What We Loved This Week, May 22 – 28

Surprisingly beautiful insect photography, Japan’s gorgeously bizarre costumery, charming vintage summer photos, Yellowstone’s rainbow hot spring, and Hong Kong’s tiny cage homes.

Rainbow Hot Spring Aerial

Charles O’Rear/Corbis via Smithsonian

Gorgeous Photos Of Yellowstone’s Famous Rainbow Hot Spring

Rainbow Hot Spring

Solent News/Splash News/Corbis via Smithsonian

Ferdinand Hayden, the man who named Yellowstone’s incredible Grand Prismatic Spring (“Rainbow Hot Springs”) once wrote:

Nothing ever conceived by human art could equal the peculiar vividness and delicacy of color of these remarkable prismatic springs. Life becomes a privilege and a blessing after one has seen and thoroughly felt these incomparable types of nature’s cunning skill.

And what exactly accounts for nature’s cunning skill; what makes these springs so colorful? Massive amounts of several kinds of heat-loving bacteria that interact with sunlight in various ways.

See and learn more at Smithsonian.

Hot Spring Yellowstone

JIM URQUHART/Reuters/Corbis via Smithsonian

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Meet The Woman Whose Vagina Art Is Still Considered Obscene In Japan

On Monday, Japanese artists made major gains in freedom of expression when an artist who prominently features vaginas in her work was found not guilty of obscenity (though she still had to pay a fine).

JAPAN ARTIST SEX WOMEN JUSTICE

Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi (tan coat) and her lawyers pose with a sign reading “a part is not guilty” in front of the Tokyo District Court on May 9, 2016. Photo: KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images

42-year-old artist Megumi Igarashi’s case successfully challenged how Japanese law limits artistic freedom — and highlights the gendered lens through which Japanese officials often evaluate art considered to be “decent” for public consumption. But Igarashi’s fight to justify her vagina-inspired work isn’t over yet.

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What We Loved This Week. Mar. 6 – 12

Pluto might become a planet again, life in Earth’s northernmost settlement, the rarely seen side of Kurt Cobain, vintage samurai photos, and Dr. Seuss’ nudity-filled picture book.

Seal Carcass

A polar bear feeding on seal carcass in Svalbard, Norway. Image Source: The Atlantic

Life In The Northernmost Settlement On The Planet

Svalbard

A total solar eclipse, seen in Longyearbyen on Svalbard. Image Source: The Atlantic

Want to get away from it all — even warmth? Head nowhere other than Svalbard. The frigid waters of the Arctic Ocean surround the cluster of Norwegian islands, which sit approximately 650 miles away from the North Pole. High latitude lines mean fewer people: with a population of approximately 2,200 people, it’s the northernmost year-round settlement on the planet. See if you could handle life there with these photos from The Atlantic.

Spitsbergen Norway

The setting sun shines on the peak of the “Tre Kroner” at the Kongsfjorden glacier in Ny-Alesund on Spitsbergen, Norway. Image Source: The Atlantic

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