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Making Rain Look More Colorful

In this work called “REGULAR RAIN”, Russian artist and photographer Slava Semeniuta (also known as VISUAL SCIENTIST) retouches digital photographs of puddles on wet streets to make rain look more colorful, and it does look more colorful.

Semeniuta tells Colossal that he was inspired to create the photo series a couple of weeks ago in Sochi. The way the light shimmered on the wet plants, tiles, and asphalt compelled him to return home for his camera to shoot “everything that seemed to me impressive, something that touched me. I especially liked the look of the reflection of neon light in the water,”...

The artist’s work can be seen over at Instagram.

(Image Credit: VISUAL SCIENTIST/ Instagram)


Doubt On Medical Marijuana

Marijuana is currently legal in 33 states, as well as in Washington, D.C. in the United States. Millions of people in the world have used this drug to treat various health conditions, like post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, cancer, and others. 

As it gets increasingly legalized in the country, many people are curious about how cannabis can be used in treatments for insomnia and pain management. However, new research casts doubt on the aforementioned drug’s effectiveness towards these two.

Two new studies aiming to shed more light on the health effects of cannabis were published in the journal BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care on Monday, in response to the World Health Organization’s recent request for more data on the use of cannabinoids in pain management. Together, they suggest that weed might not alleviate people’s pain and sleep issues as conclusively as previous research has indicated.
The first study is among the first research to primarily look at how medical cannabis affects sleep. Chronic pain makes it hard for people to sleep through the night—simply shifting sleep positions can trigger a pain flare-up and cause them to wake. The study found that weed may be able to help some people sleep more soundly, but negatively affect the sleep of people who use cannabis heavily.

More about this over at Vice.

What are your thoughts about this one?

(Image Credit: rexmedlen/ Pixabay)


Robot Priests

Mindar is a new priest serving at Kodaiji, a 400-year-old Buddhist temple located in Kyoto, Japan. Like other priests, Mindar can deliver sermons and move around to interact with worshippers. Mindar, however, has some peculiar features: he has a body made of aluminum and silicone, as he is a robot.

Designed to look like Kannon, the Buddhist deity of mercy, the $1 million machine is an attempt to reignite people’s passion for their faith in a country where religious affiliation is on the decline.
For now, Mindar is not AI-powered. It just recites the same preprogrammed sermon about the Heart Sutra over and over. But the robot’s creators say they plan to give it machine-learning capabilities that’ll enable it to tailor feedback to worshippers’ specific spiritual and ethical problems.

Mindar is not the only robot in the religious circle. 

In 2017, Indians rolled out a robot that performs the Hindu aarti ritual, which involves moving a light round and round in front of a deity. That same year, in honor of the Protestant Reformation’s 500th anniversary, Germany’s Protestant Church created a robot called BlessU-2. It gave preprogrammed blessings to over 10,000 people.
Then there’s SanTO — short for Sanctified Theomorphic Operator — a 17-inch-tall robot reminiscent of figurines of Catholic saints. If you tell it you’re worried, it’ll respond by saying something like, “From the Gospel according to Matthew, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

More details about this over at Vox.

What are your thoughts about this one?

(Video Credit: VIEW CORPORATION/ YouTube)


The Newest Addition to The Shark Family Tree

Sharks have been around here on Earth for a very long time; they emerged over 400 million years ago. But did you know that some of them can walk? New research shows that nine million years ago, these walking sharks appeared. This makes them the most recently evolved shark on the planet.

New research published in Marine and Freshwater Research describes nine species of walking shark, all of whom live in the waters off northern Australia, eastern Indonesia, and near the island of New Guinea. Walking sharks have been documented before, but the new research—a collaboration between the University of Queensland, Conservation International, and several other institutions—describes them [in] an evolutionary context, including how they came to be a distinct genus.

But don’t worry! Even if they can walk on land, they are harmless to humans.

More details about them over at Gizmodo.

(Image Credit: Mark Erdmann/ Gizmodo)


Toxins That Hide In Plain Sight

Toxic chemicals might be lurking on your home. But where are they? You might think that this is not that dangerous, but the ink printed on mailing labels and cardboard boxes might be deadlier than you think.

Ink typically makes up only about 1% of the total weight of packaging, according to Lumi, a company that creates packaging and manages supply chain logistics for brands. (Lumi sometimes receives questions about possible toxins in ink, and recently published a comprehensive, well-researched blog post written by staffer Ian Montgomery about the subject.) But even though inks are tiny in terms of volume, they often contains high concentrations of heavy metals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are bad for both the environment and human health.

While the risk to customers, who shop online and interact with these packages directly, is relatively low, people who work at warehouses and post offices who come in contact with larger volumes of ink daily are in a more dangerous position.

More details about this over at Fast Company.

(Image Credit: Pixabay)


Here’s What Our Transportation In 2030 Would Look Like

The current transportation system is not at its best, with longer commute times, the extreme traffic, and the hassle of finding a public transport you can hop in for the day. It seems by 2030, things might get better. Transportation options such as hover cars are projected to be available by 2030. This is because of improvements in technology, as USA Today details: 

"Transportation planning has always been around how to get a vehicle from place to place using roads and traffic lights. But that's changing," said Thom Rickert, a risk and insurance specialist at Trident Public Risk Solutions. 
The mobility industry's next objective is to focus on moving a person through multiple modes of connected travel.
That's where air taxis, e-scooters, connected trains and semiautonomous cars come into play, powered by widespread 5G connectivity, Rickert said.

image via USA Today


Little Bird Frozen On The Ground Saved

When Sandy Doucette was driving near his home on a snowy winter road in Canada the other day, he noticed something odd on the road.

"A group of birds were on the road and they flew away as I drove by them, except one," Doucette told The Dodo. "I thought that was very odd."

And so Doucette stopped his car and took a closer look on the bird that was left. The bird didn’t budge as he walked closer to it, and there Doucette discovered why.

"I saw its feet completely encased in at least an inch of frozen ice and snow," he said.

Using his bare hands to brush away and melt the ice, Doucette helped the bird go free.

“There you go! Gotcha! Good deed of the day,” he said as the bird flew away.

(VideoCredit: S D/ YouTube)


The Nursery School That Connects Children To Nature

Welcome to YM Nursery, a nursery school located in Tottori prefecture. Designed by the team of Taku Hibino, the lead architect of the architectural firm Hibino Sekkei, the school is made to teach students to respect nature, as well as help them develop a deep sense of community. The said architectural firm specializes in the design and construction of learning facilities for early education.

Hibino took some bold steps to overhaul the previous nursery, which was conservative and traditional in its design. Despite being in a location that had both the sea and forests, children were closed off to all of it. In addition, Hibino is a proponent of fostering learning from our 5 senses. Children, probably more than any other time in their lives, absorb information not only from sight but from touch, smell and hearing. This belief goes on to inform each and every one of Hibino’s design decision.

Check out more details about the nursery school over at Spoon & Tamago.

(Image Credit: Spoon & Tamago)


The Mating Dance of the Puffin

Ze Frank observed the mating dance of the puffin, and instead of just snarking about the more unsavory aspects of the species, as we would expect, he was inspired to write a song. And sing it! Therefore, in this short video, we get anthropomorphized animals who aren't too bright plus double entendres galore, as we do expect from Ze Frank. Plus music!


That Time Mississippi Banned Sesame Street

The TV series Sesame Street broke new ground in 1969 as the first children's television show backed by educational research. It was also a hit with children, and most adults, although there were a few exceptions. Sesame Street had only been on the air a few months when it ran up against the newly formed Mississippi Authority for Educational Television. The five-member board met in January of 1970 to consider the influence of Sesame Street, which featured an integrated cast of both black and white adults and a diverse group of children.  

This appeared to be too much for the Authority, which discussed how lawmakers with control over ETV’s budget—which had just been set at $5,367,441—might find the mixed-race assembly offensive. The panel's participants were all white.

The board pushed the discussion aside until April 17, 1970, when they took an informal poll and decided, by a margin of three votes against two, to prohibit ETV from airing Sesame Street—a show that came free of charge to all public television stations. (The decision affected mainly viewers in and around Jackson, as the station had not yet expanded across the state and was not expected to do so until the fall of 1970.)

As you might guess, when the decision became national news, it reflected more on Mississippi than it did on Sesame Street. Read what happened at Mental Floss.


The Art Of Glove-Making Still Lives in the French Alps

It is a winter afternoon in the French Alps and the tiny glove shop owned by 69-year-old Jean Strazzeri is bustling with activity. His wife, Odile, is making packages, while his daughter Julie manages sales at the boutique counter. An intern sits at the sewing machine. But why does an old man still continues to make these gloves?

“I could have retired long ago, but I don’t want this profession to die with me,” [Strazzeri] says. “I will stop working the minute someone tells me they can carry the mantle after me.”

Find out more about Jean Strazzeri’s life, and the history of glove-making, over at Atlas Obscura.

(Image Credit: Sukhada Tatke/ Atlas Obscura)


This Is Subaru’s New Car

The 2020 Singapore Motor Show took place this past week in the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Center. In the event, auto companies showcased their new models. But there is one car that, I believe, stood out on the motor show, and that car is from Subaru.

While I am not knowledgeable to the specs of the car, it is its name that really catches my eye.

This model is called the Subaru Forester Ultimate Customised Kit Special edition.

Yeah, you be the one to do the acronym.

What are your thoughts about this one?

(Image Credit: laberge/ Twitter)


Check Out These AR Contact Lenses

These are not your ordinary contact lenses. Revealed by California-based tech startup Mojo Vision, these contact lenses utilize augmented reality (AR) to place information inside of the wearer’s eyes. The Mojo lens use 14k pixels-per-inch micro-displays to project statistics like health tracking as well as other data, such as names of places and people.

They also pack wireless radio, image-recognition tech (which it claims will be able to understand the activities you’re engaged in, so as to not disturb you when it’s not wanted), and motion sensors. Mojo calls this eyes-up experience invisible computing, a platform that enables information to be instantaneous, unobtrusive and available hands-free.
The lenses are still in development but the company is currently demonstrating a working prototype of the device and plans an early application of the product designed to help people struggling with low vision through enhanced image overlays. This application of the mojo lens is designed to provide real-time contrast and lighting enhancements as well as zoom functionality.

The future is now.

What are your thoughts about this one?

(Image Credit: Mojo Vision/ DesignBoom)


Falling Iguana Alert Issued for Florida

The National Weather Service Miami Bureau issued a falling iguana alert as night time temperatures are expected to dip into the 30-40 degree range.

According to the

While the iguana warning might be slightly tongue-in-cheek, it's no joke. Much like human Floridians, iguanas go into a bit of shock when the state's weather departs from its typical warm, sunny nature. Because iguanas are cold-blooded animals, their metabolism slows way down and they become more and more lethargic as temperatures drop lower than what they are used to. They can become completely immobile when temperatures dip into the 30s and 40s. When that happens while they're up in a tree, the large lizards can come crashing down to the ground.

It is best to leave the immobile iguanas alone. Once the temperature starts rising, they can become feisty as they come out of their cold induced stupor. One Floridian discovered this the hard after he loaded them in a garbage bag and then into his vehicle during a 2018 cold snap.

Falling iguana alerts had also been issued in 2008 (previously on Neatorama) and 2010 (and here).

Image Credit: Twitter-NWS Miami (check out the chuckle inducing comment thread)


Astonishing Coin-Stacking Skills

Japanese Twitter user @thumb_tani is a master of balance. He'll put coins, glasses, fruits, and other household items on top of each other and they will stay in place!

He's not cheating at all. As you can see in this video, he really can just line up items vertically.

Not surprisingly, he's also an expert juggler. I suspect that there's a lot of overlap between these two skills.

-via Nag on the Lake

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