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Somebody Broke Into This Man’s House and ... Cleaned It Thoroughly

May 15. Nate Roman, 44, came back home from work when he noticed that something was off — somebody broke into his house. (They didn’t “break in” literally, though. Roman accidentally left his back door unlocked, and so nothing was broken). The unknown person did not take anything from the house. He or she only cleaned the house in a thorough manner.

Roman looked around and saw that they neatly made the beds, vacuumed the rugs, and scrubbed the toilets. They even crafted ornate origami roses on the toilet paper rolls in his bathrooms, he said. Every room in his house was cleaned, except for the kitchen.
He thought the whole thing was “weird and creepy,” and reported the incident to police.

(Image Credit: Nate Roman)


Bathroom Mirror Design Fails

When we go to the bathroom, we usually expect the standard facilities to be available or at the very least, be ordinary. But for some reason or another, some bathrooms have mirrors that are awkward to look at or simply useless. From mirrors that are poorly designed to those that are inappropriately placed, Sad and Useless gives us here a collection of funny bathroom mirrors.

(Image credit: Sad and Useless)


Dozens of SpaceX Starlink Satellites Spotted in the Sky

If you see a line of lights straddling along the night sky, then this might be the first set of Starlink satellites that SpaceX recently launched in order to provide internet coverage to the world. Marco Langbroek eagerly anticipated these low-orbit satellites and after making calculations, his location was close enough to view this satellite train.

He wrote on his blog:

On 24 May 2019 at 2:30 UT, SpaceX launched STARLINK, a series of 60 satellites that is the first launch of many that will create a large constellation of satellites meant to provide global internet access.
Just short of a day after the launch, near 22:55 UT on May 24, this resulted in a spectacular view over northwestern Europe, when a ‘train’ of bright satellites, all moving close together in a line, moved across the sky. It rained UFO reports as a result, and the press picked it up as well.

(Image credit: SpaceX/Starlink Mission; Wikimedia Commons)


6 Poor Servants Who Wound Up Making History

It doesn't happen often, but every once in a great while, some everyday working stiff gets a chance to impress everyone. It takes hard work, timing, talent, and luck, but the stories of those who did it give us all inspiration.  

When Richard Montanez was a boy, he was embarrassed to bring burritos to school because the other kids had never seen them before. His mom's solution was to pack him an extra burrito each day, so he could give one away and make friends. Richard ended up selling burritos to classmates for a quarter each. So is this the prologue to the story of him becoming an entrepreneur and starting his own tortilla empire? Nope! Richard dropped out of school and got hired as a gardener.

And a car washer, and a chicken slaughterer. Then he got a job as janitor in a Frito-Lay plant, until one day the machinery broke down and he got to live the dream: taking home a bunch of undusted Cheetos. Having sadly neglected to stock his kitchen with jars of spare cheese crumbs, Richard rolled the Cheetos in chili powder in the style of elote, a Mexican chili corn snack. And he liked the result so much that he figured Frito-Lay should mass-produce it. He decided to pitch the idea directly to the CEO of PepsiCo, Roger Enrico.

You know how the idea took off, but what you don't know is that Enrico was so excited about the idea that he promoted the janitor, and Montanez later rose to executive vice president. Read five other stories like his at Cracked.

(Image credit: Flickr user Jan Videren)


“Living Portraits”: Creating Fake Images Now Made Easier than Before

Thank Samsung for that.

Moscow, Russia — Researchers at the Samsung AI Center developed a way to create moving portraits using only a small dataset. The dataset can be so small that even one photograph is enough to make a moving portrait — a “living portrait.”

Because they only need one source image, the researchers were able to animate paintings and famous portraits, with eerie results. Fyodor Dostoevsky—who died well before motion picture cameras became commercially available—moves and talks in black and white. The Mona Lisa silently moves her mouth and eyes, a slight smile on her face. Salvador Dali rants on, mustache twitching.

This technology far more exceeds than that of deepfakes, which only pastes faces over another face.

Do you think technology has gone too far on this one?

Via Vice

(Video Credit: Egor Zakharov/ YouTube)


Ants Rescue Their Brethren Trapped in a Spider Web

Despite being many in numbers, ants still value the life of each of their brethren. When one of them gets trapped in a spider web, its comrades immediately go and rescue the unlucky ant.

Veromessor pergandei harvester ants, which thrive in colonies tens of thousands strong in the southwestern United States, usually walk a single route each day to collect seeds. Christina Kwapich and Bert Hölldobler at Arizona State University in Tempe monitored the ants’ response when one of their own became ensnared in a spider web.
If the entangled ant released a chemical alarm signal, its companions rescued it, carried it back to the nest and cleaned the silk from its body. Ants also tugged on the web itself until they had destroyed it. In laboratory tests, ants needed between 30 minutes and 2 hours to demolish a single web.

(Image Credit: C. L. Kwapich)


5000-Year Old Yeast Used to Recreate Beer from Ancient Times

By extracting six strains of the yeast from old pottery discovered in the Holy Land, researchers from the Antiquities Authority and three Israeli universities have been able to recreate beer “believed to be similar to beverages enjoyed by the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt.”

The team said it hoped to make the drink available in shops one day.
"I remember that when we first brought out the beer we sat around the table and drank... and I said either we'll be good or we'll all be dead in five minutes," said Aren Maeir, an archaeologist with Bar-Ilan University. "We lived to tell the story".

(Image Credit: EPA)


Duck Crossing

On Monday, some duck herders in Sirajganj, Bangladesh, stopped traffic to get the flock across the road. How many ducks are there? All of them! After a while, I imagined them descending into a tunnel to get back to the original side of the road, just so they could mess with people. -via Digg



Jibe-iT Goat Farm in Redding, Connecticut, is hosting the first Goat Live-Action Role-Playing (LARP) event on June 15. No, participants are not going to take the roles of goats. Rather, visitors will help to produce role-playing games for the goats! Attendees are encouraged to come in costume, if that's your thing. The farm is equipped with what you will need for the games, including "activity cards," with suggestions for the goat games. For example,

One goat plays as Frodo, another will be Sauron. Use lawn posts to mark off an area representing Mount Doom. If Frodo visits Mount Doom before Sauron touches him, the world is saved. If Sauron touches Frodo, all is lost.

However, you can bring your own ideas (in fact, you are encouraged to, because "most of the stuff we're writing is garbage"). The rules are optional. The farm will provide food. It sounds like a wild idea, and a good time for anyone, even the goats. Who knows, this may turn out to be the next big thing. -via Metafilter 

(Image credit: Laky 1970)


The Shift from Hunter-Gathering to Agriculture Might Have Made Life More Difficult

Progress and development are usually associated with a higher standard or quality of living and generally a more convenient lifestyle. However, apart from the effects that digital technology has had on human populations, in terms of mental health, social dynamics, and even political and economic issues, new technologies in general might be accelerating too much for us to handle.

But let's go back to basics for now. The most fundamental means by which humans have survived and sustained themselves without the use of technology was through hunter-gathering. We looked for food available naturally in the wild. We foraged, hunted, and fished. Then agriculture was developed and most of us never looked back.

Now, it seems that agriculture jump-started much of our technological innovation. However, researchers are suggesting that perhaps, the hunter-gathering lifestyle might have been a lot easier than farming.

A paper published in Nature Human Behaviour explores how this shift affects the time budgets of hunter-gatherers in the Philippines, finding that women who participate more in agricultural work have less leisure time—around half the leisure time of women who prioritize foraging. 
The results fall in line with past research that challenges the concept of hunting and foraging as arduous work with scant rewards, and this work contributes to a growing understanding of the social dynamics that go along with a shift to agriculture.

(Image credit: sasint/Pixabay)


Damon Langlois Wins the 2019 Texas SandFest

With his sandy masterpiece entitled “Liberty Crumbling”, Damon Langlois bags the first prize of the 2019 Texas Sandfest, the largest native-sand sculpture competition in the U.S.

See all of the winners from the 23rd Annual Texas Sandfest here.

(Image Credit: Kastle Kelley)


Iconic World War II Photos in Stained Glass

Perhaps the two most defining images of World War II--at least from the American perspective--are Joe Rosenthal's picture of of Marines raising the flag on the island of Iwo Jima and Alfred Eisenstaedt's photo of a sailor and nurse kissing in Times Square upon the news of Japan's surrender.

Redditor S_S_Sioux offers these interpretations of those great moments in stained glass. He's now looking for another image to work into glass. Which great World War II photo do you suggest?


The Rich Art History of Redheads

People with red hair have been depicted in many paintings throughout history that it might simply pass us by without asking ourselves why. In reality, redheads have received some discrimination for being the "other" or the "oddities" of life since it's quite rare for people to have red hair.

As such, certain symbolism have been affixed to being a redhead. Even in art, these are subtly, if not explicitly, shown. For example, Botticelli's Venus possesses red hair but for what reason did he give the goddess of beauty, sex, and love those locks?

“This business of being attracted to the color red is very hardwired into us,” Harvey said. Early humans developed the ability to differentiate between reds, greens, and blues as an evolutionary mechanism to help them (among other things) better forage for ripe, brightly colored fruits in overwhelmingly green forests. 
“And that’s even before all of the associations with fire, and warmth, and sun, and blood,” Harvey continued. Red is thus a highly visceral color associated with survival, sex, and strong emotion.

(Image credit: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Wikimedia Commons)


An Illustrated Poem About Matters of the Heart

Nothing perhaps could be as complicated yet so simple, so serious yet petty, than matters of the heart. There has not been an event, whether it be far-reaching or minuscule in scope, in which the heart was not involved. Relationships, ambitions, betrayals, and everything in between have caught the attention of our heart in one way or another.

How does the human heart — that ancient beast, whose roars and purrs have inspired sonnets and ballads and wars, defied myriad labels too small to hold its pulses, and laid lovers and empires at its altar — unbusy itself from self-consciousness and learn to be a heart? 
That is what artist and illustrator Corinna Luyken explores in the lyrical and lovely My Heart (public library) — an emotional intelligence primer in the form of an uncommonly tender illustrated poem about the tessellated capacities of the heart, about love as a practice rather than a state, about how it can frustrate us, brighten us, frighten us, and ultimately expand us.

(Image credit: Brain Pickings)


Robot Package Delivery

To replace the gig economy workers who are delivering everything from Amazon packages to dinner, we now have bipedal robots traveling in driverless vehicles. Digit is the name of the robot, a real product from Agility Robotics. Digit is astonishingly like a real delivery person in that it walks across the grass, leaves the package on the porch, and doesn't even ring the doorbell. But unlike humans, it does not require wages after the initial investment. Also its knees are backwards. Learn more about the robot in another video.  -via Laughing Squid  

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