Be The Smartest Person In The Room, Join The Just Launched All That Is Interesting Newsletter

This Year’s Aquatics World Championships Are A Visual Feast

The FINA Aquatics World Championships have attracted the world’s best aquatics athletes since 1973. Hosted by FINA (translated from French as the International Federation for Swimming), competitions include a number of aquatics sports such as swimming, diving, high diving, water polo, open water swimming, and synchronized swimming. In other words, the FINA Championships are the place for aquatics competitors to show off their skills.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

The Mask Of Sorrow Hanging Solemnly Over A Former Soviet “Paradise”

Mask Of Sorrow

Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn opened his classic Gulag Archipelago with the vision of a salamander being discovered–and perfectly preserved–in a frozen stream.

The salamander, forgotten in ice for tens of thousands of years, was made “present” thanks to critical inquiry. By studying the salamander, we are reminded of our heritage; our understanding of history and the subtle distinctions among past, present and future become much more acute. Such is the goal of science; such is the goal Solzenitsyn’s vital tome on the horrors of the gulag; such is the purpose of the Mask of Sorrow, the statue seen above.

Continue Reading

What We Love This Week, Volume CXXIX

Forest Fire Aerial Smoke

June 7: Smoke rises from the Bogus Creek Fire, one of two fires in the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge in southwest Alaska. Source: The Atlantic

Wildfires Rage In The West

Forest Fire Silhouette Glow

June 13: Flames consume dry vegetation at the Saddle Fire in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest near Hyampom, California. Sparked by lightning, the wildfire scorched more than 1,500 acres in drought-parched Northern California. Source: The Atlantic

While wildfire season is far from over, the West Coast and Alaska have already suffered devastating blows. With a record 700 fires to date this year, Alaska has taken the largest hit, losing over 1.8 million acres. Although higher temperatures and lower humidity are to blame, the astounding number of lightning strikes (6,000-10,000 bolts per day) may be the major culprit. Elsewhere, California, Oregon, and Washington have lost thousands of acres. As total acreage lost has surged in the last two decades, many climate change experts warn that things will only get worse. Survey the damage at The Atlantic.

Wildfire Smoke Plume Cloud

June 18: A smoke plume from the Lake Fire in the San Bernardino National Forest is seen at sunset, rising over the Coachella Valley from Palm Springs, California. About 500 firefighters have been battling this 7,500-acre fire, which is still only 5% contained. Source: The Atlantic

Continue Reading

Close Pop-in
Like All That Is Interesting

Get The Most Fascinating Content On The Web In Your Facebook & Twitter Feeds