In August 2014, after a ten-year odyssey through the solar system, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft finally rendezvoused with its target, a comet named 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Three months later, Rosetta sent down Philae, a lander, to dock on the surface of this mass of rock and dust hurtling through space 300 million kilometers from earth. Philae skipped off the comet’s surface twice before skidding to a stop in a shadowy niche. The Europeans had done it. For the first time in history, humans had caught up with a comet and landed a probe on its surface.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is a walking reductio ad absurdum of Immanuel Kant’s Enlightenment treatise Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason. In that book, Kant argues that mankind…
Dunoon is a small, unassuming town in Scotland with a population of just 8,300 people. However, one weekend per year, at the end of August, that population triples or even quadruples in size. That’s because for over a hundred years the town has hosted the Cowal Highland Gathering, the biggest Highland Games event in Scotland.
While some may think of Italy as the epicenter of the world’s coffee addiction, the world’s most popular drug arrived to Europe fairly late in history. In fact, coffee was born in Ethiopia. Both the arabica and robusta varieties have their origins there.
Today, around 5,000 varieties of arabica grow in Ethiopia, more than in any other country on earth. One of the most charming stories of the human discovery of the caffeine-rich beans originates from Ethiopia, too. The tale of Kaldi supposedly took place around the 9th century in what is today the province of Kaffa.
Class and social stature have been so historically important in New York “society” that the elite have even competed for a place to rot. In the words of architecture critic Paul Goldberger, “It is the ambition of the New Yorker to live upon the Fifth Avenue, to take his airings in the Park, and to sleep with his fathers in the Green-Wood.”
Located in a quiet corner of Brooklyn, it is Green-Wood Cemetery’s natural beauty that makes it such a prestigious place to decompose. By the early 1860s, Green-Wood Cemetery had already gained an international reputation for its grand physical appearance, and quickly became a popular tourist destination. Some noteworthy permanent residents include Leonard Bernstein, Boss Tweed, Charles Ebbets, Jean-Michel Basquait, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Horace Greeley, Civil War general, baseball legends, politicians, artists, entertainers, and inventors.
Today, US culture can be accurately described as one that values youth and fears mortality. A few minutes in Green-Wood cemetery, however, and it seems that death is almost aspirational. Equipped with a camera, I explored the stunning cemetery. Here’s what I found:
To this day the 487-acre parcel attracts history buffs, bird watchers and nature lovers alike. This is what it looks like in the Spring–but try not to let it give you any ideas: