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How to Make a Big Mac Cake

We live in a fallen and broken world. Yet a spark of hope remains in the blight and, today, it is manifested in the Big Mac Cake created by the blogger behind Oh, Bite It.

She used canned crescent roll dough, sesame seeds, and, of course, lots of Big Macs. Specifically, she used eight of the burgers, between which she sandwiched extra slices of cheese. She baked this wonder in the oven at 350 degrees until it was warm, golden brown.

I wish that I had known about this possibility before wedding planning.


The First African Samurai

The Japanese called him Yasuke. The records are scarce, so it's not clear what his original name was, or where he was originally from. Yasuke had been a slave and a child soldier, and was eventually hired as a valet and bodyguard by Jesuit missionary Alessandro Valignano. They arrived in Japan in 1579, where feudal warlord Nobunaga Oda noticed him -as did everyone else.  

Oda had never seen an African before. And like the locals in Japan's then-capital of Kyoto, he was awed by Yasuke's height, build and skin tone, according to Thomas Lockley, the author of "African Samurai: The True Story of Yasuke, a Legendary Black Warrior in Feudal Japan."

"When Yasuke got to Kyoto (with Jesuit missionaries), there was a massive riot. People wanted to see him and be in his presence," says Lockley, who spent nine years researching and writing the book, which was published last month.

Oda believed Yasuke to be either a guardian demon or "Daikokuten," a god of prosperity usually represented by black statues in temples. He tried to rub the pigment from Yasuke's skin, believing it was black ink. Once convinced Yasuke was real, he immediately threw a feast in his honor, says Lockley.

Already a trained warrior, Yasuke soon learned Japanese martial arts and the language. He fought with Oda as a samurai in 1581 and 1582. Read about the life of the African samurai at CNN. -via Metafilter

Also: Chadwick Boseman is set to play Yasuke in an upcoming movie.


Terminator: Dark Fate Trailer

Linda Hamilton stars as Sarah Connor in the sixth Terminator film, called Terminator: Dark Fate. This story in this movie takes place after Terminator 2, and the other movies set afterward (3, 4, and Genisys) have been relegated to "alternative timelines." The first teaser trailer doesn't explain much of anything, but it gives us a taste of what the movie will be like. Terminator: Dark Fate will be in theaters November first. -via Boing Boing


20 Questions About Game of Thrones' Finale

For anybody who has watched all six episodes of the final season of Game of Thrones, we're all probably thinking the same thing, what in the world was all that?

With so many things that happened in the series finale, we might be swirling in a lot of questions about contradictions within the plot, the character development, and the direction that the show took. So just to sum up almost every unanswered question from season 8, here is a list at Vox about which we can ponder.

(Image credit: Helen Sloan/HBO; IMDb)


Sound-Activated Smart Materials

Creating nanomaterials called metal-organic frameworks through the traditional process is a tedious and expensive procedure which could also cause damage to the environment. However, these nanomaterials are some of the most versatile and durable so we cannot eliminate or stop its production.

So researchers designed a new method of producing these MOFs through sound waves.

During the standard production process, solvents and other contaminants become trapped in the MOF's holes. To flush them out, scientists use a combination of vacuum and high temperatures or harmful chemical solvents in a process called "activation".
In their novel technique, RMIT researchers used a microchip to produce high-frequency sound waves. Using the sound waves to arrange and link these elements together, the researchers were able to create a highly ordered and porous network, while simultaneously "activating" the MOF by pushing out the solvents from the holes.

(Image credit: RMIT University)


MobiKa: New Mobile Robot Assistant

Robots can be programmed to do a variety of things and this new one developed by researchers at Fraunhofer IPA not only helps with doing tasks but they can also interact with humans through voice and text. They say that MobiKa could be most useful for elderly people to assist them with daily activities.

"MobiKa is a service robot for use at home or in care facilities, which is currently available as a prototype," Graf explained. "The robot consists of a mobile, wheel-driven platform and a slim height-adjustable tablet on top. Using navigation software developed here at Fraunhofer IPA, MobiKa moves safely and autonomously to a given destination."

-via Phys.org

(Image credit: Fraunhoper IPA)


Possible Root of Allergies: How We Develop Them As We Grow

Tests conducted by researchers from Korea and Australia might have found the reason why we develop allergies in the gut microbiome. It has been suggested that the production of immunoglobulin E (IgE) which causes allergic reactions could be linked with the type of diet infants eat.

In the experiment, they tested two groups of mice. One group was fed normal food while the second was placed on a special diet which does not trigger the immune system. They surmised that the introduction of normal food could be the cause of the development of allergic reactions.

(Image credit: Academy of Immunology and Microbiology, Institute for Basic Science, Pohang, Republic of Korea)


Space Farming: How to Grow Fresh Crops and Maintain Food Variety

A lot of research has been conducted to see the viability of sending humans to make settlements in space. There are a few essentials that need to be taken into consideration. Food will be the most critical however, at the moment, we don't have the technology to produce a variety of food in space. So that's where NASA's experiment comes in.

Past food experiments on the International Space Station used seed bags (also called pillows) that receive water from syringes, which astronauts push into the bags. While this water is enough for lettuce to grow, tomatoes and similar crops use more water.
The new method lets astronauts cultivate romaine lettuce seeds in 12 passive orbital nutrient delivery systems (PONDS). PONDS units are less expensive than the seed bags and can hold more water, while providing more room for roots to grow.

(Image credit: David Saint-Jacques/NASA)


Run, Don't Walk, From the River of Ice That Is Chasing You

The ice-filled Lena River in Pokrovsk, Yakutia, Russia is a torrent of frozen death. The videographer must move quickly to escape before he is consumed by it.

The Siberian Times explains that the ice is breaking up. In another week or so, this river, which flows into the Arctic Ocean, should be ice-free.

-via Aaron Starmer


How Aladdin Changed Animation (by Screwing Over Robin Williams)

Like if you think it's wrong to remake this classic.


Stranger Things 3 | Summer in Hawkins | Netflix

So pumped.Finally season 3.


Pluto's Secrets That Could Change Our Prospects in Space

Pluto has a buried ocean. If there's a water source in this dwarf planet at the outskirts of our solar system, then that might mean there is a possibility that other planets, exoplanets, and worlds in the universe are also hiding oceans underneath their surface.

A gassy insulating layer probably keeps Pluto's liquid-water ocean from freezing solid, a new study reports. And something similar could be happening under the surfaces of frigid worlds in other solar systems as well, study team members said.
"This could mean there are more oceans in the universe than previously thought, making the existence of extraterrestrial life more plausible," lead author Shunichi Kamata, of Hokkaido University in Japan, said in a statement.

-via Damn Interesting

(Image credit: NASA / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory / Southwest Research Institute, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)


Biotech Revolution: The Next Scientific Innovations of the 21st Century

In the latter half of the 20th century, we focused our research efforts on setting foot on the moon, exploring the uncharted regions of space, and building spacecraft that could bring us to the stars and back. It was the era of physics and engineering.

Susan Hockfield, a neurobiologist and former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, believes that the next scientific frontier is the confluence of biology and engineering.

New technologies are increasingly being built out of biological parts. The idea of biological engineering, or using inspiration from biological structures to build things, has been in people’s hands and minds for a while. What’s new is the acceleration of these kinds of technologies.
It’s important because when we look at the challenges we’re facing, in terms of population growth and our food resources and our water resources and our healthcare resources, it’s pretty clear that if we’re going to go from our current 7.7 billion [people] to over 9.7 billion by 2050, we’re going to need some new technologies in order to increase productivity without using up all the resources on Earth.

(Image credit: ejaugsburg/Pixabay)


A History of the Borg


Predators Engineers & Aliens - COMPLETE Timeline

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