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10+ Genius Ways To Use LEGO You Probably Never Thought About

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Lego Heart Necklace Set

Lego Heart Necklace Set

Lego Cable Organizer

Lego Cable Organizer

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Use LEGOs To Explain Math To Schoolchildren

Use LEGOs To Explain Math To Schoolchildren

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Lego Fish Tank

Lego Fish Tank

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Lego Gift Box

Lego Gift Box

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This is How Catherine Opie Thinks About Making Portraits

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The artist on the importance of asking questions

Owner Lists Five Things He Loves About His New Ford Focus RS

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Now that all the big reviews of the latest Ford Focus RS are out, it's time to see what owners of the hot hatch think about their rides.
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We dialed a random Swede, talked about not driving Volvos

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The Swedish Tourist Association wants you to call up a random Swede. So we did.Continue reading We dialed a random Swede, talked about not driving Volvos

We dialed a random Swede, talked about not driving Volvos originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 08 Apr 2016 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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10 More Things About Italy that Shock First-Time Visitors

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Pasta, pizza, and passion. We know what Italy is famous for, that’s why so many of us flock there – all 47 million of us a year. In fact, Italy is the 5th most popular holiday destination in the world! They boast having some of the best food, great wine, a rich and fascinating history, brilliant beaches, gorgeous lakes, bags of culture, and some of the most stylish residents. But there are a few things about Italy that will shock you if you’ve never been there before…

You Can’t Order Spaghetti And Meatballs

Photo Credit: Foodnetwork

Photo Credit: Foodnetwork

No you can’t. If you do, the Italians will just laugh at you. This is not an Italian dish you’ll be shocked to hear. It is, in fact, an Americanism that has found its way into many cultures and attributed to the Italians. .

So, how on earth did this happen? Well, about 4 million Italians immigrated to America from 1880 to 1920, about 85% of them came from southern Italy. Times were tough for them at the time, and they went from having no money to spend on food, to lots. As a result, meat became a staple in their dishes, as did trying to outdo the Italian neighbors down the road. So the meatballs got big and delicious and ended up paired with spaghetti.

Italians Are Very Loud

 They also famously can’t talk without moving their hands. At first you might think that everybody is having an argument, but they’re just passionate. You may find it all a bit too much to start off with, but you’ll soon learn to love the passion of the Italians. Also, you’ll discover that Italians love to communicate, preferable over a 2-hour dinner with plenty of good wine, and even if they don’t speak English they’ll still try to talk with you. They’re just like that.

Italians Love To Gamble 

Photo Credit: Mises

Photo Credit: Mises

In fact, Italy recently became the largest gambling market in Europe. Pavia is the city to go to if you’re looking to play the slots as there is one for every 104 of the city’s 68,300 residents – yes, a total of 656 slot machines.

Although the slots are big in Italy now, gambling has existed in the area for centuries and has taken on many forms. The Romans used to play a predecessor of the modern backgammon and introduced it into other European countries. Roman Emperors also loved gambling games, especially ones involving dice. It has been noted that Julius Caesar famously proclaimed, on crossing the Rubicon River, that “the die is cast” (alea jacta est). So, if you’re of the gambling disposition, Italy might take you by surprise with what it has on offer.

Time Doesn’t Exist in Italy

Photo Credit: Charlotte's Weddings

Photo Credit: Charlotte’s Weddings

Well, it does, but then it doesn’t – not to Italians. So, if you make some Italian friends and arrange to meet them at 7.30pm, don’t be surprised if they turn up at 8pm – with no apology. It’s not rude, it’s just the way the country works.

Of course, this is a huge stereotype and one that is generally attributed to the South. Imagine if you had that lovely weather, all the pasta and lots of delicious wine to keep you amused – you’d probably be late to things too!

Also, it’s worth noting that quite often places in Italy are closed at midday. So, if you are shopping it’s best to do it in the morning or late afternoon.

There Will Be Tourists 

Photo Credit: Life of a Minion

Photo Credit: Life of a Minion

So get ready to queue. We’ve already said that Italy is the fifth most popular tourist destination in the world but the volume may shock you when you’re actually there. For example, if you want to visit the Vatican you should expect a 2-hour wait at peak times. You can avoid the queues by booking in advance, checking out the busiest times of the day for popular attractions or going off the beaten track.

The North South Divide

Photo Credit: Nations Online

Photo Credit: Nations Online

It exists, but it’s probably best not to mention it to an Italian – unless you want to start an argument.

10 Things About Saudi Arabia That Shock First-time Visitors

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Saudi Arabia has been always the interesting type when it comes to Muslim countries with laws we find extremely odd and undemocratic. For the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, death penalties and stoning are still part of the judicial process, males and females are still pretty much segregated, and women are still known in keeping those hands off away from the steering wheel. Here are the shocking truths that first-timers will expect while in Saudi Arabia.

  1. Burqa all the way

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Women are required to wear abaya, burqa and hijabs no matter what your religion is. So don’t be surprised to see all the women entirely covered while roaming around the public areas of Saudi Arabia. Small girls are exempted but they must start wearing the required clothing after they reach puberty.

  1. Shop, stop, pray

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Shops close for 30 minutes during salah or prayer times. And that doesn’t only happen once, but five times a day. So you better know the prayer schedules before you go shopping.

  1. The death show

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Executions happen on public grounds even just outside shopping malls. You can see convicts getting their penalty in different ways – getting shot, hanged, or decapitated. If you’re interested to watch, there’s no need to be shy because you’ll be joined by a huge crowd who are also curious to see the “show”.

  1. Alcohol-free or else

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Thinking of hitting the bar or club after that tiring work week? Then, you better not waste your time searching for those in Saudi Arabia to quench your thirst with some booze. No market can even help you in having a bottle of cold beer. And if you think you can fly out somewhere and bring back loads of alcohol for stock, you’re definitely jumping into some trouble. The production, possession or consumption of alcohol is strictly forbidden in the country. A British man living in Saudi Arabia for 25 years was sentenced to jail and more than 350 lashes for the possession of homemade wine.

  1. No dogs around

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You won’t see dogs having a walk around the park (or the desert) every morning and getting petted right after. They aren’t popular to be owned as pets as they are believed to be unhygienic. However, you’d still see dogs around which are mainly used as guards, rescuers, or hunters. Nowadays, the image of dogs as non-house pets is changing and many are starting to own other dog breeds such as Great Danes and toy poodles.

  1. Women don’t drive

Saudi-Arabia-women-driving-ban-reform-Islam-monarchy-20110627.jpg

9 Misconceptions About Americans Explained

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Non-Americans talking about how weird Americans are is nothing new. They can list down a lot of what they’ve observed based on how they see them, may it be in the good United States of America or outside their country. Their minds can get fixed too with this idea about Americans based on how the media portrays them. However, not all Americans are rude and annoying just as everyone thought they would be. Here are some of the misconceptions about them that might a need a bit of clearing up to tell the whole world why they do what they do.

  1. Americans love guns.

Photo Credit: ~Steve Z~

Photo Credit: ~Steve Z~

According to the latest General Social Survey, 32% of Americans either own a firearm themselves or live with someone who does. The number shows the decline in gun ownership and it mainly shows that not all Americans keep a gun in their homes. Moreover, not all Americans are paranoids about their own safety and own a gun only for protection or crime. Besides for personal protection, most of the gun owners use one for hunting and for protecting livestock against predators.

  1. Americans are stupid and ignorant.

Photo Credit: Michael Vincent Miller

Photo Credit: Michael Vincent Miller

Just like in any other country, there are people who you can say as educated or uneducated, informed and uninformed, open-minded and close-minded. The United States of America is a huge country – rather a federation of different states with different people and cultures – so saying that a whole country and its people are “fill-in-the-blank” is not close to what it is in reality.

  1. Americans can only be either Republicans or Democrats.

Photo Credit: DonkeyHotey

Photo Credit: DonkeyHotey

Most of the countries have multiple political parties representing different political views. In America, multiple political views can be labeled under either one of the two banners: Democrats or Republicans. So don’t always think that Republicans are hardcore Christians while Democrats are liberal atheists, and both hate each other.

  1. Americans show patriotism through flags.

Photo Credit: gabe gross

Photo Credit: gabe gross

Sure, putting up an American flag outside the house isn’t unusual for an American but for non-Americans, it simply looks an exaggerated way of expressing their American pride. Americans are without a doubt patriotic and never think twice about showing it. But other than that, putting a US flag over everything seems normal in America that it may not mean anything anymore but a plain decoration.

  1. Americans are fake.

Photo Credit: BlueisCoool

Photo Credit: BlueisCoool

Foreigners think that American politeness is plain hypocrisy. From the acquaintances you meet up to that person in the customer service, everyone just smiles instantly and looks like they’re ready to serve you whether they like it or not. Americans even do smile in unpleasant events such as running out of the doughnuts they’ve been dying to try. For those who are not used to this, they see smiling as insincere – fake perhaps. But for Americans, smiling is a way of extending courtesy, not a fake way of acting how awesome their day is.

Five Things Star Wars Can Teach Us About Cars

in Car Nerd by

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens being the biggest in the series, it’s gotten me thinking about the influence of this incredible franchise on our lives. It defined a movie genre, of course, and no doubt inspired many a young kid to want to become a pilot or astronaut (me included, even if NASA still won’t return my calls). And just think how many cultural references we have thanks to Star Wars. Mysterious siblings and parents, going over to the “dark side,” and the much wished for Jedi “mind wave trick” are all byproducts of the series.

Some might argue Star Wars only moved the needle in our popular culture, but there are clearly some life lessons in these movies. Sure, good is better than evil is one; pluck and good cause overcoming big obstacles is another. And I’d argue the Star Wars series can also teach us some very useful lessons about cars and the auto industry as well.

Don’t think so? Just consider these five key lessons we should take to heart.

1. Girls Dig Bad Boys With Souped-up Junkers

Han Solo Millenium Falcon
If you are of similar age as me, you probably saw the first Star Wars in kindergarten and thought Luke Skywalker was the cool guy. At a certain age, however, I realized Han Solo was really the guy I wanted to be. Sure, Luke has that feathered blond hair and a glowing sword, but Han’s the true bad ass. He smokes aliens with one shot, thumbs his nose at authority, and has the coolest, souped up hot rod space ship in the galaxy.

And most importantly, he gets the girl. The takeaway for car owners? The smooth talker with the sleek new sports car may seem to have the edge, but we all know girls usually go for the bad boys in the heavy metal hot rod.

2. Evil Empires Have Problems With Exhaust & Electrical Systems

Death Star Explosion
If Star Wars were our guide, then it’s no surprise VW and GM would wind up plagued by exhaust emissions and electrical issues in recent years. In the first Star Wars, a couple tiny missiles down an exhaust port blow up the first Death Star, and the second Death Star is knocked out by the vulnerability of its power generator. Even in the latest Star Wars (spoiler alert, in case you are one of the eight people on earth who’ve not seen the movie), some cockamamie issue with the power system leads to the demise of the latest planet-killing super weapon as well.

I don’t know whether VW’s disgraced CEO Martin Winterkorn or GM’s hapless former CEO Rick Wagoner make a better Darth Vader, but clearly neither were kept well informed on their problems with exhaust and electrical systems, and both got burned in the end. Regardless, the wise in the auto industry should take note that cultures of fear and bad internal communications usually lead to nasty outcomes.

3. Old Tech Is Often Far Superior To New Tech

Millenium Falcon
Sure, the Empire bristles with high tech weaponry, fancy shields, and legions of state-of-the-art star ships, but they always seem to get whooped by a kid with an old sword using his wits rather than silicon to do battle. I may be a creaky doomsayer waging a fruitless battle against progress, but I think we are badly misguided in our adoption of endless vehicle tech. Don’t get me wrong, some things are nice—I certainly appreciate stability control and GPS. But the headlong rush to pack our cars with more and more distracting technology and “driver aids,” culminating in the latest craze towards semi-autonomous driving, is insanity.

Just as Grand Moff Tarkin proclaimed the Death Star could never have a vulnerability (right before he was vaporized), Google and Elon Musk and all the others swear their robot car technology will be our salvation. Until it’s not, and some teenage hacker seizes control of your car and runs it into a ditch. I’m not saying technology is all bad or that we should go back to riding horses, but even movies teach us the lesson that overwhelming faith in technology is for the foolhardy.

We should proceed down the path of driverless cars with great caution.

Five Things Star Wars Can Teach Us About Cars

in Car Nerd by

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens being the biggest in the series, it’s gotten me thinking about the influence of this incredible franchise on our lives. It defined a movie genre, of course, and no doubt inspired many a young kid to want to become a pilot or astronaut (me included, even if NASA still won’t return my calls). And just think how many cultural references we have thanks to Star Wars. Mysterious siblings and parents, going over to the “dark side,” and the much wished for Jedi “mind wave trick” are all byproducts of the series.

Some might argue Star Wars only moved the needle in our popular culture, but there are clearly some life lessons in these movies. Sure, good is better than evil is one; pluck and good cause overcoming big obstacles is another. And I’d argue the Star Wars series can also teach us some very useful lessons about cars and the auto industry as well.

Don’t think so? Just consider these five key lessons we should take to heart.

1. Girls Dig Bad Boys With Souped-up Junkers

Han Solo Millenium Falcon
If you are of similar age as me, you probably saw the first Star Wars in kindergarten and thought Luke Skywalker was the cool guy. At a certain age, however, I realized Han Solo was really the guy I wanted to be. Sure, Luke has that feathered blond hair and a glowing sword, but Han’s the true bad ass. He smokes aliens with one shot, thumbs his nose at authority, and has the coolest, souped up hot rod space ship in the galaxy.

And most importantly, he gets the girl. The takeaway for car owners? The smooth talker with the sleek new sports car may seem to have the edge, but we all know girls usually go for the bad boys in the heavy metal hot rod.

2. Evil Empires Have Problems With Exhaust & Electrical Systems

Death Star Explosion
If Star Wars were our guide, then it’s no surprise VW and GM would wind up plagued by exhaust emissions and electrical issues in recent years. In the first Star Wars, a couple tiny missiles down an exhaust port blow up the first Death Star, and the second Death Star is knocked out by the vulnerability of its power generator. Even in the latest Star Wars (spoiler alert, in case you are one of the eight people on earth who’ve not seen the movie), some cockamamie issue with the power system leads to the demise of the latest planet-killing super weapon as well.

I don’t know whether VW’s disgraced CEO Martin Winterkorn or GM’s hapless former CEO Rick Wagoner make a better Darth Vader, but clearly neither were kept well informed on their problems with exhaust and electrical systems, and both got burned in the end. Regardless, the wise in the auto industry should take note that cultures of fear and bad internal communications usually lead to nasty outcomes.

3. Old Tech Is Often Far Superior To New Tech

Millenium Falcon
Sure, the Empire bristles with high tech weaponry, fancy shields, and legions of state-of-the-art star ships, but they always seem to get whooped by a kid with an old sword using his wits rather than silicon to do battle. I may be a creaky doomsayer waging a fruitless battle against progress, but I think we are badly misguided in our adoption of endless vehicle tech. Don’t get me wrong, some things are nice—I certainly appreciate stability control and GPS. But the headlong rush to pack our cars with more and more distracting technology and “driver aids,” culminating in the latest craze towards semi-autonomous driving, is insanity.

Just as Grand Moff Tarkin proclaimed the Death Star could never have a vulnerability (right before he was vaporized), Google and Elon Musk and all the others swear their robot car technology will be our salvation. Until it’s not, and some teenage hacker seizes control of your car and runs it into a ditch. I’m not saying technology is all bad or that we should go back to riding horses, but even movies teach us the lesson that overwhelming faith in technology is for the foolhardy.

We should proceed down the path of driverless cars with great caution.

15+ Funny Tweets About Cats

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Funny Cat Tweets

Funny Cat Tweets

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Funny Cat Tweets

Funny Cat Tweets

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Funny Cat Tweets

Funny Cat Tweets

source

Funny Cat Tweets

Funny Cat Tweets

source

Funny Cat Tweets

Funny Cat Tweets

source

Funny Cat Tweets

Funny Cat Tweets

source

Funny Cat Tweets

Funny Cat Tweets

source

Funny Cat Tweets

Funny Cat Tweets

8 Misconceptions About Pakistan You Should Know

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Pakistan? Isn’t that a dangerous country where people hate their neighbors but at the same time try to escape from their own country? Sure, some may think about leaving but thinking that everyone is living in hell in this country is far from reality. Not everyone’s a terrorist and you might even get shocked on how locals can be truly hospitable and kind. The torn areas you’ve imagined could actually be the breathtaking natural sites you never knew to exist. Here are some of the misconceptions about Pakistan.

1. Pakistan is a dangerous place to live in

Photo Credit: UNISDR Photo Gallery

Photo Credit: UNISDR Photo Gallery

Crime – from street crimes to white-collar crimes – happens in Pakistan, and the same happens to any side of the world.  The media may have always displayed Pakistan as an unsafe place where people walk around the streets with fear and arms, treating those who will be against their beliefs or foreigners with the worse acts you can imagine. Terrorism is still present but it isn’t something that’s usual in the entire country of Pakistan. Traveling around Pakistan is safe starting from terminals which have security checkpoints up to the cultural sites that remain welcoming to interested tourists. Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, Bahawalpur, and even Karachi are safe to visit. Just remember that in every country you visit, it’s common sense to be always alert.

2. Pakistani women are oppressed in their own country

Photo Credit: Fáilte. Virginia

Photo Credit: Fáilte. Virginia

Are the women oppressed in Pakistan? The answer is yes and no. How women are seen and treated may vary depending on the areas you’re going to observe. For example, in the far and tribal areas of Balouchistan, women are obligated to do house chores and nothing more. Karo Kari or honor killings is still present in the province of Sindh. Moreover, forced marriages, nose cutting, and acid attacks are still making it into the news.

However, in the main cities of Pakistan, women are encouraged to get higher studies and they can even choose what they want to wear (as long as it’s culturally acceptable) but it’s not surprising to see some women in burqas. Women can take jobs they want to take, whether they choose to be an actress, an entrepreneur, a doctor, an engineer, or a pilot – it’s all possible. They even had a female prime minister. Well, women can drive and go shopping in their jeans too.

3.  Children don’t have the privilege  to live normally

Photo Credit: Farooq Raz

Photo Credit: Farooq Raz

Pakistani kids in major cities live just like the kids in any developing country. They are educated and encouraged to finish their education until they can support themselves with the job they’ve wanted. Children can play outside with their friends and they can also just stay home with an iPad too. Everyone isn’t poor in Pakistan and kids can be spoiled too.

4. Schools don’t exist

Photo Credit: developmentsinliteracy

Photo Credit: developmentsinliteracy

Again, depending  on the area in Pakistan  you’re trying to put the spotlight on, education is present and anyone can study. Not all may have the privilege to finish studies, but it doesn’t mean schools are banned in this country. The literacy rate ranges from 87% in Islamabad to a 20% in the Kohlu District. As time changes, many have realized the importance in sending their kids to school and it had bought the younger generation to reach a 60% literacy rate. Pakistan produces about 445,000 university graduates, but it’s not a lie that the country suffers from being one of those who has the highest illiteracy rates in the world.

Nowadays, the number of private schools are growing but the education system is still under improvement until problems of access, quality, infrastructure, and inequality are solved.

Five different Huracans? Lamborghini’s thinking about it

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Filed under: , ,

At least five versions of the Lamborghini Huracan could arrive over the supercar’s life, including a version with even higher performance.Continue reading Five different Huracans? Lamborghini’s thinking about it

Five different Huracans? Lamborghini’s thinking about it originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 18 Dec 2015 19:16:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tesla hasn’t answered questions about early Model S reliability

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It appears that there are a fair number of problems with 2012-2013 Model S EVs. Whether that means 60 percent will fail is another issue.Continue reading Tesla hasn’t answered questions about early Model S reliability

Tesla hasn’t answered questions about early Model S reliability originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 09 Dec 2015 17:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Honda Serious About Expanding Small Car Lineup In India

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With a strong demand for small cars in India, Honda plans to address the same and is in the process of enhancing its vehicle development capability in the country.

Honda Amaze Long Term Final Report

India promises ample growth not only in the domestic market but also in exports

The last few years have made dramatic changes in Honda and its modus operandi for the Indian market. Perceived as a premium brand, the automaker made the big jump in the mass market space with the Brio but only found success with the launch of the Amaze compact sedan, credit to the diesel engine of course. With changing tides and an approach towards customer connect, Honda now plans to expand its Indian portfolio with more small cars to meet the rising demand.

India is one of the fastest growing auto markets globally and it should come as no surprise that Honda wants to capitalise on the same. The automaker stated that it is the company’s priority to listen to the needs of the customer from different regions. Hence, if small cars are showing strong demand then the automaker is seriously considering the possibilities of developing new models. Honda is currently in the process of enhancing its vehicle development capability in the country.

The customer demand derived strategy applies not only to India but to all of Asia. Honda globally wants to enhance six regional operation systems and wants to see each region to independently work on the development, procurement, production and sales of their respective markets. The manufacturer is applying the same strategy in India and stated to be focusing on providing the right products instead of just running after volumes. Improving regional capabilities will also help the company position India as a global production hub.

Watch This Documentary About The Life Of Taliesin West Photographer, Pedro E. Guerrero

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Pedro E. Guerrero was only 22 when he first began photographing the work of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

“The first job I had was with the world’s greatest architect,” Guerrero says of the relationship with Wright. “He said, ‘would you like to work for us … you can start right now if you want to.”

Although Guerrero, who passed away in 2012, says he knew very little about architecture at that time it didn’t stop him from creating timeless images of the construction of Wright’s summer home Taliesin West.

A new documentary, Pedro E Guerrero: A Photographer’s Journey, from PBS’s American Masters series and Latino Public Broadcasting’s VOCES takes an in-depth look at Guerrero’s seven decade career—which started in Arizona’s desert, but eventually brought him to New York, where he became one of the most sought-after interior photographers for shelter magazines such as Home and Garden.

Video Of The Day: Syrian Refugee Opens Up About The Long Road To Get Away From War

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“I want a good life for me and my man because in Syria, there’s no life.”

That’s what a young woman named Berivan said when describing why, in 2013, she fled conflict-ridden Syria for a better life elsewhere. While Berivan did manage to leave the civil war, she quickly found herself stuck in a new problem: trying to eke out a normal life in Bulgaria, one of the poorest countries in the European Union—and which received approximately 15,000 Syrian refugees in 2013, according to the United Nations.

The Eastern European country was ill-prepared to receive these populations, and is reported to have used violence and ant-immigrant rhetoric in an attempt to “manage” it. Today, Bulgaria is building a fence to keep migrants out.

Berivan, who in this video by Eileen Hofer returns to Bulgaria to recount her experience there, recalls at one point telling her mother that “It’s better to die in Syria than live in this camp.”

As more Syrians make their way west—and far right politicians in Western Europe echo similar rhetoric and posit similar “solutions” to their conservative Bulgarian counterparts—it is imperative that the refugees’ experiences in Bulgaria not be forgotten.

20 Absolutely Ridiculous Facts About Pablo Escobar

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Pablo Escobar Narcos

Pablo Escobar (left), next to an image of Wagner Moura, who plays Escobar on the show Narcos. Source: Inquisitr

If you haven’t yet viewed the latest Netflix original series Narcos, stop what you’re doing and pull out your laptop right now. The ten-episode series starring Wagner Moura, Maurice Compote and Boyd Holbrook details the rise of Pablo Escobar, the devastating Colombian man who ruled the world’s most complex and far-reaching drug trade—and killed thousands in the process.

Escobar eclipses just about every drug kingpin in history. He started from nothing, and in as little as decades became one of the most powerful men in the world. Along the way, he did some truly staggering things:

Dezeen’s ten most popular stories about design with balloons

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Our most visited story last week was about an installation of 100,000 white balloons at Covent Garden in London. Stories about the child-friendly inflatables are always popular on Dezeen so we’ve assembled our all-time top ten balloon posts, including a bridge, an airship and a levitating bench.


Passing Cloud by Tiago Barros

New York architect Tiago Barros proposed a transport solution based on floating balloons.
New York architect Tiago Barros proposed a transport solution based on floating bundles of balloons.

Most popular ever is this not-entirely serious proposal by New York architect Tiago Barros for a transport network made up of clusters of people-carrying balloons resembling clouds.


Pont de Singe bridge by Olivier Grossetête

French artist Olivier Grossetête's temporary Pont de Singe was erected over a lake in Tatton Park, a historic estate in north-west England.
French artist Olivier Grossetête’s temporary Pont de Singe was erected over a lake in Tatton Park, a historic estate in north-west England.

Second most popular is this bridge held up by helium balloons, designed by French artist Olivier Grossetête.


Heartbeat by Charles Pétillon

French artist Charles Pétillon installed a giant cloud of balloons under the roof of the 19th-century Market Building in London's Covent Garden.
French artist Charles Pétillon installed a giant cloud of balloons under the roof of the 19th-century Market Building in London’s Covent Garden.

Number three is last week’s story about Charles Pétillon’s Heartbeat installation in London. With 100,000 balloons, this holds the record for the sheer number of the puff-sapping rubber sacs.


Invasions by Charles Pétillon

Balloon-loving artist Charles Pétillon also stuffed the white globes into houses, cars and sports facilities in this series of installations.
Balloon-loving artist Charles Pétillon also stuffed the white globes into houses, cars and sports facilities in this series of installations.

Charles Pétillon is also at number four, this time with a project that involved placing constellations of the gas-filled bladders in abandoned buildings, vehicles and sports facilities.


Balloon Swing by Jesse Lockhart-Krause

Australian architect Jesse Lockhart-Krause proposed this balloon swing for a park in Queens, New York.
Australian architect Jesse Lockhart-Krause proposed this balloon swing for a park in Queens, New York.

Number five is this proposal by architect Jesse Lockhart-Krause for a swing suspended from a hot-air balloon moored in a New York park.


Elements collection by Jomi Evers Solheim

Everything You Need To Know About Surrogacy

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Surrogacy India

Indian “baby factories” have become a multi-billion dollar industry. Source: Al Jazeera

Considering how perpetually en vogue it is to create and uphold laws about what women can and cannot do with their bodies, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that in some parts of the world, surrogacy is illegal. In case you’re unfamiliar, surrogacy is when a woman carries a baby to term that is not intended to be her own. A woman who cannot have children may seek a willing surrogate into whom she might have her own eggs and her partner’s sperm implanted. Essentially, a surrogate functions as an incubator.

Based on the type of surrogacy and the terms of the agreement, though, the surrogate’s own eggs may be used in the pregnancy — which complicates the idea that the baby isn’t really hers. We explore the legal and political tangle that is surrogacy below:

Two Types of Surrogacy

Source: Giphy

With traditional surrogacy, the surrogate woman’s eggs are used, which means that she is the biological mother of the baby. The surrogate is inseminated with the sperm of a male partner (the baby’s intended father).

In gestational surrogacy, the intended mother’s eggs are placed in a petri dish, fertilized with either the sperm of the intended father or donor sperm, and placed into the surrogate’s uterus via in vitro fertilization. Through this method, the surrogate has no genetic link to the baby.

Traditional surrogacy is often used by same-sex couples who wish to have a child but, for obvious reasons, do not have both sperm and eggs needed for fertilization. In this instance, the surrogate’s own eggs may be used — but this can present a complex legal question: is she or is she not the baby’s mother?

There have been several high profile traditional surrogacy cases where, following (or even before) the baby’s delivery, the surrogate changed her mind about giving the baby to the intended parents. If a legal battle ensues, since she is the baby’s genetic mother, it presents a moral quandary for a court: no matter the paper trail of legal agreements between herself and the intended parents, the fact remains that she is biologically the baby’s parent.

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