Check out Christo’s latest installation [via Nina Reznick]

The artist's longtime collaborator says "Big Air Package" is the largest inflatable structure ever built

Check out Christo's latest installation 
Bulgarian artist Christo poses during the unveiling of the installation "Big Air Package" at the industrial memorial Gasometer in Oberhausen, Germany, Friday, March 15, 2013. (Credit: AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
This article originally appeared on Hyperallergic
Big Air Package

Construction of Christo’s “Big Air Package” at the Gasometer Oberhausen, Germany. February 2013. (Unless indicated, all photographs by Wolfgang Volz & courtesy of Christo.)

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A Great Joke [via Mary Calhoun]

Two Irishmen, Murphy and O’Riely were applying for the same job, in an upscale construction company. One of the job requirements was to meet with the company’s psychologist. Murphy goes in first. 

The doctor says," Murphy, I just want to ask you two questions, to which Murphy replied, fire away sir."

"Tell me Murphy, do you know how many wheels are on a wheel barrel?"

I sir, “a wheel barrel has got one wheel”. 

"Very good," said the doctor. 

"Now Murphy, this next question is a little more difficult. Can you think up a sentence using the word, great."

"I sir," said Murphy, “I have a brand new jacket and I really think it’s great”. 

"Excellent, can you send O’Riely in."

Murphy goes out and says to O’Riely.  "O’Riely, me boyo, tis a piece of cake to be sure. He’s gonna ask ya how many wheels does a wheel barrel have, and to think up a sentence using the word “great”. 

"Murphy, me boyo, I’m beholden’ to ya for sure."

"What did you say, so I don’t say the same thing?"

So Murphy tells his, “I have a brand new jacket and I really think it’s great”. 

"Ah, to be sure, says Murphy, thank you very much."

O’Riely walks in to the doctor’s office, smiling and feeling very confident.  

The doctor says, "O’Riely, I just want to ask you two questions."

"Fire away sir."

"Tell me O’Riely do you know how many wheels are on a wheel barrel?"

"Aye sir, “a wheel barrel has got one wheel”. 

"Very good," said the doctor. "Now this next question is a little harder. Can you think up a sentence using the word - fascinate?"

"Fascinate," says O’Riely, scratching his head. "I got it sir. “I have a brand new jacket, I really think it’ s great. It’s got nine buttons, but I only fascinate”.


The residential apartment complex “The Iceberg” in Ã…rhus, Denmark designed by JDS Architects, Cebra, SeARCH and Louis Paillard wins the Mipim award for “Best Residential Project”.

The project provides an enormous opportunity for Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest city, to develop in a socially sustainable way by renovating its old, out-of-use container terminal. The area is meant to become a living city quarter and achieve a proper level of urban density, comprised of a multitude of cultural and social activities, generous amounts of workplaces, and of course, a highly mixed and diverse array of housing types.

The Iceberg has been designed in a way that it allows natural lighting and waterfront views into as many apartments as possible. The resulting open and sculptural block closely resembles an iceberg.

This year the MIPIM Award did not only start with a new presentation technique, PechaKucha which allows delegates to view each project and then make an informed vote. The MIPIM Awards did also attract a record number of entries with 175 projects from 46 countries competing.

Visit the project at and view the Drone Film Teaser here.

WHY THEY’RE #2 [via Joe LePage]

The Official Canadian Temperature Conversion Chart: 

8. Mont Tremblant, Que. (Perry Mastrovito/Image Source)
Who says snow and skimpy outfits don't mix? They certainly do at Mont Tremblant's annual Caribou Cup

50 Fahrenheit (10 C)
Californians shiver uncontrollably.
Canadians plant gardens.

35 Fahrenheit (1.6 C)
Italian Cars won't start
Canadians drive with the windows down

32 Fahrenheit (0 C)
American water freezes
Canadian water gets thicker.

0 Fahrenheit (-17..9 C)
New York City landlords finally turn on the heat.
Canadians have the last cookout of the season.

-60 Fahrenheit (-51 C)
Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
Canadian Girl Guides sell cookies door-to-door.

-109.9 Fahrenheit (-78.5 C)
Carbon dioxide freezes makes dry ice.
Canadians pull down their earflaps.

-173 Fahrenheit (-114 C)
Ethyl alcohol freezes.
Canadians get frustrated when they can't thaw the keg

-459.67 Fahrenheit (-273.15 C)
Absolute zero; all atomic motion stops.
Canadians start saying "cold, eh?"

-500 Fahrenheit (-295 C)
Hell freezes over.
The Toronto Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup

Stunning Photos To Celebrate A Belated Woolworth Building Birthday [via Nina Reznick]

Then and now. (Photos courtesy of the MCNY and seth_holladay's flickr)

Dear Woolworth Building,

How was your 100th birthday? Are you hungover? Did you do a lot of reflecting last night? You know what they say, nostalgia is death. Anyway, don't you just HATE how New York City has changed in the last century? Nothing really looks like you anymore. And you've got a Starbucks lodged inside you, just like everyone else.

And can you believe how hyped up Brooklyn is these days? BROOKLYN! Jesus.

Lookin' good in 1971. (Taken from the World Trade Center, via Getty Images)

But seriously do you just feel like a stranger in a strange place now? Sometimes are you just like, "Listen motherfuckers, I was financed in CA$H! My lobby was created by artists and sculptors.

There is a marble sculpture of myself inside of myself. And I don't let just anyone onto my observation deck, that shit is not easy to get on to. Did I mention I have a pool... I don't even use it!"

The pool in 1915—you were into pools before anyone even knew about pools. (Photos courtesy of the MCNY)

Do you ever tell the other buildings the story about how on April 24th, 1913 you "illuminated the New York night" with 80,000 incandescent bulbs all over your tower, and how those bulbs were activated by President Woodrow Wilson? What was he like?!

Sometimes do you look over and say, "I'mma let you finish One World Trade Center, but I was the tallest building IN THE WORLD for 17 years!" (Right? That Kanye gag never gets old! Just like yoooouuu.) Do you just look down on the others and say, "I've touched actual CLOUDS. Call me when you've felt Heaven with your spire or LOL flat boring roof."

Breaking on through to the other side, 1935. (Getty Images)

Are you the most narcissistic building in our skyline? You are, aren't you? It's cool, we hate Frank Gehry, too. And you're really pretty, inside and out.

Photos courtesy of the MCNY

Seriously, even your guts are cool looking...

Woolworth Building, 1911

Are you blushing? That's so cute and old fashioned. Buildings these days are sort of emotionally unavailable assholes, just cold as steel. And they're not even nearly as interesting as you! Sorry, you must get this all the time. It's just nice to when a building has a little soul.

So, apologies about the belated greeting, we would have left a Happy Birthday message on your Facebook wall but you haven't accepted our friendship yet. No it's fine, we know you're busy just being you and all. And please, keep being you—don't let those rich douchebags change you.


P.S. Sorry you're not in our logo. MAJOR oversight.

The Goofy Confused Hawking [via David Adashek]

Stephen Hawking, the world-renowned physicist and celebrity, has cancelled a planned trip to Israel to participate in a conference sponsored by Israeli President Shimon Peres. His explanation: "I have received a number of emails from Palestinian academics. They are unanimous that I should respect the boycott. In view of this, I must withdraw from the conference."

It's an odd world isn't it? By what inverted moral calculus does someone of Hawking's stature find it morally problematic to set foot on the soil of the region's only democracy? One wonders how many other nations has Hawking declined to visit in order to express his disapproval of their policies?

A glance at his CV reveals that Hawking visited the Soviet Union in 1973. Russia is no human rights picnic today (it is one of two chief sponsors of the Assad regime in Syria, for example), but those were the bad old days of Brezhnev, when uprisings for freedom in Hungary and Czechoslovakia were ruthlessly suppressed, the KGB inspired terror and scientists who displeased the regime were packed off to the Gulag.

The incredibly well traveled Hawking also visited Iran in 2007 for the International Physics Olympiad. His conscience was apparently untroubled by the stoning of adulteresses, imprisonment without trial, torture and the persecution of religious and ethnic minorities — to say nothing of arming terrorists and threatening to wipe countries off the map.

There is, alas, no shortage of nations in this world richly deserving of boycotts and other forms of pressure. Atrocities against civilians, including children, are a daily occurrence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. China, Cuba, Vietnam, Somalia, Mali, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, as well as the above-mentioned Russia and Iran and many others oppress their populations, flout human rights, disdain judicial procedures and muzzle the press.

Yet there is no worldwide BDS ("Boycott, Divest, Sanction") movement against any of those countries. Some have been sanctioned by the United Nations, or in the case of Cuba, boycotted by the United States. But only Israel is singled out for the BDS treatment by private organizations and individuals. Hawking joins entertainers Elvis Costello, Santana, Jon Bon Jovi and the Pixies, in declining to travel to Israel. The Presbyterian Church (USA) has started the process of divesting from Israel, joining the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the United Church of Canada, the Church of England Synod, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the World Council of Churches. Bishop Desmund Tutu has called for Israel to be treated just as apartheid South Africa was — a call that Jimmy Carter has come close to echoing.

What do the advocates of BDS think they are expressing? Disapproval of Israel's settlement policies perhaps? But the boycott of Jewish businesses by the Arab states actually predates the creation of the state of Israel. The Arab League formally adopted a blanket boycott after Israel achieved independence in 1948 — long before the West Bank had come under Israeli sovereignty. The wording of the Palestinian "Call for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel" lists "responsibility for the Nakba" as the first indictment. Nakba is the Palestinian term for Israel's birth — it translates as the "catastrophe." In other words, Israel's first crime had nothing to do with territory, occupation, or the "peace process." The first crime was being born.

The Palestinian call itemizes other complaints against Israel. There is the obligatory comparison to apartheid South Africa, and a reference to the "racist, colonial wall."

Yoga Gives Back May Newsletter

Yoga Gives Back
For the cost of one yoga class, you can change a life.

Great mothers build bridges instead of walls.
- By Reed Markham

Your Donation's Impact!!
YGB's direct funding program, "Sister Aid," is currently funding programs for 237 mothers and children in India, providing micro loans and education funds. In West Bengal, 109 mothers have been lent microloans to start their own businesses. 110 daughters are able to remain in school through education funds. Read the latest report about their exciting progress from NISHTHA YGB's local partner NGO.
Yoga Flex Flyer
In 2010, YGB first funded microloans for this group of 22 mothers in Tripuranagar village. Three years later, their average income has risen 600%, from 135 to 815 rupees per month. Women are making a profit through various businesses ventures, including: making mud ornaments, basket making, saree trading, opening tea shops, raising chickens and goats and farming. The group's experience has set a great precedent for eight more groups to follow.

Below are just a few examples of these mothers' proud accomplishments:

Anjali Naskar
  • Trade: Paper Bag Making
  • Notable Accomplishment(s): Opened an individual bank account and was able to obtain computer literacy training for her oldest daughter. Thanks to her new business ventures and skills, Anjali is empowered to speak up in family matters.

Mamata Hazari
  • Trade: Raising cows
  • Notable Accomplishment(s): Successfully constructed a toilet using her own money, in addition to the saving for future.

Shampa Mondal
  • Trade: Ornament sales
  • Notable Accomplishments: Takes all responsibilities for the family, as husband's contribution does not exist.

Pratima Sardar
  • Trade: Clothing sales
  • Notable Accomplishments: Is now able to pay for her daughter's medical care to treat a liver infection.
Like any mother, Rita's dream is to provide her two daughters with a solid education so that they will have a better chance at a successful future. However, a few years ago, Rita did not have enough money to send her daughters to school. In an effort to earn a better living and become financially self-sufficient, she took out her first microloan to start her own business. Rita decided to buy sarees in the Kolkotta market to resell them in her village for a profit. Her income skyrocketed from 50 ruppees per month to 500 per month. She has opened a personal bank account to track and maintain total control over her earnings. Rita has not only made enough money to send her daughters to school, but she can also afford a tutor to help them maintain their grades. Recognizing her success, Rita's husband now helps support the business, carrying sarees from Kolkotta to their village for her to sell.

"I could not do anything in my life as I was a victim of child marriage," said Rita. "My parents did not know the importance of education and ill-effects of child marriage. I will do everything I can to enable my daughters to earn their own livelihood and become self-sufficient."

Sophie Herbert and kidsWatch this 7-minute video to learn more about the determined, inspiring and hard working mothers who live in the remote villages of West Bengal!

Thank you for these sponsors for YGB Film!!
Ashtanga Yoga Confluence,, Evolution Asia Yoga Conference, David Schick, Jala Clothing, Jorgen Christiansson, Kino MacGregor,, Yoga Fit, Yoga Magazine
There will be two more films this year. If you would like to sponsor either or both of the films, or for more information on sponsorship, please contact YGB at:

Exciting News:
A yogi Arianna Huffington (The Huffington Post) invites YGB for "The Raise for Women Challenge" !
Take action on this Mother's Day!!!!
Click here to donate!

The purpose of the event is to provide resources and awareness for nonprofits run by and for women. Between now and June 6, we invite you to donate any amount to help YGB to grow its programs and more: click here.

Welcome new Ambassadors
image hereDevorah Sacks, Mission Ashtanga
Devorah has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga since 1993 and teaches at her Mission Ashtanga, qualified by Sri K Pattabhi Jois. "I love this organization. Yoga Gives Back is truly special. Read more click here.
image hereGenieve Burley,
Vancouver, Canada
Dr. Genieve Burley is a Vancouver based chiropractor and yoga instructor.

"Yoga has been a potent source of growth and healing in my life. After the birth of both of my daughters I experienced post-partum depression. Read more click here.

The Asia Yoga Conference chooses YGB as the Charity Partner!
Hong Kong, June 6-9
Sunday, June 9, a special charity class by nine popular teachers, including YGB Ambassador Samantha Chan, will be held, along with a YGB video presentation. Visit the YGB booth if you are in Hong Kong!

Sophie Herbert and kids"Yoga and Filmmaking Combine to Change Lives of Women in India"
By: Kino MacGregor, The Huffington Post, April 29, 2013
Read the story here.

Saturday, May 11, 2-9 pm
"Fab 40 Fundraiser & Fun"
by Tanya Mickwitz

@The Tanneries, London, U.K.
Tanya is donating 100% of the proceeds from her birthday celebration yoga class and party. Happy Birthday, and Thanks Tanja!

Wednesday, May 29, 6:30-8 pm
"Guided Meditation"
by Barbara Vollstedt

@Take 15, Brussels, Belgium Hosted by YGB Ambassador Ramona Rouhdoust.

Saturday, June 1, 6:15-8 pm
"Teacher Training Graduation Celebration"
@Goda Yoga, Los Angeles, CA
Special class assisted by Kate Cariati and YGB Ambassador Claudia Fucigna, hosted by Cheryl Moss. Zico Coconut Water and Organic India will also be donating items!

Sep 1st - Dec 31st
"Thank You Mother India " Global Campaign
Registration will start early June on our brand new website!!

New Partners
Sophie Herbert and kidsTweenYogini, an organization launched by a dedicated Ashtanga practitioner, Liza Chapman, of Mill Valley, Ca., to inspire tween girls to develop confidence, inner strength and self-love through yoga. 10% of the proceeds from the classes are donated to YGB.

Thank you for all the past events, making a real difference one class at a time!!

World's First Vertical Forest

A vertical forest is expected to be completed this year in Milan. There are two tower apartment complexes which contain a total of 400 residential units. The facade of the buildings will be covered with 730 trees, 5,000 shrubs, and 11,000 perennial plants. It is expected to have the same ecological impact as 10,000 square meters of forest.

Aside from fighting smog and producing oxygen, the foliage is expected to provide insulation to the residential units.

More info:


Who knew? The Stone Statues in Easter Island have bodies!

This is absolutely incredible. Here we've been thinking for all these years that they were just heads. They are going to be absolutely huge when they are completely excavated. It all just adds to the mystery of these amazing sculptures. Maybe now they can get more information about them seeing as they have writings on them.

Japan Earthquake, 2 Years Later: Before and After [David Angsten]

In a few days, Japan will mark the 2nd anniversary of the devastating Tohoku earthquake and resulting tsunami. The disaster killed nearly 19,000 across Japan, leveling entire coastal villages. Now, nearly all the rubble has been removed, or stacked neatly, but reconstruction on higher ground is lagging, as government red tape has slowed recovery efforts. Locals living in temporary housing are frustrated, and still haunted by the horrific event, some displaying signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. Collected below are a series of before-and-after interactive images. Click on each one to see the image fade from before (2011) to after (2013).

The tsunami-devastated Kesennuma in Miyagi prefecture, is pictured in this side-by-side comparison photo taken March 12, 2011 (left) and March 4, 2013 (right), ahead of the two-year anniversary of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that damaged so much of northeastern Japan. (Reuters/Kyodo)


Cherry Blossoms, Japan [via Ivonne Leontel]

In Japan the nighttime viewing of cherry blossoms in spring, like these at Kyoto’s Hirano Shrine, is a special event. "The cherries' only fault: the crowds that gather when they bloom," wrote Saigyo, a 12th-century poet.

Picture of cherry blossoms at night in Japan