Watch this film of magical hand shadows from 1933

    "Just a pair of hands -- and a whole lot of clever imagination."

    (via Juxtapoz on Instagram) Read the rest

    You could own this zoo complete with menagerie

    York's Wild Kingdom Zoo & Fun Park in York, Maine is up for sale. For just $14.2 million, you could be the proprietor of this beachside attraction complete with the likes of lions, monkeys, lemurs, camels, pigs, deer, kangaroos, a butterfly kingdom, paddle boats, miniature golf, bumper cars, and a haunted house. No lowball offers though.

    According to owner Joe Barberi, a realtor called and “asked if we would consider selling the park. Not getting any younger and everything having to do with its price, I told him he was free to pursue the idea.he could find someone who would like to buy it and would be willing to pay the price without any negotiations then, fine, it’s a deal,” he said.

    Barberi's a patient man.

    “For now, it’s business as usual,” he said last week. “71 days until opening.”

    (Seacoast Online)

    Read the rest

    Revenge of the dead cow

    A man working in an Aalen, Germany slaughterhouse was hospitalized with serious injuries last month after being kicked in the face by a cow. The curious thing is that the cow had already been "“killed according to regulations." It was hanging from a meathook when the attack occurred.

    According to the Associated Press, police reported that the kick was "due to a nerve impulse that experts say isn’t uncommon."

    (Weird Universe)

    (glitched image of: "Cow (Swiss Braunvieh breed)" by Daniel Schwen) Read the rest

    Breakthrough programmable computer made from DNA running chemical software

    For more than two decades, researchers have explored using DNA as a chemical computer. Until now though, DNA computers have only been capable of solving whatever mathematical problem they were built to tackle. Now though, researchers have demonstrated a more general-purpose DNA computer that can run a variety of chemical "programs." From Caltech:

    "Think of them as nano apps," says Damien Woods, professor of computer science at Maynooth University near Dublin, Ireland, and one of two lead authors of the study. "The ability to run any type of software program without having to change the hardware is what allowed computers to become so useful. We are implementing that idea in molecules, essentially embedding an algorithm within chemistry to control chemical processes."

    The system works by self-assembly: small, specially designed DNA strands stick together to build a logic circuit while simultaneously executing the circuit algorithm. Starting with the original six bits that represent the input, the system adds row after row of molecules—progressively running the algorithm. Modern digital electronic computers use electricity flowing through circuits to manipulate information; here, the rows of DNA strands sticking together perform the computation. The end result is a test tube filled with billions of completed algorithms, each one resembling a knitted scarf of DNA, representing a readout of the computation. The pattern on each "scarf" gives you the solution to the algorithm that you were running. The system can be reprogrammed to run a different algorithm by simply selecting a different subset of strands from the roughly 700 that constitute the system.

    Read the rest

    Spanish pop-goth performance featuring Freddy Krueger in high-waisted jeans

    The singer is María Olvido Gara Jova, aka Alaska, performing with her band Dinarama. Along with singing in another electro-pop-goth band Fangoria, Alaska has hosted a children's TV series, appeared on a comedy sketch show, and starred in an MTV Spain reality show. This number is titled "Mi novio es un zombi" ("My Boyfriend Is a Zombie").

    (r/ObscureMedia, thanks UPSO!) Read the rest

    Stranger Things 3 trailer improved with cheery old-timey music

    The Stranger Things 3 trailer with a delightful original score by Michael Hearst of "Songs for Ice Cream Trucks" fame.

    "Survive, pack up your synths! Hearst, crank up the calliope!"

    Read the rest

    The wasabi you think you're eating isn't wasabi

    Real wasabi, Wasabia japonica, is apparently one of the most expensive vegetables to grow. That green stuff you're eating? Ground horseradish, Chinese mustard, and, you guessed it, green food coloring. Yum.

    According to The Atlantic, "Worldwide, experts believe that this imposter combination masquerades as wasabi about 99% of the time."

    Above, meet Shigeo Iida, 75, whose family has grown real wasabi for eight generations.

    (via NextDraft)

    image: HK 北角 North Point 和田 Wada Japanese Restaurant 放題 Buffet dinner 山葵 green Wasabi Mar-2013 Read the rest

    Odd and gruesome workplace safety ads that aired on TV

    Ontario, Canada's Workplace Safety and Insurance Board created these splatterpunk workplace safety ads in 2012.

    "This is not a feel-good campaign," said WSIB Chair Steven Mahoney. "We’ll feel good when the number of injuries and fatalities go down.” Read the rest

    Watch the new Stranger Things 3 trailer

    They had me at the opening reference to Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Read the rest

    Humans have a sixth sense for Earth's magnetic field

    A new study suggests that humans can subconsciously sense Earth's magnetic field. While this capability, called magnetoreception, is well known in birds and fish, there is now evidence that our brains are also sensitive to magnetic fields. The researchers from Caltech and the University of Tokyo measured the brainwaves of 26 participants who were exposed to magnetic fields that could be manipulated. Interestingly, the brainwaves were not affected by upward-pointing fields. From Science News:

    Participants in this study, who all hailed from the Northern Hemisphere, should perceive downward-pointing magnetic fields as natural, whereas upward fields would constitute an anomaly, the researchers argue. Magnetoreceptive animals are known to shut off their internal compasses when encountering weird fields, such as those caused by lightning, which might lead the animals astray. Northern-born humans may similarly take their magnetic sense “offline” when faced with strange, upward-pointing fields...

    Even accounting for which magnetic changes the brain picks up, researchers still don’t know what our minds might use that information for, (Caltech neurobiologist and geophysicist Joseph) Kirschvink says. Another lingering mystery is how, exactly, our brains detect Earth’s magnetic field. According to the researchers, the brain wave patterns uncovered in this study may be explained by sensory cells containing a magnetic mineral called magnetite, which has been found in magnetoreceptive trout as well as in the human brain.

    "Transduction of the Geomagnetic Field as Evidenced from Alpha-band Activity in the Human Brain" (eNeuro)

    "Evidence for a Human Geomagnetic Sense" (Caltech) Read the rest

    For sale: home that inspired Emily Bront?'s Wuthering Heights

    Ponden Hall, a nine bedroom house in Stanbury, West Yorkshire, England, is considered to be the inspiration for Emily Bront?'s Wuthering Heights and sister Anne's Wildfell Hall. The Bront?s spent a great deal of time on the property in the early 1800s. Now it could be yours. Current owner and Bront? superfan Julie Akhurst and her husband have put it on the market for £1.25m. In their twenty years of ownership, they've completed a major, yet careful, renovation and opened it as a B&B for other Bront? geeks. From the Yorkshire Post:

    The most popular B&B room at Ponden Hall is the Earnshaw room. It features a tiny east gable window that exactly fits Emily Bront?’s description in Wuthering Heights of Cathy’s ghost scratching furiously at the glass trying to get in...

    “We think that Emily based that scene on this room because old documents relating to the house describe a box bed in a room across from the library and you can see where it was bolted to the wall by the window. It is just how it is described in Wuthering Heights.

    “Plus the date plaque above the main entrance identifies the hall as being rebuilt in 1801 and Emily’s story starts with that exact date,” says Julie who has had a replica box bed made for the room.

    Read the rest

    Video of Coney Island rides from the 1930s and 1940s that would never fly today

    (VIDEO LINK)

    Michael Hearst, composer of the classic "Songs for Ice Cream Trucks" and author of the excellent Unusual Creatures, shares this delightful video of seemingly quite dangerous rides at Coney Island in the 1930s and 1940s.

    These sanctioned affronts to safety remind me of the fun I had rolling around with my brothers in our station wagon's cargo area on long road trips.

    Read the rest

    Psychedelics pioneer Ralph Metzner, RIP

    Pioneering psychonaut Ralph Metzner who co-led the seminal psychedelic research at Harvard University in the early 1960s with Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (Ram Dass) and co-authored The Psychedelic Experience, has died at age 82. (Above image, Metzner at left with Leary.) Through his life, Metzner helped a great many people through his psychotherapist practice, spoke frequently on eco-consciousness, and also composed visionary ballads. (Erowid)

    Read the rest

    Where does consciousness come from?

    "Consciousness is what allows us to be aware of both our surroundings and our own inner state." In the first of a three part video series, "Kruzgesagt - In a Nutshell" examines "how unaware things come aware." Stay tuned for theories of consciousness that of course may be as much about philosophy as they are neuroscience.

    Sources here.

    Read the rest

    Legendary surf rock guitarist Dick Dale, RIP

    Dick Dale, the "King of the Surf Guitar," has died at age 81. RIP, maestro. Dale's pioneering sound was inspired by his Lebanese uncle who played the oud and taught his nephew the tarabaki, a goblet-shaped drum. Dale's 1961 instrumental "Let's Go Trippin'," recorded with his band The Del-Tones, sparked the vibrant surf rock scene that spawned the Beach Boys. Dale was shredding right up until his death. RIP, maestro. From The Guardian:

    Born Richard Anthony Monsour in May 1937, Dale developed his distinctive sound by adding to instrumental rock influences from his Middle Eastern heritage, along with a “wet” reverb sound and his rapid alternative picking style.

    In 2011, he told the Miami New Times that the hectic drumming of Gene Krupa, along with the “screams” of wild animals and the sound and sensation of being in the ocean inspired his sound.

    Read the rest

    Mysterious bundles of hair turning up on Santa Barbara streets

    Mysterious bundles of hair have been turning up on streets in Santa Barbara's Mesa neighborhood. It's not known yet if the hair is human, non-human animal, or synthetic. From KEYT:

    We reached out to cosmetology workers and those who may have some insights into cultural traditions that involve these hair bundles, but there were no answers...

    One resident said she saw some people dropping or throwing smaller ones out of a car window recently, but those are not the ones out there now.

    One person on the Mesa saw a resident run into traffic this afternoon, grab one and disappear.

    More at Mysterious Universe: "Mysterious Bundles of Hair Appear on California Streets"

    Read the rest

    Curious robotic syringe-in-a-pill completes successful human trial

    The RaniPill is another syringe that you can swallow to deliver drugs to the bloodstream from the inside. It's triggered by an interesting and complex mechanism involving a chemical reaction that inflates a tiny polymer balloon to push the needle into the intestinal wall. Rani Therapeutics just completed a successful 20-person trial using a pill that shoots blanks. From IEEE Spectrum:

    Working from the outside in, the RaniPill consists of a special coating that protects the pill from the stomach’s acidic juices. Then, as the pill is pushed into the intestines and pH levels rise to about 6.5, the coating dissolves to reveal a deflated biocompatible polymer balloon.

    Upon exposure to the intestinal environment, a tiny pinch point made of sugar inside the balloon dissolves, causing two chemicals trapped on either side of the pinch point to mix and produce carbon dioxide. That gas inflates the balloon, and the pressure of the inflating balloon pushes a dissolvable microneedle filled with a drug of choice into the wall of the intestines. Human intestines lack sharp pain receptors, so the micro-shot is painless.

    The intestinal wall does, however, have lots and lots of blood vessels, so the drug is quickly taken up into the bloodstream, according to the company’s animal studies. The needle itself dissolves...

    Participants passed the remnants of the balloon within 1-4 days.

    (Founder Mir) Imran calls the device a robot though it has no electrical parts and no metal. “Even though it has no brains and no electronics, it [works through] an interplay between material science and the chemistry of the body,” says Imran.

    Read the rest

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