IM Pei: an audacious daredevil who built the impossible

From his provocative Louvre pyramid to his inverted wedge for Dallas, the Chinese-American architect was too modern for his time but his angular marvels look perfect now So bold were IM Peis designs, they were often regarded as wilfully controversial, designed to shock. But Pei himself never saw it like that. He was possibly the last living link to such founders of modernism as Bauhaus stalwarts Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer, all of whom he met. He carried their torch, abiding by their principles and adding flourishes of his own usually too many for the general public. To those modernist foundations of proportion, simplicity, geometry, Pei added audacious angles and structural daring. The result is a body of work that …

Eco-friendly ending: Washington state is first to allow human composting

Legislation would let facilities offer natural organic reduction which turns a body into about two wheelbarrows worth of soil Ashes to ashes, guts to dirt. Governor Jay Inslee signed legislation Tuesday making Washington the first state to approve composting as an alternative to burying or cremating human remains. It allows licensed facilities to offer natural organic reduction, which turns a body, mixed with substances such as wood chips and straw, into about two wheelbarrows worth of soil in a span of several weeks. Loved ones are allowed to keep the soil to spread, just as they might spread the ashes of someone who has been cremated or even use it to plant vegetables or a tree. It gives meaning and …

‘I see any dinosaur, I buy it’: at home with the embattled owner of the Flintstone house

Florence Fangs colorful home is a landmark for many in Californias Bay Area. But the town of Hillsborough is suing her, declaring the property a public nuisance When Florence Fang purchased a new house in Hillsborough, Details around the yard of the Flintstone house property in Hillsborough. Photographs by Cayce Clifford, The Guardian Fred and Dino are indeed here now, as are Wilma, Barney and Betty Rubble, giant letters reading Yabba dabba do, a backyard posse of 15-ft tall metal dinosaurs, and a second, larger Fred. Theres also an astronaut, a moon rover, a spaceship and the Great Gazoo (thats the name of the alien who crashed to earth during the final season of the classic 1960s cartoon). I wanted …