1. Indian Levitation Trick Revealed
(Via: Neatorama )
Last month, a 114-year-old former schoolteacher from Georgia named Besse Cooper became the world’s oldest living person. Her predecessor, Brazil’s Maria Gomes Valentim, was 114 when she died. So was the oldest living person before her, and the one before her. In fact, eight of the last nine “world’s oldest” titleholders were 114 when they achieved the distinction. Here’s the morbid part: All but two were still 114 when they passed it on. Those two? They died at 115.
stronauts on a spacewalk cannot whistle. This was discovered on the fly by intrepid astronaut Dan Barry in 1999. Fortunately, it did not affect the mission, but should any astronaut have to call a dog in space, the results would be disastrous.
Space agencies try to work out all eventualities and possible needs, but one unexpected consequence of space travel was discovered during a space walk by astronaut Dan Barry. A usual function, performed perfectly normally on earth, suddenly failed in deep space. Fortunately, it wasn’t necessary for the mission. Barry just tried whistling. Tried, and failed.
7. Weird News of the Week: Truck Crash Releases 14 Million Angry Bees, And Honey, On Highway
The bees swarmed in black clouds that kept the truck driver and rescue personnel in their vehicles until they could put on protective gear. In the end, it seems that many of the bees were killed after being sprayed by firefighting foam.
But while workers were being stung as they tried to clean up U.S. Highway 20, Fire Chief Kenny Strandberg worried about another problem.
“I am worried about the bears coming down now the grizzly bears,” he said.
All humans crave salt once in a while. The desire is hardwired into an ancient part of our brains, the hypothalamus, because we need it to keep our bodies working properly. Now it looks like some of the more addictive drugs out there could be co-opting this neurological system which means our desire for salt is what underlies our cravings for everything from heroin to coffee.
New research has shown that cocaine and opiates may hijack the same brain connections that serve to make us crave salt. The scientists discovered this when mice with blocked addiction-related pathways no longer had the sodium cravings that normal mice did.
Professor Abraham Tamir toured shopping centres in Europe and Israel, taking candid photographs of people with interesting noses. He then sorted the 1,300 pictures and matched each with a face on a painting or other piece of art.
This revealed there to be 14 types of nose, with classifications ranging from fleshy to celestial.
The most common, particularly among men, was the fleshy nose, best illustrated by Prince Philip, which featured on almost a quarter of all the faces studied.
12. Image of the Week: A Hotel Bedroom Under the Sea
Walkways in aquariums are impressive, but they’ve got nothing on this underwater hotel bedroom in the Maldives. Can you imagine waking up with the Indian Ocean and its sea life floating around you?
We’ve all seen strange reactions to abstract pieces of art. Think about how many times you’ve heard, “I could do that in an afternoon,” in reaction to a Jackson Pollack or a ” really someone paid for that?” in reaction to a Marc Rothko.
But, last month, the actor James Franco put his name behind a strange new project called the Museum of Non-Visible Art, which takes what it calls conceptual art to a whole new level. Their website is here and there’s an explainer video here, but in simple terms, the idea of the museum is that the works of art don’t exist physically, instead they are imagined by the artist. So when you purchase the “work of art” you get a “card” to hang on an empty wall and you “describe it to your audience.”
A Harvard University fellow who was studying ethics was charged with hacking into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s computer network to steal nearly 5 million academic articles.
Aaron Swartz, 24, was accused of stealing the documents from JSTOR, a popular research subscription service that offers digitized copies of more than 1,000 academic journals and documents, some dating back to the 17th century.
In an indictment released Tuesday, prosecutors say Swartz stole 4.8 million articles between September 2010 and January after breaking into a computer wiring closet on MIT’s campus. Swartz, a student at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, downloaded so many documents during one October day that some of JSTOR’s computer servers crashed, according to the indictment.
Prosecutors say Swartz intended to distribute the articles on file-sharing websites.
16. Infographic of the Week: The Internet of Things
[T]he things that we taste and the things that we smell differ systematically in how pleasant and unpleasant they are. The reason is that we have generally more control over what we put into our mouth than what enters our nose. If one guiding principle of our behavior is the maximization of pleasure, and if there are roughly equally many pleasant and unpleasant smells and tastes available, then we should draw more pleasure out of the sense that we can control, than out of the sense that we cannot control as easily. Consequently, what we taste will be more likely pleasant than what we smell.
Astrology has been in the headlines a lot lately with the (bogus) reports that the zodiac was changing and everything was going to be different. So what about the zodiac weve got? David McCandless and Thomas Winnigham recently did some clever data-mining to grab thousands of online horoscopes, then ran them through word-analysis software to see their common features.
With that data in hand, they produced a generic, meta prediction that would apply to all star signs, every day of the year
By itself, a cannon is pretty devastating. So what if you took two cannons and - get this - put them together ? That was the idea of John Gilleland, a Georgia dentist and mechanic - one can only hope he drew more upon his mechanical experience than his dental in building the thing - who designed the double-barreled cannon in 1862.
The cannon combined two six-pound guns, which had been cast in a single piece at the Athens Steam Company. The cannon was designed so that either gun could be fired separately or simultaneously. It was this latter possibility that, if it had worked, would have made Gilleland a genius. His notion was to connect two cannon balls together with a chain and then fire them out of the cannon all at once, which would then cut through the enemy “mow down the enemy somewhat as a scythe cuts wheat.”
22. HistoricalLOL of the Week
Geophagy is the name given to the practice of eating dirt, apparently, its quite common in the human and animal world. But why?
[ . . . ]
[Scientists] found that people who ate dirt were more likely to suffer from intestinal parasites and digestive sickness, and concluded that that’s expected when people eat dirt. When examining the actual dirt eaten, this new study found that it was dug up from far beneath the surface level, and was boiled thoroughly before eating. (That’s right. People need to properly cook dirt.) There wasn’t much evidence that any new bacteria were introduced into the system with the dirt. Instead, it kills off whatever harmful stuff is already there. It seems that humans, and some other mammals, eat dirt to clean themselves up.
A violation of one of the oldest empirical laws of physics has been observed by scientists at the University of Bristol. Their experiments on purple bronze, a metal with unique one-dimensional electronic properties, indicate that it breaks the Wiedemann-Franz Law. This historic discovery is described in a paper published July 20 in Nature Communications.
In 1853, two German physicists, Gustav Wiedemann and Rudolf Franz, studied the thermal conductivity (a measure of a system’s ability to transfer heat) of a number of elemental metals and found that the ratio of the thermal to electrical conductivities was approximately the same for different metals at the same temperature
27. Better Book Titles of the Week - Thomas Hardy: The Mayor of Casterbridge
28. How-To of the Week: Securely Tie Anything to Your Car
Engineers at the University of Leicester have for the first time created a way of measuring how much force is used during a stabbing using a broken bottle. The advance is expected to have significant implications for legal forensics.
A team from the University has conducted a systematic study of the force applied during a stabbing and come up with the first set of penetration force data for broken glass bottles. This work has been published in the International Journal of Legal Medicine.
Stabbing is the most common method of committing murder in the UK. Injuries and assaults related to alcohol consumption are also a growing concern in many countries. In such cases the impulsive use of weapons such as a glass bottle is not uncommon.
In approximately 10% of all assaults resulting in treatment in the United Kingdom (UK) emergency units, glasses and bottles are used as weapons. Official UK estimates suggest that a form of glass is used as a weapon in between 3,400 and 5,400 offences per year. There is little understanding of how much force is required to create the injuries as, until now, there have been no systematic studies of how much force is required to penetrate skin with such weapons.
Ms. Thornton-Joe said after the men popped a lolly in their mouths, their nasty energy all but dissolved. They got calmer after taking the lollipops, she said. It had an immediate effect. [ . . . ]
The sucker punch works for several reasons, she said. First, its difficult to yell while sucking a lollipop.
Altercations happen due to verbal exchanges, but with a sucker in the mouth, theres less talk, which results in fewer fights.
The lollipops sugar hit calms those whove drank too much, she said. And the lollys pacifier effect cant be denied.
33. The Quicker Ketchup Picker-Upper
(Via: Kottke )