The airplane-shaped handbag that costs almost than an actual airplane

Designed by Louis Vuitton’s menswear artistic director Virgil Abloh as part of this year’s men’s collection, this airplane-shaped handbag recently went viral for allegedly costing more than a used, single-engine airplane. Virgil Abloh’s collections have always divided critics and fashion fans, and the main critique is that he overloads his creations with a bunch of ideas and concepts. And, in fact, his latest one is no different. Unveiled in January, Louis Vuitton’s Fall/Winter 2021 men’s collection featured a variety of eccentric ideas, including clothes inspired by famous architecture and landmarks.…

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Hiroto Kiritani: the japanese man who has been living almost exclusively on coupons for 36 years

We all love coupons and vouchers, but can you imagine living almost exclusively on them for almost four decades? Well…a Japanese man claims to have been doing it for the last 36 years, adding that he hasn’t spent a yen of his own money during that time! This is the story of Hiroto Kiritani, a minor celebrity in his home country, Japan. His ability to live comfortably on coupons without spending any money unless he really has to is incredible, and he has been invited on numerous television shows and…

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That day when New York forbade lovers

New York, the Big Apple, is known as one of the fun capitals of the world where almost anything goes. It’s a good job, then, that the city authorities turn a blind eye to some restrictive laws that are still on the Statute Book of “the city that never sleeps”. On this day, January 8, 1902, for instance, the New York State Legislature outlawed flirting in public. The new law, (which technically still exists), prohibited men turning around on a street and “looking at a woman in that way”, with…

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Bottle trees: a southern tradition with a spiritual past

For believers and ghost stories enthusiasts, the countryside of the American South is haunted and, given the history of the region, it is not hard to understand why. For istance, If you travel across the South from the Lowcountry of Charleston to the Mississippi Delta you will find many superstitions about the dead, and you will see firsthand some of the ways that locals protect their homes from the souls that apparently have not moved on from our world and have chosen instead to wander in the night and not…

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Takao Shito: the farmer who lives in the Middle of Japan’s second largest airport

Living in an airport isn’t easy. Try to imagine the sound of planes taking off and landing both early morning and late at night, or simply the mess. However, for one stubborn Japanese farmer it’s the only place worth living in! Takao Shito’s family has been growing vegetable on the same farm for over 100 years. His grandfather was a farmer, his father as well and, rightly, he followed their footsteps…even if things are “a bit” different than they were for his ancestors. At the time, the Shito farm was…

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Do cicadas know mathematics?

You know what 2020 is missing? An invasion of trillions of screaming cicadas after 17 years underground! Yes, seriously. 2020 is the year of “Brood IX”, a horde of more than 1.5 million cicadas that have been waiting underground for their big moment to emerge in some US areas and it has already started. But before you start wondering if 2020 is really the end of the world, then rest assured this curious event is actually pretty normal. Magicicada is the genus of the 13-year and 17-year periodical cicadas of…

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The curious Coronavirus-Inspired Hairstyle that became popular in Kenya’s biggest slum

Asking to get the coronavirus might sound absurd anywhere, of course. However in Kibera, Kenya’s biggest slum, a new hairstyle inspired by the spiky look of the COVID-19 has become a big trend. And that’s not a joke: the coronavirus has infected 582 and killed 26 in Kenya and wreaked havoc on the economy, especially for informal and low-wage workers. With client numbers dwindling and their income collapsing, hairstylists in Kibera had to come up with valid alternatives to avoid bankruptcy, including finding solutions relating to the problem. So, in…

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#April 18, 1480: wicked or sinless? The controversy life of Lucrezia Borgia, born on this day.

Lucrezia Borgia, the illegitimate daughter of Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia (who was to become Pope Alexander VI) was born on this day, April 18 1480. Her mother, the cardinal’s lover, was also the mother of her two older brothers, Cesare and Giovanni. This was the time of the Italian Renaissance when important figures such as Leonardo da Vinci and other artists, architects, and scientists rose to world fame and appreciation. By contrast, the power-hungry Borgia clan became known as evil, violent and politically corrupt, and their aim was to control as…

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The “100 Giorni”: the official countdown to the final High School state examination

What in Italy is called “100 giorni”, is the official countdown begins to the final High School state examination and its traditions are repeated by students in many areas and in many different ways. For istance, there are those (very, very few) who begin to study as hard as they can, others who coudn’t care less until about 10 days before the exam, when they’ll begin to study night and day, 24 hours a day, and a large majority of those seeking to fully enjoy the last moments of freedom…

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#March 8, 1971: Frank Sinatra photographs the fight of the century

It was described as “the Fight of the Century”: Muhammad Ali, who had been stripped of his World Heavyweight Championship and suspended from boxing for three years after refusing to serve in the Vietnam war, on this day, March 8 1971, took on Joe Frazier, the man who had taken his title, at Madison Square Garden in New York. Both fighters were undefeated and the event was broadcast live to an international television audience. It was also attended by countless of stars including Woody Allen, Diana Ross, Dustin Hoffman, Burt…

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122 and not feeling it: the (unhealthy) Lifestyle of the longest-lived person in history!

Ms. Jeanne Louise Calment was born in Arles (France) on February 21, 1875, a year before the battle of Little Big Horn, and a year before Alexander Bell patented the phone. She died at the age of 122, 5 months and 14 days, and she still represents the person who has lived the longest life in history. At least, according to official records. But this is not the most relevant thing in the very long life of the French lady, much more amazing is how she got to that old…

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Armenia: the architectural beauty of the Geghard monastery

We are in Armenia’s Upper Azat Valley, east of Yerevan. At the turn of the fourth century, only this nation in the world had accepted Christianity as its official religion, led by Gregory the Illuminator, who had been forced to flee to modern-day Turkey. During this time, he was introduced to the teachings of Jesus Christ, and, years later, he brought them back with him to Armenia. His goal was to convert the King Tiridates III, and thus force the conversion of the entire country. While he was imprisoned for…

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Amber Beacon Tower in Singapore: an unsolved murder and a restless ghost

We are in Singapore. It is May 15, 1990. A young couple venture to the Singapore shoreline. James Soh, 22, and Kelly Tan Ah Hong, 21, had just started dating two days before, after years of friendship as classmates in secondary school, where they were both prefects. He was studying in a polytechnic when he finally asked her out almost a decade after they first met. On that night, the couple were sitting on the spiral staircase going up to the second floor of the park’s popular Amber Beacon tower…

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Far from Civilization: portraits of the Modern Hermits from all over Europe

The French photographer Antoine Bruy has embarked on a long hitch-hiking journey across Europe, which lasted from 2010 to 2013, penetrating between the remote mountainous regions not normally reached by the main roads. Bruy first developed the idea for the project after traveling from the north of France to the south of Morocco in 2006. Along the way he met people living in the wilderness who intrigued and fascinated him. Why did they choose to live away from major populations and what philosophies lay behind their lifestyle choices? So In…

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The almost forgotten charm of the Marsh Arabs of Mesopotamia

The two great rivers of ancient Mesopotamia, Tigris and Euphrates, rises in the Taurus mountains in southern Turkey, and after flowing through Turkey and then Syria, enters the vast desert kingdom of Iraq. Before it flows into the Persian Gulf, the rivers split into dozens of small streams and channels that meander across an enormous plain in southern Iraq forming what once used to be the largest wetland ecosystem of Western Eurasia, covering some 20,000 square kilometers. In this vast fertile region, civilization was born some 5,000 years ago. After…

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The German couple which traveled for 26 years, through 179 countries along 550 thousand miles with a Mercedes G-Class

If Gunther Holtorf had a lengthy career with Lufthansa beginning in 1958, in 1989, he left his job to take an on-the-road journey. Before the fall of the Berlin Wall, the man and his wife Christine left for a 26-year road trip through 179 countries along 550,000 miles (885,139 km). The couple had originally planned to spend only 18 months outside their Germany, to visit the African countryside in his on their Mercedes-Benz 1988 G-Wagen nicknamed “Otto”, but that one-and-a-half year leisure time has at the end turned into a…

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