14 April 2019

Moving London


Moving Cities is a cross-cultural initiative created by Jevan Chowdury manifests into an ongoing collection of short films using dance to present the now of cities and it is now a year old. The purpose since 2014 is to strengthen intercultural understanding through the arts. To celebrate the anniversary the team have returned to where it all began – London – where we can witness again the bizarre and unusually harmonious relationship dancers have with cities.
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The Way Home


A mouse needs a house.  And when you have a house you need things to put in it.  The Way Home is a very sweet combination of live footage and animation which tracks the journey of our new murine friend as he gathers new belongings with which to decorate his humble abode.  The animation was created by students of Liu Song, a tutor at Hangzhou Normal University in Zhejiang Province, Eastern China.
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Alien Communications


How do you finally bond with the boy that you have crushed on for years? By discovering an alien probe in the woods and making sure that he’s the first person you call about it.  Yet even then the course of true love never does run smooth.  This charming and funny coming-of-age short was created by Pennsylvania based Something's Awry Productions and stars upcoming actors Evangeline Young and Luke Baxter.
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Jantar Mantar – Immense Astronomical Instrument of the Maharajahs

These remarkable constructions appear to all intents and purposes as if they could have been built to create the set for a new science fiction blockbuster set on a planet light years away from Earth. Yet these are centuries old instruments, designed and used in Jaipur, India, to explore the heavens. Their production was ordered by a great Maharaja in the early decades of the 18th century and they have been in constant use ever since.

Jai Singh II was born in 1688 and at only eleven years old became the Maharaja. He was born in to a life of extreme privilege but inherited a kingdom which was on the brink of impoverishment. The Kingdom of Amber (what would eventually become Jaipur) was in dire straits with a cavalry of less than a thousand men. Yet by the time he was in his thirties he would have turned this around and built Jantar Mantra.

6 April 2019

The Century Old Color Photographs of Prokudin-Gorsky

In 1909 a remarkable project was initiated by Russian photographer Sergey Mikhaylovich Prokudin-Gorsky. His mission was to record – in full and vibrant color – the vast and diverse Russian Empire. Here, with his story, is a selection of his amazing century old full color pictures.

Just over one hundred years ago a Russian photographer, began a remarkable project. With the blessing – and funding – of the Tsar, Nicholas II, he embarked on an extraordinary journey to capture the essence of Russia in full color photographs. Many of these pictures look as if they could have been taken yesterday, with only the costumes worn by the people captured in their moment of time betraying the age of the work. The first shows two men crossing a small river.

24 March 2019

Spring!

It's spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!  ~Mark Twain

Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day.  ~W. Earl Hall

19 March 2019

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day at 17°80°


This is a really unusual way to celebrate a birthday!  Way back in 1780 Jameson Irish Whiskey was established and the rest, as they say, is history.  However, this year the celebrations took an unusual twist.  A group of people were taken to the co-ordinates as the year that the brand was first established.

Is 17°80° in the middle of a beautiful tropical island?  Is it at the heart of a cosmopolitan city with nightlife and culture oozing from every corner? No, it’s at Svalbard in Norway – just 1000km from the North Pole!

This didn’t stop the group from having a huge amount of fun, as you can see in the video above.  The point?  That in order to have a great craic on Paddy’s Day you don’t necessarily have to be in one of the Irish diaspora’s hotspots.  All you truly need is great company and a nip of a wonderful whiskey to mark the date.

Jameson scoured the globe to find four groups of friends who have one thing in common – they all celebrate St Patrick’s Day.  When the search was over and the right people located, they were then packed off on an expedition to the most northerly inhabited area on the globe, Svalbard, Norway

After a number of adventures, they arrived at 17° (longitude) 80° (latitude), and the friends from Ireland, India and Argentina then raised a toast to Saint Patrick – and no doubt to Jameson too.

If you would like to see more details of this St Patrick’s expedition, please visit the Jameson Whiskey Instagram page.



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17 March 2019

The Prandtl–Glauert Singularity – Amazing Jet Plane Shock Collar

It’s an amazing site – a cone of vapor appearing around an aircraft which is travelling at transonic speed.  Known as the Prandtl–Glauert Singularity this astonishing effect simultaneously widens the eyes and drops the jaw. Yet how does it occur?

10 March 2019

Sansiantai: Dragon Bridge to the Island of the Three Immortals

The eastern coastline of Taiwan is renowned for its natural beauty.  Unspoiled beaches stretch for miles and at one point, Sansiantai, there is a wonderful surprise.    A beautiful arched bridge, meant to resemble a dragon of Chinese legend, stretches from the mainland across to a group of small islands.

Sansiantai is, as you might imagine, saturated in folklore. The three enormous rocks making up the island's most conspicuous feature long ago gave rise to a native myth that three of China's Eight Immortals once chose the island for a place to rest.  Even the name of the island translates to the Terrace of the Three Immortals.

4 March 2019

Awesome Things to do in Chiclana And Cadiz


Andalucía in southern Spain is blessed with miles of coastline and hilly countryside. Two of the best regions are Chiclana and Cadiz. They have coastal regions featuring golden beaches and places to see and things to do. Let’s take a look at the best places to go and why you should visit this region of Spain.

La Barrosa

Just outside of Chiclana is the beautiful and enigmatic beach town of La Barrosa. It has a laid-back vibe and is hugely popular. The beach stretches for 5 miles and the sand is fine and white. The Azure waters are perfect to partake in water sports of every type.

The beach feels like two beaches in one. The first boats beachfront bars, restaurants, and walkways. This morphs into a more natural environment and you will soon find yourself walking among dunes and woodland.

One of the great things is that there is plenty of choice for accommodation, such as Iberostar Andalucía Playa hotel in Chiclana which offers travellers everything they could wish for.

Playa La Caleta

This beach has plenty of significance to Cadiz. It has a natural harbour that was used by several empires throughout the centuries including the Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Romans.  Locals like to gather on the west side and socialise and every large rock has a name. The names date back centuries and are that of an animal or everyday object. Nobody quite knows why.

Again, water sports can be found on the north side of the oceanfront, but here the beach is for meeting friends and soaking up the sun.

There are plenty of great accommodation choices from budget to other hotels in Cadiz aimed at the high-end market.

Ermita de Santa Ana

This 18th-century chapel is of a beautiful design and overlooks the whole city of Chiclana. This is thanks to its construction on top of the highest point. Architecturally, it is stunning and features a semi-spherical vault on a small drum. The architects constructed four holes in the vault to better illuminate the hermitage.

Inside the chapel, a small altar can be found bearing the image of Santa Ana.

San Sebastián Castle

If you follow the Paseo Fernando Quiñones that runs along the edge of the northwestern edge of the city you will come to the fortress of San Sebastian Castle. The views back towards the city are stunning and you can dangle your legs over the Atlantic Ocean when you fill the need.

The fortress was constructed in 1706 but the lighthouse is far older and was built by the Moors.

The castle is often used for exhibitions, film sets, and concerts. Prior to this, it was used as a prison. Well worth a visit.

La Torre del Reloj – Chiclana

One of the most prestigious buildings in Chiclana is the La Torre del Reloj a clock tower.  It was constructed in the 18th century and was once part of the old Town Hall. Later, it was used by the Church of San Juan Bautista as the bell towers were never completed.

When visiting the tower sometimes known as Arquillo del Reloj, you can see the clock mechanism thanks to a cut arch in the tower itself. The tower is situated next to the Church of San Juan Bautista and gives both historical and cultural insights.

Gran Teatro Falla

The Gran Teatro Falla is a 19th-century concert hall constructed in the neo-mudéjar style, harking back to medieval times and is a highly popular destination in Cadiz among visitors and locals.

From the moment you enter the large Moorish inspired alternating voussoirs (red and white archway stones), you get the feeling something exciting is about to happen and often there is. If you want to get to know the Cadiz mindset visit in February and March and experience the Comparsas competition.

Here, musical ensembles dress in matching outrageous outfits and sing satirical songs about politics and culture.

Other times of the year are just as exciting and feature musicians, bands, and artists performing different musical styles.

Islote de Sancti Petri

The Islote de Sancti Petri is an island reachable from El Pueblo de Sancti Petri. After your 15 minute journey, you will find yourself on a barren island that was once controlled by the military.

These days, the island is controlled by the Spanish Environment Ministry. One structure you can’t fail to notice is the Castle of Sancti Petri. Now mostly ruins the tower has been rebuilt and is a fully working lighthouse.  You can learn about the history of the island and the castle which is rich and deep.

No visit to either Chiclana or Cadiz is complete without a visit to this island.

Andalucía is an amazing part of Spain with golden beaches and rich historical delights. It is a must visit destination that you will want to come back to time and again.

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