World’s Largest Ship Graveyard

The city of Nouadhibou is the second largest city in Mauritania and serves as the country’s commercial center. The port of Nouadhibou is the final resting place of over 300 ships which were abandoned by their owners. These ships rusting in the shallow waters has given the port of Nouadhibou the notorious name of being the world’s largest ship graveyard. Unlike the en masse arrival of ships at Mallows Bay, here the number of craft has built up over time, as corrupt officials accepted bribes from boat owners to allow them to dump their vessels in the area.

 

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The phenomenon started in the 80’s after the nationalization of the Mauritanian fishing industry, numerous uneconomical ships were simply abandoned there. Discarding a ship is quite expensive for a company, so during the decades, lots of unwanted ships ended up in the Harbour of Nouadibou.

A few years ago, the situation was so out of control, that even Mauritanians started to worry. Nowadays there’s a project from the European Union to refloat all these junk ships and take them away, or destroy the remaining wrecks.

 

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Baraka film trailer

A film well worth watching.  You will think about this film for days.

Baraka is a 1992 non-narrative film directed by Ron Fricke. The film is often compared to Koyaanisqatsi, the first of the Qatsi films by Godfrey Reggio of which Fricke was cinematographer. Baraka’s subject matter has some similarities—including footage of various landscapes, churches, ruins, religious ceremonies, and cities thrumming with life, filmed using time-lapse photography in order to capture the great pulse of humanity as it flocks and swarms in daily activity.

The title Baraka is a word that means blessing in a multitude of languages.

The movie was filmed at 152 locations in 24 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Nepal, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, and the United States. It contains no dialogue. Instead of a story or plot, the film uses themes to present new perspectives and evoke emotion purely through cinema. The film was the first in over twenty years to be photographed in the 70mm Todd-AO format.

Take an Eerie Walk Through the Empty Streets of Amsterdam, San Francisco, and New York City

With one-third of the world’s population currently under some level of quarantine, the streets of major cities like Amsterdam, New York City, and San Francisco are an unusual and unsettling sight. Film director and cinematographer Jean Counet, who shot “Meanwhile in Amsterdam,” shows the capital city almost entirely deserted. Public transit is empty and a four-minute walk reveals less than a dozen passersby.

Counet tells Colossal that “Meanwhile in Amsterdam” came together like any other film, except that “this time there was no director, and no plan,” he says. “We walked through the old city centre of Amsterdam between 8:30 (and) 13:30 which is normally teemed by walking people and bicycles. What we witnessed felt like a dream. Sometimes beautiful and mesmerizing, sometimes scary and worrying.”

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In a similarly bizarre look at San Francisco, stop lights cycle from green to red with no cars passing through and businesses are boarded up. One with a psychedelic facade even has signs that read “We will survive” and “We will get by,” a hopeful gesture derived from the city’s musical legends that directly contrasts the nailed plywood covering the windows.

To see how the global pandemic is affecting public life in New York City and Rotterdam, check out the videos below.

The Vibrancy In Small Bars: Japan’s Izakayas

Small bar located in the back alleys of Osaka’s Dotonburi district.

Travel & Documentary Photographer Lee Starnes is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this social documentary photography.  These images are from his project ‘Izakayas Of Japan‘.

Omoide Yokocho, Shinjuku, Tokyo

 

 

 

 

“I always liked side-paths, little dark back-alleys behind the main road,” Dostoyevsky writes in his 1879 novel, The Brothers Karamazov. “There one finds adventures and surprises, and precious metal in the dirt.”

Though it’s a pretty far cry from 19th-century Russia, the narrow back alleys of Japan are evidence that Dostoyevsky’s musings hold a universal truth. Clear on the other side of the world, the Land of the Rising Sun boasts an entire network of small, local businesses built around this idea of serendipitous experiences and tiny, unexpected places.

Down the side streets and back alleys of Japan, the culture of izakayas – small, intimate watering holes, often helmed by a single barkeep – is alive and well.

 

The Pontoncho area of Kyoto. Famous for Geishas and littered with traditional tea houses, small bars and izakayas

 

 

 

Tokyo’s Nonbei Yokocho or “Drunkard’s Alley”

Life: Quick, Intriguing, Random and quite Absurd

I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way.
Carl Sandburg

 

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Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.

Mark Twain

 

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Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.

When we talk to God, we’re praying. When God talks to us, we’re schizophrenic.
George Burns
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Why do they call it rush hour when nothing moves?

Robin Williams
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There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory.

Josh Billings

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.

Socrates

 

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Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering – and it’s all over much too soon.

Woody Allen

 

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Just cause you got the monkey off your back doesn’t mean the circus has left town.

George Carlin

 

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Buddhist Monk protesting in an incredibly intense way. Vietnam 1968.
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150-Ft Spiraling Treetop Walkway In Denmark

Architecture studio EFFEKT has designed a walkway to take hikers and Instagrammers to new heights above a forest in Denmark. The idea is to offer bird’s-eye views of the area without disrupting the environment.

The centerpiece of the construction is set to be a winding observation tower, topping out at about 150 feet (45 metres). The hourglass-like construction should rise in a luscious preserved forest an hour south of Copenhagen, in Glisselfeld Kloster, Haslev. It consists of a 2000 ft. (600m) internal ramp, which will take visitors from the forest floor, through the treetops culminating with a 360° view of the hilly landscape, characteristic for the region.

The structures that make up the route towards the tower have been split into two sections: the high walkway will extend past some of the forest’s oldest trees, while the lower path will swirl its way through the younger areas.

The one-of-a-kind project is expected to be finished in 2018.

 

Kids from around the World with their favourite Toys

Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti is always traveling the world in search of adventure, good stories, and interesting people. For his latest project entitled “Toy Stories”, Galimberti photographed children from around the world with their most prized possesion. He did not expect to uncover much we did not already know. “At their age, they are pretty all much the same,” is his conclusion after 18 months working on the project. “They just want to play.”

But it’s how they play that seemed to differ from country to country. Galimberti found that children in richer countries were more possessive with their toys. “At the beginning, they wouldn’t want me to touch their toys, and I would need more time before they would let me play with them,” says the Italian photographer. “In poor countries, it was much easier. Even if they only had two or three toys, they didn’t really care. In Africa, the kids would mostly play with their friends outside.”

However, there are many similarities in which the kids regard their toys, especially when it comes to their function. Galimberti met a six-year-old boy in Texas and a four-year-old girl in Malawi who both maintained their plastic dinosaurs would protect them from the dangers that await them at night. More common was how the toys reflected the world each child was born into – the girl from an affluent Mumbai family loves Monopoly, because she likes the idea of building houses and hotels, while the boy from rural Mexico loves trucks, because he sees them rumbling through his village to the nearby sugar plantation every day. A Lativian kid plays with miniature cars because his mother drove a taxi, while the daughter of an Italian farmer has an assortment of plastic rakes, hoes and spades.

Working for Toy Stories, Galimberti learned as much about the parents as he learned about the children. Parents from the Middle East and Asia, he found, would push their children to be photographed even if they were initially nervous or upset, while South American parents were “really relaxed, and said I could do whatever I wanted as long as their child didn’t mind”.

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Watcharapom – Bangkok, Thailand

 

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Stella – Montecchio, Italy

 

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Ralf – Riga, Latvia

 

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Botlhe – Maun, Botswana

 

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Orly – Brownsville, Texas

 

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Noel – Dallas, Texas

 

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Maudy – Kalulushi, Zambia

 

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Li Yi Chen – Shenyang, China

 

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Chiwa – Mchinji, Malawi

 

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Davide – La Valletta, Malta

 

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Cun Zi Yi – Chongqing, China

 

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Arafa & Aisha – Bububu, Zanzibar

 

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Tyra – Stockholm, Sweden

Best Countries Rankings 2017

The overall ranking of Best Countries measures global performance on a variety of metrics.

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The study and model used to score and rank countries were developed by Y&R’s BAV Consulting, specifically John Gerzema and Anna Blender, and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, specifically Professor David J. Reibstein, in consultation with U.S. News & World Report.

Dangerous Countries

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The Traffic Girls of Pyongyang

The capital city of North Korea, Pyongyang (pop. 3,255,388) is one of the most mysterious cities in the world.  This is due to the fact that the Communist rulers of North Korea control the country and city with an iron-fisted resolve.  No foreign tourists or journalists, and very few diplomats from other countries.  Only 6-8 countries have missions staffed with diplomats in Pyongyang.

But one truth has been established about the day-to-day activities on the streets of Pyongyang.  The Traffic Girls of Pyongyang.

In these pictures the main characteristic is the lack of traffic.  Especially relative to western and other Asian societies.  There is virtually no traffic.  North Korea is an economic basket case.  So only government elites and upper bureaucrats get to drive cars.

Therefore the Traffic Girls must not get overly stressed out.

The giant monstrosity in the background of this picture is the Ryugyong Hotel.  A 105 floor skyscraper that began construction in 1987.  Construction was halted for many years but resumed in 2009, but was stopped again in 2014. Nothing has been done since.

 

 

 

 Introduced in 2009, some intersections are equipped with traffic control podiums.
Podium features:
– umbrella for shade and rain
– heated pad in base for keeping feet warm
– light for illumination of traffic controller
– reflective paint for visibility

Some basic information on the Traffic Girls.

There are slightly more than 50 posts in Pyongyang.

Each post is assigned six traffic controllers, with the post staffed from 7:00AM to 10:00 PM.

The post’s six traffic police are split into 2 groups which rotate duty.

Each group shift is 2-3 hours. A traffic controller is on duty for 30 minutes at a time, relieved every 30 minutes.

They work 6 days a week, with Sundays off. They also may have to work holidays.

Intersection control
The basic rules are:
If traffic officer is facing you or has back to you, stop do not proceed – cross traffic has right-of-way.
When traffic officer raises baton, a right-of-way change is imminent.
Baton held out indicates a turn through intersection is permitted.

Requirements to be a Pyongyang Traffic Girl:
– unmarried
– attractive
– healthy
– between the ages of 16 – 26
– at least 1.65 meters (5’4″) tall
– high school graduate