Towering Villages in Yemen, Built from Mud Bricks

Unless you live in the coastal plains on its west coast, Yemen is one of the harshest places in the world. Most of the country is elevated, with high and dry desert plateaus and rugged mountains that receive so little water the country has no permanent rivers – only seasonal washes called “wadi” which remain dry except when summer rains sprinkle the landscape with life. Here is a place for hardy people. The Yemenis of Wadi Hadhramaut and Wadi Dawan, in eastern and central Yemen have built incredible towering villages from an unusual material – mud bricks.

A Portrait of Albert Einstein Made From 2200 Dice

A couple years ago, Redditor Joshie196 created a computer program that allowed him to turn any image into a dice mosaic. Combining his project with Einstein’s famous quote, “As I have said so many times, God doesn’t play dice with the world,” he turned 2200 dice into the face of this great scientist. The finished product weighs nearly 25lbs. He plans on inscribing Einsteins’ quote on the bottom of the frame and is willing to sell the work if the price is right. It cost over $350 to make and shipping would not be cheap due to its heavy weight.

In 1939, Pontiac Built a Transparent Car from Plexiglas

For the 1939-1949 World’s Fair in New York, Pontiac had a special surprise in store. Working in collaboration with chemical company Rohm & Haas, who had just developed a new product called “Plexiglas”, they created an entire body shell for a 1939 Pontiac Deluxe Six. It was soon dubbed the “Ghost Car.”

What’s the Most Popular Girl’s Name? This Video Tracks Their Evolution from 1880 to 2013

From Anna, to Jennifer and Isabella, the popularity of different girl names is always in flux. But what’s in a name? As this bubble chart animation illustrates, there’s a lot of cultural significance to how we name our girls. It tracks the changing favor of different names in America from all the way back in 1880 up to 2013. And while one name may hold the top position for a decade or two, parents are always swaying between following tradition and choosing something different or modern – eventually even the most popular names fall from the spotlight.

3 Artists Who Harnessed Inner Turmoil in the Pursuit of Creativity

Creating art is not an easy thing. As I talked about in my review of Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art, it can be a struggle, a battle even. Pressfield’s book was about overcoming the difficulty of getting down to work, of stopping procrastination and doing the thing you have to do. But there is another kind of creative struggle that many go through – the struggle with one’s self, with one’s inner demons.

WWII Posters Declared War on STDs

Gigantic letters falling from the sky or giant dinosaurs stomping through the jungle might not be the first imagery that comes to mind when thinking of sexually transmitted diseases, but in World War II these posters were the military’s first line of defense against a venereal disease (VD) epidemic. Learning from the lessons of World War I, where many soldiers contracted and died from STDs, the US government started a graphic design war that saw military barracks plastered with posters warning of the dangers of unsafe promiscuity with “loose women.”

A 1950s Kitchen, Locked Away Since It Was Built

Like walking back in time, furniture designer Nathan Chandler opened the door on a home he bought in 2010 and found the kitchen in nearly original condition from when it was built in 1956. For some reason the original owners built the house but never lived in it, keeping it sealed away and rarely using the pastel pink General Electric appliances that were installed from the start.

16th Century ‘Prayer Nuts’ Hide Miniature Carvings

If you were wealthy and devout in 16th century Europe, one of the ultimate possessions was a prayer nut. These tiny wooden spheres were intricately carved boxes filled with religious scenes like the Crucifixion. Worn around the neck attached to a rosary or on the owners belt, it has been theorized that the outer carvings were inserted with aromatic plants and oils to add to the experience of owning one.

Black and White Photos Wiped into Color

There’s probably no better way to see the power of the colorizing technique than with these animated GIFs from the Dutch design website NSMBL. Taking iconic images from around the web, they’ve overlaid colorized versions of the same image that is slowly revealed with a animated series of wipes. It’s like seeing each photograph wiped into reality.

“Back to the Future II” Was Supposed to Happen in 2015. How Close Did It Get Today?

Two major milestones have been reached in 2015. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Back to the Future, and the year Marty McFly traveled to in the sequel, Back to the Future II. This has a lot of people asking one thing: “just how accurate did the second film get our current year?”

As with most future predictions, it’s a mixed bag. We’ve more than surpassed communication technology with smart phones (and thank goodness they’re not awkwardly strapped to our wrists)… but where’s my hoverboard??