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.”

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The Nature of War: A Veteran Recalls His Unlikely Friendship with Two Iraqi Boys

In this sad and beautiful cartoon, Oklahoma Army National Guard Specialist Justin Cliburn tells of his deployment in Iraq, where he formed an unlikely friendship with two young boys. He speaks with his wife, Deanne, about the lasting effect of that time and ponders the uncontrollable aspects of war.

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100 Years Later: First World War Photos Superimposed on the Locations Today

With this year marking 100 years since the start of the First World War, it becomes more and more difficult to remember the world changing conflict. The last veteran of “The Great War,” Florence Green, passed away in 2012, leaving few people to share the stories of that bloody time or remind us of the world as it was… but we still have the pictures. Photographer Peter Macdiarmid revisited the locations of World War I-era images and recaptured the places as they appear today. These old photographs overlaid on their modern day counterparts reveal how much those locations have changed, or how much they’ve stayed the same.

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Tangled Graffiti Paintings Depict Erotica and War

What is the relationship between sex and war? Chicago painter CJ Hungerman explores this question using erotic imagery as vehicles for destruction. As ‘silly’ as these complex narratives visually appear the artist intelligently offers an approachable context, sex and humor, from which to dissect important contemporary issues like technology, politics, and freedom.

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Soldier creates Civil war-era Tintypes in Afghanistan

tintype_photography_1

This year California Air National Guardsman Ed Drew got called to the Helmand Province in Afghanistan to serve a three month tour of duty. A couple months before, his second son was born and Drew thought about his own mortality.
If he was killed in duty, what could he leave for his son to remember him by? There was a chance this could happen considering Drew was an aerial gunner, manning a 50-caliber machine gun aboard an HH60-Pave Hawk search and rescue chopper. Drew decided to bring a large format Speed Graphic camera to shoot portraits of his fellow airman with the goal of capturing their humanity. And if he unexpectedly got killed, his son could see his work and know who he served with and how they knew him.

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Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Drone Attacks Interactive

Out of Sight Out of Mind - Pakastan Drone Attacks Interactive 2

The US has been waging war in the middle east for over 10 years now, making the combination of conflicts in the region the second longest war in our history. This is due, in part, to something new to our war making stategy: drone attacks. These non-manned flying machines allow the government to wage war without the risk of losing American military, while at the same time lowering the financial cost to wage such a conflict due to fewer deployed soldiers. Their are hidden costs to these tactics however, as this shockingly affective interactive graphic from Pitch Interactive makes abundantly clear.

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Visualizing Major Causes of Death in the 20th Century

Wellcome Collection 20th Century Death Visualized header

I recently had the pleasure of attending a talk by the provocative philosopher John Gray as he discussed his new book – The Silence of Animals: On Progress and other Myths. During the engaging talk (which you can listen to here) he made a strong case for the idea that, while technology has progressed substantially over the last centuries, society and human behavior has not. Are we all just animals with mobile phones and machine guns? As we’ll see from this excellent graphic detailing the major causes of death in the 20th century, John Gray may be on to something.

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Photojournalist to Syrian Rebels: What do you carry?

The Things They Carry Sebastiano Tomada Piccolomini_06

“They killed my mother and father. I will kill them with my knife. I will kill them like I would kill a goat,” says Kachadur Manukian, the 25 year old Syrian fighter above. The darkly vignetted image is the work of photojournalist Sebastiano Tomada Piccolomini, who spent 2012 with Syrian rebels as they fought against soldiers loyal to the regime.

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UK Road Safety Posters from the WWII Blackout

UK Road Safety Poster WWII Blackout 55

During the German bombing raids of WWII city dwellers in Britain were subjected to long nights of complete darkness to protect them from being spotted from above. Called the Blackout, it was a dark foreign world for people accustomed to the brightly lit city, and one which posed new challenges many weren’t aware of. These road safety posters from the period (1939 – 1946) point out some of the hazards people needed to watch out for as they tried their best to “keep calm and carry on.”

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Animal Armor: Cats and Mice Prepare for Battle

Jeff De Boer Cat and Mouse Armor_01

It’s an age old battle of the species, made famous in books like the mouse based Redwall and cartoons like Tom & Jerry. This time however, the mice and cats are getting far more prepared for battle… they’re getting fully clad in armor.

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