Most cosplayers are dedicated to making their outfits, and all related accessories, look as realistic as possible, but costume fabricator Brian Cargile wanted to create something that looked fully functional yet totally fantastic, so he created this amazing looking Plague Doctor mask/helmet.
With light up goggle eyes and mouth grate, shiny metal bits where appropriate and the look of worn steel plates everywhere else, Brian has brought the Plague Doctor look into the 21st century in style. This one-of-a-kind piece has already been sold, but you can check out more of his unique gear available at his Etsy shop.
Igor Spetic lost his right hand in a workplace accident. In the below embedded video, he wears a blindfold, earmuffs and a revolutionary new prosthetic hand. He can’t see or hear anything—only feel. But his new hand lets him do that. Watch him pluck the stems off cherries without crushing them.
He can do it because of the prosthetic hand invented by researchers at the Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University. Mr. Spetic can control the hand by clenching his forearm muscles, as is common in modern prosthetics. But now he can also feel what the hand is doing because 20 spots on it simulate human nerves. These send tactile feedback to implants inside his arm. David Talbot of Technology Review explains:
Then a total of 20 electrodes on the three cuffs deliver electrical signals to nerve fibers called axons from outside a protective sheath of living cells that surround those nerve fibers. This approach differs from other experimental technologies, which penetrate the sheath in order to directly touch the axons. These sheath-penetrating interfaces are thought to offer higher resolution, at least initially, but with a potentially higher risk of signal degradation or nerve damage over the long term. And so they have not been tested for longer than a few weeks.
Jonah Bixby was not your average twelve year-old. He spent more time in police stations than most career criminals. And although he had just started middle school, Jonah was single-handedly responsible for bringing more than a few of those career criminals to justice. But let's start at the beginning....
Jonah's mother and his father had both been police detectives in the city's Major Crimes Division, solving murders and assaults and high-profile robberies. It was while working there that they met and fell in love, then got married and had a son.
When Jonah was only five, his father was killed in the line of duty. At that point, Carol Bixby could have retired from the force. But she didn't. She stayed busy with the most important job she knew, law enforcement. And that's how young Jonah became the unofficial mascot of the Beaverton Police Department.
From the first grade on, Jonah would get out of school each day, walk across the street to the Fifth Precinct, and wait until his mother got off her shift. Carol's fellow officers took turns keeping an eye on him. Detective Massey from the Fraud Squad helped young Jonah with his math homework while Sergeant Gonzales tutored him in Spanish.
Jonah was blessed with an inquisitive mind and an eye for detail. And his love for police work came naturally. Before long, he was making deductions even the best officers on the force couldn't come up with and whispering them to his mother. Little did the other detectives know that many of Detective Bixby's toughest crimes were being solved by her preteen son.
It was Saturday, and for Jonah that meant a visit to Crazy Kate. Every Saturday, his mother would put together a few bags of groceries and have Jonah and his friends deliver them to the old woman who lived in the shack across from the park. "At least once a week I know she gets some decent food," Carol Bixby said. "I feel sorry for the helpless old woman."
But Jonah and his friends knew Crazy Kate wasn't helpless. They knew you had to stop outside the gate to her overgrown yard and get her permission to enter. If you were dumb enough to open the gate without asking, Crazy Kate would hear you. Then a shotgun would appear at the window and a volley of birdseed would fly in your general direction.
"Hello!" called out Frankie. They had just parked their bikes outside the gate. "It's just us, Frankie, Bill, and Jonah. Can we come in?"
"All right," a voice called back. "Just the three of you, no one else."
A minute later and they were inside the shack, watching the old woman rummage through the bags. "Humph, the food was better last week," she complained. But that's exactly what she said every week. "You boys want to see something?" Before they could answer, Kate reached into a pile of newspapers and pulled out an old baseball. Bill examined the faded signature and let out a low whistle. "Babe Ruth! Wow!"
Kate smiled through her stained teeth. "My brother got it signed personally when he was a kid."
All the way home, the boys talked about the rare autographed ball. They talked about it again the next afternoon, when all three ran into each other at the skateboard ramp in the park. "Can you believe she's got something like that in the middle of all that junk?" Frankie said, pointing to the shack across the street. "What a waste."
Jonah followed his gaze to Crazy Kate's shack, then suddenly noticed something. "Look at the window," he said. "It's broken."
"I thought she always had a broken window," said Bill.
"No, it wasn't broken yesterday. I wonder if something's wrong."
Jonah and Bill argued about what to do. Should they just forget about it? Or should they check on Kate and make sure she was all right. Or should they... Jonah turned around to get Frankie's opinion, but he wasn't there.
"Hey, guys." Frankie was already at Kate's front door, peering inside. "I don't think she's home."
Jonah and Bill joined Frankie at the door. "Miss Kate?" Jonah called out as he knocked. "Are you there?"
There’s a thin line between love and hate, and it’s safe to say that everyone has hated, or been hated by, someone at some point in their life. So why hasn’t the greeting card industry jumped on this opportunity to sell more cards?
Up until now you had to buy a card meant to convey a kind or polite sentiment then repurpose the whole thing with some selective editing and the addition of a few choice words. Now there are cards that say what you want them to without any editing, they convey the hatred you have for the recipient in big, bold text and negative imagery. These are the cards from Because I Hate You, use only as directed.
But he's a good friend who practices tough love. Mr. Mabe has an alcoholic friend. This friend has had 5 arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol. Mr. Mabe and his colleague Jim Clark staged an intervention in the form of a prank.
After the drunk driver passed out, they moved him into a fake hospital room and convinced him that he had been in a coma for 10 years.
The funniest bit is the news update that the patient sees when he turns on the television.
Arsenic was, at one time, a very popular way to murder someone. It was the most common poison to factor in 19th century British murder trials, but it is also a particularly difficult cause of death to determine. In fact, most deaths by arsenic were attributed to natural causes, so for every murder trial involving arsenic, there were probably multiple cases in which the perpetrator got away with the crime.
Some poisons such as cyanide and strychnine work according to a strict timetable and dispatch their victims in a predictable manner. Arsenic, by contrast, is mysterious and shilly-shallying, behaving more like an infectious disease, so that the nature and length of the victim's suffering depends partly on their genetic make-up and general state of health. Death from acute arsenic poisoning can take anything from two hours to four days, although victims have been known to linger for a fortnight. For most, though, the misery lasts at least 24 hours.
To confuse matters further, human beings are capable of building up a certain tolerance to arsenic if they go about it carefully enough. In 1851, a community of peasants living on the Austria-Hungarian border were found to be taking arsenic in what would normally be lethal doses. They believed that the poison was good for their health and took it as a tonic, starting with a tiny sub-toxic dose and gradually increasing it.
Defense lawyers quickly seized on this to try to sow doubt in juries' minds. Was this case really murder? Perhaps the arsenic in the dead person's food or body had been self-administered for health reasons, only this time the victim had gone too far?
And there were other factors that made arsenic the go-to poison for those who wanted to hasten the death of someone they knew. Read about them in an excerpt from the book The Inheritor's Powder: A Tale of Arsenic, Murder, and the New Forensic Scienceat HuffPo Books.
It's so hard to quit smoking, but luckily, this little kitty has a good sponsor to help make sure she can't light up. Of course, like most addicts, she does put up a fight, but in the end, common sense (and a strong human hand) win out.
And don't worry for those nervous about hitting play, no kitties were harmed in the making of this video -including getting cigarette smoke in their lungs.
The holidays are here. Are you looking for the perfect gift for the person who always seems to be out to lunch? Get them the Will Return clock from the NeatoShop. This fun clock looks like a "Will Return" sign.
"We found use of uptalk in all of our speakers, despite their diverse backgrounds in socioeconomic status, ethnicity, bilingualism and gender," said Amanda Ritchart, a linguist at the University of California who led the research.
"We believe that uptalk is becoming more prevalent and systematic in its use for the younger generations in Southern California," she added.
The team recorded and analysed the voices of 23 native Californians aged between 18 and 22. The researchers were therefore not able to infer similar language patters in older Californians.
Here’s a music video that represents an almost perfect synergy between band and filmmaker, a video that is so hypnotic to watch you’ll lose track of time as the rhythm flows and the visuals unfold.
The song is “Before Your Very Eyes” by Atoms For Peace, and the animation was created by Andrew Thomas Huang, a master of bending minds and bringing the awe factor to music videos.
Andrew's past credits include equally amazing videos for Sigur Ros, Bjork and Solipsist. This time around he invites your mind on a trip across a living landscape, but beware the giant living in the mountains.
The Amish and similar groups call themselves "plain people." Here's the plain truth about the plain way they dress.
In the 16th century, a radical group of Protestant Christians from Switzerland and Germany formed their sect based on the belief that only adults could make the conscious choice to accept God. So even though they had been baptized as infants, this new group had themselves re-baptized, earning them the name Anabaptists (ana is Greek for "repeat" or "again"). Humility was the cornerstone of Anabaptist belief. They rejected pride, shunned non-believers, and refused to take part in any military action. They took no oaths, not even wedding vows, and firmly believed in the separation of church and state.
The Anabaptists were fiercely persecuted in Europe, which led to mass migrations early in the 19th century to the more tolerant United States. By this time the Anabaptists had split into a number of separate sects, most of them named after their spiritual leaders: the Amish, led by Jakob Amman; Mennonites, founded by Menno Simon; the Hutterites by Jacob Hutter; and the Brethren in Christ. Each branch established its own rules for living and for what devotees could and could not wear. They lived simply and dressed simply, which earned them the nickname "plain people." Their style of dress became known as "plain dress."
Plain people believe that beauty comes from within. Any sort of fancy dress or ornamentation that calls attention to the physical body is against their ordnung, or church rules. Their dress is an expression of humility and non-conformity with the outside world. Many people assume that plain dress is a 16th-century style, but it's really a mishmash of styles from different time periods. Today plain women wear 17th-century long-sleeved dresses with 18th-century bonnets and 19th-century shawls.
In Japan, it’s traditional to eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken on Christmas. It’s obviously not an ancient tradition. Rather, it is a marketing ploy that KFC made in 1974. A group of foreigners came into a KFC restaurant searching for a Christmas turkey dinner. They decided that chicken would be an acceptable substitute.
The company saw an opportunity and launched its new advertising campaign. It was straightforward: “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!”—“Kentucky for Christmas!” For about $10, diners could get chicken and wine.
This program became enormously popular with not just foreigners living in Japan, but the Japanese themselves. It’s now a tradition in many families to have Christmas dinner at KFC, even if they have to wait in line for two hours.
This is one of 12 Christmas traditions celebrated around the world that, to Americans, may seem a bit odd. You can read the rest at Flavorwire.
Ordinarily, snow flakes are a peaceful and relaxing sight, but when the snow flakes depict the different houses from Game of Thrones, it's guaranteed to be a very blood red Christmas. We all know that winter is coming though and when you're working with snow flakes and winter, only one house can come out on top and that's the House Stark.
These lovely tributes to the world of George R.R. Martin are the works of Redditor Elizerdbeth and I'm very happy she made them.
Meatball (a wonderful name) the Pembroke Welsh Corgi loves to ride on a carousel. Well, he's not so much riding as he is using it as a treadmill! Meatball (such a perfect name) gets plenty of exercise while Carter gets to ride around and around. Yay, Meatball! -via Daily Picks and Flicks
We see faces everywhere- on fruits and vegetables, in the structure of houses and cars, and sometimes even on people’s nude torsos. Faces are all around us, and in true internet fashion a Twitter account has been set up so people can send in their own photographic evidence of the facial invasion.
Faces In Things is where you need to go if you’re surrounded by eyes, mouths (and occasionally noses) and want to share your scopophobia with the world. Faces In Things will show you that you're not alone, others are seeing faces in things too, and some of those faces are so darn cute it's hard to be mad at them for wanting to hang around and stare at us all day.
Sir Walter Raleigh sponsored a colony of English immigrants on Roanoake Island, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. They arrived in 1587 and had disappeared by 1590. It has since been called "The Lost Colony" because no one knows what happened to the 90 men, 17 women, and 11 children who established the colony. They may had died from disease or violence from Native Americans, or they may have left, possibly splitting up to join tribal villages. In recent years, research into the mystery was sparked by a discovery on a map drawn by the colony's governor John White.
Two patches on the map made Brent Lane of the First Colony Foundation (the group behind the latest archaeological trip and a National Geographic grantee) in Durham, North Carolina, wonder if they might hide something beneath.
Scientists at the British Museum looked into the patches and discovered a tiny red-and-blue symbol. Could it have indicated a fort or a secret emergency location?
"Our best idea is that parts of Raleigh's exploration in North America were a state secret, and the map 'cover-up' was an effort to keep information from the public and from foreign agents," said Eric Klingelhofer of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, a historian and the principal investigator on the project.
This map point led researchers to take the latest technology out into the area, ground-penetrating radar (GPR). The intriguing results present evidence of a fort buried several feet under the ground. But what is really underneath, and how old is it? It has been suggested that the next step might be the use of a proton magnetometer. However, Clay Swindell of the Museum of the Albemarle thinks they may have to resort to old-fashioned research.
"We have to go in and dig some holes, I guess," Swindell said.
Here's a good pun by cartoonist and animator Louie del Carmen. Or maybe, as Mr. del Carmen advises, it's a "sponsorship opportunity" for Wonder Bread. The jet fuel for Wonder Woman's invisible plane has got to be expensive. She should monetize her superhero work.
It's funny, but I've seen my kids do this exact thing. They beg for an opportunity to make money for Christmas gifts, but it turns out the gifts -or at least the biggest gifts- are for themselves. I've also had a problem with them buying what's on their wish list, thereby throwing the entire family back into the confusion of what to get them. Comic by Ryan Hudson at Channelate. -via Geeks Are Sexy
Haaayyy Boo-Boo! Christmas time is here. Are you looking for a clever gift favorite Yogi Bear lover? Capture the Yogi Bear Cookie Jar from the NeatoShop. This fantastic ceramic cookie jar features your favorite bear clutching a pic-a-nic basket.
We just covered the world's largest gingerbread house, which is on display at Texas A&M University, but if just one house isn't enough to impress you, then you can't miss the world's largest gingerbread village created by New York Chef Jon Lovitch.
The incredible creation consists of 152 houses and 65 trees. It weighs over 1.5 tons, made up of 500 pounds of gingerbread, 400 pounds of candy and 2,240 pounds of icing. Unsurprisingly, it cost over a few thousand dollars to complete, but that's a small price to pay to live forever in the pages of the Guinness Book of World Records.
Opera ain’t just for sophisticated folks wearing fancy duds anymore, now geeks and gamers can enjoy some dramatic singing thanks to the virtual performance OPERAcraft.
Created by a bunch of music majors from Virginia Tech who were looking to bring a bit of culture to the video game loving masses, OPERAcraft stars pixelated Minecraft characters performing on the big screen while the VT squad sings, and the blockheaded characters on the screen even lip sync to the lyrics thanks to a Minecraft mod and the Pd-L2Ork orchestral software. This ain’t your grandma’s operatic performance, this is next gen virtual live performance/animated pixel art at its finest.
The website Movie Mistakes has collected over 100,000 mistakes spotted in movies by fans. Now they've released their list of the top mistakes of 2013, as voted by the site's users. Some of them are factual errors, like a scene in The Hangover III:
Chow is carrying around $21 million in gold bullion. A bar weighs 400 ounces. Gold prices at that time were around $1,200 per ounce, and he's got two bags, therefore he's supposedly carrying 8,750 ounces, or about 550lb, on each arm.
While others are mistakes in continuity, which is just weird things that happen in the confusion of filmmaking that someone should have caught, like what happened in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire:
The number of arrows that Katniss has in her quiver goes up and down through the games. For example, In the second cornucopia scene when the career tributes from Districts 1 and 2 attack Katniss, Peeta, Wiress, Johanna, Finnick and Beetee, one shot shows three arrows left, but there were plenty used during the rest of the film.
The Muppets' Swedish Chef is serving up his Swéédéé Méétéé Bøøls at a Food Truck Festival when celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay shows up. A challenge? It's a food fight! At least Ramsay does his own bleeps in this -after all, it is the Muppets! -via Boing Boing
Photoshopped pictures of hybrid animals that could never actually exist in the wild are funny, but when that hybrid is a powerful new species which embodies the strengths of both original species and is capable of subjugating the human race we need to take notice.
Beware the Dirds, for they are powerful creatures born of bird and dog, and they are sick of eating dry kibble, bird seeds and crackers. Dirds can be identified by their bone chilling squawk bark, their tendency to drool and their oily feather-fur which is so slick the blood of their prey runs right off. Dirds were created by humans, but will they become our new masters?
The past meets the future in the present! German cosplayer Genovefa designed and made these long dresses complete with corsets that resemble futuristic Starfleet uniforms. Here you see her wearing a Captain Janeway dress while her friend models a Data version. See more picture at her blog (which is in German). -via io9
This video is labeled "David and Steph Teeterboard training," so I guess we can assume that Steph is short for Stephan or Stephen, although I don't know which athlete is which. I watched and kept expecting one of them to hit the ceiling. It would be so easy for something to go wrong here! Kids, don't try this at home, only in a gym after years of practice and proper training. And this is the first instance I've seen in which a portrait orientation on a phone video is altogether appropriate. -via Viral Viral Videos
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