The “bothie” huts of rural England

This is such a fascinating piece, about the rustic buildings called “bothies” that dot the hillsides in rural England, Wales and Scotland — free for hikers to use.

My overnight home, the Hutchison Memorial Hut, colloquially called the Hutchie Hut, which I visited in late October, is one of more than 100 rustic shelters scattered throughout England, Wales and Scotland that are frequented by a motley assortment of outdoor adventurers. Left unlocked, free to use and with most offering little more than a roof, four walls and perhaps a small wood-burning stove, the buildings, called bothies (rhymes with “frothy”), are an indispensable — if for many years underground — element of British hill culture.

Source: In Britain, Enraptured by the Wild, Lonely and Remote – The New York Times

A Beautifully Restored Hupfeld Phonoliszt-Violina

This is incredible: A professional restorer has painstakingly recreated a Hupfeld Phonoliszt-Violina, something I didn’t even realize existed until now — like a giant player piano but with violins:

Three violins (each with only one active string) mounted vertically were played by a round rotating bow made of 1300 threads of horse hair, according to the program on the roll of perforated paper. The small bellows replaced the violin player’s fingers, pressing on the strings to obtain the necessary notes. The piano can be driven either unaccompanied or together with the violins. It controls 38 accompaniment keys with 12 high notes (one octave) in extension. The whole pneumatic systems are controlled by an electric engine of uninterrupted current.

Source: A Beautifully Restored Hupfeld Phonoliszt-Violina, A Self-Playing Mechanical Violin Orchestrion Player