"..explores the everyday life and the material, political, and literary culture of St. Petersburg [..]
at the beginning of the twentieth century. It maps eleven itineraries through the city with the purpose of creating a palpable sense of life in Russia's late imperial capital on the eve of the 1917 revolution and during the subsequent decade." [About
] [more inside]
posted by peacay
on Apr 6, 2011 -
As your airline takes you from Point A to Point B, do you ever wonder about all the points in between? Enter MondoWindow
(in beta today), which mashes up satellite photos, air traffic data, wikipedia, and flickr to show where your plane is, and what's nearby on the earth below, provided your flight has wifi. [more inside]
posted by underthehat
on Mar 10, 2011 -
The American Festivals Project
takes you along on two guys' National Geographic-funded
2008 tour of the "small, hidden, and bizarre" festivals
celebrated all over the United States. Through photos, video
, and a blog
, discover Rattlesnake Roundup
, Okie noodling
, an American Fasnacht
, the Idiotarod
, and plenty more
. [more inside]
posted by Miko
on Feb 17, 2011 -
Starship Schematics Database
: dedicated to the sole purpose of archiving every single starship design ever conceived in the Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Babylon 5, and Space Battleship Yamato (A.K.A. Star Blazers in the USA) Universes, both official and unofficial, interesting and mediocre.
posted by Joe Beese
on Feb 12, 2011 -
Did the Scots visit Iceland?
New research reveals island inhabited 70 years before Vikings thought to have arrived. This appears to be the first physical evidence that confirms
the stories of celitc monks being on the island when the Norse arrived.
posted by novenator
on Dec 26, 2010 -
Robert F. Gallagher served in the United States Army's 815th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion (Third Army) in the European Theater during WWII. He has posted his memoir online: "Scratch One Messerschmitt,"
told from numerous photos he took during the war and the detailed notes he made shortly afterwards. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Nov 23, 2010 -
Democratic Republic of Congo: Lubumbashi to Kinshasa.
We made the decision to tackle this part of Democratic Republic of Congo when we were in Egypt. It would take us about 4 months to drive from Cairo down to the Zambia/DRC border. We immediately started our quest for information. It would soon become clear that very little information was available. We did not know of a single traveler that did this in the last 20 years. We knew of two who tried (both on motorbikes) in recent years. One crashed after a few days and got evacuated. The other got arrested and deported. Both didn't get very far.
So we had to be creative and think of other sources of information. If there is one thing you can find anywhere in the world it is Coca-Cola. They should know how to get their goods in the country. We had no response via email, so we called them up. Their answer was pretty short: They do not have a distribution network outside the major cities in Congo. And it proved to be true, Congo is the first country we have visited were Coca-cola is hard to get once you leave
the major cities.
The moral of the story was: nobody knew anything about the road conditions.
posted by bluesky43
on Nov 15, 2010 -
How to Buy a Round-the-World Plane Ticket (That Kicks Ass).
Chris Guillebeau: "....Each airline alliance has its own rules for how the ticket works. The one from Star Alliance is mileage based, meaning you’ll have a limit of 26,000, 29,000, 34,000 or 39,000 miles on your ticket. The trick here is to optimize your route to...below one of the tiers, (A friend of mine got his itinerary to 33,998 miles, which I thought was pretty good.)". This, and reserving, paying for and planning the mother of all plane trips (along with Things to Watch out for).
posted by storybored
on Oct 11, 2010 -
Forty years among the Zulus
, twenty-five years in Honan
, twenty-one years in India
, thirty years in India
, thirty years in Nyasaland
, eighteen years in the Khyber
, twice around the world
, twenty years in the Himalaya
, four years in the White North
, thirty years in the Arctic regions
, thirty years in Madagascar
, five years in a Persian town
, eight years in Iran
, fifty-three years in Syria
, four years in Ashantee
, forty years in Burma
, five years in the Sudan
, thirty years in Australia
, forty years in Brazil
. [more inside]
posted by shii
on Oct 2, 2010 -
A family traveled to France and Germany in 1938 and shot this footage
which features two appearances by Adolf Hitler. It's creepy seeing this Nazi spectacle shot by an amateur. It's a perspective I don't know if I've ever seen. The video opens in France and the Nazi footage starts around 1:45.
The collector writes: "The Basement Collection presents: An 8mm film bought at an estate sale back in the 90's. This reel is part of a series of a family vacation movies to Europe in 1938. On this reel the family visits France and then Germany. The footage of Hitler is from a celebration in the Berlin Stadium on what I think is a May Day celebration (May 2, 1938) then another celebration at Berlin's Lustgarten. (on May 1st). (I think the reel was edited together out of order)."
posted by zzazazz
on Aug 12, 2010 -
is a web site that allows you to find or offer rooms, couches, apartments, houses, backyard tents, treehouses, castles, islands... for rent. Terrific for travellers on the cheap or who want unique experiences in lodging. There are some fantastic properties on here--many of them reasonably priced.
posted by dobbs
on Jul 18, 2010 -
, physicist, nuclear scientist, and designer of the deceptively tiny Davy Crockett nuclear recoilless rifle
, is not quite as famous as one of his other projects: nuclear spacecraft propulsion.
was intended as an interplanetary (and eventually interstellar) vehicle which could achieve Earth orbit with a series of 800 nuclear explosions, each detonated about a second after the other below the spacecraft. It would propel itself through space in a similar fashion, carrying many orders of magnitude more mass than chemical rockets such as the Saturn which would ultimately take men to the moon.
Taylor and others intended a mission to Mars by 1965, but the Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963
destroyed all hope to see Orion take flight.
For the interested, "The Curve of Binding Energy"
goes into much more detail, including the U.S. Air Force's plan to turn Orion into a nuclear space battleship (!).
A youtube video of an Orion concept test using conventional explosives is here
(flight footage begins around 0:23).
posted by edguardo
on Feb 1, 2010 -
Come see "the busiest bicycling street in the Western world", and lots of other you-gotta-see-them-to-believe-them features including bike counters (featuring digital readouts), LEDS, double bike lanes (for passing) and giant hot pink cars. Bicycle Highways may be coming
to your town. [more inside]
posted by hortense
on Dec 20, 2009 -
If there's one genre you have to read before you die it's the travel book
Standard guidebook: "Should you be caught up in a frenzied riot during your time in Jakarta, make your way immediately to your country's embassy. Once inside, relax with one of the native beverages, and think about what a great story you'll have to tell Andy and Rhona on your return."
Hip guidebook:"Should you be caught up in a frenzied riot during your time in Jakarta, consider yourself fortunate to witness the valid cultural expression of a wonderfully passionate race. Feel free to hurl a Molotov cocktail at the riot squad." (via Jorn>
posted by caddis
on Dec 11, 2009 -