What We Love This Week, Volume CXVI

Spring China

Chinese blacksmiths carry on a 300-year tradition in Nuanquan, Hebei Province. Each year, they throw ladles of molten iron against brick walls to create the illusion of fireworks. Source: The Atlantic

Spring’s Big Thawing Act–In Photos

Spring Daisy

Illuminated daisy petals in Frankfurt, Germany. Source: The Atlantic

Rejoice, Northern Hemispherers: the vernal equinox has arrived, and with it comes more sunshine, warmer temperatures and the possibility of finding happiness in places besides your bed and the neighborhood bar. The Atlantic has curated an excellent series of photos highlighting the changing of the seasons around the world, and we highly recommend you check it out.

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The Crazy And Charming Theory Of Love In Plato’s “Symposium”

Plato Symposium

A symposium scene on a 5th century BCE Greek cup currently housed in the State Antiquities Collection in Munich, Germany. Source: Wikimedia

Written 2,400 years ago, Plato’s philosophical novella, Symposium, includes one of the weirdest – and most charming – explanations of why people fall in love ever invented. Plato gives this trippy exegesis to the playwright Aristophanes, who appears as a character in the book.

Before turning to Aristophanes’s odd speech, let’s set the stage. First, we’re at a dinner party. Wealthy Athenian men have gathered, as they often did, to drink wine, eat, philosophize, and carouse with women, younger men, or each other. On this (fictional) occasion, the guests are all playwrights and philosophers and they include Plato’s idol Socrates. As the night progresses, the conversation turns to the meaning of love.

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Stop, Drop And (Egg) Roll: The White House Easter Egg Roll Over Time

Obama Easter Egg Roll

Source: PopSugar

Easter is just a few days away, and with it comes the 137th-annual White House Easter Egg Roll. This year’s theme is #GimmeFive, a challenge that’s meant to honor the fifth anniversary of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! program. On April 6, 2015, more than 35,000 people will gather at the White House to celebrate this tradition that spans more than a century.

White House Egg Roll 1898

Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn, all the way back in 1898. Source: Daily Mail

1921 Egg Roll at White House

A snapshot of children at the Easter Egg Roll in 1921. Source: History in Photos

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25 Rooftop Gardens That Will Make Your Jaw Drop

Rooftop Gardens Curved Roof

Urban planners are frequently including green features like rooftop gardens in their designs. Source: Homes Direct

Rooftop gardens might seem like a development of modernity, but they actually date back to antiquity. From the famed ziggurats of Mesopotamia to the wondrous Hanging Gardens of Babylon, roof gardens have not only served to delight people, but also to grow food, provide flood control and insulate homes. Many cities across the globe are promoting the installation of rooftop gardens for these very reasons.

Rooftop gardens are most commonly found in cities where free ground level space is limited, heat build-up is of concern and water overflow is an issue. Gardens can actually reduce the overall heat absorption of a building, thus reducing energy consumption and helping fight smog. But that’s not the only thing these little environmental superheroes do. They also provide space for growing affordable and sustainable crops, recreation and migratory way stations for animals.

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