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Postcards from Google Earth

The above image is from San Francisco. Artist Clement Valla discovered that if you zoom and direct Google Earth just right, you'll end up with some really weird and distorted images. It's like Salvador Dali spend time working as a civil engineer:

The images are screenshots from Google Earth with basic color adjustments and cropping. I am collecting these new typologies as a means of conservation – as Google Earth improves its 3D models, its terrain, and its satellite imagery, these strange, surrealist depictions of our built environment and its relation to the natural landscape will disappear in favor of better illusionistic imagery. However, I think these strange mappings of the 2-dimensional and the 3-dimensional provide us with fabulous forms that are purely the result of algorithmic processes and not of human aesthetic decision making. They are artifacts worth preserving.

Link via Nerdcore

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New Dating Website Helps You Find Someone Who Looks Just Like You

Because that's what we're all looking for, right? Christina Bloom is the founder of, which will open for business later this month. She says that she was inspired to build the website after people kept telling her that she and her ex-husband look a lot alike. So this website will use facial mapping software to match you up with someone like you: is powered by facial-recognition technology developed by, which zeros in on nine points on each face—the eyes, ears, nose, chin, and the corners and center of the mouth—to find similarities.[...]

In a 1989 study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, male and female “raters” were asked to judge the faces of 60 couples (some real, some strangers included as a control) on a nine-point scale, where 1 represented no similarity and 9 indicated the hypothetical case of opposite-sex twins. The average score for non-couples was 3.52; among actual couples, the average was 4.05. Concluded the study: “The results suggest that the observation of facial resemblance among couples appears to reflect a real phenomenon.”

Link via Geekologie | Photo: Geekologie

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Glacial Caves

For several years, photographer Eric Guth has shot some amazing pictures of caves and hollows that form under glaciers. He explained how he knows where to look for good shots:

"I've found that melt water has everything to do with how glaciers change, move and create points of entry. As I've learned more about how water erodes, shapes and works the ice (as it does everything else on the planet, given enough time), I've learned where to look to find caves.

"More than where to look, where to listen. Where water enters from a nearby stream or exits from a sub-glacial river there is a good chance the erosive force of that water has created an opening. Whether that opening is safe or dry enough to explore is another question!"

You can view sixteen more photos at the link.

Link via Flavorwire | Previously: Ice Caves

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Improv Everywhere: 17th Century Spanish King Offers Autographs in front of His Portrait

(Video Link)

For their latest gag, the folks at Improv Everywhere invited King Philip IV of Spain (1605-1665) to stand before his portrait painted by Diego Velázquez. His Majesty offered free autographs to anyone at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City who wanted one. Some people suspected that he was just an actor, and not the actual king.

Link via Super Punch

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Priest Gets PhD in Snowboarding

Whereas our own Alex Santoso decided to get his PhD in cushy, postmodern subjects like "biochemistry" and "molecular biology", this guy decided to go the traditional route and get his doctorate in snowboarding. Neil Elliot, an Anglican priest from British Columbia, is the recipient of the first such degree from Kingston University in London:

While Elliot's thesis doesn't draw any definite conclusions, he says it offers a new point of view.

"What my thesis does is give a new model for spirituality, saying that spirituality is a way of looking at the world and a way of looking at the world that includes there being something more than just the material," he said.

"My thesis goes on to say that there's three dimensions to that. There's the experiences that we have, there's the context that we're in and then there's what's going on really inside us, who we are."

Link via Geekosystem | Photo: St. Andrews Anglican Church

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The Bread Code Tells You When a Loaf Was Baked

Ever wonder what the colors of the tie tags on loaves of bread represent? They're a code designating the day of the week on which a loaf was baked:

* Blue: Monday
* Green: Tuesday
* Red: Thursday
* White: Friday
* Yellow: Saturday[...]

An easy way to remember it, though, is to simply recall the alphabet. The colors run in alphabetical order, so the earlier they appear in the alphabet, the earlier in the week the bread was baked. And it’s true. Even the ever-cynical backs it up.

Link via First Things | Image: Paul Michael

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Microchip Paintings

Artist Yuri Zupancic composes miniature paintings on tiny microchips, such as this nude which measures half an inch high. Zupancic paints them using brushes that he makes from his own eyelashes. Here's his explanation for choosing microchips as his base:

"Smaller and Faster" has replaced "Bigger and Better" as the leading catchphrase of commodities. I reflect this with my miniature paintings on microchips. From wild plants and animals to human tools and portraits, the range of subjects is diverse. I seek poetic images which raise questions and strike metaphorical chords when painted on microchips -the building blocks of the digital age.

The biggest frontier I see today is where nature and technology overlap. Mankind and our extensions (i.e. computers, cities) are essentially natural occurrences, thus move and evolve in the same dynamic patterns as the rest of the world. My paintings on microchips are an attempt to broaden our perspective of modern electronics and acknowledge their position as extensions of the mind and its sentimental qualities.

Link via Make

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Dozens of Bald Eagles in Backyard

(Video Link)

The salmon are returning to spawn in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, so it's time for eagles to descend upon the town. Lots of them, many of them bald eagles. They're quite fearless, so YouTube user Honanooligans was able to get close. There's a particularly good scene at 5:15. A fox arrives on the scene at 7:50.

via Super Punch

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Woman Slips on Banana Peel, Sues

Slipping on a banana peel is a classic cartoon gag. And now it's the basis for a real lawsuit:

Ida Valentine, 58, is suing the 99 Cents Only store where she slipped on one last April.

She said that she suffered a herniated disk and tissue damage, spent $9,000 on medical bills and is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.

"She fell and landed on her backside," said Courtney Mikolaj of the Quirk Law Firm in Ventura, California, which is representing her.[...]

The image in popular culture of an unwary pedestrian tripping head over heels on a banana peel stems from the late 19th century, when bananas were a popular street food in American cities and the press portrayed them as a public nuisance.

In 1879, Harper's Weekly groused that "whosoever throws banana skins on the sidewalk does a great unkindness to the public, and is quite likely to be responsible for a broken limb."

Link via TigerHawk | Image: Disney

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Best Ever Name for a Horse: ARRRRRRRRRRRRR!

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One of the competitors in this horse race has an unusual name. But that doesn't faze the announcer one bit. In fact, he seems to have fun with it the better that ARRRRRRRRRR! does.

via reddit

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Bathtub Hot Rod

It's a dilemma that we've all faced: you need to take a bath, but you need to get somewhere at the same time. eBay seller toymaker46 offers this solution. He notes that it's not yet fully operational, so you'll have to work on it some.

Link via Jalopnik

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Pixelated Trash Can

We've previously featured Instructables user BrittLiv's "You Killed Kenny!" doorstop. She's back with a new project. This time, it's a pixelated trash can. No, that's not a computer generated image. It's a wooden trashcan carved and painted to look like an image from a video game.

Link via Technabob

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Thailand Tried to Barter Chickens for Fighter Jets

Not that there's anything wrong with a lot of frozen chickens -- even 80,000 tons of chicken. It's just that Lockheed Martin wanted a more transferable currency for its F-16 fighter jets:

For the embassy in Bangkok, winning achieved two goals: helping Lockheed and keeping the Russians from selling planes. There was, however, a small complication with the terms -- the Thai government didn't want to pay cash. Instead, it proposed trading 80,000 stockpiled tons of frozen chicken.

"Embassy contacts said that until Lockheed Martin offered a proposal to sell F-16s that included countertrade, the (Thai government) could not seriously consider its offer. Contacts also suggested that an offer that included an agreement to buy Thai chicken would be especially welcome," the embassy said in a March 2005 cable setting the scene for the competition.

Link via Geekosystem | Photo: US Air Force

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Dog Riding a Scooter

(Video Link)

This video shows Norman, a Briard, riding a 4-wheeled push scooter.

via Ace of Spades HQ

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Paper Ring

Artist Elsa Mora made this ring -- and it's made entirely out of paper! Her website is filled with simply mesmerizing papercraft work.

Link via Dude Craft | Artist's Website

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You've Been Watching Too Many Horror Movies

(Video Link)

Because you're freaking out over ordinary things. TV pranksters had a little girl in a nightgown stand in the middle of a hotel hallway. They placed hidden cameras nearby to test people's reactions. When guests step off the elevator, they're shocked at what they see. The best reaction is at 2:00.

via Super Punch

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Motorized Ice Fishing Shack

I drove my Chevy to the levee because the levee was frozen over. The Bangor Daily News held a contest which invited people to build wacky and unusual ice fishing shacks. Pictured above is the winning entry by Al Conary, which is built out of a Chevrolet Cavalier:

“I did a lot of head-scratching,” Conary admitted. “I ran all the controls — the steering, the brakes, the shifter, the gas, the throttle — inside the shack. Of course, it had to have all the electronics, the instrument cluster and all that, because it controls the computer. So I had to mount all that in there. It was time-consuming to figure all that out.”

Link via Jalopnik | Photo: Al Conary and Robin Foskett

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Adidas' Freaky Star Wars Ads

Dorothy Tang composed a series of posters to advertise Adidas' line of Star Wars-themed shoes. They're really weird. Tang's work reflects the classic movie posters, except with oddly-shaped children. You can view three more at the link.

Link via Geekosystem

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Breathalyzer Nintendo Game

DrunkenNES is a video game controlled by breathing into breathalyzer built into a modified game cartridge. It was developed by Baltsy Adams, pictured above. Points are awarded based upon level of intoxication (the drunker the player, the higher the score). This video illustrates game play.

Video Link and Creator's Blog via Urlesque | Photo: dcpop

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Dune Coloring and Activity Books

To promote the movie, the producers of Dune (1984) released a set of children's coloring and activity books. Coilhouse has scanned several pages from them, many of which are shockingly and hilariously inappropriate for children.

Link via Nerdcore

Previously: Goodnight Dune

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Katy Perry's "Hot N Cold" by a Polka Band

(Video Link)

The Sesame Street version of Katy Perry's song "Hot N Cold" isn't bad, but the song is best understood as a classic polka. Hoop-De-Do, Hoop-De-Do/ I hear a polka and my troubles are through.

via MArooned

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Portrait of Jimi Hendrix Made out of Guitar Picks

Artist Ed Chapman made this mosaic of Hendrix out of 5,000 Fender guitar picks. He auctioned it for £23,000 (US $37,352) to benefit cancer research. You can view a gallery of his other mosaics at his website, most of which are made from ceramic fragments.

Link via Dude Craft | Artist's Website

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Per Capita Distribution of Passenger Cars Worldwide

Charts Bin presents an interactive map showing the distribution of passenger cars throughout the world. Iceland leads the world with 668 per 1,000 people. At the link, you can hover over each country to view more details.

Link via Ace of Spades HQ

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Layered LEGO Map Shows Immigration Patterns

Samuel Granados created two LEGO maps of the Americas, one one each side of a vertical surface, and used stacks of varying levels to indicate immigration patterns:

His project is very funny: a 3D cartogram about emigration and inmigration between american countries. But in true 3D: made with Lego pieces, as he explains, "to seize the space of the exhibition" and "allow you to watch teh cartogram from different perspectives".
One side of the map show the emigrants of each zone, the opposite shows the inmigrants (both represented by the volume of the pieces).

Link via Geekologie | Artist's Website | Photo by the artist

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Maru Tries on Different Hairstyles

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Web celebrity cat Maru is considering changing his hairstyle. Not seen: reverse mohawk. Which do you think suits him best?

via Urlesque

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Night over Australia

Phil Hart captured this amazing long-exposure shot of the movement of stars over and bioluminescent algae in Gippsland Lakes, Australia:

The photography was highly addictive and I spent many late nights waiting for the moon to set, capturing as many images as I could, trying different lenses and exposures. I spent one memorable evening trying to photograph the luminescence in gentle waves lapping at Cooinda’s front beach. I kept bringing the camera closer to the water to get the best result. Eventually I threw caution to the wind and stuck the tripod down where the waves washed over the legs.

Link via Popular Science

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Life-Size Barbie Dream House

Last year, to mark the 50th anniversary of the debut of Barbie, Mattel had a house redecorated to resemble the doll's Malibu Dream House:

The 3,500 square foot house in Malibu was designed by “Happy Chic” interior designer Jonathan Adler and features a chandelier made of Barbie hair, a closet filled with thousands of shoes and a sunburst mirror made from 65 Barbie dolls.

Link via Flavorwire | Photo: Tom Andrews

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Pencil Shoes

Lauren Milroy, a mechanical engineer with a background in the aerospace industry, recently completed a master's program in design. She made these shoes out of colored pencils.

Link via Dude Craft | Artist's Website

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It's Unclear Whether or Not this Boba Fett Glass Tube Helmet Is a Functional Waterpipe

Depending on who you talk to, this sculpture can or can't be used as a hookah. What is more certain is that it was made by glass artist Kevin Murray of Milwaukie, Oregon.

Link via Geekologie

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Alien and Other Odd Chess Sets

Max Eddy of Geekosystem rounded up pictures and information about unusual and macabre chess sets, such as the above set inspired by the Alien movie franchise. Facehuggers make appropriate pawns.

You know what would be good to see? A chess set inspired by the chess episode of Lexx.

Link | Photo: Contaminated

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