Watch this excellent 1977 documentary about makers and mad inventors

Directed by Howard Smith, "Gizmo" (1977) is a delightful collection of mid-century newsreels celebrating ingenuity, invention, and the eccentric minds who make their wild ideas real.

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A deeply unsettling GIF

Click play below and, er, enjoy.

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Some Silicon Valley residents with incomes up to $400,000 consider themselves "middle class"

The Palo Alto Weekly in Silicon Valley asked more than 250 residents of that city "How do you define your social class?" From the survey results (PDF):

Seventy-five identified themselves as "upper middle class." Their self-reported incomes ranged from $50,000 to $400,000 or more (with one retiree reporting $35,000-$49,999)... Eighty-one people considered themselves "middle class." Their self-reported incomes ranged from $10,000 to $399,999....Seventeen considered themselves "lower middle class" or "working class." Their self-reported income ranged from $35,000 to $349,999. Four reported being in the "upper class," three of whom reported earning $400,000 a year or more (the fourth is retired).

Eighty-nine people declined to answer the question or wrote their own answers, including that they were "disenfranchised," "former middle class" and "survivors in an unjust capitalist society."

"The meaning of 'middle class'" (Palo Alto Weekly)

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3D printed body parts for transplant

Anthony Atala, director of Wake Forest University’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine, is developing techniques to 3D print human organs for transplant using an individual's own cells as the "ink." That way, the transplanted organ won't trigger the patient's immune system to reject it as a foreign body. From National Geographic:

(For example,) to create an ear, the printer lays down a pliable, porous scaffold made of hydrogel, a kind of polymer. The scaffold is covered with skin cells and cartilage cells, which grow and fill in the ear-shaped form. The hydrogel eventually biodegrades; after about six months the ear is composed entirely of human cells.

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Watch Depeche Mode live on TV in 1982

On November 24, 1982, Depeche Mode, touring Europe for their second album "A Broken Frame," performed on the Swedish television show Casablanca. (via r/ObscureMedia)

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Make your own Alexa-controlled toilet

Inspired by the $6,000 Alexa-controlled toilet at CES, Jonathan Gleich hacked together his own one-tenth the cost. The base of this smart throne is the Brondell Swash 1400 Luxury Bidet Toilet Seat, available for $650 from Amazon. The other components are a $46 auto flusher, $23 infrared link, and $17 Adafruit Feather HUZZAH microcontroller.

Gleich posted directions to make your own over at Instructables: "Alexa Controlled Toilet"

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Incredible sunrise seen from the International Space Station

Astronaut Scott D. Tingle tweeted this postcard from the International Space Station a few days ago. Now that's a room with a view. From NASA's Instagram account:

He posted the moment to social media with the modest caption, “Sunrise over the South Pacific.” The International Space Station and its crew orbit Earth from an altitude of 250 miles, traveling at a speed of approximately 17,500 miles per hour. Because the station completes each trip around the globe in about 92 minutes, the crew experiences 16 sunrises and sunsets each day! Six humans are currently living and working on the International Space Station conducting important science and research that will not only benefit life here on Earth, but will help us venture deeper into space than ever before. As of last week, the latest crew members had completed more than 100 hours of science, breaking the record for hours of research conducted.

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Absolutely brutal single color jigsaw puzzles

These Japanese single color jigsaw puzzles are appropriately named "Pure Hell." They're available with 1,000 or 2,000 tiny pieces, black or white.

Pure Hell jigsaw puzzles (Amazon via Laughing Squid)

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Yale student who secretly lived in ventilation shaft

In college and grad school, I knew several students who couldn't afford housing and "lived" in the student lounges (showering in the rec center) and one guy who pitched a tent in the hills near campus. But this story of Allan Kornfeld who lived in a Yale ventilation shaft from 1963 to 1964 is the closest I've seen to Lazlo Hollyfeld's secret lair in the classic 1985 film Real Genius.

Kornfeld had hidden the entrance to the ventilation shift by covering the entrance with brick-patterned wallpaper. He left his DIY dorm room after graduation and shared his story with the press.

"It was a little cold," he said.

More at Weird Universe: "Unauthorized dwelling at Yale"

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Model of Manhattan made from recycled electronics

Zayd Manck constructed this incredible model of midtown Manhattan entirely from recycled electronic components. The astounding diorama is 165 x 80cm (5'5" x 32"). (via Neatorama)

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Incredible collection of 3D drawings that appear to rise out of the paper

Hungarian illustrator Sándor Vámos is a master of anamorphic illusions, 3D drawings that emerge from the paper. Don't miss his time-lapse videos either.

(via Laughing Squid)

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Unappetizing vintage food photos

I find food photos on Instagram to be boring, but not Tom Kelley's vintage food shots from the Getty Images archive. These photographs provoke a gut-wrenching emotional response in me. #nofilterneeded

"10 Vintage Food Photos That Will Make You Squirm" (Thanks, Ben Cosgrove!)

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Watch these teachers' rad personalized handshakes for every student

Above, Jerusha Willenborg of Wichita, Kansas's Mueller Elementary. Below, Barry White Jr. of Charlotte, NC's Ashley Park Elementary School. It reminds me of my daughter's wonderful second grade teacher Ms. Foskett who at the end of every day took a moment to say goodbye to each student individually however they preferred, with a verbal "bye," hug, handshake, simultaneous clap, high-five, etc. I liked watching this ritual because you could really see in the kids' eyes the connection Ms. Foskett made with each one of them.

(via Kottke)

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Carl Sagan and the Pale Blue Dot, Valentine's Day 1990

In 1990, once NASA's twin Voyager probes had completed their grand tour of the solar system, it came time to shut off their cameras to preserve power and memory for the other scientific instruments onboard. But before that happened, there was one last photo opportunity not to be missed. Carl Sagan, a member of the Voyager Imaging Team, persuaded NASA engineers to turn Voyager I’s cameras back toward the sun and take the first ever ”portrait” of our solar system from outside of it. Taken on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1990, thirty-nine wide-angle views and twenty-one narrow-angle images were combined into the single mosaic image below, a “Solar System Family Portrait,” albeit without Mars, Mercury, or Pluto. Centered in a scattered light ray caused by sunlight in the camera’s optics is a tiny speck, just .12 pixels in size, seen in the image above. That’s Earth from 4 billion miles away -- the “pale blue dot” as Sagan called it.

“There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world,” Sagan wrote. “To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

Below, Sagan's inspiring Pale Blue Dot speech:

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See a single atom in this magnificent photograph

See the tiny dot in the center of the photo above? That's a single strontium atom, visible to the naked eye. University of Oxford quantum physicist David Nadlinger's photo (full image below) won this year's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council's scientific photography competition.

“The idea of being able to see a single atom with the naked eye had struck me as a wonderfully direct and visceral bridge between the miniscule quantum world and our macroscopic reality," Nadlinger says. "A back-of-the-envelope calculation showed the numbers to be on my side, and when I set off to the lab with camera and tripods one quiet Sunday afternoon, I was rewarded with this particular picture of a small, pale blue dot.”

From the EPSRC:

'Single Atom in an Ion Trap’, by David Nadlinger, from the University of Oxford, shows the atom held by the fields emanating from the metal electrodes surrounding it. The distance between the small needle tips is about two millimetres.

When illuminated by a laser of the right blue-violet colour the atom absorbs and re-emits light particles sufficiently quickly for an ordinary camera to capture it in a long exposure photograph. The winning picture was taken through a window of the ultra-high vacuum chamber that houses the ion trap.

Laser-cooled atomic ions provide a pristine platform for exploring and harnessing the unique properties of quantum physics. They can serve as extremely accurate clocks and sensors or, as explored by the UK Networked Quantum Information Technologies Hub, as building blocks for future quantum computers, which could tackle problems that stymie even today’s largest supercomputers.

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Enjoy the slo-mo thrill of a kid jumping on an ice-covered trampoline

Michelle McNew: "My crazy kid jumping on his buddy’s ice covered trampoline"

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Burberry announces new rainbow flag plaid and support for LGBTQ charities

On Saturday at London Fashion Week, Burberry will reveal its new collection featuring a rainbow plaid that the company says celebrates LGBTQ communities. They've also announced support for three LGBTQ charities.

"My final collection here at Burberry is dedicated to - and in support of - some of the best and brightest organisations supporting LGBTQ+ youth around the world," says Burberry chief creative officer Christopher Bailey who is leaving the company after 17 years. "There has never been a more important time to say that in our diversity lies our strength, and our creativity."

From the BBC News:

The Albert Kennedy Trust is being helped by the fashion house. It works to support young homeless LGBT people in the UK.

It says it's overjoyed to be receiving a generous donation from the brand - saying it will make a big difference to them.

"This announcement gives voice to a large and influential community about the importance of raising awareness of LGBT youth homelessness," it added.

The International, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association is also being helped by Burberry.

The third charity receiving funding is The Trevor Project - a US organisation that works to prevent suicide among the LGBT community and young people questioning their sexuality.

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