Posted by Ellen

Drone's eye view of a state fair at night.

Posted by Ellen

There are many stories of children reading, or listening to, the adventures of Laura and her family in Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books and deciding to try that way of life themselves.

Their attempts could prove exciting and educational. We know of one eight-year-old who set her grandmother's house on fire when she was inspired by her reading to try to go to bed by candlelight.

The little boy pictured here, Teddy, and his big sister Kitty, were just a few chapters into the very first book, Little House in the Big Woods, when 

Kitty sighed deeply while we were reading. I asked her what was making her sad, and she replied that she wished we were a family who washed our clothes by hand like Laura and Ma did in the book. 'Well,' I said, 'Let's make some clothes for you and Teddy to wash.'

Today, we had a wonderful day making, and washing, prairie clothes. . . . Teddy washed and hung out his clothes three times.

Posted by Ellen

Policemen keep an eye on a shark that's hanging around their boat in the waters of the Great Australian Bight, a bay off Australia's southern coast that is home to a large shark population.

Posted by Ellen

Apparently, this picture has been all over the web for a few years now. My lackadaisical research was unable to turn up anything at all about who made it or when or why.

You know how when people are showing you around a city they know well, they keep pointing at places and saying, "This used to be a bowling alley"? In Philadelphia, it's always, "This used to be a Wawa."

Posted by Ellen

Next to Tokyo''s famed neon nightclub district is Golden Gai, which we're told is the old nightlife neighborhood, packed with tiny dive bars, many of them up steep stairs from the street.

Somehow, Golden Gai escaped the urban renewal boom that destroyed almost all of old-timey Tokyo. These two staircases lead to two different bars. A patron with a furled umbrella descends from one of them.

Posted by Ellen

"Where There Are People, Money May Be Made" is what seventeenth-century Dutch painter Adriaen van de Venne called this work.

The scene is based on the annual spring fair in The Hague, but the figures are all caricatures intended to entertain relatively sophisticated viewers.

Posted by Ellen

About two weeks after this photo was taken, the Cuban national capitol building reopened following an eight-year renovation project.

The building, completed in 1929–during an era when Cuban dictators were, let's say, sucking up to the American governmen–is an exact replica of the U.S. Capitol and was used for the national congress. After the revolution, Castro repurposed it as an office building, most recently for the Ministry of Science and Technology.

El Capitolio will return to its original use April 12, when the Cuban national assembly convenes in the building to choose a new president. For the first time since the revolution, nobody named Castro will be in the running.

Posted by Ellen

Open pit mining in Germany.

Posted by Ellen

Easter and Passover have their religious significance, but on the level of humble material culture, both holidays come down to eggs. So here are some really pretty chickens, photographed in a barnyard portrait studio by Tamara Staples.