When someone comes into my office, I want that person to adopt an attitude most conducive to a productive working relationship. And now I know what is the perfect design for that purpose: the Scorpion Chair (translation) by Vyacheslav Pakhomov. It costs 230,000 rubles, which is about $5,749 USD.
Where is the best place in the world to live? After Texas (obviously), you may want to try Canberra, the capital city of Australia. According to a recent report published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Australia, and in particular its capital, does very well on a test of nine measures of livability. Alan Flippen of the New York Times explains what that test assesses::
The nine measures were education, jobs, income (measured at purchasing power parity to correct for cost-of-living differences between countries), safety, health, environment, civic engagement, access to broadband and housing.
If you decide to move to Canberra as a result of this report, keep in mind that you will probably want to vacate eventually. In the Exosquad universe, that city will the site of a fierce and destructive battle in the year 2121. If your property in Canberra survives the Neosapien War, the value of it may decline significantly.
Google Street View is a handy feature integrated into Google Maps. It lets you see photos of travel routes. I find that it's really handy at times when I'm navigating in an unfamiliar area.
Google creates its massive photographic archive for Street View with 360º panoramic cameras that capture images of locations from multiple angles. So far, that archive extends to 230 nations around the world.
Google uses cars, trikes, backpacks, and even scuba gear to travel over all types of terrain. To get over the brutal Liwa Desert in the United Arab Emirates, Google mounted one of its panoramic cameras on the back of a camel. Google selected this method "to collect authentic imagery and minimize our disruption of this fragile environment." You can see photos from this effort here.
Recently, I wrote a post about a donut shop in Los Angeles that has inventive recipes, such a donut with a whole Snickers bar baked inside. In the comments, BillB said, "They've got nothing on Amy's in Colorado Springs."
Andy Kryza of Thrillist realized that because Ben & Jerry's brand cookie dough ice cream is wonderful as ice cream, there would be a good chance that it would make great cookies as well.
He made small balls of cookie dough from the cookie dough ice cream, which he reports baked pretty well. But it's not necessarily a good idea:
It's essentially the same as the minis, but less flat and way more flavorful. If somebody said this was made with store-bought dough, I'd absolutely believe it, then laugh and inform them that most store-bought dough doesn't cost $4 per cookie. Then I'd patiently listen as they scolded me for wasting money and ice cream.
Do you ever say to yourself, "I wish that I could just stay at work all of the time and never go home"? Surely you can use your time more productively than commuting or spending time with your family. To make that dream a reality, the Japanese company King Jim invented the Wearable Futon Air Mat Set.
You don't have to waste time by changing clothes or making your bed. Ever. You're always wearing the only clothing and bedding that you'll need. The suit (which really needs a tie for professional office settings) weighs about 1.5 pounds and inflates for a comfortable evening.
How much damage can a 6-year old do? A lot! But "a lot" is a vague quantity. What was the financial value of Calvin's damage? Matt J. Michel published an article on that subject in the Proceedings of Natural Institute of Science, a humorous scholarly journal.
It's a noble application of statistics to practical needs. Michel acquired the entire print run of the comic strip and concluded that Calvin cost his parents almost $16,000. He explains:
In total, Calvin caused an estimated $15,955.50 worth of damage over the duration of the comic strip (Figure 1). Damage ranged from a broken glass jar ($2 from amazon.com) to a flooded house ($4,798.83 from homewyse.com). Taking into account Watterson’s sabbaticals (see Figure 1) and the November start to the comics, Calvin caused $1,850.55 of damage per year. For context, the USDA estimates that middle-income families spend an estimated $1,750 per year on child care and education for 6 year-olds. In fact, the amount of damage caused by Calvin would rank 4th out of the USDA’s categories in annual expenditures, behind Housing, Food, and Transportation, and ahead of Education, Miscellaneous, Health Care, and Clothing. However, it should be reiterated that Calvin is presented as a worst-case scenario. If you believe your child does more than $1,850.55 in damage annually, then you may want to consider professional help, alternative forms of punishment, or, at the very least, take away their stuffed tiger.
California Donuts in Los Angeles makes a lot more than just glazed donuts. The shop is filled with pastry wonders that will make you slobber all over your computer monitor, such as this donut with a whole Snickers candy bar baked inside. Other donuts feature popular kids' cereals as toppings.
Do you need an escape chute from your life? We all do at some point, but it can be hard to install one at home, work, or in a relationship. Perhaps, though, emerging technologies offer us options. The design blog Core77 rounded up photos and videos of 4 advanced escape chutes that help people get out of dangerous situations, such as burning skyscrapers.
Pictured above is a Viking Escape Chute, which is designed to get workers off oil rigs quickly. It automatically deploys a long, multi-leveled escape chute that ends in an automatically deploying inflatable life raft. The video below shows a test of the system in a shipyard in Okpo, South Korea.
The Brooklyn Museum contains many antiquities from ancient Egypt, including this small bronze coffin. It's about 22 inches long and is decorated with an image of the Egyptian god Atum, who was commonly depicted with the body of a snake. The curators of the Brooklyn Museum think that it dates back to between 664 and 30 B.C. The coffin is now empty, but was it probably crafted to hold the body of a mummified snake.
This is remarkable. Although a few landlocked nations maintain navies, Uzbekistan is not only landlocked, but doubly landlocked. That means that Uzbekistan is completely surrounded by landlocked nations. It and Liechtenstein are the only two such nations in the world.
Slate's Vault blog describes a fascinating board game made in the midst of the American Civil War. Charlton & Althrop, a publishing house in Philadelphia, produced the "Game of Secession, or Sketches of the Rebellion." It's a lot like the children's game Candy Land, except with a bit more bloodshed.
The game shows an American bald eagle strangling a snake representing Southern secessionism. It's a game of pure chance. Players take turns rolling dice. The number on the die represents the number of spaces that they can advance. Landing on some spaces sends them forward or back as the fortunes of war dictate. The final space shows a bird representing secessionism baked to a crisp.
Bonnie Eisenman, an engineer, recently took a course on electronic music. She felt inspired to make a unique instrument. The result of her efforts is the Illumaphone, a light-controlled electronic instrument.
It consists of 6 coffee cups with light sensors inside. Each one plays a different pitch. As she moves her hands over the cups, the differing light levels measured by the sensors adjust the volume and vibrato.
You'll cry with joy when you click on this misleading headline that suggests a counter-intuitive contrarian view that is actually quite normal or disingenuous. Go ahead and bite into Dave Coverly's Speed Bump cartoons.
The Wheel of Time is a series of 14 fantasy novels. Robert Jordan began the series. After he died in 2007, Brandon Sanderson finished the last 3 books in it.
In the series, the greatest swordsmen are known as Blademasters. Those who achieve this high level of fencing excellence may carry swords marked with the image of a heron. Thus heron-marked swords are the public symbols of the finest swordsmen.
Brendan Olszowy, a swordsmith in Western Australia, forged this heron-marked sword. It is specifically the sword of al'Land Mandragoran, a great hero in the series. The sword weighs 2 pounds, 14 ounces and the blade is 32.2 inches long. It is inscribed with words from the Old Tongue that translate as "True Blood of Manatheren" and "For the glory of the Red Eagle."
This is one of many fantasy-inspired swords that Olszowy has made, including others from The Lord of the Rings, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, and Conan the Barbarian.
Designer Saad Alayyoubi calls his iPhone accessory "Omniscent Siri." It's not a case, though it does slip around an iPhone. It's designed to block access to the screen so that you can't type in commands. You have to deal with Siri, Apple's interactive digital assistant. It's the only interface that you have to use to access the online world. Siri knows everything--at least that you're allowed to know.
Jack Lattimer is a musician and performer who consistently offers surprises in his funny YouTube videos. For this one, he plays John Lennon's iconic song "Imagine." Lattime begins by spinning a plate on what appears to be a plastic straw, inserting that straw into his ukulele, then playing the ukulele with his hands and working a slide whistle with his mouth.
(Photo: Dr. Anthony Atala, Director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, via Winston Tech Salem)
The loss of the penis through physical trauma, such as a battlefield injury, or the malformation of it as the result of a birth defect, can be a brutally debilitating event in a man’s life. But a solution may be on the way.
The Institute has already produced rabbit penises successfully using this method. Soon, it will attempt the process on human patients. It is uncertain whether these penises will be capable of erections.
Lately, I have been watching the original Star Trek series--something I have not regularly done since about 1988. I'm watching the show from start to finish. I noticed that on one early episode entitled "Mudd's Women," Dr. Leonard McCoy wears on his left pinky finger a gold ring with a blue stone.
DeForest Kelly dearly loved his mother, Clora Kelley. Clora owned a ring that her brother had won in a card game while he was in France. When Clora died of cancer in 1957, her son was consumed with grief. But he was private about the depth of his feelings. He asked for only one item from her possessions: the ring. He wore it from then on in remembrance of her.
When Kelley was recruited for Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry was firm: the actors would not wear jewelry. But Kelley was firmer: if he wasn't allowed to wear his ring, he wouldn't be on the show. Roddenberry conceded. You can see Kelley's ring throughout the series, though the stone is often turned into the palm to make it less noticeable.
In the movie Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Sybok forces McCoy to relive his euthanasia of his own father. DeForest Kelley's ring gleams in the faint light during the scene of mourning and loss. It is a fitting accent to a story of the loss of parents. Kelley would continue to wear it until his own death in 1999.
When Star Trek was rebooted in 2009, Karl Urban took up the role of Dr. McCoy. As you can see in this screenshot, he wears a ring on the pinkie finger of his left hand. According to an internet rumor, he did so to honor his predecessor, DeForest Kelley.
For 2 days, a woman in Polk County, Wisconsin heard strange animal noises from behind her home. She eventually summoned the police, who discovered two bear cubs trapped in a hollow tree(warning: auto-start). They had apparently climbed in through the top into the hollow trunk, then found themselves unable to escape. One had lodged his head in a hole.
Rescue workers cut windows into the tree trunk, which gave the bears enough room to escape.
This is Anna-Marie Hefele, a German singer whom blogger Marilyn Bellamy aptly describes as "a human theremin." She specializes in polyphonic singing, which means singing multiple notes simultaneously. When she performs, she can pair notes however she wishes in a vast variety of combinations. The musical effect is stunning and unlike anything I've ever heard from a human voice.
The famous cartoonist Jim Benton spends most of his time entertaining readers with his funny takes on the human experience and raking in the piles of cash that result from doing so. But he also wants to give back. He cares about us, so he created 6 public service announcements highlighting important skills and values that we should all keep in mind.
3 years ago, I mentioned that researchers in Sweden were planning the world's first uterus transplant. This would have offered new options for women for whom fertility is a lost cause. According to Dr. Mats Brannstrom of the University of Gothenburg, their efforts have been fruitful. Brannstrom and his colleagues published an article in the medical journal The Lancet reporting on the first successful live birth from a transplanted uterus.
Last month, a 36-year old woman who received one of the transplanted uteri gave birth to a premature but healthy baby boy. She had been born without a uterus, but had healthy ovaries. A 61-year old friend of her family donated her uterus to the woman. 6 weeks after she gave birth, the woman had a period, which indicates that the uterus remains healthy. She could try for a second baby, but the AP reports that she's not considering that right now.
It's fall, so it's time to have a Pumpkin Spice Latte--a drink that Starbucks offers only during this time of year. But you can do more with it than just drink it. Properly prepared, it's an entire meal.
Amy runs Oh, Bite It!, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite food blogs. She's been redefining what can be deep fried. You may remember that she successfully deep fried tequila shots. Now she's turned her mind to deep frying this caffeinated treat.
Her deep fried Pumpkin Spice Latte consists of pound cake soaked in Pumpkin Spice Latte, then deep fried. So it's quite simple. She suggests coating the cake bits with powdered sugar or whipped cream.
Airline food is so commonly known as terrible that it's a proverbial example of an overused joke. Some people, though, really like it. But it usually only available on long flights. What do you do if you want an airplane dinner without paying for an expensive ticket?
A company in Germany now offers that opportunity. Air Food One delivers frozen airline meals to customers' homes. They're made by LSG Sky Chefs, which is the company that makes Lufthansa's meals. The meals match what the company is providing to Lufthansa's business class during the week. Each meal costs about €9.99 ($12.50 USD).
Some owners of the new iPhone 6 report that it bends and even breaks when kept in back pants pockets. Consumer technology journalists are calling the scandal "Bendgate"--a reference to the Watergate scandal that brought down the Nixon Administration. This hardware problem probably won't destroy Apple, but it has caused the company to become the butt of many jokes.
Samsung, one of Apple's competitors, would like for you to know that its Galaxy Note 4 smartphones are buttproof--or at least buttresistant. As this video shows, Samsung uses a robotic butt to repeatedly pound its phones in order to test their durability.