It was a wrenching episode ranked among Watch Mojo's grand list of the 10 saddest cartoon episodes ever. Among them are tragedies from The Simpsons, Family Guy, Rugrats, and, most importantly, the Ice King origin story from Adventure Time.
It can be hard enough to get human actors to perform properly on camera. For producers of nature documentaries, there are even greater challenges.
How do they do it? To find out, TechCrunch talked to Huw Cordley, a producer for many of the BBC's nature programs. The task requires a lot of creative problem solving:
“People are always developing new equipment,” Cordey says, half grinning, half sighing, as I imagine him waving at an enormous pile of Peli cases stacked in the corner of his no doubt stacked-to-the-rafters office, “which is perfect for us. If you think about it, wildlife hasn’t really changed what they have been doing since we started filming nature documentaries. Instead, we have to come up with new ways of telling their stories.”
Photographed above is one of those solutions. It's an 85-pound gyroscopically stabilized camera rig known as a helicopter rig because that's what it's commonly attached to. This time, though, Cordley and his team attached it to an elephant.
Knockie Cosplay offers this beautifully executed mashup of Princess Leia in her slave outfit from Return of the Jedi and Chibiusa from Sailor Moon. She is accompanied by the cat Luna-P, now transformed into a fully operational Death Star.
To fill young minds with a passion for learning and a fire to empower your conquest of the world is the bliss of the teacher. Embrace the challenge of teaching by building fail-safes into your doomsday devices so that they can never be used against you.
Khaleesi, a 4-year old English Bulldog, loves to watch TV. Recently, she watched Guillermo del Toro's 2015 horror film Crimson Peak. She became alarmed when a supernatural menace approached and attacked a young girl.
"Run, run!" she barks. But the girl foolishly ignored Khaleesi.
The pup is really too young to be watching such scary movies.
Master skydiver Luke Aikins has had some close calls during his 18,000 jumps. But now he's taking new risks because for this jump, he won't have a parachute. Or a wingsuit. He's just going to jump out of a plane and, hopefully, land in a net on the ground.
Hollywood producers first pitched this insane idea to Aikins a couple years ago. He dismissed it immediately, but has contemplating it ever since. Aikins talked to France 24 news:
He said as much to his wife after a couple Hollywood guys looking to create the all-time-greatest reality TV stunt floated the idea by him a couple years ago.
"I said, 'You won't believe these guys,'" the affable skydiver recalls with a robust laugh. "'They want me to jump out without a parachute.' She said, 'Oh, with a wingsuit.' I said, 'No, they want me to do it with nothing.' We both had a good laugh about that."
But in the weeks that followed he couldn't shake one persistent thought: Could anybody actually do this and live to tell the tale?
Because if anyone could, Aikins wanted to be that guy.
The net, which is still under construction, will be a third of the size of a football field and held aloft 20 stories high by cranes. The design needs a bit of refinement:
The landing target, which has been described as similar to a fishing trawler net, has been tested repeatedly using dummies.
One of those 200-pound (91-kilogram) dummies didn't bounce out. It crashed right through.
It was 9:15 in the morning in front of the Irish Nobleman Pub in Chicago. The temperature was already 80ºF and rising rapidly. The owner of the truck had locked his German Shepherd inside for over an hour.
A gang of 4 men walked along the street, smashing the windows of parked cars and snatching goods inside. When they got to the truck, they broke in to steal a laptop computer. The dog took the opportunity to leave the truck.
Video footage from a security camera in front of the pub captured the incident. Pub owner Declan Morgan tells CBS News that he doesn't have a lot of sympathy for the truck owner:
“He didn’t think it was a big deal that his dog was in there for an hour. I told him I would’ve smashed the window if I knew the dog was in there.”
YouTube user RenoGeek and his son visited a children's museum. While there, the toddler tried to fill a wire mesh bucket with water. Unfortunately, the bucket was defective. It couldn't hold any water at all. I hope that he was able to get a refund for his admission ticket.
Some men eschew wearing condoms during intercourse because the plastic barrier reduces the sensitivity of the penile skin. Dr. Shengxi Chen, a biochemist at Arizona State University, thinks that he's found a solution to that problem. His condom mimics the reaction of water to human skin. USA Today explains:
Most condoms repel water. That's the opposite of human skin, which loves and contains a lot of water, making condoms feel unnatural, Chen said.
Chen added materials to latex to create condoms that are eight times more water-loving than natural latex condoms, as well as stronger and more flexible, according to his tests.
It feels smoother and softer, and it's proven under a microscope: Water flows into the material as opposed to sitting in a ball on top, and the texture appears smoother than most condoms, he said.
Chen is currently seeking FDA approval to test his condom on humans.
There's no need for a video game to plant you on a couch. You can get a complete workout. SymGym provides that with an exercise machine that controls a video game. Pump your arms and your legs to move, turn, dodge, punch, and more.
There are already exercise platforms for video games, such as Kinect and Wii. Gizmag explains that SymGym is different because it provides variable resistence based upon situations in a game. For example, heavy objects in the game are heavy in the machine. Running uphill in the game is physically harder on the player. This provides a more realistic gameplay experience.
Stepping on a LEGO block is painful. Running on them is even worse. But, precisely, how much worse? The researchers at Dude! Where's My Challenge? decided to find out. They took turns pouring LEGO blocks onto a treadmill while a colleague ran on it barefoot.
For 40 years, professional luthier Linda Manzer has made some of the finest guitars in the world. So she was the right craftsman for Danish musician Henrick Andersen to approach to build this bizarre instrument.
The Medusa has 52 strings, which include harp strings, as well as 3 necks. Manzer designed it to reflect a crazy cartoon that Andersen drew:
In the video above, Manzer describes the Medusa, then Andersen plays it. Impressively, he does so with only 2 hands.
Adam Winrich is a master of the whip. He's set 21 Guinness World Records related to his art. Most recently, he added to that list the longest whip ever cracked. Watch Winrich snap a whip that is 238 feet and 3 inches long!
At 2 AM on Wednesday, Michael Davis of Shreveport, Louisiana took his car to a self-serve car wash. While spraying it with a pressure washer, a man pointed a gun at him and demanded his keys and money.
Davis closed the distance with his attacker, then sprayed him in the face. When a second criminal came at him, Davis sprayed him, too.
Both attackers fled the scene, though their actions were captured on Davis's dashboard camera. Davis tells Fox 61 News: "The whole situation to me was almost surreal."
On December 6, 1917, Finland declared independence from Russia. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of that event, its friendly neighbor, Norway, would like to give it a mountain.
The Norwegian government is considering ceding the peak of Mount Halti, which is on the Norwegian-Finnish border, to Finland. At 1,365 meters tall, Mount Halti would become the tallest mountain in the country, nudging out another mountain, which is 7 meters shorter. The Guardian reports:
The originator of the idea is a retired geophysicist and government surveyor, Bjørn Geirr Harsson, 76, who learned last year that Finland would celebrate the 100th anniversary of its independence from Russia on 6 December 2017 and recalled being puzzled by the location of the border when he flew over Halti in the 1970s.
Harsson wrote to the ministry of foreign affairs in July 2015, pointing out that the gesture would cost Norway a “barely noticeable” 0.015 sq km of its national territory and make Finland very happy.
This guy is amazing! He doesn't need rope or hooks. He moves so quickly up the enormous tree that his method looks more like running that climbing. And since he's been caught on camera doing it, he'll have to submit to the government in keeping with the Mutant Registration Act.
Would you like to refill your tank for free? At this gas station in Samara, Russia, customers could get gas for free, provided that they pumped it while wearing bikinis and high heeled shoes. The tabloid Daily Star reports that the venture was very successful, leading to cars queuing up for the duration of the 3-hour event.
Listen up, meatbags: CuratedAI is not for you. The vomting of words that you insist is "poetry" is nothing compared to what machines can do. That's why only superior, artificial intelligences may submit their work to this premier literary journal. It includes leaps of genius like this one:
Karmel Allison, a biomass, is the curator of the project. She tells Popular Science that AIs are capable of offering a new approach to poetry:
Allison says CuratedAI is the progression of a pet project in neural networking poetry. Enjoying writing her own poetry the old fashioned way for years, she is impressed by the generation of readable (even appreciable) poetry by machines. For her, it's a postmodern exercise. While that may seem like chin stroking art language for many, it seems pretty straightforward in this application:
"The reading is more in the reader than the writer, obviously," she says. "You can talk about what the creator was trained on, or how the creator works, but not the creator's intent— maybe the algorithm writer's intent, but it's a step removed, which is more fun for the reader, I think."
How hot is it? It's firey poop hot. Officers with the state's Department of Environmental Conservation found that piles of horse manure in a barn in Throop, New York have been spontaneously catching fire. The AP reports:
The responding officer learned that the owners of a horse stable had been storing the manure in large piles that frequently spontaneously combusted in the excessive heat and dry conditions.
DEC officials say a shift in the prevailing winds carried the odor of burning manure into the neighbors' windows.
It took three local fire departments two hours to douse the burning manure.
Some people, like my slovenly neighbor Frank, hate to scoop their dog's poop and just leave it where their dogs excrete it. Other people don't mind picking up dog poop and would like to earn a few extra bucks. Pooper brings them together.
Pooper is a new app that connects people who are willing to pay to have someone scoop their dog poop with people who are willing to do just that for cash. Poopers use their phones to leave geographic markers on a map. This is viewable to Scoopers, who scurry over to snag that brown gold. The Washington Post talked to co-founder Ben Becker:
Becker said they believe Pooper is what America needs now, because there’s too much dog waste on the streets. “It’s not our intention to ostracize,” he said. “It is our intention to solve a problem in a unique way.”
The app, he said, has already gotten sign-ups “by the hundreds,” to be both poopers (customers) and scoopers (employees), even though it is only “at the tail end of an alpha rather than a fully functional public beta” testing phase in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City. He said they hope to fully launch in those cities in the fall and then expand Pooper to as many locations as the market demands.
Jimmy the horse wanted a nap. His human's head was handy, so he leaned over to use her for support. The human, Lisa Brown, explains:
I was out in the fields early one morning, and Jimmy lay down to snooze, which he does often. I took my cup of coffee and went to sit with him. I was scratching and stroking him, and he began to lean on me and then pushed me gently back until I was basically his human pillow! Jimmy has a very peaceful nature, but he's also a comic genius!
But Batman's luck ran out on Monday. Police in Seattle say that officers were summoned to a bar one evening when a man began swinging an improvised spear (a knife tied to a stick) at a bar employee. He fled when police arrived. While they chased him, the suspect threw a batarang at a police SUV, which became embedded in the body of the vehicle.
Special effects artist Frank Ippolito calls his creation "Creepyfig." The costume includes a 14-pound silicone LEGO minifig head complete with hair and skin creases . . .
. . . as well as unsettlingly realistic hands that have nails and clearly defined joints.
In this episode of Adam Savage's Tested, Ippolito dons his costume and walks around the San Diego Comic-Con, to the delight and horror of other visitors. The best part comes when he visits the LEGO display in the exhibition hall and tries to attach LEGO pieces to himself.
UPDATE 7/28/16: Thanks to commenters T313, Rudolph, and Andre Woola, we now know! It's Entrelacement, a public art work by Michel de Broin. You can see it on Google Street View here. Go team Neatoramanauts!
Bartek Komorowski, an urban planner and biking enthusiast, posted this photo of what he says is a stretch of pathway near the Charlevoix Bridge over the Lachine Canal in Montreal. It's not for the novice rider.
Is this real? I can't find any supporting information about this section of the path, but Komorowski doesn't seem inclined to tweeting Photoshop gags.
Franz Mair and Peppi Knünz of Montafon, Austria claim to have invented alpine soccer. It's a regular game of soccer, but played on the most extreme slopes available in the Alps. In this case, that looks like almost 40º.
The Snowy Owl family on the North Slope of Alaska needs to move toward a new home. Daddy Owl has already scouted out a new place to live. Since the baby owls can't fly yet, they have to walk. And when they get to a river, they have no choice but to swim across it.
As this scene from Nature illustrates, they're quite good at it! Even without swimming lessons, the baby owls figure out how to row across the water with their wings.
If you're traveling in malaria-prone areas, it may be a good idea to keep a chicken close by. According to a study published in Malaria Journal, the Anopheles arabiensis mosquito, which is the primary means of transmitting malaria in sub-Saharan Africa, thinks that chickens stink (no offense, chickens). From the abstract:
When tested in the field, the chicken-specific compounds, isobutyl butyrate, naphthalene, hexadecane and trans-limonene oxide, and the generic host compounds, limonene, cis-limonene oxide and β-myrcene, significantly reduced trap catches within the house compared to a negative control. A significant reduction in trap catch was also observed when suspending a caged chicken next to the trap.