Thursday, August 21, 2014

International Car Forest of the Last Church

On the outskirts of the old mining town of Goldfield, in Nevada, about half-a-mile off Highway 95, lies the “International Car Forest of the Last Church” – an art installation of 40 graffiti splattered, old cars, trucks, and buses buried nose down into the desert. The installation is a collaboration between Michael “Mark” Rippie and artist Chad Sorg.

Michael Rippie, who owns 80 acres of land next to the dirt road, began the project in 2002, determined to get the Guinness Book of World Records title for the most cars planted vertically in the ground. He was later joined by Chad Sorg, who was driving through Goldfield several years ago, when he spied a vehicle sticking out of the ground. Sorg was so intrigued by Rippie’s creation that he moved to Goldfield in 2011 to live in a trailer and create art along with Rippie.

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What All The Metal Extracted From A Single Mine Looks Like

All the metals in your life - from those in your gadgets, to the ring on your finger, to the massive steel bars encased in concrete in the pillars of the apartment you live in – have come from earth. Extracting this from rocks is a mind boggling process, a method that has been discovered thousands of years ago and refined and perfected throughout the history of mining. Typically, ores contain metals in tiny quantities, so to recover just an ounce of the metal a mountain has to be dug up. The visualization of just how much metal a mine can produce is the idea behind the project For What It's Worth.

The project was undertaken by Cape Town photographer Dillon Marsh, whose work we’ve featured once before on Amusing Planet. In For What It’s Worth, Marsh attempts to quantify mining, "an industry that has shaped the history and economy of the country so radically."

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Nababeep South Mine, Nababeep (1882 to 2000). Over 500m deep, 302,791.65 tonnes of copper extracted

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Makeup Artist Laura Jenkinson’s Creative Lip Art

A makeup artist’s canvas is the face. In the case of Laura Jenkinson, this is quite literal. The London-based makeup artist has been drawing delightful cartoon characters around her mouth cleverly integrating her teeth and lips into the portraits.

Speaking about her methods, the 25-year old artist says, “I find a picture and then just hold it up to the mirror as a guide and draw straight onto my face - it's easier than you think!. Ironically, drawing onto someone else is more difficult - I think it's more straightforward drawing onto my own face.”

“I use theatrical make-up normally, but I occasionally use lipstick if I need to get the exact shade of something,” she added.

Catch up on her work at Instagram. Also see Eyelid art by Katie Alves

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Paricutin, The Volcano That Grew Out Of A Cornfield

Rarely do volcanologist get to watch the birth, growth, and death of a volcano. Paricutin provided such an opportunity. Paricutin is a cinder cone volcano located in the state of Michoacan, in Mexico, close to a lava-covered village of the same name. The volcano erupted on February 20, 1943, and continued erupting till 1952, during which it destroyed the villages of Parícutin and San Juan Parangaricutiro, burying both beneath ash and lava. San Juan Parangaricutiro’s church spire is all that remains of the village, poking out of the now solidified lava rock.

Unlike most volcanoes, Parícutin volcano didn’t exist until that fateful day. This makes the volcano unique because it is one of the very few volcanoes whose birth has been witnessed by man. The volcano is located about 200 miles west of Mexico City, in the Michoacan-Guanajuato volcanic field, that contains about 1,400 volcanic vents. Paricutin is the youngest volcano to form in the Northern Hemisphere.

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Birth of a volcano: The earliest known postcard of Paricutin Volcano, taken on day 2 of the eruption. Photo credit

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Oscar Ruíz’s Aerial Photos of Mexico’s Rich And The Poor

In an effort to draw attention to community development program in low-income areas, Mexican bank Banamex launched an advertising campaign titled Erase the Difference, where the bank hired photographer Oscar Ruíz and asked him to shoot the stark divide between the poor and the affluent that exist in Mexico City. It took the photographer, who is also a helicopter pilot, two trips over the city, and the images he return with were unmistakable.

The campaign features four images that show opulent apartments and villas sitting right next to modest, to sometimes very dilapidated houses belonging to the poorer section. On one side stand white residential houses with tiled roof, and manicured green lawns, and on the other, a set of sad, grey and old buildings. Sometimes, only a high, thin wall separated the two. The images look Photoshopped, as if two separate images were stuck together to create the drama, but they were not. Indeed, the tagline says “This image has not been modified. It is time to change that.”

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Via Krupp of Capri Island

One of the world’s most beautiful footpath - Via Krupp, is located on the island of Capri, in the Tyrrhenian Sea, on the south side of the Gulf of Naples. The historic switchback paved footpath connects the Charterhouse of San Giacomo and the Gardens of Augustus area with Marina Piccola. Built between 1900 and 1902, the path scales a vertical distance of roughly 100 meters by a series of hairpin bends, cut and set into the rock so close together that they appear almost to overlap. Via Krupp has been described as “a road that is itself a work of art” for its elegant switchbacks, arranged in harmony with the cliff-face, where each turn brings a different view, a new perspective, and a visual feast for the eyes.

The road… moves at a constant slope, and yet those who take it experience no fatigue, either in walking up or down, because they discover at every turn a new sight, a new view of the sky or coast that each step helps renew.” - R. Pane, 1965.

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Cocoon of the Urodidae Moth

The Amazonian moth belonging to the family of Urodidae weaves one of the strangest and most beautiful cocoons in the insect world. Unlike other cocoons that completely enclose the pupa in silk, in which to complete the metamorphosis process, Urodidae cocoons have a coarse open mesh design with an exit at the bottom, and hangs like a pendulum on a long thread of silk from the underside of a leaf.

These caterpillars largely inhabit regions of the world that see significant rain, like the Amazon rainforest. The mesh like structure of the cocoon allows rainwater to flush through the cocoon, rather than fill it. Since the pupae breathe throughout their encapsulation in the cocoon, it puts them at risk of drowning if water is not allowed to escape. The long string of silk, on the other hand, helps protect it from invading ants. The chute at the bottom of the cocoon provide an escape for the moth once it begins to emerge. The cocoon itself is bright orange colored and one of the most beautiful.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

The Solitary Town of Solitaire, in Namibia

Solitaire is a small settlement in the Khomas Region of central Namibia near the Namib-Naukluft National Park. The town is situated at the junction of roads C14 (connecting Walvis Bay and Bethanie), and C24 (connecting Rehoboth and Sossusvlei), both of which are major tourist routes through the Namib-Naukluft National Park. With no other village for miles around, and the only place to get fuel between the dunes at Sossusvlei and the coast at Walvis Bay – a distance of 340 km, Solitaire is a common stop-over for tourists. Aside from a gasoline station, there's a puncture and mechanical repair facility with a limited stock of tires, a post office, a bakery, and a general dealer. There is also a camp and a motel nearby.

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Paranal Observatory in Chile

Paranal Observatory is an astronomical observatory located on the mountains of Cerro Paranal in the Atacama desert of northern Chile, at an altitude of 2,635 meters, about 120 kilometers south of Antofagasta and 80 km north of Taltal. Far from city lights, high above sea level, with more than 350 cloudless days a year, Atacama desert is an ideal location for ground-based astronomy.

The Very Large Telescope (VLT) at Cerro Paranal is European Southern Observatory's premier site for observations in the visible and infrared light, and at one time, was one of the most powerful optical array in the world. This groundbreaking observatory consist of four separate 8.2 m (320 in) telescopes and a large collection of instruments. Additionally, the four main telescopes can combine their light to operate as a single device. Unknown to most people except astronomers and photographers, the observatory had a brief moment of mainstream fame in 2008 when it appeared in the James Bond movie Quantum of Solace.

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Friday, August 15, 2014

The Great Salt Lake’s Railroad Causeway

When the North American transcontinental railroad was being laid down during the 1860s, the engineers faced a big obstacle in the state of Utah – a great body of water, 4,400 square km in area, called the Great Salt Lake. Initially, the railroad tracks were laid around the lake over the Promontory Mountains on the north, where on May 10, 1869, a golden spike was driven to mark completion of the first transcontinental railroad. This route, called the Central Pacific Railroad, traversed the difficult mountain from Lucin, around the north end of the lake to Brigham City, and then southward to Ogden. Thirty five years later, in 1904, the Southern Pacific Railroad created a shorter route of lesser grade and curvature directly across the lake. Called the Lucin Cutoff, it reduced the distance of the railway by 42 miles (68 km).

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Satellite photo of the Great Salt Lake shows the difference in colors between the Northern and Southern portions of the lake, the result of a railroad causeway. Photo credit