What a week!  Whether you are still toweling off from Hurricane Irene or trying to enjoy the last few moments of summer, we know you’ve been busy.  Not to worry, we pulled together our favorite design related stories from around the web, just in case you missed them.

  • File this one under lifestyles of the rich, famous and in public servitude. Chris Good over at The Atlantic has complied a gallery of the biggest political mansions featuring the swanky estates of Sarah Palin, John Edwards and others. Our favorite is New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 11-bedroom, 8-bathroom Georgian estate on a 35-acre spread on Long Island.
  • But enough about ostentatious digs, oh wait, not yet. Our friends at Curbed have uncovered the loveliest chicken coop the world has ever seen.  Think we are kidding? Designed by Tiffany Kirchner Dixon, aka blogger The Fancy Farmgirl, the structure  houses 30 free-range chickens and includes amenities such as framed art work, wall sconces and a crystal chandelier.
  • The crusade against the lowly cent continues as BuzzFeed takes the copper colored currency down a notch.  This week they gave us nine reasons why pennies are a nuisance. Most compelling argument? Pennies cost the US Treasury 1.79 cents each to manufacture. Least compelling? Something to do with how cool Australians are.
  • Schlock retailer JCPenney was called to task for what appeared to be back to school apparel for bimbos. The “I’m too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me,” long-sleeve shirt was originally available on their website.  By Wednesday morning, J.C. Penney had removed the item and issued an apology.  While lots of sites reported the story, The Huffington Post was inspired to create several pretty hilarious versions of the offending shirt. Our favorite? “All the good fourth grade boys are either taken or gay”
  • Finally, some science news we can all agree sounds pretty good. NetworkWorld reported findings that the thinnest material in the world could boost Internet speeds tenfold-plus. Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov Nobel Prize winning scientists out of the U.K. have come up with a new way to use graphene – the thinnest material in the world – that could make Internet pipes feel a lot fatter. Fatter in this case, is also better.