Saturday, 25 October 2014

Alan Eustice Record-Breaking StratEx Jump

In the early hours of October 24, 2014, Alan Eustice, the 57-year-old Vice President of Google Search, made a record-breaking skydive from 135,890 feet, falling faster than the speed of sound and breaking the world altitude record set just two years ago by Felix Baumgartner.

At dawn he was lifted from an abandoned runway at Roswell airport by a balloon filled with 35,000 cubic feet of helium. For a little over two hours, the balloon ascended to an altitude of more than 25 miles. Mr. Eustace dangled underneath in a specially designed spacesuit with an elaborate life-support system. He returned to earth just 15 minutes after starting his fall.

(via The New York Times)

Vimeo link

Living Rock - Massive Monuments Carved In Situ

image credit: Jian

Most buildings and sculptures are made out of stone which is quarried and then taken somewhere else to be carved or used in construction. Not so these places, where the sculpting took place on site to give us some of the most remarkable sites in the world.

Slight Stains

(via Bad Newspaper)

Extreme Parking Stunt

The all-new, agile 2015 Audi Q3 attempts an extreme parking stunt in a crowded parking garage.

YouTube link

(thanks Jaime)

Longest Suspension Bridges Around The World

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Bridges play an important role for humanity. Their presence can reduce the time spent on the road and overcoming obstacles. A suspension bridge is a type of bridge in which the deck (the load-bearing portion) is hung below suspension cables on vertical suspenders.

The first modern examples of this type of bridge were built in the early 19th century. Bridges without vertical suspenders have a long history in many mountainous parts of the world. Here are some of the longest suspension bridges in the world.

The Dog Whisperer

image credit Library of Congress

Most recently, the value of military dogs in war has become widely recognized (once again), due in part to the events of May 2011, when the media exploded with reports that a dog team had been assigned to the mission that took down Osama bin Laden.

In the early 20th century, Lt. Col. Edwin Hautenville Richardson was Britain's foremost authority on dog training. Not only would he prove to be an unabashed promoter of progressive attitudes toward dogs, but nearly 100 years later, Richardson's compassionate treatment of his dogs are the models for dog handling today.

Friday, 24 October 2014

IKEA Halloween

Late night shopping may never be the same again after you watch IKEA's homage to Stanley Kubrick's horror classic, The Shining.

YouTube link

(thanks Cora)

The Most Affordable Zip Codes In America

It doesn't matter if you're wealthy or just making minimum wage; affordable living is key when picking a new place to call home. You'll need a place where you can have a steady job, where your monthly costs aren't insanely high, and where the rent doesn't eat up the majority of your paycheck. So, where are these fabulous places exactly?

The Movoto Real Estate Blog published a map showing the most affordable zip codes to live in America.

(thanks Bryan)

Which Muppet Are You?

Which Muppet are you most like? Take the quiz to find out...
I'm Rowlf.

10 Murderers Who Changed How We Investigate Murder

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Ever since we realized that catching a malefactor wasn't as simple as throwing them in the water to see if they floated, we had to turn to science. And over the years, there have been some homicide cases that really changed things. Here are ten people whose killings paved the way to a new era in crime-solving.

Chariot Motorcycle

A chariot motorcyle, Roman style.

YouTube link

What The Color Of Your Logo Says About Your Brand

Few design projects seem to require as much deep thinking as a corporate logo. One of the most basic decisions for any logo, though, is color. And if you think color choice isn't really that important, well - someday you're going to be beaten up by a psychologist.

This infographic explains a bit more about logos and their color - as well as the cost, value and evolution over time of some well-known corporate marks.

New Tarantula Named After John Lennon

Imagine a world where a spider is named after John Lennon - because now there is. A new species of tarantula called Bumba lennoni that lives in the Amazonian state of Pará, Brazil, is named after John Lennon.

The tarantula is not particularly large - its body is about 1.3 inches (34 millimeters) wide. Study leader Fernando Pérez-Miles, an entomologist at Uruguay's University of the Republic, said he has been waiting for a while to dedicate a species to Lennon because he's a fan of the Beatles.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Tale Of Momentum And Inertia

A creature made of rock accidentally sends a boulder towards a small village. He tries his best to stop it from destroying the village but things don't exactly go that way.

Vimeo link

Woodkopf - The Wacky Czech Sport You've Probably Never Of

image credit YouTube

Woodkopf is a crazy new sport invented in the Czech Republic. The popular sport involves a pair of opponents wearing two-meter wooden boards on their heads and trying to knock the other's board down without dropping their own.

The wacky sport can be traced back to July of 1992, when it was practiced during a cultural festival of art school graduates in Prague. Woodkopf (which literally translates to 'wooden head') is popular partly due to the fact that the game is simple, inexpensive and requires no complex equipment, but also because it never fails to supply a good dose of humor.

Your Life On Earth

Our planet has been around for 4.5 billion years. Find out how, since the date of your birth, your life has progressed; including how many times your heart has beaten, how far you have travelled through space, the amount the sea has risen, to the number of earthquakes and volcanoes that have erupted.

I found out that my heart has beaten 2 billion times in my lifetime. That, in my life, there have been 307 major eruptions, and there have been 143 solar eclipses. That I am as old as the town of Victoria in Romania. That oil will be run out when I'm 118 years old, coal when I'm 120, and gas when I'm 178. How has it changed in your lifetime?

Alphonse Bertillon And The Identity Of Criminals

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Alphonse Bertillon was a French forensic documentarian who developed or improved upon several methods of identifying criminals and solving crimes.

Some of those methods, such as the mug shot, are still in use today, while others, particularly anthropometry, were abandoned over time in favor of more accurate methods. Bertillon is considered by many to be the first forensic expert.

The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made

As the official airline of Middle-earth, Air New Zealand has gone all out to celebrate the third and final film in The Hobbit Trilogy - The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Starring Elijah Wood and Sir Peter Jackson; here's The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made.

YouTube link

The Stone Dolls Of Kuklica

The stone town is an area consisting of over 120 naturally formed stone pillars, located in the village of Kuklica, near Kratovo in Macedonia. Legend tells of a man who could not decide which of two women he should marry. So, the man planned to marry each woman on the same day at different times.

When the first wedding was in progress, the woman to marry the man second went to see who was getting married on the same day as she. When she saw her future husband marrying another woman, she cursed all in attendance at the wedding and turned them into stone.

(thanks Juergen)

How A Single Parasite Species Can Change Every Life-Form Around It

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Parasites are nature's freeloaders, living off their hosts while giving nothing in return. But scientists have come to appreciate that even the greediest parasites can indirectly benefit other species by manipulating ecosystems - providing food, assisting predators and even building habitats.

But how could organisms as small and selfish as parasites have a similarly significant impact on their surrounding environments? Frequently, they do so through the manipulation of other, larger species.