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Architecture & Design Health Nature Travel

Beautiful apples from around the world

William Mullan is a photographer who specializes in taking pictures of rare apples from around the world.

The golden Knobbed Russet, the star-shaped api etoile, hard red Black Oxford apple — these are just a few of the varieties that appear in Mullan’s 200-page photo-book, Odd Apples.

Writes Atlas Obscura on how Mullan’s fascination with apples came to be:

Mullan was born in the United States, but grew up in the United Kingdom, where a teenage encounter with an Egremont Russet led to his love of apples. Its spicy, persimmon-like flavor “just blew my mind,” he says. But many of the apples he’s photographed were born in North America, including such romantic cultivars as the Black Oxford and Hidden Rose.

“There’s just this sense of infinity with [apples] that I love,” Mullan says. While he imagines he’ll move on to other subjects in the future, for now, he’s still entranced by apples.

Even better, during his exhibits, he slices the apples open and passes the edibles around for his audience to enjoy.

You can follow Mullan’s work on Instagram.

Beautiful apples from around the world
Beautiful apples from around the world
Beautiful apples from around the world
Beautiful apples from around the world
Beautiful apples from around the world
Beautiful apples from around the world
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Architecture & Design

Rejected designs for the Eiffel Tower

In the 1880s, French designers Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier mocked up what would become the Eiffel Tower. You can even see the size comparison to other landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty.

Thankfully, someone held on to the 14 other rejected designs. Number 3 seems to come closest to the final design, with embellished trusses added to the lower tier.

It’s hard to imagine Paris without the iconic Eiffel Tower today. However, engineer Gustave Eiffel never built the structure with the intention of keeping it up.

The city wanted to tear it down after the Exposition Universelle of 1889. But the same community of artists who criticized the Eiffel Tower’s initial design ended up mobilizing to save it.

Maurice Koechlin's first drawing of the Eiffel Tower #art #travel #paris #france
Maurice Koechlin’s first drawing of the Eiffel Tower 
Rejected designs for the Eiffel Tower #art #travel #paris #france #history
Rejected designs for the Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower as it stands today, a timeless design
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Architecture & Design Nature

Waves in progress

Here’s something you can look at for hours: looping waves in progress.

Created using visual effect software Houdini by Polish motion designer who goes by the name 00.032, according to her dribble page, the piece takes after Matthieu Lehanneur’s original physical work of the same vein.

Waves in progress
Gif by 00.032

The French designer Lehanneur constructed a furniture collection called Ocean Memories that depicts three-dimensional ocean currents frozen into stone and bronze sculptures.

Lehanneur and 00.032 demonstrate both static and motion-centric representations of the Earth’s ocean.

Waves, a symbol of natural energy, have been a fascination with artists such as Hokusai for centuries.

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Architecture & Design Culture & Society

Time travel back to New York City, 1911

In 1911, Swedish film company Svenska Biografteatern recorded its trip to New York.

Fortunately, the footage survived and most recently was speed-corrected (slowed down) and reproduced with the ambient audio of street sounds of car horns, horses, and police whistles to give us a sense of the environment back then.

There’s also a color version of the 8-minute long video restored via neural networks, featuring 60 frames per second and 4k image resolution.

Some observations:

  • Notice all the people wearing hats
  • The streets look a bit empty compared to today’s zoo
  • Cable powered trolleys
  • The kids go nuts when the camera is on them. Nothing’s changed!

This might be the closest we get to time travel.

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Architecture & Design Culture & Society Health

The treadmill was originally a torture device

Treadmills were originally torture devices, meant to break the mind, body, and spirit of English prisoners.

Two hundred years ago, the treadmill was invented in England as a prison rehabilitation device. It was meant to cause the incarcerated to suffer and learn from their sweat.

Groups of prisoners were forced to walk 6 hours a day, pumping out water, milling corn powering the mills, thus the term “tread-mill.”

Treadmills evolved into a mechanism for punishment to prevent poor people from committing crimes to take advantage of the necessities in jail.

The treadmill was originally a torture device
via twitter
The treadmill was originally a torture device
via twitter

Britain banned treadmills in 1989, seeing their punishment no longer useful.

An 1885 British Medical Journal article called “Death on the Treadmill,” chastized Durham Prison for the treadmill-induced death of a prisoner with heart disease. Its overall high death rate—one fatality a week—prompted the conclusion that “[t]he ‘mill’ is not useful, and has proved itself occasionally injurious.”

Having banned treadmills in 1828 to adopt a “collective industry” where prisoners became factory workers, America revamped the treadmill as an exercise machine.

It resurfaced in 1913 with a U.S. patent for a “training-machine.” In the 1960s, the American mechanical engineer William Staub created a home fitness machine called the PaceMaster 600. He began manufacturing home treadmills in New Jersey. (He used it often himself, right up until the months before his death at the age of 96.)

As this article points out, treadmills are the top-selling training equipment in the US but still come with all the baggage (injuries and boredom) that prisoners endured in England.

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Architecture & Design Space

What cities look like at night without electricity

In his series Villes éteintes (Darkened Cities), French photographer Thierry Cohen imagines the world’s biggest cities at night without urban light.

Cohen uses a special exposure technique called day for night which enables him to capture the cities in the daytime but increase the impression of darkness. Then, he combines the city skylines into the backdrop of starry skies captured at the same altitude.

“By combining two realities, I am making a third that you cannot see … but it exists! I am showing you the missing stars,” Cohen told Wired.

“Photography is way of showing things that we can’t see. Photography is a way to dream. I am not showing you post-apocalyptic cities, merely cities without electricity. I am bringing back the silence.”

Cities lit by the stars

What appears to be an eerie blackout in some of the world’s biggest cities (Hong Kong, LA, New York, Paris, Rio, Shanghai, Tokyo) nonetheless creates a beautiful mirage.

“Photography is about poetry more than it is about reality,” added Cohen. “It is how you see the world. You can show the world you want to show.” See more images on the artist’s website.

NYC at night
New York City
Hong Kong at night under stars
Hong Kong
Paris at night under stars
Paris
Tokyo at night under stars
Tokyo
San Francisco at night under stars
San Francisco
Categories
Architecture & Design Travel

Spooky Indonesian church shaped like a chicken

There is a bizarre-looking church in the Indonesian jungle that’s shaped like a giant chicken.

Located in the forests of Magelang, Central Java (here it is on Google Maps, Gereja Ayam or “Chicken Church” was built in 1992 by Daniel Alamsjah.

He foresaw the structure in the late 80s when he received a spiritual message from God telling him to construct a prayer house for all religions in the shape of a dove. However, given the small beak and fluffy feathers, it appears to look more like a chicken.

Closed temporarily in 2000 for renovation — the second-floor walls have since been repainted with scenes from Indonesian mythology — the church has since been reopened as a tourist attraction but still offers a religious tour.

You can learn more about the church on its official tourism website.

via twitter
Spooky Indonesian church shaped like a chicken
via twitter
Spooky Indonesian church shaped like a chicken
via twitter
Spooky Indonesian church shaped like a chicken
via twitter
Categories
Architecture & Design Nature

Zhangjiajie’s Bailong Elevator is the highest outdoor elevator in the world

The Bailong Elevator is the world’s highest outdoor elevator, towering an astonishing 1,070 feet high inside the National Forest Park in the Wulingyuan area of Zhangjiajie, China. Opened in 2002, the cliff-facing elevator allows 50 visitors at a time to skip up the mountain in two minutes versus a dangerous five-hour car ride.

As you can imagine, the outdoor lift also provides panoramic scenery to its riders of bridges and villages below. Meanwhile, the top of the mountain features the scenic Yuanjiajie natural heritage spot.

Bailong Elevator
Photo: Instagram/@nk7
Bailong Elevator
Photo: Instagram/@nk7
Bailong Elevator
Photo: Instagram/@world_walkerz

Add Zhangjiajie National Park to the list of places to visit, along with Vietnam’s Golden Bridge and Coron Island in the Philippines. See more about the Bailong Elevator in the video below.

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Architecture & Design Culture & Society Health Technology

Why pirates actually wore an eye patch

Eye patch, parrot, and wooden leg, and a limp. Those are the essential ingredients to becoming a pirate.

But did you know that pirates wore an eye patch, not because of a missing eye, but because the patch increased their sight instantly inside low lit areas?

Early technology to avoid temporary blindness

During raids, pirates needed the ability to flip up the eye patch so they could quickly snag a cannonball faster below the deck of the ship.

So one eye was trained to see in daylight, the other in dark. The pirate patch was an early technology to solve the issue of temporary blindness caused by going to a dark room from a brightly lit space.

Why pirates actually wore an eye patch
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Architecture & Design Technology Travel

The musical road in the Netherlands that sings Frisian national anthem

There’s a road in the Netherlands that starts to sing the Frisian Folk Song when cars hit the right speed of 60 kph/40 mph limit.

The musical road resides in the village of Jelsum in the north part of Holland.

The structure of the strategically laid “rumble strips” was built in 2018 to celebrate the unique language and culture of the Friesland region. But the special ‘singing road’ also served as a warning to slow down speedy drivers.

However, the musical experience struck a chord (literally) with the locals who grew tired of hearing the notes 24 hours a day.

According to Dutch News, the €80,000 custom-built pavement markers were finally removed for driving (see what I did there) ‘psychological torture’.