Furore: An Italian Village Hidden in a Fjord

Furore is a small village located in the Coast of Amalfi, in the province of Salerno in the Campania region of south-western Italy. A long time ago, there was a small settlement here scattered over the mountain overlooking the sea, along a scenic road. There were no central piazza and no tight clusters of houses. The paths and stairs that led to the village were also not visible from the coastline, so that Furore remained practically hidden to the passing traveller. This earned Furore the name of “the village that doesn't exist.” It was then the mayor decided it was time to put his tiny comune on the map. He ordered every house to be brightly painted so that they couldn’t escape the sight of travellers passing down the road. This tradition is maintained till this date, by inviting artists from around the world every September to paint and decorate the local buildings with murals.

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Sky Habitat, Singapore’s Newest Housing Complex

Just twenty minutes north of Singapore’s bustling center, near Bishan central, a new residential development is taking shape. Designed by the renowned Moshe Safdie – the Israeli-Canadian architect responsible for the city-state’s famed Marina Bay Sands resort – ‘Sky Habitat’ is a 38-storey, high-density and high-rise housing complex designed for the upper-middle-class that are typical of Singapore.

The condominium features two staggered tower blocks linked at the base, and then via three bridges that connect the upper levels. The lower two spans are landscaped circulation routes, while the upper bridge contains an elevated swimming pool, which presents views across the city’s rapidly developing skyline. The project includes common amenities at ground level in the form of outdoor spaces and communal gardens. Above a sunken parking podium, the site is developed into a series of lush gardens, outdoor event rooms, swimming pools, and walking paths.

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Baldwin Street, The Steepest Street in The World

Located in the city of Dunedin, in southern New Zealand, the Baldwin Street has earned the distinction of being the steepest street in the world. This 350 meters long street begins with a moderate slope and then climbs steeply to reach a maximum slope of 1:2.86 or 19 degrees. In other words, the street rises by 1 meter for every 2.86 meters travelled horizontally. The street is so steep that it's surface had to be laid with concrete instead of asphalt otherwise on a warm day the tar would flow down the slope!

Baldwin Street is located in the residential suburb of North East Valley, running east from the valley of the Lindsay Creek up the side of Signal Hill towards Opoho. It rises about 70 meters along its length generating an average slope of slightly more than 1:5. Its lower reaches are only moderately steep, and the surface is asphalt, but the upper reaches are far steeper, and surfaced in concrete.

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The Mysterious Libyan Desert Glass

Between the borders of Egypt and Libya is the Great Sand Sea, an enormous sandy desert that stretches about 650 km from north to south and 300 km from east to west, covering an area the size of Ireland. Prevailing winds have organized this great sand mass into huge longitudinal crested dunes rising 100 meters high at places and stretching uninterrupted for hundreds of kilometers, separated by flat corridors about a kilometer or two wide. In these long narrow gaps are areas where the underlying bedrock is exposed. In these exposed surfaces a curious natural glass is found.

The so called Libyan Desert Glass is the purest natural silica glass ever found on earth. The glass is generally yellow in color. It can be very clear or it can be a milky, and even contain tiny bubbles, white wisps, and inky black swirls. Over a thousand tons of these glass are strewn across hundreds of kilometers of bleak desert. Most of these are the size of pebbles polished smooth by the abrasive action of the blowing sand. Others are chunks of considerable size and weight. The biggest piece ever found weighed around 26 kg.

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The Humble Sources of 10 Major Rivers

The source or headwaters of a river, defined as the furthest place in that river from its estuary or confluence with another river, is an elusive concept. On a colloquial basis, some define the source of a river at the drainage basin from which water runs year-around, such as a lake. Sometimes another river may flow into the lake, in which case the source of the other river is taken as the source of both rivers, as in the case of the river Nile. At other times, the confluence of two or more rivers where the river’s name is first used is taken as the source, as in the case of the river Danube.

In many cases, it’s impossible to pinpoint the exact location from where a river begins, because a river has many sources. It often starts as a small stream but as it flows towards the sea or a lake or another river, the humble stream gathers water from numerous sources such as underground springs, rainwater, bogs, marshes and lakes and becomes a mighty river. Let us see how some of the world’s biggest river began their journey.

The Mississippi

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This is how the Mississippi River starts. Photo credit

The Colorful Side of Istanbul

Photographic representation of Istanbul has always been stereotypical - towering mosques, ornate palaces, old streets, markets and seagulls over the Bosphorus. No doubt, the Ottoman empire left an indelible impression on the city’s skyline with its majestic architecture, but there is a side of Istanbul - the modern side - that people rarely see. 32-year old architect and photographer Yener Torun has been documenting this unknown dimension of this famous city through his photographs that he shares on Instagram.

“My primary motive was to document a different, less-known part of Istanbul to escape from the one dimensional and orientalist perception. And I started looking for strong lines, vibrant colors and geometric patterns. I believe, increasing the variety of aspects provides a better understanding of the city, both for the viewers and me,” Yener Torun told Washington Post. “Even long-term residents can’t believe these pictures were taken in the city they live in,” he added.

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7 Famous Man-Made Geysers

Geysers are a rare phenomenon because they require a specific set of conditions to occur. Generally geysers can be found near active volcanic areas where there is an abundant source of subterranean heat. Underground water or surface water percolating down comes in contact with hot rocks and expands into steam that forces boiling water out of the surface through a vent, and a geyser is said to have born. Human activities have also given birth to a number of geysers. Usually an oil drilling company or someone who’s looking for water would accidentally poke a hole through a chamber of pressurized water, and if there is enough underground water, the geyser would erupt for years to come. Again, some artificial geysers are created deliberately to provide the local population with a source of hot water and energy.

Some of these artificial geysers have become tourist attractions. Here are some of the most famous accidentally created geysers around the world.

Fly Geyser

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Cabo Polonio: An Idyllic Tourist Village Without Electricity, Running Water or TV

Cabo Polonio is a small beach village located at the tip of a sliver of sand jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean in the eastern coast of Uruguay in the Rocha Department. At the outermost point, stands a grand lighthouse looking out over two rocky islands where a large colony of sea lions live. The lighthouse is the only structure in the entire village that is connected to the power grid. None of the few hundred houses here have electricity or running water, not even sewerage. Only a handful of businesses and houses have generators or solar panels or use wind power to light their homes, but most people make do without. Fresh water is obtained from well or by collecting rain water.

Cabo Polonio is kept isolated from the rest of the country by a wide region of shifting sand dunes. The village is located about 7 km from the main highway but there are no roads leading to Cabo Polonio. The only way to reach it is by walking across the sand or by a 4x4 vehicle.

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The Recursive Model Villages of Bourton-on-the-Water

Bourton-on-the-Water is a village and civil parish in Gloucestershire, England that lies on a wide flat vale within the “Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.” The village is known for its picturesque High Street, flanked by long wide greens and the River Windrush that runs through them. The river is crossed by several low, arched stone bridges that have led to Bourton-on-the-Water being called the "Venice of the Cotswolds". The village has a population of about 3,200, but during peak times of the tourist season there are more visitors in Bourton-on-the-Water than residents.

Bourton-on-the-Water’s most famous attraction is the one-ninth scale replica of the village itself. Built in the 1930s and opened in 1937, the replica accurately reflects the village as it appeared in 1936 and was constructed using authentic materials - locally-quarried limestone for walls, and miniature Cotswold stone slates for roof coverings. The replica model was built to the last detail including traceried windows of the churches, the dry-stone boundary walls and the vernacular details of the buildings. For trees the craftsmen used miniature bonsai type trees which are carefully pruned to keep them to scale.

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Bourton-on-the-Water Model Village. Photo credit

The Timmelsjoch Experience Pass Museum

Timmelsjoch is a high mountain pass on Ötztal Alps along the border between Austria and Italy. The pass connects the Ötztal valley in the Austrian state of Tyrol to the Passeier Valley in the Italian province of South Tyrol, as it bridges the saddle point between the Jochköpfl and Wurmkogl peaks to its northeast and southwest, respectively. Since 2010, several architectural sculptures were erected along the pass that enlighten travellers about the natural surroundings, the history, the culture, the communities and the economy of the region. One of these sculptures - the Timmelsjoch Experience Pass Museum, designed by Werner Tscholl Architects, is located on the highest point of the Timmelscjoch pass.

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