What We Loved This Week, Nov. 29-Dec. 5

The new world’s tallest building, Beijing’s citizen’s colorful solution for the city’s surreal pollution problem, the priceless last words of famous figures, Patagonia’s disappearing glaciers, an all-female calendar takes a stand for feminism.

Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer. Image Source: Art-Sheep

Infamous All-Female Calendar Features Not Supermodels, But Intellectuals, Business Leaders, And More

Yoko Ono

Yoko Ono. Image Source: Art-Sheep

Italian tire manufacturer Pirelli has earned quite a reputation for its annual calendar of nude and semi-nude women released every year since 1964. But this year the company is taking a different route: featuring strong female athletes, intellectuals, and business leaders instead of supermodels. The calendar’s focus for 2016 is to feature women not merely as sexual objects (but don’t think that means no skin is shown). Award-winning photographer Annie Leibovitz’s photographs are in a classic, simple portraiture style highlighting women of “oustanding professional, social, cultural, sporting and artistic accomplishment.” That means everyone from Amy Schumer to Serena Williams to Yoko Ono. See more at Art-Sheep.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams. Image Source: Art-Sheep

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Inside The Six Coolest Bookstores In The World

Coolest Bookstores El Ateneo

For bibliophiles the world over, great bookstores–which are becoming increasingly rare–are like cathedrals. And then, sometimes, a great bookstore actually is a former medieval cathedral. Or sometimes it’s a converted palatial theater, or an entire urban neighborhood. Whichever the case, these six coolest bookstores from around the world will inspire awe, reverence, and wonder among book lovers and neophytes alike…

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Photo Of The Day: The Magnificent Spanish Church 133 Years In The Making

Gaudi Sagrada Familia

Image Source: National Geographic

“My client is not in a hurry.”

Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí’s words couldn’t ring more true as his marvelous masterwork Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family, commonly known as La Sagrada Família, finally enters its final phase of construction.

The soaring Roman Catholic basilica has been under construction in Barcelona since 1883, when Gaudí became the chief architect. He worked on the church for 43 years, transforming the then-modest Gothic church into a breathtaking structure, until his life was tragically taken in a fatal tram accident, in 1926. At the time, just a quarter of his project had been completed.

The most-visited monument in Spain rises hundreds of feet above downtown Barcelona and attracts some 3 million visitors a year. After Gaudí’s death, it was widely believed the Sagrada Família would never be completed, with some even believing it should remain unfinished.

But after 133 years, the current chief architect, Jordi Faulí, has finally announced a completion date sometime in 2026, on the centennial of Gaudí’s death. With more than 70% of the structure completed, the tallest religious building in Europe will tower at 564 feet tall and have 18 towers by the time it is, at long last, complete.

What We Love This Week, Volume CXLV

China Striped Mountains

Landforms at Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park in Zhangye City. Danxia, which means “rosy cloud,” is a special landform formed from reddish sandstone that has been eroded over time into a series of mountains surrounded by curvaceous cliffs and many unusual rock formations. Image Source: The Atlantic

The Surreal Beauty Of China’s Rural Landscapes

China Sand Dunes

Tourists climb the Singing Sand dunes near the Crescent Moon Spring in Jiuquan. Image Source: The Atlantic

While many of China’s rapidly industrializing urban landscapes are blighted with unceasing pollution, its rural landscapes tell a different story. Situated northwest of the country’s most developed and densely populated areas, the Gansu province reveals the China of an earlier time–hillside monasteries, terraced rice fields, even remnants of both the Silk Road and the Great Wall of China. Furthermore, Gansu reveals China at its most stunning and singular: striking rock formations that burst forth from the ground, lush valleys covered in blossoms, honest-to-goodness rainbow-striped mountains. See more at The Atlantic.

China Terraced Fields Green

Terraced fields in Dingxi. Image Source: The Atlantic

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