Panorama of a despoiled library

Jeffrey sez, "Because there aren't enough things to be sad about in the world.

Behold, a once-glorious attic full of books falling victim to entropy and vandalism.

I don't know the real story behind this, but I know a sad sight when I see it."

Weberei Eibau Walddorf Dachbodenbibliothek

(Thanks, Jeffrey!) Read the rest

Library in abandoned house

I'm very taken with James Charlick's photo, "The Grand Library," shot in an abandoned house during an urban exploration expedition.

The Grand Library Read the rest

Time-lapse video of an ant colony eating a scanner, captured with the scanner in question

François Vautier infested his flatbed scanner with an ant-colony and scanned the burgeoning hive-organism every week for five years, producing a beautiful, stylized stop-motion record of the ants' slow consumption of his electronics.

Five years ago, I installed an ant colony inside my old scanner that allowed me to scan in high definition this ever evolving microcosm (animal, vegetable and mineral). The resulting clip is a close-up examination of how these tiny beings live in this unique ant farm. I observed how decay and corrosion slowly but surely invaded the internal organs of the scanner. Nature gradually takes hold of this completely synthetic environment.

ANTS in my scanner a five years time-lapse!

(via Kottke) Read the rest

Delicious rotten cheese

"The maggots, starved for oxygen, writhe and jump in the bag, creating a 'pitter-patter' sound. When the sounds subside, the maggots are dead and the cheese can be eaten" [Wikipedia] Read the rest

Airplane graveyard

Ransom Riggs's photo-essay on the airplane graveyard in the Mojave Desert features astounding imagery of ancient, rotting aviation hardware bleaching its bones in the desert sun.

I thought it was a mirage the first time I saw it. I was driving through the wastes of the Mojave Desert, two hours from anywhere, when off in the shimmering distance appeared the silhouettes of a hundred parked jetliners. I pulled off and tried to get closer to them, but a mean-looking perimeter fence keeps onlookers far away. All I could do was stand and stare, wondering what the hell this massive armada of airplanes was doing here, silently baking in the 110 degree heat. For years afterward I’d ask people what they knew about it, and I kept hearing the same thing: the place has been on lockdown since 9/11, and they won’t let civilians anywhere near the boneyard. But last week my luck changed — I met a very nice fellow who works there, and with a minimum of cajoling on my part he agreed to take me beyond the high-security fence and show me around. Of course, I brought my camera.

(via How to Be a Retronaut) Read the rest

Rustbelt ghost-towns: Ruins of Gary, Indiana

Many American rustbelt cities are contracting radically as we enter the second decade of life in a WTO world, where industrial production has moved to China, India, and other developing nations. This has created a new kind of American ghost-town, on the outskirts of once-thriving midwestern cities -- or, in the worst cases, in pockets right in the middle of town. David Tribby has documented some of the ruined areas of Gary, IN in a book called Gary Indiana | A City's Ruins. Dark Roasted Blend has a gallery of some of the photos from Tribby's book, along with a potted history of the town's rise and fall.

Gary, Indiana, back then, was still a good place, a productive place. Founded in 1906, it was a gleaming city built of, and because of, steel. Quite literally, in fact; while other cities may have been at the intersections of trails or roads, rivers and rivers, or where sea met land, Gary was built by and for U.S. Steel and even christened for that corporation's founder.

For decades, Gary was as tough and resilient as the metals it produced. It survived the Great Depression, it fought off the war years, and it forged and pressed through the 1950s. But during the 1960s, its gleaming life's blood—steel—proved to be its undoing when the industry began to wane, then almost totally collapse, due to cheaper manufacturing overseas.

Exploring the Ruins of Gary, Indiana

(Thanks, Marilyn!) Read the rest