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The Apollo 11 Press Kits

Putting the first people on the moon was a very big achievement for NASA and it was widely celebrated the world over.

However, NASA was not alone in bringing them to the moon. Various companies collaborated with them in the effort and they did not miss on the opportunity to promote their products and services in the aftermath.

Here are some examples of the press kits collected by David Meerman Scott which has been made available online for free download.

(Image credit: Fisher/David Meerman Scott/Kottke)


The Risks of Burying Your Pet in the Backyard

When it's time to say goodbye to your beloved pet, you might be tempted to just dig a hole in your backyard and lay them there to rest. But this poses certain risks to other pets and the environment.

Most pets are put to sleep with an extremely concentrated anaesthetic agent, which results in a very peaceful death (hence the term euthanasia, which means “good death”).
However this drug, pentobarbital, persists in the buried body of the pet for up to a year. Any animal scavenging on the remains will be poisoned by the euthanasia solution.

(Image credit: Matt Nelson/Unsplash)


Moon Mining Could Work Using the Right Approach

More and more people regard the Moon as a viable source of natural resources. With no ecology to speak of, there are no worries about environmental harm. All we need is the right combination of vision, wealth, technology and political willpower

A recent report titled "Commercial Lunar Propellant Architecture: A Collaborative Study of Lunar Propellant Production" provides details on what we need and what should happen next.

Past scientific missions have given evidence that sunless regions near. the lunar poles contain water ice. Electrolysis can spilt this into oxygen for life support and hydrogen for rocket fuel. On top of all that, the Moon's lower gravity

Past science missions to the moon have provided direct evidence that sun-shy regions near the lunar poles are repositories of water ice. Once validated via ground truth, this resource could also be split into hydrogen and oxygen via electrolysis. The oxygen could then be used for life support, and hydrogen and oxygen can be combusted for rocket propulsion. On top of all that, the Moon's lower gravity makes it easier to launch material back to Earth.

The likely challenges - legal as well as technological - are great, but in the long run it will be worth turning science fiction into science fact.


DNA Evidence of Jack the Ripper's Identity

Researchers believe that they may have identified who Jack the Ripper was with the help of genetic analysis.

However, this still may not be enough to say for certain that the man being pointed as the notorious serial killer was indeed the one who committed all the murders. It might give researchers a bit of direction toward finally cracking the case.

So who is it?

(Image credit: Sherurcij/Wikimedia Commons)


An Honest Trailer for Aquaman

In this Honest Trailer, Screen Junkies admits that Aquaman is all over the place, both literally and figuratively. The movie is dazzling and confusing while the plot is overly busy, but it's all worth it to see Jason Momoa turn DC's lamest superhero into ...Jason Momoa.


Las Pozas and Other Gardens of Earthly Delights

A private garden of art requires either lots of money or lifetime dedication -and often both. British poet Edward James built a surrealist paradise in Xilitla, Mexico, beginning in the 1940s because, he said, California was getting too crowded. It took a lot of space to build Las Pozas (the Pools).

All the structures (or sculptures? temples? James intentionally blurs the lines) have deliciously epic and vague names like, The House on Three Floors Which Will in Fact Have Five or Four or Six, The House with a Roof like a Whale, and The Staircase to Heaven.

The concrete structures are artfully engulfed in stunning plant life, and at one point, there were 29,000 orchids on the property. Which explains why James had to sell off most of his art collection to pay for the $5 million (by today’s conversions) installation.  

See plenty of pictures of Las Pozas and seven other unique art gardens around the world at Messy Nessy Chic. 

(Image credit: Flickr user Erik)


8th man (1965)

As pervasive as anime is today in popular culture, it had to start somewhere, and for most of

the American public this meant the introduction of a Japanese TV series (dubbed in English) named 8th Man.

I recall watching this in the 60's and it was actually pretty good. From the IMDb:

Animated series about an android super-hero. He was the scientist's eighth attempt at creating a super being, hence the title. In addition to the usual powers such as flying, ray blasts, etc., he was also able to assume other identities by "morphing". Also on the IMDb:

A police detective is shot and mortally wounded, and a wise old scientist (with white hair and cape) places his consciousness into a robot body. (Yep, the genesis of "Robocop" and its descendants.) Besides super strength and speed, he can impersonate anyone; the first episode has him morphing briefly into Kruschev and John Kennedy! Mostly he hunts down criminals with technological gadgets, with the occasional giant monster for variety. His secret identity as "Detective Tobor" (robot spelled backward) is almost incidental; no serious conflict with his secret identity occurs.

Not only is it black-and-white, it's graphically simple; lots of white space with minimal detailing. One surprise is that the dubbing (done years before digital matching of animation to English dialog) works and sounds better than most early dubbed anime - especially the original "Speed Racer."

YouTube seems to offer many if not all episodes, and I have embedded a couple below, including the premier episode. If you like anime, have a look and see what anime was like over 50 years ago.

Continue reading


The Big Shazam Mash-Up Trailer

When Billy Batson says the magic word SHAZAM! he gets turned into a superhero ...and adult superhero played by a young Tom Hanks. This is the movie that Big could have been in the hands of comic book writers. -via Geeks Are Sexy

The new movie Shazam! opens on  April 5.


Outrageous Beauty Gadgets of Yore

There are unlimited riches awaiting anyone who can make a women look better, or least at least make her feel that she looks better. It doesn't matter how difficult or painful the procedure is, or how outrageous the thinking behind it may be, customers will be willing to take a chance. However, styles change, chemistry and technology improve, and sometimes people wake up to the fact that a lot of beauty gadgets are designed more to extract one's money than to enhance one's natural beauty. These gadgets promised to curl your hair, punch dimples into your cheeks, pull your hair out by the roots, and stimulate your skin by dubious means ranging from oxygen deprivation to electroshock. Read about some of the weirdest beauty gadgets in history at Gizmodo.

(Image credit: Elena Scotti)


Evolution, Language, and Food: Processed Foods Gave Way to "F" and "V"

You may notice that different languages have various sounds used more frequently than others and that could be caused by a variety of factors involving the human anatomy.

There are certain evolutionary features that came about by advancements in technology that paved the way for these sounds to be assimilated in one's speech and way of living.

Though linguists are divided in this regard, some researchers believe that because of processed foods, fricative sounds like "f" and "v" found their way into our lives.

(Image credit: Anna Sastre/Unsplash)


Oldest Known Astrolabe Recovered

An astrolabe was a navigation device that sailors used to guide them through the seas by looking at the position of the stars in the sky.

Recently, a group of explorers have found the oldest known astrolabe so far. It was recovered from the wreck of Esmeralda, one of the ships in Vasco da Gama's armada.

(Image credit: David Mearns/University of Warwick)


Zero Hour! vs. Airplane!

You probably already knew that the 1980 movie Airplane! was a comedy remake of the 1957 film Zero Hour! This video has a side-by-side comparison of the two films, the only real difference being that one movie is in black and white and it wasn't a comedy. Since Zero Hour! wasn't a great film, you'll be ahead watching this 15-minute recap instead of the whole thing. You know the plot already. -via Paleofuture


The Medical History of Urinalysis

One of the standard medical tests we get today is a urinalysis, a chemical analysis where doctors can have a glimpse of what's going on with our kidneys and our blood sugar, among a variety of other things.

The practice of analyzing human urine, however, has been done since ancient times. In fact, during the middle ages, physicians had a flowchart called a urine wheel to determine what your urine says about your health.

(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)


Another Look at Ultima Thule

There have been many changes to what we thought Ultima Thule looked or was like, and here, the writer at Gereshes explains how scientists were able to reach a conclusion on the features of Ultima Thule.

It includes some interesting illustrations on the methodology of how they conceptualized and constructed Ultima Thule based on data, and how those changed as new data from New Horizons came in.

(Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute, National Optical Astronomy Observatory/Wikimedia Commons)


A Biological Magnetic Compass Exists

Can humans detect the Earth's weak magnetic field much like some animals, protists, and bacteria? A group of researchers seemed to have found concrete evidence that the human magnetic sense indeed exists.

In our new study, we asked 34 participants simply to sit in our testing chamber while we directly recorded electrical activity in their brains with electroencephalography (EEG).
Our modified Faraday cage included a set of 3-axis coils that let us create controlled magnetic fields of high uniformity via electric current we ran through its wires.

In the experiment, the researchers silently shifted the magnetic field and observed the EEG data. It showed that there were some magnetic field rotations which triggered brain responses.

(Image credit: Jaypee/Wikimedia Commons)

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