Category: Life

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billy barr growing his garden inside his Gothic cabin

billy barr: The Snow Guardian of the Colorado Rocky Mountains

By 1973 billy barr was the only permanent resident of Gothic. A year into his stay in Gothic, barr started to document the weather, mainly as a way to pass the time. For more than 40 winters, he has kept meticulous notes on the behavior of the snow in the area. Twice a day, barr collects information on snowfalls, temperatures, and the animals which come in and out of his area of the Rockies.

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astronaut on a toilet seat

Mayday: An Astronaut’s Guide to Learning to Cope With Isolation

There are a select few who know the pains (both physical and mental) associated with prolonged periods of isolation. Astronauts like Scott Kelly, who spent time on the International Space Station, and D. Marshall Porterfield, NASA’s former Space Life and Physical Sciences Division Director, are all too familiar with the concept of coping with a life spent, periodically, at arm’s length (or longer). Here are some tips on how to live with those overwhelming feelings of loneliness—straight from the experts.

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woman sitting on white bed

Being Alone: The Pros and Cons of Keeping to Yourself

Many of us are currently sequestered indoors, away from our invigorating and purpose-driven routines. It can be argued that those who are confined with others, like roommates, family, or friends, are lucky in that they are at least allowed to engage in conversation with others and aren’t made to struggle with complete loneliness. Wherever you are, you should know that there are benefits to being alone. And, of course, some drawbacks.

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Mosuo women in Yunnan, China

Lugu Lake: China’s Progressive ‘Kingdom of Women’

Nestled deep in the hidden valleys of Yunnan, China, east of the Himalayas and abutting the blue waters of Lugu Lake, sits a community of inhabitants known as the Mosuo people. And like most members of this community, they collectively share several similarities—traits, ideals, morals, beliefs. What sets this group apart from the rest of their mainland counterparts is their surprisingly modern approach to Chinese tradition. In this mysterious and unspoiled region, known as the “Kingdom of Women,” men take a backseat.

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Merry cemetery detail

Merry Cemetery Offers a Whimsical Backdrop for Mourners

In the quaint Romanian town of Săpânţa, the local Merry Cemetery features a colorful tableau of more than 800 grave markers that manage to elicit emotions that are uncharacteristic of traditional burial grounds. Somber slate and graphite mounds are replaced with colorful wooden crosses—each depicting, in almost playful detail, the life and death of each of the town’s former residents.

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Beach picnic

California Company Provides Elevated Picnic Experiences

If you’re still picnicking the old fashioned way (flannel blanket, a bag of chips, and a lukewarm bottle of chardonnay), you are seriously missing out. Gone are the days of ants spoiling your fun. And forget about cramming store-bought snacks into that dusty wicker basket. Because one California-based company is doing for picnicking what glamping did for spending a night out in the woods.

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Sculpture of Neptune at Witley Park

A Swindler’s Folly: The Underwater Ballroom of Whitaker Wright

Near the English village of Witley, a sprawling, 9,000-acre estate plays host to one of Britain’s most unique structures. Hidden beneath one of the property’s three artificial lakes, lies an ornate underwater smoking room and parlor with an elaborate “ballroom” dome as its focal point. The only indication that something may rest below the surface is an ornate statue of Neptune that stands guard above the hidden structure.