Saturday, 28 March 2015

Floating Flower Garden

A Japanese floating flower garden with over 2,300 living flowers that fill up the entire garden space. When a viewer gets close to this flower-filled space, the flowers rise upwards all at once, creating a hemispherical space with the viewer at its center.

In other words, although the whole space is filled with flowers, a hemispherical space is constantly being created with the viewer at its center and the viewer is free to move around wherever they want.

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Crossing Your Fingers Might Reduce Pain

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Next time you hit your finger with a ill-judged strike of the hammer, cross your fingers, scientists suggest. Scientists from University College London have found that crossing the fingers can confuse the way the brain processes feelings of hot, cold and pain - in some cases reducing painful sensations.

Scientists believe the phenomenon could ultimately be harnessed to help treat chronic pain patients, who suffer from painful sensations, often long after a physical injury has healed.

Lemp Mansion: Tales Of A Cursed Family And Their Haunted House

image credit Google Maps

The Lemp Mansion is a historical house in Benton Park, St. Louis, Missouri, US. It's also the site of three suicides by Lemp family members after the death of the son Frederick Lemp, whose William J. Lemp Brewing Co. dominated the St. Louis beer market before prohibition with its Falstaff beer brand. The Lemp mansion is said to be haunted by members of the Lemp family.

Jaguar NewXF Performs The World's Longest High-Wire Water Crossing

Watch as the lightweight Jaguar NewXF expertly tackles an epic London water crossing via a 28mm wide high-wire suspended 18 metres above the city. Movie stuntman, Jim Dowdall is at the wheel in an attempt at the world's longest high-wire water crossing by car.

YouTube link

High Cinema: A Look At Drugs In Film 1894-2014

An infographic from the New York Film Academy all about drugs in movies from 1894 all the way through to 2014. The infographic is broken down into 4 main sections including eras, usage, representation and perception.

Felicity, California: The Center Of The World

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Several places on Earth have been given the nickname 'Center of the World'. One of the serious contender to this title is Felicity, a small town in Imperial County, in California. It's hard to refute the claim, especially when California's Imperial County and the French government both recognize the site as the official center of the world.

To prevent you from further questioning the claim, the town's founder and mayor, Jacques-André Istel, had a 21-foot tall pyramid build on the exact spot marked by a bronze disk set into the pyramid's floor. A visit to the place and standing on the spot will earn you a certificate signed by Mayor Istel himself.

Friday, 27 March 2015

World War 1 Steam Convoy

The Great Dorset Steam Fair WW1 commemorative convoy from Bovington Camp to Tarrant Hinton, on 16th August 2014, arrives at the roundabout in front of the Bryanston School Gates - just before Blandford Bridge.

YouTube link

(thanks Cora)

Freaky Flowers: Echinopsis Cacti In Bloom

A montage of a dozen types of Echinopsis cactus flowers blooming. And wilting. And just generally showing off their mind-blowing colors.

Vimeo link

Shigir Idol, The Oldest Wooden Statue In The World

It's believed to be twice as old as Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids, and the hidden message it contains could shake the world. Found miraculously preserved in the airless depths of a peat bog deep within the Ural Mountains, this tall larch-wood idol is the oldest piece of timber art known to exist. Nothing like it has ever been found before.

At 9500 years old, its survival is nothing less than extraordinary. The stark featured face on top of the Shigir Idol, with its straight nose and high cheekbones, gazes forth full of meaning. It's just the most prominent of seven faces engraved into the ancient wood.

The Daredevil Life And Pyrotechnic Death Of Sophie Blanchard

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Sophie Blanchard, born in 1778, was the first female aeronaut in history, and was selected by Napoleon Bonaparte as France's Chief Air Minister of Ballooning.

Over the course of her high-flying career, Sophie Blanchard gained a massive fanbase and pioneered new flight techniques for balloons. Her test flights resulted in multiple near-death experiences before she finally perished in a fatal blaze of glory in 1819.

(via Neatorama)

Stop-Motion: Time Travel To Ancient Rome

Recent research sheds light on an ancient Roman mystery: how a monument called Trajan's Column may have been built. This stop-motion animation imagines its construction.

YouTube link

(via Miss Cellania)

Download Free Art Books From The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

You could pay $118 on Amazon for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's catalog The Art of Illumination: The Limbourg Brothers and the Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry. Or you could pay $0 to download it at MetPublications, the site offering 'five decades of Met Museum publications on art history available to read, download, and/or search for free.'

If that strikes you as an obvious choice, prepare to spend some serious time browsing MetPublications' collection of free art books and catalogs. You can now find there no fewer than 422 art catalogs and other books besides.

Shape-shifting Frog Goes From Spiny To Smooth In Minutes

image credit Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society)

Pristimantis mutabilis, also known as mutable rainfrog, is a species of frog found in the Ecuadoran Andes. Pristimantis mutabilis is the first known amphibian species that is able to change skin texture from tuberculate to almost smooth in a few minutes.

This capability is attributed to the frog's phenotypic plasticity. It takes just five minutes for its skin to change texture and probably helps Pristimantis mutabilis to hide from birds and predators.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Taking Pictures

During a day at the park, two photographers connect over their love of taking pictures.

Vimeo link

(thanks Cora)

France Is Letting 14-Year-Olds Drive This Tiny Electric Car

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You're a freshman in high school, which puts you at the bottom of the social food chain. The opposite sex is endlessly confusing, and you need to beg your parents and older siblings for rides. Unless, that is, you live in France.

Then you just need to beg your parents to buy you a Renault Twizy, a $7,600 'car' that 14-year-olds can now legally drive.

False Advertising

(via Bad Menu)

A Town Named 'Zzyzx'

image credit Google Maps

About half way between Los Angeles and Las Vegas you'll come across an unusual exit sign directing you towards a rather oddly-spelled 'Zzyzx Road' (pronounced 'Zye-Zex'). The 4.5 mile-long, part paved and part dirt road leads you to an old health resort, now abandoned, called Zzyzx Springs.

Before Zzyzx became Zzyzx, it was called the Soda Springs. In 1944, Curtis Howe Springer purchased a mining claim on 12,800 acres of land surrounding the springs with the intention of building a Mineral Springs and Health Spa. He called the area Zzyzx, a name he had invented himself claiming it to be 'the last word in the English language.'

Time-Lapse Video Of Disneyland Park Construction

Time-lapse footage of Disneyland construction.

YouTube link

(thanks Cora)

The 10 Most Beautiful Cars Money Can Buy

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Cars are more than just a means to get from point a to point b. They can be works of rolling automotive art. While beauty is without a doubt purely in the eye of the beholder, there are certain cars whose sleek lines, luscious curves, or sheer aggression make them universally loved. Here is the ultimate collection of automotive elegance on sale today.

(via Miss Cellania)

Mount Thor, Nunavut, Canada - Earth's Greatest Vertical Drop

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Mount Thor resides in beautiful Canada. The mountain sits on Nunavut's Baffin Island and is, hands down, the world's longest vertical drop. Mount Thor is a whopping almost 2,000 meters (that's a little under 5,000 feet) long vertically.

It's on a long line of the Baffin Mountains, making up a portion of the Arctic Cordillera Mountains. Officially known as Thor Peak, this mountain is the feat of the brave. Climbers come from all over to brace the chilly weather and hike up the jaw dropping granite of Mount Thor.