Photo Series Shows Paris, France Alongside Its Chinese Replica

François Prost
François Prost

If tourists want to see the Eiffel Tower, the Mona Lisa, and Versailles on their next vacation, they have options. The most obvious choice is Paris, France. Then, if they’re looking for something a bit different, they can visit Tianducheng on the edge of Hangzhou in China, which includes replicas of these attractions in its scaled-down model of the French capital. The resemblance is so convincing that it inspired photographer François Prost to capture both cities and showcase the pictures side by side.

There are Eiffel Tower replicas around the world, but Prost was intrigued by the level of detail invested in Tianducheng. “It seemed more extreme and obsessive,” he tells Mental Floss. “It was planned as a real neighborhood with people living there as they would live anywhere else in China.” So last year the Paris resident booked a flight to the city to document its people and its architecture. The Paris facsimile was built just over a decade ago, but as you can see from the photos below, the aesthetic is lifted straight from classic Europe.

After a week of taking pictures there, Prost returned to Paris where he tracked down the original inspirations of the subjects in his photos. The resulting series, titled Paris Syndrome, pairs each scene with its counterpart across the globe.

If you’re not from Paris or Tianducheng, it may be hard to match the photo to its country of origin. There are a few images that give themselves away, like the Parisian storefronts branded with Chinese lettering. According to Prost, the project “blurs our perceptions of reality. You can no longer tell what is real from the replica.”

After sharing the photos on his website and Instagram page, Prost plans to do a similar project comparing Venice in Italy to its Chinese doppelgänger. Check out the highlights from Paris Syndrome below.

Eiffel tower and replica at night.

Parisian building and replica.

Eiffel tower and replica.

Parisian storefront and replica.

Mona Lisa and replica.

Parisian fountain and replica.

Portraits of city workers.

Eiffel tower and replica.

Paris and Chinese replica.

[h/t Co.Design]

All images courtesy of François Prost.

Turn Your LEGO Bricks Into a Drone With the Flybrix Drone Kit

Flyxbrix/FatBrain
Flyxbrix/FatBrain

Now more than ever, it’s important to have a good hobby. Of course, a lot of people—maybe even you—have been obsessed with learning TikTok dances and baking sourdough bread for the last few months, but those hobbies can wear out their welcome pretty fast. So if you or someone you love is looking for something that’s a little more intellectually stimulating, you need to check out the Flybrix LEGO drone kit from Fat Brain Toys.

What is a Flybrix LEGO Drone Kit?

The Flybrix drone kit lets you build your own drones out of LEGO bricks and fly them around your house using your smartphone as a remote control (via Bluetooth). The kit itself comes with absolutely everything you need to start flying almost immediately, including a bag of 56-plus LEGO bricks, a LEGO figure pilot, eight quick-connect motors, eight propellers, a propeller wrench, a pre-programmed Flybrix flight board PCB, a USB data cord, a LiPo battery, and a USB LiPo battery charger. All you’ll have to do is download the Flybrix Configuration Software, the Bluetooth Flight Control App, and access online instructions and tutorials.

Experiment with your own designs.

The Flybrix LEGO drone kit is specifically designed to promote exploration and experimentation. All the components are tough and can totally withstand a few crash landings, so you can build and rebuild your own drones until you come up with the perfect design. Then you can do it all again. Try different motor arrangements, add your own LEGO bricks, experiment with different shapes—this kit is a wannabe engineer’s dream.

For the more advanced STEM learners out there, Flybrix lets you experiment with coding and block-based coding. It uses an arduino-based hackable circuit board, and the Flybrix app has advanced features that let you try your hand at software design.

Who is the Flybrix LEGO Drone Kit for?

Flybrix is a really fun way to introduce a number of core STEM concepts, which makes it ideal for kids—and technically, that’s who it was designed for. But because engineering and coding can get a little complicated, the recommended age for independent experimentation is 13 and up. However, kids younger than 13 can certainly work on Flybrix drones with the help of their parents. In fact, it actually makes a fantastic family hobby.

Ready to start building your own LEGO drones? Click here to order your Flybrix kit today for $198.

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27 Awesome Vintage Photos of Moms

Turns out leash kids aren't a new phenomenon.
Turns out leash kids aren't a new phenomenon.
General Photographic Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

While you celebrate your mom, take a look back at mothers through the ages. 

1. January 1860: A mother and children in the parlor.

Mother and children in the parlour
London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images

2. 1876: A mother with her adolescent daughter.

A mother with her adolescent daughter
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

3. 1885: A young couple take the opportunity to have a cuddle while mother is asleep over her paper.

 A young couple take the opportunity to have a cuddle while mother is asleep over her paper
Otto Herschan Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

4. 1890: Collecting peat in the Killarney countryside, County Kerry, a barefooted mother carries a basket on her back while her young children sit at her feet.

Collecting peat In the Killarney countryside, County Kerry, a barefooted mother carries a basket on her back while her young children sit at her feet
Henry Guttmann Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

5. 1900: A Native American mother of the Hopi tribe with a child on her back.

American native mother of the Hopi tribe with a child on her back.
Edward S. Curtis/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

6. 1900: A mother gives her daughter a drink at the bar of a public house, while the baby sleeps in a pram beside her.

A mother gives her daughter a drink at the bar of a public house, while the baby sleeps in a pram beside her
Fox Photos/Getty Images

7. 1910: A child sits quietly as his mother knits Shetland wool into jumpers.

A child sits quietly as his mother knits Shetland wool into jumpers
General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

8. 1910: A mother walks with her baby and holds the new Sturgis baby carriage, which can be folded up and carried.

A mother walks with her baby and holds the new Sturgis baby carriage which can be folded up and carried
Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

9. 1911: A child plays in the sand with her spade, whilst her mother and aunt look on, at a riverside spot in Fulham, London.

A child plays in the sand with her spade, whilst her mother and aunt look on, at a riverside spot in Fulham, London
Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

10. 1920: Motor meeting at Brooklands, Weybridge, Surrey. Competitor Ivy Cummings and her mother in their racing car.

Motor meeting at Brooklands, Weybridge, Surrey. Competitor Ivy Cummings and her mother in their racing car
Topical Press Agency/Getty Image

11. 1925: A woman keeps a firm grip on a rope tied around her daughter's waist during a cliff-top walk.

A mother holds a rope attached to her daughter's waist
General Photographic Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

12. 1925: A Palestinian mother in typical dress holding her child.

A Palestinian mother in typical dress holding her child
Chalil Raad/Three Lions/Getty Images

13. 1926: A mother gets all the exercise she needs pushing her pram and cycling at the same time and the baby gets a taste for speed at an early age.

A mother gets all the exercise she needs pushing her pram and cycling at the same time
Fox Photos/Getty Images

14. 1930: A mother enjoying a tea party with her young daughter.

A mother enjoying a tea party with her young daughter circa 1930's
Keystone View/FPG/Getty Images

15. 1930: A mother fans her baby who is lying on a cushion on the floor.

A Japanese mother fans her baby who is lying on a cushion on the floor
Topical Press Agency/Getty Image

16. 1932: A small girl in a push chair modeled on a horse-drawn carriage, out for a stroll in Hyde Park, London, with her mother and a Great Dane.

A small girl in a push chair modelled on a horse-drawn carriage, out for a stroll in Hyde Park, London, with her mother and a Great Dane
Fox Photos/Getty Images

17. 1935: Mother and daughter sunbathing in similar knitted costumes.

Mother and daughter sunbathing in similar knitted costumes
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

18. 1935: A mother towing her children to school at Burrowbridge near Bridgewater during severe flooding.

A mother towing her children to school at Burrowbridge near Bridgewater during severe flooding
Martin/Fox Photos/Getty Images

19. March 1936: June Bishop (left) who is 3 years old, seen with her mother who owns a pet shop in Alton, Hampshire. June takes her pet sheep out with her wherever she goes, rather like the nursery rhyme.

A mother walks her two children, one of whom is walking a sheep
Fox Photos/Getty Images

20. 1937: A mother fastening a notice reading "Please Mr Motorist, watch out for me," onto her son's back before he sets out on a trial bicycle ride.

1937: A mother fastening a notice reading 'Please Mr Motorist, watch out for me', onto her son's back before he sets out on a trial bicycle ride
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

21. 1940: A mother and her baby ready for evacuation from London, under a London County Council Scheme. The mother is carrying a gas mask designed especially for babies.

A mother and her baby ready for evacuation from London
Fox Photos/Getty Images

22. 1950: Mother and child looking at the monkey cage at a zoo in Puerto Rico.

Mother and child looking at the monkey cage at a zoo in Puerto Rico
Victor Kayfetz/Three Lions/Getty Images

23. 1950: A baby girl and her mother play with a harmless Indigo snake at a serpentarium.

A baby girl and her mother play with a harmless Indigo snake at a serpentarium
Three Lions/Getty Images

24. 1953: A woman seeing her newborn baby while lying inside an iron lung as part of her treatment for Polio.

A woman seeing her new born baby whilst lying inside an iron lung as part of her treatment for Polio
Keystone/Getty Images

25. 1960: Proud mother Liu Wan-Fu displays her 6-month-old quadruplets, a girl and three boys.

A proud mother displays her quadruplets
Keystone/Getty Images

26. 1963: Sixteen-year-old trainee chef Peter Maddox of Hollingworth, Cheshire, practices his hobby of fire-eating out of the window, as his mother and 9-month-old brother look on.

Sixteen year old trainee chef Peter Maddox of Hollingworth, Cheshire practises his hobby of fire-eating out of the window,
Keystone/Getty Images

27. 1970: Portrait of a mother sitting with her young girl.

Portrait of a mother sitting with her young girl, circa 1970
Dwayne Bey/Getty Images