Alejandro Almaraz creates composite images of world leaders in his series, “Portraits of Power.”


The Inner Light

What Shakespeare saw in Montaigne’s reflections
—Although he’s revered as a great classic writer, Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533-1592) is an author we read because we BOB.v20-07.2014-10-27.Heitman.Everettwant to, not because we have to. He’s intimate, erudite, chatty, and expansive—qualities well suited to the peculiar genre he essentially created. While puttering around his tower library in 16th-century France, Montaigne crafted conversational observations into familiar prose, inventing the personal essay as a new literary form. Others had composed essays before Montaigne, but they wrote as kings, soldiers, officials, or philosophers. Montaigne wrote simply as himself—a bemused and befuddled French aristocrat trying to make sense of it all.
Michel de Montaigne
–Michel de Montaigne
—“Authors communicate themselves unto the world,” he told readers, “by some strange and special mark; I the first by my general disposition, as Michel de Montaigne, not as a grammarian, or poet or lawyer.”

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Abandoned NJ

“Suicide caging” inside an abandoned mental health facility. Staircases were frequently fenced in all the way
to the ceiling to prevent patients from jumping to their deaths.


How Edward Snowden Changed Journalism

It had been evident for some time before Snowden surfaced that best practices in investigative reporting and source YkjEPX4protection needed to change. Credit Press image for Citizenfour.
—“Citizenfour,” the new documentary about Edward Snowden, by Laura Poitras, is, among other things, a work of journalism about journalism. It opens with quotations from correspondence between Poitras and a new source who identifies himself only as Citizenfour. This source turns out to be Snowden. Soon, Poitras and Glenn Greenwald, at the time a columnist for the Guardian, travel to Hong Kong to meet Snowden in a hotel room.
—They don’t know, at this point, if Snowden is who he says he is. They don’t know if his materials are authentic. Yet Poitras turns on her camera right away. Greenwald, who attended law school, questions Snowden, quite effectively. Gradually, Snowden’s significance becomes clear. The sequence is enclosing and tense and has many remarkable facets. One is that we witness a historically significant exercise in reporting and source validation as it happens. It is as if Bob Woodward had filmed his initial meeting, in a garage, with Deep Throat.

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Statue or Bust: Around the World in Lenins – In Focus

Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Bolshevik Revolution, founder of Russia’s Communist Party, and premier of the Soviet Union, has been dead since 1924, but his image has lived on worldwide for nearly a century. With the backing of the Soviet government, tens of thousands of statues, busts, and monuments to Lenin were erected in former Soviet states and allied nations. These likenesses became worldwide symbols of communism and the Soviet Union, and they have ridden the tides of fortune and disfavor over the decades. Dismantling Lenin statues is a symbolic act that goes back to World War II, and continues through the present day; last week, protestors in Ukraine tore down their country’s largest Lenin monument. Collected here are photos of Lenin monuments from across the world, including Lithuania, Latvia, Mongolia, Ghana, Ukraine, Cuba, Russia, Romania, Vietnam, Georgia, Svalbard, Chechnya, Tajikistan, Ethiopia, Bulgaria—and Seattle. [36 photos]


1942. “Effect of gasoline shortage in Washington, D.C.” Medium format nitrate negative by Albert Freeman for the Office of War Information

via @.

Today’s picture shows a cotton bale as it is coming out of the press. At the cotton gin, the raw cotton bowls are dehusked, the seeds are separated from the cotton fibers, and the cotton fibers are then cleaned. Then the fibers are pressed into the huge bales. The cotton press can be seen right behind the worker. The picture was taken in 1938 in Arkansas.


Why do so many people avoid taking medical tests?

by Jon Fortenbury…The Atlantic

You can’t tell that Katrina Walker has a 50 percent chance of having a disease that could kill her in the next couple of decades.os3dZsX
–The 28-year-old Michigan native likes to paint, read, and watch hockey; she recently posted on Facebook looking for manicure recommendations; she’s married, without kids, and is an activity assistant at a skilled nursing center.
–Walker might also have Huntington’s disease, a degenerative disease that her mom has, giving her a 50 percent chance of having the Huntington’s gene. Huntington’s causes nerve cells in the brain to break down, and typically hits between the ages of 30 and 50, starting with mood changes and depression. In its latest stage it can cause an inability to speak or make voluntary movements. Most people diagnosed with Huntington’s die from complications of the disease, such as choking and pneumonia, on average 10 to 20 years after the onset of symptoms. Walker could take a test to find out if she has the gene, but she hasn’t yet.
–“Knowing isn’t going to prevent me from having it. At this point in life, I don’t need to know.”

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Wolf von dem Bussche, American Colossus, portfolio “Homage to Max Ernst”, 1969 (551.1982.a)

via Fans in a Flashbulb.

Michel and Edmond Navratil who were dubbed the “Titanic orphans”, after their father who was fleeing to America with them after separating from his wife put them in the last lifeboat successfully launched from the Titanic, before going down with the ship, 1912

street art

Flip page by page through a scan of a nearly flawless copy of Action Comics #1 — the first appearance of Superman


Why Do We Carve Pumpkins? | Mental Floss


Dr. X’s Free Associations.

this isn’t happiness™ Peteski.

Shadia photographed by Erik Tranberg featured in Nextdoormodel Magazine


picasso drawing


You Can Tell a Story Without Fucking, But You Can’t Talk About Fucking Without a Story

I’ve lain on my back as a boyfriend poured maple syrup across my breasts, down my abdomen, and over my genitals, and then licked it off (it was in Vermont, so it was topical). I have given fellatio with grapes in my mouth. In a bed and breakfast on Cape Cod, a young man made real his fantasy of eating ice cream off of my ass — it was, if memory serves, chocolate. Both ginger and ice have seen the inside of my ass.



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Top Science News


Brown Eyes by Woody Guthrie on Grooveshark

A curious French girl looks over a German soldier after the fall of France, June 1940.

Infographic: 15 Things To Know About Your Pee

Previously, we featured an infographic on poop-related facts and another one that tests you on the knowledge of your waste.
This time, US-based Medical Billing & Coding has put together an infographic detailing 15 fun facts that you might not know about your pee.


abdullah ibrahim

The Mountain of the Night by Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand) on GroovesharkKing Kong by Abdullah Ibrahim on GroovesharkJust You, Just Me by Abdullah Ibrahim on Grooveshark

Metro Stations in Naples Converted Into Beautiful Art Galleries

Over the past decade, the city of Naples, Italy, has been transforming sections of the subway system into full-fledged art galleries by contemporary artists to make the urban area’s public transport centres more attractive. Under the direction of Achille Bonto Oliva, former director of the Venice Biennale, a total of 14 stations (as of 2014) distributed along the lines 1 and 6 of the Metro network, have been decorated with over 200 works by more than 100 artists and architects such as Alessandro Mendini, Anish Kapoor, Gae Aulenti, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Karim Rashid, and Sol LeWitt.

Possibly the most beautiful of them is the Toledo Metro Station opened in September 2012, and designed by the Spanish firm of architect Oscar Tusquets Blanca. Designed around the theme of water and light, it features two mosaics by South African artist William Kentridge, as well as works by Francesco Clemente, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Shirin Nehsat and Oliviero Toscani.


Can Wild Pigs Ravaging U.S. Be Stopped?

Wild pigs like these trapped by wildlife agents come in many sizes and colors.
—For centuries wild pigs caused headaches for landowners in the American South, but the foragers’ small populations remained 1F911BF0-698D-45D6-880E132FE5AF2B5C_articlestable. In the past 30 years, though, their ranks have swollen until suddenly disease-carrying, crop-devouring swine have spread to 39 states. Now, wild pigs are five million strong and the targets of a $20-million federal initiative to get their numbers under control.
Settlers first brought the ancestors of today’s pigs to the South in the 1600s and let them roam free as a ready supply of fresh pork. Not surprisingly, some of the pigs wandered off and thrived in the wild, thanks to their indiscriminate appetites.
—Wildlife biologists can’t really explain how pigs from a few pockets were able to extend their range so rapidly in recent years. “If you look at maps of pig distribution from the eighties, there’s a lot of pigs, but primarily in Florida and Texas,” says Stephen Ditchkoff, a wildlife ecologist at Auburn University. “Today, populations in the southeast have exploded. In the Midwest and the north it’s grown to be a significant problem.” Ditchkoff believes sportsmen transported the pigs so they could hunt them on their land.


Fake deaths, cheap resurrections, and dealing with real grief · For Our Consideration

Five months ago, less than a week after her 24th birthday, my fiancée, Shanna, collapsed. 141393001023071No one knew it at the time, but a blood clot had broken loose from her leg and made its way into her lung. Once it was there, it did a number of things: It put pressure on her heart, dropping her blood pressure. It made it almost impossible for her to breathe. And, despite the best efforts of nurses and paramedics and ambulance drivers and ER doctors and a thousand desperate wishes since, by the time an hour had passed, it had killed her.
—I was there for most of it. There, as she lay on the floor, scared but fighting, while I held her hand and mopped her brow and told her to breathe for me. There when the paramedics fought to keep her conscious and alert. There, with her family, when the emergency room doctors were finally forced to concede that no amount of CPR would make her heart beat again. There when they declared her dead, my partner, my love, my best friend.

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Sexy Women Sitting On Vibrators Reading Sexy Books [with videos]


Education in America Back against the blackboard

American teachers need more money, training, feedback, collaboration, mentoring and observation throughout their 20141018_BKP005_0careers
—She needs feedback too
—The Teacher Wars. By Dana Goldstein. Doubleday; 349 pages; $26.95. Buy from
Building a Better Teacher. By Elizabeth Green. W.W. Norton; 372 pages; $27.95 and £18.99. Buy from,
—WHAT is to be done about America’s schools? Students are graduating, if they graduate at all, with a poorer grasp of writing, reading and maths than their counterparts in other countries. And the poorest students are often warehoused in the worst schools, ensuring that public education is a poor vehicle for social mobility. Reformers have spent decades reducing class sizes and introducing standardised exams, to little effect. Lately many have taken a new tack—blaming bad teachers and the unions that protect them.
—Studies on good teachers have encouraged the weeding out of bad ones. When a California judge recently struck down teacher-tenure, education reformers around the country cheered. For policymakers the solution is now plain: use data (such as exams) to ditch the duds, reward the stars and steer the strongest teachers to the neediest students.

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Photographer Khalik Allah Captures The Ups And Downs Of Nightlife In Harlem, From Smiles To Struggles – Beautiful/Decay Artist & Design


American motel

Bel Air Palms Motel (El Monte, CA)


want more science, tech stuff? go here


The Red Sox: Slivers of light at Fenway Park – The Big Picture

There were more shadows than light at Fenway Park this year. Although the World Champion Red Sox finished dead last this year, nearly 3 million fans watched them play. More than 230,000 more visitors went on Fenway Park tours since the Red Sox popped champagne last October. Asked if more people come to see Fenway than see the Red Sox this year, Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz who lost the last game of the season against Derek Jeter and the Yankees smiled. “The ballpark probably,” said the Texas native. “There’s a lot of people who travel to New England because there’s a lot of history here and Fenway is one of those places that’s got a lot of history. Most everybody I talk to wants to see Fenway, not me pitch.” Because there were few highlights this season we take a last look at the slivers of light, patterns and people that make Fenway a special place. Meanwhile, game 1 of the World Series begins Tuesday, with the San Francisco Giants playing the Kansas City Royals.–By Stan Grossfeld


Café…René Burri…1961


Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 3.13.05 PM


Harnessing depression: One Ars writer’s journey

Last November, my father took his own life. I’m frequently aware of the fact that the depression which helped XiV9OoTdrive him to that dark fate lives on in my genes. That’s a doozy of a legacy to inherit, but it’s one that has not been wholly negative for me.
—Getting to the point where I could write this article involved a series of debates. I debated talking about my father’s suicide; I debated “outing” myself as a depression sufferer; I debated not talking about it and what that meant. I decided in the end that I would be the worst kind of hypocrite if I believed that dialog about depression was essential but was unwilling to start that dialog myself. I hope that my story can help others understand why the traits that cause depression have been both a plague and a gift to so many.
—Nothing’s easy when talking about depression. Navigating this sensitive topic is fraught with traps and taboos that can make Israel the good option at dinner discussion. But this dialog is important, and hopefully we can lift the grim veil that hangs over this subject before disaster strikes someone we know and love. Even as it goes underreported, suicide now kills more people than car accidents in the US.


Sage Sohier: At Home With Themselves: Same-Sex Couples in 1980s America (PHOTOS).


French Civilians place flowers on the bodies of dead American soldiers, Normandy 1944.

Vanea H nude in 12 photos


First act of sexual intercourse ‘was done sideways, square-dance style’ | w/video

The first act of copulation has been traced back to ancient animals that were endowed with such cumbersome sexual organs they had to mate side by side.

Fossilised features of antiarch fish suggest that early intercourse was not the smoothest of affairs, with males faced with the task of steering their bony L-shaped organs between twin genital plates that adorned the females like tiny cheese graters.

The male’s organ was nearly as long as his body and fixed rigid, leading paleontologists to finally work out that the creature’s small, jointed arm-like appendages were probably of help in achieving the correct position.“Fundamentally, they could not have done it in the missionary position,” said John Long, professor of palaeontology at Flinders University in Adelaide.


San Francisco in 1920. “Oldsmobile touring car.” Its dapper driver signaling either “hello” or a right turn

via Shorpy Historic Picture Archive | Vintage Photos & Fine Art Prints.

Today’s picture shows the cotton being weighed at the end of the pay. Workers were paid based on how much they picked, so their bags had to be weighed. The picture was taken in 1935 in Arkansas.

via Old Picture of the Day.

Scientists Reveal the Real Face of King Tut | Mental Floss


Food Hacks Are Pointless and Depressing

At some point in the past few years, the internet burst breathlessly into our kitchens and began rummaging around in the cupboards. It started slamming grapes between lids and insisting they needed to be cut in half. It poked spaghetti into our coffee pots LIKE A BOSS and shouted “HACK” in our faces while we nodded along, confused. Quietly, we wonder to ourselves whether (LIFE CHANGING!) putting a fork in an Oreo solves any kind of problem, or if serving crudités in an old muffin tin (ZOMG!) is really making our mind equal blown.


Poor kids who do everything right don’t do better than rich kids who do everything wrong


ScienceTake Video Channel – nice videos

See how monkeys teach manners, elephants show empathy and ants imitate water in ScienceTake, combining cutting-edge research from the world of science with stunning footage of the natural world in action.