Fictitious Dishes for Book Lovers and Foodies Alike

May 25, 2014
Photographs of Meals from Books

“The kettle soon began to boil, and meanwhile the old man held a large piece of cheese on a long iron fork over the fire, turning it round and round till it was toasted a nice golden color on each side.” Heidi. Source: NPR

Dinah Fried still remembers reading about the gooey cheese-covered toast in Heidi as a young kid. In fact, she feels most proud of the photographs that capture and recreate meals from her favorite childhood literature. The Fictitious Dishes project is a spectacular, heartwarming nod to over two centuries of food and literature. Fit for both bibliophiles and foodies alike, the photo book renders into reality meals from our favorite stories.

Moby Dick Fictitious Dishes

“It was made of small juicy clams, scarcely bigger than hazelnuts, mixed with pounded ship biscuit, and salted pork cut up into little flakes; the whole enriched with butter, and plentifully seasoned with pepper and salt.” Moby-Dick. Source: NPR

Fictitious Dishes and Madelines

“She sent out for one of those short, plump little cakes called petites madeleines, which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted scallop of a pilgrim’s shell.” Swan’s Way. Source: Idea Stream


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The Intriguing History of the American Penny

May 23, 2014
American Pennies

Source: Wikipedia

Proving that no human idiosyncrasy is too obscure for a holiday, each year people celebrate Lucky Penny Day, a time to appreciate the good luck of finding a penny heads-up. When May 23rd rolls around, one can find people hunting for lucky pennies in the streets or even tossing a few coins to the ground to make good luck for others. And while these days many people consider the American penny to be an anachronistic waste, the one-cent coin has a colorful history that spans centuries.

Penny Art Abraham Lincoln

Source: Deviant Art

The History of the American Penny

In 1787, Congress issued the first iteration of the American penny, which was reportedly designed by none other than Benjamin Franklin himself. Referred to informally as the “Franklin” and eventually as “the Fugio cent,” this penny prominently featured the sayings “Mind Your Business” and “We Are One” along its sides. The 1787 copper coin also bore images of thirteen connected chain links to represent the original states. There are a reported 55 (slight) varieties of the Fugio cent.

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31 Beautifully Abandoned Soviet Monuments

May 20, 2014

While Francis Fukuyama so cheerily declared that the world had reached “the end of history” in 1992, he was only half right. True, the Soviet Union and its ideological model had collapsed, and the Western model of liberal democracy had prevailed. However, even as ideas come and go, the structures in which we house them tend to take a bit longer to disappear.

Such is the case with the monuments scattered across the former Soviet Union. Before its dissolution, the Soviet Union had an area of 8.65 million square miles, filled with approximately 290 million people. While these abandoned Soviet monuments have succumbed to time and the elements, they remind us of the transformative and lasting power of ideas.

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Abandoned Soviet Monuments Zimnitsa

A communist statue in the tiny town of Zimnitsa, Bulgaria.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Pillars

Niš, Serbia.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Spikes

Kosmaj, Serbia.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Dome

Kruševo, Macedonia.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Tree

Jasenovac, Croatia.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Dilapidated

Košute, Croatia.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Graffiti

Sanski Most, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Angle

Ostra, Romania.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Opening

Tjentište, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Spomenik

Petrova Gora, Croatia.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Beams

Brezovica, Kosovo.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Sharp

Kolašin, Montenegro.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Star

Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Stone

Tjentište, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Boards

Makljen, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Popped

Mitrovica, Kosovo.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Cube

Ilirska Bistrica, Slovenia.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Triangles

Korenica, Croatia.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Circle

Nikšić, Montenegro.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Tower

Kozara, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Landing

Sinj, Croatia.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Sunburst

Kadinjača, Serbia.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Hollow

Grmeč, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Wings

Podgarić, Croatia.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Buzludzha Hill

The area outside Buzludzha, Bulgaria

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Shumen

Shumen monument, Bulgaria.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Soldiers

Russian soldiers facing Moscow. Varna, Bulgaria.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Man

Monument to 1300 Years of Bulgaria, in the city of Shumen.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Stairs

Monument of the Bulgarian-Soviet Friendship, Varna, Bulgaria.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Geometry

Inside the Plovdiv Hillock of Fraternity, Bulgaria.

Abandoned Soviet Monuments Buzludzha

Buzludzha Communist Party Headquarters, Bulgaria.

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The Stunning Ruins Of Villa Epecuén, A Modern Day Atlantis

May 18, 2014
Saltwater Flood in Villa Epecuén

Source: The Atlantic

As humans, we are mesmerized by ruins, inherently intrigued by the concrete skeletons of old buildings and towns that are now rendered useless and abandoned. In the case of Villa Epecuén—a thriving resort town has since been reduced to a salty puddle—these ruins offer us an understanding of how quickly a town’s landscape can transform and be reduced to nothing.

Saltwater Laps at Concrete Ruins

Source: The Atlantic

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George Henry Thomas, The Civil War’s Forgotten Hero

May 17, 2014

By many accounts George Henry Thomas was one of the greatest military minds in American history. So why isn’t his name mentioned in the same breath as Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, George McArthur or George Patton? Thomas graduated in the same West Point class as William Tecumseh Sherman, and commanded over some triumphant victories that bested his former classmate. But even during the Civil War, politics determined who advanced in the ranks, and Thomas had one handicap that he couldn’t change: he was a Southerner fighting for the Union.

As a professional soldier, his loyalty was with the U.S. Army that he served so faithfully. But the decision to turn down a position in the Confederate army was an agonizing one, according to his wife Frances Kellogg Thomas, who was a staunch Unionist, which may have further influenced her husband’s decision.

George Henry Thomas Nat Turner

Source: Blogspot

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What We Love This Week, Volume LXV

May 16, 2014

Photographer Captures Mushrooms’ Stunning Diversity

You don’t need to step into the Looking Glass to be transported to another world; you can just take a quick trip to New South Wales. It is here where photographer Steve Axford reveled in–and luckily for us, captured–the astonishing degree of diversity of the forests’ fungi population. For more sublime samples, be sure to visit the full spread at the Awkward Situationist.

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