'Vaccine' for Spring Boredom

New Spring '21 CA-Modern is headed your way with sustaining, insightful diversions
  Fridays on the Homefront
The new Spring '21 issue of CA-Modern magazine (above): fresh stories that beat a shot in the arm.

Admit it. Nearly every conversation with a friend these days starts with: "Did you get the shot—when'd you get the shot—where'd you get it—did it make you sick?"

We regret to report that the Eichler Network is not able to host vaccination sites—but there is a shot in the arm arriving in our followers' mailboxes this week: the new Spring 2021 issue of CA-Modern magazine.

In it, you'll find stories of life-sustaining resources and modern innovation—not unlike the COVID vaccine, albeit on a different scale.

The vaccine is the timely pairing of nature's viral ingredients and science's brightest and hardest-working minds, not unlike in 1907 when Belgian chemist Leo Hendrik Baekeland invented the world's first sturdy, moldable petrochemical product—commonly known today as plastic.

Fridays on the Homefront
Nothing was left untouched in the Plastic Age that followed World War II—not even the Eames chair.

Initially named Bakelite in Baekeland's honor, the advent of the first plastics has changed an inestimable number of products and behaviors in the century-plus since then. The history and culture of Baekeland's innovation is traced in feature writer Carol Sveilich's story in the spring CA-Modern, 'Craze Gone Crazy.'

"Tupperware, sandwich bags, bubble wrap. You name it—nothing was left untouched in the Plastic Age that followed World War II," Sveilich writes in a feature that acknowledges the waste-stream issues that plague disposable plastic while celebrating some of the material's rarely heralded assets.

"Vintage plastic, like wood, had its own unique aesthetic and quality. It even had its own irreplaceable aroma," antique radio collector Bob Ross tells Sveilich. Alleging "a special warmth to older plastics" in their look, Ross adds, "Older plastics develop a tangible patina that only adds to the enjoyment of owning them, while newer plastic seems flat and less of an art form in comparison."

Fridays on the Homefront
An atrium can be embellished in myriad ways. 'Atrium Gardens' has some tips for you. Photo: Sabrina Huang

Getting vaccinated in generally is recognized as the smart thing to do, and you could say the same for doing research before you landscape your home's atrium (if you're lucky enough to have one). A forethought is the medication prescribed by CA-Modern in 'Atrium Gardens' to ward off unsustainable plans.

"An atrium can be embellished in myriad ways," write co-authors Adriene Biondo and Tanja Kern, "bringing the décor and colors of the home into the space, or by introducing a completely different look. Enclosed on four sides but open to the sky, an atrium can serve a casual patio or formal garden, or get reimagined in whatever style that suits your fancy."