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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The Stunningly Crooked Houses Of The English Countryside

Crooked Houses Streets Lavenham

Image Source: Photorator

Pick any new U.S. condo complex and you’ll find a meticulous collection of ramrod-straight, cookie-cutter houses with the life expectancy of cardboard. The crooked houses of Lavenham, England are the reverse: They fail to uphold basic architectural standards, yet they’ve lasted twice as long as the U.S. itself has existed. What’s the secret behind homes that look like collapsing houses of cards, but are still standing strong after half a millennium?

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Video Of The Day: Ingenious Tiny Homes Move From City To City

Mobile tiny homes

These ingenious tiny homes move with you from city to city.

Posted by Tech Insider on Friday, October 9, 2015

The tiny home movement has gone global. As more people choose to embrace the simple, DIY lifestyle, one innovative company is hoping to scale it, creating 208 square-foot tiny homes with 10-foot ceilings, all of which are designed to slide into larger structures in different cities.

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Seven of Russia’s Most Spectacular Churches

St. Basil's Red Square Moscow

Source: Flickr

Despite decades of Soviet atheism, Russia remains a deeply religious country. Part of that devotion expresses itself in vibrant displays of faith. The saints of Russian icons, for example, look almost like sci-fi sages, wearing gold-trimmed, hooded robes, flashing mystical gang signs, and backlit by orange-orb haloes. By design, they are otherworldly.

The same is true of Russian churches. Their architecture trumpets the existence of a realm beyond this earth. For tens of millions of Russian devotees, these houses of prayer and worship are a link to that supernatural world, which is still a very real presence in their lives, as it was for their forbearers.

Here are seven of the most stunning examples of Russian religious architecture. These churches sprout across the wastelands of the former Soviet empire like flowers in the snow.

1. Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius in Sergiyev Posad

Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius

Source: Flickr

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