A Human Genetic Adaptation for Diving

How long can you hold your breath? The Bajau people of Indonesia are sometimes called "Sea Nomads," because they spend so much time in the ocean, hunting the sea creatures they live on. Bajau divers can spend up to 13 minutes underwater without scuba equipment! Melissa Ilardo, an American at the University of Copenhagen, went to Indonesia to find out what made Bajau divers so good at staying underwater.  

She took genetic samples and did ultrasound scans, which showed that Bajau had spleens about 50 percent larger than the Saluan.

Spleens are important in diving -- and are also enlarged in some seals -- because they release more oxygen into the blood when the body is under stress, or a person is holding their breath underwater.

Spleens were larger in the Balau people whether they were regular divers or not, and further analysis of their DNA revealed why.

Among the 25 genes that differed from other populations was one that regulates a thyroid hormone that controls spleen size. Read more about Ilardo's work at Yahoo. -via Boing Boing

(Image credit: Flickr user Austronesian Expeditions)


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 
Featured Designs from the NeatoShop:



These Six Stories Are as British as it Gets

(YouTube link)

There's a royal wedding coming up, as Prince Harry will marry American actress Meghan Markle on May 19, and today Queen Elizabeth II turns 92 years old. Happy Birthday, Your Majesty! In honor of the occasion, we celebrate British culture with a compilation video from Great Big Story, in which we will learn about about swan uppers, beadles, jellied eels, the Queen's stand-in, the world's best taxi drivers, and the history of the British obsession with tea. The eels are last, so you can stop there if you're squeamish. I did.


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

Looking Like a Flapper Meant a Diet of Celery and Cigarettes

The flapper culture of the Roaring Twenties was a revolt against the restrictions women lived under before World War I. Young women flaunted their sense of freedom by associating with men unchaperoned, riding in cars, drinking, smoking, and most of all, dancing. Fashions were adapted to the idea of freedom- and the corset was the garment women most wanted to shed. As trendsetters trotted out new clothing forms, a new beauty ideal took hold.  

Lighter, shorter dresses became ever more fashionable after World War I, as did comfortable clothing and relaxed social mores. Restrictions on dating, dancing, and sex loosened. The cosmetic changes reflected changing opinions on femininity, and the person who most epitomized the new era was the corsetless, cosmetic-wearing, free-spirited flapper.

Yet other restrictions surfaced. Designers such as Coco Chanel popularized a slim silhouette. The bathroom scale (patented in 1916) became a household staple. Books, magazines, and the media began depicting fat as the result of insufficient willpower. While people have always dieted to fit their era’s beauty standards, the new female silhouette was a departure from previous buxom ideals. “Though the flapper image minimized breasts and hips, it radiated sensuality,” writes historian Margaret A. Lowe. The slender silhouette seemed modern. Female curves seemed old-fashioned.

So flappers tried all kinds of new diets, such as the Hollywood 18-Day Diet, but there were plenty of trendy plans to choose from. Read about the flappers' weight-loss regimens at Atlas Obscura.

(Image source: Library of Congress)


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

Government Officials Stick Together

Charlie Eilhardt noticed a perfect example of a crash blossom in a headline in Thursday's Alameda Sun. You can just picture the City Manager and the District Attorney trying to walk around with their heads taped together, presumably with duct tape. What we have is two words in a row, "tapes" and "head," that are both used as either a noun or a verb, and figuring out which usage is meant depends on the context. What is really happening is that secret recordings will be given to the prosecutor. You can enlarge the picture to read the story here. -via Dave Barry


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

Back to the Fury Road

(YouTube link)

Witness me! It appears that Marty McFly accelerated to 88 mph and his time machine ended up in a post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland. Where's the "undo" button? The residents of Fury Road will like his car, all shiny and chrome. Well, stainless steel, but you get the idea. There's no sound to this video, because it was initially uploaded as a gif at reddit. -via Digg


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

Skyrider 2.0, the Airline Saddle

Airlines are always looking for ways to make a few cents more, but the most lucrative way to do that is to squeeze more passengers into each plane. We're at the point now where average-size people are uncomfortable in economy class, even for short flights. How much smaller can airplane seats get? Okay, since you asked... let me introduce you to the Skyrider 2.0. It braces passengers and gives them something to lean against while they stand through the flight. I am not kidding.

Engineered by Italian aerospace interior design company Aviointeriors and introduced at Hamburg’s Airplane Interiors Expo in earl April, the seat positions a willing passenger almost completely upright on a polyester saddle and back support. It seems well thought out, it’s reportedly very functional, and it even looks good.  But I’ll still never sit on one.

Airlines can stack these only 23 inches apart, which means in the future, we may have to board with a lot more fellow travelers. Read more about this abomination at FastCo Design.  -via Digg

(Image credit: Avio Interiors)


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

My Year With the Tribe

BBC2 is presenting a three-part documentary entitled My Year with the Tribe. One episode has already aired, and now British viewers are looking forward to the other two episodes, wondering where it could possible go from what was revealed already. The premise is that Will Millard went to Western Papua in Indonesia to spend an entire year living with the Korowai people. They are a primitive society that was untouched by the outside world until they were discovered in the 1970s. Millard knew there had been plenty of documentaries made in the years since, and his idea of spending a year in the rain forest was his way of doing something different. But when he traveled to the remote Korowai location, he got the impression that things were not as he expected.  

Even so, the penny didn’t really drop until the two men reached their destination, where another Korowai family were sitting naked in a treehouse. Initially, these neighbours gamely tried to pretend this was how they passed an average day. But once they realised that this particular day might go unpaid, the truth started to emerge. ‘This is not our home,’ pointed out a family member. ‘These houses were commissioned by Canadians for filming.’ ‘I was told we should be here with our clothes off,’ added one of the two wives.

Her husband, meanwhile, helpfully laid out the business plan of which this was a crucial part. ‘I lie around until there are guests,’ he told Millard. ‘And then I get naked and they photograph me.’ He also provided a handy price list, ranging from £5 for a basic photo to £50 for the full insect-grub hunt.

Read how Millard's idea went sideways at The Spectator. -via Metafilter

(Image credit: Flickr user christian caron)


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

How the Log Cabin Became an American Symbol

A log cabin is more than a sturdy shelter- it has become the symbol of the pioneering spirit of America. It wasn't always that way. Despite the pictures you've seen in history books, the earliest English settlers in America did not build log cabins. The structure arose out of necessity later on, because it was relatively easy to put together from available materials when you don't have a sawmill. A log cabin was a step up from a dugout or sod house. Still, log cabins did not have a great reputation, and were often considered a temporary shelter until a proper house could be built.  

Benjamin Franklin wrote that there were only two sorts of people, "those who are well dress'd and live comfortably in good houses," and those who "are poor, and dirty, and ragged and ignorant, and vicious and live in miserable cabins or garrets." Dr. Benjamin Rush, Surgeon General of the Middle Department of the Continental Army and a signatory to the Declaration of Independence, said the cabin dweller was “generally a man who has out-lived his credit or fortune in the cultivated parts."

As for cabins themselves, they were generally seen as “rude” and “miserable,” and no self-respecting American would deign to live in one. Not permanently, at least. Cabins back then were temporary stepping stones meant to be abandoned once something better could be afforded; barring that good fortune, they were to be covered with clapboard and added to as the cornerstone for a finer home.

The log cabin became the symbol it is today due to the way it illustrates the rise from a difficult life of poverty, as in Abraham Lincoln's story. But it wasn't because of Lincoln- it was an earlier political figure that make the log cabin an icon, in a story you can read at Mental Floss.


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

Nothing Compares 2 U

(YouTube link)

Prince originally wrote "Nothing Compares 2 U" for his side project The Family. The song was purportedly about Susannah Melvoin. After the release of one album in 1984, the members of The Family were reorganized into Prince & The Revolution. The song was later a global hit for Sinéad O'Connor in 1990. To coincide with the two-year anniversary of Prince's death tomorrow, his estate has released the original studio recording, accompanied by video footage of Prince & The Revolution's rehearsal sessions from 1984.  -via Uproxx


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

Pickled Basilisk Eggs with Wasabi and Avocado

You've probably been using the same deviled egg recipe your entire life; now its time to try something different! Tye Lombardi at the Necro Nom-nom-nomicon has a spicy, colorful recipe for pickled basilisk eggs. You will need:

6-8 basilisk eggs.
1 fireproof suit and gloves.
Large mirror
Blindfold

Oh, wait, that's the recipe for immortals. For the rest of us, it's a matter of pickling your eggs for a few days with brine colored with beet juice, then deviling the yolks with with wasabi and avocado filling. That's where the fuchsia and chartreuse color scheme comes from. Bone appetit!

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

How Did Restaurants Get So Loud?

Have you ever gone to a restaurant and immediately wanted to leave because it was so loud? Or you had a problem hearing the waiter? It's not your imagination- restaurants have been getting demonstrably louder over the past couple of decades. Changes in architecture, decor, and management have contributed to noise levels reaching the range that can damage your hearing. Some of the increase is on purpose, as proprietors want to create an ambiance of "buzz" and "energy," so they crank the music up. That only forces people to talk louder. Vox gives us five reasons restaurants are so noisy, and tips on what we can do it about it.

(Image credit: Flickr user Kyle Mahan)


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

The Differences Between the U.S. and New Zealand

(YouTube link)

Jordan Watson gave us two lessons on the difference between Australia and New Zealand, because he is from New Zealand and people thought he was from Australia. He must have gotten some feedback from Americans -probably confused Americans. So now he brings us a lesson on the differences between the States and New Zealand, as if we needed that. But he is, as always, entertaining. I honestly saw "Howdy" coming a mile away, and then expected him to go from "chilly bin" to the "chili bun," which is a Southern US thing.  -via Tastefully Offensive


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

Ancient Humans Performed Brain Surgery on a Cow

There are variety of possible reasons for the ancient practice of trepanation, or drilling holes in a person's skull, but whatever you call it, it was brain surgery. What is surprising is how good ancient practitioners were at it, and how similar trepanations were around the world. A new science paper may have a clue as to how that happened. In 1999, a 5,000-year old cow skull was unearthed at an archaeological dig in France. It had a hole in it. Researchers assumed the hole was a gore from another cow's horn, and put it away. A more recent examination shows that it was surgery.   

Physical analysis of the hole, which measures 64.5 mm long and 46.5 mm wide, shows no trace of fracturing or splintering, which means it wasn’t caused by a powerful blow, such as goring from another cow or a puncture inflicted by a stone tool. At the same time, the hole shows the characteristic signs of trepanation, namely a square-like shape and cut marks made around the gap. No marks exist on the skull to indicate that pressure was applied by an external force. This hole, the researchers argue, was cut—quite literally—with surgical precision.

The hole exhibits no sign of healing, which means the procedure was performed on a dead cow, or the cow did not survive the surgery.

This is the earliest concrete example we have of veterinary surgery, but we don't know the reason. It's possible, but unlikely, that they were trying to save the cow. Or, whether the cow was dead or alive going into the procedure, it could have been surgeons practicing for human trepanation. Read about the ancient cow surgery at Gizmodo.

(Image credit:  Fernando Ramirez Rozzi)


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

Musical World Map

(YouTube link)

We've seen before how people turned art into music by playing it through a midi program. John Keats did that with a map of the world, and the results are surprisingly pleasant. Well, maybe it shouldn't be too surprising, since a talented programmer/musician would adjust those pixels to avoid the most dissonant notes. But it's nice to see our world sounding this good!   

Keats' musical map of Europe is way more discordant, his musical map of Africa is more dramatic, and his musical map of France is experimental, since he used the sounds of different musical instruments. You can see more of Keats' musical midi maps at YouTube. -via b3ta


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

Assassin Bug Lives Up to Its Name, Has Not One But TWO Distinct Venoms


Image: Jiayi Jin

With a name like the "assassin bug," this little insect better has something really awesome to live up to the badass moniker.

And it does: in a research paper recently published in Nature Communications, entomologist Andrew Walker and colleagues at the University of Queensland, Australia, discovered that the assassin bug Pristhesancus plagipennis has not only one venom, but two distinct ones stored in separate glands.

“We wanted to see if assassin bugs had venom that was similar in composition to other venomous animals due to convergent evolution, or if the different feeding physiology would result in a different composition,” [Walker] said. And when their research began, essentially no one has looked at their venoms—”almost nothing was known about them.”

But what they found was much more surprising: the animals are equipped with two different venoms, which are made and stored in distinct compartments—a first for any venomous animal.

Christine Wilcox of Science Sushi has the intriguing story of the dual-venomed assassin bug.


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

Which Way is the Windmill Rotating?

According to Michael Pickard and Gurpreet Singh, the creators of "The Windmills of Your Mind" illusion, the dots of the windmill are always at constant speed and direction throughout the video clip.

So why did your mind see both clockwise and counter-clockwise movement? The answer, the two researchers at the University of Sunderland, United Kingdom, said, is that perceived direction is changed when the dot pitch is changed (by removing alternate dots or using alternate light and dark colors).


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

This Urinal Shows You Ads While You Pee

No place is safe from advertisement anymore - not even the restroom.

Mr.Friendly, a Dutch toilet company, has created a high-tech urinal with neat features like waterless/flushless function and anti-bacterial surface. But the unique feature here is the built-in display with an automatic sensor that'll play advertisement while you pee.


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

This Algae Species is Like a Living Opal


Image: Martin Lopez-Garcia, et al./Science Advances

All that glitters is not gold ... sometimes, they're opal.

Researchers at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom have discovered an iridescent algae species called Cystoseira tamariscifolia that got its dazzling colors from its light-controlling crystals inside its cells.

"We have living jewels in the environment," study author Heather Whitney said to Gizmodo, "It’s a Fabergé seaweed":

Looking at it under a microscope reveals a shimmering iridescence. An even closer analysis reveals two to three fat-filled vesicles in each of its cells, according to the paper published last week in Science Advances.

Inside these sacs, lots of spherical fat globules arrange themselves into a three-dimensional lattice, similar to the lattice structure that silicon dioxide takes in opals, to give the alga its special iridescent property. Not only that, but it appears that the algae can choose to order and disorder the spheres to control how light is scattered (or not) inside cells.


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

Girl Brought Cardboard Cutout of Michael B. Jordan to the Prom

No date for the prom? No problem!

When a teenager named Dee found herself without a date to the prom, she decided to bring the man of her dreams - Black Panther actor Michael B. Jordan - albeit in cardboard cutout form.

"After not being able to get a prom date from procrastinating and waiting til the last minute, i spent 3 hours making my sexy prom date," Dee tweeted.

Now, the crafty teen is campaigning to meet the real Michael B. Jordan.


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

A Real-life Lord of the Flies: the Troubling Legacy of the Robbers Cave Experiment

Harvard psychologist Muzafer Sherif was fascinated by group dynamics, and wanted to experiment with social psychology. In 1953, a year before William Golding's Lord of the Flies was published, he set up a summer camp called Middle Grove for 11-year-old boys and manipulated them into forming two opposing groups. He set them up to hate each other, and then planned a fake emergency to see if they would cooperate to overcome it.

Despite his pretence of leaving the 11-year-olds to their own devices, Sherif and his research staff, posing as camp counsellors and caretakers, interfered to engineer the result they wanted. He believed he could make the two groups, called the Pythons and the Panthers, sworn enemies via a series of well-timed “frustration exercises”. These included his assistants stealing items of clothing from the boys’ tents and cutting the rope that held up the Panthers’ homemade flag, in the hope they would blame the Pythons. One of the researchers crushed the Panthers’ tent, flung their suitcases into the bushes and broke a boy’s beloved ukulele. To Sherif’s dismay, however, the children just couldn’t be persuaded to hate each other.

After losing a tug-of-war, the Pythons declared that the Panthers were in fact the better team and deserved to win. The boys concluded that the missing clothes were the result of a mix-up at the laundry. And, after each of the Pythons swore on a Bible that they didn’t cut down the Panthers’ flag, any conflict “fizzled”. By the time of the incident with the suitcases and the ukulele, the boys had worked out that they were being manipulated. Instead of turning on each other, they helped put the tent back up and eyed their “camp counsellors” with suspicion. “Maybe you just wanted to see what our reactions would be,” one of them said.

When the first experiment didn't turn out they way Sherif expected, he held a second summer camp the next year at Robber's Cave where the experimenters manipulated the boys in a different way, and voilà! achieved the expected results. Gina Perry's new book The Lost Boys looks at the process and the ethics of the Robber's Cave experiment, and its lasting legacy. 

You can read an excerpt from the book The Lost Boys here. -Thanks, WTM!


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

How Dog Poop Led to Me Cleaning Out a Meth House

Erin Burr tells a story about how she went home and found her dog had pooped in the floor because she was late taking him out. But there was a footprint in the poop, and no one had been home all day. That can give you the willies, and rightly so. But that was just the initial feeling of unease about the neighbors that sets up the better parts of the story.

Fast forward to today. I’ve been locking my doors and closing windows because the neighbors are creepy. I lock up, and head out to my car so I can pick up the kids I babysit from school. I’m parked in the alley out back, which is super convenient.

Usually.

Today, however, the end of the alley is blocked off by at least four unmarked police cars. There are a dozen cops. I can kind of see someone handcuffed on the ground. Lots of plainclothes cops. Shit is going down.

It’s a dead-end alley. I’m blocked in. I figure I need to ask them if they can move the arrest over a few feet. Nbd. I set my car keys, phone, and wallet down on the seat of the car. And then, distracted af, I hit the lock button.

And close the door.

You guys.

Have you ever locked your whole life in a car in the middle of a police raid.

I do not recommend it.  

I do, however, recommend that read the entire story, which gets much crazier from that point, either at Twitter, or to make it easier, you can read it at Thread Reader.

And if you liked that story, read about the time Burr's refrigerator was stolen, and how it was later returned. -via Metafilter


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

The Rise and Fall of the Hormel Girls, Who Sold America on SPAM

At the end of World War II, thousands of women lost their jobs to make room for returning soldiers. Jay C. Hormel of Hormel Foods, like many manufacturers, had promised those men they could return to their jobs when the war ended. But what about the women who had served in the military? There was also the problem of the company losing the wartime military as its biggest SPAM customer. The solution was to form a drum and bugle corps consisting of 48 women who had been GI musicians during the war: the Hormel Girls.

On August 29 [1946], the Hormel Girls completed their first month of training. Their test was the 29th American Legion National Drum and Bugle Corps Championship, held in New York. In neat uniforms, they played hits such as “Yankee Doodle Dandy” and “Give My Regards to Broadway.” As the competition’s first female team, they finished 13th. There was avid media interest, both positive and negative. The New York Times reported on an injunction brought by noise-sensitive neighbors near the Corps’s Connecticut training grounds, but that was outweighed by the spectacle of the musicians performing and on parade. Hormel soon realized that the group was an advertising powerhouse.

The Hormel Girls' mission was to make people feel patriotic when they bought SPAM. Their duties expanded to include travel, radio programs, stage shows, and direct SPAM sales. Read about the Hormel Girls at Atlas Obscura.

(Image credit: Hormel Foods)


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

Homemade Drivable TIE Fighter

(YouTube link)

If you are in Hubbards, Nova Scotia, and see Darth Vader coming toward you, you aren't necessarily hallucinating. Allan Carver built his own TIE fighter that he can drive around the neighborhood! He says it's roughly a third of the size of Vader's vehicle, and doesn't fly, but it tools around at a maximum of six miles per hour. He still wears a helmet while driving -you can guess what kind. The TIE fighter is powered by several wheelchair motors (hence the speed) controlled by a Sabertooth dual-motor driver and a DX8 remote control receiver, so it can go whether he's in it or not. Read more about the TIE fighter at the YouTube link and at Carver's website. -via Geeks Are Sexy


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

19 Secrets of Public Librarians

Being a librarian is a great job for someone who loves books, but a career in the library requires more than that. Librarians must be dedicated to curating and protecting the library's collection, and at the same time, be an advocate for the public's access to those materials. And it's more than books, as public libraries lend out many other types of materials. They also work to promote public participation and literacy. Then there are all the smaller things you don't know about a librarian's work. Here's a sample. 

5. THEY LOVE HELPING TO SETTLE A BET.

There’s a mundane occurrence to delight every librarian. “Especially if there are language barriers, I love when someone musters the courage to ask me a question and we can go back and forth to make sure I connect them to the right resources,” Krakowski says. For Paolini, it’s when “someone comes in nervous, expecting us to be mean, then they tell me, ‘You guys are so nice … and I didn’t know you had e-books!”

But Paolini's favorite thing of all is getting a call at the phone reference desk from a sports bar where two buddies are arguing over player stats: “I’m like, ‘This is great that you’re calling the library to settle a bet!'”

9. THEY WISH YOU WOULDN'T USE BACON AS A BOOKMARK ...

Librarians find all kinds of objects wedged between the pages of books—$100 bills, Broadway tickets, condoms, paychecks, love letters, drugs, hatchets, knives, and even a vial labeled “smallpox sample.” Messiest of all, though, might be the food left in books, like crumbled Cheetos, slices of pickles, and whole strips of bacon (both cooked and raw).

Read the rest of the 19 secrets of public librarians at Mental Floss.


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

O Moldy Night: A Celebration of Molded Food

Three old friends in Durham, North Carolina, staged a pop-up museum project at the Durham Hotel called "O Moldy Night," featuring premiere dishes of molded food from 40 experienced chefs, home cooks, and artists. The idea of molded food was dominated by tributes to old family recipes involving Jell-O, agar, or aspic, but it was not limited to those ingredients. Some were molded of chocolate or cooked beans. The dish pictured is “Jell-O by the Sea” by Kate Fulbright.

Medium: Agar agar, Jell-O, coconut milk, Swedish Fish, graham crackers, sprinkles

Inspired by an episode of “Rugrats,” I set out to make a grand, wiggly-jiggly mold of the ocean. Using Swedish fish to represent ocean life, and a combination of tapioca balls and zigzags representing bubbles and kelp, I suspended this all in layers of agar agar (a gelatin derived from algae). Crushed graham crackers and sprinkles adorning the edge as sand and seashells completed the tableau.

The dishes ranged from the nostalgic (“Nothing Says I Love You Like Green Jell-O”) to the exotic (“Big in Japan”) to the alcoholic (“Jiggle Gin Fizz”) to the disgusting (“I Would Heart for You to Trotter on Over and Vent Your Spleen”). The best-named dish was certainly "Congealed Item." You can see the most notable of the molded foods at Bitter Southerner. -via Metafilter

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

The Future of Fake News

(YouTube link)

This video contains NSFW language. An address from President Obama, in which he says things that he would never say in public, is revealed to be a collaboration between filmmaker Jordan Peele and his brother-in-law Jonah Peretti, the CEO of Buzzfeed (who knew?).

For the project, Peretti enlisted BuzzFeed video producer Jared Sosa, who was able to manipulate and digitally alter the footage of Obama to a script written and performed by Peele.

The fakery was built using Adobe After Effects, a readily available piece of video software, and FakeApp, an artificial intelligence program that made headlines in January when it was used to transplant actor Nicolas Cage’s face into several movies in which he hadn’t appeared.

Sosa first pasted Peele’s mouth over Obama’s, then replaced the former president’s jawline with one that moved with Peele’s mouth movements. He then used FakeApp to smooth over and refine the footage — a rendering that took more than 56 hours of automatic processing.

If you watched this in high-definition, you probably found it to be an obvious fake from the beginning. But you are on Neatorama, so you are a discerning internet user already. Now imagine someone who is not so internet savvy watching this on a smartphone or in a more compressed format. Then imagine that person is already inclined to believe the contents of what they are seeing. It would be easy to fool a lot of people. On the other hand, imagine a lot of people watching a real video and not believing their eyes because they know how easy it is to fake a video. Read more about the project at Buzzfeed.


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

Medieval Man Had Sword Attached to His Amputated Arm


Image: Ileana Micarelli et al./Journal of Anthropological Sciences

Even Captain Hook would be so jealous of this medieval man!

Archaeologist Ileana Micarelli from the University of Rome discovered a tomb at the Longobard necropolis of Povegliano Veronese in Veneto, Italy, which contained the remains of a medieval man who had attached a sword to his amputated right arm.

He had his right arm bent at the elbow, the arm laid across his torso. Next to it was a knife blade, the butt aligned with his amputated wrist. Also at the amputation site, archaeologists found a D-shaped buckle, and decomposed organic material - most likely leather.

This suggests a leather cap over the amputated limb, a buckle used for fastening - and a knife attached to the cap, although the purpose is unclear. However, given the advanced healing of the bone, it is clear the man lived for a long time after his hand had been amputated.

Read the full story over at Science Alert.


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

Golf Carts Are More Expensive Than Teslas and Porsches in This Corner of Hong Kong


There's a million bucks worth of golf carts in the picture above (image: Justin Chin/Bloomberg)

Forget Teslas and Porsches! There's a new hot ride in Hong Kong that's more expensive than luxury cars: golf carts!

Want one? It'll cost you more than a quarter million dollars.

Anjali Cordeiro of Bloomberg has the story:

On the two-lane streets of Discovery Bay — a residential development about a 30-minute ferry ride from downtown Hong Kong — the golf carts are both the transportation of choice and an investment play for the wealthy. The buggies can sell for more than HK$2 million ($255,000) in the upscale neighborhood that’s home to airline pilots, bankers and lawyers.

Business executives drive them, expatriates love them and nannies ferry kids to school in them. Private passenger cars aren’t allowed in this neighborhood, and the Transport Department has capped golf-cart licenses at about 500. The supply crunch has transformed these slow gas-guzzlers into luxury transportation. Some buyers view them as investments — renting them out or reselling to make money.


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

Heating Up by Cooling Down, Just Another Craziness That Is Quantum Physics

Let's face it: nothing makes sense in the topsy turvy world of quantum physics. Light can be both wave and particle. Schrödinger's cat is both dead and alive. Things can simultaneously sync up, even when they're separated by a large distance.

Why, it's enough to make Einstein throw up his hands and despair!

Well, add this to the weirdness that is quantum physics: quantum systems can heat up by cooling down.

Nemoto and her team examined a double sub-domain system coupled to a single constant temperature reservoir. Each sub-domain contained multiple spins -- a form of angular momentum carried by elementary particles such as electrons and nuclei. The researchers considered the situation where the spins within each sub-domain are aligned with respect to each other but the sub-domains themselves are oppositely aligned (for instance all up in one and all down in the second). This creates a certain symmetry in the system.

As time progresses, the components of the subdomain decay in a process called relaxation.

"Usually, we expect both domains to decay to the reservoir temperature; however, when the two domains coupled with a reservoir maintain a certain symmetry, the decay process can apparently heat the smaller domain up, even beyond the high temperature limit," Nemoto said.

See if you can understand what's going on in this article over at Science Daily, then tell the rest of the class, mkay? (Image: Future Quantum Physicist by Mike Jacobsen)


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 

KFC Hot & Spicy Chicken Pieces Look Like Flames in These Ads

KFC Hong Kong's new ad campaign for their "Hot & Spicy" fried chicken is ON FIRE!

Designed by art director John Koay of Ogilvy & Mather Hong Kong, the print campaign uses fried chicken instead of fiery explosions. Clever (and yummy!)

via Campaign Brief Asia and Design Taxi


Load More Comments
Start New Comment Thread...
Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

 




Email This Post to a Friend
""

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.

 

Success! Your email has been sent!

close window
X

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
 
Learn More