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Neutral Bridges Are Now Dutch

In 2002, new European banknotes were introduced, in different denominations of the Euro. The currency was designed so that no nation was favored over others. They contain architectural images, including seven different bridges representing different historical eras in Europe. The illustrations are all fictional, in order to remain geographically neutral. Or, they were. Dutch designer Robin Stam admired the currency illustrations and mentioned that it would be funny if someone built those bridges, all in one country.

The local council responsible for constructing a new housing development in Spijkenisse, a suburb of Rotterdam, heard about the idea and approached Stam about using his designs.

"My bridges were slightly more expensive but [the council] saw it as a good promotional opportunity so they allocated some extra budget to produce them," says Stam.

The bridges are exact copies of those shown on the banknotes, down to the shape, crop and colour.

Dezeen talked to Stam about his project and posted pictures of the bridges, which are now in use by pedestrians and cyclists. -via Metafilter

Faces of Fright: Scary Halloween Makeup

  "Creepy Monster" | Image: The Painting Lady

Killer makeup jobs like these can take an average costume to the next level. Bored Panda asked for creepy makeup user submissions; these are a few of the 117 submissions thus far. From oozing flesh wounds to evil, toothy clowns to pierced and punctured zombies, these makeup masks are a wide range of nightmare fodder. See more unnerving makeup art here. 

  "Terrifying Zombie" |  Image: Imgur

"Ripped Flesh Wound" | Image: redeyedemon

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Timelapse Video of Amish Barnraising

YouTube Link 

YouTube user Penny Miller filmed an Amish barnraising in Ohio, which was completed start-to-finish in a mere ten hours. This impressive group effort took place on May 13th of this year. The resulting video is a testament to what people are capable of if they cooperate and work together with a common goal in mind. (It also makes me wonder if I can hire this crew to remodel my kitchen.) Via The Presurfer.

The Inside Stories of Six I Love Lucy Episodes

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website or at Facebook.

August 6 is the 103rd birthday of the great Lucille Ball (Lucy was born in Jamestown, New York on August 6, 1911). Who doesn't love Lucy? A brilliantly talented comedienne, we followed and laughed at Lucy's crazy adventures through 179 episodes of her classic TV show I Love Lucy.

Originally airing in 1951, the show has been generating laughs around the world for over six decades. I Love Lucy has reputedly been seen by more people than any television series in history. Almost everyone has their particular favorite episode of the show. Let's take a look at six of the greatest episodes of I Love Lucy and their "inside stories".

1. “Lucy Thinks Ricky is Trying to Murder Her"

This was actually the first episode filmed of I Love Lucy, although it aired fourth. Filmed on September 8, 1951, the show ran into a few post production snags and “The Girls Want to Go to a Nightclub,” the second episode filmed, aired first- on October 15, 1951. This episode was based on a episode of Lucy's radio show she had done previous to I Love Lucy called “My Favorite Husband" (that episode was called “The Wills”).

A terrible backstage incident occurred during rehearsals of this episode, an unfortunate one which set the tone for the the next six years of filming the show. During rehearsals, Lucy and actress Vivian Vance (who had been hired to play Lucy's neighbor and best friend Ethel Mertz) were confiding in each other and engaging in some backstage girl talk. Vivian confided to Lucy about actor William Frawley, who was playing her husband in the show, Fred Mertz.

“No one will ever believe i'm actually married to that old goat,” she told Lucy. Vivian was surprised a man so much older- Frawley was 24 years her senior- had been cast as her mate.

Unfortunately, Frawley was hovering nearby and heard the crack. He never forgave Vance for her comment and the two spent all the future episodes of the show hating each other with a passion. The rift between Frawley and Vance never healed, even after the show ended in 1957. She regularly referred to him as "that old goat,” while he referred to her as "that miserable (expletive deleted).”

It is perhaps an urban legend, but after she heard the news of Frawley's death in 1966, Vance, sitting in a restaurant, cheerily said "champagne for the house!"

2. “Lucy does a TV Commercial" (the Vitameatavegamin episode)

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Student Poses As Teenager From Every Decade In The Last Hundred Years

There’s a common misconception that young folks don’t care much about the past these days, since they’re too caught up in tech gadgets and social media, but teenager Annalisa Hartlaub aims to change that misconception with a school photography project where she imagines herself as a teenager from every decade over the last hundred years.

Her era specific photos find her as a mainstream teen on the left and a counter-culture teen on the right, and in addition to being a project about self exploration the photos also do a great job of showing how little styles have changed over the last hundred years.

-Via 22 Words

The Curious Case of the American Accent

THe following is an article from Uncle John's Fully Loaded Bathroom Reader.

(Image credit: DrRandomFactor)

Hey youz! Whah do ‘Mericans have all different aks-ay-ents? It’s, like, totally confusing and somewhat bizzah, dontcha know.


An accent is “a manner of pronunciation peculiar to a particular individual, location, or nation.” That’s not to be confused with dialect, which is a specific form of a language that has its own unique lexicon (words), grammatical structures, and phonology (a fancy word for accent). So an accent can be a part of a dialect, but not vice versa. Because dialects can be traced to geographical regions, they give linguists important clues to the origin of accents. And discovering where accents came from can explain why an American says “ta-may-to” and a Brit says “ta-mah-toe,” or why Bostonians say “park the cah” and a Nebraskan says “park the car.”


The United States began as colonies of Great Britain, but the settlers didn’t trickle across the Atlantic at random. According to Brandeis University Professor David Hackett Fischer in his book Albion’s Seed, there are four primary American accents, which derive from the major migrations from England to the New World in the 17th and 18th centuries.

1. East Anglia to Massachusetts (1620-40). Puritans who fled to the New World to escape religious persecution were, by and large, from the eastern counties of England. To this day, in remote parts of East Anglia, there are rural folk who speak in what is sometimes referred to as the “Norfolk whine.” When they came to New England, that accent came along with them. You may recall the TV commercials where an old fellow says “Pepperidge Fahm remembers…” That’s the Norfolk whine.

2. South and West of England to Virginia (1642-75). Immigrants who settled in the colony of Virginia tended to be wealthy Cavaliers (that is, loyal to the King) who came to the New World to become planters. Many elements of their accent can still be heard in rural Virginia, such as their penchant for elongated vowels -stretching “you” into “yeew,” and shortened consonants- “ax” for ask, and “dis” and “dat” for this and that.

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Kayden's First Rain

(vimeo link)

Isn’t it wonderful when you see children react to something they’ve never experienced before with joy instead of fear? Nicole Byon captured her 15-month-old daughter sister Kayden discovering the feel of rain for the first time, which she found delightful and fascinating -and went back out in over and over. May you always look at the world with that sense of wonder, kid. The accompanying song is "In My Arms" by Jon Foreman. -via Laughing Squid

Illustrations of Utterly Strange Google Searches

Remember the days before Google instant search, where you still had to speculate about what strange searches people performed? These days, we all have experience typing in the beginning of a Google search only to get a suggestion popping up that makes us wonder "what the heck?"

And that is precisely what makes these hilarious illustrations of odd auto-searches so darned hilarious. They not only feature some seriously strange searches, but also help visualize how hilarious the ideas behind these searches are.

Via Geeks Are Sexy

The Street Art of Mark Jenkins

Mark Jenkins is a street and installation artist in the Washington, D.C. area. He’s most popularly known for this human-shaped street art sculptures. They’re so realistic that one (with a polar bear head) inspired a bomb scare in 2008.

Mr. Jenkins often creates casts using tape, a medium that he first explored as a child. In an interview with the Huffington Post, he explained:

I first made tape casts as a child, wrapping the tape over pencils in reverse and then back over to seal it. I made them for fun, but I was scolded by my teacher not to "waste tape." In 2003, I got interested in art and started experimenting with mediums and re-discovered this casting process, applying it to larger objects and on myself. But my interest in art wasn’t so much the sculpture itself but, rather, installation sculpture, using the object to affect the space around it.

From the samples pictured above, you can see how Mr. Jenkins impacts the space around his sculptures. A sewer grate becomes a toaster with just a few slices of toast. A parking space becomes napping zone—provided that you’ve paid for the time.

-via Hi Fructose Magazine

IBM's New Computer is Powered by "Electronic Blood"

A supercomputer that is fueled with blood? It's coming! IBM scientists have created a new supercomputer inspired by the human brain and is powered by what they call "electronic blood."

Patrick Ruch and Bruno Michel of IBM Research lab in Zurich, Switzerland, wanted to "fit a supercomputer inside a sugarcube." But in order to do that, they'd have to model it after the human brain, which is 10,000 times more dense and efficient than any computer today. "The brain uses 40% of its volume for functional performance - and only 10% for energy and cooling," said Michel to the BBC. Compare that to the world's fastest current supercomputer, which uses 99% of its volume devoted to cooling and powering, and only 1% for processing information. The human brain is made possible, Michel added, "because it uses only one - extremely efficient - network of capillaries and blood vessels to transport heat and energy - all at the same time."

So, the pair have created a "bionic" computing architecture, which uses "electronic blood" of charged electrolytes to provide fuel and cooling to computer chips.

Read more over at this intriguing article by James Morgan over at the BBC.

10 Fascinating Facts About Costco

Photo: Rosa Say/Flickr

"I really wish I had worn a condom."
- Sol Price, the founder of Price Club (and later Costco),
when some discount retail executive told him that he's
the father of the warehouse discount retail concept.

Do you love Costco? I love Costco ... maybe a little too much. I've been a member of Costco since the Price Club days (Costco merged with Price Club in 1993 and became PriceCostco. In 1997, the company changed its name to the Costco Wholesale you know and love - more on that below).

Back in those days, Price Club didn't use barcodes - instead, the checkout process consisted of an unloader and a cashier. The unloader took your items out of your shopping cart and yelled out the item numbers to the cashier. The cashier typed in the item numbers one by one into the cash register. Oh, and back then, it was still possible to get parking on a Saturday morning.

If there's one thing I know about Costco today is that it's impossible to leave the store without spending at least $100. Once, I was on a mission: to get that one thing I need at $50. I went straight to the item, grabbed one, and went to the checkout line without looking at anything else or (gasp) even sampling their food. I thought I had outsmarted them. When I got to the cashier, she informed me that I had to renew my membership at $55. Total spent (before taxes): $105! Hah!

Anyways, here are 10 most fascinating facts about Costco:

1. The concept for Costco was drawn up on a napkin

Like I mentioned above, the Costco we knew and love today started out as Price Club, which was founded by legendary businessman Sol Price*. In 1975, Price was forced out of a chain of discount department store company he founded called FedMart**. Shortly after, he drew up the concept of a "warehouse store" retail model on a napkin.

A few of Price's friends and associates put together $2.5 million seed money for the first Price Club, which opened in 1976 (more below). Their first week's sale was downright disappointing. Price said, "It was terribly slow. Our sales were only about $32,000 in our first week, and it got worse from there."

To make it seemed that the store was busy with customers inside, Price made his employees park their cars near the warehouse entrance. Luckily, sales improved and Price Club was off and running.

*What a perfect name for retail, huh? Legend has it that when his parents Samuel and Bella, immigrated from Minsk, Russia, the clerk at Ellis Island misheard "Press" or "Preuss" and wrote down "Price."

**Another neat trivia: In the 1960s American businessman Samuel Moore "Sam" Walton opened his own retail store and decided that he liked the "Mart" in Price's "FedMart" name so much that he decided to name his store after it. That store? Wal-Mart.

2. Costco's first store: A converted airplane hangar

The first Price Club store we mentioned above was located in a converted airplane hangar once owned by Howard Hughes on Morena Boulevard in San Diego. The store only sold to small businesses, who could "invite" non-business members. That created a "secret club" mentality that appealed to many people.

This store is still in operation today.

3. Costco's main layout is called "The Race Track"

Costco purposely put fresh food at the back in the store, to make sure that their customers pass by every category of items - electronics, clothing, jewelry, amongst others - as they wind their way down "The Race Track" to the food section.

This strategy obviously works because, as I mentioned above, it's impossible to get out of Costco for less than $100.

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The Perfect Record: 19-0

How did Harriet Tubman lead so many slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad? With careful planning, plenty of luck, and a little opium.

“I never run my train off the track, and I never lost a passenger” -so boasted Harriet Tubman, the most successful conductor on the Underground Railroad. Tubman ran up her unblemished record while leading groups of runaways on a 650-mile odyssey from eastern Maryland to St. Catharines, Ontario. Starting in 1850, Tubman made a total of 19 journeys, personally freeing more than 300 slaves. The rewards offered for her capture totaled an astronomical $40,000 (just over $1 million in today’s money), but the bounties went unpaid.

So how exactly did she score that perfect record? Here are some tips based on her harrowing adventures—call it the Tubman Technique.

KNOW THE TERRAIN; MOVE BY NIGHT: Many slaves had never ventured far from their owners’ property. Slave owners deliberately kept them close so they wouldn’t know how to escape. As a result, runaways needed Tubman to do the navigating. She led groups along dirt roads and paths by night. If no safe house was available during the day, Tubman hid her passengers in dense forests, swamps, or other places no one would think to look. When it was safer to split up—a decision she sometimes made when she knew the group was being hunted—Tubman gave simple, easy-to-follow advice for reaching a meeting point, like “follow the drinking gourd” (the Big Dipper, which points north).


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The Forbidden Island

The following is an article from Uncle John's 24-Karat Gold Bathroom Reader.

Ever heard of North Sentinel Island? Probably not …even thought's one of the most unusual places on Earth. What makes it so odd? The people -they've been there a long time, completely cut off from the rest of the world.


Late on the night of August 2, 1981, a Hong Kong freighter navigating the choppy waters of the Bay of Bengal ran aground on a submerged coral reef. The ship, called the Primrose, was hopelessly stuck. But there was no danger of it sinking, so after radioing for assistance, the captain and crew settled in for a few days' wait until help arrived.

The following morning, as it became light, the sailors saw an island a few hundred yards beyond the reef. It was uninhabited, as far as anyone could tell: There were no buildings, roads, or other signs of civilization there -just a pristine, sandy beach and behind it, dense jungle. The beach must have seemed like an ideal spot to wait for a rescue, but the captain ordered the crew to remain aboard the Primrose. It was monsoon season, and he may have concerned about lowering the men into the rough sea in tiny lifeboats. Or perhaps he'd figured out just which tiny island lay beyond the reef: It was North Sentinel -the deadliest of the 200 islands in the Andaman Island chain.


A few days later, a lookout aboard the Primrose spotted a group of dark-skinned men emerging from the jungle, making their way toward the ship. Was it the rescue party? It seemed possible …until the men came a little closer and the lookout could see that every one of them was naked.

Naked …and armed, but not with guns. Each man carried either a spear, a bow and arrows, or some other primitive weapon. The captain made another radio distress call, this one much more urgent: "Wild men! Estimate more than 50, carrying various homemade weapons, are making two or three wooden boats. Worrying they will board us at sunset."


(Image credit: Captain Robert Fore)

After a tense standoff lasting a few more days, the crew of the Primrose were evacuated by helicopter to safety. They were lucky to get away: It was their misfortune to have run aground just offshore of one of the strangest islands on Earth, and probably the very last of its kind. Anthropologists believe the men who appeared on the beach that morning in 1981 are members of a hunter-gatherer tribe that has lived on the island for 65,000 years. That's 35,000 years before the last ice age, 55,000 years before the great woolly mammoths disappeared from North America, and 62,000 years before the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids at Giza. These people are believed to be the direct descendants of the first humans out of Africa.

The outside world has known about North Sentinel Island for centuries, but the islanders have been almost completely cut off from the rest of the world all that time, and they fiercely maintain their isolation to this day. No one knows what language they speak or what they call themselves -they have never allowed anyone to get close enough to find out. The outside world calls them the "Sentineli" or the "Sentinelese," after the island. It's estimated the the 28-square-mile island (slightly larger than Manhattan) is capable of supporting as many as 400 hunter-gatherers, but no one knows how many people live there.

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Chemical Reaction Caught in the Act!

Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory got a neat surprise when they were trying to develop a new method of making graphene. They managed to capture a chemical reaction in the act, atom by atom, bond by bond:

“We weren’t thinking about making beautiful images; the reactions themselves were the goal,” says Fischer, a staff scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division (MSD) and a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. “But to really see what was happening at the single-atom level we had to use a uniquely sensitive atomic force microscope in Michael Crommie’s laboratory.” Crommie is an MSD scientist and a professor of physics at UC Berkeley.

What the microscope showed the researchers, says Fischer, “was amazing.” The specific outcomes of the reaction were themselves unexpected, but the visual evidence was even more so. “Nobody has ever taken direct, single-bond-resolved images of individual molecules, right before and immediately after a complex organic reaction,” Fischer says.


World's First Bird

Image: Masato Hattori

Move over, Archaeopteryx - there's a new (well, actually older) dino in town that claims to be the world's first bird:

An archaic bird known as Aurornis xui, described this week in the journal Nature by paleontologist Pascal Godefroit and colleagues, is the latest entry in the debate over which animal qualifies as the first bird and how birds evolved.

The delicately preserved specimen, which includes fossil remnants of feathers, was discovered in the roughly 160-million-year-old rock of China's Tiaojishan Formation. While Aurornis lived about ten million years earlier thanArchaeopteryx, and very far from the prehistoric European archipelago thatArchaeopteryx inhabited, the new study found that the two plumage-covered creatures were close relatives at the very base of bird evolution.

Brian Switek of National Geographic explains: Link

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