How One Resort Turned a Helicopter into a Cottage

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

George Washington’s Incredible Hair Routine

America's Founding Fathers had some truly defining locks, but we tend to think of those well-coiffed white curls—with their black ribbon hair ties and perfectly-managed frizz—as being wigs. Not so in the case of the main man himself, George Washington.

As Robert Krulwich reported at National Geographic, a 2010 biography on our first president—Washington: A Life, by Ron Chernow—reveals that the man “never wore a wig.” In fact, his signature style was simply the result of an elaborately constructed coiffure that far surpasses most morning hair routines, and even some “fancy” hair routines.

The style Washington was sporting was actually a tough look for his day. In the late 18th century, such a hairdo would have been worn by military men.

While the hair itself was all real, the color was not. Washington’s true hue was a reddish brown color, which he powdered in a fashion that’s truly delightful to imagine. George would (likely) don a powdering robe, dip a puff made of silk strips into his powder of choice (there are a few options for what he might have used), bend his head over, and shake the puff out over his scalp in a big cloud.

To achieve the actual ‘do, Washington kept his hair long and would then pull it back into a tight braid or simply tie it at the back. This helped to showcase the forehead, which was very in vogue at the time. On occasion, he—or an attendant—would bunch the slack into a black silk bag at the nape of the neck, perhaps to help protect his clothing from the powder. Then he would fluff the hair on each side of his head to make “wings” and secure the look with pomade or good old natural oils.

To get a better sense of the play-by-play, check out the awesome illustrations by Wendy MacNaughton that accompany Krulwich’s post.

"American Mall," Bloomberg
Unwinnable Video Game Challenges You to Keep a Shopping Mall in Business
"American Mall," Bloomberg
"American Mall," Bloomberg

Shopping malls, once the cultural hub of every suburb in America, have become a punchline in the e-commerce era. There are plenty of malls around today, but they tend to be money pits, considering the hundreds of "dead malls" haunting the landscape. Just how hard is it to keep a mall afloat in the current economy? American Mall, a new video game from Bloomberg, attempts to give an answer.

After choosing which tycoon character you want as your stand-in, you're thrown into a mall—rendered in 1980s-style graphics—already struggling to stay in business. The building is filled with rats and garbage you have to clean up if you want to keep shoppers happy. Every few seconds you're contacted by another store owner begging you to lower their rent, and you must either take the loss or risk them packing up for good. When stores are vacated, it's your job to fill them, but it turns out there aren't too many businesses interested in setting up shop in a dying mall.

You can try gimmicks like food trucks and indoor playgrounds to keep customers interested, but in the end your mall will bleed too much money to support itself. You can try playing the bleak game for yourself here—maybe it will put some of the retail casualties of the last decade into perspective.

[h/t Co.Design]


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