This week has been pretty crazy (in a good way, though!), so I was thrilled to stumble across Gemma Correll’s genius “Skycats” series in the midst of all the madness. Her comics are so cute and witty—I couldn’t help but laugh out loud and smile at her illustrations.
Studying Spanish every day has reminded me of this wonderful Maptia blog post I came across a few weeks ago. It contains 11 illustrations of words in other languages that have no English equivalents.
Some of my favorites:
The comments on the post are just as interesting! Readers have noted other fantastic words that we could use in English—like mahmihlapinatapai, which is “a look shared by two people, each wishing that the other will offer something that they both desire but are unwilling to suggest or offer themselves,” in theВ Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego.
Sorry, couldn’t resist! And it doesn’t help that I’ve been listening to that song nonstop, for weeks.
But in all seriousness, definitely check out National Geographic‘s “The Serengeti Lion.” During several trips to the Serengeti between July 2011 and January 2013, photographer Michael вЂњNickвЂќ Nichols and videographer Nathan Williamson used cameras mounted on remote control cars to get super up close to lions. The result: amazing access to the big cats. (And their cubs!)
The footage is truly amazing, as is the portal they built to display it. You really feel like you can reach out and pet the majestic felines!
“Voice Tunnel” is the signature art installation at this year’s Summer Streets. (Three Saturdays when nearly seven miles of NYC streets are closed to cars, and open to pedestrians and bikers.)
Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer lined the Park Avenue Tunnel,В which runs from 33rd to 42nd Street, with 300 theatrical spotlights and 150 speakers. Pedestrians who pass through can speak into an intercom that records and loops their voices—and affects the brightness of the lights. The result will be constantly changing light and sound patterns.
I appreciate how understated the installation seems—how it utilizes the space but doesn’t completely take it over. Because for me, one of the coolest parts of experiencing it would just be walking through the tunnel.
Turns out, that was one of Lozano-Hemmer’s goals. As he puts it, in the video below:
I wanted to do something that would not be a big intervention because the tunnel, itself, is quite pretty—the beautiful sort of rock shapes, the metal cladding. You feel special just walking into it.
I don’t know too much about Paraguay, beyond the fact that I want to visit it. The country is less of a mainstream tourist destination than its neighbors, Brazil and Argentina—which makes it all the more appealing to me. And after learning about the “Los RecicladosвЂќ orchestra,” I want to go there even more.
Just outside of Asuncion, Paraguay’s capital, is Cateura, a slum built upon a garbage dump. To give its young residents a hopeful alternative to the poverty and strife around them, local music teacher Favio Chavez started a youth orchestra—where every instrument is handmade from trash from the landfill.
Cellos are crafted from oil drums, flutes from water pipes. But what’s most astounding is how good these instruments sound. Check out the video below to see how Chavez and “Cola,” a trash picker, create the instruments, and hear the kids play—it’s truly amazing!
(Landfillharmonic, a documentary about the orchestra, is scheduled to be released next year)
Using data from ourairports.com, James Davenport,В a Ph.D. candidate in astronomy at the University of Washington, plotted the locations of 45,132 runways around the world. The result: a map of the world.В (I know it’s a little hard to see, so please click on the image to view the high res version.)
As Davenport puts it:
Think about that number for a moment: there areВ at leastВ 45,000 places to land an airplane!В These range from small dirt fields to LAX, and the data seems to be more complete in the USA. Still, runways on every continent, seemingly every country.