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2013 in Cool: The 13 Top Stories of 2013

Tech of Tomorrow 1 600x382 2013 in Cool: The 13 Top Stories of 2013

In celebrating the arrival of 2014, we look back at the top stories in the world of cool in 2013.  From cave living spaces to high tech civilian drones, electric bicycles to underground speakeasies, these 13 articles were TheCoolist’s most important stories of the year.  Happy 2014 to all, these are the stories that mattered to us in 2013.

Underground Living: 10 Amazing Cave Spaces

cave architecture by alexander dragunov 600x400 2013 in Cool: The 13 Top Stories of 2013
From the Bat Cave to the Playboy Grotto, the allure of the underground lifestyle is buried deep in the human condition.  We may once have been cave men and cave women, but our attraction to these strange and interesting underground places remains.  Beyond the typical cave park and back yard cellar, there are some truly amazing cave spaces around the world that ignite the imagination. Check out the full list of amazing cave homes, hotels, offices and more.

7 High-Tech Personal Drones Available Today

7 Drones Available Today
Far away from the battlefield, there is a world of drones for sale to the public for peaceful uses, for both work and play alike.  Unmanned flight enthusiasts, amateur cartographers and commercial surveyors can use UAV drone technology for a wide range of uses.  These 7 amazing drones for sale today offer future flight technology to the modern enthusiast.

eBike Revolution: 10 Amazing Modern Electric Bikes

eBike Revolution
Over the last century, the bicycle as we know it hasn’t changed much.  A pair of handlebars, wheels and pedals was all one needed to get around easily.  Today, modern technology is extending the range and speed of our bike rides by leaps and bounds with an electric motor and a lightweight battery. Check out the full list of revolutionary eBikes.

Tiny Houses: 10 Magnificent Micro-Homes

tiny houses
Throw out the rulebook for a second– how much space do we really need to live comfortably?  If you test it yourself, the answer might surprise you.  There is a movement buzzing today amongst progressive citizens who wish to explore life simply, to live within their means and leave a small footprint behind.  They’re doing so in small houses, in 12×12′s and 8×20′s in big cities and rural retreats around the world.  Explore the best of tiny house living.

2014 BMW 328d: Diesel Driving Revolution

2014 BMW 328d 1_950test

This summer, our friends at BMW sent us a 2014 BMW 328d for a week-long experience.  We studied the car carefully, including our studio close-up photos (hinted at above), to learn why this one is surprisingly special.  It boasts 45 mpg on the highway, a stat that bests the Toyota Prius and other hybrids thanks to its clean, efficient diesel powertrain.  Check out our full review of the 2014 BMW 328d.

The Ruins of Detroit by Philip Jarmain

ruins of detroit by philip jarmain

Urban decay has a strange allure to the human spirit.  Nowhere in the United States is this decay more pronounced than in Detroit, Michigan, once the fourth largest American city.  Now in the throes of bankruptcy, this lost capitol of the industrial revolution is undergoing a metamorphosis.  Despite these changes, its history still stands in the shape of fallen sky scrapers and empty industrial plants.  Photographer Philip Jarmain explored the beauty of this urban decay in his series American Beauty.  See a full set and our interview with Jarmain in our article on the Ruins of Detroit.

Creative Detroit: 7 Success Stories for a City on the Rise

Creative Detroit

While we explored the difficult history of Detroit in our interview with Jarmain, we also covered the bright spots.  Bankruptcy aside, it’d be foolish to count out the people of Detroit. Detroit’s creative class continues to innovate and build toward a future that echoes its past.  It was the city’s own invention, the automobile, that once made it world class.  Right now, the young inventors of today are forging a new story in Detroit, one where craftsmanship, ingenuity and dedication are again the ingredients of success.  Join us to explore seven creative success stories in Detroit today.

The Top 5 Travel Cameras of 2013

2013 travel cameras

The memories you create when traveling don’t have to be temporary. With the right camera, your travel experiences can be made permanent and in stunning resolution.  From natural landscapes to urban streetscapes and all the images in between, these five cameras will make your travel experiences last a lifetime.

Winery Architecture: 10 Stunning Wine Designs

Winery Architecture
The life of wine is one of rich, careful design.  In some cases, this rich design can be found in the architecture of modern wineries.  The discipline of winery architecture has yielded some of the most incredible buildings standing around the world today.

10 Secret Speakeasies of Modern Day America

Speakeasies

During the difficult years of the American Prohibition, the underground speakeasy put the “roar” into the “roaring 20′s”.  While the drink has been legal for 80 years since, the allure of underground nightlife remains today.  The concept speakeasy has returned in recent years, bringing finely-crafted cocktails and exclusive speakeasy environments to New York, LA, Chicago and beyond.

Tiny House by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

Helgerson Tiny House

This Tiny House near Portland, Oregon tells a happy story of reclamation and reduction.  It is the work of Jessica Helgerson Interior Design, a Portland-based firm whose design chief and namesake calls this space home.  Helgerson and family live in just 540 square feet of space, occupying a building that was reclaimed into this beautiful country home.

Architecture Student Turns Bus into Mobile Home

Restored-Bus-Mobile-Home-by-Hank-Butitta-8
Architect Hank Butitta had planned for many years to make his own kind of impact on the tiny housing movement.  Where permit and cost restrictions created boundaries, Butitta broke through with a bit of old fashioned American ingenuity.  Hank bought a bus– and he gutted and restored it into a comfortable and spacious mobile living space of his own.

Tech of Tomorrow: 10 Innovative Gadgets for 2014

Tech of Tomorrow 1
The tech trends of tomorrow are starting today, and a handful of high-design gadgets are paving the way.  From an electric bike converter to a personal aerial drone, a bionic arm to a next gen vehicle information interface, these ten technologies represent a step toward something new for the connected world.

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