Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Craziest Russian Balconies

Since the demise of the Soviet state, most Russians found themselves living in typical old Soviet buildings. Most of the buildings had balconies and this is where the urge for individuality was expressed. People started heavily modifying their balconies for a number of reasons.

Since everyone was doing this job independent of other people living in the same apartment building the balcony room designs emerged with a really diverse variety. And since every balcony was individually designed, people started to decorate them, often very heavily.

So let's see what happened with this selection of what might be the most crazily modded Russian balconies.

‪Two Fingers Parking in Poland

In the video below you can see how you park in Poland. This time no bumbling but precision work without lumps.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Celebs You Didn’t Know Were Abercrombie Models Before They Were Famous

Abercrombie & Fitch had a campaign called ‘Rising Stars’. And the world’s biggest pop star was in it. Reading, Pennsylvania resident and country/pop star Taylor Swift. Doesn’t look much like her, does it? Well, she was just fourteen at the time. We suppose you might actually recognize her from this picture. As much as it might not look like her, but she does have a guitar. From clotheshorse to global musical superstar.
Weirdly, this is an actual Abercrombie & Fitch modeling shoot. Featuring none other than Layer Cake and Americna Sniper actress Sienna Miller. But just look at it, it looks more like a bizarre seventies adult movie set. It looks as though there’s about to be a plumber knock on the door, doesn’t it? But, no. It’s Sienna Miller earning a little money before going on to forge a successful movie career and slightly less successful marriage to Jude Law.
Who’s this? Recognize him? This is him back in his modelling days. But nowadays? He’s an actor and performer. His name? Kellan Lutz. He played Emmett Cullen in The Twilight saga movies. He also pitched up in Immortals, The Legend of Hercules and the third Expendables movie. Lutz also models with Ford Models and Calvin Klein. Well, it’s no surprise, really. Just look at the man. He’s pretty ridiculous looking.
Here’s big time Movie star Olivia Wilde who, like everyone else on this list – naturally – started off as a model. So before her days in House opposite Hugh Laurie and in movies like Rush, Her and Cowboys & Aliens, she’d pose for the camera. Check out this picture here. This snap was taken back in 2004. When she was twenty. But eleven years later? She still looks the damn same! It’s crazy… Isn’t it? She’ll still be hot in another eleven years. And probably another eleven after that too.
Here’s Unfabulous, American Horror Story and We’re The Millers star Emma Roberts in a teenage shoot for Abercrombie & Fitch. She’s actually Julia Roberts niece, so it’s no surprise that she’s so pretty and at home in front of the camera. Extra trivia for you – her dad is eighties movie hero Eric Roberts. And her (now ex) boyfriend is X Men star Evan Peters.
Here’s Karlie Kloss. She’s a highly successful and lusted after Victoria’s Secret supermodel nowadays. But, this shoot was some eight years ago. This 2007 job was for Abercrombie & Fitch’s children’s section, Abercrombie Kids. She was just sixteen. And what a natural model she is. Just take a look. It’s not – admittedly – a huge talent. But still. Please don’t tell Tyra Banks that we said that though, okay?
We all know Jamie Dornan now for his appearance as Christina Grey in the controversial movie adaptation of EL James’ erotic novel, 50 Shades of Grey. But before the actor took on the role of a sex-crazed billionaire in the saucy movie, he was a high end fashion model for the swanky clothing brand, Abercrombie & Fitch. The Northern Irish thesp got his big break in Sofia Coppolla’s Marie Antoinette, but before than? Modelling shoots like this.
Here’s future Disney star and soon-to-be wild child Lindsay Lohan posing for Abercrombie Kids way back in 1998. Aaaah… Look at her, all cute and innocence. If only people knew what was in store for Ms. Lohan back then. A long list of famous bed fellows, arrests, crazy nights out, battles with booze and drugs… The red-headed model-turned-actress has certainly lived a life already. So it’s weird to see her back as a little ‘un, isn’t it?
Here’s the blonde bombshell January Jones being all serious and moody for a photo shoot for Abercrombie & Fitch back before the days of Betty Draper and Mad Men. Who knew that she used to be a model, huh? Well, us, actually. What? We did. C’mon, you’ve only got to see her in films like X Men: First Class to realize that how stupidly hot she is…
A big hunk of beefcake that went on to star in Oliver Stone’s Savages, John Carter (From Mars) and the second season of True Detective. But before these current heady days of acting (albeit not particularly great acting…), Taylor Kitsch used to be a model. One who, judging by this picture, was quite happy to pose in weird positions. Bless him.
Here’s a very young Jennifer Lawrence way back in 2006 modelling for Abercrombie & Fitch. This was much before she kicked off a huge career in the movies and became one of the world’s most famous actresses. This young girl wouldn’t have believed you if you told her that she was going to win a Best Actress Oscar one day, would she? We don’t think.
Here’s Channing Tatum modelling for A & F. Nowadays of course he’s a big time A-List Hollywood star. But back then? He was happy to pose for strange pictures with other guys. The star of 21 Jump Street, GI Joe and Haywire had an even stranger job before being a model too. He used to work in a kitten/puppy nursery. Ah, how sweet, huh? We wonder if he’s embarrassed by this frankly quite odd photograph, though? What do you think?
Here’s Michelle Trachtenberg way back in 2004. You might remember her from her three-year spell as Buffy’s annoying little sister on Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Or you might remember her from fashion shoots like these. You know, if you have a weirdly good recall on Abercrombie & Fitch models from eleven years ago. Which would be weird, to say the very least.
Here we see movie star, entrepreneur, Demi Moore ex and Mila Kunis husband Ashton Kutchner posing in a very odd little ad for Abercrombie & Fitch. This bizarrely homoerotic little scene paid the bills for Mr. Kutchner pre-That 70’s Show and The Butterfly Effect, but he’s got to be regretting it somewhat now. Just look at it. It’s all rather intimate and, well, half naked, isn’t it?
Here’s a surprisingly busty Heidi Klum doing a little catalog modeling before the big time came a-calling and she was called to the catwalks to make her money. The future wife (and ex-wife) of Seal can be seen here, all topless and provocative with a Robert Redford lookalike. Ah, the Germans. They just love Christmas, don’t they?

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Realmonte Salt Mine in Sicily

In the southern cost of Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, lies the town of Realmonte where there is a huge underground salt mine with tunnels that goes on for 25 km some 100 meters below the ground. The walls of the salt mine are naturally adorned with alternating bands of dark and light colored rocks arranged in concentric circles and stripes. These colored bands were formed approximately 5 million years ago by deposition of salt when seawater evaporated away leaving large quantities of dissolved salt as precipitate.

During this period the Mediterranean Sea was undergoing a cycle of partly or nearly complete desiccation, which geologists call the Messinian Salinity Crisis. The precursor of the Strait of Gibraltar had closed tight and the Mediterranean Sea was blocked off from the Atlantic, resulting in the increase in salinity of the water. Because of the generally dry climate conditions, within a millennium the Mediterranean basin nearly completely dried out, forming a deep dry basin that reached 3 to 5 km below the world ocean level.

“The temperature at which a solution is evaporating can affect the type of salt which precipitates, meaning that a different type of salt is formed during the winter than during the summer,” explains The Earth Story. “Thus, the light and dark salts seen in the walls of the mine actually represent summer vs. winter deposits respectively. These seasonal cycles are known as varves in the geological world, and create fascinating patterns in many outcrops worldwide. Here, subsequent deformation of these varve deposits has resulted in the extraordinary outcrop seen in the photo above”.

In addition to its natural wonder, the Realmonte Salt Mine also contains a church embedded deep in the salt mine complete with altar, steps, frescos and crucifix all painstakingly carved out of the salt face by the mine workers. The church is able to accommodate up to 800 people. Each year in early December, ceremonies are held in the underground church to celebrate Santa Barbara, the protector of mine workers.

Realmonte is able to produce about 500 thousand tons of salt each year, playing an important role in the local economy. This region is believed to have salt reserves of 100 million tons.

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