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Street Artists Plan Murals for Historic WWII Sea Forts

During WWII, the Maunsell Forts were built off the eastern coast of the United Kingdom as a point of defense for the army and navy. Following their decommission in the 1950s, they were used as a pirate radio broadcasting center among other things, but were later deemed unsafe. With a long-term goal of preserving and restoring a selection of the sea forts, street artist Tristan Eaton has assembled a team of world-famous artists to turn the relics into works of art. The project is called Painted Oceans.

Eaton, Shepard Fairey, How & Nosm, Futura 2000, and The London Police plan to hang from rope and harness in order to paint the giant structures. They'll record the entire experience, producing a full-length documentary and coffee table art book. They've launched a Kickstarter to help fund the ambitious project, and it's well on its way to being funded with 28 days left in the fundraiser. 

Rendering of painted sea fort // Kickstarter

A quote from Eaton on the Kickstarter page reads: "These forts are a timeless symbol of resistance. Whether it's fighting the tyranny of the Nazis during WWII or fighting censorship in their Pirate Radio days in the 60's - they've always been on the frontline of defense against oppression. This makes them a perfect icon for the spirit of the street art & graffiti movement and I think it's important to share their story with a new generation."

Check out the video above to learn more about the project.

Banner image via Kickstarter

[h/t: Tristan Eaton]

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Stones, Bones, and Wrecks
Buckingham Palace Was Built With Jurassic Fossils, Scientists Find
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iStock

The UK's Buckingham Palace is a vestige from another era, and not just because it was built in the early 18th century. According to a new study, the limestone used to construct it is filled with the fossilized remains of microbes from the Jurassic period of 200 million years ago, as The Telegraph reports.

The palace is made of oolitic limestone, which consists of individual balls of carbonate sediment called ooids. The material is strong but lightweight, and is found worldwide. Jurassic oolite has been used to construct numerous famous buildings, from those in the British city of Bath to the Empire State Building and the Pentagon.

A new study from Australian National University published in Scientific Reports found that the spherical ooids in Buckingham Palace's walls are made up of layers and layers of mineralized microbes. Inspired by a mathematical model from the 1970s for predicting the growth of brain tumors, the researchers created a model that explains how ooids are created and predicts the factors that limit their ultimate size.

A hand holding a chunk of oolite limestone
Australian National University

They found that the mineralization of the microbes forms the central core of the ooid, and the layers of sediment that gather around that core feed those microbes until the nutrients can no longer reach the core from the outermost layer.

This contrasts with previous research on how ooids form, which hypothesized that they are the result of sediment gathered from rolling on the ocean floor. It also reshapes how we think about the buildings made out of oolitic limestone from this period. Next time you look up at the Empire State Building or Buckingham Palace, thank the ancient microbes.

[h/t The Telegraph]

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architecture
5 Scrapped Designs for the World's Most Famous Buildings
Ker Robertson, Getty Images
Ker Robertson, Getty Images

When an architect gets commissioned to build a skyscraper or a memorial, they’re usually not the only applicant for the job. Other teams of designers submit their own ideas for how it should look, too, but these are eventually passed over in favor of the final design. This is the case for some of the world’s most recognizable landmarks—in an alternate world, the Arc de Triomphe might have been a three-story-tall elephant statue, and the Lincoln Memorial a step pyramid.

GoCompare, a comparison site for financial services, dug into these could-have-been designs for Alternate Architecture, an illustrated collection of scrapped designs for some of the most famous structures in the world, from Chicago's Tribune Tower to the Sydney Opera House.

Click through the interactive graphic below to explore rejected designs for all five landmarks.

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