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.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Don't Park In The Bike Lane

This Brazilian strongman knows how to handle a car parked in a bike lane.

YouTube link

(via Neatorama)

8 Of The World's Strangest Burial Spots

image credit: Raymond Bucko

Death could take you at any time, so it is always a good idea to have some instructions in place for how you would like to be buried. But why settle for a boring underground burial when you could have your body stored for its eternal rest in all sorts of interesting places?

In fact, all over the world, people have been burying the dead in unexpected locales. To help inspire you, here are eight weird places around the world where people have been interred.

How To Fix A Phone Dropped In The Toilet

Given the prevalence of mobile phones in today's modern society, dropping a phone down the toilet is probably most people's worst nightmare. Don't worry though; you don't have to resign yourself to a life of cold sweats or a lighter wallet.

This handy infographic walks you through the steps of giving the kiss of life to your pride and joy; plus what you shouldn't do unless you want to resign your phone to an early grave.

(thanks Ant)

How Indiana Jones Actually Changed Archaeology

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Don your leather jacket and fedora, strap on a satchel, and get that bullwhip cracking: It's time to explore the mythical intersection of Hollywood fantasy and real-world discovery.

Three decades ago, Indiana Jones's swashbuckling brand of archaeology inspired a generation of moviegoers. Now a new exhibit at the National Geographic Museum pays homage to the actual artifacts and archaeologists that inspired Indy's creation.

World Record Semi Truck Jump

Daredevil Gregg Godfrey jumped his semi-truck 166 feet to set a new world record and beat the previous record by more than 100 feet during the festivities at Evel Knievel Days in Butte, Montana, USA.

YouTube link

(thanks Cora)

Inflatable Installations: 18 Fun Projects Full Of Hot Air

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Inflatables are good for more than just pool toys and camping beds - they also come in the form of giant tentacles springing from open windows, the world's largest rubber duck and gigantic piles of crap.

Blow-up buildings can have a practical purpose but sometimes oversized inflatables are just for fun, transforming both interior and exterior environments and bringing shock value to art festivals around the world.

Scientists Figure Out Pendulum Clock Puzzle That Dates Back Centuries

After more than three centuries, scientists say they have figured out why pendulum clocks hung on the same wall tend to sync up - with one clock's pendulum swinging to the left just as the other swings right.

The strange phenomenon was first observed in 1665 by Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens. No matter how the clocks started, he noticed that within about 30 minutes their pendulums wound up swinging in precisely opposite directions.