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Halfway Through the Battle for Mosul (35 photos)

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Three months ago, thousands of Iraqi and Kurdish troops, supported by the United States, France, Britain, and other western nations, began a massive operation to retake Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul from ISIS militants. At this stage, Iraqi government troops have announced that they have gained control of the eastern half of Mosul. Advancing into Mosul has been a slow and costly effort, as ISIS militants fortified and defended each neighborhood. As soldiers solidify their gains in the east, and some refugees return to their homes, Iraqi forces are gearing up to cross the Tigris River to push ISIS out of western Mosul as well. Also, see previous stories on the battle for Mosul here and here.

Breaking Through by Andreas Agazzi

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Breaking Through by Andreas Agazzi

It is always fascinating to observe how fast weather conditions in the mountains can change, accompanied with dramatic light situations, sometimes just for seconds. Here I show such an occurrence where the final outcome of the day is in my opinion quite pleasing. Happy to share it with you – thanks as always for visiting, best wishes from Switzerland!

Andreas Agazzi: Photos


The Venerable Stephen Shore Shares Wisdom Through the Lens of His Latest Project

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Shore journeys to the Ukraine to explore the culture photographically

Winter Car Care Basics: Three Tips to Get You Through Until Spring

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There are no doubts that the winter season can be trying on vehicles of any kind, but winter can be especially hard on holiday travelers and daily commuters who face ice, snow, sleet, and wind regularly. When it comes to keeping your daily driver going through the cold months, you need to know the basics. Here are three car care tips from the experts. Follow this advice, and you’re sure to lengthen the life of your vehicle for many years of use all year round. 

Switch tires if you will be driving regularly in snow or ice. 

Those who live in anything but a mild winter climate will want to consider investing in a set of tires just for the winter season. These tires will generally come in two types: studded and non-studded. Depending on the traction level you are aiming for and the kind of road surfaces you are likely to be driving on, you can pick one of these styles. Snow tires will give you a much greater chance of being able to drive safely through invisible or visible patches of ice, along with giving your car a better grip on the surface of a snowy or wet road. 

Get winterized at your local auto care shop. 

Many car care professionals like Auto care Durham will offer a special winterizing service that goes through all the steps to get your car ready for winter, without you having to lift a finger. Depending on where you bring your vehicle, your all in one service may include a battery check, a wiper blade check and refill, a tire pressure check, a four-wheel drive test, an antifreeze check, a check and restock of your emergency supply kit, and an oil change and viscosity adjustment for the weather. 

Stock up on the equipment you’ll need.

There are certain things that make it much easier to get through a winter of driving, and if you are well stocked up before the season hits then you should be good to go. You’ll want to invest in an ice scraper or two; some people like to keep one in their house or garage and an extra in their car. If you foresee a problem with your door locks freezing, a good idea is to keep a tube at your workplace and at your house so you can get the doors unlocked in the event that they freeze.  It’s not a bad idea to keep an extra pair of gloves in your vehicle, for those coldest of winter days. 

Winter can be a beautiful and enjoyable season, but it is often hard on cars and their drivers. By taking a few precautions to safely prepare your car to transition into nature’s harshest season, you can ensure a winter of safe driving. Whether you’re commuting to work daily or you only have to drive when necessary, you’ll be glad you got your car winterized, switched over to snow tires, and stocked up on the essentials for winter car safety. 

One POV lap shows 62 years of Porsche through 20 cars

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Porsche places viewers in the driver’s seat to showcase 20 racecars covering 62 years of motorsports success over one lap of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.Continue reading One POV lap shows 62 years of Porsche through 20 cars

One POV lap shows 62 years of Porsche through 20 cars originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 16 Dec 2015 20:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Watch Felipe Massa put the Jaguar C-X75 through its paces

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Jaguar’s C-X75 concept may never have been put in production, but it’s been revived for the new Bond film Spectre. Watch Williams F1 driver Felipe Massa run it around on track in this latest video.Continue reading Watch Felipe Massa put the Jaguar C-X75 through its paces

Watch Felipe Massa put the Jaguar C-X75 through its paces originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 02 Nov 2015 11:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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didier faustino weaves work through magasin centre national d’art contemporain

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the show highlights a selection of works created from 2010 to present day, as well as a monumental, site-specific installation titled ‘vortex populi’ that weaves its way through the interior space.

The post didier faustino weaves work through magasin centre national d’art contemporain appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.

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star wars bluetooth speakers amplify sound through C-3PO + stormtrooper heads

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whether users want to hook up their smartphone or tablet wirelessly through bluetooth, or plug in their console via aux, the two editions offer loud, crisp and clear audio for any environment or use.

The post star wars bluetooth speakers amplify sound through C-3PO + stormtrooper heads appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.

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blind artist envisions the world through hypnotizing animated gifs

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through the use of computer softwares that aide the visually impaired, redhawk — who works under the name darkangeløne — has realized the ongoing series of animations titled, ‘the world through my eyes’.

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Mattel’s Hot Wheels reckons the force be with you through some Star Wars-inspired Dodge Chargers

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Mattel’s Hot Wheels reckons the force be with you through some Star Wars-inspired Dodge Chargers Some big news in Hollywood has Star Wars fans cheering about with the next installation in the franchise on the way, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

That said, such a big blockbuster isn’t going to have cooperative brands sit on the sidelines so thus, Dodge teamed up with Mattel’s Hot Wheels to launch a fleet of Star Wars-inspired Dodge Chargers with custom paint jobs, mimicking the black and white color scheme of the famous Imperial Stormtroopers of Darth Vader’s Galactic Empire.

The idea is to provide real-life examples of a new line of 1:64 scaled models soon to be launched for toy collectors of both the car- and Star Wars-type. In addition to the black-and-white theme, they also have tinted windows, black alloy wheels, and a white windscreen upper decal, we assume to mimic the look of the Stormtrooper helmet.

Either way, Star Wars and Mopar fans alike were able to experience the cars in person in New York City today where provided free rides for Uber customers.

Check out the brief press blast below.

Behind NYTimes’ Immersive Virtual ‘Walks’ Through Israel and Gaza

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© Tomas Munita for The New York Times

The destroyed neighborhood of Shejaiya, Gaza, Aug. 1, 2015.

For the one-year anniversary of the armed conflict in Gaza and Israel, the New York Times launched an immersive series “Walking in War’s Path,” telling the story of the aftermath focalized through eight individual subjects and their environments—a series of virtual roads for an online audience.

At the core, this still is an exercise in “straight” documentary photography. A photojournalist, the award-winning Tomás Munita, was working on assignment for two months in the field alongside reporters and stringers, shooting thousands of still images with a conventional digital camera, each of which conformed to the Times’ rigorous quality and ethical standards. But the manner in which these images were stitched together and presented in post production, offers an unprecedented sense of place, spacial relation, and landscape which neither a slideshow nor POV video could achieve.

“We wanted something completely different. We wanted to immerse the reader, which is an extremely hard thing to do given the history of photography both in Israel and Gaza,” says David Furst, International Picture Editor for the Times. The topic is undoubtably sensitive and one for which there has been a huge audience with very strong opinions one way or the other. It has been covered aggressively, both with traditional photojournalism and a variety of multimedia projects. Many news outlets last year struggled to find new, and arguably more balanced angles to their coverage, assigning multiple photographers to the same scene, photographers of varying backgrounds, styles, etc.

“Readers look at pictures, they look at videos of this all the time, but somehow never sort of map in their minds what it’s like to be in one of these places,” Furst tells American Photo [emphasis mine].

The initial experience of engaging with this feature and ‘walking’ along these routes, I thought was like a highly considered, artful version of Google’s Street View, with powerful human stories at the breaks instead of addresses. Its success and immersiveness, hinges arguably not just on the strength of the characters and imagery, but on this mapping function which so much other storytelling lacks. It underscores the epistemological importance of place and spacial relations. The prominence of idioms like ‘road (or path) to enlightenment,’ and conventional metaphors for narrative and story as a ‘journey,’ further suggests how essential it is to completeness in our gathering of knowledge.

“It was difficult because we had never done it before,” Furst says, “and I think one of the dangers of a project like this is it lacks beauty.” Even Google’s human trekkers tend to come away with imagery that looks automated. Munita, however, seems able to consciously frame the chaos of the world into beauty at nearly every step.

“You get a very different sense than when you do video, because here every frame has some degree of thought to it,” says Jon Huang, the multimedia editor for the Times who did much of the coding on the feature. “We really wanted to control and edit towards essentially a slide show, except it’s all together, it’s all one piece, and very intentional.”

In an interview with American Photo earlier this year, Alec Soth spoke to this “power” of still photography as residing in the “absence of sound, absence of time.” Teju Cole has also argued that “stillness, in photography, can be more affecting than action.” All of which suggests why this particular format was more impactful than a POV video, for instance.

Instead of shooting motion pictures, the team asked Munita to photograph as he normally would, except much more frequently—every three steps or so, to lean around corners and take more, and anytime he saw something interesting and unexpected, like the wedding in the feature’s first section. There was a great deal of preproduction, “identifying locations, identifying characters, identifying scenes,” Furst says, but for the most part, it was: shoot candid moments first, then get identifying information and the story after. Each section of the feature opens with a portrait, and given the frequency of Munita stopping to take a photo, he probably turned more heads than normal, but the subjects were still usually unaware of his presence. “Its kind of a hybrid,” Furst says, much like the final product which exist in a new space between moving and still imagery.

japanese artist brings ukiyo-e woodblock prints to life through animated gifs

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a series of animated gifs bring katsushika hokusai compositions to life, some with quirky additions like spaceships, aliens and laser beams, others more whimsically animating slowly-moving kites and a slight breeze.

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Listen: Sally Mann On Exploring Intimate Ephemera and Ethics Through Photography

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In this interview with Tracy O’Neill, Social Media Curator at the New York Public Library, Sally Mann reminisces on both her past and the creation of her memoir Hold Still. Mann’s memoir is undeniably personal and revealing, which brings to the forefront questions of ethics, memories, and privacy. Where should photographers draw the line of privacy, and how much is too much to show? In Mann’s opinion:

“It’s a deeply ethically complex situation when you’re photographing someone because you as the photographer hold all the cards. You always do.”

When asked how her documentation of loved ones began, Mann recalls “I started basically by stringing this whole concatenation of stories together that I told for years…When you string them all together you really have something.” It is the retrospective nature of Mann’s process that produces images that are both deeply personal and honest.

[See Also: 11 Self-Portraits From Sally Mann’s ‘Upon Reflection’ Series]

In Mann’s case, the struggle between ethics and art, privacy and publicity are seemingly essential to her work. “I seem to push things to the limits, even without meaning to in some cases,” she says. Photographing those nearest to her, whether her own children or her husband, Mann must delve into the most private, and sometimes painful corners of her life. This exploration of those closest to her through photography is a source that creates beautiful, memorable images.

julien breton creates luminous calligraphy through light-painted performances

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breton forms each composition using hand-held illumination and long-exposure photographic techniques, capturing an ephemeral moment surrounded by both natural and urban landscapes.

The post julien breton creates luminous calligraphy through light-painted performances appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.

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Maruti To Sell YRA (Fronx) Through NEXA Dealerships Only

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Maruti Suzuki will be selling the upcoming YRA (Fronx) hatchback through its network of upmarket dealerships known as NEXA. Currently, these outlets sell only the S-Cross.

Maruti Nexa Showroom

NEXA will cater to the upmarket segment buyers

Considering how competitive the automotive market is, once a brand is associated with a particular product category and price range, it becomes increasingly difficult for that brand to sell cars of a different segment including pricier cars where margins are high. Ask Maruti Suzuki, India’s leading automaker. They have been known as an affordable car brand who make cars for the “common man”. The segment it is most popular is the hatchback segment where it has multiple offering which have many things in common. Other cars from the brand which have been well received are the DZire, Ertiga and Ciaz.

Maruti Suzuki tried to cater to the premium segment by launching the Kizashi and the Grand Vitara in India which bombed due to the high price and the perception that Maruti cars should be cheap. To change the perception and to launch more upmarket products in India, the Japanese carmaker is starting a new range of dealerships under the name NEXA which will cater to premium customers. The upcoming YRA (Fronx) hatchback which will compete with the immensely popular Hyundai Elite i20 will only be sold through these dealerships to give the customers a unique experience which they remember for a lifetime.

alexis tricoire snakes vegetal two-headed dragon through paris art venue

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the semi-aquatic plant and animal sculpture weaves its way through the cité de la mode et du design, bringing together industrial materials and botanical life.

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Syrians Crash Through a Fence Between War and Refuge (26 photos)

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Thousands of Syrians cut through a border fence and crossed over into Turkey on Sunday, fleeing intense fighting in northern Syria between Kurdish fighters and ISIS militants around the town of Tal Abyad. As Syrian Kurdish fighters closed in on the outskirts of the town, residents fled to the Turkish border by the thousands, but were stopped by barbed wire fences, trenches, and Turkish security forces firing warning shots and using water cannons to keep them back. At one point over the weekend, ISIS militants appeared to come between the refugees and the border fence on the Syrian side, urging them to return to the city center—under the watch of Turkish soldiers on the other side of the fence. The following day, a rush of desperate refugees returned, breaking through the border fences and pouring across into Turkey, where authorities were accommodating them. Despite recent attempts by the Turkish government to limit the flow of Syrian refugees, they agreed to re-open the border on Sunday, anticipating another 10,000 refugees.

Syrians fleeing the war rush through broken down border fences to enter Turkish territory illegally, near the Turkish border crossing at Akcakale in Sanliurfa province, on June 14, 2015. (Bulent Kilic / AFP / Getty Images)

The Atlantic Photo

Discovering Piceno Through Wine and Food

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Whether it’s art, architecture, beautiful landscapes or food and wine, Italy never ceases to amaze me. Whenever possible, I try to visit lesser know regions like the superb and wild Basilicata in Southern Italy, or unusual towns like the lovely Porretta Terme in Emilia-Romagna.

Italy is a country of incredible diversity, and there are many regions which I barely know yet. Even from the distance, though, a good way to discover a region is through local food and wines. A recent show cooking and wine tasting at Milan EXPO introduced me to the Piceno area, in the south of the Marche region, and their local products of excellence.

Vini Piceni, Offida Pecorino

Vini Piceni: local grapevines and a three thousands-year old tradition

Wine making is rooted in history, and recent archaeological finds highlighted that the cultivation of wine grapes in the Piceno area dates back to the first millennium B.C.

Since then, the technique of wine making has become more refined, but the tradition is still alive and proudly preserved by a group of local wine producers who created the “Consorzio Vini Piceni” to protect the local origin and characteristics of their wines.

The diversity of this area, ranging from sea to hills and, more inland, to the Apennines, reflects in its wines flavours as well as in its culinary traditions.

The most interesting, in my opinion, are the Offida wines D.O.C.G. (designation of origin controlled and guaranteed): the whites Offida Passerina, Offida Pecorino and the red Offida Rosso.

Vini Piceni - Wines from the Piceno Area

A rare local grape, Passerina is found in both a still and a sparkling version. Perfect for apéritifs and pairing very well with fish and seafood.

Pecorino, another autochtone grape, owes its name to its origins: areas close to the mountains where sheep (pecore, in Italian) used to pasture. Recently, Pecorino has become the most renowned white between Vini Piceni, appreciated for its fruity bouquet and its straw yellow color.

Offida Rosso is made of the Montepulciano grapevine, not to be confused with the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano from Tuscany, whose name derives from the town where it is produced, while the main grape is Sangiovese. With a beautiful ruby-red colour, Offida Rosso perfectly pairs with cold cuts, seasoned ham, hard cheeses, and all kind of meat.

Wines from the Piceno Area

Other wines of the Piceno area include the whites Falerio, Falerio Pecorino, Terre di Offida, and the reds Rosso Piceno and Rosso Piceno Superiore.  Produced only in a very limited area, Rosso Piceno Superiore has an intese bouquet and stronger consistency and was my favourite.

The food from the Piceno Area: culinary delights between sea and mountains

There’s no better way to taste a good wine than pairing it with great food. To promote the awareness of the Piceno area, Consorzio Vini Piceni invited some of the best local chefs who introduced us to several culinary delights in a series of show cooking sessions at Milan EXPO.

Tartufo Estivo Monti Sibillini

Different chefs, various dishes and a common trait: the passion for their area, the willingness to use local products and preserve long-standing traditions, proposing them with a touch of creativity and a modern twist.

Sabrina Tuzi, Chef of Restaurant Degusteria del Gigante in San Benedetto del Tronto and Vittorio Cameli, Chef of  Bistrot Kursaal in Grottammare, proposed delicious dishes enhancing anchovies, long considered a “poor fish” and therefore disregarded although very tasty.

Panino con Coppa di Pesce Azzurro, by Chef Sabrina Tuzi

Tiny New York museum showcases objects obtained through rapid-response collecting

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Incubating chicken eggs and objects made by prison inmates are among the artefacts currently on view in a tiny museum in a New York City alleyway (+ slideshow).

Modern archaeology exhibition at MMuseumm

Dubbed 4th Season, the unusual show is the latest organised by the Mmuseumm, a cultural institution that stages exhibitions inside a 36-square-foot (three square metre) storefront space that was once a freight elevator. The museum is located in a graffiti-adorned alleyway in the Tribeca neighbourhood.

Founded in 2012, the self-described “modern natural history museum” presents objects and designs that “explore themes of daily human existence, social issues and current events.”

Modern archaeology exhibition at MMuseumm

Its mission aligns with the “rapid response” collecting movement, in which objects that relate to contemporary issues are quickly acquired by cultural institutions.

London’s V&A museum has acquired jeans, a 3D-printed gun and Katy Perry lashes as part of its rapid-response strategy, which was introduced in 2013. It now has a dedicated Rapid Response Collecting display on view until January 2016.

Modern archaeology exhibition at MMuseumm
Incubating Chicken Eggs

The Mmuseumm exhibition features a range of items organised under 16 themes. Some pieces were selected by the museum, while others were produced or assembled by outside artists.

Incubating Chicken Eggs comprises 12 real eggs sitting within a custom-designed vitrine kept at approximately 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius). The eggs are expected to hatch during the exhibition.

Modern archaeology exhibition at MMuseumm
Stranger Visions

Stranger Visions is a collection of 3D-printed human masks produced by artist and “bio-hacker” Heather Dewey-Hagborg. To create the faces, the artist extracted DNA from chewing gum, cigarette butts, and other material discarded by people she had never met.

Through DNA analysis, she was able to create genetic profiles that were then subjected to facial algorithms. “The end result are portraits that speak to today’s culture of biological surveillance,” said the museum.

Modern archaeology exhibition at MMuseumm
Pharmaceutical Promo Items

The exhibition also includes discontinued promotional items given out by pharmaceutical companies, from an Ambien-branded computer mouse to a wrench advertising Oxycontin.

“Due to government and public pressures to clean up their act, pharmaceutical companies voluntarily halted production on these bizarre gift items that are intended to encourage doctors to prescribe [their products],” said Ryder Ripps, the conceptual artist who assembled the collection.

See What the World Has Been Googling About Your Country Through This Infographic

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You might hate articles that tell you what to expect in a country or city like the ones that tell you how you’d probably hate New York (even if you haven’t stepped in it yet), or ones that will enumerate the shocking things you’ll encounter in Brazil or Canada. You squeal with burning eyes as you read the lines indicating such stereotypes. For sure, not all stereotypes are true, but let’s just say, they exist for a reason. True or not, there’s some point when almost everyone has observed these qualities in the country’s majority and even Google can prove these words are what everyone is thinking – and searching.

Fixr.com, a cost-estimating website, created a map with each country marked with the most common thing people think about it. You know those how much-questions in Google? That’s what they used and this time, they looked for the first autocomplete entry when the words “how much does a ________ cost in <insert name of the country>” are typed in the engine’s search box.

The results are made into an infographic that’s either surprising or undeniably funny but could be true. Here are the first things that people around the world are curious about in their countries when it comes to prices – from the reasonable to just plain weird.

Photo Credit: Fixr

Photo Credit: Fixr

In North America, it seems like many people are aware about the American patent laws and curious if getting your tummy tucked in Mexico is really worth it. People looked for wedding costs in the Bahamas while others looked for divorce rates in Trinidad and Tobago.

Photo Credit: Fixr

Photo Credit: Fixr

In South America, Google searchers seem to look for Panama hats in Ecuador. Costs of living in Peru and Paraguay are top searches and when it comes to deaths, Guyana seems like the place to be for funerals. But what is living without having fun? Google users search for beer costs in Argentina while Brazil gets most costs searches about prostitutes.

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