LOOK: A Room with a Vision

Two years ago, Chris Paine, the writer and director of Who Killed the Electric Car?, purchased a mid-century modern house on...

Two years ago, Chris Paine, the writer and director of Who Killed the Electric Car?, purchased a mid-century modern house on a hillside in Culver City, California. He bought it not only as a new home for himself, but also a new space for his community-one that he envisioned as a melding of Moroccan and modern aesthetics, a paragon of environmental design, and hub of social discourse. He calls it the Marrakesh House, and he also calls it home."Originally, I thought of having a communal house," explains Paine, who noticed the similarities between Moroccan and Californian climates, topographies, and public-private courtyard spaces. "You know, living with friends and other people around me. But I didn't want to get into the politics of communal living." As he sees it, a central component of community is living by example. So, in fashioning a home that could double as an art venue or a meeting grounds for creative thinkers, Paine sought to incorporate sustainable design into every component of the property.With the help of project manager Shellie Collier and interior artist Charlotte Jackson, the renovation operated under a guiding principle of reuse-that is, the team didn't want the carbon footprint of implementing green redesigns to negate the benefits. So they purchased reclaimed barn wood and concrete from nearby construction projects; they maintained surrounding plant life and erected a raised-planter victory garden (designed with Los Angeles's low precipitation in mind); and they built fences out of the wood they gathered after pruning onsite trees.In the end, the process produced 75 percent less waste than a conventional renovation, and resulted in a stunning, colorful property that gets 60 percent of its energy from rooftop solar panels. Paine's home will now play host to conferences, film screenings, art shows, local weddings, and yoga classes, all the while serving as an object lesson in the aesthetic and environmental potential of sustainable design. "I wanted a house where people could come here and see things and say, Oh, wow, I could do that at my house. And I think that's what I have."

The entrance to Marrakesh House features open doors and a warm welcome.

The light in the living room is entirely natural-not a single bulb had been turned on.

A close-up of the courtyard reveals some of the house's many colors.

The electric car(s): alive and well in the Marrakesh garage.

Solar panels help power the house-and the above cars-even on a gray day in Los Angeles.

From glass components of the building's original chandelier, to the knobs of discarded dressers, a slew of found objects were used to build the backyard's lemon tree tea house.
via Chela Horsdal / Twitter

Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" debuted the first episode of its final season last week.

The show is loosely based on an alternative history novel by Philip K. Dick that postulates what would happen if Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan controlled the United States after being victorious in World War II.

Keep Reading Show less
via Mike Mozart / Flickr

Chick-fil-A is the third-largest fast food chain in America, behind McDonald's and Starbucks, raking in over $10 billion a year.

But for years, the company has faced boycotts for supporting anti-LGBT charities, including the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home.

The Salvation Army faced criticism after a leader in the organization implied that gay people "deserve to die" and the company also came under fire after refusing to offer same-sex couples health insurance. But the organization swears it's evolving on such issues.

via Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes explicitly announced it was anti gay marriage in a recent "Statement of Faith."

God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.

The Paul Anderson Youth Home teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is "rage against Jesus Christ and His values."

RELATED: The 1975's singer bravely kissed a man at a Dubai concert to protest anti-LGBT oppression

In 2012, Chick-fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy, made anti same-sex marriage comments on a radio broadcast:

I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, "We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage". I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

But the chicken giant has now decided to change it's says its charitable donation strategy because it's bad for business...Not because being homophobic is wrong.

The company recently lost several bids to provide concessions in U.S. airports. A pop-up shop in England was told it would not be renewed after eight days following LGBTQ protests.

Chick-fil-A also has plans to expand to Boston, Massachusetts where its mayor, Thomas Menino, pledged to ban the restaurant from the city.

via Wikimedia Commons

"There's no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are," Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow. "There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message."

RELATED: Alan Turing will appear on the 50-pound note nearly 70 years after being persecuted for his sexuality

Instead, the Chick-fil-A Foundation plans to give $9 million to organizations that support education and fight homelessness. Which is commendable regardless of the company's troubled past.

"If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families," Drew Anderson, GLAAD's director of campaigns and rapid response, said in a statement.

Chick-fil-A's decision to back down from contributing to anti-LGBT charities shows the power that people have to fight back against companies by hitting them where it really hurts — the pocket book.

The question remains: If you previously avoided Chick-fil-A because it supported anti-LGBT organizations, is it now OK to eat there? Especially when Popeye's chicken sandwich is so good people will kill for it?


Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr and nrkbeta / flickr

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) dropped a bombshell on Tuesday, announcing it had over 900 emails that White House aide Stephen Miller sent to former Breitbart writer and editor Katie McHugh.

According to the SPLC, in the emails, Miller aggressively "promoted white nationalist literature, pushed racist immigration stories and obsessed over the loss of Confederate symbols after Dylann Roof's murderous rampage."

Keep Reading Show less
via Twitter / Bye,Bye Harley Davidson

The NRA likes to diminish the role that guns play in fatal shootings by saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Which is the same logic as, "Hammers don't build roofs, people build roofs." No duh. But it'd be nearly impossible to build a roof without a hammer.

So, shouldn't the people who manufacture guns share some responsibility when they are used for the purpose they're made: killing people? Especially when the manufacturers market the weapon for that exact purpose?

Keep Reading Show less