At some point or another, we’ve all watched “Ocean’s Eleven” and thought about how we might pull off the ultimate casino heist, or have marveled at the sheer genius of the minds of “The Italian Job”. But behind the glitz and glamour in innumerable Hollywood adaptations, there really are dastardly and daring thieves who have managed to pull off some of the most baffling and brilliant heists, and the Antwerp Diamond Heist is no exception. With meticulous planning and a plot that rivals the biggest blockbusters, a gang of thieves walked straight out of a vault with the largest diamond haul in history.
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Musical Instruments: The Majestic Bellowphone
Known as the Dr. Seuss of music, Leonard Solomon is the proud creator of the Majestic Bellowphone. While it looks like something that the Grinch might find underneath Whoville’s Christmas tree, don’t be fooled by its odd appearance. Handcrafted from the likes of train whistles, coat hangers, toasters, bike horns and bits of brass, the Bellowphone can hold a rather decent tune and has tackled everything from Mozart to Brahms.
It doesn’t stop there for the cabinetmaker-turned-musician. Solomon has been building his crowning glory, the Oomphalapompatronium, for the last 15 years as a ‘sweeter’ sister to the Bellowphone. Solomon’s symphony of strange sounds has been heard around the world and the mad musician shows no signs of slowing down. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, he also juggles occasionally while playing. Have a listen of the beautiful Bellowphone in action.
Over the past seven years, the Nature Conservancy has received over 100,000 incredible photos of the world’s natural marvels in its annual digital photo contest. This year’s entries were no less remarkable, as subjects and compositions were as diverse as they were beautiful. Featured below are the contest’s honorable mentions and finalists. This year’s winner comes courtesy of Tulus Simatupang, who captured a Great Blue Heron flying in tandem with a Red-winged Blackbird.
While she whisks us away to our dreams in each of her magical works, it was actually jewelry that first marked 31 year old Hungarian artist Sarolta Ban’s professional ambitions. When she discovered the wonders of digital photo manipulation, however, it was that field in which she truly shined.
It was a plane passenger’s worst nightmare. On September 19th, 1989, a bomb was stowed among the cargo of UTA Flight 772; a bomb that would claim the lives of all 170 passengers. While the Congo-based bird was destined for Paris, the plane would touch down not in the city of lights but the endless sands of the Sahara desert. What would transpire 18 years later would quite literally put a small area of the world’s third largest desert on the map; more specifically on Google Maps and Google Earth, where its majesty has been captured by satellite technology.
Housing over four million volumes of text and media, Stockholm’s nearly century-old public library is a must-see for traveling logophiles. For the internationally minded, their abundant supply of Spanish, Persian, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and Russian texts is hard to beat.