Kreuzkogel, Austrian Alps.

man-skiing-austrian-alps_91105_990x742Photograph by Peter Svoboda, National Geographic Your Shot
Passionate ski mountaineer and Your Shot member Peter Svoboda loves minimalist compositions in his winter-themed mountain photography.
Svoboda saw this scene unfold from about a mile away on the summit of Kreuzkogel in the Austrian Alps.
Kreuzkogel-Skigebiet-Grossarl“The angle of [the] slope … and [the] afternoon sun created rather attractive shapes at first sight,” he writes. “I was waiting on the top of the mountain and took some pictures with the lonely tree.
But it was not enough for me.” After he’d photographed a group of skiers who were enjoying the deep powder, this lone figure “was like icing on the cake,” he writes. “The mood was there.”
via Skier Image, Austrian Alps.

Art on a Billboard Everywhere, London.

myparentsFor once, Londoners may be grateful that their bus is stuck in a snarl up. Art Everywhere — a nationwide project that sees 30,000 art posters pasted up in public sites means that when the 345 is next tardy, you can muse over William Blake’s The Circle of the Lustful or Rose Wylie’s Early Memory Series No.2: Doodle Bug, rather than the latest ad for budget holidays.
Art Everywhere was launched by artists Grayson Perry and Antony Gormley at Waterloo station.
A public vote courtesy of 38,000 art acolytes whittled down the selection to 25 pieces.
The most popular was David Hockney’s 1977 painting My Parents (above). Others in the series include Pottery by Acton-born Patrick Caulfield, Dame Laura Knight’s wartime picture Ruby Loftus screwing a Breechring, and Existers by east London’s Gilbert & George.
(c) Rose Wylie; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
More Images via Art: Coming To A Billboard Near You | Londonist.

The World of Fungi by Axford.

fungi-steve-axford-11With Fungi, the Australian photographer Steve Axford opens the doors to the fascinating world of fungi and mushrooms, capturing the diversity, bright colors and amazing shapes of these organisms.
But do not be deceived, behind these beautiful creations often hide poisonous and deadly mushrooms…
via Fungi – Amazing and beautiful mushrooms photographed by Steve Axford |

The Happy Quokkas of Rottnest Island.

smiling-quokka-rottnestImage Credit: Jeanne Winarta / Elderflower Photography by AG Staff.
A curious Quokka and her tiny joey check out photographer Jeanne’s camera gear on Rottnest Island, Western Australia.
“My husband, Bing, and I live in Sydney and we travelled around Western Australia for seven days. Our journey started with the drive along the Coral Coast to Exmouth to snorkel at Ningaloo Reef where we luckily saw a whale shark.
Then we spent three days around Perth, including a day at Rottnest Island.
Our aim at Rottnest Island was to finally meet the famous, always-smiling quokkas, and to explore the beautiful island. We were very pleasantly surprised to find quokkas to be extremely trusting, gentle and inquisitive, with seemingly permanent smiles on their faces!
They were truly one of the highlights of our trip to Western Australia.
Quokkas, along with other Australian marsupial natives, are truly the precious gems of Australian fauna.
In all honesty, we reckon quokkas are underestimated and they deserve the worldwide recognition that other more well-known Australian marsupials enjoy (eg kangaroos and koalas),” she said.
Source: Smiling quokkas of Rottnest Island – Australian Geographic

The Horror of Chelmsford Hospital, Australia.

Doctor Harry Bailey promised people that he could cure them of drug addiction, depression, schizophrenia, anorexia, and nearly anything else. Then he sedated them for weeks. And he kept this up for 17 years.
Chelmsford Hospital’s deep sleep ward was a quiet place to work. Aside from the staff, and the occasional visitor, everyone at the Australian private hospital ward was unconscious all the time.
The doctor in charge, Harry Bailey, believed that a “long rest” was the ideal way to heal anyone of anything. Prolonged spells of unconsciousness would allow the brain to unlearn destructive patterns, and so would cure people with schizophrenia, PMS, or depression.
It would also help people break out of unhealthy behavioural patterns, like drug addiction, anorexia, or compulsive behavior. And if you wanted to take off a few pounds, deep sleep therapy could help with that as well.
His philosophy resulted in two deaths a year inside his hospital, every year, for nearly two decades.
Between 1962 and 1979, about two people a year failed to wake up from the coma that massive doses of barbituates put them in.
Others died or were injured due to the electroconvulsive therapy that was performed on them while they were unconscious but without the muscle relaxers that would keep them from moving due to the shock. Others were injured by the sheer lack of motion.
Depending on who you ask, the death toll due to the therapy is in the low 20s or the high 80s. Some patients went on to die of illnesses that may have been caused by their time in Chelmsford. A high percentage of the deep sleep patients went on to kill themselves.
Others just had terrible experiences. While the luckiest patients went to sleep and woke up missing no time, others experienced hallucinations and woke up covered in their own urine and feces.
While some visitors said the deep sleep ward was peaceful, others talked about how it was filled with constant incoherent moaning.
What made Chelmsford a national scandal was not that this happened, but that the Australian government did nothing about it. Despite the deaths, and the live patients’ complaints, the hospital passed inspection.
It stayed operational when a 14-year-old boy died during the therapy. It even stayed operational when a man had second thoughts, accepted a pill that he was told would “calm him down” so he could talk about his therapy, and woke up days later.
The man tried to press kidnapping and wrongful imprisonment charges.
It was only when the rest of the doctors at the hospital, horrified by the deaths, threatened to quit that the practice was stopped.
A few years later it became the subject of a television special and an ongoing national scandal. Investigations were opened up against the doctors in charge, but they were so prolonged and scattered that after over a decade a court stated that the delays amounted to a government misuse of the system and dismissed some of the charges.
Doctor Bailey himself committed suicide after investigation revealed that the research into sedation therapy on which he’d based his treatment was actually about the benefit of a few hours sedation. The average stay at Chelmsford was 14 days.
via The hospital that put people into a coma as a treatment.

Aurora Borealis/Snowstorm, Northumberland, UK and Washington DC.

The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of the best photographs from around the world, including Sumatran tiger cub twins, the Rio carnival and a late winter snowstorm in Washington DC.
Northumberland, United Kingdom: The aurora borealis, or northern lights, were visible over the UK last night, pictured here at Dunstanburgh Castle.
Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA
Washington DC, United States: People walk across the National Mall during a snowstorm expected to drop between 12cm and 20cm of snow. Temperatures dropped to -15C earlier in the day – the lowest this winter
Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA
See more Images via Photo highlights of the day | News | The Guardian.