Architect Graham Birchall, who designed The Bubble House in Ipswich with his wife Sharon. Pic Peter WallisIT’S hard to find a naughty corner in a round house, even with 140,000 people looking.When the Bubble House of Ipswich, with its series of 11 connected domes, became one of Australia’s most viewed properties on the market this year, it put quirky homes in the spotlight, and challenged homebuyers to think outside the square.6 Autrey Court in suburban Stafford Heights has its own squash court. Picture: John Gass“A home is about the people and what makes them comfortable,” First National Ipswich estate agent Helene Shephard said.For Queensland architect Graham Birchall that has meant building a house out of concrete domes to support his university thesis on the building technique.“I like them because they are so pure, there’s no hard joins,” Mr Birchall said. “They’re good for storm water, water just rolls off; there are no gutters and they’re very spacious; up here there’s no ceiling under 4m.”Construction of 79 Elanora Way, Karalee, began in 1983 and took 10 years with Mr Birchall and his father-in-law Ed Bohl devoting every weekend to the job with a little maths help from some of the state’s brightest academic minds. NASA also was approached for inspiration to design aperture window coverings in the cantilever bathrooms that hang off larger domes, and plans to the Mars Rover arrived by post in case they were useful.“They ended up not helping but it was good to get them,” Mr Birchall’s wife, Sharon, said.The bubble house is one of only seven in the world and when it went on sale last month, an international frenzy was created that stretched from Vanuatu to Paris, with Ms Shephard receiving 100 calls a day in two weeks.MORE Cool properties on the market in North Queensland right nowStar of The Kissing Booth Jacob Elordi buys in Byron Hinterland for $2mOlympic Golden Girl Susie O’Neill sells home for $3.055m“It’s only because of its uniqueness that it’s attracted such an intense amount of interest,” she said. “Other than that it’s really no different to any other campaign – you still have to find the right buyer.”Curiosity should never be dismissed when selling quirky properties, Ray White Ascot’s Ian Cuneo said.“It’s fine to come to have a look, even if you’re not intending to buy the property,” Mr Cuneo said. “I sold a two-bedroom house to a lady who wanted a six-bedroom home and afterwards I said, ‘Why?’ and she said, ‘I really liked the butterfly stairs’. And she just renovated after that. Never in my wildest dreams would I have rung her up (about the property) but she just fell in love with the interiors.”In the north Brisbane suburb of Stafford Heights, a five level home at 6 Autry Court has been listed for sale with an indoor squash court, although during the COVID-19 lockdown, it did become a glorified play gym for owner Aeron Lin’s toddler. “We had four rooms on rotation during the lockdown and when we’d had enough of one room, we’d go to another. There’s lots of space in this house.”There’s also a resort style 180,000 litre heated saltwater swimming pool, a floodlit championship size synthetic grass tennis court and an indoor/outdoor Feng Shui-style fish pond to give the 2039sq m block positive chi.Chris Ball climbing on his rock-climbing wall at home. Photo: Mark Cranitch.Across the river, Chris Ball is selling his Yeronga home at 22 Ellesmere Street that has a 5m high indoor boulder wall in the void facing the kitchen.“When we renovated, the architect asked what was on our top 10 list,” Mr Ball said.“The climbing wall sat at number three, behind the new master bedroom and the new kitchen downstairs. We climb socially and it didn’t really take much convincing for us to decide to put one in.”The bulk of the wall is on a 30 degree angle while a lower portion is on a more gentle 15 degree angle where the kids’ holes are.On the Sunshine Coast, Keith Murray has taken four historic train carriages and converted them into an eco-sanctuary at the bottom of Mount Tibrogargan in the Glass House Mountains where he has lived since 1982.The 1.72ha property at 198 Barrs Road, Glass House Mountains, includes the 130-year-old Wivenhoe Pocket Presbyterian Church which took seven hours to transport to the new site and more than two years to assemble into a family home. Whoever buys the property will also inherit a boutique coffee plantation.Coffee can also be found in one of the most unique properties to hit the market in Queensland, this one is in Tropical North Queensland.Peter Marshall’s home is just 15 minutes from the shopping mall but in the wet season, 30 cubic metres of water a second can roar past his house on the edge of a waterfall, and there’s a free skyrail that can drop him a two-minute walk from his front door.Barron Falls Estate is an almost 66ha site at the top of the Atherton Tablelands, with part of the land accessed by operators of the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway which ferries tourists and locals from Kuranda to Cairns. The site also includes 50,000 coffee trees.QUIRKS ARE PERKSThe Bubble House. Pic Peter Wallis1. The Bubble House79 Elanora Way, KaraleePrice: $1.7 millionQuirky feature: A house made completely out of concrete domes.1015 Kennedy Highway, Kuranda2. Barron Falls Estate1015 Kennedy Highway, KurandaPrice: Contact agentQuirky feature: Live beside a waterfall with a skyrail that drops you to your front door.Melanie Blin and Hugh Dao of Jensen Property play some squash at 6 Autry Court, Stafford heights. Picture, John Gass3 6 Autry Court, Stafford HeightsPrice: Offers over $3 millionQuirky feature: Indoor squash court.22 Ellesmere St, Yeronga.4. 22 Ellesmere St, YerongaPrice: Offers over $989,000Quirky feature: Internal boulder wall facing the living and kitchen areas.507 Stafford Road, Stafford.5. 507 Stafford Rd, StaffordPrice: Contact agentMore from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus8 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market8 hours agoQuirky feature: 1950s converted church with curved roof trusses, Silky Oak walls and leadlight windows.198 Barrs Rd, Glass House Mountains6. 198 Barrs Rd, Glass House MountainsPrice: $1.6 million-$1.8 millionQuirky feature: Four historic train carriages including a diving carriage and a Victorian-Era first-class carriage have been converted into self-contained accommodation with kitchen, bedroom, a library and lounge.10 Aminya Street, Coochiemudlo Island.7. The Quirky Cottage — Holy Cow10 Aminya St, Coochiemudlo IslandPrice: $265,000Quirky feature: A former holiday rental that comes with its own custom-made cow-themed interiors so you can ‘moo-ve’ right in.Knells111 Moray Street, New Farm8.111 Moray Street, New FarmPrice: Contact agentQuirky feature: The dormers or roof windows of this Hansel and Gretel-inspired Old English manor.455 Gregory Tce, Spring Hill.9. Carrington Manor445 Gregory Tce Price: Offers over $3.2 millionQuirky feature: A preserved 1930s art deco building with ornate horse hair plaster ceiling on the top level.563 Royal Esplanade, Manly10. 563 Royal Esplanade, ManlyPrice: Best offers around $1.7 millionQuirky feature: Use of billboards and raw building materials throughout the home including the staircase that spirals around the trunk of a tree.
DOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: Ultimate 2019 cheat sheetMLB Top Prospects: PitcherAtlanta’s Touki Toussaint (No. 34 in our prospect rankings) started slowly this spring but was dominant when I saw him in Florida last week and looks set to win a rotation spot in Atlanta. At his best, Toussaint has a big fastball, plus curve, and solid changeup. His command has been an issue, but this spring he’s been attacking the strike zone and throwing more quality strikes. His fastball/curve combination is good enough to overpower hitters, and if he can maintain the command gains he’s shown this spring he could eventually be a No. 2 starter in the majors. As a rookie, he’ll probably have nights when he looks like a front-line starter and other nights where he loses command and struggles. Regardless, he’ll post high strikeout numbers and should log 10-12 wins this year while pitching for a high-quality Braves club.Top MLB ProspectsCatcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Top 50Chris Paddack (No. 40) has been a revelation in Padres camp this spring and should open the season in the San Diego rotation. There’s even been talk of having him start on opening day. Paddack has exceptional command and has only walked 20 batters while striking out 230 in 177.2 minor league innings. His mid-90s heater is a plus pitch, and his sinking change is a nasty put-away offering. His curve has looked better this spring and could add a third weapon to an already impressive arsenal. Right now, he profiles as a quality No. 3 starter. If his curveball continues to develop, he could be a No. 2.Japanese free-agent signee Yusei Kikuchi will be a part of the Mariners rotation this season and appears ready to contribute solid numbers right away. A polished lefty with good command, Kikuchi looked good when I saw him in Arizona this spring. He threw four pitches for strikes, dialed his fastball up to 95 mph, and showed a consistently plus slider. There’s nothing exceptional about Kikuchi, but his combination of above-average stuff, good command, and ability to mix pitches should allow him to post 12-plus wins, notch an 8.0 K/9, and log an ERA around 4.00.2019 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Reliever | Top 300The Marlins’ Sandy Alcantara posted a solid 3.44 ERA in six big league starts last season and should begin the 2019 campaign in the Miami rotation. Alcantara has a big mid-90s fastball, but his command and secondary stuff are both inconsistent. The rebuilding Marlins will probably let him learn on the job, which means there’s a good chance that he sticks in the rotation all year even if he doesn’t perform all that well. If he can improve his command and sharpen his off-speed pitches, he could be a mid-rotation starter. As a rookie, he should post good strikeout totals but probably won’t win many games pitching for a weak Marlins squad.Injuries to the Yankees’ rotation mean that Jonathan Loaisiga should open the year as New York’s No. 4 starter. Loaisiga has not looked good this spring and he was merely average in a brief big league cameo last year, but the depleted Bombers don’t have many starting pitching options at the moment. Loaisiga actually has quality stuff, including a mid-90s fastball, above-average breaking ball, and solid change. He also typically shows good command, pounds the zone, and generates lots of ground balls. If he can return to form this spring, he could be a successful back-end starter. However, right now he’s a risky play.Merrill Kelly has emerged as a contender for the Diamondbacks’ rotation after pitching for the past three seasons in the Korean professional league. Kelly has been solid thus far in Cactus League play and could be an effective back-end starter. Kelly shows good command of three pitches (fastball, curve, change) and demonstrates an ability to mix pitches and set up hitters. He’s a bit of a wild card, but he’s a guy worth tracking if he can continue his recent success (three hits, six Ks in his past 8.2 innings).2019 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Each teamThe Padres have three rookie pitchers who are still in the mix for the fifth starter role. Jacob Nix was the leading candidate before arm soreness shelved him last week. Logan Allen and Cal Quantrill now stand an outside chance of taking the fifth starter spot, although neither has been particularly effective. If Nix can return to the mound quickly, he could claim the role. His fastball-curve combo is above-average, and he shows solid command. He probably won’t be anything more than a back-end starter, but pitching in San Diego will bolster his stats. Allen has better stuff and projects as a mid-rotation starter despite the need for more seasoning against advanced hitters. Quantrill is a bit overrated and shows average stuff and command. Whether he can stick as a starter is an open question.Dakota Hudson is still battling for the Cardinals’ fifth starter role and has pitched well in Grapefruit League action. Hudson has plus stuff, but it’s inconsistent, as is his command. At his best he throws a lively mid-90’s fastball that generates lots of ground balls. His slider will flash plus, and his cutter can induce weak contact. If he can tighten his command and execute his pitches more consistently, he could be a mid-rotation starter. Right now he’s a risky back-end guy.The Cardinals’ Alex Reyes (No. 16) will probably begin the season in the bullpen, but he has electric stuff and looked dominant when I saw him in Florida last week. Reyes missed most of the past two seasons due to injury and is being eased back into regular use. Reyes has been up and down this spring, but in the inning I saw he was unhittable. Reyes has four plus pitches (high-90s fastball, slider, curve, and changeup) and, at his best, toys with hitters by mixing speeds and locations. He’ll need some time regain his consistency and command, but, if he can avoid injury, he’s almost certain to get a shot at the rotation sometime in 2019.The pitching-rich Braves have enough big league ready prospects to fill two starting rotations. In addition to Toussaint, Kyle Wright, Mike Soroka, and Bryse Wilson are all solid starters who could get a shot in Atlanta this season. Wright (No. 37) has been the most impressive of these five this spring and would probably be first in line for a call-up in Atlanta. Wright looked good when I saw him last week in Florida, and thus far he’s posted a 3.00 ERA with 16 strikeouts and only two walks in 12 Grapefruit League innings. Wright has struggled with command as a pro, but he’s cleaned up his delivery and looks much more consistent this year. Wright has the stuff (four quality pitches, including a plus mid-90s fastball that he’ll also cut or sink) to be a No. 2 starter if he can maintain the command improvements he’s shown this spring.Soroka (No. 32) performed well last year in five big league starts before a shoulder issue derailed his 2018 campaign. The issue flared up again this spring, but he’s reportedly feeling better and could resume game action in the next few weeks. Soroka shows consistently good command of three above-average pitches and profiles as a No. 3 starter. If he can return to health, he could get another big league shot by midseason.Wilson looked great when I saw him in Florida last week. His plus fastball was sharp, and his changeup was much improved. Wilson’s plus stuff, good command, and aggressive approach should allow him to eventually win a spot as a mid-rotation starter. This spring he’s shown that he can succeed against big league hitters, and he could be in line for a call-up sometime this season.Meanwhile in Houston, top prospect Forrest Whitley looks big league ready, while Josh James and Framber Valdez may also contribute in 2019.Whitley (No. 3) has been electric this spring in Grapefruit League action and appears ready to make his big league debut sometime this season. The Astros rotation has some question marks this year, and a hot start at Triple-A could launch Whitely to the majors. Whitley has the dominant stuff of a front-line starter (mid-90s fastball, plus curve, plus change, and quality slider). He commands all four pitches well and has improved his pitch execution from year to year. Whitley is currently the best pitching prospect in baseball and should be successful even as a rookie.James (No. 39) was in line to compete for a rotation spot with Houston, but a quadriceps strain sidelined him until last Saturday, when he made his first spring appearance. The Astros might keep him in the bullpen to open the season, but he has the stuff (mid-90s fastball, above-average change; above-average slider) to be a mid-rotation starter. He’ll need to tighten his command to reach his potential, but a return to health and a hot start to the season could put him back in the rotation mix.Valdez was also competing for a rotation slot this spring but poor command has torpedoed his chances. Valdez has a plus sinking fastball and a solid curve. As a two-pitch guy he is more likely to end up in the bullpen, but the Astros continue to give him opportunities to start and he could be serviceable as a back-end guy.Fantasy Baseball Rankings Tiers, Draft Strategies Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | CloserKeep an Eye OnOakland’s Jesus Luzardo (No. 7) has been lights-out in Cactus League action, but he’ll certainly begin the season in the minors. Luzardo is one of baseball’s top pitching prospects with excellent command of three quality pitches: a plus fastball, plus change, and above-average breaking ball. If he carries over his spring performance into the regular season, he could get a midseason promotion. If he can improve his pitch sequencing and tighten his curve, he’ll soon reach his potential as a frontline starter.Brent Honeywell (No. 17) is coming off Tommy John surgery and has yet to throw a pitch for the Rays this season, but he’s been tossing bullpens and is on track to return to game action in May. The rebuilding Rays have no incentive to rush Honeywell’s return, but he could get a late-season call-up. Honeywell shows good command of five quality pitches, including a fastball that reaches the mid-90s, a plus change, and a nasty screwball. He attacks hitters, mixes well and the stuff and makeup to be a No. 2 starter.Pittsburgh’s Mitch Keller (No. 19) will open the season in Triple-A, but he should finish the year in the majors. Keller shows good command of a mid-90s fastball, a plus curve, and above-average changeup. He’ll need to be more consistent to fully realize his potential as a No. 2 starter, but he has all the tools to be a very good big leaguer. A hot start in the minors could get him a quick promotion to Pittsburgh. Pitching is always the most unpredictable part of baseball — and, as such, fantasy baseball. Injury risk is high among pitchers and, as a result, end-of-the-year rotations often look very different than opening-day rotations. This frequent chaos often creates unexpected sleeper opportunities for young hurlers. At the same time, rookies are no less prone to injuries themselves. Last year saw three top-50 pitching prospects miss the season due to injuries (Brett Honeywell, Alex Reyes, and A.J. Puk), and this year two top guys have already been slowed by health concerns (Mike Soroka and Josh James). That’s in addition to keeper/dynasty league favorite, Michael Kopech, who went down at the end of last year and won’t be back until 2020.This season, there is already a sizeable number of rookie pitchers who are projected to win rotation spots. Right behind them are several dozen others who could see significant big league time this year. Oakland’s A.J. Puk (No. 29) missed last season due to Tommy John surgery and will begin this year in the minors. Puk has battled command issues as a pro, but before getting hurt last spring his stuff and his control were both much improved. When healthy, the big lefty shows an electric fastball and wipeout slider. If he can throw consistent strikes when he returns to game action this season, he’ll be in line for a promotion to Oakland where he has the upside of a No. 2 or 3 starter.White Sox righthander Dylan Cease (No. 30) will open the season at Triple-A but could crack the big league rotation by midseason. Cease has plus stuff, including a high-90s fastball and a plus curve. Last season, he improved his command and posted impressive numbers in a season split between High-A and Double-A (2.40 ERA with 160 strikeouts in 124 innings). He’ll need to improve his changeup to reach his potential, but he has the stuff to be a No. 2 or 3 starter.Seattle’s Justus Sheffield (No. 33), didn’t make the opening day roster, but he showed well in big league camp and should be in lineup for a call-up sometime in 2019. At his best, Sheffield has an overpowering fastball/slider combination, but his release point can be inconsistent and his command can waver. This spring his changeup seems sharper and his command has been better. If his command remains solid and his change is effective, he profiles as a No. 2 or 3 starter.
Dear Editor,The popular consensus right now is that the Government will become illegal after March 21, 2019. To fully make this proclamation, we need to understand how the “Government” derives legitimacy. The legitimacy of the Government is derived from us the people accepting their authority. The acceptance of this authority is based on being governed by the Constitution.The three arms of Government remain separate so as to keep the authority of the Constitution in check. The National Assembly (Legislative) is designed to make the laws, whereas the Courts (Judicial) is there to interpret the laws, and the “Government” (Executive) is there to enforce the laws.The People of Guyana voted for a legal and legitimate APNU/AFC Government. They expected the APNU/AFC to follow the Constitution, like they swore to do.If the Government doesn’t enforce Article 106 of the Constitution, they will be violating their very mandate and they will be in breach of the Constitution, which mandates General and Regional Elections in three months after the No-Confidence Motion was passed.President Granger should have announced a date for elections since the passing of the No-Confidence Motion, or, as he is only now saying, he should have asked GECOM for a work plan since December 22, 2018.GECOM is a creature of the Constitution and with this in mind, everyone expected that GECOM would have started preparing for elections after the No-Confidence Motion was carried. On December 27, 2018, the Guyana Chronicle quoted GECOM’s Public Relations Officer as saying that GECOM would be ready to deliver elections. Now that story has changed. The soon to be illegal Government is clearly directing GECOM to any which way they want.This soon to be illegal Government needs to accept that the Legislature has ruled, the High Court has ruled and the clock continues to tick.Guyanese will not accept an illegal Government.Sincerely,Baldeo Mathura