Saturday, July 19, 2014

Dutch Artist Recreates His Childhood Drawings 20 Years Later

When Dutch artist Telmo Pieper came across a big box of his childhood drawings, which his parents had carefully put in storage, he was fascinated by how simple and linear his doodles were. Like all kids’ drawings, Pieper’s earliest creations had a surrealistic feel to it, whose style was “impossible to copy but possible to work it out further”.

Pieper decided to recreate the drawings he made as a child, some twenty years later, taking the doodles of a 4-year old and working on it produce a more mature and realistic interpretation of them. The result became a series called "Kiddie Arts."

Telmo Pieper now works together with Miel Krutzmann as the artistic group titled ‘TELMO MIEL’. If you liked Telmo Pieper works, you will love Dave Devries who takes sketches of monsters drawn by children and renders them realistically in Monster Engine. And checkout Wendy Tsao, who takes children’s doodles and turns them into real toys.

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The Tangalooma Wrecks of Moreton Island

The ship wrecks of Tangalooma are located on the western side of Moreton Island near the township of Tangalooma, a former whaling station. Moreton Island is a large sand island - the third largest in the world - located on the coast of south-east Queensland, Australia, which together with Fraser Island, forms the largest sand structure in the world.

The wrecks comprises of fifteen vessels that have been deliberately sunk near the coast to form a breakwall for small boats, also creating an amazing wreck dive and snorkel site in the process. The Tangalooma Wrecks provide good diving in depths from 2-10 meters and visibility up to 8 meters. Even in this shallow water, the wrecks attract an amazing amount of marine life, including wobbegongs, trevally, kingfish, yellowtail and lots of tropical fish.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

The Monastery of Wadi Qelt

Wadi Qelt is a rocky canyon located in the Judaean Desert in the West Bank, originating near Jerusalem and terminating near Jericho, near the Dead Sea. In this isolated and barren valley a 4th-century monastery clings precariously to the rock walls. Originally built around a cave, the monastery grew in the 5th century under Greek Orthodox when its most famous monk and namesake Gorgias of Koziba inhabited the place.

St. George's Monastery began in the 4th century when a few monks seeking the desert experiences of the prophets settled around a cave where they believed Elijah was fed by ravens. The Greek Orthodox monastery was built in the late 5th century A.D. by John of Thebes, who became a hermit and moved from Egypt to Syria Palaestina in 480 A.D. The monastery was named St. George after the most famous monk who lived at the site – Gorgias of Koziba.

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Argentina’s Train to The Clouds

Located 4,000 meters above the sea level in the Andes, Tren a las Nubes or “Train to the clouds” is one of the highest railways in the world. It begins its journey from the city of Salta, in Argentina, at an altitude of 1,187 meters, passes through the Valle de Lerma, enters the Quebrada del Toro and finally ends its journey at the La Polvorilla viaduct (4,200 meters). During the 16-hour trip, the train travels 217 km and climbs a staggering 3,000 meters. It crosses 29 bridges, 12 viaducts, 21 tunnels, swoops round two gigantic loops and two switchbacks. Train to The Clouds got its name from the numerous clouds that are often seen under bridges and around slopes.

The route was laid down in the 1920s by American engineer Richard Fontaine Maury, who was in charge of the project. He designed a singular system supported by bridges, tunnels, viaducts, spirals and zigzags. The zigzags allow the train to climb the mountain by driving back and forth parallel to the slope of the mountain. Maury didn’t use funiculars or cogwheels that are normally used on steep slopes, instead relying on switchbacks to gain height.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cono de Arita in Argentina

Near the south border of Salar de Arizaro, the sixth largest salt flat on earth and the second largest in Argentina, 70 km from the village of Tolar Grande, lies a strange volcanic pyramid. An almost perfect cone, it rises unexpectedly in the middle of the salt pan. This is Cono de Arita and it looms majestically 122 meters above the Salar. Its name comes from the Aymara language where Arita means “sharp”.

In the early twentieth century it was believed that such a perfect cone could only have been built by man. But Cono de Arita is natural and believed to be a small volcano which lacked strength to burst through the curst and so never threw lava or developed a crater. Everything around the cone is black salt brought to the surface by ancient magma flows underground. According to the archaeological remains found in the cone, the place was a ceremonial center prior to the arrival of the Incas.

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Radisson Blu Iveria: A Luxury Hotel That Became a Refugee Camp

The Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel is located at the center of Georgia’s capital city Tbilisi. Built in 1967, it was Georgia’s finest hotel and a popular place to stay for its excellent location and sweeping views of the city. Then in the early 1990s, soon after the collapse and subsequent breakup of the USSR, civil war broke out in Georgia. Tbilisi was flooded with refugee ethnic Georgians coming in from the disputed territory of Abkhazia on the west of Georgia. More than 200,000 refugees poured into the city and the government was faced to deal with their reallocation. Many buildings in Tbilisi, including Hotel Iveria, were reallocated for housing the displaced. A thousand of them wound up in the hotel’s 22 floors where they would remain for the next ten years.

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Raymond Moretti’s Rainbow-Colored Chimney in Paris

In Paris’ affluent district of La Défense, you will find some of the most remarkable pieces of modern art. Within an area of 400 acres, there are more than 60 statues, sculptures and monuments designed by artists such as Louis-Ernest Barrias and Alexander Calder. One monument that sticks out like a giant stick of candy is the brilliantly colored tower called Cheminée Moretti or simply as Le Moretti.

It is a 32-meters high chimney dressed in colorful strands of fiberglass. Le Moretti is composed of 672 fiberglass tubes with a diameter ranging from 2 to 30 cm painted in 19 different colors. The fiberglass tubes run a total length of 22 km and weighs of 27.5 tonnes.  These tubes cover the entire outer surface of the chimney. At night, the chimney is lit by floodlights, allowing it to be reflected in the windows of the surrounding buildings.

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Glass Paperweights by Paul Joseph Stankard

These beautiful paperweights with embedded miniature gardens are all made of glass. They were created by New Jersey-based artist Paul Joseph Stankard, who is considered the father of modern glass paperweights. A pioneer in the studio-glass movement, Paul Stankard has established an international reputation for interpreting nature in glass with his floral art.

For the first ten years of his work career, Stankard worked as a glassblower making scientific instruments for various chemical laboratories. He started producing glass paperweights in his garage while working in industry to support his growing family. It was when Stankard displayed his early paperweights at a craft exhibit on the boardwalk of Atlantic City, New Jersey that Reese Palley, an internationally respected art dealer, saw his work and sponsored Stankard financially to move full-time into making glass art.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Gee Bee Model R: A Cute But Dangerous Airplane

The Gee Bee Model R Super Sportster is a classic airplane designed by Granville Brothers Aircraft of Springfield, Massachusetts, and built specifically for the 1932 Thompson Trophy Race. The airplane was billed as "the fastest and most maneuverable licensed airplane for its horsepower in the United States", and it kept up to its name winning the 1932 race for pilot Jimmy Doolittle, and setting a new world landplane speed record of 476 km/h. The Gee Bee Sportsters soon became a prized possession and were frequently shown off at airshows by their owners, attracting much attention wherever they appeared.

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Monday, July 14, 2014

The Enchanting Island of Gaztelugatxe

Gaztelugatxe is a little island situated in the Bay of Biscay just outside the Spanish coast in Basque Country. The island is crowned by a small hermitage called San Juan de Gaztelugatxe dedicated to John the Baptist, that dates from the 10th century, but could be as early as the 9th century. With another small neighboring island, Aketze, they form a protected biotope that extends from the town of Bakio until Cape Matxitxako, on the Bay of Biscay.

The island is connected to the coast by a narrow path, crossing a two-arch stone bridge and the most magnificent staircase consisting of over 230 steps that lead to the hermitage.

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