Anthony Giddens describes the relentless technological progress of modernity as a “juggernaut” — an out-of-control machine which the individual must choose to perilously ride upon, or else be crushed beneath. This utopian/dystopian attitude shapes the way we think about many of the societal changes that progress continues to deliver. Are GM crops the answer to world hunger, or a biodiversity apocalypse? Is globalization an emerging world democracy, or the universalization of capitalist exploitation? Does this food cause cancer or prevent it?

Sometimes Interesting is a beautiful blog that deliberately eschews the “bigger picture”, instead examining some of the more curious outcomes of human and industrial cultures: the people, objects and (most often) places that are abandoned and forgotten by a restless civilization that is constantly moving on. It recounts strange histories of misfits and failures who lurk dimly in the suburbs of significance.

You will peer into the door to hell, an immense chasm of methane sludge that opened up under a collapsed oil-rig in the Karakum desert forty years ago, and now burns in perpetuity. You can watch the last house on Holland Island slump into the ocean in the terminal stages of shoreline erosion. Learn why a network of huge concrete arrows lie overgrown and weed-cracked in remote US locations. There are fly-blown hotel resorts, abandoned malls, mysterious deaths, and sinister hospitals.

Sometimes Interesting is updated with appropriately mysterious infrequency, and has attracted an international cast of contributors. The blogger who began the project in 2011 hoped to cross the best parts of Wikipedia and Flickr with the spirit of urban exploration. With its concise, neutral authorial tone, arresting photography, and an impressively well-researched body of offbeat subject matter, Sometimes Interesting has achieved its author’s aims with aplomb.

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