These gingerbread men are far more flexible than I am, and they've been baked! Patti Paige, who once made a completely edible typewriter out of gingerbread, makes gingerbread men in popular yoga poses. At the link, you can watch her tutorial video on how to make your own.
Like the proverb says, it's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the fight in the dog. And 80-year old Josefa Lopez, standing at 4'9", had a lot of fight in her. When she saw a man with a gun beating her daughter, she charged into action with her aluminum cane:
At one point, the man fired a shot but missed the enraged octogenarian, who turns 81 on Thursday. Speaking in Spanish from the porch of her home Wednesday, yards from the scene of the incident, Lopez said she blindly charged against the gunman after seeing her daughter lying on the circular driveway, bleeding from her face. [...]
"I thought she was dead," Lopez said. "I yelled at [the gunman], 'I am going to kill you, [son of a b----]!' I wasn't myself. To me, she was dead."
The robber prudently fled before getting thrashed.
Book carving has reallytakenoff as a medium in the past few years. Guy Laramee's impressive contributions show entire landscapes cut into the paper. You know what would be really neat? To see a Z-scale model railroad set on top of one of these landscapes.
Booooooom! -- that's seven Os -- is a great if oddly-named art blog. For several months, it's hosted a project which invites readers to submit photos of themselves recreating famous works of art. Here's Sybille de Chavagnac's vision of The Kiss by Gustav Klimt. Check out the rest at the link. Be warned: some of the submissions are nudes.
At Christmas dinner this year, you may find yourself stuffed to capacity, unable to eat another bite...until you see a scrumptious dessert. Now, scientists know why. It's because your stomach gets bigger when you eat sugar:
The sugar in sweet foods stimulates a reflex that expands your stomach, writes senior researcher Arnold Berstad and assistant doctor Jørgen Valeur from Lovisenberg Diakonale Hospital in the latest issue of The Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association.
“If you eat dessert after you’re actually feeling stuffed you’re tricking your normal sensation of being full,” they argue. [...]
Glucose – or sugar if you will – stimulates this relaxation reflex.
“In this way it can decrease the pressure on the stomach and reduce the sensation of being full. A sweet dessert allows the stomach to make room for more food,” the researchers write in the medical journal.
Although it has a long way to go from viral video to officially sanctioned Olympic sport, groin ball shows some promise. It's played by four people in two teams. One grapples with an opponent while the two remaining players try to strike their opponents in the groin with tennis balls. When one player collapses to the ground in agony, his/her team has lost.
For those of you not athletically inclined, there are fantasy leagues.
No, not there, there! Some bibliophiles are really specific about how they arrange their treasures. Jane Dandy, a furniture maker in San Francisco, can make them one-of-a-kind bookcases to fit individual collections, and no others.
Gerard Baker, a native of the UK, grew up playing and watching two different sports called football, or what Americans refer to as soccer and rugby. But since that time, his passion for the sports of his homeland has petered out in favor of the American game. Why? Baker explains:
It's none of the usual explanations: lots of scoring being better than endless nil-nil draws—I've been to cricket matches in which 1,000 runs were scored and you could hardly call them riveting. It's not the hoopla or the sport-as-family-entertainment thing either which soccer fans accustomed to English hooliganism are supposed to appreciate. (Have you ever been to an Eagles game?)
Baseball fans will have to forgive me here, but the answer, I think, is that football is the quintessential American sport. It's no accident it hasn't really caught on elsewhere (the annual NFL game in London notwithstanding) whereas baseball and basketball have at least a claim to a global following and participation.
In its energy and complexity, football captures the spirit of America better than any other cultural creation on this continent, and I don't mean because it features long breaks in which advertisers get to sell beer and treatments for erectile dysfunction. It sits at the intersection of pioneering aggression and impossibly complex strategic planning. It is a collision of Hobbes and Locke; violent, primal force tempered by the most complex set of rules, regulations, procedures and systems ever conceived in an athletic framework.
Soccer is called the beautiful game. But football is chess, played with real pieces that try to knock each other's brains out. It doesn't get any more beautiful than that.
Big Majors Spot, a tiny island in the Bahamas, is inhabited by a herd of feral pigs. The food supply on the island is limited, so the little porkers will gladly swim out to boaters off the shore to beg for scraps.
The picNYC Table, designed by the Dutch firm Haiko Cornelissen Architecten, lets people in densely-packed urban areas experience nature without leaving home. That's real grass, so owners have to tend to it like a garden. Ants are not included.
This story has all the makings of a wonderful ad campaign for the pen manufacturer. A woman accidentally swallowed a pen. Her husband and doctor thought that she was making the whole thing up, so nothing was done about it. Twenty-five years later, a surgeon removed it from her and found the pen in full working order.
Link -via DVICE | Photo: British Medical Journal/Oliver Richard Waters, Tawfique Daneshmend, Tarek Shirazi
This Constitution-class starship comes equipped extra running lights. According to several redditors, it's on display in East Peoria, Illinois. That city is apparently famous for its grand Christmas light displays.
Although it looks convincingly like a pair of melting picture frames, it is actually a wooden sculpture. This is one of three in a series by artists Rémy Clémente and Morgan Maccari dribbling on a gallery floor.
A homeless man once approached me in a grocery store parking lot and asked me to buy maxi pads for his wife. I understood the importance and did so right away. If a woman can't afford maxi pads, then she's going to have a bad time. That's why Arunachalam Muruganantham decided to invent a maxi pad that was affordable and accessible for India's rural poor who used rags, leaves, and newspapers as substitutes.
He devised a prototype and set about trying to find female test subjects. His failed efforts cost him greatly:
He tried to get female medical students to wear them and fill out feedback sheets, but no woman wanted to talk to a man about such a taboo topic. His wife, thinking his project was all an excuse to meet younger women, left him. After repeated unsuccessful research attempts, including wearing panties with his do-it-yourself uterus, he eventually hit upon the idea of distributing free napkins to the students and collecting the used ones for study. That was the last straw for his mother. When she encountered a storeroom full of bloody sanitary napkins, she left too.
Muruganantham discovered that turning pine wood into a maxi pad is actually a complex and expensive process, so he spent years trying to simplify and cheapen it. He was successful:
Powered by electricity and foot pedals, the machine de-fibers the cellulose, compresses it into napkin form, seals it with non-woven fabrics, and finally sterilizes it with ultraviolet light. He can now make 1,000 napkins a day, which retail for about $.25 for a package of eight.
Though he’s won numerous awards (and won his wife back) he doesn’t sell his product commercially. "It’s a service," he says. His company, Jayaashree Industries, helps rural women buy one of the $2,500 machines through NGOs, government loans, and rural self-help groups. "My vision is to make India a 100% napkin-using country," said Muruganantham at the INK conference in Jaipur. "We can create 1 million employment opportunities for rural women and expand the model to other developing nations." Today, there are about 600 machines deployed in 23 states across India and in a few countries abroad.
One critical difference: the umpire has a halberd and is willing to use it. The Ghistelles Hours, a Fourteenth Century Flemish devotional manuscript, contains illustrations of people playing something that scholar Carl Pyrdum describes as baseball. But I think that it sounds like cricket:
Though there’s no base in sight, various historians of sport have identified this game as a version of “stool ball” or “stump ball”, which was baseball played with only one base, where the object was for the pitcher to hit a stump or a stool or other handy protrusion with the ball while the batter protected it by batting away the pitcher’s balls. Each player stood on or near what was essentially a “base” If the batter made contact, he was expected to run around the pitcher’s base and back to his own. Various fielders could catch the batted ball and throw the ball at the stool while the batter is occupied running.
Sure, we have buds, and we love them. But no matter what they do for us, we cannot help but pine for the relationship that should have been: a trio of you, your best friend, and Optimus Prime. Especially after Wheeljack left for college and dropped out of contact. In this sweet song, James Struthers contemplates that perfect match.
Finally! If you're like me, you wake up most days and wonder how to best communicate with people details about your nostrils. Noda Akira has now made this process a lot easier, thanks to his new breath-sensing LED gadget. Watch a video at the link.
The Eisriesenwelt is an enormous cave system south of Salzburg, Austria. It's forty-two kilometers long, the first kilometer of which is covered in wondrous ice formations. The cave is open to visitors during the summer, so visit if you're in the area. Check out more pictures at the link.
You can't trust anyone these days. You can just innocently go about your business when suddenly some crook will rob your blind. That's what a couple in Ogden, Utah discovered. According to police, they went into a store to engage in a bit of shoplifting. They were caught, cited by police, and then let go. The couple went back to their car and got a shock:
But as the officer started to leave, “He sees the two suspects trying to flag him down in the parking lot,” Young said, “and he goes over to their location and realizes that their vehicle has actually been burglarized.”
From a distance, surveillance video caught what appears to be a man in a red sweater scoping out Alexander's truck and he eventually gets inside.
"They ended up having their stereo and amplifier, a drum machine and some cigarettes stolen from their vehicle," Young said.
Redditor alison_bee photographed these bizarre clouds over Birmingham, Alabama. I planned to go with the end of the world as an explanation, but another redditor, claiming to be a meteorologist, explains what's happening in more scientific terms:
What is happening is that the nocturnal near-surface layers (lowest 50-100m) of the atmosphere are much more stable than the layers above it in the mornings. Until the ground heats up due to daytime heating, the surface layers stay more stable than the air over it. Kelvin-Helmholtz waves occur when the wind shear between the layers destabilizes the topmost portion of that stable layer, and entrains the air into the unstable layer. What you see is stable air being lifted, cooled, and condensed so that this process becomes visible, though this commonly happens many places without being visible.
I'd also like to note that this is different from gravity waves as stated elsewhere as these are completely shear induced while gravity waves are usually from lifting buoyant air into a stable region and gravity pulling that air back down. When that air is pulled back down, it can overshoot it's location of being stable, and a wave pattern forms.
"Logan, you're lucky it didn't cut your eye! Those claws have been known to kill people!" Draw 2D2 invited artists to submit their mashups of Marvel Comics and the classic movie A Christmas Story. Check out the rest at the link.