Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Jakarta, Java, Indonesia

Who knows where yarn bombing began? But, what we do know is that it has hit the capital of Indonesia, bringing some color and an element of global culture that seems more like local culture. As for the rondelle: Doesn't it remind you of a Native American dreamweaver? [2016]

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Bandung, Java, Indonesia

The shoulder pole is an icon of Asia, but in urban areas it is disappearing fast. Still, a few are seen on the streets of Bandung. Peanuts are for sale here. Although they were introduced by the Spanish, kacang kacangan are a popular snack food and form the basis of many hot dishes. [2016]

Monday, August 29, 2016

Bandung, Java, Indonesia

Count the legs: It's a spider, and a huge one. The torso had to be almost two inches long, and the leg span was immense. The Golden Orb Weaver is common on Java. Does its web look golden to you? [2016]

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Jatiluwih, Bali, Indonesia

Around the village of Jatiluwih, rice terraces stretch from horizon to horizon. The planting is over and the harvest has yet to come, so these men must be repairing one of the paddy dikes. These agricultural landscapes are now on the World Heritage list, but a UNESCO site visit last year noted that "the pressure for land conversion remains significant." [2016]

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia

School's out for the day! And that means even more people and scooters on the already crowded streets. At 14 years old, kids can drive a motorscooter. And after school, the "haves" often share a ride with the "have-nots." [2016]

Friday, August 26, 2016

Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia

In Bali, rectangular trays of flowers (sometimes with a morsel of food) are left at temples, outside homes, and along the street. They are called canang sari. These were placed (and prayed over) at the top of a rock revetment by women who worked for nearby businesses. It's a Hindu practice, and Bali is predominantly Hindu. [2016]

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Magelang, Java, Indonesia

Borobudur is the world's largest Buddhist temple. It was built in the ninth century and functioned for five hundred years. Then, it was abandoned and engulfed by Java's tropical forests. Now, it is Indonesia's top tourist destination, a focus of Buddhist pilgrimage, and a World Heritage site. [2016]

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Jogjakarta, Java, Indonesia

Yesterday was the kick-off of Jogjakarta's Kesenian (Art) Festival, and what better way to begin than with a parade down Jalan Malioboro. Among the most colorful performances was the one provided by the dancers commemorating Bali's traditional cultures. [2016]

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Jogjakarta, Java, Indonesia

The Cali Code originates in the springs of Mount Merapi, one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes. Here it passes through the core of Jogjakarta, with its population of over two million. Of course, if the river brings water to "Jogja," it will also bring the down-slope flows, such as lahars, that accompany volcanic eruptions. [2016]

Monday, August 22, 2016

Batam Centre, Batam, Indonesia

How many people does it take to play a game of chess? Here's a case where the coaches outnumber the players. Don't these men realize there are apps that would allow them to play online from the comfort of their homes? [2016]

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Batam Centre, Batam, Indonesia

Indonesia is one of the world's badminton powers. In fact, they won their first Olympic gold medal in 1992 playing badminton, and they've been winning ever since. It is no surprise, therefore, that birdies fly in all of Indonesia's urban open spaces: raquets rented ringside; no nets needed. [2016]

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Singapore, Republic of Singapore

See the tail? So, we know she's a monkey rather than an ape. At the Singapore Zoo, monkeys are among their specialties. Various species share the same habitat. If you are a human visitor, just look up and you might find yourself face to face with a Howler monkey. Or, a Capuchin or a Colebus. This one, though, looks like it has a mouth meant for howling. [2016]

Friday, August 19, 2016

Singapore, Republic of Singapore

It's only August, but Chinatown is getting ready for the mid-autumn festival, which starts in two weeks! Lanterns (yes, this is a lantern!) are sprouting up all along New Bridge Road setting the stage for a "street light up" that will bring traditional Chinese culture to life. As for autumn: yet another exogenous culture trait brought to Singapore by the Chinese. [2016]

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Singapore, Republic of Singapore

After 30 years of independence, Singapore decided it needed a new Parliament House. As the government's new home was going horizontal, the skyline of the downtown core was going vertical. Then, the 21st century brought even greater heights and higher densities to the city's expanding financial district. [2016]

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Singapore, Republic of Singapore

In Singapore, Joseph Schooling is an authentic national hero. Less than a week ago, he brought home the country's first Olympic gold medal (in the 100 m butterfly), defeating his childhood idol, Michael Phelps, in the process. Mr. Schooling has occupied center stage ever since. [2016]

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Singapore, Republic of Singapore

One version of Singapore fast food is minced meat soup, which is what he is making by mixing just the right traditional ingredients with his traditionally tattooed arm, and then adding the broth, all done in full view of the buyer. In his personal life, though, he might not be as traditional as you think. [2016]

Monday, August 15, 2016

Singapore, Republic of Singapre

Geography Awareness Week is exactly three months away. Make plans to celebrate. Just as these women are celebrating their love of Singapore, you can celebrate your love of geography by wearing something geographic. In other words, get ready for Geography A-Wear-Ness Week, and dress geographically. [2016]

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Franklin, West Virginia, USA

If roadside Burma-Shave signs were still around today, they would tackle the chief safety issue of the 21st century: texting while driving. Your assignment:  Write a verse in Burma-Shave style that encourages cell phone safety. [2014]

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Edmund, Oklahoma, USA

Burma-Shave held strong until after World War II, but the company's sales began to sag in the late 1940s. However, up to the end in 1963, they wanted to keep their customers alive, so they continued to offer advice on driving decorum. From 1963:
     Don't Lose
     Your Head
     To Gain a Minute
     You Need Your Head
     Your Brain is In It

Friday, August 12, 2016

Cumberland, Maryland, USA

With new products and technologies invading the market in the 1950s, Burma-Shave seemed at least aware of the challenges posed by a new demographic. The once-young GIs from World War II were ageing! From 1951:
     May Do
     For Lads Wtih Fuzz
     But Sir, You Ain't
     The Kid You Wuz

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Hope, Arkansas, USA

Imagine being one of the pioneer drivers on America's roads. You would have had a lot to learn about railroad crossings. Burma-Shave to the rescue! From 1941:
     Remember This
     If You'd Be Spared
     Trains Don't Whistle
     Because They're Scared

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Danville, Illinois, USA

The Burma-Shave signs helped sell America on the automobile. How? By putting a smile on our faces, just like a lot of the other products (remember Chuckles?) that came out of the "roaring 20s." Probably the most famous Burma-Shave jingle is now enshrined in the Smithsonian. From 1943:
     Within This Vale
     Of Toil
     And Sin
     Your Head Grows Bald
     But Not Your Chin

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, USA

The Burma-Shave signs provided roadside entertainment for over three decades. Many tried to educate the first generation of drivers. When roads were dirt, how fast could drivers go? But, when dirt and corduroy gave way to macadam and asphalt, speeds increased with unfortunate consequences. From 1938:
     Don't Take
     A Curve
     At 60 Per
     We Hate to Lose
     A Customer

Monday, August 8, 2016

Thurmont, Maryland, USA

Some of Burma-Shave's serial signs tried to sell men (and their wives) a smoother chin, but some sought to deliver a little drivers' education. Not only did the Odells (Burma-Shave's owners) need to keep their customers alive, so did the owners of Camp Cozy in the foothills of the Catoctin Mountains. From 1937:
     Drive With Care
     Be Alive
     When You

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Cuba, Missouri, USA

With the growing popularity of the automobile, Burma-Shave signs began to appear along America's highways. The first jingles were about the shaving cream, but other themes, like family bonding, soon began to appear. From 1932:
     You'll Love Your Wife
     You'll Love Her Paw
     You'll Even Love
     Your Mother-in-Law
     If You Use

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Thomasville, North Carolina, USA

The Burma-Shave era gave drivers the pleasure of reading the landscape (literally!) as they traveled the new national highways. The original advertising campaign was aimed at the man's face in this mural. Each line of the jingle was on a separate roadside placard. From 1927:
     Shave the Modern Way
     No Brush
     No Lather
     No Rub-In
     Big Tube 35¢ Drug Stores

Friday, August 5, 2016

Rancho Mirage, California, USA

World Elephant Day is one week away. So, find your nearest zoo and pay tribute to your local pachyderms. Then, resolve to never buy anything made of ivory. And, as you're washing your car, contemplate the elephant as your role model. [2016]

Thursday, August 4, 2016

David City, Nebraska, USA

The original fire house dog? What's that darn Dalmatian doing? The original hose down? What's the angle of that dangle? The original hydrant washer? What's keeping that fire plug so clean? [2008]

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Providence, Rhode Island, USA

What terror lurks on your roof? If it looks anything like this, you might be living in a children's museum. And, you might be part of Providence's post-industrial boom. [2010]

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, USA

Vacation season is about over. Soon, school will be back in session and the sun will be lower on the horizon. Six months from now, though, something different will be in full swing on all the nearby lakes: ice fishing. [2012]

Monday, August 1, 2016

Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

Summer sessions are about over. Fall semester classes convene in just a few weeks. Graduation looms closer and closer on the horizon. Then, life really begins. [2007]