Alex Santoso's Blog Posts

Night Owls Are More Likely to Die Sooner Than Morning People

Bad news, night owls! Turns out that we're going to die sooner than those annoying morning people.

A new study by researchers at the University of Surrey and Northwestern University found that people who liked to stay up late were more likely to die within the six and a half year-long study period than those who were early risers.

"Night owls trying to live in a morning lark world may have health consequences for their bodies," Dr. Kristen Knutson of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine to The Telegraph. "It could be that people who are up late have an internal biological clock that doesn't match their external environment."

Sarah Knapton of The Telegraph has the full story.

You know what this means: time to adapt and change our sleeping habits into mid-afternoon narwhals (Image: Hoot! Night Owl by ivejustquitsmoking)


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Fire Vortex Cannon

When regular ol' flamethrower is too boring for you, Jairus of JairusofAll has got the upgrade for you: an awe-inspiring device that creates a swirling vortex of wind combined with propane fuel and ignited into a fire tornado.

Behold, the Fire Vortex Cannon - via Nerdist


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Italian Coffee King's Ashes Stored in an Urn that Looks Like a Moka Pot

You may not know the name Renato Bialetti, but you may have one of his coffee pot in your kitchen. That's right: Bialetti was the man who turned the Moka Pot, the stove-top espresso maker, into a household icon.

When Bialetti died in 2016, his three children decided that it would be fitting to put his ashes inside an urn shaped like a giant Moka Pot (Just don't ever mistake what's inside for coffee grounds.)

Vincenzo Amato of La Stampa has the video clip and story (in Italian) - via BB-Blog


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Write Like a Famous Musician: Handwritings of Kurt Cobain, David Bowie, John Lennon, Leonard Cohen and Serge Gainsbourg turned into Fonts

Now, you too can write like some of the world's most famous musicians and songwriters, thanks to Nicolas Damiens and Julien Sens of Songwriter Fonts. The duo have designed fonts from handwritten notes and letters of musicians like Kurt Cobain, David Bowie, John Lennon, Leonard Cohen and Serge Gainsbourg.

The fonts are free to download, but are for personal use only. Check it out over at Songwriter Fonts (Update 4/12/18: No longer available).


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Every Front Page of the New York Times Since 1852

My, how The Gray Lady has changed over the years!

Josh Begley compiled every front page of The New York Times since 1852 in this Vimeo clip. It's neat to see photographs starting to make their appearance in the newspaper - first as black and white photos, and then as color photos.

(The first edition of The New York Times was published on September 18, 1851. Want to read the first published issue? Wikimedia has it).


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Anatomy of More TV Shows


Image: John Atkinson / Wrong Hands

It's been nearly four years since John Atkinson's last Anatomy of TV Shows comic panel, but hey, you can't rush genius. A TV crime show that starts with a grisly scene, supermodel in the lab, and "enhance"? I think I saw that!


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The Original Version Hal 9000 Didn't Have a Calm Voice At All

The preternaturally calm voice of HAL 9000 the supercomputer in Stanley Kubrick's epic "2001: A Space Odyssey" wasn't always so. In fact, at first, HAL - to be played by Martin Balsam - was supposed to have a voice embued with human emotion.

Adam Balsam, the actor’s son, told [Gerry Flahive] that “Kubrick had him record it very realistically and humanly, complete with crying during the scene when HAL’s memory is being removed.”

But that just didn't work for Kubrick:

We had some difficulty deciding exactly what HAL should sound like, and Marty just sounded a little bit too colloquially American,” Kubrick said in the 1969 interview. Mr. Rain recalls Kubrick telling him, “I’m having trouble with what I’ve got in the can. Would you play the computer?”

Kubrick had heard Mr. Rain’s voice in the 1960 documentary “Universe,” a film he watched at least 95 times, according to the actor. “I think he’s perfect,” Kubrick wrote to a colleague in a letter preserved in the director’s archive. “The voice is neither patronizing, nor is it intimidating, nor is it pompous, overly dramatic or actorish. Despite this, it is interesting.”

Gerry Flahive writes this interesting piece for The New York Times about the origin of HAL 9000's voice, including why it sounds so ... Canadian.


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We Finally Learned Just How Old Chewbacca Was in this New Trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story

A new trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story was released today - and we get to learn just how old Chewbacca was (hint: our favorite Wookiee was really, REALLY old - no wonder he groaned a lot).


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Jonathan Elliott's LEGO cars


Image: Jonathan Elliott

If you love cars and LEGO, then Jonathan Elliott is the man you'll love. Check out his Flickr page for mini LEGO cars - from 1971 Mercedes-Benz 350SL to 1976 Ferrari 512 Berlinetta Boxer - he's got 'em all (including some very neat build videos, too).


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Sewing Thread Art by Cvern


Image: @cvernart

This is neat: Slovenian artist Sašo Krajnc (AKA Cvern) creates amazing portraits with only a single sewing thread.

Krajnc is able to create shadings by overlapping black threads - the more black threads overlap in a certain part of the image, the darker the shadow.

Visit Krajnc's Instagram for more examples - via Oddity Central


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Urine Trouble Act: States Move to Ban Fake Urine

The opioid crisis in the United States has led to an unexpected rise in demand for ... fake pee.

To be sure, people have long tried to beat drug tests by providing other people's urine, but authorities say that the preferred method nowadays is to use synthetic urine, creatively smuggled in the pants of the person to be tested.

The rise of the use of fake urine has now prompted many states to enact laws banning their sale:

Mississippi’s bill was dubbed the “Urine Trouble Act,” drawing snickers and groans in the State House. But its sponsors and others said that the jokey name belies a real problem: Truck drivers, people who operate heavy machinery and others can use the synthetic liquid to easily thwart a drug test, potentially creating public risks. ...

Mississippi state Rep. Willie Bailey (D), speaking at a hearing in Jackson, held a bottle of fake urine that came with instructions suggesting that users could microwave it to achieve body temperature. He said the substance has been a “hot seller” in truck stops statewide. “They can’t keep it in stock,” he said.

Katie Zezima of The Washington Post has the full story. (Image: P(ee) by triagus)


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Circle in Circle Optical Illusion

The balls seem to be moving in circular orbit, but when you take a closer look, you'll see that each ball is moving along a straight path. This clever "circle in circle" optical illusion, built by YouTube user veproject1, is based on the mechanical design by 16th century Italian polymath Gerolamo Cardano.

Check it out - via The Awesomer


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Crocheted Infinity Gauntlet


Liz Ward of Amigurumi Barmy has crocheted an Infinity Gauntlet that would give Thanos' version a run for the money. Better yet, Ward is selling her custom-made gauntlet on Etsy (or if you're crafty, you can crochet it yourself based on her crochet pattern).


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The Tear Gun


Photo: Ronald Smits/Design Academy Eindhoven

After many months of enduring the struggles of living as a foreign student at the Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands, Yi-Fei Chen decided to channel all of her frustrations into her design project.

The end result is the Tear Gun, which collects the user' tears and then freeze the tears into a bullet and shoots it at the target of his or her frustration:

Her upbringing in Taiwan has instilled Yi-Fei Chen with a deep respect for authority. Disagreeing with your teachers is considered rude, and rudeness must be suppressed. Coming to the Netherlands for a master’s degree was a shock to her system. Within Western higher education, students are taught to question authority and expected to take a critical attitude. For many students like Chen it can be a confusing and emotional journey to adapt to such a new set of circumstances. The pressure they feel to step outside their own comfort zone may even cause drastic responses.

Chen has visualised her personal struggle to toughen up and speak her mind with a striking metaphor: she has frozen the tears she shed during an incident where she had to speak up but couldn’t, and built a gun to fire them. Next time a teacher puts her on the spot, she will be ready to respond with equal force.

Check out the video of the Tear Gun project:

Continue reading

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Gorgeous Photography of Frozen Lake Baikal by Kristina Makeeva

Russian photographer Kristina Makeeva (@hobopeeba) journeyed to Lake Baikal in Southern Siberia, and took stunning photographs of the world's largest freshwater lake during winter when it is frozen.

Take a look at her Livejournal post (Google-translated version) - you won't be disappointed.

(Photos: Kristina Makeeva)


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Infinite Road to Transylvania

Drone pilot and photographer Calin Stan (@calinstan) took this amazing four-season collage of the roads to Transylvania. Take a look at Stan's Facebook photo album Infinite Road to Transylvania for more inspiring photos of impossibly curvy and windy roads from above.

(Photo: Calin Stan)


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King Country is a Poster with 170+ Stephen King References

Love Stephen King's novels? See if you can find more than 170 references to Stephen King characters in this fantastic fan-made poster aptly titled "King Country" by Jordan Monsell. It'll be on sale at this month's Monsterpalooza in Pasadena, California.

Need some hints? io9 has the handy dandy key.


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Two of the World's Most Destructive Crop Pests Have Hybridized to Form a "Mega-Pest"


Image: CSIRO

Scientists at Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have reported a disturbing finding: two of the world's major crop pests have combined or hybridized into a new "mega-pest".

The first species is the cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera), which is widespread in Africa, Asia and Europe and causes damage to over 100 kinds of crops. The second is the corn earworm (Helicoverpa zea), which is commonly found in the Americas. The new hybrid has potentially unlimited geographical boundaries.


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How to Simplify: Name Your Son and Your Dog with the Same Name

What if you have a son and a dog, and you really, really like the name Bryan? Which one should get the name?

No need to choose! Edward Mahon, a mining and land baron in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in the early 1900s, decided that he did not need to choose between his son and his dog. He named his son "Bryan" and his dog "Bryan Dog."

Thanks Tiffany!


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Mystery at the Library: Secret Codes Hidden in the Books

The library can be a place of intrigue and mystery - that's what librarian Georgia Grainger found out one day, when a little old lady approached her with a question.

"Why does page 7 in all the books I take out have the 7 underlined in pen? It seems odd," she said.

Odd indeed! And when Grainger checked other books, she discovered that many, though not all, also bear the secret code.

So why are some books marked with the secret code and not others? Grainger reveals the deviously clever reason here.


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Suspect's Loud Farts Stopped a Police Interrogation

Some suspects can talk their way out of a police investigation, but a Kansas City man decided to use his other bodily aperture:

On Sept. 1, [suspect Sean Sykes Jr.] was in a car that police searched and found a backpack that contained various drugs and two handguns ... In his report about the interview, the detective wrote that when asked about his address, “Mr. Sykes leaned to one side of his chair and released a loud fart before answering with the address.” “Mr. Sykes continued to be flatulent and I ended the interview,” the detective wrote.

The Kansas City Star has the story (Image: Pull My Finger by stiobhart matulevicz)


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What's Worse Than A Trainload of Poop?

A trainload of poop that's parked near your home, of course.

That's what's happening to Parrish, Alabama. Right now, dozens of train cars loaded with 10 million pounds of poop from New York and New Jersey are stranded in a rail yard in the rural Alabama town.

CBC Radio has the story:

So how did Parrish end up a trainload of sewer sludge from out of state? It was originally en route to Big Sky Environmental, a private landfill in Adamsville, Ala. But in January, the nearby town of West Jefferson filed an injunction against Big Sky to stop them storing the waste in a rail yard near them.

West Jefferson won its legal battle with Big Sky in February. "The railroad decided: Well, if we can't go to West Jefferson, the next closest rail stop to Big Sky would be the town of Parrish. They have a really large train yard so we're just going to bring it there," Hall said. "And that's what they did. And it kept coming and coming and coming."


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Proven by Science: Not Helping with Washing the Dishes is Bad For Your Relationship

It's now proven by science: dishwashing is bad for your marital relationship ... or more accurately, not helping your spouse with dishwashing will get you in trouble.

A study by Daniel Carlson and colleagues at the University of Utah, found that amongst a variety of common household tasks (like shopping, laundry, and housecleaning), dishwashing is the most unpopular chore and the one that's most likely to cause marital strife if left unshared:

Women who wash the vast majority of the dishes themselves report more relationship conflict, less relationship satisfaction, and even worse sex, than women with partners who help. Women are happier about sharing dishwashing duties than they are about sharing any other household task. ...

The most unpopular household tasks, Carlson told [Caroline Kitchener of The Atlantic], also tend to be the ones most often associated with women. Traditionally, women have shouldered full responsibility for chores that involve cleaning up after someone else: doing the laundry, cleaning the toilet, washing dishes. Men, on the other hand, are often associated with mowing the lawn, taking out the trash, washing the car—tasks that don’t require getting up close and personal with somebody else’s daily grime. Today, women who have to shoulder those traditionally female chores alone “see themselves as relegated to the tasks that people don’t find desirable,” Carlson said. That breeds resentment.

Caroline Kitchener of The Atlantic has the story (Photo: Elnur/Shutterstock)


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This Dog Shares His Blanket with Stray Dog

Suelen Schaumloeffel's dog Lana is one generous puppy! The dog, which was rescued from the streets of Brazil and adopted by Schaumloeffel and her fiancé, shared a blanket with a stray dog outside the fence!

"I thought, 'How beautiful what she did for her friend,'" Schaumloeffel tells The Dodo. "My best four-legged friend reminded me of something so important: generosity!"


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Optical Illusion of a Tree in a Brick Wall by Street Artist Pejac

Street artist Pejac (previously on Neatorama) visited Brooklyn, New York City, and created this optical illusion art titled "Fossil."

The artwork looks like the image of a tree made from missing bricks on the building's wall - but in actuality, Pejac created that illusion by spray painting "shadows" on the individual bricks.

From the artist's Instagram:

‘Fossil’ works as a harbinger of a hypothetical fatal future where the only memory we have of nature is the fossilized form of a tree in a brick wall.


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That's Not a Snow Flurry, Instead It's a Pollen Storm

When James Fox of Apex, North Carolina, checked the footage of his home security camera, he saw something that looked like a flurry of snow ... only that it wasn't snow. It was actually ... pollen.

"I think it was dramatic last night because of the wind," he explained. "Driving home from our farm last night it actually impacted visibility. At times it was pretty dense, like fog, or smoke," Fox said to ABC11. "I just noticed they (cameras) were getting triggered from the movement and thought it looked cool"

Oh, my allergies! My nose stuffed up just looking at the video clip!


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Cube Croissant

Move over, cronuts! Here's something new: a cube croissant from San Francisco's Baker Doe.


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Turntable Orchestra

To celebrate the 67th anniversary of the LP being released in Japan, the Panasonic corporation assembled 37 renowned DJs to create the world's first turntable orchestra. Enjoy!


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Minimum Wage Machine

Psst! Want some free money? Artist Blake Fall-Conroy can hook you up - all you have to do is turn the handle, and some coins will fall out of this nifty "Minimum Wage Machine."

The catch? Turning the crank will yield only 1 penny every 4 seconds thus giving you only $9 per hour - the minimum wage in the state of New York (as of 2016).


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So You Think You Know How The Letter 'g' ...

You've seen the letter 'g' in books and magazines countless of times (in fact, there are two in the sentence you just read) - but do you know how to write it?

Easy, right?

Well, not so fast. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University found that many people actually can't pick out the typeset form of 'g' out of a lineup:

"We would say: 'There're two forms of g. Can you write them?' And people would look at us and just stare for a moment, because they had no idea," said first author Kimberly Wong, a junior undergraduate at Johns Hopkins. "Once you really nudged them on, insisting there are two types of g, some would still insist there is no second g." ...

"They don't entirely know what this letter looks like, even though they can read it," said co-author Gali Ellenblum, a graduate student in cognitive science. "This is not true of letters in general. What's going on here?"


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Profile for Alex Santoso

  • Member Since 2012/07/17


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