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The Lighthouse From Afar

Lighthouses are usually built near the sea as its light would guide ships toward the docks. But through some circumstances, the lighthouse on top of Bidston Hill was built further inland and is the most inland lighthouse in the world.

The first pair of lighthouses went up in 1763 to guide ships through the shallow sandbanks on the mouth of the estuaries of River Dee and River Mersey as they approached the Port of Liverpool.
When one of the lower light collapsed a few years later, it was replaced by a new lighthouse further inland on Bidston Hill, almost four kilometers from the sea. The upper light at Leasowe then became the lower light.
These two light are also located 3.7 kilometers apart, making them the furthest apart of any pair of leading lights in the world.

(Image credit: Shaun Dickinson/Flickr)


On Finding Out About Atoms

Astrophysicist Paul Sutter from Ohio State University gives us here a little bit of a history of how we were able to figure out atoms exist.

From Dalton's multiple proportions to JJ Thomson's cathode ray experiment, with various contributions from Ernest Rutherford and Albert Einstein among others, this gives us a bit of insight into the discovery of the atom.

(Image credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center)


The World’s Finest Science-Themed Peeps Diorama Contest

A few years ago, the Washington Post discontinued its annual Peeps diorama competition. And the world mourned. But this year, The Open Notebook is holding a competition for Peeps dioramas with a science theme! The entry pictured above is called "Peepola Tesla." Below is "The Anatomy Lesson by Rembrandt Van Peep," which you might recognize from a different version.

The science-themed dioramas range from fieldwork to movie scenes, but all have something to do with science. You can see and vote for your favorite among the 49 entrants in this gallery. -via Metafilter 


My Mother the Car (1965)

TV in the 1960's was cutthroat-competitive. The three networks all vied to come out on top of the Nielsen Ratings, no matter what it took. Sometimes it was a matter of schedule adjustment for an old favorite in trouble. Sometimes a shiny new program would be deliberately scheduled in the same time slot as an old favorite, which is how and why Batman was introduced as it was, to knock off The Munsters, which it did, although The Addams Family, on Batman's network, was cancelled as collateral damage. And then sometimes a new program was just so outrageous that the thinking was that people would flock to see it, even if just out of curiosity. This is how the TV show My Mother, the Car came about. From the IMDb:

There's been scores of bad TV sitcoms (due to bad writing, bad acting, bad production values), but this is not really one of them. The premise (a man's mother is reincarnated as a 1928 Porter automobile) can hardly be considered out of the norm in a world of Jeannie, Samantha, the Flying Nun, Herman Munster, Lost in Space's robot, and Gilligan. Jerry Van Dyke (who chose this role over the Gilligan role) does the same humor he always does and Ann Sothern's voice as "Mother" adds class and talent. Wacky premise, wacky character, wacky car...should have worked.

'Tis true, it lasted but the one season although the WTM Curse had nothing to do with that. And to think that Jerry Van Dyke (Dick's brother) could have instead been Gilligan. Oh well; I didn't buy Microsoft or Amazon when they went public, either.

There are an assortment of episodes available on YouTube and I have embedded a couple below. If you have never seen this series, prepare to be amazed by what once passed for primetime entertainment in America.


The Art of Japanese Manhole Covers

Japan has some odd cultural tidbits, a stark contrast of the notion that they adhere to a practical or functional mindset with regard to daily life.

One example of the extent of Japanese creativity and what they come up with are the ornate manhole covers sprawled across their cities.

Banal as they may seem, these manhole covers have been adorned with colorful images that make them somewhat of an urban art.

(Image credit: Daderot/Wikimedia Commons)


The Toyota Moon Rover

With all the lunar exploration going on nowadays, every major space agency is having a go at the moon. In fact, the Japanese space agency JAXA will be sending its own rover to the moon in 2029, in partnership with Toyota.

More details about it are found at the JAXA site.

(Image credit: JAXA)


How Tall Can a Tree Grow?

Everything has a limit. Even the healthiest person can't seem to survive past 120 years or so. Trees can live for thousands of years, but there's a limit to how tall they can grow. The tallest trees, California sequoias, can grow to 130 meters and no more. The reasons have to do with physics, specifically gravity, but it's more complicated than a tree getting too heavy. This TED-Ed lesson from Valentin Hammoudi explains. -via Digg


Scientists Watch As Heat Moves Through 'Pencil Lead' at the Speed of Sound

Scientists found that heat moves through graphite in 'waves' at the speed of sound. What's weird about this is that heat generally bounces off of vibrating molecules in multiple different directions and doesn't usually move as a wave.

If heat can travel as a wave, it can move in one direction en masse away from its source, sort of zapping energy all at once from an object. Someday, this heat-transfer behavior in graphite could be used to cool down microelectronics in a snap. That is, if they can get it to work a reasonable temperature (they were working in bone-chilling temperatures of minus 240 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 151 degrees Celsius).

Pretty cool, if you ask me! The research has been elaborated here!

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons


Physicists Reverse Time for Tiny Particles Inside a Quantum Computer

In a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers manipulated the arrow of time using a very tiny quantum computer made of two quantum particles, known as qubits. The experiment was carefully controlled by scientists and could definitely be a breakthrough in modern science!

The researchers used a quantum computer to simulate a single particle, its wave function spreading out over time like a ripple in a pond. Then, they wrote an algorithm in the quantum computer that reversed the time evolution of every single component of the wave function, essentially pulling that ripple back into the particle that created it. They accomplished this feat without increasing entropy, or disorder elsewhere in the universe, seemingly defying the arrow of time.

To read more about how these scientists essentially made the impossible happen, head on here to!

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons


Small Fragments of Disintegrating Asteroid Captured by Hubble

With so many objects in space, it will be hard to monitor and witness everything that happens. In this rare instance, the Hubble telescope witnessed an asteroid as it disintegrates.

The crumbling asteroid, designated P/2013 R3, was first noticed as an unusual, fuzzy-looking object on 15 September 2013 by the Catalina and Pan-STARRS sky surveys. Follow-up observations on 1 October with the Keck Telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, revealed three co-moving bodies embedded in a dusty envelope that is nearly the diameter of Earth.

(Image credit: NASA/ESA/D. Jewitt/UCLA)


The Ugly Dogs Come Through

Blair Braverman (previously at Neatorama) and her team finished her first Iditarod on Sunday. Braverman's social media fans call themselves the #UglyDogs. During the race, they got busy raising funds for a remote Alaskan school. They raised $7,000 in 24 hours to help fund a school trip for fourth-graders at Top of the Kuskokwim School in Nikolai. When that project was funded they turned to other school projects listed at

The #UglyDogs accomplished other things, too. Braverman finished 36th out of a field of 52, but her Twitter followers ballooned to over 75,000. -via Metafilter


The Foods of New Zealand

Jordan Watson of How To Dad tries to explain the foods of New Zealand. Part of the humor here is that these "native" Kiwi staples are just as common in their larger neighbor Australia. I hate to be the one to break the news, but these foods are common all over the world; they are just called by different names. His tomato sauce is our ketchup. His Weet-bix is our Shredded Wheat. And of course, what they call chup dup is what we call chip dip. But it's what he says at the end that is important.

We're like a big melting pot of all different cultures and ethnicities. You could say we're like a big boil-up pot, just, of all different flavors. And it's the best blooming' boil-up I've ever seen.  

-via Tastefully Offensive


Six of the Most Famous Mob Murders of All Time

For the first time in 30 years, the head of a mob family was murdered last week when Frank Cali, head of the Gambino crime family, was killed at his Staten Island home. Such hits used to be more common, since organized crime is full of people willing to kill to take a higher-ranking criminal off their high horse. Take the case of Bugsy Siegel, who tried to make Las Vegas a thing in the 1940s.

In Vegas, Siegel reinvented himself in 1945 by going legitimate with the Flamingo Hotel. At the time, Vegas was still more desert than Sin City, and Siegel had a vision for the Flamingo as a draw for wealthy elites and tourists alike. He sunk $6 million ($84 million today when adjusted for inflation) into construction, continually assuring his mob bosses the investment would pay off. The December 1946 opening was a flop: guests were greeted by drop cloths and clanking from parts of the building still under construction, and the air conditioning kept failing. Though his second opening a few months later was much improved, the damage was done. It’s still unclear who took down “the father of modern Las Vegas,” but Siegel was shot twice in the head through the window while relaxing in his girlfriend’s home, with the pressure causing his left eye to blow out of its socket.

Smithsonian has a rundown of six of the most notorious mob hits of the past 100 years. Be warned, some of the photographs may be disturbing.

(Image credit: New York Police Department)


Green River Inspires Video Artist

The city of Chicago dyes the Chicago River green on St. Patrick's Day. It's been an annual tradition since the 1960s. While most people who see it think of Ireland and the holiday, Donnacha Kenny saw the river and thought green screen. The bright green color is the most common color to overlay using chroma key, so the water appeared as a palette where anything could be projected. And so he did. -via Mashable

Of course, this is not the first time it's happened. Remember that time Queen Elizabeth II wore a bright green suit? And just a few days ago, a couple of women on CNN happened to wear green jackets. This one has sound.

-via Mashable


The Top Cities for Quality Living

Every year for ten years now, global consulting firm Mercer has published a list of the top cities to live in. The 2019 list is out, and no US city made the top ten. Or top twenty. Or top 30. Here are the factors they considered in ranking the list.  

Their annual ranking on the quality of life of cities worldwide is determined by 10 factors which include a city’s recreational opportunities, housing, economic environment, consumer goods availability, public services and transport, natural environment, social-cultural environment, education, health care, and a city and country’s political and social environment.

Uproxx has descriptions and pictures in a countdown of the top ten cities, and you can see the full ranking of the world's 231 largest cities at Mercer.

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