Lisa Marcus's Blog Posts

Clipping Your Fingernails in Space


(YouTube Link)

While few people are lucky enough to face the issue of how best to clip their nails in zero gravity, this video of Commander Chris Hadfield demonstrating his technique is a great reminder for everyone that containing and disposing of nail clippings is the way to go. 


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Winners of National Geographic Photo Contest 2012

This photograph of a tigress named Busaba was selected out of more than 22,000 entries from over 150 countries as the Grand Prize Winner and Nature Winner of the National Geographic Photo Contest for 2012. Photographer Ashley Vincent said of her winning shot, taken at Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Thailand: 

"I had taken many portraits of Busaba previously and it was becoming more and more difficult to come up with an image that appeared any different to the others. Which is why I took to observing her more carefully during my visits in the hope of capturing something of a behavioural shot. The opportunity finally presented itself while watching Busaba enjoying her private pool then shaking herself dry."

See the winners in all three categories  nature, places and people  at National GeographicLink

(Image credit: Ashley Vincent)

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Clever Cat Wins at Shell Game


(YouTube Link)

This beautiful white cat named Kido seems to have a special talent for winning at the shell game. Those who warn that the game cannot be won should bring Kido along and see if their luck changes.

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Ten Most Bizarre Todd McFarlane Characters

Todd McFarlane wears many hats. Comic book artist, writer, toymaker and film animator, to name a few. But his otherworldly characters wear a lot of gear as well. Armor. Spikes. Horns, bones and tusks. Weird weapons. Evil appendages. Parrots and platform shoes?! You name it, McFarlane's created it.   

The gallery above includes three of the top ten most bizarre McFarlane figures, as compiled by Topless Robot. See the rest, including the writer's amusing descriptions, at their site. Link


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The Rose Drawn by an Earthquake


An earthquake that occurred approximately 30 miles underground and registered 6.8 on the Richter Scale shook the Earth's surface for about 30 seconds near Olympia, Washington on February 28, 2001. A pendulum that makes tracings in sand was sitting in a shop in Port Townsend, Washington and traced this pretty, rose-shaped design in the sand during the 'quake.

Read more about the "earthquake rose" at the photographer's website.

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Cub Tired



Two lions at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo,  Mfisha and Mr. Big, have become parents to f
ive lion cubs. Three females and two males were born December 29, 2012. One female cub is receiving round-the-clock medical care. She's smaller than her siblings and couldn't compete for food. When she gains weight, she will join her family again. 

See more pictures of the cubs at Zooborns. Link

(Photo credit: Henry Doorly Zoo) 

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Ten Elaborate Underground Homes

This luxurious house called Villa Vals is built directly into a hillside in the village of Vals in the Swiss Alps. A collaboration between architectural firms Christian Müller and SeARCH, it features four bedrooms that are surprisingly flooded with natural light and have beautiful Alpine views. A thermal springs spa is nearby. The exterior is partially made of quartzite collected from the springs and surrounding area. There is a private hot spring in the home, as well as a hot tub and patios. The environmentally-friendly house is thermally insulated and has a heat pump, heat exchanger, radiant floors and uses hydroelectric power generated by a local reservoir.

See more pictures of the Villa Vals in the gallery above, and check out nine other beautiful underground dwellings at Homedit. Link -via Unique Daily

(Image credits: SeARCH, Iwan BaanSalottobuono)


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Antique Camera Contains Undeveloped Film From World War I

A camera collector from San Diego named Anton Orlov purchased a French stereoscopic camera at an antique shop. He soon discovered the camera contained eight undeveloped photographs shot in France during World War I. Amazingly, this was not the first incidence of Orlov finding historical treasures in old cameras.

Read more about Anton's finds and see the rest of his fascinating photographs at his blog The Photo Palace. Link -via i09

(Images provided by Anton Orlov)


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Amazing Basketball Shot Wins Eighth Grader Instant Fans


(YouTube Link

Eighth grader Matt DeMember made an unbelievable shot that just beat the buzzer in a youth basketball game at Greenridge Baptist Church in Maryland. Not only did he get a great reaction from the crowd, but later ESPN tweeted the video. It's a kid's dream come true!

-via HuffPost Sports

Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog

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Artist Sketches Her Purchases

Portland, Oregon-based illustrator Kate Bingaman-Burt began taking photos of everything she purchased in 2002. In 2006, she sketched one thing she purchased every day, a project on which her first book Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today? was based. Book number two, What Did I Buy Today?: An Obsessive Consumption Journal, will be released in the Spring of 2013.

Bingaman-Burt's intention is to make an artistic commentary on conspicuous consumption. In an interview with The Great Discontent, she talked about a time in which she was a designer for a gift company and was expected to sell the product line at trade shows:

"When I wasn't selling, I would sit and watch people and try to figure out why they would be drawn to one product over another. I think that's where the fascination of understanding people's emotions behind purchasing different objects started.

I wanted to figure out why we put so much emotion onto objects. That's when I decided to study graphic design and consumerism. I wanted to intensely focus on one area and use design to talk through some of the things I was thinking about." 

See more of the artist's work at her website. Link

(Image credits: Kate Bingaman-Burt)


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Fallen Redwood Tree Remains Imposing


This photo illustrates just how much the massive coast redwood trees in Northern California dwarf a human in terms of size. This fallen tree is located in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The 53,000-acre park features 17,000 acres of coast redwoods, including four of the tallest trees on record in the world. 

Learn more at Twisted Sifter. Link

(Image credit: thecynicroute)


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Panda Cub Ready to Greet His Fans


(YouTube Link

When we last checked in with Xiao Liwu, the panda cub at the San Diego Zoo, he was showing new dexterity during his 20th medical exam. Now the cub is six months old and allowed to roam his new outdoor zoo enclosure with his mother as he goes on public display today for the first time.

Xiao Liwu, whose name means "little gift" in Chinese, is shown here exploring his new surroundings as a crowd of photographers and videographers records the event. At one point, the cub approaches his mother and climbs up her back while she's eating. Instead of sharing her food, she promptly knocks him off. First rule of Panda Cub Club must be "Don't mess with Mama's food."

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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The Sixty-Six Dollar Pizza


The folks at RocketNews24 reviewed Domino's new "luxury" pizza in Japan. Topped with Kobe beef, onions, potatoes, cheese and steak sauce, one pizza will run customers 5,800 yen, or about $66 U.S. The reviewers' verdict?

"The beef here really is sublime! From the first bite, the pure tastiness of the ingredients sets off a chain reaction inside the cerebral cavity. Before you know it, you find yourself entering into a state of pizza ecstasy.”

Ultimately, potential customers will have to decide whether they think "pizza ecstasy" is worth 66 dollars a pop.

Read the full review at RocketNews24. Link -via Foodbeast

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Baby Robot Has Shades of Chucky


(YouTube Link

The first video of Machine Perception Lab’s robot baby has been released. According to an i09 article:

"Named Diego-san, it's an exaggerated representation of a one-year-old child that stands 4 feet 3 inches tall (130 cm) and weighs 66 pounds (30 kg). Its body consists of 44 pneumatic joints and its head contains about 27 moving parts. And as the video shows, its facial expressions are unbelievably life-like.

In order to simulate the reactions of a real child, Diego-san has had high definition cameras implanted in its eyes, allowing it to see people, gestures, and expressions. Then, through the use of an AI modeled on human babies, it can "learn" from people in the same way that real baby does."

The robot freaks me out a bit. If I turned a corner and saw two of them dressed identically and standing at the end of a hall, I'd run the other way, only able to wheeze out "Redrum!" How about you? Link


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Highline Walk by the Light of the Moon


(Vimeo Link

This stunning video by filmmaker Bryan Smith shows the full moon's majestic rise behind free climber Dean Potter as he walks a highline at Cathedral Peak in Yosemite National Park.

Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog

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Lion Cub Reaches Out to Little Girl

Seven-year-old Malan Selleck-Castaneda loves to go to the Denver Zoo, where her mother Teresa has held a membership for eight years. The lion cubs, donated to the zoo by the royal family of Qatar, are Malan's favorite animals. She explained her love for the cubs:

"I'm a little kid and they're little kids."

Recently, one of the cubs took an interest in Malan as well. This photo shows the cub imitating Malan's gesture as she peers at him through the glass. It makes one wonder what the cub would do if he were not behind his enclosure. 

Read more about the cubs at the Denver Post. Link

(Image credit: Teresa Castaneda) 

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Baby Koala and Mom


Planckendael Animal Park in Belgium is home to this adorable new baby Koala. Dad and Mom are Goonawarra and Guwara, respectively. The gender of the baby is still unknown. Once the gender is determined, the baby will be given an Aboriginal name that begins with "N," as all newborns at the animal park this year will have a name beginning with that letter.
Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Thermochromic Table

This table made by Jay Watson Design is one on which you're guaranteed to leave fingerprints. Made of solid oak painted with thermochromic paint, its surface temporarily changes color when heat is applied.

See the designer's website for further information and pricing. Link

(Image credits: Jay Watson Design)


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The World's Most Amazing Ice Formations


This is Birthday Canyon in Greenland. The striations in the 150-foot-deep ice walls of the canyon are the result of meltwater flow over a long period of time.

The World Geography compiled a list of 11 wonders of the ice world. From pure white icebergs striped with brilliant aqua and cerulean blue, to 17-foot-tall, jagged spikes, these ice sculptures by Mother Nature are awe-inspiring.

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The History of Nintendo


(Vimeo link

This cool and colorful video depicting the evolution of Nintendo gaming from its inception is the work of motion designer Anthony Veloso. From the beloved NES to the Wii U, the dizzying pace of this video is a great representation of the swift progress in gaming technology over the years.


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Freezer Art by Charlie Layton

Freelance illustrator and designer Charlie Layton began using the refrigerator/freezer in his Philadelphia apartment as a dry-erase board several months ago. He drew on the surface of the appliance while having his morning coffee. Layton started photographing the drawings and posting them to his Facebook page each Friday, calling the feature "Freezer Fridays." Then Charlie's friend, Redditor unsavory77, uploaded his work to Reddit. The photos instantly became so popular that Layton's website crashed from being overwhelmed with traffic. Layton said of his newfound popularity:

"It's pretty crazy. It's hard to grasp that thousands of people have seen something so quickly."

See more of Layton's work at his website. Link -via Twisted Sifter

(Image credit: Charlie Layton)


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Mars Imagined as the Blue Planet


Bad Astronomy's Phil Plait reminded readers that the "Red Planet" Mars gets its color from iron oxide (rust). Yet on ancient Mars, water was abundant and white cloud cover was present, likely giving it a more Earthly appearance. This fact prompted software engineer Kevin Gill to create images of what Mars may have looked like, using information collected by NASA with their Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Gill's rendering is indeed reminiscent of Earth. One side of the planet is a vast ocean. The peaks of massive volcanoes rise above the planet's atmosphere, which was far more dense than in its current state. Gills says of his images:

"I am a software engineer by trade and certainly not a planetary scientist, so most of my assumptions were based on simply comparing the Mars terrain to similar features here on Earth (e.g. elevation, proximity to bodies of water, physical features, geographical position, etc) and then using the corresponding textures from the Blue Marble images."

Learn more on this story at Discovery News. Link 

(Image credit: Kevin Gill)


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What Do Breast Implants and a Python Have in Common?


Breast implants, a python, a winning lottery ticket, a bucket of live crabs and a set of four Power Rangers costumes — all are bizarre items left behind in rooms at British locations of the Travelodge hotel chain. Apparently, working in housekeeping at a hotel is not only drudgery. It could be life threatening. 

Read about other unusual objects that hotel guests forgot to take with them at the Telegraph. Link

(Image credit: TimVickers) 


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Bad Astronomy Facts Archive


  •  It would take almost nine years to walk to the Moon. If there were a road 400,000 km long.
  •  On the surface of a neutron star, the gravity is so strong you’d weigh several billion tons.
  •  Mars is red due to the presence of large amounts of iron oxide: rust!
  •  Astronomers have seen a star eaten by a black hole. 
  •  All the iron in your blood and all the calcium in your bones were created in exploding stars.
  •  Jupiter's moon Io is more geologically active than Earth. Volcanoes constantly erupt there. 
  •  The Earth is hit by about 100 tons of meteoric dust per day.

These factoids are from Phil Plait's archived 2012 Bad Astronomy Facts. He started the feature, consisting of daily astronomy facts in fewer than 140 characters, on January 4, 2012.

See the entire archive at Bad Astronomy. Link

(Image credit: ESA/Herschel/PACS/SPIRE/J.Fritz)


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LEGO as an Art Medium

Self-described "brick artist" Nathan Sawaya is known for his incredible art pieces constructed with LEGO. Sawaya was a New York City lawyer until 2004, when he made the courageous decision to make art his profession, even while saddled with $100,000 in debt from student loans. Now that his intricate pieces have garnered attention from clients worldwide, including Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, Sawaya spends six figures on LEGO pieces annually. Some of his large-scale works — such as a six-foot-tall Han Solo frozen in carbonite (shown in the gallery above) and a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton twenty feet in length — require as many as 80,000 LEGO pieces.

Sawaya's success is a testament to people following their passions, regardless of whether the idea seems likely to bear fruit. He said of his career:

“I had creative periods now and again, but it wasn’t until I was practicing law that I really needed a creative outlet. I’d come home from long days at the office and draw, paint, and sculpt from clay, wire--even candy. I liked the concept of something additive in nature--where small pieces lead to a larger form. That’s when I thought, 'What about this toy from my childhood?'"

The rest, as they say, was history.

See more of Sawaya's work at his website. Link -via Co.CREATE


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Out for a Run


These adorably exuberant Keeshond puppies know how to appreciate a good run. If only their exthusiasm for this form of exercise could be bottled and sold!
 
Image posted by jraines -via A Place to Love Dogs. Link

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Artist Announces U.S. Exhibition

British "light artist" Bruce Munro has announced his second ever exhibition in North America. Munro will present 10 outdoor lighting installations at Cheekwood Botanical Garden in Nashville, Tennessee. The exposition begins May 24, 2013 and runs through November 10. The artist designed his installations to complement the hills, views and gardens of the facility. A highlight will be the "Field of Light," comprised of 20,000 illuminated glass spheres, each supported by a thin stalk rising from the ground.

Learn more about Munro and his work at his website. Link -via Contemporist


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Infrared Photography by David Keochkerian

These infrared photographs by Amiens, France-based photographer David Keochkerian have a mesmerizing, dreamlike quality. The dark skies and electric-colored landscapes seem as if they were shot in another world. 

Keochkerian's impressive body of work can be viewed at his 500px photostream, Facebook page or his portfolio. Link


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Martian Meteorite Found in Sahara Desert Is Unlike Any Other

Professor Carl Agee at the University of New Mexico is conducting research on what is believed to be the first meteorite from the surface of Mars. The specimen is 2.1 billion years old and roughly the size of a baseball. It differs from each of the approximately 110 other Martian meteorites found on Earth. Not only is it believed to be from the surface of the planet, but it is much older than the majority and its water content is ten times that of the others.

An American collector purchased the find, originally discovered in the Sahara desert, in 2011 from a Moroccan meteorite dealer. Scientists hope it will enable them to learn unprecedented information about the Martian crust. Munir Humayun, cosmo-chemist at Florida State University, said of the space rock:  

"This opens a whole new window on Mars."

Read more on this story at the Los Angeles Times. Link

(Image credit: Carl Agee/University of New Mexico)


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Panda Cub Kicks Off New Year With New Moves



 (YouTube Link)

Xiao Liwu, the giant panda cub at the San Diego Zoo, is now 22 weeks old. He's close to being mature enough to be put on display at the zoo. In the lively cub's 20th medical exam, shown in the video above, Xiao Liwu's coordination and range of motion have increased. It seems as if he's ready to kick that medical checkup jazz to the curb and get on with full-time frolic. 

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Profile for Lisa Marcus

  • Member Since 2012/12/13


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