<![CDATA[Neatorama]]>https://www.neatorama.com/vosa/theme/neato2/media/logo.gifNeatoramahttps://www.neatorama.com/<![CDATA[The Forbidden Book Written in the Blood of Saddam Hussein]]>

Erstwhile Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein once wrote a romance novel, but that was totally non-controversial compared to his later literary adventure. As the supreme ruler of his nation, Saddam indulged his whims without the input of Islamic theologians, as in the time he commissioned a copy of the Qur’an to be written with his own blood!  

The dictator had recently re-embraced his Islamic faith after his son, Uday Hussein, narrowly survived an assassination attempt on December 12, 1996. In an official letter published in 2000, Saddam explained that the book was intended as thanks to God for bringing him safely through many ‘conspiracies and dangers’ throughout his long political career: “My life has been full of dangers in which I should have lost a lot of blood…but since I have bled only a little, I asked somebody to write God’s words with my blood in gratitude.”

To write the book, Saddam commissioned calligrapher Abbas Shakir Joody al-Baghdadi. Over the next two years a nurse drew a total of 27 litres of Saddam’s blood and delivered it to al-Baghdadi, who after treating it with chemicals to stabilize it, used the liquid to write out the 114 chapters and 6000 verses of the Islamic holy book. Completed in 2000, the finished book runs 605 pages and is written in lettering two centimetres in height with borders decorated in intricate blue, red, and black designs.

Saddam is no more, but the blood Qur’an remains, and presents quite a paradox. While the book and its contents are holy to Muslims, human blood is considered unclean, so what is the status of this particular copy? And is it really Saddam's blood -or that of someone else? The calligrapher al-Baghdadi refuses to discuss the project to this day. Read about the blood Qur’an and what it means at Today I Found Out.

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Erstwhile Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein once wrote a romance novel, but that was totally non-controversial compared to his later literary adventure. As the supreme ruler of his nation, Saddam indulged his whims without the input of Islamic theologians, as in the time he commissioned a copy of the Qur’an to be written with his own blood!  

The dictator had recently re-embraced his Islamic faith after his son, Uday Hussein, narrowly survived an assassination attempt on December 12, 1996. In an official letter published in 2000, Saddam explained that the book was intended as thanks to God for bringing him safely through many ‘conspiracies and dangers’ throughout his long political career: “My life has been full of dangers in which I should have lost a lot of blood…but since I have bled only a little, I asked somebody to write God’s words with my blood in gratitude.”

To write the book, Saddam commissioned calligrapher Abbas Shakir Joody al-Baghdadi. Over the next two years a nurse drew a total of 27 litres of Saddam’s blood and delivered it to al-Baghdadi, who after treating it with chemicals to stabilize it, used the liquid to write out the 114 chapters and 6000 verses of the Islamic holy book. Completed in 2000, the finished book runs 605 pages and is written in lettering two centimetres in height with borders decorated in intricate blue, red, and black designs.

Saddam is no more, but the blood Qur’an remains, and presents quite a paradox. While the book and its contents are holy to Muslims, human blood is considered unclean, so what is the status of this particular copy? And is it really Saddam's blood -or that of someone else? The calligrapher al-Baghdadi refuses to discuss the project to this day. Read about the blood Qur’an and what it means at Today I Found Out.

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<![CDATA[Wheat Berry Salad Fresh From The Garden]]>

Sylvia Davat states that the pandemic has revealed that the food system that we currently have is "incredibly fragile and unsustainable." Thus, she believes that decentralizing that system is the solution. Not only does a local food system help local farmers; it also is environment-friendly.

"The food is healthier. The livelihoods are healthier. We know who's growing our food. There's nothing to not like about it," says Davat.

Davat expresses her belief in self-sufficiency through her wheat berry salad, which is made mostly of products local to her.

Watch how she makes it over at PBS.

(Image Credit: PBS)

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Sylvia Davat states that the pandemic has revealed that the food system that we currently have is "incredibly fragile and unsustainable." Thus, she believes that decentralizing that system is the solution. Not only does a local food system help local farmers; it also is environment-friendly.

"The food is healthier. The livelihoods are healthier. We know who's growing our food. There's nothing to not like about it," says Davat.

Davat expresses her belief in self-sufficiency through her wheat berry salad, which is made mostly of products local to her.

Watch how she makes it over at PBS.

(Image Credit: PBS)

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<![CDATA[The Creeping Slime In The Sea]]>

Turkey — A foul mucus has blanketed the Sea of Marmara, a body of water that connects the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea in the Mediterranean. This has been the situation in Turkey for months, and it has heavily affected the fishing industry of the country. The said mucus is also threatening the shellfish in the area. The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan describes this as a “mucilage calamity”, but this might be something worse.

The slime is, in short, a national crisis. Turkey is now trying to vacuum up its embarrassment of sea snot, dispatching workers with hoses to collect mucus by the tons for incineration. But scientists say that much more is probably lurking under the water. And even worse, the floating mucus is a sign of much larger disruptions in the sea. As unsightly as sea snot might be, its most devastating effects happen far away from human eyes, deep below the surface.
Slime in the sea is not inherently unusual. “Mucus is everywhere,” says Michael Stachowitsch, a marine ecologist at the University of Vienna. “There’s no marine organism that doesn’t produce mucus, from the lowly snail to the slimy fish.” But in healthy waters, mucus doesn’t amass to epic proportions. The current sea-snot outbreak can be blamed on phytoplankton, a type of algae that produces the small bits of mucus that turn into flakes of marine snow. When these phytoplankton receive an infusion of imbalanced nutrients from fertilizer runoff or untreated wastewater, they make an overabundance of mucus. Beads of that mucus accumulate into stringers, which accumulate into clouds, which accumulate into the unending sheets now washing up on Turkey’s coast.

Vacuuming up the mucus on the surface probably isn’t enough to solve Turkey’s sea snot problem.

Head over at The Atlantic for more details about this story.

Now this is terrifying.

(Image Credit: DW News/ YouTube)

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Turkey — A foul mucus has blanketed the Sea of Marmara, a body of water that connects the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea in the Mediterranean. This has been the situation in Turkey for months, and it has heavily affected the fishing industry of the country. The said mucus is also threatening the shellfish in the area. The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan describes this as a “mucilage calamity”, but this might be something worse.

The slime is, in short, a national crisis. Turkey is now trying to vacuum up its embarrassment of sea snot, dispatching workers with hoses to collect mucus by the tons for incineration. But scientists say that much more is probably lurking under the water. And even worse, the floating mucus is a sign of much larger disruptions in the sea. As unsightly as sea snot might be, its most devastating effects happen far away from human eyes, deep below the surface.
Slime in the sea is not inherently unusual. “Mucus is everywhere,” says Michael Stachowitsch, a marine ecologist at the University of Vienna. “There’s no marine organism that doesn’t produce mucus, from the lowly snail to the slimy fish.” But in healthy waters, mucus doesn’t amass to epic proportions. The current sea-snot outbreak can be blamed on phytoplankton, a type of algae that produces the small bits of mucus that turn into flakes of marine snow. When these phytoplankton receive an infusion of imbalanced nutrients from fertilizer runoff or untreated wastewater, they make an overabundance of mucus. Beads of that mucus accumulate into stringers, which accumulate into clouds, which accumulate into the unending sheets now washing up on Turkey’s coast.

Vacuuming up the mucus on the surface probably isn’t enough to solve Turkey’s sea snot problem.

Head over at The Atlantic for more details about this story.

Now this is terrifying.

(Image Credit: DW News/ YouTube)

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<![CDATA[Meet The Blind Chess Champion]]>

Jessica Lauser was born blind. Suffering from retinopathy due to being born four months prematurely, Lauser’s one eye is completely blind, and the other eye only has 20/480 eyesight, which means that she has very little to no depth perception.

Lauser knew that she would be bullied because of her poor eyesight, so she looked for a way to silence the bullies, and she found that way when she was seven years old. That way was through chess.

"I knew that the kids were going to call me 'four eyes,' and I said, 'Hey, maybe if I beat them, then they will finally shut up,'" Lauser said.
It became more than a way of silencing the bullies.
"When I saw that a child could beat an adult in this game, (I knew) there was obviously something special and different about this chess. It meant that it wasn't something that depended on the fact that somebody was stronger than someone else or that they had to see like everyone else. There was something special about (the game) that made me want to learn more."
As an adult, she found comfort in playing chess on the streets of Washington, DC, San Francisco and San Jose.

Today, Jessica Lauser has dozens of major accolades in chess. She is a three-time US blind chess champion. Lauser aims to be a chess master in the future.

More about her story over at CNN.

Utterly amazing.

(Image Credit: Dave Ruff/ CNN)

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Jessica Lauser was born blind. Suffering from retinopathy due to being born four months prematurely, Lauser’s one eye is completely blind, and the other eye only has 20/480 eyesight, which means that she has very little to no depth perception.

Lauser knew that she would be bullied because of her poor eyesight, so she looked for a way to silence the bullies, and she found that way when she was seven years old. That way was through chess.

"I knew that the kids were going to call me 'four eyes,' and I said, 'Hey, maybe if I beat them, then they will finally shut up,'" Lauser said.
It became more than a way of silencing the bullies.
"When I saw that a child could beat an adult in this game, (I knew) there was obviously something special and different about this chess. It meant that it wasn't something that depended on the fact that somebody was stronger than someone else or that they had to see like everyone else. There was something special about (the game) that made me want to learn more."
As an adult, she found comfort in playing chess on the streets of Washington, DC, San Francisco and San Jose.

Today, Jessica Lauser has dozens of major accolades in chess. She is a three-time US blind chess champion. Lauser aims to be a chess master in the future.

More about her story over at CNN.

Utterly amazing.

(Image Credit: Dave Ruff/ CNN)

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<![CDATA[NASA and Tide Attempt To Solve The Laundry Problem In Space]]>

Astronauts cannot wash their clothes in space because there is no gravity in that place. And so they just throw away their clothes when they are done with it, and they let it burn up in the atmosphere with the discarded cargo.

Space station astronauts exercise two hours every day to counter the muscle- and bone-withering effects of weightlessness, quickly leaving their workout clothes sweaty, smelly and stiff. Their T-shirts, shorts and socks end up so foul that they run through a pair every week, according to Leland Melvin, a former NASA astronaut and NFL player.
“After that, they’re deemed toxic,” said Melvin, who’s serving as a spokesman for the project. “They like have a life of their own. They’re so stiff from all that sweat.”

For this reason, NASA has partnered with P&G, and the latter will send up some detergent that is said to be “custom-made for space” at the end of this year. The enzymes and the other ingredients will then be observed for six months. Stain-removal pens and wipes will also be sent up in May next year.

“The best solutions come from the most diverse teams,” Melvin said, “and how more diverse can you be than Tide and NASA?”

(Image Credit: NASA via AP)

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Astronauts cannot wash their clothes in space because there is no gravity in that place. And so they just throw away their clothes when they are done with it, and they let it burn up in the atmosphere with the discarded cargo.

Space station astronauts exercise two hours every day to counter the muscle- and bone-withering effects of weightlessness, quickly leaving their workout clothes sweaty, smelly and stiff. Their T-shirts, shorts and socks end up so foul that they run through a pair every week, according to Leland Melvin, a former NASA astronaut and NFL player.
“After that, they’re deemed toxic,” said Melvin, who’s serving as a spokesman for the project. “They like have a life of their own. They’re so stiff from all that sweat.”

For this reason, NASA has partnered with P&G, and the latter will send up some detergent that is said to be “custom-made for space” at the end of this year. The enzymes and the other ingredients will then be observed for six months. Stain-removal pens and wipes will also be sent up in May next year.

“The best solutions come from the most diverse teams,” Melvin said, “and how more diverse can you be than Tide and NASA?”

(Image Credit: NASA via AP)

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<![CDATA[Strange Recipes From The Past]]>

Why settle for a tiny bit of butter on your bread when you could eat a chunk of butter (minus the bread) to “lubricate [your] arteries and veins.”? And why settle for a cake with some whipped cream when you can make a cake with a mountain of it? 

These are just some of the posts that can be found at the Facebook group Questionable Vintage Recipes, and Bored Panda has compiled the weirdest posts from the said group.

Have a look at these vintage recipes over at the site.

I got to say, some of these are really interesting to make.

(Image Credit: Bored Panda)

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Why settle for a tiny bit of butter on your bread when you could eat a chunk of butter (minus the bread) to “lubricate [your] arteries and veins.”? And why settle for a cake with some whipped cream when you can make a cake with a mountain of it? 

These are just some of the posts that can be found at the Facebook group Questionable Vintage Recipes, and Bored Panda has compiled the weirdest posts from the said group.

Have a look at these vintage recipes over at the site.

I got to say, some of these are really interesting to make.

(Image Credit: Bored Panda)

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<![CDATA[Drinking in the Deep]]>

Artist Will Quinn did this parody of Bob Eggleton's "A Pint with a Mollusc" (1999)!

Source: Twitter

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Artist Will Quinn did this parody of Bob Eggleton's "A Pint with a Mollusc" (1999)!

Source: Twitter

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<![CDATA[Improvised Inventions by Prisoners]]>

A few weeks ago, Core77 introduced me to the book Prisoners' Inventions, which is a book published in 2001 about how inmates in California prisons adapted their limited physical environments to suit their needs. The author, whom we know only as "Angelo", illustrated the many amazing inventions that he had seen prisoners create with whatever they could find.

I requested the book through interlibrary loan and scanned a few pages.

Angelo's acquaintances were capable of astonishing ingenuity, such as this means of communicating between floors using a toilet.

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A few weeks ago, Core77 introduced me to the book Prisoners' Inventions, which is a book published in 2001 about how inmates in California prisons adapted their limited physical environments to suit their needs. The author, whom we know only as "Angelo", illustrated the many amazing inventions that he had seen prisoners create with whatever they could find.

I requested the book through interlibrary loan and scanned a few pages.

Angelo's acquaintances were capable of astonishing ingenuity, such as this means of communicating between floors using a toilet.

Some of the electrical contrivances are mildly horrifying, as they are probably not up to code.

The book includes over 120 inventions sketched by Angelo, including cooking implements, refrigerators, toys, tattoo guns, and crafts. I'm especially impressed by this functional lathe.

The art collective Temporary Services published Angelo's account in 2001, then held an exhibition with recreations of many of those inventions. You can read more about the exhibit and watch videos of the construction of the inventions here.

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<![CDATA[Cause Of The Permian-Mass Extinction Event Confirmed]]>

The end-Permian mass extinction event was an event which wiped out more than 90 percent of Earth's marine species and 75 percent of terrestrial species. Scientists have hypothesized that the severe event was triggered by volcanic eruptions in the area now known as Siberia. A new study published in Nature Communications presents more evidence that confirms this theory

[...] The paper presents the results of nickel isotope analyses performed in Wasylenki's lab on Late Permiansedimentary rocks collected in Arctic Canada. The samples have the lightest nickel isotope ratios ever measured in sedimentary rocks, and the only plausible explanation is that the nickel was sourced from the volcanic terrain, very likely carried by aerosol particles and deposited in the ocean, where it dramatically changed the chemistry of seawater and severely disrupted the marine ecosystem.
"The study results provide strong evidence that nickel-rich particles were aerosolized and dispersed widely, both through the atmosphere and into the ocean," Wasylenki said. "Nickel is an essential tracemetal for many organisms, but an increase in nickel abundance would have driven an unusual surge in productivity of methanogens, microorganisms that produce methane gas. Increased methane would have been tremendously harmful to all oxygen-dependent life."

Image credit:  NASA 

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The end-Permian mass extinction event was an event which wiped out more than 90 percent of Earth's marine species and 75 percent of terrestrial species. Scientists have hypothesized that the severe event was triggered by volcanic eruptions in the area now known as Siberia. A new study published in Nature Communications presents more evidence that confirms this theory

[...] The paper presents the results of nickel isotope analyses performed in Wasylenki's lab on Late Permiansedimentary rocks collected in Arctic Canada. The samples have the lightest nickel isotope ratios ever measured in sedimentary rocks, and the only plausible explanation is that the nickel was sourced from the volcanic terrain, very likely carried by aerosol particles and deposited in the ocean, where it dramatically changed the chemistry of seawater and severely disrupted the marine ecosystem.
"The study results provide strong evidence that nickel-rich particles were aerosolized and dispersed widely, both through the atmosphere and into the ocean," Wasylenki said. "Nickel is an essential tracemetal for many organisms, but an increase in nickel abundance would have driven an unusual surge in productivity of methanogens, microorganisms that produce methane gas. Increased methane would have been tremendously harmful to all oxygen-dependent life."

Image credit:  NASA 

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<![CDATA[Japanese Pizza Vending Machine]]>

Why doesn’t this exist in my country? Japan is a hub for unique vending machines. From extremely obscure objects to odd food items (eg. canned insect larvae-- yes these exist), it’s no surprise that Japan has its own vending machine for comfort food. The question now is how does the machine prepare the pizza for consumption? Since travelling to Hiroshima isn’t an option these days, watch more to learn how! 

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Why doesn’t this exist in my country? Japan is a hub for unique vending machines. From extremely obscure objects to odd food items (eg. canned insect larvae-- yes these exist), it’s no surprise that Japan has its own vending machine for comfort food. The question now is how does the machine prepare the pizza for consumption? Since travelling to Hiroshima isn’t an option these days, watch more to learn how! 

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<![CDATA[Why Do Baseball Players Wear Stirrups?]]>

Baseball uniforms change over time, but they change rather gradually so that we always recognize a baseball player in uniform. Pants go up, pants reach lower, stripes are in or out, shirts button or they don't. One fashion that comes and goes is stirrup socks. How did those ever become part of a baseball uniform? It's not just because of fashion, although fashion begins the story of how they came about.

In the mid-1800s, ballplayers were prone to wearing uniforms that had pants extending all the way to the top of the shoe. Then, in 1868, the players of the Cincinnati Red Stockings decided to make a fashion statement by hiking their pants up to just under the knees, knickers-style. Other teams followed suit in the belief that a shapely calf might excite female fans attending the game. (Remember, this was the 1800s.)

This, of course, showed their red stockings. The rest of the story has to do with practicality and safety, which you can read about at Mental Floss.

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Baseball uniforms change over time, but they change rather gradually so that we always recognize a baseball player in uniform. Pants go up, pants reach lower, stripes are in or out, shirts button or they don't. One fashion that comes and goes is stirrup socks. How did those ever become part of a baseball uniform? It's not just because of fashion, although fashion begins the story of how they came about.

In the mid-1800s, ballplayers were prone to wearing uniforms that had pants extending all the way to the top of the shoe. Then, in 1868, the players of the Cincinnati Red Stockings decided to make a fashion statement by hiking their pants up to just under the knees, knickers-style. Other teams followed suit in the belief that a shapely calf might excite female fans attending the game. (Remember, this was the 1800s.)

This, of course, showed their red stockings. The rest of the story has to do with practicality and safety, which you can read about at Mental Floss.

]]>
<![CDATA[30 Delightful "I Don't Work Here" Stories]]>

Bored Panda culled some entertaining stories from the subreddit I Don't Work Here Lady. They vary greatly, but all involve someone who completely misunderstood the role of a stranger. In one of them, redditor Billiam201 recalled how he got a new phone number in a new town and discovered it once belonged to a business. The business owner had dropped one phone line, but still had the number on the receipts he gave to customers. That led to many callers who thought Billiam201 worked for that business, so he found and confronted the owner.

"You guys are still giving out my home phone number on your receipts."
"Yeah. So?"
"Well, f*****g stop it. It's been at least a year since you haven't had that number. At least cross it out or something."
"That's a pain in the ass, I'm not making my employees do that."
"So you're the manager?"
"I'm the owner."
"So let me see if I have this right. You, what was your name again?"
Let's call him Fred.
"You, Fred have decided that it's too inconvenient to cross my home phone number off of your receipts, so you're just going to keep giving it out?"
"Yup. What are you gonna do? Sue me?"

He didn't sue, but what he did was much more satisfying. Most of the stories involve bullies getting their comeuppance, but a few are wholesomely sweet. Like the time redditor somethingwithatwo2 had a guy get in his car thinking it was a taxi. He was going that way anyway, so he played along.  

We drove off together and he peered out the window, smiling.

He said "You taxis are much quicker these days! Ah it's a beautiful day for a train ride, don't you think?"

He looked at me, still with this big smile and said:

"I'm Jerry, lovely to meet you. I'm meeting my friend for breakfast today! I'm so excited. I haven't been on the train in years. All my friends have passed on and I don't really need to go out of town. Well, not until I made a new friend recently. It's funny how life goes isn't it? An old codger like me with a breakfast date! Can you imagine."

You could easily spend an hour reading all thirty wonderful stories posted at Bored Panda, even if you have to bookmark it to get to all of them.

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Bored Panda culled some entertaining stories from the subreddit I Don't Work Here Lady. They vary greatly, but all involve someone who completely misunderstood the role of a stranger. In one of them, redditor Billiam201 recalled how he got a new phone number in a new town and discovered it once belonged to a business. The business owner had dropped one phone line, but still had the number on the receipts he gave to customers. That led to many callers who thought Billiam201 worked for that business, so he found and confronted the owner.

"You guys are still giving out my home phone number on your receipts."
"Yeah. So?"
"Well, f*****g stop it. It's been at least a year since you haven't had that number. At least cross it out or something."
"That's a pain in the ass, I'm not making my employees do that."
"So you're the manager?"
"I'm the owner."
"So let me see if I have this right. You, what was your name again?"
Let's call him Fred.
"You, Fred have decided that it's too inconvenient to cross my home phone number off of your receipts, so you're just going to keep giving it out?"
"Yup. What are you gonna do? Sue me?"

He didn't sue, but what he did was much more satisfying. Most of the stories involve bullies getting their comeuppance, but a few are wholesomely sweet. Like the time redditor somethingwithatwo2 had a guy get in his car thinking it was a taxi. He was going that way anyway, so he played along.  

We drove off together and he peered out the window, smiling.

He said "You taxis are much quicker these days! Ah it's a beautiful day for a train ride, don't you think?"

He looked at me, still with this big smile and said:

"I'm Jerry, lovely to meet you. I'm meeting my friend for breakfast today! I'm so excited. I haven't been on the train in years. All my friends have passed on and I don't really need to go out of town. Well, not until I made a new friend recently. It's funny how life goes isn't it? An old codger like me with a breakfast date! Can you imagine."

You could easily spend an hour reading all thirty wonderful stories posted at Bored Panda, even if you have to bookmark it to get to all of them.

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<![CDATA[17th Century Paintings Found In A Dumpster]]>

A 64-year-old man in Germany spotted two oil paintings in a dumpster. The man turned the artworks over to the police in Cologne. Upon further inspection, the paintings turned out to be 17th-century originals, and now a search and a public appeal for the owner of the paintings has been released, as Artnet details: 

The first painting is a raucous self-portrait by the Italian painter Pietro Bellotti, dated to 1665. The other is a portrait of a boy by the Dutch Old Master Samuel van Hoogstraten, which has not been dated.
The auction record for a Belloti is $190,000, achieved at the Swiss house Koller Auktionen in 2010, according to Artnet’s Price Database. There are multiple versions of the painting, and a very similar portrait, titled Self-Portrait of the Artist as Laughter, was put up for sale at Christie’s London in 2006 (estimate: $55,000–$91,000) and then at Bonhams London in 2008 (estimate: $29,000–$44,000), though both works failed to find buyers. Other versions of the Bellotti painting are in the collection of the Uffizi Galleries in Florence, the Pinacoteca di Brera, and a third was once part of the Scheufelen Collection in Stuttgart.
Meanwhile, works by Van Hoogstraten, who studied under Rembrandt in Amsterdam, have sold for as much as $788,000 (at Christie’s Monaco in 1993). The artist is best known for his experiments with perspective.

Image courtesy of the Cologne Police.

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A 64-year-old man in Germany spotted two oil paintings in a dumpster. The man turned the artworks over to the police in Cologne. Upon further inspection, the paintings turned out to be 17th-century originals, and now a search and a public appeal for the owner of the paintings has been released, as Artnet details: 

The first painting is a raucous self-portrait by the Italian painter Pietro Bellotti, dated to 1665. The other is a portrait of a boy by the Dutch Old Master Samuel van Hoogstraten, which has not been dated.
The auction record for a Belloti is $190,000, achieved at the Swiss house Koller Auktionen in 2010, according to Artnet’s Price Database. There are multiple versions of the painting, and a very similar portrait, titled Self-Portrait of the Artist as Laughter, was put up for sale at Christie’s London in 2006 (estimate: $55,000–$91,000) and then at Bonhams London in 2008 (estimate: $29,000–$44,000), though both works failed to find buyers. Other versions of the Bellotti painting are in the collection of the Uffizi Galleries in Florence, the Pinacoteca di Brera, and a third was once part of the Scheufelen Collection in Stuttgart.
Meanwhile, works by Van Hoogstraten, who studied under Rembrandt in Amsterdam, have sold for as much as $788,000 (at Christie’s Monaco in 1993). The artist is best known for his experiments with perspective.

Image courtesy of the Cologne Police.

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<![CDATA[Lucian Cian’s Vibrant Portraits]]>

Bold, vibrant colors fill in the spaces outlined by simple geometric shapes. Luciano Cian’s artworks are full of life and story. The Rio de Janeiro-based artist is inclined to use bold blocks of color to spice up his minimal portraits. Cian creates images that allude to ethnicity, he tells Colossal. The artist has created a collection of fifteen works for the nonprofit organization Prints Against Poverty. You can check more of his pieces on Saatchi Art andArtsper

Image credit: Luciano Cian 

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Bold, vibrant colors fill in the spaces outlined by simple geometric shapes. Luciano Cian’s artworks are full of life and story. The Rio de Janeiro-based artist is inclined to use bold blocks of color to spice up his minimal portraits. Cian creates images that allude to ethnicity, he tells Colossal. The artist has created a collection of fifteen works for the nonprofit organization Prints Against Poverty. You can check more of his pieces on Saatchi Art andArtsper

Image credit: Luciano Cian 

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<![CDATA[Underwater Macro Photos From Vernal Pools]]>

What are vernal pools anyway? Vernal pools are temporary bodies of water formed by seasonal rains and snowmelt. This is the focus of conservation photographer and professor Steven David Johnson’s images for his new ebook. The Virginia-based photographer aims to showcase the beauty in these environments: 

As an adult, Johnson moved to Virginia in 2005 and became a photography teacher at Eastern Mennonite University. He tells PetaPixel that nature photography became a way for him to understand and communicate about his new environment, most notable learning about the central and southern Appalachians, which provide biodiversity hotspots for salamanders — with more than 50 species in Virginia alone. Johnson says that this fueled his macro photography skills as he learned to document salamanders, frogs, and other — often hidden — life forms in the forests. He eventually moved to underwater photography to capture complete life cycles.
[...]
“There’s a tiny world of beauty and complexity that deserves appreciation and protection,” writes Johnson in his e-book.
Although documenting vernal pools life cycles is cyclical — because the same events happen annually — each year brings an additional layer of complexity, depth, and new discoveries about behavior.
“It’s a dramatic cycle that takes place on a minute scale,” explains Johnson.

Image credit: Steven David Johnson 

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What are vernal pools anyway? Vernal pools are temporary bodies of water formed by seasonal rains and snowmelt. This is the focus of conservation photographer and professor Steven David Johnson’s images for his new ebook. The Virginia-based photographer aims to showcase the beauty in these environments: 

As an adult, Johnson moved to Virginia in 2005 and became a photography teacher at Eastern Mennonite University. He tells PetaPixel that nature photography became a way for him to understand and communicate about his new environment, most notable learning about the central and southern Appalachians, which provide biodiversity hotspots for salamanders — with more than 50 species in Virginia alone. Johnson says that this fueled his macro photography skills as he learned to document salamanders, frogs, and other — often hidden — life forms in the forests. He eventually moved to underwater photography to capture complete life cycles.
[...]
“There’s a tiny world of beauty and complexity that deserves appreciation and protection,” writes Johnson in his e-book.
Although documenting vernal pools life cycles is cyclical — because the same events happen annually — each year brings an additional layer of complexity, depth, and new discoveries about behavior.
“It’s a dramatic cycle that takes place on a minute scale,” explains Johnson.

Image credit: Steven David Johnson 

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