This concrete espresso machine is countertop Brutalism

The stark concrete style known as Brutalism is instantly recognizable in architecture, just as it is with this espresso machine by design studio Montaag of Berkeley, California. Not content with the current aesthetic offerings of espresso machines, they decided to create their own. Bare concrete became the machine's outer shell after the studio's team went on material-discovering expeditions through local salvage yards.

The result of their efforts is the AnZa (which is also available in slick white Corian):

The AnZa is not your typical appliance, collecting dust on your countertop. Concrete. Corian. Wood. Steel. Brass. Glass. These largely ordinary materials are not often found on espresso machines. But their application shows you don’t need to look far to find design elements that create a dramatically new experience—emotional, practical, or otherwise. The result is a spectacular espresso machine, and an unparalleled conversation piece.

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, this high-end coffee maker can now be pre-ordered through Indiegogo for $799 plus shipping.

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Strange superhero Flaming Carrot goes digital

The 1980s had many surreal and outré comic-book stars. I recall particularly following The Tick, Concrete, and Nexus. They were respectively a nigh-invulnerable, possibly mentally ill superhero with a chubby accountant sidekick in a moth-themed flying suit; a writer whose brain was transplanted by aliens (themselves possibly escaped slaves) into a nearly invulnerable rock-like body often performing missions of mercy; and a man (later others, including men, women, and children) picked by a nearly omnipotent being residing in the center of a planet to atone the genocide of his father by being forced to be an almost indestructible and thoroughly powerful superhero, lest he face disabling pain.

You catch the theme here, right? Omnipotence, invulnerability, superhero—all but the Tick reluctant. Into that mix, Flaming Carrot was something altogether different.

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