The Strangest Commutes In The World

September 1, 2014
Strangest Commutes Biker

Pictured here: “fun” Source: WordPress

Mass production of unrecognizable counterfeit currency that doesn’t contribute to inflation when used still eludes us, which means that most of us have to drag ourselves to and from work every day. While it’s not something enjoyable, it’s definitely not as big a problem as some people make it out to be. After reading about those commutes, the next time someone on the train coughs on you, you might actually be…thankful.

Dog sledding

Strangest Commutes Sled Pack

On Dasher, on Dancer…
Source: Steamboat Vacations

If you live in remote parts of Alaska, dog sledding really is your most viable option of getting around. A less-furry alternative would be a snowmobile or other kind of machine with an engine strapped to it, but it actually is illegal to use motorized vehicles in parts of Alaska such as Denali National Park.

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Get To Know The Rose Of Jericho, One Of Nature’s Most Resilient Creations

August 29, 2014

Often called the resurrection plant, the Rose of Jericho is thought to be one of the strongest plants in the world, as it can survive almost complete desiccation by collapsing into itself when lacking moisture and uncurling once the plant receives it. Spanish friars actually used the rose to teach natives the concept of rebirth. Oddly enough, it eventually turns into a tumbleweed, the cinematic prop of choice for dilapidation and decay. Learn more about this wondrous plant by watching the video above.

What We Love This Week, Volume LXXX

August 29, 2014
Last Words Die

Source: Design Taxi

Chilling Last Words Of Police Brutality Victims

Last Words Why

Source: Design Taxi

Over the past few weeks, the nation’s police–specifically those in Ferguson, Missouri–have become an object of incredibly intense political scrutiny. Pundits have lamented the special-ops power that supposedly localized defenders of justice have accumulated over the years; more civil liberties-minded politicians have looked to the way the state has historically used police force as a means to systematically control a specific race. Others worry about the state of our media and their freedoms to report the facts. All of this is fine and well, but amid the disputes we seem to have forgotten the moments that brought these discussions into existence: the premature end of a human life.

In light of this, journalist and filmmaker Shirin-Banou Barghi has created a series of chilling last words from victims of police brutality, shining a cold light on the moral crisis at the center of this media frenzy. Politics matter, as does context. But let us not forget why we are arguing along the way: human lives matter.

Last Words Breathe

Source: Design Taxi

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Why The United States Still Needs Feminism In One Map

August 28, 2014

Paid Maternity Leave By Country

What’s that large, developed mass over there, glaring in red? That would be none other than the United States, aligning itself with Suriname, Palau, Papua New Guinea and a handful of other countries that do not offer paid maternity leave. Given ever-tightening abortion laws and increasingly controversial contraception mandates and challenges, it seems that motherhood is something greatly encouraged to women on behalf of many US congressional and business leaders. So much so that the US offers zero days of paid maternity leave for recent mothers. Wait, what?

Philip Seymour Hoffman On Happiness

August 27, 2014

We will never not miss Philip Seymour Hoffman. Watch this great animated short featuring PSH on life, death and happiness.

Look back on his career highlights with our post on Hoffman’s seven greatest movie roles.

You Won’t Believe How Bad Pollution In China Has Become

August 27, 2014

With a newly-minted elite and an economic growth rate of over 10%, the environment has taken a backseat in China, the world’s most populous country. Growing pollution has led to unusable waterways, increased incidence of birth defects, and some of the dirtiest air on earth. It’s so nasty that there’s now a word for it: “smogpocalypse”.

With that said, China is not oblivious to its ecological impacts, and according to the Harvard Business Review “is taking this challenge much more seriously than others… doing things differently, making longer-term, sustained commitments that are much larger.” In 2010, China ranked as the world’s leading investor in low-carbon energy technology, which makes sense given national political leaders’ tendency to view clean energy as a great economic opportunity.

The following photographs prove that economic growth indeed comes at a cost, and one whose long-term effects remain unclear:

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Boy Swimming In Algal Blooms

A boy swims in dense algal blooms in Qingdao, which are caused by excessive agricultural runoff and lead to 'dead zones' that become inhospitable for both flora and fauna.

Pollution In China Jianhe River

A journalist takes a sample of the Jianhe River, which has become red from chemical plants illegally dumping untreated waste water directly into a local stream.

Industrial Pollution

Scientists recently warned that air pollution in China has become so severe that it could lead to the equivalent of a nuclear winter across the country.

Algae Lake Hefei China

Pressure on local resources has created a country-wide issue with clean water. Here, a lake in Hefei contains a sizable surface layer of pollutants and algae.

Oil Spill In China

In 2010, a blast in an oil storage facility in Dalian led to over 400 million gallons of oil being spilled. For comparison's sake, that's over four times the size of the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Pollution In China Smog

On January 12, 2013, air quality index levels in Beijing were so hazardous that they were beyond existing measurement.

Water Pollution In China

Residents look at the heavily polluted river that cuts through the city of Zhugao in Sichuan province.

Pollution in China Oil Spill

As China's demand for energy has soared, the incidence of oil spills and gas-related pollution will only increase

Pollution In China Beijing Air Pollution

Air pollution has become so problematic that school and work closures due to smog are a regular occurrence in major cities.

Swimming In A Polluted Lake

Trash collection and disposal is more of a luxury than a fact of life. In rural areas, local bodies of water act as the de facto location for garbage disposal.

Pollution In China Industrial Waste

China burns around half the world's coal, reaching 3.8 billion tons in 2011

Pollution In China Photographs

According to Greenpeace, Beijing experienced 2,589 deaths and a loss of US$328 million in 2012 because of PM2.5 pollution.

China Environment Kid Playing With Electronics

Over the last decade, China has become a global dumping ground for the world's discarded electronics. Above, a boy sits in a pile of waste at a scrapping ground.

Buildings Covered In Smog

From Wired: By 2030, China’s carbon dioxide emissions could equal the entire world’s CO2 production today, if the country’s carbon usage keeps pace with its economic growth.

Man In Oil Slude In Liaonin Province

A fisherman wades through the oil spill in Dalian.

Jiaxing City

Three quarters of Chinese cite environmental problems as a national security threat, according to a 2009 study by the Lowy Institute for International Policy and the MacArthur Foundation

Smog In Beijing

According to the World Bank, China is home to 20 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities.

Dead Fish From Pollution

A local man collects fish that have died from exposure to water pollution.

Green Water

Two thirds of China’s cities don’t meet the country’s own air emissions standards.

China Pollution

From The New York Times: Only 1% of China’s 560 million urban residents breathe air that is deemed safe by European Union standards.

Fuyuan China

A young boy drinks water from a stream filled with refuse in Fuyuan, China.

Fishing In Polluted Water

Every year, 750,000 Chinese die prematurely from pollution.

Dead Fish

In 2007, Chinese officials announced that over one third of fish species native to the Yellow River are now extinct because of damming or pollution.

Barges In Polluted River

According to the Asia Water Project, 90% of China’s urban groundwater is contaminated.

Chinese Pollution Fish

By its own governmental projections, China will have exploited all of the country’s available water supplies by 2030

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We also recommend that you check out these videos by Vice about the severity of pollution in China:

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