Biancoshock, a street artist who recently made headlines by turning manholes in Milan into rooms, is keeping busy. For the Crystal Ship Festival in Ostend, Belgium, he decorated a washing machine with the colors and pattern of Instagram's logo.
Does your battered, tarnished ego need freshing up? Toss it in the machine, take a selfie, and show the world your best side.
Naked and Afraid is a reality TV show that drops people into remote wilderness areas and tasks them with surviving for 21 days. They can take in no equipment at all--not even clothes.
So the stars are naked. This might be an obstacle for television broadcast. But the show blurs out all the private parts of contestants.
That's a lot of work and it is essential that no nudity slip by. It's a task for professionals. When you need the best people in the genital blurring industry, you call in the Blur Man Group. The New York Times reports:
That premise is certainly what draws viewers. But the people who make these shows possible are the five full-time visual effects maestros who painstakingly blur all the private parts.
And they admit, it’s a little odd.
“This is a totally weird work environment,” said Shaun O’Steen, the 45-year-old leader of the team, which calls itself the Blur Man Group. “I mean, what job can you say, ‘Oh, my God, look at that penis,’ and not have to worry about H.R.?”
The Blur Man Group is a collection of graphic designers who were having trouble finding work. They saw a niche--obscuring naked people--and filled it. The Times quotes Ilgin Esemenli, a member of the company:
“I’ve seen things that I’ve never seen before,” she said, looking a little pale.
She has learned to set limits, such as spending her lunchtime surfing the web. Lunch and the unvarnished human body do not mix, she said.
It typically takes about 50 hours of work to blur a single episode.
You can look out the window on the airplane and see beautiful mountains, seas, islands, rivers, and more. What are you looking at? There's an app for that.
Shane Loeffler, a geologist, developed Flyover Country, an app that shows air travelers what geological formations they're flying over. He tells Fast Co Design that he came up with the idea while flying on a plane:
"I realized that most people don’t have my geology background, and that they might be missing out on some of the wonder of that view because there was no good way to know where exactly your plane was, let alone what stories the landforms below could tell," he tells Co.Design over email. "I tested the GPS in my phone while flying, found that it worked, and realized that there was a great scientific outreach tool waiting to be made." When you open the app, you draw your flight path (it can be very rough) to access the relevant data points, which are then downloaded to the app so you can access them offline.
Loeffler wants to develop the app further with augmented reality so that you can simply hold up your phone and Flyover Country will automatically display the geology of the area.
That is a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II made on a speck of gold inside the eye of a needle. It's only 1 millimeter across.
Graham Short is perhaps the world's greatest micro-engraver. He inscribes detailed images that are so small that they're impossible to see with the naked eye. And he does it by hand.
The task requires being incredibly motionless. Short must have absolute control over his hand. To do this, he works only at night to reduce the vibration effect of passing cars. He also works with a stethoscope to monitor his own heartbeat, making a mark only between beats. Quartz reports:
He may wait like this, motionless, for 20 minutes or more before making an incision. Finally, listening through the stethoscope, he carves when he is at his stillest—in between heartbeats.
At 55, Short is a master athlete in the sense that he has perfected his physical conditioning to remain completely still:
He is lucky that he has always been fit and slim and healthy, something he puts down to his lifelong love of swimming. Fourteen years ago, when he was 55, he became the European butterfly champion in his age group. To keep his heart rate down, he now swims for three hours each day—5,000m (3.1 miles) each morning and a further 5,000 each afternoon. He stopped drinking coffee on work days years ago.
But although the swimming helps slow his heart significantly, it is no longer enough. Several years ago a pharmacist friend began prescribing him pills—potassium, magnesium and beta-blockers. “I eat them like sweets,” he admits. When he works, his heart rate drops to as low as 20 beats per minute.
Short has even taken botox injections near his eyes to reduce his blinking.
A house in Mulberry, Florida caught on fire. Firefighters put it out, rescuing the man and guinea pig who lived there. Once they got the guinea pig out, the firefighters administered oxygen to it. The guinea pig was reported in adorable condition.
The great James Bowie died defending Texas liberty at the Battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836. Prior to that, he was most famous for adventuring across the southeastern United States. His favorite hobby was dueling and he developed a knife design for that purpose. The iconic Bowie knife became embedded deeply in American history and the innards of Bowie's enemies.
The town of Bowie, Texas is named after Col. Bowie. To memorialize their namesake, the town has built the largest Bowie knife in the world. That is not is a statue made to look like a Bowie knife. It's an actual knife.
The Star-Telegram of Ft. Worth reports that the knife is 20 feet long and has has wood handle made from a local tree. The blade is 14 feet, 5 inches long and weighs 3,000 pounds.
So it's about half the size of original knife that Bowie carried on his hip.
When complete, the knife will rest inside a pedestal in Pelham Park in Bowie.
This is Pull Me to Life by Juno Jeon, a designer based in Eindoven, the Netherlands. This uniquely designed cabinet flips over little wooden paddles as the drawer opens and closes. The outside changes color from plain wood to white.
Design Boom explains that the piece represents changing identities:
when it is pulled, its outer layer gradually changes the color from back to front. this creates the sensation that the drawer is reaction to the human stimulus, as if it was an animal. when the drawer is pushed back, its skin changes color again.
In this video, Sammy rises from the water, patiently waits for a car to drive past, then crawls toward the restaurant. A worker there comes out with a chair to dissuade him. But Sammy is determined. It pays off, as the man eventually gives him fish to eat.
The Turks and Caicos Islands consist of two clusters of small islands with a total land area of 366 square miles. They were a part of British Jamaica until 1962, when that nation gained independence. Since then, they have remained a British overseas territory.
"Canada really needs a Hawaii," said Conservative politician Peter Goldring in 2014. "The United States has a Hawaii. Why can’t Canada have a Hawaii?"
Will this effort succeed? Some Canadians think that the plan is too ambitious:
But talk of a Canadian Hawaii cooled after the archipelago's premier, Rufus Ewing, visited Ottawa in 2014.
"I won’t be too hasty to jump from one mother’s nest to another mother’s nest — one master to another," he told Canadian reporters at the time. "That is something that the people of the Turks and Caicos have to demonstrate to me that they want and then take it from there."
Leading Canadian officials batted down the possibility, as well.
"The premier who’s here isn’t asking to become the 11th province and we’re not in the business of annexing islands in the Caribbean to be part of Canada," said then Canadian foreign minister John Baird. "So that’s not something that we’re exploring. We’re not looking at any sort of formal association with the islands."
This little pet pig in Twynholm, Dumfriesshire, Scotland escaped from her home. But she didn't wander far. Instead, she became a member of the flock of sheep at the adjoining farm. They've taken her in as one of their own--or at least tolerate her.
So far, the local humans have been unable to trap her. She may become a sheep for life.
During World War I, British Army officer T.E. Lawrence helped lead an Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire. After the war, he wrote about his extraordinary exploits in his memoir Seven Pillars of Wisdom. That and the accounts of others inspired the 1962 movie Lawrence of Arabia, starring Peter O'Toole in the titular role.
Among Lawrence's most famous battles was a successful ambush on a Turkish train at Hallat Ammar. It was retold in the movie scene embedded above.
Professor Nicholas Saunders said: "The bullet we found came from a Colt automatic pistol, the type of gun known to be carried by Lawrence and almost certainly not used by any of the ambush's other participants." [...]
Dr Neil Faulkner said: "Lawrence has something of a reputation as a teller of tall tales, but this bullet – and the other archaeological evidence we unearthed during ten years of fieldwork – indicates how reliable his account of the Arab Revolt in Seven Pillars of Wisdom is."
In Book I of his Confessions, Saint Augustine of Hippo explained how he as a child acquired language:
When they named any thing, and as they spoke turned towards it, I saw and remembered that they called what they would point out by the name they uttered. And that they meant this thing and no other was plain from the motion of their body, the natural language, as it were, of all nations, expressed by the countenance, glances of the eye, gestures of the limbs, and tones of the voice, indicating the affections of the mind, as it pursues, possesses, rejects, or shuns. And thus by constantly hearing words, as they occurred in various sentences, I collected gradually for what they stood; and having broken in my mouth to these signs, I thereby gave utterance to my will. Thus I exchanged with those about me these current signs of our wills, and so launched deeper into the stormy intercourse of human life, yet depending on parental authority and the beck of elders.
And thus the individual was able to contribute to the "stormy intercourse of human life," as well as partake of the greatest works that resulted from the collected discourse of human civilization.
Emoji are small visual symbols that some people use to express their inner wills. They are acts of communication in the sense that a barking dog is communicating. They are, according to scholars at the University of Minnesota, dangerously imprecise tools to use instead of actual, you know, words. Hannah Miller and her colleagues summarize their findings:
Emoji are commonly used in modern text communication. However, as graphics with nuanced details, emoji may be open to interpretation. Emoji also render differently on different viewing platforms (e.g., Apple’s iPhone vs. Google’s Nexus phone), potentially leading to communication errors.
We explore whether emoji renderings or differences across platforms give rise to diverse interpretations of emoji. Through an online survey, we solicit people’s interpretations of a sample of the most popular emoji characters, each rendered for multiple platforms. Both in terms of sentiment and semantics, we analyze the variance in interpretation of the emoji, quantifying which emoji are most (and least) likely to be misinterpreted. In cases in which participants rated the same emoji rendering, they disagreed on whether the sentiment was positive, neutral, or negative 25% of the time.
When considering renderings across platforms, these disagreements only increase. Overall, we find significant potential for miscommunication, both for individual emoji renderings and for different emoji renderings across platforms.
There's no internet in the universe of Game of Thrones. Or running water or antibiotics. But if someone did set up WiFi hotspots on Westeros and provide smartphones, we'd get to see what major characters would do on the internet.
The police held back instead of pursuing them closely, thus potentially endangering innocent people. In fact, when the fellas decided to finally stop, sit on their cars, chat with pedestrians, and take selfies, it took a while for police to show up and arrest them.
Thankfully, the entire bizarre scene was caught on camera with a news helicopter crew. If anyone was enjoying the event more than the thieves, it was two reporters with Fox 10. Duing the chase, they made jokes, speculated about taking down the suspects themselves, and marveled at their antics.
You must see the entire video, for it is good. So very, very good.
I never realized how often directors strive to have symmetry or juxtaposition between the first and the final frames of television series. You can see this particularly well in Sons of Anarchy and Oz.
Last year, we saw Jacob T. Sweeney's compilation of first and final shots for 125 famous movies. Celia Gómez edited this video which shows the same for 19 television shows. They often fit well together, telling a whole story. Gómez's selections are:
The truck serves tacos al pastor, which is a type of vertical roasting. Serious Eats describes it:
There, in true al pastor form, the taqueras marinate thin, thin slices of pork shoulder in a mixture of chilies and aromatics colored bright red with achiote. The slices are then stacked onto a vertical skewer, forming a large, bell-shaped trompo (spinning top), which gets topped with an onion and pineapple, and slowly rotates in front of a vertical grill.
I work at an investment bank and we have a VP without a college degree..a couple of my buddies hired him as an analyst solely because he was a drug dealer and they wanted to be able to purchase drugs conveniently at work. We didn't expect him to actually do anything, but he slowly learned how to do everything and actually ended up getting promoted to VP by one of the senior directors. We all think it's hilarious
Giertz has now joined Tested, the new website of Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman of Mythbusters. Together, they built this machine that automatically feeds you popcorn. This way, while you're re-watching Krull, you can snack without taking your eyes off the screen.
This is the true story of eight Eternians picked to live in Castle Grayskull, compete in challenges, and have their lives filmed to find out what happens when the Masters of the Universe stop being polite and start getting impolite.
DreamWorks TV edited the classic 80s cartoon He-Man and the Masters of the Universe to resemble MTV's Real World. Immaturity, naivety, selfishness, and personality conflicts collide as He-Man, Teela, Skeletor, Orko, Merman, Evil-Lyn, Man-at-Arms, and Beast Man try to live together and win prizes in the reality show that should have been.
Act stupid? Shoot, I don't even have to act. It just comes naturally!
The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was the predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency. In 1944, it published a sabotage manual that was distributed to resistance forces in Nazi-occupied Europe. It covered a lot more than just making bombs and blowing up bridges. In fact, it's a practical guide to success in any large organization--or at least how to have fun.
The manual shows how you, the ordinary person, can disrupt society at the micro level in order to ultimately degrade the effectiveness of Nazi Germany's empire.
I'm beginning to suspect that I've already seen the influence of this manual at past employers. It's like an anti-leadership guide.