A Really Long Train Ride

I love a long train ride, but I don’t know if I’m up for the Trans-Mongolian/Trans-Siberian Railway trip from Beijing to Irkusk. Maybe I’ll just settle for this very condensed version of the 4,500 mile journey below.

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Now we see through a glass darkly

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London-based photographer Nick Turpin transforms images of boring London bus rides into poignant and compelling portraits. The uncanny synthesis of foggy windows, interior lighting and otherworldly, but natural color turns Turpin’s photos from documentary to moving works of art. The painterly portraits in his “Through a Glass Darkly” series are simultaneously intimate and anonymous. You can see more at his website.

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all images © Nick Turpin

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Don’t feed the donkey spongecake

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If you’ve ever been confused by a foreign language idiomatic expression during your travels, you’ll enjoy “Idioms of the World”. Artist and illustrator Marcus Oakley incorporated some of his favorites for this infographic that he created for the HotelClub travel website.

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Reality Simulator

This wonderful short film explains why literature matters and what books do for us. The animation is by Marcus Armitage and Ignatz Johnson Higham with voice over by Alain de Botton, who wrote the script.

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Breaking Down Walls

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Airbnb is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall with a short animated film inspired by a true story. “Wall and Chain” recounts the story of two former border guards, one from each side of divided Berlin, who met by chance in 2012 through Airbnb. You can learn more about the touching story here.

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No More Boring Rides

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The Moscow Metro now is offering riders access to a virtual library of hundreds of classic novels. The free downloads are accessible via QR codes from station platforms without prior registration. The entire library is also available on buses and trams too. What a great idea for any transit system.

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Literary Coffee

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Set the art free

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French artist and filmmaker Julien de Casablanca has created a brilliant interactive project for art lovers everywhere. Participants in Outings are encouraged to visit museums and use their phones to photograph “small, secondary and forgotten” paintings and to print out those images and paste them on walls in public spaces. Check out the Outings website and see how you can set some under-appreciated art free in the world.

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They Had Me At Konnichiwa

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I love a wacky tourism campaign and this new series created to entice Japanese tourists to Israel is just bizarre and quirky enough to get some attention.

“Israel, Like!” is an anime series that follows sisters Saki and Noriko as they travel around Israel for the first time. The initial installment of seven planned videos is now online. Be sure to turn on the closed-caption option; it’s good for a laugh.

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When In Rome

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Polish artists Sainer and Bezt, collectively known as Etam Cru, paint enormous humane, touching and sometimes a bit surreal large scale street art murals in urban locales around the world. The duo are currently in Rome for the launch of their first ever solo gallery show. To stave off the boredom while waiting for last weekend’s opening, they created this impressive 8 story painting. The Italian economy may be in the trash, but no one is giving up their morning coffee just yet.

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photos: © Blind Eye Factory

By the way, if you’ll be in Rome soon, the show is at the Varsi Gallery at Piazza di San Salvatore in the Centro Storico. And if you go, be sure to swing around the corner to Gelateria Alberto Pica for some of the creamy stuff.

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