What We Loved This Week, Feb. 21 – 27

Top picks from two of the world’s top photo contests, how kids in North Korea have fun, haunting abandoned locations near New York City, and some dumbfoundingly good photo mashups.

Astounding Photo Mashups That’ll Make You Look Twice — Or Thrice

Light Bulb Egg

Image Source: Bored Panda

The genius of Stephen McMennamy‘s photo manipulations surely lies in their simplicity. When McMennamy brings two photos together, it hardly even occurs to you that that’s what he’s done. It must be very difficult to make it look this easy. If you want to see excavator become an ice cream scooper, a toothbrush become a cupcake, or milk become rope — all positively seamlessly — visit Bored Panda.

Car Banana

Image Source: Bored Panda

Fries Cigarettes

Image Source: Bored Panda

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Five Hauntingly Beautiful Places Reclaimed By Nature — All A Stone’s Throw From New York City

With moss carpeting the floors and vines slithering up the walls, these abandoned structures are some of the most hauntingly beautiful places reclaimed by nature.

Light Dark Abandoned Places

Image Sources: Flickr

Once we give up on a structure, or even a whole city, it soon begins to embody the chilling beauty of the abandoned. Then, with a little more time, a new — even more eerie, and even more beautiful — mood starts to set in. This is when nature begins to take over.

From the enormous abandoned castle sitting on an island in the Hudson River to the former beachfront military installation in Queens, here are five of the most unique places reclaimed by nature — all surprisingly close to New York City, America’s most vibrant and bustling metropolis.

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Media Of Day: Aside From Black Friday, Malls Are Dying–And Not For The Reason You’re Thinking

Abandoned Mall Dark Mess

Photo by Brett Levin. Image Source: Flickr

As we sit on the Black Friday perch, the state of the American mall looks just fine. After all, this weekend, some 135 million Americans will spend some $50 billion on retail purchases–an enormous chunk of which still takes place in malls. And the Black Friday shopping extravaganza is only growing, with stores opening earlier and earlier and sales carrying on longer and longer.

But when you realize that nearly a third of annual retail sales take place in the mere four weeks between Black Friday and Christmas, you start to wonder how malls are faring the other 48 weeks of the year. Now, enormous holiday sales spikes are not at all new, but the extent to which malls are suffering outside the holiday season is.

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What We Love This Week, Volume CXLII

Bill Clinton Young Kennedy

Bill Clinton (left) shakes hands with President John F. Kennedy at the White House in 1963. Image Source: www.vintag.es

World Leaders When They Were Teens And Twenty-Somethings

Vladimir Putin Young

Vladimir Putin as a teenager, 1966. Image Source: www.vintag.es

Vladimir Putin was an unassuming, almost cherubic young boy. Kim Jong-il was a playful, smiling infant. And Richard Nixon, as a collegiate football player, was kind of a hunk. Was, of course, is the key word throughout. Sometimes you just don’t know how someone will turn out. And sometimes you do, as in the case of a devil-may-care Yale baseball player named George W. Bush, or the case of a young boy with kind eyes and an earnest smile who would, decades later, become Pope Francis. See all these world leaders and more as teens and twenty-somethings at Vintage Everyday.

Fidel Castro Young

Fidel Castro in New York in 1955. Image Source: Vintage Everyday

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