Saturday, 30 August 2014

GoPro Best Of Animals 2014

YouTube link

(thanks Alberto)

Millions Of Historic Images Posted To Flickr

American academic Kalev Leetaru is creating a searchable database of 12 million historic copyright-free images. Mr Leetaru has already uploaded 2.6 million pictures to Flickr, which are searchable thanks to tags that have been automatically added.

The photos and drawings are sourced from more than 600 million library book pages scanned in by the Internet Archive organisation. Mr Leetaru began work on the project while researching communications technology at Georgetown University in Washington DC as part of a fellowship sponsored by Yahoo, the owner of photo-sharing service Flickr.

Go Home!

Good bears!

(via Bad Newspaper)

Ants Working Together To Pull Food Home

Ants working in harmony create a daisy chain to pull dinner home.

YouTube link

(thanks Cora)

11 Unique Rocking Chairs

image credit

Though American inventor Benjamin Franklin is sometimes credited with inventing the rocking chair, historians actually trace the rocking chair's origins to North America during the early 18th century when Franklin was a child.

They were originally used in gardens and were just ordinary chairs with rockers attached. It was in 1725 that early rocking chairs first appeared in England.

Meghalaya: The Rainiest Place On Earth

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Meghalaya (The abode of clouds in Sanskrit) in India is allegedly the wettest spot on Earth. The village of Mawsynram in Meghalaya annually receives 467 inches of rain. The outdoor workers often wear water-proof suits made from bamboo and banana leaf.

The most unusual and gorgeous sights in the region are the 'living bridges' spanning rain-soaked valleys. For centuries, locals have been manipulating the roots of rubber fig trees to grow into natural arches, far outlasting man-made wooden structures that rot in just a few years.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Meal Time For Baby Squirrel

Alicia DeMay, clinic director at City Wildlife, feeds a baby squirrel brought to the northwest D.C. wild animal rescue center at the end of March.

Vimeo link

Shocking News: Hello Kitty Isn't Actually A Cat

image credit: Di Lujan

It appears we've all been wrongly assuming that a character that looks like a cat, and has Kitty in her name, is actually a cat, because Sanrio recently revealed that their beloved character Hello Kitty is actually a human girl. Not a cat. She's a little English girl called Kitty White from outside London. Here's what Sanrio had to say:

Hello Kitty is not a cat. She's a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She's never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature. She does have a pet cat of her own, however, and it's called Charmmy Kitty.

The Overgrown, Disused Railway That Still Runs Around Paris

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Paris has a lot of history embedded in its sprawling urban grid, which has seen thousands of years of structural change. But even though space is at a premium, there are still spots that have evaded development and slowly drifted into obscurity.

Like the Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture (or Little Belt Railway), a 20 mile stretch of disused tracks along the Parisian perimeter. The railway was constructed in 1852; at that time, the major stations were owned by different companies, and this was a way to streamline connections through a path that tunneled, bridged, and cut a deep-walled passage within the crowded streets.

If A Fish Grows Up On Land, Will It Learn To Walk?

The old idiom about 'being a fish out of water' just lost some of its luster. Researchers from McGill University in Canada successfully trained a group of fish to live on land and strut around.

The idea was to simulate what might have happened 400 million years ago, when the first group of ancient fish moved from water to land, eventually evolving into the amphibians, reptiles, birds and other animals roaming the Earth today. The researchers wanted to see if their land-dwelling fish looked and behaved similarly to the ancient fish, based on what has been learned about them from fossil records.

How To Peel A Pinapple Clean And Easy

How fast can you peel a pineapple? A pineapple seller at the Bankerohan market in Davao City, Philippines, does it in approximately 50 seconds.

YouTube link

(thanks Cora)

Threatening Message

(via Bad Newspaper)

10 Of History's Deadliest Construction Projects

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The Panama Canal opened 100 years ago this month, one of the greatest engineering achievements in history. It was also one of the greatest sacrifices of human life in the name of construction, but tragically, it was far from the most deadly project in modern history.

Here's a sampling of projects - not a complete list - finished since 1900 using numbers reported by McGraw Hill's Engineering News Report, along with the explanations for how record-keepers decided upon those numbers.

Thursday, 28 August 2014


Counting sheep. Funny advertisement for the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada.

Vimeo link

(thanks Cora)

The Mystery Of Extraordinarily Accurate Medieval Maps

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One of the most remarkable and mysterious technical advances in the history of the world is written on the hide of a 13th-century calf. Inked into the vellum is a chart of the Mediterranean so accurate that ships today could navigate with it. Most earlier maps that included the region were not intended for navigation and were so imprecise that they are virtually unrecognizable to the modern eye.

These beautifully detailed portolan charts present historians with a puzzle: How were they made? A mathematical analysis offers some clues.

Paper Dresses And Psychedelic Catsuits: When Airline Fashion Was Flying High

image credit: Tom Wigley

In the mid-century, flying was just cooler. Flight attendants - and even the ramp workers - had fabulous clothing designed by the likes of Emilio Pucci, Jean Louis, and Pierre Cardin. Beautiful stewardess wore wild psychedelic getups, space-bubble helmets, and paper dresses as they served the elite crowd that was wealthy enough to afford air travel.

Collectors Weekly talked to two collectors about changes in airline style.

(thanks Lisa)

The Urban Oil Fields Of Los Angeles

image credit Library of Congress

In the 1890s, the small town of Los Angeles (population 50,000) began a transformation driven by the discovery and drilling of some of the most productive oil fields in history. In the decades that followed, many wells closed, but even more opened, surrounded by urban and suburban growth. Machinery was camouflaged, loud noises were abated, methane pockets were vented, as residents learned to live side-by-side with oil production facilities.

To this day, oil fields in the Los Angeles Basin remain very productive, and modern techniques have centralized operations into smaller areas or moved offshore. Here are images of some of the sites and machinery still in use among the homes, golf courses, and shopping malls of Los Angeles.

(thanks Cora)

The Heroes And The Miracle Baby

The Syria Campaign is an open global movement standing for a free and peaceful Syria. In this video, Khaled Farah, a Syrian volunteer rescue worker who saves people every day, recounts one rescue he'll never forget. That of the miraculous rescue of a baby beneath a collapsed building following a barrel bomb attack.

YouTube link

Bananas: An A-Peel-Ing History

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According to one legend, the fruit that Eve found irresistible in the Garden of Eden was not an apple, but a banana. Is it true? Who knows? But for thousands of years, the banana has been a source of pleasure... and sometimes trouble.

10 Strange Secrets Of The Moon

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The Moon is humanity's nearest companion in our travels in space and the only celestial body that we have had the chance to actually visit. Still, despite its relative closeness and familiarity, our satellite continues to hold many interesting secrets.

From its scientific strangeness to the many ways it affects our lives, the Moon is a mystery that is definitely worth a closer look.