Categories
Animals Nature Travel

These owls in a Tokyo cafe are named after musicians and bands

James Mollison of TOPIC ventured into one of Tokyo’s animal cafes where you can sip your coffee with your animal of choice (cats, dogs, and rabbits). But this coffee shop was a little different.

Tokyo’s Pakuchi Bar is apparently one of eight owl cafes in the big city. The owner, Tomo Nanaka, owns 30 of them which she allows in public on the weekends and on special holidays. Even more, she’s named them after musicians and bands.

Below are some of my favorite. From left to right: Kurt Cobain, The Chemical Brothers, Beck, and The Cure.

These owls in a Tokyo cafe are named after musicians and bands
Kurt Cobain, a northern white-faced owl
These owls in a Tokyo cafe are named after musicians and bands
The Chemical Brothers, a black-banded owl
These owls in a Tokyo cafe are named after musicians and bands
Beck, a snowy owl

There’s a video too.

(All images via James Mollison)

Categories
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’.

Categories
Nature Science Travel

Everything you need to know about Yosemite’s stunning ‘firefall’ phenomenon

In what looks like a scene from a fantasy movie, the ‘firefall’ phenomenon in Yosemite is spewing lava-like water again.

Called Horsetail Fall, the fiery waterfall makes an annual appearance for two weeks around February. The fiery orange glow of the waterfall emerges from the illumination of the setting sun over the 1500 foot flowing water.

Yosemite’s stunning ‘fireball’ phenomenon
via twitter

The tight window around catching the Firefall natural phenomenon in Yosemite

The Yosemite Firefall phenomenon is a summer tradition that dates back to 1872.

People would gather at the eastern edge of El Capitan Yosemite to watch ember from the bonfires get pushed over the edge of Glacier Point, creating a man-made fiery waterfall.

Take a look at this photo of the ritual👇

As travel blogger James Kaiser notes on his blog:

For decades those words ushered in one of Yosemite National Park’s most famous spectacles: The Yosemite Firefall. Each evening in the summer, a roaring bonfire was built at the edge of Glacier Point , which towers 3,200 feet above Yosemite Valley. By sundown hundreds of spectators had gathered in Curry Village below. At 9pm sharp, a master of ceremonies in Curry Village shouted out, “Let the Fire Fall!” and the bonfire’s glowing embers were pushed over the edge of Glacier Point, creating a glittering “Waterfall of Fire.”

The National Park Service ended the Yosemite Firefall in 1968. But then nature magically took over to recreate the scene.

Today, the scientific miracle of intermixing chemicals including barium, aluminum and strontium mix together with the sunlight at dusk.

Writes Kaiser on the Yosemite Firefall website:

Then in 1973, within months of the 100-year anniversary of the first Yosemite Firefall, photographer Galen Rowell took the first known photo of the “Natural Firefall” at Horsetail Fall. That single photo ushered in an exciting new chapter in the history of the Firefall, and within a few decades the Natural Firefall had become as famous as the Manmade Firefall.

The firefall phenomenon only lasts about 10 minutes so you’ll need to be patient to catch it just as you would a solar eclipse. If you’re planning a trip to Yosemite, check out some of the best lodging sites here.

Video via Calia Domenico/tw

Categories
Travel

A navigational nightmare: Watch a time-lapse of Port of Amsterdam

The Port of Amsterdam in the Netherlands is the 4th busiest port by metric tons of cargo in Europe.

As you can see in the time-lapse of traffic patterns, navigation looks nearly impossible to control on a daily basis. So we did some digging to find out if this sort of nautical chaos was normal.

As one Twitter user noted, this time-lapse was taken during the Sail Amsterdam event which occurs every five years. This would make sense given all the fleet of tall ships and masted sails rolling about.

It’s also worth mentioning that David Bowie recorded a song in the port’s name.

In the port of Amsterdam there’s a sailor who sings

Of the dreams that he brings from the wide open sea
In the port of Amsterdam there’s a sailor who sleeps
While the river bank weeps to the old willow tree

In the port of Amsterdam there’s a sailor who dies
Full of beer, full of cries in a drunken town fight
In the port of Amsterdam there’s a sailor who’s born
On a hot muggy morn by the dawn’s early light

David Bowie, Port of Amsterdam
Categories
Architecture & Design Travel

Photographs of the aerotropolis, post-modern cities built around airports

Should the airport be the hub of the city?

According to photographer Giulio Di Sturco, the post-modern city is one of the aerotropolis, where the city, business, entertainment, and nature activities are all centered around the airport.

Di Sturco’s ongoing project Aerotropolis, The Way We Will Live Next explores the emergence of globalized architecture and generic spaces happening in Singapore, Bangkok, and Songdo, South Korea.

“These cities capture the breadth of themes running through civilization, from the re-appropriation of the natural landscape to our unquestioning faith in technology, set in the backdrop of architecture refined in elegance and logic,” writes Di Sturco.

“It is the post-modern city. A vision, or perhaps a mirage, it is a window of opportunities to solve the dilemma of modernity: reconciling economic development and sustainable growth.”

Gardens by the Bay, a nature park spanning 101 hectares of reclaimed land in central Singapore. ‘Its sci-fi interiors are nature reimagined, nurtured to fill the vast hangars of super-modernity’ From Aerotropolis, The Way We Will Live Next © Giulio Di Sturco
Bangkok International Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) is the gateway for Southeast Asia. It has the world’s tallest free-standing control tower (434 feet), and the world’s fourth largest single-building airport terminal (6,060,000 square feet). From Aerotropolis, The Way We Will Live Next © Giulio Di Sturco
New Songdo International Business District is a compelling aerotropolis strategically located just over 7 miles from Incheon International Airport. From Aerotropolis, The Way We Will Live Next © Giulio Di Sturco
Categories
Nature Travel

Australia is building car-less neighborhoods

Melbourne, often ranked as one of the world’s most livable cities, is looking to construct neighborhoods where people will never have to use a car.

The city is creating “20-minute neighborhoods” that make going from home to the office, school, grocery, or doctor’s office no more than 20 minutes away.

Whether on foot, bike, or trolley, Melbourne residents will be able to get around the city to their most visited spots with even needing to dial up Uber.

From New York City’s Times Square to Barcelona and Hamburg, cities are reversing the automobile obsession for more traditional and healthier transportation needs.

Categories
Architecture & Design Nature Sports Travel

A timelapse of the Pas-de-Calais region

The Pas-de-Calais department hired a creative agency to promote travel to Northern France.

After taking 350,000 photos, the result is a beautiful look in both timelapse and hyperlapse formats at the diversity of the Pas-de-Calais region’s environment with an emphasis on architecture, landscape, and sport.

This video project was commissioned by the Pas-de-Calais department to promote its territory. While waiting for an original and creative idea, we opted for a dynamic video only realized in timelapse and in hyperlapse.

Through various themes (nature, memory, sport, …) we have, for two months, crisscrossed the Pas-de-Calais to capture the best of this beautiful department.
3 intense minutes to make you want to discover or rediscover this space so rich, conducive to change of scenery and the meeting of a marked culture.