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Gorgeous Photos of a Bar Made Entirely of Ice

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minus5

While ice bars aren't as impressive as a complete ice hotel—thank you Sweden—visiting an ice bar near you keeps getting easier. The first permanent indoor ice bar was built in 2002 at the Nordic Sea Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden. Since then, the U.S. has certainly worked on catching up. Cities like Las Vegas, Orlando, Beverly Hills, and Boston can all boast ice bar attractions. Even certain Norwegian Cruise Line ships are starting to put ice bars onboard. We got a quick peek at New York’s ice bar, minus5, before it opened in July. 

Constructing Icy Magic

Inside Hilton’s Midtown Hotel, minus5 began construction in January 2013. They started with a specialized unit that creates a mini microclimate. This keeps the bar the perfect icy temperature.

Next, world-renowned ice sculptor Peter Slavin and his team began to hand-carve 80 tons of ice. Everything in the bar is made of the stuff, from the walls and benches to the sculptures and chandeliers. 

While minus5’s inaugural New York design paid homage to Central Park, they have an ice carver who changes the bar and sculptures every 6 to 8 weeks. Every time you visit you’re likely to find a whole new bar on the inside.

Keeping it Chill

The 1000 square foot bar at minus5 stays at a constant temperature of 23 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus five degrees Celsius (hence the name minus5). Before entering the ice bar, guests get outfitted in insulated jackets and gloves. This not only keeps you warm, but also keeps the room from melting underneath everyone’s body heat. Don't make the mistake of wearing open-toed shoes. It’s been proven that your feet have special blood vessels that control cooling and warming. Consider that fun fact before planning your ice bar excursion.

Imbibing on Ice

When visiting minus5, and most other ice bars, you can’t treat it like you’re hitting up a regular bar. In fact, going to an ice bar feels closer to checking out an art gallery or a small amusement park—a small amusement park with booze. And like any amusement park, there is an admission fee, a photographer roaming around taking photos, and a feeling of novelty. The novelty continues in the details; even all the drinks are served out of glasses made completely of ice. They have a long list of fun specialty vodka cocktails, as well as a full bar for all your other favorites. The current guest favorite? The Icy Margarita. Drinks are not included in a basic admission fee, so there’s another tip to keep in mind pre-icy visit.

Whether you’re visiting New York this summer or going to a warmer location this fall, you may want to add ice bar to your vacation bucket list. It may not be as novel as an ice hotel, but it’s a close second in the world of frozen water. And with the U.S.’s hot and/or humid weather this summer, who hasn’t begged for a little snow and ice?

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Space
Here’s Why You Should Skip Selfies During the Solar Eclipse
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iStock

Following decades of hype, the Great American Eclipse will finally pass over the contiguous United States on Monday, August 21. If you’re one of the millions of people who will be watching the event, you may be tempted to document it with a quick over-the-shoulder selfie. But even if you’re facing away from the sun, using your phone to photograph it can still do damage, as Gothamist reports.

A viral post that recently circulated on Facebook instructs anyone without protective eyeglasses to view the eclipse live by filming it through their phone’s front-facing camera. Retina expert Tongalp Tezel, MD of Columbia University Medical Center explained to Gothamist why this is a bad idea: “What they may not realize is that the screen of your phone reflects the ultraviolet rays emitted during an eclipse directly toward your eye, which can result in a solar burn."

The power of the sun shouldn’t be underestimated, as NASA has warned people repeatedly in the weeks leading up to the eclipse. The rays that peek out when the sun is 99 percent covered are still enough to fry your retinas' delicate tissue and inflict lifelong damage. And your eyes aren’t all that's at risk—the lens of your camera, whether it’s part of a smartphone or not, also needs to be protected if you plan on pointing it at the eclipse.

If you’ve already secured a solar camera filter and ISO 12312-2-certified glasses, then you should have no trouble witnessing the phenomenon safely. But even without the proper eyewear there are plenty of ways to experience the eclipse without exposing your eyes to direct sunlight. And if you forgot to pick up a camera filter, that's a good excuse to watch the event unplugged.

[h/t Gothamist]

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travel
Meet the Bloggers Traveling the World in Search of Game of Thrones Locations
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HBO

Friends and Finnish travel bloggers Tiia Öhman and Satu Walden make their living trotting the globe in search of locations from their favorite movies and TV shows. For the latest chapter of their project, called Fangirl Quest, Öhman and Walden are attempting to track down the locations from scenes featured in HBO's Game of Thrones, Mashable reports.

So far, the pair has documented 20 filming locations in Ireland and Iceland, and they hope to continue the journey in Malta, Morocco, Croatia, and Spain. With each site they photograph, they include an iPad showing a still of the Game of Thrones scene that was set there.

When they're not following in the footsteps of the Game of Thrones cast, the girls of Fangirl Quest are traveling to places featured in Sherlock, Supernatural, Peaky Blinders, and more. You can follow their adventures on Instagram.

[h/t Mashable]

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