solo!australia

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Professional LEGO builder Ryan McNaught, aka The Brickman, was commissioned by the Nicholson Museum in Sydney, Australia to build a LEGO model of the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. Over the course of 470 hours and using over 190,000 LEGO bricks, McNaught built this awesome reconstruction of Pompeii at the moment of its destruction in 79 AD when Mount Vesuvius erupted, destroying and burying the city in ash and pumice, how the ruined city appeared when it was rediscovered in the 1700s, and how it appears today.

According to the museum, McNaught’s LEGO Pompeii is the largest model of an ancient city ever made using LEGO bricks.

LEGO Pompeii will be on display at the Nicholson Museum through December 31, 2015. Click here for addition information about the exhibit.

Visit Ryan McNaught’s Flickr account or The Brickman website to check out more of his LEGO creations.

[via inhabitat and The Daily Mail]

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USWNT: The Final Run to Women’s World Cup Begins

It’s the calm before the storm, this year we’ve been all over the place, we’ve had lots of camps, we’ve played in tournaments so we kinda need this calm time to come together and feel confident and feel relaxed going in the World Cup, we want to just hone it in a little bit, feel good puff out our chests a little bit and go in feeling confident and hopefully bring back the World Cup! (x)

The True Story of ‘Glitter Bomb Your Enemies’ Success: A ‘Stupid Idea’ That Netted $85K in One Week

Mat Carpenter — the 23-year-old Australian who started work on a goofy “glitter bomb your enemies” website on New Year’s Eve, watched it become a global viral hit overnight, and then sold it a month later for $85,000 — has some advice for you.

“Don’t underestimate a stupid idea,” he tells Yahoo Makers in an email interview, in which he also discussed what he did with his windfall and the pros and cons of overnight internet success.

Carpenter’s idea became www.shipyourenemiesglitter.com - “an idea I had for a while but thought was so f***ing ridiculous that I’d be wasting my time.”

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Before British colonisation in 1788, every part of Australia was populated by different Indigenous groups, each with their own territory, language, laws and customs. It is estimated that in the late 18th century there were about 350 languages spoken on mainland Australia.

The Dreaming is an English term describing the complex religious philosophy governing Aboriginal life. Ancestral beings travelled across a flat and lifeless landscape, creating all living things and the geographical features that we see today. By retelling and painting stories of spirit ancestors’ journeys, senior men and women pass on the law and knowledge of country to younger people. Designs on rock, bark, canvas and the body depict the many guises of spirit ancestors in both human and animal form.

The arid lands of the Spinifex people are dotted with clay pans and salt lakes. The traditional owners of this country see it as a sacred geography rich in meaning and crossed by Dreamings, or songlines, of creation ancestors.

‘When I finish, my paintings will keep going. They will keep telling all the people, my family, and whitefellas the story of Kamanti where I was born.’

Lennard Walker, Spinifex people, 2012

This painting is called Pukara. It is a men’s Tjukurpa (Dreaming) in Spinifex country in the Great Victoria Desert. The painting depicts the story of Wati Kutjura (Two Men) – father and son in the form of water serpents. They are travelling on the son’s journey of initiation. The son, going a little mad, decides to take off for a place called Mulaya to start a fight. His father chases after him. Their actions and encounters along the way create the geographic features and meanings of the land. One of the artists, Roy Underwood, describes this as ‘a big story’, meaning that it holds high ritual significance. Only senior men with detailed ceremonial knowledge understand the full meaning of the story. The artists, all senior men, collaborate here to paint storylines that cross a large area of country for which they hold shared authority.


Kungkaragkalpa is a major Dreaming story that crosses a vast area of Australia. Painted by senior women from Spinifex country in the Great Victoria Desert, much of the story is about sacred women’s business. The women wish that the details remain private. The painting depicts holes made by women digging for an edible carpet python. The python is in fact Wati Nyirru, a lustful old man chasing the sisters. The Australian authorities removed Spinifex people from their land in the late 1950s and early 1960s, as the British and Australian governments needed large empty spaces to test atomic weapons. Between 1998 and 2000, both men and women painted major canvases to demonstrate their knowledge of traditional law and land in their bid to have their native title recognised. They are now able to live on their land again and continue to paint and pass on their important stories of country.

You can see these significant paintings in the BP exhibition Indigenous Australia: enduring civilisation (23 April – 2 August 2015).

Find out more in the book accompanying the exhibition written by Gaye Sculthorpe and Lissant Bolton, British Museum, John Carty, Howard Morphy and Maria Nugent, Australian National University, Ian Coates, National Museum of Australia, and Aboriginal artist Jonathan Jones.

Spinifex salt pans. North-west Tjuntjuntjara, Great Victoria Desert, Western Australia. Photograph: Louise Allerton.

Roy Underwood, Lennard Walker, Simon Hogan and Ian Rictor, Pukara (detail). Acrylic on canvas, 2013. © the artists, courtesy Spinifex Arts Project.

Kunmanara Hogan, Tjaruwa Woods, Yarangka Thomas, Estelle Hogan, Ngalpingka Simms and Myrtle Pennington, Kungkarangkalpa (detail). Acrylic on canvas, 2013. © the artists, courtesy Spinifex Arts Project. Acquired by the British Museum with the support of BP.

Kungkarangkalpa (Seven Sisters) in production. Photograph: Amanda Dent.