Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Alaskan Summer

image credit: gillfoto

If you think that summer never lasts for long, spare a thought for your average Alaskan. At around four weeks in length, summer in Alaska takes a long time to arrive and then is gone before you barely get used to it.

However, with around twenty three hours of daylight, plant life here at the edge of the Arctic bursts into life. There is a side to Alaska that does not necessarily always have to involve the white stuff.

10 Of The Most Unusual Vintage Microcars

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A microcar is the smallest automobile classification. Such small cars were generally referred to as cyclecars until the 1940s. More recent models (1960 and later) are also called bubble cars due to their bubble-shaped appearance.

The heyday of these cars was surely in the mid- to late 1950s, when post-war Europe turned to creating mobility solutions for the masses. The original Mini and Fiat 500 may be the most recognisable machines, but here are ten of the most unusual microcars from this era.

(thanks Veljko)

In Reverse

In Reverse is the follow up to the 'Miracle Baby' video I posted back in August. In Reverse is a powerful video which offers a unique perspective on the conflict in Syria. It replays a bomb attack on a school playground in reverse to draw attention to the problem.

YouTube link

The Evolution Of The Desk

A team at the Harvard Innovation Lab has encapsulated this history of technology, as it relates to the office, in a video. 'The Evolution of the Desk' demonstrates the steep shift from cork boards and fax machines to pinterest and PDFs.

Vimeo link

(thanks Cora)

Esquire's Best Dressed Mobsters

A mobster's life ain't all it's made out to be, what with the rats, RICO laws, cops, and that little, last, nagging shred of your conscience that keeps telling you it wasn't cool to kill all those dudes just so you could hang out with a bunch of teamsters.

But a life of organized crime couldn't buy a guy some damn nice suits. And when you're a boss, no one can tell you how to wear what you wear, allowing crime kingpins to flex sartorially and break more than just the social contract. Here are the ten chicest mobsters according to Esquire.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Now Your iPhone 6 Plus Will Fit Perfectly In Your Pocket

During the launch of the iPhone 6 in the Netherlands, Dutch telecom provider KPN made sure future iPhone 6 Plus owners don't have to worry about bending their brand new gadget. While waiting in line to get their new iPhone, a mobile tailor offered to supersize people's pockets.

Vimeo link

(thanks Cora)

Bring Me My Casserole!

(via Bad Newspaper)

Why Is Coffee Bitter

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Mention coffee, and caffeine is the chemical compound name that immediately springs to mind. However, whilst caffeine's effects on the brain are well documented, it has relatively little impact when it comes to the taste of coffee.

Coffee, as it turns out, is a cornucopia of chemical compounds that influence its taste; whilst some of these compounds are poorly characterised, one group of compounds about which plenty is known are the chlorogenic acids.

Drinking The Undrinkable: Asian Snake Wine

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Snake wine is a medicinal beverage usually produced and consumed in Southeast Asia and southern China. It's been drunk for nearly 3,000 years and, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, is believed to strengthen the body and improve health.

Most often made of rice wine, the drink gets its name from the snakes that are preserved in the alcohol with their venom glands cut open so that the toxins can mix with the alcohol. The more venomous the snake then the more powerful the medicine is, or at least that's what people seem to think.

Burning Moments

Video made by Ari Fararooy at this year's Burning Man festival. The sound you hear was made by a didgeridoo, a wind instrument used by indigenous Australians.

Vimeo link

The 10 Coolest Rooftops In The World

image credit: Jack Acecroft

Whether it's for dining, a strong drink or poolside lounging, a good rooftop almost always makes for a great time. Here are some of the best rooftops in the world.

Solar-Powered Car Set A New World Land Speed Record

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The Sunswift eVe solar-powered car broke a 26-year-old land speed record for electric vehicles last Wednesday at the Australian Automotive Research Center in Victoria. It would make eVe the fastest electric car to ever compete a 500 kilometers (310 miles) set distance course by a significant margin.

The previous record, set in 1988, was an average speed of 73 kilometers (45 miles) per hour; the Sunswift eVe reached 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour average over the 500 km course.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Very Curious Owls

An owl family finds a GoPro camera outside its burrow.

YouTube link

(via Everlasting Blort)

Cowbells Make Cows Miserable

image credit: Gerald Davison

A field of cowbell-equipped-cows may create a soothing soundscape of wind and chimes, but the actual bovine after which the bells are named really hate the things. A study was performed for the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich where scientist Julia Johns and a colleague measured the decibel levels of cowbells.

The cowbells can reach decibel levels of 113 - far above the legal limit of 85. Cows exposed to the sound chew their food for significantly less time than the cows without the bells, and some cows have even proven to have their hearing severely impaired.

(thanks Mark)

27 Surreal Places To Visit Before You Die

image credit: Andrew Russell

Here are 27 surreal and beautiful places you have to visit before you die.

The Spiders That Decorate Their Own Webs

image credit: Charles Lam

Spider webs - possibly the most beautiful and intricate animal structures of the natural world. However, some spiders are not content with a simple web. They go one step further. Take a look at some of these arachnid designs and come to your own conclusions.

Vanapalooza: An Animated History Of The Van

The van's been America's boxy hero for generations. Building cities, hauling stuff to and fro, and even helping us relax after a hard day of doing those other two things. But, as you can see from this animated history of the, if it weren't for two competitive Germans and a lot of beer, the van wouldn't even exist.

YouTube link

(thanks Cora)

18 Of The Most Beautiful Gardens In The World

image credit: Xerones

A beautiful garden is a feast for the eyes.
Here are pictures of 18 of the most beautiful gardens in the world.

Mysterious New Poison Dart Frog Found The Size Of A Fingernail

image credit: Brian Gratwicke

A new species of poison dart frog so teeny it can fit on a fingernail has been discovered in a rain forest in Panama. Scientists from the University of the Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, found the toxic, electric-orange amphibian in a single hilly area near the Caribbean coast.

Measuring just 12.7 millimeters (0.47 inches) in length, the newly described Andinobates geminisae remains something of a mystery, according to the study team. For one, the mini-amphibian 'looks nothing like' its closest genetic relatives in the region, mainly because of its orange color.