Gizmodo test drives the Numi, a super-deluxe, water-saving toilet from Kohler that comes with foot warmers, a radio, a motion detector, an automatic flush system, and a price tag of $6,400. Writes Gizmodo's Sam Biddle: "Let's get one thing straight — Kohler's Numi toilet isn't for you. Unless you're a Saudi oil sheik, lottery winner, or generally filthy rich person, you won't consider a toilet that costs half a year's rent. But it's spectacular." Looks like the Regio has some fierce competition ... 

Curbed gawks at "Ten Incredible Houses That Look Like People." Fortunately, all of these homes resemble "adorable little people" and not evil German dictators

Forbes isn't at all scared by photos of a handful of creepy abandoned mansions, a few of which are supposedly haunted and/or the site of grisly murders. Or once owned by Mike Tyson.

The Los Angeles Times tours Glendale's water-wise Monterey Road Eco-Community Garden (East). Apparently, this 20-plot refuge is the first community garden in the state of California to be totally reliant on reclaimed water. The water in question, although triple-filtered, is not potable. 

Dwell hosts a slideshow party with an intimate look at the lovely, low-impact Barcelona apartment of Luxembourg-born designer/blogger/TreeHugger contributor Petz Scholtus and her partner Sergio Carratala, a structural engineer. Says Scholtus: "Growing up on a farm influenced my ideas. There it was all about life cycles, materials that flow, eating, composting, growing ..."

TreeHugger wonders why all North American toilets have to be so darn cheap, ugly and inefficient. Heck, as Lloyd Alter has observed, even the cheap restaurants in Paris have fancy cans.

SFWeekly reports that, thanks to a just-approved ordinance, San Francisco now has the country's most progressive laws on urban agriculture. What does this mean for crop-growing city folks? According to the paper, "The new rules ― introduced by Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor David Chiu ― make it easier and cheaper to grow and sell produce on private land in the city, wiping out the need to obtain a conditional-use permit and opening up every city neighborhood to urban ag."

The Mirco Gardener details the "Ten Benefits of Using Repurposed Planters." Nifty. I want those metal tea tins! 

The Wall Street Journal welcomes a few exciting newcomers to the spring 2011 gardening scene including miniature hydrangeas, the Pink Lemonade blueberry, and the Coconut Ice sunflower. Some words of caution from WSJ gardening guru Bart Ziegler: "As with new cars, new plant varieties sometimes don't perform as advertised. To be safe, buy just a handful to see how they do in your yard." 

Jetson Green admires the first repurposed shipping container home to hit the Mojave Desert. Dubbed the Tim Palen Studio, this 2,300-square-foot desert compound designed by ecotechdesign features a living roof, steel shade system, and one massive rainwater tank. 

Image: Kohler

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Playing catch up: Bathroom reading
This week: TreeHugger ponders the crappiness of North American toilets while Gizmodo takes a life-changing seat on a $6,400 commode. Plus, houses that look like