Library of Congress releases 11,700 freely usable photos of "roadside America," taken by John Margolies

For decades, architectural critic and photographer John Margolies obsessively documented roadside attractions: vernacular architecture, weird sculpture, odd businesses and amusements. By his death in 2016, his collection consisted of more than 11,000 slides (he published books of his favorites, with annotations). Read the rest

Eastern Blocks: photographs of the brutalist towers of the former USSR

Zupagrafika's new book Eastern Blocks (subtitle: "Concrete Landscapes of the Former Eastern Bloc") collects more than 100 beautiful photos of the brutalist towers of ex-Soviet nations, "‘Sleeping districts’ of Moscow, Plattenbauten of East Berlin, modernist estates of Warsaw, Kyiv`s Brezhnevki." Read the rest

Kickstarting "The Decline of Mall Civilization," a sequel to the long-out-of-print "Malls Across America" book

Michael Galinsky's 2011 photo-book "Malls Across America" went out of print quickly and now sells for upwards of $1000/copy; Galinsky is now kickstarting a sequel, The Decline of Mall Civilization, featuring 112 pages of images of American malls from 1989. Read the rest

Photos from MAKE's 2008 visit to MAD Magazine

Phil Torrone from Adafruit writes, "A million internet years ago in 2008 when I was Senior Editor at MAKE Magazine, Ladyada and I went to DC Comics to meet the MAD Magazine folks for a collaboration issue with MAKE and MAD, it was the Spy vs Spy issue, volume 16 cover by Sam Viviano. Spy vs. Spy is a wordless black and white comic strip that has been published in Mad magazine since 1961. It was created by Antonio Prohias, a Cuban national who fled to the United States in 1960 days before Fidel Castro took over the Cuban free press." Read the rest

Bizarre family selfie in which half of man's body has vanished

Reddit user BeardoGREG shared this unusual selfie of his family. I was mightily confused until one commenter explained it: "You were shot out of a cannon. The cannon is behind you and you are flying straight into the camera with that determined look on your face."

(r/confusing_perspective) Read the rest

The new Creative Commons search engine is out of beta, with more than 300 million images!

I am totally, utterly reliant on Creative Commons images for Boing Boing, and mostly I use Google Image's mediocre search tool for this purpose, but no more! Creative Commons's new search engine is out of beta, and contains more than 300,000,000 images, along with tools to make attribution easier! (via Kottke) Read the rest

A recursive plaque honoring the installation of a plaque honoring the installation of a plaque honoring the installation of...

Hugh writes, "This plaque commemorates its own commemoration." (Photo by Dr Vicky Forster): "This plaque was commemorated on October 10, 2018, commemorate its own commemoration. Plaques like this one are an integral part of the campaign to support more plaques like this one. By reading this plaque, you have made a valuable addition to the number of people who have read this plaque. To this day and up to the end of this sentence, this plaque continues to be read by people like yourself. -Heritage Toronto 2018" (Thanks, Hugh!) Read the rest

Celebrities posed with their younger selves

Ard Gelinck poses celebrities with their younger selves. Fantastic. More on Instagram at: photo_time_traveling

(via Kottke)

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The WPA's horseback librarians

During the 1930s, the WPA sponsored horseback librarians -- all women -- to visit rural Americans, bringing them books; the librarians were only allowed to make deliveries in counties that had existing libraries, so schools and other institutions donated materials to establish libraries that would make their counties eligible. Read the rest

Distracted Lego boyfriend

Iain Heath writes, "I recreated the 'distracted boyfriend' meme using LEGO bricks." You certainly did, Iain, and very well, too! Read the rest

Own a drone? Law enforcement will soon be allowed to shoot it down

I own a DJI Spark. It's not the most expense drone out there, but it's a good one. I love its ability to take video and photos from angles that I could never manage from the ground. I do not, however, love the fact that law enforcement officials in the United States will soon be able to shoot it down. Read the rest

Snapshot from the heroic era of mobile computing

MJ Carlson calls this photo from a 1980s computer science textbook "the most glorious stock photo of all time." She is correct. Read the rest

Photographer specializes in underwater couples portraits

In certain circles, it's become popular for brides to ruin their wedding dress after the wedding, leading to more and more elaborate and risky photos. Pierre Violle specializes in the genre, and he's captures some amazing underwater couples over the years: Read the rest

Your Samsung smartphone is sharing photos without your permission

Do you own a Samsung smartphone? Do you take photos with said phone? Congratulations, there’s an excellent chance that your handset is randomly firing off those pictures you’ve snapped to folks on your contact list without your permission.

According to The Verge, the images are being pushed out by Samsung’s cleverly named default messaging app, Samsung Messages. If the fact that your phone might be sending out all of the images its got in storage for the world to see isn’t enough of a shit and giggle for you, try this one on for size: Samsung Messages reportedly doesn’t even bother to tell you that the operation has been completed. Unless the person who received the photos lets you know that it happened, you’ll be completely in the dark about the fact that the photos were uploaded.

From The Verge:

Some users are speculating that this issue has to do with the push of RCS messaging updates, including T-Mobile, which is the carrier for at least one of the affected phones. T-Mobile just issued its RCS update this week, starting with the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The messaging standard is supposed to make texting look more like chatting in a modern messaging app, complete with read receipts and typing indicators. When reached for comment, a T-Mobile spokesperson told The Verge to “check in with Samsung on this, it’s not a T-Mobile issue.”

Until carriers and Samsung get this nightmare sorted out, the best way to keep your handset from sharing your photos with the world is to revoke Samsun Messenger’s access rights to your smartphone’s photos folder. Read the rest

The Anonymous Project curates strange and mundane vintage slides

The Anonymous Project buys batches of old amateur slides, usually with with little or no provenance, then scans the most interesting ones for a long-running art project. Read the rest

Breathtaking photos of sea monsters emerging from the waves

Rachael Talibart's breathtaking "Sirens" photo series pareidolically reveals the fantastic mythical beasts hidden in the ocean waves. From Tailbart's gallery page at the Sony World Photography Awards in which she was shortlisted:

‘Sirens’ is an ongoing portfolio of storm waves captured on the UK’s south coast. A childhood afloat and a love of maritime mythology have come together in these portraits of monstrous waves named after mythological creatures. These images are from 2017 and were captured at Newhaven, in East Sussex, but the photographs are intended to transcend time and place. Thus, in naming them, I have shamelessly plundered myths and legends from all cultures and eras. On the days I make these photographs, the sea is beautiful but also terrifying. I feel utterly insignificant, yet completely enriched by these encounters with wildness, and that is what I have tried to communicate in the photographs.

Above, "Loki." Below, "Poseidon Rising" and "Nanook."

See more: Rachael Talibart "Sirens"

(via PetaPixel)

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NASA photographer's camera cooked by last week's SpaceX rocket launch

Senior NASA photographer Bill Ingalls apparently set up his Canon EOS 5DS at an unlucky spot near yesterday's SpaceX rocket launch. He placed it outside the pad perimeter yet the launch sparked a small brush fire that cooked the camera. "I had many other cameras much closer to the pad than this and all are safe," Ingalls wrote.

Fortunately, the SD cards didn't melt and he was able to access the final photos taken by the camera before its untimely death. Two of them are below.

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