Friday, 29 May 2015

Top 10 Movie Sets Ever Built

Before the cameras can roll, and the action starts, a movie set invites audiences into the action. A well-built set creates the world that the rest of the movie brings to life. Here are the 10 best movie sets in history.

YouTube link

(via Neatorama)

Adorable Pedal Cars

image credit

The human fascination with cars, boats and planes could easily originate in our childhood and looking at some of these pedal vehicles, it's hardly surprising.

Some of these pedal cars are originals that have been restored, while others are modern reproductions, but they're still pretty cool. So sit back, make yourself comfortable and enjoy the ride.

The Mystery Of The Margate Shell Grotto

image credit: deadmanjones

In 1835 a labourer was digging a field just outside the English seaside town of Margate. His work was interrupted when he thrust his spade in to the soil and it simply vanished in to the ground. The master of the nearby Dane House School, James Newlove, was made aware of this strange disappearance. He volunteered his young son, Joshua, for the task of being lowered, candle in hand, in to the void via a length of rope.

Regardless of our modern sensibilities about the health and safety of children, when Joshua was pulled back to the surface his wide-eyed tale astonished everyone. He told of a magical temple adorned in shells, hundreds, thousands... millions of them.

How Far Is A Light-Year?

image credit

Stars other than our sun are so far distant that astronomers refer to their distances not in terms of kilometers or miles - but in light-years. Light travels at an incredible 300,000 kilometers (186,000 miles) per second. If you could travel at the speed of light, you would be able to circle the Earth's equator about 7.5 times in just one second.

Few of us can comprehend such a humongous number. Is there any way for us mere mortals to really understand how far a light-year is?

Nilometer: Ancient Structures Used To Measure The Level Of River Nile

image credit: Horus3

Every year the river Nile begins to rise in the summer, the water overflows its banks and deposits slit on the surrounding floodplain. It is this annual flood that makes the land fertile allowing it to be cultivated and civilization to exist.

But the flood was unpredictable. If the river failed to rise, it caused drought and famine. The Egyptians therefore began measuring the Nile's water level in order to predict the harvest.

The Great Harlot And The Beast

How will the naive freshly carved prince and his co-actors withstand their audience's insatiable appetite for entertainment?

Vimeo link

(thanks Cora)

How You'll Die On Mars

image credit

We're on our way to Mars. NASA has a plan to land astronauts on its surface by the 2030s. Private spaceflight companies like SpaceX have also expressed interest in starting their own colonies there, while the infamous Mars One project has already enlisted civilians for a one-way trip to our planetary neighbor in 2020.

While many may dream of living their remaining days on Mars, those days may be numbered. The Martian environment poses significant challenges to Earth life, and establishing a Mars habitat will require an extraordinary amount of engineering prowess and technological knowhow to ensure the safety of its residents.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Playing Bear Cubs

While driving back from a hike in Hetch Hetchy in California, YouTube user Jeff Molyneaux caught these two bear cubs playing in the middle of the road while Mama bear browsed for food off to the side.

YouTube link

Heaviest Strawberry In The World

A farmer in Fukuoka, Japan found an enormous strawberry that tipped the scale at a whopping 250 grams (8.82 oz). The mutated beast of a berry now holds the Guinness World Record for the heaviest strawberry in the world.

Head Space: Behind 10,000 Years Of Artificial Cranial Modification

image credit

In 2013, archaeologists working in France, uncovered something very strange. The researchers discovered the tomb and skull of an aristocrat, who died some 1,600 years ago. Her skull was heavily deformed, with the front flattened, and the rear rising into a cone shape.

It was an example of 'artificial cranial deformation'. But this was not a singular incident. It turns out that altering the shape of one's head is not shockingly unique; it's incredibly common, across time and geography. Its meaning isn't fixed, so understanding why and how it happens can reveal much about the societies who choose to change the shape of their heads.

10 Myths About Spiders

image credit

Spiders are just like you and me. That is, they're largely misunderstood. Maybe it's their eight gangly legs and hairy bodies. Or maybe it's those little fangs that inject venom into their prey. Whatever it is, the sight of a spider tends to give folks the willies.

The fact is that many of us have our 'facts' wrong when it comes to spiders. Turns out, they're probably as put off by humans as we are by them. They're not likely to bite a person or crawl into your sleeping mouth. Let's look at 10 spider myths that don't hold up to scrutiny, starting with the biggest one of all.

(via Miss Cellania)

BRETT The Robot Learns To Put Things Together On His Own

UC Berkeley researchers have developed algorithms that enable robots to learn motor tasks through trial and error using a process that more closely approximates the way humans learn, marking a major milestone in the field of artificial intelligence.

In their experiments, the PR2 robot, nicknamed BRETT (Berkeley Robot for the Elimination of Tedious Tasks), used 'deep learning' techniques to complete various tasks without pre-programmed details about its surroundings.

YouTube link

The World's Largest Image

The world's largest image is made up of 365 billion pixels and gives us a very detailed panoramic view of Mont Blanc. The astonishing majesty of this impressive white giant is too wide to be represented either in words or images.

Now, you can grab that rarefied atmosphere through the highest resolution panorama ever made: a way to know, explore and feel the Mont Blanc. No matter if you're not an alpinist or a photographer: from now onwards the highest mountain in Europe will be part of your life like never before.

Solar Bike Path In The Netherlands Is A Shining Success

It's been only six months since the Netherlands made headlines with the world's first bike path covered in solar panels. But already the green idea is reaping higher-than-expected energy dividends, raising the chances that the idea could take off elsewhere.

The 230-foot test track is located in Krommenie, north of Amsterdam. The solar bike path is already producing more than 3,000 kilowatt-hours, or enough to power a home for a year.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Fox Tale

When Mr. Fox laughs at Mr. Bunny's tail, Mr. Fox gets what he deserves.

Vimeo link

(thanks Cora)

I Saw You At Tiki Bobs

(via Bad Newspaper)

The Ill-Fated History Of The Jet Pack

image credit Smithsonian

First we tried feathers and wax. Then Leonardo specified linen and wood. No matter the mythology or the machinery, the dream has always been the same: We're flying.

By the late 1950s, Wendell F. Moore of Bell Aerosystems, went to the drawing board and came back with the SRLD, the Small Rocket Lift Device, a Commando Cody-style backpack that could carry a single soldier into battle. But only if that battle was about a block away. The jet pack could fly, hover, turn, go high or low, but could travel only short distances.

(via Nag on the Lake)

Processing Power Compared

We may live in a world devoid of flying cars and personal teleportation devices, but that doesn't mean technology isn't moving forward at an incredible pace.

Experts Exchange, a network for technology professionals, compared the processing power for various computers and devices from 1956 to 2015 to visualize the 1 trillion-fold increase in performance over those six decades.

Greased Lightning GL-10

NASA Langley researchers designed and built a battery-powered, 10-engine remotely piloted aircraft. The Greased Lightning GL-10 prototype has a 10-foot wingspan and can take off like a helicopter and fly efficiently like an airplane. In this video, engineers successfully transition the plan from hover to wing-borne flight in tests at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia.

YouTube link

10 Interesting Facts About Christopher Columbus You Weren't Taught In Class

image credit

According to the history books Christopher Columbus discovered the New World in 1492. Fact or fiction? Was his name even Christopher Columbus, or is that a figment of our collective imaginations?

The accounts of this great historical figure's life and times seem to be up for grabs, as truth and fiction often intertwine, merge, and eventually become one in the annals of history. Here are 10 interesting facts about Christopher Columbus that you've probably never heard.

10 Coolest Examples Of 'Green Buildings'

image credit: Hannah

Global warming and climate change are social issues that need to be addressed in our everyday living. From reducing the use of plastic, to minimizing the use of cars as it leads to the combustion of fossil fuels, every human being must be socially aware in order to lessen the effects of global warming.

Here's a list of the world's top 10 Green Buildings.