It’s no secret that most Hollywood movies don’t quite represent reality. From polished actors to happy endings only, we’ve learned to take it with a grain of salt.
This time, we’re dealing with another big screen misdemeanor. It turns out, the American film industry does little to care about accurately portraying other countries. The meme below suggests that all it takes to portray Mexico, Japan, Africa, and India is some editing and a custom filter. Hence, the Mexican street is drenched in sepia, Japan is shouting neon, and Eastern Europe looks grey and shabby. Too many stereotypes and too little imagination have got us wondering how come it’s still okay.
What the circus looked like in 1931, Brooklyn, NY
Mount Fuji, Japan
Village in the Alps
Heavy clouds moving into Duluth, Minnesota
Blue Lake Michigan water in Chicago
Guy changing a bulb on top of the Penobscot building in Detroit
Israeli Defense Force Search and Rescue soldier
Pingualuit Crater, northern Quebec
Temples in Burma
Amazing topography in China
Little guy has a front row seat
A ship in deep trouble
On Saturday afternoon SpaceX and NASA successfully launched a crew of American astronauts aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. There has not been a mission from the Kennedy Space Center to put people into space for almost ten years, since the end of the Space Shuttle program. The launch was also historic for SpaceX as it became the first private company to carry humans into orbit. The Dragon capsule will dock Sunday morning with the International Space Station. The astronauts will stay in space for at least six weeks but possibly up to four months.
Palestinian girl shaking hands with an Israeli soldier.
Storm brewing over Cleveland
A museum that wants to scare the crap out of visitors?
Japanese boy soldier prisoners on Okinawa WWII. One said he was 21 years old and the other one said he was 18.
Antarctica from space
Ghost clouds over New York
Who you gonna call?
Volcano over Chile
Far side of the Moon and Earth taken from Discover satellite from 1 million miles away
London Bridge under construction
Floods in Saskatchewan
United States submariners coming up for sunshine
Meanwhile in India: a spiral staircase climbing holy cow.
New supermodel in Antarctica
Yunyang Longgang Scenic Spot in Chongqing, China, has become home to what is being referred to as the world’s scariest swing, which can catapult thrill-seekers over the edge of a nearly 700m-tall cliff, at speeds of up to 130km per hour.
The newly-unveiled super swing consists of a 100-meter-tall arch tower from which the swing’s metal cables are attached, and a 108-meter-tall launch tower which allows the swing to achieve mind-numbing speeds. With a swing diameter of up to 91.5 meters, the Yunyang Longgang Cliff Swing is said to offer a more thrilling experience than the famous Nevis Swing in Queenstown, New Zealand, or the Glenwood Canyon Cliff Swing in the United States. The new super-swing is currently undergoing additional safety inspections and is expected to open at the end of next month.
“To ensure the security of tourists, we used the structural steel of the world’s highest safety performance and applied advanced technologies such as seamless welding. It’s also anti-thunder and anti-electric and can withstand a magnitude 10 earthquakes and level 14 typhoons,” Li Pengfei, General Manager of Yunyang Tourism Development Co., Ltd, told iChongging, last year.
The arc of the swing reaches 90 degrees, 70 meters from the cliff under neat the seat. Up to three people can use the swing at a time; they will be strapped into the chair with safety harnesses, before being lifted into the air by a rope attached to the launch tower, from which they will be flung at blistering speed.
To experience the Yunyang Longgang Cliff Swing first-hand, you will have to travel to Chongqing and wait until June 30th, when the ride is expected to officially open.
I’d shit my pants just before my heart would blow out if I tried riding this thing.
This is disconcerting.
Reminiscent of the beginnings of an apocalyptic science fiction film, a troop of monkeys in India attacked a lab worker and made off with blood samples from COVID-19 patients. The very strange incident reportedly occurred at a medical college in the city of Meerut on Thursday when a lab technician was walking outside the facility and encountered the troublesome creatures. Presumably suspecting that he was carrying something that they could eat, the monkeys descended upon the unfortunate individual and snatched three samples containing the virus.
The fantastic nature of the caper captured the imagination of people online, many of whom likened it to the eerily similar opening scene of the zombie film 28 Days Later. However, not everyone found the monkey’s antics amusing as residents of the area were understandably concerned about the prospect of the creatures spreading the virus in their community. In response to those fears, an official with the college assured the public that, to date, no evidence has emerged to indicate that monkeys can get the coronavirus.
Fortunately this became something of a moot point when the samples were recovered shortly after the animals had stolen them. It would appear that the monkeys, who had scrambled up trees to examine the pilfered material, eventually tossed the blood samples to the ground once they realized that the packets could not be eaten. Nonetheless, authorities have pledged to investigate the incident and take steps to prevent any similar incidents in the future.
The blue-footed booby (Sula nebouxii) is a marine bird native to subtropical and tropical regions of the eastern Pacific Ocean. It is one of six species of the genus Sula – known as boobies. It is easily recognizable by its distinctive bright blue feet, which is a sexually selected trait. Males display their feet in an elaborate mating ritual by lifting them up and down while strutting before the female. The female is slightly larger than the male and can measure up to 90 cm (35 in) long with a wingspan of up to 1.5 m (5 ft).
The natural breeding habitats of the blue-footed booby are the tropical and subtropical islands of the Pacific Ocean. It can be found from the Gulf of California down along the western coasts of Central and South America down to Peru. Approximately one half of all breeding pairs nest on the Galápagos Islands. Its diet mainly consists of fish, which it obtains by diving and sometimes swimming underwater in search of its prey. It sometimes hunts alone, but usually hunts in groups.
Illustration by William Erwin and Dan Fletcher, eVolo
Touted as an eco-friendly floating city, the Seascraper (pictured in an artist’s conception) is among a raft of concepts for sustainable offshore settlements. With more than seven billion people on the planet, mass migrations to cities, and increased risks of flooding and sea level rise, more and more architects and innovators seem to be weighing anchor.
Illustration by Mathias Koester, eVolo
With only its stabilizing floating ring and transparent dome protruding above the sea, the Waterscraper is envisioned as a tubelike underwater residence and lab—all designed to withstand crushing water pressures.
Natural light would filter down from the dome as the Waterscraper drifts from one destination to the next. Beaches, restaurants, a marina, and a dive center would cater to luxury-apartment dwellers and hotel guests.
Concepts like the Waterscraper are being touted as potential solutions to the planet’s urban population pressures.
According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, half of humanity currently calls an urban area home. And before we reach 2050, India’s cities will grow by 497 million people, China’s by 341 million, Nigeria’s by 200 million, and the United States’ by 103 million.
Oil Rig Reimagined
Illustration by YoungWan Kim/SueHwan Kwun/JunYoung Park/JoongHa Park, eVolo
The Water Circles concept would convert old oil platforms into water-treatment plants that transform saltwater into fresh water. Remaining fossil fuel extraction infrastructure would be used to channel seawater into the floating desalination plant.
Spherical modules would distill saltwater and store fresh water bound for water-poor countries. The old oil rigs would also house researchers and sustain on-site food production, according to the South Korea-based design team.
Floating Cruise Ship Terminal
Illustration courtesy Koen Olthius and Dutch Docklands
This 5-million-square-foot (490,000-square-meter) floating cruise-ship terminal could host three large vessels while providing passengers a novel offshore experience, complete with open-ocean hotel stays, shopping, and dining, according to designers.
An inner “harbor” would allow smaller vessels to dock and would provide natural light for the interior of the terminal. Ten percent of the roof would be covered in photovoltaic cells that harvest solar power, according to Dutch architect Koen Olthuis of Waterstudio.NL.
The terminal is just a vision now, but Olthuis’s firm, which is committed to buildings that both adapt to and combat the challenges presented by climate change and sea level rise, has made other floating fantasies come to life.
Waterstudio.NL, based in the Netherlands, has worked on a floating city near The Hague and has started projects in the Maldives, China, and the United Arab Emirates.
Illustration courtesy Koen Olthius
Scheduled for completion in 2014, the Citadel could be Europe’s first floating apartment building, according to architect Koen Olthuis of Waterstudio.NL. The 60-unit complex is to be built in the Dutch city of Westland, near The Hague, and is meant to protect people from flooding in a country that sits, to a large degree, below sea level.
Holland is home to more than 3,500 inland depressions, which can fill with water when it rains, when tides come in, or as seas rise overall. These so-called polders are often drained by pumps to protect residents.
Floating single-family homes are not uncommon in this soggy country, but the Citadel—to be built on a flooded polder—will be the first high-density floating residential development. The complex’s floating concrete foundation will be connected to higher ground via a floating road.
Olthuis predicts the Citadel—and its five planned neighbors—will consume 25 percent less energy over its life span than a conventional building.
Green Sea Star
Illustration courtesy Koen Olthius
Slated to open in 2014, the Greenstar is to be a floating hotel and conference center off the Maldives in the Indian Ocean. The island nation is the world’s lowest-lying country, making it among the most threatened by anticipated climate change-induced sea level rise.
Designed by Waterstudio.NL to blend in with its ocean surroundings, the Greenstar will have room for 800 overnight guests and 2,000 conference attendees.
Intended to be highly efficient, the development’s small environmental footprint is a tribute to the country’s determination to fight global warming, according to Waterstudio.NL architects. Appropriately enough, organizers intend the Greenstar to be the number one meeting place for global climate change discussions.