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The 11 Geekiest Family Portraits Ever

1. Borgs Just Wanna Have Fun

Winnie Au is an excellent photographer and her intimate and humanizing images of Trekkies at the Las Vegas Star Trek convention are all worth a look. But her picture of the Hall family all dolled up in their best Borg gear stands out thanks to the involvement of the entire clan.

2. Where No Family Has Gone Before

The Halls aren’t the only family that likes to geek out in their best twenty-third century gear. This picture, spotted over on Awkward Family Photos, brings up some interesting concerns regarding the young man in the red shirt. Does the family have low hopes for him, or are they just hoping that because they are wearing the Next Generation outfits, he will be immune to the curse of the red shirt?

3. Under The Blue Moon of Tatooine

Here we see Flickr user Carmel Covered Crack’s delightful Halloween family portrait featuring young Luke, C-3PO and a little tiny R2-D2. What an adorable family, even if they are mostly just droids.

4. Dreaming of a Darth Christmas

Red and Jonny are some of the world’s most famous Star Wars geeks thanks to their delightful Flickr stream and popular blog. Here is one of their best Christmas photos from last year, featuring the couple posing in front of their pet AT-ATs and their Christmas tree covered in tiny replica stormtroopers.

5. Gnome What I’m Saying?

Why waste your time with Gnomeo and Juliet when you could always just live out your own Gnome fantasies like Flickr user taivensmama? Now there’s an attractive grouping of lawn ornaments if I’ve ever seen one.

6. Dragon Ball Z Warriors

DeviantArt user Jeffbedash325 specializes in making excellent cosplay costumes, then taking fantastic pictures of himself and his friends wearing them. Here he is with his friend Chichi and a precious little youngster dressed as the Goku family from Dragon Ball Z. While they might not be related to each other in real life, they are all family in the anime world their costumes come from.

7. The Family That Loves To Kiss

It's hard to grow up with a family that wants to rock and roll all night and party ev-er-y day. But once you've become accustomed to it, you can out-party your friends for the rest of your life. Just ask Flickr user Little Black Box and the rest of his family.

8. Cultivating A Family Culture

Flickr user Von Wong's mother started harassing her son about the family’s lack of photos — especially because he's a photographer. So Von Wong and the rest of his family agreed they needed to get together for a portrait. Rather than head for the J.C. Penney Portrait Studio, the family worked in their Chinese heritage in a fun and unique way that incorporates the Temple of Heaven in Beijing along with classic Chinese clothing.

Of course, a nice background and traditional clothing don’t make a photograph geeky on their own. What makes this one so delightful is Von Wong’s kung fu pose and his sister’s happy jump behind their stoic parents.

9. The Mario Family Tree

Like many modern families, the Mitchells document their lives online so their friends and family members can stay in touch without too much effort. That means they have a collection of the family’s Halloween pictures, including this photo showing Wario and Princess Peach as the proud parents of Mario, Luigi and Bowser.

10. They Ain’t Afraid of No Ghosts

Most portraits that come from Awkward Family Photos have no image credit, let alone a background story. Fortunately, Trevor, a reader of the site, submitted this picture of his family taken in the eighties. He writes, “Apparently, the Ghostbusters craze got the best of my mom and she made us walk through the mall in those stupid shirts to get our picture taken. From the look on my sister’s face, I don’t think she was too thrilled with the whole idea either.”

11. Yo Ho Yo Ho, A Family Life For Me

Apparently, Disney World used to have this great photo studio that allowed you to take such embarrassing and geeky family photos as this one, courtesy of Flickr user ribena, who considers this "one of my most terrifying mementos of childhood." While the background and costumes don't seem too scary, it's easy to imagine quite a few youngsters being horrified of the animatronic pirate that seems to be groping ribena's mother in this picture.
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If any of you Flossers happen to know anyone we couldn't identify in these photos , let us know so we can give credit to the wonderfully geeky families featured here. Of course, if you have any of your own geeky family portraits, feel free to share the links in the comments.

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Art
5 Things You Might Not Know About Ansel Adams

You probably know Ansel Adams—who was born on February 20, 1902—as the man who helped promote the National Park Service through his magnificent photographs. But there was a lot more to the shutterbug than his iconic, black-and-white vistas. Here are five lesser-known facts about the celebrated photographer.

1. AN EARTHQUAKE LED TO HIS DISTINCTIVE NOSE.

Adams was a four-year-old tot when the 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck his hometown. Although the boy managed to escape injury during the quake itself, an aftershock threw him face-first into a garden wall, breaking his nose. According to a 1979 interview with TIME, Adams said that doctors told his parents that it would be best to fix the nose when the boy matured. He joked, "But of course I never did mature, so I still have the nose." The nose became Adams' most striking physical feature. His buddy Cedric Wright liked to refer to Adams' honker as his "earthquake nose.

2. HE ALMOST BECAME A PIANIST.

Adams was an energetic, inattentive student, and that trait coupled with a possible case of dyslexia earned him the heave-ho from private schools. It was clear, however, that he was a sharp boy—when motivated.

When Adams was just 12 years old, he taught himself to play the piano and read music, and he quickly showed a great aptitude for it. For nearly a dozen years, Adams focused intensely on his piano training. He was still playful—he would end performances by jumping up and sitting on his piano—but he took his musical education seriously. Adams ultimately devoted over a decade to his study, but he eventually came to the realization that his hands simply weren't big enough for him to become a professional concert pianist. He decided to leave the keys for the camera after meeting photographer Paul Strand, much to his family's dismay.

3. HE HELPED CREATE A NATIONAL PARK.

If you've ever enjoyed Kings Canyon National Park in California, tip your cap to Adams. In the 1930s Adams took a series of photographs that eventually became the book Sierra Nevada: The John Muir Trail. When Adams sent a copy to Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, the cabinet member showed it to Franklin Roosevelt. The photographs so delighted FDR that he wouldn't give the book back to Ickes. Adams sent Ickes a replacement copy, and FDR kept his with him in the White House.

After a few years, Ickes, Adams, and the Sierra Club successfully convinced Roosevelt to make Kings Canyon a national park in 1940. Roosevelt's designation specifically provided that the park be left totally undeveloped and roadless, so the only way FDR himself would ever experience it was through Adams' lenses.

4. HE WELCOMED COMMERCIAL ASSIGNMENTS.

While many of his contemporary fine art photographers shunned commercial assignments as crass or materialistic, Adams went out of his way to find paying gigs. If a company needed a camera for hire, Adams would generally show up, and as a result, he had some unlikely clients. According to The Ansel Adams Gallery, he snapped shots for everyone from IBM to AT&T to women's colleges to a dried fruit company. All of this commercial print work dismayed Adams's mentor Alfred Stieglitz and even worried Adams when he couldn't find time to work on his own projects. It did, however, keep the lights on.

5. HE AND GEORGIA O'KEEFFE WERE FRIENDS.

Adams and legendary painter O'Keeffe were pals and occasional traveling buddies who found common ground despite their very different artistic approaches. They met through their mutual friend/mentor Stieglitz—who eventually became O'Keeffe's husband—and became friends who traveled throughout the Southwest together during the 1930s. O'Keeffe would paint while Adams took photographs.

These journeys together led to some of the artists' best-known work, like Adams' portrait of O'Keeffe and a wrangler named Orville Cox, and while both artists revered nature and the American Southwest, Adams considered O'Keeffe the master when it came to capturing the area. 

“The Southwest is O’Keeffe’s land,” he wrote. “No one else has extracted from it such a style and color, or has revealed the essential forms so beautifully as she has in her paintings.”

The two remained close throughout their lives. Adams would visit O'Keeffe's ranch, and the two wrote to each other until Adams' death in 1984.

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Dan Bell
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Design
A Cartographer Is Mapping All of the UK’s National Parks, J.R.R. Tolkien-Style
Peak District National Park
Peak District National Park
Dan Bell

Cartographer Dan Bell makes national parks into fantasy lands. Bell, who lives near Lake District National Park in England, is currently on a mission to draw every national park in the UK in the style of the maps in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Kottke.org reports.

The project began in September 2017, when Bell posted his own hand-drawn version of a Middle Earth map online. He received such a positive response that he decided to apply the fantasy style to real world locations. He has completed 11 out of the UK’s 15 parks so far. Once he finishes, he hopes to tackle the U.S. National Park system, too. (He already has Yellowstone National Park down.)

Bell has done various other maps in the same style, including ones for London and Game of Thrones’s Westeros, and he commissions, in case you have your own special locale that could use the Tolkien treatment. Check out a few of his park maps below.

A close-up of a map for Peak District National Park
Peak District National Park in central England
Dan Bell

A black-and-white illustration of Cairngorms National Park in the style of a 'Lord of the Rings' map.
Cairngorms National Park in Scotland
Dan Bell

A black-and-white illustration of Lake District National Park in the style of a 'Lord of the Rings' map.
Lake District National Park in England
Dan Bell

You can buy prints of the maps here.

[h/t Kottke.org]

All images by Dan Bell

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