Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Logo History

The history of Slats, Jackie, Telly, Coffee, Tanner, George, and Leo, the lions used in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's logo.

YouTube link

Pigeon Towers: The Rise And Fall Of A 17th-Century Status Symbol

image credit: Varun Shiv Kapur

During the 16th and 17th centuries, the richest people across the United Kingdom and France built beautiful towers, just for pigeons. Known as dovecotes, pigeonniers, doocots, or colombiers, these buildings served as apartment blocks for hundreds of pigeons who were waiting to be eaten by members of the nobility.

Early 20th-century pigeon expert Arthur Cooke estimated that by the 1650s, there were 26,000 dovecotes in England alone. Though many dovecotes had similar designs, each had its own flair.

The World's Weirdest Libraries

image credit: David King

One would think there are only so many ways to interest people in checking out a book or just plopping down and cracking one open. Here are some of the more creative appraoches to this age-old tradition.

How To Make Giant Bubbles With Guar Gum

YouTube link

(thanks Cora)

The Prettiest Space Quiz You'll Take Today

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It's the Hubble Space Telescope's 25th birthday on April 24. How much do you actually know about all those mesmerising pictures it has taken? Take this quiz and find out. I got 15 out of 18 right.

Dolphin Intelligence: It's Time For A Conversation

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Hector and Han are bottlenose dolphins at the Roatán Institute for Marine Sciences. When head trainer Teri Turner Bolton gives the two dolphins a command, they do it in unison.

But is one dolphin mimicking the other so quickly and precisely that the apparent coordination is only an illusion? Or it's not an illusion at all: When they whistle back and forth they're literally discussing a plan.

Every Tree In New York City, Mapped By Species

New York City is about as urban as urban gets, but even concrete jungles harbor leafy life. At last count, there were 592,130 trees in the Big Apple, and thanks to the efforts of Brooklyn-based designer Jill Hubley, you can now study them all in a colorful interactive map.

The map, which shows the distribution of trees, color-coded by species, throughout New York City's five boroughs, was created using 2005 tree census data. Zoomed all the way out, the technicolor blur looks like a vivid star cluster in deep space.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Elk Hair Caddis

A father escapes his stressful life with his many tadpoles to his favourite hideout by the river. His peace and quiet is suddenly disturbed by his neighbour's attempt to catch the fish of his dreams.

YouTube link

(thanks Cora)

Can We Guess Your Level Of Education?

Answer 20 questions and this site determines the level of your actual knowledge. I took the quiz and I didn't find it too hard.

You enjoy academic settings, as they fit your balanced, self-aware personality. You are engaged in the entire scholarly experience, and always seek opportunities to enhance learning. You are hardworking, and won’t let any challenge stop you from achieving the best grades possible. Good for you, Professor.

Can We Guess Your Level Of Education?

(thanks Malcolm


(via Bad Newspaper)

Vincent Van Gogh's 'The Starry Night'

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In June 1889, while in France, Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh painted 'The Starry Night.' A painting you’ve probably seen 100 times before. But in order to truly see and appreciate this masterpiece, you have to be able to look at it with a fresh eye.

Can you forget about the famous artist behind it and the stories you've heard about his life? Can you forget that you're looking at a work of art that's valued at well over $10 million? Can you forget that you're viewing one of the most famous paintings in the world?

Scenic Tours Rebrand Launch

Animation studio The Magnificent Itch from Australia made a beautiful animation short for the rebrand launch of tour operator Scenic Tours.

Vimeo link

(thanks Stefan)

Vintage Drum Kits From The 1920s And 1930s

Lengthy article by Samm Bennett about the early drum kits. They were very creative assemblages that generally included Chinese tack head tom toms, wood blocks, China-type cymbals, the 'low boys' or 'sock cymbals' that preceded the modern hi-hat. And of course the big bass drums and snare drums on their spindly little stands.

(via Everlasting Blort)

Black On Black

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Should we consider black a colour, the absence of colour or a suspension of vision produced by a deprivation of light? Beginning with Robert Fludd's attempt to picture nothingness, here's a reflection on some of the ways in which blackness has been used and thought about through the history of art and philosophical thought.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

NASA's Modular Robotic Vehicle

Modular Robotic Vehicle created by NASA at the Johnson Space Center.

YouTube link

The Humble Sources Of 10 Major Rivers

image credit: matt northam

The source of a river, defined as the furthest place in that river from its estuary or confluence with another river, is an elusive concept. In many cases, it's impossible to pinpoint the exact location from where a river begins, because a river has many sources.

It often starts as a small stream but as it flows towards the sea or a lake or another river, the humble stream gathers water from numerous sources such as underground springs, rainwater, bogs, marshes and lakes and becomes a mighty river.

The Kennecott Mines: Abandoned Alaskan Boomtown

image credit: Urban Archeology

In 1900 two prospectors were traveling through Alaska. Their horses were hungry and so when they spied a distant green hillside they thought their luck was in.

They were not wrong. They had stumbled upon a massive deposit of copper ore, exposed at the surface. Industry on a massive scale quickly followed. Yet by 1939 the copper was exhausted, the place abandoned. This is what remains of the Kennecott Mine Camp.

Rare Sperm Whale Encounter With ROV

At 598 meters (1,962 ft) below the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, ROV Hercules encountered a magnificent sperm whale. The whale circled Hercules several times and gave the cameras the chance to capture some incredible footage of this beautiful creature. Encounters between sperm whales and ROVs are incredibly rare.

YouTube link

50 Movie Robots Ranked From Good To Evil

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From Metropolis to Ex Machina, cinematic robots have proven themselves to be formidable friends or foes. For the purposes of this list, 'robot' is defined loosely to include automatons, androids, and any machines capable of artificial intelligence.

50 Movie Robots Ranked From Good To Evil.

The Fascinating, Never-Ending Job Of Painting The Golden Gate Bridge

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The Golden Gate Bridge is under attack. Corrosive salt air, roadway contaminants, age, UV rays - all these things are trying to turn the majestic span into a pitted skeleton.

Luckily the bridge has a powerful ally: an elite squad of painters, numbering just a few dozen. These busy operatives scurry up, down, and around the span on a never-ending quest to keep it protected and looking sharp.