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Showing posts from August, 2017

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The Silo Art Trail in Australia

For more than a hundred years, grain silos doting the plains across the Wimmera-Mallee region of Victoria, Australia, have defined the state's rural landscape. Now these grain towers will provide a new aesthetic as they are transformed into enormous works of art paying tribute to the regions' farmers.

The Stilt Walking Shepherds of Landes

The Landes region of southwestern France, bordering the Bay of Biscay, is covered by a large pine forest. In fact, it’s the largest ‘maritime pine’ forest in Europe—’maritime pine’ is a species native to the Mediterranean region. But a hundred years ago, the landscape looked very different. Instead of forests, there was a great level of plain that stretched from horizon to horizon. This plain was covered with stunted bushes and dry heath that were periodically burned off by the local population to create grazing land for sheep. Around the middle of the 19th century, there were an estimated one million sheep in this area.

Elche, The City of Palm Trees

In the city of Elche, in Spain, there is a large grove of palm trees that’s the only one of its kind in Europe, and one of the largest palm groves in the world. Elche has more palm trees than people. According to some estimates, there are between 200,000 and 300,000 trees here distributed across hundreds of orchards.

THE INTELLIGENT EXTINGUISHER

Did you know that your fire extinguisher has an expiration date? That’s icing on the cake for a product that so few of us actually know how to use in the first place! The Ramifire is a modern, smart extinguisher that’s designed for more than just enhanced ergonomics and intuitive use.

Shift

Ever wanted to do something different? When life becomes a routine, step out of the ordinary and follow your dreams. Shift follows a white-collar worker who escapes the confines of his working environment, exploring and dancing freely through the outside world.

The Greatest Cats In Movies. Ever.

As the internet seems, largely, to have been created to accommodate pictures and videos of cats it seems only fair that Kuriositas gets in on the act.  This video by Burger Fiction features the greatest cats to have appeared on film – both live action and animated.  Think about it, cats in movies. People love movies and people love cats. So here they are together on the internet. What a purrrrrrfect combination, don't you think?

Wooden Churches of Maramures

In the Maramureș region of northern Romania are a group of almost one hundred Orthodox churches built between the 17th and the 19th centuries. These churches are considered outstanding examples of “vernacular religious wooden architecture resulting from the interchange of Orthodox religious traditions with Gothic influences”. The churches are of high timber constructions with characteristic tall, slim bell towers above the entrance and massive shingles-covered roof that dwarfs the main body of the church. The churches have a variety of designs showing a high level of artistic maturity and craftsmanship.

Castel del Monte, Andria

On top of a small hill overlooking the comune of Andria, in the Italian region Apulia, stands one of the strangest looking castle. This 13th century citadel is octagonal in shape, with each of the eight corners sporting an octagonal tower. Its geometric design was very unique at that time.

The Backstugas of Sweden

In a forest in southern Småland, in southern Sweden, there is a small earthen cabin you can rent on Airbnb. The cabin is partially buried in the ground with its sod roof almost flush with the ground level, which renders the cabin nearly invisible. This type of house is known as “backstuga” in Sweden, which is literally "hill cottage". They are not very common today, but back in the 17th and 18th centuries, some of the country’s poorest people lived in them.

Rhythmic Springs

Rhythmic springs are those springs that exhibit tidal characteristics. In other words, the water level of these springs rises and falls over a fairly regular time period. Sometimes the spring would stop flowing completely and start again after a couple of hours or minutes. The cause of this periodicity is not truly understood but there is a fairly sound theory.

Snowtime

I am not even going to wonder how this is done, just bask in the beauty of it all.  If you are one of our regular readers then you will know that we like timelapses at Kuriositas.  However, this one is different – very different.  Vyacheslav Ivanov has captured the formation of snow crystals.

intemporalité

Intemporalité is an experimental film made from a large number of photographs (technically its a Hyperlapse and timelapse combined).  The architecture of Paris is deliberately distorted by Didier Viodé but it retains its timelessness and beauty yet you will never have seen the French capital quite like this.  As another way to discover this amazing city it is quite something (even though I challenge anyone to become jaded with the real thing!).

Crystalapse: Frozen in Timelapse

Iceland never ceases to cause wonder and this beautiful footage, captured in March 2014 is no exception.  You will witness both the Northern lights and the phenomenon of the ice caves in their surreal beauty thanks to brothers Patrick and Henrick Shyu who make up Blue Eden.  Plus if you are something of a hopeless romantic then hang around till the end for something that may not make the ice melt, but almost certainly your heart.

Sahara el Beyda: The White Desert of Egypt

The word sahara means desert in Arabic so when you hear the name Sahara el Beyda you could be forgiven that it means one thing – sand, sand and more sand.  Yet the sight of Egypt’s Sahara el Beyda belies the traditional way one imagines a desert.  Are those icebergs on the horizon?

God-Mother

Although not necessary this is a perfect excuse to feature some Bulgarian folk music on Kuriositas.  I came across this wonderful, enigmatic animated short by Nina Paley today and as well as being entranced by her work I was further transported by the ethereal, other-worldly singing of the Bulgarian State Radio and Television Female Vocal Choir which I first came across in my 1980s university days.  The combination is simply… well, why don’t you watch it and put your own adjectives in place?

The Backstugas of Sweden

In a forest in southern Småland, in southern Sweden, there is a small earthen cabin you can rent on Airbnb. The cabin is partially buried in the ground with its sod roof almost flush with the ground level, which renders the cabin nearly invisible. This type of house is known as “backstuga” in Sweden, which is literally "hill cottage". They are not very common today, but back in the 17th and 18th centuries, some of the country’s poorest people lived in them.

The Grand Circle

The Grand Circle is a stunning, immense expanse of land located in the South-western United States. It encompasses parts of five states – Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Nevada. Not surprisingly it also holds the largest concentration of national parks and monuments in the country. It takes in Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Antelope Canyon, the Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Mesa Verde, Natural Bridges, Canyonlands, and Grand Staircase-Escalante.

Bigger Than Life - Ice Caves

If you have woken up today with the desire to think up and do something that no one else has yet done then don’t bother with being the first person to film ice caves using a drone. A team from Firefight Films recently traveled to Alaska and did just that – producing these remarkable results. Directed by Lion El Aton with cinematography - by Christopher Carson, take a look while you rethink your plans for the day.

One Man's Loss

Just when you think it can’t get any worse – it does. Yet for one down and out stepping on a piece of glass turns out to be the best thing that has happened to him for quite a while. Written and directed by Philip Sansom, One Man’s Loss stars Belgian actress Hande Kodja, Tracy Feith as the vagrant and Jeremy Mitchell as the city boy. So, if you are feeling a little down and out today, watch this – and take heart!

Underlapse

A word of warning before you watch this – the makers of this video (Claire&Max) have indicated that this video may make you dizzy.  Underlapse is a visual experience and shows how our brains can be lost without its spatial cues.

The Topiary Trees of San Francisco

San Francisco residents have a particularly strong liking for topiary trees, as apparent from these photographs taken by three different photographers. One is Marc Alcock, a British photographer, who after moving to San Francisco in 2010, became interested in photographing the visual differences between the two places. One of the things that struck him about San Francisco, Los Angeles and the surrounding suburbs were the houses and the unique relationship they have with plants and nature.

A Timelapse of Flowers

Here is something quite lovely.  The idea behind it is very simple – and it makes the end result all the more effective because of its minimalism.  The plan was to take six flowers, Amaryllis, Lilies, Zygocactus, Rose, Gladiolus and Gardenia and to make a film which captured their bloom.

Moving Through Saint Petersburg

Take a whistlestop tour through the streets of St Petersburg. From 1732 to 1918 the city was the Imperial Capital of Russia and its many famous landmarks are testament to its history.  This timelapse was created by Geoff Tompkinson with an original soundtrack by with original music score by Vincent Jacq.

The Pig of Lucerne

Below is a photograph of one of Lucerne’s most famous tourist attraction. You may recognize it as the “Lion of Lucerne”— a rock relief sculpture of a mortally wounded lion hewn into the rocky face of a large cliff in a former sandstone quarry near Lucerne, in central Switzerland. The monument was dedicated in memory of the Swiss Guards who lost their lives defending the Tuileries Palace in Paris during the 1792 French Revolution. The dying lion symbolizes the soldiers’ courage, strength, and willingness to die rather than to betray their oath of service.

Twin Skulls Transform the Facade of this 19th Century French Castle

Okuda San Miguel’s (previously) recently transformed 19th-century castle in Château, France is perhaps my favorite work by the artist to date. The intervention, titled Skull in the Mirror, covers the gigantic home’s facade in a mix of colorful polka dots, and is flanked on either side by two three-story skulls. Three dormer windows at the top of the castle are lined in bright red, blue, and orange, while the second story windows serve as openings for the prismatic skull’s four combined eyes.

Very Little Stars

Jaw, meet floor. This is one of the most astonishingly good timelapse films you will see for a long time.  Created by Timelapse Inc, the short was photographed and edited by Ben Wiggins with the accompanying music being The Alley by DeVotchKa. Very Little Stars showcases the newest development in timelapse the adopted name for which at the moment is hyperlapse.

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

Argentina is one of the largest countries in South America and it would probably take several months of exploring to do the country full justice.  However, Pete R, who is travelling solo around the world, took a month to explore the country and has come up with this magnificent memento of his travels around Argentina.  It takes in Buenos Aires, Bariloche, Patagonia, Ushuaia and also the majesty of Iguazu Falls.  Sit back and take in the diversity and spectacle of a country that should possibly be on everyone’s bucket list!

The Towers of Bologna

In mediaeval times, the city of Bologna in Northern Italy must have looked not unlike what Manhattan appears today. Hundreds of high-rising towers stood against the sky overlooking a sea of red-tiled rooftops. These towers were status symbols built by the city’s rich families to demonstrate their power and importance.

The Decorative Birdhouses of Turkey

Turkish societies value animals greatly, especially birds which they believe bring good luck. The Turk's great love for the feathered species is demonstrated by the elaborate birdhouses they have built for sparrows, doves and pigeons to roost and raise their young ones. These small shelters are constructed high up and out of reach of humans and animals on the outer facades of mosques, madrasahs, libraries, houses, tombs, bridges, and palaces. The birdhouses, aside from providing shelter to birds, help keep the courtyard clean by discouraging birds from building nests randomly and polluting the environment with bird droppings. The birdhouses also fulfill a religious vision. It’s believed that if a person builds a bird house, he gains good deeds because the birds find shelter there.

London’s Mail Rail

For seventy-six years, starting from 1927, the London Post Office operated a fleet of driverless electric trains that scuttled around pairs of narrow gauge rails deep under the ground hauling mails between various sorting offices. The Mail Rail ran from the Paddington Head District Sorting Office in the west to the Eastern Head District Sorting Office at Whitechapel in the east, a distance of 6.5 miles. In between, it had eight stations, the largest of which was underneath Mount Pleasant. At its peak, the Mail Rail operated for 22 hours a day and carried 4 million pieces of mail in a single day.