It’s time to clear out a few saved links, which I haven’t found time to build entire blog posts around. So for your reading and viewing pleasure:
Take an aerial tour of the world on this page featuring 46 aerial photographs of famous (and not so famous) places. Happily, the photos are scrollable, so you won’t spend an hour clicking the “Next” button. I enjoyed all of them, but the one of New York City’s Central Park really knocked me out, because until now I never understood just how vast it was. Holy moly.
The BBC featured “a 13-year-old eagle huntress in Mongolia,” a short article with gorgeous photography focusing on a young girl doing what Mongolian girls do not do.
Most children, Asher Svidensky says, are a little intimidated by golden eagles. Kazakh boys in western Mongolia start learning how to use the huge birds to hunt for foxes and hares at the age of 13, when the eagles sit heavily on their undeveloped arms. Svidensky, a photographer and travel writer, shot five boys learning the skill – and he also photographed Ashol-Pan.
“To see her with the eagle was amazing,” he recalls. “She was a lot more comfortable with it, a lot more powerful with it and a lot more at ease with it.”
Guess what happens when high-resolution, high-definition satellite imagery teams up with OpenStreetMap data? An observational capability so high as to be in the realms of science fiction. Wired has an article on Skybox Imaging, the company which “just started offering customers 90-second video of any point on Earth from its SkySat-1 satellite.” When the video is imposed over mapping data, the combination makes mapping geeks, general nerds, and NSA employees drool. Check out the demo video of Beijing Airport, in which we can watch individual airplanes move down the runway, and individual cars move down the highway. From space.
And finally, a little Portuguese wow power: The waves at Nazaré, a tiny town that is becoming a surfing mecca for the clinically insane, i.e. elite surfers who think it’s fun to chase 30-meter (100-foot) waves.
Nazaré is where Garrett McNamara set a world record for the largest wave ever surfed when he caught a 23.7-meter (78-foot) wave in November 2011. It’s also where he broke his own record with a 30-meter ride in January 2013. The great part of this story is that until 2010, nobody outside Portugal had ever heard of Nazaré. The town hall invited McNamara for a visit, because they thought they had some pretty awesome waves and wanted an expert evaluation of whether they were good enough to hold an event. McNamara was so knocked out by not just the size of these waves, but also their regularity and consistency, that he made Nazaré his home port and calls its waves “the Holy Grail.” Two world records later, this little Portuguese village is famous among surfers.