The orphaned short-tailed fruit bat was abandoned by his stressed-out mother (not an uncommon behavior, apparently) and was rescued and hand-raised by volunteers from Bat World Sanctuary.
Thanks to bad portrayal in movies, we are so used to thinking of bats as evil creatures, but according to Bat World's website, that's a bad rap:
Bats are clean, gentle and intelligent, they are vital to the ecosystem, and they enhance our lives in many ways. Fruit and nectar bats bring us approximately 450 commercial products and over 80 different medicines through seed dispersal and pollination. Up to 98% of all rainforest regrowth comes from seeds that have been spread by fruit bats. Insect-eating bats are literal vacuum cleaners of the night skies, eating millions upon millions of harmful bugs. They protect us by eating insect-pests that destroy crops as well as insects that cause human disease.
Watch the cute little baby bat rock his body while hanging upside down to comfort himself after he's been fed (with milk soaked onto a tiny foam tip).
Let's see. Prince Hubertus, also known by his nickname Royal Disaster, is an actual prince. He's descended from the reigning dynasty of a former principality in what is now Germany. He was born in Mexico as a son to Prince Alfonso Hohenlohe and Princess Ira Fürstenberg. So he's a Mexican citizen and a German prince, all in one.
Funny and geeky T-shirts? NeatoShop artist Pinteezy has the power! Check out his official Facebook page then head on over to Pinteezy's NeatoShop for more fabulous T-shirt designs. Your purchase helps support india artist and the blog, so buy something, mmkay?
How do you climb a mountain of stacked railway ties? This 1937 photograph by Fox for the Daily Herald was taken in the Great Western Railway sleeper creosoting works in Hayes, Middlesex, England ("railway sleeper" is what railroad ties are called in the rest of the world; creosote is a chemical used to preserve the wood).
As explained by the Daily Herald Archive from the National Media Museum, the steps are created from the individual ties themselves so workers can reach the top without using ladders.
Don't worry, humanity. No one's going to eat you. The giant by the wall is only there because he wants to marry a princess - why, he even brought a baby and a puppy. This awesome (or should we say mathematical?) mash up T-shirt design is brought to you by David Bear.
Got a geeky Valentine? Don't buy your significant other flowers - those will wilt and die in a week. Instead, get him or her a gift that'll remind them of your love day after day: Funny and Geeky T-shirts from the web's greatest artists over the NeatoShop.
Best of all, hundreds of them are on sale - save up to 25% with our Geeky T-Shirt Sale. This is a limited time offer, so get yours today!
Christopher Rivera Amaro entered the ring for one last time and even in death, the boxer looked formidable.
After his death, his family wanted to show Amaro as a boxer, so Elsie Rodriguez of Marin Funeral Home in San Juan, Puerto Rico, posed him in a makeshift boxing ring. As reported by MSN, Amaro was posed standing up wearing a yellow training hoodie and sunglasses, with hands in boxing gloves.
You care about the environment, you say. You compost your organic wastes and recycle the rest. But what about your pee? Do you peecycle? No? What kind of a treehugger are you?
Everybody pees. In fact, Americans produce about 30 billion gallons of urine every year. That, according to Kim Nace of Rich Earth Institute, represents a valuable resource that most of us just flush away. Instead, Nace proposed that we recycle our urine and use it as fertilizer as it is a "local, accessible, free, sanitary source of nitrogen and phosphorus."
In other words, if you need a natural fertilizer, urine luck!
But how good is urine as fertilizer anyways? Last year, the Institute carried out an experiment to test it.
Photo: Betty Jenewin/Rich Earth Institute
As reported by National Geographic, that thanks to sixty enthusiastic community members, the Institute collected 600 gallons of urine to fertilize a field of hay in a Brattleboro, Vermont, farm. A 50/50 mix of urine and water was applied to a test strip of land. The result was impressive:
Photo: Abe Noe-Hays/Rich Earth Institute
Rich Earth Institute co-founder and Research Director Abe Noe-Hays said in an interview in the Bennington Banner, "the amount of nutrients in a year's worth of urine from one person is almost all the fertilizer needed to grow food for that person in that span."
Remember the Magic Eye books from the 90s? If you've been waiting for someone to make it in video form, your wait is over.
The Young Rival has released the music video to its song Black is Good completely in autostereogram. The random dot autostereogram music video is best viewed in HD (this one is meant for the "parallel-eye" method - if you have trouble seeing it, you can view it in the cross-eyed version).
Jared Raab and Tomasz Dysinski who created the video explained how it's made:
BUT WAIT, THIS IS A VIDEO. HOW DID YOU MAKE IT?
This is where it gets technical. To make your own autostereogram, one must first create a thing called a "depth map" which is a 2D representation of 3D depth information. We collected real-time depth data of Young Rival performing the song using an X-Box Kinect hooked up to a computer. The computer was running software called RGBD toolkit, designed for capturing the depth information from the Kinect using its built-in infrared system. Once we had our depth information, we unpacked it into image sequences and edited these sequences as if they were regular video. The only difference in the editing process was that depth was represented by luminosity. For fun, you can view the black and white depth-map version HERE (password required - hint: what type of animal appears at 2:30?). With much trial and error, we then ran the data through an algorithm which took each frame of depth information, converted it into a random dot stereogram image, and repacked it into the final video. Lastly, there was one more colour pass at the end, and voila.
Staples has created a pretty nifty online test where you can compare your reading speed to the national average. The test times you while you read a few passages, then asks you some questions to gauge your comprehension level.
I scored 993 words per minute, which made me almost three times faster than the national average. But that's still much slower than most speed readers who can read at about 1,500 words per minute at 50% comprehension (the world speed reading champion, Anne Jones, can read at an astounding 4,700 words per minute at 67% comprehension).
The site told me that if I maintained this reading speed, I could read War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy in a mere 9 hours and 51 minutes and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien in 8 hours and 2 minutes.
Over seventy years ago, my family and I were forced from our home in Los Angeles at gunpoint by U.S. soldiers and sent to Rohwer, all because we happened to look like the people who bombed Pearl Harbor. I was just five years old, and would spend much of my childhood behind barbed wire in that camp and, later, another in California called Tule Lake. One hundred twenty thousand other Japanese Americans from the West Coast suffered a similar fate.
I was the keynote speaker at the dedication ceremony of the museum. [...] After the dedication ceremony, we moved on to the actual Rohwer camp site about 20 minutes away.
One of the audio kiosks is placed just about at the site of the crude barrack that housed my family and me -- block 6, barrack 2, unit F. We were little more than numbers to our jailers, each of us given a tag to wear to camp like a piece of luggage. My tag was 12832-C.
It's important to start your married life on the right hoof.
The humor site Sad and Useless has posted a pic dump with dozens of photos of "traditional" Russian weddings, and I dare say that every single one of them is epic. But don't take my word for it, take a look:
First, you have to carefully broach the topic of love with a potential mate as the encounter could turn deadly. Here's where NeatoShop artist Matt Wiley's cheeky Klingon Valentines come in handy.
The Valentine's Day Card features Klingon-worthy aphorisms, including "Love is a battlefield / And We will love victoriously," "You stole my heart / I would have given you mine. I have two" and "The empire doesn't seem as mighty without you / Will you fight by my side?"
With these Klingon Valentine's Day Cards in hand, pretty soon, you'll be ducking heavy objects.
Ready for the next step? As the romantic Worf once said, be prepared to duck a lot:
Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. And while you're at it, burn down Boardwalk. AP Designs subverted the world's most famous board game in this Anarchy parody T-Shirt, available from the NeatoShop at price that even those who aren't the once-percenters can afford!
Just seconds after leaping from the plane during a skydiving event, James Lee, 25, was accidentally hit on the back of the head by another skydiver. The blow knocked Lee unconscious and sent him hurtling 12,500 feet down towards the ground.
Two skydivers noticed that something was wrong and chased Lee down, reported The Telegraph. Realizing that he was unconscious, the two men managed to stabilize his position and deployed his parachute. Lee landed safely on the ground but didn't realize what had happened until he saw the amazing footage of the dramatic mid-air rescue that was captured by his helmet cam. Watch:
Looking at the footage, Lee said:
"At first the other skydivers give basic hand signals that we teach our students with to correct their body position and find I am still not responding.
"They manage to get hold of me to try and stop my body tumbling again as we get closer to the altitude where, as a group we separate to deploy our parachutes.
"They signal to the other jumpers to get away as they were unaware of what was happening. They then deploy my main parachute. Once I was clear they deployed their own."
Lee, a veteran skydiver, said that he has no plans to give up skydiving despite his near-death experience.
Who says Costco doesn't have child care for when you shop? This clever photo, purportedly from a Costco in South Korea, shows everything that you need to make your very own Costco child care: Make a comfy seat using a shopping cart packed with cartoon character pillows, then park them in front of the multiplex of large screen TVs! Voila!
Image: NASA/ESA/A. Sarajedini (University of Florida)/Judy Schmidt
The Hubble Space Telescope got lost the other day, but that's okay, because we get something quite beautiful out of it. The photo above looks like a piece of modern art, but it's actually star trails when Hubble accidentally locked onto a bad guide star.
Hubble uses a Fine Guidance System (FGS) in order to maintain stability whilst performing observations. A set of gyroscopes measures the attitude of the telescope, which is then corrected by a set of reaction wheels. In order to compensate for gyroscopic drift, the FGS locks onto a fixed point in space, which is referred to as a guide star.
It is suspected that in this case, Hubble had locked onto a bad guide star, potentially a double star or binary. This caused an error in the tracking system, resulting in this remarkable picture of brightly coloured stellar streaks. The prominent red streaks are from stars in the globular cluster NGC 288. It seems that even when Hubble makes a mistake, it can still kick-start our imagination.
Quite gorgeous! Maybe Hubble should get lost more often ...
On Tuesday evening, January 21, 2014, the life of Trebo Herbert and his family was rocked when giant boulders crashed into their house in Tramin, northern Italy.
A landslide dislodged the boulders and sent them hurtling down the hillside, straight at the Herbert's home. Two boulders hit and flattened a 300-year-old stone barn and destroyed farming equipments. Another one stopped just inches short of hitting the main house, and thus miraculously spared the family's life.
Herbert, an owner of a local farm, told journalist that the rockfall "sounded as if a train had thundered through the living room."
The three boulders left huge gashes in the vineyard that the family had spent years planting, as can be seen in the areal photography and video taken by Markus Hell of Tareom using a drone.
You have probably heard of a movie that's been called the Bible of science fiction, Blade Runner.
Set in a dystopian Los Angeles of 2019, the movie centered on cops, known as Blade Runners, that specialize in tracking down replicants or genetically engineered organic robots made by powerful mega corporations. These replicants are used for dangerous, menial, or leisure work on off-world colonies, but are banned on Earth. Those that defy the ban are "retired" or hunted down.
The film became a cult hit when it was released over thirty years ago and continues to gain fans of all ages even to this day. Critics and fans alike have described it as a philosophical manifesto. Despite the popularity of the film, however, there are many facts about Blade Runner that remained unknown to most fans.
For example, did you know that Ridley Scott's inspiration for making Blade Runner was a novel that he never even finished reading? The novel was, of course, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.
Or did you know that Dick never actualy watched Blade Runner, yet predicted with creepy accuracy that it would have a huge impact on future generations?
“The impact of Blade Runner is simply going to be overwhelming, both on the public and on creative people — and, I believe, on science fiction as a field. [ ... ] Nothing that we have done, individually or collectively, matches BLADE RUNNER. [ ... ] My life and creative work are justified and completed by BLADE RUNNER. Thank you...and it is going to be one hell of a commercial success. It will prove invincible.”
Five months after he wrote the letter, Philip K. Dick suffered a stroke and died without ever watching the movie. Blade Runner was released nearly three months after his death.
We do know that Dick saw a special effect test reel of the movie, and liked it instantly. "It was my own interior world. They caught it perfectly," he said.
Despite his prediction, Blade Runner wasn't a commerical success, but there's no denying that it has become an iconic science fiction masterpiece. Perhaps Philip K. Dick could really see the future after all.
It's a tough economy out there, so it's understandable that the parents of forty kids at the Uintah Elementary School got behind paying the lunch balance at school. The school district decided to turn this into a teachable moment unlike any other. Apparently, the lesson was that there ain't no such thing as a free lunch, so the school seized the meals and threw them away.
"It was pretty traumatic and humiliating," mother Erica Lukes told The Salt Lake Tribune. Lukes' 11-year-old daughter had her lunch taken away from her as she stood in line at the school's cafeteria. "I think it's despicable. These are young children that shouldn't be punished or humiliated for something the parents obviously need to clear up."
Jason Olsen, spokesman for the Salt Lake City school district, tried to explain the situation:
... the district’s child-nutrition department became aware that Uintah had a large number of students who owed money for lunches. As a result, the child-nutrition manager visited the school and decided to withhold lunches to deal with the issue, he said.
But cafeteria workers weren’t able to see which children owed money until they had already received lunches, Olsen explained.
The workers then took those lunches from the students and threw them away, he said, because once food is served to one student it can’t be served to another.
No apologies though, as Olsen added "If the students were humiliated and upset, that's very unfortunate and not what we wanted to happen." He refused to call the tactic a mistake, though after a firestorm of criticism erupted, the district posted an online apology.
Bowery men in a bread line in New York City, Bain Collection (Wikimedia Commons)
A wise man once told me that half of life is showing up. The other half is waiting in line.
The economic crisis in Italy has created two big problems, massive level of unemployment and long lines at the government offices. Well, one Italian man decided to kill two birds with one stone by coming up with a solution for both problems at once: becoming a professional queuer.
When he lost his job, Giovanni Cafaro, 40, sent out some 500 resumes but couldn't get a job, so he decided to create his own occupation. "Bureaucracy in Italy is deadly," the self-described patient man told Italian newspaper La Stampa, "I am the person who will wait in line for those who don't have the time or desire."
Cafaro is charging 10 euros per hour to stand in line for other people - seven days a week and even during the evenings - and so far, business is booming. "The queues to pay [an unpopular property tax] are my daily bread," he said in The Guardian. "I've had calls from Rimini, La Spezia, Naples ... if all goes well I'll expand and set up an agency."
When coffee doesn't work anymore, but you've got to stay up late studying for that exam, then it's time for extreme measures. That's what students at the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University did when they tied their hair up to the ceiling with clothespins. Every time they nod off, the pins will pull on their hair and wake them up.
Chen Tang, 20, and her roommate Huang Lu, 21, tried coffee, exercise, and even cranking up the air conditioning in their room to stay awake studying, but when those regular methods no longer worked, they researched ways to stay awake. The duo came up with this hair-raising method after learning of an ancient Chinese scholar who tied his hair to a beam in the ceiling (there was another method listed in the history books: stabbing oneself in the leg with needles, but the girls thought that the hair method would be the saner option).
Huang posted their unusual studying method on China's social media Weibo, and the photos (and method) went viral. "Chen is so keen to succeed that she decided to give the hair trick a try, as you can see her hair is more than long enough," Huang wrote. "As we didn't have a beam in our dorm, she used the clothes dryer and claims it worked really well."
Chen claimed that despite the long preparation it required, the hair trick worked well. "The preparation is boring, but the hanging hair practice makes it interesting and I really feel much more energetic by studying this way."