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X-Men Stained Glass Window

I'm a stained glass artist from Montreal and I just wanted to share my latest piece. I had been wanting to make this window for over a year but other bigger projects kept coming up (which is great!). It's 25" x 16" and made with the Tiffany style copper foil technique. Almost every piece here was carefully painted and went through multiple kiln firings, took about two weeks to complete. Follow me on Instagram to see other stuff I've made!


This Bike Is Powered by a Washing Machine Motor

Redditor jimmythecraftguy calls his creation the "Spin Cycle." Hack-A-Day describes this remarkable machine that can reach 68 MPH:

The drive train of this bicycle starts with a brushless DC motor from a washing machine. It has been slightly modified to run on 48 volts, and is installed inside the triangle of the bike’s frame. It has a chain driving the bike’s crank, retaining the original chain and gearing setup [...]The crank has also been specially modified to include a freewheel, a necessary feature so that the motor can operate without spinning the pedals. Everything except the motor has been custom fabricated including the mounts and the electronics.

Here's Jimmy riding the Spin Cycle at a leisurely 40 MPH.


Poor Plushie

A Twitter user shared a photo of a plushie hanging from the car, easily stained and drenched from travel. The plushie, a character from the anime series Madoka Magica, looks cute as hell, so for the first time I saw the picture, I asked myself, “why would the owner do that?” Scrolling through the comments, I see some people say that the plushie got what it deserved. Do you think so? 

image via Twitter


Giant Anaconda Lunges at Truck

A woman in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil has spotted this particular snake on her farm three times. It's actually the snake's farm and he's raising humans, who are apparently now ripe for harvest.

-via Born in Space


Parrot Outperforms Harvard Students in Memory Tests

Let us grant that Griffin the African grey parrot did not crush his competition (after all, he's just a Texas A&M graduate), but he did as well or better than Harvard University undergraduate students in memory tests. And he did much better than 6-8 year old children. The Harvard Gazette describes the research led by Dr. Irene Pepperberg:

It worked like this: Tiny colored pom-poms were covered with cups and then shuffled, so participants had to track which object was under which cup. The experimenter then showed them a pom-pom that matched one of the same color hidden under one of the cups and asked them to point at the cup. (Griffin, of course, used his beak to point.) The participants were tested on tracking two, three, and four different-colored pom-poms. The position of the cups were swapped zero to four times for each of those combinations. Griffin and the students did 120 trials; the children did 36.
The game tests the brain’s ability to retain memory of items that are no longer in view, and then updating when faced with new information, like a change in location. This cognitive system is known as visual working memory and is the one of the foundations for intelligent behavior.
So how did the parrot fare? Griffin outperformed the 6- to 8-year-olds across all levels on average, and he performed either as well as or slightly better than the 21 Harvard undergraduates on 12 of the 14 of trial types.

-via Marginal Revolution | Image: Harvard University


The Voting Fraud Story Behind Green Onion Chex

You may have seen a strange Korean ad that went viral about a week ago promoting Green Onion Chex cereal. The limited edition cereal is the culmination of a story that began 16 years ago. It started when Kellogg's had a great idea for a marketing stunt to promote Chocolate Chex in Korea.

In 2004, Nongshim Kellogg launched an online “election” for the president of Chex featuring two candidates, chocolate-colored character Chekkie and green-colored character Chaka. Chekkie promised to make the cereal more chocolatey while Chaka promised to put green onion in the cereal. When internet communities heard about this election, they started voting for Chaka, to Kellogg Korea’s horror.

With Chaka bound for victory, Kellogg deleted over 42,000 votes, citing “security reasons.” With Chaka still winning by a few thousand votes, Kellogg added offline votes and ARS call votes, in a blatant manipulation of the result, to make Chekkie the winner.

See, they couldn't accept Chaka as the winner, because there was no such product, but the vote manipulation left a bad taste in the public's mouth. Inexplicably, Kellogg's repeated the disaster in Japan in 2012, pitting Chocolate Chex against a wasabi flavored rival. But 16 years later, Green Onion Chex is a reality. They should remove the sugar and release it in the US, where savory Chex Mix is as popular as the cold cereal version. Read more about the promotion that went wrong at the Korea Herald. -via Metafilter


A ‘Viral’ New Bird Song in Canada Is Causing Sparrows to Change Their Tune

Wild birds often sing one song their entire lives. It's most likely the same song that other nearby birds of their species sing, although there are geographical variations, as if they had developed a local dialect. But a new song has gone viral over the past couple of decades, and has spread to Canadian white-throated sparrows across the country.    

Birds sing to mark their territories and attract prospective mates. Traditionally, white-throated sparrows in western and central Canada sing a song distinguished by its three-note ending. The new song, which likely started off as a regional dialect at some point between 1960 and 2000, features a distinctive two-note ending, and it’s taking the sparrow community by storm. What makes the new ending so viral is a mystery to the study authors, led by Ken Otter from the University of Northern British Columbia.

“These songs are learned—otherwise new variants would not arise or spread,” Otter told Gizmodo. “Where it started could have been a single bird, but it then gets learned by others, and they would form tutors for other birds. It wouldn’t spread from a single bird.”

Scientists have been tracking the prevalence of the new song with help from birdwatchers who share birdsong on an online database. Read about the research, and hear the song, at Gizmodo.

(Image credit: PookieFugglestein)


Hey, That’s Not A Salaryman, That’s A Bird!

An odd-looking bird was standing outside Shinjuku Station, catching the attention of passersby and train passengers. The biped stood at the entrance of the station, looking like a shaggy half-bird, half-salaryman. Twitter user @rukikikikiki photographed the bird and posted the photo on the Internet, asking if people knew what type of bird it was, as SoraNews24 details: 

Avian enthusiasts were quick to identify the bird as “mizogoi” in Japanese. In English, mizogoi is commonly known as the Japanese night heron, a species found in East Asia which breeds in Japan — although it’s also been spotted in in Korea and eastern Russia — and spends its winters in Indonesia and the Philippines.
The bird is rarely seen in downtown Tokyo, if at all, as it prefers to live in a dense, damp, forest-like habitat. Furthermore, the Japanese night heron is listed as an endangered species, making the reason for its appearance outside Shinjuku Station even more of a mystery.

image via SoraNews24


An Unexpected Reel

Lari Tammivuori and Viljami Juutilainen were only expecting to get bottle caps and nails while they were magnetic fishing. What they got was an usual object: an old hand grenade! The boys brought it to Juutilainen's mother, Maarit, to examine the item, as UPI details: 

"It was old-fashioned looking and pretty rusty. I said it could be a grenade. His aunt is a police officer so I sent her a few pictures [of the grenade]. We were given clear instructions to step away from it and wait for police to arrive," Maarit Juutilainen said.
Police cordoned off the area and a Defense Forces team was summoned to take the object away. Officials confirmed it was an explosive device, but did not disclose how old the object was or whether it still was live.

image via yle


Chinese Model Becomes An Internet Sensation With Her Fast Posing Skills

Man, I wish I could pose as fast as she does and have my photos look as equally great! This model from eastern China can strike two poses a second. She also models a whopping 485 outfits a day. Now that’s skill!


Bringing Andrology Into The Light

Perhaps one of the most depressing things that can happen to a man who is looking forward to being a father is finding out that he is infertile. That’s what Adam Glogau felt after he and his wife tried for years to have a child, to no avail, and he fell into a downward spiral.

Glogau cuts a dynamic figure with glowing blue eyes and rimless glasses. Now 39, he is an eloquent speaker and a youth pastor at the Grace Downtown church in Winchester, Virginia, which is known for providing support to victims of the opioid epidemic. Six years ago, however, Glogau’s life was coming apart. He and his wife had fostered two children, but the arrangement ended badly, with the children going to another family. Then Glogau lost the job he’d held for seven years. “I felt like I was a failed father, I was a failed husband, and now I’m a failed man because I can’t keep a job,” he says. “It was whammy after whammy after whammy.”
Although men are just as likely as women to have fertility problems, ads for fertility treatment typically feature women holding giggling babies in the air or intimately touching a child’s face. Yet research suggests that reproductive issues have a profound emotional impact on men, too. Across the globe, masculinity is marked, in part, by the ability to have children — a demonstration “that you’re a fertile, virile man,” says Esmée Hanna, a sociologist at De Montfort University in the United Kingdom. In her research on men experiencing infertility, Hanna has documented feelings of loss, anger, frustration, and guilt.

With this rather woman-centric approach to the problem, many men suffer from infertility in silence.

Shadowed by taboo and embarrassment, the emotional experience of male infertility has been tucked away and ignored by the medical industry and often by men themselves. Compared with women, men are less likely to want to talk about their struggles, says Kelly Da Silva, a support coordinator at Care Fertility in the U.K. But men are now starting to speak out, and innovative practitioners are figuring out how to meet their needs. “You have to do it their way,” says California-based urologist Paul Turek. “You have to do it anonymously, quietly, and it has to be valuable for them.”.

And so maybe it is time to bring this medical field into the light and out of the darkness.

Know more about this topic, as well as the history of andrology, over at Undark.

(Image Credit: Bobjgalindo/ WIkimedia Commons)


The Woman Who Made Soap

Leonarda Cianciulli was a shopkeeper and a part-time fortuneteller in Corregio, Italy. She had lived a tragic life, including giving birth to seventeen children, thirteen of whom died in infancy or childhood. Cianciulli cooked, she made soap, she dabbled in matchmaking, and she was fiercely superstitious. And eventually she became a serial killer.

For Leonarda, everything changed in 1939 when Benito Mussolini began drafting young men to prepare for Italy's entry into World War II.   Il Duce's popularity had slipped during the 1930s and the prospect of Italy entering the war on the side of Nazi Germany alarmed most Italians.    Leonarda became mentally unbalanced at the thought of her favourite son, Giuseppe, being drafted and possibly dying in combat.    The prospect of losing Giuseppe apparently led to her decision to carry out human sacrifices to preserve her son from death.  As she would later state during her testimony, killing others would keep her own children safe by providing God with other deaths in place of her own children.   Since she had four remaining children, she would need to sacrifice four others to keep them safe.

The killings were pretty gruesome. Cianciulli made cakes out of the blood of her first victim, and turned at least one into soap. Read the story of the "Soap Maker of Corregio" at Providentia. -via Nag on the Lake


Mutant Potatoes Have Taken Over This Flat

Donna Porée left her apartment to spend the quarantine with her boyfriend on the other side of town. When she came back to her apartment three months later, she discovered an odd plant growing all over her apartment. Turns out she left behind a bag of potatoes before leaving her apartment, and in the span of three months, the potatoes have grown metre-long pink stalks that spread all over her flat! 

image via Mirror UK


The Ancient Titans of Prehistoric Australia

Australia is known for having weird and scary animals which vary in size and shape. This isn’t surprising however, because prehistoric Australia also had its share of frightening creatures. During the Paleozoic Era, between 541 and 252 million years ago, one of the largest marine predators to have ever existed on our planet roamed the waters of prehistoric Australia: the sea scorpions, Eurypterida.

Although Eurypterida looked broadly like scorpions (with a similar body shape, albeit built for swimming), they were not. They were more like the cousins of modern scorpions.
Sea scorpions include the largest marine predators to have ever arisen in the fossil record, including one species thought to have been more than 2.5 metres long, Jaekelopterus rhenaniae. Back then, some of these giants were effectively in the same place in their food web as the modern great white shark.
These likely agile swimmers would have used their large front limbs, armed with claws, to grab their prey, which they would then crush between the teeth-like structures on their legs (called gnathobasic spines).
While we’re not sure exactly what these large animals ate, it’s likely fish and smaller arthropods would have been on the menu. And if humans had been around swimming in the sea, maybe us too!

More details about this creature over at The Conversation.

(Image Credit: H. Zell/ Wikimedia Commons)


How The Mammoths Of St. Paul Island Disappeared On Earth

Until about 10,000 years ago, mammoths roamed mainland North America. Mammoths survived longer in other places, namely the Alaskan island of Saint Paul and the Russian island of Wrangel, where teeth have been discovered dating to only around 4,000 years ago.

St Paul is a volcanic island that until around 9,000 years ago was connected to the mainland by the Bering Land Bridge, which enabled animals to roam freely to and fro.
But as the climate warmed and sea levels rose, it became isolated – and the mammoths were trapped.

The good news was that the mammoths were the only large mammals on the island, and no predators were present on the place. And so the mammoths thrived on the little island for quite a time, until something about the lake changed.

Dr. Beth Shapiro, a paleo-geneticist, explains to us the events behind the extinction of the mammoths on the Alaskan island of St. Paul, and what we can learn from this event in prehistory.

More details about this over at Big Think.

(Image Credit: Thomas Quine/ Wikimedia Commons)

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