We already know that octopuses are great at camouflage, but they are also great mimics. With those tentacles, they can do amazing things! Designer and illustrator Gabe Pyle knows an octopus that is a master of disguise, and can make himself into a dozen other animals that are definitely not octopuses. -via Pleated-Jeans
(Photo: Jason Eppink)
According to legend, the Buddha gave a hermit a single strand of his own hair, which was made of gold. The hermit gave it to a local king named Tissa. In exchange, King Tissa used his magic to pull an enormous boulder out of the sea and place it on a cliff. Then the king built a pagoda on the top of the boulder to serve as a shrine for the golden hair.
This is the Kyaiktiyo Balancing Pagoda in Burma. The entire rock and shrine is painted with gold. For a thousand years, pilgrims have come to the base of the rock to pray.
-via The Presurfer
It’s a holiday weekend! Time for bonfires and illuminations, for remembering what America is all about, from our history to our freedoms to the work that still needs to be done to ensure those liberties for all. To put you in the spirit, here are some movies you probably know and love.
In short, what the movies have reignited in us, time and time again, is the urgency that comes with the responsibility of being “free.” The freedom to vote, the freedom to speak, the freedom to love—they all have their trappings and burdens. It’s easy to take for granted what we have in this country, and in the age of hyper-opinion and the Internet, it’s even easier to thwart innovative ideas and political discussion through online hateful diction and campaigning. Sometimes re-watching a good movie can stir the right feelings inside of us and make us stand up with a little more gusto, and a little less cynicism.
What we have done as a nation, through a ritualistic smoke-and-mirrors trick every summer, is rest on our laurels by looking helplessly towards the sky at those wondrous fireworks. It’s astounding how simple we all are at the end of the day, when you think about it. Some bursts of light in the sky and we’re haplessly in a trance. Hopefully soon we can start seeing the brilliant bursts of light in each other and unite productively as a nation again. Then we will truly be free.
-via Laughing Squid
(Image: Adam the Woo)
In 1971, Disney World built a private airport to provide direct access to its facilities. The Disney World Airport, serviced by the now-defunct Shawnee Airlines, had a unique feature. When a plane rolled over the runway at precisely 45 MPH, the bumps played the tune of "When You Wish Upon a Star" from the animated musical Pinocchio.
The airport closed shortly after it opened, as it proved impractical. But the runway remains and, as this video appears to demonstrate, is publicly accessible. It's mostly used a storage area. You can read more about this short-lived Disney venture into aviation at Atlas Obscura.
(Photo: JD Hancock)
Tyler Cowen is an economist at George Mason University. Recently, he mused about why the settings of Star Trek and Star Wars are so different. There are advanced technologies in both--far beyond our own reality--but enormous differences in the politics, economies, and cultures between them.
1. The armed forces in Star Trek seem broadly representative of society. Compare Uhura, Chekhov, and Sulu to the Imperial Storm troopers.
2. Captains Kirk and Picard may be overly narcissistic, but they do not descend into true power madness, unlike various Sith leaders and corrupted Jedi Knights.
3. In Star Trek, any starship can lay waste to a planet, whereas in Star Wars there is a single, centralized Death Star and no way to oppose it, short of having the rebels try to blow it up. That seems to imply stronger checks and balances in the world of Star Trek. No single corrupt captain can easily take over the Federation, and so there are always opposing forces.
I think that the core difference is that Star Trek (at least in The Next Generation era) is highly utopian. The Federation at the center of the Star Trek story is prosperous, peaceful, and incorruptible. Factionalism, let alone tribalism, is rare. Hundreds of species with radically different cultures and even biological systems live together without serious disagreement. Material wants and injustice are almost unknown.
I love Star Trek and prefer it to Star Wars, but it's quite unrealistic. The reason why Star Wars is so savage and tragic compared to Star Trek is because real life is savage and tragic.
Two guys got together to make a machine that would fix breakfast for their wives. Peter Browne designed the mechanics, and his friend Mervyn Huggett made sure the electronics worked. The machine cooks a soft-boiled egg, toast, and tea. It even delivers a newspaper and clears the dishes for you! It has extraneous lights, gadgets, and toys because the main goal is "to make people laugh."
The mean streets of Glasgow circa the late 1800s are the stuff of legend, and many a tale has been told about the gangs and ne'er-do-wells who roamed those narrow streets and alleyways looking for an easy mark.
The maze-like streets may seem like something Hollywood made up, but these old photos taken by Thomas Annan show the Glasgow streets really were as claustrophobic and sketchy as the movies make them out to be.
Thomas opened a photo studio on Sauchiehall Street in 1857, and a few years later he was asked to photograph the Glasgow slums before the Glasgow City Improvement Trust began urban renewal.
The compelling street photos shot by Thomas from 1868 to 1877 were published in a book called Old Closes And Streets Of Glasgow, which is now considered important historical documentation of old Glasgow.
Grandpa is a wise old man. He gives good advice when it’s to his advantage, because he’s spent a lifetime figuring other people out. The young man could learn more from Grandpa if he’d look a little deeper. And while Gramps may regret not skydiving in his youth, he certainly doesn’t want to do it now, because a nap on the porch with no interruptions is a lovely way to spend the afternoon. This is the latest from Buttersafe.
Humanoids are always asking Han how he manages to look so aloof at all times, trying to glean his secret so they can earn a few more cool points, but Han ain't saying much at the moment. He's so cool his body has turned to pure carbonite, and when people ask him questions he just smirks and thinks about winking, which he can't actually do because he's essentially a big block of stone. But wars will come and go, and Han will still be the star of the show, just as cool as ever, forever and ever!
Show the world you're the coolest sci-fi fan ever with this Stay Cool t-shirt by Cory Freeman Design, it's a hilarious way to earn a galaxy's worth of cool points!
|Rebel Scum- Snowspeeder||Thermal Detonator||Wayne Tower||Wildfire|
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The long-running Japanese TV show Masquerade asks contestants to re-enact scenes with low-tech visual effects. The overall theme appears to be something like the pantomime tradition in Western theatre.
Here's an impressive clip from that show. The performers are dressed as pool balls. The player smoothly breaks the rack, sending the heads rolling toward the pockets.
-via Laughing Squid
Crazy inventor Colin Furze was tired of missing deliveries to his house, since he orders a lot of parts through the mail. So he built a doorbell that no one could miss. No matter where they are.
(Photo: Danny Choo)
Good news, my otaku brothers! There may be opportunities beyond our dakimakuras! Yes, you love your waifu. But you need a backup plan in case things don't work out.
That's why you should consider Otaku Speed Dating, a new dating service in New York City. It holds hour long speed dating events that match single anime fans with each other. At the end, the participants fill out cards expressing who they'd like to get to know better. The service then introduces matches to each other. Rocket News 24 gives us the details:
Participants must be 18 or older, but there’s no dress code to adhere to. Otaku Speed Dating says to come in whatever is comfortable for you. The company even expressly states that light cosplay is welcome, although it asks that attendees refrain from wearing bulky, walkway obstructing outfits or bringing weaponry, even of the fake variety. Snacks and soft drinks are served at all events, and alcohol can be purchased at certain venues if you’re over 21 and need a glass of liquid courage.
Oliver is five years old. He’s had a YouTube account for a month or so, and this is his first science video, in which we learn how to make a tornado in a jar.
After the tornado in a jar, Oliver has some tips on how to stay safe in the event of a tornado. You’ll have to supply your own consonants. Outside of the science lab, Oliver does not resemble a mad scientist. Although he may grow up to be one someday! -via Viral Viral Videos
People cry Photoshop when they think something's wrong with an image, but if they'd spent less time crying fake and more time Googling they'd see many of those supposed fakes are actually the real deal.
Take this terrifying photo for instance:
People screamed fake when it was posted, but if the accusers had simply rotated their point of view they would see it for what it really is- a visual gag done well.
And then there are those who refuse to believe bright, vibrant colors like these can be captured in the wild, when we all know Mother Nature is one hell of a painter.
People said a lizard couldn't be caught on camera while chillin' with a leaf, but those buzzkills were just trying to harsh this little guy's mellow.
And as for the image at the top of the post- just a trippy optical effect caused by a tarp thrown over the Hausmannian building in Paris during renovation in 2007. No Photoshop, no bull!
Believe it or not, this picture was taken this morning at the Waterloo train station in London. A friend of redditor Raimon86 snapped it on the way to work. Others assure us that the same scene is happening all over Britain, as they commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.
The BBC has a roundup of the many commemoration ceremonies taking place today.
My best guess is that the camera is angled precisely to create inaccurate impressions from both the viewer's perspective as well as the mirror reflection. When the hands turn the forms, they briefly take on strange shapes that don't jive with the previous impressions
Sugihara quite rightly won second place at the Best Illusion of the Year competition this year with these odd cylinders.
Disney’s newest theme park opened in Shanghai, China, just two weeks ago. It’s a showcase of innovation and technology, all 21st-century from the ground up. And it’s not only modern, but many of the park’s features are specifically designed with Chinese visitors in mind. You’ll want to go yourself, when you read about what’s new in Disney entertainment there.
Other Disneyland Parks have their own castles, but none feature as many princesses as the one at Shanghai Disneyland. The Enchanted Storybook Castle doesn’t just feature Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty, as is the case at other parks. Instead, it has gorgeous mosaics that depict all of the princesses from Snow White and Belle to Tiana and Merida. The detail that went into the park’s landmark is incredible, and it’s also the largest castle at any Disney park thus far. Rides there include Once Upon a Time, Voyage to the Crystal Grotto, and then there’s the Ignite the Dream nighttime display. If you’ve seen it at other Disney parks, you’ll understand just why the display at Shanghai Disneyland tops them all.
How do you convince a baby to clean your house? It's really easy because before they hit the terrible twos, babies will do pretty much whatever you ask of them. The dad of the How to Dad YouTube channel shows how in his latest instructional video.
-via Simone Giertz
The Battle of the Somme began 100 years ago today, July 1, 1916. The global toll was over a million dead and wounded in the battle that lasted for months. The number of wounded in World War I far exceeded anything the western world had seen before. As the war dragged on for years, medical personnel feverishly developed ways to evacuate the wounded, save lives, and alleviate suffering from the new and terrifying weapons that were used. Many of those innovations led to modern medicine and methods we take for granted today. A new exhibition at the Science Museum in London called Wounded: Conflict, Casualties and Care highlights some of those innovations, like blood transfusions.
Doctors had been experimenting with blood transfusion as early as Sir Christopher Wren – now better known for his architecture – who demonstrated the procedure on animals in 1665. In the 20th Century, medical professionals understood blood types and began to perform successful transfusions in humans. The massive amounts of blood loss seen in the casualties of WWI, however, required more dependable and faster techniques.
The invention of the apparatus shown here marks a watershed. Before the war, most blood transfusions required a direct person-to-person process, which was cumbersome and high-risk – not to mention difficult in the high-pressure situation of the front. The first major breakthrough, developed by Canadian Lawrence Bruce Robertson at the western front in 1917, allowed instead for blood to be removed with one needle, pumped through a bottle, and then out through another needle. But it was another Robertson, British-born American Oswald Hope Robertson, who pioneered the system pictured, which allowed not only for indirect transfusion, but for blood to be stored safely (on ice) for up to 26 days.
Other medical advances that came out of World War I were oxygen masks, anesthesia delivery, prosthetic limbs, the portable fluoroscope, and more. Read about ten medical innovations of World War I at BBC Future. -via Digg
(Image credit: Science Museum/SSPL)
With a wave of his hand the little green man sent Luke floating into the sky, and as he dangled there he couldn't help but stare at that tiny little guy. How was he able to move things with his mind? And would he turn cruel after acting so kind? Luke couldn't help but be amazed by the master, a guy who called the swamps home and yet didn't own a blaster. But more than anything else Luke was scared, and there appeared to be nobody here who cared. How could he help free the people from the Empire when he was spinning in the air like a roast wampa over fire?
Celebrate your favorite sci-fi franchise the fun way- with this Strong Is The Force, Of Course! t-shirt by djkopet, it's a full-blown story in a shirt!
|The Big Tronowski||Furry Flea Bitten Fool||I Heart DP||New Adventures Awaken|
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Rolls-Royce put themselves in a rather precarious position by setting their price point so high few can afford their cars, and by making their cars so luxurious customers have come to expect interior perfection.
And now that competing companies are upping the ante by adding cutting edge tech to their newer models Rolls has to work even harder to stay on top.
So they've unveiled their concept car which represents the future of autonomous automotive technology- the Rolls-Royce 103EX.
The 103EX features a massive OLED display, gull wing doors that light your way with a "red carpet" effect, and an artificial intelligence named Eleanor who will drive you around so you can relax in the lap of luxury. The future's looking mighty fancy!
-Via Boing Boing
Making the world a better place can be tough. But as these tenaciously altruistic moves prove, sometimes all you need is a great idea.
(Image credit: Acción Visual/Diana Arias)
1. THE WORLD’S MOST HUGGABLE LIBRARY
In 1990, a teacher in rural Colombia named Luis Soriano noticed two things: First, many of the local children were illiterate; second, he happened to own two donkeys. So he did the logical thing, and created a “biblioburro,” or a library donkey. At dawn, Soriano loads up the donkey’s saddlebags with more than 100 books. Then, he travels to remote villages where he picks up kids, gives them rides to school, and encourages them to read while they commute. This has been going on for two decades, despite the fact that Soriano has a full-time job and was once attacked by bandits on his route. (When the robbers saw he had no money—only a donkey laden with books—they tied him to a tree and left.) Since the project began, the biblioburro has served 15 villages and more than 4,000 kids.
2. BEN FRANKLIN’S FUTURE GAMBLE
It started as something of a joke. In 1785, a French mathematician named Charles-Joseph Mathon de la Cour wrote a satire of Benjamin Franklin’s (famously optimistic) Poor Richard’s Almanack called Last Will and Testament of Fortunate Richard. This version involved a character so bullish about the future that, in his will, he bequeaths money that can’t be touched for 500 years. Franklin said he was “particularly charmed” with the idea—so charmed that he actually ran with it. When he died in 1790, he left £2,000 (about $8,800) to the cities of Boston and Philadelphia on one condition: They couldn’t touch the bulk of it for 100 years, at which point they could make a partial withdrawal. Then they had to wait another 100 years before getting the rest. The cities obeyed. Fast-forward 200 years, and the Franklin Fund is worth $6.5 million.
3. THE MAN WHO SAVED AFGHANISTAN’S ART
The artist Daku created this unique mural in New Delhi. The front of this building is covered in letter forms perpendicular to the wall. As the sun moves across the sky, the letters slant. By this, Daku expresses that time constantly changes all things, including the values and priorities on the wall. Chaos, perception, faith, fear, ego--these are just a few of the features of human experience that shift as people grow.
(Unrelated photo by Wilson Hui)
How did the Urinator montanus get its name? The paleontologist Jason Poole was on a dig in Montana in 1999. He need to relieve his bladder, so he found a secluded spot and got down to business.
When he looked down at his target, he realized that it was a fossil. It was an Allosaurus, which he knicknamed Urinator montanus after his method of discovery.
It was a stroke of sheer luck, so don't try to replicate Poole's research. But other scientists have also found fossils through unusual encounters. Smithsonian magazine describes several, such as the Haley O'Brien's pre-menstrual meeting:
While digging at some fossil mammal sites in eastern Africa, O’Brien says, “I was lady-hormone-ing real bad one day and decided the best option was to quietly remove myself from the quarry under the guise of prospecting so I could go nuclear by myself.” This is a part of fieldwork that’s not often talked about. “Your body doesn’t exactly stop functioning when you’re in the field, hormones included,” she says. So O’Brien decided to disappear along a winding riverbed leading away from the excavation.
The local geology was perfect for stress relief. “I followed my way around a river bend to an outcrop that hadn’t produced any fossils for years and started picking up half dollar-sized concretions out of the wall for stress relief,” O’Brien says. Just minutes into this exercise, she plucked out an intact rodent skull, which meant that she would have to call the crew over. O’Brien continued to wander, “trying to put off lady-Def Con 10”, but more plucking and chucking stones only revealed more fossils, some of which became type specimens—or the emblematic representatives—of their species. “It was like a Groundhog Day best-worst fossil-finding PMS-fueled nightmare,” O’Brien says.
-via American Digest
(Image: Guinness World Records)
As a teambuilding exercise, the Finnish energy firm St1 had 130 employees wear and use one pair of skis. The custom-built skis (yeah, you can't find these in sporting goods stores) were 140 meters long.
The workers strapped themselves into the skis at a track in the city of Lahti, then skied together for 130 meters without a single foot slipping its bindings. This earned St1 a Guinness World Record for the largest number of people attached to a single pair of skis.
The original starship USS Enterprise from the 1966-68 series Star Trek has been sitting neglected at the Smithsonian Institution for years. Now it’s on display in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall in the National Air and Space Museum, after a painstaking restoration job.
The final stages of the conservation treatment came together in the last few months. In April 2016, the Enterprise model, in pieces, was in the large artifact booth in the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar. Special Advisory Committee member Gary Kerr was dubbed our “oracle,” double-checking his notes and diagrams before any detail went onto the model. (There are 952 holes in the faux grill inside the starboard nacelle. He counted.) And Bill George and John Goodson, both of Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), worked with Kim Smith of Pulse Evolution to carry out the physical detailing. Together, they were consummate professionals, bringing their expertise into an ongoing conversation with the Museum staff. More than once, the whole team stopped work to discuss the choices being made, assuring that everyone agreed before proceeding.
Big brother and little sister will always have a special, loving relationship--until the cash changes hands. He loves her because he's invested a lot in the relationship. So join in the fun and keep in mind her resale value.
Soul Pancake staged a game. A young child, in this case, 5-year-old Alexa, describes famous works of art. Two art experts try to guess what piece she’s describing. If you want to play along, you should move the video out of your line of sight and just listen to the audio.
In another video, 7-year-old Chris describes three other masterpieces. This is harder, because he’s starts out with abstract art.
A good time was had by all. -via Digg