Monday, 1 September 2014

The Expedition

A space travel story.

Vimeo link

(thanks Cora)

Trovants: The Growing Stones Of Romania

image credit: Daniela Constantinescu

Yes, you read that right. Nature is happy to confirm this fact and guarantees to give you the weirdest things in life as always. Trovants are extraordinary rocks that grow and multiply and you can witness these rocks in Romania.

The growing stones aren't just unique because of its ability to multiply. These rocks are composed mainly by a hard stone core and the rest is made up of sand which forms around the core as its shell. Trovants can only be made by highly-porous sand accumulations and sandstone deposits that are cemented by waters rich in calcium carbonate.


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10 Historic Canal Towns To Visit That Aren't Venice

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Venice could well be the world's most famous canal town: it's hard to imagine canals without envisioning the Italian city's winding waterways, gracefully arched bridges, sputtering vaporettos and striped gondoliers.

If you dream of sauntering across picturesque canals, but want to avoid Venice's crowds, you're in luck: canals have been used since Mesopotamia, and there are beautiful canals in nearly every corner of the globe. Here are ten especially wonderful canal towns that aren't Venice.

Cherry Harvesting

The easiest way to pick cherries.

YouTube link

(via Neatorama)

1833 Meteor Storm Started Citizen Science

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The science of shooting stars owes much to a storied episode of crowdsourcing, a new historical report shows, kicked off by a stunning 1833 meteor shower.

Astronomers have increasingly turned to 'citizen science' in the Internet era, setting up everyday folks to look for everything from alien worlds to the Milky Way's galactic gas bubbles. But in a new Endeavour journal report, Mark Littmann and Todd Suomela of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville show that there is nothing new about the practice, with one Yale astronomer pioneering crowdsourced astronomy well over a century ago.

A Beginner's Guide To The Star Trek Franchise

image credit: James Vaughan

Star Trek is more than pop culture; it's 20th century mythology with its own complicated mythos. Where to start and what to skip are up for debate even among the most hardcore Trekkies.

One thing is clear: It all begins with Gene Roddenberry, the visionary who created the original show in the 1960s and presided over the franchise until his death in 1991.
Here's a beginner’s guide to the Star Trek franchise.

(via Neatorama)

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Martha, The Last Of The Passenger Pigeons

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The passenger pigeon is an extinct North American bird. Named after the French word passager for 'passing by.' it was once the most abundant bird in North America, and possibly the world. The extinction of the passenger pigeon had two major causes: commercial exploitation of pigeon meat on a massive scale and loss of habitat.

A captive-bred female passenger pigeon named Martha (photo above) was the last of her kind. On September 1, 1914, Martha died in the Cincinnati Zoo.

Wine, Beer Or Spirits?

How much - and which - alcohol is drunk in the world during a week? When on the map, move over countries to learn it, or use the buttons to show the top wine, beer and spirits drinkers or each country's favorite drink.

Nuclear 'Command And Control': A History Of False Alarms And Near Catastrophe

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Globally, there are thousands of nuclear weapons hidden away and ready to go, just awaiting the right electrical signal. American journalist and author Eric Schlosser's new book 'Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety,' is a critical look at the history of the nation's nuclear weapons systems.

It's also a terrifying account of the fires, explosions, false attack alerts and accidentally dropped bombs that plagued America's military throughout the Cold War.

Portugal Hyperlapse/Time-Lapse

Time-lapse of the Portuguese cities Lisbon and Sesimbra.

Vimeo link

(thanks Cora)

The 100-Foot Sea Critter That Deploys A Net Of Death

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Siphonophores are a class of marine animals belonging to the phylum Cnidaria. Although a siphonophore appears to be a single organism, each specimen is actually a colony composed of many individual animals. Most colonies are long (they can grow to 100 feet long), thin, transparent pelagic floaters.

Siphonophores clone themselves thousands of times over into half a dozen different types of specialized cloned bodies, all strung together to work as a team - a very deadly team at that.

Try Before You Die – Macabre Festival Lets Japanese Try Out Coffins

image credit: Haukur Herbertsson

Trying out a coffin while you're still alive can be a rather unnerving experience. But the Japanese seem to love it. They have a 'try-before-you-die' festival where people can lay down in coffins, try out funeral garments and even get a morbid makeover.

Called 'Shukatsu Festa,' the unique event has become very popular in recent years. Participants can choose their funeral outfit, put it on, slip into the flower-filled casket they like and have a picture taken. That way, they get to know exactly what they'll look like on the day of their funeral.

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

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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.