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Meet The Artist Behind Bubble_T’s Instagram Filters

Instagram users are very familiar with one of the app’s most used features - face filters. Paper Magazine sits down with Thomas Jeon, the artist who created a boba-themed face filter. This fun, simple and interactive filter also doubles as a promotion of the queer Asian collective, Bubble_T

Thomas Jeon tells Paper Magazine what goes into the making of a hit face filter and how he came to be involved with Bubble_T. 

image credit: screenshot via Paper Magazine


Stunning video of the sun's surface emerges

Jorrit Leenaarts, director of Stockholm University's Institute for Solar Physics, led a study that was published in the Journal of Astronomy & Astrophysics last year.

In the video we can see the result of that study, which photographed a vast area of the sun. In them we see the sun's "skin", or photo-sphere, appears to be seems to be pulsing and moving. That is where the hot gases from the sun rise to cool down and afterwards fall back down. We can also see a dark spot which is a collection of sunspots. Each sunspot is a region of strong magnetic disturbance on the sun. 

These images can help scientist understand the inner workings of our sun and for the rest of us offer a closer look at our life giving star.

Read more at "This Stunning Video Shows Sun's Pulsing 'Skin' in Incredible Detail" - Via: Space


No Doughnuts With Syringes at Minnesota State Fair

The headline sounds like a rumor that has been debunked, but it's more complicated than that. When the new foods of the Minnesota State Fair were announced, a curious gimmick called Wingwalker Donut Flight was introduced. They are doughnut holes that you inject with filling yourself, served with syringes of Bavarian cream, chocolate custard, or Minnesota lingonberry jam. Now, many fair foods are traditionally served "on a stick" to make them easier to eat while standing and walking. Filling doughnut holes requires two hands, and possibly three. It's not clear why anyone thought that fairgoers would get excited about preparing their own snacks. The pushback was immediate.

“Incredibly wasteful,” “a gimmick,” and “gross” were some of the comments on the Minnesota State Fair’s Facebook page. Both the environmental impact of single-use plastics and the optics of drug paraphernalia littered on the ground at the fair drew complaints.

An online petition launched last weekend has so far garnered more than 3,000 signatures to “Stop the Minnesota State Fair from allowing Wingwalker Donut to use plastic syringes!”

The vendor withdrew the gimmick, and now doughnut holes will be served with recyclable trays featuring the fillings as dips. You can see the revised list of new foods at the Minnesota State Fair, featuring Cheesy Sriracha Funnel Cake Bites, Irish Whiskey Boneless Wings, and Fried Tacos on-a-Stick, among other extreme treats.  -via TYWKIWDBI

(Image credit: Minnesota State Fair)


Towing a Car

Somehow, a Land Rover gets stuck and has to be pulled out of a pasture by what appears to be the world's first tractor. What is this, opposite day? No, this is Russia. The tractor goes wrong, its winch keeps going, and somehow things get worse. Then we see that the vehicle is not a Land Rover at all, but a Lada with a sticker on the front that says "Land Niver." This video might contains NSFW language, I don't know, since it's in Russian. -via Digg


The Life and Works of Sci-Fi Superstar Octavia E. Butler

I often thought of science fiction as stories that talk about science and the future. In a way, that is partly what science fiction does. But, as with a lot of stories, they also reflect the values prevalent in society as well as provide social commentary and a means to effect change in society. In this regard, science fiction writer Octavia Butler was a pioneer.

“Science fiction, more than any other genre deals with change—change in science and technology, and social change. But science fiction itself changes slowly, often under protest.”

Some of Octavia Butler's popular works are the Parable series, the Xenogenesis trilogy, and Bloodchild. However, she died young in 2006 at the age of 58. But her works are still very relevant in today's culture and society.

Butler’s work “helped define the literary cornerstone of Afrofuturism,” notes Grinberg. Her writing was strategic, a way to confront dehumanizing political and social political realities.

So why should we read Octavia Butler's works? I think Open Culture summarized it best:

...because she had a better read on how the time she lived in would turn into the time we live in now than nearly anyone writing at the time; because she told strange, wonderful, outlandish, compelling stories that stretched the imagination without losing sight of the human core;
because, like Ursula K. Le Guin, she challenged the world as it is with profound visions of what it might be; and because she not only excelled as a storyteller but specifically as a committed science fiction storyteller, one who deeply touched, and thus deeply changed, the form.

(Image Credit: Nikolas Coukouma/Wikimedia Commons)


Man plays saxophone for cows and they love it

Eric Herrmann has been learning how to play the saxophone and when he mastered a few songs he took to the fields to play them for the cows. To everyone's surprise the cows loved his song, flocking around him to enjoy his music.

Herrmann's daughter posted a video of her father playing his sax for the cows and immediately went viral on twitter. She claims her father did this just for fun and that her parents are just goofy that way.

The video already has 11 million views on twitter and counting!

Read more about Mr. Herrmann and his adventures at "The Saxophone Man Serenading Cows Who Respond Accordingly Is the Real Song of Summer in Everyone's Hearts" - Via: TIME


Mom Discovers She Has ADHD After Her Son Was Diagnosed

It wasn't until her six-year-old son was diagnosed with ADHD and getting a diagnosis of her own that Charlene Harrison finally found peace with what she had been going through all her life. Not a lot of people are diagnosed with ADHD as an adult so it carries a bit of stigma and it's more difficult to find a support system.

“When my son was diagnosed, I read everything I could to learn more about ADHD. I found out that ADHD was highly genetic right at the time my 12-year-old daughter was struggling with high school so I started asking questions about ADHD presentation in girls and found that girls are more likely to exhibit inattention.
"So I had my daughter assessed and she received a diagnosis. And then I realised that my daughter’s behaviour was so much like mine that I thought maybe this might answer a few questions for myself”.

(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)


Three Stories of Unconventional Funerals and How They Helped Families in Their Grieving Process

Funerals are as much for our loved ones who have passed away as it is for our own closure and healing process. Different people have certain traditions or customs with which they conduct funerals. But at times, loved ones may have wishes on how they want their funerals to be conducted and there are not-for-profit funeral services that help them fulfill these wishes.

Jenny Briscoe-Hough, founder and director of not-for-profit funeral service Tender Funerals, says that everyone should tread their own path when it comes to farewelling someone they love.
"People should be involved as much or as little as they wish in the process of saying goodbye," she says. "It's not just about a funeral. It starts from when someone dies, through to transporting their body to the mortuary, and all the other aspects.

The family of the deceased loved one has the right to be involved in the process and grieve in their own way. And these three stories show how it could benefit the families as much as it does their loved ones who have gone.

(Image credit: Rhodi Alers de Lopez/Unsplash)


Yet another use for the glorious instant ramen

Dwindling food portions and less meals per week have led more and more prisoners to resort to buying ramen noodles from commissary.

Although ramen prices in prison are not the same as Walmart. It is almost twice as expensive, and it has replaced cigarettes as "prison currency". Inmates need to cover the need to eat, while tobacco is considered a luxury. They exchange ramen noodles for other necessities such as toothpaste or other food.

Read more at "Forget cigarettes -- there's a new prison currency" - Via: CBS news


Cat Planet

You have to love a rock song about cats! "Cat Planet" (打首獄門同好会「猫の惑星」) is performed by  the group Uchikubi Gokumon Doukoukai (打首獄門同好会, translates to Prison Fighting Club). The video was crowd-sourced by fans. Notice how the song goes into heavy metal territory occasionally and the video clips shift to cats acting badly. Commenter Kyzix gives us an English translation of the lyrics:

The inside of the kotatsu belongs to a cat
The spot in front of the heater belongs to a cat
The tops of clothes belongs to a cat
The inside of a cardboard box belongs to a cat
The top of a lid covering hot water in the bath belongs to a cat
Your side when you’re asleep in bed belongs to a cat
Even the top of your hands typing on a keyboard belongs to a cat
Your lap when you sit down belongs to a cat

Even if I’m cold, even if it bothers me
If it’s good for the cat, there’s no problem
Such is the shape of continuing love

Definitely, definitely, into this world
We are creatures fated to be born and live to love cats
Definitely, definitely, this planet of ours
revolves so that it can support the life of cats

We are living on this planet inhabited by cats
We are living on this planet inhabited by cats
We are living on this planet inhabited by cats
We are living on this planet inhabited by cats

I won’t be mad even if they scratch the sofa
I won’t be mad even if they rip up the shoji
I won’t be mad even if they roll out all the toilet paper
I won’t be mad even if they break into the cupboard and rummage around
I won’t be mad, I won’t be mad

Even if my house is destroyed, even if I go into bankruptcy
If the cat is happy, there’s no problem
Sacrifices for love know no limit

Definitely, definitely, into this world
We are creatures fated to be born and live to love cats
Definitely, definitely, this planet of ours
revolves so that it can support the life of cats
Rather, rather, this planet of ours
Should just revolve so cats can live happily
Definitely, definitely, from the moment we are born
we are fated to live life loving you

We are living on this planet inhabited by cats
We are living on this planet inhabited by cats
We are drowning in love on this planet inhabited by cats
We are living on this planet inhabited by cats

We are born, on this planet of cats

-via Metafilter


Apollo 11 Capsule Foil and Memories of Plucking NASA's Moonmen From the Sea

Apollo 11 launched on July 16, 1969, on its way to the moon. Fifty years later, you can read a million stories about astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Mike Collins. But there were thousands of people involved in the first moon landing, not all of them employed by NASA. Dave Porter was a Navy seaman, a Gunner’s Mate aboard the U.S.S. Hornet in 1969. The Hornet was charged with retrieving the astronauts from the ocean after they splashed down on return to earth. His son, Dave Porter II, shares his father's story, giving us a different point of view on the mission.  

“Something not a lot of people know is the men on the Hornet trained for weeks retrieving a dummy capsule in preparation for the actual day. When the day arrived, the radio comms to the astronauts were piped through the ship’s intercom so all the sailors could hear. I believe my dad said he saw the “burn in” and the splashdown, though it was overcast that day. The first time he spotted the capsule, it was floating down through the clouds with the parachutes all deployed.

“The crew was ordered to stay below deck when President Nixon came aboard. There was a lot of excitement, with television crews and the captain and officers meeting the president, though my father didn’t get to talk to him directly. However, that night after everything died down, he took a walk to the quarantine. NASA put the astronauts in quarantine because the scientists didn’t know if the astronauts had brought anything back from the moon such as illness or microbes. Turned out, Neil Armstrong was still up and sitting near one of the observation windows. I believe my father said ‘That was a hell of a ride, wasn’t it?’ and Armstrong replied ‘Sure was!’

Porter was also aboard when the Hornet recovered the Apollo 12 crew. Read his story at Collectors Weekly. 


Elk or Bison Parenting: Navigating the Extremes

Being a parent is stressful and exhausting. There is no perfect way to raise children but parents always have to deal with thoughts of whether they're doing what's right for their children and for themselves.

Katie Arnold shares an interesting observation about two animals with different styles of parenting: the elks and the bison. In one instance in which she and her family witnessed, an elk mother had left her newborn calf when she sensed danger.

It was late May, the beginning of calving season, and the baby elk was minutes old, its fur still wet. When it saw us, it flopped to the ground, while the cow bolted in the opposite direction, running up a ridge until she was out of sight.
Our guide, Pete, explained, “This is what elk mothers do. When predators approach, they run away, leaving their babies, who aren’t strong enough to walk. Most of the time, the mothers come back for their calves but only after the danger has passed.”

This was different from what bison mothers did explained Pete. Instead of leaving their calves to fend for themselves, they would protect them fiercely. Now, it's obviously different to live in the wild as opposed to living in a more urban environment. But this is a dilemma that parents often face: how to strike a balance in raising children.

(Image credit: Byron Johnson/Unsplash)


Man Clenches World Record by Sitting on a Toilet for Almost 5 Days

Jimmy De Frenne of Belgium sat on a toilet set up in the middle of a bar (I guess that's how they're arranged in Belgium) for 116 hours. His goal was to crack 165 hours. But he may still secure a world record, as Guinness World Records does not maintain one for this feat. The Vancouver Sun reports:

Filip’s Place bar in Ostend was open throughout, allowing De Frenne’s friends and family to stop by for a chat.
De Frenne was allowed five minutes off every hour, which he could accumulate over several hours to allow him to sleep. Ironically, he needed toilet breaks as his bar toilet was not plumbed in.
Sitting that long was not as easy as it might have seemed. “I was very tired and my legs hurt but I believe in my success and try to make this record official,” de Frenne said.

Audaces fortuna iuvat, Mr. De Frenne.

De Frenne should have thought through the marketing potential for his stunt before starting. He could have, for example, secured sponsorship through Taco Bell.

-via Oddity Central | Photo: Reuters/Johanna Geron


Print the Rainbow with the Automatic Skittles Printer

Instructables member JohnO3 calls his invention the "Skittle Pixel8r". It was a sophisticated programming and mechanical challenge, as the printer produces a specific image using pre-sorted Skittles. A motor moves the hopper along to drop in one Skittle at a time, slowly building the image from the bottom up.

You can find detailed instructions, including coding and wiring diagrams, at Instructables. But be warned:

It was supposed to be a weekend project but ended up taking a month to design and build. 

That's the way projects usually work.

-via Technabob


Royal Canadian Mint Issues Canada-Shaped Coin

The official mint of the Canadian government has issued a coin that is shaped like the country itself. Artist Ali Giroux designed the 3-ounce silver coin, which sells for $340. Various animals native to Canada are arranged in the shapes of the 10 provinces and 3 territories. CBC News reports:

She turned Quebec into a snowy owl taking flight, and Ontario into a loon with its wings folded. British Columbia, meanwhile, became a spirit bear.
Giroux decided to design a two-colour version of her map for Canada's 150th anniversary and posted it online. About a year ago, she received a call from the mint, with an offer to have her design featured on a coin. 
"I had a little cry, because it was immensely flattering, and surreal, and very special," Giroux told Ottawa Morning.

-via Nag on the Lake | Photo: CBC

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