvest life makes it a very important cut-flower. Its scientific name commemorates Charlotte Sophia of the Mecklenburg-Strelitz family, queen of King George III of England. She is a patron of botany. The Bird of Paradise is commercially produced in countries like Hawaii, California, Florida, The Netherlands, France, Israel, and South Africa. Because of its tropical beauty, it is the official flower of the city of Los Angeles, California. …

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Growing the exotic Coelogyne Orchid

Coelogyne orchids are one of the most important orchid group, with approximately 150 species distributed throughout the southeast Asia area, China and the Philippines. It is a group which includes a number of horticulturally important species that have been in great demand by orchid collectors since their introduction in the last part of the 1800s. It also includes some considerable number of botanical type plants which are seldom found in collections. Coelogyne orchids are popular in collections due to their mostly fragrant, free flowering, and showy inflorescences. The orchid genus was found by Dr. Lindley in 1825, with the well-known horticultural species Coelogyne cristata as the type specimen. The generic name Coelogyne was suggested by the prominent depression in the stigma and was derived from the Greek kailos, "hollow," and gyne, …

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4 ways to care for your child’s skin

Do you and your child share the same bath soap? Chances are, your favorite soap bars may not be the most recommended for your young ones. Babies and toddlers have delicate skin that may easily be damaged by the harsh ingredients some adult soaps have. “The skin of the baby is still maturing as they go through their first year of life,” explained pediatrician dermatologist Dr. Maria Victoria Dizon during Johnson’s Supermoms’ Transformation event where it launched its Milk + Oats baby bath and lotion. “Normal soaps that adults use are not good for babies simply because these are harsh cleansers (that) break down skin barrier functions. When that happens, it will cause redness, irritation…and infection.” The skin of babies plays an important role in maintaining their health and defending them from …

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On being a green thumb

By  Yvette Nesas Gardening is a topic that most would find intimidating because it’s a subject where science meets art. Not everyone is able to grow flowers or vegetables, while there are some who succeed effortlessly. So if you’re struggling, don’t lose hope because help is on the way. Since the topic requires expertise in the subject matter I have sought the help of Mayra Luz Del Rosario, a University of the Philippines Los Baños graduate with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Agriculture major in Horticulture with over 20 years of experience. Truth be told, she grew up learning about plants from her family of agriculturists, farmers, teachers and from her mother, Dr. Aurora G. Del Rosario. Gardening is about nurturing plants. Plants are like babies that need constant attention and …

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