Kungur Ice Cave is a karst cave located in the Urals, near the town Kungur in Perm Krai, Russia, on the banks of the Sylva River. With a length of explored passages over 5 km, it is one of Russia’s biggest karst caves and the only one in the country equipped for visits by tourists. Over thousands of years rainwater dissolved the soft rocks and formed a system of spacious underground halls, filled with rocks of peculiar shapes. Snow-melt dripping through the porous rocks had frozen in the cold interior of the cave to turn into ice stalactites that hang from the ceiling in completely unpredictable forms and remarkable sizes. Some of the hanging icicles have reached the floor and formed spectacular ice columns shaped like giant hourglasses.
For many decades, suicide was the unquestioned final chapter of Vincent van Gogh’s legend. But in their 2011 book, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographers Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith offered a far more plausible scenario—that Van Gogh was killed—only to find themselves under attack. Now, with the help of a leading forensic expert, the authors take their case a step further.
Cavemen to whom modern technology would seem frightening and confusing. And yet, some of their ancient technologies have turned out to be at least as good as, if not better than, the stuff our fancy-pants scientists today have developed. No, we’re not talking about “fire” and “the wheel” — we’re talking about …
The Big Questions: Tackling the Problems of Philosophy with Ideas from Mathematics, Economics, and Physics
—I never met Grothendieck. I was never in the same room with him. I never even saw him from a distance. But whenever I think about math — which is to say, pretty much every day — I feel him hovering over my shoulder. I’ve strived to read the mind of Grothendieck as others strive to read the mind of God.
—Those who did know him tend to describe him as a man of indescribable charisma, with a Christ-like ability to inspire followers. I’ve heard it said that when Grothendieck walked into a room, you might have had no idea who he was or what he did, but you definitely knew you wanted to devote your life to him.
—And people did.
How bad lawyering and an unforgiving law cost condemned men their last appeal.
The stars Mary-Kate Olsen and Lauren Hutton are laughing on a beat-up couch in their Harper’s Bazaar shoot, dressed for a bohemian ball, the plaster walls behind them cracked and humming in the afternoon light. In a Cosmopolitan U.K. spread, the model Megan McNierney totters down the stairs past a fresco of the Italian countryside, a Hitchcockian madman in pursuit. For a Vs. magazine feature, the actress Amber Heard reclines in a claw foot tub, wearing leather, lace, a commandant’s hat and knee-high boots, a riding crop clutched with menace in her hands.
The Bible tells us that God created Adam and Eve just a few thousand years ago, by some fundamentalist interpretations. Science informs us that this is mere fiction and that man is a few million years old, and that civilization just tens of thousands of years old. Could it be, however, that conventional science is just as mistaken as the Bible stories? There is a great deal of archeological evidence that the history of life on earth might be far different than what current geological and anthropological texts tell us. Consider these astonishing finds:
Sal Locascio, 87, is the oldest medallion-owning cabdriver in New York City. Julie Glassberg for The New York Times
—With a half-century’s worth of experience driving a yellow cab in New York City, Sal Locascio, 87, knows the streets as well as anyone.
—“I do all right for a hillbilly,” said Mr. Locascio, a joking reference to his lifelong residency in the village of Pleasantville, in Westchester County.
What makes a book a classic? That’s one of the most acrimonious, endless and irresolvable discussions in the literary world. Like debates over which books are “great” (and why), it’s also a mostly pointless question, fodder for overcaffeinated undergraduate bull sessions, feral comments threads and other milieus suffering under the delusion that we can arrive at an ironclad consensus on what constitutes literary merit.
—But there are a few places where deciding whether a book is a classic or not has real consequences. One is, obviously, classrooms, but the other is bookstores, as Elizabeth Bluemle of the Flying Pig Bookstore in Vermont let on recently in the blog Shelf Talker. One of the store’s staff members recently asked her if he should shelve Seamus Heaney’s translation of “Beowulf” with poetry or classics. After some discussion, they went with classics, but as Bluemle explains, “Neither is wrong; like many bookstore decisions, it’s booksellers’ choice, which mainly boils down to thinking about where customers are most likely to go looking for a title.”
Do Vonnegut and David Foster Wallace qualify, and if not, why not?
Nicholas Vreeland is a Tibetan Buddhist monk who was educated in Europe, North Africa and the United States. He later pursued a career in photography and in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s worked as an assistant to Irving Penn and Richard Avedon. Vreeland was introduced to his teacher, Khyongla Rato Rinpoche and The Tibet Center in New York by John and Elizabeth Avedon. After many years of study, he went to India to become a monk in 1985 and was awarded a Geshe Degree (Doctorate of Divinity) in 1998.
A portrait often pauses events and allows viewers to look into the eyes of the participants. Candid moments are usually how stories are told, but sometimes the interaction between photographer and subject tells its own story. Like a movie character who breaks the fourth wall, a portrait can arrest our gaze when we’re otherwise focused on narrative, forcing us to consider an individual. Collected here is a celebration of that special genre of photojournalism, the portrait.– By Lane Turner (30 photos total)
Sultan the Pit Pony is a massive 200 metre raised-earth sculpture in Caerphilly, in South Wales. The sculpture is affectionately named “Sultan” after a well-loved pit pony that worked in the local mines hauling tubs of coal. The sculpture itself is built out of coal shale from those mines, as a reminder of an industrial past that changed Britain, and the world, forever. Coal was the fuel of the Industrial Revolution that put Britain at the forefront for over 100 years in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Coal provided the necessary power source for steam engines which became one of Britain’s most significant contributions to human history.
Ponies, horses and mules were commonly used in underground coal mines in North America and Europe, from the mid-18th until the mid-20th century. Previously, children and women were employed to lug or drag coal out of the mines. As the mines became deeper and distances became greater, they were replaced with “pit ponies”.
Numbing the imagination
CGI has become wearingly dull and cliched. Can its deep weirdness be recovered and filmgoers’ minds stretched again?
Rover Boys: 1900
Circa 1900, back at the Handlebars Homestead. Letty, bikes. f5.6 no filter +2″ shirts is what it says on the sleeve… @.
Project publishing 650 letters home written by five brothers serving during WWI, with each one published 100 years to the day after it was writte
Today’s picture shows a train station covered in snow. The picture was takeni n 1916. These look like the really old school steam locomotives. I am thinking this is probably in Alaska, as the dogs look like sled dogs….via.
The Mike Wallace Interview – 66 interviews with luminaries of the 1950s, such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Frank Lloyd Wright and Kirk Douglas
Lucien Clergue, Matador Antonio Ordonez, San Sebastian, Spain, 1966 (846.1984.d)
via Fans in a Flashbulb.
And they brought back data that will help us understand what caused them (and lots of amazing pictures).
The great African portraitist Seydou Keïta lived in Bamako, Mali from 1921 to 2001. A self-taught photographer, he opened a studio in 1948 and specialized in portraiture. Seydou Keïta soon photographed all of Bamako and his portraits gained a reputation for excellence throughout West Africa.
—>His numerous clients were drawn by the quality of his photos and his great sense of aesthetics. Many were young men, dressed in European style clothing. Some customers brought in items they wanted to be photographed with but Keita also had a choice of European clothing and accessories – watches, pens, radios, scooter, etc. – which he put at their disposal in his studio. The women came in flowing robes often covering their legs and their throats, only beginning to wear Western outfits in the late 60s.
What a growing body of research reveals about the biology of human happiness—and how to navigate the (temporary) slump in middle age
—This summer, a friend called in a state of unhappy perplexity. At age 47, after years of struggling to find security in academia, he had received tenure. Instead of feeling satisfied, however, he felt trapped. He fantasized about escape. His reaction had taken him by surprise. It made no sense. Was there something wrong with him? I gave him the best answer I know. I told him about the U-curve.
—Not everyone goes through the U-curve. But many people do, and I did. In my 40s, I experienced a lot of success, objectively speaking. I was in a stable and happy relationship; I was healthy; I was financially secure, with a good career and marvelous colleagues; I published a book, wrote for top outlets, won a big journalism prize. If you had described my own career to me as someone else’s, or for that matter if you had offered it to me when I was just out of college, I would have said, “Wow, I want that!” Yet morning after morning (mornings were the worst), I would wake up feeling disappointed, my head buzzing with obsessive thoughts about my failures. I had accomplished too little professionally, had let life pass me by, needed some nameless kind of change or escape.