The calendar says we're officially into spring, but if you are watching the snow fall outside, you might need some encouragement to remind yourself that the season of growing is just ahead. GPhase grew a kidney bean plant from seed in a glass container and recorded it growing over 25 days. This time-lapse video captures its progress in photos taken every 9.5 minutes. It's set to the most appropriate soundtrack: "The Blue Danube" by Johann Strauss.
It's sad that there are still people in the world who don't see the value of intelligence and don't think of smart people as sexy, because they're missing out on the greatest attraction of them all- a mental connection. Maybe they're intimidated by intelligence and afraid they'll be made to look dumb, or maybe they just don't like to date people who challenge them in any way. Whatever the reason, denying smart is sexy is like denying attraction begins in the mind- in other words just plain dumb!
Show the world how much you value intelligence by wearing this SMART is the new SEXY t-shirt by Cafe Pretzel, it's a bright way to meet people who are on your mental level and weed through all the dummies who would just be a waste of your time.
Randall Munroe at xkcd has been playing with names. You can string a lot of celebrity names together, as there are so many standard names that are used over and again, in different combinations. That is only multiplied when a famous person uses three names because their names are so common. Munroe laid out these associations in a game of dominoes to show how they fit together. See the enlarged readable version here. When you study this grid, you comes across some full squares where everyone's name intersects with someone else's.
John Brown leads to James Brown, which leads to James Newton Howard, which leads to Wayne Howard, Wayne Brady, Wayne Knight, and Wayne Newton, which leads back to James Newton Howard. And John Wayne fits in there just fine. You don't even need Olivia Newton John! And the Howards peel off in a second direction, which leads one to believe this could have been 3D dominoes. The grid is from today's xkcd comic.
Philosopher Jeremy Bentham believed in using dead bodies for practical purposes, instead of fearing or revering them in a religious sense. When he died in 1832, he willed his body to science, directing that it be used for medical dissection, then preserved for display, difrected by his protege Dr. Thomas Southwood Smith. And so it was, but you know what they say about the best laid plans. The only part of Bentham's body that was salvageable after medical dissection was his skeleton, which was firmly wired together and covered with stuffing and clothing.
But not everything went quite according to plan. The philosopher had asked to have his head preserved in the "style of the New Zealanders," which Smith attempted by placing the head over some sulfuric acid and under an air pump. The result was ghastly: desiccated, dark, and leathery, even as the glass eyes Bentham had picked out for it during life gleamed from the brow.
Seeing as how the results "would not do for exhibition," as Smith wrote to a friend, the doctor hired a noted French artist, Jacques Talrich, to sculpt a head out of wax based on busts and paintings made of Bentham while alive. Smith called his efforts "one of the most admirable likenesses ever seen"—a far more suitable topper for the auto-icon than the real, shriveled head, which was reportedly stuffed into the chest cavity and not rediscovered until World War II.
A hungry corpse in London's Trafalgar Square meets a friendly pigeon. Now, when we think a hungry corpse, the first thing to come to mind is a zombie that is going to try to eat us. In this case, no, all he wants is food, but he is missing the proper organs to consume it. The poor guy just wants a sandwich!
How many reams of paper does it take to make a record-breaking paper plane? Its engineer, John Collins, explains.
Let’s talk about the record you broke for the farthest distance traveled by a paper airplane indoors—226 feet, 10 inches. The previous record was 207 feet, four inches. It stood for about nine years. The [last] guy who set it was only 15 years old. Joe Ayoob and I -Joe is my thrower; he’s a professional football player- set our record in February of 2012.
I didn’t realize this is a team effort. It was really the first time a team had tried. I realized fairly quickly that I didn’t have the arm to throw anything 200 feet. The old method for breaking the distance record was to make [a paper airplane that was basically] a fancy-looking stick with fins: Fold the paper as compact as you can; the whole wingspan is about an inch. Put the wings at equal angles to each other, so if the plane rolled to one side, it didn’t matter. Throw it really hard at a 45-degree angle, and it would do this parabolic arc because of gravity and crash into the finish line. That’s how I started to do it.
How was your plane different? I built a real flying machine- a glider.
An architectural oddity that is almost exclusively found in Vermont is the "witch window." These are windows mounted on a slant, just under the roof line of a house. They are sometimes referred to as "Vermont windows" (for obvious reasons) or "coffin windows." The tale told is that crooked windows are harder for a witch to fly into. That doesn't make much sense. There was one witch trial in Vermont, but it was a couple hundred years before the witch windows became a thing. Other explanations don't make sense, either.
“You’ll also hear them referred to as coffin windows,” explains the Historical Society rep, “The idea being that it’s difficult to maneuver a coffin with a body from the second floor down to the first floor in these narrow staircases, so slide it out through the window and down the roof.” Then again, she says, that “does not seem any easier.” At the end of the day, every conclusion drawn about the curious windows ends with a question mark. Why on earth create a completely lopsided, and by all means impractical, window?
The real answer may be that it's the only way to fit a decent-sized window into a room that sits in an offset gable. But that explanation is no fun! And can you imagine trying to hang a curtain in one? Read about witch windows and see more pictures at Messy Nessy Chic.
Have you ever seen a slide saxophone? Or a Conn-o-sax? Those are just a couple of the rare saxophones in the collection of Dr. Paul Cohen, who plays writes about, and collects unusual saxophones. Here he shows off his instruments to saxophone players from the United States Army Field Band.
The saxes range from tiny little things to the huge 6.5-foot contrabass sax that will make your chest rattle. Dr. Cohen even has some custom-made and one-of-a-kind instruments, such as the saxophone with no keys that you play in the manner of a bugle. You could make an entire band out of saxophones! -via Metafilter
Here's an online generator that lets you put any picture you like on a flag and watch it wave! Try Flag Waver with an image URL from any webpage, or upload your own picture. I don't see any option to save your creation the generator itself. You could take a screen cap, or use LICEcap to make your own gif like I did. -via Boing Boing
Carden Corts got a assignment in his kindergarten class to make a weather forecast video. His dad, Charlie Corts, helped a little. Charlie's career is in video production. It's adorable, but wait until the subject shifts to spring break for things to really heat up!
Kindergarten teachers don't grade on a curve, do they? Even without the awesome video effects, six-year-old Carden does a great job doing the weather. That kid is going places. Like reddit, where his uncle posted this video. And probably The Ellen DeGeneres Show by next week.
Adults head to the emergency room all the time thinking they're having a heart attack when they're actually just dealing with muscle pain, severe heartburn, high blood pressure symptoms or anxiety.
In fact, only 6% of adults over 45 who go to the ER for non-specific chest pain are actually having a heart attack, resulting in a lot of time and money wasted by both the patient and the hospital.
Unfortunately this is all happening because it's extremely difficult to diagnose heart disease, and lots of testing is required to rule out serious conditions, so doctors are seeking a better way- and 22-year-old Peeyush Shrivastava thinks he may have found it.
Peeyush came up with a method of using 3D scanner technology to scan a patient and tell if they're having cardiac or non-cardiac chest pain:
Shrivastava says his company's scanner, called Faraday, can dramatically speed up that process, do it more accurately and make it more comfortable for the patient. It uses artificial intelligence to create thousands of 3-D maps of a patient's heart to tell doctors what is, or isn't, causing chest pain.
Shrivastava's team's method is noninvasive. There aren't needle pricks and blood draws. "The beauty of magnetic fields is, they are undistorted by the lungs, by the skin, so the signal you're getting is very high-fidelity. It's very pure," he said. "So you can hold sensors right above the chest and still get that high-quality signal. No radiation. No contact. No nothing."
Usually, a chest pain patient needs to take their shirt so a nurse can smear cold gel across their chest or place sticky adhesives with electrodes on their skin. But the Genetesis device would make those processes unnecessary. And a nurse or technician can perform the whole test in about 90 seconds.
A system of algorithms in the company's CardioFlux software analyzes the magnetic data into maps that indicate problems like coronary artery disease or ischemia, a lack of blood flow often caused by a buildup or blockage in an artery.
In standard care, patients have to follow up with a cardiac stress test, either while running on a treadmill or by injecting a radioactive isotope into the bloodstream.
And that's another advantage of Shrivastava's technology: He says it can emulate stress without isotopes.
Have you ever wanted to go on a road trip and have the road to yourself? It might be possible, or at least you can find the road less traveled with this interactive map. Pull up the least-traveled road in your state, and see if it's anywhere near you. GeoTab compiled the least-traveled roads in each state, according to data from the Department of Transportation. They all appear to be paved, which would exclude some very quiet routes I know in Kentucky. The small print says, "The data covers Interstates, US Routes, and State Routes over 10 miles long." Okay then. In addition to the interactive map, there's a list of the ten most scenic of these quiet routes. If you choose to take a road trip on any of them, you will want to gas up, have a spare tire and jack, and maybe take snacks, because some of them cover many miles. -vias Digg
Bringing a pile of bones to life can be dangerous business, and necromancy is not recommended for young wizards who have never dealt with dark forces.
But if the skeleton is named Lazybones then there probably isn't much to worry about, and if the skeleton you animate is anything like the Lazybones in this animated short they may be of more value to you than any of your real, living friends!
The movie Hidden Figures focused on the contributions of NASA mathematicians, engineers, and computer programmers who weren't recognized because they were black women. A literal example of the phrase was found in a photograph taken at the 1971 International Conference on Biology of Whales. The caption identified every person in the picture by name and title, except for one, whose face is partially obscured. She is also the only woman, and the only black person, in the photo. Candace Jean Andersen came across the photograph in her research and wondered who the woman is, and why she wasn't identified. She turned to social media, and clues began to come to light. A couple of men who were at the conference said she was Sheila Minor, who they thought was "support staff." The Smithsonian’s archive reference team unearthed a receipt for the hotel that conference members used for Sheila M. Jones (which was Minor's name at the time).
The image proved that she was there at the conference. But when the archivists got their hands on Minor’s file this week, they were able to fill in more details to her story. Minor wasn’t there as an administrative assistant; she was a biological research technician with a B.S. in biology. This was her first job with the federal government in what would become a 35-year-long career at various federal bureaus.
She went on to earn an environmental science master’s degree at George Mason University, and collaborated with K-12 schools to improve science education. In the next two years she participated in a two-island study researching mammals of the Poplar Islands, and presented her findings at the American Society of Mammalogists Meeting in 1975.
Shapiro says the fact that Minor was initially dismissed as an administration assistant made the ultimate reveal all the sweeter. “There’s so much unconscious bias—maybe even conscious bias—because she happened to be a black woman in the photo,” she says. “It wasn’t until I got the biofile back from offsites I saw that, no, she was really a scientist and she did research of her own.”
Sexting is a thing horny people do that involves sending each other pictures of their genitalia and talk about what they want to do to each other with their naughty bits, but sexy textin' is something completely different.
"How so?" you ask shrewdly, to which I reply "sending someone a picture of your junk isn't sexy, but send them a pic of your bookshelf, record collection or an action shot taken while cooking dinner and you're bringing sexy back like J. Tim".
For you see sexiness starts in the brain, and your brain keeps things hot when the naughty bits make an appearance IRL, so skip the D-pics and send some B-pics instead. No, not boobs or butts, brains! (Comic by BarteNERDS)
We know cats are liquid, as they take the shape of their container. And cats love any kind of container: boxes, dishes, shelves, closets, bags, or whatever they can get into. A cat's definitinon of "container" is pretty flexible, ranging from mom's purse to a rain gutter. We might even call a cat a "container-seeking liquid."
Chris Poole has recorded video of his cats Cole and Marmalade ever since they were kittens. Here is a compilation that shows how they like to try on any kind of container to see if they fit. And if they fits, they sits! -via Tastefully Offensive
It's crazy how many super rare cars are found sitting in barns, hidden and often untouched for decades after a car collector stashed them there for safe keeping.
These barn finds make auto enthusiasts drool, since they get to see a car that's rarely seen, but when they confirm the existence of a mythical automobile the enthusiasts totally blow a gasket.
This is the Ferrari Daytona, a car so rare people didn't believe it actually existed until it was located in a barn in Japan:
Ferrari had, in fact, only ever commissioned one street version of its Daytona with a full aluminum body. Completed in 1969, the car was exported to a Japanese dealership in 1971 and then featured in the January 1972 issue of Car Graphic, a Japanese motoring magazine.
After passing hands several times, it ended up in the barn of its last owner, Makoto Takai, some time around 1980.
The car is in “barn find” condition and is being put up for sale unrestored. The odometer displays just over 22,000 miles. RM Sotheby’s expects the car to fetch up to 1.7 million euros ($2 million), according to the auction catalog.
The car is in remarkably clean condition considering it has been sitting around in a barn for nearly 40 years, and what it lacks in interior comfort it makes up for in old school sports car cool.
Lauren Lorenzo of eLL cartoons recorded her family trying to explain how to use the Amazon Echo personal assistant. To activate it, you have to say "Alexa" first. But if you tell that to Grandma, you will activate it yourself, so they are trying to avoid saying the name. But Grandma doesn't get what they are trying to tell her, and she can't remember the name anyway. This video contains some NSFW language.
It's safe to say celebrities like being admired by the general public and having fans who adore them, or else they wouldn't hire publicists to keep them in the public eye. It's also safe to say they don't like to dwell on their failures, since bad decisions both on the set and off can cost them a career in Hollywood.
These famous folks are only human after all, and for every Blue Velvet or Easy Rider highlight there's a Super Mario Bros. lowlight just waiting to drag your name through the sewer.
But every celebrity knows the most humiliating lowlights are those caused by agreeing to star in a sequel that in no way lives up to the original film's greatness, aka going against your basic instinct by doing a number 2.
Tommy doesn't have any fitness training or experience, he hasn't won any bodybuilding competitions and he's never been referred to as "very fit", but Tommy has something that makes The Gym better than the rest- The Room. It's where all the crazy exercisey stuff happens and where a love of fitness is found, and exercisers who dare to enter The Room have been known to cry out "you're tearing me apart Tommy!" during his aerobiscreamo classes. And if you don't know aerobiscreamo you haven't been to The Gym.
Take a love of indie fitness with you wherever you go by wearing this The Gym t-shirt by Pigboom, and watch people get pumped when they see your hilarious shirt!
This comic has three different punch lines. You can stop the story after six panels. Or nine panels. Or twelve panels. But you only notice that later, after you've made sure that our protagonist got to relieve himself after all. I would assume that he went next door where they really do sell candy. We've all been there. Now, imagine doing all this in a country where you don't speak the language. This is the latest comic from Alex Culang and Raynato Castro of Buttersafe.
The symptoms of a heart attack or seizure are pretty easy to identify and therefore it's easy to tell what kind of help the victim needs to survive, but when someone's having a stroke it's really hard to diagnose and even harder to treat.
So according to this TED talk by Vaibhav Goswami it's important to "Act F.A.S.T.", identifying whether they have Facial drooping, Arm weakness or Slurred speech, then acting fast to get them to the hospital in Time.
The year was 1931 and the four Marx Brothers (Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo) had by now had three hit Broadway shows and two smash movies: The Cocoanuts (1929) and Animal Crackers (1930)- behind them. Both The Cocoanuts and Animal Crackers were simply filmed versions of their Broadway shows. Both films had been shot in nearby Astoria Studios in Long Island, New York.
The Marxes, now being official 24-karat movie stars, decided to pull up stakes and move to the only residence befitting motion picture celebrities- Hollywood. Their third film would be their first with an official Hollywood screenplay.
The working title of their tertiary film was Pineapples, but was soon changed to Monkey Business. Written by S.J. Perelman and Will B. Johnstone with a screenplay by Arthur Sheekman, Monkey Business was directed by Norman Z. McLeod
Monkey Business was to be the only Marx Brothers film in which none of the brothers have a character name. Because they played four stowaways on a passenger ship, they were simply referred to as "the stowaways." (in the film's end credits, they are credited by their names, i.e. Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo Marx.)
What little plot there is involves the boys stowing away on a ship, being pursued by the captain of the ship and his underlings, meeting rival gangsters on board and getting involved with them, leaving the ship and thwarting an attempted kidnapping of one of the gangster's daughters.
In a followup to his previous video on the differences between Australia and New Zealand, Jordan Watson (also known as the How-to Dad) draws more contrasts between the two countries. He lives in New Zealand, which he paints as a more peaceful and sensible place.
This video delves deeper into the language differences of two English-speaking nations, although he does wander into the wildlife, sports, and geography a bit. Jordan is quite proud to be a Kiwi, although he should brush up on recognizing his own flag. -via Tastefully Offensive
Over the years, hospitals have relaxed rules about children and even pets visiting patients. And some hospitals will go the extra distance to make life as normal as possible for patients in need. Chelsea Barkley was engaged to Jordan Harper, and when her mother, cancer patient Kim Sherwood, was given a prognosis of about a week to live, she and Jordan and the hospital staff went into high gear to make sure her mother would witness their wedding. Wedding vendors helped out with donations for the wedding, put together in only 48 hours and held at the hospital. That included photographer Wendy Teal, who shot the wedding for free.
As Teal arrived to shoot the wedding, she realized that not only was it the same hospital where both of her parents died of stage 4 cancer, but the ceremony was taking place in the exact same room where her mother's funeral was held.
When Teal's mother died, the doctor's told her that her father wouldn't be able to leave the hospital to attend a funeral, so staff members let Teal hold the funeral inside the hospital. Her father was able to say his final goodbyes, and died five hours later.
While Teal decided to not to share her history with the bride and groom, given the stress they were already under, some staff members recognized her and couldn't believe she agreed to shoot the ceremony.
Teal said that this was an opportunity to pay it forward. The wedding was beautiful, despite tears from the bride, mother of the bride, and others. You can see more pictures of the wedding at Buzzfeed.
I love stories about parents turning their kid's crazy artwork into something even cooler because it's both a sweet bonding story and an art exercise with heart.
I also adore making plush toys because kids love them and they make an adult's inner child go squee, so the plushies created by Wendy Tsao really made my heart sing.
Wendy turns kids' doodles into 100% accurate plushies, which really look like kid art come alive, and through her studio Child's Own she's bringing children's creativity to life for parents who don't have the sewing skills to do it themselves.
The new animated film Isle of Dogs, directed by Wes Anderson, opens this weekend. In honor of the occasion, Screen Junkies has a trailer that includes every Wes Anderson feature film made so far. That's eight of them, none of which I have seen. But apparently they are all alike.
Why haven't I ever seen a Wes Anderson movie? Because no one ever told me that I should, and that's saying something because I live on the internet. After watching this Honest Trailer, I don't feel the need to see one, ever. That doesn't mean that Isle of Dogs won't be wonderful -the reviews are pretty good. But I'll wait for the word-of-mouth. -Thanks, Kelli!
"Exocomet" is probably a new word to you. We know exoplanets as planets that revolve around stars outside our solar system. Exocomets are comets that revolve around stars outside our solar system. Astronomers assumed that they were out there somewhere, but only recently have we seen evidence of them. And like exoplanets, they are too far away to see, but we have evidence that comes from those far away stars themselves. One exocomet was detected around a star 815 light-years away, and another at 850 light-years away. So we at least have evidence that they were at those stars over 800 years ago. But how do we know they are comets?
The alien comets were found in data taken by the Kepler telescope, which spent several years staring at 150,000 stars in one spot in the sky. It was looking for exoplanet transits, a teeny dip in a star's light if an orbiting planet happened to pass directly between us and it. That only happens if the planet's orbit is almost exactly edge-on as seen from Earth, which is why it looked at so many stars. The more you look at, the more likely the geometry will work out.
Transits are detected by measuring the amount of light from a star, and when that light dips, it usually means a planet is transiting. But graphs of those transits show that light dips and then increases in a regular pattern. Some graphs showed an asymmetrical dip, which would have been caused by a comet's tail.
When this team of astronomers looked at the star KIC 3542116, though, they spotted decidedly asymmetric dips. Six of them, in fact! Three were about the same depth (about 0.1% of the star's light blocked), and another set of three a bit shallower (0.05% blocked).
As soon as they saw the fang-shaped profile, they knew they had something special. Still, first they made sure their data weren’t contaminated by the legion of issues that can mess of the observations: starspots (sunspots, but on another star), known stellar variability, camera detector issues, and more. Once they eliminated all the known potential problems, they were left with one conclusion*: exocomets.
The problem with declaring something to be "the world's oldest" is your item will only hold that title until someone finds something older, which will never stop happening as long as people are searching for old stuff.
"Incredibly, an archival search in Germany found Paula's original Meteorological Journal and there was an entry for 12 June 1886 made by the captain, recording a drift bottle having been thrown overboard. The date and the coordinates correspond exactly with those on the bottle message," Dr Anderson said.
The handwriting on the journal, and the message in the bottle, also matched, he added.