City claims building park stairs too pricey, later tears out free stairs built by a resident

Retiree Adi Astl just wanted some stairs down a well-trod embankment in his local park. The city told him it would cost between $65,000 and $150,000, so he and a homeless guy built a nice set of stairs for about $550. Astl was then informed he violated municipal code section 608, and the stairs were ordered removed.

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For twelve years, this family has let bees nest in their living room

In addition to benefiting from excellent feng shui, the family harvests about 15 kilograms of honey each year from their bee housemates, who showed up on the day of a wedding. Read the rest

Watch these adorable rescued sea lions get released back into the wild

Buoy and Canoe were in bad shape when they were rescued, but they bounced back thanks to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. Watch this heartwarming footage of the pair getting released back into the ocean. Read the rest

Spectacular footage of desert ants versus antlion death traps

Namibian desert Hotrod ants have evolved to tiptoe around to avoid baking to death in the unrelenting sun. But other dangers lurk, like these terrifying real-life sarlacc pits created by antlions. Read the rest

Watch a rope of molten steel barely miss a worker

In steelworker parlance, a cobble is a bit of steel that catches on a roller during manufacturing.

Cobbles cause the molten steel coming out of the furnace to back up and snake wildly around. This guy was lucky to be uninjured after a close call with a cobble.

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Cool 360-degree video of a rocket launch

Airbus mounted a 360-degree camera on a rocket being launched as part of a microgravity experiment, and the result it pretty phenomenal. Watch the stages separate and the earth's curvature reveal itself as the Maxus 9 pops up through the clouds.

Via Airbus:

Following a successful launch of Maxus 9 the largest European sounding rocket with scientific micro gravity experiments, Airbus is providing a stunning 360° view from space. The spacecraft, launched from the Esrange Space Center in Kiruna, Sweden, was equipped by Airbus with support from their joint venture partner Swedish Space Corporation in order to provide unique 360° footage of the launch from the rocket perspective. Viewers can see spectacular images of the take-off, down to Lapland getting smaller while the rocket soars into the sky, then spectacular views of the Planet and Space once the sounding rocket goes through the atmosphere and reaches its highest altitude of 700km, before the payload falls free back down to earth, and completes its’ parachute-assisted touchdown.

The Maxus programme is a joint venture between Swedish Space Corporation and Airbus, providing access to microgravity for ESA-contracted experiments. Sounding rockets are important to the scientific community as they offer research institutes a one-stop lab in which they can perform micro-gravity experiments. Technicians receive data and can adjust parameters thanks to real-time transmission to ground stations throughout the free fall time. Being able to launch, monitor and retrieve experiments in one day enables researchers to analyze their results almost immediately.

360 degree video of sounding rocket's Maxus 9 launch (YouTube / Airbus Defence and Space) Read the rest

Pretty drone footage of San Francisco Bay's vibrant salt ponds

If you've ever approached San Francisco's airport from the south during landing, you may have noticed the colorful salt ponds along the southern shore of San Francisco Bay. Read the rest

How to make a cool Iron Throne phone charger

Martina at Natural Nerd takes Game of Thrones fans through instructions on making a badass-looking Iron Throne phone charger. Read the rest

Watch wireless dominoes topple without touching each other

Eser Dominoes are an interesting proof of concept that won a juried award at the 14th Japan Media Arts Festival.

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Delightful animations of colorful distorted cars

Cut & Shut is the latest work by illustrator Chris Labrooy, showing whimsical imaginings of icon VW Beetles and other models come to life. Read the rest

Short documentary on Cleveland's disastrous 1986 Balloonfest

In 1986, Cleveland was desperate to put the nickname "Mistake by the Lake" behind them, so they tried to set a world record for a balloon release. Balloonfest takes us through the failures.

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Hilarious video on speedy package shipping options

The fine folks behind the series CrapShots did this very funny short clip called The Shipping, on the inevitable outcome of the race for faster packing shipping speeds.

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Watch pink legless lizards, mysterious dongs of the desert

The dongs of the deep have nothing on the hearty Mexican mole lizard, aka dongs of the desert.

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Engineers create smart glove that turns sign language into text

University of California San Diego engineer Timothy O’Connor led a team that developed a smart glove that turns the American Sign Language alphabet into text. The project used inexpensive off-the-shelf products totalling about $100. Read the rest

Here's the unusual creative process of Aphex Twin's anonymous visual artist, Weirdcore

As part of the Nicer Tuesdays series, Designer Weirdcore treats viewers to a rare historical overview of his concert visuals for Aphex Twin. Read the rest

Beautiful film on a Buddhist ritual only 46 monks have completed

The Kaihōgyō is a quest to become a living Buddha through 1000 days of gruelling rituals. Ivan Olita was granted rare access to a temple near Kyoto to film The Seven Year Pilgrimage to Enlightenment.

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Watch this artist repaint a Barbie doll to look like Wonder Woman

Watch as an off-the-shelf Barbie gets a superhero makeover in this delightful tutorial. Includes a list of materials used and a very relaxing voiceover. Read the rest

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