Shared posts

11 Jun 15:01

Must-see morning clip: John Oliver takes over “The Daily Show”


Yeah. That's pretty funny.

John Oliver made his debut as interim host of "The Daily Show" on Monday, taking a beat to note Jon Stewart's absence and "acknowledge for a moment that this is weird" before diving into news of the Obama administration's massive surveillance program.

So much for easing into the job.

"Are you f--cking kidding me? Jon's been gone one day! We had such a fun, gentle first show planned for you! ... Jon Stewart is barely out the door and it turns out that not only is the government taping everyone's phone calls, but that's only the tip of the sh--tberg," Oliver said, sounding every bit as righteously angry as Stewart would have -- only, you know, British.

Continue Reading...


10 Jun 05:28




05 Jun 15:20

Tea Partier backtracks on GOP “doesn’t want black people to vote” comments


Wow. Just. Wow.

Texas Tea Party activist Ken Emanuelson said his comments about Republicans not wanting black people to vote were a "mistake," and that he shouldn't have expressed what is just his "personal opinion."

“I’m going to be real honest with you,” Emanuelson said in May at an event for the Dallas County GOP. “The Republican Party doesn’t want black people to vote if they are going to vote 9-to-1 for Democrats.”

The Dallas Morning News reports that Emanuelson backtracked on his remarks in a statement:

Continue Reading...


31 May 17:21

A Full Scale Lego T-800 Terminator Sent Back In Time To Blow Our Minds

by Andrew Liszewski


A Full Scale Lego T-800 Terminator Sent Back In Time To Blow Our Minds

We wholeheartedly approve of this recent trend of perfect 1:1 scale Lego creations. First, it was the Lego X-Wing which tipped the scales as the largest Lego creation ever assembled. And now it's this smaller—though no less fantastic—full scale Lego T-800 Terminator model built by Martin Latta.



31 May 17:09

Ogle of the day


I didn't read the article. I'm only sharing for the picture.

As part of our competition asking readers to find the strangest, most interesting and invasive images available on Google Earth, we will be displaying a favorite entry daily, until we choose an overall winner.

Reader John sent this entry, noting "A group of friends apparently decided to put on wacky costumes and go for a little scooter ride the same day the Google Car was in town."

Continue Reading...


31 May 16:45

Watch a Scorpion Sting a Guy in Painful Slow Motion

by Casey Chan

The beauty of slow motion is that it lets you see and analyze every detail of anything in a much more digestible package. Explosions become a dance, athletic achievements become more thoughtful, life becomes even more interesting and idiotic behavior gets more hilarious. Watching a guy get stung by a scorpion in slow motion? Yeah, that's hilarious.



31 May 16:37

These First Photos of Atoms Bonding Were Taken Totally by Accident

by Brian Barrett


These First Photos of Atoms Bonding Were Taken Totally by Accident

What you're looking at above is the exact moment that atoms for a covalent bond. It's the first time this intricate single-molecule transformation has been captured in the act. It's a breakthrough, it's informative, in many ways it's beautiful. And it was taken by sheer dumb luck.



30 May 17:15

Google's Rad Skee-Ball Game Turns Your Phone Into Wii Remote

by Mario Aguilar

OMG....skeet ball was totally my arcade game in childhood. I must have this.

Google's Rad Skee-Ball Game Turns Your Phone Into Wii Remote

God bless the whimsical programers over at Google who are forever finding fun ways for us to waste our days. Click this link to check out the Chrome team's latest experiment, which pairs your computer and your phone so that you can play an awesome game of Skee-Ball. It's called Roll It, and it's wonderful.



30 May 16:33

10 Beautiful Minerals You Won't Believe Are Found on Earth

by Eric Limer


10 Beautiful Minerals You Won't Believe Are Found on Earth

We've all seen our fair share of rocks, and most of them aren't that pretty. The ones that are though, can be totally mind-blowing. Ryoji Tanaka, a Japanese photographer and chemist, likes to capture some of the most striking elements, minerals, and compounds in close-up (like the Uranium-containing cuprosklodowskite you see above) and the results are crazy awesome.



28 May 21:33

The Destruction of the Oklahoma Tornado As Seen by Google Maps

by Casey Chan

Wow. That's just fucked up. I've driven through several small cities that have been leveled by a tornado. I can't tell which way things look more fucked up.

This is beyond sad. If you've been keeping up with the tornado that leveled Moore, Oklahoma, you probably saw the destruction it left behind. It looked like a movie set war zone or the aftermath of the apocalypse. But it was real. Google released satellite imagery showing what the destruction looked like from above. It's not pretty.



28 May 21:22

Why We All Love Space Porn

by Jamie Condliffe

Some of this space porn even looks like vaginas!

There's something so beguilingly beautiful about images of space: those awe inspiring images that make us question our place in the universe. In this video, a team of astrophysicists take a look at why we all find them quite so amazing.



24 May 21:25

NASA Designs the Scientifically Perfect Space Meal

by Andrew Tarantola

Kick ass.

After being strapped onto the front of a 15-story controlled explosion and launched clear out of the atmosphere to live in an experimental laboratory orbiting around the Earth at thousands of miles an hour, the least NASA can do is give you a good meal.



21 May 18:08




21 May 15:37

Watch Chris Hadfield MacGyver Up a Game of Space Darts

by Ashley Feinberg


You thought Chris Hadfield turned his back on us when he left the ISS earlier this month, didn't you? For shame, internet patron, for shame. Hadfield may be safely back on Earth, but the otherworldly videos continue to surface. And in this one, you get to see him make himself a game of darts MacGyver style. In zero gravity. On a spaceship. Because he is Chris Hadfield, and he can do anything.



18 May 23:10

Amazing Sea Butterflies Are the Ocean’s Canary in the Coal Mine

Bugle-shell pteropod thumb

Bugle-shell pteropod

The shelled sea butterfly Hyalocylis striata can be found in the warm surface waters of the ocean around the world. Photo: © Karen Osborn

The chemistry of the ocean is changing. Most climate change discussion focuses on the warmth of the air, but around one-quarter of the carbon dioxide we release into the atmosphere dissolves into the ocean. Dissolved carbon dioxide makes seawater more acidic—a process called ocean acidification—and its effects have already been observed: the shells of sea butterflies, also known as pteropods, have begun dissolving in the Antarctic.

Tiny sea butterflies are related to snails, but use their muscular foot to swim in the water instead of creep along a surface. Many species have thin, hard shells made of calcium carbonate that are especially sensitive to changes in the ocean’s acidity. Their sensitivity and cosmopolitan nature make them an alluring study group for scientists who want to better understand how acidification will affect ocean organisms. But some pteropod species are proving to do just fine in more acidic water, while others have shells that dissolve quickly. So why do some species perish while others thrive?

It’s a hard question to answer when scientists can hardly tell pteropod species apart in the first place. The cone-shaped pteropod shown here is in a group of shelled sea butterflies called thecosomes, from the Greek for “encased body.” There are two other groups: the pseudothecosomes have gelatinous shells, and the gymnosomes (“naked body”) have none at all. Within these groups it can be hard to tell who’s who, especially when relying on looks alone. Scientists at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History are using genetics to uncover the differences among the species.

This effort is led by zoologist Karen Osborn, who has a real knack for photography: in college, she struggled over whether to major in art or science. After collecting living animals while SCUBA diving in the open ocean, she brings them back to the research ship and photographs each in a shallow tank of clear water with a Canon 5D camera with a 65mm lens, using three to four flashes to capture the colors of the mostly-transparent critters. The photographs have scientific use—to capture never-before-recorded images of the living animals—and to “inspire interest in these weird, wild animals,” she said. All of these photos were taken in the Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Mexico and California.


This gymnosome (Pneumodermopsis sp.) pulls shelled pteropods from their shells with a set of suckers. Photo: © Karen Osborn

Although sea butterflies in the gymnosome group, like the one seen above, don’t have shells and are therefore not susceptible to the dangers of ocean acidification, their entire diet consists of shelled pteropods. If atmospheric CO2 continues to rise due to the burning of fossil fuels and, in turn, the ocean becomes more acidic, their prey source may disappear—indirectly endangering these stunning predators and all the fish, squid and other animals that feed on the gymnosomes.

Fleshy pteropod

Cavolinia uncinata. Photo: © Karen Osborn

For years, sea butterflies were only collected by net. When collected this way, the animals (such as Cavolinia uncinata above) retract their fleshy “wings” and bodies into pencil eraser-sized shells, which often break in the process. Researchers then drop the collected pteropods into small jars of alcohol for preservation, which causes the soft parts to shrivel—leaving behind just the shell. Scientists try to sort the sea butterflies into species by comparing the shells alone, but without being able to see the whole animals, they may miss the full diversity of pteropods.

Fleshy pteropod

This may be the same species as the previous sea butterfly (Cavolinia uncinata), or it could be a different species that has gone unnoticed for decades. Photo: © Karen Osborn

More recently, scientists such as Osborn and Smithsonian researcher Stephanie Bush have begun collecting specimens by hand while SCUBA diving in the open sea. This blue-water diving allows her to collect and photograph fragile organisms. As she and her colleagues observe living organisms in more detail, they are realizing that animals they had thought were the same species, in fact, may not be! This shelled pteropod (Cavolinia uncinata) is considered the same species as the one in the previous photo. Because their fleshy parts look so different, however, Bush is analyzing each specimen’s genetic code to establish whether they really are the same species.

Pteropod egg case

Mass of Cavolinia uncinata eggs. Photo: © Karen Osborn

This string of eggs shot out of Cavolinia uncinata when it was being observed under the microscope. The eggs are attached to one another in a gelatinous mass, and, had they not been self-contained in a petri dish, would have floated through the water until the new pteropods emerged as larvae. Their reproduction methods aren’t well studied, but we know that pteropods start off as males and once they reach a certain size switch over to females. This sexual system, known as sequential hermaphroditism, may boost reproduction because bigger females can produce more eggs.

Limacina spiral

In the Arctic, this pteropod species (Limacina helicina) can compose half of the zooplankton swimming in the water column. Photo: © Karen Osborn

This pteropod (Limacina helicina) has taken a beating from being pulled through a trawl net: you can see the broken edges of its shell. An abundant species with black flesh, each of these sea butterflies are the size of a large grain of sand. In certain conditions they “bloom” and, when fish eat too many, the pteropod’s black coloring stains the fishes’ guts black.

Phonograph pteropod

The shell of Clio recurva is a perfect landing strip for a colony of hydroids. Photo: © Karen Osborn

Not only is the inside of this shell home to a pteropod (Clio recurva), but the outside houses a colony of hydroids—the small pink flower-like animals connected by transparent tubing all over the shell. Hydroids, small, predatory animals related to jellyfish, need to attach to a surface in the middle of the ocean to build their colony, and the tiny shell of Clio is the perfect landing site. While it’s a nice habitat for the hydroids, this shell probably provides less than ideal protection for the pteropod: the opening is so large that a well equipped predator, such as larger shell-less pteropods, can likely just reach in and pull it out. “I would want a better house, personally,“ says Osborn.


It was once thought that Clione limacina was found in the Antarctic and Arctic, but it’s likely that they are two separate species. Photo: © Karen Osborn

Gymnosomes are pteropods that lack shells and have a diet almost entirely composed of shelled pteropods. This species (Clione limacina), exclusively feeds on Limacina helicina (the black-fleshed pteropod a few slides back). They grab their shelled relative with six tentacle-like arms, and then use grasping jaws to suck their meal out of the shell.

  This post was written by Emily Frost and Hannah Waters. Learn more about the ocean from the Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal.

17 May 21:28

Explore the Dark Side of Your Desk With This Wooden Curiosity Model

by Andrew Liszewski


If you want a Curiosity rover of your own but don't quite have NASA's budget, you can save yourself $2,499,999,850 by going with designer Arnold Patrick Martin's beautiful wooden model. It doesn't move, the cameras don't work, and it probably won't survive a trip to Mars, but it's also only $150.



16 May 17:31

Cicada Recipes: Bugs Are Low-Carb, Gluten-Free Food

by John Roach

Gluten Free!

Cicadas bugging you? See our recipe ideas for the low-fat critters, including the new candied cicada cocktail.

15 May 19:36

Avoid the "What Do You Do?" Question to Keep Small Talk Intersting

by Eric Ravenscraft

When striking up conversations, try skipping the mundane questions like "What do you do?" Advice blog Wise Bread suggests asking things like "What do you get excited about?" instead.



15 May 18:58

How To Listen When Someone is Venting

by Tessa Miller

Even the most level-headed among us deal with anger and frustration at some point. A common reaction? Venting. We've all done it. But what's the best way to handle being on the receiving end of someone's vent session? Harvard Business Review's Mark Goulston explains.



15 May 14:34

The Incredible Dating Power of a Guitar Case

by Jeremy Dean

Post image for The Incredible Dating Power of a Guitar Case

Would you give this man your telephone number? (Don't let the guitar case influence you.)

In France there's a psychologist, Professor Nicolas Gueguen, who roams the North-West, asking young women for their telephone numbers—or at least his research assistants and experimental confederates do.

This isn't just to boost the national stereotype, but all in the name of science.

The results they've reported over the years confirm some things we think we already know and a few new insights. His experiments often involve approaching random strangers (usually women) in the street and asking them for something (usually their phone number). So far he's found that:

Now, in his latest experiment, he's been testing the pulling power of musicians. How much extra sheen does it give a man if he's carrying a guitar case when he asks a woman for her number?

Naturally women are pretty cagey when approached by random strangers in the street, so Gueguen et al. (2013) chose a young man who had been highly rated by a panel of women.

He was told to stand in a local shopping centre and approach women of between 18 and 22, without regard to their appearance, and say to them:

"Hello. My name’s Antoine. I just want to say that I think you’re really pretty. I have to go to work this afternoon, and I was wondering if you would give me your phone number. I’ll phone you later and we can have a drink together someplace."

Then he smiled and gazed into their eyes. The poor chap had to do this in three different conditions while holding either:

  • a guitar case,
  • a sports bag or,
  • no bag at all.

What happened was that when he wasn't holding anything he got a number 14% of the time. The sports bag, though, put women off and dropped his average to just 9%.

It was the guitar case that did the trick, bumping up his chances to 31%. Not bad at all considering he was approaching random strangers in the street.

So the mystical, romantic image of the musician had a pretty powerful effect. Well, it will until she discovers the guitar case only has a sports bag inside.

(No mention is made of what the young man did with all the telephone numbers, but I'm sure they were dealt with ethically.)

Image credit: Kris Kesiak

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Making Habits, Breaking Habits

In his new book, Jeremy Dean--psychologist and author of PsyBlog--looks at how habits work, why they are so hard to change, and how to break bad old cycles and develop new healthy, creative, happy habits.

"Making Habits, Breaking Habits", is available now on Amazon.

14 May 22:47

Was Commander Hadfield’s Performance of Space Oddity the Most Expensive Music Video Ever?

by Jamie Condliffe

Commander Chris Hadfield's cover version of Space Oddity took the internet by storm yesterday, but it got a lot of people thinking: does it amount to the most expensive music video ever made?



14 May 18:50

13 Images Reflected In Someone's Eye

by Mark Wilson

Everything we see has made its way through our eyes, which also means, there's a good chance that most of our lives is reflected in our eyes. Here are 12 fantastic images that celebrate that idea.



11 May 15:51

What Space Does to Each of Your Five Senses

by Robert Schoon

Commander of the International Space Station and awesome-stronaut Chris Hadfield just finished a weeklong series called “Senses in Space,” where he describes what spending a long time in space does to each of your perceptions. And apparently, space is generally pretty bad for you. In the following five videos, Hadfield talks about blurred vision, loss of taste, and other unpleasant effects of the low-gravity environment—but all with his characteristic good cheer.



09 May 17:50

This Lego Mashup of Volkswagen and Star Wars Works Surprisingly Well

by Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan

Well, it was only a matter of time before someone mashed up an icon of German engineering with an icon of the Galactic Empire.



09 May 17:45

This 7-Minute, Research-Based Workout Exercises Your Whole Body

by Melanie Pinola

OMG...I might actually have time for this.

Don't have an hour or even twenty minutes to exercise each day? You might not need it. This routine of 12 exercises is a complete workout based on the latest fitness research—and it only takes 7 minutes.



09 May 15:40

Getting ready for Cinco de fucking Mayo? It’s one of my favorite...


I'm going to start talking like this guy when I'm making food.

Getting ready for Cinco de fucking Mayo? It’s one of my favorite holidays for bad decisions. This year you might make a couple shitty judgment calls but don’t start with your margarita mix. You see how many goddamn ingredients are in those fuckers? Red 40? WHATTHEFUCKISTHAT? Artificial flavors? GO FUCK YOURSELF. Don’t be serving up disrespectful drinks.  



¾ cup tequila (optional, but who are you kidding?)

¾ cup grapefruit juice (about 1 grapefruit)

¼ cup lime juice (about 3 limes)

1 cup frozen strawberries (whole strawberries are really fucking hard to measure. It was about 8 medium sized strawberries but extra won’t hurt a thing)

1 ½ cups ice 

Blend that shit up. 

If your fruit wasn’t super sweet you might need to add a little something extra like a teaspoon or two of whateverthefuck sweetener you like to use is fine. Personally I like agave but you can use honey or sugar. Serve this up immediately.


Make about 32 ounces, enough to relax 2 people

07 May 15:46

Ohio kidnapping case: What we know now


That's just fucked up. I'm interested to see what else happens in this story.

Updated: 6:02 p.m.

Ashley Summers, who disappeared in 2007, remains missing after the discovery of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight. But investigators still believe she may be connected to the case, as CNN reports:

Since Ashley Summers disappeared, "there's been no legitimate sightings, no accessing social media, anything," Anderson said.

Former FBI agent Jennifer Eakin said authorities have long believed in a link in the disappearances of Summers and two of the women discovered this week -- Amanda Berry and Georgina "Gina" DeJesus. Eakin is now a case manager at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, which in 2008 held a comprehensive review of the cases with the FBI and Cleveland police.

"We did in fact believe there was an association between the Berry case and the DeJjesus case as well as the Summers case," Eakin said.

Updated: 5:28 p.m.

Charles Ramsey is being celebrated for his heroism after he helped Amanda Berry escape from Ariel Castro's home on Monday, breaking down the front door of the home where she was being held with two other women.

Continue Reading...


03 May 22:09

The Architecture of Abandoned Asylums Is Inherently Creepy

by Leslie Horn

I wonder if I could buy one of these places and live in it.

Jeremy Harris takes photographs and collects objects from abandoned mental hospitals as part of a project that started as a study in moral architecture of the 19th century, and evolved into a way to document theses places before they're demolished. Not surprisingly, it's incredibly haunting and insanely creepy.



03 May 21:34

This Stop Motion Movie Is Animated Using Individual Atoms

by Jamie Condliffe

Physics nerdgasm

Occasionally, researchers at IBM take a break from exploring the limits of data storage at the molecular level—and instead make stop motion films, animated entirely with individual atoms. This is the result.



03 May 17:17

Well, If It Angers the Pope…

by Hemant Mehta

I need that logo on a t-shirt.

Happy National Masturbation Month. As if you heathens don’t already celebrate year-round…

(via Joe. My. God.)