Sunday, 1 May 2016

Cone Collecting Machine

A cone collecting machine improves road worker safety and optimizes efficiency.

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10 Fascinating Little-Known Historic Firsts

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Human beings are always doing incredible, ground-breaking things. In our constantly evolving clamor of historic firsts, it's all too easy to lose track of our achievements.

While most of us know the really big stuff, like the first man on the Moon or the first person to reach the South Pole, plenty of our smaller - but no less incredible - firsts are swept under the rug. Here are 10 firsts that changed the world.

How Spacecraft Dashboards Evolved

image credit NASA

When you drive, the second most important thing you should keep your eyes on is the dashboard of your car (the first thing being the road). In space, however, it's the controls that are the most essential for navigating and operating your spacecraft.

From Gagarin to Scott Kelly, here's a brief visual history of the human-spacecraft interface.

Driveway Sealing

How to seal and resurface your driveway.

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Stop Saying That Dinosaurs Went Extinct. They Didn't!

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Everyone knows that about 65 million years ago, a massive asteroid hit the Earth and wiped out all the dinosaurs. Except, well, not so much. Most species of dinosaurs went extinct in the aftermath of the impact, but some survived.

Those survivors continued on, breeding and evolving over the epochs. Today, there are at least 10,000 species of dinosaur that roam the planet, and they come in a huge diversity of sizes, shapes, and colors. We call them - you guessed it - birds.

Svaneti: A Historical Dreamland Hidden By Mountains

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Sometimes, the incredible landscapes seen in pictures are much closer than tourists might think. The best example of this, is Svaneti: a Georgian historical region that looks surreal. Svaneti is the highest inhabited area in Europe.

Svans, (the ethnic population occupying the territory) have been living there even before the Ancient Greek times. Svans have been fierce warriors, so it's no wonder there are a series of towers in the main villages. Due to the geographical position of Svaneti, these sightseeing objectives were so well preserved, that they are still up today for curious visitors.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

'In The Mood' - Glenn Miller

'In the Mood' is a big band-era #1 hit recorded by American bandleader Glenn Miller. It topped the charts for 13 straight weeks in 1940 in the U.S. This version of 'In The Mood' is performed by Glen Gray & The Casa Loma Orchestra.

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(thanks Cora)

Teaching Your Kids

(via Bad Newspaper)

NASA Releases 360-Degree View Of Mars Taken By Curiosity Rover

image credit NASA

NASA have released a stunning 360-degree panorama acquired by the Mastcam on the space agency's Curiosity Mars rover on April 4, 2016. The panorama has been recorded as part of long-term campaign to document the context and details of the geology and landforms along Curiosity's traverse since landing in August 2012.

Tram Bowling

Tram Bowling is part of the European Tram Driver Championships which were held in Berlin on April 23.

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El Salto Angel, Venezuela

A drone take you over the edge of El Salto Angel in Venezuela, the highest waterfall in the world.

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(thanks Cora)

Around The World In 80 Books: A Global Reading List

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Ready for some serious armchair travel? Take a trip around the globe with these books from the eighty most populated countries in the world.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Consolation Of Philosophy

Consolation of Philosophy is a Middle Age song that hasn't been heard in a thousand years. Now, after more than two decades of painstaking work, research undertaken by Cambridge University's Dr Sam Barrett has enabled him to reconstruct melodies from the rediscovered leaf of the 11th century 'Cambridge Songs.'

After piecing together an estimated 80-90% of what can be known about the melodies for The Consolation of Philosophy, Barrett enlisted the help of Benjamin Bagby of Sequentia - a three-piece group of experienced performers who have built up their own working memory of medieval song.

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A Bumpy History Of The 'Baby On Board' Sign

From the mid to late 1980s, the most ubiquitous road sign didn't advise you to stop, obey the speed limit, or be mindful of crossing deer.

Instead, it was diamond-shaped, used a black-on-yellow color scheme, and came with a stern warning for nearby drivers: There was a baby on board.

The Physics Of Peacock Tail Feathers Is Even More Dazzling Than We Realized

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Male peacocks shake their brilliantly-hued, long tail feathers to attract females in a courtship display known as 'train-rattling.' But scientists had never closely examined the biomechanics behind this behavior - until now.

A new paper concludes that the frequency at which those feathers vibrate can enhance this iridescent display - even as the eyespots remain almost perfectly still.

Why Electric Cars Ruled The Roads 100 Years Ago

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Electric vehicles may be the future. But despite growing interest today, the concept of electric vehicles is just a resuscitation of a long-dormant method of commuting - one that first materialized in the 1800s.

If there ever was a perfect application for the phase 'ahead of its time,' the idea of an electric car is probably it. That's not to say the cars weren't popular 100 years ago. A third of all vehicles on the road in 1900 were electric cars. But, by 1935, electric cars were nearly nonexistent. It took decades for that to change.

Unusual Japanese Electric Light Bulbs

These electric light bulbs from Japan are amazing.

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10 Bizarre (And Wonderful) Facts About Microbes

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Much is being written about the human microbiome, the trillions of invisible microbes that live in and on our bodies. We're beginning to understand how beneficial microbes are. Only a few of the millions of types of bacteria on earth cause disease in humans. The rest don't harm us, and some help us, like those in our guts that digest our food for us.

Talking To The Stranger Next To You On A Plane Makes You Happy, According To Science

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Do you welcome conversation with a stranger on an airplane? Or do you use earbuds - the universal sign that you're in a no talking zone - to silence your neighbor?

Despite our increasingly 'social' world, many airline passengers prefer to pretend that the stranger, sitting just millimeters away, doesn't exist. But, researchers say you might want to think twice about tuning out your seatmate. Talking to the stranger next to you could make you happier.