Still running to stand still

Soviet Ghost Town in the Czech Republic

Bozi Dar Soviet Base in Czechoslovakia, Arch

In 1992, Russia generously gave the already crumbling buildings and polluted, explosive-riddled land to the Czech government, claiming that the value of this piece of real estate would make up for the cost of cleaning it. It seems the Czechs had little choice but to accept.

Read more

Portland, Oregon Is a Paradise

Portland, Oregon

If you need any more persuasion to visit, here’s a set of pictures by occasional cross-dresser Bryan Kyckelhahn. The greenest (and arguably weirdest) city in America awaits you.

(via Vice)

Chiditarod 2013

Gapers Chiditarod Unicorns

Chiditarod is sort of like if you had Halloween in March for grown ups who love fast-moving parades and races and all the joy it takes you to not feel cold with the swirls of snow at your feet. It has become an art form of who can create the most elaborate or inventive float just as much as who can finish first with checkpoints all over local businesses in the Chicago neighborhood of Ukrainian Village. Sometimes, it feels like Chicago has lost so many great musicians, artists, writers to cities like NYC but whenever Chiditarod comes around, it reminds us Chicagoans why it’s great to be home. As the Chiditarod website points out, the date coincides with the Alaskan Iditarod dog sled race but I’ve always preferred shopping carts to sleds and costume lovers to dogs, anyway. And, as if you needed any more of a reason to support adults donning costumes and running through the wind and the cold, proceeds also greatly benefit The Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Favorite floats from this year’s race include “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” “The Beatles,” “DeadMau5,” “Ghostbusters,” “Mr. Potato Head,” “Super Mario Bros.,” “Lucky Charms,” “Unicorns,” “Draculas,” and “Happy Birthday!”

Full set of (large-sized) photographs from Chiditarod 2013 can be viewed on Flickr here.

Mike Brodie: A Period of Juvenile Prosperity

Mike Brodie Train Photo Image

Brodie began to photograph his travels in 2004 when he acquired an old Polaroid camera. “A friend gave me a Polaroid camera I found on the back seat of her car. I took a photo of the handlebars of my BMX bike and it looked incredible, so I kept taking pictures, it was that simple.” From 2004-2006, Brodie shot exclusively on Polaroid film, earning him the moniker the Polaroid Kidd; a name he would tag on box cars and walls. From 2006 – 2009, Brodie switched to 35mm film. During this five-year span, Brodie rode over 50,000 miles through 46 states documenting the people and places he encountered along the way.

41st Running of Alaska’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

Iditarod Sled Dogs

Born to run.

(via NBCNews PhotoBlog)

See the world without leaving China

The Window of the World is a theme park located in the western part of the city of Shenzhen in the People’s Republic of China. It has about 130 reproductions of some of the most famous tourist attractions in the world squeezed into 48 hectares (118 acres). The 108 metre (354 ft) tall Eiffel Tower dominates the skyline and the sight of the Pyramids and the Taj Mahal all in proximity to each other are all part of the appeal of this theme park.

(via Wikipedia)

Read more

Mrs. Herschel Parker

mrsherschelparker

Bain News Service, publisher. Mrs. Herschel Parker. From the Bain Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Mr. Parker (Herschel Clifford Parker) was a Columbia physics professor and a founding member of the Explorers Club. In the spring of 1911 he married Evelyn Naegele. They honeymooned in Alaska.

Mrs. Herschel Parker last saw Professor Parker in 1919. In 1925 she petitioned a Brooklyn court to grant a divorce, citing abandonment and failure to support.

According to Mrs. Herschel Parker, the professor had said, “I am tired of looking after a wife and family. A man with my genius owes himself to mankind in general and cannot be tied down by family routine.”

Photo without caption

pig topiaries

News stories I didn’t read

Official ‘Boring and Dull Day’ planned

(via The Telegraph)

No matter where you are, it’s colder in Oymyakon, Russia

Frozen bridge in Oymyakon Russia

Daily problems that come with living in Oymyakon include pen ink freezing, glasses freezing to people’s faces and batteries losing power. Locals are said to leave their cars running all day for fear of not being able to restart them.

Even if there was coverage for mobile phone reception the phones themselves would not work in such cold conditions.

(via The Daily Mail)

(Photographer Amos Chapple’s site)

Dang me!

So Brian Beatty (y’all know Brian Beatty), he posts on Facebook

Sitting here high, just getting ideas
You’d have to be a big fool to live like I do

(quoting, more or less, Roger Miller)

which he (Brian) says “may be the best country lyrics ever”

so I post a link to a clip of Miller singing a snippet from “Chug-a-Lug”

and my friend Lou, she pipes up and tells how

I was on a plane with him once flying from LAX to Albuquerque. The luggage thingy was chewing up our luggage and he picked up his mangled garment bag and said “Dang.” True story.

and I’m thinking, Dang me, that’s good.

It’s the best

Scrabbling to gobble at the cruise ship trough, then scrambling for a spot to shit it all out

News stories I didn’t read

Iran sends monkey into space

(via The Telegraph)

Lowly Dung Beetles Are Insect Astronomers

SAMSUNG DIGITAL MOVIE

Even the humble dung beetle, its life spent barely an inch above the ground, pushing balls of waste, steers by starlight.

“Dung steered by the stars,” as my longtime friend Steve said.

Or, as Oscar Wilde wrote in “Lady WIndermere’s Fan”:

DUMBY. I don’t think we are bad. I think we are all good, except Tuppy.

LORD DARLINGTON. No, we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Photo without caption

Ramada Inn lobby ceiling, Shanghai, China Oct. 2005

“Titanic” scene from “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”

Debbie Reynolds. Spunky. Feisty.

Not going to Chicago

Going to Disney World. Waaaaah!

(Thanks to Daniel Lestarjette.)

29th Annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival, Harbin, China

Harbin-ice-festival

(Story, more images, and video from the Daily Mail story here.)

Merry Xmas from Bali

Greetings from Timor-Leste

Travel Planning: New Orleans, 2013

A friend and I are planning a road trip for August 2013: a drive from Chicago to New Orleans, where he’ll be speaking on a panel at the annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists.

The other night I dreamt about this trip, dreamt a dream that offered guidance worth sharing with my friend. Here is what I wrote him.

I do hope there’s been no misunderstanding over the business with the rifle. My insistence on retaining it was not motivated by a desire to “teach you a lesson” nor exact a petty bit of payback. Please know that I was not especially upset over your having hustled me onto that express bus at a moment when I was concerned over the fate of my missing wallet. Under the circumstances, your having opted to take the express to the conference hotel made sense, as you had a session you needed to get to, and my negligence, wallet-wise, could scarcely have been a concern of yours. Mildly hesitant though I was about the bus, I did not protest, as I counted on having an opportunity to hop off near that subterranean restaurant where I suspected I’d left the article, claim it, then join up with you later on. Whether or not you were aware that the bus would make no intermediate stops and that it would take us so very far from the restaurant is no longer at issue, being what you might call a “moot point.”

Read more

Meet the Elongate Heart Urchin

Met these strange creatures on a beach in southern Tanzania.

I also recently revisited Ethiopia, Lalibela in particular.

Slower Traffic Keep Right on Driving in the Left Lane

I recently got back from France (a trip I plan to share a little about soon) where I was struck by how well people stick to the left-lane-is-just-for-passing rule. Having just driven 12 hours for something else this weekend, on highways both crowded and uncrowded, I’m now just kind of angry. It seems that it’s a point of pride to stay in the left lane (hell, I must be going faster than someone!) and almost never was I able to convince anyone to move to the right (I tried gentle creeping, tailing, light-flashing, and signalling). I now think that I’m generally better off staying in the right lane, where I’m only occasionally forced to pass someone in the traditional manner.

First of all, why do you think there’s a difference (or do you think there’s a difference)?

Secondly, how could the culture be changed? It seems that until tickets for violating the slower-traffic-keep-right rule are as easily given out and as profitable as speeding tickets, it’s not going to be enforced by police (nor do I think it should be, really).

ground control to Angkor Thom

Next Page »