Greenspace December 14, 2012 By Jordan Sayle

Ditte Isager/©Hachette Book Group, Inc.

Ditte Isager/©Hachette Book Group, Inc.

andrew weil1 Andrew Weil, MD

The question What should we have for dinner? has never been so difficult to answer. A new exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History presents a survey of the diversity in tastes, growing techniques, and methods of cooking that have satisfied appetites across cultures and centuries. It’s hard to consider this broad range of agricultural and culinary trends past and present and not come to the conclusion that ours is one of the more transformational periods in the history of food. Genetic modifications to crops, which were the subject of the recently defeated Proposition 37 ballot measure in California, represent only one way in which our foods are changing. More broadly, our entire approach to eating is being modified.

That monumental shift is due largely to a growing consciousness of the connections drawn between food and health being made in the context of strained food supplies in a changing climate. The health and wellness proponent Dr. Andrew Weil recently published a cookbook called True Food in which he argues that meals made from sustainable and wholesome ingredients can be both flavorful and easy. Dr. Weil spoke to PLANET about the common sense principles that he and his partners Sam Fox and Michael Stebner have followed in building a small empire of health food restaurants and the larger currents that have informed his thoughts about food in a world waking up to a new era of eating.

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Architecture December 6, 2012 By Nalina Moses

Paulo Niemeyer Apartments, Belo Horizonte, Brasil, 1954-60.

Paulo Niemeyer Apartments, Belo Horizonte, Brasil, 1954-60.

headergood OSCAR NIEMEYER
If we stop to remember Oscar Niemeyer, the great Brazilian architect who died this week at the age of 104, it should be less to mourn his passing than to admire a life richly lived. Niemeyer accomplished what few architects can. Over a career that spanned eighty years he designed hundreds of buildings whose forms helped forge his country’s contemporary identity. He built Brazilian style.

Niemeyer was in the right place at the right time and possessed just the right attitude. His country’s immense, rolling landscape and tropical climate offered the perfect setting for an abstract, sculptural architecture. He came of age as an architect in the 1950’s, at a time when Brazil was becoming more unified politically and undertaking enormous building and infrastructure projects. And he was a unrepentant sensualist, an aesthete and ladies man whose passions drove him to pursue enormous commissions like the capitol buildings in Brasilia, and to celebrate beauty above all else. All of these identities were merged in his work, an architecture of immense reinforced concrete shells and planes, at once archly elegant and dazzlingly sensual.

His style has been called “tropical modernism” to distinguish it from the works of European contemporaries, who used a similar vocabulary of slender columns, open plans, and ribbon windows, but who fixed its rules and meanings philosophically.

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Music December 6, 2012 By Lily Moayeri

skycover SKYEskye header SKYE
Skye will always be associated with her original group, Morcheeba, even if she is on her third solo record, Back To Now. When she originally broke out on her own, Skye embarked on the singer/songwriter path with her voice as the central focus and guitars and piano playing background roles. On her latest, Skye returns to the Morcheeba style of doing things with beats and manufactured loops backing her instantly recognizable honeyed vocals. No matter what accompanies her, it is Skye’s distinct silky voice that is her calling card. Back To Now is driven by dark electronics, which in turn bring out a moodiness to Skye’s normally sweet tones. The dance-lite “Featherlight” broaches pop territory and the spitting chorus of “Every Little Lie” helps make it stickable. Despite these effort, Back To Now is missing the immediate trip-hop pop that the Morcheeba combination brought so easily out of Skye. After a six-year break from Morcheeba, Skye is back to her day job with that group, so those hits are impending.
filler29 SKYE

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Architecture, Book December 5, 2012 By Nalina Moses

Trollstigen National Tourist Route Project, Trollstigen - Møre and Romsdal, Norway, 2005-2012.  By Reiulf Ramstad Architects.

Trollstigen National Tourist Route Project, Trollstigen - Møre and Romsdal, Norway, 2005-2012. By Reiulf Ramstad Architects.

ONCEINALIFETIMEHEADER Once In a Lifetime
We tend to travel in one of two ways: to a city to dive into its rhythms and culture, or to some out-of-the-way place to abandon ourselves to the landscape. It’s this second kind of adventure that’s the focus of Once in a Lifetime: Travel and Leisure Redefined. The book showcases new international lodges, campsites, retreats and lookouts that lure guests to a quiet, secluded place.

Instead of high thread count sheets and Michelin-star restaurants, what these places offer is private, uninterrupted access to a special landscape. So it’s regions with extreme, picturesque geographies, especially those in less-traveled corners of the globe, that offer some of the finest destinations. The book takes us to the backwaters of Cambodia, forests in the Alps, and the deserts of Namibia and Tanzania. These lodges and the amenities they offer are modest compared to typical full-service resorts. Instead they break down the routines of sleeping, bathing and dining into clarifying essentials, pursuing sensuality over opulence.

The architecture of these retreats sits restfully within the surroundings and opens itself radically to the outside. Sometimes the experience stimulates, like the otherworldly forest views that pour through wraparound picture windows at the Juvet Landscape Hotel in Norway.

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Art December 3, 2012 By Aiya Ono

© Misha Taylor

© Misha Taylor

gunboysheader GUN BOYS
Most may be familiar with Misha Taylor as a fashion and portrait photographer whose undeniably seductive and grappling work has graced the pages of magazines such as V Man. In a rare instance, today, Taylor shares with PLANET a very special personal project he has been working on.

Taken in Durban, South Africa, these images reveal a reality that often goes unrecognized in mainstream media– the effects of Chinese trade agreements on the youth of Africa. Ice cream vendors on the beach fronts of Durban sell 9mm replica pistols that shoot plastic BB guns made in China to young children. Regulations in China forbid the sale of such items within its own country’s borders, subsequently forcing exports to countries like Durban, where a less controlled government sees them sold, not only without regulation, but to those as young as six years old. On the one hand, Misha tells PLANET, “what is happening isn’t all bad”– indeed, Africa needs investment that can boost education and development and China needs Africa’s natural resources. However the emerging economic and political power of China on Africa has been a dual dance of good and bad.

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