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Traditional Japanese Temari Hand Balls

Spectacular Collection of Embroidered Traditional Japanese Temari Hand Balls By 92 Year Old Japanese Woman

A 92-year old Japanese woman has amazed the world with her spectacular collection of embroidered traditional Japanese temari hand balls. We might not ever have seen them if not for her granddaughter, Flickr user NanaAkua, who posted the pictures of the whole collection on her profile. The nimble-fingered grandmother learned the technique in the 60s and, since then, her collection of marvelous temari hand balls grew to nearly 500 unique pieces.

This Japanese craft originated in China and has been stitched by parents and grandparents as a traditional New Year’s gift since the 7th century. NanaAkua’s grandmother’s collection is impressive with its hyper-detailed patterns, interesting structural compositions and vivid colours.

Spectacular Collection of Embroidered Traditional Japanese Temari Hand Balls By 92 Year Old Japanese Woman

The Heydar Aliyev Center

The Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku | Azerbaijan

Zaha Hadid Architects have designed the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan. “The Heydar Aliyev Center hosts a variety of cultural programs, its design is a departure from the rigid and often monumental architecture of the former Soviet Union that is so prevalent in Baku, aspiring instead to express the sensibilities and diversity of Azeri culture. The Center’s design establishes a continuous, fluid relationship between its surrounding plaza and the building’s interior. The plaza, as the ground surface, accessible to all, rises to envelop an equally public interior and define a sequence of event spaces within. Undulations, folds, and inflections modify this surface to create an architectural landscape that performs a multitude of functions: welcoming, embracing, and directing visitors throughout the center; blurring the conventional differentiation between architecture and landscape, interior and exterior. Fluidity in architecture is not new to the region. The continuous calligraphic scripts and patterning of historical Islamic architecture flow from carpets to walls, walls to ceilings, ceilings to domes; establishing seamless relationships and blurring distinctions between architectural elements and the ground they inhabit. The Center’s design relates to this historical understanding of architecture, not through the use of mimicry or a limiting adherence to the iconography of the past, but with a firmly contemporary interpretation.”

The Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku | Azerbaijan
Image by Flickr User Wilth

Largest Sand Dune

Dune of Pyla | The Largest Sand Dune in Europe

Natural phenomena - phenomena of nature, which is difficult to find a reasonable explanation. Looking for tons of sand on the French coast, it seems that this is a joke of some wizard: take a piece of the Sahara and move it here, in the waters of the Bay of Biscay near the Bay of Arcachon, neatly stacked on the border of coniferous forests sixty kilometers from Bordeaux.

In fact, the appearance of his biggest dune in Europe is obliged to natural processes. Namely river Lehr, which diligently for centuries carried sand in the ocean and leave them on the shelf, located directly opposite the current dunes. And the wind, in turn, also diligently include sand on the beach, a place where every year grew dune.

150 years ago, its height was small - only about 35 meters. However, stop the advance of failed sand - dune now adds an average of 4 meters per year, while some moves from side to side, and its height, depending on the wind changing from 80 to 107 meters.

In general, the Large dune stretches almost 3 km along the coast and another 500 meters deep pine forests, which, incidentally, came here at the behest of the individual - was planted in the mid-19th century as a measure of local drainage of wetlands. 

Dune of Pyla | The Largest Sand Dune in Europe
The Great Dune of PYLA, or PILAT (both spellings are corrects, oddly enough), the tallest sand dune in Europe. Image by Flickr User Linselys

Astronomical watch, showing the exact position of the Planets

Van Cleef & Arpels Complication Poétique Midnight Planétarium

Luxury watchmaker Van Cleef & Arpels has created amazing timepiece that track time on a grandly cosmic scale. The Midnight Planetarium Poetic Complication, The astronomically-themed watch is a welcome departure from the norm and is a beautiful new high-end piece traditionally complicated timepiece lovers. The brand's new planet of our solar system orbiting the Sun in real time. The real time standard means that tiny Mercury will record a lap around the watch's face in a relatively speedy 88 days, Venus will require 224, and Earth will do it in a calendar year. Saturn, as the farthest planet from the Sun, won't make it back to its starting position for a an astounding 29 and a half years. Inside the 18ct rose gold case are 396 intricate parts working together to complete the movement, while the strap is crafted from black alligator leather. 
Van Cleef & Arpels Complication Poétique Midnight Planétarium
Astronomical watch, showing the exact position of the Planets.
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