About That Assassination in Kiev…

In a totally surreal turn of events, less than 24 hours after it was reported that prominent Russian war journalist Arkadi Babchenko had been assassinated outside of his home in Kiev, he had risen from the dead. He was reported by the Ukrainian government to have died of three gunshot wounds to the back while being transported to a hospital in the back of an ambulance. Babchenko, who is the author of a beloved memoir of his war service in Chechnya, and who had fled to Kiev from his native Russia last year, stunned the post-Soviet world when he appeared alive and well at a Kiev press conference yesterday in a black hoody. The journalist appeared to be unscathed, standing with Vasyl Hrytsak, the head of the SBU, Ukraine’s main intelligence agency.

Learning several months ago of an impending assassination attempt on the high-profile journalist, the Ukrainian intelligence service created an audacious sting operation to entrap both the killer and the Russian agent who was organizing the attempted hit. The SBU chief released details of the plot, which was allegedly executed by an eastern Ukrainian separatist who was to have been paid $30,000 for the hit by Russian agents. Another $10,000 were promised to a middleman who found the assassin. The Ukrainian president thanked the SBU for having a tremendous success, and the interior minister smirked over yesterday’s accusations that the Ukrainian state was not capable of defending people living on its territory.

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Remastered 720p Footage of a Live Nirvana Performance of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ From 1991

In remastered 720p footage from the film “Live at the Paramount“, shows the members of Nirvana (with Dave Grohl on drums) performing a really raw and honest set of songs from their now-seminal album Nevermind during a 1991 Halloween Night show at the Paramount Theatre in their hometown of Seattle. Included in the set was “Smells Like Teen Spirit“, “Polly“, “Lithium” and “Rape Me

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A Beautifully Designed Decanter That Gracefully Bows To Pour When a Glass Is Detected Underneath

Pours Decanter Bows Harvey and John

British designers Keivor John and Richard Harvey of Harvey & John collaborated with Last Drop Distillers to create Pours, a beautifully designed decanter that detects a glass underneath, sends liquid up the stem, which then bows to perfectly pour the chosen spirit within.

a playful exploration of the traditional decanter. Pours is an innovative social tool and table centrepiece. The product extends the tasting experience with its slow, graceful bowing motion, offering a moment of reflection and stillness before pouring a perfect serving. Its captivating movement brings guests together over novel conversation and humour.

Pours Pouring

Pours Decanter

Pours From Side

Pours From Afar

Pours Whisky

Here’s a timelapse of the initial sketch for Pours by Keivor John.

A post shared by HarveyandJohn (@harveyandjohn) on

submitted via Laughing Squid Tips

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An Intense Animation That Imagines What Might Happened During the Last 48 Hours of Pompeii

Pompei Animation

In 2009, the Australian digital animation studio Zero One created “A Day in Pompeii“, an incredibly intense visualization that recreated what may have occurred during the last 48 hours before the complete destruction of Pompeii. The video used historical data to surmise the timing of each Mount Vesuvius eruption and fission that completely felled the city. The animation was part of the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition held at the Melbourne Museum that same year.

Zero One created the animation for an immersive 3D theatre installation which gave visitors a chance to feel the same drama and terror of the town’s citizens long ago, and witness how a series of eruptions wiped out Pompeii over 48 hours.

via reddit

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Barefoot Musician Performs Incredible Piano Cover of Toto’s ‘Africa’ Using Every Part of the Instrument

The very talented and barefoot Peter Bence performed a highly percussive piano cover of the the internet’s favorite song -“Africa” by Toto. What made this performance so remarkable was that Bence used every part of the instrument to create different textures and colors within the song.

Bence also graciously provided the sheet music to Music Notes for his incredible version of the song.

via reddit

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A Rescued Raccoon Tentatively Attempts to Play With a Prickly Hedgehog in His Human’s Backyard

A rescued raccoon named Tito noticed that there was another creature in his human’s backyard and needed to check it out. Tito first sniffed at the animal and then tentatively reached out with his paw, but quickly drew it back when he felt the sharp quills of a prickly hedgehog named Theo. This exercise of sniffing and reaching went on for a bit of time but eventually Theo relented and even began playing with Tito for a bit.

The Raccoon doesn’t know what to think about the hedgehog! He gets poked trying to figure it out! Tito spends the day playing with Theo in the yard. Theo takes a little bit to warm up and come out of his shell, but when he does he has a great time playing in the yard and garden!

Tito Racoon and Hedgehog Theo

Tito was rescued a year ago by a compassionate human who works in pest control. A co-worker had discovered baby raccoons in an customer’s attic and amongst them was little Tito. Tito’s human explained how Tito came into their lives on May 9, 2017.

On May 23, 2018, Tito’s human checked in with a much larger Tito who had developed a much larger personality within the year he came to live with them.

Raccoons are great when they are babies, but they don’t stay young for long. They grow up fast, and when they do, they become very stubborn. This is because they are preparing to leave there mom when they are out in the wild. They are trying to figure things out for themselves because they will be on there own very soon.

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Going With the Flow

Dogwood Tapestry

I have been photographing the dogwood of Yosemite Valley for 40 years. My favorite locations are along the Merced River where their branches hang gracefully over the rushing water. In the image shown here, I love how these branches form a tapestry effect above the river’s rushing spring runoff.

I made around 45 frames total using several shutter speeds. I wanted a long enough exposure to blur the water but fast enough to have branches sharp. The exposure was 1.5 seconds, requiring that I wait very patiently for the dogwood to be still. Back in the studio, I reviewed each frame with Adobe Lightroom’s Compare View tool, slowly edit down to the best expression of what I saw and felt. Each exposure had subtle differences. My point is that it takes this kind of extra effort both in the field and on the computer to push one’s work to the next level.

Clearing Spring Storm

Although I generally prefer creating intimate landscape images like the dogwood photograph, when presented with the classic grandeur of this scene with such epic weather and light, I naturally couldn’t resist trying to capture it. Starting before dawn, I photographed two hours of spectacular lighting and swirling clouds and felt blessed to have witnessed it! I made 440 images during that time, including exposure bracketing due to the extremely variable light show.

Some people might think of this approach as lazy and a “spray and pray” technique, but if used with an intense focus on continually changing subjects such as a waterfall or rapidly changing weather, the method can capture nuances that would be missed otherwise. I do believe in photographing with discipline and with as much intentional vision as possible. After all, for most of my career, I used a 4×5 view camera and using sheet film was expensive.

Now I enjoy the luxury of digital capture as I’ve discussed here, but I don’t depend on a high volume of exposures, or the possibility of rescue in Photoshop as an excuse for lack of attention to the details of lighting and composition. The freedom of exploring any subject in depth can be educational if the results are studied carefully. It also can allow the photographer to capture thrilling moments in time to reveal what you, the artist, saw and felt.


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William Neill: Retrospective

Photographer William Neill reflects on a life exploring the fine art of nature photography. Read now.

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Photo Of The Day By Bill Boswell

Today’s Photo Of The Day is “Icelandic Puffin” by Bill Boswell. Location: A puffin preserve in Eastern Iceland.
Photo By Bill Boswell

Today’s Photo Of The Day is Icelandic Puffin” by Bill Boswell. Location: A puffin preserve in Eastern Iceland.

Photo of the Day is chosen from various OP galleries, including AssignmentsGalleries and the OP Contests. Assignments have weekly winners that are featured on the OP website homepage, FacebookTwitter and Instagram. To get your photos in the running, all you have to do is submit them.

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