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Who Needs The City? 9 Beautiful Towns You Have To Visit

Get ready: you’re about to be struck with some serious wanderlust. From secluded towns tucked among looming mountains to frequently-visited, technicolor villages with more canals than concrete, we’ve selected a handful of destinations which prove that cities don’t hold a monopoly on culture:

Annecy, France



Travelers looking for a break from the sights–and smells–of Paris, delight: Annecy is here for you. Boasting all the French charm you could want and fabulous views of the southeastern French town is not to be missed. Whether it’s swimming in the aqua lake of Lac d’Annecy (one of the purest lakes in all of Europe), biking, or just walking about the old town area (Vieille Ville), Annecy begs to be explored. The provincial charm is further highlighted by the Château d’Annecy, a restored castle that was once home to the Counts of Geneva.

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Three Unbelievably Surreal TV Moments From Overseas

Surreal TV Boy Gun

Source: The Guardian

Americans were at the forefront of inventing and making widespread use of television. We were also at the forefront of using it as a teaching tool for uplifting people all over the world. Unfortunately, we were also the first to toss that noble vision right out the window and run cigarette ads thinly disguised as news programs and hundreds of episodes of The Gong Show.

But, despite our own imbecility, Americans are consistently amazed at the surreal TV sometimes produced overseas. Every culture that has adopted TV has approached the medium in its own unique way, from North Korea’s all-propaganda, all the time format, to Japanese game shows that cross the conceptual boundary between lowbrow entertainment and actionable war crimes. It’s as if TV was our kid, who we sent to college overseas, only to have her come back as a Mao-quoting anarchist who runs a scat play blog on Tumblr.

Sometimes, mass media, ratings desperation, and striking cultural differences collide—and the results are then broadcast for the world (and a few aliens, probably) to see. Fortunately, some thoughtful people have done the public service of uploading the weirdest moments of surreal TV from overseas to the Internet for posterity.

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Fun In Thatcher’s England: Newcastle, 1979

Fun In Newcastle 1979

Glenn Murtha and his brother jump from a second-story window in Newcastle, England, 1979. Source: Tish Murtha/AmberSide Collection

Glenn Murtha tells the story of this photo in an interview with The Guardian, extracted below for your reading pleasure:

he derelict houses in our neighbourhood were our playground. We’d jump from the second-floor window on to a pile of mattresses. Sometimes we’d get a bit hurt, but we didn’t have any fear in those days. Mrs Thatcher had just come to power and it was a time of austerity. My dad had his own scrap business, so he got a bit of trouble from the council for having vans and scrap in the yard, but he made a living from it, so they left him alone.

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Modern-Day Witches: Fewer Brooms, More Self-Determination

modern polish witches ceremony

Maria in front of the Palace of Culture in Warsaw. Image: Katarzyna Majak Source: Huffington Post

The word “witch” often conjures images of warts and pointy noises; broomsticks and cauldrons, and a woman whose ways should not just be avoided but punished. For a time, photographer Katarzyna Majak had precisely this same vision of what constitutes a witch.

Majak grew up in the primarily Catholic country of Poland, and wanted to explore the lives of those who failed to identify just as Catholic, but instead chose to live their lives as witches, druids and non-traditional healers. “I had realized there was something amiss around,” Majak explaines. “I intuitively felt what the mainstream offers to women does not satisfy their deeper search.”

And so Majak set out to create an alternate vision of the “Polish Mother,” a woman who gives up her own growth and freedom in order to dedicate her entire life to caring for her family. “When I started working on the project I felt some kind of attraction or ‘calling,’ to get deeper and stay open,” Majak explained. “This must have been the witch calling me, and I followed my instinct.”

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