• North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un Wins Reelection, Celebrates By Looking At Things [23 Photos]

    In a testament to his popularity as number one despot, North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un has won the title of supreme leader in North Korea’s first election in 5 years. Kim Jong-Un received 100% of the vote, which isn’t all that surprising since he was the only choice. To celebrate the victory, here are some of the best pics from the “Kim Jong-Un Looking at Things” Tumblr. More than anything, he seems to really enjoy looking at food. Just imagine how popular he’d be if he, oh, I don’t know, maybe gave some of that food to the starving populace? Why, he might even get 200% of the vote next time!

  • The Sleaze Of Old Times Square [30 HQ Photos]

    When artist Mitch O’Connell was trying to make it big in his late teens, he would travel to New York City with his illustrations and wander the city, taking photographs. In those days, the most exciting place was 42nd Street, home to peep shows, porno theaters, and adult book stores. And a Howard Johnson’s! Apparently, in the days of wine and roses that were late 80s/early 90s Times Square, you could get a peep show for just a quarter! You’re lucky if you can get a gumball for a quarter these days. Sure, Times Square is a lot safer now, but at what cost? This is just a small sample of Mitch’s photos. Check out the rest and his great illustrations at the Mitch O’Connell Blog.  

  • The Empire Strikes Back, Lego Style [25 Photos]

    Using Star Wars Lego sets and baking soda, photographer Vesa Lehtimäki, or Avanaut, is able to recreat the ice planet Hoth from “The Empire Strikes Back.” Sure, some nerds might complain that the photos don’t follow the actual storyline, but there’s no denying how impressive and cool they are. And anyway, I think we can all agree that Boba Fett making an appearance on Hoth would have been awesome. Who can get enough of the Slave I? Be sure to check out the rest of the Hoth series and Avanaut’s other Lego photo sets on Flickr.

  • Inside The Nirvana Superyacht [25 Photos]

    The 2014 Dubai International Boat Show recently wrapped up and although we couldn’t be there to rub shoulders with the disgustingly rich, we can still enjoy their ostentatious lifestyles through photographs. I know that if I was to develop an app that scared Facebook into giving me billions or exploit my fellow man for the sake of oil riches, I would want to buy the Nirvana superyacht. For a tad over $300 million, this 290 foot yacht could be all yours. The Nirvana features everything you need for entertaining, with 10 jet skis, a 3D movie theater with popcorn maker and bar, a stage for live performances, and a vivarium that comes loaded with lizards and turtles for your amusement. And if you don’t feel like taking the stairs to travel between the six decks, you can always use the 6-person elevator. Time to get started on the 52-week money challenge!

  • Beautifully Bizarre Underwater Creatures [18 Photos]

    Russian photographer Alexander Semenov has traveled all over the world, spending hours and hours diving in order to capture these bizarre sea creatures on film. He’s photographed all manner of jellyfish, marine worms, sea butterflies (a type of swimming sea snail), and sea angels (swimming sea slugs). The 29-year-old wants his photography to reveal the beauty of underwater life. That’s fine and I can appreciate that, just keep them away from me. Especially those Lion’s Mane Jellyfish, they look nasty. Also, check out more of Alexander Semenov’s work at Flickr.

  • Bringing Skateboarding To Afghanistan [15 Photos]

    For the past five years, Skateistan has been dedicated to bringing skateboarding to war-torn Afghanistan. The charity opened their first skatepark in Kabul in 2009 after Australian research Oliver Percovich noticed a crowd of young Afghanis entranced with his skateboarding. Over 400 children in Kabul now visit the skatepark weekly, and with interest growing, Skateistan decided to grow with it. The second facility, pictured below, was opened last year in Mazar-e-Sharif. The new compound, when completed, will feature a skatepark, educaiton center, and sports hall. In addition to the recreational aspect, Skateistan also employs Afghanis as instructors and crew members, offering a new source of revenue in places where gainful employment can be scarce. There have been some issues along the way with culture clashes, but Skateistan has no intention of being scared off. It’s honorable to see people making so much good of a tough situation. Keep up with the charity’s future plans and see what you can do to help at Skateistan. 

  • When Playing With Your Food Becomes Art [37 Photos]

    Obviously nobody ever told Victor Nunes not to play with his food, and that’s a damn good thing. Apparently Nunes has the ability to see faces in everything he comes across, including bananas, bread, sugar, and folded up towels. I once drew a smiley face on my hamburger using ketchup. If these aren’t enough to make you feel bad about your lack of talent, check out Victor Nunes on Facebook where he has over a thousand photos of his incredible art. But seriously, using sugar spread out on a table for your art? Does he want ants? Because that’s how we get ants. 

  • Classic Paintings Meet Google Street View [18 Photos]

    Last week we shared reddit user shystone’s photos of historic paintings superimposed over their contemporary London setting. Now they have returned with pictures from around the world, using famous paintings like Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks.” Google Street View was again utilized for the current photos of the locations that serve as the backdrop. Just like the last set, it is amazing to see how many of the paintings are able to fit so easily into the contemporary setting. For more background info on the paintings, check out The Guardian.

  • The 1950s Nanny Who Was A Secret Street Photographer [32 HQ Photos]

    In 2009, John Maloof purchased a collection of negatives at a furniture and antiques auction in Chicago for $380. He soon found that he had purchased thousands of photographs taken in cities all over the world. He was amazed at the talent and set out to learn about the photographer. He found her name, Vivian Maier, written on a photo-lab envelope. A search of the name came up with a recent obituary where he learned she had lived in Chicago and worked as a nanny. Maloof came to learn that Vivian Maier’s photography was a secret she kept from everyone who knew her, including her employers and even close friends. In the years since the initial discovery, Maloof has turned Vivian Maier into a celebrated photographer, with gallery shows, an online portfolio, and a documentary to be released this month. The photos below are all of New York in the 1950s and 60s, but photos from Chicago, Canada, Florida, India, and Europe can be found at Vivian Maier. Find out when the documentary, “Finding Vivian Meier,” is coming to your city here.

  • MIPIM Architectural Review Future Project Award winners 2014 [21 Photos]

    The MIPIM Architectural Review Future Projects Awards, now in their 13th year, are the only awards exclusively for unbuilt or unfinished projects spanning 12 categories. The awards focus on creativity and showcase fine architecture while considering the impact on and contribution to the surrounding community. The winners and honorable mentions from the different categories are presented below. The overall winner will be announced at a convention in Cannes on March 12.

  • China’s Air Pollution Is Out Of Control [22 Photos]

    China Premier Li Keqiang announced today that the nation will “declare war” on pollution. It’s probably a good idea seeing as how Beijing’s concentration of PM 2.5 particles, those small enough to penetrate the lungs and enter the bloodstream, recently hit 505 micrograms per cubic meter. To put that in perspective, the World Health Organization recommends a safe level of just 25. To help ease pollution, China plans to cut outdated steel production capacity by 27 million tons, cement production by 42 million tons, and shut down 50,000 small coal-fired furnaces. Until then, if you plan on going to China, don’t forget to pack a mask or two.

  • The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly From The Geneva Motor Show [32 HQ Photos]

    Each year in March, the International Geneva Motor Show is held at the Geneva Palexpo convention center. Since the first show in 1905, Geneva has been the show for automobile manufacturers to unveil their most ambitious concepts. Although exotic supercars usually get the most attention, the latest technological breakthroughs are also met with great fanfare. More so than other shows, automobile manufacturers worldwide consider the Geneva Motor Show a level playing field because the hosting nation, Switzerland, has no auto industry of its own. We’ve shared some of our favorites form the show below, whether it’s because we want to drive them or because they look so insanely ridiculous. The Volkswagen Giugiaro Clipper Concept is our current favorite. Which one do you want to take for a spin?

  • Miserable Men Forced To Go Shopping [51 Photos]

    Here we see the male of the species in the female’s natural habitat, the shopping mall. The female abandons the male, leaving him to guard the goods she has gathered, while she continues to hunt. Occasionally she will return, wearing a different skin, asking the male’s opinion. He will answer “looks great, hun” or face certain death. While the female is away, the male will be consumed in thought, worrying about the money the female is spending, before exhausting himself and falling asleep. Sometimes the males congregate and pretend to look busy on their smartphones while intermittent grunts of “how many pairs of shoes does she need?” and “Mets are looking good this year” are uttered in an attempt to bond. This ritual, know to last for 8 hours or more, can be further examined at the “miserable_men” Instagram.

  • Own Al Capone’s Florida Villa For $8.44 Million [23 Photos]

    Al Capone’s Miami Villa, where he died from complications from syphilis in 1947, is back on the market. The 1922 Villa was purchased last year for $7 million but apparently houses where STD-infested gangsters spent their final days in dementia are hot right now and the house is now listed at $8.44 million. Although much of the property has changed in the 67 years since Capone’s passing, some original elements, like the black and gold Art Deco powder room, remain. And if security is a concern, Capone’s got you covered. High walls and heavy iron doors are sure to stop the G-Men from showing up unannounced. There is also a large swimming pool with marble all around and a 2 bedroom cabana, perfect for hosting parties where maybe, if you’re lucky, you can contract your very own venereal disease. How can you pass this up? Contact Sotheby’s and put in your bid right now!

  • Ukraine’s Forgotten Tank Graveyard [12 Photos]

    In the Ukrainian city of Kharkov, 300 miles east of capital city Kiev and 30 miles form the Russian border, lies a “graveyard” filled with hundreds of Soviet-era tanks. 18-year-old adventurous photographer Patvel Itkin heard about the site from a friend and spent months trying to find its exact location. The area is guarded, but Itkin was able to sneak his way in and capture these photographs while walking the grounds for about two hours. The site was originally a manufacturing plant, producing more than 60 tanks and 55 engines per month, but has been mostly dormant since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. There are still a handful of mechanics on site who repair modern tanks, but the old tanks have been long abandoned. With the recent events in Ukraine, the “graveyard” may soon find new life.

  • Bad Hair, Don’t Care [43 Photos]

    Remember: your haircut is only bad if you think it’s bad. It’s simply attitude that transforms a norco neck warmer nerd to a kickass coiffed cat. Now listen to “I’ve Got an Ape Drape” by the Vandals and get some ideas for a new ‘do.

  • The Plan To Clean Up Mount Everest [20 Photos]

    Plan on tackling Mount Everest any time soon? If so, be prepared for a little extra weight on the trek back down. Over the last 60 years, the mountain has become increasingly covered in trash and to tackle the problem, Nepal is instilling a new rule where every adventurer must return with not only their own trash, but an additional 8 kg, or 17.6 lb, of garbage collected on the way. If you don’t follow the new rule, legal action will be taken, although it is unknown if that will be a fine or some other penalty. Expeditions already have to pay a $4000 deposit to scale the mountain, which is refunded when the party returns and proves they’ve brought back everything, but enforcement has been lax. Six decades of Everest expeditions has resulted in empty oxygen tanks, Buddhist prayer flags, beer bottles, tents, and even the bodies of deceased climbers (which don’t decompose in the cold), littering the landscape and hopefully the new policy will ease the problem. 

  • Photoshopping The Oscars Selfie [12 Photos]

    Both the talented and talentless over at Reddit’s Photoshop Battles are duking it out with their takes on the celebrity-heavy Oscars selfie. As good as the creepy photo from “The Shining” is, I think the current best is the lonely Bradley Cooper with cardboard cutouts of his fellow stars.

  • Northern Lights Make Rare Appearance In British Skies [25 Photos]

    Thursday night, folks in Britain were treated to a rare appearance by the Northern Lights in their skies. The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, is a brilliant light display in the sky caused by collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun and the Earth’s atmosphere. The phenomenon is usually only visible in Arctic regions, but strong solar winds caused them to be seen further south than usual. I suppose after all the flooding, Britain deserves a little treat from Mother Nature. 

  • Portraits Of Convicts With Letters To Younger Selves [10 HQ Photos]

    For “The Reflection Project,” photographer Trent Bell captured portraits of inmates in the Maine prison system with handwritten letters from each inmate to his younger self in the background. When these people get locked away for so long, it’s so easy to have an attitude of “out of sight, out of mind,” but the reality is that they are real people living their lives behind bars because of a mistake. The idea for the powerful project came to Bell after a friend, a professional with a wife and 4 children, was sentenced to 36 years. We’ve all had moments where things could have taken a wrong turn, and this series serves as a reminder that it’s possible for any of us to find ourselves in these circumstances. For more info and other projects, check out Trent Bell Photography.

  • Noses Look Just Like Ninja Turtles [26 Photos]

    Whoever first realized that people’s nose look like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a genius. Thanks to short attention spans and the cyclical nature of the Internet, these pictures from a long dead Tumblr are finding a new audience. Or the same audience who forgot that they’ve seen them before. I think I may fall into the latter category. For more, check out Teenage Mutant Ninja Noses. Someone’s going to need to make some new ones soon. I’m almost positive I’ll remember all these next time. Maybe.

  • If These Celebrities Had Tattoos [31 Photos]

    Who knew Photoshopping tattoos onto celebrities could be so entertaining? Apparently Seattle-based artist Cheyenne Randall, who created these, was well aware of that fact. Also, I think Marilyn Monroe just became my new favorite suicide girl. I mean because she’s hot and has tattoos. Not because of that, um, suicide thing. Anywho, for lots more shopped goodness, head over to Shopped Tattoos.

  • Rural Robotica: Sci-Fi Outside City Limits [20 Photos]

    We’re all familiar with representations of dystopian cities ravaged by futurific robot wars, but Stockholm, Sweden-based artist Simon Stalenhag takes a different approach with his art. Instead of robot despots standing atop the rubble of razed skyscrapers, we see everyman rural folks continuing their lives the best they can…with robots. The result is calming, serene images that still have an uncomfortable coldness about them and not just because many feature a snow-laden Sweden. 

  • Yankees Spring Training 1961 [16 Photos]

    Spring training is here again, so we thought we’d share the best spring training photo shoot with you. In 1961, LIFE gave Yankee shortstop Tony Kubek a camera and assigned him the task of capturing his teammates during spring training. His teammates at the time included the legends Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra, and Roger Maris. The amazing and fun photos were never published in the magazine. Thankfully, LIFE gave them new life (ha!) on their website a couple years ago. 

  • 1940s America In Color: 30 HQ Photos From The Office Of War Information

    Between 1939 and 1944, around 1600 color photographs were collected by the U.S. Government’s farm Security Administration and Office of War Information. The pictures focused on rural areas and farm labor around the nation, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, along with World War II mobilization. The following photos focus on factory workers during that period.

  • Inside Alaska’s Creepy Abandoned Buckner Building [20 Photos]

    Whittier, Alaska, with a population of 182, is home to what was once Alaska’s largest building, the Buckner Building. In 1964, a 9.2 earthquake badly damaged the building and for 50 years it has sat empty and abandoned. Whereas most cities would demolish such a building, Whittier is only accessible by water, a small airstrip where 2 single-engine aircraft are based, or a tunnel that has shared traffic between east and westbound traffic and the Alaska railroad. The fact that the government was able to construct the Buckner Building is already incredible, so it’s best for the townspeople not to push their luck by asking for its removal. The Buckner Building is not the safest place, with a couple inches of water on the floor at all times, asbestos all around, and bears using it as a home in the spring, but that doesn’t stop explorers and vandals from visiting. A few months ago, a fence was erected around the facility, but how successful it will be at keeping people out remains to be seen. If anyone actually cared, you’d think it would be easy to figure out who, out of the 182 residents, is poking around and vandalizing. 

  • Blood On The Tracks: Insane Board Track Racing Of The Early 1900s [27 Photos]

    Board track racing, one of the most popular sports of the early 20th century, was also one of the most violent sports ever attempted. With the introduction of the 1.75 horsepower Indian in 1901 followed by Harley Davidson in 1903, it’s only natural that folks wanted to race each other. Large oval tracks comprised of wooden planks were built for the sole purpose of racing and to make things interesting, turns were often banked at over 45 or even 50 degrees, allowing for incredible speed. Crowds flocked to the races to see brave (or stupid) motorcyclists zip around at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour while wearing little more than a leather helmet and goggles. Oh yeah, and they had no brakes, so fatal crashes were quite common, with many of the big names in the sport dying on the track. Onlookers weren’t too safe, either, with an accident in Atlantic City in 1912 that claimed the lives of 4 spectators and injured 10 others. Amazingly enough, it wasn’t the fact that racers and fans were constantly being killed that led to the end of the sport, but rather the Great Depression made it impossible to keep up with the more »

  • Poland’s Creepy Skull Chapel [13 HQ Photos]

    From the outside of the Skull Chapel, or Kaplica Czaszek, in the Polish village of Czerma, you would just think it to be a run of the mill place of worship for the townspeople. But then you enter and see the skulls of 3,000 people on the walls of the small church. Then you’d go into the basement and find another 21,000 skeletons. The remains are those of people who died in the Thirty Years’ War, three Silesian Wars, and from various cholera epidemics in the 18th century. It is the only monument of its kind in Poland and one of only three in all of Europe.

  • The Intriguing Dense Architecture Of Hong Kong [38 Photos]

    With an area six times that of Washington, DC and a population more than 10 times the US capital, it’s safe to say Hong Kong is a fairly densely populated place. In fact, 36 of the world’s 100 tallest residential buildings are in Hong Kong and more people there work on or above the 14th floor than anywhere else on the planet, making it the world’s most vertical city. German-born photographer Michael Wolf lives and works in Hong Kong and has  taken a keen interest in the mega city. His work manages to make the repetitive, simple architecture of Hong Kong’s residential buildings into works of art. These photos represent just a small sampling of the people and places he’s captured. For other series, check out Michael Wolf Photography.

  • Tu-144: The First Supersonic Transport Aircraft [12 Photos]

    Everyone knows about the Concorde, the supersonic transport, or SST, that was retired in 2003, but the first and only other SST to enter commercial service was the Soviet-built Tupolev Tu-144. The prototype first took flight in December of 1968, two months before the first Concorde. It went supersonic June 5, 1969 and reached Mach 2 May 26, 1970. The Tu-144 began passenger service November 1, 1977 but after a test flight ended in a crash in May of 1978, the passenger fleet was grounded, with only 55 flights completed. The SST was still used for cargo until 1983.  Although both the Concorde and Tu-144 have been retired, they are fondly remembered as symbols of a most exciting era in commercial flight. 

  • 50th Anniversary Of Cassius Clay Vs Sonny Liston [16 Photos]

    On February 25, 1964, in a well publicized bout in Miami, Muhammad Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, faced Sonny Liston for the first time. Ali’s record at the time was 19-0 and it was the first title match for the 22-year-old. Although he was an Olympic gold medalist, the odds favored Sonny Liston 7 to 1. After 7 rounds, however, Liston was counted out and Ali became the heavyweight champion. Bookmakers would have been smart to listen to Ali the night before the bout, when he released this incredible poem: Clay comes out to meet Liston and Liston starts to retreat, If Liston goes back an inch farther he’ll end up in a ringside seat. Clay swings with a left, Clay swings with a right, Just look at young Cassius carry the fight. Liston keeps backing but there’s not enough room, It’s a matter of time until Clay lowers the boom. Then Clay lands with a right, what a beautiful swing, And the punch raised the bear clear out of the ring. Liston still rising and the ref wears a frown, But he can’t start counting until Sonny comes down. Now Liston disappears from view, the crowd is getting more »


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