Firefighter adopts baby he delivered on emergency call "It was meant to be," says the proud dad.
Fireflghter Marc Hadden, who worked with the medical unit, was eating dinner in the middle of his 24-hour shift when he had to hop in the ambulance and head out to the emergency. He and his partner found a woman in labor, and as soon as they got her in the ambulance she was ready to give birth. Hadden took charge — his first time ever being in charge of a delivery in 20 years of his work, according to a story on CBS News. Little did the firefighter know at that moment that he was helping his own daughter take her first breath.
Students of Troy High School, in Ohio, received a wonderful Valentine’s day surprise yesterday when each student found an origami heart stuck on their locker. The truly impressive part is that all of these hand crafted gifts were made by one anonymous student ---who began making them last September.
Mohamed Bzeek has chosen a tough, heart-wrenching vocation. The quiet, devout, Libyan-born Muslim has for more than two decades been a father to terminally ill children in Los Angeles County’s foster care system. And as a long profile in the Los Angeles Times makes clear, he is very good at what he does. Bzeek reportedly has buried about ten children -- some of whom died in his arms -- yet still maintains the patience and empathy to do what even the children's parents can't or won't do.'I know they are going to die'....
after they decided to care exclusively for terminally ill kids. He has buried ten children in the past 20 years of fostering severely ill children. Dawn died in 2013. Bzeek cares for the kids, and his disabled son, by himself. Bzeek is currently caring for a six-year-old girl who is paralyzed, deaf and blind. Foster care workers say he is the only person they can turn to with an ill child.
'The key is, you have to love them like your own,' Bzeek told the Los Angeles Times. 'I know they are sick. I know they are going to die. I do my best as a human being and leave the rest to God.'
For the three siblings who lost their parents to cancer within days, a nation pulled out the stops. A homeless beggar donated his day’s earnings, a family in Scotland offered a home, countless others gave a tenner in anonymity.
Luke, 21, Hannah, 18, and Oliver Bennet, 13, were “astounded” as the total amount raised to keep them in full-time education soared above £192,000 in five days. The money poured in via the website JustGiving after Julie and Mike Bennet’s children, who live in the Wirral, released a picture of their parents holding hands on their deathbeds.
Mike Bennet, a cabinet-maker, had a brain tumor diagnosed four years ago. Last May his wife, Julie, a primary school teacher, had liver and kidney cancer diagnosed. Last month, after their treatments failed, the couple were admitted to Arrowe Park Hospital in the Wirral and put in adjacent beds for their final days. Mr Bennet died there on February 6, aged 57. Mrs Bennet was then moved to St John’s hospice in Bebington, where she died on Saturday, aged 50.
“They are extremely, extremely grateful,” Ms Gallagher said. “They just cannot believe the support they have been given. They are proper down-to-earth kids whose parents brought them up well. It is not about cars and new shoes with them. It is about rallying around each other.”
The money will allow the siblings, Oliver 13, Hannah 18 and Luke 21, to continue in full-time education
I really admire this weatherman's sang-froid on live TV. This Arizona weather report started out normally… except for one small glitch on the green screen. After all, he was reporting on the hottest day of the universe.
Aaron McAvoy’s washing machine makes a banging noise while washing clothes so he played The Devil Went Down to Georgia in time with the banging. This is the most perfect little internet entertainment…I actually started crying I was laughing so hard. A much needed respite from the world.
Ann Carrington produces sculpture that elevate objects used in the everyday... In her series Bouquets and Butterflies, Carrington gathers hundreds of spoons, knives, and forks both shiny and tarnished to create elegant bouquets. Clumping spoons together she is able to recreate the shapes of roses and tulips, some appearing so realistic you wonder if they are organic flowers dipped in a layer of silver.
Scientists Engineered the Perfect Song to Make Babies Laugh with video at the link.
Get a professional musician together with some psychologists, brush up on the baby-laughter literature, write some tunes, write some lyrics, and cobble it all together into a research-backed piece of sonic science. There are easier ways, sure, but this one’s still pretty cool: As Caspar Addyman, a developmental psychologist at the University of London, recently explained in the Conversation, he and his colleagues — including singer Imogen Heap — have created the first song engineered specifically to elicit adorable baby giggles.
The two birds were discovered by a priest in Weisendoft, northern Bavaria. Foresters cut the remains of the kingfishers from the ice with saws It is assumed that either they could no longer find the exit while underwater, or the hole froze over quickly. Forestry director Peter Proebstle called it a 'tragic, but also a bizarre and somehow beautiful sight'
On the last of NASA's manned moon mission, Apollo 17 in 1972, Astronaut Harrison “Jack” Schmitt came down with lunar dust hay fever. Schmitt, it turns out, was basically allergic to the Moon....Of all the difficulties involved with putting a man on the Moon, “the major issue the Apollo astronauts pointed out was dust, dust, dust.” Moondust may look soft and pillowy, but it’s actually sharp and abrasive, largely the detritus of micrometeorite impacts. With no wind or moving water on the Moon’s surface, moondust never erodes. Effectively, no natural process exists on the lunar surface that can round its edges. When astronauts inhale what is essentially finely powdered glass.....
Schmitt was the first, and only, professional scientist to walk on the Moon, a Harvard-educated geologist who had dedicated the better part of a decade to studying the Moon’s landscape
In December 1972, Schmitt landed in the Moon’s Valley of Taurus-Littrow, surrounded by mountains and endless stretches of moondust. During their first moonwalk, the lunar roving vehicle lost a fender. The tires spun, and the rover kicked up a cloud of dust. The sediment got lodged in every wrinkle, fold, nook, and cranny of Schmitt’s spacesuit. The dust “gummed up the joints” of his suit so badly that he had trouble moving his arms. The powder chewed up his footwear, too. “The dust was so abrasive that it actually wore through three layers of Kevlar-like material on Jack’s boot,” Taylor said.
My favorite Gifs of the week.
Dog confronts robot dog
Timeline of Queen Elizabeth's Life As Told Through Banknotes.
Entire crowd goes nuts when special needs player scores final basket
USPS mailman builds a ramp for an aging black Lab on his day off, easing centuries of postal/canine tension
Indeed, Kramer is not only a friend to Tashi but most of the other dogs on his route. “Most of them are now my friend,” he admitted. “In my opinion if you’re not a dog person and you’re a mailman, you’re in the wrong line of work. I’ve got about 30 or 40 that enthusiastically greet me,” Kramer claimed.
Roseann Sdoia was a spectator near the finish line and was hit by shrapnel. Boston firefighter Mike Materia rushed to her aid and accompanied her to the hospital, where Sdoia's mother stepped in as the matchmaker.
"In the hospital, my mom tried to set me up with him," Sdoia told the New York Post. "She was like, 'Oh, did you see that firefighter? He's so cute.' And I was like, 'Mom, I just got blown up.' "
But Mom's persistence paid off. The victim and her hero struck up a romance that will soon lead to marriage which is planned for the Fall.
Raise a Glass to the Smithsonian's First Beer Scholar Theresa McCulla is ready to start the “best job ever” chronicling the history of American brewing
No one will hire girl with Down syndrome. So she starts her own business - In the North End of Boston, Colletty Divitto is baking up a storm of Colletty's Cookies.
Collette's story was picked up by CBS local Boston, and aired as a "feel good" story for the holidays. Well it became more than that!! Within 10 days, she had over 9.5m views of FB, and over 50,000 cookies ordered. She received over 65,000 letters from people all over the world within 10 days, admiring her determination and ambition and finding her inspirational offering them hope.
Scientists have turned cooking oil into a material 200 times stronger than steel A cheaper way to make graphene.
You have to smile at this Sold Puppy Dancing
Mother Of 4 Builds House From Scratch By Watching YouTube Videos (link to video)
Cara Brookins, 45, explained that when she and her four children started building a house in 2008, they were looking for a way to move on from a troubled past. From putting up windows to running the gas line, they did it all with some help from YouTube. She says they had been through a really tough domestic violence situation and when they left, were pretty beaten down. During times when they had no idea how to continue, Brookins put up an front and rallied her children to keep trying.
He Saved 669 Children During The Holocaust… And He Doesn’t Know They’re Sitting Next To Him.
Not many people know who Sir Nicholas Winton is, considering he is older than 100, most can be forgiven for not being aware of who he is. There are 669 people who will certainly never forget the man’s name, mainly because he managed to save them from death. You see Sir Nicholas Winton saved the lives of 669 Jewish children from Czechoslovakia.
From the years 1938-39 he organised and successfully completed the goal of saving the children, bringing them to the safety of Britain. Post war, his deeds went totally unnoticed for almost 50 years, until his wife found records naming every children, along with a picture in one of his scrapbooks. What happened next is truly beautiful, as the man who saved these helpless children 50 years ago shares the audience with those who owe him their lives.
At the link a 1/1/2 minute video that brought tears to my eyes.
The report in Tuesday's journal PLOS Biology is based on four people with complete "lock-in" syndrome, meaning they are unable to move at all due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease), which destroys the part of the nervous system responsible for movement. Patients are unable blink or move their eyes, and they breathe with the help of a ventilator. But using a non-invasive brain-computer interface that measured levels of oxygen on the brain, researchers were able to detect whether the patients were thinking "yes" or "no" in response to a series of questions, with an accuracy rate of about 70 percent.
"We were initially surprised at the positive responses when we questioned the four completely locked-in patients about their quality of life," said lead author Niels Birbaumer, professor at the Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering in Geneva, Switzerland. "All four had accepted artificial ventilation in order to sustain their life, when breathing became impossible; thus, in a sense, they had already chosen to live. We found that all four patients we tested were able to answer the personal questions we asked them, using their thoughts alone. All four patients in the study were asked, "Are you happy?" They each consistently responded "yes," over weeks of questioning."
Best Drone Photos, Out Of 27,000 Contenders. #1 is Exploration by Hanbing Wang/SkyPixel
English has 3000 words for being drunk: 'ramsquaddled’, ‘obfusticated’, ‘tight as a tick, etc.
There used to be 4 billion American chestnut trees, but they all disappeared The kings of the Eastern forest now die as shrubs.
....frog spit can change physical properties, transforming from a glue more viscous than honey to a thinner fluid and back again.The interplay between this reversible frog saliva and extra-soft frog tongues...allows the animals to capture meals in the amount of time it takes a human brain to think of and speak a word..
Angela Clayton, 19, spends her days lost in eras bygone, designing and sewing dresses that look straight out of a Jane Austen novel or a 16th-century portrait. She also models the creations on her Web sites (including AngelaClayton.Crevado.com).
Ten thousand light years from earth in a constellation far, far away, there is massive cloud of alcohol....1 000 times larger than the diameter of our solar system. It contains enough ethyl alcohol to fill 400 trillion trillion pints of beer. It’s space booze.
How Trees “Talk” To One Another Trees form complex relationships with one another to survive...
Forester Peter Wohlleben’s 2015 book, The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World, invites readers to understand the capabilities of trees as social beings who rely on a network to communicate amongst themselves, much in the same way as any group of people or animals might. Wohlleben found that the groups of trees he studied formed friendships, used electric signals to communicate, and even kept their fallen comrades alive for several additional years, even centuries.
Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
To call the Ayam Cemani the world’s most unique chicken is an understatement. The black chicken isn’t just dark, but it’s entirely black—down to its bones! Indigenous to Indonesia, these Goth fowls’ internal organs and muscles are also inky-colored. It’s eggs, however, are a pleasant shade of cream. ... This blackness is caused by genetics, a mutation that “produces about ten times as much melanin [black pigment] as you’ll find in a normal chicken.” As a result, the Ayam Cemani’s feathers shine with iridescent greens and purples for a “riveting” effect.
The language of 16th-century Irish falconry entered the colloquial English language thanks in part to one amateur falconer: William Shakespeare. Examples: 'Under your thumb', 'wrapped around my little finger', 'hoodwinked' or 'fed-up'
If you plan on visiting Iceland, catching sight of the Northern Lights is chancy, but it's one of the few places in Europe you can see the Milky Way in all its glory, especially at Hotel Rangna in southeast Iceland which boasts of two of the most powerful telescopes in the country in its own observatory open to all guests.
A woman flew through a tornado in a bathtub and survived Unharmed, but emotionally shaken.
The Lego Bridge in Germany.
Large parts of Lake Baikal in Siberia, Russia, were frozen close to the shoreline. As the ice approached the shore, it came crashing down - just like a real wave. It is known as 'ice stacking', and happens after warm air moves across the lake.
You can hear the tinkling of the ice shards
Friar Gabriel is no ordinary man: not only is he skilled in Gregorian chant, he also performs all of his own stunts on the skateboard.
Light Pillars / Credit: Timothy Joseph Elzinga 2017
Your cure for the blues A15 minute cure that really works.
He looks like a handsome cowboy but he's really an historical linguist Just listen to hear how beautiful medieval Norse sounds when spoken by Dr. Jackson Crawford.
Extraordinary images by Russian photographer Kristina Makeeva who spent 3 Days Walking On Frozen Baikal, The Deepest And Oldest Lake On Earth.
The National Park Service Protects Its $40 million Investment in Growing Grass on the National Mall. Every day 30,000 people walk over the national front lawn. On Inauguration Day, some 800,000 to 1,000,000 are expected.
The technology to protect turf is a relatively recent invention, too. For the inauguration, contractors are bringing in special panels, 16 square feet each, to cover up the grass. To the human eye, they look white, but they’re actually translucent, which allows light to reach the grass and keep it healthy. The bottoms of the panels are honeycombed with small, square cells that protect the grass crowns from being crushed and act like mini greenhouses.
Little Kids and Their Big Dogs Russian Photographer Andy Seliverstoff
"The state of endless joy and mutual confidence – that has become the main idea of the series."
Across the USA by Train for Just $213
Traveling coast-to-coast across the United States by train is one of the world’s greatest travel experiences. Amazingly, it’s also one of the world’s greatest travel bargains — the 3,400-mile trip can cost as little as $213.
The English “alphabet song”, also known as “The A.B.C.”, is based on a tune by Mozart
This same tune is also used as the basis for such children’s songs as Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and Baa, Baa, Black Sheep.
You Can Now Buy Snow White’s Cottage For $952,000 on 7.5 acres of land in Olalla, Washington.
How Millions Of Secret Silk Maps Helped POWs Escape Their Captors in WWII 750 successful escapes.
Imagine it’s 1942, and you’re a member of Britain’s Royal Air Force. In a skirmish above Germany, your plane was shot out of the sky, and since then you’ve been hunkered down in a Prisoner of War camp. Your officers have told you it’s your duty to escape as soon as you can, but you can’t quite figure out how—you’ve got no tools and no spare rations, and you don’t even know where you are.
One day, though, you’re playing Monopoly with your fellow prisoners when you notice a strange seam in the board. You pry it open—and find a secret compartment with a file inside. In other compartments, other surprises: a compass, a wire saw, and a map, printed on luxurious, easily foldable silk and showing you exactly where you are, and where safety is. You’ve received a package from Christopher Clayton Hutton—which means you’re set to go.
Although pegs might suggest domestic servitude and toil, they also asserted possession, tidiness and small, quick triumphs.
Garbage can be beautiful, if sorted correctly. Photos from the Secret Trash Collection in a New York Sanitation Garage.
This is the Treasures in the Trash collection, created entirely out of objects found by Nelson Molina, a now-retired sanitation worker, who began by decorating his locker. Collected over 30 years, it is a visual explosion, organized by type, color, and size.
The Married Woman Who Kept Her Lover in the Attic Dolly Oesterreich, her "Bat Man," and one of the strangest sex scandals ever.
It all started with three $50 bags of pennies from the bank and some Elmer's glue...The finished product! About $130 in pennies, 10 bottles of Elmer's glue, some grout and epoxy to give the floor a shiny finish.
Watch 167 Theremin Nesting Dolls Play Beethoven's 9th Symphony then break into a bluesy boogie-woogie rendition.
Why Do Blind People Wear Sunglasses? to filter out bright and ultraviolet light, to protect their eyes from physical dangers like low-hanging branches, small objects blown by the wind, open cupboard doors, etc, to hide certain deformities , to signify that they’re blind at a distance and because they make others uncomfortable because they can not maintain eye contact.
Though we love Christmas for the traditions that it entails, we have forgotten one of the most important traditions. For several centuries people waited until Christmas to celebrate Christmas. And then they celebrated it for twelve days. There was a fast leading up to the feast, and then there were many days of feasting. But in recent years, in spite of official attempts to deflate Christmas altogether, the festival lasts for over a month leading up to the actual feast, and then it vanishes instantly and all evidence of it is erased.
In his brief remarks, Chesterton pointed out that there is no substitute for Christmas. No new religion has made a new festival anything like it. No new philosophy has been popular enough to make a popular holiday. The pleasure-seekers with their nightclub life are not happy people. Chesterton says it is unfair to call them Pagans. It is unfair to the Pagans....The modern Pagans are merely atheists; who worship nothing and therefore create nothing. They could not, for instance, even make a substitute for Thanksgiving Day. For half of them are pessimists who say they have nothing to be thankful for; and the other half are atheists who have nobody to thank.”
Christmas: Embattled From the Beginning. The Saturday essay in the WSJ
For 2,000 years, believers and nonbelievers alike have fought over the meaning and traditions of a repeatedly reinvented holiday
World’s largest Rube Goldberg machine lights up Christmas tree (link to video)
To make the act of switching on the town’s Christmas tree lights even more exiting, Latvian e-commerce company Scandiweb constructed the world’s Largest Rube Goldberg for the people of Riga with a chain reaction that consisted of 412 individual mechanical steps.
Harvesting One Million Christmas Trees over 6 weeks with chains, trucks and helicopters.
A 2016 Christmas Card: Silent Night by 8 cellists from the Philharmonia Orchestra (London, UK) filmed in candlelight at St Mary de Castro, Leicester.
Look at all that we’d miss out on if we shut down our Christmas on December 26 along with the secular world!
General Patton's Christmas Card distributed to 250,000 troops under his command in 1944
During the holiday season of 1944, Gen. Patton’s Third Army was bogged down in their advance against the Germans. According to WND, Patton was bogged down as he was trying to reach Bastogne, a town in southern Belgium that held by 15,000 American troops but encircled by over 50,000 Nazi soldiers bearing down on it. Unfortunately, due to the weather, Gen. Patton didn’t have the air cover he needed to relieve the 15,000 brave American troops holding off the Germans. That’s when he decided to rely on the power of prayer.
Patton had Chaplain Fr. James O’Neill compose a card to be distributed to each one of the 250,000 troops under his command in the Third Army, and had all of the men pray this simple prayer:
click to enlarge
And it worked. The next day, the weather cleared, Patton’s Third Army made its way into Bastogne to relieve the 101st Airborne, stymie the Nazis, and … well, you know the rest.
10 UK Christmas Traditions That Confuse Americans like Crackers for one.
Thousands of people in the southern German city of Augsburg have left Christmas presents and decorations behind, forced to evacuate while authorities disarm a large World War II aerial bomb.
The bomb was uncovered last week during construction work in the city’s historic central district. Police say Christmas Day is the best time to defuse it because there is less traffic and it is more likely people can stay with relatives. Some 32,000 homes with 54,000 residents are in the evacuation zone.
The Piano Guys sing Angels We Have Heard on High with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and over 1000 angels.
The Origins of a Christmas Carol: The Real ‘Winter Wonderland’ by a jingle-writer dying from tuberculosis in a sanatorium who was inspired by children playing in the snow outside his window and remembering his own childhood.
30 million tune into the BBC's Christmas Eve broadcast of Nine Lessons And Carols From King’s College, Cambridge. Few know the ethereal carol service was inspired by the horror of the trenches.
Christmas in Aleppo: Worshippers cram into Saint Elias Cathedral that was almost destroyed by rocket fire for the first time in 5 years.
After two years of subsisting largely on ice cream and peanut butter, he had only just begun to eat real food and keep it down. He had the shakes and at times flew into rages, and his sleep was interrupted by images of bombers burning in the sky and men tumbling to earth.
“It’s a Wonderful Life” was Stewart’s first picture after almost five years away, including 20 months on the front lines. As a squadron commander of B-24 heavy bombers, he flew his first combat mission to Germany on Dec. 13, 1943. He commanded 12 missions in his first two months and was almost shot down twice. The experience unnerved him enough that he spent time at the “flak farm,” where fliers went to decompress after seeing too much combat.
Where Did the Wise Men Come From? Dwight Longnecker argues that they came from the Kingdom of Sheba (present day Yemen)
The three gifts of the magi indicate an origin in Sheba since the kingdom was known firstly for its vast wealth from the gold mines of Africa, secondly, the Boswellia tree–from which the gum that is used to make frankincense is tapped–is native only to the Arabian peninsula and Somalia. Thirdly, the commiphora tree–from which the resin to make myrrh is derived–also grows only in the Arabian peninsula.
Japan Is Obsessed with Kentucky Fried Chicken on Christmas Thanks to the successful Kentucky for Christmas! marketing campaign in 1974,
These days, KFC records its highest sales volume each year on Christmas eve. Back office staff, presidents and execs come out to help move the lines along. Fried chicken and Christmas have become synonymous:
The Best Military Tricks to Make Your Daily Life Easier like how to keep your dress shirt tucked in and waterproof gadgets using two condoms.
Here Are the Real Boundaries of American Metropolises, Decided by an Algorithm
How is the U.S. actually split geographically?
In Defense of Fahrenheit
A lot of scientific thought went into developing the United States' stubbornly-held temperature system. For example Fahrenheit is a more precise scale than Celsius.
Yulia Taits, 38, from Moscow, captured the images of models and says she did not need to use Photoshop for any of them.
Ms Tait, who now lives in Israel, said: 'Their unique beauty hypnotizes me. This beauty is so pure and amazing for me, as if it was taken from fantasies and fairytale legends. ...'I’m excited to prove that white is not just one color! It has many tints, shades and beautiful tones."
Lost poem by Anne Frank unearthed: She wrote the eight lines of advice when she was only 12, in a book belonging to Christiane 'Cri-cri' Van Maarsen, the younger sister of her best friend Jacqueline, only months before the family went into hiding from the Nazis.
If you did not finish your work properly,
And lost precious time,
Then once again take up your task
And try harder than before.
If others have reproached you
For what you have done wrong,
Then be sure to amend your mistake.
That is the best memory one can make.
This jaw-dropping 19th-century bridge uses its reflection to form a perfect circle. Commissioned in 1860 by the knight of the local town, the thin arch stretching over the waters of the Rakotzsee is roughly built out of varied local stone. Like many similarly precarious spans across Europe, the Rakotzbrücke is known as a “devil’s bridge,” due to the colloquialism that such bridges were so dangerous or miraculous that they must have been built by Satan.
The Factory of Fakes In the New Yorker - How a workshop uses digital technology to craft perfect copies of imperiled art.
Explore the stories behind the 100 most influential images of all time put together by Time magazine and an international team of curators
#2 Reflection in a Puddle Where The Gravel Looks Like A Starry Night Sky
The New York Times, the so-called paper of record, reports on the U.S. Presidential election. The first is satire; the second is not.
'Democrats, Students And Foreign Allies Face The Reality Of A Trump Presidency." Howard Kurtz said,"This is the most incredible headline I have ever seen in The New York Times , big screaming banner: 'Democrats, Students And Foreign Allies Face The Reality Of A Trump Presidency.'Just think about this for a second. The man has just won perhaps the greatest political upset victory in the history of American politics. He proved all the pundits and prognosticators wrong. He is the next president of the United States...
Daylight Savings Time makes for some weird situations -one particularly strange example took place this year, when Emily and Seth Peterson gave birth to twins on November 6. One twin, Samuel, was born at 1:39 AM, but the later born twin Ronan arrived after the time change -at 1:10 AM. So which one is older -the one born first or the one born at an earlier time?
More Accurate World Map Wins Prestigious Design Award You probably won't like it, but what went into its creation is fascinating.
Do The Dutch Reach — A Bicyclist You Didn't Door Will Thank You. And you may save a life
Michael Charney, a 70-year-old retired doctor from Cambridge, Massachusetts, is spearheading a grassroots campaign to end dooring forever. The campaign promotes the Dutch Reach — a technique where a driver reaches over with his right hand to open the car door, forcing him to turn his body, look over his shoulder — and hopefully see any oncoming cyclists.
"It's simple, it's obvious, and it costs nothing" Charney told The Boston Globe. "People just have to switch from one thoughtless habit to another thoughtless habit — but the second one is safer."
Famous Paintings Made Real With 3D Technology
A neat little video of 13 different Van Gogh's paintings turned into 3D scenes by Luca Agnani studios at the Van Gogh Museum in the Netherlands.
An investigation by UTV found the answer: local forester Liam Emmery secretly created the image years ago by planting two different kinds of trees, telling few people about it outside his family. His wife Norma said she had forgotten about the image since Liam died 6 years ago.
The Jesuit who invented hypertext
If you surf the internet, it's thanks to Father Roberto Busa, a professor of Thomist philosophy who mastered Latin, Greek, German, French, English and Spanish in addition to his native Italian. He spent 50 years and completed an index and concordance of the writings of St Thomas Aquinas, a work in 56 volumes of almost a thousand pages each. Then
...he met with the founder of IBM, Thomas Watson, in order to produce a digital version of the Index in which a researcher could effectively search for related concepts in Aquinas’ work. Watson told Busa that the computers they had back then could not relate the contents included in the Index in any way. But Busa, of course, insisted.This conversation gave birth to the hypertext project: a structure for sharing and linking information between different sources, through links.
Mark Twain's List of 60 American Comfort Foods He Missed While Traveling Abroad including "Ice-water—not prepared in the ineffectual goblet, but in the sincere and capable refrigerator".
When there were only 14 members of the Chelonoidis hoodensis species left, horny tortoise and noted sex hero Diego had his work cut out for him. Luckily, he was up for the challenge. And he has 800 tortoise children to prove it.
A Macro Timelapse Highlights the Micro Movements of Spectacularly Colored Coral Mesmerizingly beautiful reminder that corals are living things of fantastic strangeness.
Interested in documenting one of the oldest animals on Earth, Barcelona-based production company myLapse set to capture the minimal movements of brightly colored coral, recording actions rarely seen by the human eye. The short film took nearly 25,000 individual images of the marine invertebrates to compose, and photography of species, such as the Acanthophyllia, Trachyphyllia, Heteropsammia cochlea, Physogyra, took over a year.
The Mesmerizing Glow-in-the-Dark Bike Path in Poland made of small crystal-like particles of phosphor called ‘luminophores’ that charge during sunlight hours and can glow for up to 10 hours.
YouTube link - Quando Quando Quando - Teddy Mac - The Songaminute Man
An 80-year-old man who became an internet star when his son posted videos of him singing in the car, has landed a record deal. Decca Records signed Ted McDermott to a deal after videos of his carpool karaoke were watched 40 million times on YouTube.
Ted was diagnosed with dementia in 2013. But singing his favorite songs seems to "bring him back," if only for a few brief minutes. His son, Simon McDermott, found that singing the songs while driving around helped his father cope with his disease.
"This is a dream come true not only for dad, but for the entire family," Simon said. "There have been some really tough days in the last few years - especially for Mum. We threw an 80th birthday party last month and thought that would be his last time singing solo for people, so it's amazing to think he now has a single coming out!"
The World Triathlon Series finale took place on Saturday in Cozumel, Mexico. But the headlines from the event are not about the man who won the race - they're about the men who finished second and third. Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee gave up his chance to win to help his exhausted younger brother Jonny over the finish line. Watch the dramatic ending at the link.
Yisrael Kristal, like many a bar mitzvah boy before him, celebrated the event last weekend, reading the Torah and enjoying the company of his family, who danced, sang and threw candies. But Mr. Kristal was surrounded at the ceremony in southern Israel by his two surviving children, nine grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren. He is 113, and he had to wait a century to mark the occasion.
Ms. Kristal Kuperstoch said her father had prayed every morning for the past 100 years. She attributed his longevity to “the above." “He believes in God,” she said. “He is a simple man, a wise and intelligent man. He believes in himself. He is someone who takes happiness in everything.
Mr. Kristal’s granddaughter Liat Bashan, a 32-year-old social worker, said that seeing her grandfather at his bar mitzvah ceremony, in a room spilling over with relatives and loved ones, had left her overcome with joy — and mindful of all those who perished in the Holocaust. “All those people from one person,” she said. “Imagine how many rooms could be filled if six million had lived.” She added: “Every time I see my grandfather, I want to make a blessing.”
A beautiful testament to that emancipating, transformative power of public libraries comes from one such troubled little girl named Storm Reyes, who grew up in an impoverished Native American community, had her life profoundly changed, perhaps even saved, by a library bookmobile, and went on to become a librarian herself. She tells her story in this wonderful oral history animation by StoryCorps.
If you’re doubting whether you’ve done enough with your life, don’t compare yourself to Mr. Kaminsky. By his 19th birthday, he had helped save the lives of thousands of people by making false documents to get them into hiding or out of the country. He went on to forge papers for people in practically every major conflict of the mid-20th century.
Times video at the link
There was a time when the little girl Ashley could seen nothing but light and dark. Now grown-up and after a lot of work with a great doctor, she can see just fine. She never forgot how her friends and family explained colors to her.
Red. They had me stand outside in the sun. They told me that the heat I was feeling is red. They explained that red is the color of a burn, from heat, embarrassment, or even anger.
Yellow I didn't touch anything for this, they just told me that whenever you laugh so hard you can't stop, that that happiness is what yellow looks like.
Green I held soft leaves and wet grass. They told me green felt like life. To this day it is still very much my favorite color.
Blue. They put my hands in their pool. They told me that that sensation I felt while swimming, that omnipresent coolness, that's blue. Blue feels like relaxation.
Brown I held dirt and I touched a tree. They told me brown felt like earth, and like crunchy leaves or wilting flowers.
Grey They told me that the rain is grey, and that so is concrete or cement. That it is a hard color, stern and with no personality. (Sorry grey, I like you now! But you scared me back then)
The couples first met at on social media where they started conversing because they had so much in common as identical twins. After getting on so well, they set up a double date. It was quickly crystal clear that both relationships were serious and so they took the next natural step: a double wedding.
Rostislav said: 'When we met them they were just as shocked as we were. And then… love.' When asked if he ever got confused to the two brides, he shook his head and said of his new wife: 'I'd know her through galaxies.'
She said the project was a form of 'therapy' after watching her mother suffer with Alzheimer's Disease.
While attempting to do a commercial for the chicken pot pie at Dysart's Restaurant in Maine, this gentleman has a little problem with saying his lines. This just gets funnier and funnier as it goes on, and it is imperative that you watch until the very end. This is the hardest I've laughed all week.
video at the link
Diversity Training Fails from the Harvard Business Review
‘Laboratory studies show that this kind of force-feeding can activate bias rather than stamp it out.’
OPERATION "LITTLE VITTLES". Not surprisingly, dropping candy from a military airplane was against regulation, but Halvorsen was resolute. First, he convinced his copilot and their engineer to give him their weekly candy rations. Then he tackled the problematic physics of “candy bombs”: Chocolate dropped from a plane going 110 mph hurtles toward Earth at alarming speeds. Halvorsen’s solution was to craft mini-parachutes from handkerchiefs and attach them to the candy with twine.
Rare Pierre de Coubertin medal awarded only 17 times is given to the NZ and US runners who fell and helped each other to carry on, American Abbey D'Agnostino and Nikki Hamblin of New Zealand were both awarded the extremely rare medal after displaying the 'Olympic spirit and fair play' after helping each other finish the 5,000m. They were 3,000m into the race when the American appeared to clip Hamblin's heel, sending both tumbling to the ground but instead of appearing frustrated that their dreams of glory were apparently over, they helped one another to carry on.
Due to its nutrtiional value and mind-altering effects, alcohol provided "incentives for hunter-gatherers to settle down and domesticate grain". So to drink that beer, they set up villages and new societies. They would also use alcohol in religious ceremonies and as medicine. As such, according to the scientist, "The beginnings of civilization were spurred on by fermented beverages."...paradoxically beer is healthier (of course, if used in moderation). It kills bacteria and could have been a safer drinking choice than "raw water".
Jeni Stepien’s father was murdered in 2006. His heart was later given to Arthur Thomas, who waited 16 years to have a heart transplant. On Friday, the day before her wedding, Stepien met Thomas for the first time. She was able to feel her father’s heart beat for the first time in 10 years. “What greater honor could a person have than walking the daughter of the man who’s given his heart to him,” Thomas told reporters. “I can’t imagine a greater honor.”
It's called biofilm which only needs nutrients and a surface to grow. The National Parks Service has hired scientists from all over the world to find a solution. Black slime goes global from Italy to Cambodia
In 1944, the OSS (the precursor to the CIA) produced a document called the Simple Sabotage Field Manual. It was designed to be used by agents in the field to hinder our WWII adversaries. The CIA recently highlighted five tips from the manual as timelessly relevant......
After the New York premiere of Hyde Park on Hudson, Murray and the film-makers took questions from the audience. The film stars Murray as the crippled US president Franklin D Roosevelt, and one scene shows FDR swimming, his horribly wizened legs dangling under the water. According to US GQ, one audience member wondered how the special effects department had managed to make the limbs look so hideous. As the giggling from the stage quickly made apparent, no special effects were involved. Murray let the laughter die down. “That,” he said after a long pause, “is acting.”
Photographer Hal Kawaguchi smothers couples in lube before vacuum-packing them in plastic bags and keeps a paramedic on hand to make sure the partners aren't suffocated during the session.
He didn't know the potential eye-watering value of $100 million and kept it as a 'good luck charm' in his rundown wooden home. But a fire at the property earlier this year forced him to have a clear out and move house. The fisherman handed it in to the stunned local tourism officer in remote Puerto Princesca who verified that it had been found in a giant clam.
Circle of Hotness This is hysterical. Jen explains why 86 degrees isn't so hot on the Circle of Hotness. YouTube video at the link.
YouTube video at the link.
The Smithsonian is Hiring a Beer Historian
The Smithsonian National Museum of American History is hiring a beer historian/scholar for a three-year appointment. Curator Paula Johnson explains that the gig is a new position funded by the Brewers Association and that the museum is seeking someone who can "focus and dedicate efforts towards research, documentation, and collecting American brewing history.....with special emphasis on the craft industry
The Rarest Plant in Britain Makes a Ghostly Appearance - The Ghost Orchid
Decades go by, and people are prowling the woods, eyes down, hunting for it—crawling, searching, losing hope, and then, all of a sudden, there it is again! In a totally unexpected spot, far from the last sighting, hiding in the dark, barely as tall as your thumb, leafless, probably the rarest plant in Great Britain. It's known as the ghost orchid, and when it shows up, people go nuts.
What makes mosquitoes so good at getting under our skin?
Mosquitoes kill more than a million people every year by transmitting diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, making the insects the animal kingdom’s most prolific killer of humans by a wide margin A short video offers a close-up of how female mosquitoes use a sophisticated set of evolutionary tools – essentially, six ultra-sharp needles – to pierce our skin and suck our blood.
14 Canadian wolves brought into Yellowstone National Park transformed a whole ecosystem… for the good!
The effects in the park were deeper, better and more striking than expected. The whole ecosystem was transformed. Even the course of the rivers changed! How could wolves provoke such incredible changes in nature? Watch the clip and marvel.
The Hippo isn't a re-invention of the wheel, simply a way to use the rolling motion to help people transport drinking water home far easier and in much larger quantities.
Before the Hippo started changing lives people could only carry about 20 liters of water home at a time, in a bucket carried on their head no less, but the Hippo allows them to roll 90 liters home easily and quickly.
You can’t copy money on any printer because of the Eurion Constellation - It's the secret anti-counterfeit symbol.
The name was terrible, but the “K Disease” was not a lethal virus. It was actually the clever invention of Professor Giovanni Borromeo and a religious of the Hospital of the Brothers Hospitallers of Saint John of God, to save the lives of dozens of Jews persecuted by the Nazis during World War II.
When the SS entered the Fatebenefratelli hospital located on the Tiber Island in Rome, medical personnel and religious explained to the Germans that behind the doors of two special wards, there were patients suffering from this terrible K Disease, some of whom were terminally ill. The officers did not dare to enter the wards. Had they done so, they would have met with Jewish families, men in one room, women and children in another.
In recognition of this singular feat of creativity and courage, on Tuesday the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation bestowed upon the hospital — one of the oldest and most renowned facilities in the Eternal City — the prestigious recognition of “House of Life.”
England vs Great Britain vs United Kingdom Explained. Brilliant Venn diagram
The first actual water closet resembling today's toilet was created for Queen Elizabeth I. It was created by her godson, Sir John Harington, in 1596. Although his creation was rejected by the public at large, it is Sir John Harington we honor every time we say we have to go to "the john.”
Kay and Joe O'Regan are 80 years old and in fantastic condition--as is their marriage. Their time in the race was 5 hours and 23 minutes. Their time in marriage has been 57 joyful years. The Today show reports:
With the finish line in sight a half mile away, Joe grabbed Kay's hand and together they completed the race, clocking in at 5 hours and 23 minutes and making them both come in first for their age group. It may be hard to believe, but these fit octogenarians didn't get into running until the age of 49. They have their son, Sintan, now 56, to thank for that. They were living in London at the time when he complained to his parents about having to train for rugby in the rain.
"I said to him, 'You can't let a little rain stop you,' and he dared me to go out and run around the neighborhood in the rain with him," Kay told TODAY. "And here we are 30 years later still running."
A photographer known only as Paul had snapped pictures of American life during the 1950s--fully 1,200 rolls of pictures. Then he wrapped the rolls in tin foil and athletic tape, then labelled these packages with photographic details, such as light modifiers and the cameras used. These packages were placed in cigar boxes, which were in turn packed carefully inside more tape, foil, and newspaper.
The mysterious Paul created a time capsule, then disappeared. Levi Bettwieser is now slowly and carefully excavating the find. He calls his efforts the Rescued Film Project.
In the early to mid twentieth century, the majority of the city’s libraries had live-in superintendents. Like the superintendents who still live in many of the city’s residential buildings, these caretakers both worked and lived in the buildings for which they were responsible. This meant that for decades, behind the stacks, meals were cooked, baths and showers were taken, and bedtime stories were read. And yes, families living in the city’s libraries typically did have access to the stacks at night—an added bonus if they happened to need a new bedtime book after hours.
Unfortunately, the days of live-in superintendents at libraries appear to be over. The last known live-in superintendent moved out of the NYPL’s Webster Branch, located at 1468 York Avenue in Yorkville, in 2006. ...
If the opportunity to work and live in a library still existed today, qualifications for prospective live-in superintendents would likely include everything from a great command of English to the ability to supervise staff to a general knowledge of electrical, plumbing, HVAC and carpentry repair. Many current live-in superintendent positions also require applicants to have a high-level of computer skills and experience working with one or more building management software programs. Finally, anyone interested in taking on the role of live-in superintendent needs to be committed to working around the clock and working year-round.
SODASTREAM launches new Beer Bar accessory that transforms tap water into an instant home-crafted brew. Not available yet in the U.S.
He shrubs up nicely: Bizarre tree looks just like a real person spotted in the Balkan Mountains, Bulgaria
The 65ft beech looks like Treebeard the Ent, a walking and talking tree from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of The Rings-trilogy.
Yale English Majors Petition Not to Have to Read Chaucer and Shakespeare Also included in the Major English Poets class are Edmund Spenser, John Donne, John Milton, Alexander Pope, William Wordsworth, and T.S. Eliot. Too white, too male.
How about saying: The canon of English literature is filled with first-rate writing. If you're a Yalie and you don't like that, major in "Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies." Not a word of Chaucer in the required reading.
Tim Doucette only has ten percent of his vision, but strangely, he can see better in the dark. Since his pupils do not dilate and constrict, too much light gets in during the daylight hours. Yet he can see stars in the night sky better than most people can. So it only made sense that he would study those stars.
Greatest story of the week. Bungling bicycle thief gets lassoed by horse-riding Oregon cowboy in WalMart car park
Borba heard the woman's shouts while he was stocking up at Wal-Mart. Luckily, he had Long John and his lasso to hand. Born in California, Borba used to work rodeos, but prefers the ranching life in Oregon.
Fish gobble plastics like teenagers eat junk food: Young creatures prefer harmful man-made materials which stunts their growth
Lowe's Hires A Man Who Requires A Service Dog, Makes A Custom Vest For The Dog
Two boys were walking home from Sunday school after hearing a strong preaching on the devil. One said to the other, 'What do you think about all this Satan stuff?' The other boy replied, 'Well, you know how Santa Claus turned out. It's probably just your Dad..'
Attending a wedding for the first time, a little girl whispered to her mother, 'Why is the bride dressed in white?''
The mother replied, 'Because white is the color of happiness, and today is the happiest day of her life.'
The child thought about this for a moment then said, 'So why is the groom wearing black?
A police recruit was asked during the exam, 'What would you do if you had to arrest your own mother?'
He answered, 'Call for backup.'
I never knew there was such a thing as a pollen corona
Soon to open in Bruges, an Underground Beer Pipeline
De Halve Maan Brewery, a centuries-old beer-maker, is the sole brewery remaining within the city center of Bruges. The tight space there, however, means that while the beer is brewed downtown, it's bottled elsewhere, two miles away. Rather than driving trucks back and forth through some of the most congested streets in Europe, the brewery will soon move its delectable brew via the pipeline (built at a cost of $4.5 million) at a speed of more than 1,000 gallons per hour,
In this romantic portrait from 1934, a creative couple uses a tree branch to rig up what just might be the original selfie stick.While the devices are ubiquitous today, it seems that this Swedish couple — Helmer Larsson and his wife, Naemi — may have invented the very first one. The modern selfie stick was released in 2014, and it hasn’t always produced rosy outcomes à la the Larssons: Since 2014, 49 people have died while snapping pictures of themselves.
The tech boss was on a visit to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam with EU Digital Commissioner Neelie Kroes when they spotted the device in a painting entitled 'Man Handing a Letter to a Woman in the Entrance Hall of a House'.
Thomas Thwaites, 35, spent a year creating prosthetic 'goat legs' that would allow him to roam the Alps comfortably on all fours and an artificial stomach that would enable him to blend in and 'eat grass'.
Thwaites said: 'When I first had the idea a lot of people called me crazy, but I was fed up with my life anyway and I needed a break. I was jobless and I had a lot of personal problems, and I found everyday life so stressful.' 'One day I was walking with the dog of a friend and I noticed that the dog just seemed really happy about life, without any worries, and I thought to myself it would be really great to be you for a day.'
He applied for a university grant to study goat psychology and tracked down a goatherd in the village of Wolfenschiessen in Switzerland who was prepared to tolerate him living with his animals as they were being taken to their summer pasture....The prosthetics were painful, the landscape was tough and Thwaites was constantly battling the cold. Those challenges, however, were nothing compared to the task of convincing the herd he was one of them.
Thwaites said: 'I suffered quite a lot as a goat, because of the slope I was constantly falling over, and of course I had to eat grass. 'Also the goats didn't seem to like me very much, sometimes I thought they were really going to try and attack me. And they have particularly dangerous horns. But I later realized that they were just letting me know there was a hierarchy, and I should know my place.' Thwaites said: 'The best moment was when one of the goats suddenly decided she was going to be my friend, and she just followed me everywhere.
Neither fingers nor art, these projections come from Xylaria polymorpha, a saprobic fungus.
It is a common inhabitant of forest and woodland areas, usually growing from the bases of rotting or injured tree stumps and decaying wood. It has also been known to colonize substrates like woody legume pods, petioles, and herbaceous stems. It is characterized by its elongated upright, clavate, or strap-like stromata poking up through the ground, much like fingers.
Isa Lake, The only natural lake in the world that drains into both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
When the mountain snows melt, and the springtime runoff swells the banks of this narrow lake situated at the summit of Craig Pass in Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park, something unusual happens.
Using an unprecedented technique of matching stars to the locations of temples on Earth, a 15-year-old Canadian student says he’s discovered a forgotten Maya city in Central America. Images from space suggest he may actually be onto something.
William Gadoury, a teen from Saint-Jean-de-Matha in Lanaudière, developed an interest in archaeology after the publication of the Maya calendar announcing the end of the world in 2012. After spending hours pouring over diagrams of constellations and maps of known Maya cities, he noticed that the two appeared to be linked; the brightest stars of the constellations overlaid perfectly with the locations of the largest Maya cities. As reported in The Telegraph, no other scientist had ever discovered such a correlation.
" I was really surprised and excited when I realized that the most brilliant stars of the constellations matched the largest Maya cities.”".....Daniel de Lisle of the Canadian Space Agency said he was fascinated by the depth of Gadoury’s research, and that linking the position of stars and the location of a lost city “is quite exceptional.”
In The Guardian, The day we discovered our parents were Russian spies
For years Donald Heathfield, Tracey Foley and their two children lived the American dream. Then an FBI raid revealed the truth: they were agents of Putin’s Russia. Their sons tell their story
If Tim and Alex’s story sounds eerily familiar to fans of The Americans, the television drama about a KGB couple living in the US with their two children, that’s because it’s partly based on them. The show is set in the 1980s, providing a cold war backdrop, but the 2010 spy round-up served as an inspiration. The show’s creator, Joe Weisberg, trained to be a CIA case officer in the early 1990s and, when I speak to him on the phone, tells me he always wanted to put family at the heart of the plot.
David Nash, an artist, owns land in rural northern Wales. In 1977, he began growing and shaping a circle of trees to form this structure. It's a living sculpture of 22 ash trees called Ash Dome.
How a Wine and Cocaine Cocktail became Coca Cola from the VA Viper
Less well-known is the story about how Coca Cola originates from an alcoholic drink based on cocaine and wine, Bordeaux wine to be specific - a particular combination which made for a distinctly more toxic beverage, known as Coca Wine.
Coca Wine was first developed in 1863 by a French-Corsican entrepreneur in Paris, Angelo Mariani. His advertising in Europe and the United States claimed the tonic would “cure melancholia … restore health, strength, energy, and vitality”. During the second half of the 19th century, everyone was drinking the stuff. Vin Mariani was a favorite amongst celebrities of the day including Thomas Edison, Jules Verne, Sarah Bernhardt, Ulysses S Grant and was even Queen Victoria’s drink of choice. Pope Leo XIII personally endorsed the wine, lending his face to the brand’s advertising campaign - he even awarded it the Vatican gold medal.
And, in fact, when alcohol and cocaine combine, they form a chemical they create a third unique drug called cocaethylene, which produces a feeling of euphoria more powerful and longer lasting than cocaine is capable of producing on its own.
A relative told Saudi daily Al Watan: 'The groom tried to get closer with her and more intimate, but he was shocked when she ignored him, not responding to his words and action. 'When he asked her if her friends were more important than he was, the bride answered that they were.'
Civilization started because of agriculture — that much is known. But what if agriculture started because of beer? Which came first, beer or bread?
Researchers at Dartmouth Tiltfactor lab have found that reading news stories, features and books on screens makes people more inclined to focus on concrete details rather than interpreting information more abstractly.
What Happens When You Build a Cube Out of One Way Mirrors is mesmerizing.
Goose Finds Cop and Leads Him To Her Trapped Baby In Cincinnati, Officer James Givens was sitting in his patrol car when...
"This goose came up and started pecking on the side of the car. I threw some food out for her, but she didn't take it. She just kept pecking and quacking. Then she walked away, stopped and looked back. Then came over again and pecked some more."
When the goose walked away a second time, and again looked back, Givens decided to follow her. And it's a good thing that he did.
"She led me about 100 yards away to this grassy area near a creek. That's when I saw one of her babies all tangled up in some string from a balloon. His little feet were kicking," said Givens. "She led me straight to him."
I began listening to nature sounds in the 80s and often still do when I am writing. But I never knew about The Man Who Recorded, Tamed and Then Sold Nature Sounds to America
A forgotten 1970s-era hippie polymath named Irv Teibel created the "soothing" vibe of the great outdoors....New York's least likely media mogul was the mastermind behind Environments, a series of records he swore were "The Future of Music." From 1969 to 1979, he took the best parts of nature, turned them up to 11, engraved them on 12-inch records, and sold them back to us by the millions. He had a musician's ear, an artist's heart, and a salesman's tongue....
Between 1969 and 1979, Teibel released 11 environments LPs. Most sold well, though none approached the success of "The Psychologically Ultimate Seashore," which moved enough units that he never had to work again. His records couldn’t go out of style, Teibel figured, because they were never in style in the first place. They were functional items—“like a bar of soap,” he said.
Teibel's cultural reputation is quietly growing alongside his scientific one, thanks to historians and music buffs like Jonathan Een Newton. ....It is, in his eyes, a major one. Teibel is a kind of auditory missing link. "Before, there’s Muzak, there’s mood music, and there’s sound effects records. Afterwards, there’s new age music, ambient music, Brian Eno... and he’s right in between," Een Newton says. "He's a forgotten godfather."
It’s called the Doorway Effect, and it’s actually a sign that your brain is in fine working order.
On the occasion of her 90th, some spectacular photographic portraits of Queen Elizabeth the royal family have been released.
My favorite by Ranald MacKechnie was planned as a stamp sheet
Yukako Fukushima crafts lifelike pinkies to help yakuza criminals who severed fingers as a mark of contrition begin a new life
They are animated to show a clean transition between youth and old age, in which the young and old images of the pictured individuals are superimposed onto each other. They are an excellent way of highlighting what changes in us as we grow older – some facial features remain recognizable and similar, while others change drastically.
Signs of the Times Shepherd Charges Phone Using A Donkey and A Solar Panel
Two remarkable examples of what the human spirit can achieve: Handless 7-Year-Old Wins National Handwriting Competition
And Russian teenager born with no fingers becomes celebrated piano player
Alexey Romanov first took up music two years ago after being inspired by the works of Mozart and Vivaldi. In the short time since he has performed for the republic’s orchestra and has found fame on national TV.
Water samples from Puget Sound showed high levels of Prozac, bug spray, cocaine, Zantac, ibuprofen and 77 other drugs. These drugs littered not only the water but also the tissue of juvenile chinook salmon.
From canning beer, making braided wire, industrial bacon slicer, making Crayola crayons and my personal favorite, harvesting carrots.
All of them orchids with names like swaddled babies, flying duck orchid, hooker's lips orchid, ballerina orchid, monkey orchid, naked man orchid, laughing bumblebee orchid and white egret orchid
Swaddled babies orchid
The default location for 600 million IP addresses just happens to be the front yard of Joyce Taylor’s farm...For the last decade, Taylor and her renters have been visited by all kinds of mysterious trouble. They’ve been accused of being identity thieves, spammers, scammers and fraudsters. They’ve gotten visited by FBI agents, federal marshals, IRS collectors, ambulances searching for suicidal veterans, and police officers searching for runaway children. They’ve found people scrounging around in their barn. The renters have been doxxed, their names and addresses posted on the internet by vigilantes. Once, someone left a broken toilet in the driveway as a strange, indefinite threat. All in all, the residents of the Taylor property have been treated like criminals for a decade. And until I called them this week, they had no idea why.
That's feather identification expert Roxie Laybourne surrounded by colorful birds. Photographer Chip Clark took roughly 8 hours to set it up.
Carol Butler, the assistant director of the museum’s collections, said "These images come from a motivation to show people, in a beautiful and interesting way, a view into the richness of the collections. These are America's collections—so we want to give people a view into the collections even though we can't invite every single person to walk through the storage areas."
The new cross, called Kaleabis, would be available as a superfood juice shot in Oregon dispensaries this summer.
The Duchess of Cambridge, 34, was left stunned today when she discovered the very rude translation of a song cheerleaders were chanting during an archery contest in Bhutan. Traditionally in Bhutan, men sing songs to celebrate hitting the target and are cheered on by women supporters who sing songs of support for their own men, and obscene chants to try to distract their rivals. And it turned out that at today's contest, the female cheerleaders were chanting: 'You're bald. You're a baldy. Your nose is really big. We hope your private parts are as big.'
International crime rings targeting California's booming agriculture industry are increasingly stealing truckloads of high-value nuts, prompting authorities and the firms falling victim to ramp up efforts to break the spree costing millions. The sophisticated organizations in many cases use high-tech tactics, hacking into trucking companies to steal their identity. Armed with false shipping papers, they pose as legitimate truckers, driving off with loads of nuts such as almonds, walnuts or pistachios valued at $150,000, and some worth $500,000 each.
Yellow pencils have been a tradition since the late 1800s, when the best graphite in the world was produced in China. Western pencil tycoons wanted their customers to know their pencils were filled with top-quality lead, so they painted their instruments in the color associated with Chinese royalty:
The country that gave the world Kafka, sugar cubes and Pilsner Urquell beer is to get a rebrand. Officials at the Czech Republic's foreign ministry believe a new name - Czechia - is more practical and flexible when referring to the state. Unlike most European countries, the Czech Republic has lacked a one-word version of its name in foreign languages. Neighboring Slovakia is officially the Slovak Republic and similarly the Russian Federation is shortened to Russia in everyday conversation. President Miloš Zeman regularly uses the name to refer to his country and said on a trip to Israel in 2013: 'I use "Czechia" because it sounds nicer and it’s shorter than the cold "Czech Republic".'...Not everyone is happy with the plans though, critics have said the new name could be confused with the Russian republic of Chechnya - almost 2,000 miles to the east.
The exceptionally well-preserved tableau had remained hidden in the attic of their home outside Toulouse, southwestern France, untouched for more than 150 years since an ancestor brought it back to France from his campaigns abroad as an officer of Napoleon’s army. Experts have already dubbed the incredible find a “momentous occasion” in European art history and the “most important painting by far” to have emerged by one of the great masters in modern times.
Judith Beheading Holofernes
Otherwise known as ambergris which perfumers use to make scent last longer. ""It smells too bad, though. It's a very distinctive smell, like a cross between squid and farmyard manure."
Good sea-dog! Meet Lila the Labrador who catches LOBSTERS for her owner
Alex Schulze has trained Lila the Labrador to dive and catch lobsters. All he has to do is point in direction of lobster, and Lila does rest
The inventors of Bubblewrap thought of it as a new type of wallpaper, but when they were left with tons of inventory....
Castaways Rescued After Spelling 'Help' with palm fronds. Navy plane spotted men on remote Pacific island. The men, who also waved orange life jackets to attract the plane's attention, had been stranded for three days after their boat capsized, forcing them to swim all night to the island.
Seal Crosses The Road Every Day To Visit Seafood Restaurant. Video at link.
Street Artist Installs Secret Rooms Under Abandoned Manholes In Milan That's where Italian artist Biancoshock has been busy converting the spaces below manholes and the other metal shutter doors you sometimes see in the middle of the sidewalks, into little secret rooms.
My favorite contemporary artist Natural sculptures by Andy Goldsworthy.
"Andy Goldsworthy is an extraordinary, innovative British artist whose collaborations with nature produce uniquely personal and intense artworks. Using a seemingly endless range of natural materials—snow, ice, leaves, bark, rock, clay, stones, feathers petals, twigs—he creates outdoor sculpture that manifests, however fleeting, a sympathetic contact with the natural world. Before they disappear, or as they disappear, Goldsworthy, records his work in superb color photographs."
The L.L. Bean boot factory in Brunswick is a thrumming hippodrome the size of an airplane hangar, a place filled with the clatter and hum of machinery, the metallic music of cutting, fitting, skiving, stitching, and brushing. The scent of solvent and leather hangs thickly; light flows through a filmy window. It could be any factory, anywhere, except no: It's an American factory making an American product entirely out of American materials, a rare trifecta in this era of offshore, chockablock manufacturing. Even more remarkable, the product—a century-old hunting boot known by its odd hybrid of soft leather uppers married to waterproof rubber bottoms—is the cornerstone of a $1.6 billion mail-order empire with a hearty American legend of its own. Each boot takes about forty-five minutes to make—and, given the whimsies of demand and supply, customers seem to wait with the same bated breath, react with the same delight, when they finally get their hands on a pair.
Beautiful Existence - who changed her name from Desiree Longabaugh - from Seattle, 42 years old, spent $7000 so she could go to Paris and marry herself under the Eiffel Tower
The mother-of-two said, 'It was hugely emotional. 'Looking at myself on that screen as I Skyped the officiant, saying exactly what I wanted to say to myself was soul-shifting.
At the annual Cheltenham Festival in Gloucestershire, the handsome Irish chestnut gelding, Morestead, who will be 11 in two weeks, struttin' in his tweed ensemble. And his friend, 20-time champion and former jockey, Sir Anthony McCoy in matching style. The dapper suit is a first of its kind, took 4 weeks and it took Emma Sandham-King more than 59 ft of tweed to make.
Nearing his 90th year, Mickey has not only outlived his adversaries, he has conquered them. Emerson famously advised his readers that if they built a better mousetrap, people would beat a path to their doors. Walt Disney wisely ignored his advice. Instead of a better trap, he built a better mouse, and the world paved a superhighway to his property.
Equipped with little backpack sensors, a group of London pigeons are flying around the city measuring and live-tweeting air pollution levels.
In Search of Ambergris A highly prized slurry of squid beaks and whale feces also known as the secret ingredient in Chanel No. 5.
Each storybook animation features some form of magical realism where pelicans play scrabble, tattoos bloom from skin, or breakfasts appear to cook themselves. Sparrows tells us that she works professionally as an illustrator, but these brief standalone pieces are just ideas she wants to exist outside of her head.
Longreads. Loving Books in a Dark Age
In the “dark ages” of Europe, people began reading silently to themselves, and a love of books and learning took hold, pioneered by Bede.
In Buddhism, trees are symbols of longevity, health, beauty and compassion. The number of saplings was also symbolic, as Buddhists believe each person is required to overcome 108 defilements in order to achieve enlightenment.
"We are now nurturing the plants as if we are nurturing the little prince."
The incredible true story of Colonel Sanders: How the bad-tempered creator of KFC once SHOT a business rival and served dinner to scientists while they worked on the Hiroshima bomb.
The Monarch butterfly population is skyrocketing in the forests of Mexico where the butterflies spend their winters, a new survey has found.
The increase in the butterflies was absolutely massive: there were three and a half times more of them this winter compared to last winter, and the vibrant orange and black creatures blanketed 10 acres of forest, according to a CBS News report.
“Songs like 'Danny Boy' that last 100 years are rare. They appear simple, but are beautifully complicated. You need a bunch of keys to unlock the mysteries of 'Danny Boy,' but I believe one of its most essential elements is its emotional dialectic – loss and hope, joy and pain, sunshine and shadow – and these lie at the very center of all our lives.”
20 Shots From Popular Movies Show How Visual Effects Transform The Whole Thing. From now on, I'm giving more credit to actors for their acting with ridiculous props. Here is Emilia Clarke playing Daenerys Targaryen petting one of her dragons in Game of Thrones.
Retired bricklayer and part time fisherman Joao Pereira de Souza, 71, from an island village just outside Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, discovered the tiny penguin languishing on rocks in 2011. The helpless creature was starving and covered in oil but Mr de Souza took him in and nursed him back to health, naming the South American Magellanic penguin Dindim. When Dindim was well again Mr de Souza released him back into the sea, never expecting to see his new friend again.
He was astonished when, just a few months later, the penguin returned to the island where he recognized Mr de Souza and returned home with him. Now, Dindim spends eight months of the year with Mr de Souza and spends the rest of his time breeding off the coast of Argentina and Chile.
'I love the penguin like it's my own child and I believe the penguin loves me,' Mr Pereira de Souza told Globo TV.
'No one else is allowed to touch him. He pecks them if they do. He lays on my lap, lets me give him showers, allows me to feed him sardines and to pick him up.'
Last summer, Christopher Ingraham snarkily called Red Cloud, Minnesota, "America's worst place to live." This summer, the Washington Post reporter is moving there with his whole family.
A Banana Grows in Iceland, only 177 miles from the Arctic Circle thanks to heat from volcanic hot springs.
Picture of the week: Shaun Cunningham saves his nine-year-old son Landon from being hit in the face. It was his 9th birthday and Landon was attending his first baseball game and texting a photo to his mom when his father went into protective Dad mode.
Christopher Le Cun, 30, from Florida, was out scuba diving with his friend Robert Blake and they decided to check out huge structures beneath the waves which turned out to be 16ft-wide intake pipes for a nuclear power plant. ...Cun was sucked into one of the structures which turned out to be 16ft-wide intake pipes, capable of draining 500,000 gallons of water per minute into massive pools used to cool the plant's reactors. Cun described the sensation as similar to being sucked over a waterfall, saying he suddenly found himself in complete darkness and still being swept along. ...
Blake, sure he'd just witnessed his friend die, swam back to the boat and broke the news to Cun's wife Brittany, who was sitting in the craft with the couple's young son and daughter. Meanwhile, hundreds of feet below them, Cun was adrift in total darkness and fearful of being cut to piece by whatever turbine was sucking the water in.He added: 'I contemplated, you know, do I just pull the regulator out of my mouth and just die? I started thinking about my family, you know, how are they going to survive without me?'
After around five minutes Cun was deposited into one of the reservoir pools used to store water before it is pumped into the reactor, where he managed to climb out....Still in his scuba diving gear he confronted a shocked employee who, after several moments of disbelief, got Cun a phone so he could call his wife and tell her he was ok.
Portland-based Karen Zack has also uploaded 'Labradoodle or fried chicken? Puppy or bagel? Shar Pei or croissant? Dog or mop?
Formed by a unique crystal structure that allows the manganese ions to absorb red and green wavelengths of light, while only reflecting blue, the vibrant blue is so durable, and its compounds are so stable – even in oil and water – that the color does not fade. Nor is it toxic.
"During the Renaissance, vivid blue ultramarine pigments, often used for painting the Virgin Mary’s cloak, were worth five times their weight in gold," writes Virginia Postrel, " In 1704, another accidental chemical discovery, of what became known as Prussian blue, made less expensive synthetic true blues available
Brahms Lullaby, the beautiful and most effective lullaby in the world as you can see in this wonderful clip.
Private Mose Triplett was 19 when the Civil War ended in 1865. Later in life, he married a woman 50 years younger than him and, in 1930, they had a daughter Irene. Irene Triplett is now in her mid-eighties and gets a monthly benefit check from US Department of Veterans Affairs for her father's service so many years before.
New Spray Painted Tile Floor Patterns in Abandoned Spaces Apart from Banksy, Javier De Rib is the only graffiti artist I like.
Michelangelo's Tuscan Villa for Sale only $8 mil
An Oklahoman grocer's great idea: stacked baskets on wheels. How the Shopping Cart Revolutionized the Way We Shop
Wile away some time at The Museum of Endangered Sounds.
David Zinn draws utterly charming Characters on the Streets of Ann Arbor.
Deere John. "A man and a 22 ton John Deere excavator dance a dance of discovery, fulfillment, and eventually, the loss that any diesel-based relationship must suffer." Very well done.
There is a veritable truckload of bullshit in science.¹ When I say bullshit, I mean arguments, data, publications, or even the official policies of scientific organizations that give every impression of being perfectly reasonable — of being well-supported by the highest quality of evidence, and so forth — but which don’t hold up when you scrutinize the details. Bullshit has the veneer of truth-like plausibility. It looks good. It sounds right. But when you get right down to it, it stinks.
When a 7-year-old girl channels her inner Steph Curry: Unbelievable. The assignment desk at ESPN is looking for the owner to license rights to show across "all platforms".
The Chemistry of Lighting a Match I wish I could embed the gif
The process takes merely tenths of a second. But within that tiny amount of time, there's a lot going on. The American Chemical Society used a high-speed camera operating a 4,000 frames a second to illustrate the sequence of chemical reactions that take place when a match is struck against a striker. The simple match is a marvelously complex device.
Murderous cattle How Not to Get Killed by a Cow
Between 1993 and 2015, cattle killed 13 people who were out for walks in the United Kingdom. Dozens more walkers received broken bones or other injuries from the animals.
1. Don't take the pet dog close to cattle
2. Don't approach cows with young calves
3. Don't stroll through a herd of bulls.
Towards the end, when his wife Dolores asked him where he wanted to be buried, the amazing Bob Hope quipped, “Surprise me.”
The most precious cargo for lighthouses across America was a traveling library. By 1885 there were at least 420 libraries circulating for lighthouse workers in the U.S., each one packed in a box that did double-duty as carrying cases and bookshelves.
While critics of Silent Spring have tended to focus on the one-sidedness of Rachel Carson’s case or on those of her claims that have not held up over time, the fraudulence of Silent Spring goes beyond mere cherry-picking or discredited data: Carson abused, twisted, and distorted many of the studies that she cited, in a brazen act of scientific dishonesty. So the real tragic irony of the millions of deaths to malaria in the past several decades is that the three central anti-DDT claims made by Carson and other activists are all false. We shall examine each in turn.
From Imgur, "I have some terrible news" You have to laugh.
NASA’s Giving Away Brilliant Space Travel Posters For Free These WPA-style artworks from NASA’s design studio are wonderful.
A few Random Reflections
I didn't make it to the gym today. That makes five years in a row. I decided to change calling the bathroom the John and renamed it the Jim. I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.
Last year I joined a support group for procrastinators. We haven't met yet...
The sun you've never seen before until you watch Our Sun is a Rolling Ball of Magnetism
The 38 most amazing vulgar slang terms from colonial times. Funny and useful.
Technicolor taxis in India with Interiors created by Mumbai-based art collective Taxi Fabric.
People started shouting Geronimo when they jumped out of planes to demonstrate their bravery.
The Army’s first official parachute unit, the 501st Parachute Infantry Battalion, made “Geronimo” the motto on their unit insignia after their commander tracked down descendants of the real Geronimo to ask for their permission to use his name.
By changing less than one-quarter of the makeup of standard concrete, a researcher from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has developed a way to melt ice and snow from the ground up.The seemingly ordinary concrete can conduct enough electricity to clear pathways and even create shields against industrial espionage, but is safe to the touch.
The first test of that theory came shortly afterward when the ragtag Dutch fleet was frozen into the Amsterdam harbor, making the Dutch unable to confront the Spanish ships head-on. Taking that advantage, Spanish troops began marching across the ice to attack the ships first, and then they planned to head to the coastline on foot.
But as they marched gingerly across the frozen ice, they were confronted by a horrifying apparition. Wave after wave of Dutch soldiers flew across the surface of the ice with incredible speed, flitting into range just long enough to fire a musket before retreating again behind walls of ice and frozen snow. The Spanish soldiers had never seen anything like it: “It was a thing never heard of before today,” the Spanish Duke of Alva recounted with grudging admiration, “to see a body of musketeers fighting like that on a frozen sea.
23 Delicious Mad Men Era Dishes America Shouldn’t Have Given Up On. Beef Wellington for sure. Chicken Kiev, Waldorf Salad, Apple Cake, Chicken a la King
Airglow from Lake to Sky, Astronomy Picture of the Day, photographer Dave Lane on January 28, 2016
Why would the sky look like a giant fan? Airglow. The featured intermittent green glow appeared to rise from a lake through the arch of our Milky Way Galaxy, as captured last summer next to Bryce Canyon in Utah, USA. The unusual pattern was created by atmospheric gravity waves, ripples of alternating air pressure that can grow with height as the air thins, in this case about 90 kilometers up. Unlike auroras powered by collisions with energetic charged particles and seen at high latitudes, airglow is due to chemiluminescence, the production of light in a chemical reaction. More typically seen near the horizon, airglow keeps the night sky from ever being completely dark.
Beauty Is Physics’ Secret Weapon by Steve Paulson
Frank Wilczek, a professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ... won the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics ...is not just a leading theoretical physicist but a student of philosophy and admirer of poet William Blake and Renaissance Italian architect Filippo Brunelleschi. ....
"It matters to me a lot whether the world is beautiful. It’s also a practical question for physicists, engineers, and designers. At the frontiers of physics, we’re dealing with realms of the very small and the very large and the very strange. Everyday experience is not a good guide and experiments can be difficult and expensive. So the source of intuition is not so much from everyday experience or from a massive accumulation of facts, but from feelings about what would give the laws of nature more inner coherence and harmony. My work has been guided by trying to make the laws more beautiful....Take the fact that the laws are eternal. That doesn’t sound like symmetry, but it is because the laws don’t change as the universe ages. So we have a change without change."
College student builds 'stained glass' igloo with blocks of colored ice and smallish front door. Mitch Fitch, 18, got the idea from his mother and built the igloo in front of his dorm at St. John's University in Minnesota.
The Tree Farm in a land where there are no trees.
Now the great spaces of Sutherland and Caithness have become famous for their silence, their seclusion, their isolation. One’s eye may roam for miles all around, unfettered, over empty lands where once there were trees, and then there were people, and now there is nothing.
Babel Tower: A Kinetic Mirrored Ziggurat Reflects the Surrounding Iranian Landscape See it move at the link.
With eight of his comrades left to the fate of a nightmare island, the future president escaped a similar end because he bailed out of his plane further from the island’s shores than the other crews, and despite a bleeding head injury, managed to climb on to an inflated raft. His co-pilot’s parachute did not open. Japanese boats set out to capture Bush but several American fighter planes circled protectively overhead, driving them back with heavy fire. Bleeding, vomiting and weeping with fear, George H. W. Bush’s ordeal went on for many hours until the giant black hull of the USS Finback submarine suddenly surfaced right in front of his raft. Having escaped just the clutches of death, he said to his rescuers, “Happy to be aboard”.
Car manufacturers got in on it a long time ago. Virtual vehicles are easier to light and keep clean, and don’t reflect camera crews, which is why most car ads haven’t featured real cars for years.
Dion DiMucci recalls how a basement party in the Bronx in 1960 inspired ‘Runaround Sue’ .
I then came up with background vocal harmony parts and had everyone sing them over and over. It went like this [Dion sings]: “Hape-hape, bum-da hey-di hey-di hape-hape.” With this going on, I made up a melody and lyrics about Ellen. People were dancing, drinking beer and having fun. When I left the party that night, I couldn’t let go of that riff and melody.
In France, pleasure, or “plaisir,” is not a dirty word. It’s not considered hedonistic to pursue pleasure. Perhaps a better translation of the word is “enjoyment” or even “delight.” Pleasure, in fact, takes the weight of a moral value, because according to the French, pleasure serves as a compass guiding people in their actions. And parents begin teaching their children from very early childhood in a process called the education of taste, or “l’éducation du gout.”
One of the most surprising things that French mothers shared with me in my research was their belief that stimulating children’s appetites for a wide variety of life’s pleasures can actually deter them from becoming addicted to drugs!
The Most Amazing Lie in History How a chicken farmer, a pair of princesses, and 27 imaginary spies helped the Allies win World War II.
In the weeks leading up to D-day, Allied commanders had their best game faces on. “This operation is not being planned with any alternatives,” barked General Dwight D. Eisenhower....The sheer size of the invasion—it would be the largest in history—was staggering. But so were the stakes. With the first day’s casualty rate expected to reach 90 percent and the outcome of World War II hanging in the balance, the truth was that Eisenhower was riddled with doubt.
They were worried for good reason. With so many troops and so much artillery swelling in England, it was impossible to keep the attack a secret. Hitler knew it was coming, and he’d been preparing a defense for months. Only one detail eluded him, and he was confident in a Nazi victory if he could figure it out—he needed to know where, exactly, the attack would happen. To make D-day a success, the Allies needed to keep him in the dark: They’d have to trick the Germans into thinking the real invasion was just a bluff, while making it seem like a major attack was imminent elsewhere. The task seemed impossible, but luckily, the British had a secret weapon: a short, young balding Spaniard. He was the king of con men, an amateur spy gone pro, the world’s sneakiest liar. He was also, of all things, a chicken farmer.
Robert Kulwich on The Fantastically Strange Origin of Most Coal on Earth
This is a story about trees—very, very strange looking trees—and some microbes that failed to show up on time. Their non-appearance happened more than 300 million years ago, and what they didn’t do, or rather what happened because they weren’t there, shapes your life and mine.
10. creating a makeshift radiator...
8. Using an MP3 Player to Navigate and a Snowboard to Survive...
6. Reviving a Sick Passenger with a Hair Tie and Booze
5. Chopping Down Power Poles as an Emergency Beacon....
2. Using a Paddle and Ladder to Stay Fed and Hydrated After a Shipwreck ...
1. Jerry-Rigging a Pediatric Nebulizer at 30,000 Feet
The Instagram Symmetry Monsters, started by an artist by the name of Traperture, celebrates symmetry in its most solid form: architecture. Rooftops, radio towers, bridges, reflections on glass walls – everything is fair game for a dedicated symmetry hunter.
Knitters With Hopelessly Knotted Yarn Call ‘Detanglers’ for Help Snarled yarn messes bring detanglers to rescue; ‘Send it to me!’
Many say their work untangling yarn is strangely relaxing, an escape from their worries and a way to create order out of chaos. Some also enjoy unwinding iPod headphones cords and straightening Christmas-tree lights...
Knot a Problem was started in 2008 by Stephanie Rothschild, 44, of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., who discovered her love of detangling when she worked at a yarn store. It pained her to see the owner tossing tangled skeins in the garbage.
Group members like to post before-and-after photos of what they call “tangle porn.” Heaps of yarn resembling bowls of spaghetti become neat balls and cakes. “I think it’s fulfilling for people when they see what it was, sort of like house remodeling,” says Ms. Rothschild. “You see how crappy it was and how beautiful it turned out to be.”
The scientific breakthroughs discovered by ACCIDENT: The treadmill, anesthesia, artificial sweeteners, X-Rays, penicillin, warfarin, pacemaker, smoke detector, breathable shoes, Viagra and smart dust.
Thousands of reindeer cross Scandinavia for annual two-month migration from Norway to Finland herded by Sami, the indigenous people of Scandanavia who live in the Arctic parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia, in an area recognized as Sapmi.
Photographer Jan Helmer Olsen used a drone to film the migration in temperatures reaching minus 15 degrees, "My footage felt very special as nobody ever manages to see how the herd moves as one body from the air. It's watching a huge flock of birds in flight."
In the Art and Design section of The New York Times, is a wonderful piece Dear Architects: Sounds Matter that you should read with headphones to get the effect of three-dimensional audio. Otherwise, just hover for sound.
We talk about how cities and buildings look. We call places landmarks or eyesores. But we rarely talk about how architecture sounds, aside from when a building or room is noisy.The spaces we design and inhabit all have distinctive sounds. The reading rooms at the New York Public Library have an overlay of rich sound. Your office may be a big room in a glass building with rows of cubicles where people stare into computer screens.
Much more fun than a scratch-off lottery ticket - just keep moving your mouse over the dots.
A VW Beetle Spotted in the Insect Collection at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History
I have to say I couldn't really understand all that was going on until I saw it full size, 1600 pixels wide at the link.
The man still holding his beer in his outstretched hand, Mike Deveney, when asked about the picture being seen by millions of people across the world, he said: 'I'm not really bothered about the photo, I just felt a bit daft. I heard about it about two days later.' The woman in the red dress Hannah Kirby said that Mike had been knocked over during a scuffle involving police and another reveller......After the photograph's composition was compared to a Renaissance painting, social media users soon turned it into a series of hilarious memes, with one internet wag inspired to photoshop the blue-shirted man into Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam.
Musician Pablo Carlos Budassi combined logarithmic maps of the universe from Princeton and images from NASA. He created the image below that shows the observable universe in one disc.
Our sun and solar system are at the very center of the image, followed by the outer ring of our Milky Way galaxy, the Perseus arm of the Milky Way, a ring of other nearby galaxies like Andromeda, the rest of the cosmic web, cosmic microwave background radiation leftover from the big bang, and finally a ring of plasma also generated by the big bang:
Merry Christmas to all. May this Christmas open your heart and your mind to the greatest story ever told.
watch on YouTube
In Celebration of Modest Christmases Past
When families had less, when America had less, a single gift could make a lasting impression.
I was in a religious phase, however, and prayed. And on Christmas morning, there beside the tree was a rough, oblong piece of beige plywood stapled or nailed to two pieces of plywood supporting it on either side. And if you looked at it with imagination, it looked exactly like . . . a desk. I was in heaven. I got a kitchen chair, sat at the desk and closed my eyes and thanked God. Then, suddenly, with my eyes closed, in my imagination, I saw it. Everything. There was a manger in the darkness and a man and a woman, and it was cold and there were stars in the sky, and hills, and wise men came with staffs and gazed in wonder. I saw it all, as if on film in a newsreel. It hit me like an electric bolt. I thought: “It’s all true. It really happened. I just saw it.”
Christmas Isn't Candy Canes—It's D-Day in the War Against Satan - Msgr Charles Pope
....the Great Invasion, a daring raid by the ruler of the forces of Good into the universe’s seat of evil. Spiritually speaking, this is no silent night. It is D-Day. Behind the scenes is a deadly enemy....one of whom we rarely speak: Satan. Yet he is active, and involved.
The Shepherds were there nearby Bethlehem, the Magi faraway, but a principle applies to both: those who seek God with purity of heart are never abandoned. The Shepherds and Magi bore gifts, of different value, but both offered the greatest gifts they had.
There are companies who get the reason for the season like WestJet whose viral video will give you goosebumps as employees perform nearly 14,000 'mini-miracles' , acts of kindness to "help spread Christmas cheer" and AT&T's ad urging us this Christmas to get off our phones, “This season, give the present of being present.” While in New York City, it was The Year Christmas Died: Fifth Avenue is a celebration of pretty much nothing––or worse .
Forget public Nativity scenes, as court fiat commanded us to do years ago. On Fifth Avenue this year you can’t even find dear old Santa Claus. Or his elves. Christmas past has become Christmas gone.
The scenes inside Saks Fifth Avenue’s many windows aren’t easy to describe. Saks calls it “The Winter Palace.” I would call it Prelude to an Orgy done in vampire white and amphetamine blue.
A luxuriating woman lies on a table, her legs in the air. Saks’ executives, who bear responsibility for this travesty, did have the good taste to confine to a side street the display of a passed-out man on his back (at least he’s wearing a tux), spilling his martini, beneath a moose head dripping with pearls. Adeste Gomorrah.
For Prisoners’ Children, Angel Tree Is Their Star Angel Tree has now spent 23 years bringing Christmas gifts to as many of the now 2.7 million children of U.S. prisoners as it can reach.
Started in 1982 by former bank robber and ex-con Mary Kay Beard, Angel Tree exists to ease some of the pain children of the incarcerated experience during the holidays by enabling parents in prison to give their children Christmas gifts.
Regardless of what a child gets for Angel Tree Christmas,” he says, “it’s the most important thing that they have.” He says he has heard of children who have gotten footballs and slept with them for years...He has also heard of children who have shoeboxes full of Angel Tree tags.
The Real Life "George Bailey" of It's a Wonderful Life Who Founded the Bank of Italy which became the Bank of America.
The London Telegraph Christmas editorial: Why the angels dance in the pale sky
In the 1500 years before Botticelli and the 500 since, Christians have celebrated Christmas Day, as dwellers on a single Earth that learns of the possibility of its renewal, and rejoices in that hope....What, though, has heaven got to offer? In his picture, Botticelli suggests that mercy and truth, justice and peace have descended....The claim made by Christmas is that those four things are names for the same transcendent thing, for which the whole Earth reaches out and cannot grasp, but knows it needs above all, as a gift sent down from heaven. Mercy and truth, justice and peace are embodied by a little child with nothing to warm him but the ass’s breath.
Gerard Vanderleun's wonderful Christmas stories
The Gift of the WalMagi
I’d come to New England after many years away and, in Seattle, thought I’d packed well for the trip. I’d made a point to bring my very warm Seattle jacket. I stepped outside into the New England winter this morning and between the door and the car I knew, based on testicle retraction velocity, that my coat had nothing to say to this winter. I might as well have packed and dressed in a Speedo.
The night sky, now so thin and distant, so seldom really seen, was to them as thick and close as a handful of coal studded with diamonds. They could turn it in their mind's eye even as it turned above them. They reclined on their hill sides, their roofs, or in rooms built for viewing and marking the moon and the stars. They watched it all revolve above them and sang the centuries down. They remembered. They kept records and told tales. They saw beings in the heavens -- gods and animals, giants and insects, all sparking the origins of myth -- and they knew that in some way all was connected to all; as above, so below, "on Earth as it is in Heaven". They studied the patterns of it all and from those repeating patterns fashioned our first science, astrology.
Sages and mystics, Eliot and Clarke, and a host of others have all had their turns with the story of The Star. In the end it remains what it was when it began, a story. The story of a road trip by three astrologers, kings, wise men. A journey by men who saw something special in the heavens and determined to follow it wherever it led, no matter what the cost.....To see something special. To see something beyond yourself and your imaginings. To follow it wherever it leads. To always remain prepared for miracle. That is the inner music of the story of The Star. Like all stories that survive, it is the music of the heart and not of the head, and like the heart, it will endure.
The Creche by the Side of the Road
But I also thought of the other nativity scene. Halfway over the Grapevine, up along the slope of the dark mountains, an island of light in the midst of a vast and expanding darkness. A little light arranged by the small hands of faith to mirror a larger light moved by the inconceivable hand of God. I'll look for it next year when we drive north. It's so far out of the way, it should still be there. But then, you never know. Do you?
A wonderful series in The Atlantic: The 12 Days of Christmas Songs: an attempt to uncover the forgotten history of some of the most memorable festive tunes. From December 14 through 25, we’ll be tackling one secular song and one holy song each day.
'In the Bleak Midwinter': A Literary Christmas Carol
The lyrics, written by Christina Rossetti and set to music by Gustav Holst, imagine a child being born in a desolate climate.
‘Joy to the World’ Isn't a Christmas Song
The song is synonymous with the holiday, but it wasn’t originally written that way.
The Apocalyptic Fear in ‘Do You Hear What I Hear’
It’s the nativity story, written around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis
‘Christmas Time Is Here’: A Hymn for the Ages
The 50-year-old song from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is here to stay.
‘O Holy Night’: A Call to Fall to Your Knees The Christmas carol’s charm is in its humility.
'Sussex Carol’: A Reminder of Christmas Music's Local Roots
Before the globalization of Christmas, .....seasonal music was local. In Britain, there were regional and village songs, preserved over decades and centuries in the oral tradition. ....“In several parts of England I have found carols which are peculiar to certain villages, by the inhabitants of which they are regarded as private possessions of great value, to be jealously guarded and retained for their own use."
The Atlantic again, an awe-inspiring 2015 Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar See them in their full glory at the link.
a> 6 Shocking New Discoveries About Jesus of Nazareth. It happened, it really happened.
Hideki Tojo was the Prime Minister of Japan during World War II. After Japan surrendered, the Allies tried him for war crimes. During his trial in 1946, he requested a set of dentures so that he could speak clearly. E.J. Mallory, an American dentist, was responsible for providing dental care to the accused war criminals awaiting trial at the Sugamo Prison in Tokyo. Remembering that it was Tojo who ordered the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Mallory decided mock Tojo in his own way. [As a 1995 AP story recounted] He wrote "Remember Pearl Harbor" in Morse code on the false teeth that he made for Tojo. It was, alas, too good a prank to keep secret. Mallory told a colleague, who told other people, and soon word reached the American news media. Mallory and another dentist knew they could get in trouble for the engraving. So they drove to the prison in the middle of the night, woke up Tojo, took his teeth, and ground the marks out.
The 25 most Florida things that happened in Florida in 2015. Here's one: Florida Store Clerk Throws Ranch Dressing at Robber Dressed Like Darth Vader
Researchers find lettuce is 'three times worse than BACON' for emissions Carnegie Mellon University study
Researchers also measured the changes in energy use, blue water footprint, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
'Eating lettuce is over three time worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon,' said Paul Fishbeck, professor of social and decisions sciences and engineering and public policy. 'Lots of common vegetables require more resources per calorie than you would think. Eggplant, celery, and cucumbers look particularly bad when compared to pork or chicken.'
Wonder why dogs sometimes walk in circles before sleeping or going to the bathroom? Well, it has to do with hygiene and territorial instincts, but it also involves Earth's magnetic field. Anthony explains in the video how they orient themselves to a north-south axis.
According to Andrew Simes, his grandfather sent a Christmas card to Queen Elizabeth II every holiday season, from 1952 until his death in 2011. When Andrew took up the mantle of card-writing from his late grandfather that winter, he says he received an amazing response from the royal highness herself.
In 1856, the Steamboat Arabia was frontier bound, loaded with supplies for 16 towns when it sank within minutes to the bottom of the Missouri river with two hundred tons of precious cargo aboard. ... Everyone on board miraculously swam to safety, except for one forgotten mule, tied to the deck.
Using a metal detector and old maps to guide the search, an amateur archaeologist began the search for the lost steamer. Lost for 132 years, its recovery in 1988 was like finding the King Tut’s Tomb of the Missouri River. Remarkably preserved clothes, tools, guns, dishware and more. ...These artifacts are now housed in a cool little museum in Kansas City called the Arabia Steamboat Museum,
where you can see amazing photos of the perfectly preserved artifacts including the still edible pickles.
British artist and designer Benjamin Shine proved that real genius lies in simplicity. He came up with an elegant way to regenerate candles from the wax that would otherwise go to waste after they burn down. The Rekindle Candle is a candlestick holder that collects the wax of a burning candle in a container with a wick, forming a brand new candle ready to use. This innovation makes one candle last almost forever (provided you have extra wicks). The product is called Rekindle by Shine
Scott Neumyer baked five concentric pies. From the outside in, they are apple, cherry, peach, blueberry, and cream cheese. He sealed them inside overlapping pie crusts. After baking and eating the result, he proclaimed it "the greatest pie of all time."
That image -- seen above -- is the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field. The specks of color and light you see are not stars; they are galaxies -- 10,000 of them in fact! It is the deepest image of the sky over obtained, gazing back approximately 13 billion years...."The image is only one-forty millionth of the sky. In other words, it would take 40 million Hubble Ultra-Deep Fields to cover the entire sky,
Great headlines. He shoots… he snores! Chinese football commentator is fired after falling asleep during live coverage of a Champions League match. Bud Weisser arrested at Budweiser brewery. Nineteen-year-old Bud Weisser was cited for trespassing and resisting arrest.
Austrian Artist Reinvents Door With Innovative 4 Folding Triangle Design and 2 gifs show you how it opens and closes.
Studio bosses tried to stop hit because 'who would pay for an unknown guy who has a rough life as a fighter and an ugly duckling girl?'....Winkler had to use contract loophole to get it made on budget so small the cast and crew shared one trailer (and one toilet)
Backpack-sized Street View cameras - which record 360 degree images of surroundings - were used to create the online feature, which allows people to explore temples, terraces and plazas built in 1438.
It turns out elephants are terrified of bees because when the insects sting the inside of their trunks the pain is excruciating and there’s little they can do about it. The sound of buzzing alone is enough to make elephants leave an area immediately. King wondered what might happen if a string of suspended beehives at every 10 meters around a field might be enough to keep elephants away. A pilot program in 2009 proved widely successful and soon The Elephant and Bees Project was born.
There are now active beehive fences in Kenya, Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, and Sri Lanka. Not only do the fences help pollinate crops and safely deter elephants, they also become an additional revenue stream for farmers who harvest honey and sell it locally, a fascinating example of interspecies landscape engineering.
Hobbit Houses. Now in modules that can be assembled in 3 days
Green Magic Homes... makes prefabricated houses that are meant to be covered with soil. The homes are easy to assemble, and you can easily plant grass – – or even vegetables if you like. The turf keeps the house cool in summer and warm in winter. GMH are built from modules and come in several sizes. The smallest one room module can be assembled in three days; a large one would take about a week! The material used is fiber reinforced polymer, and is supposed to last two hobbit lifetimes or several human ones… as long as you have assembled it right.
In 1940 the Germans invaded Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, and France. The British did the next best thing they could do to help Denmark and the rest of Europe: They launched a surprise invasion of Iceland, which was part of the Kingdom of Denmark. ...Thanks to the British invasion, Iceland provided the ideal base for seaplanes to search for the German naval vessels that prowled the Atlantic sinking the merchant fleet with its crucial supplies....Holding Iceland depended upon the goodwill of the people of Iceland who never had asked to be invaded by the British. If Britain retained Icelandic goodwill, then Churchill could occupy the island with reserve troops rather than his best fighting forces.
This was the strategic situation in which C. S. Lewis was recruited. And his mission was simple: To help win the hearts of the Icelandic people.
Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone
These incredible pictures could easily be a gallery of snapshots from a satellite touring the solar system.
But the stunning photos are actually images of America's West Coast taken from the sky by Jassen Todorov, a professor with a passion for flying. "'Taking these photographs is a hobby of mine, because I work at a university teaching the violin and giving concerts for a living. I earned my pilot's license while I was studying for a PhD in music and for a while was content to capture the perspectives purely for my eyes only."
If you measure the contours of a river valley with Lidar (like radar with lasers), you get a beautiful map of all the historical river channels. The image above was taken from a poster of the historical channels of the Willamette River..
....In 1927, a Pittsburgh man named Joseph Garaja filed his application for a patent for a liquid-filled novelty paperweight that improved upon previous designs; the design he presented and later sold was a fish floating in sea grass. But it wasn't Garaja’s under-the-sea theme that impressed the industry. His real contribution to snow globe manufacturing was in pioneering the now-obvious method of assembling the globes underwater to ensure they were entirely filled. This, David Bear wrote for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2000, “revolutionized” the snow globe industry: “They went from being expensive mementos individually crafted by skilled artisans to items that could be cheaply mass-produced and sold.”
“You did what with my life?”.. Young Man Interviews His Older Self 38 Years Later
It takes someone with an incredible knack for planning ahead to create a "self interview" video project then pick it up and finish it 38 years later, it takes someone like Peter "Stoney" Emshwiller. Stoney (who should have won an award by now for his amazing name) shot a video at age 18 in which he interviews his older self, and then he played interviewee at age 56 and finished the "self interview" video 38 years in the making.
Watch it on YouTube under the title Later That Same Life
The Coywolf is a new species that emerged in the Northeast, - a hybrid of the coyote and the wolf that is also known as the Eastern coyote. According to a new article from The Economist, their population seems to have reached more than a million.
These animals have a completely new genetic makeup: Their genes are about one-quarter wolf DNA and two-thirds coyote DNA; the rest is from domesticated dogs. A 2013 study suggests this dog DNA is mostly from a few specific breeds, including German Shepherds and Doberman Pincers.
Don't miss this. In a comic, the amazing story of the young Gene Roddenberry: It’s going to be okay
These colorful homes are bulletproof, fireproof, and can withstand earthquakes. They also maintain a comfortable temperature, produce zero carbon emissions, and are powered by solar and methane gas from recycled waste.
There’s a distinct accent that American actors and broadcasters used in the early days of radio and in pre-World War II movies. It’s most obvious in old newsreel footage where the announcer speaks in a high-pitched tone, omits his “Rs” at the end of words, and sounds like a New Yorker who just returned from a summer holiday with the British royal family. This speaking style is also heard in the speeches of Franklin D. Roosevelt and just about any performance by Orson Welles. But today, this accent is all but nonexistent, prompting the question: Did Americans speak differently before the advent of television?
Paul Newman passed on on September 26, 2008. But his smiling face lives on, not only in his wonderful movies, but in grocery aisles across America. And with what other Hollywood legend can we not only enjoy one of his classic films, but dine on his delicious food and drink while we do so?
From the Art of Manliness 100 Skills Every Man Should Know
12. Fix a Leaky Faucet
19. Perform CPR
21. Sew a Button
22. Split Firewood
27. Sharpen a Knife
28. Change a Diaper
31. Unclog a Toilet
35. Treat Frostbite
60. Throw a Knockout Punch
84. Make a Logical Argument
98. Cook a Signature Dish
Moon Photobombs Earth In Photo Taken From NASA Satellite 1 Million Miles Away. Watch the gif at the link
Builder's crack, plumber's bum, the coinslot, bottom cleavage… No matter where you go in the world, there's an expression for the unfortunate moment when a tradesman or woman bends down and reveals the top end of their backside.
In French, it's called the plumber's smile (sourire de plombier) or even the "mason's line" (raie du maçon). And Adrien Herve-Pellissier - a 24-year-old man from Rennes in western France - thinks he has cracked it. ..Within nine months, Herve-Pellissier came up with the prototype for a product he named the "sourire de plombier" - a boxer short that keeps the builder's dignity intact.
"The underwear has a large elastic band on it, you see, so when you squat down we don't have to see your arse." The 24-year-old says the phone hasn't stopped ringing since his invention hit the news
7 'Ancient' Forms of Mysticism That Are Recent Inventions Cracked tells us the reality behind Yoga, Tarot, Satanism, Ouija Boards, Ninjutsu, Friday the 13th and The Viking Religion
Richard Silver and his astonishing photos of churches in NYC
15 Untranslatable Love Words That Don’t Have English Equivalents From the French “retrouvailles” (the joy of reuniting after long separation) to Tamil “oodal” (the fake anger lovers show after a tiff), they all show the more subtle angles of love.
11 Smells that are slowly disappearing Burning leaves, freshly-opened Polaroid film, magic markets, bubble gum cards, cap guns and chalk dust are smells that only some of us remember.
A nation of tall cheese-eaters. The Dutch drink a lot of milk, eat a lot of cheese, and are now the tallest people in the world.
Wow!. Kurt Steiner world record of 88 skips of a stone over water. Video at link.
Ten reasons why it's good to be a redhead: From Spartacus and scent to standing up for difference.
But watch out for the "ginger extremists".
Selfies are killing more people than shark attacks So far this year, 12 people have died while trying to take a selfie
Ten most offensive collective nouns, among them, a herd of harlots, an obedience of servants, an impatience of wives and an unhappiness of husbands.
New Scientist The lies we tell are more convincing when we need to pee Urgency conveys sincerity
Progress! Father pulls out his daughter's wobbly tooth with a drone, Video at link.
15 Microprints Hiding in United States Currency at Mental Floss.
There are more than three trillion trees in the world, about 8 times larger thatn the previous best estimate of 400 billion. That's 420 trees for every person on the planet. Researchers from Yale used 429,775 ground-based measurements in 55 countries collected from a variety of sources.
A big number indeed. By comparison, the US. government debt now stands at $18 trllion and by the end of the year will be $18.6 trillion, not including state and local debt or the unfunded liabilities of Social Security and Medicare.
Somewhere among the approximately two thousand sandstone arches that compose Arches National Park in Grand County, Utah, sits a tree.
Scientist: Forcing People to Work before 10 AM is Basically Torture I agree completely
The United Slang of America. If every state had an official word, what would it be? Click link for interactive version and complete list
We think of the Earth as a big place: flying around the equator on a 747 at top speed would take about 42 hours. Flying around the sun at the same speed, by contrast, would take about six months.
25 Maps That Will Change The Way You See The World in an entertaining YouTube video
How talk radio pioneer and story teller Jean Shepherd (and his devoted fans) concocted a wildly preposterous hoax – and succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.
The Power of the Post-it From Harvard Business Review
Imagine that you really need to convince someone to do something, such as following through on a task. You might be surprised to learn that one of the best ways to get someone to comply with your request is through a tiny nuance that adds a personal touch—attaching a sticky note.
Febreze banishes bad odors by using air-freshening molecules that form a cage to trap smelly compounds, making them 'invisible' to your nose. Odor neutralizing sprays contains a type of chemical called cyclodextrin which is shaped like a cage and can trap odor molecules in the air. Once captured compounds that cause odors can't reach smell receptors. A video released by the American Chemical Society explains how odor neutralizing sprays work
Delinquent dog walkers beware The Spanish city of Tarragona
The city plans to start DNA testing dog droppings to catch owners who fail to clear up after their pets. Tarragona official will work to create DNA database of registered dogs. Droppings found on street or parks can be matched through database. Caught pet owners will cover cost of DNA testing as well as paying fine.
Forbidden from leaving their New York apartment, the Angulo brothers learnt about life only from movies. The Wolfpack explores what happened to them when they broke free.
The filmmaker Crystal Moselle remembers the first time she saw the Angulo brothers, walking down First Avenue in April 2010, wearing shades and identical suits, à la Reservoir Dogs, their long black hair down to their waists. “It felt like coming across a lost tribe from the Amazon”, she says. The resulting documentary that she made about them, The Wolfpack, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance earlier this year, falls somewhere between François Truffaut’s L’enfant sauvage (1970) and Jean-Pierre Gorin’s Poto and Cabengo – the 1980 documentary about the Georgia twins whose childhood was so secluded that they invented their own language to communicate with one another.
Men in shorts Adolf Hitler Had This Photo Of Himself Banned as "beneath one's dignity".
In the footage from Melbourne Aerial Video (at the link), a Wedge-Tailed Eagle flies up to the drone and hits it directly. The drone sputters and falls to earth. The eagle was unharmed, according to a statement on YouTube. "She was massive, and used talon's to 'punch' the drone out of the sky," the statement said.
The instinct of dogs to chase felines out of their territory might be more reasonable than you think. Fossils have revealed the two species have a rocky past after the introduction of cats to the Americas had a devastating effect on the continent's species of wild dogs. In fact, it is thought that competition from cats caused up to 40 species of dog to become extinct in the region millions of years ago.
The dog family, which includes wolves and coyotes, originated in North America about 40 million years ago. They reached maximum diversity in the continent 22 million years ago when, at their peak, more than 30 species roamed the land mass at the same time.
However, since they were introduced dozens of species have emerged and become extinct over a period of millions of years.
Only nine species of canid inhabit the continent today, including the domestic dog.
An international team, including scientists from the Universities of Gothenburg, Sweden, São Paulo, Brazil and Lausanne, Switzerland, published the findings in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. The team studied 2,000 fossils to reach their conclusions.
San Francisco's Public Works agency has painted nine urine-soaked walls with a pee-repellant material called Ultra-Ever Dry.
The town’s summer siesta tradition is so deep-rooted the mayor has enshrined his citizen’s right to an afternoon snooze in law. Ador could be the first town in Spain to actually make taking a siesta obligatory by law. Mayor of Ador, Joan Faus Vitòria, has ordered that that town’s inhabitants stay quiet between 2pm and 5pm. "Everything closes between 2pm and 5pm," a town hall spokesman told The Local. "Bars, shops, the swimming pool, everything."
In 1855, under the direction of then-Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, Congress appropriated $30,000 for "the purchase and importation of camels and dromedaries to be employed for military purposes." Davis believed that camels were key to the country's expansion westward; a transcontinental railroad was still decades away from being built, and he thought the animals could be well suited to haul supplies between remote military outposts. By 1857, after a pair of successful trips to the Mediterranean and the Middle East, the U.S. Army had purchased and imported 75 camels. Within a decade, though, each and every one would be sold at auction
The El Portal Fire burns on a hillside in the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park on Sunday evening July 27, 2014. Long exposure photograph by Stuart Palley.
These are wonderful. Everyday For 5 Years This Japanese Artist Creates A Fun Miniature Diorama
She felt like an outsider who didn’t fit in with Southern ladies—that is until, after studying us, she finally figured us out. “All you have to do,” she told me, “is say two things: ‘How’s yo’ momma?’ and ‘Love yo’ hair’.”
The quietest inch isn’t a sound vacuum. It represents a place with a minimum of human-made noise. The discipline of acoustic ecology, which is dedicated to understanding the natural sounds that come through loud and clear when we're not around, outlines an important distinction between sound and noise. The blip of water droplets from a forest canopy? Sound. The tinny din of Taylor Swift through smartphone speakers? Noise.
Chilled, Tom Jackson’s enthralling history of how refrigeration changed the world, takes us from Mesopotamian ice-houses to the Large Hadron Collider It’s a fascinating journey and Jackson conducts it in the manner of a wizard. From heat-pumps we whisk in a flash to 18th-century BC Terqa, on the west bank of the Euphrates, where the new king Zimri-lim sets about building an ice-house. We race, shivering and sweltering by turns, around the ancient world, to fifth-century BC Persia, to Egypt, from stone jars in water-pits to ceramic pots standing in kraters of snow (and, incidentally, giving sense to the naming of sorbet). Cold — colder than it should be — is always, in this narrative, as magical as Kubla Khan’s ‘sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice’
GravityLight is unique - it doesn't need batteries or sunlight and costs nothing to run. GravityLight provides:Instant light, any time. It takes just a few seconds to lift the weight that powers GravityLight. There's no need to charge in advance, it's ready when you need it. With no running costs. Meaning that GravityLight pays for itself within weeks of switching from a kerosene lamp.
Plastic surgery celebrates its 100th birthday this year. We examine how a medical procedure to treat soldiers in the trenches ended up being used to augment 50,000 Brazilians' buttocks.
Since 2005, Oreo sales have grown by more than 60 percent, which is easily the largest increase among any of the top cookie brands sold in the United States. For context, consider that cookie sales market-wide rose by only 10 percent over that period, or that more than 7o percent of that growth is directly attributable to increased demand for Oreos.
Cheese and butter go back a long way as methods of preserving milk. But fresh milk was considered baby food, or a boost for growing children, through most of history. Only about a hundred years ago did milk drinking become common among adults. That was because of the convergence of several trends around the beginning of the 20th century. First, the milk trade became regulated and safer (see our previous articles on that development). Then there was the craze for healing through nutrition, which led to the development of cereals, served with milk. And there was the Temperance movement, with groups trying to get men to drink anything besides alcohol.
Does adding pasta water to the sauce really make a difference? Yes. The starch in the water acts to emulsify the sauce
See, the thing is, pasta (the dish) isn't just about the pasta (the starch), and it's not just about the sauce either. It's about the marriage of the two. And like all marriages, there are some secrets to getting the union to work.
Good Morning! Breakfasts Around the 16 Countries of Eastern Europe
Bear Clears Out Bakery
The beast guzzled 24 cherry and 14 apple pies, but left the strawberry-and-rhubarb creations untouched in the raid.
Rod Dreher visits Lyon and discovers Deep France and the best food he's ever eaten
Amazing, amazing story Musicked Down the Mountain: How Oliver Sacks Saved His Own Life by Literature and Song in Brainpickings.
According to TripAdvisor the best hotel in the world is Gili Lankanfushi in the Maldives, on a tiny coral island in a sparkling lagoon, with jetties stretching across the crystal water out to each of the 45 overwater villas. The hotel operates a 'no news, no shoes' policy, so visitors have no choice but to enjoy the uninterrupted ocean views, private butler service and robes.
The water villas float on a lagoon surrounding a tiny coral island in the Maldives, with each villa individually designed using traditional, sustainable materials and methods. The thick beams of wood in the huts are built from sustainable materials such as plantation teak and re-cycled telegraph poles, and seek to blend rustic charm with modern comfort.
Each thatched villa includes a sundeck, a roof terrace and a stunning bathroom with separate private shower that overlooks the lagoon.
Lauri Svedberg spent more than three decades transforming her house in Minnesota into a shrine to nature. Her home became a giant canvas which she painstakingly transformed using nothing but natural materials and a glue gun. Minerals, rock and glass were pieced together to create giant mosaics covering entire walls and floors inside the unusual abode.
Touching organ donation advert "The man and the dog' will leave you in tears
The agency behind the John Lewis Christmas advert has created a piece on organ donation that has left people reaching for their dogs in floods of tears
Via The Browser, The Lost Man
Australia’s greatest cold case. A body is found on a beach near Adelaide in 1948 — a man wearing a suit and tie, perhaps a dancer, probably poisoned. He carries a fragment from the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. When the rest of the book is found, a cipher is written on the back, with the telephone number of a nurse who, called to identify the body, almost faints. Her son is said to resemble the mystery man. What was she hiding?
Climbing the roots of the Banyan Tree Yes, you can do it, but only in certain places.
From Stories, Etc. Old Ed and a Bucket of Shrimp. Great story that I hope is true
Terry Teachout on How the Second World War Made America Literate. Between 1943 and 1947, the U.S. Army and Navy distributed some 123 million newly printed paperback copies of 1,322 different books to American servicemen around the world.
For some fun at the office, play Desk Safari
Aeon video: Magnetic movie How would the world look if we could see the magnetic fields around us? ‘Hairy and messy’, says a NASA space scientist
You have to see the gifs at the link to understand why the Incredible Octopus Behavior Nearly Caused Scientist To Drown From Laughing
Why did men stop wearing high heels, anyway? Only rock stars and cowboys wear heels now.
“All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful.”
How the Little Free Library project launched a global trend. Tiny Libraries
Tiny libraries in converted phone booths, purpose-built kiosks, experimental art installations, quirky handmade boxes—and even one refrigerator—are springing up on street corners around the world at a rapid rate. These miniature lending libraries lead the communal book revolution, bringing reading material to the masses at a level that far exceeds their size.
7.When invited on a picnic - ""As a rule, the invitation will be only on a weekend, and you don’t have to prepare for something extravagant. Everything is the same as ours, only with far less booze. Bring something sporty—ball, badminton, Americans are certainly fervent fans of these things.” "
17. Don't call people ugly. "At the table is better to avoid talking about politics and religion, as the United States is a country of Puritan values. In the straight-line American culture there is a taboo forbidding calling out the physical defects of another person. This is probably due to the constant desire of Americans to always be in great shape and look young."
Cows on the Beach in South Africa
Nguni cattle take daily walks untended to the beach in the sweltering afternoons. The locals believe the cows like the salty water because it helps keep away the parasites; plus, they seem to like cooling their heels. But all that beef on the beach isn’t a new phenomenon: apparently, shipwrecked sailors first talked about these cow-dotted beaches back in the 16th century.
This video is eerie and mesmerizing. Watch Art of Ancient Greek Vases Come to Life with 21st Century Animation
The Uyuni Salt Flats: Where Land is Indistinguishable from Sky. Video at the link
It's Just Like Hogwarts! What makes Gothic architecture so magical?
Christ Church Hall at Oxford
The Spy Among Us A transcript of Steve Kroft's piece on 60 Minutes. Jack Barsky held a job at some of the top corporations in the U.S. and lived a seemingly normal life -- all while spying for the Soviet Union. So how did he quit the KGB without getting killed?
Barsky said: "There's three things I tell people that the Russians were afraid of. AIDS, Jewish people and Ronald Reagan."
He wrote them a letter saying he had AIDS and the only place he could get treatment was in the U.S. And then the FBI moved next door.
They are in such demand that there is a black market where you can buy and sell them for double or triple their face value depending on the bill’s condition. Everyone wants them. Some stores have them on display underneath glass and discretely operate exchanges.
“They bring us good luck. If you keep a $2 bill with you it will bring more money,”
How to Drink Like a Saint With moderation, gratitude, memory, merriment and ritual.
“What happens is that during a particular time of the year, particularly in May and August, young spiders in the Outback somewhere throw these threads of spiderwebs up in the air and use them as a parachute to detach themselves from the ground and move in large colonies through the sky,” Mr Basterfield explained.
“They fly through the sky and then we see these falls of spider webs that look almost as if it’s snowing.
In the Atlantic. The Wedding Sting When a police department lured all the drug dealers to one big party.
By 9:00 p.m. the party was in full swing, but behind the scenes was pure tension: Sweaty hands gripped weapons. Synchronized watches were checked. The band knew it was time to give the signal and began to play the song: “I Fought The Law (and the Law Won).”
Williams reached into her garter and felt for her revolver. Shooter jumped onto the stage, and grabbed the mic.
“Let’s have some fun,” he shouted. “Everybody here that’s a cop, stand up!”
A dozen undercover officers rose to their feet as uniformed detectives burst through the door.
“Okay!” Shooter yelled. “All the rest of you motherf***** put your hands on the table, because you’re under arrest! This is a bust!”
In Madrid, Julien de Casabianca is bringing Forgotten Classical Paintings Taken from Museums to the Streets
10 Interesting Facts About the Placebo Effect It can still work even if you know you're taking a placebo
Bigger than 87 average-sized IMAX screens, Hoover Dam Turned into an Enormous Projection Screen
Beautiful art made from old keys and coins by self-taught Australian artist Michael Moerkerk.
10 Amazingly Enjoyable Things About Having Kids
Is having kids 'all joy and no fun'? Totally wrong. If you're not having fun, you're not paying attention.
Scientists Claim They Found a New Species of Frog, and It Looks Like Kermit. The newly discovered species of translucent frog, Hyalinobatrachium dianae, was found in Costa Rica's Talamanca Mountains.
Dutch artist/physicist Arie van't Riet
Twinkie's Miracle Comeback: The Untold, Inside Story of a $2 Billion Feast
But while you wouldn’t find Twinkies on Whole Foods’ shelves or in Gwyneth Paltrow’s pantry, Hostess had something you can’t find in a locally sourced, chia–seed snack–millions of nostalgic fans. “The brand awareness was unbelievable,” says Jhawar. “It’s not every day you have an opportunity to acquire a brand that is ubiquitous, that had $1 billion in revenue before the bankruptcy and 80–plus years of legacy.”
Pasta? Ruby grapefruits? Why organic devotees love foods mutated by radiation and chemicals
Ruby Red grapefruits, along with 3,000 other crop varieties consumed by millions every day, were actually created through mutation breeding, also known as mutagenesis. Plants were exposed to atomic radiation, thousands of genes scrambled in laboratory experiments that took years.
In the last 60 years, mutation breeding has produced a sizeable fraction of the world’s crops. Varieties of wheat, including almost all the most popular varieties used to make top-grade Italian pasta, vegetables, fruit, rice, herbs and cotton have been altered or enhanced with gamma rays, and often separately or additionally soaked in toxic chemicals, in the hopes of producing new desirable, traits. Now these varieties are marketed as conventional and organic foods, and are unlabelled.
From Bon Appetit. Be a Rebel: Cook Your Vegetables to Death
But last summer I had an experience with a pot of fat green Romano beans that changed the whole game for me. They were cooked to the point of collapse, completely soft and yielding, a process that took (gasp!) two whole hours. Seasoned with nothing more than olive oil, garlic, and salt (plenty of all three), they were insanely delicious: deeply vegetal, rich and satisfying, completely yielding in texture but maintaining definition. They turned my whole vegetable-cooking world upside down. I didn’t miss the crunch. I just wanted more…….With a little care, soft-cooked vegetables can be more satisfying than any raw kale salad could ever dream of being. We developed a formula for long-cooked vegetables so good it had editors’ eyes rolling back in their heads.
The co-founder of Earth Day Ira Einhorn killed then composted his girlfriend. He jumped bail and evaded authorities for 23 years before he was extradited to the U.S. to be tried for murder. His defense? The CIA did it. The jury didn't buy it and he was found guilty and is now serving his life sentence.
If you haven't seen the video of the giraffes diving into a swimming pool by animator Nicolas Deveaux, don't wait any longer
You know the HBO “Static Intro” as soon as you hear it. There’s the sound of a TV powering on. It’s followed by the appearance of a white line that spreads across the screen, and it fills in the darkness with the static snow of an old black-and-white TV set. The electric snowstorm is joined by a single tone that ascends like a gospel choir singing to the heavens. One that revs your emotions.
More about static. Did you know that the static you hear as you search for a radio station is the sound of "cosmic microwave background radiation", composed of photons of energy that are still cooling 15 billion years after the Big Bang. Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson won the Nobel prize in physics in 1978 for discovering this. It's also called the 'afterglow of creation'.
It accounts for 99.9 % of all the particles of light, or photons, in the Universe.Remarkably, only 0.1 per cent is tied up in the light from the stars and nebulae and galaxies. If you were in space with ‘magic glasses’ that showed microwaves, you would see the whole of the Universe glowing brightly with the big bang afterglow just as if you were inside a light bulb.
NASA is planning on using glitter clouds to help make contact with new worlds. Lasers would align each glitter grain in the same direction, transforming clouds of glitter dust into a reflective surface that would enable high-resolution imaging in space at a very low cost.
40 Inspiring Workspaces Of The Famously Creative
From tiny writing desks to giant painting studios, the only thing all of these creative studios have in common is that they inspired their successful inhabitants to create greatness.
Man Invents Shoe That Grows 5 Sizes to Help Millions of Poor Children
Kenton Lee invented The Shoe That Grows, a sandal that comes with snaps in the front, back, and sides. It can expand to 5 shoe sizes. The shoes comes in small and large varieties, so two pairs of shoes can meet a child's footwear needs from the ages of 5 to 15. The charity that distributes the shoes, Because International, lives out its motto of practical compassion.
An albino dolphin that turns PINK when he's angry or sad: Mammal baffles scientists by blushing when he gets emotional. Its thin skin means it changes color when it's emotional like a human. The rare albino dolphin lives at the Taiji Whale Museum in southern Japan.
From London to the U.S. by car New proposed superhighway
In Canada, it's poutine, French fries in brown gravy, topped with melted cheese curds.
16 famous brands that started off as products for the military like M&Ms, Ray-bans, Superglue, Silly Putty, Duct tape.
What ‘Justified’ Really Says About Modern Manhood And Westerns. The FX series 'Justified,' like Westerns themselves, is not about personal morality. It's about the kind of men who civilize barbarism.
Things I can't get my head around
That being nice to women is sexist - in a way more insidious and treacherous than hostile sexism
That eating three meals a day is racist
That a father became the brother of his own son
That it costs $30 million to open an existing lane on a bridge
That DEA agents allegedly had 'sex parties' in Columbia with prostitutes hired by drug cartels
That clapping triggers anxiety. Women's conference says use jazz hands instead
That another once prestigious college is not afraid of looking ridiculous Wesleyan Now Offering LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM Housing
That an online dating service encourages false representations. OKCupid Allowing Users to Identify as Five Sexual Orientations at Once
How to Become Gluten Intolerant A wise and very funny guide to this year's food fad fascism.
The Top 10 Secrets of Grand Central Terminal
9. Grand Central houses a hidden bar. The Campbell Apartment, in Grand Central, serves as a testament to the grandiosity of another era. If appropriately attired, you can enter the room and sip on cocktails from the fin de siècle in this virtual museum to the opulence of New York’s high society of the past. ….
PBS How not to raise a narcissist Children whose parents told them they were “special” and “superior” grew more narcissistic over time…..in short, jerks.
Entire Neighborhood Secretly Learns Sign Language To Surprise Deaf Neighbor
Muharrem, a deaf man living in Istanbul, just received a huge surprise when, one morning, everyone he bumped into in his neighborhood responded to him with sign language!
A team of people from Samsung and the Leo Burnett ad agency spent a month setting up cameras and teaching people throughout his neighborhood sign language. On the appointed day, Ozlem went for a walk with her deaf brother, who was stunned to meet so many signing people in a world where those who can communicate in sign are often few and far between.
The ad was designed to raise awareness about Samsung’s new call center for the deaf and hard-of-hearing in Turkey.
In Fortune, How Ikea took over the world
With €3.3 billion ($4.5 billion) in net income, up 31% in the past five years, the chain is more profitable than behemoths Target and Lowe’s. And it has gotten that way by mastering one of the hardest challenges in the retail universe: selling high volumes of inventory at a consistently low price in vastly different marketplaces, languages, and cultures. Ikea is a model for retail regeneration—though, ahem, some assembly is required.....Ikea printed 217 million copies of its most recent annual tome—which the company claims is the biggest run of any publication of its kind in the world
There’s an internal nickname for products that take too long to put together. “Sometimes,” Dickner says, “we call it a ‘husband killer.’ ”
00 Years Project: Photographer Captures Portraits Of People From 1 To 100 Years Of Age
Russia is a strange land, and a very big land. Keen Heick-Abildhauge lived there for some time and wanted to show its people to the world. Thus One Hundred Years “The Russian Portrait” project was born. A hundred pictures of Russians aged 1 to 100 tells a shifting story of dreams and images.
Phantom of the Orchestra Astonishing story of Mamoru Samuragochi, a deaf genius, second-generation atomic bomb victim whose music inspired a nation. But the “Japanese Beethoven” wasn’t who he seemed.
4 Lessons from Downton Abbey’s Fifth Season. "Is this why we like to watch Downton Abbey — it offers old, but seemingly fresh solutions to the patterns of behavior that leave so many people unhappy and alone?…It celebrates our human need for communal life: the comforts of married love, parents’ devotion to their children, and the gift of true friendship. This is a Catholic vision of community nourished by unconditional love, compassion and mercy."
Dramatic moment extreme skier uses his parachute to fly OVER an avalanche Ugo Gerola, 23, captured the action on his helmet camera as he was hurtling down a slope on the Aiguille du Midi in the French Alps as he used a parachute to dodge an avalanche that nearly swept him over the edge of a mountain.
What would Ken Burns produce about the 2015 Boston Snow Storms?
The girl who gets gifts from birds
Lots of people love the birds in their garden, but it's rare for that affection to be reciprocated. Eight-year-old Gabi Mann in Seattle is luckier than most. She feeds the crows in her garden - and they bring her gifts in return. She sets a bead storage container on the dining room table, and clicks the lid open. This is her most precious collection….
Inside the box are rows of small objects in clear plastic bags. One label reads: "Black table by feeder. 2:30 p.m. 09 Nov 2014." Inside is a broken light bulb. Another bag contains small pieces of brown glass worn smooth by the sea. "Beer colored glass," as Gabi describes it.
Most writers love words. This one loves letters. Review of "Alphabetical: How Every Letter Tells a Story" by Michael Rosen
Michael Rosen knows his ABCs. A poet, novelist and host of the BBC radio show “Word of Mouth,” he has spent a lifetime pondering and deciphering this “cunning code,” as he calls it. In “Alphabetical,” he doesn’t just explore the creation, evolution, pronunciation and uses of each letter throughout the centuries, but digresses into delightful tales of the personalities who shaped the English alphabet into what it has finally become. Though I shouldn’t say “finally.” In Rosen’s telling, letters are born, grow, fight, change or die. Don’t count on these 26 letters being the last word.
“Alphabetical” is organized into 26 chapters (surprise), each devoted to one letter….In “J is for Jokes,” he explains why the alphabet has only 25 letters at Christmastime (“No-el, no-el, no-el, no-e-e-el”). And in “U is for Umlaut,” he destroys my faith in ice cream by explaining that the corporate name Häagen-Dazs “doesn’t mean anything to anyone anywhere in any language.”
Lost Sherlock Holmes Story Discovered in Attic
In 1902, a flood destroyed a wooden bridge in the town of Selkirk, Scotland. Residents tried to raise money to build another one. One proposal was to print and sell a collection of short stories called The Book o’ the Brig. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author who created the famous detective character Sherlock Holmes, enjoyed visiting the town. So he contributed an original story called “Sherlock Holmes: Discovering the Border Burghs and, by deduction, the Brig Bazaar.”The project was a success and Selkirk got a new bridge. Doyle’s story helped. But it was never published anywhere else. Walter Elliot, a historian, received a copy of The Book o’ the Brig about 50 years ago. He placed it in his attic and forgot about it. It was only recently that Elliot found the book and Doyle’s story in it. The world now has fresh, original Sherlock Holmes. You can read the entire story here.
"For the most part, the portable computer is a dream machine for the few" said the New York Times in 1995
On the whole, people don't want to lug a computer with them to the beach or on a train to while away hours they would rather spend reading the sports or business section of the newspaper. Somehow, the microcomputer industry has assumed that everyone would love to have a keyboard grafted on as an extension of their fingers. It just is not so….But the real future of the laptop computer will remain in the specialized niche markets. Because no matter how inexpensive the machines become, and no matter how sophisticated their software, I still can't imagine the average user taking one along when going fishing.
Astonishing childhood pictures of celebrities
Today, he's considered a hunk.
Ten Reasons People Still Need Cursive
While some argue cursive writing belongs in the archives and Common Core ushers it out of schools, the evidence shows we need it as much as ever.
I live outside Boston and it's really, truly the worst winter ever. Below are my 2 favorite snow storm photos.
When a black German woman discovered her grandfather was the Nazi villain of 'Schindler's List' An odd series of events led Jennifer Teege to discover that her grandfather was none other than the notorious Nazi Amon Goeth.
Why Footbinding Persisted in China for a Millennium Despite the pain, millions of Chinese women stood firm in their devotion to the tradition
"A small foot in China, no different from a tiny waist in Victorian England, represented the height of female refinement. For families with marriageable daughters, foot size translated into its own form of currency and a means of achieving upward mobility. The most desirable bride possessed a three-inch foot, known as a “golden lotus.” It was respectable to have four-inch feet—a silver lotus—but feet five inches or longer were dismissed as iron lotuses. The marriage prospects for such a girl were dim indeed.
"Foot-binding, which started out as a fashionable impulse, became an expression of Han identity after the Mongols invaded China in 1279. The fact that it was only performed by Chinese women turned the practice into a kind of shorthand for ethnic pride. Periodic attempts to ban it, as the Manchus tried in the 17th century, were never about foot-binding itself but what it symbolized. To the Chinese, the practice was daily proof of their cultural superiority to the uncouth barbarians who ruled them. It became, like Confucianism, another point of difference between the Han and the rest of the world. Ironically, although Confucian scholars had originally condemned foot-binding as frivolous, a woman’s adherence to both became conflated as a single act.
"The truth, no matter how unpalatable, is that foot-binding was experienced, perpetuated and administered by women. Though utterly rejected in China now—the last shoe factory making lotus shoes closed in 1999—it survived for a thousand years in part because of women’s emotional investment in the practice."
20 years later, two men united by Sonoma County DUI crash reflect on shared path. A remarkable story of forgiveness and its ripple effect.
"Are you ready for me to switch the implants on now?’ she asks. My heart leaps to my throat. This is it. Every hair on my body is standing up, a feeling like electricity is pulsing through me. There’s a tingling inside me, a ringing in my ears, my arms, my legs, like no sensation I’ve ever felt before. It goes all through my body, this tingle, all the way from my head to my toes, and then is swallowed up into the floor. Every letter and syllable bounces off the walls, the ceiling, the doors, ringing out around the room, in my ears, and rattling round my brain.
"The audiologist stopped speaking seconds ago, and yet sound lingers in the room, long after her lips have stopped moving.
‘Caaaaan . . . yoooooou . . . heeeeear . . . meeeeeeeeee?’ The first words I’ve ever heard."
"Cobden Sanderson and his partner, Emery Walker, founded the Doves Press in 1900. Walker was a businessman, with plenty of other concerns in the world, but Cobden Sanderson was a creative perfectionist—a man obsessed with authenticity and craft. …….Their type was created in 1899, and the duo would use it to print indescribably beautiful books, bound by hand and designed with the perfect balance of craftsmanship and modern utility. Cobden Sanderson was a bit of a snob in the sense that he only wanted to commit his designs to the finest literature, the "most beautiful words." They printed Paradise Lost. They printed the English Bible. Today, copies of these books are extremely rare, and they command thousands of dollars at auction.
Aeon video Forgotten Things. Going to the movies in January 1940, The impact of WWII newsreels showing the icy fields of the Maginot Line and Shirley Temple’s smile.
"Life is Short Even on Its Longest Days. Transcript of Bob Dylan's MusiCares Person of Year Award
I'm glad for my songs to be honored like this. But you know, they didn't get here by themselves. It's been a long road and it's taken a lot of doing. These songs of mine, they're like mystery stories, the kind that Shakespeare saw when he was growing up. I think you could trace what I do back that far. They were on the fringes then, and I think they're on the fringes now. And they sound like they've been on the hard ground.
The 600 year old butt song from Hell - Listen at the link
Luke and I were looking at Hieronymus Bosch’s painting The Garden of Earthly Delights and discovered, much to our amusement, music written upon the posterior of one of the many tortured denizens of the rightmost panel of the painting which is intended to represent Hell. I decided to transcribe it into modern notation, assuming the second line of the staff is C, as is common for chants of this era.
A long-lost Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece thought to be worth £90million and discovered in a bank vault is finally being returned to Italy. The painting of Renaissance socialite Isabella d’Este, attributed by experts to da Vinci, was seized by police after being found in a bank vault in Switzerland in 2013. Investigators said the piece had been exported illegally and was in danger of being sold on to an investment fund in the UK.
The portrait, which had been missing for centuries, was uncovered among 400 pieces of art stored in the vault. But in a further twist, when art police ruled the painting had been exported illegally and went to the vault to seize it, they found it had gone missing again.
Incredibly, it surfaced for a second time last year during a car insurance fraud, when Italian police discovered a lawyer was trying to negotiate its sale for £90million.
Prosecutor Manfredi Palumbo said: ‘As part of a separate insurance fraud investigation came to know that an Italian lawyer in Pessaro had been made the agent to tell a painting attributed to da Vinci for no less than 95 million euros (£70m).
‘Just before we seized it we discovered that the lawyer was in negotiations to sell the painting to a UK fund for 120 million euros (£90m).’
Daniel Silva writes an convincing and exciting thriller, The Heist, about the world of international art theft
Legendary spy and art restorer Gabriel Allon….embarks on a daring gambit to recover a stolen Caravaggio and learn the identity of the collector. His search will take him on an exhilarating hunt—from the shimmering boulevards of Paris and London to the gritty criminal underworlds of Marseilles and Corsica, and finally to a small private bank in Austria where a dangerous man stands guard over the ill-gotten wealth of a brutal dictator. At his side is a brave young woman who survived one of the worst massacres of the twentieth century. Now, with Gabriel's help, she will be given a chance to strike a blow against a dynasty that destroyed her family.
In Wired, This Incredible Hospital Robot Is Saving Lives. Also, I Hate It by Matt Simon
Eating the Enemy. In Massachusetts, green crabs are an invasive species that is feasting on clams.
" I’ve been stepping on these pesky buggers at the beach for years,” says Legal Sea Foods executive chef Rich Vellante. “Who knew what a pure, clean, sweet crab stock they produce?”
Lars Anderson takes Archery to a whole new level. What he can do is absolutely amazing
Bill Whittle in Number One with a Bullet. A devastatingly effective video that shows while the U.S. is number one in gun ownership per capita, it is one of the safest places to be in the world.
The Amazing Video that takes you INSIDE the Largest Photograph Ever Taken is awesome and mind-blowing.
Earlier this month, NASA and ESA released the biggest and highest resolution image of our galactic neighbor, Andromeda, that has ever been taken. The 1.5 billion pixel image was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Each tiny dot of light in the picture represents one of 1 trillion stars in the galaxy; many with their own expansive planetary systems.
As you watch this video and contemplate Andromeda’s mind-boggling size, remember that this is just a drop in the bucket compared to the rest of the universe. As large as this galaxy is, it is only one out of 200 billion galaxies in the known universe
Van Gogh likely based his famed Starry Night on this scientific illustration of the Whirlpool Galaxy by one William Parsons that appeared in a 19th century popular astronomy tome, according to Michael Benson's new book Cosmigraphics, a history of our efforts to illustrate the universe.
4. The string of typographical symbols comic strips use to indicate profanity ("$%@!") is called a grawlix.
7. What do you call a group of rattlesnakes? A rhumba.
8. To waste time by being lazy is to dringle.
In Aeon, How Stories Change Hearts and Minds
One man talked about his identification with Santiago, the beleaguered fisherman in Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. The man said he sometimes felt an inner pull to go back to his drug habit, but that Santiago’s will to persevere motivated him to stay a sober course. ‘The fictional character was alive for the student at that crucial moment, an inspiration, a stranger become a friend,’ Waxler writes. ‘It was not an exaggeration to say that a story had caught this student’s attention and perhaps saved his life that day.’ In a study of 600 participants, rates of criminal activity declined by 60 per cent compared to only 16 per cent in a control group.
You won'f forget the Royal Dutch Guide Dog Foundation commercial for veteran dogs.
The Beautiful Math Inside All Living Things from RealClearScience
For most evolved life, efficiency is everything. It is in pursuit of this perfection that some of nature's most astounding patterns have arisen. Ever count the petals of a flower or the spirals of a pinecone? Each will always be a number from the Fibonacci Sequence, in which the previous two numbers add up to the next: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, etc……At first, this is mind-boggling. Why would Nature do this? But as YouTube educator Vi Hart pointed out, the reason is beautifully simple. Plants want to maximize the amount of sunlight they receive, so logically, each petal should never completely block another out. "This design provides the best physical accommodation for the number of branches, while maximizing sun exposure," the University of Georgia's Nikhat Parveen described.
The Victorian Fight Against Filth Mud was ubiquitous on London’s streets during Victoria’s reign. It was mostly horse dung, plus particles of iron and cobblestone…..Lady F.W. Harberton ( Florence Wallace Pomeroy, wife of Viscount Harberton), who campaigned for sensible female attire, claimed to describe the flotsam caught up in a trailing skirt during a walk through Piccadilly—including a piece of pork pie, orange peel, cigar ends, toothpicks and part of a boot.
The murder that has obsessed Italy On 26 November 2010, Yara Gambirasio, 13, went missing. Three months later her body was discovered in scrubland nearby. So began one of the most complex murder investigations in Italian history, which will reach its climax later this year.
Much of the investigation focused on DNA evidence from Ignito 1 (unknown 1)
If Ignoto 1 really was the son of the late Giuseppe Guerinoni, the only explanation was that, somewhere out there, was his illegitimate child. “It became,” Ruggeri says, “an investigation within an investigation.” She was now hunting a woman, presumably in middle- to old-age, who 30 or 40 years ago had had an affair with a married man, now long dead, and given birth to a boy who went on to murder Yara Gambirasio.
Long-forgotten infidelities and old suspicions surfaced. Bonicelli laughs as he describes how his journalists discovered five illegitimate children in two small villages: “Five! We could have started a gossip magazine. It was like an open sewer: we were receiving anonymous letters, stories, people telling us about backgrounds and cuckolds.” A society which had always prided itself on its sense of loyalty and traditional Catholicism, suddenly discovered the betrayals in its midst. “Perhaps the point is this,” Bonicelli wrote in an editorial, “we don’t know each other any more.”
The Overprotected Kid A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer. A new kind of playground points to a better solution.
A group of historians claim Leonardo da Vinci painted the work, dubbed the 'Early Mona Lisa', more than a decade before his masterpiece portrait and depicted the same Italian merchant's wife.
It was unearthed before the First World War but lay hidden in a Swiss bank vault for 40 years, while a consortium carried out secret tests before unveiling it in 2012 - though many experts still insist it was one of a litany of inferior copies…..It has earned the seal of approval, at least partially, from modern experts including Renaissance historian Giorgio Vasari, art historian John Eyre, research physicist Professor John Asmus and Professor Alessandro Vezzosi, one of the most influential living experts on Da Vinci.
'It's like goosebumps on your brain': Maryland Maria draws YouTube audience of millions for her whispered voice which induces mysterious physical sensations. Millions listen to her hushed whispers on videos that can instill tranquility and even overcome insomnia.Scientists say the videos induce a physical sensation known as autonomous sensory meridian response which feels good. Maria made her first ASMR video in February 2011
The mystery of the magical 'Ulfberht' Viking sword. Made by German 'supermonks' believed to have forged the superstrong weapons of metal so pure so pure it baffled archaeologists, who thought the technology to forge such metal was not invented for another 800 or more years, during the Industrial Revolution All of the mysterious weapons are inscribed with a single word - 'Ulfberht'.
Thomas Woods in Chapter 3 of his 2005 book, How the Catholic Church Built Civilization, focuses on the immense contributions of the monks who
taught metallurgy, introduced new crops, copied ancient texts, preserved literacy, pioneered in technology, invented champagne, improved the European landscape, provided for wanderers of every stripe, and looked after the lost and shipwrecked.
The Cistercians were also known for their skill in metallurgy. “In their rapid expansion throughout Europe,” writes Jean Gimpel….Every monastery had a model factory, often as large as the church and only several feet away, and waterpower drove the machinery of the various indus- tries located on its floor.” At times iron ore deposits were donated to the monks, nearly always along with the forges used to extract the iron, and at other times they purchased the deposits and forges. Although they needed iron for their own use, Cistercian monasteries would come in time to offer their surplus for sale; in fact, from the mid-thirteenth through the seventeenth century, the Cistercians were the leading iron producers in the Champagne region of France.
"Oh my God, it's Mom" A great C-Span moment. Two brothers on CSpan with differing poitiical views face off. Next caller. who doesn't want them arguing when they visit her for Christmas.
Why the Colosseum hasn't collapsed: Roman concrete used 'secret' ingredient to stand the test of time - and now engineers want to copy it
According to an x-ray analysis of concrete, the mortars used to bind the concrete were made up of 85% volcanic ash which formed a crystalline structure that prevented cracks. The process of production was also far more environmentally-friendly
Mysterious Boston woman is top Amazon reviewer She is 5-foot-2, drives a Honda CR-V, and has very detailed opinions on printer cartridges, tax preparation software, and five flavors of Burt’s Bees lip balm.
Drunk birds sober up in Environment Yukon holding tank Bohemian waxwings get tipsy on fermented berries
How a Massachusetts man invented the global ice market An entrepreneur’s 1806 scheme to sell chunks of frozen New England ponds still shapes how we live
The Benefits of Being Cold by James Hamblin in The Atlantic
Year-round warmth is a modern luxury, and one that could be affecting body weight and health.
Money to Burn. Fed Scores in Bid to Keep Cash From Trash
The Fed destroys more than 5,000 tons of U.S. currency a year—billions of dollars in torn, dirty or worn-out bills that are withdrawn from circulation and shredded…It’s now succeeding in bringing the dollar out of the dump, recycling more than 90% of its discarded bills. Power plants burn them for fuel. Compost piles turn them into fertilizer. Some of them even end up in manufactured goods.
The Everything Book. Reading in the Age of Amazon "solid-state devices filled with culture"
Inside the Kindle lab ..From the start, Amazon has defined its hardware mission narrowly: to build devices that disappear in the hand, with uniquely useful features, for a low price. "We would never make a gold thing, because that’s too distracting," Green says. "There are many companies that create pieces of jewelry. We’re not going to do that, because that's an added cost that takes away from the actual content."
Great writing ought to get into people’s brains," Katz says. "And how it gets there shouldn’t be a matter of religiosity."
How to Sit in a Victorian Bustle YouTube
San Francisco Schools Transformed by the Power of Meditation. School day extended by 30 minutes for 2 periods of meditation resulted in better academic performance and a 75 percent decrease in suspensions. Important life skill learned. So when will it, like silent periods for prayer, be banned?
Ship of Light in Amsterdam, A 3D Ship Projected onto Curtains of Water
Photo © Janus van den Eijnden
Word soon got out and detectives from all over the country flooded the office with requests. Before long, the Vidocq Society upped its meeting schedule from four times a year to nine. Today, the 82 chartered members hail from all areas of the crime-solving trade. There are DNA specialists, experts on cults, psychoanalysts, Naval Intelligence men, polygraphers, and long-retired FBI special agents. They convene every month, except July, August, and December—even veteran sleuths need a vacation—in the upper reaches of the Union League, a stately old building in the heart of Philadelphia. And at each meeting, over a lavish multi-course meal, they hear the details of a single unsolved case.
From DeMilked, 23 Breathtaking Ice and Snow Formations like these Baikal Ice Emeralds
An amazing video if you want to know What Sound Looks Like
An Hungarian art historian was watching a Christmas movie with his daughter when what did he see but a long lost Hungarian masterpiece in the background in a scene of the movie Stuart Little. Researcher spots Sleeping Lady with Black Vase by Robert Bereny being used as a prop in Hollywood children’s movie
Artist Sacha Goldberg delights with Portraits of Superheroes in Flemish Style
The Modern Supermarket is a Miracle [M}ost Americans are but a handful of generations removed from subsistence farming. Our forebears watered the crops they planted in tiny plots of land with their own sweat; we stand in air-conditioned bazaars and pick from an endless array of produce—pears from Chile, and chilies from Mexico, and kiwis lovingly cultivated by actual Kiwis—and then complain about the Muzak.
Best video of the week. On YouTube. Hilarious Golden Retriever Really Wants To Race But.. First Things First.
Deer found with incredible single antler, a real life unicorn This roe deer, shot in Slovenia at an advanced age, had a rare antler deformity that caused its two antlers to fuse together in a single, unicorn-like protrusion central bone that was probably caused by an injury when its antlers first started growing.
In Quartz We may be close to a world of limitless power from artificial leaves Formed in 2010, JCAP is a $122 million federally funded initiative based at the California Institute of Technology. Its assignment was to develop a viable artificial photosynthesis device by 2015. The prototype had to be durable, be made from commonly available materials and convert sunlight to fuel at an efficiency of 10%….“Four years ago you would have said this would not be possible,”
Facts That Make You Smile
• Every year, hundreds of new trees are planted because squirrels forget where they bury their nuts.
• Cows get stressed when separated from their best friends.
• Otters hold hands when they sleep so they won't drift away from the group.
• This smiley animal, the size of cat, lives in Australia and is called a quokka.
Beautiful, Terrible Watercolors of a 19th-Century Whale Hunt, Found in a Ship's Logbook. These watercolors, painted into the pages of the logbook of the ship Hector during a voyage it took between 1842-1845, were made by a seaman named James Moore Ritchie.
Charles Cooke takes a trip to the Canadian oil sands, a "wonder of the world" and reports Whence Keystone Comes It's utterly fascinating.
Republished, a 1984 article: A Spreadsheet Way of Knowledge A generation ago, a tool unleashed the power of business modeling — and created the entrepreneurial boom that has transformed our economy.
The tattoo artist who became a Benedictine monk . Brother Andre Love is now curator of Mount Angel Abbey's art collection.
Six years ago, Mount Angel Abbey's serene hilltop campus shook, as leather-clad Bobby Love rolled in on his motorcycle. Love removed his helmet revealing pierced ears and a mop of dreadlocks. With tattoos on his hands, arms and neck, he looked like an extra on "Sons of Anarchy" not a someone attending a retreat for those who might become Catholic monks…….
Above the neckline of his black hood, his neck tattoos remain. His hands are marked with a spiderweb, women's faces, an alpha and omega, and "HOLD FAST" on his knuckles. A red heart marks his palm. His name is Love after all…….
Looking back at his story, Love sees that his uncompromising passion for art led him into spiritual desolation, but ultimately, it led him to drive his motorcycle to a discernment retreat at Mount Angel Abbey. His one word explanation for how this happened is "God."
Broken sleep People once woke up halfway through the night to think, write or make love. What have we lost by sleeping straight through?
Modern, electrical illumination revolutionized the night and, in turn, sleep. Prior to Edison, says the Virginia Tech historian A Roger Ekirch, author of At Day’s Close: Night in Times Past (2005), sleep had been divided into two distinct segments, separated by a period of night-waking that lasted between one and several hours. The pattern was called segmented sleep.
How to Make a Schadenfreude Pie Dark. Rich. And oh so bittersweet.
National Geographic uses tintypes to illustrate Children of Civil War Veterans Still Walk Among Us, 150 Years After the War The still living sons and daughters of the blue and gray
Astonishing. The "tropic cascade" in Yellowstone National Park when, after an absence of 70 years, wolves were re-introduced into the park. They brought back all sorts of new life and even changed rivers. How Wolves Change Rivers
Listen to This: Comet's Eerie 'Song' Captured by Rosetta Spacecraft. Strange, echoed clopping sound produced by "oscillations in the magnetic field in the comet's environment,"
In the Wall Street Journal Taming the Wild Tuna Farming tuna has never been successful until now.
With a decades long global consumption boom depleting natural fish populations of all kinds, demand is increasingly being met by farm-grown seafood. In 2012, farmed fish accounted for a record 42.2% of global output, compared with 13.4% in 1990 and 25.7% in 2000. A full 56% of global shrimp consumption now comes from farms, mostly in Southeast Asia and China. Oysters are started in hatcheries and then seeded in ocean beds. Atlantic salmon farming, which only started in earnest in the mid-1980s, now accounts for 99% of world-wide production—so much so that it has drawn criticism for polluting local water systems and spreading diseases to wild fish.
Until recently, the Pacific bluefin tuna defied this sort of domestication. The bluefin can weigh as much as 900 pounds and barrels through the seas at up to 30 miles an hour. Over a month, it may roam thousands of miles of the Pacific. The massive creature is also moody, easily disturbed by light, noise or subtle changes in the water temperature. It hurtles through the water in a straight line, making it prone to fatal collisions in captivity.
A case of 'murder for lobster' The bizarre fishermen's feud that has allegedly left one man dead and three arrested
Toshiba’s high-tech grow rooms are churning out lettuce that never needs washing
Why plant lettuce in a clean room? The obvious answer: Because it’s clean. Everything is tightly controlled, including air pressure, temperature, lighting, bacteria, and dust. The result is a crop that doesn’t need pesticides, doesn’t have bugs, and doesn’t need washing.
Composer Jim Wilson has recorded the sound of crickets and then slowed down the recording, revealing something so amazing. The crickets sound like they are singing the most angelic chorus in perfect harmony. Though it sounds like human voices, everything you hear in the recording is the crickets themselves.
The Number That Explains Hong Kong’s Upheaval by David Feith
Off-color and packed with meaning, ‘689’ is a guide to the city’s present and future.
Amazing Timelapse: Braces Straightening Teeth
“It’s not healthy for some of these deer to be carrying rocking chairs on top of their head,….experienced hunters say it’s easy to see that some of these deer have trouble keeping their heads up, with all the weight they’re carrying.
Wonderful Photographs from Mexico's Day of the Dead in Atlas Obscura
In Mexico, Day of Dead is more of a spiritual and religious festival,…the focus is on the altars and the millions, if not billions, of marigolds used to decorate them. The scent of the flowers is said to lure back the dead to visit Earth for this annual reunion with the living.
Once a corn field is planted and herbicide applied, many farmers don’t return to a given field until harvest time. The biotechnological and labor-saving innovations that have reduced costs for corn farmers mean that literally no one walks into the average corn field during the growing season. Which presents a major opportunity for marijuana growers.
Piggybacking on the incredible technological investments required to create so much corn, marijuana growers reap orders of magnitude more revenue per acre. This fact is not lost on individual farmers, but is virtually undetectable in national conversations about the profits and pitfalls of industrial corn agriculture.
"I love John the Baptist’s definition of the word politics – “poly means many, tics are bloodsucking parasites.” from Tim Walker's 5 star review of The Man Jesus by Simon Callow now on the London stage. "Funny, knowing and profoundly sad".
Michael J Totten on The Walking Dead in an Age of Anxiety
The Walking Dead is a morality tale that disdains easy answers. How does a civilized person behave in a world where civilization has collapsed? Decency is still possible, the show instructs us, but ruthlessness is needed as well. “It’s ugly,” Carol says when explaining this to a child, “and it’s scary and it does change you, but that’s how we get to be here.”
The fascination with the zombie apocalypse, I believe, is a cultural reflection of the new age of anxiety that opened on 9/11, with its fear of social collapse. As Penn State professor Peter Dendle puts it, the zombie is a “barometer of social anxiety”—and we’re plenty anxious.
A zombie invasion is simply a metaphor for any situation in which the government cannot protect its citizens.”
The Gaelic Stars of YouTube Irish-language covers of popular English songs. All by students of Coláiste Lurgan, an Irish-Gaelic-immersion summer school, with a musical, energetic, social approach to learning Irish, an endangered language, but now a mandatory part of a school's curriculum.
What a beautiful language Irish is. Here Stiofán Ó Fearail sings "Wake Me Up"
Have you ever seen students so engaged or having so much fun learning language?
Google Chairman, Eric Schmidt, "We're Going to End Up Breaking the Internet" unless governments reform their surveillance practices.
From the Art of Manliness, How to Gird Up Your Loins, an illustrated guide.
Deep Into Green by Michael Gorra, a review of Green: The History of a Color by Michel Pastoureau in the New York Review of Books
Jan Van Eyck: The Arnolfini Wedding, circa 1435
Trained as a medievalist, Pastoureau argues that the history of color is an “altogether more vast” subject than the history of painting, and this book’s concerns range from Latin etymologies to the green neon crosses that hang outside modern French pharmacies.
Pastoureau writes many pages further on, that trash cans are often green, a bit of sympathetic magic against decay, for “green cleans, green refreshes, green purifies.” It means health, and it did so long before it became the name of a political party, “no longer so much a color as an ideology.” Yet growth implies change, change betokens instability, and green is in fact “an uncertain color,” ambiguous and at times even forked in its significance.
Those pharmacy signs suggest illness as much as health, and green has often functioned as the color of poison and disease; think of the pustular figures on the Isenheim Altarpiece, and even of that work’s dead Christ. We speak of certain greens as sickly in a way that has no parallel in talking of blue or red or black, and for that there might be a reason in the very chemistry of the color itself.
In the Renaissance the color’s chemical instability made it seem “false” and even treacherous, a “deceptive color, simultaneously appealing and disappointing.” As such, it became associated with games of chance or hazard; think of the green baize with which tables for cards or craps or pool are covered even now. The color here carries a symbolic charge that is inseparable from its use—gambling means green. It connotes luck, the ups and downs of a player’s fortunes, and it also suggests avarice.
Researchers say the death throes of these early stars were unique as they exploded as supernovae and burned completely, leaving no black hole behind, but instead spewing out chemical elements into space that eventually formed our Universe.
Two Blind Sisters See for the First Time YouTube link
Sonia and Anita, two sisters living in India, have been blind since birth, but a simple eye operation makes it possible for them to see their mom for the first time. The nonprofit organization 20/20/20 provides free operations to these sisters--as well as thousands of other people in developing countries. These procedures empower people in impoverished communities to create better futures. In this short film, Blue Chalk Media shares the sisters’ poignant story and captures their initial experiences after the bandages come off.
After many years of ignorant acceptance of one gruesome and ugly step downward in art after another that I witnessed when I wandered around in New York's overheated and overhyped art scene, I came to the reluctant conclusion that most contemporary art was garbage, that it had no soul, and that deep down… it was shallow….
For at the core of all the objects that form the mountain of crap that is palmed off as "art," there is simply and plainly, nothing at all. Nothing felt, nothing sensed, nothing learned, and nothing believed in. As such it is without soul. And nothing that lacks soul can survive death, especially the death of a culture and our present state …
Which is why it is so reviving to come across Lauridsen's citing of the magic and mystery of a painting that inspires music from his soul across more than three and a half centuries. It reminds us that art that is true, that art that comes from belief and the soul, will survive and will continue to expand the soul of man despite all the forces that may array themselves against "the good, the beautiful and whether or not something is true."
In discussing the origin of his chorale composition, "O Magnum Mysterium," in the early 1990s, Lauridsen cites as his primary inspiration a painting done in 1633, more than three and a half centuries before The painting is Francisco de Zurbarán's "Still Life With Lemons, Oranges and a Rose."
Listen to the beauty of Lauridsen's "O Magnum Mysterium," here.
In Reason, David Harsanyi contemplates The Countercultural Appeal of 19 Kids and Counting
Considering what we see on TV, it's basically transgressive. A place where homeschooling is treated as a reasonable way to educate your children, where kids talk about "honoring" their parents rather than demanding things from them, and where older kids start successful small businesses without a traditional college education.
19 Kids and Counting is basically the most earnest show I've ever watched. And while almost any mainstream show I grew up watching saw social conservatives through a political prism—irrational and hopeless—the Duggars' charitable spirit allows people to see the manifestation of religious ideals in real-time. Or so this apostate imagines. In any event, it's almost impossible to not be charmed.
By any measure, their lives should rub my secular sensibilities the wrong way, and the austerity of their beliefs are still somewhat off-putting. But whether you believe the family's lifestyle is optimal or not—and I don't—you can learn from them. What will most impress any parent is the boundless patience Jim Bob and Michelle have towards their many children. They handle situations with calmness and purpose, focusing on preparing capable adults, but also good people. Which all sounds terribly boring, but it's not. I never imagined that I would ever find myself asking the question "What would Jim Bob do?" … But, well, there it is.
Now, I certainly don't want to be a Duggar, but I have to confess that I want to be more like a Duggar than I am right now. Or maybe I just need a break from all the cynicism. So what?
But the real point isn’t that Germans love cash. It’s that—for the same historical reasons—they loathe debt. (Armchair anthropologists have also long noted that German word for debt—Schulden—comes from the word for guilt, Schuld.
It's a French advertisement and the most charming video of the week.
I always wondered how so many articles got written. This Robot Has Written More Wikipedia Articles Than Anyone Alive
You might think writing 10,000 articles per day would be impossible. But not for a Swede named Sverker Johansson. He created a computer program that has written a total of 2.7 million articles, making Johansson the most prolific author, by far, on the "internet's encyclopedia." His contributions account for 8.5 percent of the articles on Wikipedia, the Wall Street Journal reports.
We are a popular restaurant for both locals and tourists alike. Having been in business for many years, we noticed that although the number of customers we serve on a daily basis is almost the same today as it was 10 years ago, the service just seems super slow even though we added more staff and cut back on the menu items.
Fantasy and the Buffered Self in The New Atlantis
"Might it not be possible to experience the benefits, while avoiding the costs, of both the porous and the buffered self? I want to argue here that it is precisely this desire that accounts for the rise to cultural prominence, in late modernity, of the artistic genre of fantasy. Fantasy — in books, films, television shows, and indeed in all imaginable media — is an instrument by which the late modern self strives to avail itself of the unpredictable excitements of the porous self while retaining its protective buffers. Fantasy, in most of its recent forms, may best be understood as a technologically enabled, and therefore safe, simulacrum of the pre-modern porous self, " Charles Taylor
the achievement of a safely buffered personhood — closed off from both the divine and the demonic — is soon enough accompanied by a deeply felt change in the very cosmos. As C. S. Lewis notes in The Discarded Image (1964), the medieval person who found himself “looking up at a world lighted, warmed, and resonant with music” gives way to the modern person who perceives only emptiness and silence.
Might it not be possible to experience the benefits, while avoiding the costs, of both the porous and the buffered self? I want to argue here that it is precisely this desire that accounts for the rise to cultural prominence, in late modernity, of the artistic genre of fantasy. Fantasy — in books, films, television shows, and indeed in all imaginable media — is an instrument by which the late modern self strives to avail itself of the unpredictable excitements of the porous self while retaining its protective buffers.
The Truth About Shaving Cream "Shaving cream is a racket"
In National Geographic: Who Were the Ancient Bog Mummies? Surprising New Clues
Tollund Man, who was hanged with a leather cord and cast into a Danish bog, is housed at Denmark's Silkeborg Museum. Radiocarbon dating of Tollund Man indicated that he died in approximately 375-210 BCE
There are an estimated 30 million slaves in the world today, more than at any other time in history. In case you missed it, earlier this month Real Clear World ran a profile of what slave labor looks like in Pakistan today. There are 1.8 million “debt laborers” in the country, and 2.2 million slaves over all (only India and China have more). The debt laborers are kept under the thumb of landlords who sell them back and forth and cook up ways of keeping them in bondage:…."The actual thing that is keeping people in bondage is the manipulation of the records. The “hari” is illiterate and uneducated and doesn’t know how to keep the records.
The Jihadi Menace Gets Real Walter Russell Mead
ISIS is bigger, badder, richer, and better organized than any jihadi threat the United States has faced thus far. Its rise represents a foreign policy disaster of the first order.
VDH: The Federal Octopus - Federal agencies now exist not for the public good but for their employees’ benefit and Obama’s agenda.
The Dark Knight of the Soul For some, meditation has become more curse than cure. Willoughby Britton wants to know why.
Diplomad Collapse Part 1
The concepts of human rights, democracy, liberty, and free enterprise; the great scientific, engineering, and medical inventions and discoveries; the great explorations of the globe; the magnificent literature and art; these are overwhelmingly the products of white males--many of them Jewish, most of them Christian. In the past few decades we have seen a backlash against that, a movement that instead of calling on all to emulate these white male achievements, calls upon these achievements to be ridiculed, denigrated, and destroyed. That is the core of the issue in America and in Europe and around the world. The haters, the race-obsessed thugs are now in charge.
We see the results of this at home with the opening of our borders to a hostile invasion and most notably abroad as our power and influence are undermined from Washington DC.
Cloward-Piven Everywhere And barely time to think.
Most People Think Alzheimer's Is a Normal Part of Aging It's important not to think of the disease that way.
A complete list of things caused by global warming at the warmlist
A complete list of all the things that are considered racism Everything is racism
Making the Case for a Course on American Masterpieces
How The Trans-Agenda Seeks To Redefine Everyone
The transgender movement has strong totalitarian overtones that Americans don’t fully understand.
See the Parthenon in color, the way the ancient Greeks did. Panels from the Parthenon temple, which were once daubed in bright hues, have been ‘restored’ to their original condition via the use of 3D digital images.
Vintage postcards of New York City from the Boston Public Library.
One of my very favorite writers Bill Bryson is absolutely right when he says the great failure in education is a lack of excitement
Throughout the talk, Bryson demonstrated, through personal experience, how excitement in a subject can propel continued learning, and how embracing curiosity – a trait that he argues is “undervalued” – can stimulate this initial excitement…..
So how do you keep that curiosity alive in children; an apt question put to Bryson by one teacher in the Q&A session at the end of the lecture, which Bryson – boldly, in my opinion – agreed to take part in.
“I suppose the main thing,” he laughs, “is to do your very best to be interesting. But also to remind kids – as I was trying to do with my talk – that even the most obvious things, if you stop and think about them, are amazing."
He practices what he preaches. I've read many of his books and have been captivated by how interesting he makes everything. A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail: A classic and laugh-out-loud funny. In a Sunburned Country: "Every time Bill Bryson walks out the door, memorable travel literature threatens to break out" His guide to Australia is a "deliciously funny, fact-filled, and adventurous performance by a writer who combines humor, wonder, and unflagging curiosity." A Short History of Nearly Everything : "Sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only Bill Bryson can render it. Science has never been more involving or entertaining." At Home: A Short History of Private Life: "Bryson has one of the liveliest, most inquisitive minds on the planet, and his sheer prose fluency makes At Home one of the most entertaining books ever written about private life"
22 Masterful Body Paintings That Disguise Humans As Animals
James Henry writes Big Bills: How Western central bankers and Treasury Secretaries cater to illicit drug syndicates, money-launderers, racketeers, and kleptocrats.
Why I am very wary of the Internet of Things The Nightmare on Connected Home Street in Wired.
If you don't get Why Benghazi Matters, Bill Whittle explains in 10 minutes.
When Parkinson's caused her grandfather to spill his drinks, Lily Born decided to do something about it. So she came up with the revolutionary 3-legged Kangaroo Cup and raised money via Kickstarter.
The Robo-fly has a carbon fibre body weighing 106mg - a fraction of a gram; Its pair of flapping wings is powered by electronic ‘muscles’ and it balances thanks to a pyramid shaped light sensor on top of its ‘head . The drone is powered and controlled through a lightweight tether wire and can perform the agile maneuvres of the ubiquitous insects. The robofly could be used in search and rescue operations, to squeeze through collapsed rubble, monitor environmental conditions, and pollinate crops
Now they tell us Don't wash raw chicken, health experts warn
Washing chicken can spread a type of bacteria around the kitchen through the splashing of water droplets which causes food poisoning
A better way to cut cake revealed by London mathematician who explains it all in a YouTube video
The method involves cutting parallel lines rather than wedges. This allows the cake to be sealed with icing around it, keeping it fresh
Dr Harold Katz says dark chocolate helps harden the enamel surface of teeth. He says green tea contains tannins which stop bacteria sticking to teeth. And, he says strawberries contain malic acid which removes stains. Cheese, he says, makes the mouth less acidic so tooth erosion is reduced.
Could boost calls for more music training in schools and help the elderly or those with ADHD. The research team defined musically trained children as having played an instrument for at least two years.
The controlled study using functional MRI brain imaging was undertaken by researchers at Boston Children's Hospital.
'Since executive functioning is a strong predictor of academic achievement, even more than IQ, we think our findings have strong educational implications,' said Nadine Gaab, who led the research.
Why do stores give receipts? Mostly so employees can't steal.
Elephants Know What It Means to Point to Something, No Training Required. Smarter than apes.
After the Australian woman tied the knot in the Thai resort of Phuket, she walked up to the exotic uninvited guest.
But when she was a few feet away, the three-year-old Indian elephant wrapped its trunk around her and pulled her towards its mouth.
And it did not do the bride - who had travelled from Melbourne for her wedding - any damage other than a dose of bad breath, as the elephant soon let her go.
Single males between the ages of 18 and 55 only change their sheets an average of four times a year.
Women, on average, change their sheets every week.
People look at their phones the most between peak hours of 5pm and 8pm. During these hours, 75% of users are actively using their devices
Average number of times a user checks their phone is nine times an hour. This increases to once every six seconds for 'highest frequency users'
Why Louis C.K. won't give his daughters cellphones