You Can Win Two Free Nights in Austin’s Human-Sized Birdhouse

Finding a place to stay in Austin during the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival is easier said than done. Nightly rental rates spike by hundreds of dollars, and empty rooms get booked fast. HomeAway is looking to make planning a little easier for two groups of SXSW visitors this year. As inhabitat reports, the vacation rental site is offering four free nights in their giant birdhouse to a handful of contest winners.

The so-called "World’s Largest Human Birdhouse" is located at the company’s headquarters in downtown Austin, Texas. On the outside, guests will find a round window and a massive blue perch extending over the back patio. With help from West Elm, the interior has been renovated into a cozy, two-bedroom space. Two groups of up to six guests are eligible for the chance to stay. To be considered for the prize, contestants need to answer the question "Why do you want to stay in the Birdhouse during SXSW?" and specify whether they wish to stay from March 10 to March 12, or March 17 to March 19. HomeAway will also provide an additional two nights stay elsewhere in Austin to each of the winning groups.

Every March, tens of thousands of people flock to Texas’s capital for the film, music, and interactive media events of SXSW. Visitors looking to honor the city’s “Keep Austin Weird” philosophy can enter to win the birdhouse vacation at

[h/t inhabitat]

All images courtesy of HomeAway.

Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images
The World's Best Scrunchies Are From Zurich. Ruth Bader Ginsburg Says So.
Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images
Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images

The scrunchie is back in fashion, but for some, the hair accessory never went away. That includes Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court justice and pop culture heavyweight long known for her lacy collars and fancy jabots.

Ginsburg's longtime scrunchie look has gone underappreciated for years, but now, The Wall Street Journal reports (as we saw in The Hollywood Reporter) that her collection of the grandiose hair accessory is growing almost as large as her stockpile of trademark collars.

Where does a Supreme Court justice get her scrunchies, you ask? As you might expect, Justice Ginsburg doesn't run down to Claire's or Urban Outfitters for her hair ties. RBG fans trying to copy her look will need to grab their passports and buy a plane ticket to do so.

"My best scrunchies come from Zurich," she told The Wall Street Journal, no doubt sending a certain type of fashion-loving law student off to research flight prices to Switzerland. "Next best, London," she decreed, "and third best, Rome." (Do we think the justice pays $195 for her luxury scrunchies?)

Ginsburg—whose other trademark accessories include a purse-sized copy of the Constitution, which she carries everywhere—may not be single-handedly bringing back the '90s fashion trend, but she's certainly a great argument for the fluffy fabric hair ties being the perfect professional look. If it's good enough for the Supreme Court and visits to Congress, it's definitely good enough for the cubicle.

[h/t The Hollywood Reporter]

Fictional Place Names Are Popping Up On Road Signs in Didcot, England

Driving along the highway in Didcot, England, you may notice something strange: the road signs point the way to places like Neverland and Middle-earth.

The names of these and other fictional locales from literature were seamlessly added to road signs by an artist/prankster using Transport Medium, the official font of British road signs.

After some sleuthing, BBC News found the man responsible, who spoke to the outlet on the condition of anonymity. He told the BBC that he's been orchestrating "creative interventions" all over England for about 20 years under different pseudonyms, and that this project was a reaction to Didcot being labeled "the most normal town in England" in 2017, which rubbed him the wrong way. "To me there's nowhere that's normal, there's no such thing, but I thought I'd have a go at changing people's perceptions of Didcot," he said of the town, which he describes as a "fun" and "funky" place.

Oxfordshire County Council isn't laughing; it told the BBC that although the signs were "on the surface amusing," they were "vandalism" and potentially dangerous, since it would be hard for a driver who spotted one not to do a double take while their eyes were supposed to be on the road. Even so, thanks to routine council matters, the signs are safe—at least for now—as the Council says that it is prioritizing fixing potholes at the moment.

Jackie Billington, Didcot's mayor, recognizes that the signs have an upside. "If you speak to the majority of people in Didcot they're of the same opinion: it's put Didcot on the map again," he told BBC News. "Hopefully they'll be up for a couple of weeks."

There are five altered signs in total. If you fancy a visit to the Emerald City, you're pointed toward Sutton Courtenay. Narnia neighbors a power station. And Gotham City is on the same route as Oxford and Newbury (and not, apparently, in New Jersey, as DC Comics would have you believe). If you want to go see the signs for yourself before they disappear, you'll find them along the A4130 to Wallingford.

See the signs here and in the video below.

[h/t BBC News]


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