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How One Resort Turned a Helicopter into a Cottage

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The accommodations of most hotels look more or less the same; one room can easily be confused for the next. But there’s no chance of that happening at the Winvian Resort in Litchfield Hills, Conn. Among the 18 themed cottages on its 113 acres are a treehouse, a log cabin, a lighthouse, a stable—and, awesomely, a structure that incorporates an actual helicopter. When we heard about this one, we had to ask Winvian how it was done.

The gorgeous cottages were designed by architect Malcolm Appleton, who created this especially unconventional accommodation as an homage to the Stratford, Conn.-based Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.

If you’re looking for an aircraft that you can incorporate into the building, it’s probably best to start at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) in Arizona, home of the world’s largest airplane graveyard, where 4400 aircraft sit collecting dust. There, Appleton found a 1968 Sikorsky Sea King Pelican HH-3F Coast Guard helicopter. Just 40 of these long-range, amphibious search-and-rescue craft were made for the U.S. Coast Guard; introduced in the late 1960s, the helicopters were in service for decades before they were replaced by newer aircraft (the last went out of service in 1994 [PDF]).

The helo was towed east to Canaan, Conn., where it was refurbished and modified over a period of 12 months. While the pilot and co-pilot seats, switches, and gauges are all original, the interior of the fuselage was turned into the sitting area with a flatscreen T.V. and a minibar.

When the helicopter was finished, it was towed out to Litchfield Hills and wheeled into a hangar-like cottage constructed especially to house it. The rotor blades, which had been cut short, were embedded in the ceiling; once the Pelican was in place, the back wall of the cottage was constructed. Outside of the helicopter, Appleton placed a king-sized bed, a wood-burning stove, and a bathroom. For aeronautical enthusiasts, it will definitely beat staying at the Hilton!  

All images courtesy of Booking.com.

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The Playhouse Theatre
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The World’s First Minecraft Play Debuts in Northern Ireland
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The Playhouse Theatre

There are a lot of replicas of real-world locations in Minecraft, but there are few replicas of real-life performances. The latest show to premiere at the Playhouse Theatre in Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland, though, takes place both on stage and online. In what the theater is billing as the world’s first live play inside Minecraft, actors will perform both in real life and through digital avatars.

Playcraft Live is adapted from a series of young adult sci-fi novels called TimeRiders, which follows a group of teens as they work to stop future time travelers from changing history—in the case of this story, in the Neolithic Age. While the play was written by TimeRiders author Alex Scarrow, Minecraft users were involved in producing it, helping professional video game designers build out one of the virtual sets as part of a Minecraft buildathon in late September.

Three Minecraft renderings of Times Square
The Playhouse Theatre

The performance will be split between the actors live on stage and puppeteers controlling the avatars in the game. “Audiences within the theater, and online, will experience the production as a single live-stream, and neither audience needs to own Minecraft in order to view the stream,” according to a press release from the theater.

The play debuts on October 14 in Northern Ireland, and you can also watch it online via livestream.

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The Seemingly Simple ‘Math’ Problem That Stumped the Internet
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If you’re a regular Mental Floss reader, you know that we love a good brain teaser. And the one below, which originated on Facebook and has been shared more than 150,000 times, is a great one to test just how sharp you are on a Friday evening at the end of a long workweek.

It’s a seemingly simple enough task: spot the error. Your time starts now…

We’ll give you a minute …

And a little space for you to scroll down to find the answer …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you figure it out?

The “mistake” is that the word “mistake” is misspelled on the instruction sheet on the left. If you missed that completely, you’re not alone: the grid of numbers is what immediately grabs your attention.

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