An Iraqi Painter Moved to America for a Better Life and Got Robbed Anyway
It’s not often you see a look of total devastation on someone’s face, but that was the expression Bassim Al-Shaker wore when I met him at a bar in downtown Phoenix on Tuesday night. Escaping threats for his life, the Iraqi-born painter fled to Phoenix in July of last year, eventually obtaining refugee status and becoming a permanent citizen earlier this year.
But Bassim woke up Monday morning to discover the door to his downtown studio smashed. Ten paintings were stolen August 18, as well as a couch and some power tools, from Bassim’s studio on Fourth Street and McKinley. Bassim was using the studio space rent-free before the whole block is to be demolished at the end of the year.

Formerly a barber in Baghdad, Bassim was once blindfolded, spat on, and beaten by loyalists of Iraq’s Mahdi Army militia, who left the painter so battered he spent the next two weeks in the hospital. But what had Bassim done to attract their violence? He had drawn sketches of the Venus de Milo as part of an entrance exam at Baghdad University’s College of Fine Arts.
Yeah, that’s right. Some tasteful nude sketches almost got this guy killed.

Life in Hell

Sheepdogs could lose their jobs to robots after scientists learned the secret of their herding ability.

Rounding up sheep successfully is a simple process involving just two basic mathematical rules, a study found.

One causes a sheepdog to close any gaps it sees between dispersing sheep. The other results in sheep being driven forward once the gaps have sufficiently closed.

A computer simulation showed that obeying these two rules alone allowed a single shepherd – or sheepdog – to control a flock of more than 100 animals.

The discovery has implications for human crowd control as well as the development of robots that can gather and herd livestock, the scientists said. […]

To conduct the study, the researchers fitted a flock of sheep and a sheepdog with backpacks containing highly accurate GPS satnavs.

Movement-tracking data from the devices was programmed into computer simulations to develop the mathematical shepherding model.

Writing in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, the researchers concluded: “Our approach should support efficient designs for herding autonomous, interacting agents in a variety of contexts.

"Obvious cases are robot-assisted herding of livestock, and keeping animals away from sensitive areas, but applications range from control of flocking robots, cleaning up of environments and human crowd control."

— Sheepdogs could be replaced by robots after scientists crack simple process | UK news | (via new-aesthetic)

❝ It is said that the human brain divides its functions. The right brain is devoted to sensory impressions, emotions, colors, music. The left brain deals with abstract thought, logic, philosophy, analysis.

My definition of a great movie: While you’re watching it, it engages your right brain. When it’s over, it engages your left brain.

— Roger Ebert (via supermodelgif)


this is the only song that makes me feel everything at once

463 listens
Writing my masters dissertation: a story in pictures



"I’m going to work so, so hard on this dissertation, it’s going to be the best thing I’ve ever written, I’m going to read anything and everything that has ever been published, I’m going to WIN. Look how intelligent I look when I put my hand on my chin and pretend I have a clue what this…

❝ Whoever is the wisest among you is also just a conflict and a cross between plant and ghost.

— Friedrich Nietzche (via likeafieldmouse)


The Stunning and Very Rare Architectural Photography of Iranian Mosque Interiors by Mohammad Rez Domiri

These incredible photos capture the intricate detail of the Middle East’s grandest temples - a kaleidoscope of colours on their ceilings. Mohammad Domiri is a young self-taught photographer from northern Iran who takes beautiful photos of traditional architectural monuments throughout the Middle East.
Due to restrictions on tripods, as well as overcrowding, it is very difficult to get permission to shoot inside these grand wonders.  Most of his subjects are grand traditional mosques, heavily decorated with mesmerizing geometric patterns and mosaics, beaming and swirling with colour just like colossal kaleidoscopes.
Even if you are the world’s least religious person, you might feel your hands coming together in prayer naturally when you see the brilliance of this light. As a result there are very few images of such temples - meaning his photography is extremely rare.
More info: | 500px | Facebook


Jerry House | Onion | Via

'Jerry house’ by Onion is the holiday home of a married couple with four sons in cha am beach, Thailand. In 2011, the clients asked the architects to turn their seaside abode, which was then under construction, into the gathering place for the family’s members and friends. The requirement was to create a place that behaves unlike a typical house where minimal circulation is the norm, but rather like a playground where residents are encouraged to interact in such a way that none of their domestic spaces in Bangkok would enable them to.


Nele Tas - Concentration Portraits (2006)


Drugs Under The Microscope

A+D, who?



The Architecture and Design Museum>Los Angeles, isn’t simply a museum about architecture and design. It is a multi-dimensional institution that pushes the limits of what a museum is and what it’s role is in society.

Traditionally speaking, a museum is an…


Read Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray in its entirety here.


Finish Tower Rotsee Andreas Fuhrimann Gabrielle Hächler


Jenny Holzer, Inflammatory Essay