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Three Beauties of the Present Time

Three Beauties of the Present Day is a nishiki-e colour woodblock print of c. 1792–93 by Japanese ukiyo-e artist Kitagawa Utamaro (c. 1753–1806). The triangular composition depicts the busts of three celebrity beauties of the time: geisha Tomimoto Toyohina (middle), and teahouse waitresses Takashima Hisa (left) and Naniwa Kita (right), each adorned with an identifying family crest. Subtle differences can be detected in the faces of the subjects—a level of individualized realism at the time unusual in ukiyo-e, and a contrast with the stereotyped beauties in earlier masters such as Harunobu and Kiyonaga. The triangular positioning became a vogue in the 1790s. Utamaro produced several other pictures with this arrangement of the same three beauties, and each appeared in numerous other portraits by Utamaro and other artists. Utamaro was the leading ukiyo-e artist in the 1790s in the bijin-ga genre of pictures of female beauties, and was known in particular for his ōkubi-e, which focus on the heads. The luxurious print was published by Tsutaya Jūzaburō and made with multiple woodblocks—one for each colour—and the background was dusted with muscovite to produce a glimmering effect. (Full article...)

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A male singer, wearing a black shirt and holding a microphone, is singing. A drummer is performing behind him.

The discography of MercyMe, an American Christian rock band, includes eight studio albums, two compilation albums, one video album, eighteen singles and one guest appearance. MercyMe, formed in 1994, released six independent albums from 1995–2000 before signing with INO Records through Curb Records and releasing their major label debut album, Almost There, in 2001. The album's second single, "I Can Only Imagine", spent two weeks at number one on the Radio & Records Christian adult contemporary chart. The band released Spoken For, their second studio album, in 2002. Its second single, "Word of God Speak", spent a record twenty-three weeks atop the Billboard Christian Songs chart. MercyMe released a Christmas album, The Christmas Sessions, in 2005. Their fifth studio album, All That Is Within Me, was released in 2007 and marked their first album under Columbia Records. Their latest album, Welcome to the New, debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 26,000 copies in its first week. (Full list...)

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Makhtesh Ramon

Makhtesh Ramon, a cirque measuring 40 kilometres (25 mi) long, 2–10 kilometres (1.2–6.2 mi) wide, and 500 metres (1,600 ft) deep, is the world's largest makhtesh. It is located in Israel's Negev desert, some 85 kilometres (53 mi) south of Beersheba. The makhtesh and surrounding area are home to only one settlement, Mitzpe Ramon, and together form Israel's largest national park.

Photograph: Andrew Shiva

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