All posts by Chao

About Chao

Time traveler , Writer , Headstrong historian building an empire

17 Playful Doodles that Incorporate Everyday Objects

TwistedSifter

Javier Pérez aka cintascotch, is an artist and illustrator from Guayaquil, Ecuador. A few times a week, Pérez shares a new doodle with his 20,000 Instagram followers. Each doodle incorporates everyday objects like paper clips, coins and scissors. The doodles transform the objects into something completely new and different.

It’s a fun and creative way to look at an object, even seemingly mundane ones, and reimagine them as something else. To see more playful diversions, be sure to check out Javier’s work at the links below.

Javier Pérez (cintascotch)
Website | Facebook | Behance | Twitter | Instagram

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doodles with everyday objects javier perez (10)

Artwork by Javier Pérez (cintascotch)
Website | Facebook | Behance | Twitter | Instagram

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doodles with everyday objects javier perez (3)

Artwork by Javier Pérez (cintascotch)
Website | Facebook | Behance | Twitter | Instagram

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doodles with everyday objects javier perez (7)

Artwork by Javier Pérez (cintascotch)
Website | Facebook | Behance | Twitter | Instagram

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doodles with everyday objects javier perez (6)

Artwork by Javier Pérez (cintascotch)

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20 Highlights from the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards

TwistedSifter

The shortlist for the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards was recently announced by the World Photography Organisation. Photographers from 166 countries submitted nearly 140,000 images (69,114 Professional entries; 65,512 Open entries and 4,928 Youth entries images), the highest number of entries in the awards’ seven year history. From the submissions the judges have selected an eclectic shortlist representing the very finest in international contemporary photography from the past 12 months.

All the shortlisted images will go on show at Somerset House, London, from 1-18 May as part of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition. The winners of the Open and Youth categories will be announced on 18 March. Professional category winners and the coveted L’Iris D’Or/ Sony World Photography Awards Photographer of the Year title will be announced at a gala ceremony in London on 30 April. The L’Iris D’Or winner will receive $25,000 (USD) and the…

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An ode to greatness, Nelson Mandela

“When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced.Live your life so that when you die the world cries and you rejoice” 

nelson-mandela-avenida-paral-lel

Last year the British Museum held an exhibition  titled “Shakespeare : staging the world” which sought to depict present day London through Shakespeare’s plays. At the end of the exhibition was a solitary case containing the only item from the 20th century.  It is a book of the complete works of Shakespeare that was one of the few volumes available to the inmates of Robben Island. the book was passed around by inmates and each would initial their favourite passages. The book is open to the scene were Caesar declaims that :

” Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the wonders that i yet have heard, it seems to me most strange men should fear, seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it comes. ”  

The passage is dated Dec.16, 1977 and the signature beside it reads Nelson Mandela

Mandela

To a life well lived and a purpose well fulfilled,

Much can be said about the actions of a great man,

And much more can be remembered through his deeds,

#RIPMandela

References (Newsweek article :Daisy Goodwin August 13,2012)

She says she loves me

“She says she loves me” is a poem by Lamont Carey, American Spokenword artist . I first heard it on Kendrick Lamar’s track Opposites Attract  off his 2010 mix tape  Overly Dedicated.

It’s a beautiful work of art, depicting the true meaning of love and the sheer irony of it. Enjoy ! 🙂

“She says she loves me, she says she loves me.
So, she clings to me even when I want to be left alone.
But she’s beautiful.
Like, sometimes when I have things on my mind, she’s the perfect person to listen.
And she only gives advice, she says when I give her a cue.
She says she loves me.
Like, when I wake up in the morning
she’s sitting on the edge of the bed with a plate of food, wanting to feed me.
She says she needs me, she says she loves me.
Or like when I’m stepping out of the shower she’s standing there with the towel, wanting to, wanting to dry me off.
She says, she says she loves me.
So, instead of admitting that she has made another mistake.
She says, she says she loves me
And I don’t know about love.”

Lamont Carey 

Vintage Photos of New York Superimposed onto Present Day

Really amazing..past and present all merged into one

TwistedSifter

 

Marc Hermann (@MHermannPhoto) is a professional news photographer born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He is an official historian and interim trustee of the New York Press Photographers Association. As of November 2012, Hermann has been a staff photographer with the Corporate Communications department of MTA New York City Transit.

In a fascinating ‘Now & Then’ series, Hermann superimposes photographs from the Daily News Photo Archive onto present day photos, taking time to match the angle and framing of the original. The resulting 15-picture series provides a fascinating way to experience a city’s history, especially one as rich and well-documented as New York’s.

As Hermann explains:

In a city as large as New York, the history seems layered, but invisible. So much has happened in so many places that it’s difficult to imagine that the given street corner we pass daily was the…

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Mombasa to Nairobi, The rail road story :Part 1

” To my amazing readers:-),

This issue of the railway story , takes a look at the journey from Mombasa as was started by the railway building party.It begins at Kilindini harbour with the landing of George Whitehouse, chief railway engineer. This is the first part in a three part series of the railway journey from Mombasa to Nairobi then the next series starts from  Nairobi to the lake.

If you  didn’t catch the previous article on the railway and why it was built, you can check it out here. (The Race to a pearl) .  I hope you enjoy it, in fact I know you will. Stay tuned for Part 2, which contains everything you didn’t know about the man-eating lions of Tsavo.

In the mean time, Happy reading 🙂 ,have a fabulous week, let’s #SaveTheRailway

 Mombasa to Nairobi, The rail road story: Part 1

George Whitehouse landed at the port of Mombasa on December 11th 1895.He had been commissioned as the Chief engineer of the great new rail road and was feted for his involvement in railway construction in England, South Africa, Mexico, South America and India. One might suppose that given his experience in many a country, Whitehouse was already predisposed to face whatever challenge railway construction might have to offer. But no amount of experience or preemptive measures would have prepared him for the myriad of challenges that this unforgiving, unflinching and largely unexplored stretch of land was about to offer.

George Whitehouse
George Whitehouse

At that time Mombasa was a town of relatively minute, segregated settlements. The Arabs, the Swahilis, the Indians and the Natives all had their own portions of this picturesque island which they called home. It had not the air of a city or of a town that would facilitate the advent of a 600 mile rail road. For centuries it had just lay there in the sun and enjoyed the leisurely trade of honey, wax, slaves & ivory, it had casually witnessed the gliding of monsoon dhows towards its shores and watched the dhows filled with an assortment of goods, go back to whatever distant land they came from. But things were stirring and Mombasa was beginning to stir too.

When Whitehouse landed, he found that there were no permanent structures where he could put either himself or his team up. The few semi permanent structures that existed consisted of iron roofed buildings which had previously been built by missionaries and explorers. Not to mention the Grand Hotel, there was not much of an array to choose from. It was clear that the speed and success of the building of the line was greatly dependent on the organization and efficiency of the base at Mombasa. In the coming months before the rest of the party arrived, Whitehouse spent his time buying land, sending out survey parties to examine the interior and building permanent structures which would serve as homes, jetties, offices and warehouses.

Kilindini_habor
Kilindini Harbour

The first batch of 350 coolies arrived in Mombasa on January 24th 1896 and by March of 1897 close to 4,000 coolies had been recruited. The building of the Uganda Railway was a project almost entirely dependent on “direct labor” as mechanized techniques of railway building had not yet been widely adopted. It goes without saying that such an immense project would require an immense and diverse pool of workers. Consequently, by the end of the construction period close to 32,000 workers had been recruited from India. The total average cost of coolie labor was 30 rupees per head, per month. While a Swahili porter received ten rupees a month with occasional rations of flour, rice, a little meat and oil.

As is common with human enterprise, there is always a need for ceremony. As if to cement the idea of the endeavour within the minds of its participants, ceremonies are an inherent part of life. In this stance, the railway was no more different than a birthday, a wedding or a funeral, as on the 30th of May 1896 the official “First Rail” ceremony took place near Kilindini. The rail road journey had officially begun.

First_railway_ceremony_kilindini
First rail ceremony near Kilindini

By the 4th of August, track laying had begun on the mainland of Mombasa. And the next few months saw steady progress in the building of the railway. The men worked well, there was food, there was water and there were supplies. But as fate would have it, this tranquil state would not prevail for long, the harsh reality of the situation soon begun to manifest itself.

In November & December 1896 and early 1897.The health of the railway staff from the Europeans down to the Natives was in piteous straits. Over 50% of coolies had suffered/ were suffering from Malaria or Ulcers and the jigger menace was prevalent within the camps. It is worth noting that at this point in time, the world still had much to learn about the prevention and cure of tropical diseases and much more still about nutrition and sanitation within the tropics. In the event that proper sanitation and nutrition was observed many of the deaths would have been avoided.

After 15 months work, the length of line laid fell far below the set target of 100 miles. The short fall was due to a variety of reasons, among them, labor disputes in England which delayed the delivery of railway material.

Team of workers near voi
Team of workers near voi

Of all the obstacles that would be faced within the course of the railway construction, the Taru desert was by far one of the worst .The Taru was a waterless scrub stretching around 50 miles inland, from Mombasa. Stories are told of men who would choose to wander into the desert deep in the night and die, rather than spend another day thirsty and weak under the scorching sun. At one point, all the water holes had dried up and close to six thousand men were entirely dependent on water trains which were more often than not, derailed due to track washaways or temporary alignments.

“Africa is a land dominated by water, the presence of water and the absence of it“, Ronald Hardy. The events that took place in the Taru desert offered concrete proof to the validity of this statement. The heat was oppressive it seemed to sap all the water from the environment and after it was done, it turned on the men and sapped the water from their languid bodies too. A man lost a lot of fluid toiling and sweating in the sun all day, fluid that he needed to stay alive, but the sun was malevolent, and it had no concern for life. Men were collapsing everyday from heat-exhaustion, dehydration and malaria.

Their only reprieve would be found in the Tsavo River which lay 132 miles from Mombasa. So they dug and laid plate after plate across that hard, indifferent land that seemed not to want them there. Eventually, despite slow progress and the occasional setbacks they got to Voi, then they got to Tsavo and water was no longer a problem. But with one problem squarely out of the way, it was not long before another problem swooped in to fill its place. The worst was not over yet, Tsavo held in store bigger, stronger and more carnivorous problems.The nefarious man-eater lions lay eagerly in wait of the night.

…..

Stay tuned for part 2…, 🙂 coming soon

All about perspective

Sometimes it’s all about perspective,

Looking in the opposite direction,

Try to make sense of all this confusion,

It’s like finding desert in the rain,

Or finding pleasure in the pain.

I guess, at the end of the day,

It all comes down to what you gain.

Whether you’re eating a bit too much and gaining weight,

Or your patience is running dry,

And you need to gain “wait”.

Life has a funny way of making us all experience the same things.

From the highest echelons to the lowest pariah,

From the core foundations of hate and love,

To the very concept of desire.

We’re all programmed to react in the same way,

To cry when we’re sad,

To do this and that when we’re mad.

To harbor contempt and greed

To thirst for wants and constantly have needs.

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But in as much as we are alike,

We are different in our own respects,

And that’s something that deserves tonnes of respect.

My opinions are mine.

And that each mind is a mine,

Filled with its own  assortment of jewels

Not a man on this earth thinks exactly like another,

But we beat each other down on the basis of opinions and beliefs,

The same same mind can be soo cruel.

line

It’s  all about perspective,

How you see things, is a decision not a directive.

To every man,

Was given a steady heart, an indecisive mind and a promising soul.

That he may make decisions and absorb emotions,

Like a pot of food to hot coal.

Even as he grows old,

With every last breathe in him,

And the humming of every dying hymn,

His truth he may always hold.

line

So maybe this whole time I’ve been looking at it wrong

Maybe, just maybe…

There’s a rainbow at the end of every pot of gold,

There’s a cloud in every silver lining,

There’s always a tunnel at the end of the light,

There’s a ray of light for every dark of night,

There’s a star behind every twinkle.

…Once again

It’s all about perspective

Making memories that last is actually very simple.

Eye of the drain , -Liamm on Reddit
Eye of the drain , -Liamm on Reddit

A billion-heir

My dearest Reson,

I could think of a thousand ways to start the opening paragraph to this letter but I’m pounding on thousands of ideas and each new one keeps drifting away. So forgive me for lack of creativity, but I just settled on nothing more than this abstract representation of my current state of mind. Yes, your mother does have a tendency to ” sometimes overstate things,please bear with her . 🙂

You should probably know, I’m in a very good mood as I’m writing this piece. The weather is perfect for starters, just sun, sand and the wind in my hair (My long hair!). I’m sitting on the front porch of my beautiful reclusive cabin. I come here often, when I want to rid myself off life’s drudgery. Whenever I feel I need to remember how it feels to actually hear my own thoughts, this is where you’ll find me. It’s a really nice place, best of nature’s finesse. Trees, lake side view, fresh air,peace and quiet. Basically everything the modern day human being does not think he needs.

Oh and did I mention the cute little squirrels and the chirping birds which sing outside my window every morning as the Sun rises.And the unicorns and the dolphins??  Okay wait…Don’t go… I’ve stopped…no more overly imaginative taradiddles. If I continue any further I’d sound like I’m in the Garden of Eden and I very well am far from it.

By now, I’m sure you’ve probably figured out that none of what I had exorbitantly described earlier is even remotely real. I’m sitting on my bunk bed, the air is stale, filled with nothing but unquenched desires and unfulfilled dreams. It’s dead of night and even the neighbor’s dog is asleep. And trust me that wretched dog does not sleep.

To be honest, these past few days have been really hectic, there has been so much pain and death all around, I’m starting to think that “hell on earth” is not just a metaphorical statement any more. I mean, I’ve always known that life is short, you’ve got to treasure each day, such and such the quotes are endless. You grow up hearing these things. You read them in the papers and in books. You hear people say them. But it never makes much sense to you until in one way or another, life deals you such a heavy blow you’re left there motionless on the cold hard ground, struggling to come back to your senses.

I’ve watched people lose everything they have in a matter of seconds be it, life or wealth, joy or health. All these things can disappear in the blink of an eye, quite literally. So here I am, writing a letter to my unborn daughter, not because I am assured that I’ll  get a daughter or that I’ll even live to have one in the first place, simply because this is what I want and I hope it comes true.

As human beings we like being in control of our situations but we are crippled by our inability to see or control what happens in the future. So all we can do is hope and trust that the future holds in good faith, everything we aspire to do, or become. But most importantly, we have to hope that, this same future also holds us in store.

So my dear Reson, life is capricious in itself, learn to accept what it brings your way. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, trust me, I’m making mine every day. There’s nothing wrong with being a young girl, with a barrage of dreams and aspirations weighing on her head. No matter how heavy they get, hold your head up high.

In all the wealth that I will posses in my life, this is probably the most valuable thing I can offer you. My thoughts and experiences, which I give to you wholly and with the purest of hearts. For I know that as I go about my daily business burning bridges and building them back up, as long as I know someone will learn from them, I have the strength of a thousand men. And I can burn and build bridges as long as I have air flowing in and out of my lungs.

So when that boy steals your heart, go steal it back from him, if it’s broken, pick the pieces up, put them in a duffle bag and go glue them back together in the comfort of your home.  When you start doubting yourself, find the nearest stop and get off that train of thought as soon as you can, it’s going nowhere. When you cry, cry until you can cry no more and when you laugh, laugh as if your whole life depended on it. When you’re down as long as there is a sky, always know that there is something to look up to. And when you find whatever it is that you are looking for in life, no matter how frail or insignificant it might be, nurture it with all your heart, mind, body and soul.

A billion thoughts, a billion mistakes a billion experiences, a billion regrets, as long as I live this is what I shall leave. For you to use as a torch when there is no light, as a sword when you need to fight, and as a shield when you need to hide.And so my dear with those “few” words, always consider yourself “A billion heir” you are  far more wealthier than you can ever imagine.

Yours in mortality and immortality alike,

holdon