Sunday, 1 February 2015

Mr Selfie

Something we have all no doubt noticed is the increasing fixation with what is going on our smartphones. If it's not ourselves, then we regularly see other people walking down the street pre-occupied with their phones.

It's not uncommon to see friends in restaurants interacting with their phones rather than each other - all missing what is going on around them and reducing their quality of life as a result. This short animation is a playful tale of this modern phenomenon.

Vimeo link

(via Laughing Squid)

The Crooked Houses Of Lavenham

image credit: Benjamin Reay

Lavenham, in Suffolk, England, is a medieval town with a rich history and founded on the wool trade. By the late 15th century, the town grew so fast that many of the houses were built in haste with green timber. As the wood dried, the timbers warped causing the houses to bend at unexpected angles.

Unfortunately, Lavenham's good times didn't last long. The town's cloth industry went bust due to rivalry from other cloth producing towns. By the time the dried timber started twisting, Lavenham's families had lost its wealth and with no money to rebuild their homes, Lavenham's crooked houses were left as they were.

The Most Creative 404 Error Pages On The Web

When you type in the wrong web address and find yourself jettisoned off to a site's 404 error page, it's usually a completely forgettable experience. But not always. Some companies use their 404 pages to have a bit of fun. Here are some of the best 404 pages on the web.


Houshi is a Japanese inn in the Awazu Onsen area of Komatsu, in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. Houshi Ryokan (or Hoshi Ryokan) was founded around 1,300 years ago and it has always been managed by the same family since then. It is the oldest still running family business in the world.

This ryokan (a traditional japanese style hotel) was built over a natural hot spring in Awazu in central Japan in the year 718. Until 2011, it held the record for being the oldest hotel in the world. Its buildings were destroyed by natural disasters many times, but the family has always rebuilt.

Vimeo link

(thanks Cora)

100 Years Of National Geographic Maps: The Art And Science Of Where

image credit National Geographic

Since 1915, National Geographic cartographers have charted earth, seas, and skies in maps capable of evoking dreams. National Geographic's cartographic department, which celebrates its hundredth anniversary this year, encompasses every mountain, river, lake, road, reef, fjord, island, inlet, glacier, ocean, planet, galaxy, and solar system - in short, any physical feature on land, on sea, or in space.

Top 10 Obscure Google Search Tricks

When it comes to the Google search box, you already know the tricks. But there are many more oblique, clever, and lesser-known search recipes and operators that work from that unassuming little input box.

Dozens of Google search guides detail the tips you already know, but here are some obscure Google web search tricks.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Origins Of Everyday Symbols

BuzzFeedVideo released this video about the mind-blowing origins of everyday symbols.

YouTube link

(via Laughing Squid)

Cake Pan

Good trade, Tammy.

(via Bad Newspaper)

Why Every Movie Looks Sort Of Orange And Blue

Maybe you haven't noticed, but in the past 20-or-so years there's been a real catchy trend in major Hollywood movies to constrain the palette to orange and blue. The color scheme is the scourge of film critics - one of whom calls this era of cinema a 'dark age.'

You're probably skeptical, but once you know what to look for, it will be very difficult for you not to notice this color scheme every time you look at a screen, at least for a little while.

5 Great Australian Frauds

image credit

Australians are honest, trustworthy people, without exception. Well... maybe a few exceptions. Here are some of those rare Aussies in history who occasionally tried to tell a few fibs about themselves (including, in one case, lying about being Australian).

(via Miss Cellania)

Long-Necked Dinosaur Discovered In China

A new dinosaur which had an extraordinarily long neck has been discovered in China and named the 'Dragon of Qijiang.' Qijianglong is about 15 metres in length and lived about 160 million years ago in the Late Jurassic.

The fossil site was found by construction workers in 2006, and the digging eventually hit a series of large neck vertebrae stretched out in the ground. The new species belongs to a group of dinosaurs called mamenchisaurids, known for their extremely long necks sometimes measuring up to half the length of their bodies.

Photos Of Vintage Coca-Cola Signs From New York City To Bangkok

image credit: Everett Public Library

On January 31, 1893, Coca-Cola became a registered trademark, launching what would come to be one of the most recognized brands in the world.

These photos depict not just the way Coke began to blend into international surroundings - by the late 1960s, half of the company's profits would come from foreign outposts - but also the wide array of American locales and subcultures the brand was penetrating.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Alexander Gerst’s Earth Timelapses

Watch Earth roll by through the perspective of ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst in this six-minute timelapse video from space. Marvel at the auroras, sunrises, clouds, stars, oceans, the Milky Way, the International Space Station, lightning, cities at night, spacecraft and the thin band of atmosphere that protects us from space.

YouTube link

(thanks Cora)

Study Says Chicks Count Like We Do

image credit

Humans are not the only ones to count from left to right. Researchers in Italy found that mental number lines, where numbers rise from the smallest on the left to the largest on the right, come naturally to newborn chicks too.

In experiments at the University of Padua, three-day old chicks were trained to find food behind a panel bearing five bright spots. Then they were confronted with two panels bearing different numbers of spots. When faced with panels that had only two spots, the birds consistently looked behind the left of the two panels. But when faced with eight spots on each panel, they went poking around the righthand panel.

10 Amazing Vehicles Of the Future Even The Jetsons Would Envy

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You may love your new car's heated seats and built-in ice dispenser, but there's always room for improvement. Whether it's alternative fuels, easier control or just general better design, the following new and improved vehicles might hit the market in the near future.

Explore The Resavska Pecina Cave In Eastern Serbia

image credit: Kaplar

The Resavska Pecina cave is known to be one of the oldest caves in Serbia with an age of almost 80 million years old. Although old, it still has its stunning cave formations persuading tourists to see it with their own eyes.

The Resavska Pecina cave is located in eastern Serbia, in the region of Gornja Resava, 20 kilometers from the town of Despotovac. You can see it set into the limestone hill of Babina Glava, on the fringes of the Divljakovac karst field.

Will It Blend? Neodymium Magnets Aka Buckyballs

Blender company Blendtec is known for their 'Will it Blend?' series of videos. In this episode, founder Tom Dickson blends meodymium magnet balls, aka as Buckyballs. Will it blend? Don't try this at home.

YouTube link

Sleeping At 2700 Meters (8203 Feet)

In Courchevel, in the French Alps, Airbnb offers a night on a cable car suspended in mid-air.

(thanks Cora)

Why Vending Machines Are So Popular in Japan

image credit

Stroll through the cities. Stroll through the countryside. You'll see 'em. Known as 'jidouhanbaiki', the machines are a feature of the landscape wherever you go in Japan. The country has the highest ratio of vending machines to landmass in the entire world. As the country's official tourist organization points out, Japan is currently home to 5.52 million vending machines.

Surely, there must be a good reason for Japan having all those vending machines. Turns out, there are several.