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USS Recruit: The Battleship That Sprang Up In The Middle of New York City

In the spring of 1917, when the United States entered the First World War, the need for more sailors and marines became paramount. In order to spark interest among young men and convince them to volunteer for the war, the US Navy decided to erect a huge wooden replica of a battleship in Union Square, in the heart of New York City.

Orlando Towers in Johannesburg

In Orlando township in the urban area of Soweto, in the city of Johannesburg, South Africa, stands two cooling towers of the decommissioned Orlando Power Station. Visible from miles around, the 100-meter tall twin towers have been an iconic landmark of Soweto for the past seventy years.

The Nuclear Bunker Where America Preserves Its Audio-Visual Heritage

The Library of Congress has over 160 million items in its collection, including 23 million books, and more than 1.1 million films, and television programs ranging from motion pictures made in the 1890s to today's TV programs. It has the original camera negatives of 1903’s The Great Train Robbery and Victor Fleming’s Gone With The Wind. It even has all the sequels of Scary Movie and modern hit TV shows such as Judge Judy. The library also holds nearly 3.5 million audio recordings of public radio broadcasts and music, representing over a hundred years of sound recording history. It has films and audio on nearly all formats, from cylinders to magnetic tapes to CDs. It’s the Noah’s Ark of the creative history of the United States.

Tommy Tucker: The Famous Squirrel Who Cross-Dressed And Sold War Bonds

It is said that Tommy Tucker fell from a tree one fine afternoon in 1942 in the backyard of the Bullis’ house, in Washington, D.C., while he was still a blind and hairless baby. Zaidee Bullis, a childless mother and wife to a dental surgeon, adopted the tiny squirrel and made him a family pet. She fed him, bathed him, and put him to sleep on a tiny bed. But what Mrs. Bullis liked the most was dressing him up. Tommy Tucker had about thirty different costumes, and although Tommy was a boy, all his outfits were female for the simple reason that his tail would not fit in pants.

Artist Turns Random Shadows of Everyday Objects Into Playful Doodles of Whimsical Figures

Belgian filmmaker Vincent Bal has made four feature films and numerous commercials, but the long creative process filmmaking requires often left him frustrated. Combining a love for comic strips with a bit of creativity, his quick doodles incorporating shadows have become an unexpected creative outlet. By using a variety of objects, Bal is able to find a form within the shadow cast, deftly taking his pen to fill in what's missing.

Bozouls: A French Town Perched Above A ‘Hole’

Trou de Bozouls, or “the hole of Bozouls”, is a large horseshoe-shaped canyon located near the commune of Bozouls in the Aveyron department in southern France. The meander was dug out in the limestone by the erosive action of running water of the Dourdou river as it flows through the large limestone plateau of Causse Comtal in Massif Central. The canyon is 400 meters across and more than 100 meters deep. The most striking feature of this natural monument is the town of Bozouls perched right at the edge of the bend. Bozouls's geographical location, high above one of the bends of the Dourdou river, gives the town a naturally defensive stronghold.

The Hell’s Bells of Cenote Zapote

Deep below the surface, inside the water filled caverns of Cenote Zapote in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, stalactites grow into strange shapes. Instead of their typical pointed tips, the stalactites hanging down from the roofs at Cenote Zapote have a blown out mouth like that of a bell. They have been called variously as hell’s bells, elephant feet, shower heads or trumpets.

The Mounds of North America

The American heartland was once dotted by thousands of ceremonial and burial mounds. They occurred over a large area that stretched from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico and from the Mississippi River to the Appalachian Mountains. When Europeans first landed on America and found that even the natives had no knowledge of their origin, they thought that some lost civilization unrelated to the Native Americans were responsible for their creation, because they assumed that the natives were too uncivilized and too unsophisticated to create such lasting monuments. These mysterious architects came to be known simply as “mound builders”.

The Sunken City on Kekova Island

The ancient Lycian city of Simena, often referred to as Kekova-Simena, once straddled the long and narrow island of Kekova in the Mediterranean Sea near the Turkish coastline. In the olden times, Simena was a small fishing village and was later an outpost of the Knights of Rhodes.

The Tide Barriers of Venice

Flooding has been a part of Venice since ancient times. Between autumn and spring, the city is affected by bouts of periodic flooding known as aqua alta, or “high water”, caused by a combination of astronomical tides, seasonal rain and strong winds, that pushes flood tides into the Venetian lagoon from the Adriatic sea submerging the lowest parts of the city for three to four hours. During these periods, wooden benches are placed end to end to create temporary raised walkways, and business block their doorways until the waters subsides. Although the city has adapted to flooding remarkably well, their instances have become more frequent and more severe in the last few decades. Partly at blame are rising sea levels, but the city itself is sinking.

Cheltenham Badlands in Caledon

The Cheltenham Badlands is an area in Caledon, Canada, consisting of bare, windswept red hills and gullies displaying spectacular colors that alternates from bright clays to red scoria, streaked with narrow greenish bands. Unlike natural causes such as erosion by wind and water, Cheltenham Badlands was caused by human intervention.

Five small Steps for Big Change

It is rare these days, when so much information is thrust under our noses, that a simple statistic can stagger. This is one of those: over the next year over three million children will die from infectious diseases. That is over eight thousand a day – or 300 an hour. If it took you a minute to read this paragraph, then during that time five children will have died from disease. The greatest shame of it all is that often these diseases could have been prevented.

GIL BATLE CARVES SCENES FROM TWENTY YEARS OF PRISON LIFE ONTO OSTRICH EGGS

After spending 20 years in and out of five different California prisons for fraud and forgery, self-taught artist Gil Batle started carving impressive illustrations of his experiences onto ostrich egg shells. Batle’s drawing ability which evolved behind bars into sophisticated and clandestine tattooing skills is now used to create the beautiful eggs which depict the violent men he knew.

Zaha Hadid Architects Win Competition to Build Wetland Preservation Center in Saudi Arabia

Like a glittering oasis in the valley, Zaha Hadid Architect's planned Urban Heritage Administration Center will be a standout landmark in the Saudi Arabian city of Diriyah. The firm recently won the competition for the new 95,000-square-foot head office of the Heritage Museum, an educational institution founded to preserve the UNESCO world heritage sites of Diriyah and the surrounding Wadi Hanifah valley.

Guédelon Castle: France’s Brand New Medieval Castle

Deep in the forests of central France, an unusual archeological and historical experiment is taking place. A team of stonemasons, carpenters, blacksmiths, quarrymen, tile makers and workers of other professions are painstakingly building a medieval castle from scratch, using only tools, materials and techniques available in the Middle Ages. Stones obtained from a nearby quarry are transported by horse-drawn carts, and raised to the walls by workers walking on wooden treadwheel. Ropes are made of hemp, and instead of modern cement, mortar made from slaked lime and sand is used. There is no electricity or cranes here. Everything at Guédelon Castle from terracotta roof tiles to the nails is authentic to 13th century, the supposed period of construction.

The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay

In Southern Maryland, about thirty miles south of Washington, D.C., the Potomac River forms a shallow bulge called Mallows Bay. It’s an incredibly scenic place full of wildlife such as water fowl, heron and bald eagle. The adjacent land is a county park with hiking trails, picnic areas and a launch for small boats and paddle craft. But the central attraction of Mallows Bay is its so called "ghost fleet" consisting of the rotting and rusting remains of nearly 230 ships.

Homestead Crater

The Homestead Caldera, known locally as "The Crater", is a natural hot spring hidden inside a 55-foot tall, beehive-shaped limestone rock in Midway, Utah. Directly above the spring is a large natural opening, which was originally the only entrance to the crater. Those who wished to soak in the mineral-rich warm waters had to rappel through the hole at the top. It was only in 1996, that a tunnel was blasted through the base of the rock dome allowing visitors easy access.

Heart Attack Grill: Taste Worth Dying For?

The Heart Attack Grill is an outrageously unhealthy, hospital-themed, American fast food hamburger restaurant in Dallas, Texas, that serves high-calorie items with deliberately provocative names. This over-the-top eating establishment, whose tag line is “Taste worth Dying For,” has become internationally recognized for embracing and promoting an unhealthy diet of incredibly large hamburgers and greasy fries.

The Salt Valley of Añana

Salado Valley, in the town of Añana, in northern Spain, is rich in salt but the terrain is unwieldy. Especially, there is a shortage of flat, open ground where brine could be allowed to evaporate and salt could settle. This has lead to the development of some impressive structures consisting of staggered evaporation terraces, built with stone, wood and clay, and a network of wooden channels that transport the salt water by gravity from the springs to the salt complex. This exceptional saline landscape with its unique salt-related architecture, built to adapt to the complex topography of the site, is one of the most spectacular and best preserved cultural landscapes in Europe.

Temppeliaukio Church, Helsinki

In the Töölö neighborhood of Helsinki, Finland, in the middle of an ordinary residential square, a scene from the Steven Spielberg's movie War of the Worlds appears to be unfolding. A giant alien machine has just woken up from deep slumber and is pushing its way out of the ground, where it had been lying dormant for millenniums. A gigantic hole has cracked open on the bedrock and the enormous dome of the alien robot is just visible above the ground. While the movie, based on H.G. Wells classic by the same name, is a work of fiction, the thing here in Helsinki is entirely real. But this mysterious subterranean creature is not a killing machine. On the contrary, it’s a place of worship, a church.
The Temppeliaukio Church, commonly known as the Rock Church, is excavated directly on to the solid rock. The structure is barely visible from the street level with only the copper dome poking out of the rock. Much of its lies underground, bathed in natural light that filters through the skyl…

Capsule Hotels in Japan

Capsule hotels are a unique form of accommodations developed for working Japanese men who are too busy to go home. The hotels comprise of individual blocks of small, coffin sized living quarters with just enough room to sleep. Some capsules include a TV, a wireless internet connection, mirrors and alarm clocks.

Lucky Knot Bridge in Changsha, China

A curvaceous new footbridge inspired by the Mobius strip has opened in Changsha, China, that offers pedestrians a variety of different routes across the Dragon King Harbour River. At 185 meters long and 24 meters high “Lucky Knot Bridge” rises and falls across its course offering spectacular views of the river, Meixi Lake, the city of Changsha and the surrounding mountain range.