A Storm Over Bangkok

Over eight million people pack themselves into Bangkok city limits, situated at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River delta. The ancient city (it has roots all the way back to the…

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The Only Humans To Die In Space

Soyuz and Salyut Docking in Space.

Soyuz and Salyut Docking in Space (Artist’s Rendering). Source: SpaceFacts/ Joachim Becker

There exists only one video of what followed Soyuz 11’s violent decompression. In it, we see two men sprawled over white sheets, helpless on the dead grasses of the Kazakh steppe. Their faces are obscured by the sweating, heaving medics huddled over them, performing the kiss of life, frantically trying to save them: but their essences had been sucked out in a silent flash. Their skin is as gray and lifeless as the ground they lay upon. All crewmen were lost.

The Salyut-1 (“salute”, “fanfare”) was intended to be one of the USSR’s defining blows to the United States in the Cold War. The first space station of any kind was going to be a Soviet one, and the eager Soviets had already sent a team of three men to occupy it. It was a hasty decision: the Soviet team had recently abandoned their lunar mission plans, and were in a mad dash to show the world that they could still make firsts in space. From the initial design phases to the actual launch of Salyut-1, only 16 months had passed.

Crew of Space Station Salyut-1/Soyuz 11.

Crew of Space Station Salyut-1/Soyuz 11. Source: SpaceFacts.de/Joachim Becker

The first manned flight to Salyut-1 was the Soyuz 10. There was a malfunction in the docking procedure and the mission had to be scrapped. Soyuz 11 was the second attempt, and the world was leaning forward in their seats as the crew successfully completed its three-hour docking procedure with Salyut on June 7th, 1971. But the three men: Vladislav Volkov, Georgy Dobrovolsky, and Viktor Patsayev, were greeted with a troubling sight: the space station was filled with smoke.
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Build A Rainwater Collection System In Your Backyard


We’re in the middle of a water crisis. Some of the worst droughts in recorded history are currently sweeping through Australia, the Americas, and Africa, turning once-productive farmland into desert and placing a growing barrier between the poor and potable water.

The United States of America leaves the world’s largest water footprint (about 400 gallons per person every day). We get it–long, hot showers are amazing. Whether you’re deep conditioning, weeping over the likelihood that you’re sterile due to all the synthetic estrogen you ingested as a child, or whatever else you do in there, you’re turning a lot of clean, potable water into waste water, and we’re running through our clean water resources faster than the earth can replenish them.

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Around Istanbul in 25 Photos

Istanbul is the largest city of the Republic of Turkey. With a massive population of 14.1 million, the city is the largest in Europe, second largest in the Middle East and fifth largest in the world. A truly transcontinental city, Istanbul spans across the Bosporus Strait, claiming Europe and Asia as footholds. Founded as Byzantium around 660 BC, it was re-established as Constantinople in 330 AD and would later be the capital of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Latin Empire and the Ottoman Empire. In 1930, the name Istanbul was officially adopted and the Republic of Turkey set up their capital in Ankara.

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Istanbul Skyline

Istanbul skyline at night. Skyscrapers mix with small cafes, houses and posh estates along the Bosporus. Source: Wikimedia

Istanbul Hagia Sophia

The Hagia Sophia was first constructed in 360 by the East Roman Empire, but was plagued by riots, fires and destruction. The current building was completed in 537, but over the years was used as a church for the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic faiths and as an Islamic mosque, with each denomination adding its mark to the building’s appearance. Closed down in 1931, it was reopened as a museum in 1935 by President Ataturk, a testament to the diverse ancestry of the country. Wikimedia

Istanbul Maiden Tower

Maiden's Tower. The legend goes that a young woman was told she would be killed by a snake on her 18th birthday. Her father locked her in the tower, and on her 18th birthday brought her a basket of exotic fruits. An asp found its way into the basket, bit her and the girl died in her father’s arms. Located on a small islet off of the Asiatic coast of Istanbul, the tower was used as a lighthouse and quarantine station, but the inside now boasts a café and restaurant. Wikimedia

Istanbul Miniaturk

Miniaturk is a miniature park on Istanbul’s Golden Horn that features 126 models of structures from Istanbul, Anatolia and Ottoman territories outside of Turkey. The park also hosts a children’s playground, large chessboards and a restaurant. Source: Wikimedia

Istanbul Orakoy

A stunning example of Baroque architecture in Istanbul, the Ortaköy Mosque is located in the Ortaköy neighborhood along the Bosporus. Source: Wikimedia

Istanbul Orthodox Church

Church of St. Stephen of the Bulgars was cast in Vienna and transported via barge down the Danube in 1871 when Bulgarian subjects of the Sultan demanded freedom from the Greek Orthodox Patriarch. They were provided their own church and a palace for the Bulgarian exarchate. Source: PixaBay

Istanbul Pammakristos

Pammakaristos Church. This Byzantine beauty was constructed around 1065 and used as a church until later converted into a mosque in 1892 by Sultan Murad III. Restored in 1949, the main building is still a mosque but the parekklesion was changed into a museum. Source: Wikimedia

Istanbul Pickles

Turkey has a long adoration of pickles of all kinds. Called turşu, pickle shops in Istanbul carry cabbage, cucumber, tomatoes, and even cherry pickles. Whether made with lemon juice or vinegar, they’re a must have with every meal. Source: Turkeys For Life

Istanbul Sariyer

Constructed at the narrowest part of the Bosporus, Rumeli Hisarı was built by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror in preparation for the storming of Constantinople. Only in use for a year, it later became an open-air theatre. Source: Wikipedia

Istanbul Suleymaniye Mosque

The largest mosque in the city, Süleymaniye Mosque lies on the Golden Horn on the Third Hill of the Old City. Mimar Sinan, the prolific Ottoman architect, designed the mosque in a simple manner, using white marble, ivory and mother of pearl. Source: Wikimedia

Istanbul Rue De Pera

Also called Independence Avenue, Istiklal Avenue runs through the Beyoğlu and Karaköy districts and features stores, art galleries, bookstores, clubs and historical restaurants. An avant-garde combination of Byzantine, Art Deco and modern architecture, millions of people visit the street every year to see the world’s second oldest subway station called the Tunnel. Source: Wikimedia

Istanbul Spice Bazaar

The spice bazaar is a study in sensory overload. Vibrant colors of spices, treats and herbs can’t outweigh the aroma of culinary inspiration. Many years ago, the Bazaar was the last stop for the camel caravans traveling the Silk Routes from China, India and Persia. Source: Wikimedia

Bosphorus Bridge

The Bosporus bridge connects the European side of Istanbul to the Asian side, crossing over the Bosporus strait. The bridge is lit by Phillips LED lights nightly and allows for an infinite array of colors to be produced. Source: Medica Trans

Istanbul Yoros Castle

Yoros Castle. Only the ruins of this once great citadel remain watching over the confluence of the Bosporus and the Black Sea on the Asian side of the city. Visitors can explore the ruins and stop at the nearby village of Andalou Kavagi. Source: Wikimedia

Blue Mosque

Referred to as the Blue Mosque due to the interior walls’ blue tiles, the Sultanahmet Camii is a tourist destination as well as an active mosque. Source: Wikimedia

Istanbul Bosfor

Constructed on behalf of Sultan Abdülaziz along the Asian side of the Bosporus, Beylerbeyi Palace was completed in 1865 in the Second Empire style. It is thought to have served as a summer palace for sultans and a state guesthouse. Wikimedia

Archaeology Museum

Part of three archaeological museums in the Eminönü district of Istanbul, the museum holds a large collection of Turkish, Hellenistic, Roman and Greek artifacts. Source: Wikipedia

Community Animals

Dogs and cats run free in Istanbul. It’s not uncommon to see restaurants providing food and water for these critters, especially cats. There’s a saying in Turkey that goes, “If you kill a cat, you need to build a mosque to be forgiven by God.” Recently, Istanbul has erected feeding stations for hungry dogs and cats as well. Source: Pixabay

Grand Bazaar

60 streets, 5,000 stores and 400,000 people are what make up the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. A visitor can find anything in the Bazaar, even the occasional celebrity. Source: Wikimedia

Istanbul Basilica Cistern

Sitting beneath the Stoa Basilica, a town square on the first hill of Istanbul, the cistern was designed as water storage for the Great Palace of Byzantine. Renovated in the 1980’s, the cistern opened its doors to tourists in 1987. It’s also used for music events and shows. Source: Wikimedia

Beyti Kebap

Called dondurma in Turkish, homemade ice cream is a spectacle to behold. Dondurma is handmade by sellers in fez caps and traditional robes, who pass the ice cream from scoop to cone and back, spinning it around in a flagrant display that defies physics. Source: Wikimedia

Turkish Carpet

The Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum is located in Sultanahmet Square in the Fatih district of Istanbul and features a collection of calligraphy, tiles and rugs, like this Lotto rug, hand-woven in the 16th century. Wikimedia

Istanbul Dondurma

Called dondurma in Turkish, homemade ice cream is a spectacle to behold. Dondurma is handmade by sellers in fez caps and traditional robes, who pass the ice cream from scoop to cone and back, spinning it around in a flagrant display that defies physics. Source: Wikimedia


Also the Mevlevi Order, the dervishes are a Sufi order founded in Konya. Their whirling is part of a Sema ceremony, which acts as a remembrance of God and gives thanks to Him. Source: Wikimedia

Golden Horn

The sun sets over the Golden Horn, the primary inlet of the Bosporus in Istanbul. Rich, yellow light radiates off the water, making the city truly “golden.” Source: Wikimedia

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Following the British, French and Italian occupation of Istanbul after World War I, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk declared the nation a Republic and the country signed the Treaty of Lausanne, defining the borders for modern Turkey. Ataturk transformed Turkey into a secular and modern state, ensuring political, educational and social reforms. While some worry that today’s Erdogan regime might undermine Ataturk’s vision, Istanbul remains a cultural and educational example of the old meeting the new and creating a beautiful and remarkably successful city.

Powerful Images From Fast-Food Worker Strikes

For the past two years fast-food workers around the world have been asking for two things: $15 per hour and the right to unionize without retaliation. The movement began in New York City, but it quickly spread across the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and even through the historically anti-union South.

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Fast Food Workers Protest Las Vegas

Fast food worker, Kris Varrette, is arrested at a Las Vegas protest. Source: Business Insider

fast food workers protest

Burger King employee Keisha King, 23, in Atlanta. Source: Mashable

Fast Food Protests Michigan

Jada Williams, 18, is arrested in Flint Michigan. Source: The Guardian

fast food workers protest

Source: NBC News

fast food workers protest

More than 100 fast food workers and dozens of other protesters were arrested during peaceful protests outside McDonald’s corporate headquarters Oak Brook, Illinois Source: Google

Stick together for $15 and a union

Source: SEIU

fast food workers protest

Long John Silver employee Antwon Brown, 31, in Atlanta. Source: AOL

Fast Food Workers Protest Chicago 2

Protest in Chicago. Source: Business Insider

Fast Food Workers Protest Chicago

Tyree Johnson is arrested at a Chicago Protest. Source: Daily Herald

fast food workers protest

Protest outside of a Phoenix McDonald's Source: Boston Herald

Fast Food Workers Protest South Florida

Source: CBS

Fast Food Workers Protest New York City

Workers block a street in TImes Square Source: Business Insider

Fast Food Workers Protest Tokyo

Fast-food workers from 33 countries around the world, including Japan, joined the strikes. Source: PRI

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Their argument is that $7.73 (the average hourly wage for a fast-food worker) is not a living wage. The median fast-food worker is about 28-years-old, and more than a fourth of those employed by fast-food chains have children. 70% work part time with something called “zero hour contracts.” This means employees are not guaranteed a set number of hours during any given week, and can be penalized with hour reduction for refusing to stay late or work on a day off, calling in sick, or participating in protests. This makes workers extremely dependent on their employers, as well as vulnerable to exploitation.

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