June 30, 2005
All Hail the Cow
You don't have to be a fan of farm animals to love photos like this one. Taken by Yann Arthus-Betrand, this gallery of prize winning cattle (and their pet people) proves that cows and bulls can be more majestic then you could have ever imagined. But pigs are still pigs.
You may have heard of Arthus-Betrand, who is most well known for his Earth From Above photography. But I personally prefer his portraits of animals and people.
June 29, 2005
Imagine (if you can) flocks of these great artificial creatures roaming the beaches, leading their own lives. Now imagine that each of these beings is equipped with a small, but adequate, internal living space, for handy human transport. And their only source of power? The wind. This is the Anamaris Rhinoceros Transport and it is the vision of artist Theo Jansen, who's been at this for around ten years.
Will he accomplsh all his goals? I'm not sure it matters; his creation is already impressive enough... don't miss the video that shows the transport in motion.
Learn more about Jansen and the evolution of his wind-transport-beasts at Strandbeest. There are plenty of photos and videos on the site, including this one of Jansen pushing the Animaris Rhinoceros skeleton (which looks something like a giant spider).
(via: Cynical-C Blog)
June 28, 2005
Cyclorama in Distress
The year is 1961, and these men are working fast and furiously on Richard Neutra's Cyclorama Building. They probably would be pleased to hear that their work would come to be called "one of the showplaces of the National Park System" by the New York Times. The Washington post would praise it for being "quietly monumental but entirely unsentimental... and fearlessly modern." Eventually it would make the National Register of Historic Places for its "exceptional historic and architectural significance."
Neutra really put his heart into this one toward the end of his life. So you have to wonder what his reaction would be if he had any idea that the National Park Service was now rarin' to tear the place to the ground. It seems that somebody important prefers a "more appropriate" architectural style... and a big parking lot.
Please help protect Neutra's creation by signing this online petition.
Incidentally, the cyclorama displays a 40 foot high painting of the 1883 Battle of Gettysburg.
June 27, 2005
Welcome to Bulldog Cafe, where discriminating diners feast away... on tamales and ice cream. What a classic combination! Is it the food or the charming dog-shaped building that keeps people coming back for more?
If you like these sorts of structures as much as I do, you can find more of them at the Strange and Unusual Buildings website. A number of them are downright historic.
I'm not a big pickle fan, but Bubblies Pure Kosher Dills, made without vinegar, are downright addictive. They're simply the best, most delightful tasting, pickle on the face of the earth... that's a fact. And as Bubbie herself once said, "Eat my pickles, wear clean underwear, marry a doctor."
They've also got a great non-vineger Sauerkraut... and I just can't wait to try their pickled herring.
This is the Palace of the Winds in Jaipur, India, otherwise known as the pink city. It's not a real palace at all, just a thin set-like facade of a palace, built (with 953 windows) so that the curious ladies of the royal household could easily see what was going on in the world down below.
The rest of the royal city of Jaipur is equally as enchanting:
June 26, 2005
Varanasi the Holy
I stumbled across this great photo of Varanasi, taken from the Ganges. Not only is Varanasi one of the oldest cities in the world, it's also one of Hindu's and Buddhism's holiest.
Mickey-Ship Sees All
Its a bird, it's a plane, it's power-hungry Mickey Mouse, patroling his domains with the wild-eyed greed of a junkie!
Maybe not. You never can tell with Richard Vander Wende. I first met Richard a number of years ago and was instantly impressed with his unique aesthetic outlook and his work. I especially enjoyed his fine art paintings (I only wish there were more of them online). You can also check out some of his other galleries here:
June 25, 2005
Romance On Ice
Have you always dreamed of marrying that special someone in artic temperatures while downing loads and loads of vodka? An Ice Hotel may be the place for you! There are few Ice Hotels to choose from, all of which melt each spring and so must be rebuilt annually. The 60 room Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi, Northern Sweden, was the first and still is the largest of any of them. Virtually everything is made of ice at Jukkasjarvi: the glasses out of which you drink, the bed on which you sleep, even the canoes in which you ride. (Check out some QTVRs of the Ice Hotel here.)
Quebec's Ice Hotel ain't half bad either. It may not be as big as its Swedish cousin, but it has amenities like a movie theater, a (Vodka) bar, two ice-art galleries, hot tubs (in case you get cold), live concerts, and dining fit for a gourmet. And if you're in Canada or the U.S., it's not that far to travel to spend a night on ice.
Because ice and freezing temperatures and vodka are all so obviously romantic, both Ice Hotels contain significant chapels. In fact, Ice Chapels turn out to be a prevalent thing in general...
June 24, 2005
A cyclorama is not some futuristic vehicle. It's not the newest component for your hi-fi. Instead, invented back in 1787, the cyclorama was the world's first successful stab at virtual reality. The idea was simple: put people in a big round room where any and all surfaces are painted to look like an amazing place or event. Perhaps it's a far-away city. Perhaps it's a famous battle. In any case, the cyclorama audience was (and still is) instantly transported to worlds they could have previously only imagined... or something to this effect.
A few of these old cycloramas are still in existence. If you can't personally visit one, check out these QTVR panoramas: