“We wanted to make an object that could only be done through 3D printing.” I think that Toru Hasegawa of the New York City-based Proxy Design Studio overstates his case. It might be possible to make this kinetic sculpture by hand. But since it has one million distinct polygons in the design, it would take a long time.
The Mechaneu is a structure composed of 64 interlocking gears. Turn one and all the others turn in time. It’s an exploration of what Mr. Hasegawa sees as the natural evolution of geometry to solve design problems. I don’t agree with (or perhaps don’t understand) his argument, but I think that the sculpture is cool.
But he's a good friend who practices tough love. Mr. Mabe has an alcoholic friend. This friend has had 5 arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol. Mr. Mabe and his colleague Jim Clark staged an intervention in the form of a prank.
After the drunk driver passed out, they moved him into a fake hospital room and convinced him that he had been in a coma for 10 years.
The funniest bit is the news update that the patient sees when he turns on the television.
Igor Spetic lost his right hand in a workplace accident. In the below embedded video, he wears a blindfold, earmuffs and a revolutionary new prosthetic hand. He can’t see or hear anything—only feel. But his new hand lets him do that. Watch him pluck the stems off cherries without crushing them.
He can do it because of the prosthetic hand invented by researchers at the Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University. Mr. Spetic can control the hand by clenching his forearm muscles, as is common in modern prosthetics. But now he can also feel what the hand is doing because 20 spots on it simulate human nerves. These send tactile feedback to implants inside his arm. David Talbot of Technology Review explains:
Then a total of 20 electrodes on the three cuffs deliver electrical signals to nerve fibers called axons from outside a protective sheath of living cells that surround those nerve fibers. This approach differs from other experimental technologies, which penetrate the sheath in order to directly touch the axons. These sheath-penetrating interfaces are thought to offer higher resolution, at least initially, but with a potentially higher risk of signal degradation or nerve damage over the long term. And so they have not been tested for longer than a few weeks.
Depending on the source, this is a pair of either 1947 or 1953 Chrysler Imperials joined together end to end. Allegedly, it was used to transport workers on a narrow-gauge railroad that stretched for 25 miles between a gypsum mine in the Fish Creek Mountains and a processing plant in Plaster City, California. It has two front ends, so a driver doesn’t have to turn the car around to drive in the opposite direction. Just switch cabs.
You want to be a backseat driver? Here’s the perfect vehicle for it.
"We found use of uptalk in all of our speakers, despite their diverse backgrounds in socioeconomic status, ethnicity, bilingualism and gender," said Amanda Ritchart, a linguist at the University of California who led the research.
"We believe that uptalk is becoming more prevalent and systematic in its use for the younger generations in Southern California," she added.
The team recorded and analysed the voices of 23 native Californians aged between 18 and 22. The researchers were therefore not able to infer similar language patters in older Californians.
In Japan, it’s traditional to eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken on Christmas. It’s obviously not an ancient tradition. Rather, it is a marketing ploy that KFC made in 1974. A group of foreigners came into a KFC restaurant searching for a Christmas turkey dinner. They decided that chicken would be an acceptable substitute.
The company saw an opportunity and launched its new advertising campaign. It was straightforward: “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!”—“Kentucky for Christmas!” For about $10, diners could get chicken and wine.
This program became enormously popular with not just foreigners living in Japan, but the Japanese themselves. It’s now a tradition in many families to have Christmas dinner at KFC, even if they have to wait in line for two hours.
This is one of 12 Christmas traditions celebrated around the world that, to Americans, may seem a bit odd. You can read the rest at Flavorwire.
Here's a good pun by cartoonist and animator Louie del Carmen. Or maybe, as Mr. del Carmen advises, it's a "sponsorship opportunity" for Wonder Bread. The jet fuel for Wonder Woman's invisible plane has got to be expensive. She should monetize her superhero work.
Bart Simpson is cute as a troublemaker, right? Maybe not if you work in law enforcement. He's actually committed serious crimes that could send him prison for a long, long time. Bart probably gets away with it due to an incompetent local police force and the lack of a significant federal presence in town. Counterfeiting? That's a paddlin'.
This is one of 8 criminal chalkboard gags from The Simpsons rounded up by Brendan Lopez. You can read the rest here.
And if you think that Mr. Lopez might be missing any, you’re welcome to search through the comprehensive archive of chalkboard gags.
Dalhousie University is a college in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Castine Way is a road that runs through campus. It’s named after the town of Castine, Maine. This is a reference to an episode in American and Canadian history from 1814.
After Napoleon abdicated in 1814, Britain began a series of offensives designed to bring about victory over the Americans in the War of 1812. Among them was an invasion of eastern Maine in the summer of 1814. British forces conquered the area fairly easily.
Naval expeditions under Sir John Sherbrooke (left) and his subordinates captured the coastal towns of Eastport, Machias and Castine, then sailed inland up the Penobscot River, capturing Hampden and Bangor. Sherbrooke declared that Maine east of the Penobscot was now a British colony named New Ireland.
The British goals in the establishment of New Ireland were: 1. to create a buffer zone between the United States and the Maritime provinces. 2. to acquire land for an overload route between Quebec and the Maritimes. 3. to punish the Americans for going to war.
Meanwhile, the rest of the British offensives ended in failure. At Plattsburgh, New York, the US Navy defeated an invasion of New York down the Lake Champlain corridor. In the Chesapeake, the British burned Washington, but were unable to advance into and past Baltimore.
In the Flemish city of Ghent, British and American negotiators were at an impasse. The British were in a superior military position, but the Americans would not accept anything less than status quo ante bellum--the conditions that existed before the war. After the Duke of Wellington advised the British to accept the American position, the British signed the peace treaty (pictured above). The treaty, after ratification by the Prince Regent and United States Senate, officially ended the war.
It also ended New Ireland and John Sherbrooke’s ambitions for eastern Maine. He withdrew. But he had treated the area as British territory and collected £10,750 in tariffs during that time. Sherbrooke donated most of it to the founding of a university in Nova Scotia. The “Castine Fund,” named after the occupied town of Castine, Maine, launched Dalhousie University.
The university named a road on its campus after its unwilling financial benefactor. That’s how Castine Way got its name.
Poutine is a Québécois dish consisting of gravy and cheese curd over French fries. It’s popular in Canada, where it’s eaten as fast food and a comfort food. McDonald’s restaurants in Quebec sell it. But now the company plans to make poutine available in all McDonald’s outlets throughout Canada. A serving will cost $3.99
I’ve had poutine once. It’s not available in restaurants in my part of Texas, so I had to make it myself. That wasn’t easy, as I could find cheese curd at only one specialty food store. It was delicious! I promised my wife that I would save half of it for her, but…well….
Dan Lunt is a climate scientist at Bristol University in Bristol, UK. He created a computer model of the climate of Middle-earth from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Writing under the name Radagast the Brown, Dr. Lunt published an article about it. In order to make the article accessible readers in Middle-earth who don’t know English, he published it Elflish and Dwarfish as well as English. Science magazine reports:
Using supercomputers and a model originally developed by the U.K. Met Office, his study compares Middle-earth’s climate with those of our (modern) and the dinosaur’s (Late Cretaceous) worlds. The Middle-earth model (pictured, showing predicted ground coverage: with grass in light green, trees in darker green, desert in yellow, and ice in white) reveals that the Shire—home to the Hobbits—would enjoy weather much like England’s East Midlands, with an average temperature of 7°C and about 61 cm of rainfall each year. An epic journey to Mount Doom, however, would see a shift in climate, with the subtropical Mordor region being more like Los Angeles or western Texas. The study—released today on the University of Bristol’s website and available in English, Elvish, and Dwarvish—also shows that the elves probably sailed from the Grey Havens because of that region’s prevailing easterly winds, while the dry climate east of the Misty Mountains is formed by a rain shadow.
It’s a fun idea for publishing and a sure way to get public attention. But Radagast’s work is also a serious attempt at understanding climate modeling. A press release from Bristol University explained:
Among other findings, he explains why the elves set sail from the Grey Havens (the prevailing winds were favourable for their journey to the West), and the existence of a dry climate east of the Misty Mountains (the mountains cast a rain-shadow over the region). Radagast also discusses the strengths and weaknesses of contemporary climate models, and shows how they can be used to understand and predict future climate. […]
Dr Dan Lunt added: “This work is a bit of fun, but it does have a serious side. A core part of our work here in Bristol involves using state-of-the-art climate models to simulate and understand the past climate of our Earth. By comparing our results to evidence of past climate change, for example from tree rings, ice cores, and ancient fossils of plants and animals, we can validate the climate models, and gain confidence in the accuracy of their predictions of future climate.”
Though she’s only 16 years old, Rosalee Ramer of Watsonville, California is already a successful monster truck driver. She’s very smart, having scored in the 99% percentile of the math portion of the SAT. Rosalee uses her considerable brains to design, build, maintain and drive these custom-built car-crushers.
She’s been at it since the age of 3, when she first held a flashlight to help her father build an engine at night. Now Rosalee is designing the first electronic fuel injection system for a monster truck.
But she’s more than an engineer. Rosalee also drives Detour, her family’s truck, in competitions. She often jumps it 30 feet into the air. It’s a joyful experience:
"Just being in a truck that loud, feeling it under you, stepping on the throttle," Rosalee said, "it almost doesn't feel real. You feel like you're in a different world. You're taking something that weighs 10,000 pounds and with a tiny touch of the throttle, you can just roast the tires."
Miley Cyrus came in like a wrecking ball this year, especially with her controversial music video for the song "Wrecking Ball." It sets the perfect ambiance for the Christmas season, don't you think? So make one of these tree ornaments using the instructions provided by Instructables member mikeasarus.
First, he found a screenshot from the video. He printed it out, along with a mirror copy, and cut out Miley. Mikeasarus then took a glass bulb ornament and primed and painted the surface with gray paint. He attached a cheap necklace chain to serve as the chain for the wrecking ball.
(Photo: John Owen 92, Gerald Owen 67, Steven Owen 40, Chris Owen 21, Connah Owen 6 months)
My family has a treasured photograph of my eldest daughter's hand, my wife's hand, her mother's hand and her grandmother's hand--four generations of women holding hands.
Julian Germain, a British photographer, has published a similar project. He took photos of families that stretch across 4 to 5 living generations. In an interview with ASX, he explained how a previous project about the span of human life led into this one:
They are a progression from the Face of a Century series I made in 1999. That’s a chronological sequence of 101 portraits beginning with someone who is a hundred years old and ending with my daughter when she was just a few days old. At that particular time I was acutely aware of both life and death experiences and this is one of the ways I dealt with them. You see all kinds of people, all the stages of life; it’s mapped out from the end to the beginning, one individual after another—most of whom I just stopped briefly in the street. It’s a simple piece but it really makes me think about how incredible life is. The Gnerations pictures develop the theme, focusing more on where we all come from as individuals. In the text for Face of the Century, Martin Herron refers to us all being at the apex of a pyramid with our genetic inheritance spreading back behind us generation after generation. I wanted to investigate that.
Sometimes in large bodies of water, wave systems cross each other. When they hit each other, these systems will form crests twice as high and troughs twice as deep. It can be difficult to sail in such waters. In the above case at the Île de Ré, an island off the Atlantic coast of France, the wave systems appear to meet at a right angle.
Mike Mendez, an artist and custom toymaker, altered an 8-inch plastic Transformers figure. He gave it a look inspired by the traditional arts of Polynesia. TikiPrime Warrior, as he calls it, will be on display at the Transformer Show at Toy Tokyo in New York City on Saturday.
Ylvis is the Norwegian music and comedy group most famous for their song “What Does the Fox Say?” Its members pulled this delicious prank at an Ikea store. There was a mock house in that store. Ylvis altered it so that the entrance and exit disappeared. A couple entered to explore the furnishings. But then they couldn’t get out!
It gets even better: one of the pranksters slipped in through a concealed entrance. The couple followed her around, hoping that she knew how to escape.
Jutting up out of the waters of Phang Nga Bay on the western coast of Thailand is the small island of Ko Tapu. It’s also known as James Bond Island because scenes from the 1974 movie The Man with the Golden Gun were shot there.
Since it draws money-spending tourists, local residents are comfortable with the new name. Visitors cannot readily climb it, but boats take people right up to the limestone cliffs and the caves carved into them. You can see why Bond’s nemesis Francisco Scaramanga chose it as a hideout. Provided that you have sufficient supplies, it might also be a serviceable zombie apocalypse shelter.
Cartoonist Grant Snider is composing a new series at Medium called “Who Needs Art?” His first piece discusses the Belgian surrealist René Magritte. Snider writes:
René Magritte is not my favorite painter. His Surrealist visions are smooth and perfectly rendered, but they lack the bold color and shadowy mystery of say, a Giorgio de Chirico canvas. Still, he is perhaps the most successful artist at achieving the purpose of the Surrealist movement, as stated by André Breton : “to resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality.” By favoring direct representation of ethereal imagery over stylistic innovation, his works feel less like pieces of art than objective accounts of lucid dreams. And all those faceless men in suits and bowler hats are decidedly creepy.
I don’t think that I’d mind having Magritte as a neighbor. I’d love to have Bob Ross as one. What artist, living or dead, would you like to live next to?
When bronies march into battle, they bear the courage of Rainbow Dash, the viciousness of Fluttershy and the fortitude of Applejack. But most importantly, they carry the authority of Princess Celestia, the ruler of Equestria, whose cutie mark and colors grace this armored vest made by deviantART member TheGiantsnoll.
This chainmail vest consists of 16,500 16-gauge aluminum rings. It took him 68 hours to finish the project.
Here’s a new variation: mini Creme Eggs baked inside muffins. Jen, the Beantown Baker, made hers using cream cheese, sugar and flour. Chill the dough and bake it for 15 minutes. Then press the Creme Eggs in the muffins and bake for 5 more minutes.
Joshua David Stein of Wired made a fascinating observation: the letter E, long the most common letter in the English language, has lost its prominence in the internet age. Many internet brands, such as Flickr and Tumblr, dropped that letter from their names:
But in 2004, Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake founded Flickr, a photograph-sharing application, without the standard penultimate E. “The most compelling reason to remove the E,” explained Ms. Fake, “was that we were unable to acquire the domain Flicker.com … The rest of the team were more in favor of other options, such as ‘FlickerIt’ or ‘FlickerUp’ but somehow, through persuasion or arm-twisting, I prevailed.” It was good news for the company but bad news for the letter. A year later, the company was acquired by Yahoo for $35 million.
Soon many startups began jettisoning their Es like toxic assets. In 2009, Grindr, a geosocial network application for gay men, chose to make do without the letter E. Membership quickly swelled. Myriad other brands followed suit, including Blendr, Gathr, Pixlr, Readr, Timr, Viewr, Pushr. [...]
The decline in E-ness was also hastened by the realities of venture capitalists. “You take out the E from your company name, and you increase the valuation by millions,” said Lockhart Steele, the founder of Curbed, a lifestyle publishing empire. “Being E-free,” agrees Esther Dyson, a venture capitalist and an early investor in Flickr, “distinguishes you from the run-of-the-mill vowel-infested world.”
According to some linguists, the writing has been on the wall for years. “What you are seeing is a very natural process – the omission of the letter in final unstressed syllables before /r/, is something that has been a feature of written English since Anglo-Saxon times,” said Professor David Crystal, OBE, a linguist and author of Internet Linguistics. “‘Gather’ in Old English was spelled both ‘gaderian’ and ‘gadrian,’ for example.” In other words, the law of lex parsimonae doomed the E’s of Flicker, Tumbler, and Gather a long time ago.
Mr. Stein's obituary ends with this clever bit:
The letter E was born in the late 8th century BC in Athens, Greece. His father, the Phoenician letter He, died between 323 BC and 31 BC. E travelled widely throughout the Western world.
E is survived by his brothers, A, I, O and U; three daughters, é, ẻ, ě; and a son, ẹ.
It’s made of 1,800 pounds of butter, 7,200 eggs, 7,200 pounds of flour, 3,000 pounds of brown sugar and 22,304 pieces of candy. It’s a 36,000,000 calorie home that has all of the necessary building permits, including approval from the local fire department. This full-sized house has an internal volume of 39,201.8 cubic feet.
It’s now open to the public. As of yesterday, admission fees and donations have raised $150,000 for a hospital trauma center.
A fashion mannequin has an implicit message: this form is beautiful. If your own body doesn’t look like that form—not even remotely—then you may not feel that way about yourself.
The Swiss charity Pro Infirmis helps people with disabilities. To remind them that they are beautiful, too, they commissioned mannequins modeled on the bodies of four people with disabilities. The video below shows the process. Craftsmen measured the bodies of the models, then reshaped mannequins to fit those specifications.
After finishing construction, Pro Infirmis placed those mannequins, now dressed in fashionable clothing, in a storefront in Zurich. Watch the responses of the models and passersby.
This is Lake Superior. It's the largest lake in North America.
This is Isle Royale. It's the largest island in Lake Superior. Native Americans once mined it for copper. Benjamin Franklin, one of the American negotiators of the 1783 Treaty of Paris, knew this, so he pressed the British to let it fall within American territory.