First, the myths. There are no “super rats”. Apart from a specific subtropical breed, they do not get much bigger than 20 inches long, including the tail. They are not blind, nor are they afraid of cats. They do not carry rabies. They do not, as was reported in 1969 regarding an island in Indonesia, fall from the sky. Their communities are not led by elusive, giant “king rats”. Rat skeletons cannot liquefy and reconstitute at will. (For some otherwise rational people, this is a genuine concern.) They are not indestructible, and there are not as many of them as we think. The one-rat-per-human in New York City estimate is pure fiction. Consider this the good news.

In most other respects, “the rat problem”, as it has come to be known, is a perfect nightmare. Wherever humans go, rats follow, forming shadow cities under our metropolises and hollows beneath our farmlands. They thrive in our squalor, making homes of our sewers, abandoned alleys, and neglected parks. They poison food, bite babies, undermine buildings, spread disease, decimate crop yields, andvery occasionally eat people alive. A male and female left to their own devices for one year – the average lifespan of a city rat – can beget 15,000 descendants.
There may be no “king rat”, but there are “rat kings”, groups of up to 30 rats whose tails have knotted together to form one giant, swirling mass. Rats may be unable to liquefy their bones to slide under doors, but they don’t need to: their skeletons are so flexible that they can squeeze their way through any hole or crack wider than half an inch. They are cannibals, and they sometimes laugh (sort of) – especially when tickled. They can appear en masse, as if from nowhere, moving as fast as seven feet per second. They do not carry rabies, but a 2014 study from Columbia University found that the average New York City subway rat carried 18 viruses previously unknown to science, along with dozens of familiar, dangerous pathogens, such as C difficile andhepatitis C. As recently as 1994 there was a major recurrence of bubonic plague in India, an unpleasant flashback to the 14th century, when that rat-borne illness killed 25 million people in five years. Collectively, rats are responsible for more human death than any other mammal on earth.
Humans have a peculiar talent for exterminating other species. In the case of rats, we have been pursuing their total demise for centuries. We have invented elaborate, gruesome traps. We have trained dogs, ferrets, and cats to kill them.


Harry Bush ‘A Corner of Merton, August 16th 1940’.

Anthony Gross, 'Fire in a Paper Warehouse', 1940. After returning to London from France in July 1940, Gross began recording the Blitz in London including air raid shelters in Chelsea, bombed buildings and wrecked water mains.

Anthony Gross, ‘Fire in a Paper Warehouse’, 1940.
After returning to London from France in July 1940, Gross began recording the Blitz in London including air raid shelters in Chelsea, bombed buildings and wrecked water mains.

‘Basement shelter’ by Henry Moore from his Wartime Sketchbook.

Clifford Hall 'Homeless' 1940

Clifford Hall ‘Homeless’ 1940


Crewmen aboard USS Saratoga lift AOM Kenneth Bratton, USNR, out of a TBF Avenger's rear turret after a raid on Rabaul on 5 November 1943 | © Lt. Wayne Miller/WikiCommons

Wayne Miller

Casualties of a mass-panic during a Japanese air raid in Chongqing in 1941 – photo by Carl Mydans | © Carl Mydans/WikiCommons

Lee Miller

Tuskegee airman Edward M. Thomas of Chicago, IL, Class 43-J – photo by Toni Frissell | © Toni Frissell/WikiCommons

Toni Frissell





Rebecca Mock, Brooklyn-based illustrator and MICA grad. The movements in her GIF paintings tend to be subtle, atmospheric. Her works have appeared in the New York Times and the Adventure Time comics covers.

I think the colours Mock uses in her giffs are beautiful and i especially like the way she uses light in her images. Several artists i have looked at use still imagery with a small amount of movement and  really like this as the simplicity makes it more realistic of a scene.

Joe Maccarone

Radiacion de los celulares

Glyn Dillon the nao of brown

sen green greendale

smartphone images

David Gentleman –

Ajit Chauham –

Cindy Sherman –

Allan Kirk –

Matthew Barney –

Jess Bonham –


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