Most Beautiful Items: January 31 - Feb 7, 2014

Starting about two days ago and lasting until about two weeks from now, it's all Olympics all the time. That's all fine and well, but if you're looking for a reprieve, you've come to the right place. From fungus towers to slinky-like sculptures, here are the most beautiful things we showed you this week.


Human and dolphin surfing together—and other beautiful images from Oz

Most Beautiful Items: January 31 - Feb 7, 2014

Matt Hutton fell in love with photography at age seven in his native Australia. He's also in love with his country, which he travels working for Rio Tinto Rail, a railroad company that transports ore across the big Oz. I don't blame him. Just look at the beautiful photos he sent us.


One of the most stunning space images ever captured

Most Beautiful Items: January 31 - Feb 7, 2014

This is one of the most dramatic, unique and beautiful astronomy images ever captured by the Hubble Space Telescope: The protostar Herbig-Haro 24, located in the L1630 cloud within the Orion B group, 1,500 light years from Earth.


Amazing visualizations of the Winter Game's venues in the middle of NY

Most Beautiful Items: January 31 - Feb 7, 2014

The New York Times has a great visualization of major Winter Olympic Games in the middle of Manhattan. This vision of Sochi's bobsled course in the middle of Times Square is so good.


The Real-Life Monument Men: How American Scholars Went to War For Art

Most Beautiful Items: January 31 - Feb 7, 2014

They came from the best museums and universities in the country: Art historians, curators, artists and architects who probably never dreamed of joining the army. This band of unlikely soldiers was tasked with the uniquely challenging job of finding—and saving—Europe's great masterpieces before the Nazis could steal or destroy them.


What if all the ads in the world were replaced by beautiful art?

Most Beautiful Items: January 31 - Feb 7, 2014

Artist Etienne Lavie had a lightbulb bursting idea: what if all the advertisements we see on a daily basis in the street, on subways and billboards and so forth were replaced with beautiful works of art? Instead of seeing a C-list celeb shilling a sugar drink or a traditionally beautiful faceless model selling strips of underwear fabric, you'd see paintings and murals.


7 Surreal, Towering Ice Castles That You Can Actually Visit

Most Beautiful Items: January 31 - Feb 7, 2014

Are you sick and tired of skiing and ice skating? Why not take a trip to see one of America's mind-bendingly amazing ice castles. It's like a walking through a frosty landscape dreamt up by Richard Serra but built by nature.


You can stretch out these fake marble sculptures like a slinky

Most Beautiful Items: January 31 - Feb 7, 2014

Yes, like a slinky. These marble-looking sculptures that look like they're from Ancient Greece are actually completely malleable, deformable, slinky-like art pieces.


How the Video Age Was Born, Decades Before YouTube

Video is the defining medium of the 21st century, thanks to the rise of the internet. But its origins go back way further, to the late 1960s, when the first portable video devices emerged. It was a watershed moment in history—and our short documentary explains why.


A Tower Grown From Fungus Is Coming to NYC This Summer

Most Beautiful Items: January 31 - Feb 7, 2014

Buildings "grown" from fungus and other organic materials may seem like a far-off concept to some. But this summer, a group of young Brooklyn architects are planning to demonstrate just how real the technology is—by building a tower out of bricks "grown" from mycelium in the courtyard of MoMA P.S.1.