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Become a Sabrage Samurai With This Modern "Sword"

As far as dinner party tricks go, the only thing cooler than the tablecloth trick is sabrageand while an actual saber gives the performance greater dramatic effect, we’re guessing you probably don't have one of those hanging out in the junk closet.

Instead, consider the steel “Champagne Sabre” from Menu, which looks less a sword and more like a curved, futuristic baseball bat. The lack of sharp edges might seem disconcerting, but in fact, this modern mallet is a testament that the trick is more about technique and less about the instrument.

As Gizmodo notes, a French bottle of champagne is ideal because of the thick glass and high internal pressure, and the key is to “strike right at the lip, where there is a seam that concentrates all the stress from that pressure on the bottle—the weakest point.” And oh yeah—point it away from yourself and your guests.

Sabrage is said to have originated during the Napoleonic wars, though the specifics are a bit murky. According to some reports, soldiers had a tough time poppin’ bottles on horseback following their victories and learned to multitask in a very badass fashion—possibly to impress Madame Clicquot, who inherited her husband’s company when he died and was said to hand officers bottles of bubbly to enjoy pre-battle. It might be worth channeling that imagery and spirit the first few times you attempt to behead a bottle of bubbly. 

Before you do that though, get a full tutorial below, via Food52.

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architecture
One Photographer's Quest to Document Every Frank Lloyd Wright Structure in the World
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iStock

From California’s Marin County Civic Center to the Yokodo Guest House in Ashiya City, Japan, Frank Lloyd Wright’s influence spans countries and continents. Today, 532 of the architect’s original designs remain worldwide—and one photographer is racking up the miles in an attempt to photograph each and every one of them, according to Architectural Digest.

Andrew Pielage is the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s unofficial photographer. The Phoenix-based shutterbug got his gig after friends introduced him to officials at Taliesin West, the late designer’s onetime winter home and studio that today houses the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Taliesin, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.

Higher-ups at Taliesin West allowed Pielage to photograph the property in 2011, and they liked his work so much that they commissioned him for other projects. Since then, Pielage has shot around 50 Wright buildings, ranging from Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pennsylvania, to the Hollyhock House in Los Angeles.

Pielage takes vertical panoramas to “get more of Wright in one image,” and he also prefers to work with natural light to emphasize the way the architect integrated his structures to correspond with nature’s rhythms. While Pielage still has over 400 more FLW projects to go until he's done capturing the icon’s breadth of work, you can check out some of his initial shots below.

[h/t Architectural Digest]

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Courtesy Chronicle Books
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Design
Inside This Pop-Up Book Are a Planetarium, a Speaker, a Decoder Ring, and More
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Courtesy Chronicle Books

Designer Kelli Anderson's new book is for more than just reading. This Book Is a Planetarium is really a collection of paper gadgets. With each thick, card stock page you turn, another surprise pops out.

"This book concisely explains—and actively demonstrates with six functional pop-up paper contraptions—the science at play in our everyday world," the book's back cover explains. It turns out, there's a whole lot you can do with a few pieces of paper and a little bit of imagination.

A book is open to reveal a spiralgraph inside.
Courtesy Chronicle Books

There's the eponymous planetarium, a paper dome that you can use with your cell phone's flashlight to project constellations onto the ceiling. There's a conical speaker, which you can use to amplify a smaller music player. There's a spiralgraph you can use to make geometric designs. There's a basic cipher you can use to encode and decode secret messages, and on its reverse side, a calendar. There's a stringed musical instrument you can play on. All are miniature, functional machines that can expand your perceptions of what a simple piece of paper can become.

The cover of This Book Is a Planetarium
Courtesy Chronicle Books

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