Tag Archives: Japan

Sales of luxe doomsday bunkers up 1,000%

imageNEW YORK (CNNMoney) — A devastating earthquake strikes Japan. A massive tsunami kills thousands. Fears of a nuclear meltdown run rampant. Bloodshed and violence escalate in Libya.

And U.S. companies selling doomsday bunkers are seeing sales skyrocket anywhere from 20% to 1,000%.

Northwest Shelter Systems, which offers shelters ranging in price from $200,000 to $20 million, has seen sales surge 70% since the uprisings in the Middle East, with the Japanese earthquake only spurring further interest. In hard numbers, that’s 12 shelters already booked when the company normally sells four shelters per year.

How to Make Japanese Art Designs

imageJapan is an island with varied terrain, including snowy mountaintops, grassy ponds and rocky coastlines. Traditional Japanese art is inspired by religion and geography. Japanese ceramics, textiles, prints, paintings and folk art usually depict symbols of Buddhism or elements of the land. To create art in a Japanese style, incorporate natural elements of Japan such as bamboo, cherry blossoms and Japanese maples into your paper or fabric art design.

Sir Paul McCartney ‘gives up cannabis for daughter Beatrice’

imageThe former Beatle said it was finally time to give up smoking the drug due to a “sense of responsibility” in caring for his daughter.

“I smoked my share. When you’re bringing up a youngster, your sense of responsibility does kick in, if you’re lucky, at some point,” he said in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine. “Enough’s enough – you just don’t seem to think it’s necessary.”

The 69-year-old rocker also revealed that the Fab Four had considered a reunion but had decided against it so they didn’t “spoil the idea of the Beatles”.

In the magazine interview Sir Paul admitted to smoking cannabis “a lot” and has previously declared a passion for “wacky baccy”. Heather Mills, the mother of Beatrice, claimed Sir Paul smoked marijuana as often as most people drink cups of tea during the couple’s divorce proceedings.

Mail order flowers

imageMail order flowers: get ready for some colourful arrivals
Using mail order is a great way to add variety to your floral collection with minimal fuss – provided you know what to look for.

It’s always tempting to try something new – a new holiday destination, the new beaujolais. And in recent years the number of new plants appearing at mail-order nurseries seems to have become a flood; it can be hard to distinguish between what is just a “me too” version of an old favourite and what is both new and actually worth growing.

Art and exhibitions preview of the year 2012

imageAlastair Sooke selects the key dates in the art year 2012 from January to the end of March.
Pick of the exhibitions 2012: Damien Hirst
Tate Modern, London SE1 (020 7887 8888), April 4-Sept 9
Britain’s most famous living artist has never had a retrospective at a major public gallery in this country. Yet Hirst has fashioned an artistic identity that resembles an enduring corporate brand, with currency in auction rooms on both sides of the Atlantic. It seems appropriate, therefore, that the Tate should turn to him during an Olympic year, when Britain is courting the attention of the world, and finally offer to stage one. It should allow us to evaluate his strengths and failings as an artist, not a showman, and whether he deserves a place in the pantheon of artistic greats.

Apple day: A celebration of core values

imageOrchards around the country are hosting apple days to encourage everyone to make the most of a bumper harvest.

Autumn is here and apples are falling from the tree. They’ve had a great summer, particularly the English varieties, and orchards around the country are hosting apple days to encourage everyone to make the most of a bumper harvest.

With commercial growers feeling the financial pinch, there is special incentive to turn a profit from the fruiting weeks. Many growers are sticking to October 21, the official “Apple Day” started in 1990 when Common Ground, a collective of growers, held a celebration in Covent Garden. Others are holding their own apple days throughout the month.

Ted Hobday is head guide at the Brogdale Fruit Collection in Kent, which grows a staggering 2,200 different varieties of apple. The farm is holding an apple festival – Britain’s largest – on October 22 and 23. “The apples are coming two or three weeks early this year,” he says, “and they don’t seem to have lost any of their flavour. The plums this year lost a little bit of their taste, but the apples seem fine.

“Also, I don’t know why, but more seem to be dropping than usual. In spite of this, the crop seems pretty good.”

Where to Stay for the Best City Views in the World

imageMost people decide on a travel destination based on its restaurants, culture, weather, or sometimes price; but the hotel is often something generally overlooked, with most people concluding that they won’t be spending much time there. However, where you stay can make or break your trip, and if you’re in the market for treating yourself; check out these fabulously indulgent hotels with the most spectacular city views.

city views hotelsHong Kong is speedily becoming one of the most desirable tourist destinations with its high-fashion shops and growing business reputation, and it has some fantastic hotels to match.

City Base Apartments offer a luxurious stay in the heart of Hong Kong’s sights and attractions; but this is definitely a city which needs to be seen from above.

MINI Coupé review

imageDoes MINI’s new Coupé lives up to its billing as the ‘sportiest’ model of the range thus

In the beginning there was the Mini. It was 1959 actually, and it took about five seconds before BMC’s product planning boffins produced variations on the theme such as the Traveller, Moke, Van and Pickup, plus the Riley Elf, Wolseley Hornet and Clubman. Then 120 or so special builders arrived, with catchy names like Many Mego, Deep Sanderson and Butterfield Muscateer. I’ve always had a hankering after a Unipower, but apparently all 75 are now in Japan.

So who can blame BMW for wanting that lucrative business for its new MINI – although it’s not so new now, as it’s now 10 years old, with the Cowley plant this week celebrating the production of the two millionth MINI. Yet while Sir Alec Issigonis’s miracle Mini and Dave Saddington’s assuredly retro MINI are different cars from different eras, both share a singular gotta-have-it factor that needs to be kept constantly simmering.

Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 review

imageThe world’s first-ever diesel/electric hybrid passenger car, the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4, goes on sale this autumn. Is it worth the wait?

Former General Motors boss Fritz Henderson described making petrol hybrid cars as “expensive squared. But making diesel hybrids,” he added, “now that’s expensive cubed.”

So welcome to the world’s first diesel/electric hybrid car, an expensively cubist creation from Peugeot-Citroën. First shown in Paris last year, this new driveline goes on sale in the 3008 SUV in November and in the following five months will appear in the 508 range and the RXH, an upmarket all-road estate. Yet even as it was being launched, rivals were muttering darkly that the Peugeot would be noisy and smelly.

How to achieve an exciting burst of new spring colour

imageWe show you how to achieve an exciting burst of new spring colour with perennial flowering tulips.

When you’ve been gardening happily in one plot for years, you get impatient for new colours and plants to excite you. There’s often not enough space to shoehorn in an exciting new shrub or tree, however. The answer is to plant bulbs: titivate your palette trying zany new combinations and feel smug when they come up trumps.

The older I get, the more I like to indulge myself. A few hours and pounds spent with bulb catalogues now gives fantastic rewards at times that are potentially low points on the colour Richter scale. Even the novice gardener can create original displays that will make the most experienced pro drool with admiration.

50 Cent launches comedy website and show


This is 50 comedy.com will stream show of the same name US rapper 50 Cent will launch a new website to coincide with the debut of his new entertainment vehicle, This Is 50 Comedy Show, due to be filmed in New York and streamed live online.

According to the beta version of the website, which is already live, the new venture will “expose the world-wide web subscribers to the cutting-edge humour of the nations funniest comedians”.

Today’s radio highlights


The best radio programmes on BBC, commercial and digital stations chosen by Gillian Reynolds, the UK’s top radio critic.
Gillian Reynolds, the UK’s top radio critic.
Stephen Hird
By Gillian Reynolds 5:00PM BST 15 Apr 2011

Full TV and radio listings

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