Eccentric Artists Create Exotic Architecture

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Two quirky artists create temples that are monuments to their unique personal visions. To fully appreciate  these images you have to read the stories that go with them.

In northern ITALY:

A massive underground temple lies beneath a suburban house, built entirely in secret by a group of non-architects, working around the clock for 15 years. Dug out of the rock without building or excavation plans, it was all overseen by a middle-aged former insurance broker.

The underground temple spreads over 300,000 cubic feet (8,500 cubic meters) on five different levels, connected to one another by hundreds of meters of corridors.  According to the founder, Oberto Airaudi, or “Falco” as he is now known, the complex is only ten percent complete.

In August of 1978, 28 year old Falco began work on his underground temple. While he chose to keep the project a secret from the government, he did bring on others whom he felt understood his vision. Begun as a group of about 24, the following now numbers over a thousand. Built over a decade and a half, volunteers worked in four-hour shifts, slowly excavating the earth and rock. They often hid the sounds of construction by pretending to throw parties.

View into a hallway

The Italian police showed up in 1992, 14 years after secret construction was first begun. Having heard rumors of its existence, they demanded to see the temples. When three policemen and a public prosecutor were taken down into the massive and intricately decorated complex they were stunned.  The structure contains a number of spaces, some with ceilings over 25 feet high. One room is a four-sided pyramid covered in mirrors and topped with a glass dome. The ceiling of the “hall of spheres” is covered entirely in gold leaf.

Hall of Spheres


One of the tunnels

Layout of the various rooms

The house it started under.

Now known as “The Damanhur Temples of Humankind.” Falco says the temples are the re-creations of “visions” of elaborate halls, or temples, he experienced as a child.

Some people call the leader and his followers a cult.

Thanks to: Atlasobscura for much of the information, Cosmic machine at blogspot for many of the images, and Merry for turning me onto the story.


The White Temple is the creation of Thai artist Chaloemchai Khositphiphat who started building it back in 1998. He has completed only the first of 9 main buildings planned.  In an interview, he said “I will dedicate all my life to this work. Also, I have at least 2 generations to continue it after my death. I estimate that it will take about 60-70 years to complete.”

The main building is painted white to symbolize the Buddha’s purity, and is covered in mosaics of mirrors to sparkle in the sun.

Photo by kurt van aert on flickr

There seem to be meanings to every detail in the temple. In order to go to the main hall (heaven), you’ll have to cross the pit of hell.

                               Even the fish are white.

But not the toilet.

World's fanciest toilet in gold

World's fanciest no-smoking sign

No one is allowed to take pictures inside the temple, so these examples seem to be from the booklet about the temple.

Because the temple is financed by the artist and contributions, Khositphiphat is free to update the traditional Buddhist temple as he sees fit.  Much of the inside of the temple is adorned with a mural which includes contemporary scenes from Hollywood movies and current events.  Among them are superheros like Superman, Spiderman, Neo from the matrix as well as Avatar characters, Jabba the Hut and Darth Vadar from Star Wars, the attack of the twin towers on 9/11, then spaceships, aliens, luxury goods, a gas pump and many things “western.”

Twin towers

Keanu Reeves as Neo from the Matrix is on the left, creature from Avatar flies in the center.

Thanks to Jennifer Heller for getting me started on the white temple.


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Mixed Species, 3

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There seems to be no end to appealing, and quirky images of animal friendships across species.  Also, don’t miss reading the story of the elk and the marmot at the end of this page.










Here’s a stirring example of cross-species connection from The Daily Mail via Good News Network.

Keepers at Pocatello Zoo, Idaho, were worried when they noticed Shooter, a four-year-old elk, acting strangely at his water trough.  At six feet tall with another four feet of giant antlers, he can be scarey.  He’s punctured tires with his antlers and some zoo staff are afraid of him. 

Staff noticed him trying to dunk his head in the trough but his antlers kept getting in the way.  He was trying to dunk his head in the water, but his antlers kept getting in the way.

“Nobody could figure out why he was trying to get his head in, and then he started dipping his feet in.  We were all completely confused, until we saw the marmot in his mouth.  I think he had nudged the animal away from the edge of the trough with his antlers and hooves so he could reach it with his mouth without his antlers getting in the way.”

Scooter placed the hapless rodent down and nudged it with his hoof, as if checking it for signs of life, before calmly watching it scamper off into the bushes.

Staff managed to catch the drama on camera.

If you like these and want to see more mixed species, click here for mixed species, number one,  and here for mixed species number two.

Thanks to Terri, Gary, and Good News Network.


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Dream Vacation Destinations

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I’m not sure if the wonder is in the photography or the place itself–probably both.  In any case, here’s a tour through some spectacular places around our planet that you might want to add to your list of “someday” vacation destinations.

Lucca, Tuscany, Italy

Awa’awapuhi Trail, Kauai, Hawaii

Benteng, Chittorgarh, India

Baatara Gorage Waterfall, Tannourine, Lebanon

Bern, Switzerland

Ben Bulben, County Sligo, Ireland

Aiguill e du midi, Chamonix, France

Devetashkata Cave, Bulgaria

Etretat, Normandy, France

Four Seasons Hotel, Bora Bora

Ice Canyon, Greenland

Gardens of Prague Castle, Czech Republic

Lower Lewis River Falls, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington State

Marble Caves, Chile Chico, Chile

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

Neist Point Isle of Skye, Scotland

Alesund, Norway

Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Preachers Rock, Preikestolen, Norway

Rice Field Terraces in Yunnan, China

Vernazza, Cinque Terra, Italy

Fjords, Norway

Canal of Leiden, Netherlands frozen over


Shark Island,  Sydney, Australia

Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Spirit Island, Magligne Lake, Alberta, Canada

The Gardens at Marqueyssac,Vézac, France

The Pearl Waterfall, Jiuzhaigou Valley, China

Keukenhof Gardens,  Netherlands

Thanks to TheCoolHunter for these images.  Thanks to Jen H. for turning me onto this site.

Click here to explore more at Cool Hunter.

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Virus and Bacteria as Art

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HIV virus

The goal of British artist Luke Jerram is “to present the dichotomy between the beauty of pathogens like the HIV virus and the havoc they wreak on humanity.”  His works depict viruses and bacteria at approximately one million times their actual size.  Jerram consulted with virologists from England’s University of Bristol to ensure his forms were scientifically accurate, then he teamed with highly specialized glassblowers to bring his vision to fruition. Only five editions of each microbe are produced for sale—unfortunately, their potentially lethal counterparts aren’t nearly so rare.

Malaria, just after it entered red blood cell


Ecoli bacteria


Avian or bird flu




Swine flu


T4 Phage

SARS pneumonia


Human Papilloma virus


H1N1 virus

The art of  Fernan Federici  Jim Haseloffand on WellcomeImages on flickr utilizes stains and a powerful microscope to highlight the patterns in bacteria.  None of these are photoshopped.


Thanks to buzzfeed, Merry,

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Time Lapse Fireflies

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Japanese photographer Tsuneaki Hiramatsu uses time-lapse photography to capture these stunning images showing the patterns of light made by fireflies.  None of the artist’s photographs were captured with camera flashes or artificial light.

Lightning bugs are able to light up come using bioluminescence, which is created when a pigment and chemical react and is most often seen in sea creatures.

Hiramatsu spent nearly four years between 2008 and 2011 photographing these tiny creatures in Okayama Prefecture, Japan.

Fireflies over a meandering stream as dusk falls

Fireflies can be found on every continent except Antarctica.

According to, fireflies emit light mostly to attract mates, although they also communicate for other reasons as well, such as to defend territory and warn predators away. In some firefly species, only one sex lights up. In most, however, both sexes glow; often the male will fly, while females will wait in trees, shrubs and grasses to spot an attractive male. If she finds one, she’ll signal it with a flash of her own.

They can be found on every continent except Antarctica.
From: Daily Mail online    via Gary Whitney.  Thanks.

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Quirky and Ingenius Talents

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Is that for real?  How do they do that?  There must be a trick.

Those are the questions the videos in this post brought up for me.  I hope you share my surprise and amusement at the expanse of the human repertoire represented here.

Because I had to satisfy my own curiosity,  I’m sharing  brief descriptions with links for anyone interested in seeing or learning  more about how and what you are seeing.


Beatboxing is the art of producing drum beats, rhythm and musical sounds using one’s mouth, lips, tongue and voice.  It can also involve singing and the simulation of horns, strings and other musical instruments.

HIKAKIN is a Japanese beatboxer.  Be sure to give it at least 30 seconds.

Here is a 7 year old boy, Nana Kyei, from Ghana, beatboxing via Wine and Bowties


Mountain bike trials are a discipline of mountain biking in which the rider attempts to pass through an obstacle course without putting their foot to the ground.

This video features Danny MacAskill  the best known practioner of street trials which are a freestyle and non-competitive version of mountain-bike trials. Thanks to his breathtaking skill and subsequent interest on youtube, MacAskill has become a professional street trial rider.  You’ll soon know why.  MacAskill was born and raised in Dunvegan on the Isle of Skye, Scotland.

Thanks again to Wine and Bowties.



Thanks to Patricia Selk
This is the story of Exodus from the Bible.


Fifth graders at Kuinerrarmiut Elitnaurviat School in Quinhagak,Alaska, a Yupik village of 550 people located on the Bering Sea coast in Southwest Alaska, decided to make a class project to present at a Christmas program for the entire village.  It’s well past the holiday, but if you haven’t seen it, it’sl fun.

Thanks to Kathleen.


Louie Schwartzberg is an award-winning cinematographer, director and producer whose notable career spans more than three decades providing stunning imagery for feature films, television shows, documentaries and commercials.  He has a channel on youtube, Moving Art.

If you don’t have time to see the whole thing, at least stay through the hummingbird twirling as it chases a bug….or the fish leaping up the water fall….or

Thanks to Jane and Merry.


This extraordinary example of facade mapping was projected in Berlin, Germany as an ad for LG Optimus One cell phones on September 29, 2011.  The sounds you hear in the background are people watching from the street.

Facade mapping is a kind of 3-D animation projected against the side of a building, and initially, at least, “mapped” to perfectly match the buildings surface, allowing the animators to play with the building, both as a subject and as a surface for projecting other images.

Thanks to Kathleen.

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High Speed Photography

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You can click on the image or name for any of the following photos and travel to the website of the artist.

High speed photography involves both artistry and technological wizardry.

A standard photographic flash lasts around a thousandth of a second (a millisecond). But high speed photography creates a flash of light around a microsecond (a millionth of a second). This allows the photographer to freeze time at a precise moment.  Check out the delicate beauty these ingenious artists  have created.

High speed photographer Jim Kramer uses food coloring, water, and dishwater soap to help thicken the water, and captures the moment a drop of liquid explodes into a multicolored splash in these incredible images.

Using a timer to track the path of falling drops, a flash is set off at the exact split second of impact and captures the shot.





Alan Sailer likes to shoot bullets through inanimate objects, then capture the resulting carnage at the moment of impact.

Using an air rifle, he has set up a system that lets him take a photograph at the exact moment the bullet pierces the object.  Knowing that the pellets shot by these rifles can reach speeds of up to 656 feet (200 meters) per second, an elaborate triggering system was needed. When the pellet is shot, it goes through a laser beam which itself triggers a 17,000 volts flash and the photography is taken during a microsecond (or 1 millionth of a second.)



play dough

The liquid sculpture of Martin Waugh is amazingly intricate.

“Sometimes I have a very specific goal, like, “create a splash in the shape of a
martini glass,” and I design a method for doing that. Other times, I might think, “I
wonder what happens if I increase the viscosity of the drop’s liquid?” Then I set out
experimenting. In both cases, serendipity is a rich source of new ideas and effects.

I can spend several days getting things ready to take a shot. I may have to build
equipment or electronics, and work to get the lighting the way I want it. Then the
liquids will get uppity and require taming. This process can burn a few thousand
shots. Then, I have everything cornered right where I want it, and I can get
dozens of shots that are keepers. Those I choose from.”

From an interview posted on:

Martin Waugh kindly shares his techniques on his blog, and he also sells prints of his work.

Here’s a video where he discusses how he works.


Heinz Maier started photography only about a year ago, but his high-speed water drop photos are stunning.





Here are more photos using high speed techniques.

by Wayne Fulton

By Muhammad Ahmed

by Corrie White

by Corrie White

Corrie White

Corrie White

Flower by fotoopa



by Fotoopa

Now feast your eyes on these images by Marcus Reugels.



As if the above aren’t unique enough, Reugels devised a different approach, using the vibration from a speaker to jostle liquids.   To create this work he stretches a black balloon over a bass reflex tube which sits over a speaker. He adds a spoonful of water to the middle of the balloon, drops in some coloring, cranks some techno basslines through the speakers.





Finally, here is a sampling from his refractions series. Single droplets of water with images refracted within them – apparently focus and lighting are the tricky parts.


The world on a string


The Moon


Evil clown


Big World in a Little Drop

Finally, if you want to sit back and enjoy a slideshow with music and high speed images posted by Corrie White, here you go:



Thanks to Merry for getting me started on this.

Thanks to for post about Jim Kramer.

Thanks to for images from Heinz Maier and weburbanist for images and quotes.

Thanks to Hadro at for images and info about Alan Sailer.

Thanks to  artsintherightplace  for images by Marcus Reugels.

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Albino Animals

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Fifteen-year-old photographer Marlin Shank was fortunate enough to capture

several images of a rare albino ruby-throated hummingbird while in a park in

Staunton, Va







By R D Watson










Poor skunk with no stripes



Even ladybugs





 Not all albinos are pure white.








Thanks Tim Little for getting me started on albinos, and


dumpaday and




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Imagination for Hire

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Don’t miss the punny titles.  These creative images were created by Shannon Calvert on his website  hireimagination.

Emotional Outlet




Bored of education


Light rock and lead balloon







Athletes foot






Under the weather




Food coloring


Light reading


Off the wall




Shannon Calvert also shares his artistic sensibilities with nature photos.




Here’s another chance to wander through the images on hireimagination.

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More of the best Street Art

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The image below is by Banksy, probably the most well-known street artist/graffiti criminal.




























The following are by Julian Beever, 3-D artist.

For more 3-D street art by Julian Beever go to mind-bending 3-d art on my site ,  or the artist’s site.

For more Banksy go to:  graffiti with a chuckle or the artist’s site.

Many thanks to Gary Whitney.

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People and Animals

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I hope some of this girl’s joy rubs off on you like it did me.

Below, revenge for above?

By Gotinha

Below, more joy to rub off.

O.K.  So here are a couple images with no people, but humans are a crucial ingredient.  Then there are a couple shots of kids too cute to leave out.

Many thanks to DayFunny and to OrangeDonkey.

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How different can a life be?

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I can’t stop thinking about what life would feel like if I used  paints, parts of various plants, nuts, feathers, fur, whatever I could find from  nature to make spectacular headpieces and body accessories for myself, family and friends, and I did this  2 -3 times a day!

Thanks to German photographer Hans Silvester we can witness the dazzling artistry of the Surma and Mursi people of the Omo Valley in southern Ethiopia as they perform their ancient tradition of temporary body decoration on themselves and each other a few times each day.















Here’s a link to Hans Silvester’s book about people of the Omo Valley at Amazon.

Thanks to Claire Elizabeth.


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Birds: the fast, intrepid, distinctive, gorgeous and cute

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The Fastest Animal

The peregrine falcon can fly at 90 mp, and reach 200 mph (322kmh) while diving to catch prey.


The longest migration

Every year the Arctic tern flies  around 50,000 miles (80,500km) from the Arctic to the Antarctic and back again, further than any other bird during its migration .  It performs almost all its tasks in the air.

The Arctic Tern flies as well as glides through the air. It nests once every one to three years (depending on its mating cycle); once it has finished nesting it takes to the sky for another long migration.


 A poisonous bird?

The Pitohui bird of New Guinea is the only known poisonous bird.   Its toxic skin and feathers protect it from predators.

A bird with no wings

 The kiwi is the only bird with no wings.  He looks like he has fur rather than feathers, doesn’t he?

The Champion, both fast and intrepid

The great snipe can fly non-stop over a distance of around 4200 miles (6760km) at a phenomenal 60mph (97kmh). Swedish scientists put tiny data chips into 3 snipes and found that one bird flew 4225 miles (6800km) from Sweden to central Africa in just 3.5 days. The other two birds flew 3833 miles (6169km) in three days, and 2870 miles (4619km) in two days.

The peregrine falcon is fast.  The arctic tern goes far but not particularly fast.  Scientists have long known that snipes are incredibly fast birds. The word ‘sniper’ originated in the 1770s among soldiers in British India: if a hunter was skilled enough to kill an elusive snipe, he was called a sniper.

For more on the Great Snipe you can go here.

Now on to the gorgeous and cute.

Next is a Silver-Laced Sebright Bantam.

By Mark Robinson, UK.

by Mark V.Muller

Thanks Gary, and


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Whimsical Art

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Hanoch Piven and  Mark Jenkins are two artists that seem to share a sense of  whimsy and humor.


While on vacation this summer I happened upon an exhibit of  these colorful and witty works  by Israeli artist Hanoch Piven.  He uses common everyday objects to create amusing portraits of notable people.  A closer look at the particulars of the objects  only makes it more fun.

If you’re not sure who is represented, hold the cursor over the image.

















Mark Jenkins has been busy since my first post of his Scotch Tape Sculptures.  Here are some of the new ones, still deserving of chuckles.  In some of the images you might have to search to find the sculpture–the baby.

In Dublin






Bordeau, France


Baltimore, MD

Canary Islands


Canary Islands

Fairfax, VA


Washington, D.C.


Washington, D.C.

Martinsberg, W. VA

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More Mixed Species

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Vote for your favorite combo in the comments.

And don’t miss the videos at the end.


Oops, not sure these next ones are friends.









Yes, it’s a kimodo dragon.




Make sure you notice what this bear is hugging–that is a hug, right?



Thanks, Ginny for the video and Jean for the cactus cat.


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Karst Topography: from misty mountains to caves and sinkholes

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Karst towers, the rocky formations by the Li river in China near Guilin, are truly natural wonders.


By jacklee




By Karamochi


by bouti blog

Below is the town of Guilin.


By eric finlanson


Guilin rice harvest.

 The following image is so striking, I had to check to make sure it was real.  The story that goes with it makes it even more striking.   Here’s a description by photographer Michael Anderson at his website.  ” I wandered alone on the riverbanks and met a cormorant fisherman who showed me his traditional methods. They fish at night and the lantern attracts fish toward the raft so the cormorant can dive in and catch them. The fishermen tie a loose string around the cormorant’s neck so they can’t swallow it completely, and the men pull out the fish and store them in a basket. This method of fishing has existed for over a thousand years.


The Guilin tower karsts are an example of karst topography,  land formations caused by rainwater combining with carbon dioxide in the air to become slightly acidic.

The acidic water works its way into any crack, fault or fissure in limestone rock and chemically erodes the rock.  Over time, the openings caused by the acidic rain are widened into passages or caves and initial trickles of water become streams.  Sometimes the cave ceiling collapses forming  sinkholes or a cenotes.

The following are examples of the breathtaking variety of karst  topography from images taken around the planet.

Viet Nam, Halong bay

By steve vidler

Viet Nam

Viet Nam

By Paul Smit

Viet Nam

Viet Nam

Viet Nam

by Michael Buckley

Karst Forest, Madagascar


Haiti Karst

By Tequila Minsky

Bryce Canyon Karst, Utah


El Torcal de Antequera,  Spain

El Torcal de Antequera,  Spain

Shilin, South China

Akiyoshidai Karst pinnacles in Mine, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan

Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, U.S.A.

Mammoth Cave is the longest cave in the world, with over 350 miles explored so far.

 Corn karst, Chocolate Hills, Philippines

Australia, Nambung National Park

Sarisarinama sinkholes of Venezuela

Large sinkhole, Mitchell Plain, Indiana

 Sinkholes, Winslow, Arizona, U.S.A.

 The Zacatón cenote, Mexico

The “islands” in this cenote are made of floating reeds.

Thanks to Bukisa and DarkRoastedBlend

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Food fun and art

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By Adriana De Barros




  Turkish airlines offers a new food service.

Eggregation by Shannon Calvert


Biotechnology by Shannon Calvert


Food Coloring by Shannon Calvert




by Pierre Javelle & Akiko Ida


by Pierre Javelle & Akiko Ida

by Pierre Javelle & Akiko Ida

 Take a careful look at these next images.

Everything in these images by  Carl Warner is made from food.  The mountains are bread, rocks are cheese, the cloud is cauliflower.   Each scene is photographed in layers from foreground to background taking two to three days to build and photograph.


And the ocean is salmon.

Below is Carl at work.

Making this image.

The image below of a Chinese junk is made from Chinese food.

Image of Tuscany is made from food common in Italy.

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More funny, cute animals

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by lola

By Tomasz Szymanski @ photo net

From sam pryor, pinterest

These next two are a bit of cuteness overload.   I can’t believe they’re real–though I’ve done my best to figure it out and it

seems they are.  Opinions welcome.

from Sam Pryor on pininterest


Thanks of Kathleen J, Gary W., Claire E., Pixdaus, Sam Pryor on pinterest

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Singapore Out-Disneys Disney and Dubai

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I’m not much of a fan of high rises, or huge construction projects. But these photos of the gravity-defying “Sky Park” atop the Marina Bay Sands resort in Singapore had me double-checking to make sure it wasn’t photo-shopped. 

The Sky Park stretches longer than the Eiffel tower laid down or four and a half A380 Jumbo Jets, with  40682 square feet (12,400 square meters) of space, the Sands SkyPark can host up to 3900 people.

The Sky Park sits on a highrise hotel, and the resort includes a convention center, “ArtScience museum” two large theaters, ice skating rink, casino and of course many shops and restaurants.

Thanks to Claire Elizabeth de Sohpia.

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Meet talent in ads

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When advertising manages to give visibility to talented people and entertain us, I say great.  Plus these are all too long to fit into the 15 second slots that overwhelm, so you won’t see these on tv, only when passed around the internet on sites like this.

Piano Stairs

Volkswagon sponsored a contest on a website called “The Fun Theory” “dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behavior for the better.”  Here’s my favorite entry.

For more winners of the fun theory click here.

American Apparel highlights one talented kid, “Lil Demon” and Jalent Testerman in this breakdancing video set to the perfect music.

Next up, Samsun in France got this cool dude to do something I’ve never heard of, finger tutting, to sell their Galaxy 2S cell phone.  Don’t give up until you see the light marvels.

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California condors

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By Yoram Shplrer

This remarkable image got me started thinking about the California condor, the largest flying bird in North America.  This is probably not a condor but it sure is a big vulture, like the condor.

Here are some interesting things about condors and the efforts to save them from extinction.

1)  Condors have a wingspan of 9 ½ feet, and can weigh up to 25 pounds as adults.

2)  Using thermal updrafts, condors can soar and glide up to 50 miles per hour and travel 100 miles or more per day in search of food.

3)  They feed primarily on large dead mammals such as deer, elk, bighorn sheep, range cattle, and horses.

4)  They can live up to 60 years in the wild, and become sexually mature at six or seven years of age.

By Meng Tang

5)  Condors mate for life and females lay a single egg, about five inches in length and weighing around 10 ounces, every second year. Male and female condors share incubation shifts.

6)  California condors are curious, intelligent, and playful. They are very gregarious and often feed, bathe, roost, and play together.  According to Sophie Osborn of the Peregrine Fund’s California Condor Restoration Project in Arizona, “tug-of-war and punting empty water bottles around with their bills are two of their favorite “games.”

Am I crazy for thinking this fellow (or gal) looks sorta cute?

7)  They are more closely related to storks than birds of prey and are close to ravens in personality.

8) The populations’ low point was in 1982, with only 22 remaining, 21 in the wild and one in captivity.  Their numbers were decimated by years of shooting and poisoning. The poisoning came in two forms: condors became indirect targets when they fed on carcasses that had been laced with poisons to kill predators such as coyotes; condors also succumbed to lead poisoning by eating the remains of animals killed by hunters using lead bullets.

9)  In 1987 the controversial decision was made to bring all remaining condors into a captive breeding program before it was too late.

10)  Because condors only lay one egg every two years, captive breeding techniques were developed in which eggs are removed as they are laid, usually causing the captive condors to lay a second and sometimes third egg. The extra eggs are incubated.

11)  These chicks are raised by caretakers using a hand puppet shaped like a parent condor head. The puppet prevents the young condors from imprinting on people.

This is a puppet mom or dad, in case you couldn’t tell.

This video shows a puppet feeding a two-day-old chick.

12)  Condor chicks that are not raised by puppets, are raised by their parent birds. As a result of captive breeding, condor populations have increased dramatically from 22 birds in 1987 to more than 270 birds in 2005.

For information and thanks to:  California Literary Review article by Paul Comstock


Arizona Game and Fish Department

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More Exquisite Animal Images

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Again, the artistic quality of the image is what drew me to these animal pics.  Here’s a quick link if you want to see my original exquisite animal images.  And thank to Pixdaus which provided most of these.

By Allan Wallberg

The Sardine Run by Alexander Safonov

by Miguel Angel de Arriba Cuadrado

By Sam Lim

By Brad Wilson

bird tornado by Nuray Gonulalan

Wall-to-wall reindeer by Mik-Mak

By Sam Ho

Shepherd riding camel in Mongolia by Amy Para.

By greg mclemore

Combat by Bonali Giuseppe

By Sam Lim

Akuna Matata by Alex Tish

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Animal Camouflage

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This post is divided into sections:

I) Animals disguised as leaves

II) Animals as flowers

III) Larger animal camo, with hints–for this part I number them.  Some are easy to see and some not.  So if you are having a hard time finding the animal, you can look at the end of the section and I will give a hint.

IV.  HELP! This section has a few images I have found in other posts about camouflage, stared at for longer than I can tolerate, and not been able to find the animal.  So I invite you to find it and post a comment that describes where to look and what to look for.

V.  Videos–Don’t miss the videos at the end.  A chameleon and an octopus like you’ve never seen.


Bugs are some of the best at camouflaging as leaves, but did you know frogs, lizards and snakes do a pretty convincing job too?

Note:  a decaying-leaf bug.

An unfolding leaf stick bug.

A praying mantis mixture of dead and alive.

Fresh leaf.

By Igor Siwanowicz

Half dead leaf.

A leaf-mimic katydid

A dead leaf butterfly

Praying Mantis

Frog leaf

A cryptic frog.

Lizard leaf.

These leaf-fish in the Amazon are remarkably stealthy.

Leaf fish


Some bugs prefer mimicking flowers more than leaves.

By Igor Siwanowicz

Crab spider.

This praying mantis is looking for the right flower.

III.  Larger animal camo with hints

No. 1No. 2

No. 3

No. 4

No. 5

No. 6

No. 7

No. 8

No. 9

No. 10

No. 11

No. 12

No. 13


No. 15

No. 16

No. 17

No. 18

No. 19

No. 20

No. 21

No. 22

No. 23

No. 24

Can you spot the green chameleon?

How about now?

Names and hints:  1) Cheetah  2) Three toed sloth  3) Grizzly in snow  4) Kangaroo (on left)  5) Owl  6) Python  7)  Wolf (on right)  8)  Jaguar  9)  Something in the deer family  10)  Lion cub 11)  Lizard  12)  Crocodile  13)  Elephant  14)  Frog  15)  Rocky Ptarmigan chick in nest  16)  Mimic Octopus  17)  Giraffe  18)  Snake  19)  Owls  20)  Ermine weasel  21)  Waterfall frog  22)  Some kind of reptile  23)American Bittern bird,  24) tawny frogmouth bird.


If you see a wolf in the image below, please explain where.

Please post a comment if you see anything in the following images.

Many thanks to Moominmom3 who explains where to find and explain where to look for two wolves and some kind of reptile under the comments section below.

O.K.  Now you just have to check out this chameleon.  Sorry if you don’t like the music but wait until the end.  It’s the best.

Super chameleon

This octopus video is a section of a TED talk by David Gallo. It’s hard to believe it’s real, but it is.  The whole talk can be seen here.

Here’s another way to point out the animals hiding in my “help!” images, thanks to Mel in Scotland.

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Ok Go: behind the clever, whimsical videos

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Ok Go is a rock band whose videos are phenomenally creative and a phenomenon on the web. They are famous for making intricate, amusing music videos done in one continuous take.


When OkGo told Roland Sonnenburg at the Talented Animals training company they wanted to make a video with dogs that was “magical and charming” AND they wanted to film it in one continuous take, they were told that sounded impossible.

“Working with animals we use cuts and optimal camera angles for everything. Without cuts, the animals would have to all work at the same time with their trainers far away, and we would need to get each dog and trainer and bandmember and crewmember to nail every single behavior all in the same take,”  according to Sonnenburg.

This is how they did it: 12 trainers, two furniture movers, 12 dogs, one goat, 38 buckets, a bunch of furniture, spreadsheets, flow-charts, and recorded audio instruction, four weeks, 124 takes and practice, practice, practice.

They rehearsed the routines with each dog practicing their own moves with their trainer. When things started looking good the band came in and got integrated with the dogs. They started practicing at half speed. The last four days they began filming. Around take 49 things started clicking. Around take 60 a new problem arose: the dogs were getting so good and enjoying it so much they starting doing it faster than the music. Finally they settled on take 72.

Thanks to Jesus Diaz at Gizmodo for this info and more.

OK Go – White Knuckles – Official Video from licked on Vimeo.


The video for this song showcases a Rube Goldberg machine with moving parts that take exactly the length of the 3.5 minute song to unfurl.   The machine rolls metal balls down tracks, swings sledgehammers, pours water, unfurls flags and drops a flock of umbrellas from the second story, all perfectly synchronized with the song.

The requirements were that it had to be interesting, not “overbuilt” or too technology-heavy, and easy to follow.  The machine also had to be built on a shoestring budget, synchronize with beats and lyrics in the music and end on the same moment as the song, play a part of the song, and be filmed in one shot.  To make things more challenging still, the space chosen was divided into two floors and the machine would use both.

“We wanted to make a video where we have essentially a giant machine that we dance with,” said the band’s Damian Kulash, Jr., in a short “making-of” video posted on YouTube.  Synn Labs, a Los Angeles-based arts and technology collective was hired to dream up the most outlandish and elaborate mechanism they could to “dance” along with the music.

It took about 55 – 60 people about a month and a half of very intense work.

This includes eight “core builders” who did the balk of the design and building and another 12 part-time builders.  Additionally Synn Labs recruited 30 or more people to help reset the machine after each trial run. Because of the machine’s size and complexity, even with all those people helping, it took close to an hour to re-set it.

It took more than 60 takes, over the course of two days, to get it right. Many of those takes lasted about 30 seconds,  getting no further than the spot in the video where the car tire rolls down a ramp.  “The most fiddly stuff, you always want to put that at the front, because you don’t want to be resetting the whole thing,”  says Adam Sadowsky  president of Syyn Labs.

Below is the music video, followed by a short video about making it.

Here’s a short video about making the Rube Goldberg machine.

If you want to see an interactive map of the floor plan in the Rube Goldberg machine, go here.


This video was choreographed and directed by Trish Sie, the sister of OkGo lead vocalist Damien Kulash.  It took a total of seventeen attempts to complete.  According to Kulash, “We were really lucky that my sister had this great idea to do this dance on treadmills and we had a week off so we could actually do the whole thing and it didn’t cost too much money.”  This video too was made in one continuous take and is the first that went viral.

To see more OkGo videos go here.

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Cuckoos and Honey guides

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Check out this confused “mother,” a reed warbler, feeding it’s “baby” cuckoo sitting atop a nest it has long outgrown.  Does it notice how different this baby is?

By Per H. Olsen

Cuckoos  are famed for laying their eggs in host species’ nests, leaving unwitting “foster” birds to raise their chicks.  Known as “brood parasites” they are able to specialize their eggs’ appearance in order to disguise them in the nests of other birds.   In a mere ten seconds, the cuckoo hen swoops down and lays an egg very similar to her host’s, and flies off with one of the host’s eggs in her bill.

By John Markham, Bruce Coleman Ltd.

When the young cuckoo hatches, its first act is to dispose of any other eggs: it heaves them out of the nest, leaving itself as the sole occupant.

What happens next is peculiar. The foster parents don’t appear to notice they are rearing a monster. Instead, they work hard to satisfy the demands of the chick, even though it sometimes becomes so large that it no longer fits inside the nest, and has to sit on top. It’s one of the oddest sights in nature.

By Roger Wilmshurst/Photo Researchers, Inc
Confused “Mama” feeding its “baby”.
Now the Honey guide bird and the Honey badger.  They have a symbiotic relationship, providing mutual benefit.

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Chicken-wire Apparitions

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These ethereal sculptures are the creation of Milan, Italy-based artist Benedetta Mori Ubaldini. She describes her pieces made of chicken-wire as coming “from a childlike side of my imagination. What I love is creating installations as three-dimensional pictures. The simplicity of this material contains the magical power of transparency that is capable of giving each piece the lightness of an apparition, a ghost-like quality, like a trace from memory.”

Red Riding Hood

Donkey and friend.

Click on any picture to reach the artist’s website.

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You don’t have to be a bird lover to appreciate this mix of beautiful, funny and a couple weird bird images.

by Beeboo Hani

By Adrie Hubregtsen

By Adrie Hubregtsen

By John Zimmerman

By Larry Bennett

By Alec Ee

By Kjartan Trana

The Birdie Sisters in concert by To-To

By David Paeme

Thanks to Pixdaus for many of these images.

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Break Dancing and Yo-yo Ma

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This video, filmed by director Spike Jonze, captures Los Angeles street dancer Charles “Lil Buck” Riley as he performs an amazing interpretation of “The Dying Swan” from Camille Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals with a live musical accompaniment by the award-winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma.  Lil Buck specializes in a dance called the Memphis Jook, and exhibits superhuman balance, grace and  flexibility.  Thanks to Wine and Bowties for turning me onto this.

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Architectural Oddities

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Ferdinan Cheval was delivering mail in April, 1879.  He tripped on a stone and  inspired by its shape, he started collecting stones.   For the next 33 years, Cheval carried stones from his delivery rounds and at home used them to build his Palais idéal, the Ideal Palace. First he carried the stones in his pockets, then a basket and eventually a wheelbarrow.

Cheval spent the first two decades building the outer walls. The Palace is a mix of different styles with inspirations from the Bible to Hindu mythology.  The stones are bound together with lime, mortar and cement. Cheval also wanted to be buried in his palace. However, since that is illegal in France, he proceeded to spend eight more years building a mausoleum for himself in the cemetery of Hauterives. Cheval died on August 19, 1924, around a year after he had finished building it, and is buried there.

For more info and photos go to oddity.


Everything in Eliphante, a property in Cornville, AZ, USA is made from found materials.  The three acre site was created over 28 years by Michael Kahn and his wife, Leda Livant and includes a  residence, Hippodome, which has 25-foot ceilings and incorporates rocks and scraps from construction sites and a studio, one wall of which is the Ford pickup that brought the couple west.

Hippodome has electricity, heat, a phone line and water, but no bathroom or toilet. To wash, one goes across the property to the bathhouse, where the solar-heated shower is a length of chopped hose but the windows are stained glass.


Ceiling fan

The kitchen

For more info on Elephante follow this link to the New York Times.

The Mushroom House, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Another unique home made with found and used materials of wood, glass, tiles, and shells selected to make the building “look like it belonged in nature.  Terry Brown spent over 14 years building this home with the help of his architecture students.

The Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea


This monstrosity is a testament to North Korea’s bizarre totalitarian leadership.  Construction began in 1987 and was designed to be 105 stories, have 3000 rooms, 7 revolving restaurants, casinos, nightclubs and Japanese lounges.  Originally scheduled to be completed in 1989, by 1992 construction was completely halted due to funding problems amid electricity shortages and famine.
Japanese newspapers estimated the cost was US $750 million, consuming 2% of North Korea’s GDP.

Even more strange,  the North Korean government denied the building’s existence for many years!  Though mocked-up images of the completed hotel had once appeared on North Korean stamps, the government manipulated official photographs in order to remove the structure, and excluded it from printed maps of Pyongyang.  Imagine denying this!

Stone House-Guimarães,Portugal

The Crooked House-Sopot, Poland

Low impact woodland house                     (Wales, UK)

Boeing-727 house in Benoit,Mississippi

This house cost Joanne Ussary $2,000, cost $4,000 to move and $24,000 to renovate.  The stairs open with a garage door remote and one of the bathrooms is still intact.  Check out the jacuzzi in the cockpit.

Bird Island Zero Energy Home (Kuala-Lumpur)


Cubic Houses (Kubus-woningen) Rotterdam, Netherlands

Earth house Dietikon Switzerland

Forest Spiral, Darmstadt, Germany

The Church of Hallgrimur Reykjavik, Iceland

The Piano House, Huainan, China

The old Mill House in Vernon, France

Cactus House Rotterdamn, The Netherlands

Dar al hajar house, Wadi Dhahr, Yemen

A House in a maze, Cordes sur Ciel, France

Hang Nga Guesthouse a.k.a Crazy House, Vietnam

Kansas City Library, Missouri

Lotus  Temple, Delhi,  India

Olympic Stadium Montreal, Canada

Shoe house Abel Erasmus Pass, Branddraai, Mpumalanga South-Africa

Spaceship house , Chattanooga , Tennessee

The Basket Building, Ohio, USA

Thomas Point Lighthouse, Maryland, USA

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain

The National Library, Minsk, Belarus

Okinawa tree house at entrance to Onoyama Park

House Attack Viena, Austria

Outdoor sculpture at the Museum Moderner Kunst

For more details about many of these buildings go to weburbanist.

Thanks to Claire Elizabeth for inspiring this post.

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