Link | Patent Information | Photo: American Heritage Magazine
At blastr, Adam-Troy Castro compiled videos of little-known performances by Star Trek actors in television shows and movies outside of Star Trek. Among them is this oddity featuring Kate Mulgrew, who played Captain Kathryn Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager. Mulgrew held the title role in Mrs. Columbo, a mystery show about the wife of the famous detective played by Peter Falk. It lasted thirteen episodes.
YouTube user guinness0507 created a mask that displays shifting black and white shapes, like the one that superhero Rorschach from Watchmen wears. Thermochromatic paint applied to a t-shirt changes from black to white as the user's breath heats it above 86º F.
Previously: How Rorschach Stole Christmas
Currently, most cacao farmers earn about $2 per day, but producers of fine cacao earn more. Increasing the productivity and ease of growing cacao can help to develop a sustainable cacao economy. The trees are now also seen as an environmentally beneficial crop because they grow best under forest shade, allowing for land rehabilitation and enriched biodiversity.
The team's work identified a variety of gene families that may have future impact on improving cacao trees and fruit either by enhancing their attributes or providing protection from fungal diseases and insects that effect cacao trees.
Link via Fast Company | Photo via Flickr user Peter Pearson used under Creative Commons license
Long Bin-Chen, a New York-based artist originally from Taipei, sculpts books. He's especially fond of depicting the Buddha, such as this sculpture made out of phone books. The artist explained that this is an effort to make the Buddha meaningful to the West:
Since colonial times, Westerners have taken Buddha heads from the Buddha statues in Asia and brought the Buddha heads back to the West. Today, while one finds so many Buddha heads in Western museums and galleries, equally many Buddha bodies in Asia are headless. The Buddha head is an important cultural image from Asia. Yet, by and large, it is misunderstood in Western societies. In this project, I chose the most beautiful Buddha head I found at a museum to use as a model and created this Buddha head from New York City telephone books. The Buddha Head contains the names and numbers of millions of New York residents. The Head will represent a caring Buddha, a Buddha from the East who has come to take care of the West.
Link via Dude Craft | Photo: New York Optimist
Etsy seller Rachel Rae Case makes art from human belly button lint and fingernail clippings. Pictured above is one example made from the latter:
This piece is a primitive human-like figure who seems to be dancing or chanting. It's strange anatomy: pelvis, revered leg bones large, protruding jaw and curling fingers make it one of the more detailed Human Ivory pieces I've made.
Link via Geekologie
"The sea urchin tooth is complicated in its design. It is one of the very few structures in nature that self-sharpen," says Gilbert, explaining that the sea urchin tooth, which is always growing, is a biomineral mosaic composed of calcite crystals with two forms -- plates and fibers -- arranged crosswise and cemented together with super-hard calcite nanocement. Between the crystals are layers of organic materials that are not as sturdy as the calcite crystals.
"The organic layers are the weak links in the chain," Gilbert explains. "There are breaking points at predetermined locations built into the teeth. It is a concept similar to perforated paper in the sense that the material breaks at these predetermined weak spots."[...]
Knowing the secret of the ever-sharp sea urchin tooth, says Gilbert, could one day have practical applications for human toolmakers. "Now that we know how it works, the knowledge could be used to develop methods to fabricate tools that could actually sharpen themselves with use," notes Gilbert. "The mechanism used by the urchin is the key. By shaping the object appropriately and using the same strategy the urchin employs, a tool with a self-sharpening edge could, in theory, be created."
Link via DVICE | Photo by Flickr user mattk1979 used under Creative Commons license
To protect the country from an invasion by Napoleon Bonaparte, Britain built 103 towers along its southern shore to spot and slow down a French invasion force. The Martello towers, as they were called, had walls 30 feet tall and 13 feet thick. Some survive to this day, and industrial designer Duncan Jackson decided to convert one into a house:
It was the undulating new plywood roof, swooping over three-quarters of the battlements, that did most to turn Tower Y into a modern home. This elegant parasol not only provides a dramatic ceiling for the top floor living space, kitchen and dining area, it also allows mesmerising 360-degree views of the Suffolk coast: on one side tractors plough fields; on the other, vast ships plough the last leg of journeys from, say, China to Felixstowe.
Here is a special place to cook, entertain, or just while away the day. Stroll out onto the terrace and you feel as if you've walked from the bridge of a modern liner out on to its deck, where you stand bathed in light and sucking in sea air. Only the two spiral staircases beckoning from the sides suggest that, below decks, there's another dimension: a cavernous, circular brick chamber, with oak floors set around a vast central brick column. Here, lit by windows set into those deep walls, is another ravishing living space.
You can see pictures of this luxury home at the link.
Link via io9 | Photo: Piercy Conner Architects
"You can expect no help from this side of the river," says the message, which was deciphered by codebreakers.
The text is dated 4 July 1863 - the day Vicksburg fell to Union forces.
At the link, you can view a photograph of the bottle and the message.
Link via Glenn Reynolds | Image: National Park Service
Between 1929 and 1945, Okunoshima Island was used by Japan as a site for producing chemical weapons. Now it's a tourist attraction where people visit feral rabbits that began living there in 1971:
Today, the island is uninhabited, but the remains of the facility buildings, including gas containers and a power plant, are still there.
It is believed that rabbits were first taken to the island in 1971, after an elementary school in Takehara found it difficult to keep the animals at school. According to the Kyukamura Okunoshima resort hotel, most of the visitors to the island consisted of students on school study trips and senior tourists.
However, as the island became known as a rabbit habitat, the hotel began to receive more reservations from young women and families. The rabbits became popular for their adorable gesture asking for food.
Link via Nerdcore
Santa's Rocket Ship was one of five custom buses made with a Christmas theme. They were built by Lloyd Laster of Tyler, TX, who used them as advertising venues:
The vehicles traveled all over the southern and southwest parts of the country taking Holiday Shoppers on joy rides while making appearances at shopping centers and malls. Each of the Santa's Rocket Ships traveled with a crew of five; a driver, two attendants, a hostess, and of course Santa Claus. Laster started in the 1950s with one Santa's Rocket Ship and had gradually built up the fleet of five Christmas vehicles by the time he retired in 1974.
Laster sold the business to another man who continued to use the vehicles for several years before it ceased to be a profitable activity. So what happened to Santa's spaceships? Tom Joslin of Jalopnik tracked down the one surviving bus at Mukluk Land, a small amusement park in Tok, Alaska.
Link | Photo: Mukluk Land
British defense contractor BAE Systems unveiled a concept image for an unmanned armored vehicle that was inspired by the Batmobile as it appeared in the 2005 movie Batman Begins. Project leader Hisham Awad directly attributed the design to Batmobile:
While Awad was showing one of his team’s concept vehicles, the unmanned skirmisher known as Raider, another of the assembled journalists gave a low whistle.
‘I like that,’ he said. ‘Looks like the Batmobile.’
‘Ah!’ Awad replied, with a grin. ‘Glad you said that. That’s what we based it on.’
‘Yes, we liked the look of that, so we designed something similar.’
What, the Batmobile in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight?
‘Yes, that one. You see, it turns like a motorbike and it has the same wheel configuration.’
Link via CrunchGear | Image: BAE
She even admits to using Jedi mind tricks during interviews with suspects in 'an effort to achieve the truth', although she tells industry magazine Police Review that she does not use 'The Force' to influence what suspects say or do.
Jedi mind tricks are used in the Star Wars movies by characters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker to 'influence the minds of weak-minded sentient beings' to get them to do what you want them to do.
PC Fleming, who is one of ten police workers - eight of them officers - at Strathclyde Police who have listed their religion as Jedi, said her faith helped her 'fight crime and disorder on Glasgow's streets'.
Link via Hell in a Handbasket | Photo: Daily Mail
While studying a human brain, researchers at Newcastle University (UK) found a blood vessel that looks like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer:
Claudia Racca, of the Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle University, who performed the experiment with colleague David Cox, said: "Biology can throw up things like this, but it was a nice surprise to find this image.
"We were looking at a section of the tissue and noticed this strange but familiar shape. "It was intriguing and we noticed the similarity to a reindeer.
"We then took an overexposed picture of it and the red blob for the nose and the white antlers showed up even better.
"We got distracted from the science at that point and had a bit of fun with the pictures of Rudolph instead.
Link via Geekologie | Photo: Newcastle University
Dark Roasted Blend has a follow up to its previously posted gallery of exotic motorcycles. This time, you can view strange and wonderful motorcycles of the past. Among them is this 1937 military prototype with tracks in the front. It's one of three built by France. You can view these and other marvelous motorcycles at the link.
Link via Make | Photo: Kneeslider
“I’m not as good as I used to be – it’s been 10 years,” the Bronze Star recipient said, referring to the past decade that he served in the 75th Ranger Regiment. He deployed twice to Iraq and four times to Afghanistan in support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.[...]
His peanut butter ganache earned him third place among 55 pastry chefs. Morgan also prepared four desserts, which together, were called “Pumpkin and Spice”. They included a spiced pumpkin custard; walnut cake inside a coconut blossom; red currant compote; and a cinnamon beignet on poached pumpkin petals, a trio of cranberry, and honey, yogurt and pumpkin sorbet with a pumpkin-thyme essence.
Link via Marginal Revolution | Photo: American Culinary Federation
Researchers at the University of Nottingham created a special birthday present for Martyn Poliakoff, a professor of chemistry. It's a periodic table of the elments inscribed on the surface of a hair from Poliakoff:
Professor Poliakoff said: “Although the application was lighthearted I felt that it enabled us to show people how such nano writing is done. Our microscopist, Dr Mike Fay, made the whole operation seem so simple and really demystified it in a most appealing way.”
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