The Marble Machine X project shows the value of the Youtube community

Marble Machine X is an ongoing project by Martin Molin of the band Wintergatan to create an amusingly-complex mobile marble-powered instrument. Read the rest

Degas-style studies of Tom Holland performing Rihanna’s Umbrella

The official Youtube video of Tom Holland's performance of Umbrella on Lip Sync Battle has over 28 million views:

Alice Zhang has created several studies:

Her webstore is currently featuring Blade Runner prints, but has no Tom Holland prints, yet. Read the rest

The potential number one NBA and NFL draft picks were both ruled ineligible by the NCAA

At the end of September, California enacted a new law that will allow college athletes to make money from endorsement deals starting in 2023:

the law creates an unrestricted market for others who want to use the athlete's name, image or likeness. Money could come in the form of major brands like Nike or McDonald's using the athletes in commercials. It could also come from small businesses like car dealerships putting an athlete on a local billboard or memorabilia shops paying an athlete to show up for an autograph session for fans. Athletes could also make money themselves by monetizing social media feeds, selling T-shirts online or advertising to give lessons in their sport to younger kids. The new law allows athletes to hire an agent to help manage the process.

Among the voices speaking out was Ohio State University's athletic director who cautioned the move would lead to California schools being excluded from the NCAA:

if Newsom signs the bill, schools in California are "going to have a model where they can almost pay for play – not quite – but I think they’re going to be challenged to maintain their membership in the association because, as an association, we have the authority as a group to make our own rules and regulations, and they will be outside those rules and regulations. So, I’m not quite sure how they will stay in the association."

As reported by USA Today, the athletic director specifically expressed concern California schools would have an unfair advantage:

And how those schools will compete against those schools in California who have an unfair advantage because they’ll be able to offer student-athletes benefits that the other schools will not be able to offer.

Read the rest

La Machine's giant fire-breathing dragon

La Machine's new creation is Le Dragon de Calais:

From the 1st to 3rd of November, 2019, the City of Calais will discover Le Dragon de Calais during spectacular celebrations. Freed from the subterranean worlds, the Dragon of Calais is heading for the city. This new creation built by La Machine Company will roam the city, manipulated by 17 people who give him life. This big show in the streets of Calais will be the festive prologue to the dragon’s public introduction as a «City Machine» : La Compagnie du Dragon.

Here it is in action:

Read the rest

Death Stranding stop motion short film features a lot of naked Norman Reedus

In honor of Hideo Kojima's new game Death Stranding, Matthew "SpartanUruk" Lai created custom Norman Reedus and Mads Mikkelsen figures and various props:

He used those creations to make this suitably weird stop motion short film:

And speaking of Death Stranding, The Onion:

Read the rest

Scientists are trying to design a chili pepper that's easily-harvested by machines

This week, 99% Invisible and Rose Eveleth focus on chili peppers. Picking chili peppers is back-breaking work, and increasingly farm owners can't find anyone willing to do it:

Farms across the United States are reporting shortages of labor. Since 2002, the number of immigrants coming into the United States to work in agriculture has dropped by 75 percent. In California, one survey found that 56 percent of farmers were unable to hire enough workers.

Green chili peppers are particularly difficult to pick:

Green chilis are just unripe red chilis which means that the seeds inside of them aren’t ready to germinate yet, so the plant doesn’t want to give the fruit up, and it holds onto it more tightly.

As a result, farmers are planting fewer chili peppers:

In 1997, New Mexico farmers planted over 30,000 acres of chilis. Last year, there were only 8,400.

Efforts to design chili pepper-picking robots have largely failed:

Instead of picking the peppers off the plant, the machine would literally rip up the entire plant and try to stuff it in its mouth, like some kind of mechanical toddler choking on a toy. Another machine they tested had the opposite problem — it was so gentle that it left 40 percent of the fruit on the plant.

So, scientists have set out to design a chili pepper that's easily-picked by a machine (like the Moses 1000 seen above):

Walker’s special peppers will need to have a few key traits, like stronger, deeper roots, more fruits hanging on the outside of the plant, and of course… good flavor.

Read the rest

The Notorious B.I.G. as MODOK sculpture

Inspired by an illustration of the Notorious B.I.G. by Adam Rosenlund:

Rafael Phillips created the Notorious MODOK:

He has since made it available in a gray version:

View this post on Instagram

Taking pre-orders for the grey NOTORIOUS M.O.D.O.K. ! $75.00 per unit! If you’re interested, message me at . The gold chrome is still $250.00 per unit, but now we got options baybeeee! Let me know which one you want in the email 🤙🏾 . . . #raph3d #sculpture #collectibles #biggie #lightboxexpo #statues #marvel #hiphop #3d #instaart #modok #3dprinting #sla #fineart #marvelcomics #zbrush #digitalart #3dmodeling #sculptor

A post shared by Raphael Imhotep (@jehutysan) on Sep 6, 2019 at 1:26pm PDT

And now he is working on Jay-Z as Galactus:

Read the rest

Tomb of a man doomed to spend an eternity with frogs eating his face

Has this made it into a Hellboy comic yet? The effigy of Francois I de la Sarra (died 1363), can be found in the Chapel of Sainte-Antoine at La Sarraz, Vaud, Switzerland:

The chapel, dedicated to Saint Antoine, founded by Francis I of La Sarraz, was built by his son Aymon III between 1360 and 1372 as the first urban chapel. It is classified as a historical monument. It is a Protestant temple located on the territory of the Vaud municipality of La Sarraz.

It's not just frogs covering his body:

(Via Helen McClory.) Read the rest

Zookeepers wear penguin disguises while caring for baby penguins (it's a sex thing)

Adventure World in Japan has a program raising emperor penguins.  In order to prevent parents from crushing babies, the staff cares for newborn chicks.  But to prevent chicks from imprinting on humans as their parents, which would discourage them from mating with other penguins when they mature, staff wear penguin disguises on their heads and one of their hands:

(Via Mulboyne.) Read the rest

Halloween night on the New York Subway

It's an annual tradition--Sai Mokhtari photographs the New York subway on Halloween.

Take a scroll through hundreds of photos from the last few years. Yes there are lots of Suicide Squad characters, but there's also a living bodega, Billy Mitchell from King Of Kong, Joanne the Scammer, and a woman dressed as the entire Zola Twitter story. Read the rest

Field biologist had a terrifying encounter straight out of Annihilation

If you've never seen Annihilation, it's outstanding and terrifying and on Amazon Prime.  For those who have seen the movie, read this anecdote by field biologist Emily Taylor about a frightening experience she had in Arizona:

Read what happened next in this thread.

Via Ed Yong. Read the rest

Corona Black is a stylish mech fighting game designed by two color blind brothers

Corona Black is an upcoming turn-based mech fighting game with black and white graphics.

Art director Ota Imon explained the look:

“The black and white style was mostly because me and my brother, we’re color blind,” said Imon in a phone call with GamesBeat. “I didn’t want to work with colors, because it would be so much trouble for us. So I just got lazy and figured, we could do things the way we wanted, without worrying about that.”

In between battles, you can explore the story and improve the mech:

There's a PC demo from 2018, and a brand new trailer:

The immediate plan is to release the game for home consoles. Read the rest

Homebrew animated Eye of Sauron

Mike Christian built a rooftop animated Eye of Sauron:

He was inspired by the Animated Snake Eyes Bonnet for Raspberry Pi project, and posted several progress videos:

He spoke a bit more about the project here. Read the rest

There's a bleached coral Pokemon in the next Pokemon game

Pokémon Sword and Shield comes out later this month. If a recent leak of the Pokemon included in the game is to be believed (and people are certainly acting like the leak is reliable), then the game will include what looks like bleached coral Pokemon. Ghost type Galarian Corsola and Cursola:

They certainly won't be the only pollution-related characters. Here are poison gas Pokemon:

For more grim Pokemon, check out this article on "The extremely dark, disturbing origins of 25 Pokémon."

(Bleached coral via Wikipedia.) Read the rest

The best thing in wrestling right now is a hilarious troll who looks like Ryan Gosling

Oh it's exciting when a wrestler strikes gold with a ridiculous gimmick.  Fandango's refusal to wrestle, the taunting tranquilo pose, Damien Sandow's turn as the Miz's stunt double "Mizdow":

And although ESPN insists on covering wrestling as a sport, this is the correct take:

Right now, the best gimmick in wrestling is Orange Cassidy, a guy who mostly wrestles with his hands in his pockets, but still manages to show impressive athleticism. Listen to the crowd's enthusiasm for his antics:

At a recent bar match, he and Priscilla Kelly dressed as one other:

His look works for Halloween, too:

Read the rest

Teens making fun of their own sports bloopers on Tiktok is wholesome fun

I imagine that many of these videos were originally filmed by parents disappointed in the outcome, only to be rescued by teens who realized their failures could be spun into gold:

There's more sports bloopers under #highlightreel at Tiktok. Read the rest

Hammacher Schlemmer is selling a $95,000 Hippopotamine Sofa

The holidays are right around the corner, so here are some gems from Hammacher Schlemmer's current offerings.

The Handcrafted Hippopotamine Sofa is listed at $95,000 and "requires over 400 hours to make due to the intricate design and the artist’s painstaking attention to detail."

The Mini Monster Truck is listed at $125,000, promises a top speed of 25 MPH, and includes a "nitrous oxide system for immediate acceleration that enables easy jumps over obstacles."

The Exotic Virtual Adventure Run is $8,000 features a concave monitor loaded with "the otherworldly landscapes" of California’s Joshua Tree National Park, the Pacific coastline, a rustic lakefront village, and Area 51.

The Canine's Passive Solar Condominium is $37,000 and designed to evoke "the passive homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright."

But perhaps the strangest item is the Marble Machine Orchestra, listed at $95,000:

This is the mechanical musical apparatus made in Sweden that generates mellifluous melodies with a multitude of marbles. Constructed from birch plywood and steel, it is comprised of gears, pulleys, tracks, lifting fingers, and funnels that work in concert to generate the precisely timed release of marbles which strike instruments. The entire operation begins by turning the handcrank to set the 18" flywheel into motion, which stores rotational energy and provides the musician a way to keep even time. Working similarly to a music box, the machine's marbles strike the keys of the built-in vibraphone, the four strings of an electric bass guitar, a kick drum, snare drum, hi hat, one-stringed modulin, and a sizzle cymbal—the operator pushes/pulls a series of levers to activate/deactivate a particular instrument.

Read the rest

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