Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Female Samurai Warriors

Onna bugeisha were female warriors who “find their earliest precursor in Empress Jingū, who in 200 A.D. led an invasion of Korea after her husband Emperor Chūai, the fourteenth emperor of Japan, perished in battle.” Empress Jingū’s example endured. In 1881, she became the first woman on Japanese currency.

Read more: Open Culture

Iran's Beautiful Glass Mosque

The mosque was built as a mausoleum in Shiraz and is the third most important pilgrimage site in Iran. It was later fitted with an interior designed to magnify any light passing through.

Via Miss Cellania

R.I.P. Arbroath

Many of you will be familiar with Nothing To Do With Arbroath a blog authored by Kev who described it as "a daily mish-mash of stuff, fluff and nonsense". I am very sad to report that Kev has passed away at the age of 56 - he brought a lot of laughter to this world.

A funeral service will be held on February 13 in Derbyshire, England.

Thanks Miss C for letting us know.

Figure Skating On Top Of The World

Filmmaker and helicopter pilot Bradley Friesen's stunning footage of Canadian figure skater Elizabeth Putnam skating on Widgeon Lake near Coquitlam, British Columbia. Music by Vancouver artist Delaney Kai.

Full screen is amazing!


Real-Time Video of The Titanic Sinking

In 1912 the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg and disappeared beneath the water only two hours and forty minutes after impact. This real-time animation was created to go along with the 104th Titanic sinking anniversary podcast on April 14th, 2016.

Read more about it here

GIFs Explain the World Around You

From explaining PI to showing how the mechanism works inside a lock, here are some GIFs that will help you better understand the world around you.

How to visualise and explain the value of PI.
How under sea cables are laid.

How a key works.

More interesting GIFs: BlazePress

World Leaders Reimagined as Hipsters

Artist Amit Shimoni's Hipstory series presents past and present political leaders as today's hipsters and I think most of them look much better this way.



The Tweeting Tangerine

Queen Liz

More: Fubiz Media

Mr Trump, Meet My Family

A refugee's journey, and a message of thanks.

Via NYTimes.com

Monday, January 30, 2017

1000 Musicians Rock Smells Like Teen Spirit

What does it sound like when more than 1000 musicians perform Nirvana’s 1991 classic, Smells Like Teen Spirit ? Rockin 1000 got people together for this epic performance in Cesena in July 2016:


A Futuristic 1940s Bicycle

Credit: Brooklyn Museum

During the past century designing futuristic models of automobiles was a fad with companies picturing what cars would look like in decades to come. In 1946 British industrial designer Benjamin Bowden conceptualized and assembled his version of the bicycle of the future. He called it the Classic but later changed its name to the Spacelander to reflect its space-age design.



Onsen Town In Spectacular 4K Video

Kusatsu is a small town in Gunma Prefecture, Japan. The famous Kusatsu Hot Springs are one of the top 100 onsen in Japan. See them in this breathtaking 4K (ultra HD) video.

Via RocketNews24

Soviet Army Monument’s Many Makeovers

In recent years the Monument to the Soviet Army in Sofia, Bulgaria has become a colourful canvas for protesters, much to the chagrin of Russian politicians.

More here 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Angel Library in Kyoto

In the Gion District of Kyoto there is a hidden underground cafe that you need a special code to enter. After being given a code, which changes every day, you go around back to a magical-looking door. 

Go downstairs and you will find a cafe decorated with books, shelves, angel paintings, and other angel-related memorabilia.

Photo by megmi61 - INK361

Via RocketNews24

Make Sure Your Cocktail Is In The Right Glass

I can't imagine having special glasses for every type of drink. Who has that much cupboard space? I just did a quick inventory and found I've managed to survive this long without the Hurricane glass, the Moscow Mule and Julep cups and the Margarita glass.

More glassware here

Via  Holy Kaw!

Papa Swan Acts As An Icebreaker

This swan family follows dad single file as he breaks through a thin layer of ice on a pond at Bradgate Park, in Glenfield, UK.

Dawn Of Fire

This lovely video shows new growth struggling to survive in an otherworldly volcanic landscape in Hawaii.

Sunday Links 40

The Mary Tyler Moore Show’s Feminist Struggle

The Trumptini, by Betsy Morais Drinking in Trump’s America

Camilla Gottlieb's purse: its contents mark it as a singular piece of family, and national, history; one that Camilla hadn't spoken of much during her lifetime.

Six small cabins have been built inside the Finnish Institute in Paris so people can experience the culture of Finland The six spruce cabins that fill the space can be booked through Airbnb.

An Incomplete List of Virginia Woolf Puns in Pop Culture

How Author Timothy Tyson Found the Woman at the Center of the Emmett Till Case 

‘You Think We’re Gay, Don’t You?’ How The Spiders From Mars embraced fashion during Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust era

Losing their minds On November 19, 1948, the two most enthusiastic and prolific lobotomists in the Western world faced off against each other in an operating theatre. Each had developed a different technique for mutilating the brains of the patients they operated on, and each man had his turn on the stage.

Our life story scribbled on the back of an envelope - a very sweet story.

10 Bloggers Share Their Most Popular Soup Recipes I make soup all winter long. I'm going to make a few of these.

How Chicago Bars Got So Many Old Style Signs  John Fecile visited some neighbourhood taverns (and drank a few beers) to find the answer for us.

James Paulley is a motion graphics designer based in London.

Past US Presidents Wrote Revealing Presidential Letters to Successors

Up against the wall you tweeting tangerine! Graffiti Praising and Parodying Donald Trump

Caravaggio’s Boy: Who was Francesco Buoneri, and why did his face show up in so many of the famous painter’s canvases?

Harvard will offer free architecture course online ‘The Architecture of Imagination’ will combine study with drawing and modelling exercises.

The Avocado Show is Coming to Amsterdam! I was a little late jumping on the bandwagon but have become an avocado convert. If I were in Amsterdam I would definitely check this place out. Thanks

Mount Eerie Is Mourning: Musician Phil Elverum wrote and recorded A Crow Looked at Me last fall in the room where his wife, Geneviève Castrée, passed away from pancreatic cancer last summer. Heartbreaking.

 Léa Maupetit illustrates the career of Matisse's apprentice Jacqueline Duhême Via

Dreaming about a sunny getaway?  21 Best Beaches in the World

Saturday, January 28, 2017

An Interactive Map of New York's Earliest Skyscrapers

Between 1874 and 1900, Manhattan went from zero skyscrapers to over 250. The Skyscraper Museum’s online interactive for their current exhibition Ten & Taller: 1874-1900 visualizes this 19th-century boom through a map, timeline, and photographic grid.

The Funeral Of The Duke Of Wellington

The Duke of Wellington was one of the leading military and political figures of 19th-century Britain. When he died in 1852, 1.5 million people watched as his funeral cortege passed through the City to St Paul’s Cathedral. To commemorate it, Henry Alken and George Augustus Sala painted a panorama fully 20 meters long, which was released the following year:

More:  Futility Closet
Thanks Bruce!

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Gorilla Who Drank Tea And Went To School

John Daniel was no ordinary gorilla. He had his own bedroom, drank tea and cider, and could do his own washing up.  In 1917, he was spotted for sale in a London department store by Uley resident Maj Rupert Penny. Penny's sister, Alyce Cunningham, raised John as a human boy

Mapping the Maldives with DJI drones

The future for the 400,000 people who call the Maldives home looks pretty bleak. Scientists predict that by 2050, most will be submerged in rising sea levels. The United Nations Development Programme uses drones to collect data on how the topography of the islands is changing.

DJI Stories – Mapping the Maldives from DJI on Vimeo.


The Village Of Hand Pulled Noodles

In a Chinese village of 300 people, 51-year-old Lin Fagan continues a centuries-old tradition of making noodles by hand.

St. Louis Manifest

St. Louis Manifest (@Stl_Manifest) is tweeting out the names and stories of passengers from the manifest of the St. Louis, a German ocean liner carrying 937 passengers, most of whom were Jews fleeing the Third Reich. The ship was forced to return to Europe after Cuba and the United States denied its passengers entry.

 My name is Margarete Grünthal. The US turned me away at the border in 1939.
I was murdered in Auschwitz — St. Louis Manifest (@Stl_Manifest)
January 27, 2017
This is a Holocaust Remembrance Day project using data from the United States Holocaust Memorial and Museum.

How To Make Eyeglasses From Scratch

How to Make Everything attempts to make a pair of prescription eyeglasses using the most basic materials. Let's hope that the apocalypse never comes because I don't think I could make my own glasses, let alone rebuild society from scratch.

Soap Bubbles Freezing

Photographer Mike Shaw shot this footage of soap bubbles freezing in real time.

Via: Boing Boing

Lily Allen releases cover of Rufus Wainwright song as anti​​-Trump protest

Lily Allen has released a cover of Rufus Wainwright’s Going To A Town as an anti-Donald Trump protest song, accompanied by a video including footage of the Women’s March in London.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Cooking While Blind

Christine Ha takes you through her preparation of a typical weeknight supper. See what it’s like to cook like a blind MasterChef.

I was blown away by this video.

Via swissmiss

Japanese Fashion Label Inspired By Unappetizing Foods

Hironori Yasuda 's label CUNE is inspired by raw meat, cabbage, moldy bread. You wouldn't want to eat it but you might want to wear it. Or not.

Intestines, cabbage and moldy bread

Via Spoon & Tamago

Zion Curtains

Zion curtains are barriers erected in Utah’s alcohol-serving establishments to protect underage patrons from observing liquor bottles and the act of tending bar. Bartenders must remain behind these barriers whenever they mix a drink.

The 2014 video (below) produced by the Mormon Church describes the law requiring barriers as one of the state’s “crucial statutes," which protects children from glamorizing booze and also keeps deaths from alcohol consumption low.


If you ask me, watching people get shitfaced and obnoxious might be more damaging to the welfare of children than the sight of liquor bottles. 

Hüsker Dü's Cover Of The Mary Tyler Moore Show Theme

In 1985 Minneapolis punk pioneers Hüsker Dü covered Sonny Curtis's theme song to The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Titled Love Is All Around it was the flipside to their Makes No Sense At All single.

Via Boing Boing

Embroidered Dolls Take Your Worries Away

Worry Dolls are tiny, hand-crafted dolls one can find in Guatemala and Mexico. Legend has it that when worrying keeps a person awake the worrier tells the concern to the doll and places it under their pillow. The little doll takes the worries away overnight.
Illustrator Megan Griffiths creates these tiny embroidered dolls and sells them on Etsy.

Little Cat House

There is a house on Carrer del Museu in Valencia, Spain that is designed in a classically Valencian style. What sets it apart from others on the street is that this house is only a foot or two tall. Feral cats are welcome to duck in when they need a brief respite from life on the street.
More:  Atlas Obscura

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

La La Land Movie References

Sara Preciado's tribute to the Golden Age of film through La La Land's references.

La La Land - Movie References from Sara Preciado on Vimeo.

Beautiful Food

Coconut Milk Bowls are Beautifully Created as Vibrant Works of Edible Art

The artists behind these edible works of art prove that you don’t need traditional materials to create mouth-watering masterpieces.

Stunning Models of San Francisco Made of Jell-O

Handcrafted Lollipops Fuse Stunning Images Into Edible Works of Art

More beautiful food here

Honor the Treaties

A portrait of photographer Aaron Huey's work on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Featuring Shepard Fairey.

Honor the Treaties | The Film from eric becker on Vimeo.

Directed by Eric Becker / weareshouting.com/
Produced by Scott Everett

How to make the strudel from Inglourious Basterds

Shosanna finds herself seated at table in a fancy restaurant with the Nazi who had murdered her family. They eat strudel. Delicious strudel. Here's how to make it.

Staircases Of Budapest

Time Machine is a series by Hungarian photographer Balint Alovits that features staircases of Budapest.

If you want to see more of this artist's work, visit his Instagram account.

More: Fubiz Media:

Sending Springer Home: What It Took to Save an Orphaned Orca

Shit, it’s A-73!
—The biologist Graeme Ellis  
Her calls were so loud they practically blew our earphones off.
—Dr. Lance Barrett-Lennard, Vancouver Aquarium 
And now, months later, after forming all these groups to help fund this—working with NMFS and DFO, which has not always been easy, and people on both sides of the border—it’s like delivering a baby, and we’re about ready to pass out cigars.
—Michael Harris, the Orca Conservancy   
Name: Springer

Species: Orcinus Orca

Years Active: 2000–present
Read her story here 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Earliest Known Piece of Polyphonic Music Discovered

A chant dedicated to Boniface, patron Saint of Germany, is believed to date back to the start of the 10th century and is the earliest known practical piece of polyphonic music. Giovanni Varelli, a phD student from St John’s College, was the first to recognize the inkwork as showing two distinct vocal parts, designed to be sung together.
The piece performed below by Quintin Beer and John Clapham - both music undergraduates at St John’s College, Cambridge - gives us an idea of how it might have sounded.

More here 
Thanks Bruce!

Ed Roberts' Wheelchair Tells An Important Story

"I am delivering to you the motorized wheelchair of Ed Roberts.” After several dozen more ink-hewn words—words like “pioneer” and “amazing life”—the note concluded, asserting that the wheelchair told “an important story.”
In 1995 Mike Boyd left his friend Ed Roberts' wheelchair with the above note attached to it at the administrative headquarters of the Smithsonian. Roberts was a disability rights activist who challenged the prevailing view at the time that severely disabled people belonged in institutions.

Despite being a post-polio quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down and dependent on a respirator he accomplished more in his 56 years than many more able-bodied people.

Now held by the National Museum of American History, Roberts’s wheelchair embodies a story of obstacles overcome, coalitions formed and the able-bodied educated.

Read more about Ed Roberts here 

Seasons of Norway

Photographer Morten Rustad took 2 years to plan and shoot, and 4 months to edit, this magnificent time-lapse of the the ebb and flow of Norway's seasons.


World Song Map

The Dorothy Collective‘s “Song Map” is a detailed poster in which all road and location names are taken from song titles.

Purchase a 4 colour litho print on 120gsm uncoated art paper here.


A Train Traveled from China to London

This freight train travelled halfway around the world from China's Zhejiang province to Britain and it is hoped it will be the start of a new trade route from China, emulating the ancient Silk Road of more than 2,000 years ago.

Via  Holy Kaw!

Kitsault: Canada's Most Famous Ghost Town

Kitsault, in northern British Columbia, was built by American mining company Phelps Dodge in 1979 as a community for its molybdenum mine workers but in 1982 the market for molybdenum crashed and the entire town of some 1,200 residents abandoned it, leaving the town frozen in time.

In 2005, India-born American entrepreneur, Krishnan Suthanthiran, bought the town for $7 million and has invested another $25 million in upgrades and upkeep. He plans to turn Kitsault into a hub of British Columbia’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) industry. In the meantime immaculately kept houses, shopping centres, restaurants, banks, curling rink, pubs and theatres are ready and waiting after sitting empty for decades.

Images: Bob Steventon/Flickr

Read more: Amusing Planet
Thanks Bruce!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

London Landmarks

A day in the life of London landmarks by Russians Alex Bordetcky and Svetlana Abrashova.


What’s the Story Behind This Superman Comic?

"The image of Superman promoting tolerance and diversity among schoolchildren is authentic. It's a 1949 image by comic book artist Wayne Boring, used in school posters and book covers. It's a relic of a campaign to stamp out racial, ethnic, and religious prejudice in the United States at a time when Europe was undergoing a seismic swell of anti-semitism in the path to World War II."

More: Neatorama

Sunday Links 39

Freedom Songs Recorded 50 Years Ago During the March From Selma to Montgomery  When MLK called for people to come to Selma, Detroit's Carl Benkert arrived with his tape recorder, making the indelible album "Freedom Songs.

The Nib Reminds Donald Trump that He Lost the Popular Vote by 2.8 Million. Sad!

Listen A disturbing video: Copenhagen. A police station. A foreign woman in a burqa tries to get help; yet the assigned translator is not willing to report exactly what she is telling.

Forgotten audio formats: 8-track tapes The 8-track was based on something refined by the one-and-only Earl "Madman" Muntz. Master Muntz was a businessman, engineer, and promoter who became famous—or, rather, infamous—in the US for his outrageous clothes, stunts, and TV appearances. Via

“Did your fathers loan you these motorcycles? Or was it your uncles?” Motorcycling Without the Mansplaining 

The Story Of The Poshest Cat In London

New Yorker Cartoons at Random - hours of amusement!

Amazing images of Tokyo before it was a city

That time Johnny Cash Was Almost Killed By A Rare Tennessee Ostrich - Via

I Ate a Chicago Restaurant's Five-Course Dinner Inspired by Salvador Dali Paintings One dish included a piece of red snapper melded to the leg of a frog.

Roald Dahl, the writer of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” was given a Viking funeral, and was buried with wine, snooker cues, pencils and a power saw

Shops In London That Only Sell One Thing  From pound shops to supermarkets, you can get everything in one place these days. The specialist, it would seem, is dying off. But a few remain.

The Secret Genius Behind The Rolling Stones’ ‘Between the Buttons’

This Incredible Home By UMMO Estudio Is Built Into The Side of a Mountain 

He won, won, won On Thursday, Wayne Barrett died of lung disease in Manhattan. He had written about Trump’s business dealings for decades, mostly for the Village Voice, and for his book Trump: The Deals and the Downfall (1992), a portrait of a man who got ahead because of his willingness, at every stage of his career, to screw over anyone foolish enough to trust him. Good article.

The Timekeeper: A Canadian Watch Collector Hunts for the Unusual 

15 Amazing Places You Have To Visit On A Road Trip Across Canada

Timeless Photos Capture the Dreamy Villages of Cinque Terre

London Food History: Eel, Pie And Mash Shops 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Weeknight Dinners

In her series Weeknight Dinners American photographer Lois Bielefeld focuses on the typical evening meal, when food and space often become secondary to the busy workday when time constraints due to work, parenting, and family activities often dictate dinner rituals. There are 78 portraits within the series. Most of the subjects look so unhappy yet I was riveted to these photographs.


The History Of 100 Years Of Women's Health Care At Planned Parenthood

Teeny Tiny Stockholm

I'm a fan of tilt shift timelapse films. Here's one shot in Stockholm, Sweden by Joerg Daiber.

Via Holy Kaw!

The Consequences Of Overpopulation

Worst case scenario estimates that as many as 11 billion people could be alive by 2100. Here's what that reality could look like:


Cats Act Out Scenes from Famous Movies

Pasdidée has captured and edited feline versions of popular movies like Psycho, The Lion King, and Titanic.

Star Wars (The Empire Scratches Back):

Psycho (Psycat):

Definitely Oscar bait, don't you think?

The Japanese Train Station Built Around a 700 Year Old Tree

photo by Kosaku Mimura/Nikkei

In the suburbs of Osaka stands Kayashima Station. It has a rectangular hole cut into the roof of the elevated platform to accommodate a 700 year old camphor tree that pokes its head out the top. As the station expanded over the years there were calls to cut it down but a strong local community and a little bit of superstition have kept it standing.

photo by Studio Ohana
There is a shrine erected at its base.

Read more: Spoon & Tamago

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Argentina On Foot

Guillaume Juin and his companion walked the roads of Argentina in August of 2016. They explored two parts of the country:Salta in the north with its incredible desert landscapes, and the south part, El Calafate, its glaciers, and beautiful mountains.


PresidentialTrump (@MatureTrumpTwts) is an alternative parody account of how a mature, more presidential Trump should tweet. For instance, instead of this angry juvenile tweet:
Presidential Trump suggests this one:
Trump should put him on the payroll!

Museum Workout

Monica Bill Barnes & Company, the irreverent contemporary dance troupe, will offer “The Museum Workout”: a 45-minute physical journey that spans two miles of the Metropolitan Museum of Art before opening hours.

More here

The 52 Best — And Weirdest — Charts 538 Made In 2016

FiveThirtyEight published almost 1,000 charts and maps on 2016. They have posted 52 of their favourites.


Future Aleppo: A Boy’s Model Of An Imaginary City

Mohammed Qutaish is a 14 year old Syrian boy who aspires to becoming an architect He constructed “Future Aleppo” in his family’s apartment while the city suffered relentless aerial bombardment. His sorrow inspired him to build a charming model city of neatly-gridded buildings, confections of rose and yellow. Their rooftops are equipped with the conveniences of helipads, solar panels, and pools. Mohammed envisions he and his friends swimming after school. At the bottom left is the Citadel, Aleppo’s ancient hilltop fortification.
The four by four foot section shown at Mmuseumm 2 in NY is a piece of a much larger model with impressive skyscrapers and suspension bridges. The Syrian journalist and filmmaker Waad Alkateab helped smuggle out part of “Future Aleppo” as the Qutaish family evacuated earlier in 2016.

More here  

Tiny Museum Housed in NYC Freight Elevator

You won't need a season pass to explore this collection. Mmuseumm is a curated display of artifacts housed in a NYC freight elevator that holds just 3 people at a time.

Via swissmiss