February 9th, 2015
Robert Bruno's Steel House is a sculpture more than it's a home:
Robert Bruno labored for decades to build one of America's most striking houses, but died before he could complete it. Is there a way to preserve his work and legacy?
How on earth haven't I seen this before? Surely it should have shown up in some science fiction film or TV series as the alien base or the hero's desert refuge or a parked spaceship?
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December 27th, 2014
(Yes, I'm pretty sure that's meant to be the United Nations HQ in New York.)
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August 21st, 2014
Katie Baker unveils a tale of an Oregon ghost town and the army of brides that keeps it alive:
Six days a week, Geri Canzler packs her lunch and commutes on winding roads through thick Oregon forest. When it's nice out, she can walk the route, but on this late March day Canzler is tired and the rain hasn't stopped. So she drives her white SUV to her workplace, the second-smallest free-standing post office in the United States. She estimates the wooden shack to be no bigger than 10 feet by 10 feet, though there is also that 3-by-4 storage shed off the back if you're going to get technical about it.
Canzler is the postmaster of a once-thriving lumber town that has been shaved down to just a few splinters. […]
[The little post office…] has been kept barely alive – in an era of Postal Service downsizing – thanks almost entirely to an annual army of finicky brides who covet its picture-perfect postmark for their wedding invitations. Bridal Veil, Oregon, 97010 is the name of the town, and Canzler is one of its only employees. She may well wind up being its last. […]
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May 31st, 2014
Geoff Manaugh, on the work of 19th century surveyors in California who set out to map out the borders between counties:
Like a dust-covered Tron of the desert, surrounded by the invisible mathematics of a grid that had yet to be realized, these over-dressed gentlemen of another century helped give rise to an abstract model of the state.
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April 9th, 2014
Charlie Stross has yet another bad idea:
Now, it occurs to me that the Republican Party over in the USA have a bit of a problem coming up in 2016, namely who to run against Barack Obama's successor. Whoever they are. (Hilary is looking a little old and Al's cardboard has mildew.) But the RNC isn't in good shape. They don't have anybody out front with the charisma of the Gipper (dead or alive), or the good ole' boy appeal of George W. Bush: just a bunch of old white guys in dark suits who're obsessed with the size of their wallets and the contents of every woman's uterus, or vice versa. Guys who make Karl Rove look like Johnny Depp.
And so it occurred to me (after my fifth pint of IPA) to spin my speculative political satire around the fact that there is only one man on the global political scene today who has what it takes to be a plausible Republican candidate for President Of The United States at the next presidential election. […]
The name he's come up with isn't remotely feasible as an actual candidate for president, but then that's not exactly the point, is it?
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March 21st, 2014
16 Ways to Find Love in the Personal Ads (in 1900):
"Wanted: wife. Farmer's daughter preferred, willing to marry poor man. Must be good girl, good-looking, weight 100 or under, no grafters."
[Via The Morning News]
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February 21st, 2014
According to the New York Times the center of the world isn't where you'd have expected to find it:
The town [of Felicity, California], established in 1986, consists of the Istels’ home and a half-dozen other buildings that the couple built on 2,600 acres in the middle of the desert near Yuma, Ariz., just off Interstate 8. At the north end, up an imposing staircase, sits the Church on the Hill at Felicity – inspired by a little white chapel in Brittany – that Istel built in 2007. The church is gorgeous and serene and looks eerily out of place, though less out of place than the 21-foot-tall stone-and-glass pyramid on the opposite end of town. The pyramid is there to mark the exact center of the world.
The founder of the town of Felicity, Jacques-André Istel, has led a really interesting, not to say distinctly eccentric, life.
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November 25th, 2013
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October 11th, 2013
Southern Baptist stock photo makes pornography seem glorious, or, to put it another way, "Lobbyists for the Religious Right, choose your stock photos with care."
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September 29th, 2013
NASA's Earth Observatory posted a slideshow depicting Devastation and Recovery at Mt. St. Helens:
The 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens, which began with a series of small earthquakes in mid-March and peaked with a cataclysmic flank collapse, avalanche, and explosion on May 18, was not the largest nor longest-lasting eruption in the mountain's recent history. But as the first eruption in the continental United States during the era of modern scientific observation, it was uniquely significant.
In the three decades since the eruption, Mt. St. Helens has given scientists an unprecedented opportunity to witness the intricate steps through which life reclaims a devastated landscape. […]
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