Hah - this is in Guangzhou - looks like a giant monster sucked in the building.
Someone caught the entire thing on video! The Chinese government’s way of hiding the problem - just fill in the hole. Nothing to see here!
Coincidence that the sinkhole was near subway construction? Subway riders maybe thinking twice
Taken with Instagram
It was no secret that Mohandas Gandhi had an unusual sex life. He spoke constantly of sex and gave detailed, often provocative, instructions to his followers as to how to they might best observe chastity. And his views were not always popular; “abnormal and unnatural” was how the first Prime Minister of independent India, Jawaharlal Nehru, described Gandhi’s advice to newlyweds to stay celibate for the sake of their souls.
Blue is sometimes bluer than it normally is. It might be that the tinted windows of the long distance sleeper was adding to the effect. One of those strange downpours which emerge out of clear blue skies and abundant sunshine.
The Austrian traveller next to me suddenly starts rambling about the teenage suicide rate in Austria. Apparently, not only do they have the highest teenage suicide rate, they also invented the term ‘neurosis’.
Do I look like the kind you would want to strike a conversation with out of the blue? I never thought so until I started travelling again.
Three of his friends committed suicide during his school days. One of them, a physics genius, did it in full view of all. Apparently, he asked the professor if he could head home while in the middle of a regular physics course. The professor pointed out that the class would conclude in five minutes anyway. Cursing under his breath the guy picks up his stuff, and lurches straight out of the fourth floor window. He survives the fall, despite the concrete pavement, and was taken to the hospital. Instinctively, he had thrown his hands in front of his head, and that had protected him. He later succumbs to his injuries in the ICU.
The second friend of his was an extremely athletic guy. A member of the school basketball team, tall, well-built, strong features, the kind that make you feel that you were amongst the rejects of the birth pipeline of this planet. While in a hospital one day with his mom, the guy runs for the spiral staircase, and jumps off the first floor head first, arms on his side. It is said that only the ones with extreme resolve manage to keep their arms from breaking the fall. He must have had his eyes closed.
In the third situation, the guy drives up to a high cliff with an open air ‘discotheque’ at the bottom. He decides to jump when the crowd was full. They later wondered why he chose that particular spot.
Are there known cases of suicidal tendencies in any species other than the human? Turns out, its a topic of great debate. It seems that there are three triggers for it in the animal kingdom - unhappiness, loss of freedom, and discomfort. The question, of course, is whether the animal is actually conscious of the fact that its alive, aware that its taking its own life. That complicates things, as we would never know for sure. Do fireflies commit suicide?
The rain had stopped, and the bus comes to a halt outside a small inn. We step out in to the glorious deep blue of dusk of the countryside. Another day of travel, another story.
Yesterday, during my travels, I stumbled upon a society where everyone was a librarian. It was a chance encounter, something I was completely unprepared for. Strange days. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to observe them closely enough even if for a day.
Everything looked meticulous, as if someone had spent time arranging and placing it right. People on the streets had a busy air about them, a quiet purposeful stride, and they seemed averse to wasting any time. Decades ago, the society had stumbled upon an immense archive of knowledge left by their ancestors, and since then, they had created the largest library in the world, with the goal of unearthing all knowledge from the archives. They would wake up, head to work by 9 in the morning, and spend their day arranging and rearranging the manuscripts and books left behind by the previous generations.
During their work hours, they would have to constantly resolve differences in opinion about where something belongs in the library - which section, which genre, how accessible. Hours, days, weeks are sometimes spent in trying to come to common grounds. Even when consensus would be reached, often a new book would emerge out of the dusty archives, which would confuse the situation again. They were all paid more or less enough to happily survive and afford the basics. I do not know who paid them, and since it was not the purport of my adventure, I decided to save it for future exploration.
Since they had landed upon the archives, it seemed the society had stopped creating new thought altogether. It was as if they were still trying to come to terms with the immensity of knowledge they were faced with, and their entire future would be spent assimilating that knowledge before they would manage to build a shred of originality. Even if a new thought cropped in their head, they would instantly question - what if it someone had already thought and written about it, their work just lying in the archives waiting to be discovered? Was there any point to creating?
Instead, in this society, the thirst for newness was assuaged by sharing new findings from the archives. Newly found manuscripts would be instantly announced to the others through an audio channel jacked right into their ears. That way, the entire society was always up to date with the findings from the archives, and excitement was enough to return to work everyday. This had led to another phenomena which I was having a hard time coming to terms with - if you tried having a conversation with any of them, they would often zone out mid-sentence to hear the announcement, and so it was impossible to have sustained dialogue about life, relationships and other such trivialities. Often the announcements would be interesting enough to completely distract from the original conversation altogether, never to be revisited.
Food, shelter and other commonalities of daily existence were treated with as little attention and time as possible, the common belief being that the society had finally progressed beyond the common-place, and was able to spend time in higher pursuits of sorts. Therefore, everything that didn’t require the human brain had been mechanized - so that they could get through the archives quicker.
That was about as much as I had time for yesterday, and I had an overnight train to catch. I have plans of returning back to this society at some point in the future to carry on my investigations.
Another fantabulous one by retronaut.
“The Aetna Drivotrainer was an automobile driving simulator promoted by the Aetna Insurance Company which used color motion pictures to simulate actual driving conditions”