Imagine a board game so complicated, so full of intrigue and rules, that it takes six boxes to contain it all.
Picture yourself, and your friends, playing a game that requires you to devote your entire life to playing, a game that cannot be stopped once it has began.
This is Game Of Thrones: The Board Game, a board game that will ruin your life faster than any MMO ever could, a board game that tests your resolve by turning your life into an episode of your favorite fantasy bloodbath. You may survive the game, but will your marriage?
Game of Thrones: The Board Game, from the makers of SAW: Family Edition and Who Killed Daddy?
As he did with the comic called Frequency, Randall Munroe continues to experiment with embedding his comic xkcd. Today is one you may want to permanently bookmark. It shows a global map that rotates to show what time it is now all over the world! The image here has already changed, because it only shows what time it was when the screen shot was taken. Check the original moving map out now.
The seminal cartoon series SpongeBob SquarePants is now in its fifteenth year on the air, and whether you love the pineapple dwelling strangeoid or cringe at the sight of his stupid face you have to agree there’s something iconic about that undersea wearer of square pants.
But before Stephen Hillenburg's absorbent series hit the small screen SpongeBob, and all the people and places that reside in Bikini Bottom, went through years of development and reworking until Spongeboy became the Bob we know and (some) love today.
There are limits to how well you can render a concept on paper, or in 2D, so science illustrations that are considered state-of-the-art are often somewhat inaccurate. Other science explanations have been simplified for students, and the simplification sticks in our heads. They also stick in our textbooks, often for decades after new information is available! Michael Stevens from Vsauce guest-hosts this week’s mental floss video. He explains some of the details you should know about classic science illustrations. The scale model of the solar system that he references can be found here. -via mental_floss
Sculpting with hard mediums such as marble and stone requires hammer and chisel and lots of sanding, but creating soft, human forms out of red bricks seems so ridiculously difficult it’s a wonder sculptor Brad Spencer is able to create such amazing works with the stiff yet crumbly ceramic material.
Brad’s brick sculptures really capture the look and feeling of children climbing around on a brick wall, kids whose bodies are seemingly turning into brick as they play, complete with mortar seams that run through their bodies as they run through the wall.
Brad creates sculptures of all kind out of brick, from free standing sculptures to walls with reliefs sculpted into them, and for some reason people just feel safer with Brad's sculptures hanging around their property!
During the 1860s, the Royal Navy experimented with new types of warships to replace the aging generation of screw-propelled steamships. Among them was the 1,160-ton HMS Waterwitch. This ship used a novel form of propulsion: water jets.
This system was known as the Ruthven impeller--a water turbine invented by Scottish engineer Morris West Ruthven. The impeller measured 14.5 feet across and weighed 8 tons. It rotated on a vertical axis inside a chamber 19 feet across. Two water jet nozzles opening just below the waterline fed water into the chamber. Two 160-horsepower steam engines powered the pumps which sucked water through the nozzles and into the impeller chamber.
Because of its design, the Waterwitch could theoretically move forward or reverse at equal speed simply by reversing the jets. There was a rudder at the bow as well at the stern, so it could also control its movement in reverse. This could be helpful when attempting to ram an enemy ship, so the Waterwitch was equipped with armored rams at both ends.
The Waterwitch engaged in sea trials in 1867. Unfortunately, it proved to be slow and could reach a speed of only 9.23 knots. In reverse, it could move 7.9 knots, which was not bad, but did not live up to expectations. The Waterwitch also proved to be difficult to maneuver.
A Royal Navy panel assembled to examine the Waterwitch concluded that the design was a failure because it was difficult to draw water into the inlet of the pump and the water that was taken on board increased the weight of the ship. Also, the system experienced power losses due to bends in the water passages and friction from the water going through those passages.
Naval architect Albert E. Seaton argues that the Waterwitch might have moved faster if it had heavier boilers, larger water passages and a bigger chamber for the impeller. But this, of course, would have made the ship heavier.
Consequently, the Waterwitch’s innovations were not put to broader use. The ship was struck in 1887 and scrapped in 1890.
You just got Rickrolled again, but this time Rick brought some friends along! This mashup by nils incorporates the 2013 song “Wake Me Up” by Avicii and “Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba from 1997 into the mix with Rick Astley’s 1987 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up.” The video features dancing video clips by Will Smith and John Travolta. It’s an odd mix of music and dancing from vastly different decades, but it works. After all, a dance beat is a dance beat no matter when it was recorded. -via Metafilter
Superheroes as a whole seem to have a fetish for tight fitting costumes, and whether those spandex clad superfolks know it or not their choice of exterior underwear makes them incredibly easy to identify.
Toronto based creators of colorful artworks Design Different have come up with a handy dandy, full color guide to help people identify superfolks, both good and bad, by their underwear.
So the next time you see a super flying around your neck of the woods you can consult the chart, learn their name and yell “Hey So-and-so! Git offa mah propertee!”
The crew of the International Space Station recorded video of the earth on January 30, over Asia at night. As they flew over the Korean Penninsula, you can see the stark differences between countries. Here, South Korea look like a big island, because North Korea has so few lights.
The darkened land appears as if it were a patch of water joining the Yellow Sea to the Sea of Japan. Its capital city, Pyongyang, appears like a small island, despite a population of 3.26 million (as of 2008). The light emission from Pyongyang is equivalent to the smaller towns in South Korea.
Coastlines are often very apparent in night imagery, as shown by South Korea’s eastern shoreline. But the coast of North Korea is difficult to detect. These differences are illustrated in per capita power consumption in the two countries, with South Korea at 10,162 kilowatt hours and North Korea at 739 kilowatt hours.
Relaxing on a park bench under a tree is nice, but if you get home when it's already dark, you might not want to head over to the park and lay down on a bench (and even if you did, they might already be taken by other people laying down). Instead, you can always grab the Borghese by designer Noe Duchaufour Lawrance and manufacturer La Chance, which brings a little touch of nature into your home.
We have calculated the Name Number for our field, which is astronomy. The concept of the "Name Number" for professions was proposed by Kevin Krajick as a way to quantify a profession's Nominative Determinism, or the amount to which people choose a particular profession based on their last name.1
Krajick calculated the Name Number for geology by dividing the number of geology-related surnames for those who presented papers at the 2003 meeting of the Geological Society of America by the total number of authorial surnames for that meeting. The geology Name Number presented in Krajick's study was 117 / 8639, or 0.0135432.
Krajick pointed out that geology is the first branch of science to have a calculated Name Number, and concluded that "it remains to be seen whether other specialties will rise to challenge its supremacy." On behalf of astronomers everywhere, we have accepted this challenge and present our results here.
Calculating the Name Number for Astronomy
We calculated the Name Number for astronomy by examining the names of the approximately 7000 members of the American Astronomical Society in 2000 and finding the following matches to the profession of astronomy:
Result By this method, the Name Number for astronomy is 19/7000 or 0.0027143.
Discussion A naive interpretation of these data is that the Name Number for the field of astronomy is a factor of 4.9896126 smaller than the Name Number for the field of geology. However, since cosmology, which is a subfield of astronomy, is defined as "the study of the physical universe considered as a totality of phenomena in time and space" (http://www.answers.com/topic/cosmology), an argument could be made that the Name Number for astronomy is actually 1.0000000.
In fact, we do make this argument, and therefore conclude that the Name Number for the field of astronomy is a factor of 73.837607 larger than the Name Number for the field of geology.
This article is republished with permission from the May-June 2005 issue of the Annals of Improbable Research. You can download or purchase back issues of the magazine, or subscribe to receive future issues. Or get a subscription for someone as a gift!
Visit their website for more research that makes people LAUGH and then THINK.
Look at these babies with their big blue eyes! The Oregon Zoo has been the temporary home of three orphaned cougars whose mother was killed by a hunter. They arrived dehydrated and scared, and were nursed back to health at the zoo’s Veterinary Medical Care Center. After six weeks of care, they will head to their permanent new home at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro. Read more about the cougars at the Oregon Zoo website. -via HuffPo Green
Rongjia Tao is a physicist at Temple University in Philadelphia. He has a radical idea about how to reduce the damage of tornadoes in Tornado Alley--the plains states in the central United States. He wants to build three walls across the United States, running east to west: one in North Dakota, one on the border of Kansas and Oklahoma and one in southern Texas and Louisiana. Each wall would be about 1,000 feet high and 150 feet thick. Tao estimates that the project would cost about $60 billion per 100 miles of wall.
These walls, Tao argues, would reduce air flow as mountains do:
He said that major tornadoes in Tornado Alley are created from the violent clashes between the northbound warm air flow and southbound cold air flow. He adds that because there are no west-to-east mountains in Tornado Alley to weaken the air flow, collisions between warm and cold air create turbulence and supercells that spawn tornadoes. [...]
The walls would stop the flow of air from north and south, thus preventing the tornadoes from forming, he said. As an example he cites China, where east-west mountain ranges help reduce tornadoes there.
Other scientists think that Tao is completely wrong. Harold Brooks, a tornado researcher at the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma, says that Tao doesn’t understand how tornadoes work:
Brooks said that China has deadly tornadoes despite the east-west mountain ranges there. In addition, he said, tornadoes still occur in parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri despite the presence there of smaller east-west mountain ranges similar ni size to Tao's proposed walls.
"If his hypothesis was true, we'd already have the thing he wants to build naturally," Brooks said
"This is essentially a case of a physicist, who may be very good in his sub-discipline, talking about a subject about which he is abysmally ignorant," Brooks said.
Toronto stay-at-home-dad Jason Gemmill draws a silly picture for his daughter’s lunchbox every school day. The backstories for the daily drawing don’t go in the lunchbox, but are posted for adults on his blog My Daddy Stays Home. I particularly liked the drawing above with this blog caption:
Yes, both the squid and the octopus had lied about their ability to skate before commencing their first date. They both found it charming that they had tried so hard to impress the other. Years later at their 50th anniversary they would laugh at the memory. Then a sperm whale ate them and their whole family that had gathered to celebrate.
But I couldn’t decide whether that was better than this one:
The unicorn and narwhal back at the office hated when it was rhino's turn to pick up snacks. They felt he was cheap and never bought enough. The meerkat on reception, who due to the requirements of the position was unable to do a snack run, wished he could just once have a danish.
There are plenty more where those came from. -Thanks, Jason Corelli!
Katsucon 2014 is a fandom convention that started out being primarily about anime and has blown up to encompass all aspects of pop culture, primarily anime and video games.
Katsucon recently took place in National Harbor, Maryland and we’ve got the videos to prove it. These high quality overview videos were created by YouTuber beatdownboogie, and they showcase some of the best cosplayers in attendance, and generally make free range geeks look all dramatic and cinematic to a slick soundtrack.
Of particular note are the Iron Man Mystery Machine, the spot on Nights Into Dreams costume and the awesome little Doctor Who kid driving around in a K-9 mobile.
Michelle, an artist in New Zealand, is a whiz with face paint. She's a big anime fan, too. Here are a selection of her paintings inspired by several popular series and movies. You can view her gallery to find other works as well, including those inspired by Frozen and Despicable Me.
Watch these guys cut a rug at Awakefest 2013, also called the Awakenings Festival in the Netherlands. One commenter said this type of dancing was called de konijnendans, or “rabbit dance.” They may have been pulling our legs. Whatever it is, it works better with “Yakety Sax” than with the original soundtrack. -via Daily Picks and Flicks
Fashion photography is supposed to show off the clothing, evoke a feeling about the ensemble and try to sell the viewer on some aspect of the designer’s image, whether real or make believe.
Madame Peripetie's approaches these ideals with a sense of avant garde experimentalism and freedom from the ordinary that probably appeals to the fashion forward, but not so much to the more uptight designers who just want to showcase their clothes.
The images are interesting to look at to say the least, and unlike most fashion photos the clothes take a back seat to the overall visual impact of each shot.
Dana O’Keefe’s finely-crafted short film blends 18th Century concerns, 21st Century technology and a soundtrack reminiscent of the 1970s. Aaron Burr, Part 2 tells the story of the infamous bloody duel between the Vice President of the United States and the former Secretary of the Treasury.
What we know as history, Burr tells us, is wrong. Washington was an incompetent general. Hamilton was a megalomaniac. But it doesn’t matter because, O’Keefe’s Burr tells us, because:
History is a contest, not unlike a duel. I ended his life. But he ruined mine. I won the duel, but I lost my place in history.
Andy Kluthe at Dorkly has figured out your perfect pet by which game system you prefer, with the reasoning behind each. This explains perfectly why I have four cats, but most of those cats were not my idea- my limit is two cats, just enough to rid the house of rodents and keep each other company. My kids need a goldfish. -via Geeks Are Sexy
Emma J, a member of the Playmobil Collectors Club, made these delightfully steampunk versions of a Dalek and the Doctor's TARDIS. Steampunk is a fun style, but it must aggravate Daleks, as they are once again hindered by stairs.
Street artist Fra.Biancoshock insists that his works are not to be defined as street art, but they are displayed in public, (some) make a political statement, and they embody the DIY aesthetic of street art so let’s just leave it in that category.
Fra. refers to his works as “ephemeral experiences” which, as you can see from the still images of Fra's fleeting public artworks, means delightful to come across in a crowded city, extremely creative and occasionally politically oriented.
Fra.Biancoshock’s works can be found all over Europe, but when the lucky viewer discovers one of his pieces they’d better snap a pic quick, because it probably won’t be there for long.
I’m going to take a picture of myself. What could possibly go wrong? Let’s find out! Andy Martin (previously at Neatorama) made this warning video about self-obsession for the Character Selfies project. Look through the submissions; they’re a hoot! -Thanks, Andy!
Hand stitched embroidery art has gone from traditional to ultra modern, from pretty flowers and basic lettering to pixilated landscapes and video game characters, and Michelle Hamer is one of those cutting edge stitchsters changing the way we think of needlearts.
Michelle’s embroidery focuses on cityscapes, and in particular the textual elements such as signs and billboards found in the urban jungle. But her billboards feature enlightening slogans like "Only a little bit dead" and "Blame and punish the individual", definitely not the kind of slogan embroidery artists once sewed onto samplers.
In 2006, Jim Barry (Monterey Bay Aquarium) and I chunked 36 logs overboard to begin to examine wood fall communities. Chunked may be a strong verb for sending them down on a benthic elevator. Once on the bottom, a remotely operated vehicle dispersed them over a 1600 square foot area now affectionately referred to as Deadwood. In 2011 and 2013, we retrieved these wood falls. On the surface, I and others picked through the once solid but now bore-riddled and crumbling logs for Xylophaga, limpets, worms, snails, and other wee beasties. As we picked through the rotting wood carcasses, my level of excitement was only matched by the sulfidic, rotten egg, stench of decomposition.
The process is presented here in a souped-up musical video that is as entertaining as it is informative. McClain and Barry’s future plans involve a collaboration with David Hong of Duke University to analyze isotope compositions of the marine life that eats wood to construct a “food web” of the wood fall community. -via Metafilter
Japanese blogger Mr. Sebuyama of Omocoro.com claims that his transformation into a turkey started because he can't afford to buy warm clothes, which forced him to figure out a way to make the most out of wearing nothing but a pink sweater, but I'm pretty sure Mr. Sebuyama has been a turkey since birth.
Once the wildman completed his transformation into comfy, cozy turkey he took to the streets to show off his slightly disturbing new look, which even the pigeons find off-putting, and in the midst of field testing Mr. Sebuyama realized that once you go full turkey you can't go home again.