Tag Archives: society

How young Ukrainians are fighting for a better future

Ukraine is still healing. Following the shocking deaths of over 100 protesters in the Euromaidan uprising – a wave of protests triggered by frustrated citizens calling for European integration and an end to political corruption – Ukrainians are still processing the violence that ensued. After the bloodless Orange Revolution in 2005, many thought these protests would be similar. Now, stuck between warring neighbours – Russia pulling in one direction, Europe in the other – many of Ukraine’s youth feel torn between their Russian roots and potential European Union future.

The Euromaidan protests are credited with not only removing President Viktor Yanakovich, but uniting an apathetic disjointed youth. In a country like Ukraine where corruption ran unchecked for years, few citizens were interested in politics. But when

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Gliding through Hawaiian waves with Stephanie Gilmore

As complicated as life gets, there are always a few things that are relaxing: sitting under the shade of a tree during summer, for example, or reading a book by the pool with a cold beer. At times, we city dwellers might even dare to dream of spending hours in the ocean, surfing in one of the most beautiful landscapes the world has to offer – which unfortunately is a little harder to achieve. For world champion surfer Stephanie Gilmore and image-maker Morgan Maassen, however, that daydream is everyday life.

In his latest short film, Morgan takes us to Hawaii, capturing the carefree way that Stephanie glides through the transparent water, surfing with her uniquely relaxed style. In the background, a dreamy track by Brazilian band … Read the rest

Lake Kavicsos, Hungary

Kavicsos Lake, or “pebble lake” in Hungarian, is a scenic lake about 2 km across located south of Budapest, just a 30-minute ride away from the city center. The lake sits at the site of a former pebble quarry, and hence its name.

About twenty years ago, the quarry closed and the excavated pits filled with rainwater creating the lake. Since then nature has reclaimed the area and rich wildlife has taken root in and around the lake. In 1996, the lake was sold to a private organization but there are still some unspecified legal battles among the parties involved.

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One of the numerous islands in Lake Kavicsos. Photo credit: Alexander H. Szabo / Aerial National Police

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Canal du Midi, France

The Strait of Gibraltar between Europe and Africa isn’t the only waterway that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. A thousand kilometer north lies another connecting route. This route connects the French city of Bordeaux, near the Atlantic ocean, to the Mediterranean port of Sète through a series of canals collectively called Canal des Deux Mers, or the “canal of the two seas.” Lying entirely in Southern France this man-made canal is one of the most remarkable feats of civil engineering carried out in the 17th century.

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Photo credit: Gemma Llorensí Torrent/Flickr

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Exploring the back streets at London Pride 2017

This weekend, Pride took over the streets of London. The annual march, which is now in its 45th year, has become an almost integral part of the LGBT experience – with thousands of revellers across the capital taking to the streets to celebrate their sexuality.

Unfortunately, in recent years, the creeping commercialisation of the parade has become harder to ignore. Now the big brands at Pride are loud, prominent, and unavoidable: emblazoning themselves across double-decker buses (HSBC), cock-shaped rainbow flags (Nandos), and even hosting their own parade floats (Tesco). While this may not necessarily be a bad thing – it’s better to show support than not, after all – the mass corporate sponsorship has left many mourning over the loss of soul and authenticity at the … Read the rest

How a self-taught skate nerd became Toy Machine’s go-to filmmaker

I’m two blocks from Toy Machine filmer Kevin Barnett’s apartment, grabbing a six-pack at the nearest liquor store, and there’s a Hells Angels sticker slapped on the wall behind the counter. No other stickers decorate the bare white walls, and no other motorcycle memorabilia occupies the shop. Just this lone sticker, front and centre. But it’s not tough-ass biker gangs that run the streets of Long Beach. It’s skateboarders.

“I feel like it’s growing every month,” says Barnett about the Southern California community he calls home. “You can feel the pull of skateboarding here. It’s palpable.”

And it’s true. Over the past few years, since Huntington Beach relinquished its title as the West Coast’s official Skate City, there’s been a steady stream of world class skaters … Read the rest

The Humongous Fungus

Beneath the soil in the Malheur National Forest in eastern Oregon, the United States, lurks a very large fungus that has been slowly weaving its way through the roots of trees for centuries to become the single largest living organism known to humans.

The fungus, Armillaria solidipes, remains mostly underground, hidden from sight, but every autumn just after the rains it sends up clusters of small yellow-brown mushrooms from the bases of trees it has infected. These mushrooms, commonly called “honey mushrooms”, are the most visible part of the fungus seen by the casual observer. The bulk of the fungus lies underneath the forest floor—a vast network of black filament-like structures called rhizomorphs, that creep through the soil, feeling out new root systems to colonize. The … Read the rest

You’re right to worry about a revolving door between the Tories and the BBC

Yesterday news broke that two senior BBC figures, James Landale and Robbie Gibb, had held discussions with 10 Downing Street with a view of appointing Theresa May’s new director of communications.

James Landale, an Old Etonian who joined the BBC from The Times, is currently the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent, having previously worked as deputy political editor under Nick Robinson. This morning he confirmed on Twitter that he had been approached by No.10, but said that he had ‘decided not to apply’. This apparently leaves Robbie Gibb, the BBC’s Live Political Programmes, as the frontrunner for the job.

The news that two BBC men were … Read the rest

Paracas Candelabra of Peru

The Nazca Lines in southern Peru are some of the best known geoglyphs on earth, but they aren’t the only ones in the Nazca desert. About 200 kilometers north west of Nazca is another isolated and somewhat less popular geoglyph called Paracas Candelabra. It is also known as the “Candelabra of the Andes” because of its resemblance to a three-branched candlestick.

The geoglyph is etched on the sloping face of a hill at Pisco Bay on the Peruvian coast. The design has been cut into the soil to a depth of two feet with stones, possibly from a later date, placed around it. The figure is 181 meters tall, large enough to be seen as far as twenty kilometers out at sea.

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Photo credit: Unukorno/Wikimedia

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How the hell do the British tabloids get away with it?

Huck‘s media lawyer Alex Wade has spent a life making sure the likes of us – as well as The Times, The Guardian and others – manage to keep publishing without getting sued. And now he’s written a novel about it.

Loosely based on his days legaling copy at The Times, Flack’s Last Shift is a pretty spectacular effort in narrative storytelling. Think about it: to turn a story about an average, most definitely pedestrian middle-aged media lawyer into a compelling tale of personal revenge is no small feat.

In his fourth book and first novel, Alex takes us deep into the arcane world of night lawyers: the guys who go through copy to ensure it’s ‘legal ok’ before a newspaper goes to … Read the rest

The Sand Covered Floors of Caribbean Synagogues

The Caribbean is not all about sandy beaches, its about sandy synagogues too.

As many as four synagogues in this part of the world have floors covered with sand, and a fifth one in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. These Jewish places of worship have a regular wood or brick base, but topped with a layer of sand about an inch or two in depth.

The tradition of spreading sand on the floor is thought to have originated at the time of the Spanish Inquisition, which raged across Spain and all Spanish colonies in the Americas. During this turbulent period in history, all non-Christians, including Jews, were forced to convert to Christianity. Many of these converts, however, continued to practice Judaism, but secretly. And sand provided a means … Read the rest

The Norias of Hama

The norias of the ancient Syrian city of Hama are seventeen historic waterwheels located along the Orontes River that date back to the Byzantine Era, although locals claim they are older still.

The water wheels, called noria, are part of the city’s now-defunct irrigation system, and were designed to lift water from the river and move it through aqueducts to agricultural fields and people’s home. The wheels were powered by the current of the flowing river. As the wheels moved, wooden buckets placed at the periphery of the wheels scooped water out from the river and emptied it into aqueducts. Gravity then lead the water along aqueducts to its destination in various parts of the city.

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Photo credit: Alessandra Kocman/Flickr

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Underwater Mailboxes Around The World

Remember the last time you were diving underwater and suddenly remembered an important letter that you had to post that very instant? Yup, it has happened to all of us. Fortunately, these five places has us covered.

Hideaway Island, Vanuatu

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The underwater post office off the coast of Hideaway Island in the island nation of Vanuatu is one of the most famous in the world. It was established in 2003 and is located in 3 meters of water. The post office provides special waterproof postcards that tourists can drop into the submerged post box with their own hands, or ask the staff to do so.

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