Max and Ari, the duo behind Oakland Surf Club, have quietly turned OSC into one of the Bay’s most eclectic retail destinations, curating everything from gear and boards, to vinyl and fine art–all while balancing a budding business with a new marriage and a brand new baby girl.
Our good friend and Cre8tive Class founder Daghe offers up a glimpse into his world–from party pics and landscapes, to portraits of the young and doin’ it, Daghe’s 35mm photography acts as an ongoing document of his eclectic, on-the-go lifestyle.
Bucking the conventions of the prototypical sex shop, Feelmore combines expert curation, adventurous sexual politics, and deep engagement with the community. We take time out to kick it with proprietor and adult industry pioneer Nenna Joiner to talk about all that and more.
Rebekkah Castellanos gives us a glimpse of her photographic journey across China. From sprawling urban centers and ancient temples, to gorgeous portraits and double exposures, Rebekkah’s work offers a brief snapshot of a changing country.
In 1987, French photographer and cultural documentarian Eric Valli traveled to the cliffs of the Himalayas to capture the Himalayan Gurung men’s harrowing journey to gather honey. Nestled high up in the foothills of this mountain locale lies the habitat of the rarified Himalayan honey bee, the world’s largest bee, and the producer of Asia’s most highly sought-after honey. Building their nests anywhere from 8,200 to 15,000 feet into the air, each nest can contain as much as 130 pounds of honey, with different types available at varying altitudes.
Making use of rope ladders and baskets, the men climb into the cliffs to gather honey that sells for five times the amount of other honeys throughout Asia. The hunters then secure ladders at the top of the cliff, before dropping down ropes to a lower base where a fire is lit to smoke the bees out of their nests. Once deserted, the hunters descend upon the nests, cutting away the honeycomb in chunks. Capturing a time-honored tradition in Nepal, Eric’s photographs offer a fascinating glimpse of a practice that’s supported Nepalese communities for generations.
Today we’re back with another episode of our 200 part series, W.G.W.T.O. (What’s Good With The Ocean?). The thing I often marvel at is the perpetual nature of the ocean. Through every war and every conflict on land, throughout the history of mankind, the ocean has been here, quietly evolving under the surface. It’s like we’re on one earth with two worlds, with one vastly more mysterious than the other.
I’d like to direct your attention towards the kelp forests off the coast of California today. Tall as a three story house, with the potential to grow a meter a day, the kelp forests support life for a plethora of sea creatures in the ocean, most notably sea urchins. Seemingly destructive in nature (in regards to the kelp beds), the urchins, along with a variety of other ocean animals thrive in this environment. That is, until they’re confronted with one of the sea floor’s most docile yet menacing predators. What transpires is a rare glimpse into what’s really going on under the surface.
“Get it how you live.” It’s a phrase Benny Basic and the Big Tymers made prevalent in my life since the early 2000′s. Broadly speaking, more or less, it means do what you gotta do to make ends meet. Do what you gotta do to survive. The phrase comes to mind when examining the work of South African photographer Pieter Hugo, whose documentary work has shed light on one of Nigeria’s most extraordinary yet controversial business practices.
Pieter happened upon the traveling circus of Hyena handlers, known simply as “The Hyena Men”, after a cell phone photo of the troupe was reproduced in a South African newspaper. Provoked by the photograph, Hugo ventured to the city of Abuja, Nigeria to meet the group, traveling with them for a number of days to document their practice. The images he collected while travelling with the group tell a captivating story–a tale of tradition, economic strife and ultimately, survival. Read on for a look inside the world of the Hyena Men.
Ants have got to be the greatest team players. I was watching 20 lions go ham on a single buffalo last night, but these ants have got to take the cake. Escaping a rushing river only to be confronted by a settled pond, this colony of ants manages to brave the water by adjoining to create a bridge made of leaves, and ants. Surviving the river to then come across the most unfortunate soft shell crab you or I have ever seen, the ants proceed to make the most out of their plentiful discovery. But while this film highlights the unapologetic realness of nature, it also raises a few questions in regards to the culture of ants.
1. Who was the first ant to come up on the crab? 2. How would it feel to be the first ant that comes up on a dead worm or better yet a living soft shell crab? 3. How would you feel if you were the one out of the however thousand million ants who discovered the meal that’ll feed the colony? 4. How juiced would you be? 5. Would you get promoted for that? 6. Would you become a king or queen or something? 7. Is that something ants even get credit for? 8. How fucked up is it that it’s regular to be eaten alive in the wild? So many questions, so little time.
“This is the story of an unsung people, who took on Papua New Guinea, Australia and the biggest mining company in the world–who started by fighting helicopter gunships with bows and arrows, and who have lost a tenth of their population–and yet have managed to create what may be the world’s first true eco-revolution.”
When I saw Michael Lewis speak in Berkeley the other night, he said something pretty revelatory about his creative process as a writer. Basically, he told us that his favorite part of his creative process as a storyteller was finding a story too good to fuck up–that he found himself motivated most by the fact that he’d been entrusted to tell a story so compelling in and of itself, that even if he told it just competently, it would make for something entirely captivating. I’d imagine British director Dom Rotheroe must have felt the same way about the story he found upon arriving, flanked by revolutionary soldiers, in a tiny boat on the shores of Bougainville. His film, The Coconut Revolution, released a decade ago, tells the improbable story of an indigenous people whose sheer force of will and ingenuity overcame staggering odds. It’s the story of their fight for their land, their culture, and their independence–and of a rare and extraordinary exception to what tends to be the rule of global capitalism.
…warm, slightly toasted, yet still soft on the inside, moist even, slathered with cream cheese so that it mushrooms out the hole. Sprinkled with chives. Yeah. You won’t find that in Iquitos. Such are my thoughts as I emerge from the mareado stupor of the ayahuasca’s onset into the lucid state of memory. The truthful memory also remembers what is to be.
I’ve been in the jungle fifty years, inundated with its sounds so that the chorus of slimy, feathered, chirping things encloses my thoughts like a lipid bilayer. Imagine. The calluses of city life have dissolved from the backsides of my eyes. I’m tender as my child, a soft sun behind obscuring clouds. There comes a déjà vu of that first realization of my own presence in the world. The absurd specificity of the room I was in—the moment of darkness in the late afternoon before someone turns on the lights. So this is how it is. You take psychedelic drugs to remember shit you knew when you were four years old.
If you’ve been rockin’ with us for a while, you’re well aware of our fascination with our fellow animal species. I know the Jarrons and Ariels of the world are at least. Today, we’d like to bring your attention to the deep sea, an environment that some researchers believe we know less about than the moon. Up into the twentieth century, studies on the deep ocean concluded that life was close to impossible to sustain in the deepest areas due to the extreme conditions of pitch darkness, frigid temperatures and tremendous pressure. However, these assumptions could not have been further from the truth, as in fact, below 200 meters lies the largest habitat on earth. As author Claire Nouvians notes in her book, The Deep, “Ninety percent of all the ocean’s water lies below two hundred meters, and its volume is eleven times greater than that of all of the land above the sea.” Which essentially means there’s more going on down in the deep ocean than we humans could ever imagine.
Today however, let’s focus on the mildly fearsome spider crab, found in abundance by the incomprehensibly skilled lens of BBC cameras in this short video. Accompanied by some fittingly epic tunes, the clip above highlights the seemingly infinite cycle of life that exists below sea level. Stay with this one ’til the end if you can, I doubt you’ll be disappointed.
Sometime around 1:30 AM, Eastern time, tonight, will mark the the entrance of Curiosity into the Martian atmosphere, followed by a seven-minute descent that, assuming everything goes smoothly, should lead to a safe landing on our closest planetary neighbor. Given the fact that everything includes a few thousand programmed processes, or that say, the rover will begin its descent at a staggering 13,000-plus miles an hour, it seems only natural that this particular sequence has earned the moniker “seven minutes of terror”. Add to that the fact that it’s already traveled 350 million miles or so, and the fact that budget so far is just over $2.5 billion.
Unfathomably big numbers aside though, the mission has some pretty awesome objectives. Namely, Curiosity is designed to assess the habitability of Mars, via an investigation into its geology, climate and a host of other factors. Designed to occupy the red planet for a full Mars year, or 687 days, the rover boasts an unprecedented arsenal of instruments geared toward exploring and examining as many aspects of the planet’s terrain and environmental history possible. Maybe even more awesome is the fact that NASA will offer a live stream of the landing, beamed back to us a few hundred million miles away, via their website tonight. I don’t know about you, but I’ll be watching. Learn more about Curiosity here.
Native to Central and South America, the macaw is primarily found in the canopies of the rainforest. While the rainbow macaw might be the most celebrated member of the group, each coloration of the bird is unique to the individual in the same fashion as fingerprints are to humans. Specifically, the Scarlet and Military macaws are two other popular species of parrots that are beloved in the wild and also as pets.
A diverse appetite allows the macaw to eat a range of foods from nuts and fruits, to flowers, stems and leaves. Additionally, it is believed that some macaws of the Amazon eat the clay from the riverbed basin to improve their ability to digest toxic substances.
Similar to most humans, macaws are monogamous. Meaning that when two macaws find each other, they’re rockin’ for life. Which brings up a slew of other questions in regards to macaws lifestyle traits–like what if one partner is unhappy in the relationship, or the husband is having trouble supporting the family? All questions that will most likely not be answered here, but further relate the peculiar qualities of the macaw.