2 hours ago | Atlas ObscuraTracing the Funky Story of D.C. Go-Go, From Parties to Protest
Go-go is the rhythm of Washington, D.C. This homegrown musical genre—funk-adjacent, featuring percussion, bass, and call-and-response between the lead singer and the audience—emerged from the city’s Black music scene in the 1970s. Though the late Chuck Brown’s “Bustin’ Loose,” now a D.C. anthem, hit #34 on the Billboard charts in 1979, go-go never really caught on nationally. But its history is an important part of the story of the city, says District of Columbia Public Library archivist Derek Gray, who has spent the last decade collecting the sights and sounds of the capital’s distinctive go-go scene.
3 hours ago | A Luxury Travel BlogNew to Mykonos: Kenshō Psarou Grand Villa
Kenshō Boutique Hotels & Villas is proud to present their latest addition and the crème de la crème of Mykonos island – the Kenshō Psarou Grand Villa.The brand is well-renowned for its exceptional hospitality, awe-inspiring décor, five-star service and extensive A-list clientele; yet the bar has been raised even higher with the latest newcomer.Situated within close proximity to the cosmopolitan Psarou Beach, the 4-bedroom villa combines modern design with robust touches of earthy materials; complementing sister-hotel Kenshō Psarou, a mere stone’s throw away. The retreat boasts picture-perfect views of the Aegean ocean, overlooking Psarou Bay, and offers unparalleled services with modern amenities that guests can enjoy from the comfort of the most luxurious and private setting.
4 hours ago | A Luxury Travel BlogCape Breton: the top island travel destination in Canada
Home to the world-renowned Cabot Trail, dramatic coastal views, highland scenery and Bras d’Or Lake – Canada’s largest in-land saltwater sea – Cape Breton Island continues to be the number one island in Canada.Previously named as number one island in the Americas by Condé Nast Traveller, Cape Breton has recently been awarded No. 1 island in Canada (4 years in a row) by Travel and Leisure 2021 World’s Best Awards. We have shortlisted here some of the experiences we love about this place filled with outdoor adventure and the freshest seafood imaginable.Take in an impressive view of the Cabot Trail along the Skyline Trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. A dramatic headland cliff overlooks the rugged coast from the end of this level trail. You can enjoy an eagle’s view of the Cabot Trail as it winds its way down the mountain and vehicles look like toys. Watch for whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence from the viewing decks. Moose, bald eagles, bears and numerous boreal birds also live in this habitat and it’s not uncommon to encounter wildlife along the trail (but please be respectful of their home!). Hiking Time: 1.5–3 hours. Length: 6.5 km (4 mi) return; 8.2 km (5.1 mi) loop.
4 hours ago | Atlas ObscuraWanted: Sweet Skunks That Do Sick Stunts
The posters went up all over Texas: Keep an eye out for this spotted rascal, considered armed and extremely odorous, and wanted dead or alive. The fugitive’s mugshot was, quite frankly, adorable.Meet the charismatic, but sometimes stinky, spotted skunk. While all skunks douse would-be predators with a noxious spray, only the spotted skunk announces its intention to do so in a wholly ostentatious fashion: on its front paws, in a dramatic handstand with its tail skyward. The acrobatic posture makes the spotted skunk appear more than twice its size, potentially discouraging an attack. Spotted skunks can walk in this position and even stamp their front feet to seem intimidating. And if a potential predator still doesn’t get the hint, the skunk will drop back to all fours and spray with remarkable accuracy: They’re able to hit their target from up to 12 feet away.
4 hours ago | The NY TimesSummer Travel Was Chaos. Tell Us What You Saw.
Hopes were high for travel in the summer of 2021. In the United States, vaccines rolled out, new coronavirus cases plummeted and bookings were on the rise as restrictions melted away.In reality, summer travel’s restart was messy. The Delta variant surged in the United States and beyond, some foreign borders snapped shut again, airline delays and cancellations left passengers stranded and unruly passengers added to the tension in the air.What was traveling this summer like for you? Tell us in less than 150 words your craziest experience this summer to help us capture the highs and lows of this chaotic moment. It could be a wild and infuriating story about getting stranded by a canceled flight, or a lodging mishap that could only happen in the time of coronavirus. Your story could also be positive: Experiencing a long-awaited reunion with loved ones, or encountering an unexpected act of kindness on the road. We may include your submission in an upcoming story.
8 hours ago | Atlas ObscuraKempe Stones in Dundonald, Northern Ireland
County Down has an abundance of ancient standing stones, with this a rare example in the north of the county, sited not far from Strangford Lough, with views of Scrabo Tower, and close to the sprawling, modern, Ballybeen housing estate.This particular example, known as the Kempe Stones, or occasionally Greengraves, is a portal tomb or dolmen. The name Kempe Stone may derive from the Norse word Kampesten, which means big stone or prehistoric tomb.It features two large upright stones, along with smaller supporting stones, topped by a large rounded capstone. The whole thing is some three meters in height. Around the site are traces of a cairn, a burial chamber, which has long since been ploughed out. In the 1830s, archaeologists found bones and pottery at the site.
8 hours ago | Atlas ObscuraThe Curious Task of Digitizing Darwin’s Beans and Butterflies
Emma Nichols never expected the beans to squeak. There were 392 of them in total, each concealed within brittle paper packets containing anywhere from one to 42 legumes of varying sizes and provenances. No one had paid much attention to them for more than a century, but now the beans needed to be sorted, counted, and preserved for posterity in the digital realm.“I devised a method of cleaning them using a polyurethane sponge between some tweezers,” says Nichols, a Book and Paper Conservator at the Cambridge University Library. Beans, it turns out, have a tendency to go flying if not carefully held, so she fashioned a makeshift silicone-tipped shaper. Essentially a brush handle equipped with tiny silicon hairs for grip, the tool kept her tiny subjects locked in place while she primped and polished. “Much to the amusement of my colleagues, [the beans] made little squeaky noises.”
9 hours ago | Atlas ObscuraManantiales el Aguacate in Xodhé, Mexico
On the bottom of a dramatic canyon, a set of three stone-built pools gather warm spring water in a perfect location to retire from the urges of the world and enjoy a quiet time (while the children splash on the pool).This incredible place is located in Xodhé, a community within the municipality of Cadereyta. Located between the limits of Querétaro and Hidalgo is this natural paradise a thermal spring in the middle of a semi-arid landscape. Getting to el Aguacate springs is not a walk in the park but the road and the landscapes make most of the experience in this case where the pools (although warm and relaxing) are not outstanding but make the perfect site to plug off and contemplate. If you are on the zone of Tequisquiapan, Ixmiquilpan, Tolangongo or Huichapan this full day outing is perfec for the adventurers.
10 hours ago | Atlas ObscuraHenderson House in Falls Church, Virginia
After marrying in 1910 and moving to Falls Church, Virginia, the Henderson House was built in 1913 by Dr. E.B. Henderson and his wife, Mary Ellen Meriwether using a Sears Kit. In response to an ordinance that threatened to segregate the town along racial lines, Henderson teamed up with Joseph Tinner and seven other men to form the Colored Citizens Protective League, which morphed into the first rural branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Henderson was the nation's first certified Black physical education instructor. He introduced the sport of "Black basketball" to young athletes in 1904 and was posthumously elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013. He was also a well-known and highly prolific writer of editorials.
11 hours ago | Atlas ObscuraFrederick Douglass Mural in Edinburgh, Scotland
To commemorate Black History Month in Britain, a mural of Frederick Douglass was unveiled prior to October 2020. The black and white painting was the work of a local graffiti artist who goes by the moniker of @TrenchOne. But why would an artwork celebrating an American statesman appear in the capital of Scotland?The illustration is located a stone's throw away from the Union Canal. During the 1840s, the world-renowned social reformer took up residence just a couple of doors down at 33 Gilmore Place. A few years earlier, he had escaped enslavement in Maryland and was now on a legal crusade sponsored by the American-Anti-Slavery Society to campaign against the enslavement of people.
11 hours ago | Atlas ObscuraThe Remains of Hell Point in Annapolis, Maryland
In the early 1990s, the Navy hired University of Maryland anthropologist Mark Leone to investigate the Naval Academy's campus in Annapolis, specifically parts that would be affected by new development projects. Using digital mapping, Leone and his team found an abundance of remains, including the remains of two lost neighborhoods that were demolished before World War II as the school expanded. One of those neighborhoods was known as Hell Point.The parking lot next to Halsey Field House is where the Hell Point neighborhood once stood. of Hell Point, now buried beneath Halsey Field House and its parking lot, gave the most insight into the impact of the academy's growth on an Annapolis neighborhood.
11 hours ago | Atlas ObscuraFredrick Douglass Mural in Edinburgh, Scotland
To commemorate Black History Month in Britain, a mural of Fredrick Douglass was unveiled prior to October 2020. The black and white painting was the work of a local graffiti artist who goes by the moniker of @TrenchOne. But why would an artwork celebrating an American statesman appear in the capital of Scotland?The illustration is located a stone's throw away from the Union Canal. During the 1840s, the world-renowned social reformer took up residence just a couple of doors down at 33 Gilmore Place. A few years earlier, he had escaped enslavement in Maryland and was now on a legal crusade sponsored by the American-Anti-Slavery Society to campaign against the enslavement of people.
12 hours ago | The NY TimesHouse Hunting in Greece: A Custom-Built Perch on the Aegean Coast
Built into a mountain on the craggy coastline of Dikastika Bay, this five-level home is in Dikastika, a tiny city in the Attica region of Greece, about 30 miles northeast of Athens.Custom-built for the sellers in 2015, the 5,920-square-foot house offers sweeping vistas across the Petalioi Gulf, in the Aegean Sea, from every floor. “It’s a terrific offering on an exceptional property with stunning views,” said Theo Bosdas of Engel & Volkers MMC Greece, the listing agent. “A home like this on the Athens Riviera, in the southern suburbs, would go for twice the price.”Along with a hilly quarter-acre lot, the home’s landscaped grounds encompass adjacent public parkland where the sellers planted palm trees and other greenery, with permission from local authorities. “It doesn’t belong to them, but they wanted to extend the feeling of the land they have,” Mr. Bosdas said. “It adds to the home’s opulent feeling.”
14 hours ago | Atlas ObscuraPodcast: Rödstensgubben
Listen and subscribe on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all major podcast apps.In this episode of The Atlas Obscura Podcast, during a trip to Sweden, producer Sarah Wyman digs into a superstitious story passed through generations—about the Red Stone Man.Our podcast is an audio guide to the world’s wondrous, awe-inspiring, strange places. In under 15 minutes, we’ll take you to an incredible site, and along the way you’ll meet some fascinating people and hear their stories. Join us daily, Monday through Thursday, to explore a new wonder with cofounder Dylan Thuras and a neighborhood of Atlas Obscura reporters.
17 hours ago | The NY TimesSearching for Plato With My 7-Year-Old
To hear more audio stories from publications like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.When my father was a small boy in Galveston, Texas, with no siblings to play with or anything like a helicopter parent regimenting his time, he roamed the inscrutable world of adults all around him. On one such sortie, rummaging behind his neighbor’s property, he found a neglected box of books, the names of which he recalls to this day with awe and precision. The first and most important was Will Durant’s 1926 classic, “The Story of Philosophy.” In its pages, he was immediately drawn to an image of Socrates, whose features reminded him of his grandmother’s pig. Far from repulsed, he lingered on the image, longing to comprehend why this funny-looking man who never wrote a word was revered throughout the ages.
17 hours ago | The NY TimesBarcelona Takes on Airbnb
It’s been a busy summer for Lucas Ezequiel Hernández, a 29-year-old designer who lives with his brother in central Barcelona. In June, he listed the extra bedroom in their apartment on Airbnb, and for more than two months, hosted a steady stream of tourists at a rate of 40 euros, or about $47, per night. But by the end of August, a couple of weeks after a new ban on short-term, private-room rentals had taken effect, he was reconsidering his options.“I think I’m going to cancel the reservations that I have,” said Mr. Hernández, who added that he had used his rental earnings to help fund the launch of his fashion brand. “I can get problems by renting on Airbnb, so I think I’m not going to do it anymore.”
Sep 21, 2021 | The NY TimesAmerican Airlines and JetBlue Face Antitrust Suit Over Alliance
The Justice Department filed an antitrust suit on Tuesday against American Airlines and JetBlue, saying a growing alliance between the two carriers had created a “de facto merger” in the New York and Boston markets, reducing competition and hurting consumers.The suit said the arrangement between the airlines reduced the incentive for them to compete in the Northeast and elsewhere and would “cause hundreds of millions of dollars in harm to air passengers across the country through higher fares and reduced choice.”The Justice Department said attorneys general in six states and the District of Columbia were joining in the action.“This sweeping partnership is unprecedented among domestic airlines and amounts to a de facto merger,” the department said.
Sep 21, 2021 | Atlas ObscuraMeet the Egyptian Scientists Studying 'Ghosts' of the Desert
A few years ago, Abdullah Gohar’s mother introduced him to a ghost. That’s how she phrased it, and at first, Gohar was confused. “What are you talking about?” he recalls asking her. But he was also intrigued: She wasn’t alluding to seances and ectoplasm, but rather prehistoric bones, toes from an ancient elephant that had trundled through their neighborhood millions of years before.Gohar grew up near Egypt’s Fayum Depression, a basin southwest of Cairo that’s studded with the remains of prehistoric life, and the fossils got him thinking. He had long been interested in whales (“I adore them,” he says, grinning), but as a university student pursuing marine biology, he focused mainly on the observable behavior of whales today, such as spouting, breaching, and migrating across the world’s oceans. The fossil his mother showed him invited him to cast his gaze back in time—and to find a portal, he didn’t have to look far. The Fayum Depression includes the site known as Wadi al-Hitan, or “Valley of the Whales,” a sprawling, incidental burial ground where ancestors of modern whales appear to swim through yellow earth. Gohar pivoted to paleontology, studying cetacean evolution and how whales “transformed from tiny, terrestrial mammals to [the] biggest mammals in the sea now.” He’s now a graduate student at Egypt’s Mansoura University and the lead author of a recent paper that describes a new species of ancient whale, one of the fossil "ghosts" helping him trace new details in the animals' transition from land to ocean.
Sep 21, 2021 | A Luxury Travel BlogThe 5 hotels you need to stay at when visiting Italy
Italy, a land that has always been a major attraction for tourist from around the world, and for good reasons. Who doesn’t love a country where the most amazing food is always around the corner, historic buildings, sites and names are more frequent than the Piccadilly line in London and where people always seem to sing while they’re actually just talking? Of course, going to Italy is great, but when you do so and stay in one of their best hotels, you just upgraded your trip from great to unforgettable. And that’s why I made this top 3, to make sure you’ll not only remember that amazing pasta in the countryside, but also the warmth and hospitality which Italians are so well known for in some of their most idyllic and iconic hotels.
Sep 21, 2021 | Atlas ObscuraThe Last Wild Coffee Forests
This article is adapted from the September 18, 2021, edition of Gastro Obscura's Favorite Things newsletter. You can sign up here.Coffee is everywhere. It’s in espressos and cappuccinos; it’s in pods and packets of Nescafé. It's in small-town gas stations and big-city cafés. It’s on every continent. Some 90 percent of people on Earth start the day with caffeine, usually tea or coffee.All that coffee can be traced back to one place: patches of forest in Ethiopia. These forests where coffee grows wild—gathered by humans, but also enjoyed by birds and baboons—are so small that if you circled them on a globe, they’d just be dots.
Sep 21, 2021 | Atlas ObscuraA Secret History of Venice Is Written on The Walls of Its Quarantine Stations
When he first entered the Lazzaretto Nuovo, on the island of the same name just north of Venice, Gerolamo Fazzini made his way through the overgrowth, which over the years had invaded the entire structure. He entered through a hole to find sunlight streaming in through the cracks made by poplars that had fallen into the walls. "I turned my gaze toward a wall and I noticed patches of color here and there behind the lime,” he says. “It was obvious that there were writings and drawings, but nothing could be read."That was in the 1970s. Today, Fazzini is the honorary president of the Archeoclub of Venice and "adoptive father" of the city’s lazzaretti, or maritime quarantine stations. Since then, he has convinced private donors and the National Trust to invest in restoration projects of these historic buildings, which are even today revealing secrets of the Republic of Venice. Those secrets include what he saw beneath the lime on the walls—a mosaic of stories, thoughts, and illustrations, most made by the bastazi, the porters of the Mediterranean trading power.
Sep 21, 2021 | Atlas ObscuraBerbera Shipwrecks in Berbera, Somalia
Located just off the Somaliland coast in and around the port of Berbera, lie hulking shipwrecks and rusting, half-sunken ships. These wrecks are both gathered in clusters near the port, where the harbor is too shallow for the wrecks to sink fully, and can also be found further out into the Gulf of Aden.Berbera is the capital of the Sahil region of Somaliland, an unrecognized sovereign state in the Horn of Africa. In ancient times, Berbera was one city in a chain of important commercial ports located along the Somali coast. It has remained an important place for trade into the modern period, and continues to serve as the main commercial harbor for the surrounding region.
Sep 21, 2021 | Atlas ObscuraClitheroe Castle in Lancashire, England
Clitheroe Castle in Lancashire, England, is all that remains of a former motte and bailey type castle. It was known as an enclosure castle, which meant the outer wall formed the most important part of its defenses. Unfortunately, most of the original curtain wall has been lost. The castle keep, the second smallest stone keep in England, is in very good condition for a 12th-century structure, but there was extensive restoration work in 1848.Most English motte and bailey castles were built on artificially created mounds, but at Cltheroe the builders used a rare natural geological feature called a Waulsortian mud mound, formed by sediment deposition and biological modification amongst reef structures during the Carboniferous period.
Sep 21, 2021 | Atlas ObscuraParicutin Volcano in Nuevo San Juan Parangaricutiro, Mexico
In 1943, local farmers started hearing underground thunders and noticed steam filtering from the Earth in the town of Paricutín. In February, Dionisio Pulido escaped from his cropland as smoke arose from fissures caused by the eruption. By dusk, flames rose like fireworks into the air. Volcanic eruptions continued for nine more years at what became one of the Earth's youngest volcanoes.Climbing the volcanic cone is a fun adventure best done early in the morning. No special equipment is required to enjoy the experience of encircling the crater's lip and descending inside where hot sulfurous steam still filters through the soil.
Sep 21, 2021 | A Luxury Travel BlogThe best beaches in the world to visit by boat
With lots of vacations still on hold, we find ourselves daydreaming of when we can travel freely once again. YachtWorld has listed all the best beaches in the world, only accessible by boat.Vacations and short trips are always good ways to unwind and re-energize ourselves. For many people who love to explore and seek out new experiences, the earth’s oceans and waterways are just perfect. Countless stunning bodies of water are met with equally gorgeous coastlines and choosing the beach you want to spend your time on depends on what you yearn for.YachtWorld has taken a look at the top 15 beaches in the world that can only be reached by boat.Caladesi Beach, Caladesi Island, FloridaCaladesi Beach is located on Caladesi Island, which is an untouched gem just off the coast of Clearwater Beach, Florida. The soft white sand on the beach is enough to give you the peace you desire while listening to the soothing sounds of shore birds (herons, egrets, osprey, gulls and others). This beach is filled with tranquility—beautiful palms and sea oats bending in the warm Florida breeze—to relax you. Besides arriving by private boat, a local ferry runs on the hour from nearby Honeymoon Island.
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