The Brand New Island of Surtsey

Located about 30 kilometers off the southern coast of Iceland, lies the small island of Surtsey. It is one of the world's youngest island with an age just over fifty years.

Like all islands, Surtsey was conceived in an underwater volcanic eruption which began at a depth of 130 meters in the Norwegian Sea. Molten lava kept piling up at the bottom and a mound began to rise, until it broke the surface on 14 November 1963, and the island was officially born.

surtsey-island-5

Surtsey on November 30, 1963, 16 days after the beginning of the eruption. Photo credit: Howell Williams.

Read more »

Read the rest

Found: Mystery Safe Unopened for 40 Years

For two decades, the owner of the Bonanza Steakhouse ran a popular restaurant in Saskatoon, Canada, and in all that time he was never curious enough about the unopened safe hidden in his building to go to the effort of finding out what’s inside.

But recently, the building was a destroyed in a fire, and the safe was liberated. Previously, it had been hidden beneath the floor of the women’s washroom. Once, that room had been the building’s office, and when it was converted to the bathroom the safe was basically abandoned. According to the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, the safe hasn’t been opened for about 40 years.

During the demolition of … Read the rest

This Is What Musical Notes Actually Look Like – Facts So Romantic

A few months ago, I sat poolside with friends in Palm Springs. Amid the quiet desert sublime, we reminisced about all the live music we’ve experienced over the years, just about every big and small act since the mid-80s: Prince, David Bowie, Guns ‘n Roses, Bruce Springsteen, and the Yeah Yeahs Yeahs among the them. But My Bloody Valentine, we decided, was the ultimate experience. The group is reportedly among the top-10 loudest bands of all time, louder than Black Sabbath or Metallica, but still quieter than the Who. My Bloody Valentine’s beautiful, shoegaze noise rolls off the stage and over the crowd like invisible boulders.

Pharmakon, whose performance I recently attended, wasn’t anything like this. Pharmakon is a lone woman, Margaret Chardiet, who tortures tones … Read the rest

The Forgotten Ruins of Mrauk U

Spread across the beautiful rolling hills of Rakhine in Western Burma, lies a little known archeological site—the medieval town of Mrauk U. Once the capital of the powerful Arakan empire where Portuguese, Dutch and French traders rubbed shoulders with the scholars of Bengal and Mughal princes on the run, Mrauk U is now a sleepy village where goat herders tend to their animals, farmers work their fields and women fetch water from the wells located among the hundreds of old temples and Buddhist pagodas that the Kings of Mrauk U erected during the city’s heydays.

mrauk-u-10

Photo credit: Steffen Korn/Flickr

Read more »

Read the rest