GO THERE! …or wait until it’s finished.

The Sanctuary of Truth is a temple in Pattaya, Thailand, visualized by Thai businessman Lek Viriyaphant in 1981. The sanctuary is an all-wood building filled with Visionary art carvings based on traditional Buddhist and Hindu motifs. A team of 250 carvers contribute to the project, which is technically not scheduled to be completed until 2025. But at this point we think it’s awesome enough to check out as is.

Art Stop: Trucking Around the World

Russian artist, Andrey Gordeev takes us on a unique journey with his series,  Around the World in Twelve Months, where we see the world from the perspective of the indispensable truck driver. Stereotypes lovingly included :)



View the whole series here!

Valentine’s Day Around the World Video!

Learn how they celebrate love in Scotland, Japan, Korea, France, Germany, Denmark, Singapore, Finland, England, and Italy!

Culture Buzz: Wax Off!

In the bustling cities of many Asian countries, including China, India and Japan, you are likely to run into an ear cleaning station here and there. Yes, the meticulous ear cleaners of Asia will, for a small fee, use an array of specially crafted instruments to clean the insides of your brain, (at least that’s what it feels like.) Don’t try it at home, you can really mess things up in there! America has not yet caught the street-side-ear-cleaning buzz, probably because they couldn’t hear it, -with all the wax up in there. But, who knows? Someday ear cleaning stands may become as common as taco trucks. Just so long as they never mix the two :P

Did you call Marco’s bluff?

Hey, Marco can’t be right all the time! That’s why he has us!

Gaekkebrev is not a festival in Denmark, nor is it their name for Valentine’s Day!! It’s actually a type of greeting card used in Denmark on the much celebrated holiday. The sender typically writes a love poem and signs in dots, one for each letter in their first name. If the recipient can correctly guess the senders identity, they both win an all-expense-paid trip to Antarctica!! Well, okay, we like to bluff a little too :)

Kudos to those razor-sharp kids who noticed!

Marconauts are super smart!

Culture Buzz: Shadows of their former selves…

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/34/Wayang_%28shadow_puppets%29_from_central_Java%2C_a_scene_from_%27Irawan%27s_Wedding%27.jpg

These aren’t your mamma’s shadow puppets! Unless your mamma is a Javanese puppet master. The incredibly detailed puppets of Wayang Kulit, the ancient Indonesian brand of shadow theater, continue to enchant audiences to this day, bringing to life the magical stories of Hindu-Javanese folklore on a simple backlit cotton screen. Kulit means skin, and refers to the buffalo leather construction of the puppets that are painstakingly chiseled with very fine tools and supported with carefully shaped buffalo horn handles and control rods.
Got a sheet, a bright light and a buffalo? Then, by all means, TRY THIS AT HOME!
-Maybe use construction paper though :)

GO THERE! Hope you like stairs!

In central Burma, high atop Mount Popa, nestles the Popa Taungkalat Temple, a shrine to the 37 “Nats”, (spirits of the Burmese Buddhist faith.) It’s a popular place to check out during the full moon of Naylon, (May/June) when the Thingyan Festival is held.
Just be prepared; before ascending all 777 steps to the top, you will be asked to remove your socks and shoes. The Nats aren’t crazy about footwear. Also, don’t wear red. Or black. Or green. And definitely do NOT bring meat, especially pork. You don’t want to get the Nats all up in your face, do ya? Besides, the masses of local monkeys will harass you all the way up the mountain with that bacon in your pocket.

By Ed Brambley (originally posted to Flickr as Mt Popa) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Ed Brambley (originally posted to Flickr as Mt Popa) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Culture Buzz: “Lotus pray…”

To say the lotus flower is an important symbol in India would really be an understatement. The potent and resilient plant, which has no trouble thriving in the muddiest of swamps without breaking a sweat, or even getting dirty, has become the supreme icon of beauty, strength, longevity and fertility in Indian culture. In Hinduism, the lotus is also a symbol of divinity that seems to turn up everywhere, even growing from Vishnu’s belly-button! In fact, they believe the spirit of the Lotus itself exists within every human being. That’s a lot of lotuses… Loti?

Anyhoo, it is only fitting that there is a temple in New Delhi bearing semblance to a giant lotus flower preparing to bloom. Pretty sweet.

Also looks a bit like a citrus juicer.

GO THERE! Scandinavian Subterranean Art!

Warning: If you take a trip to Stockholm, you may never leave the subway. It is, after all, the longest art exhibit in the world

Cryptozoology Break: The Unicorn

unicorn-245642_640Who knows exactly how the unicorn was gradually ascribed its girly connotation… Possibly it started in medieval times when it was believed that the unicorn could be tamed by only the purest of maidens. Regardless, the legend of the unicorn goes waaaaay back, much much further than She-Ra and My Little Pony. Archeologists have discovered depictions of a one-horned-horsey-creature on cave walls dating back to the Paleolithic era, around 14,000 BC. In many forms, the unicorn pops up in folklore across nearly every ancient region you can think of, often as a creature to be feared. From the Nordics to the Middle East to Africa to the Far East, the unicorn has donned many names and a variety of manifestations: Dragon-like, larger than an elephant, glowing red eyes,  glowing blue eyes, with the body of a bull, the hooves of a deer, the tail of a lion, the beard of a goat; faster than a wildebeest, more ferocious than a tiger, and more elusive than Cleopatra on roller skates; while its trademark horn runs the gamut from short and black to long, sharp and super-sparkly. Famed writers throughout history have avowed the unicorns existence, from Aristotle to Pliny the Elder to Confucius to Genghis Khan to Julius Caesar to the dudes who wrote the Bible! Even Marco Polo swears he saw one while traveling the Silk Road, though we’re pretty sure it was just a Rhinoceros. (Don’t tell him we said that.) So what do you think? Could they have possibly existed? Or are we just beating a dead unicorn. HA HA HA! In any event, we think it’s time to bring the unicorn back to a place of gender-neutral allurement…

THIS JUST IN: Unicorn poop is apparently rainbow colored and tastes delicious…

Previous Older Entries