Strange space balls fell in Vietnam

_87507757_vtv3.3

Three strange metal spheres fell from the sky in Vietnam's Tuyen Quang province. They range in size and weight, with the smallest at 250 grams and the largest at 45 kilograms. According to the Ministry of Defense, they are likely compressed air tanks from an aircraft or rocket. That said, Nguyen Khoa Son of the National Research Program on Space Science and Technology suggests that they could be debris from a failed satellite launch. Apparently the balls were made in Russia.

(BBC News)

Read the rest

Watch Jerry Seinfeld do stand-up on The Late Show last night

Jerry Seinfeld does 5 minutes of hilarious stand-up last night on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. This guy needs a TV show!

Read the rest

Glorious new trailer for High-Rise, based on JG Ballard's novel

The new trailer for High-Rise, director Ben Wheatley's film based on the 1975 novel by one of my all-time favorite writers JG Ballard, looks absolutely fantastic. And dig the use of Tangerine Dream's track "Love on a Real Train" (famously first heard in Risky Business)! I can't wait to see this.

Read the rest

Weird and wonderful medical and scientific museum

screenshot

We've posted previously about Steve Erenbgerg (Radio Guy)'s online collection of wonderful and strange antique scientific instruments, medical devices, anatomical models, and, of course, radios. SciFri took a video tour, above, of Erenberg's delightful real world cabinet of curiosities!

"Things of Beauty: Scientific Instruments of Yore" (YouTube)

Read the rest

George Constanza from a fan's Seinfeld videogame work-in-progress

NU3t57X

Game developer Jacob Janerka made this sprite of George Costanza for a Seinfeld adventure game (about nothing?) that he hopes to someday complete. Janerka posted the GIF to Reddit and answered some questions in the comments: "In my spare time I'm making a fan made Seinfeld adventure game, I started off by making George." Read the rest

Reddit published a real book collecting its best AMAs

screenshot

Reddit has published a hardcover compendium of the editor's favorite AMAs from r/IAmA. The 400 page tome, Ask Me Anything, includes AMAs with Louis C.K., Chris Rock, Martha Stewart, the Waffle House Grill Masters, Spike Lee, Bill Gates, Bette Midler, and many more. The book contains original portraits by u/youngluck and introductions from the r/IAmA Mods. Of course, the AMAs are available for free online but this is a tangible object, limited edition, etc. $35.

"Ask Me Anything (A collection of Reddit's best from r/IAmA Volume 1)" (Amazon)

Read the rest

Listen to the sounds of 18th century Paris

bretez_maquette2_72dpi

Musicologist Mylène Pardoen and a team of 3D artists created this "sonic tableaux" of 18th century Paris based on a 1781 map and numerous historical documents and research on what Paris's Grand Châtelet district, between the Pont au Change and Pont Notre Dame bridges, may have sounded like at the time. From the French National Center for Scientific Research:

“I chose that neighborhood because it concentrates 80% of the background sound environments of Paris in that era, whether through familiar trades—shopkeepers, craftsmen, boatmen, washerwomen on the banks of the Seine, etc.—or the diversity of acoustic possibilities, like the echo heard under a bridge or in a covered passageway,” Pardoen explains. While historical videos with soundtracks are nothing new, this is the first 3D reconstitution based solely on a sonic background: the quality of the sounds (muffled, amplified…) takes into account the heights of the buildings and their construction materials (stone, cob etc.).

This urban soundscape was recreated based on documents from the period, including Le Tableau de Paris, published in 1781 by Louis-Sebastien Mercier, and the work of historians like Arlette Farge, a specialist on the 18th century, Alain Corbin, known for his research on the history of the senses, and Youri Carbonnier, an authority on houses built on bridges. The audio tour includes sounds like the cackling of birds in the poultry market, the hum of flies drawn to the fishmongers’ stalls, the sound of the loom at the woollen mill that used to stand at one end of the Pont au Change, that of the scrapers in the tanneries on Rue de la Pelleterie, of typesetting at the print shop on Rue de Gesvres… all overlaid with the incessant cries of the seagulls that came to feed on the city’s heaps of waste....

Read the rest

Watch these tough little kids duke it out in the ring!

This is footage from the 45th annual Junior Boxing Program Championships, held in 1964. From History's Playlist:

The Naval Junior Boxing Program was founded in 1919 by Spike Webb, and was made available to the children of naval Officers and cadets stationed in Annapolis, MD. Children ranging in age from 5 through 11 and weighing 30 to 100 pounds were allowed to enter the ring and fight during these tournaments... This youth boxing club was meant to teach the children sportsmanship and how to have a strong body and mind under pressure.

(via Weird Universe) Read the rest

The iPhone of slide rules

screenshot

I have vague memories of my older scientist brother Mark wearing a slide rule in a leather case on his belt. It was really one of the first wearable computers, albeit a mechanical, analog one. Then in 1974, he was able to purchase a Texas Instruments SR-50, the first mass-market commercial electronic calculator. The slide rule was buried in Mark's desk drawer, where the SR-50, and later his Sharp Wizard, Palm Pilot, and their descendants would ultimately end up as well. (Mark died wearing a calculator wristwatch!)

In this episode of Numberphile, Alex Bellos explains the seduction of the slide rule and also the Halden Calculex, a device he calls the "iPhone of Slide Rules."

Read the rest

Candle that smells like a motorcycle engine

Two-Stroke-Candle_1024x1024

Flying Tiger Motorcycles offers this curious "Two Stroke Smoke Candle" that is made from two-stroke oil and "high-octane fragrance" to give your home that singular bike bouquet. It's $20 and comes in a metal can. Read the rest

Man with inflatable penis implant will lose virginity to sex worker

3-piece-penile-implant

Last year, Mohammed Abad, 43, whose penis was destroyed when he was hit by a car as a child, received an 8-inch implant involving two tubes that inflate his reconstructed flesh phallus when he pumps it up via a button in his scrotum. The implant was the culmination of years of reconstructive surgery. These kinds of implants are commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction. Abad has now announced that he will soon lose his virginity to a sex worker named Charlotte Rose, 35.

“I have waited long enough for this — it’ll be a great start to the new year," Abad said. "My penis is working perfectly now so I just want to do it. I’m really excited. I can’t wait for it to finally happen.”

Rose will travel from London to see Abad in Edinburgh.

"I am so honoured that he chose me to take his virginity," she said. "We plan to have a dinner date so we can get to know each other and then two hours of private time. I’m not charging him.”

(The British Journal)

More: "Man's 'Bionic Penis' Is Not So Rare After All" (LiveScience) Read the rest

Watch Dead Kennedys' Jello Biafra's acting reel

Punk icon Jello Biafra's acting showreel, used as a resume-of-sorts in the TV/movie business, features his moments in Portlandia, Death and Taxes, Tapeheads, The Hipster Games, and others. (via Dangerous Minds)

Read the rest

Ancient Greeks used snakes as projectile weapons

Javelin_Sand_Boa_3538928b

People in ancient Greece used snakes as projectile weapons during sea battles, explains Gianni Insacco, a zoologist/paleontologist at Italy's Insacco Museo Civico di Storia Naturale.

Insacco's research team just reported that one of the weaponized species, the Javelin Sand Boa that was likely introduced to Italy by the Greeks during wartime, has survived in Sicily after not having been spotted for nearly 100 years.

Read the rest

Watch The Munsters... in color!

Pop Colorture hand-colorized 1,300 frames of The Munsters title sequence, turning the grimly fiendish and funny family into the full color characters that were originally black-and-white only due to budgetary reasons. From Pop Colorture:

As I learned from (Addams Family colorizer) Stuart Manning’s blog post, early color television programs often chose yellow in place of white to add an extra pop of color, while still registering as a white object on black and white sets. The dress that we see Marilyn wearing in the Munsters opening was white, and this can be seen in a few color promo photos featuring the first actress to play Marilyn, Beverley Owen. Yellow seemed like the natural choice for several reasons. It adds necessary color to the shot and I have no doubt that the wardrobe department would have chosen something similar, had it been shot in color. Yellow also fits with the grayscale values of the dress, so it looks very natural. Had I tried to color the dress red, green or any other color, it would not “stick” to the gray values as easily and would not look very good. My final reasoning in choosing yellow was because recent Munsters memorabilia items feature the character of Marilyn wearing a yellow dress that looks similar to the one seen in the opening. Although it has nothing to do with the show’s original creative team, I feel that it supports my choice. The second artistic decision I made was the color of The Munsters’ drippy, melted wax logo and title cards.

Read the rest

Freddie Mercury sings "We Are The Champions" a capella

Freddie Mercury's magnificent isolated vocal tracks from Queen's "We Are The Champions." (Playback.fm)

Read the rest

Young girl plays incredible organ arrangement of Star Wars Theme

If you're wondering, that's a Yamaha Electone electronic organ. Above, the Star Wars Theme. Below, from a few years back, Back To The Future. Many more performances: 826aska

Read the rest

What is the most interesting scientific news? Very, VERY smart people respond.

It is time once again for the Edge Annual Question, a mind-bending and boundary-busting online convening of scientists, technologists, and other big thinkers all responding to a single question at the intersection of science and culture. From physicists to artists, cognitive psychologists to journalists, evolutionary biologists to maverick anthropologists, these are people who Edge founder, famed literary agent, and BB pal John Brockman describes as the "third culture (consisting) of those scientists and other thinkers in the empirical world who, through their work and expository writing, are taking the place of the traditional intellectual in rendering visible the deeper meanings of our lives, redefining who and what we are."

This year, John asked: What do you consider the most interesting (scientific) news? What makes it important?" Nearly two hundred really smart people responded, including Steven Pinker, Nina Jablonski, Freeman Dyson, Stewart Brand, Marti Hearst, Philip Tetlock, Kevin Kelly, Lisa Feldman Barrett, Douglas Rushkoff, Lisa Randall, Alan Alda, Jared Diamond, Pamela McCorduck, and on and on.

"Science is the only news," writes Stewart Brand in the introduction. "When you scan through a newspaper or magazine, all the human interest stuff is the same old he-said-she-said, the politics and economics the same sorry cyclic dramas, the fashions a pathetic illusion of newness, and even the technology is predictable if you know the science. Human nature doesn't change much; science does, and the change accrues, altering the world irreversibly.' We now live in a world in which the rate of change is the biggest change." Science has thus become a big story, if not the big story: news that will stay news."

2016 : WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE MOST INTERESTING RECENT [SCIENTIFIC] NEWS? Read the rest

More posts