Jan 31, 2011

Blue City of Jodhpur founded in 1459, ubiquitous blueness of Jodhpur

Blue City of Jodhpur, India

Travellers journeying through the desolate landscape of the unforgiving Thar desert in the Indian state of Rajasthan would know when they had reached their destination. The sky would fall to the ground and everything would become a single color – blue. Jodhpur would lie before them, opening up like a blue treasure in the desert.
Blue City of Jodhpur, India

Blue City of Jodhpur, India

Why the population of the fortress city – the Blue City as it is universally known – took to painting their houses in various shades of blue is not completely certain. Yet most believe it is to do with the prevailing caste system in India.
Blue City of Jodhpur, India

It is thought that Brahmins – members of the priestly class – first took to coloring their houses blue (yet perhaps it should really be called indigo) to signify their domicile and to set them apart from the rest of the population. Soon, however, the rest of the population followed suit. History does not tell us which brave non-Brahmin was the first to do it, yet it happened and since that day the people of Jodhpur have steadfastly maintained this tradition.

Blue City of Jodhpur, India

Ask a local why all the houses are painted thus and the usual reply is that the color keeps the interiors cool and fends of mosquitoes. Yet if this truly worked then it would be quite likely that the whole subcontinent would be awash in various hues of indigo.
Blue City of Jodhpur, India

Blue City of Jodhpur, India

More likely is symbolism. Although an unscientific response, what answer would most give when asked the color of water? It is likely that the ubiquitous blueness of Jodhpur is an exuberant display of human resilience against the stark Thar desert which surrounds the town. Against the bleak backdrop of parched brown earth the blue city exerts itself magnificently.
Blue City of Jodhpur, India

Blue City of Jodhpur, India

You might think that closer inspection would lessen the impact of the color, yet a look at many of Jodhpur’s streets immediately puts that idea to rest. The word unremitting springs immediately to mind.
Blue City of Jodhpur, India

Blue City of Jodhpur, India

Blue City of Jodhpur, India

The modern trappings of life go side by side with evidence that many people still live as simply as they have always done. Although Jodhpur was only founded in 1459, the state of Rajasthan is significant in Indian history as it formed the bedrock of the Indus Valley Civilization, thought to be one of the most ancient human civilizations on the planet.
Blue City of Jodhpur, India

Blue City of Jodhpur, India

Blue City of Jodhpur, India

Perhaps the color has a calming effect but humans and animals seem to coexist peacefully side by side in Jodhpur. Even with the animals, inter-species friendships are not unheard of.
Blue City of Jodhpur, India

Blue City of Jodhpur, India

Blue City of Jodhpur, India

Squatting above the city like a giant bird mourning its broken blue eggs is the mighty Mehrangarh Fort the foundations of which were built in 1459, the year in which the English knight John Fastolf died – to be immortalised much later by Shakespeare as Falstaff.
Blue City of Jodhpur, India

Blue City of Jodhpur, India

The fort was ordered by Rao Jodha the ruler of Rathore who had decided to move his capital there. One legend has it that in order for the fort to be built the only human resident, a hermit, had to be forcibly evicted.
Blue City of Jodhpur, India

Blue City of Jodhpur, India

He cursed Jodha with the words May your citadel ever suffer a scarcity of water! Although the ruler did eventually appease the hermit by building him a temple the city is still hit by drought every four years or so.
Blue City of Jodhpur, India

A much darker legend is that of Rajiya Bhambi. Jodha promised that his family would be looked after eternally if he did one thing for him. The request was that he would be buried alive in the foundations of the fort. Rajiya agreed. To this day his descendants still live in a blue house on the land they were gifted by the ruler which is known as Rajiya’s garden.

The color of Jodhpur tells the history – and makes it legend - of a populace who shaped a paradise in the heart of the heat and sandstorms of Rajasthan.

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Jan 25, 2011

10 Funniest Comedy Sketches About Aliens

Aliens are inherently funny, even when they're drinking the marrow out of your funny bone. These are ten of the best alien-themed sketches this side of the Crab Nebula (and no, Coneheads is not #1).

10.) "Spacelords" from Human Giant (2007)
An extra-dimensional despot and his crew disintegrate a bunch of food service workers, take over the restaurant, and then torture the customers. Like Superman 2, if General Zod had really low aspirations for intergalactic conquest.

9 & 8.) "Salame!" from Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! (2007) and "Star Worlds" from Sifl and Olly (1997-1998)
"Salame!" and "Star Worlds" are perhaps the most iconic sketches of their respective shows. These skits also contain a surrealist brand of humor as unfathomable as any alien culture, so chances are you'll find the below videos either really fucking funny or really fucking frustrating. It all depends on your threshold for puppets.

7.) The Alien Scene from Monty Python's The Life of Brian (1979)
This isn't exactly a comedy sketch, but A.) this list wouldn't feel right without it; and B.) it's one of cinema's greatest non sequiturs courtesy of one of history's finest sketch groups. The scene begins with Roman legionnaires chasing would-be messiah Brian up a parapet, segues into a minute or so of intergalactic insanity, and ends. That's what I love about Monty Python films - they're always keen to blow thousands of dollars on fantastically pointless scenes.

6.) "Astronauts" from The Upright Citizens Brigade (1998)
The Upright Citizens Brigade holds a benefit show to combat - among many things - prejudice against astronauts. Things go horrifically downhill when hecklers goad token astronaut Mike Birchwood to eat a plain old earthbound cheeseburger.

5.) "Anal Probing Aliens" from Kids in the Hall (1992-1993)
A career-weary extraterrestrial (Dave Foley) questions why his technologically superior civilization's Great Leader commands him to rectally violate rednecks. Best quote: "I'm sure the Great Leader is just some sort of twisted ass freak!"

4.) "Science Fiction Sketch/Man Turns Into Scotsman" from Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969)
A mysterious alien race is turning Englishmen into Scotsmen. 'Nuff said.

3.) "Conehead Family Feud" from Saturday Night Live (1978)
Yeah, it's dated, but this is the routine that pops into most folks' heads when you say the words "alien comedy sketch." It's also empirically impossible to hate on Bill Murray at his most oleaginous and Dan Aykroyd eating his morning eggs with fiberglass.

2.) "Racist In The Year 3000" from Mr. Show (1998)
"Not you, Zaxxon, I ain't talking to you. You one of the good ones. Aiight? I mean the-the-there's white people made of gas, you know what I'm saying. Give me another space beer, Gleep Glop." (PS: Best science fiction drinkery since the Mos Eisley cantina.)

1.) "The Bearded Men of Space Station 11" from The State (1995)
The sketch has no jokes, punchlines, or real beards. Paradoxically, these are the exact things that make it a comedy classic.

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Jan 22, 2011

Beautiful movable city on rails, Norwegian city of Andalsnes


Imagine a city in motion, where not a single building is anchored to the ground, with hotels, event halls and other structures all on rails and movable at will. That’s the vision behind ‘A Rolling Master Plan‘, a concept for the Norwegian city of Andalsnes by Swedish architects Jägnefält Milton. Both existing and new railway systems would be used to reconfigure the town for seasonal changes and special events.

Norwegian movable-city-rails-1

The concept, which won third place in a competition to design a new masterplan for the city, is based upon small blocky buildings including a rolling hotel, public bath and concert hall. Because the town is full of tourists in the summer but becomes very cold and dreary in the winter, such a scheme would allow the entire town to take full advantage of warm weather by spreading out.

Norwegian movable-city

In the winter, the collection of buildings would be pulled into the the town center for locals to enjoy. Moving the structures and reorganizing how they’re laid out gives tourists a new town to come back to every year. Each of the portable structures is kept on a trailer at all times, making transport quick and fairly simple.

Beautiful Norwegian movable-city-rails
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Jan 19, 2011

Qingdao Haiwan Bridge - China World’s Longest Sea Bridge

At 42.5 kilometers, the Qingdao Haiwan Bridge, connecting the city of Qingdao in Eastern China's Shandong province with the suburban Huangdao District across the waters of the northern part of Jiaozhou Bay, is the longest bridge over water. The six-lane road bridge is almost 5 kilometers longer than the previous record holder - the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in the American state of Louisiana. When it opens to traffic later this year, the bridge is expected to carry over 30,000 cars a day and will cut the commute between the city of Qingdao and the sprawling suburb of Huangdao by between 20 and 30 minutes.
The bridge was built in just 4 years at a cost of US$ 8.6 billion. At least 10,000 workers toiled in two teams around the clock to build the bridge, which was constructed from opposite ends and connected in the middle in the last few days. The 450,000 ton structure of steel is supported by 5,200 columns and is strong enough to withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake, typhoons or the impact of a 300,000 ton vessel.

China is already home to seven of the world's 10 longest bridges, including the world's lengthiest, the 102 mile Danyang-Kunshan rail bridge, which runs over land and water near Shanghai.
And with Beijing pumping billions into boosting China's infrastructure, the Qingdao Haiwan Bridge will not be the world's longest sea bridge for very long. In December 2009, work started on a 31 mile bridge that will link Zhuhai in southern Guangdong Province, China's manufacturing heartland, with the financial centre of Hong Kong. The £6.5 billion project is expected to be completed in 2016.
[via Telegraph]
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Jan 17, 2011

Humongous Hair Creations - spectacular hairstyles, crazy looks

Avant Garde Hairstyles by Arnostyle are Awesomely Futuristic

It’s truly amazing what people can do with hair, just look at these spectacular hairstyles by Arnostyle. Said to be one of the “masters of hairstyling,” Arnostyle creates massive masterpieces from the follicles of his models.

The hairstyles by Arnostyle are anything but subtle. This hair wizard’s work is over the top, exciting, and outrageous. He must go through millions of hairspray cans a year creating these crazy looks. Some of his wicked work can be seen in the gallery.

Source: trendhunter
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