Dominating the skyline of Arkhangelsk, a city in Russia’s far north-west, it is believed to be the world’s tallest wooden house, soaring 13 floors to reach 144ft – about half the size of the tower of Big Ben.
The house that Sutyagin built is also crumbling, incomplete and under threat of demolition from city authorities determined to end the former convict’s eccentric 15-year project.
When Sutyagin began work on his dacha in 1992, he claims he was only intending to build a two-storey house – larger than those of his neighbours to reflect his position as the city’s richest man, but certainly not a contender for the Guinness Book of Records.
However, convinced by a trip to see wooden houses in Japan and Norway, he concluded that he had not used roof space efficiently enough and decided to keep building.
“First I added three floors but then the house looked ungainly, like a mushroom,” he said. “So I added another and it still didn’t look right so I kept going. What you see today is a happy accident.”
WASHINGTON, DCâ€”Gen. Tommy Franks, commander of American forces in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, announced plans Monday to step down as U.S. Central Command chief to focus on solo bombing projects.
Gen. Franks tells reporters, “It’s time for me to see what I can destroy on my own.”
“The years I’ve spent with the Army have been amazing, and we did some fantastic bombing,” said Franks at a Pentagon press conference. “But at this point, I feel like I’ve taken it as far as I can. It’s time for me to move on and see what I can destroy on my own.”
“I’d really like to get back to my roots,” Franks said. “It’s exciting to put on a big show with M1 Abrams tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, and AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, but I got my first combat experience as an artillery officer in Vietnam. Part of me really misses being out there in the swamps, just one man and a howitzer.”
“My years with the military have been the best of my life,” Franks continued. “But when you’re at the head of a group, you’re always considering the entire unit’s best interests. Even though you’re the leader, it can be very stifling. If you get the urge to bomb India or Brazil, you can’t just go off and do it.”
An estimated 10,000 passports were issued to fraudulent applicants in 12 months, the Home Office has said.
The documentation was issued by the Identity and Passport Service in the year up to September 2006.
And we’re expected to believe that a biometric ID card, which will have far more of our personal identity attached to it than a passport, is a good idea? If our bureaucrats fail to deliver 10,000 passports to the correct people in the course of a single year, how can they argue that a personal identity system will do anything other than waste money and endanger the identities of millions of Britons?
While Blue Velvet is the best of Lynch’s films, I think Lost Highway contains the best single Lynch scene. I give you, in the spirit of the fragmentary vignettes that seem to make up my entire life, The Man At The Party:
Hello, and welcome. I'm a writer and journalist based in the UK. This place is a collection of my writing, including essays that have no other home. My online notes are now here. It might also advertise my work:
A book about videogames, our lives, and the lives of people in far away cities. Dwell magazine said it was "like a New Yorker article that you wish would never end."
Much of my writing isn't in paper form, although I do write for PC Gamer, Wired, Edge, and many other exciting, glossy magazines. On the internet you can find my regular column over on Offworld, and the rest of my ramblings at the world's greatest single asset: Rock, Paper, Shotgun.