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lake louise, alberta

11/20/14 2 Comments


canada’s natural beauty reflected through wan mekwi‘s lens. via natgeotravel.


an underwater waterfall?



just off the coast of mauritius (former home of the dodo) is what appears to be an underwater waterfall.  background & more pics via exposure guide:

A fascinating illusion can be found at the Southwestern tip of the island. When seen from the air, a runoff of sand and silt deposits makes the illusion of an underwater waterfall. The visually deceiving impression is absolutely breathtaking when seen from aerial shots. In fact, the illusion can even be seen on Google Maps. Satellite views are dramatic, as an underwater current seemingly appears off the coastline of this tropical heaven. Viewed from other perspectives, the ocean appears to be a spectacular gamut of greens, blues, and whites, creating the false impression that it plummets down just like a raging waterfall.

Causing the visual magic here is the sand, which is the fair-colored part of the water. The current caused by waves smashing against that specific part of the island causes the sand to be dispersed in a natural, waterfall-like manner of the receding waves’ downward pull. In a manner of speaking, it is in fact an underwater waterfall, but more akin to an hourglass, rather than a typical cascading water.

related: the 8 most beautiful water landscapes in the world | the real reason bodies of water are different colors | idyllic noise | great blue hole

why vanilla isn’t as bland as you might think

09/03/13 2 Comments


vanilla has gotten a bad rap.  it’s not only viewed as the most “boring” flavor of ice cream, but webster’s dictionary goes as far as to define it as “lacking distinction: plain, ordinary, conventional”.  the blog incautus futuri however disagrees and raises a solid argument that vanilla is actually one of coolest crops on earth (spotted @ briliiant botany):

  • “It’s an orchid [pictured above] that grows on a three-meter vine, and its flowers last for only a single day.”  i didn’t even know that there was a vanilla flower.
  • “If you want fruit from them, these flowers must be pollinated by hand, since vanilla has no natural pollinators outside of its native range.”
  • “The seed pod takes about nine months to mature, after which it must be harvested and cured.” kinda like human pregnancy.
  • because of that long maturation process, it’s “the world’s second-most expensive spice, after saffron.”  according to this list, a pound of vanilla pods can sell for as much as $200 in the international market.
  • on top of all of that, whether eaten on its own & or as a compliment to other foods, vanilla is scrumdiddilyumptuous.

so does any of that sound plain, ordinary or conventional to you?

related: roses are ice cream | pink peony

peacock showdown



2 reasons to love this pic:

  • peacocks are mainly known for their pristine beauty so seeing two of them fight takes your mind in a different place (here’s a video of two other ones going at it)
  • perfect timing.  great photos inspire a story and this one forces you to think about what happened before and what happens next (notice how the peacock on the ground is looking up at the white one like he’s wondering what’s next as well)

if somebody knows who took this photo, tell me so i can give credit where credit is more than due (spotted @ lit reactor).  

related: see a lioness square off with a fawn (leave your assumptions at the door) | can you find these “invisible” animals?

the 8 most beautiful water landscapes in the world

08/04/13 3 Comments

via my modern met.  have you visited any of these places before?  can you think of any other water landscapes that could’ve cracked the list?

related: the real reason bodies of water are different colors | great blue hole | dark side of the lens

for me, one of the top pleasures on earth is great singing.  hearing certain voices & inflections makes my nerves do the snoopy dance in a unique way.  jazz legend sarah vaughan was blessed with the vocal tools to do the job.  born and raised in newark, nj, vaughan was once dubbed “the divine one” thanks to the angelic nature of her voice, which she could comfortably control in multiple octaves.  check out her 1958 performance of “tenderly” and let me know what you think.

related: r.i.p. etta james | the day lady died

video: sarah vaughan “tenderly”


in 1963, jim whittaker became the first american to climb to mt. everest.  50 years later, he linked up with director eric becker to discuss that experience and what it means to have a life well-lived.  for whittaker, part of it is an appreciation for nature and living life on the edge:

“Being out on the edge, with everything at risk, is where you learn and grow the most.” 

after watching the video, think about your own idea of a well-lived life.  what are some characteristics that define it for you?

a life well lived

07/18/13 2 Comments

“music painting” is a creative musical experience that taps into your ears, eyes and mind.  as you listen to matteo negrin‘s rendition of “lacrime di giulietta”, watch the played notes bloom along the sheet music as you also follow a tale about man’s relationship with nature.  the video was negrin’s idea put into action by alice ninni (director/painter), luca cattaneo (director/editor) & alberto filippini (editor).  via soul pancake.

music painting


in the impossible image, photographer richard mosse talks about his compelling documentary the enclave.  here’s a film synopsis:

Throughout 2012, Richard Mosse and his collaborators Trevor Tweeten and Ben Frost travelled in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, infiltrating armed rebel groups in a war zone plagued by frequent ambushes, massacres and systematic sexual violence. The resulting installation, The Enclave, is the culmination of Mosse’s attempt to rethink war photography. It is a search for more adequate strategies to represent a forgotten African tragedy in which, according to the International Rescue Committee, at least 5.4 million people have died of war-related causes in eastern Congo since 1998.

A long-standing power vacuum in eastern Congo has resulted in a horrifying cycle of violence, a Hobbesian ‘state of war’, so brutal and complex that it resists communication, and goes unseen in the global consciousness. Mosse brings a discontinued military surveillance film to this situation, representing an intangible conflict with a medium that registers an invisible spectrum of infrared light, and was originally designed for camouflage detection. The resulting imagery, shot on 16mm infrared film by cinematographer Trevor Tweeten, renders the jungle war zone in a disorienting psychedelic palette. Ben Frost’s ambient audio composition, comprised entirely of recordings gathered in the field in eastern DRC, hovers bleakly over the unfolding tragedy.

The Enclave immerses the viewer in a challenging and sinister world, exploring aesthetics in a situation of profound human suffering. At the heart of the project, as Mosse states, is an attempt to bring “two counter-worlds into collision: art’s potential to represent narratives so painful that they exist beyond language, and photography’s capacity to document specific tragedies and communicate them to the world.”

if you find yourself in venice in the next few months, you can check out the enclave @ the 55th international art exhibition – la biennale di venezia.

the impossible image

06/21/13 1 Comment

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