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Forgotten Fortune Found in Recycled TV

An unnamed man in Bolsover, Ontario, received an inheritance back in the 1980s. He hid $100,000 of it, in $50 bills, inside a television set. Then he forgot where he put it. Some time over the next 30 years, he gave the TV set to a friend, who used it until about a year ago,. when it was sent to Global Electric Electronic Processing (GEEP) in Barrie, Ontario, for recycling. There the TV sat until last month, when it was taken apart. Employees were surprised to find a box full of cash.

Barrie police reunited a 68-year-old man from Bolsover, Ont., a village of about 400 people in the Kawartha Lakes region, with the cash, using banking records from 1985 to trace the owner. Police did not release his name because of privacy concerns.

“This is a unique situation where this large quantity of money was missing without anyone knowing it was missing,” Const. Nicole Rodgers said. “He hadn’t even realized with the police officers sitting in his house that they were speaking of the cash box with his money in it.

“In his mind, he thought it was still somewhere else in his house.”

There must be a safer place to keep one's savings, like maybe a mattress. Read more on the story at the Calgary Herald. -via Dave Barry

(Image credit: Flickr user Chris Butterworth)


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Playin' with Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen played in Brisbane Thursday night. A teenager held up a sign that said he was missing school for the concert, and could he play "Growin' Up"? Springsteen called him up on stage to play. Fifteen-year-old Nathan Testa knew the song, and well. In the middle of the song, Springsteen gives him some advice about looking good on stage.  

(YouTube link)

What's really strange is that this isn't the first time Testa has played with the Boss. His family are all avid Springsteen fans, and attended a Brisbane concert in 2013, when Testa, then 11, was pulled on stage to play "Waitin' on a Sunny Day." -via Metafilter


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Ice Dragon Boat Festival

Ice dragon boating is when you put your dragon boat on skates and propel it across a frozen surface. And, of course, there is ice dragon boat racing. Ice dragon boat racers even have an international federation

(YouTube link)

And this weekend, the first Ice Dragon Boat Festival is happening in Ottawa. If you can't make it to Ottawa, there's the Manitoba Ice Dragon Boat Festival coming up on February 25. You'll find more links about ice dragon boat racing at Metafilter.


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Ridiculous Rat Removal

Jodie, Logan, Briana, and Meg share an apartment in Pittsburgh. A rat got into their apartment earlier this week, so they put their heads together to figure out how to evict it. They cornered the rat in the shower, then set up a complicated course to shoo it downstairs and out the door. What are the odds of this working? The four women and Logan's boyfriend Bo were all ready when Logan forced the rat out of the tub, and surprise! Their scheme worked like a charm, and even better, they got video evidence. Read more about the adventure at Buzzfeed.


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6 Horrifying Realities Of Living In A Sitcom Universe

You could spend a lifetime watching TV sitcoms and not realize that the same weird things keep happening from show to show over time. Maybe that's because we don't watch that many sitcoms at a time, or we don't compare our favorites from the 1970s to our favorites from the '10s. Did you ever notice how new infants in a sitcom family suddenly become old enough to deliver lines (or at least look cute) the next season? In Full House, Uncle Jesse's twins grew quickly, while their cousin Michelle did not.

Modern Family provides more evidence of a vast baby-swapping conspiracy when Cam and Mitchell celebrate their daughter's second birthday ... only to mention that she's three a few months later. Clearly, they're speeding up the rate of her birthdays so as to avoid arousing suspicions when they inevitably switch her (which they did).

On the other hand, the baby swaps in Growing Pains and Family Ties are so laughably obvious that they seem to imply this business isn't even underground. Chrissy Seaver blossoms from basically a newborn child to a 5-year-old girl in the space of one season ...

That's just one weird thing about sitcoms that happens over and over. You might notice one thing when it happens in your favorite show, but you probably never realized that it's a TV thing in show after show, over decades. Read the rest of the list of weirdness in TV sitcoms at Cracked.   


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The Adventures of Fish and Chips

Lindsay Richards decided she wanted a cat. Lain Roby agreed after seeing cats on the site Adventure Cats. So the couple adopted Fish, and took him on many outdoor adventures. A few months later, they adopted Chips, who become Fish's little brother and constant companion. Both cats were leashed trained from an early age, and are used to riding in cars, boats, and backpacks.

The two cats love spending time in the woods, hills, and beaches of Vancouver Island and anywhere their humans want to go. Read about Fish and Chips at Adventure Cats, and see more of these photogenic kitties at Instagram.

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Robert Irwin on The Tonight Show

On The Tonight Show, Robert Irwin presents Jimmy Fallon with a variety of creatures to gush about. Have you ever heard an armadillo scream? You're about to.

(YouTube link)

Robert Irwin is the 13-year-old son of the late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin. He is the spitting image of his dad, in his looks, his enthusiasm, and his knowledge of animals. -via reddit


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Library Hand, the Fastidiously Neat Penmanship Style Made for Card Catalogs

In the 1880s, libraries were growing fast. Each new book acquired needed an entry in the card catalog. While librarians are liable to be educated and use good penmanship, the cards were still hard to read because the nice script had "too much flourishing.” A library summit meeting was held in Late George, New York in September 1885. One of the attendees was Melvil Dewey, who had developed the Dewey Decimal System. The problem of catalog cards was discussed, and a highly legible new style of writing was proposed. It was eventually called "library hand."

Influenced by Edison and honed via experimenting on patient, hand-sore librarians, library hand focused on uniformity rather than beauty. ”The handwriting of the old-fashioned writing master is quite as illegible as that of the most illiterate boor,” read a New York State Library School handbook. “Take great pains to have all writing uniform in size, blackness of lines, slant, spacing and forms of letters,” wrote Dewey in 1887. And if librarians thought they could get away with just any black ink, they could think again real fast. ”Inks called black vary much in color,” scoffed the New York State Library School handwriting guide.

Dewey and his crew of “a dozen catalogers and librarians” spent, in his estimation, “an hour daily for nearly an entire week” hashing out the rules of library hand. They started by examining hundreds of card catalogs, looking for penmanship problems and coming up with ways to solve them. They concluded that the “simpler and fewer the lines the better,” and decided that, while a slant was best avoided, a slight backward slant was acceptable. Then they got to the more nitty-gritty stuff, such as whether to opt for a “square-topped 3” or a “rounded-top 3.” (The rounded-top 3 won out, as it is less likely to be mistaken for a 5 during hasty reading.)

You might argue that it would have been easier for librarians to learn to type. Read about the history and usage of library hand at Atlas Obscura. 

(Image credit: Ella Morton)


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Cat Profiles by Obvious Plant

A picture is worth a thousand words, but you also want to learn a little about a cat's personality. Knowing their likes and dislikes will help.



These profiles are from a series of cat labels from Obvious Plant. See all ten of them here. The cats are all real, and available for adoption through the Santé D’Or Foundation in Los Angeles. -via Metafilter

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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The Messy History of the Pie Fight

The second-best use for baked goods is the cinematic pie fight. Getting a whipped cream-topped pie to the face is a great visual, certainly more pleasant than other thrown foods, and doesn't leave major injuries. A timeline of pie fights in movies gives us stories of notorious pie fights. The earliest existing example of the pie in the face is from 1909, followed by a full-blown fight in 1913. Even Dr. Strangelove was supposed to end with a pie fight, but that didn't work out.

So as Kubrick later said, ‘It was a disaster of Homeric proportions.’” Because the scene was so expensive to shoot and clean up from, the studio only gave them one chance to film it. But since the actors were clearly smiling throughout filming, the footage was unusable. The scene has since become one of the most famous unseen pieces of celluloid in cinematic history. Apparently, pie fights make up a majority of that list.

Read the history of pie fights in the movies, with plenty of videos, at Hopes and Fears. -Thanks, Walter Mosley!


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The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of FDR's Floating White House

While many U.S. presidents enjoyed the services of a yacht, the most famous of those boats is the USS Potomac, the yacht that provided a refuge for Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1936 to 1945. The Coast Guard cutter was built to intercept bootleggers during Prohibition, but then was determined to be a good fit for Roosevelt. And so it was refitted with features to accommodate the president, and the president's wheelchair.

The biggest change was to install a spacious, shaded aft deck, where Roosevelt could work or entertain while enjoying river or ocean breezes. “When the ship was a Coast Guard cutter, this deck did not exist,” Dropkin says, as we walk across its teak surface, “but it was a favorite area of the president.” That’s probably because the seating on the deck was designed with the wheelchair-bound Roosevelt in mind. Dropkin points to an upholstered settee that follows the curve of the ship’s stern. “It’s about 4 feet deep in the middle,” he says, “to support the president’s legs, something for him to stretch out on. You can almost imagine him sitting there, drink in hand.

“Roosevelt was a martini guy,” Dropkin continues. “A good cocktail was very important to him. He had started having cocktail hour when he was governor of New York, and brought the practice with him to the White House. His wife, Eleanor, wasn’t crazy about that, but they were different people."

Other changes to the Electra that were more particular to Roosevelt included the removal of the floor coamings designed to contain water that might be sloshing on deck. For example, the low barrier was removed between the main dining room and the presidential bedroom, so that Roosevelt could get himself between the two spaces in his wheelchair. Even more dramatic was the conversion of one of the ship’s two smokestacks into an elevator, allowing the president to move freely between to ship’s two main decks. “An elevator was built into what had been the rear smokestack,” Dropkin says. “It’s an electric elevator now, but when the president used it, it was literally just a platform roped to a pulley. He would pull himself up, or let himself down, arm over arm. Roosevelt was very strong, and always wanted to do things for himself.”

After Roosevelt's death, the Potomac went on many other adventures, such as the ill-fated trip to the World's Fair, a purchase by Elvis Presley, drug-running, and a sinking. But the Potomac is getting ready for a new life as a landmark. Read the entire story of the USS Potomac at Collectors Weekly.  

(Image credit: Christopher J. Wood)


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The Matrix Starring Forrest Gump

How It Should Have Ended and Klomp! Animation have teamed up for a new series of animations called Hero Swap. In this video, they've taken the title character from the 1994 movie Forrest Gump and made him the protagonist in the 1999 movie The Matrix.

(YouTube link)

They've managed to depict the memorable visuals of The Matrix and shoehorn in the most memorable catchphrases from Forrest Gump. That's pretty neat. -via Tastefully Offensive 


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Dr. Strangelove Remix

Stanley Kubrick's Cold war satire Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb was a masterpiece of unsettling comedy that stands the test of time. If you don't have the time to re-watch the whole thing, enjoy the best lines of the movie (often rhyming, no less) in the new musical remix by Eclectic Method with Martin Ware.

(YouTube link)

Martyn Ware, founder of Human League, Heaven 17, legendary producer of Tina Turner and Erasure, Multimedia artist and professor has teamed up with Eclectic Method to remix Dr. Strangelove. With relations between East and West at such an ambiguous point and the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight then it's been since the Cuban Missile Crisis what better time to revisit the Stanley Kubrick Classic. "Gentlemen, You can't fight in here this is war room!"

-via Laughing Squid


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Winston Churchill's Essay on Aliens

 

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill led his nation through World War II, but also had varied interests we know little about. He once wrote an 11-page essay revealing that he believed in extraterrestrial life. Was this an old college assignment? No, it was written in 1939, only a year before he was elevated to prime minister. The long lost article was only recently discovered at the US National Churchill Museum at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.

At the time Churchill penned the essay, astronomers favoured a theory that had planets form when stars ripped material off one another as they swept past. Because such encounters were bound to be rare, he reasoned that our sun might be alone in hosting planets. But Churchill proved a good sceptic. “I am not sufficiently conceited,” he writes,” to think that my sun is the only one with a family of planets.” His intuition was right. Astronomers have now spotted thousands of planets beyond the solar system.

Step by step, Churchill reaches a view and expresses it a final sentence that mixes despair with optimism. He writes: “I, for one, am not so immensely impressed by the success we are making of our civilisation here that I am prepared to think we are the only spot in this immense universe which contains living, thinking creatures, or that we are the highest type of mental and physical development which has ever appeared in the vast compass of space and time.”

Churchill had an education grounded in science, and went on to hire the first British government science advisor and helped to fund British laboratories. The article is thought to have been intended for a newspaper, but was never published. Read more about this discovery at the Guardian-Thanks, John Farrier!


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The Underwater Photographs Of The Year

The annual Underwater Photographer of the Year competition has announced its winners, and the pictures are gorgeous. Gabriel Barathieu of France won the top honor, Underwater Photographer of the Year, with this image of an octopus. Photos were recognized in quite a few categories, such as Wide Angle, Macro, Wrecks, Behaviour, and Portrait. You can see a selection of the winners in a gallery at Digg, and check out all the top images in all the categories at the competition site.


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Stuff in Space

Stuff in Space is a neat interactive visualization of all the objects orbiting the earth. There are tons of satellites, spacecraft parts, and debris out there, just circling the earth until someone does something about it. You can scroll to zoom in and out, and drag to rotate your view of earth and its surroundings. Mouseover to find the name of an object, and you might be able to look it up somewhere. The menu at the top left allows you to sort objects by type.

Notice the distinct red ring 35,800 km above the equator; those are geostationary satellites. You'd think that aliens should be able to find us by all our satellites, rockets, and garbage. -via Metafilter


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Squirrel Attacks Burglar

Adam Pearl of Meridian, Idaho, came home to find evidence that his home had been burglarized- footprints in the snow, missing items, etc. His pet squirrel Joey was okay, though. As events unfolded, it turns out that Joey had acted as a guard dog, and repeatedly bit the intruder!

(YouTube link)

He should get a "Beware of Squirrel" sign to warn off any future home invaders. Joey is now regarded as a hero. -via Uproxx

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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How Cats Show Their Love

(YouTube link)

Simon Tofield of Simon's Cat fame illustrates the many ways cats show affection to humans. And the humorously unintended consequences of that affection. Suddenly, I realize that none of my three cats feel any affection at all toward me. Ungrateful beasts. -via Laughing Squid

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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We'll Start Tomorrow

There's a time and a place for everything. Today is not the day to give up candy. Anyone who isn't scanning the seasonal aisles for bargains the day after a Valentines Day are most likely working on a big box of chocolates they received yesterday. If you bring that idea of eating healthier up later, I'll think of some other reason to put it off. A good reason. This is the latest comic from Megacynics.


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Defying the Odds

This is Amanda Diesen and Todd Krieg, who used to ride dirt bikes professionally, but now he has a different set of wheels. After doctors told him it would be "nearly impossible" for him to conceive a child naturally, they made this image to announce that Amanda is pregnant. And another to let everyone know it's a boy!



The two will be getting married soon, and are in the running for a dream wedding giveaway. You can read their story here. -via reddit

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Cynthia: John Lennon's First Wife

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website or at Facebook.

Most people know of John Lennon's famous marriage to Yoko Ono, but many do not know of Cynthia Powell, the first wife and first great love of John Lennon's life. She was conservative, proper, polite, and addressed her elders as "Sir" and "Ma'am." He was rebellious, moody, impolite, incorrigible, and he probably never called anybody "Sir" or "Ma'am" in his entire life.

If ever there was a case of opposites attracting, it was the case when a teenage John Lennon lost his heart to Cynthia Powell.

The two met at the Liverpool College of Art. Cynthia Powell was actually a year older than John, being 18 during the 1957 school term, while John had just turned 17. (John was to marry his second wife, Yoko Ono, later, in 1969, with Yoko being a full seven years John's senior. Apparently, John loved "older women").

The truth is, John Lennon was a total washout at the time and, having nowhere else to go, he somehow had managed to get an invitation to be a part of the city's art school. ("Surely on the road to failure" read one of John's contemporary school teacher's reports).

John would lumber into their drawing class wearing a long tweed coat and skin-tight pants, his long hair slicked back a la Elvis with oily grease, squinting in a near-blind state until he hesitantly donned his thick glasses (which he seldom did in public).



Cynthia first noticed John's rude, boorish behavior in class, as he would ask to "borrow" her pencils, rulers, and brushes, and would conveniently forget to ever return them. John would stand around before classes, telling dirty jokes with his cronies, as Cynthia would enter. "Shhh, quiet," he would say sarcastically, "No dirty talk, it's miss Powell."

She was repelled by the loud-mouthed Lennon, but one day, as she watched the obnoxious character with disgust, she saw a fellow female student stroking John's hair as he sat next to her. Cynthia realized, to her horror, that the repulsion she felt was actually jealousy.

Continue reading

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The Inside Story of Wayne's World's Most Unintentionally Complicated Gag

When the movie Wayne's World was in theaters in 1992, I saw it at least twice. Since then, I've only caught it in bits and pieces on TV, so I had no idea that the film's most memorable gag had been changed -forever. When Wayne goes to a guitar store to try out the instruments, he starts to play "Stairway to Heaven," but is directed to a sign prohibiting the song. By then, I'd heard ten years of requests for the song as a deejay, so I was tickled silly by the scene. But if you were to watch the movie on home video, or even in re-release, this is the scene you see.  

(YouTube link)

Who would have thought that Wayne was trying to play "Stairway to Heaven"? Those are just some random notes! But there's a reason behind the change.

Watching Wayne’s World on VHS as a kid, I remember being baffled by this joke. A million monkeys on a million electric guitars couldn’t come up with a riff that sounds less like "Stairway to Heaven." So was the gag that the employee just assumed Wayne was going to start playing "Stairway"? Or that Wayne was such a bad guitarist that that jangly riff was as close to "Stairway" as he could get?

It was only later that I discovered the movie originally included a much more recognizable version of the song—but only in the original cut.

Blame Led Zeppelin. The band and Warner Music Group wanted to charge the film production $100,000 for the few notes Mike Myers played in the original movie. Read the story of "No Stairway. Denied!" at GQ.


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Mia Wins Hearts at the Agility Course

Mia knows the agility course, and she's got plenty of speed and agility. But Mia is a beagle, and is therefore both happy and distractible. She delighted the audience at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

(Facebook link)

Don't be a beagle, don't be a beagle!

That's a good dog. To see how it is supposed to be done, watch Tex, the 2015 winner. -via Metafilter

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Love Affairs and Differential Equations

In 1988, Steven Strogatz of Harvard University looked at a pair of star-crossed lovers to illustrate a math concept, "coupled ordinary differential equations." That sounds complicated, but the way he explained it with an example, even I can understand.

Romeo is in love with Juliet, but in our version of this story, Romeo is a fickle lover. The more Juliet loves him, the more he begins to dislike her. But when she loses interest, his feelings for her warm up. She, on the other hand, tends to echo him: her love grows when he loves her, and turns to hate when he hates her.

Then there's a math formula, but you can see where this is going, as if it were a movie.  

The sad outcome of their affair is, of course, a never ending cycle of love and hate; their governing equations are those of a simple harmonic oscillator. At least they manage to achieve simultaneous love one-quarter of the time.

Does that remind you of anyone you know? The original paper is here. The equation can be found in various forms in math departments all across academia. -via Cliff Pickover


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When It's Just The Dudes At Home

(YouTube link)

Fathers and babies left unsupervised will find something weird and fun to do. Adam Ballard and his infant son Miles show off some killer dance moves to the Michael Jackson song "Beat It." Miles does the Moonwalk made famous in "Billie Jean" and the impossible lean from "Smooth Criminal." He also does air guitar to Eddie Van Halen's solo. There's some nice shuffling and other fancy footwork going on here, too. -via Tastefully Offensive

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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When Heart Transplant Patients Were Celebrities

 

The first successful human heart transplant took place in South Africa on on December 3, 1967. The patient, 55-year-old Louis Washkansky, lived only 18 days afterward, but became a part of history. In the year that followed, over 100 heart transplants took place in several nations. Each of those surgeries was groundbreaking, and the patients as well as the doctors became media sensations. Frederick West (pictured) became the first heart transplant recipient in Britain, followed that same week by two such surgeries in the U.S.

West’s operation was an object of national obsession in Britain, and it kicked off an unprecedented relationship between the media and the medical world, as historian Ayesha Nathoo meticulously chronicled in her book Hearts Exposed: Transplants and the Media in 1960s Britain. Photographers and reporters mobbed the hospital; one member of the operation team described a street clogged with arc lights and so many people “the whole thing looked like a royal wedding being watched”.

The hospital went to extraordinary lengths to accommodate the press. They held a hastily assembled press conference where attendees fought and shoved each other, and reporters were admitted into their halls. “As West was recovering,” wrote Nathoo, “photographers and film crews were allowed right inside the hospital space, turning the patient ward into a television studio and bringing the hospital world into public view.” In addition to posing with smiling nurses, West was photographed winking for the camera and even filmed playing chess.

Sadly, the early patient celebrities did not live long, and the number of transplants plunged until the surgery and aftercare was refined. Read about those early heart transplants at Atlas Obscura.

This article is part of Atlas Obscura's Hearts Week.


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House of Dan

Dan's house was blanketed with several feet of snow. So was his "yard," if that's what you can call it when you live in the woods. Dan took advantage of the situation and turned it into a snowboarder's dream run.

(vimeo link)

Sweet! The only way extreme sports videographer Scott Barber could keep up with him was to snowboard along with him to catch the action in this video. -via Digg


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What Would You Like for Dessert?

Douee went on a Disney cruise. After dinner, the waiter asked what they wanted for dessert. Douee said, "Nothing," and that's exactly what he got. Even "nothing" comes with flair! From the discussion under the picture, it turns out that Disney does this all the time on their cruises. Also, if you ask for "the same thing" after someone else orders, you might get a plate that says just that, before you get your real dessert. -via reddit

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Harnessing Volcano Energy

When we say a volcano is dormant, that doesn't mean that it's dead; it just means that it hasn't erupted in some time. Iceland has more than its fair share of volcanos, and the nation is treating those volcanos as a national resource. A resource of thermal energy that is. The volcano under Reykjanes Peninsula hasn't erupted in over 700 years, but it will soon contribute to Iceland's energy output. A group of scientists and engineers dug a hole almost three miles deep toward the volcano's thermal core.

At this depth, the hole does not enter the magma chamber but does penetrate the rock surrounding it, which the researchers measured to be about 800 degrees Fahrenheit (427 degrees Celsius).

Geothermal energy uses the heat trapped beneath the Earth's surface to generate electricity. Conventional geothermal energy utilizes steam from natural sources such as geysers, or by drawing water from the hot, high-pressue depths of the Earth. The hot vapors are then used to drive electric turbines.

In the case of volcanic geothermal energy, the heat comes from "supercritical water." The researchers explained that energy from so-called supercritical water is much higher than conventional geothermal steam. When molten rock and water meet, the extreme heat and pressure bring water to a "supercritical" state, where it is neither liquid nor gas. In this form, the water can carry more energy than normal steam, which could create up to 10 timesthe power output of other geothermal sources.

Iceland is already a big user of geothermal energy, but with new technology and some time, they hope to meet all the nation's energy needs and then export power to other countries. -via Digg

(Image credit: Milan Nykodym)


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Moose Rescued from Frozen Lake

When you are judging whether the ice on a frozen lake is thick enough to walk on, you must take your own weight into account, which this moose clearly didn't. Norwegians Viktor Johannesen and Sigrid Sjösteen found a moose that had fallen through the ice. It wasn't that far from shore, but the animal was exhausted from struggling to get out of the hole. The two chopped through the ice, giving the moose a narrow path back to the shore, so he wouldn't have to climb out of the hole. They occasionally stopped work to take a little video footage.  

(YouTube link)

The video is entirely in Norwegian with no subtitles, but we get the picture anyway. The translated video description said it was a "long and arduous" rescue, so once the exhausted moose was finally out of the water, I would bet that Viktor and Sigrid realized how exhausted they were, too. -via Boing Boing


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Profile for Miss Cellania

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