Fragments of Iceland

This a beautiful short film by Lea Amiel and Nicolas Libersalle that captures their journey through Iceland. It  only further reinforces my desire to visit that seemingly magical place.

Watch it here. It’s remarkably well done.

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High Resolution Image of Earth

A high resolution image of Earth taken from a Russian weather satellite. While watching this, it’s hard to image that I’m somewhere on that planet, sharing it with 7 billion other people who are going about their little lives. It makes me feel so insignificant, yet I hardly mind. There is something beautiful, even liberating, about realizing and accepting that fact.

See more breathtaking videos from this satellite here.

How Architecture Can Impact Society

I don’t think most people realize the significance of city planning and construction on social and economic development. Obviously, good infrastructure promotes prosperity by linking people to one another, providing access to resources, facilitating industry and commerce, and more. But even the way we design neighborhoods and buildings, and how we utilize the space they’re built, can have larger consequences down the world.

The video below features a TEDx Talk by architect Mark Hammond, who discusses some of the subtle but profound ways that city design can help or hurt a given community. His discussion couldn’t be more topical, given that more people in the world are living in cities than ever before (a threshold that was only recently passed). How we accommodate this influx of people will be vital to the fate of billions. Like it or not, cities will be undisputed center of human activity and civilization, so it’s best that we learn how to best develop and run them.

As always, feedback is welcome.

A Beluga Whale Meets a Mariachi Band

Whales are incredibly intelligent creatures, known for having individual personalities and even distinct cultures (such that there is even a serious movement to grant them an equivalent to human rights). If the following video doesn’t attest to their remarkable development, I don’t know what will.

I could never watch that video without smiling. It’s definitely something to bookmark in the event of a bad day.

The Inspiring Story of Patrick Henry Hughes

This is one of the most touching narratives I’ve seen in some time. You need to see it to believe it.

I wonder if I would turn out any better if I were in this young man’s shoes. It takes an exceptional person to make due with such difficult circumstances, let alone achieve greatness.

Hat tip to my good friend Javier for sharing this with me.

Rare Whale Ahoy!

The Australian Broadcasting Network (a pretty reputable news source) recently posted footage of an extremely rare marine animal known as theShepherd’s beaked whale, which had been spotted off the southern coast of Australia.  This is the first video ever taken of this species, our knowledge of which is limited to only six sighting and 29 beached specimens.

You can access the video in the first hyperlink, since I can’t embed it here. Its well worth the attention, as it represents a beautiful and intimate glimpse into a very mysterious creature (which appears to be joined by many other different kinds of marine life).

As to be expected, we don’t know much about this enigmatic creature, other than that it’s quite small for it a whale, and seems to be a deep-water feeder found only in the Southern Hemisphere, near Antarctica.

It’s amazing to think that with our technological intrusion into seemingly every inch of this planet, there is still so much that remains unknown. Who knows what else is waiting to be found in this great expanse of blue. We often talk of space as a frontier, but I think our own oceans will remain quite untamed for years to come.