1. 360-Degree Photos of Chernobyl 30 Years Later
30 years ago, the worst nuclear accident in history occurred. Reactor number four at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power plant in Russia (then the Soviet Union) exploded, killing workers and many in the surrounding area. Though the area is still contaminated by radiation, this hasn’t prevented vines, trees, shrubs and animals from taking over the facilities through its 30-year shut down. National Geographic recently took a trip to visit the historical site on its anniversary, capturing the grim and overgrown landscape. Head to Nat Geo to explore the area in full 360-degree photos.
2. One Man is Illustrating Every NYC Subway Station
For the past 38 years, New Jersey native Philip Ashforth Coppola has spent his evenings, weekends and vacation days underground in New York City’s subway system. There, he studies and illustrates the city’s historical subway architecture, mosaics and signage as a means of preserving old New York. So far, with just a black pen, he’s drawn out four volumes worth of subway stations and won’t stop until all 470 are recorded—a task he estimates will take another 24 years. Watch as he pursues his artful passion in Great Big Story’s latest video on Vimeo.
3. This “Kissing Garlic” Won’t Give You Bad Breath
There’s finally a way for garlic-lovers to get their fix without ending up with bad breath or indigestion. A Rome-based duo—a construction engineer and a commercial lawyer—is helping to resurrect an ancient garlic varietal. Nicknamed “kissing garlic,” it has a slightly milder flavor and is completely odorless, so you aren’t left with stinky breath. Officially named aglione, the varietal produces bulbs about 10 times the size of normal garlic with no need for any artificial chemicals or fertilizers. “It couldn’t get more organic,” the duo reveals.
4. Studio Dror’s Montreal Dome Concept
Ahead of the 50th anniversary of Montreal’s Expo 67, New York-based design studio Dror has proposed adding a new structure to complement the city’s now-iconic Biosphere. The project, simply called the Montreal Dome, would mimic Buckminster Fuller’s original Biosphere in both shape and size while adding a mesh-like layer atop the dome, allowing vegetation to grow and shield it from the outside. The concept cultural space could host music festivals, art exhibitions, hackathons, food markets and more all year long.
5. SFMOMA is Set to Reopen After Three Years of Renovation
After three years of renovations and construction, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) will finally reopen to the public on 14 May. The years-long development—helmed by architecture firm Snøhetta—adds nearly three times the amount of gallery space to the museum through a restructured interior and a massive extension building. The expansion is a stark contrast to the original red-bricked Mario Botta museum and features a white, rippled exterior inspired by the Bay Area’s topography and fog.
6. A New Coffee That Contains the Health Benefits of Broccoli
If people ate broccoli as routinely as they drank coffee, the entire population’s health would vastly improve—and that’s kind of what the creators behind Barassica Coffee are planning. The fledgling coffee company is the collaborative product between Brassica Protection Products and Baltimore Coffee and Tea Co, who have found a way to incorporate glucoraphanin—a cancer-preventing molecule found in broccoli—into coffee. “It’s a nice easy way to get a little bit more nutrition from something [people] already do,” says Sarah Sullivan, the company’s vice president of sales and marketing.
7. Artist R Luke DuBois’ Eye-Opening Data Portraits
At this year’s TED conference, artist R Luke DuBois shared with the audience a few of his latest works. While he doesn’t paint, draw or take photos, DuBois can weave together incredibly complex portraits of his subjects through unconventional applications of programming and code. In one project, he downloads millions of dating profiles to map out the way people speak about themselves across the country. In another, he calibrates a pistol to fire a blank each time a shooting is reported to the Louisiana police. His eye-opening portraits reveal a heavy truth: “when data visualization is done right it can be illuminating; done wrong, it can be anesthetizing.”
8. A French Restaurant Covered In Japanese Tattoo Art
A new restaurant in Aix-en-Provence, France called Koï is transforming the criminal notions of Yakuza tattoos through beautiful design. Major portions of the restaurant are decorated wall-to-wall with the intricate, black-and-white tattoos that are typically affiliated with underground Japanese gang. Architect Vincent Coste tapped surface pattern designer Claire Leina to draw up the bold illustrations, which are featured prominently throughout the entryway and bathrooms, with more modest motifs appearing in the dining area.