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Michael Najjar via Kameha Grand Zurich Hotel
Michael Najjar via Kameha Grand Zurich Hotel

This Space-Themed Hotel Suite Was Designed By an Aspiring Astronaut

Michael Najjar via Kameha Grand Zurich Hotel
Michael Najjar via Kameha Grand Zurich Hotel

For those who dream of living like an astronaut without the inconvenience of atrophy and motion sickness, one hotel is now offering guests a luxurious outer-space experience. At the Kameha Grand Zurich Hotel in Switzerland you can lodge in their space suite for $2000 a night (still a bargain compared to what a commercial space flight would cost).

When entering, guests are greeted by a robotic female voice inspired by John Carpenter’s 1974 sci-fi film Dark Star. The carpet is designed with inverted, high-res images taken by the Hubble Telescope that have been stitched together to form an abstract space scene. The ceiling lights were made to resemble rocket engines, and a space suit glove extends out from the wall as a spot for lodgers to keep their phones and keys. The room's most impressive feature is its “zero gravity” bed. It’s built in a way that makes it appear as if it’s floating above the floor, and the black, monolith design is reminiscent of 2001: A Space Odyssey

Michael Najjar

Michael Najjar

Michael Najjar

Michael Najjar

Everything was designed by German artist and aspiring astronaut Michael Najjar. Though he’s still waiting to travel to outer space, he’s undergone plenty of realistic space training in Russia including a spacewalk simulation, centrifuge training and jet flights into the stratosphere. He plans to join Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Pioneer Astronauts on their spaceflight, which would make him the first contemporary artist in space. His lifetime fascination with space travel comes through in his work, which has been displayed at museums and galleries around the world. A few of his pieces, “Liquid Gravity,” “Space Voyagers” and “Orbital Cascade,” can be seen hanging on the walls of the space suite.

The suite is just one of the hotel's several themed rooms, others which include a casino room, a burlesque suite, and a sports-themed room complete with a foosball table and punching bag. Though the space suite may lean more toward fiction than science, it definitely looks more comfortable than a night in the International Space Station. 

All Images Courtesy Kameha Grand Zurich Hotel

[h/t: Mashable]

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History
The Secret World War II History Hidden in London's Fences

In South London, the remains of the UK’s World War II history are visible in an unlikely place—one that you might pass by regularly and never take a second look at. In a significant number of housing estates, the fences around the perimeter are actually upcycled medical stretchers from the war, as the design podcast 99% Invisible reports.

During the Blitz of 1940 and 1941, the UK’s Air Raid Precautions department worked to protect civilians from the bombings. The organization built 60,000 steel stretchers to carry injured people during attacks. The metal structures were designed to be easy to disinfect in case of a gas attack, but that design ended up making them perfect for reuse after the war.

Many London housing developments at the time had to remove their fences so that the metal could be used in the war effort, and once the war was over, they were looking to replace them. The London County Council came up with a solution that would benefit everyone: They repurposed the excess stretchers that the city no longer needed into residential railings.

You can tell a stretcher railing from a regular fence because of the curves in the poles at the top and bottom of the fence. They’re hand-holds, designed to make it easier to carry it.

Unfortunately, decades of being exposed to the elements have left some of these historic artifacts in poor shape, and some housing estates have removed them due to high levels of degradation. The Stretcher Railing Society is currently working to preserve these heritage pieces of London infrastructure.

As of right now, though, there are plenty of stretchers you can still find on the streets. If you're in the London area, this handy Google map shows where you can find the historic fencing.

[h/t 99% Invisible]

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The Force Field Cloak
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Design
This Glowing Blanket Is Designed to Ease Kids' Fear of the Dark
The Force Field Cloak
The Force Field Cloak

Many kids have a security blanket they bring to bed with them every night, but sometimes, a regular blankie is no match for the monsters that invade their imaginations once the lights are off. Now there’s a glow-in-the-dark blanket designed to make children feel safer in bed, no night light required.

Dubbed the Force Field Cloak, the fleece blanket comes in several colorful, glowing patterns that remain invisible during the day. At night, you leave the blanket under a bright light for about 10 minutes, then the shining design will reveal itself in the dark. The glow lasts 8 to 10 hours, just long enough to get a child through the night.

Inventor Terry Sachetti was inspired to create the blanket by his own experiences struggling with scary nighttime thoughts as a kid. "I remember when I was young and afraid of the dark. I would lie in my bed at night, and my imagination would start getting the best of me," he writes on the product's Kickstarter page. "I would start thinking that someone or something was going to grab my foot that was hanging over the side of the bed. When that happened, I would put my foot back under my blanket where I knew I was safe. Nothing could get me under my blanket. No boogiemen, no aliens, no monsters under my bed, nothing. Sound familiar?"

The Force Field Cloak, which has already surpassed its funding goals on both Indiegogo and Kickstarter, takes the comfort of a blanket to the next level. The glowing, non-toxic ink decorating the material acts as a gentle night light that kids can wrap around their whole body. The result, the team claims, is a secure feeling that quiets those thoughts about bad guys hiding in the shadows.

To pre-order a Force Field Cloak, you can pledge $36 or more to the product’s Indiegogo campaign. It is expected to start shipping in January 2018.

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