Linden Gledhill's Flickr page contains 32 sets of photographs, half of them devoted to biology or physical phenomena in nature. You could spend hours looking at them, for they include insects, plants, insect eggs, insect parts, fungi, as well as paint splashes, astronomy shots, and travel photographs. Linden has given me permission to put up a few of his insect pictures, but be aware that they're "copyright Linden Gledhill" and can't be further reproduced without his permission.
Few people are malicious or evil for no good reason . Being evil for the sake of evil is a myth that applies only to the villains of childhood fairy tales or mainstream entertainment media. Humans are complicated creatures who seek to rationalize everything they do. What one person thinks is evil, another may find to be acceptable, if not good. Continue reading
It’s amazing what a change in perspective can do, either to the sense or towards are perception of reality. There’s beauty all around us, depending on where, how, and – more importantly - if we look. It’s easy to take for granted the strange and amazing worlds that exist out of sight and out of mind.
Thankfully, talented photographers like Suren Manvelyan of Armenia are uncovering amazing realms of aesthetic splendor, thanks to the wonder of human curiosity. It seems like a rather simple approach too: extreme close-ups of various human eyes, which I would never have though could create the sort of alien worlds like the following:
To think that our own eyes, which we’re rarely conscious of, harbor so much beauty.
I stumbled upon some of these eerie photographs while carousing through Tumblr. They are pictures of the Democratic Republic of the Congo taken in infrared, which produces a surreal and almost alien feel to them. The artist is an Irishman named Richard Mosse, who has an impressive CV in cultural studies, fine art, and photography, and has been involved in a lot of showcases and projects.
Below is a small sample of work:
You can check out the rest of his work, which includes photos from the Iraq War, here.
An interesting visual history of one the world’s most unique military forces, as always, courtesy of Foreign Policy.
For most Americans, U.N. peacekeeping is something the rest of the world does. Indeed, the U.N. monitoring mission that is currently in Syria to enforce a floundering ceasefire features blue berets from 35 countries — including Burkina Faso, China, Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Russia, and Yemen — but none from the United States. The absence of American personnel partly reflects Syria’s antipathy toward the United States, which has called for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down. But it also reflects the fact that U.S. blue helmets have become an increasingly extinct species.
It wasn’t always that way, however.
In 1948, when the United Nations set up its first peacekeeping mission in the Middle East to monitor a truce between Israel and five Arab countries, it placed 21 American observers under the command of a Swede, Col. Count Thord Bonde. As the United Nations branched out into Africa and South Asia, the U.S. Air Force provided the airlift capacity, ferrying thousands of international peacekeepers to duty from Congo to the Sinai.
The United States still contributes generously to U.N. peacekeeping operations, paying for about 27 percent of the organization’s $8 billion budget, and European governments pay much of the remainder. But Western nations have withdrawn from the most ambitious operations, particularly in Africa. Where they remain, they serve alongside U.N. forces, as in the case of the French forces stationed in Ivory Coast.
A tour of the U.N. photo archives shows just how the complexion and nationality of U.N. blue helmets has changed over time.
The following caption, as well as the photo, is courtesy of io9:
Inside the mouth of every child is a terrifying double row of teeth. Not that you’d ever know it — muscle, skin and bone prevent most of us from ever catching a glimpse of this extra dentition. Here’s your chance to get a close-up look at what lies beyond the gum line.
On some level, most people probably recognize that a child’s erupting permanent teeth have to be situated more or less right on top of their smaller predecessors, in order to dissolve their roots and ultimately replace them (a process known as exfoliation).
What many fail to appreciate, however, is just how little room there is for exfoliation to take place. This picture [click for hi-res], taken by photographer Stefan Schäfer at the Hunterian Museum in London, reveals several permanent teeth crammed into a space so small, it almost looks like they’re burrowing outward in a bid to escape from the skull entirely — the front teeth via the eye and nasal cavities, the lower teeth by way of the jawline.
Stare at it too long, in fact, and the skull’s primary teeth almost start to resemble a set of pharyngeal jaws. Wonderful. Now I’ll never be able to look at a child again without thinking about xenomorph dentition. Biology: Not only is it fascinating, it’s also high-octane nightmare fuel.
It’s strange to think that this is what lies beneath the face of every child I see or talk to. It’s hard to remember that within our flesh is this otherwise alien-looking thing.
From Foreign Policy:
Photojournalists John Moore and Peter Madiarmid — along with Chris Hondros, who was killed last year while reporting in Libya — were announced as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography on Monday. In naming the three Getty photographers as finalists, the Committee cited ”their brave coverage of revolutionary protests known as the Arab Spring, capturing the chaos and exuberance as ordinary people glimpsed new possibilities.” Here are some of their most iconic shots.
Click here to see some of their award-winning work.
Whenever I see people passing by, whether as motorists or pedestrians, I sometimes wonder: who are the occupants of those vehicles? Where are they going? What are they like? We’re so accustomed to seeing a lot of strangers in our everyday lives, that we scarcely acknowledge them as fellow human beings, with their own stories, personalities, and histories.
It’s hard to remember that we share this planet with seven billion people just like us, with their own fears, dreams, experiences, and beliefs. People who are living out their narratives at this very moment; some of their stories ending, others just beginning.
This reflection was brought upon by the work of one enterprising and creative photographer, who decided to stand on a bridge and take pictures of the various migrant workers passing underneath in their iconic pick-up trucks. Here’s just a sample:
These are the people that are often behind the scenes, raising our children, caring for our elderly and infirm, and picking our produce. They have stories of their own, mostly of tragedy, hardship, and perseverance. I wonder what they’re all like in person. What kind of perspectives would they give me?
As many of you know, I have tremendous respect and admiration for people who place themselves in harm’s way in the name of higher ideals. While I’ve acknowledged the selflessness of protesters, revolutionaries, and human rights activists, I’ve yet to recognize the sacrifice made by journalists, reporters, photographers, and other media crew who risk their lives to tell the stories no one else would.
If it weren’t for their courage and tenacity, we would never know about the most important stories of our time. Millions of people would have their stories untold. We take for granted our instant and up-to-date access to the multitude of events transpiring across the world. We forget the human cost that goes into it, and don’t think much about showing any appreciation.
Remi Ochlik was just such a man. Like most in his field, few people outside the profession knew anything about him. Yet we’ve seen dozens of his magnificent photographs (how many people look at such images and acknowledge that another human being put himself right there on the ground, risking bodily harm, to capture it). He died doing what he did best, just as he was becoming a rising star. As Foreign Policy’s tribute states:
Rémi Ochlik, the French photojournalist who took the photo above, was killed on Feb. 22, 2012, by Syrian government shelling in the opposition stronghold city of Homs. Ochlik, who was 28 years old, had already distinguished himself as one of the best conflict photographers of his generation, winning a 2012 World Press Photo prize for his work in Libya.
He was killed along with veteran reporter Marie Colvin, who was legendary for her fearlessness in pursuing stories in the most dangerous areas. You can see this photo, and many others he took, at this memorial slideshow. At the very least he’ll live on through the work he gave his life for, and no doubt Colvin will be revered by the thousands who’s perspectives she helped share.