Weekendish: Watches for the blind and Eiffel of the East
- 11 April 2014
A round-up of some of the best reads from the BBC News Magazine this week, with your extra comments.
The Mexican town of Altar probably sells more camouflage clothing that any other town in the nation. Why? Because the US border is 100km (62 miles) away. For many migrants from across Mexico and Central America, a desert lies between them and a new life. A whole industry has sprung up in the town - shops line the square selling everything the prospective border-crosser could need. One vendor's best-seller is carpet slippers - a simple way to ensure tracks are not left in the sand. Will Grant meets the town's Stetson-wearing padre who reminds those about to set off on the potentially perilous journey that Jesus Christ walks among them. "Eye-opening," tweets Rory Carroll.
It's a striking-looking timepiece - all titanium, no hands, no numbers and it's up for a design award at London's Design Museum. What really makes this watch unusual is that it was designed for blind people and yet, the vast majority of purchasers are sighted. It gives the lie to the idea that if something is designed for blind people it doesn't need to be aesthetically pleasing. It's called the Bradley Timepiece. But who is the Bradley it's named after? KAB @kentblindtweets "Do you use a talking/vibrating watch at the moment? Would you prefer this?" Candice Diemer also tweets: "A watch for blind people that sighted people are buying. Great example of inclusive product design."
Does Paul Mundy practise what he preaches? The former publican-turned-curate now occupies the enviable position of being in a category of jobs (although he wouldn't describe his "calling" as a job) that apparently offer the greatest levels of satisfaction. His former profession is one of the unhappiest, according to the government. In response to our previous story looking at the Cabinet Office's research, Mundy tweeted this: "I was a publican for 23 years before being ordained into the Church of England last year. Becoming a Clerk in Holy Orders really is the best job in the world, however my life as a publican has equipped me for being the person God intended me to be. Until we meet at the bar or in the pews, Cheers and God bless." In our short film, Mundy says there are similarities between the two paths his life has taken: "You see people in their best and in their worst of times." Arts Chaplain @JamesOMCraig tweets: "Good to see a #Rev who's equally at home in the pub as he is in the PCC."
Moscow's Soviet-era Shukhov radio tower rises like a single exclamation mark above the city's dense urban landscape. But a full stop could be looming if a proposed demolition goes ahead. It's filigree design and delicate, ephemeral quality is much loved by architects and conservationists and is said to have inspired elements of other landmark buildings. A campaign to prolong its life has been launched - the problem is, it sits on valuable real estate, and a building regulation loophole means its demolition could pave the way for a new development of equal height. Rob Hallifax tweeted "Amazing structure - a testimony to the power of constraints." RIBA Journal tweeted: "Shukhov's tower, a 'transcendent structure' hugely influential on today's architects."
In Sweden, a Malaysian couple have been jailed for smacking and caning their children. Malaysians have tended, on the whole, to sympathise with the parents who want their children to do well academically. Corporal punishment is clearly entrenched in society, but attitudes might be slowly changing. Our reporter Jennifer spoke to one mother who said her own father had tied her to a tree so she could not run away when he caned her. But she added that she would always talk to her children first if they misbehaved and would cane them only as a last resort.