Sunday, 30 August 2015

Horses On The Beach

In the rural area around Castle Loevestein in the Netherlands lives a herd of semi-feral Konik horses. When the weather is warm they go to a beach along the river Waal to cool off.

Vimeo link

(thanks Cora)

The True Size Of...

It is hard to represent our spherical world on flat piece of paper. Every map projection introduces distortion, and each has its own set of problems. One of the most common criticisms of the Mercator map is that it exaggerates the size of countries nearer the poles, while downplaying the size of those near the equator.

On the Mercator projection Greenland appears to be roughly the same size as Africa. In reality, Greenland is 0.8 million sq. miles and Africa is 11.6 million sq. miles, nearly 14 and a half times larger. The True Size Of... shows just how big the world actually is.

The Birth Of The Bicycle

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In 1818, Baron Karl von Drais of Baden, Germany patented the design for a two-wheeled Laufmaschine, or 'running machine.' It consisted of two in-line wheels beneath a seat and handlebars, and was propelled by the rider pushing off the ground with his feet.

Also called the 'Draisine,' the device was created not out of fancy but necessity - Drais was looking for a substitute for the horses that had starved to death in the recent volcanic winter, caused by the eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815.

How To Peel Potatoes The Fastest Way

Crazy Russian Hacker shows you how to peel potatoes the fastest way.

YouTube link

The Hindenburgdamm Causeway

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The Hindenburgdamm is an 11 km-long causeway joining the North Frisian island of Sylt to mainland Schleswig-Holstein, off the coast of Germany. It was opened in 1927 exclusively for rail transport.

Before the causeway was built, the connection to the island was at the mercy of the tides, and in winter, the ice in the Wadden Sea formed an impenetrable barrier. The crossing took about six hours in adverse weather and flow conditions lasted longer. As the seaside resort of Westerland, on Sylt, became increasingly popular, officials started planning for the rail causeway.

The Periodic Table's Endangered Elements

We're all familiar with the periodic table, but the majority of non-chemists probably aren't familiar with the everyday uses of some of the many elements it contains. Some elements that many haven't heard of find uses in technologies or applications we take for granted - but the supplies of these elements on Earth are not infinite.

This graphic, made in a collaboration with the American Chemical Society's Green Chemistry Institute, looks at some of the endangered elements in the periodic table, and why we might miss them when they're gone.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

From Moon Landings To Crash And Splash Tests

What is now the Landing Impact and Research Facility at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., was built in 1965 to test the lunar landing module, which simulated touchdown procedures for the Apollo moon missions.

At 240 feet high and 400 feet long, it looks like a giant steel erector set. It is now used to conduct crash testing of full scale aircraft under controlled conditions and splash testing of space capsule mock ups.

YouTube link

School Lunch Menu

Yay! Smorgasbord.

(via Bad Menu)

Female Spies And Gender-Bending Soldiers Changed The Course Of The Civil War

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Did you know that a female spy, who was also a 'spinster' and an early feminist, was the catalyst for the North winning the Civil War? Elizabeth Van Lew and her African American accomplice, Mary Jane Bowser, smuggled plans out of the Confederate White House by sewing them into the first lady's own dresses.

What's been largely lost to history is how remarkably influential women were to the course of the Civil War - from its beginning to its end.

(thanks Lisa)

Making Of Japanese Handmade Paper Of Kyoto Kurotani

Watch the production and skimming process of Japanese paper at Kyoto Kurotani Washi Kogei-no Sato, which is housed in an abolished primary school.

Vimeo link

6 Mars Hoaxes You Keep Falling For

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Every year in August, the same Mars message circulates across the Internet: The Red Planet will appear 'as big as the full moon' in the sky, as seen with the naked eye. The problem is, it's not true: Skywatchers won't be able to see a 'double moon' in the late August sky.

The so-called Mars Hoax (which started in 2003 after a real-life close approach of Mars to the Earth) is just one of a series of false claims concerning the Red Planet. Here are some misconceptions about Mars that just won't die.

A Complete Guide To Buying Her Flowers

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Buying flowers sounds easy, until towers of flowers are staring back at you, as you try to remember your significant other's favorite color and question why these things are so expensive when they’ll be dead in two weeks.

If you're new to romance or just want to step things up a notch, there are some basic ways to make the flowers you buy mean a little bit more to the person getting them.

Friday, 28 August 2015

America's Smallest Nanobrewery

A nanobrewery is a scaled-down microbrewery, often run by a solo entrepreneur, that produces beer in small batches. Because everything is better when it's smaller. Here's America's smallest nanobrewerry.

YouTube link

Annie Edson Taylor's 1901 Retirement Plan: Go Over Niagara Falls In A Barrel

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The first daredevil to ride over Niagara Falls in a barrel wasn't some brash young man looking to make headlines. It was a 63-year-old school teacher who just wanted to drum up some retirement money by becoming the Queen of the Mist.

She decided she would be the first person to ride over Niagara Falls in a barrel. Taylor used a custom-made barrel for her trip, constructed of oak and iron and padded with a mattress. On October 24, 1901, her 63rd birthday, Annie Taylor was set adrift near the American shore, south of Goat Island.

Very Long Victorian Hair

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In the Victorian era, a Western woman's hair was considered an important part of her appearance. As in many societies, religious doctrine was a factor in the policing of Victorian women's hair, mandating that it be covered or done up, particularly if the woman was married.

Letting one's hair down was commonly seen as brazen and immodest, even sinful. To a Victorian observer, photographs of women with long, loose hair would be particularly titillating.

10 Strange Secret Societies That You've Probably Never Heard Of

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Today, the term 'secret society' seems somewhat ironic. Arguably the most famous one - the Freemasons - really isn't all that secret. The group's rites and rituals might be steeped in mysticism and symbolism, but much has been written about the group that appears in the public domain.

Many people have heard of the Illuminati, of Skull and Bones and of the Rosicrucians. But what about the clandestine groups that were, in fact, more secret? The ones that nobody remembers any more; the ones that thrived - and died - in the shadows?

(via Neatorama)

The Pig Farmer

The Pig Farmer is a short animated cartoon by Nick Cross. A simple tale of a wayward soul, awash in an ocean of tragedy and regret.

YouTube link

(thanks Cora)

Do You Know Your Bants From Your Manspreading?

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Do you know what manspreading is? Or bruh, hangry, or weak sauce? Words and phrases that have widespread currency in English have been added to the the online Oxford Dictionary in its latest quarterly update. According to Fiona McPherson, senior editor of Oxford Dictionaries, the addition of multiple slang words did not represent a dumbing down of English, but showed creative use of language.

Test your knowledge of the new words by selecting the correct definitions.

11 Awesome Data Visualizations Way Ahead Of Their Time

An infographic created by Investintech that highlights 11 unique data visualizations from across different - yet significant, periods in history.

It includes the first world map created by Anaximander, the elaborate Catalan atlas commissioned by King Charles V of France, Dr. John Snow's map of cholera deaths in London that helped in combating the disease in the second half of the 19th century, and so on.

(thanks Veronica)