If you dream of exploring the cosmos, whether with your mind or body, then you must engage in science! The captains of scientific study must insist you join the federation of science lovers and engage your mind in scientific pursuits. Take a trek across the stars without leaving your armchair, with a little help from Captains Tyson, Sagan and Nye, but please note that the title of "science guy" is already taken.
Keep your scientifically minded wardrobe geeky with this Engage in Science t-shirt by Jimiyo and show your allegiance to those who engage in scientific pursuits on television!
During World War II, the German military faced a threat worse than the Allies: typhus. The disease was killing soldiers and weakening the German forces on the Eastern front as they faced the Soviet Army. They scrambled to develop a typhus vaccine in hurry. Joachim Mrugowsky, head of the SS Hygiene Institute, set up a research lab at Buchenwald concentration camp, thinking it would be safe from Allied bombing.
Dr. Erwin Ding-Schuler, an ambitious but callow Nazi officer and Mrugowsky’s deputy, was chosen to lead production, and began assembling captive scientists with the help of his new clerk, an imprisoned German intellectual named Eugen Kogon. Among those drafted was a gentle Jewish biologist named Ludwik Fleck, who was a former assistant of Dr. Weigl whom Weigl had protected during the Nazi occupation of Lviv.
Thus began one of the most effective but least-known deceptions of World War II, one that is wondrously thick with irony: For 16 months, working under the noses of his clueless Nazi overseers—in particular Ding-Schuler, whom Fleck described as a “dummkopf”—a Jewish doctor managed to send fake typhus vaccine to the Nazi soldiers at the front, even as he provided the real thing to inoculate his fellow condemned Jews in a concentration camp.
The project started off on the wrong foot, with Nazi doctors who had no experience in immunology, overseeing camp inmates who lied about being doctors, using a translated French pamphlet as a how-to guide, to do an extremely complex procedure under horrid conditions. That was before Dr. Fleck came along, and the group finally had someone who knew what he was doing. It’s a fascinating story overall, with a Nuremberg climax fit for Hollywood, at Politico magazine. -via Digg
Bill Hammack, the Engineer Guy, explains how that weird electronic musical instrument the theremin came about. Russian inventor Léon Theremin patented the theremin in 1928. That’s weird, since we associate the sound with time travel, space travel, and horror. But it’s not as weird as what happened to Theremin himself. -via the Presurfer
A quiz title like this is catnip for me. See, I was a radio disc jockey for 24 years. We used to brag that we could name that tune in one note -backward. Yet I didn’t do as well as I thought I would, because I was in a hurry, that was a long time ago, and I wasn’t always playing Top 40 music.
Still, these quizzes at Slate were fun to do. I say “quizzes” because they are broken into decades: music from the 1970s (where I scored 16 of 16), the 1980s (14 of 16), the 1990s (8 of 16) and recent music (9 of 16). Even if you don’t recognize the song, the Hangman-style answer format can help you guess one letter at a time. There are links to each section from all the other sections, so you may as well start with the quiz on recent music. -via Metafilter
Tumblr user Lorenzo was trying to be an awesome big brother when he introduced his six-year-old little sister to the classic video game characters that star in the Super Smash Bros. video game franchise, and then he asked her if she remembered their names.
She got some of the names right, and came close with others like Pakistan (Pac-Man) and Bowler (Bowser), but the ones she tried to make up on the spot are pretty adorable.
To be fair, most of the characters in the game are from well before her time, and she probably hasn't been playing video games for long, but her imaginative new names might be just what these characters need to revitalize their image.
This week marks the 30th anniversary of the film Revenge of the Nerds, which was released back in 1984 when “nerd” was a really embarrassing thing to be called. The actors were nervous about appearing in a movie with “nerd” in the title! You remember the movie, but there’s a lot you probably don’t know. Like,
6. Filming on the University of Arizona campus had its problems. Just like the failed remake, the first film had college issues as well. The studio had been given permission to film on the campus, but revoked their filming privileges after reading the script. Producers had to convince the school they wouldn’t harm their reputation and eventually the school gave them the “okay,” with the many of the students posing as extras.
14. Robert Carradine and Anthony Edwards tested their nerd attire during Rush Week. The actors wanted to put their nerd outfits to the test and attended several fraternity rush events to see how their pocket protectors went over. According to Carradine, one frat house’s president gave them a single look and said “No way.”
Time has proven that nerds really do inherit the earth, and the stars of Revenge of the Nerds now look back at that time fondly, despite their misgivings. Read the rest of the list at Uproxx.
Man has exploited the ocean and its creatures for as long as mankind has existed. Now the sea creatures are fighting back! Arif Sabir was spearfishing with friends off the coast of Jupiter, Florida, when they encountered a large Goliath grouper. The men get a short laugh in just before the grouper takes a bite out of Sabir’s flipper and makes off with his catch, spear and all! The spear was recovered later. Never underestimate an ugly, slow-moving fish when you’re in their territory. -via Daily Picks and Flicks
Daily Tous Les Jours, a collective of designers from Canada, created this cool swing set, which is now on tour. The set, based on the original 22 Swings project, is illuminated, which creates the spectacular light trails in the photos below. The designers explain their project on their website:
"The interactive installation consists of a series of musical swings. When used all together, the swings compose a musical piece in which certain melodies emerge only through cooperation. It’s a game where from the start you need to adjust to the actions of others.
The Swings allow participants to make music with their entire bodies, to connect to one another and to have a sense of ownership of public space due to the music they create. The result is a giant collective instrument that brings together people of all ages and backgrounds."
If you need playlist for a class reunion or a theme party, or you just want a background playlist for your internet surfing, The Nostalgia Machine is here for you. Enter a year and the machine will give you the top songs of that year, each with an embedded video. Select a significant year, like the year you graduated from high school or went through puberty, and you can wallow in nostalgia for the rest of the day! Sorry, it only goes back to 1960. -via Metafilter
The Dried Fruit Initiative has been established to show the link between the heat of the sun and the shrinking of fruit, and when you need to show the world an example of what heat does to fruit you need look no further than the mighty wrinkly raisin. With the raisin as their spokesfruit, the Initiative spread the word about dehydration, and while the fruit looked on in horror the hikers who were just passing through began to drool...
Help prevent the accidental raisinification of grapes with this Raisin Awareness t-shirt by Adam Koford, it's adorable and informative!
Marvel’s ultimate vigilante The Punisher and DC’s sidekick turned street crusader Red Hood have a lot in common besides their one-man war on crime- they both have a wicked sense of style, they both use guns because they don’t have superpowers, and they're the baddest anti-heroes in their respective comic book universes.
Johnny Cash was one of country music’s first “outlaws,” but the music industry was still surprised in 1957 when he played a concert at Huntsville State Prison in Texas. Over the next decade, Cash performed over 30 prison shows and recorded albums during at least three of them. (The shows at California’s Folsom Prison and San Quentin became the most famous). Here are ten little-known facts about the Man in Black’s prison concerts.
1. Columbia Records repeatedly rejected Cash’s requests to record a prison concert. Cash started playing at prisons in response to fan mail from inmates who identified with his songs (especially “Folsom Prison Blues”). Soon he discovered that “prisoners are the greatest audience that an entertainer can perform for. We bring them a ray of sunshine into their dungeon, and they’re not ashamed to respond and show their appreciation.” He suspected that their excitement and gratitude combined with the thrill of performing in a dangerous venue would create the perfect setting for an album. His record company disagreed -they thought the concerts would kill Cash’s career and hurt the label’s image. But when Columbia brought on producer Bob Johnston -known for being a bit wild himself and for bucking authority (as well as producing for Bob Dylan)- that stance changed. Johnston readily approved the country star’s idea.
Columbia remained tight-lipped about the performance and the release of Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison in 1968, still believing the album would never sell. But it did… an incredible 500,000 copies in one year. Sales were boosted by Cash’s tough guy image (he wore solid black clothing, used profane language, had a gravelly voice, and fought an on-again-off-again addiction to drugs). To help the cause along, Columbia released exaggerated ads claiming Cash was no stranger to prison. Which brings us to…
2. Cash never served time at Folsom, or any other prison. He did seven short stints in jail, though, for drug- and alcohol-related charges. his song “Folsom Prison Blues” was instead inspired by the 1951 movie Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison. According to biographer Michael Streissguth, another influence was Gordon Jenkins’s song “Crescent City Blues,” from which Cash “borrowed” so heavily that when his version was recorded on the Folsom album, the original artists demanded -and received- royalties.
3. Cash inspired future country music star Merle Haggard.
Utoro is a small port town in Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan. Looking over the harbor are the fearsome Godzilla Rocks, so named for their resemblance to that monster. My question: is Godzilla guarding the town--or waiting for the right moment to crush it?
Rob Ley, founder of architecture and design studio Urbana, transformed an Indianapolis hospital parking garage into art by adding 7,000 multicolored metal panels to the outer facade of one wall.
The finished project, entitled “May-September,” changes color and shape according to the vantage point of observers and the amount of light and shadow cast by the weather of the day. The colored panels cover an area of 12,500 square feet.
The video below is an interesting look at the structure and the process of installing the metal panels. Via Beautiful Decay.
Image: Eric H. Cline, George Washington University
In November of 2013, a team from George Washington University was conducting an archaeological excavation in Israel when they unearthed a 3,700-year-old wine cellar. The excavation site, in the ruins of a Canaanite palace in northern Israel, is close to modern wineries.
The team found 40 3-foot-tall jars in what was possibly a storage area. Each jar held wine once enjoyed by the Canaaanites. The scientists were able to collect the substance left in the bottom of the jars and analyze it, which helped them understand what kind of wine the ancient peoples of the area consumed.
The contents of the wine residue included tree resins, honey, mint, juniper berries, cinnamon and cedar. Age analysis of the find led researchers to believe that the craft of winemaking was developed in that region prior to spreading to the Mediterranean and Egypt.
If you're a sports fan, you'd probably love to go to the stadium and cheer your favorite team on to victory whenever they play. But you might not have time. That's why one company in South Korea invented the Fanbot. It's a robot that fulfills your duties as a fan. When it's time to cheer, the Fanbot will lift up a lighted sign with an appropriate message.
It's an ingenious concept that should be expanded. Consider the possibilities. If you don't have time to watch that new hit TV show, you can have a robot servant do that for you. Want to go on a date, but can't fit it into your schedule? No time for the family? Just delegate those tasks to the robot so that you can get back to work.
YouTube member TheOpenLens went to Round Island, Alaska to film local wildlife. He and his companions were taking pictures of sea lions when they saw a fox approach. TheOpenLens put his GoPro camera on the ground and in the hope that the fox would approach it. He was successful--more than he should have been! The fox ran off with his camera. It took him 8 minutes of searching before he found it again.
OK Cupid member Emily was messaged by another member who was interested in her, based on her profile. When she checked his profile, she found a "don't message me if" list that essentially rules out every female in all of humanity.
Emily posted the list on her Tumblrfor her readers to see. I imagine that all single, hoping-to-become-coupled females who read Emily's post burst into tears from sheer hopelessness before they reached the last item on the list. How could one go on, knowing that they can't measure up to the expectations of this sweet prince? Via 22 Words.
Stimpy came out on stage, sat down behind the keyboard, and let his magical rubber fingers run across the keys in a cacophony of jarring sounds that made the audience cringe. However, there was one little dog in the audience who wasn't cringing, one chihuahua named Ren that had a tear in his eye and a soft spot in his heart for that piano playing fool Stimpy...
Classic cartoons, classical music and classic t-shirt designs collide on this totally classic Three Keyboard Stimpy Moon t-shirt by Dann Matthews, pick one up and show the world your seriously funny side!
Glasgow, Scotland is hosting the 2014 Commonwealth Games, which are taking place now. Queen Elizabeth II made a surprise visit to a women's field hockey game between Australia and Malaysia. Australian player Jayde Taylor took a selfie with a teammate. And who slipped into the background? The Queen herself!
Taylor admits that she planned the photo:
“Brooke [Peris] and I planned it so that when she came out the door she would be behind us. And then she came out and smiled at the camera. We were in the right spot at the right time.”
Later, they got to meet the Queen:
“The security guard led us all round and we got to meet her.
“She asked us a bit about the pitch, how we were going and told us to enjoy our time here. She was lovely, really, really lovely.”
Before the printing press, books were copied by hand, often by monks who worked for years on one volume. Those original manuscripts are rare now, and hard to read, but for the diligent student, they have a bonus. The illustrations, decorations, and marginalia often have nothing to do with the text, and are often much weirder and more vulgar than anything else in the book. These artworks are a study all their own, and have became quite popular as a glimpse into the medieval mind.
Kaitlin Manning, an associate at B & L Rootenberg Rare Books and Manuscripts, says part of the reason why modern viewers are so captivated by marginalia is because we expect this era to be so conservative. For example, few Monty Python fans realize that the comedy group’s silly animations are direct references to artwork in illuminated manuscripts. (Illuminated simply means decorated with gold or silver foil.) “I think it’s such a shock when you have this idea in your head of what medieval society was like,” says Manning, “and then you see these bizarre images that make you question your assumptions.” The wild mixture of illustrations is a challenge to our contemporary desire to compartmentalize topics like sex, religion, humor, and mythology.
Manning was first drawn to marginalia while studying at the Courtauld Institute in London, where she was able to work with some of the most significant illuminated-manuscript collections in the world, including those at the British Library. “I loved the idea that marginalia was such an overlooked part of the medieval experience,” says Manning, “so much that up until 20 or 30 years ago, scholars were completely uninterested and wrote it off as trivial or not meaning anything.”
Though the meaning of specific images is still hotly debated, scholars conjecture that marginalia allowed artists to highlight important passages (or insert text that was accidentally left out), to poke fun at the religious establishment, or to make pop-culture references medieval readers could relate to. We’ll probably never understand all the symbolism used in marginalia, but what have we learned about medieval life through these absurd images?
Solo per Due is a luxurious restaurant in a villa in Vacone, Italy. It serves only the finest cuisine and wine for discriminating palates. If you eat there, you won't have to worry about it being crowded. There are only two dining seats in the entire restaurant.
For a bit more cash, you and your dining companion can have a firework display and personalized flower arrangements. That's why you must have a reservation to eat at the Solo per Due. The gates won't even open until your appointed time.
This is one of eight tiny restaurants described in Honest Cooking. Some of them offer less refined cuisine, but all of them have limited floor space.
Playing a musical instrument involves more areas of the brain than other activities. It only makes sense. You have to use your fine motor skills to play, understand the tune, read the music, remember how it’s done, co-ordinate with other players, and watch your timing. All at the same time. And that’s after you’ve learned how to do it! Learn more in this TED-Ed lesson from Anita Collins. -via Laughing Squid
This video from Sci Show presents a clear explanation of why birds have light and dark meat (and whether humans share those bodily features). Interesting information... that made me momentarily wish I was a vegetarian.