The Dark Side of George Washington

George Washington was the father of our country and first in the hearts of his countrymen, but that doesn’t mean he was a saint.

George Washington Portrait

Image: Wikimedia Commons

By any standards, George Washington was a great man and a great president, especially by the kind of diminished standards we have today. Born into what passed for the middle class in plantation Virginia in 1732, Washington was always an ambitious try-hard who made money, glory, and history as naturally as he breathed.

Like most really successful people, however, George Washington had almost supernatural good luck and a knack for shifting blame for his mistakes onto other people. On the 227th anniversary of his first presidential inauguration, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on this, and how that sneaky streak aided in his rise to the top.

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What We Loved This Week, Apr. 24 – 30

Never-before-seen outtakes from the photo shoots for your favorite rock album covers, the surprising beauty of the bugs in your backyard, Spike Lee’s dance party to celebrate Prince, Earth’s most impressive caves, the best one-of-a-kind historical curiosities.

Famous Album Covers

David Bowie circa Heroes, 1977. Photo: Masayoshi Sukita/The Guardian

Never-Before-Seen Outtake Photos Behind Famous Rock Stars’ Album Covers

Famous Album Covers 2

The B-52s circa 1979. Photo: George DuBose/The Guardian

Every David Bowie fan recognizes the cover of his Heroes album. But how many have actually seen the other photographs that were taken on the same roll of film?

A new book, Outside The Lines: Lost Photographs Of Punk and New Wave’s Most Iconic Albums, compiles behind-the-scenes shots, outtakes, interviews, and firsthand accounts from photographers who captured some of the most legendary images during the cover shoots of some of the most famous rock LPs in music history!

View more images at The Guardian.

Famous Album Covers 3

Blondie circa 1978. Photo: Martyn Goddard/The Guardian

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Venture Down Into The 21 Most Stunning Caves On Earth

At some point in their childhood, many people have gone on field trips to old mining tunnels, but only a lucky and adventurous few have ventured into the azure caverns and over the crystal-bedded subterranean lakes of the world’s most stunning caves.

These places hold a visual bounty for explorers of all stripes, be they those who actually make the descent or those who prefer the safety of photographs. Here, in photos, are 21 of the world’s most incredible caves:

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Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Caves Antelope Canyon

The unique shape and color of this Navajo sandstone is the result of monsoons eroding the structure. Image Source: Flickr

Phraya Nakhon Cave, Thailand

Worlds Unique Caves Phraya

Sun beams rain down upon the cave's Kuha Karuhas pavilion, showering it in light. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Vatnajökull Glacier, Iceland

Worlds Unique Caves Iceland

These spectacular tunnels only form during the winter when it’s cold enough for glacial rivers to freeze; this means the caves can reform in different locations with new paths to explore. Image Source: Flickr

Mammoth Cave, Kentucky

Worlds Unique Caves Mammoth

This behemoth is the world’s longest cave system, with over 400 miles of its tunnels and chambers explored. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Blue Lake Cave, Brazil

Worlds Unique Caves Blue

This stunning underground cerulean pool plunges to a depth of 200 ft. It’s suspected that this lake is being fed by an underground river that has yet to be discovered. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

Worlds Unique Caves Carlsbad

The chambers within this cavern were given quirky names such as “Chocolate High” and “Talcum Passage.” Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Choranche Caves, France

Worlds Unique Caves Choranche

The needle thin crystals that protrude from this unique cavern are known as soda straws. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Crystal Cave, Bermuda

Worlds Unique Caves Crystal

Floating pontoons allow viewers to tread across a pristine underground lake, taking in the clusters of crystals that form above and below the water’s surface. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Devetashka Cave, Bulgaria

Worlds Unique Caves Devetashka

Artifacts of early man have been discovered within this cave dating as far back as the Neolithic Era. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Son Doong Cave, Vietnam

Worlds Unique Caves Doong

This cave, the largest in the world, is so overwhelmingly massive that it has its own weather system. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Fingal's Cave Scotland

Worlds Unique Caves Fingal

This sea cave’s unique structure is due to the hexagonal pillars of basalt that form together. Image Source: Flickr

Blue Grotto, Capri

Worlds Unique Caves Grotto

Passengers have to lie on their back in order to cross through the Blue Grotto’s cave opening, which is no taller than a meter. Image Source: Flickr

Lechuguilla Cave, New Mexico

Worlds Unique Caves Lechuguilla

Though previously unexplored and thought to be insignificant, it was discovered in 1986 that this cave is actually the longest limestone cavern in the United States. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Marble Caves, Chile

Worlds Unique Caves Marble

Waves cast an azure light over the ocean worn marble. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Niah Caves, Malaysia

Worlds Unique Caves Niah

This unique cave held telltale signs of early man’s residence, though it was only confirmed after the remains of a species of Homo sapiens was unearthed there,; dating as far back as 38,000 B.C. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Philippines

Worlds Unique Caves Princesa

This stunning cave system is one of the few of its kind; with an extremely old forest growing within it and a diverse array of wildlife, it is a well protected site for biodiversity conservation. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Tadrart Acacus, Libya

Worlds Unique Caves Tadrart

Though its priceless cave art has been at risk due to excessive tourism and even vandalism, the unique caves within this mountain range still house art created by mankind over 12,000 years ago. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Saalfeld Fairy Grottoes, Germany

Worlds Unique Caves Saalfelder

This previous slate mining pit is more commonly known in English as the “Saalfelder Fairy Grottoes.” Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Skocjan Caves, Slovenia

Worlds Unique Caves Skocjan

These caves are home to a handful of astounding endangered species such as the cave salamander and the long-fingered bat. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

St. Michael's Cave, Gibraltar

Worlds Unique Caves Michael

Before 1840, two military personnel went down into the caves for some adventure and exploration, only to vanish within its limestone halls; despite sending down additional exploration parties from 1936 to 1938, their remains were never found. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Verdes' Cave, Spain

Worlds Unique Caves Verdes

This underground lava tube is best known for the concert hall set up at its entrance. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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