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You Can Sleep in These Owl-Shaped Cabins in Bordeaux, France for Free

When tourists visiting France’s Bordeaux region aren’t drinking wine or frolicking through rolling vineyards, they can rest and relax for free inside cabins shaped like a cluster of the countryside’s ground-dwelling owls, Tiny House Blog reports.

Called “Les Guetteurs,” or “The Watchers,” the three conjoined residences are the brainchild of French design collective Bruit du Frigo. The project is just one of multiple public shelters that the group has commissioned in Bordeaux, all of which were built to promote off-the-beaten-path hiking and exploration, and provide city-dwellers with an escape from urban life.

Designed and constructed by French architectural firm Zebra3, the wooden cabins sit on a pier suspended across a wetlands area. The owls have shingle “feathers” and round porthole eyes, and inside, there are three levels joined by ladders, with round beds shaped like birds’ nests.

The cabins lack amenities like electricity and water, making them more of a glamping experience, but each one can accommodate up to nine guests—making them ideal spaces for quick countryside jaunts with a handful of friends.

Check out some photos of "Les Guetteurs" below, or try to reserve a future overnight stay online. (Sorry, summer vacationers, the cabins are booked for the next few months.)

[h/t Tiny House Blog]

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Chicago's New McDonald's Serves Sandwiches From Hong Kong and McFlurries From Brazil
McDonald's
McDonald's

If you want to get a taste of local flavors when visiting a foreign country, just duck into the nearest McDonald's. The quintessential American burger chain adapts its menu wherever it sets up shop to reflect local palates and dietary restrictions. Now, Mickey D's super-fans interested in sampling every menu item offered abroad can get a little closer to achieving that goal without leaving the U.S. As Eater Chicago reports, the restaurant at the new McDonald's headquarters in Chicago will feature a rotating menu of food served at international locations.

The new nine-story corporate headquarters in Chicago's Fulton Market district is still under construction, but as of April 25, 2018, the 6000-square-foot McDonald's restaurant on its ground floor is open for business. The initial menu includes the McSpicy chicken sandwich from Hong Kong, cheese and bacon loaded fries from Australia, the Mozza salad from France, and the McFlurry Prestigio (with strawberry sauce and chocolate-covered coconut bites) from Brazil. Classic American menu items such as Big Macs and McNuggets are also available to guests.

The new restaurant features all the updates McDonald's has been gradually introducing to its stores in recent years. Customers can use unmanned kiosks to order their meals, take advantage of the location's table service, or order their food online and pull into one of the spaces outside for curbside pickup. The company aims for all of its franchises to offer the “McDonald’s Experience of the Future” by 2020.

“This is an exciting time for McDonald’s and the city of Chicago,” owner-operator Nick Karavites said in a press statement. “As a Chicago native who has grown up in the McDonald’s business, I’m proud to add the new headquarters restaurant to my organization.”

If you were hoping for a domestic McDonald's with slightly more exciting options, like India's spicy paneer wrap or Japan's shrimp burger, you may get your wish in the future: The Chicago restaurant plans to update its menu with new international items every few months.

[h/t Chicago Tribune]

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Instead of Lighting Fireworks, People in This Chinese Village Celebrate by Flinging Molten Iron
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iStock

Fireworks are a cultural symbol in China, but they weren't always easy to obtain. In a village in Yu County, China, people use a 500-year-old trick to achieve the same effect as fireworks with cheaper pyrotechnics.

This video from Great Big Story highlights the Chinese art of Da Shuhua, or splattering molten iron against walls to produce a fireworks-like shower of sparks. It started in the village of Nuanquan in the 16th century as a way for poor residents to imitate the expensive fireworks shows enjoyed by rich people in different parts of the country. Blacksmiths noticed that molten iron burst into dazzling sparks whenever it hit the ground and thought to recreate this phenomenon on a much larger scale. The townspeople loved it and began donating their scrap metal to create even grander displays.

Today, Da Shuhua is more than just a cheap alternative to regular fireworks: It's a cherished tradition to the people of Nuanquan. The village remains the only place in China to witness the art as it was done centuries ago—the people who practice it even wear the same traditional cotton and sheepskin garments to protect their skin from the 2900°F drops of metal flying through the air. As Wang De, who's been doing Da Shuhua for 30 years, says in the video below, "If you wear firefighter suits, it just doesn't feel right."

[h/t Great Big Story]

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