Photographers' Blog

Are you ready for doomsday?

By Petar Kujundzic

Is the world coming to an end on Dec. 21, 2012 as the ancient Mayans predicted more than 2,000 years ago?

After seeing a short video about a farmer in northern China who built several “pod” arks to survive the Mayan prophecy, we decided to go to his village and try to find him. Helped by local villagers it was relatively easy to find his little factory, so we ended up in front of several giant cannonball-shaped objects sitting in his courtyard.

Liu Qiyuan (45), the former owner of a furniture factory, started drawing concepts for his “doomsday” survival device following his own daughter’s fears of natural disasters in years past.

The original, named “The Enemy of Shipwreck”, is a 4-meter-tall life survival capsule weighing 4.2 tons, with a passenger capacity of up to 30 people. The pods are equipped with seat belts, oxygen tanks, power generators, batteries and food supplies, which according to the inventor are enough to sustain passengers for at least two months.

One of the pods could be seen floating in a large canal near Liu’s village following recent successful testing.

from Russell Boyce:

Asia – A Week in Pictures January 30, 2011

Even though the world's gaze is firmly focused on the events in Egypt and Tunisia, top stories continue to break in Asia. Last week during my morning call with Enny Nuraheni, our Indonesia Chief Photographer, she told there was a ferry on fire with hundreds on board, a train had crashed and Mount Bromo was spewing ash, all on the same day.  In Japan Mount Kirishima was erupting, thousands of birds culled to try to stop the spread of bird flu and the economy and government were under pressure.  But all Japanese worries were forgotten briefly as Japan beat Australia 1-0 in the AFC Asian Cup final in Doha. 


Volcanic lightning or a dirty thunderstorm is seen above Shinmoedake peak as it erupts, between Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures, in this photo taken from Kirishima city and released by Minami-Nippon Shimbun January 28, 2011. Ash and rocks fell across a wide swathe of southern Japan straddling the prefectures of Miyazaki and Kagoshima on Thursday, as one of Mount Kirishima's many calderas erupted, prompting authorities to raise alert levels and call on for an evacuation of all residents within a 2 km (1.2 miles) radius of the volcano. REUTERS/Minami-Nippon Shimbun

Issei Kato's picture of Prime Minister Kan addressing parliament is as frenetic as the politics themselves, while Kim Kyung-Hoon's picture to illustrate the economy perfectly timed as the eye is drawn into the frame by all the elements that appear in to be in choreographed perfection. If the apocalypse is coming it is sure to come in one of two forms; the eruptions of fire, smoke and lightening or the eerie silence of spreading disease. We had two pictures giving us a sneak preview of our potential fate. A wonderful image of the sheer beauty of the power, energy, light and colour of Mount Kirishima erupting and the whisper of deadly fumes as fully masked workers with red and blue targets sprayed on their white overalls, cull the hapless birds.  

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