March 28, 2009

Cactus Dome


Intrigued? Just stare at this photo a bit and try to imagine what it might possibly be. I'm thinking... the secret lair of Jame Bond's nemesis? Better yet... evidence of a crashed spaceship!... (because it looks a lot like the top part of the U.S.S. Enterprise to me).


Turns out, we're not so lucky. Brookings reveals the bitter truth...

Beneath this concrete dome on Runit Island, part of Enewetak Atoll, built between 1977 and 1980 at a cost of about $239 million, lie 111,000 cubic yards or radioactive soil and debris from Bikini and Rongelap atolls. The dome covers the 30-foot deep, 350-foot wide crater created by the May 5, 1958, Cactus test.

click to enlarge panoramically

via pruned

March 28, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack

December 29, 2008

Bubbles on the Beach

Picture 7 Click photos to enlarge

I've never been to Cape Romano Florida and, unless someone forces me, I won't be going there any time soon. From the looks of it, there's pretty much nothing to do or see there except this dome house, which supposedly managed to survive hurricane Wilma without a scratch. Though it looks to me like it's slowly slipping off into the ocean.


Flickr photos by Gunboats and Mila O

more at flickr

December 29, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 04, 2007

20 Feet Below Paris


Just beneath the shimmering glamor of the Parisian streets is a tunneling web of mayhem that boggles our little brains. This is the secret underworld of Paris.... miles and miles of limestone quarries, which were used to construct the French capital.

Underground_02 According to explorers, dangers abound in the some-185 miles of tunnels: falling into wells, cave-ins, loss of light, lack of oxygen, or just getting lost. But, if you're willing to risk it, you may be lucky enough to encounter intrigue and wonder beyond your wildest imagination! (or something to that effect)

Paris Underground Flickr Pool

photos copyright© 2007 boreally

September 4, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 01, 2007


untitled by shadowplay

Where do old neon signs go to die?

Most get taken to the dump and are forgotten. But if a sign is lucky enough to cast its intoxicating glow over a Las Vegas blvd, then it will probably breathe its last breathe with honor. With dignity. At the Boneyard (a veritable jewel box for photographers!).

Graveyard02_2 It's also known as the Neon Graveyard... three acres of dead signs!  You can get in to see the graveyard, but it costs some money, and you've got to schedule a tour or photo-shoot ahead of time (and that could be canceled at any time, for any number of reasons).

Or... you just make friends with the guard and then go in and wander around all you want!

Graveyard04 Take a look at this amazing panoramic view of the Graveyard (click on photo, left). It gives at least a sense of being there.

Previous related posts:

Roadside Attractions

top photo and middle photo by shadowplay© all rights reserved.
panoramic view by Sam Rohn© all rights are reserved

May 1, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 16, 2006

Taiwanese Resort of the Future


Is it a house? Is it a spaceship? Is it a crumbling Taiwanese retro-fantasy-space-apartment-thing?

As best as I've been able to uncover, this abandoned structure was built as a hotel-spa... a place for vacationing Taiwanese to escape from the rat race of Taipei! One could relax in one of its two delightfully large pools or simply lay back in plush comfort, gazing out a picture window at an endless sea!


Our cute retro resort is located along the north coast of Taiwan, where there's also a healthy fiberglass yacht construction industry. And if one is already making fiberglass yachts, one might as well make fiberglass homes! Diversification! It's not a very big jump for any forward looking entrepreneur. Unfortunately, our eager entrepreneur is blind to the catastrophe that will befall his investment.

What was that catastrophe? It's a mystery. But a dizzying number of explanations have been offered. According to visitors to the ruins, it may have been something as simple as bad fung shui. Others say that the fiberglass may have been downright uncomfortable in which to live. Still others point to a Taiwanese real estate "bubble" that forced the investors into bankruptcy.

Or who knows... it could have been a combination of all these things. Whatever the case, the ruins recall an earlier similar dwelling of the future... Disneyland's Monsato House.


More Taiwan Resort photos

Reader comment: Rollmops has kindly pointed out a few more more photos (including a Google Earth aerial view) on his Rollmops Blog.



August 16, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack

June 24, 2006

Looming Comments

Little_01 a

What a great discussion (in the previous post). Provoking and informative and passionate, and it seems to represent a large spectrum of what's felt about this historic time and how it continues to impact us.

Here's a sampling of some of the comments...

Armyguy quoted a number of Western statesmen who were directly or indirectly involved with WWII. I think it doesn't hurt to pay attention to their assessment of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki:*

Little_02 b

General Dwight David Eisenhower, Commander in Chief of the Allied Forces in Europe said,

Japan was at that very moment seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face'... It wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing.

Little_03_1 c

Admiral William D. Leahy, President Truman's Chief of Staff said,

The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons... In being the first to use it [the atomic bomb], we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages...

I was not taught to make war in this fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.

Leahy also wrote,

The dropping of the first atomic bomb was an act of pure terrorism. It fulfilled no military purpose of any kind.

Paul Nitze, Vice Chairman, U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey said,

Certainly prior to 31 December 1945... Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.

Field Marshal Montgomery, Commander of all UK Forces wrote,

It was unnecessary to drop the two atom bombs on Japan in August 1945, and I cannot think it was right to do so .... the dropping of the bombs was a major political blunder and is a prime example of the declining standards of the conduct of modern war.

UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill said,

It would be a mistake to suppose that the fate of Japan was settled by the atomic bomb. Her defeat was certain before the first bomb fell.

All of that was from one reader. Thanks armyguy!

Little_05 d

Daisuke Colson, another reader, says,

My grandma lived in Hiroshima. She's dead now, but luckily she was able to raise her children before she passed due to some unknown condition linked to radiation poisoning. Lucky, because otherwise I'd not exist! Grandfather lived in Nagasaki. He was lucky to be out of town during the time. Other Grandfather was in the American armed forces. Grandma cheered him on.

War, although tragic, is neither evil nor heroic. It's just an effect of human nature. The Japanese do not brag about wartime heroics, it's not a topic that is mentioned. In the fog of war, there were choices made during that time, that we can look back on and say "ahh, that was a mistake", but over all.. It played out the way it did.

No one says the American's were wrong. Most Japanese are very thankful of the generosity with which the American's treated them. MacArthur was a good man. Many Japanese knew they were in over their head during the war, but at the end they were left little choice, as the homeland was at stake, and there was fear of being taken over by a country like Russia which was viewed as ruthless. Japan is still paying it's dues to the countries it has invaded.

War happens. Japan had bad timing. The Atom bomb is an amazing power. It's amazing that man could create something like this. It was excessive, but understandable. -shrug-

Many cowardly, brave, barbaric, ruthless, compassionate..etc deeds have been carried out either inside of us, or by our ancestors at some point in time. It would not be a well thought out opinion that indicates otherwise, I believe. Unless you're not a participant of humanity. If so, I'd like to meet you!

Little_04 e

There was a short comment from reader "none" that got me thinking. He said (amoung other things) that the bombs "jump started the Cold War." Could it all really have just been for a show of power? With the U.S.S.R. looming in the distance, did we just wanted to flex our muscle to show them how powerful we were? Maybe it had nothing to do with Japan; like the bully, beating up the skinny kid with his big new stick when he's really just out to scare the other bully (who's on his way, around the corner). Ah! But he never realizes that the other bully will just bring a bigger stick to school the next day!

Ralph Bard, Under Secretary of the Navy at the time, seems to be one of many who gives creedance to none's comment. He said,

In my opinion, the Japanese war was really won before we ever used the atom bomb. Thus, it wouldn't have been necessary for us to disclose our nuclear position and stimulate the Russians to develop the same thing much more rapidly than they would have if we had not dropped the bomb.

Thanks to everyone for your comments! I appreciated all of them!

a. Tinian island, August 5th, 1945. The tail of the Enola Gay is being edged back into position over the pit in which rests the Little Boy bomb.
b. Little Boy, in the pit, waiting to be loaded into the bomb bay.
c. Loading.
d. Hiroshima, from the Red Cross Hospital, about a mile from the center of the blast.
e. Photograph by U.S. Intelligence, to help analyze the destructiveness of atomic weapons.

Prominent opposition to the A-bomb

* I check on a few of these quotes but not all of them.

June 24, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 27, 2006

The Life and Death of a Pool


This open air swimming pool on The Isle of Man first shut its doors in 1981. Soon after, it was transformed into a fish farm which was finally abandoned in 1990.



(click on photos to enlarge)

Photographs by Papalamour. Copyright© 2006. Right are reserved.

February 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 09, 2006

Airplane Thruthiness


I don't trust airplanes... wicked contraptions of aluminum and glass. Hovering high above the clouds, we trust our lives to these thin floating tubes stuffed with wires, gauges and pretzel snacks. But the ugly truth are in the photos of the airplane graveyard in Mojave, California, by dimsumranch.




Airplane photos copyright© dimsumranch.

February 9, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 17, 2005

More Cozy Sea Towers


I swear I've seen these in Second Life...

Sea Towers. I guess the British couldn't get enough of 'em. And these Maunsell Towers fit the bill for my Republic of Tinselman.

(via boingboing)


November 17, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (22) | TrackBack

September 20, 2005

American Castle


It all began with a haunted island... Pollepel Island. And before you knew it, damsels were being rescued, legends were being made, and wars were being fought! On Pollepel Island...

Bnrmns_drawing_3... And fake Scottish castles were being constructed. Namely, Bannerman's Castle: a full-scale castle, personally designed by eccentric ammunition dealer, Francis Bannerman, to emulate the grand Scottish castles of his homeland. And for 17 long years, Bannerman worked away on his cement and stone marvel... but he died in 1918, before it was completed.

Two years later, in 1920, an accidental explosion destroyed part of Bannerman's creation. In 1969, there was another huge explosion and fire, the flames of which could be seen from as far away as 25 miles. These days, the interior of the castle is mostly in ruins... a shell of a castle (hard-hat required during the guided tour).

Bnrmns1_3  Bnrmns2_1  Bnrmns3

Bannerman's Castle links:

Tour of Bannerman's – Hudson Valley Ruins
Bannerman's History – Wikipedia
Touring Bannerman's – Poughkeepsie Journal 
Photos of the Castle
Bannerman's Castle Trust

September 20, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack