Saturday, 1 August 2015

The Red Witch

A geologist on Mars fights alone to uncover the planet's secrets before the green of terraforming covers it forever.

Vimeo link

Scarecrow Festivals In The UK

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Scarecrow festivals are held all over the world, but they are especially popular in the United Kingdom, where the use of scarecrows as a protector of crops date from time immemorial. In medieval Britain, scarecrows were young boys who were tasked with the responsibility of scarring away birds.

When the Great Plague of of 1348 wiped half the population in Britain, landowners couldn't find enough young boys to employ as bird scarers to protect their crops. So they stuffed sacks with straw, carved faces in turnips or gourds, and made scarecrows that stood against poles. Bird scarers continued to patrol British fields until the early 1800s when new factories and mines opened up and offered children better paying jobs.

The 30 Most Colorful Buildings In The World

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Be gone, boring no-color bricks. Here are 30 of the most vibrant, colorful buildings from around the world. After you look through these, you might end up turning your home into a version of your own technicolor dream.

(via Everlasting Blort)

The Dog Meets The Dog Of Wisdom

Weird video by animator Joe Gran.

YouTube link

(thanks Cora)

If My Dogs Were A Pair Of Middle-Aged Men

Great comic by The Oatmeal. If My Dogs Were A Pair Of Middle-Aged Men.

10 Drowned Towns You Can Visit

image credit: Juan Tello

There are so many places lost beneath the waves around the world, you could create an alternate atlas of watery wreckages. But during the 20th century, the number of towns underwater increased exponentially as hydroelectricity projects submerged some to create power for many.

These drowned towns were intentionally flooded behind new dams, their buildings removed or dismantled, and their residents displaced. In recent years, droughts have allowed some of these towns to re-emerge. Others remain underwater. Here are 10 haunting waterworlds.

Friday, 31 July 2015

Robotic Playground Looks For Fun

A team of roboticists from the Interactive Architecture Lab has developed an interactive climbing frame, that can roam designated play areas, searching for children to play with it.

YouTube link

How To Avoid Getting Pickpocketed

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A couple centuries ago, pickpocketing was the scourge of cities around the world. From Dickens' London to New York City's famous Five Points, skilled thieves practiced their craft, filching the valuables of passersby without the victim noticing a thing.

In fact, that's how pockets in clothing got their start: Prior to the 17th century, men and women alike carried their valuables in purses outside the body; they then started tying pouches inside their clothes in an attempt to thwart would-be 'cutpurses' and thieves. To avoid finding yourself in that kind of aggravating mess, you simply need to take a few precautions that'll greatly reduce your vulnerability to pickpockets.

The California Alligator Farm

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In 1907, Francis Earnest and Joe Campbell opened a unique attraction in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. The California Alligator Farm boasted over a thousand of the toothy reptiles, from adorable hatchlings to massive adults.

After paying $0.25 for admission, visitors could peruse alligator handbags in the gift shop, watch a trained gator slide down a 16-foot chute or take pictures of their children riding atop the animals. The farm was moved to Buena Park in 1953, and finally closed in 1984.

Around The World In 30 Unique Modes Of Transport

Traveling the world and exploring new places is incredibly exciting, and it doesn't stop there. When you arrive at the destination, you will want to explore even more - and the unique modes of transport found around the world can really add to this experience.

You may get to use the double decker Dubai Trolley, the tuk-tuks in Thailand, Reindeer sleds in Finland, or even the extremely fast Bullet Train in Japan. Here's a list of 30 modes of transport that make cars and buses seem rather boring.

(thanks Harry)

Jammin' With Jellies

Jellyfish are all around us, helping maintain the delicate ecosystem of the world's oceans, yet most of us rarely see them. Be mesmerized by billowing bells and flowing tentacles at the all-new Jammin' with Jellies exhibit at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, WA., USA.

YouTube link

(thanks Cora)

Pluto Has An Atmosphere, Moons, And Maybe Geological Activity. Can We Call It A Planet Now?

image credit NASA

The New Horizons spacecraft's flyby of Pluto on July 14 is making the former planet come alive. High-resolution images have put a face on this once-mysterious world. We've probed its atmosphere and imaged its moons for the first time.

Icy peaks rivaling the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains slice through its lower atmosphere, and nitrogen glaciers have carved up its surface sometime in recent geological history. Can we call it a planet now? It depends who you ask.

10 Cave Dwellings Around The World You Should Visit

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Ever wondered how it feels like to live during the times that towering apartments and gated homes didn't exist and all you have is a mountain to carve on or land to dig in? You better go back to the ancient, and still existing, homes better known as cave dwellings.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

The Workshop

The Workshop is a CGI 3D animated short film by Robert Moore and Laszlo Mandi.

YouTube link

(thanks Cora)

Why Russian Astronauts Pee On A Bus Tire Before Launching Into Space, And Other Pre-Flight Rituals

Imagine it: you're an astronaut and launch day for your first spaceflight has arrived. Years of intense study and training have culminated in this moment. You're suited up and ready to go. In mere minutes, you'll be getting strapped into your spacecraft and blasting into the cosmos.

So, how do you spend these final precious moments on Earth? If you're flying from the U.S., you'll probably play poker. If you're flying aboard a spaceflight leaving from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, you'll be ordered to pee on the back-right tire of a bus. It's tradition.

5 Ways Plants Communicate

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You may not think of plants as particularly chatty or active organisms, but they're not as passive as they might seem. Plants can't run away, so they have to develop other strategies to stay alive.

They've evolved the use of chemicals to communicate with insects and each other in order to thrive. Here are five behaviors that show how active plants can be.

The Time Zone Rebels Of The World

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In 1934, representatives from 26 countries gathered in Washington DC for the International Meridian Conference. The goal was to establish an official longitude off of which to base the international standard of time.

Creating a Standard Time set the stage for the birth of time deviants; populations that vary from a handful of counties in Indiana to the entire Republic of China, that determine their own standards of time based on the constantly shifting nature of geopolitical relationships.

Introverts Happy Hour

How introverts celebrate Happy Hour.

YouTube link

(thanks Scott)

The Whale Warehouse

The public only gets to see a carefully curated version of the collections at natural history museums. Hidden from view, there's a second museum, sprawling in scope, full of character and occasionally gross. No place is more hidden than the Whale Warehouse.

Vimeo link

(thanks Cora)

The 5 Most Bizarre Weapons Of World War II

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Unfortunately, war can drive innovation. During World War II, the world's major powers set their sights on advancing technology, medicine, and communications in order to be efficient and fearsome in battle. Some of the advancements made in WWII were fundamental to modern technology - others, not so much.

Here is a look at some of the most bizarre, useless, and downright insane weapons developed on both sides during WWII.