The Last Bookstore

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Arizona-based photographer Bryan David Griffith spent the better part of the last year traveling around the United States in an old camper documenting the surviving and thriving American independent bookstore. Using a large format camera, Griffith created a project called “The Last Bookstores: America’s Resurgent Independents”. Griffith sees the independent bookstore “as a lot more than simply a place to buy books—they’re a meeting place away from the segregated, homogenous world of social media”. You learn more about this labor of love right here.

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A New Light on Michelangelo

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After five centuries, the magnificent frescoes on the walls and ceiling of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel can now be seen in all of their glory thanks to a new LED lighting system. The unobtrusive 7,000 LEDs provide a surprisingly subtle, controlled light that illuminates the frescoes in a way they’ve never been seen before.

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The four channel “mesopic” system hopes to show the frescoes in a manner that replicates Michelangelo’s intensions and provides ten times the light that the previous system offered.

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I look forward to returning to the Vatican to get a glimpse of the Sistine Chapel in it’s true splendor. Many years ago, I got to visit the Chapel—pre-restoration—when it was completely empty. And, I’ve seen it since ( but with hordes of other visitors) after restoration.

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Another Reason to Envy Norwegians

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This year a design competition was held by the Norwegian government to update the nation’s passports and identity documents. The winning designs came from Oslo-based Neue Design Studio, which created a modern minimalist look with some very cool secret features.

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The coral red, robin’s egg blue and pale gray covers will certainly stand-out from the typical passport, but the most intriguing design features are on the inside. The passport pages are decorated with beautiful Norwegian mountain and fjord scenes. When the passports are held under UV light, the landscapes turn from day to night and reveal hidden text and floating images evocative of Norway’s northern lights.

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Take a spin around Europe

Regular followers of Travel Between The Pages may be getting weary of all the time-lapse videos, but too bad because I’m still enamored with the technology. So, here’s another short, but very sweet video. Titled “Hypeurotrip”, the film is the creation of Krakow-based filmmaker Piotr Wancerz from Timelapse Media productions. The video, produced for Topdeck Travel in the UK, follows a whirlwind, 5,000 kilometer roundtrip jaunt around the continent in quick time.

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No Need To Buckle Up

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If you have ever taken a long haul, red-eye flight in coach class, the notion of voluntarily spending the night on an airplane may strike you as bonkers. But a promotional project cook-up by KLM and Airbnb may change your mind.

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Called “Airplane Apartment”, this retired KLM McDonnell Douglas MD-11 has been transformed into a retro-outfitted two bedroom apartment, with two kitchens, a lounge, panoramic cockpit views and eight bathrooms. The “apartment”, which is parked at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, comes fully equipped and offers free wifi. The only catch is that the unit can only be accessed through a contest at Airbnb. You can take your chances here.

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Why A Pineapple

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Airbnb is one of the best known brands in travel these days, but for some reason they’ve decided to go retro and publish their very own print travel magazine. The publication, which is called Pineapple, will be issued quarterly, without advertising, at $12 an issue (€9 in Europe). Content will be created by Airbnb hosts, guests and freelancers. The inaugural issue for Winter 2014 will focus on London, San Francisco and Seoul.

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The name Pineapple refers to the historical use of the fruit as a symbol of hospitality in colonial America.

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Books Everyone Should Read

Writer and designer David McCandless created this challenging infographic for his new book Knowledge Is Beautiful. How many have you read ?

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Library Trip

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This award-winning animated short by Norwegian students Tord Torpe and Magnus Nyquist is a psychedelic celebration of the library at the Bergen Academy of Art and Design.

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Starry Night

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Bike riding at night can be exciting and liberating, but often just dangerous. Now thanks to Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde nocturnal trips can be magical. He has created a beautiful new illuminated bicycle trail in the town of Nuenen near Eindhoven in southern Netherlands.

The world’s first phosphorescent bike trail is coated with special paint that glows at night and is charged by energy from solar panels. The lighting design is an homage to Van Gogh’s painting “The Starry Night”. The artist lived and worked in Nuenen between 1883 and 1885.

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Peak Experience

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Folks with any degree of acrophobia may find the new Tissot Peak Walk bridge at Les Diablerets, Switzerland a wee bit daunting. Opened on October 25th, the first suspension bridge to connect two European mountain peaks is 107 meters long and just 80 centimeters wide. Promising incredible views of the Alps, including Mount Blanc, the Eiger, Jungfrau and Matterhorn, the bridge will be open year round (weather permitting) and is free. So, if you’re in the Montreux area, swing on by.

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