The battle of the bands, featuring acts from Ireland to Israel, is underway as we speak. Embedded above is Cezar Ouatu's particularly excellent It's my life, this year's Transylvanian entry. Our Europe Correspondent Leigh Alexander will be filing a report, but not until she's had a bit of a lie down.
A teacher shows a preserved dolphin to students during a class about mammals at Ancol Smart House in Jakarta May 16, 2013. Ancol Smart House has about 20 animals preserved as means to "educate visitors about their life in the wild." 15m visited the park in 2012, according to PR Officer Aldhita Prayudi Ancol. [Photo: Reuters/Beawiharta]
Chinese inventor Tao Xiangli tinkers with a hand-made robot at his house in Beijing, May 15, 2013. Tao, 37, spent ¥150,000 ($24,400) to build it out of recycled scrap metal and electric wires found at second-hand markets. The robot, which took a year to complete, is 7ft tall and weighs about a quarter of a ton. [Photo: REUTERS/Suzie Wong]
He started down the rough wooden steps. He ducked his head and then flicked the lighter and swung the flame out over the darkness like an offering. Coldness and damp. An ungodly stench. He could see part of a stone wall. Clay floor. An old mattress darkly stained. He crouched and stepped down again and held out the light. Huddled against the back wall were naked people, male and female, all trying to hide, shielding their faces with their hands. On the mattress lay a man with his legs gone to the hip and the stumps of them blackened and burnt. The smell was hideous.
Jesus, he whispered.
Then one by one they turned and blinked in the pitiful light. Help us, they whispered. Please help us.
The key, he adds: "What is revealed is even more terrifying that what I could have imagined."
So many people know what "tired and emotional" means that it's surely now unfit for its original libel-skirting purpose. But if someone is "hiking the Appalachian Trail" or taking a "wide stance", would you be in on the gig? [BBC] — Rob
While researching the sounds from the classic series, Burtt discovered that they were created with a Hammond chord organ. "Going back and getting some organ recordings and playing with it, I was able to fashion some things very similar to the transporter, perhaps exactly the same way, so that's in there."
"Complex Pile", an inflatable sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy, is displayed at the exhibition "Inflation!" on the grounds of a new park in Hong Kong. "The Park", as it will be called, will cover 14 hectares of landscaped public space devoted to the arts and culture. [Bobby Yip/Reuters]
Come for Tom Hanks + Zooey Deschanel, stay for Mike Tyson + Michelle Obama, then run in terror from Sarah Palin + Honey Boo. The animated GIF has reached its apogee in
Hybrid Celebrities, a collection of nightmarish video faceswaps at the distinctly NSFW DailyPicDump.com. [Thanks, Papa Fapa!] UPDATE: They're taken from this sketch. [Team Coco]
Jamie Smith Hopkins at The Baltimore Sun writes about the tiny homes more and more Americans are opting for: "U.S. houses got bigger for decades ... even as household sizes shrunk, according to Census Bureau figures. But the housing crash, foreclosure crisis and rough recession have pressed some to think differently." — Rob
"This is the biggest ship graveyard in the world - where huge tankers and cruise liners are scrapped on the shorefront by teams of labourers using little more than hand tools. The job is considered one of the most dangerous in the world with workers earning a pittance of just £2.25 a day. But amazingly there is no shortage of willing recruits." [Daniel Miller / Daily Mail]