The Silent Sky Project#

Artist Rob Sweere has been inviting participants to take part in an original, traveling social project titled Silent Sky Project#. Since 2004 Sweere has asked people around the world to take 30 minutes out of their day to lay in silence amongst one another and contemplate the sky in complete silence. Currently there have been 65 Silent Sky occurrences with between 3 and 2000 participants. It all sounds very therapeutic.


All images via Rob Sweere

The Baffling Sculptures Of Fabio Viale

Fabio Viale makes some very deceiving sculptures. The deception comes from the fact that all of Vaile’s sculptures are carved from white or black marble. The meticulous and realistic artworks could easily be mistaken for styrofoam, rubber, or paper.


All photos via Fabio Viale

The 25 Least Visited Countries In The World

Here is a moderately surprising list of the 25 least visited countries in the world. North Korea doesn’t even make the list (because of a mostly Chinese tourist base). Why some countries are less visited than others varies, but location, travel related logistics, costs, visa availability, degree of war and governments or lack thereof all matter. Here is the top ten with their approximate annual number of tourist visitors:

10. Turkmenistan: 8,697
9. Guinea-Bissau: 7,500
8. Libya: 6,250
7. Kiribati: 6,000
6. Equatorial Guinea: 5,700
5. South Sudan: 5,500
4. Marshall Islands: 4,600
3. Tuvalu: 1,200
2. Somalia: 400 visitor
1. Nauru: 160 visitors

That would make on heck of a bucket list. The author Gunnar Garfors has visited 198 countries and shares some of his experiences in traveling to these far-flung and rarely visited countries.

The First Ever BMX Quad Backflip Has Been Landed

Quad Flip

After months of trial and error, yesterday Jed Mildon landed the world’s first quadruple BMX backflip. The jump ended a heated, year-long, race between Mildon and James Foster to see who could land the trick first.

Outside a couple of K.O.s in the airbag during initial attempts, Jed Mildon pulled the trick off without injury, which is an especially monumental feat considering James Foster broke ten ribs and suffered a separated shoulder while training for his attempt. You can watch the official Nitro Circus video here.

via: Laughing Squid

At Least I Have Chicken

Leeroy Jenkins changed the gaming world for the better. During a game of World Of Warcraft Ben Schulz was away from his computer reheating some KFC so he didn’t listen any of his group’s attack plans. His haphazard charge turned out to be a landmark event and it ended up spawning what is arguably the most viral video in online gaming history. It was ten years ago today, on May 11, 2005, the video of this event was uploaded to the site WarCraftMovies.com

The rest is history. At Least I Have Chicken.

We Have To Go To A Park And Record The Sound Of Birds Rising

This demo recording of Stevie Nicks playing Rhiannon (also known as the Birds Rising Demo) is spectacular. The sweet voice mixed with the powerful piano playing is a joy. Open you ears to the music, your heart to the feels, and you’ll understand the magic that is Stevie.



Mad Men Reading List

The New York Public Library (NYPL) has created a Mad Men Reading List, a collection of 25 titles read by the main characters during the course of the series. These titles are a great way to gain insight into the social and cultural eras in which the series takes place.

DON DRAPER’S PICKS

ROGER STERLING’S PICK

JOAN HARRIS’S PICK

BERT COOPER’S PICK

BETTY DRAPER’S PICKS

PETE CAMPBELL’S PICKS

SALLY DRAPER’S PICKS

LANE PRYCE’S PICK

HENRY FRANCIS’S PICK

Billy Parrott has also written a more comprehensive blogpost that lists books seen on shelves and lying around on tables during the show.

Parent-Friendly Kids Music (For Free!)

This weekend I downloaded this new, and free, children’s album For Kids By Kids: Songs From Iowa Rock City from the Iowa City Public Library. The entire family enjoyed listening to it.

For Kids and By Kids mixes moods and musical styles—from roots music, for which Iowa City is known, to punk, polka, folk, hip-hop, and synth-pop. It not only crosses musical genres, but also generations … Dozens of youths appear on For Kids and By Kids, and we hope that the many more who hear this album will be inspired to pick up an instrument, form their own bands, or do something else creative.

All of the songs are original, spanning all types of genres and moods. The lyrics are not condescending, gratingly repetitive, or infantile. I’m sure we’ll be breaking this one out for listens all summer.

Flying Through The Umbra Of A Total Solar Eclipse

Be Me!

During the recent total solar eclipse, a group of eclipse chasers chartered a flight to get a view of the event from 35,000 feet in the sky. The above gif was from the window of the plane flying through the shadow being cast by the moon on the clouds below. The image comes from this video taken by Stephan Heinsius.

2015 SXSW Music Torrent

After a rough patch last year, SXSWTorrent.com is back in full force. This years SXSW music torrent contains 844 files totaling 5.41GB with more to be released later this month.

SXSWTorrent.com has music showcase torrents going all the way back to 2005 – 11 years worth of torrents with over 11,000 songs.

If you’re not interested in downloading/seeding but still want to listen to the music you might want to try this SXSW music page. Also, somebody has been trying to create a Spotify playlist of this years showcase artists as well.

We Who Are Your Closest Friends (A Poem For Valentines Day)

we who are
your closest friends
feel the time
has come to tell you
that every Thursday
we have been meeting
as a group
to devise ways
to keep you
in perpetual uncertainty
frustration
discontent and
torture
by neither loving you
as much as you want
nor cutting you adrift

your analyst is
in on it
plus your boyfriend
and your ex-husband
and we have pledged
to disappoint you
as long as you need us

in announcing our
association
we realize we have
placed in your hands
a possible antidote
against uncertainty
indeed against ourselves
but since our Thursday nights
have brought us
to a community of purpose
rare in itself
with you as
the natural center
we feel hopeful you
will continue to make
unreasonable
demands for affection
if not as a consequence
of your
disastrous personality

then for the good of the collective

Phillip Lopate, 1943