Sometimes all it takes to get something started is a knock on a door—and necessity. Oded Wagenstein was walking in the rain down a side street in the Cuban town of Cienfuegos when he was seized with the urge to use the restroom.
Seeing no other options, he knocked on the nearest door, using body language and the sound of water to relay his request to the elderly gentleman who answered.
Juan Alfonso, 59, works as street sweeper. He told Wagenstein that he refuses to be excited about the changes ahead. “We all have jobs, houses, and clothing,” says Alfonso. “We even have our own version of Coca-Cola. I do not need anything.”
In what would become familiar in Wagenstein’s experience in this neighborhood, the man not only warmly invited him inside but made him a cup of coffee. During this impromptu visit, Wagenstein learned a bit about the man—“his wife had died, and he is lonely but he finds comfort in the fact that young people seek his expert help in repairing radios and turntables,” Wagenstein says.
“Because of the rain I decided to spend the rest of the day on that same street,” he continues. He learned more stories from the elderly residents who lived there, about being lonely but also about the role of their community in giving their lives purpose.
With most homes lacking lights, front doors stay open to let in the sunshine. Onelia, 93, believes turning strangers into friends is a Cuban custom, and thus anyone passing by Onelia’s door is her potential friend. “As I was the first foreigner to enter her house,” Wagenstein says, “she mentioned that it would be so nice if others would come to visit her too.”
Lighthouse designs portray a feeling of sadness and depression, as they are rarely used, only a few people stay there, who are the workers and they can only listen to the sound of the sea and dwell into a more gloomy state.
Adrian Labaut Hernandez, with his Dystopian Lighthouses, poses a question towards this perception.
The reason for them being not designed appropriately is because they are seen from far and are basically acting as a landmark for people to know that a piece of land is near by if they follow the light. The forms are basically limited, with light on top and a hung bell.
Cuban graphic designer Adrian Labaut Hernandez illustrates a structure with a desolated landscape rendered black and white, and added a new illuminating detail on the top which looks like a golden beacon of light.
Adrian states that they are “destined never to be happy, isolated beings on earth, without any attachment to life”.
The lighthouses are spaces which can also enhance the landscape by making it inviting visually and also enhance the curiosity of the people who want to come towards it.
More info: Adrian Labaut Hernandez, Behance (h/t: arch2o, designboom)
Despite its name, this enormous spider is a gentle giant of sorts. The Goliath birdeater spider (Theraphosa blondi) can have a leg span of 11 inches. Only the giant huntsman spider has a longer leg span.
But T. blondi beats out every other spider for mass, weighing up to 6 ounces. Imagine holding this eight-legged, dinner plate-sized creature in your hand! The Goliath birdeater, as it’s commonly called, lives in parts of the Amazon, primarily Brazil, French Guiana, Suriname and Venezuela.
While they don’t typically eat birds, they are large enough to do so. Instead they usually feast on mice, frogs, small rodents and invertebrates. The species has poor eyesight and relies on the hairs on its legs and abdomen to sense what’s going on around it.
Those hairs are useful for other things, too. Should this spider find itself under attack, it can launch a maelstrom of sharp arrow-like hairs by rubbing its back legs against its abdomen. Small but sharp, these hairs can be incredibly painful if they hit the predator in the eyes or nose.
Their impressively lethal one-inch long fangs are used to pump their victims full of venom.
While the females can live up to a quarter of a century, the males only live three to six years on average.
As intimidating as the Theraphosa blondi may seem, they’re not lethal or even harmful to humans. As the saying goes, these spiders are probably more afraid of you than you are of them.
Indeed, they have plenty to fear from us. Goliath birdeaters are considered a delicacy in some areas, and in some cultures they are cooked on a spit.
There was a firework display above the Estádio Independência in Belo Horizonte, Brazil to entertain fans before the Copa Libertadores match between Atlético Mineiro and Internacional. Leonardo Silva equalised in the last minute of the game to grab a 2-2 draw for the home side.
The firework display before the match between Atlético Mineiro and Internacional as part of the Copa Libertadores at Independencia Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Photograph: Pedro Vilela/Getty Images