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Serving Coke in ice-bottles

Ogilvy Colombia did a promotion for Coca-Cola wherein they dispensed The Black Waters of American Imperialism in rather appealing little bottles made of ice. I'm fond of ice shot-glasses full of vodka -- similar principle.

Ice marketing is hot (and eco-friendly) (via Neatorama)

The risks of visiting volcanoes

In 1993, Stanley Williams survived a close-encounter with a volcano. A volcanologist, he was standing on the rim of Colombia's Galeras volcano when it erupted with little warning. Six of his scientific colleagues and three tourists were killed. Williams fled down the mountain's slope — until flying rocks and boulders broke both his legs. With a fractured skull, he managed to stay conscious enough to huddle behind some other large boulders and dodge flying debris until the eruption ended and his grad students rescued him.

Williams and the other scientists were there to study Galeras, and hopefully get a better idea of what signals predicted the onset of eruptions.

This is something we still don't understand well.

While volcanologists have identified some signals — like distinctive patterns of small earthquakes — that increase the likelihood of an oncoming eruption, those signals aren't foolproof predictions. There are still volcanoes like Galeras that give no warning. And volcanoes like Mt. St. Helens. In 2004, that volcano gave signals that it would erupt. And it did. Sort of. The Seattle Times described it as "two small burps and a lava flow". Basically, the signals don't always precede an eruption, and even when they do happen it doesn't tell you much about how big any ensuing eruption will be.

And that presents an interesting question, writes Erik Klemetti at Wired's Eruptions blog. How close to volcanoes should tourists really be? That's a question with real-world applications. This year, New Zealand's White Island volcano has been ... rather grumbly. Even as tourist boats continued to ferry people over for a view of the crater.

There has always been a fragile relationship between volcanoes and tourism. Volcanic features are some of the most fascinating in the world – just look at the millions of people who visit Yellowstone or Crater Lake National Parks for but two examples of hundreds of volcanic tourist attractions around the world (and that doesn’t even consider all the extinct volcanoes or volcanic deposits that can create amazing landscapes as well). However, with the splendor of volcanic features comes the danger that you, as a tourist, are visiting an active volcano. Sometimes, that danger is low, where either the volcano has been dormant for thousands of years, but the signs of magma beneath are still visible. However, the danger can appear to be low in some places but in reality, you are literally putting your lives in the hands of tour operators when you make the visit.

Read the full story

Read Stanley Williams' account of surviving the Galeras volcano

Photo by Michael Rogers, via GFDL and CC

Igloo made of stacked books


"Home," an installation at NYC's MagnanMetz Gallery by Colombian artist Miler Lagos is a stable igloo made of carefully stacked books.

HOME. 2011. . New York - EE.UU (via Colossal)

Kick-ass makeup on Colombian student protesters

These student protesters in Bogota, Colombia have really got it going on, makeupwise.

Student protestors in Colombia know how to get attention (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

(Image: cropped, downsized thumbnail from a photo by AP Photo/Fernando Vergara))

Pablo Escobar tour of Medellin lets you walk in the footsteps of a banal crimelord

Walk in the footsteps of one of South America's banal monsters with the Pablo Escobar tour of Medellin. The four-hour tour culminates with a handshake and photo-op with Escobar's brother, Roberto, who will answer your questions. You could ask him about his brother's feral hippos.

Yet, failure seems unlikely, given the huge interest in a man who, through cocaine trafficking and murderous ruthlessness, rose to become the seventh richest person in the world before being gunned down by police on a Medellín rooftop in 1993. It is not uncommon to see backpackers traversing the country with a copy of Killing Pablo, the 2001 biography by Mark Bowden, in hand.

Rodríguez adds that he does not have a problem with Escobar's story being told, but he is against him being mythologised. "I don't think there should be museums or tours or anything making him out to be a legend," he says.

In Pablo Escobar's footsteps (via We Make Money Not Art)