What does a car crash-proof human look like? Odd. Very odd.

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Melbourne, Australia's Transport Accident Commission commissioned an artist, trauma surgeon, and road safety engineer to imagine and design a human built to survive car wrecks. The result is Graham, seen above. From Road & Track:

"The truth is, our cars have evolved a lot faster than we have," says David Logan, a team member on the project and road safety engineer at the Monash University's accident research center. "Our bodies are just not equipped to handle the forces in common crash scenarios."

To deal with these forces, the team came up with Graham. Protecting his brain is a much larger skull intended to absorb forces and fracture upon impact. His face, concave and fatty, is less likely to be damaged. Instead of a silly wobbly neck, he doesn't really have one at all, reducing the potential for spine and back injuries. His skin is also thicker to prevent lacerations, and his ribs have a layer of external air sacks for maximum protection

Videos:

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This month, Japan will manufacture its last VHS video cassette recorder

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Funai Electric Company, maker of VHS video cassette recorders for its brands like Magnavox, Emerson, and Sanyo, has announced that they will stop production on new VHS video cassette records this month.

According to the newspaper Nikkei, it's difficult to source the parts and, surprise, sales of new units have continued to plummet.

Expect a VHS-only store to appear in a hipster neighborhood near you soon. Y'now, the image just looks... warmer.

(Anime News Network) Read the rest

See this fellow test a 20,000 watt light bulb

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Most of the lightbulbs in your home are probably equivalent to 60 to 100 watts and emit around 800 to 1600 lumens. Above, "electrical overload" fan Photonicinduction fires up a 20,000 watt halogen bulb in a small lab space. Such bulbs are most frequently used on massive film sets. As the gent says, "Mmmm... that is a light bulb." If we had one in our home, my family would still forget to turn it off before leaving the house.

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Video of one year on Earth, from one million miles away

One million miles from Earth, hanging in space between Earth's gravitational pull and the sun's, is the DSCOVR satellite and NASA's incredible EPIC camera. Every two hours, EPIC takes a photo of Earth "to monitor ozone and aerosol levels in Earth’s atmosphere, cloud height, vegetation properties and the ultraviolet reflectivity of Earth." The above video combines one year of those images.

From the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center:

The primary objective of DSCOVR, a partnership between NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Air Force, is to maintain the nation’s real-time solar wind monitoring capabilities, which are critical to the accuracy and lead time of space weather alerts and forecasts from NOAA.

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Elderly woman beats mugger with bacon

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Police in Greater Manchester, UK report that an 86-year-old woman withdrew cash from an ATM before entering a supermarket where she was confronted by a mugger.

"The lady then defended herself by repeatedly hitting the female offender over the head with a packet of bacon," according to a GMP Trafford South post on Facebook. "The offender then retreated and made off from the supermarket." Read the rest

Watch this side-by-side video of Los Angeles in the 1940s and today

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A drive through downtown Los Angeles in the 1940s and today. Spoiler: Less traffic then! Uglier now!

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See this inventor's odd bicycles from the 1930s

This engineer, active in Kidderminster, England in the 1930s, appears to be the artistic ancestor of San Francisco's Cyclecide bike rodeo. (British Pathé via Weird Universe)

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Preteen robbers throw dummy through window

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On Monday, five kids, around the age of 10, reportedly used a CPR dummy to bash in the window of a convenience store in Peoria, Illinois. They were foiled by bars that prevented them from entering. From the Peoria Journal Star:

According to Peoria police reports, the children, three girls and two boys, all about the age of 10, were at the Jackpot Supermarket, 200 N. MacArthur Highway, about 11:30 p.m. When officers arrived, the children weren't there but the CPR dummy was.

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Why did the Concorde supersonic plane fail?

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The Concorde is a supersonic commercial airliner that took people from New York City to Paris in around 3.5 hours. It's heyday was in the 1970s and it finally stopped operation in 2003. Learn why in the Vox video above and in Lawrence Azerrad's magnificent Boing Boing classic feature "Flight of the Concordes!"

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Gorgeous teeny-tiny pencil drawings

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Mexican artist Mateo Pizarro draws these beautiful and insanely tiny illustrations using just a pencil. (via Juxtapoz)

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The healing power of ayahuasca

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Michael Costuros is an "executive coach" in California's Marin County (birthplace of the hot tub) who every year takes a group of entrepreneurs to South America on a trip within a trip. Each spends $10,000 to hopefully leverage "the healing power of ayahuasca," Costuros says. From Chris Colin's feature in California Sunday:

Chris Hunter, co-founder of the company behind the alcoholic energy drink Four Loko, signed on in hopes that it would help him navigate some sticky professional relationships. Jesse Krieger, publisher of Lifestyle Entre­preneurs Press, wished for insight into growth strategies. Other participants included the founder of a financial technology company, the scion of a footwear empire, and a firearms executive looking for a pivot. Under the guidance of Costuros and a local shaman, they would participate in a San Pedro ceremony — San Pedro is another powerful plant-based psychedelic — followed by two separate ayahuasca ceremonies....

The participants — all men this year — spent their first day traveling to the retreat center, getting situated, and enjoying massages. At 8 a.m. the next day, they assembled in a small, open-air structure. Following an initial cleansing ceremony, they drank their first batch of medicine (fermented wheatgrass and dirt is how Krieger described the taste) and lay down on thin mats under a thatched roof. There they’d remain for ten hours.

The first 60 minutes of the ayahuasca ceremony felt like two weeks for (AirHelp CEO Henrik) Zillmer. Uncontrollable vomiting and feverish shivering aside, he was unable to move and watched helplessly as his mind departed his body and descended into a vast black hole.

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Why are scientists drawing eyes on cows' asses?

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In Botswana, conservation scientists from the University of New South Wales are painting eyes on the rear ends of cattle in an effort to deter lions from eating them. As the lions' protected habitats shrink, they move closer to human settlements. In Botswana, the lions attack the livestock that the subsistence farmers count on. That leads the farmers to kill the African lions, further endangering the species.

(UNSW conservation biologist Neil Jordan’s idea of painting eyes onto cattle rumps came about after two lionesses were killed near the village in Botswana where he was based. While watching a lion hunt an impala, he noticed something interesting: “Lions are ambush hunters, so they creep up on their prey, get close and jump on them unseen. But in this case, the impala noticed the lion. And when the lion realised it had been spotted, it gave up on the hunt,” he says.

In nature, being ‘seen’ can deter predation. For example, patterns resembling eyes on butterfly wings are known to deter birds. In India, woodcutters in the forest have long worn masks on the back of their heads to ward-off man-eating tigers.

Jordan’s idea was to “hijack this mechanism” of psychological trickery. Last year, he collaborated with the BPCT and a local farmer to trial the innovative strategy, which he’s dubbed “iCow”.

"Eye-opening conservation strategy could save African lions" (UNSW) Read the rest

"Earthquake" off Daytona Beach, Florida was really military test

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On a Saturday, a 3.7 magnitude "earthquake" was detected about 168 miles off Florida's Daytona Beach Shores. It now appears that the quake was actually a "shock trial," an explosive test conducted by the US Navy to test the fortitude of the USS Jackson, a new combat ship. From the Daytona Beach News-Journal:

Asked about the reported earthquake on Monday, Dale Eng, a public information officer for the Navy’s Sea Systems Command in Washington, said the Navy is working on a statement it expects to release this week.

Seismographs as far away as Minnesota, Texas and Oklahoma, as well as along the coast of Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, registered the event on Saturday, said Bruce Presgrave, a geophysicist and shift supervisor at the Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center in California.

(After being shown the above photo of a shock trial conducted last month) Presgrave said, "That's a smoking gun, isn't it?"

Presgrave planned to contact the Navy to learn more about the charges used in the shock trials as part of the agency's ongoing investigation.

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How tennis balls are made.

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Those workers look like they love their job. They're really having a ball!

(via Devour)

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How to Hide Anything, a free booklet

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"How To Hide Anything" is Michael Connor's 1984 book about rigging secret hiding places for your contraband and even yourself. Download the book for free here at Archive.org or purchase a hardcopy from Amazon. Connor is also the author of other well-intentioned self-help books like "Sneak It Through: Smuggling Made Easier" and "The Power of Positive Revenge: A Winner's Guide to Exacting Vengeance."

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Photo of "ghost" at scene of fatal motorcycle wreck

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Last week, a motorcyclist tragically died on a highway near Stanton, Kentucky. A fellow nearby, Saul Vazquez, snapped a photo of the scene from his truck and was surprised to see what appears to be an apparition floating above the deceased. Vazquez posted the image on Facebook but when reached by Lex18 news reporters would only say that "the photo has not been altered."

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This 90-year-old man is building a cathedral by himself, by hand

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For more than 50 years, Justo Gallego has spent his days building his own beautiful cathedral outside of Madrid, all by himself.

"When I started to build this cathedral, the word on the street was that I was crazy," Gallego says.

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