Picture a very small space containing a very large dragon-like thing, spinning and shooting flames. Then picture a lot of people in that space, and a lot of explosives – real explosives – inside that dragon. It’s a unique take on ‘Happy Easter’.
In this week’s From the Makery roundup: a long read about the art of secret stash compartments in vehicles, videos that explore our world’s landscapes through Google Earth, and what carefully controlled pouring can produce in a latte’s foam.
It’s 17:45 at Bellville station in the eastern suburbs of Cape Town. I stand waiting for a train, the same one I’ve been taking three days a week. I’m waiting for a church train.
The locomotive rushes into the platform, and gospel hits my ear from one of its carriages.
It is the largest gathering on earth. Most Westerners understand the Maha Kumbh Mela, if they understand it at all, to be about spectacle and tradition— the naked priests and sacred baths, the ash and fire and splashing. Most of the 80 million pilgrims—yes, 80 million—experience the Kumbh Mela as […]
Set off some fireworks, don a costume, prepare the feast. From revisiting the past to welcoming new beginnings, celebrations are ingrained in every culture. Some remain fixed in traditions centuries-old, while others shift as they spread to new audiences and environments. But the biggest jamborees aren’t spontaneous; it takes serious […]
In back alleys, street markets, and hidden workshops around the world, microentrepreneurs churn out new ideas and products to help them get by or improve the world around them. We could philosophize on this all day. But here in Observed, we ask our correspondents to say nothing. So for the […]
Christmas is always around the corner for the residents of San Fernando. Recognized as the yule capital of the Philippines, the city harbors a cadre of craftsmen whose lineage dates back over a century, to 1908, when Francisco Estanislao first made a giant lantern 10 feet in diameter. Today, visitors […]
A pile of children’s shoes marks the entrance to the Busia Community Library. The library walls don’t exactly shine white, and the ubiquitous Kenyan dust tints the floor a dull reddish-brown that no amount of scrubbing can erase. But the pile of shoes is significant—it represents the start of the […]
This week, we bring you an intimate photo essay comparing the most prized toys of children around the world, a couple who took matters into their own hands to carve space for themselves in an expensive real estate market, and one masked man’s crusade to make Mexico City’s streets a little safer.
Soon, students anywhere in the world may be able to afford to build a robot. The African Robotics Network, or AFRON, conducted a budget build challenge: put together a kit using mostly off-the-shelf parts, with a price point of $10 or less.