malformalady:

A dead 10,5000 year old Huon pine tree in Tasmania. Huon Pine is known as ‘the prince of Tasmanian timbers’. The richness of its golden colour and figure make it one of the world’s most desirable furniture and veneering timbers. The wood contains a natural preserving oil with an unmistakable perfume, and its fine and even grain makes the wood exceptionally easy to work with hand tools.
Photo credit: Rachel Sussman

malformalady:

A dead 10,5000 year old Huon pine tree in Tasmania. Huon Pine is known as ‘the prince of Tasmanian timbers’. The richness of its golden colour and figure make it one of the world’s most desirable furniture and veneering timbers. The wood contains a natural preserving oil with an unmistakable perfume, and its fine and even grain makes the wood exceptionally easy to work with hand tools.

Photo credit: Rachel Sussman

dynamicafrica:

#EarthDay: Located in the Horn of Africa and expanding over the area known as the Afar Triangle - spanning across Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti, lies a salty terrain known as the Danakil Desert.

Despite extremely high temperatures - the highest recorded temperature being 64.4°C/148°F - the region is home to the Afar People who have lived in the area for centuries. Afar People are highly skilled at mining the salt in the area by hand, aided with the use of specially crafted tools.

The Danakil Depression, which forms part of the Afar Triangle, hosts the lowest point in Africa - Lake Asal which lies at 155 metres or 509 feet below sea level.

Many volcanoes also exist in the region, including Erta Ale and the Dabbahu Volcano. In recent years, the Erta Ale volcano has erupted three times - in 2005, 2007 and 2008. The most recently recorded eruption of the Dabbahu volcano was on September 26, 2005.

Within the Erta Ale range lies the Dallol volcanic crater which was formed by a combination of the intrusion of basaltic magma in Miocene salt deposits and subsequent hydrothermal activity. The green liquid, which can be seen above, that surrounds the crater are discharged from hot springs in the area that release brine and acidic liquid. The term Dallol was coined by the Afar people and means dissolution or disintegration describing a landscape made up of green acid ponds (pH-values less than 1) iron oxide, sulfur and salt desert plains.

awkwardsituationist:

by pairing skate lessons and boards with education initiatives, skateistan — a non profit organization that works with the support of local afghan communities — is using skateboarding as a tool of empowerment for more than four hundred afghan kids, many of whom live on the streets.  

more than 40 percent of skateistan’s students are female. though girls are banned from riding bikes in afghanistan, skateboarding is novel and remains permissible, and has now become the most popular sport for females in the country. 

(see also: skating in uganda)

medievalpoc:

Contemporary Art Week!

Toyin Odutola

Of Another Kind (2013)

The series explores a reoccurring gilt-bronze, “Moorish” aesthetic invention oft evidenced in European Medieval and Renaissance art. The arena in which this aesthetic is played in the series removes the ever-present narrative of servitude and alienation (persistent in European depictions) to expand upon how “Black and Gold” as a palette can create a variety of narratives. The storytelling throughout "Of Another Kind" highlights how removing markers in portrayals (based solely on utility) can transform the very notion of what an aesthetic can become.

artruby:

Jacob Hashimoto’s Gas Giant at MOCA

artruby:

Yin Xiuzhen, Portable Cities

dynamicafrica:

How a Ghanaian entrepreneur turned his “impossible” dream into a reality.

A few years ago, Fred Deegbe was working as a banker - a profession that left him somewhat unsatisfied with the lack of impact he was having in the world. After buying a pair of Oxford wingtips at a store to impress a friend, Deegbe began to wonder if such high quality luxury shoes could indeed be manufactured in Ghana.

Despite the negative feedback he received from those who believed that such shoes couldn’t be made in Ghana, Deegbe wasn’t dissuaded from his idea of starting a shoe company in Accra. With no knowledge of the shoemaking industry, and armed only with passion and his gut feeling, Deegbe teamed up with friend Vijay Manu (pictured right) to start their luxury shoe and accessories company ‘Heel the World’, based in Accra.

Although the shoes are all handmade in Ghana, the goods used to make them are imported from places like the United States and Italy putting the price range of the shoes between $200-$400. This is Deegbe’s greatest challenge: proving that the shoes are worth the money they command.

To hear Deegbe tell his start-up story in his own words, watch this clip from CNN.

fotojournalismus:

Kabul, Afghanistan | April 13, 2014

Coal labourers work an average of eight hours a day filling trucks with coal, each earning around seven USD on an average working day. Most of them come from the northern provinces, leaving their families behind in search of fortune in the capital. To cut the high cost of living the labourers live in rooms housing 18-20 people, on a diet that usually consists of tea and bread.

Photos by Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images

Captions: 

1. Afghan day labourer Ibrahim, 43, poses at a coal yard where he works on the outskirts of Kabul.

2. Afghan day labourers take a break after loading coal onto a truck at a coal yard. To cut the high cost of living the labourers live in rooms housing 18-20 people.

3. Afghan day labourer Chaman, 37, poses at a coal yard where he works on the outskirts of Kabul.

4. Afghan day labourers shovel coal at a coal yard. Coal labourers work an average of eight hours a day filling trucks with coal, each earning around 7 dollars on an average working day.

5. Afghan day labourer Saeed Ali, 22, poses at a coal yard where he works on the outskirts of Kabul.

6. Afghan day labourers play cards while taking a break after loading coal onto a truck at a coal yard.

7. Afghan day labourer Hamin, 54, poses at a coal yard where he works on the outskirts of Kabul.

8. Afghan day labourers eat lunch in a shared room after loading coal onto a truck at a coal yard. To cut the high cost of living the labourers live in rooms housing 18-20 people, on a diet that usually consists of tea and bread.

9. An Afghan day labourer prays after loading coal trucks on the outskirts of Kabul. Most of them come from the northern provinces, leaving their families behind in search of fortune in the capital.

10. An Afghan day labourer shovels coal at a coal yard.

thepeoplesrecord:

The 1% wants to ban sleeping in cars - it hurts their ‘quality of life’April 16, 2014
Across the United States, many local governments are responding to skyrocketing levels of inequality and the now decades-long crisis of homelessness among the very poor … by passing laws making it a crime to sleep in a parked car.
This happened most recently in Palo Alto, in California’s Silicon Valley, where new billionaires are seemingly minted every month – and where 92% of homeless people lack shelter of any kind. Dozens of cities have passed similar anti-homeless laws. The largest of them is Los Angeles, the longtime unofficial “homeless capital of America”, where lawyers are currently defending a similar vehicle-sleeping law before a skeptical federal appellate court. Laws against sleeping on sidewalks or in cars are called “quality of life” laws. But they certainly don’t protect the quality of life of the poor.
To be sure, people living in cars cannot be the best neighbors. Some people are able to acquire old and ugly – but still functioning – recreational vehicles with bathrooms; others do the best they can. These same cities have resisted efforts to provide more public toilet facilities, often on the grounds that this will make their city a “magnet” for homeless people from other cities. As a result, anti-homeless ordinances often spread to adjacent cities, leaving entire regions without public facilities of any kind.
Their hope, of course, is that homeless people will go elsewhere, despite the fact that the great majority of homeless people are trying to survive in the same communities in which they were last housed – and where they still maintain connections. Americans sleeping in their own cars literally have nowhere to go.
Indeed, nearly all homelessness in the US begins with a loss of income and an eviction for nonpayment of rent – a rent set entirely by market forces. The waiting lists are years long for the tiny fraction of housing with government subsidies. And rents have risen dramatically in the past two years, in part because long-time tenants must now compete with the millions of former homeowners who lost their homes in the Great Recession.
The paths from eviction to homelessness follow familiar patterns. For the completely destitute without family or friends able to help, that path leads more or less directly to the streets. For those slightly better off, unemployment and the exhaustion of meager savings – along with the good graces of family and friends – eventually leaves people with only two alternatives: a shelter cot or their old automobile.
However, in places like Los Angeles, the shelters are pretty much always full. Between 2011 and 2013, the number of unsheltered homeless people increased by 67%. In Palo Alto last year, there were 12 shelter beds for 157 homeless individuals. Homeless people in these cities do have choices: they can choose to sleep in a doorway, on a sidewalk, in a park, under a bridge or overpass, or – if they are relatively lucky – in a car. But these cities have ordinances that make all of those choices a criminal offense. The car is the best of bad options, now common enough that local bureaucrats have devised a new, if oxymoronic, term – the “vehicularly housed”.
People sleeping in cars try to find legal, nighttime parking places, where they will be less apparent and arouse the least hostility. But cities like Palo Alto and Los Angeles often forbid parking between 2am and 5am in commercial areas, where police write expensive tickets and arrest and impound the vehicles of repeat offenders. That leaves residential areas, where overnight street parking cannot, as a practical matter, be prohibited.
One finds the “vehicularly housed” in virtually every neighborhood, including my own. But the animus that drives anti-homeless laws seems to be greatest in the wealthiest cities, like Palo Alto, which has probably spawned more per-capita fortunes than any city on Earth, and in the more recently gentrified areas like Los Angeles’ Venice. These places are ruled by majorities of “liberals” who decry, with increasing fervor, the rapid rise in economic inequality. Nationally, 90% of Democrats (and 45% of Republicans) believe the government should act to reduce the rich-poor gap.
It is easy to be opposed to inequality in the abstract. So why are Los Angeles and Palo Alto spending virtually none of their budgets on efforts to provide housing for the very poor and homeless? When the most obvious evidence of inequality parks on their street, it appears, even liberals would rather just call the police. The word from the car: if you’re not going to do anything to help, please don’t make things worse.
Source

thepeoplesrecord:

The 1% wants to ban sleeping in cars - it hurts their ‘quality of life’
April 16, 2014

Across the United States, many local governments are responding to skyrocketing levels of inequality and the now decades-long crisis of homelessness among the very poor … by passing laws making it a crime to sleep in a parked car.

This happened most recently in Palo Alto, in California’s Silicon Valley, where new billionaires are seemingly minted every month – and where 92% of homeless people lack shelter of any kind. Dozens of cities have passed similar anti-homeless laws. The largest of them is Los Angeles, the longtime unofficial “homeless capital of America”, where lawyers are currently defending a similar vehicle-sleeping law before a skeptical federal appellate court. Laws against sleeping on sidewalks or in cars are called “quality of life” laws. But they certainly don’t protect the quality of life of the poor.

To be sure, people living in cars cannot be the best neighbors. Some people are able to acquire old and ugly – but still functioning – recreational vehicles with bathrooms; others do the best they can. These same cities have resisted efforts to provide more public toilet facilities, often on the grounds that this will make their city a “magnet” for homeless people from other cities. As a result, anti-homeless ordinances often spread to adjacent cities, leaving entire regions without public facilities of any kind.

Their hope, of course, is that homeless people will go elsewhere, despite the fact that the great majority of homeless people are trying to survive in the same communities in which they were last housed – and where they still maintain connections. Americans sleeping in their own cars literally have nowhere to go.

Indeed, nearly all homelessness in the US begins with a loss of income and an eviction for nonpayment of rent – a rent set entirely by market forces. The waiting lists are years long for the tiny fraction of housing with government subsidies. And rents have risen dramatically in the past two years, in part because long-time tenants must now compete with the millions of former homeowners who lost their homes in the Great Recession.

The paths from eviction to homelessness follow familiar patterns. For the completely destitute without family or friends able to help, that path leads more or less directly to the streets. For those slightly better off, unemployment and the exhaustion of meager savings – along with the good graces of family and friends – eventually leaves people with only two alternatives: a shelter cot or their old automobile.

However, in places like Los Angeles, the shelters are pretty much always full. Between 2011 and 2013, the number of unsheltered homeless people increased by 67%. In Palo Alto last year, there were 12 shelter beds for 157 homeless individuals. Homeless people in these cities do have choices: they can choose to sleep in a doorway, on a sidewalk, in a park, under a bridge or overpass, or – if they are relatively lucky – in a car. But these cities have ordinances that make all of those choices a criminal offense. The car is the best of bad options, now common enough that local bureaucrats have devised a new, if oxymoronic, term – the “vehicularly housed”.

People sleeping in cars try to find legal, nighttime parking places, where they will be less apparent and arouse the least hostility. But cities like Palo Alto and Los Angeles often forbid parking between 2am and 5am in commercial areas, where police write expensive tickets and arrest and impound the vehicles of repeat offenders. That leaves residential areas, where overnight street parking cannot, as a practical matter, be prohibited.

One finds the “vehicularly housed” in virtually every neighborhood, including my own. But the animus that drives anti-homeless laws seems to be greatest in the wealthiest cities, like Palo Alto, which has probably spawned more per-capita fortunes than any city on Earth, and in the more recently gentrified areas like Los Angeles’ Venice. These places are ruled by majorities of “liberals” who decry, with increasing fervor, the rapid rise in economic inequality. Nationally, 90% of Democrats (and 45% of Republicans) believe the government should act to reduce the rich-poor gap.

It is easy to be opposed to inequality in the abstract. So why are Los Angeles and Palo Alto spending virtually none of their budgets on efforts to provide housing for the very poor and homeless? When the most obvious evidence of inequality parks on their street, it appears, even liberals would rather just call the police. The word from the car: if you’re not going to do anything to help, please don’t make things worse.

Source

khaste-irooni:

Kuwait during the Gulf War

khaste-irooni:

Kuwait during the Gulf War