Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Good Old-fashioned Snowball Fight Between Franciscans in Jerusalem

A group of Franciscan friars enjoy a good old-fashioned snowball fight in Jerusalem:

Via Fark.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The World's Largest Cave with Its Very Own Ecosystem

In Vietnam's Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is the world's largest cave Hang Son Doong situated, having its own ecosystem. This magnificent place was discovered in 1991 by a local farmer and then rediscovered by a team of scientists in 2009:

In 1991, a local farmer by the name of Ho Khanh was walking along a stretch of lush forest within the heart of the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh province, near the border between Laos and Vietnam. It was an area that he had passed many times before and he was not paying any particular attention to his surroundings when suddenly the jungle floor opened up beneath him and Mr. Khanh only barely managed to hold on as the ground crumbled beneath him. When he was able to get his bearings, he peered into the gaping chasm that had suddenly appeared out of the thick foliage and saw that there was now a steep drop where he had stood that descended down into darkness. By pure chance and blind luck, this man had discovered an entrance that had remained hidden from man for millions of years into what would turn out to be the largest cave in the world, a behemoth five times larger than the largest known cave at the time.

For years the entrance remained unexplored. Locals were afraid to go near it, partly because of the dauntingly steep drop, and partly because of the strange roaring sounds that bellowed out from its depths […]

It was not until 2009 that members of the British Cave Research Association undertook an expedition to penetrate into the mysterious jungle cavern and explore the darkness below. By that time the man who originally had found it no longer even remembered exactly where it was, so the team had to ascertain its position from what he could recall and from other locals, who still feared it. It was to be the beginning of a breathtaking journey into an ancient, forgotten realm that no human being had ever set foot in.

Hang En Cave is the world’s 3rd largest cave, also located within the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park:

Photo credit: Carsten Peter

Via @SheAHow and MessyNessy.

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The World of Colours and Patterns in the City of Istanbul

To instill some warmth into our long dark winter days, a visit to architect Yener Torun's Instagram account is a good place to start, where he captures the beautiful and colourful city of Istanbul, revealing its great architecture.

"Miss France":

"…I'm A Symmetry Addict.":

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Latest Food Trend: Japanese Tiny Cuisine

The latest trend in the world of food: Real food prepared and served in a tiny format:

[…] The trend started in Japan, but recently it started catching on with viewers worldwide, with some of these videos racking up hundreds of thousands of views.

So why do so many people find the idea of pinky-sized cuisine appealing? For starters, most of these “recipes” use real-life ingredients, cooked with a small candle or canned heat. The fact that you can actually eat some of these bite-sized creations makes them a lot cooler than if someone had whipped them up using inedible plastic toys.

Shrimp tempura:

Via Metro (SE).

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Magnificent Aurora Borealis Over Abisko National Park, Sweden

A magnificent aurora borealis was seen over Abisko National Park, Sweden, on Feburary 16th, 2015.

Visit Lights Over Lapland for more aurora images, videos and merchandise.

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How to Chop An Onion the Marco Pierre White Way

Earlier today, I watched chef Marco Pierre White chopping an onion on Masterchef Australia with incredible knife skills. Sadly, I can't find that clip online, so this is the next best thing:

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Portrait of the First American to Summit Everest

American mountaineer Jim Whittaker was the first American to reach the summit of Mount Everest during the expedition of 1963. In this portrait "A Life Well Lived" by director Eric Becker, Jim talks about expanding your comfort zone by taking risks and his love for our vast nature.

Via Aeon.

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How MindBodyGreen Came to Life

Jason Wachob is the founder of the wellness site MindBodyGreen. Seeing Jason's entertaining presentation of how the site came to life, I realized I've just been gifted with three words, that put together can guide me every day, so that I don't miss out on the essentials. See for yourself!

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The Philanthropic Work of Harris Rosen

Once in a while, you stumble upon stories that are truly inspirational. The one with businessman Harris Rosen's philanthropic work falls into that category. By investing money in a drug-infested and violent neighborhood in Florida, the results have been truly amazing:

Twenty years ago, the Orlando, Fla. neighborhood of Tangelo Park was a crime-infested place where people were afraid to walk down the street. The graduation rate at the local high school was 25 percent. Having amassed a fortune from his success in the hotel business, Rosen decided Tangelo Park needed some hospitality of its own.


Rosen, 73, began his philanthropic efforts by paying for day care for parents in Tangelo Park, a community of about 3,000 people. When those children reached high school, he created a scholarship program in which he offered to pay free tuition to Florida state colleges for any students in the neighborhood.

In the two decades since starting the programs, Rosen has donated nearly $10 million, and the results have been remarkable. The high school graduation rate is now nearly 100 percent, and some property values have quadrupled. The crime rate has been cut in half, according to a study by the University of Central Florida.

Featured image: Taken from the Harris Rosen article in the magazine of the University of Central Florida.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Scandinavian Sweet Buns Now Serving in America

Congratulations America to the arrival of Scandinavian sweet buns! I've only had one this season, so I'm far behind.

Forget the all-night boozing, the spicy jambalaya and the gaudy-colored king cake. And definitely forget the scantily clad debauchery that is Mardi Gras.

Like the set-up of a Garrison Keillor joke, I'm here to tell you about Lutherans and their sweet February buns. Welcome to Fat Tuesday Nordic-style.

Known as semlor in Sweden and fastelavens boller in Norway, these cardamom-scented rounds of yeasted dough are filled with a thick ring of whipped cream and topped with a flurry of confectioner's sugar. Often, bakers blend a spoonful of almond paste with milk to tuck a super sweet surprise under the filling.

Recipe if you'd like to make them yourself.

Photo credit: Linda Lomelino

Via Metro (SE).

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Office Workers: Perfect Your Posture

This animated video contains some healthy advice for those of us who spend many hours every day sitting still, so that we can maintain a good posture and health.

Via YogaDork.

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Monday, February 16, 2015

805 Million Names: Zlatan's Campaign for UN's World Food Programme

Together with UN, footballer Zlatan Ibrahimović have launched a campaign to raise awareness for the 805 million people who are suffering from hunger in the world today due to wars, natural disasters and extreme poverty.

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Making Time for Yourself

An important piece in Vogue by Mackenzie Wagoner about making precious time for yourself:

[…] I signed myself up for a ten-day mind-and-body cleanse that required me to stick to a few basic precepts: making all of my own meals, working out a few times during the prescribed period, taking one bath, and carving out ten minutes every morning and night to meditate. Simple enough, but my initial reaction to each task was, “Who has the time?” Then, upon further consideration, actually feeling frightened by how little space in my schedule I allot for basic human needs: Feeding and bathing myself, getting enough sleep, and improving my health and my heart rate. This is an even scarier realization when you take into account that I am a single woman with one job and no children—not even a house plant relies on me for life. How could I possibly be so busy?

Featured image: The Mandarin Oriental Bangkok via Condé Nast Traveller.

Via @kenchawkin.

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Descension: Anish Kapoor's Vortex Installation

In Anish Kapoor's exhibition "Descension", a black intimidating whirpool has been installed at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India.

The completion of the installation:

And the final result:

Via Laughing Squid.

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Cocaine Remedies in the Late 1800s

In the late 1800s, cocaine was added to drinks and pastilles to cure everything from fatigue to colds. Even heroin was used to treat ailments such as headaches.

Not your ordinary Fisherman's Friend (image via):

Ad for Vin Mariani, a tonic made from Bordeaux wine and coca leaves (image via):

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