January In Japan

In case you’re feeling the need to get out of town in winter’s darkest hour (and we can’t say we blame you), this video may make you consider hopping a flight to Tokyo.

Our Aunt Flo: How “Homo floresiensis” Fits In The Human Story

Homo Floresiensis Hunter

Source: The Guardian

Way out in the South Pacific, near no place in particular, lies the tiny island of Flores. It has about as much land area as the Willamette Valley and has been covered with tropical rainforest for as long as anybody can tell. Insofar as the place is known at all, it’s mainly as a jumping-off point for tourists who want to visit the island of Komodo and watch big lizards eat goats.

In 2003, a discovery was made in a cave on Flores that sent a shockwave through the field of human origins. There, the remains of a previously unknown species of human were discovered that, on examination, proved to be unlike anything researchers had ever come across. What’s more, this clearly non-sapiens hominid was recent enough to have shared the island with the ancestors of the people who live there now.

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Huacachina, The Desert Oasis

Huacachina Peru

Located just five hours south of Lima is Huacachina, or what has increasingly become known as the “oasis of America”. The village is the subject of vast folklore (namely that the lagoon was made by a princess who had fled the bathtub to run away from her captor), and increasingly tourists. This comes at a cost, though: the influx of private landowners has reduced the oasis’ water levels, requiring the city to pump water back into it artificially.

The Sci-Fi Buddhist Temple That Is Wat Rong Khun

White Temple

Source: WordPress

The old adage “You can’t judge a book by its cover” apparently also applies to a temple. Within Thailand’s White Temple, you will encounter a somewhat non-traditional interior. Where you may expect to find reverent Buddhist sculptures and quiet areas of worship, you’ll see crazy murals that blend science fiction imagery, pop culture and the teachings of Buddha. The reasoning? As artist Chalermchai Kositpipat said, “I desire for it to be built like a paradise. It is paradise on Earth, humans can be exposed.”

But for most, said paradise probably doesn’t include Keanu Reeves. Or, for that matter, being surrounded by spaceships locked in a battle for your soul.

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