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Showing posts from January, 2017

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The Zion Curtains of Utah

A source of confusion among many first time visitors to the US state of Utah are the bars. Like any regular bar, there are stools lining the shiny counter, but instead of facing the bottles and the bartenders, they look straight at a wall of clouded white glass that rises from the middle of the counter, obscuring both on the other side. These barriers are nicknamed Zion curtains, a dig at the Church of Mormons that hold a large influence over the population of Utah.

The Chemical Valley of Sarnia

These tall chimneys billowing thick, toxic smoke stand on the banks of the Saint Clair River, on the outskirts of the Canadian city of Sarnia, in Southwestern Ontario. Stretching for over 30 kilometers along the riverbank from the southern tip of Lake Huron to the village of Sombra, this region has been nicknamed the Chemical Valley, because of the large concentration of petroleum and chemical factories that are packed together here, elbow-to-elbow, within an area the size of a hundred city blocks. Sarnia’s Chemical Valley is home to sixty-two chemical plants accounting for nearly 40 percent of Canada's chemical industry. These industrial complexes are the heart of Sarnia's infrastructure and economy, creating —directly and indirectly— more than fifty thousand jobs in the area.

The Floating Bridges of Seattle

A bridge of concrete and steel that floats may seem highly unusual, if not impossible, but there are twenty such bridges around the world, five in the U.S. state of Washington alone, of which four are the longest floating bridges in the world.

The Terrifying Beauty of Melting Icecaps

Every summer, as the air warms up and the sunlight beats down on the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, pools of brilliantly blue melt water are formed across the pristine white landscape. While summer time melting is normal, over the past several decades, the rate of melting has been alarming high and these deep blue lakes are appearing in increasing numbers, higher and higher up on the ice cap.

A Hanging Tree, Graves And Hemingway: The Colorful History of Captain Tony's Saloon

There appears to be nothing remarkable about Captain Tony's Saloon housed in a yellow, two-storied building at 428 Greene Street in Key West, Florida. But the inside is steeped in history.

Kitsault: The Ghost Town Where Lights Are Still On But No One’s Home

Think ghost town and you’ll probably imagine ruins —roofless houses, dirty broken windows, rotting floors, but at Kitsault, on the North Coast of British Columbia, Canada, you’ll find rows upon rows of immaculately kept houses, shopping centers, restaurants, banks, pubs and theaters, all abandoned and sitting empty but untouched and spotless. The town’s lights are always on, the streets are lined with neatly trimmed trees and there are freshly mowed lawns, yet no one has called Kitsault home since 1982.

Atomic

A group of students at the Columbus College of Art & Design were recently given a rather neat assignment.  Under the guidance of their tutor Adam Osgood they were asked to create an animated short visualizing various elements from the periodic table.

The Frankincense Trees of Wadi Dawkah

For more than 5,000 years, the Arabs have traded two highly prized fragrances —frankincense and myrrh— obtained from trees that grow exclusively in the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. The dried, aromatic sap was transported by caravan across the Sinai desert to Egypt, via the so called “incense route”, from where they were loaded onto ships and sailed to far away destinations across the Mediterranean Sea.

Artist Uses Optical Illusions to Create Mind-Bending Room Installations

We’ve been fans of Peter Kogler’s psychedelic room installations since last year, when we he wowed us with his warped walls and trippy walkways. Now, the Austrian artist continues to bend time and space with a new series of impressively perplexing optical illusion rooms.

Oasis Bordello Museum: A 1988 Cat House Frozen in Time

In the heart of the Silver Valley mining district in the US state of Idaho, is an old dusty town called Wallace with a population of about eight hundred. But when the mines were booming in the early to the mid 20th century, there were four times as many residents. At that time men outnumbered women 200 to 1, so brothels were another thriving business.

The Unseen Afghanistan

Afghanistan has never been filmed like this before so the unique landscapes of its valleys are here now for us to see – and they are quite an eye-opener.  Whatever your preconceptions of this country, this will probably do something to change them.  Short earlier this year by Afghani director and filmmaker Khyber Khan, this was created as a ‘passion project’ by him to show his homeland in a new way, one which has never been seen before.

The Museum of Bad Art

On rare occasions, a thrift store or a pawnshop can yield items of extreme value, but these are hardly the places you can expect to bump into the museum director of the Louvre or the Metropolitan. But Michael Frank is the head of a museum of a different breed, and a thrift store or a flea market is exactly the sort of place he would visit whenever he wants to enrich the museum's collection.

Casey: The Small Town of Big Things

At just over two square miles and with less than 3,000 inhabitants, the town of Casey in Illinois might be among the smaller towns of the United States, but it's home to some of the biggest things in the world. These include a wind chime, a rocking chair, knitting needles and a crochet hook, a mailbox, a pitchfork, a golf tee, a pair of wooden shoes, a coin, a birdcage, a yardstick, a pencil, a ear of corn, saguaro cactus and many more. Eight of these have found place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Behind all these big attractions is a single man —local businessman Jim Bolin.

If You Have Never Wanted to Visit Rome, You Will After You Watch This

It is difficult to catch the spirit of a city on film especially one as enigmatic as the capital of Italy, Rome.  However, cinematographer Alex Soloviev achieves just that in this short portrait of this most energetic of cities.  If you like to people watch as much as sight-see then you should thoroughly enjoy this as Soloviev not only captures the places but that which brings them alive - the people.

The Swing of Casa Del Arbol, Ecuador

For the past few years, Carlos Sanchez, a volunteer with the Military Geographical Institute, has been assisting a group of a volcanologists by observing and recording the activities of the Tungurahua volcano from a lonely tree house he had built on a green mountaintop near Baños, Ecuador, less than a mile away from the volcano's crater. From this vantage point, Sanchez watches for potential pyroclastic flows that can rapidly move downslope towards the city of Baños, located at the foot of the volcano, 8 km (5 miles) to the north. Sanchez is equipped with a radio via which he can send alerts to the Observatory so that the inhabitants can be evacuated on time.

Witley Park’s Underwater Ballroom

Between Godalming and Haslemere, in Surrey, near the English village of Witley, once stood one of the most lavish private residences in the world —the Witley Park. Originally called Lea Park, it belonged to a man named Whitaker Wright who made his fortune by defrauding shareholders of hundreds of million pounds —not once, but twice in two different continents. At the peak of his financial crimes, Wright bought the vast 1,400-acre Victorian estate from the 15th Earl of Derby and built an extravagant 32-bedroom mansion, among other things like a racecourse, a theater and a private hospital.