All Around 360

[Resource] 360 Panoramas: This one comes in thanks to LiLi, who showed me this site ONLINE, where you can look around Paris while perched on The Eiffel Tower. Check that one out [Here on PhotoJPL]. Oh, but there's more, and a LOT more! Like hitting up Time Square, or spinning around the Chinese Lantern Festival.
Now WARNING! Danger Will Robinson!!! They have sound and it's almost always annoying music. Quick, when you click a link, go to the bottom of the panorama and click the square audio icon to turn it the hell off. OFF!!! I don't know who is browsing the music and actually WANTS to hear sound coming from a website, but it ain't me. Moving on... while there is no way that PhotoJPL can replace that true experience of a place, it makes for a tasty exploration to get your mouth wet and to familiarize yourself with a target before you actually go there. Check out for panoramas of places, museums, festivals, and more!

The Vegas Underground

[Port] The Shadow of Vegas: After reading the article "Lost Vegas" in The Sun, I realized that the world being built beneath Las Vegas is even more extensive than the one in the New York City subways, and worlds away from the ratfest beneath Tucson. Underground cities are nothing new to our civilization, and they're perfect destinations for darklovers such as myself.

Entering the tunnels beneath Vegas is no "holiday in the sun", but it sure beats out trying to outrace a subway train. Similar to Tucson, the storm tunnels themselves are the entrance. You're looking at 'em:

Photo by Rex

And inside the tunnels? Rats? Falling pieces of metal and concrete? Zombies? You'd be surprised.

Photo by Austin Hargrave

I'll tell you, this is already more organized than the tunnels in New York. Also, it shows a heightened degree of trust in this community, as these bikes in the photo would never be safe sitting out like that in New York. The organization in the kitchen also shows that they cook together, and my guess is that they have many communal gatherings to keep everyone knit tight as a group. In the shadow of Las Vegas, there is something growing and thriving.

The Vegas tunnels definitely have much more run-off than the ones in Tucson, as the floors are damp or wet at all times. Almost everything is up on crates, boards, or shipping palettes. The "elevated" feeling gives the underground city its own unique texture and atmosphere. I really need to go check this out, and pack me a bag as full of food and spirits and go pay a visit. The underground city, filled with what the Sun was calling "The Tunnel People", has many smiling faces in the darkness, and many families who live here in the shadows.

Photo by Austin Hargrave

And? They have entire areas set aside for graffiti and art, down within the warm darkness where no police will go to stop them from making their art. There is much more in the article, including full-color and full-resolution versions of each photo. Check it out [Here on The Sun].

The Song of the Day: This time, the Song of the Day comes in from my sister Gaea, who got this song stuck in my head for nearly a month. You've been warned, as the melody and rhythm will pull you in, and they're not apt to let you go. If you dig what you're hearing, it's up for free download [Here from the Artist].

Exploding Plants Seeds: The Himalayan Balsam

The Himalayan Balsam is no plant to be trifled with. What's that you say? It explodes, but it doesn't hurt you. Well then. Actually, yes.. . yes it is meant to be trifled with. And yes, you read that right, the seeds of the Himalayan Balsam actually explode. You've got to see this:

If you're feeling particularly feisty, consider the fact that almost all of the plant is edible. Ever tasted an exploding flower before? Me neither. If you have, I want your full report.. but I might just beat you to the finish on that one.

To get you started, get your read on [Here on Wikipedia]. Cheers!

The Festival of Holi

The Most Colorful Holiday on the Planet: HOLI

(RoadNews) Memories of a Future LifeMate

Tribute to Og: Remember Sayward, from the Landlore post "Escaping Life on Replay"? This wandering wayfarer has just self-published her very first book earlier this year, a sci-fi epic that journeys in both time and space, and in a specific blend of love, adventure, and suspense. She calls it: "Tribute to Og: Memories of a Future LifeMate". You really need to read up on the extended description and check out the book.

Nuclear Reactor in Hartsville, TN -- Photo by Richard Gubbels

Modern Sci-Fi Ghost Towns: Yes, you read that right... science fiction ghost towns... or, to put it more properly, "ruins". My sister Gaea sent me this article from Cracked and I frakking lost it! 7 Modern Ghost Towns That Look Like Sci-Fi Movies. Fact #1: I need a better camera. Fact #2: I need to be hitchhiking me onesies in a beeline right towards one of these. Fact #3: THESE ARE FRAKKING REAL!!!

Pyestock (England) by Matt Emmett

10 Life Lessons People Learn Too Late: This one is very much related to an earlier post here on Landlore--"The 5 Most Common Regrets of the Dying". But this time around, it's "10 Life Lessons People Learn Too Late". You'll need to read the full article for the complete descriptions, but I'll at least include the titles here:
This moment is your life
A lifetime isn’t very long
The sacrifices you make today will pay dividends in the future
When you procrastinate, you become a slave to yesterday
Failures are only lessons
You are your most important relationship
A person’s actions speak the truth
Small acts of kindness can make the world a better place
Behind every beautiful life, there has been some kind of pain
Time and experience heals pain

Dumpster Diving: DENIED!: And to bring this down to as real as it gets, this is a completely new level of fukkduppedness going on right here. Hundreds of poor people were lining up outside of dumpsters in Augusta, Georgia, so that they could eat the only food they could afford--trash. They were all evicted and the dumpsters were guarded until they could be taken to a landfill where the food added to all the other garbage in that rotting pit in the ground. Police were actually called in to restrain the poor and to take them away. The full details are [Here on GlobalResearch].

The Song of the Day: It's extremely rare that I post a "song of the day" that is NOT available for free download. Today's an exception. I keep hearing one incredible song after another from "The Great Gatsby" soundtrack. Last Friday, these young ladies Tna and Kia made only a single song suggestion--"Back to Black" by Beyonce and Andre 3000 (from Outkasts). I've held off until I got a moment to look it up, and that moment came earlier today. Ever since that moment, the song's been on repeat, with these two musicians turning the original Amy Winehouse song into a truly evil and menacing work of art that is beautifully threatening from start to finish. Tune in!

Get Off Our Property

"Get Off Our Property" by LiLi

Yes. Them. Exactly them.

It's almost traumatic. They haunt me, right? Months after and they haunt me.

The very first time I flew to Austin, I met these people. For real. Do they look nice to you? Maybe. For me, they are not.

Ok, I have to say, they were older. I think. But! The same energy. Oh yeah, I can recognize their energy.

Me, I flew to Jaya in the United States... for me another world. I come from France in a suburb of Paris, where all is damn different... the places, the weather, the environment, the languages, the expressions, the feelings and... the people.

I heard a lot before coming to Austin. People seemed to be smiling all the time to me in this place... like shining, as if the sun were always a part of them. People seemed to be positive and greatly open. They are. Yes, they are. Except these women.

I met them for real the very first day I landed. Ok, maybe the third day, but whatever. I did not know anything about Austin. Except Jaya. Except his craziness. Except his love and his intensity. Except the music all around. Arts everywhere. The Mexican foods and other pretty stuff that I was sure I would love. But what I definitely ignored was that. these. kind. of. people. could. exist.

It's like a movie. Yeah, you watch a movie and you laugh because you know how stupid is it. And, above all, how you would never meet this situation.

I don't know if it was because it's me, but I have known this exact situation. Much more than a situation. Angry. No, not angry. Mad. The insane mad. Yes, mad.

See, there are mad people around the world. Even in Austin. They exist.

The story. Yes, the story. We were walking in the heat, Jaya and I. I was with my huge bag at this time, and I think (but not sure) that Jaya and I were fighting about something. Well, not surprise about that, 'cause we fight all the time. We are like that.

And I had an idea. A great idea, I have to say. Of course, it's me! I say to Jaya, "I need to rest for a while. Come sit with me under this tree."

Yeah, I repeat, the weather was too warm for me. I come from Paris where rain and clouds are a part of us. And here in Austin it was warmth, sun, heat, and I was tired. Jaya should carry me or at least carry my bag, but sometimes Jaya is baaaaaad. I love you Jaya if you read these words. I love teasing him. He loves teasing me. Yeah we are special.

Bref !!!! ! We sat under this tree and started to smoke. Just being together and taking a nice break from this walk was nice and great. But, suddenly we heard yells. I quickly turned my head and what did i see?

These. Them. These two mad women.

And for their "Welcome to Austin, dear little madame", they yelled, "GET OFF OUR PROPERTY !!!!!! !"

Well at this time my English was lite and I did not recognize the words at all. But I could guess just by seeing their faces... that it was not a welcome word, not love words, not even friendly, not even nothing. I looked at Jaya like O.o and thought, "What the fuck are they yelling?"

Jaya stood up quickly and told them something, but what??? I don't know. What I know is that they had guns and were really threatening.

Look, ok, in France there are crimes, and bad stuffs, and it sucks in many places. Yes, we are not in "au pays de candy" place (you should know "au pays de candy" is a cartoon that I watched when i was little, but that's off subject). I guessed that in Austin too it was not "au pays de candy" neither, but damn. These kind of women are real?

Never, never have I seen that. I have seen guys really messed up, really dangerous, and so on, but these two women made me afraid. Really.

So we left the place.

And that was my very first contact with people in Austin. I should be traumatized or something, but no. Not at all. Fortunately I met others that I loved.

And I laugh by seeing this photo.

Yes, they are smokers. No, they are not cool. Yes, they were almost the same as the actual women. Yes, the actual women were even worse... older, worse, and I could definitely not teach them French so that I could say, "Hey!! Nice to meet you, too. I come from Paris. Do you like croissants and red wine?" I don't say that I'm just a croissant and red wine. I say that I'm not the only girl who wanted to rest under their tree on their property.

"GET OFF OUR PROPERTY!!!" They were the very first words that I learned from anyone other than Jaya. And I would never forget them. The words. And them.

I love Austin. No joke. This was just a glimpse that I never encountered again. It was just a funny pretty image that does not exist. I think they came from another planet, just to say "hello" to me, and after this they just disappeared.

So, if you are one day in Austin, and you are warm and tired with your heavy bag and you need to rest:


...more photography and favorites from LiLi here on Tumblr...

Walking the World in 7 Years & Wikivoyage

Today's road news highlights a guy crazy enough to walk the world, as well as a little piece of technology that has earned its praise, and finally a bit on the new site Wikivoyage. Pull up a stump, set your onesies down for a few minutes, and have yourself a gander...

Wait. Did he say "walk"!?: Yes, Chili Pie, el hombre did indeed say "walk". Paul Salopek already has almost two decades of experience in travel. He's currently 19 days into his seven-year journey, walking from "The Cradle of Life" and following the primary migration pattern that humans followed out of Africa, across Asia, into North America, and down to the tip of South America. You can see an estimated path for his trip that I drew on the map above. As I write this, Salopek's just north of the Horn of Africa, nearing the crossing that will take him into Saudi Arabia. Color me envious. Bastard! Mad shout out in thanks to Gaea for sending me the story. For others who are interested, read more [Here on the Main Site]. You can also read the original article [Here on NPR].

The Little Hard Drive that Could: This one's personal. I'm an electronic musician, and the only way to make music when I'm traveling is to bring an external hard drive with me. If I were rich, I could build a different solution that would replace this, but I'm the opposite of rich... so I make the best with what I have. I bought this little hard drive in 2008, and it's since been through deserts and extreme heats, and mountains and extreme cold, and it's been dropped off buses and taken some very hard hits. Every time it's hit, a part of me cringes, and I immediately think that it will be broken. Today's the day, little buddy. You served me well. I swear to avenge thee! Every other external drive I've ever owned has broken with only ONE hit. But this drive? No... not having it. It's a little fighter, that's what this drive is! I can not even count how many times it's been hit. There are scratches and dings everywhere on the drive, but it just keeps on going. Hitachi and Frabrik, the companies who sell the drive, do not even market it as a "durable" hard drive. In fact, it's cheap, running about fifty bones for a quarter of a terabyte.

Maybe I'm just lucky. Maybe I got the only hard drive in all the world that can never be broken. But you know what? I doubt that. Just last year, the same companies started selling a different external hard drive, and this new one is marketed as "durable". Really, I think they just figured out how hard it is to kill their debut drive, and so they've simply made a few additions to turn that durability into something with a little more grrrr-power. If you can't find their basic hard drive at a local store, you can get one [Here on Amazon dot Com]. I hit it hard (yes, again) just this last week and, after it survived (yes, again), I knew I had to give them props for designing one incredibly strong and durable piece of machinery. I do NOT know how they got the designer of Ferrari and Maserati to design their hard drive, but whoever built the drive to take a hit from the likes of ME, to that I person I owe my most heartfelt gratitude.

Below is a shot of my own drive, although the bad lighting doesn't well reveal the actual level of damage that it's sustained.

Wikivoyage. But will it blend?: I can not count how many people have asked me what the best travel guides are. The answer changes with who's doin' the askin'. You see, not all guides are equal, and they're written for different people. BUT! There IS actually an easy way to find the guide that is best for YOU. Step #1. Take three or five suggestions for different travel guides. Step #2. Turn the guide to your current favorite city, the city that you love the most and that you know the most about. Step #3. Read about your favorite city and, after you finish, ask yourself if you're happy with their description. Happy? THAT'S THE ONE FOR YOU! I remember reading Lonely Planet's entry for Austin, Texas, and immediately I lost all interest in Lonely Planet. But I still suggest the Planet to other people, because they're not me. Everyone's different, and the way to find the guide that's right for you is to keep reading guides until you find one that nails your favorite city, or at least leaves you happy with what they wrote.

That brings us to Wikivoyage.

We have a winner. And by "we", I mean "I". I pulled up the Wikivoyage entries for three of my favorite cities: Austin, Texas; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and, Campeche de Mexico. The entries for both Austin and Santa Fe give me warm fuzzies. I'm definitely digging what I'm reading, and I easily jump into the overall writing on the site. Austin and Santa Fe both have very extensive entries that even mention a few places that've escaped my radar before now. Whoever wrote the Austin entry has a few personal problems that mix into the writing, as they decided that the area in the article about "Safety" was where people needed to be warned that no one should give money to homeless people, the same writer who decided to spread some rather insulting opinions about the homeless. Other than a few blips along similar lines of opinion, the writing and details are solid. Because these blips are small, they remain excusable. Sadly, with the entry on Campeche, such similar opinions become much larger points where reading becomes an annoyance, as the writer for this article calls the climate hot and humid, but then goes so far as to add subjective terms like "oppressive" without actually telling what the heat is, or how much humidity there is. They then continue on to say that the heat and humidity make walking "impossible" in the city. Impossible! I jest not, lovelies. Impossible. It becomes a comedy of errors at about this point, and it's well worth reading, if at least for the laugh. There are also gaping holes in the Campeche article in terms of scope, although they get points for mentioning The Monkey Hostel and The Pirate Hostel.

In summary, Wikivoyage is new, having only been re-launched as of January, 2013. Based on my own readings, the articles for well-traveled areas are where there's the most notable strengths in terms of both readability and usefulness. Off the beaten path, those are the same areas where the articles suffer most. It's now directly affiliated with Wikimedia, which raises the bar for where the site's headed, and setting high hopes for expanding the content in the future. Wikivoyage plays beautifully with my own palette, and I highly suggest it to other travelers who've more of an alternative or "explorer" bent to their spirit.

The Passions of Blood, Smoke, and Fire: It's been seven years since Burial's debut album changed the world of electronic music... permanently changing the course of the future garage genre. I've been a DJ for more than a decade, but it wasn't until 2012 that I started mixing future garage. My first digital set--The Passions of Blood, Smoke, and Fire--is now available for free download [Here on SoundCloud]. The response has been incredible. DJ Umb at Generation Bass wrote: "This is Burialesque in all its glory harking back to the great golden days when Dubstep was such an exciting proposition." I'm honored. Enjoy the music!

"Dorothy" by Giyo: Mad shout outs in thanks to LiLi for turning me on to today's Song of the Day. It's up for free download, at least while the downloads last. If you love the smooth beats and Spanish guitar in this song as much as I do, then just [Click Here to Download].