Shared posts

15 Mar 03:09

Seeing a cat walk on a treadmill chasing food basically sums up life

by Casey Chan on Sploid, shared by Casey Chan to Gizmodo

Seeing a cat walk on a treadmill chasing food basically sums up life

Seeing a smart cat walk on a treadmill to its plate of food tickles me more than it should. I scream out aww under my constant laughter. I must be a bad person. But let's be honest. Metaphorically, we've all been this cat before. We've seen our goal but we kept walking in place not knowing how to get there. Literally though, we should put a treadmill before every fast food restaurant so it'd motivate us all to be a little more healthy like this cat.

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22 Jan 15:24

Drug Tweaks Epigenome to Erase Fear Memories

by Virginia Hughes

A hurricane, a car accident, a roadside bomb, a rape — extreme stress is more common than you might think, with an estimated 50 to 60 percent of Americans experiencing it at some point in their lives. About 8 percent of that group will be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. They will have flashbacks and nightmares. They will feel amped up, with nerves on a permanent state of high alert. They won’t be able to forget.

One of the only effective treatments for PTSD is ‘exposure therapy,’ in which people are repeatedly exposed to their fear — such as a painful memory — in a safe context. This treatment works partly because of how our brain encodes memories. Whenever we actively recall a memory, it transforms into a pliable molecular state and becomes vulnerable to modification.

About half of people who get exposure therapy for PTSD get better. But that still leaves a lot of people who don’t. A mouse study published last week in Cell throws the spotlight on a drug that acts in concert with exposure therapy to help extinguish fear memories. The drug works by changing the epigenome, the chemical markers that attach to DNA and can turn genes on and off.

“It’s remarkable,” says Li-Huei Tsai, a neuroscientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who led the work. “If we inject a single dose of this drug it actually is sufficient to reactivate neuroplasticity.”

The drug works by changing the way DNA is expressed in the brain.

DNA wraps around proteins called histones. Image via Wikipedia

In order to fit into the nucleus of each cell, DNA wraps tightly around spherical proteins called histones. (You can see how in this animation.) Histones are littered with chemical groups, such as methyl and acetyl, that influence how nearby genes get turned on and off.

For many years, Tsai has been studying enzymes called histone deacetylases, or HDACs, which switch off genes by removing acetyl groups from histones. In 2012, she showed that one such enzyme, dubbed HDAC2, is overactive in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease and shuts down genes related to learning. In that study she also showed that blocking HDAC2 led to dramatic gains in the animals’ memory.

“HDAC2 is a master regulator of the expression of neuroplasticity genes,” Tsai says. “And HDAC inhibitors seem to be very beneficial for memory formation.”

In the new study, Tsai’s team investigated whether this enzyme is also involved in the way that fear memories cement themselves into brain circuits.

Mice don’t get PTSD, but they can acquire fear memories. Using so-called Pavlovian fear conditioning, researchers train the animals to fear a particular cue, such as a sound or smell, by pairing it with a mild shock to the foot. After a few trials, the animal freezes at the cue alone.

There’s also a mouse version of exposure therapy. After a mouse learns to fear, say, a certain tone, researchers can extinguish that fear by repeatedly playing the tone without a shock. Gradually the animal learns to associate the tone with the safer context.

But in mice (and, importantly, in some people with severe PTSD), this extinction therapy only works for recently acquired fear memories. If a fear memory is old, then no amount of retraining will erase the animal’s fear. “One of the major challenges in developing treatments for PTSD is that traumatic memories can persist for a lifetime,” notes Matt Lattal, a neuroscientist at Oregon Health and Science University who was not involved in the new study. “It is therefore critical that laboratory models of PTSD include this long interval between traumatic experience and testing.”

Tsai and her colleagues trained mice to fear a tone and then gave them extinction therapy either a day later or 30 days later. When extinction training happened a day later, the HDAC2 enzyme was inactivated in brain cells, the study found. With HDAC2 quiet, acetyl groups stayed latched on to histones and various memory genes stayed on. Presumably, this window of plasticity allowed the mice to un-learn the fear memory. In contrast, when extinction training happened 30 days later, the HDAC2 enzyme was active. It removed those acetyl groups, effectively shutting off neuroplasticity genes.

But here’s the exciting part. The animals were able to un-learn the fear memory 30 days after it was formed when the researchers paired extinction therapy with a drug that inhibits HDAC2, dubbed “CI-994.” It only took one dose, and the researchers saw no side effects, Tsai says. “We did a lot of control experiments to show that this mechanism doesn’t wipe out other memories. It really is very specific to the training condition.”

HDAC inhibitors are becoming a hot class of drugs. In 2012, Yossef Itzhak and his colleagues at the University of Miami reported that giving a different HDAC inhibitor to mice before they acquire the fear memory accelerates the extinction of the memory weeks later. “Hypothetically speaking, HDAC inhibitors may be useful prophylactics against the persistence of fear memory,” says Itzhak, who was not involved in the new study.

Researchers are investigating HDAC inhibitors for all sorts of other conditions, too, including heart disease, HIV, and cancer. Because HDAC enzymes are expressed all over the body, though, some experts are worried about their translation into the clinic.

“HDAC inhibitors have a wide spectrum of biological effects, and only when they will be targeted for the treatment of a specific malady [will] their therapeutic value be of great importance,” Itzhak says. ”The goal is to identify specific HDAC inhibitors which target specific brain circuits and genes.”

10 Mar 17:02

Mondays.



Mondays.

10 Mar 22:00

City-Dwelling Spiders Build Webs That Don't Work

by Ashley Feinberg

City-Dwelling Spiders Build Webs That Don't Work

In welcome news for urban arachnophobes everywhere, it turns out that certain types of spiders just aren't cut out for city life. Apparently, spinning webs on concrete and steel kills the vibrations spiders need to sense prey—meaning dinner ain't coming easy.

Read more...


    






11 Mar 10:00

Why Toothpaste Makes Things Taste So Awful

by Daven Hiskey - TodayIFoundOut.com

Why Toothpaste Makes Things Taste So Awful

You may think it might be the common mint flavor of toothpaste clashing with other flavors, but in the case of orange juice and many other things, this isn't actually what's going on. The culprit here is thought to be two compounds almost universally added to toothpastes -sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium lauryl ether sulfate, which are anionic surfactants, meaning they lower the surface tension of water.

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07 Mar 20:00

Broken: Furniture that Explores the Defects in Wood

by Caroline Williamson

Broken: Furniture that Explores the Defects in Wood

Finnish designer Jalmari Laihinen, aka byJalmari, explores the beauty of wood with all of its cracks, breaks, and defects, in a series of furniture called Broken. By allowing the true natural properties of wood to show through, wood becomes more than just the material that the pieces are made from.

Broken: Furniture that Explores the Defects in Wood in home furnishings Category

Wood with defects is often discarded and not used in the furniture making process, but Laihinen embraces them and treats these unique features as accents.

Broken: Furniture that Explores the Defects in Wood in home furnishings Category

Broken: Furniture that Explores the Defects in Wood in home furnishings Category

Broken: Furniture that Explores the Defects in Wood in home furnishings Category

Broken: Furniture that Explores the Defects in Wood in home furnishings Category

Broken: Furniture that Explores the Defects in Wood in home furnishings Category

Broken: Furniture that Explores the Defects in Wood in home furnishings Category








17 Feb 16:59

Pelikan Souverän Special Orders at GouletPens.com

by Brian Goulet


We carry a variety of brands and models at GouletPens.com, but there are so many more we don't yet have available right now. Pelikan is one of those lines that we've actually been authorized retailers of for a few years (we love their ink!), but we haven't dipped our toes into the high-end fountain pen line... until now.



We haven't completely taken the plunge to regularly stock the full line in our warehouse just yet, as it is incredibly extensive. So in the meantime, we've set up the most popular Souverän series up on our website as special order items, including the M600, M800, and M1000. This means you can add one to your cart and check out as normal, but instead of shipping your order immediately, we'll be placing an order in to the Pelikan distributor to order your specific pen. Once it arrives to us about a week or two later, we'll inspect it to make sure it looks good, even ink it up and test it per your request, and ship out your order in full at that time.



There are still many more Pelikan models available to us, as well as individual nibs units. We're happy to special order any of those as well - just shoot us an email and we'll be happy to get you a price quote. If you have any other questions, just email us or drop a note in the comments below.

 
Are you excited to see us expanding our Pelikan line? What's your favorite Pelikan pen?

Write On,
Brian & Rachel Goulet
18 Feb 05:00

February 18, 2014


Every damn time.
23 Feb 23:22

Making the Fletcher Capstan Table (by Morph Studio) Okay, I...



Making the Fletcher Capstan Table (by Morph Studio)

Okay, I want one of these.

27 Feb 14:05

Extra Credit

by Greg Ross

cooper malaria watercolors

In studying the parasitic protozoan Plasmodium ovale in 1954, English parasitologist William Cooper volunteered to receive the bites of about a thousand mosquitos, and nine days later underwent a laparotomy in which a piece of his liver was removed. On recovering, he stained the sections himself, located the malaria parasite stages in his own tissue, and painted these in watercolors to accompany the resulting article.

His coauthor, University of London protozoologist Cyril Garnham, wrote that Cooper “attained everlasting fame by this episode.”

(P.C.C. Garnham et al., “The Pre-Erythrocytic Stage of Plasmodium Ovale,” Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 49:2 [March 1955], 158-167)

(Thanks, Andrew.)

02 Mar 10:47

Trying to sneak in while your parents are sleeping.

06 Mar 02:00

Invisible Borders: Mirrored Picket Fence Blurs the Lines

by Steph
[ By Steph in Art & Installation & Sound. ]

Mirrored Fence Illusion 1

Mirrors typically represent a way of facing reality, but depending on where they’re placed, they can bend it to the point of surreality instead. Take, for example, this invisible fence, a striking illusion installed at the Storm King Arts Center by artist Alyson Shotz. Driving past it, you likely wouldn’t even notice it was there, though your eye might be caught by unusual glimmers – tricks of the light.

Mirrored Fence Illusion 2

Mirrored Fence Illusion 3

‘Mirror Fence’ is exactly as the title suggests; a reflective barrier in the shape of a picket fence that’s almost perfectly camouflaged in its environment. The illusion is so effective that you could probably walk right up to it, only realizing that the barrier exists when the reflection of your own legs comes into view.

Mirrored Picket Fence Illusion 4

Mirrored Picket Fence Illusion 5

Though her portfolio reflects a diverse range of shapes and media, Shotz unifies her work with a common aim to “give form to the invisible forces of nature.” Many focus on light itself, such as a sculptural examination of the dual nature of light (as it bears characteristics of both a particle and a wave) entitled Geometry of Light, and a digital animation called ‘Fluid State’ that captures an ocean of reflective spheres over a dawn-to-dusk cycle.

Mirror House Illusion

The installation calls to mind another recent project, ‘Lucid Stead’ by Phillip K Smith III, wherein an abandoned home in the desert was fitted with mirrors that make up doors, windows and long horizontal siding to create the illusion of ghostly floating wood.


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Mirrored Street Facade Art Turns Pedestrians into Acrobats

At first: vertigo. You are moving along the sidewalk, when suddenly you see the front of a structure, only on its side, extruded from the ground below you. Click Here to Read More »»


Reflections on Nature: Mirrored Gate Leads to Another World

Step through the looking glass and into an understated art project that turns a simple passageway into a lighthearted journey back to childhood wonder. Click Here to Read More »»


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[ By Steph in Art & Installation & Sound. ]

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07 Mar 19:21

Banana Bread, Brie and Chocolate Grilled Cheese.

by Jessica

This is why facebook is the devil.

Banana Bread, Brie and Chocolate Grilled Cheese I howsweeteats.com

I had banana bread.

I wanted chocolate.

A day doesn’t go by where I don’t desire cheese.

Frankly, my banana bread was a bit stale. Which is a feat in itself because that means we didn’t eat an entire loaf in 34 seconds.

Why aren’t loaf pans made much larger? Like, instead of 9×5 inches, it should probably be 2×4 feet. THEN no one would have the problem of eating the entire loaf of banana bread the same day it’s made.

I know it isn’t just me.

Banana Bread, Brie and Chocolate Grilled Cheese I howsweeteats.com

Anyhoo. Even I thought that banana bread grilled cheese was a bit out there. I asked on facebook & twitter if I should do such a horrid thing. And you thought that I should.

I relish in the fact that you are weird too. We SO like all the same things.

I’m such a grilled cheese freak. Grill all the bread, all the cheese. I want it 24/7. I’m even teaching a class on it in two weeks!

Banana Bread, Brie and Chocolate Grilled Cheese I howsweeteats.com

Um, also, how cute are my metallic rose goldy mugs? My friend Laura sent me one of them and I, of course, had to buy one from Starbucks during the holiday season and they pretty much make my day. Pretty things.

Life is so much better when things are pretty.

Banana Bread, Brie and Chocolate Grilled Cheese I howsweeteats.com

If you love sweets and cheeses, you’ll die. Melty brie, dark chocolate. I used a banana bread recipe that you can find in my cookbook later this year, but I have lots of others here. Perhaps we should try the bacon one…

Since banana bread is soft yet dense, the entire slice doesn’t crisp up like regular crusty bread. You need a thick slice, after all, for this to work. You can make the sandwich like a regular old grilled cheese OR you can butter both sides, fry both sides, then stick the cheese and chocolate in the middle and keep it over low heat until the insides melt.

The insides melt. Now that sounds delicious. Hmmpf.

Except it so is.

Banana Bread, Brie and Chocolate Grilled Cheese I howsweeteats.com

Banana Bread, Brie and Chocolate Grilled Cheese

Yield: serves 2 appropriately, 1 obnoxiously

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

4 slices banana bread (if it's slightly stale, even better!)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened for spreading
6 ounces brie cheese
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

Directions:

Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Butter the outsides of the banana bread, and place one slice butter-side down in the skillet. Immediately top the slice with some cheese, a bit of chocolate, and a little more cheese. I like to always have cheese on both sides to act like "glue" - it helps hold the sandwich together when flipping. Cook until both sides are golden and the cheese and chocolate is barely melted, about 4 minutes per side. If the cheese is melting slowly, I like to reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the skillet - just make sure to watch the sandwich because the sides cook more quickly.

Banana Bread, Brie and Chocolate Grilled Cheese I howsweeteats.com

Yep. I did that.


© How Sweet It Is

22 Feb 20:35

It worked.

08 Feb 16:30

A squirrel attempts to hide a nut in the fur of a Bernese mountain dog

by Robert T. Gonzalez

A squirrel attempts to hide a nut in the fur of a Bernese mountain dog

This one does exactly what it says on the tin, folks. And yes, it is the best thing.

Read more...


    






11 Feb 15:19

Lost City found Underwater in China

by Donnia

Qiandao Lake est un lac artificiel localisé à Chun’an County, en Chine, dans lequel des archéologues ont découvert en 2001 les ruines d’une ville enfouie sous l’eau. La ville, nommée « Lion City », se situe entre 26 et 40 mètres de profondeur. Il y aurait eu 290 000 habitants pendant plus de 1300 ans.

Lost City found Underwater in China 9 Lost City found Underwater in China 8 Lost City found Underwater in China 10 Lost City found Underwater in China 7 Lost City found Underwater in China 6 Lost City found Underwater in China 5 Lost City found Underwater in China 4 Lost City found Underwater in China 3 Lost City found Underwater in China 2 Lost City found Underwater in China 1
11 Feb 02:05

Everyone’s an architect: 11 jobs common only in romantic comedies

by Archinect

Lonely male architects star in The Lake House (Keanu Reeves), The Last Kiss (Zach Braff), Three To Tango (Matthew Perry), Sleepless In Seattle (Tom Hanks), My Super Ex-Girlfriend (Luke Wilson), Love Actually (Liam Neeson), Just Like Heaven (Mark Ruffalo), and It’s Complicated (Steve Martin)—apparently, architecture is a good cipher for “sensitive, but not girly.” Few of those men ever worry about the job market...



08 Feb 20:01

larabarakara: I was studying in my room, turned around to grab something and saw this… So,...

larabarakara:

I was studying in my room, turned around to grab something and saw this…

image

So, basically, this is not my cat. 

image

But she’s all like chillin’ in my bed like she pays rent.

image

How the did she even got into the freaking house. WHO ARE YOU CAT?

08 Feb 06:25

Dreamed Up

by Greg Ross

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:FictionalAgloeNewYork.PNG

In composing a state map of New York in the 1930s, the General Drafting Company wanted to be sure that competing mapmakers would not simply copy its work. So the company’s founder, Otto G. Lindberg, and his assistant, Ernest Alpers, scrambled their initials and placed the fictional town of Agloe at the intersection of two dirt roads in the Catskills north of Roscoe.

Several years later, they discovered Agloe on a Rand McNally map and confronted their competitor. But Rand was innocent: It had got the name from the county government, which had taken it from the Agloe General Store, which now occupied the intersection. The store had taken the name from a map by Esso, which had (apparently) copied it from Lindberg’s map. Agloe had somehow clambered from imagination into reality.

Similarly, in 2001 editors placed a fake word in the New Oxford American Dictionary as a trap for other lexicographers who might steal their material. Fittingly, the word was esquivalience, “the willful avoidance of one’s official responsibilities; the shirking of duties.”

Sure enough, the word turned up at Dictionary.com (it’s since been taken down), citing Webster’s New Millennium Dictionary.

And as with Agloe, the invention has taken on a life of its own. NOAD editor Christine Lindberg, who coined esquivalience, told the Chicago Tribune that she finds herself using it regularly. “I especially like the critical, judgmental tone I can get out of it: ‘Those esquivalient little wretches.’ Sounds literate and nasty all in one breath. I like that.”

05 Feb 22:03

Put Some Clothes On, Creepy Sleepwalker Statue

by Laura Vitto
Weird-art-wellesley
Feed-twFeed-fb

This may be the last thing you'd want to bump into on a walk home from the campus library.

A sculpture of an underwear-clad sleepwalking man was recently installed at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, and has left students seriously creeped out with its lifelike appearance. Sculptor Tony Matelli created the nearly-nude statue, titled "Sleepwalker," as part of an ongoing exhibition at the school's Davis Museum, according to The Boston Globe.

Man in Underwear Statue

Image: AP Photo/Steven Senne/Associated Press

Not long after the sculpture's installation on Feb. 3, hundreds of students on the all-women's campus signed a petition to remove the art piece. Read more...

More about Art, Wtf, Weird, Us, and Watercooler
04 Feb 16:47

Doolittle Home that Looks Like a Bond Villain’s Lair On Sale in Joshua Tree

by Lidija Grozdanic
05 Feb 00:20

This weird visual trick is freaking the hell out of me

by Jesus Diaz on Sploid, shared by Casey Chan to Gizmodo

Have you ever heard about the Thatcher Effect? I just learned about it after seeing it in action—and it freaked me out. First watch the video, then read the explanation.

Read more...


    
05 Feb 05:00

The Weirdest Thing on the Internet Tonight: Conduit (NSFW)

by Andrew Tarantola

Mixing elements of Gothic horror and Film Noir with a healthy dose of face-melting psychedelics, Conduit will have you questioning your faith in a higher power and your own ability to sleep tonight.

Read more...


    






02 Feb 23:00

Pitcher Plants Glow under UV Light to Lure Insects to Their Doom

by John Farrier

(Photos: Rajani Kurup et al.)

Many carnivorous plants use tasty nectars, appealing scents and bright colors to attract insects into their traps. Scientists at the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute in India have discovered another method: tantalizing ultraviolet light.

Rajani Kurup, Anil John Johnson, Sreethu Sankar and Sabulal Baby discovered that the mouth of the Nepenthes khasiana plant glows under UV light. Ants find this color, which is almost invisible to humans under normal conditions, very attractive.

The researchers exposed these pitcher plants to ants in a field. Some of the plant mouths were painted with an acetone coating that blocks UV light. These painted plants attracted few ants, indicating that the UV emissions are essential to luring prey.

-via TYWKIWDBI

03 Feb 23:22

This time-lapse makes me want to move to South Dakota

by Robert T. Gonzalez

This time-lapse makes me want to move to South Dakota

This is one of the most arresting compilations of landscape and astrovideography we've seen in ages. Titled "Huelux," created by photographer Randy Halverson, the video plays like a greatest-hits reel of natural phenomena in South Dakota, Wyoming and Utah.

Read more...


    






03 Feb 15:25

New Study Shows White Roofs are Three Times More Effective than Green Roofs at Fighting Climate Change

by Lidija Grozdanic

white roofs, white roofs climate change, sustainable white roofs, green roofs, scientific study, eco-friendly roofs, roof gardens, climate change, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Stanford University study, environmental study, heat island effect, reflective roofs

Green roofs offer a lot of environmental benefits – they provide additional insulation, reduce rainwater runoff, and can lower your electricity bill. However a new study suggests that roofs painted white might actually be more effective at fighting climate change. A study published in the Energy and Buildings Journal compared three types of roofs – green, black and white – and came to the conclusion that white roofs have great economic benefits, and they are also three times more effective than the other two at fighting climate change.

white roofs, white roofs climate change, sustainable white roofs, green roofs, scientific study, eco-friendly roofs, roof gardens, climate change, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Stanford University study, environmental study, heat island effect, reflective roofs white roofs, white roofs climate change, sustainable white roofs, green roofs, scientific study, eco-friendly roofs, roof gardens, climate change, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Stanford University study, environmental study, heat island effect, reflective roofs white roofs, white roofs climate change, sustainable white roofs, green roofs, scientific study, eco-friendly roofs, roof gardens, climate change, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Stanford University study, environmental study, heat island effect, reflective roofs


Read the rest of New Study Shows White Roofs are Three Times More Effective than Green Roofs at Fighting Climate Change


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Post tags: Climate Change, eco-friendly roofs, environmental study, green roofs, heat island effect, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, reflective roofs, roof gardens, scientific study, Stanford University study, sustainable white roofs, white roofs, white roofs climate change


    






29 Jan 02:00

Bike Tire Tent: Compact Travel Shelter Wraps Inside Wheels

by Urbanist
[ By WebUrbanist in Technology & Vehicles & Mods. ]

tire bike travel tent

For the cycling nomad, this design uses space you never knew you had, and helps free up room in front-of-handlebar baskets or on above-back-tire racks for other uses in the process.

tire deployed camping closeup

Designed by Chung-Jung Wu, Pei-Chun Chen & Li-Fu Chen, a specially-reinforced tire creates a void into which a biker can clip their travel tent for extended rides.

tire shelter wheel design

The easy-to-access clasps make it simpler and speedier to deploy the tent when you reach your temporary destination, rather than unwrapping it from a pack or unstrapping it from a fender platform.

tire tent fully open

Of even greater value to long-distance travelers: precious cargo space on your back and elsewhere on your bicycle is freed up for clothes and other essential gear.


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Walking Shelter: Sneakers Expand Into Human-Frame Tent

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[ By WebUrbanist in Technology & Vehicles & Mods. ]

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30 Jan 21:40

How the Architecture of Our Buildings Shapes the Germs Around Us

by Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan

How the Architecture of Our Buildings Shapes the Germs Around Us

We design buildings to make human lives better—but should we also design them to make bacteria healthier? A new study posits just that, suggesting that the microbial communities that live amongst us are deeply influenced by the design of our buildings. Wait—but aren't microbes bad? Not exactly.

Read more...


    






31 Jan 07:27

Canadian spy agency used airport WiFi to track travelers

by Sean Buckley
Questionable data collection isn't just for the US and Britain -- according to CBC News, Canada's own spy agency may have been tracking its citizens illegally too. Documents allegedly provided by Edward Snowden show that Communications Security ...
27 Jan 22:25

X-Ray Photographs of Plants and Animals

by EDW Lynch

X-Ray Photos of Nature

Netherlands-based physicist and photographer Arie van’t Riet applies his background in radiation physics to create colorized X-ray photographs of plants and animals. His prints are available for purchase.

X-Ray Photos of Nature

X-Ray Photos of Nature

X-Ray Photos of Nature

X-Ray Photos of Nature

via Lost At E Minor, Feature Shoot