If there were an EGOT for highways, Connecticut’s Merritt Parkway would surely be one.
It is listed as a National Scenic Byway by the Federal Highway Commission, which could be considered the Pulitzer Prize for public roads. The National Park Service has listed it as a Registered Historic Place (a list that includes thousands of American spaces, but only a handful of highways). The Merritt has its own conservancy, a non-profit organization dedicated solely to keeping the Merritt intact and as beautiful as possible. Even the Library of Congress has written about the Merritt’s hallowed paved roads.Read More
Star Wars fans: you can't watch The Force Awakens until December, and you can't go to Star Wars Land until... sometime later than that. But if you're in L.A., for a limited time, you can eat a bonbon modeled after a Death Star.
A restaurant called Faith & Flower, ordinarily known for their classy steaks and flaming absinthe cart, has imported a series of desserts from a galaxy far, far away. Through December, Jedi in the know who ask for the off-menu dessert board will be able to mock-duel with a candy lightsaber, "rescue" Han Solo from a block of chocolate, and sink their teeth into the heads of Vader and a stormtrooper.Read More
Pluto is surrounded by a haze of blue.
The New Horizons space probe has sent back color photos of the dwarf planet on the edge of our solar system, and Pluto is ringed by blue—courtesy of a cloud of soot-like particles.
These particles aren't the same type that make the skies over Earth look blue to our eyes. "A blue sky often results from scattering of sunlight by very small particles," said New Horizons science team researcher Carly Howett in a NASA press release. "On Earth, those particles are very tiny nitrogen molecules. On Pluto they appear to be larger—but still relatively small—soot-like particles we call tholins."Read More
When paleontologists look for a place to find dinosaur bones, they’re searching out spots with a few particular qualities. The rocks need to be the right age, and they need to be sedimentary rock. It helps if they’re in an arid environment, where erosion pulls away layers of rock and exposes more of the past. Also, they need to be as far away from other paleontologists as possible.
Ultimately, there are only so many easily accessible places in the world where vast swaths of land meet these criteria. Of all the different kinds of dinosaurs discovered, most have come from just six countries: China, Argentina, the United States, Mongolia, Canada and England.Read More
When Jesse Pollock, founder of Unpiano Books, published a collection of his father Arthur Pollock's pictures in 2011, he was merely scraping the surface of the elder Pollock's oeuvre. Arthur spent many years traveling around New England and the Midwest as a news photographer, and now works as a photo editor at the Boston Herald. The book featured 200 images from an archive of more than 10,000, taken over a 30-plus year career.
The images, of major news events and small candid moments, predate today's digital street photography—yet somehow feel completely contemporary. Demand for Arthur Pollock's sly historic photos was high enough for his son to make a second volume of work, AP2, released for the 2015 NY Art Book Fair.
Jesse let Atlas Obscura pick a selection of his father's pictures that revolve around small towns and urban decay. Shot around Wisconsin, Indiana, and the New England states, these photos capture a different side of America. Take a look: