Friday, 29 April 2016

Consolation Of Philosophy

Consolation of Philosophy is a Middle Age song that hasn't been heard in a thousand years. Now, after more than two decades of painstaking work, research undertaken by Cambridge University's Dr Sam Barrett has enabled him to reconstruct melodies from the rediscovered leaf of the 11th century 'Cambridge Songs.'

After piecing together an estimated 80-90% of what can be known about the melodies for The Consolation of Philosophy, Barrett enlisted the help of Benjamin Bagby of Sequentia - a three-piece group of experienced performers who have built up their own working memory of medieval song.

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A Bumpy History Of The 'Baby On Board' Sign

From the mid to late 1980s, the most ubiquitous road sign didn't advise you to stop, obey the speed limit, or be mindful of crossing deer.

Instead, it was diamond-shaped, used a black-on-yellow color scheme, and came with a stern warning for nearby drivers: There was a baby on board.

The Physics Of Peacock Tail Feathers Is Even More Dazzling Than We Realized

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Male peacocks shake their brilliantly-hued, long tail feathers to attract females in a courtship display known as 'train-rattling.' But scientists had never closely examined the biomechanics behind this behavior - until now.

A new paper concludes that the frequency at which those feathers vibrate can enhance this iridescent display - even as the eyespots remain almost perfectly still.

Why Electric Cars Ruled The Roads 100 Years Ago

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Electric vehicles may be the future. But despite growing interest today, the concept of electric vehicles is just a resuscitation of a long-dormant method of commuting - one that first materialized in the 1800s.

If there ever was a perfect application for the phase 'ahead of its time,' the idea of an electric car is probably it. That's not to say the cars weren't popular 100 years ago. A third of all vehicles on the road in 1900 were electric cars. But, by 1935, electric cars were nearly nonexistent. It took decades for that to change.

Unusual Japanese Electric Light Bulbs

These electric light bulbs from Japan are amazing.

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10 Bizarre (And Wonderful) Facts About Microbes

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Much is being written about the human microbiome, the trillions of invisible microbes that live in and on our bodies. We're beginning to understand how beneficial microbes are. Only a few of the millions of types of bacteria on earth cause disease in humans. The rest don't harm us, and some help us, like those in our guts that digest our food for us.

Talking To The Stranger Next To You On A Plane Makes You Happy, According To Science

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Do you welcome conversation with a stranger on an airplane? Or do you use earbuds - the universal sign that you're in a no talking zone - to silence your neighbor?

Despite our increasingly 'social' world, many airline passengers prefer to pretend that the stranger, sitting just millimeters away, doesn't exist. But, researchers say you might want to think twice about tuning out your seatmate. Talking to the stranger next to you could make you happier.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Awesome Lego Train Set Going Through The Garden And House

A Lego train with a GoPro on it, going through the house and into the garden.

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10 Common Foods That Are Toxic To Dogs

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Maintaining good pet health for your dog includes knowing what not to give her. By making sure that you know about the most toxic foods for your dog, you can ensure that your pet stays healthy and avoids unneeded trauma or pet health issues.

The following are 10 common household foods that are extremely toxic to dogs.

The Humble Origins Of The French Fry Might Surprise You

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Although Europe is the venue for fevered culinary debate about who actually invented French fries, the Belgians claim to be the first. So much so that in the tiny city of Bruges, they've established a museum to make their case in one of the city's most historic buildings, which dates back to the 14th century.

If the Belgians invented French fries, then why are they not called Belgian fries? The real origin is probably in Seville, Spain, back in the 16th century. Mother Teresa of Ávila grew potatoes in her convent gardens to feed the poor and sick and probably fried them in olive oil. So perhaps we should call them Spanish fries instead?

Kung Fu Motion Visualization

German designer and musician Tobias Gremmier captures the kinetics of martial arts in Kung Fu Motion Visualization.

Vimeo link

La Sucrerie De La Montagne

You can't take a trip to Quebec without at least once visiting a Sugar Shack, like La Sucrerie de la Montagne, about an hour west of Montreal. A sugar shack is a small cabin or series of cabins, originally destined to belong to certain private or farm estates, and where sap collected from sugar maple trees is boiled into maple syrup.

(thanks Juergen)

Fifty Sandwiches

Fifty Sandwiches is a cross-country journey dedicated to presenting the public with a rare glimpse into the lives and stories of America's homeless. Their unique and unheard experiences will be captured in a book. Fifty Sandwiches is a Kickstarter project by media student Justin Doering.

The goal is to close the gap between perception and reality, collecting unique splices of life along the way. Justin will be traveling city to city, offering to take homeless people out for a free meal in exchange for an interview. As each chat progresses, these talks will evolve into a dynamic collection of life struggles, stories, and philosophies from a population that is rarely given a voice.

19th Century Naturalist Made Up At Least 28 Fake Species To Prank A Rival

image credit Smithsonian Institution Archives

A 19th century prank, sprung by John James Audubon on another naturalist, was so extensive and so well executed that its full scope is only now coming to light.

The prank began when the French naturalist Constantine Rafinesque sought on Audubon on a journey down the Ohio River in 1818. Audubon was known among colleagues for his ornithological drawings. Rafinesque was on the hunt for new species and he imagined that Audubon might have unwittingly included some unnamed specimens in his sketches.

(via Neatorama)

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Laggy Band Ltd

How to deal with the office bully.

YouTube link

Honest Restaurant

(via Bad Menu)

Incredible Visualization Of The World's Shipping Routes

About 11 billion tons of stuff gets carried around the world every year by large ships. Clothes, flat-screen TVs, grain, cars, oil - transporting these goods from port to port is what makes the global economy go 'round.

Now there's a great way to visualize this entire process, through this stunning interactive map from the UCL Energy Institute. The researchers assembled data from the thousands of commercial ships that moved across the ocean in 2012.

The Rock Garden Of Chandigarh

image credit: Ramnath Bhat

It took years of planning and millions of Rupees to design one of India's first planned cities, but Chandigarh's biggest tourist attraction was not on the master plan of Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier. It was the product of creative imagination and fifty years of labor by a humble government official Nek Chand.

In 1957 Nek Chand started working on his secret sculptural project. He would cycle to a gorge near Sukhna Lake that was used as dumping ground, and spend hours collecting discarded pieces of broken pottery, bottles, auto parts, plumbing materials, street lights, electrical fittings, broken sanitary ware and so on. He would carry the pieces to a nearby warehouse and fashion them into artistic forms resembling humans and animals.

In Between

In a remote corner of the world a living relic from a prehistoric age still exists. A magnificent creature that once roamed northern plains alongside mammoths and sabertooth cats, enduring where others vanished. This film is the result of Rolf Steinmann's journey into the Musk Ox's world, one that is unknown to most of us.

YouTube link

(thanks Cora)

A 19th-Century Map Of Our 'Square and Stationary' Earth

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According to Orlando Ferguson of Hot Springs, South Dakota we are not living on a globe but in a giant donut mold. In 1893, Ferguson published his Map of the Square and Stationary Earth. It depicts the world spread over a basin with a mound in the middle.

Lining the rim of the basin is the jagged coast of Antarctica, which forms the icy edge of the world. The sun and moon are depicted as rotating lamps suspended at the end of arc-shaped arms rooted in the Arctic.

The Worlds Biggest Vegetables And How To Grow Them

A lot of time, effort and emotion can go into growing vegetables and so it can be immensely satisfying when you finally see the fruits (or vegetables) of your labour. Now imagine the ecstasy if your vegetables had grown to be the equivalent weight of a young child, a grown woman, or even a small car.

This is the stunning reality of some of the world-record breaking vegetables that have been grown. Much thought and preparation goes into growing these giants.

(thanks Daniel)