How to operate a 400-foot deep well with a camel

July 13, 2014 | No comments

It is shocking for most of us to see what some people in the world need to go through to get water. In this case, the amount of work and the rudimentary ingenuity needed to get so little water at a time in the Thar Desert in Pakistan is amazing…

Almost as amazing as the fact that they don’t have the end of that rope attached to anything!

Tour the skies and streets of Barcelona in this astonishing 2-minute timelapse

July 10, 2014 | No comments

Photographer Rob Whitworth spent more than 350 hours traveling over and through Barcelona taking in excess of 26,000 pictures. Then he and audio designer Slava Pogorelsky put together this spectacular “flow-motion” short film…

You’ve heard of Puerto Rico and Guam, but do you know all of America’s other territories?

July 5, 2014 | No comments

CGP Grey identifies all of the territories that are part of the United States of America, including an intriguing overview of how they’re governed.

You’ll probably be surprised at how many American territories there are…

Designers from 22 countries Photoshop the same woman to fit their standards of beauty

June 26, 2014 | 34 comments

In order to explore how the perception of female beauty varies across the globe, journalist Esther Honig embarked on a fascinating project called “Before & After.” She contacted nearly 40 designers from all over the world using freelancing websites and sent them this unaltered image of herself…

Original photo

Countries Photoshop 03

Honig’s simple request for each designer was “Make me beautiful.”

With rates varying between $5 and $30 per Photoshop job, the level of skill varied from one designer to the next, with each picture demonstrating both a cultural and personal interpretation of what beauty is…


Countries Photoshop 04


Countries Photoshop 05

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How many countries can you visit with your passport? [7 pics]

June 25, 2014 | 11 comments

Designer Ricky Linn created this intriguing infographic for GOOD to show how powerful each country’s passport is. Every country in the world is color-coded based on how many other countries their citizens can visit either without a visa or with a visa obtained upon arrival…

Passport Power 7

Passport Power 2

Passport Power 3b

The specific number of countries that citizens of each nation can visit are listed below. The gap between the countries at the top and those at the bottom is stunning…

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You can sail a straight line from Norway to Antarctica without hitting land, but just barely [8 pics]

June 20, 2014 | No comments

Redditor Groke used Google Earth to show that sailing north from Norway, it’s possible to sail all the way around the world to Antarctica without ever touching land…

Norway to Antarctica - 01

Norway to Antarctica - 02

The feat is just barely possible, as the oceanic route brushes past several islands along the way. There’s also the pesky polar ice cap to deal with, so we’ll have to wait for global warming to take its toll before actually attempting to sail this stretch.

The route begins near the westernmost point of Norway…

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Instead of begging, homeless man reviews books on the street and sells them (but not to kids)

June 20, 2014 | 4 comments

Philani is a homeless man in his mid-twenties in Johannesburg, South Africa. Many people in his situation simply stand at corners begging. And that can sometimes meet basic needs…but it certainly doesn’t set a person apart or motivate people walking or driving by to donate.

But Philani does it differently. Every day he takes his ever-changing library to a different corner and sets up a sort of impromptu literary discussion group and bookshop.

Homeless Bookworm

For anyone interested, he will review his books…which he has read all of…and then you can buy one from him. In this way, he raises money for himself and his homeless friends as well as spreading happiness. He says…

Reading is not harmful. There’s no such thing as harmful knowledge. This thing is only going to make you a better person.

(via Reddit, SA People)

And if he has a kids book you’re interested in, it’s free, so that you can give it to a child. Because…

They can still take this reading thing and turn it into their habit, their life-long habit.

Using the World Cup bracket for other “competitions” — like population, murder, and Starbucks [9 pics]

June 12, 2014 | 3 comments

We may not know who’s going to win the World Cup, but we know a few teams that will definitely not win. So how about looking at some other things these countries could compete in, so that more teams get a chance to win…or lose, depending on how you look at the categories.

The Wall Street Journal used the World Cup bracket to set the 32 competing countries against each other in things other than soccer. We start with a few soccer-related categories, and then move on to other intriguing stats…

Best World Cup Record

World Cup Teams Compete in Other Things - 02

Heaviest Soccer Team

World Cup Teams Compete in Other Things - 08

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Fascinating world map includes countries’ ocean territory in their borders [5 pics]

June 10, 2014 | No comments

While virtually every world map draws political borders around land masses, international law actually defines the first 200 nautical miles off the coast of any country as belonging to that nation as well. This is incredibly important, as any resources contained in the coastal stretches of these countries belong to them.

Incorporating these coastal areas, known as Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ), architects Rafi Segal and Yonatan Cohen created a world map for openDemocracy to reflect the extended borders of every country in the world…

(Click images for larger versions…)

World Map

Of course, many countries have less than 200 miles between them, so various treaties between these nations govern who controls these waters. In some cases, the map reflects open disagreements, such as the dispute between Brunei, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam in the South China Sea.

In other cases there are regions of joint control, such as the waters surrounding the Serranilla Bank and nearby Bajo Nuevo Bank in the Caribbean Sea. In this region, there’s a combination of shared rights and open disputes between Colombia, Jamaica, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the United States over how exactly to administer several partially submerged coral reefs. Most disputes are related to tiny, desolate, uninhabited islands, as the nation governing these remote islands controls the surrounding waters.

All of these disputed regions are in constant flux as countries battle for control of the ocean’s resources, so their statuses are bound to change with time. However, this map, updated within the last year, offers some perspective for how much maritime territory each country actually controls.

Here are several close-ups of more crowded waters around the world, where the sea disappears in a mass of political boundaries…

Caribbean Sea

World Map Caribbean

For comparison, here’s the map of the Caribbean Sea that we’re used to seeing…

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