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Journalist Spent Four Years Traveling India to Record Deteriorating Subterranean Stepwells Before they Banish

Ancient structures called stepwells that were built in India beginning in 2nd and 4th centuries A.D. have been crumbling for years, which is leading to their extinction. Chicago journalist  Victoria Lautman’s first trip to the country prompted the discovery of the ruins. During her trip, Lautman decided to record the ancient beauties and give it a permanent stance through photography. 

The impressive stepwells are large subterranean structures, which run deep into the ground up to 10 stories.They were built as a means to access the water tables in regions where climate was the most dry with few monsoons during the spring. By the 11th century, these stunning structures were commissioned by wealthy and powerful citizens as monuments. During the last thousand years, most stepwells have remained dried and neglected, except for those near tourist areas. 

For this reason, for the last 30 years Lautman has spent her career capturing the beauty of engineering and art of the ancient world before it banishes. 

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for sixpenceee

When I had gone to this trip up north to Tuguegarao City, part of the trip was a free tour of Callao Cave, one of the 300 caves in the quiet town of Peñablanca. 

The cave is known for its 9 chambers. 7 of which are open to tourists, while the remaining 2 had been closed off due to an earthquake in the ‘80s. Each chamber is exceptionally huge, with 5 of them having sunlight that flows in through natural crevices from above.

The most famous of these chambers is the second one, where one of the rock formations resembles a church’s retablo and has been added wooden seats some time ago to resemble an actual church. Masses are held there on some occasions.

The first chamber, which is the mouth of the cave, was where the fossils of the oldest probable Homa sapien in the country was found. It was dubbed as the Callao Man, and was approx. 67,000 years old.

The third is the darkest, but has been permanently installed with artificial lights. The fourth greets you with sunlight as you climb up the clay steps to the fifth, which is the greenest part of the cave. It has the most plants, and even a small grotto at the top of the hill. The sixth is past a downward slope and is guarded by one of the rock formations, the Lion rock.

The seventh is just darkness and solid ground, and at the very end you could still see another source of skylight. We were told that the rest of the bones from our ancestors were found there, along with materials/weapons they might’ve used during the day.

Callao Cave was given its name by the Spaniards during the colonial era, using the word callado which meant calm. This name was chosen because from the trip through the river to the climb of 180+ steps and inside the cave itself, there is a consistent calmness that you would feel.

(Photo Source

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INEBRI-NATION (Les Baker V)

Interesting series including overlapping images of individuals using drugs with related images to that specific drug. Click on the photos to reveal the identity.

Humans have been finding ways to alter their minds for thousands of years. The culture constantly evolves; from picking wild berries and fermenting them in a gatherer’s pouch to collecting mushrooms filled with psilocybin. Millions of dollars are spent on research and development of pills from pharmaceutical companies, while at the same time a guy is in his garage using household chemicals in a dangerous homemade lab.

A spiritual journey, relaxation, concentration, and recreational enjoyment are among the many reasons people use to explain the urge to alter their conscious mind. The government has played an integral part in the movement to criminalize drugs; including waging “wars” on certain substances while making others widely and easily assessable. Drugdealers have also evolved from scary individuals on street corners to well respected doctors adding to their existing wealth.

The individuals featured in this series showcase the diversity of those who use mind altering substances. They include students, servers, doctors, soldiers, lawyers, politicians, mothers, fathers, artists, teachers, police officers, firefighters, and judges. via

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A History of France’s Love Affair With the Bicycle

As Tour de France bikers furiously pedal their way to the Camps-Elysées for their July 26 finish, this American in Paris contemplates the culture of the bicycle in France.

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The Dance by Benjamin Shine

Artist Benjamin Shine’s latest project beautifully plays with illusion and the power of creative energy with the use of translucent tulle. What emerges from the fiber are female and male faces, which quickly dissolve into the abyss and fluidity of the highly malleable tool. Titled, The Dance, the piece is suspended from ceiling and back-lit. 

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27 Photographs That Prove We Are in Danger

The devastating and shocking images below demonstrate the negative effect and harm civilization and humanity is inflicting on Mother Nature and its fellow inhabitants, including ourselves. Overdevelopment, climate change and greed seem to be the reigning topics. The image above is of a starved polar bear in Norway, which can’t find food or space because the ice caps are melting.

We urge you to view the rest of the images to educate yourself on the dangers we promote.

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Learning Korean: A Guide to Korean Language for Beginners! 화이팅!

Learning Korean: A Guide to Korean Language for Beginners! 화이팅!

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by Kuma (곰: bear) Learning a new language is a big and important step in life. It reflects your willingness to accept an entirely alternative culture and its people’s traditions, rituals, and practices. Since peach and I have a soft spot for all things Asian, we are forever going to be learning Korean and Japanese, for as long as we shall exist! ^_^ For any and all of those interested or willing…

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  • Jay Smooth:We create art just like we create life, by combining my genetic pattern with yours to make a new pattern.
  • Shepard Fairey:The more people that are contributing to the creation of culture, the richer the dialogue is, the better it is.
  • Jay Smooth:Art cannot grow in a vacuum. It can only bloom in an ecosystem of other ideas to draw from.
  • - "HitRecord on TV," S01E08
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Suspended Sculptures Create Artistic Shadow Illusions 

Graphic designer Shigeo Fukuda’s iconic 1987 piece “Lunch with a Helmet On” is composed of hundreds of suspended forks, knives, and spoons in the light, which reveal shadow sculpture. By carefully placing the obsolete items at the ideal angle,  Fukuda has managed to create a surreal optical illusion, inspired by M.C. Escher’s 3D illustrations.