excerpts from a 1:30am chat with the dutch knowledge migrant™ about planning a road trip through the balkans

I absolutely love that you also think this is a good idea. me:

[I haven't been] but close by ish a couple times. It's just a bit too far for weekend getaways. dkm:

Yeah, nobody really weekends in Bosnia. me:

Turns out crossing some of these borders in a rental requires green (card? forgot the second word here) insurance, and renting itself requires an international drivers license, which I don't have. me:

Then we'll have to buy a car in some sketchy border town. dkm:

But I'll let you go, you have shit machines to build. me:

When I first read that I thought you meant metaphoric shit machines for keeping your life in gear dkm:

Hahahah no, the real, incredible ones you make! Love you, have a great day at work! me:

Love you too! Sleep tight! dkm:

Mapping What You Cannot See, Cannot Know, Cannot Visit

Of course, you say. Cartography is a science. What it describes should be there. And yet, I find myself a little surprised by our ability to measure, to extrapolate, to conjoin, to build a true whole from a gazillion little parts. It’s an enormous intellectual feat. And now, I’m happy to report, it’s been done again — on a scale that boggles my mind.

This whole thing gave me chills. 


454 W 23rd St New York, NY 10011—2157Reblogged from 454 W 23rd St New York, NY 10011—2157

Most forgeries ‘fall out’ after about fifty years or so; in other words, they conform to the popular image of the artist held at the time the fake was made—an instance of this is the Botticelli forgeries made during the Burne-Jones period. Later generations, who see the artist quite differently,…

It’s not very difficult to show foreign country to French people, exotically. Or something exotic to Americans—show them China, or something like that. It’s not very difficult. But to show… your own country to your own people, it’s a most difficult thing.

Henri Cartier-Bresson

The American GuideReblogged from The American Guide



Growing up, the Outer Banks’ Northern Beaches felt like my second home. Yet, now three decades into my relationship with the region, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been to an area known as Wanchese.

In the original American Guide to North Carolina, Wanchese is nothing but a footnote along the way to bigger, more well-tread destinations.

Left on State 345 is WANCHESE, 4 m. (1,040 pop.), which has one of the best harbors in the section and is a trading point for northern Pamlico Sound (one boat daily to Hatteras). It is the center of Dare’s shad-fishing industry in which 90 percent of the county’s population is employed.

Even among Outer Banks locals—a people rather removed from most of the world for all but the summer season­—Wanchese is considered the most backward of all. When I insisted on taking off to investigate the place for myself, my cousins (born and raised in Kill Devil Hills) dismissed it as a waste of time, asking why I’d bother.

“Because you all think so poorly of it. And I want to know why.”

My first interaction with a “Cheser” (as they’re derogatorily referred to) was as an early teenager. My memory of the instance is crystalline and simple: sitting on the beach alone, not far from a cousin’s lifeguard tower, a young man about my age approached me. He was peddling tiny kites that flew in the air, one tied to each of his fingers. They were adorable… and so was he, especially with that accent. After declining to purchase his wares, he ambled on.

That night I told my older cousin about the cute British boy who tried to sell me a kite earlier. She laughed in my face. “He’s not British! That kid’s from WANCHESE.”

But I wasn’t completely off, either. For centuries, Wanchese kept to itself so much that its residents inherited a unique, distinct brogue that dates back to the region’s original 17th-century colonizers. This peculiar way of speaking is sometimes referred to as a hoi toider accent, and persists to this day in only a handful of spots in coastal Virginia and North Carolina. The explanation of longtime residents like Arnold Daniels (quoted in Elizabeth Leland’s The Vanishing Coast) makes a lot of sense:

Thare’s people in my toime never was off the oiland, only by bowt to go out fishin’. We were so oisolated, and we just talked just loike parents before us talked, you see. Naturally it was the people in this area we were around makin’ contact with, so Oi guess that’s the reason why we kept this brogue.

In the same book, linguist Bob Howren is more succinct but much less colorful:  “The language simply developed on its own merry way[…] It’s not Elizabethan English and they’re not Irish. It’s good old American English of a different stripe.”

This settlement is old America, comprised of a people intentionally othered, who stubbornly stuck to their ways in spite of the changing world at their doorstep. Yet when wandering around Wanchese recently, finding a resident with the thick accent I remember from my youth proved hard to find.

In the grander scheme of things, Wanchese’s neutered dialect is this region’s canary in a coal mine. A visit to its graveyards and shipyards tells the same, subtle story in two different ways; both are littered with the sad, poignant skeletons of a simple life that has all but disappeared.

The scene is bittersweet at best, and probably not for everyone… but Wanchese warrants much more attention than the original American Guide—or the scorn of locals—suggests.

* * *

Sarah Brumble was born in West Virginia, raised in Portland, Oregon, and now lives and works in Minneapolis. Her professional affiliations include Atlas Obscura, MPLS.tv, Playboy, and various other publications with mixed reputations. When not sailing through shark-infested waters or walking overland into Nigeria, Brumble can be found making photos with unreliable cameras, playing with social media, and not-not trespassing.

i made this!

365 Days of JolieReblogged from 365 Days of Jolie

With its fitted bodice and full skirt, Jolie’s dress, designed by Atelier Versace master tailor Luigi Massi, looks every inch the traditional bridal gown from the front. The back tells a different story: that of the family’s adventure-filled life, as drawn by the couple’s six children and hand-sewn into the gown and veil.

take that, measuring your kids heights on a doorframe.

(via homicidalbrunette)

Source 365daysofjolie

Skunk BearReblogged from Skunk Bear


The blooming of an Amorphophallus titanum (AKA corpse flower AKA titan arum) at The Huntington Library last week inspired me!

If you think humans jump through a lot of hoops just to reproduce, check out this plant. It waits 7-10 years, storing up starch in a giant tuber, just so it can bloom for a single day. Then it pretends to be a hunk of rotting meat to attract insect pollinators. Then, months later, it switches tactics to a produce a sweet fruit so birds will disperse it’s seeds.

If you have never smelled a titan arum but for some odd reason you would like to … you are in … luck? Scientists have identified the exact malodorous chemicals that come off these strange flowers to attract pollinators - so you can create the scent at home!*

*please, for your own sake, don’t try this at home.

(via scientificillustration)

Source skunkbear