Lens Culture is featuring a brilliant photo essay by Tamas Deszo on the loss of traditional culture in Romania. Above is the flooded village of Geamana.
Spiritual tradition and physical heritage are simultaneously disintegrating in Romania.
Time and modernization are beginning to undermine centuries-old traditions preserved in tiny villages, in communities of only a few houses, as well as the bastions of the communist era’s enforced industrialization, which became part and parcel of Romania’s recent history.
Those living in the ‘reservations of forgetting’ blend with nature, exhibiting a humility inherited through generations. They are living out their last days in evident equality of closeness to nature. Helped by time’s decay, they are diligently pulling down the absurd edifices of the environment that was inflicted on them. In the manner of termites, they carry away small pieces of immense concrete constructions on the rickety carts of poverty.
Notes for an Epilogue [Tomas Dezso]
James Edition, “the world’s luxury marketplace” is selling an original Swiss bank vault packed full of Swiss 5-cent coins, for the Scrooge McDuck aficionados out there:
The bank safe swimming pool containing 8 Million real Swiss coins is currently located in Basel, Switzerland. This is the original bank safe from the former “Schweizer Volksbank” and known to be one of the finest Swiss piece of craftwork in the early 20th Century. It is in very good shape and still usable as a bank deposit safe. It will be removed from it’s original location and be replaced anywhere in the world. You’ll freely decide what happens with it.
Product Link [James Edition]
Twister Sifter is carrying a great compilation of maps with some extra information on them. Several of them have been featured on this blog before, but not even close to all of them. I particularly like the map above, showing the most common surnames by country in Europe, and the one below, which shows where different writing systems are used around the world. For both, click to embiggen.
40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World [TwisterSifter]
A group of researchers from Oxford University has measured which articles on Wikipedia are the most controversial around the world. They based their measurement on the frequency with which authors undo each others changes compared to the total number of changes on an article. The list doesn’t really have any surprises…well, maybe one:
1. George W Bush
4. List of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. employees
5. Global Warming
7. United States
9. Race and intelligence
The 10 Most Controversial Wikipedia Topics Around the World [Gizmodo]
Ireland-based graphic designers The Project Twins have created a great set of images illustrating 26 very unusual English words, one for each letter of the alphabet. Pictured above is cacodemonomania, or the pathological belief that one is inhabited by an evil spirit. Below is the German-looking zugzwang, which is a position in which any decision or move will result in problems.
A-Z of Unusual Words [The Project Twins]
The New York Times is carrying a transcript of author George Saunders’s convocation address to the class of 2013 at Syracuse University. It’s a beautiful piece.
What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness.
George Saunders’s Advice to Graduates [NYTimes]