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19 May 07:18

A Rotating 42-Layer Sculpture of Franz Kafka’s Head by David Cerny

by Christopher Jobson


Located in a busy shopping center in Prague, this twisting and reflective sculpture depicting the head of writer Franz Kafka is the latest kinetic artwork by controversial Czech artist David Cerny. Installed in 2014, the enormous mirrored bust is comprised of 42 independently driven layers of stainless steel and weighs in at some 45 tons. The piece brilliantly reveals Kafka’s tortured personality and unrelenting self doubt that plagued him his entire life. The layering of objects is a common motif for Cerny who built a similar rotating head that also functions as a fountain titled Metalmorphosis. (thnx, Chelsea & Diana!)


David Černý, kinetic Head of Franz Kafka, Prague. Photo by Jindřich Nosek via Wikimedia Commons.


David Černý, kinetic Head of Franz Kafka, Prague. Photo by Jindřich Nosek via Wikimedia Commons.


David Černý, kinetic Head of Franz Kafka, Prague. Photo by Jindřich Nosek via Wikimedia Commons.


David Černý, kinetic Head of Franz Kafka, Prague. Photo by Jindřich Nosek via Wikimedia Commons.

09 May 22:37

13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. CLXXXVIII)

by MessyNessy

1. Photoshop from the 1930s

retouche-beaute-avant-photoshop (1)

Beauty retouching has been around a lot longer than we thought. The side-by-side images above from the early 1930s show what a glamour portrait looked like before and after manual ‘Photoshopping.’ Photographer George Hurrell shot the portrait of actress Joan Crawford as a publicity shot for the 1931 film Laughing Sinners. A retoucher named James Sharp, who spent six hours smoothing skin, removing spots, and erasing wrinkles. Sharp used a retoucher machine, which backlit and vibrated the original negative, allowing Sharp to physically smooth out the film using a pencil.

Found on PetaPixels


2. Elvis Presley Lipstick




More Elvis Presley Memorabilia found here.


3. Just Barry White


Found on Pinterest


4. The Last Shopkeepers





Francesco Pergolesi’s series “Heroes,” which opens at Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago on May 6, is set at dusk, when the proprietors of the tiny Italian shops he depicts are working late—baking bread, making shoes or sharpening knives. Made as a sort of collaboration with storekeepers in Rome, Milan and in small towns


“When I was a child, I used to walk free, exploring my village streets. I loved to spend time in the little cobbler or the grocery where my grandmother sent me to shop. Time seemed to be extended and gave me a sense of freedom. I grew up loving neighborhoods where human relationships were the center of life. I understood these places were disappearing, pushed by a mysterious force, and a new era was coming.”




Found on PDN Photo of the Day.


5. A Miniature Village within a miniature village within a miniature village within….






More info on visiting Bourton-on-the-Water, “Venice of the Cotswolds”.


6. The Giant Telescope from the Universal World Exposition in Paris, 1900



With an objective lens of 1.25 m (49 in) in diameter, it was the largest refracting telescope ever constructed. Since it was built for exhibit purposes as the centerpiece within a large metropolis, and its design made it difficult to aim at astronomical objects, it was not suited for scientific use.


When the year-long exposition was over, its builders were unable to sell it. It was ultimately broken up for scrap; the lenses are still stored away at the Paris Observatory.

Found on Wikipedia


7. What releasing 1.5 million helium balloons looks like…


In 1986 in Cleveland, Ohio, a world record was broken with 1.5 million balloons…





Photos by Thom Sheridan.


8. An Ejectable Seat Test, 1963


Dummy pilot and seat soar, as engineers test a catapult escape system in Arizona. Found on Nat Geo.


9. Atomic Mickey


Found on Pinterest.


10. Albania’s 700,000 Bunkers

Concresco_David_Galjaard 04.jpg.CROP.original-original



In Albania today, one bunker stands for every four people who live there. Built during Stalinist Enver Hoxha’s 40-year rule, the more than 700,000 above-ground bunkers dotting the landscape were never used to defend against attack, as intended. Now, they serve as a stark reminder of the Hoxha’s dictatorial reign.


They’ve been documented by photographer David Galjaard, article found on the Atlantic. 


11. Sending Cars by Train in the 70s





Within the same volume of an 89-foot car, the Vert-A-Pac could hold as many as 30 automobiles instead of 18. Full article found on Amusing Planet.


12. Paintballing in 1909





In 1909 NYC, you could fake-murder your friends in a wax bullet duel. Found on Gizmodo.


13. The Most Beautiful Pistol in the World

28 Apr 14:31

A Repurposed Boeing 737 Engine Cowling Makes a Fantastic… Chair

by Christopher Jobson


If you’re looking to remodel your home or office with ultimate conversation starting furniture, look no further than the 737 Cowling Chair by Fallen Furniture. The behemoth chair is made from a genuine Boeing 737 engine cowling that sits atop a spun aluminum base in the same orientation you would find on an airplane and measures nearly 6.5′ square. It’s hard not to compare the curvy space age design to something Eero Saarinen might have designed. The Bath-based furniture company specializes in making functional objects from “reclaimed, authentic aircraft parts, from both military and civilian aircraft,” and you can see more of their designs on their website and on Facebook. (via Bored Panda)




27 Apr 06:05

An Alien Planet of Candy-like Rocks and Plants by David Brodeur

by Christopher Jobson


As part of his Celestial Series, Chicago-based digital artist David Brodeur rendered an alien world filled with berry-like plants, glowing crystals, and candy shaped orbs that sprout from the ground. Despite their exotic designs, Brodeur relies on common colors of familiar fruits to create this Willy Wonka-esque habitat where you can’t help but want to reach out and gobble everything up. You can see more from the series on Behance, and he also posts a new digital piece each day on Instagram.








27 Apr 06:05

See Prince (RIP) Play Mind-Blowing Guitar Solos On “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “American Woman”

by Josh Jones

Amidst all its other unsettling excesses, 2016 has become a year of collective mourning as musical icon after musical icon passes away. The names begin to sound like a list of battlefield casualties. Our latest loss was much more than a leader among men: he was royalty.

Prince’s death strikes me as a tragedy for so many reasons: he was too young, only 57. He was—as for nearly everyone of my generation—a fixture of my childhood, a figure of impossible cool; his loss feels deeply personal. Lastly, Prince seemed so above it all—above all of the ugly, petty crap the rest of us slog through every day, including death.

All pop stars seem like that to their fans.

But when it comes to Prince, it wasn’t just his forever young sexuality that made me think he’d never die, but the fact that he could do anything, and I mean anything at all as a musician. He seemed to have no limitations. Unlike many of this year’s lost stars, I was lucky enough to see him play. That show became the high watermark by which I’ve unfairly measured every other performer.

He played for three hours, then held an afterparty and played for two more. He tore through his catalog, then played everyone else. Members of his band left the stage one by one, and Prince continued, picking up instrument after instrument. The hugeness of the sound didn’t seem diminished one bit when he remained on stage alone with his guitar at three o’clock in the morning.

And that guitar, man…. Whether his trademark butterscotch Telecaster or series of unique, signature instruments—he played like no one else: he made the guitar cry, sing, howl, wail, and launch into outer space hysterics. His power and control were unmatched. Eric Clapton, when asked what it felt like to be the world’s greatest guitarist, supposedly said, “ask Prince.” Apocryphal or not, it’s believable. No guitarist can be anything but blown away by Prince’s prowess. Witness his solo at the end of the 2004 all-star Rock and Roll Hall of Fame George Harrison tribute performance of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (top), widely cited as one one of the best guitar moments caught on tape, and as evidence for why Prince belongs in the top ten of world’s greatest players.

I don’t think there’s any hyperbole in saying that Prince may have been the greatest stage performer of the past forty years, as a total package: showman, songwriter, and musician. And though he dominated center stage, he wasn’t too proud to play the sideman. Check him out above, for example, backing Lenny Kravitz on “American Woman.” But when it came time for Prince to take a solo (see him tear it up at around 4:50), it was like everyone else had left the stage.

Rest In Peace, Prince. As a guitarist, singer, and general explosion of purple amazingness, he was in a class all his own.

Related Content:

Prince (RIP) Performs Early Hits in a 1982 Concert: “Controversy,” “I Wanna Be Your Lover” & More      

David Bowie (RIP) Sings “Changes” in His Last Live Performance, 2006

The Memorial Service & Celebration of “Lemmy” Kilmister, Motörhead Frontman, is Now Streaming Live

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

See Prince (RIP) Play Mind-Blowing Guitar Solos On “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “American Woman” is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

23 Apr 00:31

Prince en 35 ans de coiffures iconiques

by JulietteVonGeschenk

Un illustrateur anglais a dessiné les trente-cinq ans de coiffures iconiques du chanteur Prince, qui s'est éteint hier à l'âge de cinquante-sept ans.

Cet article Prince en 35 ans de coiffures iconiques est apparu en premier sur

20 Apr 22:33

Marks & Spencers lance son programme « Clothes Exchange » en France et en Belgique

by JulietteVonGeschenk

Marks & Spencer lance son programme de Clothes Exchange en France, soit une installation de box pour récupérer les vêtements de ses client•es afin de les recycler !

Cet article Marks & Spencers lance son programme « Clothes Exchange » en France et en Belgique est apparu en premier sur

19 Apr 08:42

Phishing, fausse mise à jour : des arnaques ciblent les utilisateurs d’Apple

by Thierry Noisette

Fishing on apple users

Les produits Apple étant plus chers que la moyenne, les utilisateurs d’iPhone, MacBook ou autre appareil à la pomme sont présumés plus fortunés que les autres ; c’est en tout cas le raisonnement que semblent faire des cyberarnaqueurs, qui lancent des attaques ciblées, dont la première élaborée par phishing, cette fraude dont l’auteur se fait passer pour quelqu’un d’autre afin de voler des données.

Graham Cluley, un spécialiste de la sécurité informatique, a lancé deux alertes successives : le 11 avril il a signalé des SMS prétendant aux destinataires que leur compte Apple ID...

19 Apr 08:40

A view of the ornate art and architecture of a building in...


Do you have people in your family that have lived in India or any British possessions?
I have for french colonies : in Morocco, in Vietnam, ... Several persons of my mum's family have lived there at least for a while.

This is very present here, so I suppose it's a bit the same in Britain, no?

A view of the ornate art and architecture of a building in Chennai, India, 1948. Photograph by Volkmar Wentzel, National Geographic Creative

17 Apr 21:36

Victor Noir: Still Pleased to See You (Even in Death)

by (Admin)
Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris contains the graves of many famous people, including Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison. One person you may not have heard of, however, is Victor Noir. It is, in fact, his monument rather than his memory which draws people to his final resting place and for reasons you may not automatically associate with a cemetery.

You may have already noticed that much of his face is the familiar grey-green of oxidized bronze you would expect from a monument dating from 1891 (Noir died in 1870). However, the lips and the nose are unaccountably shiny. Victor Noir’s mouth and nose are regularly caressed and kissed. Yet the host of women who descend upon his tombstone have more than Victor’s face in mind when they visit. Despite only the faintest trace of a smile across it, Victor Noir is, it seems, still very pleased to see you.

The bronze sculpture has a very noticeable protrusion of some prominence in the trouser department. Whether or not this is a reflection of Victor’s reputation while alive it has certainly afforded him one post mortem. Victor’s monument has become one of France’s more unusual fertility symbols.

It is believed that if a woman kisses Victor on the lips and then rubs that bulge in his trousers then her fertility will be much enhanced and that a baby will follow soon after (the getting of which, according to the legend, will be even more blissful than usual). Single ladies in search of a man need not worry either: a furtive but friendly frottage with Monsieur Noir will ensure a husband within the year. From the looks of all that French polish, it seems that a lot of women believe the story.

There is, of course, payment. Each visitor to Victor’s recumbent form must place a flower in to his hat or hand to thank him for his time. The sculpture, which portrays Victor prone, his hat fallen to the ground, gives some clue to the manner in which death approached him – rather unexpectedly.

Victor Noir was a French political journalist during the time of the Imperial Bonapartist regime of Napoleon III (which lasted from 1852 – 1870). The editor of his newspaper had been challenged to a duel by Prince Pierre Bonaparte after the publication of an article which was rather disparaging about the prince’s great uncle, Napoleon Bonaparte. Prince Pierre challenged the editor, Paschal Grousset, to a duel, despite the fact that his great uncle had been dead almost fifty years.

Grousset accepted and dispatched his seconds (one of whom was Noir) to arrange a time and a date with Prince Pierre who then, following an altercation, duly dispatched Victor Noir to the great hereafter. The truth of what exactly had caused this outrage in the streets was never fully discovered but the courts sided with the prince, accepting his story that Noir had taken umbrage at being called a lackey of Grousset and had struck the prince (after which, of course, he was left with no choice other than to gun him down in the street).

Over 100,000 people attended Noir’s funeral and his death pricked many a republican in to action against the Emperor’s regime. There was violence on the streets of a number of French cities but a more liberal constitution was quickly voted in by a plebiscite and further bloodshed was avoided. Although the hopes of the republicans seemed to have vanished the Emperor was in fact overthrown within nine months.

Noir’s body was taken to Père Lachaise Cemetery twenty one years after his death and the monument we see here was erected (not to put too much of a fine point on it). Since then his has become one of the most visited graves in the cemetery. To keep his face, groin and feet so shiny and nickel clean it is estimated that many thousands of women have taken a surreptitious joyride atop his recumbent, bronze form.

Dalou, the sculptor, was perhaps wrong in portraying just that flicker of a smile on Victor Noir’s face: a smug grin would, perhaps, have been more appropriate.

First Image Credit Flickr User MB Schlemmer
15 Apr 08:41

Bienvenue au royaume de l’Himalaya

by Lynda

I want to go there!

Le voyage de Kate et William touche à sa fin. Cette pérégrination hors des frontières indiennes conduit les émissaires de la couronne aux confins d’un pays légendaire: le Bhoutan blotti entre l’Inde et la Chine. Un trésor enchanteur, une nature étincelante, des paysages entre poésie et mystique.

Un manteau jaune en hommage au drapeau national

Un manteau jaune en hommage au drapeau national

Ce royaume peuplé de 750.000 habitants a remplacé le PNB par le “Bonheur National Brut”. Ouvert au tourisme depuis 1974, seuls 6000 chanceux pèlerins par an pénètrent dans ce pays mystérieux. Vous l’avez compris, ce royaume perché sur le toit du monde se protège du tourisme de masse.

Aéroport de Paro

Aéroport de Paro

Cette destination très prisée des randonneurs-on y vient pour voir les neiges éternelles ruisseler dans les montagnes-reste encore très secrète. Et l’environnement s’en voit préservé. Un mantra bhoutanais proclame “Ne prenez que des photos, ne laissez que l’empreinte de vos pas”. A méditer. Même si les antennes prolifèrent, on ne trouve ni sac plastique ni canettes dans les montagnes bhoutanaises.

Un paysage planant

Un paysage planant

Kate va ressortir son Canon

Kate va ressortir son Canon

Procession en technicolor

Procession en technicolor

Kate et son époux se trouvaient dans le cockpit, lorsque l’avion a engagé sa descente. L’approche est difficile en raison du relief sinueux et le pilote a dû faire une annonce pour rassurer la cabine. Sur le tarmac, le duc et la duchesse respirent. Et pour cause, l’air est pur, beaucoup moins pollué qu’en Inde. Le Bhoutan est un pays sans tabac. Le regard de Kate se pose sur un immense portrait disposé dans l’aéroport de Paro. Jetsun Pema, “La Kate Middleton de l’Himalaya” est photographiée avec son mari “le roi dragon” Jigme Khesar. Elle ressemble à un top de la Fashion Week, lui à Mario Valentino. Le roi a confié à sa sœur aînée la princesse Chhimi, le soin de recevoir le couple princier avec les honneurs dus à leurs rangs. Ce n’est pas n’importe quel tapis rouge que viennent de fouler les représentants de la reine. Une broderie composée de grains de riz multicolores en décore le centre.




Des BO folkloriques

Order of the Thisle 2012

Order of the Thisle 2012

Brora Gold Charm earrings

Brora Gold Charm earrings

Natalie clutch LKB

Natalie clutch LKB

Fern Pumps LKB

Fern Pumps LKB

Leurs regards se croisent. Le roi tombe fou amoureux de la jeune fille belle comme une estampe. Dans ce pays où la polygamie est autorisée, le monarque fait le serment qu’il n’aura qu’une seule épouse. Ils s’unissent le 13 octobre 2011 et la belle aristocrate diplômée en relations internationales, psychologie et histoire de l’art (Regent College Londres) devient la reine dragon, la plus jeune souveraine du monde: elle n’a que 20 ans. Un prince héritier né en février 2016. Le Bhoutan a aussi son royal baby!

Son altesse royale le Gyalsey

Son altesse royale le Gyalsey né le 5 février 2016

Reine moderne et très influente sur les réseaux sociaux, Jetsun s’investit dans la lutte pour la préservation de la nature: elle est ambassadrice des Nations Unies pour Ozon Action. Sa majesté ne s’habille pas chez Topshop. Les étoffes chatoyantes des Kira exacerbent sa beauté. Au Bhoutan, par décrets royaux, les vêtements traditionnels sont obligatoires en public.

En direct du plus beau théâtre du monde

En direct du plus beau théâtre du monde

Reines du Bhoutan

Reines du Bhoutan

Revenons à nos visiteurs britanniques. Le duc et la duchesse rejoignent Thimphu, la capitale du Bhoutan. Ils sont immédiatement saisis par les lieux et les enfants les acclament. A Thimphu Dzong-une forteresse datant du XVIIe siècle- un rituel de bienvenue (Chipdrel) leur est rendu en musique, chants, danses et couleurs. Kate a hâte de faire connaissance avec son double au teint de lune. Une audience privée s’est tenue à l’intérieur du Dzong. Le duc et la duchesse se sont fendus d’une révérence en présence des souverains.



A la fin de la rencontre en huis clos, le couple royal se présente. Le roi et la reine se tiennent par la main. Kate et William sortent de la forteresse aux boiseries sculptées. La duchesse arbore une cape Paul&Joe dans l’air du Bhoutan. Aurait-elle été influencée par celle d’Elie Goulding? Kelzan Wangmo, un fabricant local a confectionné l’étoffe de sa jupe longue. Il peut d’ores et déjà se préparer à réapprovisionner ses stocks tissus. Les commandes vont pleuvoir et “l’effet Kate” va dynamiser le secteur du textile local. Kate ne devait pas endosser l’habit traditionnel mais elle s’est recomposé un ensemble folklorique. On dit qu’il s’agit de sa plus belle entrée en scène.

Kate se fond dans le décor et William reste très British dans son costume marine

Kate se fond dans le décor et William reste très British dans son costume marine

Toutes ces altesses royales se retrouvent dans la cour d’honneur, joliment décorée pour la circonstance. On a tendu une gigantesque tapisserie. C’est à cet endroit que les souverains et le couple princier posent pour la postérité et les archives royales, face à un mur de photographes. Puis ils franchissent le seuil du temple pour y recevoir une bénédiction. On allume des cierges dans les vapeurs d’encens. Le Bhoutan est le seul pays où le Vajrayana (bouddhisme tibétain) est la religion d’Etat.


Kate s’applique

Game of throne

Game of Throne


Photo de famille bis

Catherine duchesse de Cambridge te reine des hauts plateaux de l'Himalaya

Catherine duchesse de Cambridge te reine des hauts plateaux de l’Himalaya

Jupe portefeuille fabriquée à Londres et coupée dans un tissu bhoutanais

Jupe portefeuille fabriquée à Londres et coupée dans un tissu bhoutanais

La reine Jetsun se chausse chez Saint Laurent

Les Royals

Les Royals

Dans le corridor qui mène à la salle du trône d'or

Dans le corridor qui mène à la salle du Trône d’Or


Deux reines au sommet de leur beauté qui posent sur le toit du monde

Jupe tissée au Bhoutan

Kate a gardé ses escarpins Fern LKB

Cap sur la cape rebrodée


Focus sur la broderie ethnique

Focus sur la broderie ethnique

Jupe tissée au Bhoutan

Jupe tissée au Bhoutan

Lavender Amethyst Kiki McDonough

Lavender Amethyst Kiki McDonough

Le duc et la duchesse prennent congés des souverains. Ce ne sont pas des adieux:K&W reviendront dîner ce soir au palais royal de Lingkana. Les caméras ne seront pas autorisées à filmer l’événement…il s’agit d’agapes privées. Les spécialités culinaires sont à base d’épices et de fromage. Espérons que le chef a lui aussi reçu des instructions spéciales. La reine et la duchesse ont beaucoup de points en commun. Elles sont diplômées en histoire de l’art, mamans, amoureuses, engagées, modernes…elles vivent un conte de fées. Cela promet des discussions enrichissantes classées secret défense.

Départ de l'hôtel

Départ de l’hôtel

Il y a des piments sur l'encolure de la robe et cet ingrédient entre dans la composition de la spécialité locale

Il y a des piments sur l’encolure de la robe

Un châle parce que les nuits sont fraîches en altitude

Pashmina John Lewis

Tiens revoilà le salut

Tiens revoilà le salut

Tory Burch portée avec un châle orange

Tory Burch portée avec un châle orange

Gianvito Rossi

Gianvito Rossi

Encolure piments comme ceux de la spécialité culinaire locale

Encolure piments comme ceux de la spécialité culinaire locale

Du fromage et des piments le Hemadatsi plat national du Bhoutan

Du fromage et des piments le Hemadatsi plat national du Bhoutan

Les invités du couple dragon se détendent avant de passer à table. Dans la petite ville, les tireurs à l’arc se produisent devant eux. Le duc et la duchesse de Cambridge s’installent à l’abri du vent. Un thé bien chaud leur est servi. Voilà une discipline que les sportifs de la couronne ne pratiquent pas encore. Çà tombe bien, les organisateurs ont prévu une initiation. Sous la pluie, K&W saisissent les arcs sans remporter la victoire.  A l’origine, ce sport national se jouait avec des arcs rustiques, fabriqués de pièces de bambous reliées entre elles. L’équipement a évolué et les tireurs se servent aujourd’hui d’arcs à poulies. La cible est toujours placée à la même distance soit 145 mètres. Le tir à l’arc est réservé aux hommes mais la championne Sherab Zam a défendu les couleurs du Bhoutan aux JO de 2012. Qui sait, Kate et William étaient peut-être dans la tribune ce jour-là. Demain sera un autre jour: six heures de marche en montagne pour atteindre le monastère de Taktshang. Sweet dreams.



William essaye de sauver l'honneur mais Kate ne semble pas très confiante

William essaye de sauver l’honneur mais Kate ne semble pas très confiante

Tir à l'arc en escarpins du jamais vu au Bhoutan

Tir à l’arc en escarpins du jamais vu au Bhoutan

Thé ou tachai servi dans un somptueux gobelet

Thé ou tachai servi dans un somptueux gobelet




13 Apr 13:31

Beverly Hills of the Dead: Luxury Tombs complete with Kitchens & Air Conditioning

by MessyNessy


A friend of mine just returned from travelling in the Philippines and told me I should look into a cemetery located in the capital of Manila where the dead have better houses than the living. He was right. Most of these “homes” have their own fully-functioning kitchens, bathrooms and even bedrooms where relatives can sleep alongside their buried relatives. In some cases, they live amongst the dead full-time. The tombs are bigger than most houses and line real two-way streets within the cemetery grounds. It’s dubbed “the Beverley Hills of the Dead”.

Lead image (c) Daniel Braun


(c) Edgar on Flickr


(c) Edgar on Flickr


(c) Edgar on Flickr


Welcome to the Chinese Cemetery of Manila, a neighbourhood all of its own, originally established when the Chinese trading community were prohibited by Spanish colonials from using the Catholic cemeteries. Forced to create their own, it is a unique place where wealthy Chinese families have built little mansions around the graves of their loved ones since the 19th century, to make sure they feel comfortable even in the after life.


The Chinese hold great respect their departed ones and since ancient times, they have believed that the souls of the dead live in another world and graves are their earthly residences.


(c) BoyWander

If the family can afford it, these earthly residences can be built up to three stories high.


(c) Metro Manilan

It has become tradition for the living to spend entire days visiting the deceased, installing household amenities such as TV sets, couches and flushing toilets inside the tombs.


(c) Ruro Photography

Over the years, some visitors have become a little too relaxed amongst the dead and end up living there permanently….


(c) BoyWander

There are residents who even claim to have been born inside the cemetery. The mausoleums have well-maintained patios like a quaint suburban neighbourhood, which also has a civic association, telephone lines and a local restaurant.


(c) Manila Cemeteries


Like in all societies, there are wealthier and poorer areas of the cemetery’s community. Smaller and less well-maintained graves are usually grouped together down narrow alleyways further from the entrance gates.


(c) Stacey Irish

However the cemetery as a whole has admittedly seen better days and even some of the most lavish mausoleums are now looking neglected. The graveyard is owned by the Manila city government, which has allegedly initiated an expansion program to build more “apartment tombs” and a crematorium.


(c) Edgar on Flickr

The one-of-a-kind cemetery has become a curious tourist attraction of sorts, and you can hire professional guides to take you on a tour through Manila’s vast city of the dead to see the most interesting tombs, or pay the caretaker around 200 pesos to make sure you don’t get lost.


I found one comment on the cemetery’s Trip Advisor page left by a local Chinese-Filipino whose family built a mini mansion in the graveyard.

“Our place here has a room to sleep [in], a kitchenette and a toilet. We even have a small yard. It’s really like a house but not a scary one, even if it’s in a cemetery. As a child, we used to come every October 31 and sleep here. It’s a very interesting place to visit. I highly recommend it, especially [to] gain better understanding of the Chinese culture.”


(c) Daniel Braun

12 Apr 23:09

Winston Churchill s’est fait faire une ordonnance pour boire de l’alcool pendant la prohibition

by Le Maitre de la Boite


Lors d’une visite à Manhattan le 13 décembre 1931 Churchill a fait l’erreur classique d’un anglais en Amérique, regarder du mauvais côté de la route avant de sortir d’un taxi ce qui lui a valu de se faire renverser par une voiture.

L’accident a été assez sérieux pour qu’il soit admis à l’hôpital et qu’il doive reporter une série de conférences.

Cependant il a profité de cette mésaventure pour se faire prescrire par le Dr. Otto Pickhardt une dose d’alcool quotidienne de façon à pouvoir boire alors que la prohibition était en vigueur aux États-Unis.

Ceci certifie qu’après son accident, la convalescence de Winston Churchill nécessite qu’il consomme des boissons alcoolisées en particulier à l’heure des repas.
La quantité est naturellement indéfinie mais le minimum serait de 250 centimètres cubes.
Dr. Otto Pickhardt

10 Apr 12:38

Les écrans, meilleurs ennemis de votre sommeil ?

by Chloé P.

this talks about the blue light of screen which is responsible for insomnia and bad sleep (even after the computer is closed.
So you can dl freely this soft and on the evening it will provide a soft light to your screen that is not dangerous for sleep.
This gives a very soft ambience indeed, I will use it for a few days and see..
Here is the link :

Les écrans t'empêchent de dormir ? C'est normal... mais pas irréversible.

Cet article Les écrans, meilleurs ennemis de votre sommeil ? est apparu en premier sur

10 Apr 12:11

The Assassin Bug – Malaysia’s Macabre Miniscule Murderer

by (Admin)

stomach on the back!

I do hope you have had your lunch, in which case you might be ready for a short afternoon horror story. This is a member of the assassin bug family found in Malaysia. It has a particularly cunning plan when it comes to avoid being eaten.  Once it’s had its own lunch (by sucking out the liquefied insides of its victims) it hoists their empty exoskeletons on its back – tens of them all held together by a sticky secretion. The Ark in Space tells the rest of this macabre tale!

Image Credit
29 Mar 20:49

Mark Kozelek dévoile un nouvel extrait de son album de reprises

by Julien



Accompagné d’un piano, Mark Kozelek chante quelques uns de ses morceaux préférés sur un nouvel album de reprises intitulé « Mark Kozelek Sings Favorites », qui sortira le 27 mai chez Caldo Verde.

Mike Patton est invité sur deux titres, « I’m Not In Love » de 10cc et « Win » de David Bowie (dévoilé il y a quelques temps), mais aussi Mimi Parker (Low) et Will Oldham pour cette reprise de Waylon Jennings :


29 Mar 05:51

Thoughts On 6 Weeks Without Alcohol

by Erica

When I announced to the interwoobles on a whim that I was quitting drinking for Lent, I expected a little good-natured ribbing and I got it. Friends expressed concern that I’d been replaced by a podperson, asked how the tremors were going, sent me photos of cocktails overlaid with “wish you were here,” like a postcard from Boozeville.

Yeah, it’s possible likely obvious in retrospect that I was drinking too much. I don’t think I’m alone in this. I know I’m not the only mom who’s found that nighttime glass of wine slowly morphing into a nighttime bottle over the years. So I am actually relieved that it’s been a bit of a non-event for me to stop what had become unhealthy levels of habitual drinking.

I know not all of my readers – some of whom have joined along privately with me on this experiment –  have had the same experience. Some folks who tried to stop drinking found it more difficult than was comfortable. And any time you can’t stop a behavior you’d rather not engage in, it’s difficult. It’s a wake-up call.

I don’t want to make it seem like this has been absolutely no big deal – I’ve had a few moments over the past 6 weeks. My husband and I recently booked a trip to Scotland to celebrate our 15th Anniversary, and I did have a celebratory sip of single malt scotch. It’s not every year the grandparents come through with an offer of 2 weeks of childcare, after all.

Nick has continued to drink (though without a partner in crime, his consumption is down, too) and there have been quite a few evenings when his Boulevardier looked so freaking delicious. But generally, it’s been alright.

Wine Glass on Table

Lent Ends Tonight

In the Catholic Church, Lent officially ends at sundown tonight – a day called Maundy Thursday. Tomorrow is the more well-known Good Friday, followed by Holy Saturday and finally, Easter Sunday. That means technically, at 7:28 PM tonight, I could tie one on and still have achieved my goals.

But the larger point of this booze fast was to help me pause, break mindless habits, and approach my relationship with alcohol afresh. So, to that end, here are the biggest things I’ve noticed:


I think it’s time to just admit I’ve reached that certain age. You know the one (if you don’t yet, just wait). It’s when drinking more than 1 or 2 glasses of whatever totally screws with you physically.

Regular readers may recall that I basically didn’t sleep for the 2 years after my son was born, and to this day, getting 8 hours of solid, uninterrupted sleep is like finding a unicorn. After this 6-week alcohol free stretch, I can say with absolute certainty that I sleep, on average, better without alcohol in my system.


Booze is expensive. Because I’m kinda a snob about cocktails, the stuff I drink is definitely expensive. My not-drinking for 6 weeks made a noticeable difference in our out-of-pocket, “fun” expenditures. Savings are getting re-routed to alternate fun things, like this upcoming Scotland trip where we will go and drink exciting foreign booze.

I never actually did this, but it occurred to me that if I paid myself $5 for every drink I didn’t have over 6 weeks, I’d have a nice little wad of cash at the end of the booze fast. $5 is a bit more than ingredient cost for most of the cocktails we enjoy, but easily half to a third of what we’d expect to pay for those same cocktails in a bar.

Diet and Weight

When I first stopped drinking I noticed I was eating way more than I normally do, and was craving sugar like a mofo. I have quite a sweet tooth, but it’s unusual for me to crave candy and starch and bread and cookies and pasta to the degree that I did.

Here’s my theory: alcohol acts a lot like sugar in your system, and somewhere in my brain chemistry or my gut microbe or something, a substitution effort was being made.

Will power is a bit like any other muscle, and honestly, I did not have the strength to say no to both booze and chocolate at the same time. Result? I gained several pounds over those first couple weeks of Lent. Then, about a month ago, those sugar cravings faded back to their normal level – a periodic shout of “hey, remember how donuts are delicious?!” instead of a continual roar of “eat all the carbs!” and my weight started drifting back down to my baseline.

Now, after 6 weeks without alcohol, I actually find my food cravings are a bit different. Not sure if this is from the booze-fast, the change of seasons or what, but right now I can’t go a day without a huge bowl of plain yogurt, and I’m eating a ton of fermented vegetables. It’s like I became accidentally healthy. I’m one chia-seed and kale smoothie bowl away from being completely insufferable.


I have well-managed major depression. I’m totally fine, but I take drugs to help me stay that way. (Your lack of snarky comments on this is appreciated.) When one has a mood disorder like depression, alcohol is often used as a self-medicating coping strategy. When my depression was active, I absolutely used alcohol to numb the numbness.

Anyone who’s struggled with a mood disorder – anxiety, depression, whatever – has been told by every doctor ever that alcohol is a depressant and those prone to being depressed should stay away. Of course, if everyone did what their doctor told them, we’d need a lot less doctors.

So I say this with absolutely no judgement to my fellow depressives – not drinking has really helped my mood stability and if that’s an issue for you, I highly recommend taking a break from drinking just to see. It’s not that I’m in a great mood all the time, but it’s just way easier to get back to that calm middle ground. It’s easier to feel sympathy instead of irritation when my munchkins are extra needy. It’s easier to be calm about last minute changes of plans. It’s easier to see the joy in everyday things. It’s just easier to kinda go with the flow.

Going Forward

Despite all the advantages of teetotaling, I don’t have any plans to give up booze completely and forever. Wine and beer have too much of a place in cuisine for me to say goodbye forever. And honestly, I still really, really enjoy everything about the cocktail process – from the creation to the mixing to the garnish to the sipping.

So what I am looking forward to is putting drinking back into it’s proper context of joyful celebrations, not daily survival. I’m so pleased with how this Lenten observance has gone that I would not hesitate to do another booze-free reset.

Expect cocktail recipes to still pop up on this site, but maybe less frequently. A life in better balance is something to which I’ll always raise a glass.

27 Mar 08:28

Inverness and Ben Wyvis

by (ccgd)

ccgd a posté une photo :

Inverness and Ben Wyvis

Winter in the Highland Capitol

27 Mar 02:51

13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. CLXXXI)

by MessyNessy

1. This Secret Trash Collection in a New York Sanitation Garage


On the second floor of a nondescript warehouse owned by New York City’s Sanitation Department in East Harlem is a treasure trove—filled with other people’s trash.



Created entirely out of objects found by Nelson Molina, a now-retired sanitation worker, who began by decorating his locker.



Unfortunately, this isn’t a collection that keeps regular hours; drop-ins are not allowed but Atlas Obscura had the chance to visit the collection, take some photos, and revel in the vast creative possibilities of trash. 

For more information on the occasional organized tours, see the full article on Atlas Obscura.


2. This Fireplace made from an Old Naval Mine


Found on this Pinterest Steampunk board.


3. Buy a Piece of Hell


For $6.66, you can buy your own square inch of Hell and become part of the elite group of individuals known as the Hell Landowner’s Society. Last year, the town in Michigan with a population of around 260, made the news when the unofficial mayor of Hell listed a five acre property for the devilish asking price of $999,666. You can also serve as mayor of Hell via its website.


4. What Sort of Man Reads Playboy?


Anyone who has opened a Playboy magazine from the 1960s-70s will recognize the “What sort of man” advertising campaign.   Each advert was a full page consisting of (a) a photograph of a male being admired by the ladies and (2) text explaining why they are such awesome consumers – why companies should be lining up to put adverts in Playboy to target these jet-setting big-spenders.







Loads more vintage scans found over on Flashbak.


5. The Most Important Collection of Belle Epoque Prints, Rarely Seen due to Light Sensitivity, is Now Available to Download




More than 1800 high resolution “Fin de Siècle” French Posters & Prints, including iconic works by Toulouse-Lautrec, available on the Van Gogh Museum’s online French print collection.


6. A Race to Preserve disappearing artifacts and Treasures of Soviet Design history


Discarded financial documents, burnt archives at dachas [countryside houses], and metal closets missing keys for more than a decade. A Russian spy drama? It’s actually the true story behind the building of the Moscow Design Museum’s archive in Russia’s first Design Museum.


For a period that stretches from the 1920s to the dissolution of the union seven decades later, this means sifting through what has become discarded as junk and tracking down elderly designers who are surprised to be remembered at all.


The Moscow Design Museum depends on a single dedicated archivist, Valentia Mokrousova.


Full article found on Eye on Design


7. The Shadow of a Hiroshima Victim


At 8:15 on the morning of August 6, 1945, a person sat on a flight of stone stairs leading up to the entrance of the Sumitomo Bank in Hiroshima, Japan. Seconds later, an atomic bomb detonated just 800 feet away, and the person sitting on the stairs was instantly incinerated…As the Google Cultural Institute explains it, “The surface of the surrounding stone steps was turned whitish by the intense heat rays. The place where the person was sitting became dark like a shadow.” Etched into stone steps, ss all that remains after the 1945 atomic Blast. 

Read more on Open Culture.


8. Cuba, on the Edge of Change, is still a Beautiful Island Nation







Check out this stunning photo story found over on The New York Times.


9. The Starlight Room, is a super tiny cabin that lets people sleep in the mountains under the stars


Located near Cortina, Italy, with unobstructed views of the breathtaking surrounding alpine landscape,



For $333 a night. Book it here.


10. This Passive Aggressive Hotel

passiveagrressive hotel

Found on Imgur.


11. Wacky Vintage Restaurants in Los Angeles


The LAist sifted through Los Angeles Public Library’s photo collection and found a treasure trove of retro restaurant snapshots that took us back to a simpler time when restaurants had gigantic items on their roofs and when the programmatic architecture movement was a big thing.







They’ve listed all the original locations of 22 Old-Timey restaurants, find it on the LAist.


12. You can Eat Lunch inside British Parliament


Every year the House of Lords restaurant is opened to the public for a limited period during the Easter recess, which this year is from 4-8 April.

The lunch is priced at £45 per head for three courses with tea/coffee included.


Make a reservation by calling the Peers’ Dining Room Team on 020 7219 3395 (Monday-Thursday 10am-3pm) or book tickets via the website here.


13. How to Send an Email in 1984

27 Mar 02:46

Inside the Secret Collections Backstage at the US Museum of Natural History

by MessyNessy

Birds Collections, National Museum of Natural History

If I had the choice, I would always choose to visit a museum inside out– that is, take a backstage tour of what they don’t display, which in most cases, is much larger than what is actually on display. And we’re not talking about 2 to 3 times larger, we’re talking about secret collections that are 99. 9% larger, hiding behind the museum walls…

Entomology Collections, National Museum of Natural History

To give you an idea of how much we’re missing, The Smithsonian team at the National Museum of Natural History has kindly shared their staff photos, giving us a glimpse of what it would be like to raid all those backstage drawers and cabinets. You could say that museums sure do like to hoard things, but of course, it’s not all just sitting there gathering dust. The NMNH’s collections are special resources that allow the museum to make unique contributions to answering significant scientific questions and play a vital role in advancing scientific knowledge, addressing societal issues, and increasing scientific literacy.

Anthropology Collections, Smithsonian Institution's Museum Support Center


Invertebrate Zoology Collections, National Museum of Natural History

Invertebrate Zoology

The Mineral Sciences' "Blue Room," National Museum of Natural History

Mineral Sciences

Botany Collections, Natural History Building


Pod 4 (Oversize Storage) at the Smithsonian's Museum Support Center (MSC)


Paleobiology Collections, National Museum of Natural History


Fish Collections in Alcohol, National Museum of Natural History


Mouse Collections, National Museum of Natural History


Botany Algae Collection, National Museum of Natural History

Botany – Algae

Whale Skeletons, Museum Support Center

Mammals – Whale

All these fabulous photos are by the late Chip Clark, found on the Smithsonian Collections

24 Mar 10:06

A girl pets a calf in Scotland, 1918. Photograph by William...


love that one

A girl pets a calf in Scotland, 1918. Photograph by William Reed, National Geographic Creative

24 Mar 07:21

Tender Moments Between Friends and Lovers Illustrated in Photos of the Sky by Thomas Lamadieu

by Christopher Jobson

Venice, Italy

We’ve long be fans of illustrator Thomas Lamadieu's quirky depictions of people inhabiting the strange spaces between buildings in his original photographs of the sky. His latest pieces are set against backdrops above South Korea, Italy, Germany, Austria and Spain, some of which also incorporate trees as hairstyles from various landscapes. In a peculiar move Lamadieu utilizes one of the most basic drawing platforms possible to create his artworks: Microsoft Paint. You can see more of his ongoing ‘SkyArt’ series on his website.


Gyeongju, South Korea


Venice, Italy


Gyeongju, South Korea


Barcelona, Spain


Berlin, Germany


Homberg, Germany


Berlin, Germany


Gyeongju, South Korea


Paris, France


Salzburg, Austria

19 Mar 09:50

Meet the Amazonian Terminators of Dahomey, the Most Feared Women in History

by MessyNessy


From daughters to soldiers, from wives to weapons, they remain the only documented frontline female troops in modern warfare history. A sub-saharan band of female terminators who left their European colonisers shaking in their boots, foreign observers named them the Dahomey Amazons while they called themselves N’Nonmiton, which means “our mothers”. Protecting their king on the bloodiest of battlefields, they emerged as an elite fighting force in the Kingdom of Dahomey in, the present-day Republic of Benin. Described as untouchable, sworn in as virgins, swift decapitation was their trademark.


These are not mythical characters. The last surviving Amazon of Dahomey died at the age of 100 in 1979, a woman named Nawi who was discovered living in a remote village. At their height, they made up around a third of the entire Dahomey army; 6,000 strong, but according to European records, they were consistently judged to be superior to the male soldiers in effectiveness and bravery.


Their history traces as far back as the 17th century, and theories suggest they started as a corps of elephant hunters who impressed the Dahomey King with their skills while their husbands were away fighting other tribes. A different theory suggests that because women were the only people permitted in the King’s palace with him after dark, they naturally became his bodyguards. Whichever is true, only the strongest, healthiest and most courageous women were recruited for the meticulous training that would turn them into battle-hungry killing machines, feared throughout African for more than two centuries.


They were armed with Dutch muskets and machetes and by the early 19th century, they had become increasingly militaristic and fiercely devoted to their King. Girls were recruited and given weapons as young as eight years-old, and while some women in society became soldiers voluntarily, others were also enrolled by husbands who complained of unruly wives they couldn’t control.


From the start, they were trained to be strong, fast, ruthless and able to withstand great pain. Exercises that resembled a form of gymnastics included jumping over walls covered with thorny acacia branches. Sent on long 10-day “Hunger Games” style expeditions in the jungle without supplies, only their machete, they became fanatical about battle. To prove themselves, they had to be twice as tough as the men. Often seen as the last (wo)men standing in battle, unless expressly ordered to retreat by their King, the Dahomey women fought to the death– defeat was never an option.


The N’Nonmiton women were not allowed to marry or have children while serving as soldiers and were considered married to the King in a vow of chastity, focused solely on their semi-sacred status as elite warriors. Not even the King dared to break with their celibacy vows, and if you were not the King, to even touch these women meant certain death.


In the Spring of 1863, the British explorer Richard Burton arrived in the west african coastal nation of Dahomey on a mission for the British government, trying to make peace with the Dahomey people. The Dahomey were a warring nation who actively participated in the slave trade, turning it to their advantage as they captured and sold their enemies. But it was the elite ranks of Dahomey female warriors that amazed Burton.

“Such was the size of the female skeleton and the muscular development of the frame that in many cases, femininity could be detected only by the bosom.”


The female soldiers were said to be structured in parallel with the army as a whole, with a central elite wing acting as the king’s bodyguards, flanked on both sides, each under separate female commanders. Some accounts even say that each male soldier in the army had a N’Nonmiton counterpart. Burton gave the army the nickname of “Black Sparta”.


The women learnt survival skills, discipline and mercilessness. Insensitivity training was a key part of becoming a soldier for the King. As illustrated above, one recruitment ceremony involved testing if potential soldiers were ruthless enough to throw bound human prisoners of war to their deaths from a fatal height.


A French delegation visiting Dahomey in 1880s reported witnessing an Amazon girl of about sixteen during training. The records note that she took three swings of the machete before completely removing the head of a prisoner. She wiped the blood from her sword and swallowed it. Her fellow Amazons screamed in frenzied approval. It was customary in the region as warriors of the time to return home with their heads and genitals of opponents.


Despite the brutal training they were to endure as the King’s soldiers, for many women, it was a chance to escape lives of forced domestic drudgery. Serving in the N’Nonmiton offered women the opportunity to “rise to positions of command and influence”, taking prominent roles in the Grand Council, debating the policy of the kingdom. They could even become wealthy as single independent women, living in the King’s compound of course but surrounded with supplies, tobacco and alcohol at their disposal. They all had slaves too. Stanley Alpern, author of the only full-length English-language study of them, wrote “when Amazons walked out of the palace, they were preceded by a slave girl carrying a bell. The sound told every male to get out of their path, retire a certain distance, and look the other way.”


Even after French expansion in African in 1890s subdued the Dahomey people, their reign of fear continued. Uniformed French soldiers who took Dahomey women to bed were often found dead in the morning, their throats slit open. During the Franco-Dahomean Wars, many of the French soldiers fighting in Dahomey had hesitated before shooting or bayoneting the N’Nonmiton. Underestimating their female opponents led to many of the French casualties as special units of the female Amazons were assigned specifically to target French officers.


By the end of the Second Franco-Dahomean War, the French prevailed, but only after bringing in the Foreign Legion, armed with machine guns. The last of the King’s force to surrender, most of the Amazons died in the 23 battles fought during the second war. The legionnaires later wrote about the “incredible courage and audacity” of the Amazons.


In 2015, a French street artist, YZ, begun her own campaign to pay tribute to the fierce female fighters of the 19th century. Working in Senegal, south of Dakar, she pastes large-format photograph prints she found in local archives of the warrior women. You can see more of her installations here.


While they were also said to be the most feared women to walk the earth, they would also change how women were seen and respected in Africa and beyond.

19 Mar 09:47

PJ Harvey clippe « The Community Hope »

by Julien

she iis back too



On vous en a déjà parlé, « The Hope Six Demolition Project », le nouvel album de PJ Harvey créé en public dans le cadre d’un concept live artistique au musée de Londres, sortira le 15 avril chez Island.

« The Community of Hope », un nouvel extrait, vient d’être clippé :



The Hope Six Demolition Project:
01 The Community of Hope
02 The Ministry of Defence
03 A Line in the Sand
04 Chain of Keys
05 River Anacostia
06 Near the Memorials to Vietnam and Lincoln
07 The Orange Monkey
08 Medicinals
09 The Ministry of Social Affairs
10 The Wheel
11 Dollar, Dollar

18 Mar 21:17

Fenouils braisés aux anchois et aux câpres (et au piment)

by Gracianne

this one you could try Alan
fennel anchovy and capers
and it would even make you work your french!

Les italiens ont le génie des légumes. De trois-quatre ingrédients tout simples, ils font un « contorno »  de choix. C’est un joli mot « contorno », contour plutôt qu’accompagnement. En Italie le plat de viande ou de poisson étant présenté seul, souvent le contorno est un plat de légumes à part entière, pouvant se suffire à lui-même. Ce qui explique sans doute le soin avec lequel il est
18 Mar 21:14

un trèfle à 4 feuilles – French expression

by Anne

J’ai trouvé un trèfle à 4 feuilles le jour de la Saint-Patrick. Je vais avoir de la chance. »
“I found a four-leaf clover on Saint Patrick’s day. I’m going to be lucky

un trèfle à 4 feuilles - French expression


Trèfle à 4 feuilles

What does the French expression ' trèfle à 4 feuilles  ' mean? How is it used in a sentence?

un trèfle à 4 feuilles means ‘a four-leaf clover/shamrock’. It brings good luck when you find it.

  • « J’ai trouvé un trèfle à 4 feuilles le jour de la Saint-Patrick. Je vais avoir de la chance. »
  • “I found a four-leaf clover on Saint Patrick’s day. I’m going to be lucky.”

Try using this expression at least once today.

Related: French superstitions . Treize à table .


The post un trèfle à 4 feuilles – French expression appeared first on French Etc.

18 Mar 12:05

Sélection scientifique de la semaine (numéro 211)

by Pierre Barthélémy

L'observatoire de Mauna Loa, à Hawaï. © Mary Miller.

– L'observatoire de Mauna Loa à Hawaï surveille l'atmosphère en continu depuis les années 1950. Jamais il n'avait enregistré une hausse du taux de CO2 aussi importante qu'en 2015. (en anglais)

– Résumé (édifiant) des prises de position de Donald Trump sur la science, la médecine et l'environnement. (en anglais)

– Il y a cinq ans, le 11 mars 2011, un tsunami dévastait la côte nord-est du Japon et provoquait une catastrophe nucléaire à la centrale de Fukushima. Beaucoup d'articles reviennent sur cet événement majeur. Une petite sélection ici :

– Il y a quelques années, sur mon précédent blog, j'avais écrit un billet intitulé "Le jour où des hackers pirateront le réseau électrique". Ce jour est désormais arrivé. (en anglais)

– Démographie : pourquoi le nombre de décès va mécaniquement augmenter en France au cours des prochaines années.

– Le prochain Einstein sera-t-il africain ? Un joli raccourci pour s'interroger sur la place de la science et de l'innovation en Afrique.

– Alors que l'Europe s'apprête à lancer la mission ExoMars vers la planète rouge, la NASA fête sa sonde Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter qui, depuis dix ans, envoie des photos époustouflantes de Mars comme on peut le voir dans la vidéo ci-dessous. (en anglais)

– Le débat de la semaine sur ce blog, c'était autour de mon billet sur la découverte de la plus lointaine des galaxies jamais détectées à ce jour.

– La revue Nature consacre un dossier à la révolution CRISPR, technique d'ingénierie du gène. (en anglais)

– Diabète : des Français dans la course au pancréas artificiel.

– Faut-il s'inquiéter de la présence de molécules suspectées d'être des perturbateurs endocriniens dans nombre de produits d'hygiène corporelle ?

– En France, l'infarctus touche de plus en plus de femmes jeunes.

– Une nouvelle dramatique peut littéralement briser le cœur. Mais une joie intense peut avoir le même effet...

– Paléoanthropologie : comment nos lointains ancêtres sont-ils passés du modèle grosse mâchoire-petit cerveau au modèle petite mâchoire-gros cerveau ? Probablement en écrasant les aliments, et notamment la viande, pour plus facilement les mâcher. (en anglais)

– Confrontés à l'étrange comportement d'un groupe de chimpanzés, des chercheurs évoquent la possibilité d'un rituel sacré... (en anglais)

– Certains animaux sont-ils négligés par la science à cause de leur apparence "hideuse" ?

– Pour finir, je vous conseille de jeter un œil sur ma chronique "Improbablologie" publiée chaque mardi dans le supplément Science & Médecine du Monde. Au menu cette semaine : l'exploration négligée de la foutaise...

Pierre Barthélémy (suivez-moi ici sur Twitter ou bien là sur Facebook)

18 Mar 07:36

Colour Photos of the Legendary Parisian Food Market, Les Halles in 1956

by MessyNessy


It was known as the “Belly of Paris”, as famously christened by the French novelist Émile Zola; Les Halles was the food market of 19th century Paris, the hub of all food distribution in the city and one of the true wonders of working class Paris.


These photographs taken by American Life photographer Thomas Mcavoy in 1956 were taken in the wee hours of the morning as the market was beginning to wind down from its most hectic shift. While the city slept, the meat and fish markets would go into full steam, trading and selling thousands of tons of wholesale produce in the middle of the night under the gigantic steel arches.



As dawn broke outside the pavilion, a labyrinth of colourful farmer and merchant stalls contributed to the bustling ambience of Les Halles, a seemingly indestructible monument to the great tradition of French markets.


And yet, within ten years of these photographs being taken, this 800 year-old glorious food market would indeed disappear. Partly a victim of its own success, the volume of traffic to and from the market began to cause chaos in the centre of Paris. In a new market economy, Les Halles became outdates and its facilities were in need of massive repairs.


The site was soon earmarked for destruction and Paris undertook what has been called “the move of the century”. In 1971, the bustling wholesale market was dismantled and relocated to the suburb of Rungis, outside Paris. It is now the largest wholesale food market in the world. Two of the glass and cast iron market pavilions were and re-erected elsewhere; one in the Parisian suburb of Nogent-sur-Marne, the other in Yokohama, Japan.









Les Halles retains mythical status in the minds of Parisians and anyone else who was lucky enough to have experienced it.

Photographs originally found in the LIFE Archives, retouched images via Paris Unplugged

18 Mar 07:28

Hear Moby Dick Read in Its Entirety by Benedict Cumberbatch, John Waters, Stephen Fry, Tilda Swinton & More

by Ted Mills

moby dick big read
Image of Moby Dick by David Austen.

Three years ago, Plymouth University kicked off Moby Dick The Big Read, promising a full audio book of Herman Melville’s influential novel, with famous (and not so famous) voices taking on a chapter each. When we first wrote about it here, only six chapters had been unveiled, but boasted actors like Tilda Swinton (reading chapter one below), author Nigel Williams, and poet and journalist Musa Okwonga.

We’re glad to say the project, created out of a 2011 conference by artist Angela Cockayne and writer Philip Hoare, has reached its successful conclusion. And they’ve certainly called on an impressive roster of celebrity readers: Stephen Fry, Neil Tennant, Fiona Shaw, Will Self, Benedict Cumberbatch, China Miéville, Tony Kushner, John Waters, Simon Callow, Sir David Attenborough, even Prime Minister David Cameron. Pulitzer Prize winning poet Mary Oliver finishes off the whole project, reading the Epilogue.

All 135 chapters are available to be listened to in your browserdownloaded on iTunes, streamed on SoundCloud, or even heard as a podcast. However, do check them out online, as each chapter comes with a work of art each created by 135 contemporary artists such as Matthew Barney, Oliver Clegg, and Matthew Benedict. (See David Austen’s work above.) The project is a mammoth undertaking befitting such a monumental book, and if you’ve never read it this just might be the way to go.

Copies of Moby Dick can be found in our collection of Free eBooks. Meanwhile, this big reading will be added to our collection of Free Audio Books.

h/t Kottke

Related Content:

An Illustration of Every Page of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick

How Ray Bradbury Wrote the Script for John Huston’s Moby Dick (1956)

Orson Welles Reads From Moby-Dick: The Great American Director Takes on the Great American Novel

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18 Mar 07:22

Classrooms without Walls: A Forgotten Age of Open-air Schools

by MessyNessy

never heard about this before!


This old black and white photograph pops out at me every now and again on the internet, and it just about sums up my feelings on what my education should have looked like. The photograph was taken in 1957 in the Netherlands where open air schools were quite popular at the time. The idea of an al fresco classroom should be a very obvious one if the weather permits it, but unfortunately, most traditional western schools these days don’t put much emphasis on the benefits of learning outside of four walls.

But with Spring racing around the corner, I decided to look a little further into this photograph to see if I couldn’t find more examples of open air schools that might plant the seed. As the sunshine provocatively creeps over my own work desk, beckoning me to burst out of the office, this is a call to our educators and teachers– swing open those windows, let the birds listen in and introduce Spring to the classroom…



When school was literally out for the summer…



In the early 20th century, open air schools became fairly common in Northern Europe, originally designed to prevent and combat the widespread rise of tuberculosis that occurred in the period leading up to the Second World War. Schools were built on the concept that exposure to fresh air, good ventilation and exposure to the outside were paramount!


The idea quickly became popular and an open air school movement was introduced for healthy children too, encouraging all students to be outdoors as much as possible. It all started with the creation of the Waldeschule (literally, “forest school”), built in Charlottenburg, Germany in 1904 and designed to provide its students with the most exposure to the sun. Classes were taught in the surrounding forest, which was believed to help build independence and self-esteem in urban youths.




Inspired by the forest schools, open air classroom education caught on in other European countries and by 1937, there were 96 open air day schools in operation throughout Britain. America was eager to adopt them too and established its first open-air school as early as 1908 in Providence, Rhode Island.

birmingham-1911-photo (1)

Uffculme Open-Air School, Birmingham, Great Britain, classroom

france-1931-interior (1)

Suresnes Open-Air School in Paris 

They were so sure about its effectiveness to educate, the movement became organised in 1922 when the first International Congress took place in Paris at the initiative of The League for Open Air Education.

outdoor-school-Afb2 Tweede Gemeentelijke Openluchtschool

The construction of a traditional ‘pavilion plan’ school buildings had a similar internal layout to that used in hospital architecture, with long window-lined hallways.


Openluchtschool (Open Air School) in Amsterdam built by Johannes Duiker in 1930

In the 1930s, classrooms could transform into outdoor terraces with clever sliding doors, retractable roofs and were fitted easily moveable, lightweight furniture. The unique style of education remained popular until the 1970s. After the introduction of antibiotics and the improvement of social conditions at home, open air schools were needed less and less after World War II and were gradually phased out.





It may very well just be my own growing Springtime urge to burst outside every time the sun shows its face in town, but I vote we bring back outdoor schools. Even if we’re too late to enjoy the benefits, what better a way to get future generations enthusiastic about learning than in classrooms with fewer walls?










Let their imaginations breathe, run further and have bigger ideas for the future…

Image Sources: DelCampe, Fotoleren, Flickr