If you spend enough time watching a peacock shake his tail feathers, you start to see weird things. We were so impressed with a peacock’s magnificent tail feathers that scientists assumed for a long time that a bird with the longest or brightest tail feathers would be the most attractive to peahens. But a new study by a team led by Roslyn Dakin of the University of British Columbia studied the way they vibrate those feathers. A a good frequency, it makes them colors even brighter, and the “eyes” of the feathers stand out without appearing to move themselves.
Cats have a very active imagination, and even though we can't speak felinese we can kinda guess what they're thinking about when they're playing. When they chase after mice it's like they're playing cops and robbers, and when they attack the feather on the string they're practicing for beach volleyball season. But when they go after something that has variable modes of play, like a ball of yarn, it's easy to imagine they're trying to be like those super powered beings on the pages of the comic books their owners always leave lying around. And as the ball of yarn unravels they pretend to be a massive being capable of unravelling the world...
Show your love of cats with imagination by wearing this Orange Yarn Cat t-shirt by Dooomcat, it's so funny people will marvel at your unique sense of humor and so cute it's sure to earn you some fans!
When you act like a scumbag you should expect to be treated as such, and therefore when you ask for naughty submissions online you should expect the trolls to come crawling out from under their bridges.
Why? Because Texas is awesome, that's why. And here's further evidence: go to the Evergreen Cemetery in Paris, Texas. There you will find the grave of Willet Babcock (1821-1881), a wealthy resident who built furniture, caskets, and the town's 1,200-seat opera hall.
Babcock commissioned an artist named Gustave Klein to carve this marble monument to stand over his grave. It's thought to be a representation of Jesus because of his clothing, body shape, and, of course, his cowboy boots.
You knew that Jesus wore cowboy boots, right?
Anyway, Babcock's grave, which is popularly known as the Jesus in Cowboy Boots, is now a popular tourist attraction. You can read more about it at Atlas Obscura.
Well, it was “bottled” in 1965, in recycled bottles, too. Here we get to see the process, all grooved up with hepcat teens doing their thing. If you are old enough, you’ll even sing along with the instrumental tune… “Things go better with Coca-Cola, things go better with Coke.”
Can you imagine the mind-numbing job of looking at bottles go by, checking for nicks and chips, all day, every day? I’m hoping those guys get to drive a truck or something at least one day a week. I know there weren't many chipped bottles, because the grocer would examine them before he's give you the deposit money. Two cents a bottle. Watching these machines do their job on thousands of bottles at once is hypnotic. That’s what it took to bring you such a groovy drink. -via Digg
Do you like to type out text messages on your phone while walking? That's fine, so as long as you don't get hit by a train. Tragically, that happened to a 15-year old girl in Augsburg, Germany. She died.
So the city of Augsburg took action. It installed traffic lights at train crossings on the ground, where they would fall into the peripheral vision of texters. The Daily Mail reports on this and other efforts around the world to prevent texting accidents:
Augsburg is not the only city introducing measures to make phone users more aware of their surroundings – or at least keeping them safe as well as others around them.
In 2014, the city of Chongqing experimented with a 165ft long pavement divided into lanes – with one for speedy and alert pedestrians and another for 'smombies,' meaning smartphone zombies.
Similarly, last year, Utah Valley University's Student Life and Wellness Centre (UVU) introduced a 'walking and texting' lane to a busy flight of stairs.
The idea started as a joke, although it could ensure that diligent students get to class on time and prevent accidents caused by people not looking where they are going.
The staircase was divided into three lanes, for walking, running and texting.
The U.S. military is the world’s premiere fighting force, but only in real life. They are no match for the undead. Not even when they team up with NATO or another group of allies. That’s a necessary plot hole in any zombie apocalypse story. It’s like killing off a child protagonist’s parents, because otherwise they’d be protecting the child and preventing dangerous adventures. One of these days, someone is going to produce a film in which military strategists are the heroes who actually save the world from a zombie infection. That would be cool. This is the latest from John McNamee at Pie Comic.
We've seen a litteral Poke Ball Gown before, but if you want to cosplay in full formal style while actually appearing as a character, be sure to head over to RageCostumes' store where you can get your hands on this incredible Venusaur Ball Gown that's sure to turn heads whether worn at a convention, a ball or an upcoming prom. Of course, with skills like this, if Venusaur isn't your favorite Pokemon, you might just be able to ask RageCostumes to custom-make you a Pokemon Ball Gown with your favorite character. Or just get this Princess Leia Gown (previously seen on Neatorama) instead.
Can a machine learn from experience? Of course they do, we have artificial intelligence computer programs that learn from experience, from people, and from other computers. But all that had to start somewhere. In 1961, Donald Michie built a device called MENACE, which stands for Machine Educable Noughts And Crosses Engine (Noughts and Crosses is known as Tic-Tac-Toe in America). It was made out of a bunch of matchboxes and a supply of glass beads. In 2010, artist Julien Prévieux built a nice version of that same machine, called MENACE 2, with tiny drawers that resemble a library card catalog and a huge supply of colored beads. But what’s really mind-blowing is how it works. Many young engineers have recreated the project, but it’s new to me, and is a nuts-and-bolts lesson in how machines learn.
There are 304 little wooden drawers (or matchboxes in the original version created by Michie.) Each of them represents a unique board position that the player can encounter during a game. Each drawer is filled with coloured beads that represent a different move in that board state. The quantity of a colour indicated the “certainty” that playing the corresponding move would lead to a win.
Menace “learns” to win the game by playing repeatedly against the human player, honing its strategy until its opponent is only able to draw or lose against it. The trial and error learning process involves being “punished” for losing and “rewarded” for drawing or winning. This type of machine learning is called reinforcement learning.
In an elevator in China, a man gets handsy with a woman. After he's had plenty of warning, she delivers a right cross, then a groin kick that puts him on the floor. She follows up with a knee to his face.
It's a lovely, heart-warming scene.
The origin of this video is uncertain. Mashable reports that some people think that it's fake. But a Chinese news outlet has confirmed that the woman is an actress named Du Qiao. She says that it's real:
Qiao confirmed to Tencent on Thursday that she was the woman in the video, but insisted it wasn't staged. "I was just minding my own business, but he forced a reaction from me," she said.
Man, it seems all the superheroes in the world are at odds these days, and the versus films and storylines just keep rolling out. When are they going to learn that working together is the only way to rid the world of evil forces and make countries like America great again? Of course, this bickering and battling is a reflection of our society as a whole, with Cap battling to retain his privacy and Supes representing the immigrants who immigrated to our land seeking a better life. Is your heart made of iron, Mr. Stark? Do you no longer remember what it's like to be an outsider Mr. Wayne?
Bring the battle to your everyday life with this Versus t-shirt by Zerobriant, it's the fresh way to fight for your right to be geeky!
The owner of Vinnie's Pizzeria, Sean Berthiaume, must have been channeling Xzbit earlier this week when he thought to himself, "Yo Dawg, I heard you liked pizza, so I put your pizza in a box made from pizza." But lo and behold here is the world's first ever entirely edible pizza box that really works as more of a pizza sandwich than a functional box.
This isn't Sean's first brush with pizza glory. In fact, just last year he introduced the pizza-topped with slices of smaller pizzas. One thing's for sure, when we finally enter a true world of pizzaception, it will be served up at Vinnie's.
A Chihuahua puppy named Bobby was only two days old when his mother was hit by a car and killed. The Michigan Human Society took him in, but he was so young, what to do? They had a cat in residence with a litter of young kittens, and they just gave Bobby to her. Gwen the mother cat took to him like he was just another kitten.
There are those who think geeks aren't very sexual, but the reality is that the average person just doesn't understand their special kinks. Fortunately for the geeks looking for hot reading material (and those looking for new pickup lines to catch the geek of their dreams), there's a Twitter account called 50 Nerds of Grey just ready to get you as hot and bothered as an overloaded server.
Best of all for fans of the IT Crowd, the mere fact that it has Moss as the profile picture makes it nearly impossible to read without hearing his charmingly nasal voice in your head.
Imagine a coffee table in your living room with an embedded computer. One that you could put your drink or even dinner on and not worry about ruining. One that you could even order dinner from! Use it for playing music, surfing the web, watching TV, or playing games with your friends. There are even touch screen models that won’t mind a few drinks set on top. Check out five different models of these smart tables, with different features and different prices, at Housely.
A photo posted by therock (@therock) on Jul 19, 2015 at 7:43am PDT
The Rock is also a superhuman caring machine, and between buying his mom a new car, saving his puppy from drowning and visiting a young fan at the children's hospital just to make her day he has definitely earned his halo!
A 6-month-old cat named Boots became stuck high in a tree in Melbourne, Australia, early on Wednesday morning. The RSPCA and the local fire brigade declined to help. The cat’s owner couldn’t afford to hire a professional animal rescue service, and the tree branches were too spindly for anyone to climb.
To raise the money needed, neighbor Susie Butler started a Go Fund Me account. The required $205 was raised within a day, and Thursday morning Nigel's Animal Rescue managed to get Boots out of the tree. He had been there over 24 hours by then. You can see video of the rescue operation here. -via Arbroath
In the 1980s Japanese comic artists were just as obsessed with the New Wave music scene as the rest of the world, and their obsession spilled out onto the pages of manga magazines.
Drawing these musical characters in a manga art style magically transforms those famous faces into something fresh and new again, like a caricature only less jarring.
In fact, our favorite New Wave heroes look oh-so right when rendered in that sometimes cute, sometimes creepy manga style.
These amazing illustrations are from a 1980s magazine called 8 Beat Gag, a magical manga mag where we can see Robert Smith transformed into some sort of yeti and Siouxsie Sioux beating Girlschool in a footrace.
A photo posted by Heather Baird (@sprinklebakes) on Apr 4, 2016 at 6:16pm PDT
Suddenly, I want to throw a birthday party for someone, anyone, so I can try this cake. Alas, it may be beyond my abilities, and it's certainly beyond my existing utensils. Baker and food artist Heather Baird was impressed by the Veil Nebula and created a cake to resemble the images. It’s a black velvet cake (using extra black) with white confetti sprinkles for stars. The outside is black fondant painted with gel food coloring. You can find the complete instructions (and more pictures) at Sprinkle Bakes. -via Laughing Squid
Auralnauts have re-dubbed the lines from Kylo Ren scenes in The Force Awakens, giving him the depth of character that you suspected all along in a young emo Sith wannabe. The movie could have used a bit more humor, after all. And it reveals a connection to another popular fantasy world you didn’t know about.
The owls sit in the trees and stare off into the night, watching and waiting to see what cards fate will play for the people in the town of Twin Peaks below. Some will find an ace up their sleeve, able to elude capture and save face, while others will find playing a One Eyed Jack to be more of an ordeal than a boon, as they struggle to stay alive after playing what is essentially a wild card. But the truly in tune, those who listen to logs, have giants to help them and dance in the Red Room like there's no tomorrow, they know what to say when the owls ask "who?"
Only the wisest geeks will see this Not What They Seem t-shirt by Barrett Biggers for what it is- one damn fine Twin Peaks themed tee!
Monica, Marcia, Tonya, and Anita were household names in the 1990s for widely varying reasons, to the point that we didn’t even need to use their last names. What they had in common was the media circuses that grew up around them. The tabloids relied on them for headlines, no matter how shallow. Every facet of their lives were picked apart, but only the most outrageous bits were printed or aired.
In the past, we have been all too ready to assume that, if the media pillories a woman for being bad, trashy, pushy, slutty, greedy, greedy, crazy, or just—the most evergreen dismissal of all—a bitch, they must be right. Now, more than ever, we are beginning to wonder: How many times has a woman been made to suffer not because of anything she has said or done, but simply because she was the only girl in the room?
And all this happened decades after the beginning of second-wave feminism. Looking back at those headlines now, twenty years later, we might be horrified by the way women connected with a scandal, no matter how tangentally, were treated. But then again, how much has really changed? Sarah Marshall writes about the scandalous women of the ‘90s from the viewpoint of a later generation at Fusion. -via Metafilter
Do you love Disney theme parks so much you wish you could live in them?
Six year old me would totally agree, but nowadays I'm not so sure I could handle dealing with all the people who visit Disney theme parks on a daily basis.
However, if you're someone who wants to live like a Disney Cast Member without having to work then you'll love Disney Golden Oak, the new gated community located inside Walt Disney World in Florida.
The designs for the 290 single-family homes at Disney Golden Oak are inspired by Caribbean and Mediterranean architecture, because when you pay at least 2 million dollars for a home it had better not look like ToonTown.
A bizarre medieval manuscript written in a language no one can read has baffled the world’s best cryptologists, stumped the most powerful code-breaking computers, and been written off as a masterful hoax. Can the hive mind finally unlock its secrets?
The breakthrough, when it finally came, happened in a most unremarkable way. Stephen Bax was in his home office late at night. It was April 2013, and he’d spent the previous 10 months poring over reproductions of a 15th-century manuscript bursting with bizarre drawings: female figures in green baths; astrological symbols; intricate geometric designs; plants that seemed familiar but also just slightly off. Strangest of all—and the reason Bax, a 54-year-old professor of applied linguistics in Bedfordshire, England, had become obsessed—were the 35,000 words in the manuscript. Written in an elaborate, beautiful script, the language has never appeared on any other document, anywhere. Ever.
At his day job at the University of Bedfordshire’s Centre for Research in English Language Learning and Assessment, Bax focuses on English language learning. Decoding ancient manuscripts is not in his purview. But ever since he’d heard about this mysterious book, he’d been fixated on it: scouring the web, talking to scholars, analyzing 14th-century herbal manuscripts at the British Library. And he was fairly confident he’d identified a few words in the document: juniper, cotton, the constellation Taurus. But before he could go public with his findings, he needed more.
On this particular evening, he was looking at the first word of script on a page numbered f3v, which contained an illustration of a plant that looked like hellebore. According to the scheme Bax had worked out, the word spelled out kaur— a word he wasn’t familiar with. So Bax did what anyone would do: He pulled up Google and typed “hellebore” and “kaur.” Then he pressed enter.
The Voynich Manuscript—a soft-bound, 240-page volume—has baffled cryptanalysts, linguists, computer scientists, physicists, historians, and academics since it was rediscovered in the early 20th century. To date, no one has deciphered it, and no one knows why it was made. Experts don’t know what to make of it: is it a cipher, a code, a long-lost language?
There’s been plenty of speculation, both inside and outside academia. Over the past century, the case of the Voynich has been cracked and debunked, cracked and debunked again, and even—rather convincingly!—exposed as a hoax. Even the book’s acquisition is a mystery.
The story starts with a London-based book dealer named Wilfrid Voynich, who discovered the book in 1912. From the beginning, Voynich was evasive about how he acquired the tome—he claimed he’d been sworn to secrecy about its origin, and the story he recounted changed often. In the one he told most frequently, he’d been at “an ancient castle in Southern Europe” when he found this “ugly duckling” buried in a “most remarkable collection of precious illuminated manuscripts.”
For a book dealer, it was like stumbling onto treasure. Back in London he dubbed his acquisition the “Roger Bacon cipher,” after the 13th-century English monk and scientist, and put it up for sale. A letter that came with the book suggested Bacon was the author; whether Voynich actually believed it, or whether he simply believed that associating the book with Bacon would help him fetch a higher resale price, is unclear.
Urban Prep Academies is a 3-campus all-boys school in Chicago. Six years ago, we told you about an impressive achievement of the school: every one of their graduating seniors was going to college.
That was followed by another year, and other. It's 2016, and for the seventh year in a row, every single senior has committed to a 4-year college. CBS Chicago (auto-start video) reports:
Founder and CEO of Urban Prep Tim King says the students have been admitted to more than 220 colleges and universities this year.
“We’ve got two guys going to my alma mater, Georgetown University, we have our first admit to Yale University this year,” said King. “We have students who’ve been admitted to University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Morehouse College, schools all over the country. It’s a huge level of diversity in terms of the types of schools these young men will be going to in the fall.” […]
“Every year, I’m just wowed by these young men by what they are doing,” King said. “They really make me proud. We started Urban Prep with the goal of moving the needle when it comes to black male achievement and these guys proved to me, the city and the world every year, that we did the right thing when we founded Urban Prep ten years ago.”
I’ve always subscribed to the idea that real Star Wars fans hate Star Wars, and they live to pick apart everything George Lucas ever did. That is apparently transferring to Disney. Now that the warm glow of a new Star Wars film has worn off, and critics all over have their hands on the home video, we get to hear about everything possible they can pick at. Hang on to your seats, the critique of The Force Awakens takes a whopping 19 minutes.