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17 Oct 23:17

Nancy by Olivia Jaimes for October 16, 2018

01 Oct 02:39

Clever Object Allows Photographers to Shoot Through Glass Without Unwanted Reflections

When I lived in New York, I'd occasionally see photography crews shooting store windows in SoHo. To eliminate reflections and window glare, they'd erect a gigantic black fabric screen behind the photographer. It looked like a real pain in the ass.

Another situation in which reflections are undesirable is when shooting through the window of an observation deck. Photographer Josh Smith, frustrated with reflection-marred shots he'd taken on a trip to Japan in 2015, thus invented this Ultimate Lens Hood:

Here are examples of how the ULH makes a difference:

It can also, if flipped back over the camera, offer some protection to the camera body from rain:

Smith also offers a ULH Mini for smartphones.

via PetaPixel

24 Aug 15:22

City to Repair Sink Hole After Residents Planted Tomatoes

by Miss Cellania

The pavement fell into a sinkhole on Poplar Plains Road in Toronto. City workers placed cones around it, but months went by with no repairs in sight. Then someone planted tomatoes in it! The neighbors began taking care of the garden, providing tomato cages and water for the plants. The plants grew and began producing tomatoes. The city continued to ignore the hole, until pictures were posted at reddit. Then CBC got hold of the story. The publicity got the attention of city officials. Last week, one day after the story hit the news, city officials were out repairing the hole. The tomato plants will be transferred to a community garden. -via Mashable

(Image credit: I-am-doggo)

18 Aug 04:27

A Fascinating Demonstration of the Delicate Craft of Restoring Damaged Fine Art to Its Former Beauty

by Lori Dorn

In March 2018, Jack Brandtman of Chicago Aussie shadowed second generation fine art conservator Julian Baumgartner of Baumgartner Fine Art Restoration in Chicago as he delicately restored a self portrait of Emma Gaggiotti Richards, an Italian painter whose work was popular with Queen Victoria. Baumgartner’s process, as shown, requires a delicate hand, an exacting eye and a great deal of patience.

ReMade in Chicago, Baumgartner Restoration is a second-generation art conservation studio in Chicago. Follow Julian as he completely restores a damaged painting.

From what Baumgartner shares on social media, the scope of the work appears to vary greatly. It can be a full repair of a badly damaged piece, a fix on a previous restoration, a re-inclusion of a missing character, a hand-painted replacement of oxidation cracks on the canvas or just a simple wipe down of a very dirty piece.

via The Kid Should See This

The post A Fascinating Demonstration of the Delicate Craft of Restoring Damaged Fine Art to Its Former Beauty appeared first on Laughing Squid.

12 Aug 04:41

The Two-Minute Wave

by Miss Cellania

(YouTube link)

Pro surfer Koa Smith caught a wave off Namibia's Skeleton Bay that took him for a nearly a mile! He surfed a single wave for a distance of 1.5 kilometers for two minutes that took him through eight barrels. It was captured on video, both from a drone and from Smith's own GoPro POV. Both videos are mesmerizing. 

(YouTube link)

My whole day surfing I try to InVision that one dream wave that I want to experience. I picture it clearly. What it will look like. How it will feel. The emotions pouring out of me when the wave is complete. Then this happen :)

-via Laughing Squid

21 Jul 14:01

Amazing things happened when 206 ugly vacant lots in Philly were landscaped

by Melissa Breyer
A new study measured the mental health of Philadelphia residents before and after blighted lots had been converted into green spaces.
17 Jul 05:02

Nancy by Olivia Jaimes for Jul 16, 2018

Nancy by Olivia Jaimes for Jul 16, 2018
15 Jul 23:24

Pink Pearl Apple

A Pink Pearl apple, on first glance, may cause some confusion. The skin of the small apple, is, after all, yellow-green, not pink. But like the pearls this variety of apple is named for, the beauty is hidden inside. Only by cutting open or biting into a Pink Pearl is the rosy interior revealed: often light pink, but sometimes a deep red.

The Pink Pearl is one of several red-fleshed apples. Bred in 1944 by horticulturist Albert Etter, it's descended from another shockingly red-interior apple, the appropriately named "Surprise." Etter bred dozens of apples with pink-and-red interiors, but many of his cultivars have disappeared. Luckily, the Pink Pearl has persisted, grown by orchardists in love with its sweet-tart taste and its burst of color.

14 Jul 05:55

Liquid Ass Finds Its Purpose

by Miss Cellania

Liquid Ass is a foul-smelling spray that was launched in 2005 for pranking purposes, although it was developed many years earlier, when the inventor was a high school student. People bought it, used it, and declared the unpleasant smell was worth it for the stories they were able to tell about it. But the spray is also in demand at medical schools and teaching hospitals because of its accuracy in replicating the smell of certain medical conditions and procedures.    

That’s why Kata Conde, an assistant nursing professor at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Kansas, started buying Liquid Ass for the simulation lab she runs for her students. It’s the only product she’s found that accurately captures the smells that come from our bowels, and she would know: she had a 30-year career as a nurse before becoming an instructor. Conde now uses Liquid Ass in teaching scenarios in which a patient has soiled themselves while trying to get out of a hospital bed, complete with chocolate icing to set the scene. It’s also good for practicing bowel surgeries, like colostomies, where surgeons divert some of the large intestine to a new hole in the abdomen.

“The smell hits you like a huge wall,” she says. “It’s something people react to when they first experience it. We see all kinds of faces.” In a real-life scenario, any kind of reaction to a stench like wrinkling or covering your nose would make a patient understandably embarrassed and uncomfortable. To successfully complete the simulation, students have to demonstrate that they’re capable of giving adequate care while maintaining professionalism.

Liquid Ass is also used by scientific labs and even the military. Read about the practical uses for the product at Quartz. -via Metafilter

13 Jul 14:57

Street network orientation in major cities

by Nathan Yau

Using OpenStreetMap data, Geoff Boeing charted the orientation distributions of major cities:

Each of the cities above is represented by a polar histogram (aka rose diagram) depicting how its streets orient. Each bar’s direction represents the compass bearings of the streets (in that histogram bin) and its length represents the relative frequency of streets with those bearings.

So you can easily spot the gridded street networks, and then there’s Boston and Charlotte that are a bit nutty. Check out Boeing’s other chart for orientation of major non-US cities.

See also Stephen Von Worley’s color-coded maps and Seth Kadish’s charts from 2014 that showed the same thing but used Census data instead of OpenStreetMap.

Tags: directions, streets

08 Jul 04:53

Convert an image to LEGO brick shopping list in R

by Nathan Yau
Julia S

to do

Every day you wish you could convert a picture of your family or a group of friends into a LEGO palette. Well wish no more. Ryan Timpe wrote a package that lets you input an image in R and get back a LEGO-ized version of it, along with an optimized, money-saving brick list.

Dreams come true. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Tags: image, LEGO, R

07 Jul 04:46

Immigration in the United States visualized as rings of tree trunk

by Nathan Yau

Pedro M. Cruz, John Wihbey, Avni Ghael and Felipe Shibuya from Northeastern University used a tree metaphor to represent a couple centuries of immigration in the United States:

Like countries, trees can be hundreds, even thousands, of years old. Cells grow slowly, and the pattern of growth influences the shape of the trunk. Just as these cells leave an informational mark in the tree, so too do incoming immigrants contribute to the country’s shape.

Feels real.

Tags: immigration, metaphor

07 Jul 01:27

Citroën’s new glasses can help reduce motion-sickness

by Sarang Sheth

Ever felt mildly sick on a long road trip? To distract yourself from the problem, you start watching a movie on the iPad or a video on the phone, but it only gets worse? Well, that’s because your brain gets signals from the cochlea in your ear that you’re in a vehicle accelerating forwards (or moving side to side as the car switches lanes or rides on bumps), but your eyes capture a phone or tablet screen, which isn’t moving relative to your body. This dissonance causes your brain to feel sick, as your eyes and ears present two different experiences.

Citroën’s SEETROËN (clever name alert) is quite an ingenious device designed to help create a balance between those experiences, so your brain doesn’t get confused. The quirky looking glasses (designed to be worn only while traveling) come with four rings on the front and side with a liquid suspended in them. When in a moving vehicle, the liquid moves around too (working a lot like the cochlea does), giving the brain a visual stimulus that helps it understand the way you’re moving. When the car moves from left to right, the liquid in the ring does too, informing your brain of the movement as you watch movies on a screen or read a book. The rings stay on the boundaries of your vision, allowing you to see normally, while the liquid rings on the periphery don’t obstruct your vision, they just help your brain synchronize itself, reducing 95% of your motion sickness in as fast as 10 minutes!

Designer: Studio 5.5 for Citroën

Click Here to Buy Now




Click Here to Buy Now

17 Jun 14:47

Employees who practice mindfulness meditation are less motivated, having realized the futility of their jobs

by Cory Doctorow
Julia S

hahahahaha. Maybe my company will stop offering this as an employee benefit

In the NYT, a pair of behavioral scientists describe a forthcoming Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes article (Sci-Hub mirror) that studied the effect of mindfulness meditation (a trendy workplace moral-booster) on workers' motivation and performance. (more…)

05 Jun 04:47

PEZ Visitor Center in Orange, Connecticut

PEZ Visitor Center.

Wandering around the enormous PEZ Visitor Center is like falling into a world overrun by the small, sugary bricks and their charismatic dispensers. The roughly 4,000-square-foot space is stuffed with anything and everything related to the classic American candy.

Thousands of PEZ dispensers stand on public display, so you can scour the collection to look for familiar characters and more unusual novelty ones. A scavenger hunt rewards keen-eyed visitors with a PEZ-themed prize.

While wandering around, you can spot a PEZ-themed motorcycle, the world’s largest PEZ dispenser, and vintage posters and trinkets that act like a timeline of PEZ history and evolution. The collection also offers more than a visual feast. You can indulge your taste buds and sample the many different candy flavors, including the original peppermint (the company’s name derives from the word "pfefferminzm,” the German word for “peppermint”).

The admission ticket includes a credit toward gift shop purchases and a nifty little PEZ lanyard. You can’t actually tour the manufacturing facility, but you can peep through the visitor center windows to catch a glimpse of the candy making in action.

26 May 14:36

Interactive animation of why NYC's subway is so slow

by Clive Thompson

In the last few years, the subway in New York has become clotted with delays. For just as long, the MTA -- the agency that runs the subway -- has claimed the reason was underfunding, rising ridership and overcrowding. Underfunding is a real thing, but ballooning riders isn't. Ridership has been mostly flat for the last five years.

So what's really the uptick in delays? Adam Pearce at the New York Times offers a better explanation: The MTA changed the rules of how trains run -- in a way that created gnarled, cascading slowdowns.

One rule: The spacing between trains had to be increased, because screwups in the signaling system made it hard to know precisely where the trains are. The second rule: If workers are at work on a line, the parallel lines running next to them have to slow down so they don't endanger those workers.

It's simple to state -- but hard to visualize. So the Times produced an amazing set of animations in their online story to show how these changes slow things down. About halfway the page, they really bust it out with an interactive element that lets you increase or decrease the number of temporary slowdowns on lines, so you can see how it causes ripple effects throughout the entire system.

Go check it out now if you can -- it's truly gorgeous and eye-opening.

I'm a huge fan of this sort of interactive stuff. Twenty years ago, during the first blush of Flash -- then the go-to tool for producing online animations -- I interviewed the head of the animation department at Sheridan College in Toronto, one of the world's top animation schools. He argued that we were about to see a renaissance in animation, because the tools for generating it were becoming easier (as with Flash, and today, with oodles of Javascript libraries and SVG elements) -- and the distribution was now global and instantaneous, via the intertubes. So the rhetorical power of animation, which had previously been limited to big animation houses, was going to start to spread out into everyday life.

He was insanely correct, and we're now beginning to see the fruits of that renaissance.

Major news organizations have long been fluent in wielding text, pictures and video. They've been using them for decades (centuries, in the case of text). They know their particular rhetorical strengths. But it's taken them longer to figure out the enormous explanatory force of a good interactive animation -- to wit, the ability to let people see, and muck around with, a complex system. But I see more and more of these wonderful experiments these days, and it's awesome.

(Thanks to Debbie Chachra for pointing this one out!)

26 May 05:45


by Evan Stewart

One major part of introducing students to sociology is getting to the “this is water” lesson: the idea that our default experiences of social life are often strange and worthy of examining. This can be challenging, because the default is often boring or difficult to grasp, but asking the right questions is a good start (with some potentially hilarious results).

Take this one: what does English sound like to a non-native speaker? For students who grew up speaking it, this is almost like one of those Zen koans that you can’t quite wrap your head around. If you intuitively know what the language means, it is difficult to separate that meaning from the raw sounds.

That’s why I love this video from Italian pop singer Adriano Celentano. The whole thing is gibberish written to imitate how English slang sounds to people who don’t speak it.

Another example to get class going with a laugh is the 1990s video game Fighting Baseball for the SNES. Released in Japan, the game didn’t have the licensing to use real players’ names, so they used names that sounded close enough. A list of some of the names still bounces around the internet:

The popular idea of the Uncanny Valley in horror and science fiction works really well for languages, too. The funny (and sometimes unsettling) feelings we get when we watch imitations of our default assumptions fall short is a great way to get students thinking about how much work goes into our social world in the first place.

Evan Stewart is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of Minnesota. You can follow him on Twitter.

(View original at

21 May 02:29

Members of a Tyrolean Choir Flick Their Tongues Back and Forth While Performing a Wordless Song

by Lori Dorn
Julia S

In case you missed this on Last Week Tonight

21 May 02:26

How to Sell a Mirror

by Miss Cellania

You are much more likely to sell something on the internet if you show it in a photograph. How do you take a picture of a mirror you're trying to sell? We've seen the photos of mirrors that show someone naked in the background, because those always go viral.

Yeah, the first thing I thought of is to take a picture of the mirror at an angle. Few people think of that, but many go the extra mile to get the picture without showing themselves. The results can be ridiculous.

Or the picture ends up showing the seller, but not in the way they would want to be seen. After all, the picture is of the mirror! Bored Panda has compiled a list of 63 pictures of mirrors for sale, ranked for their comedic value.  

17 May 05:31

Vlogger Turns His Hallway Into a Giant Ball Pit for His Beloved Dog With 5,400 Pit Balls from Toys R Us

by Lori Dorn

Dog Ball Pit 5400 Balls Toys R Us

YouTuber penguinz0 decided to go out to his neighborhood Toys R Us in order to see what kind of deal he could get at their going out of business sale. As it turns out, he was able to purchase colorful pit balls at a really cheap price, so he bought 5,400 of them and transformed his hallway into a giant ball pit for his beloved dog to enjoy.

I’m sure all of you know by now that Toys R Us …they’re going out of business they’re just giving away their fucking inventory for nothing … so I went there and they had these packs of 250 ball pit balls for like two dollars so I bought 5,400 of them bought being the wrong word I basically stole them from them … so what did I do with five thousand four hundred ball pit balls… I made my dog the happiest dog in the world.

via reddit

The post Vlogger Turns His Hallway Into a Giant Ball Pit for His Beloved Dog With 5,400 Pit Balls from Toys R Us appeared first on Laughing Squid.

14 May 02:29

This Everything Bagel Pasta Is Everything — Delicious Links

by Lauren Kodiak

When you think "breakfast for dinner," what comes to mind? Maybe pancakes? A frittata to use up scraps of veggies in your fridge? How about an everything bagel with cream cheese — in pasta form?


21 Apr 22:08

Here’s what you get when you cross dinosaurs and flowers with deep learning

by Nathan Yau

Neural networks have shown usefulness with a number of things, but here is an especially practical use case. Chris Rodley used neural networks to create a hybrid of a dinosaur book and a flower book. The world may never be the same again.

Tags: dinosaurs, flowers, neural network

11 Apr 02:24

A LEGO Clockwork Aquarium That Comes to Life With the Turn of a Crank

by Justin Page
03 Apr 04:47

Right Click

Right-click or long press (where supported) to save!
09 Mar 15:40

From Apartheid-Era Inmate to Tour Guide—at the Same Prison

by Christina Ayele Djossa

When Thulani Mabaso reflects on his six years at Robben Island prison, he thinks about the birds flying above him. During apartheid in South Africa, he along with inmates such as former presidents Nelson Mandela, Kgalema Petrus Motlanthe, and Jacob Zuma served terms ranging from six to 18 years at the notorious prison, which officially closed in 1996.

During his 2,190 days of incarceration, which ended in 1991, Mabaso had watched the Hartlaub gulls glide across the blue sky from his 8 foot by 7 foot jail cell, hoping he’d one day see them without bars in view. Now, he sees those birds every day as he ushers chipper tourists around the former prison turned museum.

On the bus tour, he points out the beautiful white lilies that inhabit this mostly submerged mountain juxtaposed with the limestone quarries where prisoners toiled rain or shine. As the tourists pass through the main gateway with the phrase “We Serve Pride” at the top, Mabaso remarks on how the prisoners built the entrance in the 1960s out of malmesbury slate from the island’s quarry.


When they reach Mandela’s cell, he stops for a moment, and watches the tourists clamor around the historic site while posing for pictures. Posted in a neighboring cell is the prisoners’ original weekly food menu. Prisoners were given a set amount of food based on their skin color. Asians and prisoners of mixed backgrounds got better gruel than black Africans, but just barely. Everything and everyone was separate and unequal.

When the tour is over, and the tourists have returned to Cape Town, Mabaso sometimes walks around to take in the sights or meets with his former prison warden turned Robben Island Museum employee Christo Brand. “Mabaso was a natural leader, and I came to depend on him to mediate with a troublesome group of the political prisoners,” wrote Brand in his autobiography. Later in the book, he wrote that “between us, Mabaso and I achieved some peace. We became good friends…”

They are still good friends. They often have dinner and conduct prison museum tours together. It’s a cycle he’s grown accustomed to and enjoys, but it’s a far cry from how his life once was on this very island.


In the 1960s, Mabaso seethed with rage under the oppressive, dehumanizing apartheid rule. When he was eight years old, the government forcibly removed his family from their home in the northeast coastal province now known as KwaZulu-Natal to a crowded township. His family shared the asbestos-filled shanty house with eight other families. He slept on the floor with his grandfather, who later died of a stress-induced heart attack.

At 16 years old, Mabaso saw hope in anti-apartheid leaders like Mandela and Walter Sisulu, and quickly joined the Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), the armed resistance of the African National Congress (ANC). With this group, he learned how to use AK-47s and explosives. He also learned the art of infiltration.

Mabaso got a job with the government-controlled South African Defence Force, and befriended many of the pro-apartheid co-workers who would soon be his targets. One Wednesday, he set off a mine bomb in the Defence Force building in Johannesburg. They didn’t see the attack coming. Fifty-seven people were wounded. In a 2013 interview, he said “I could have killed people, if I had wanted to. But our goal was to make a statement.”

Mabaso was 19 years old in 1983 when he was arrested on terrorism charges. While detained at John Vorster Square police station, he was waterboarded, given electric shocks while naked, and hung from a window. His interrogators threatened to drop him and claim he committed suicide. For his crimes, he was sentenced to 18 years in prison, three of which he spent at a Johannesburg prison. Then he arrived at Robben Island.


Wardens on the island were known for beating political prisoners, putting them in solitary confinement, forcing them to eat their own excrement, and other cruel forms of torture. In Robben Island’s brutality, however, Mabaso says he found a proud community and a new way to liberate himself and his country through education. “Robben Island prison was a real university,” says Mabaso. “Our slogan was very clear: ‘Each one for each one.’ We were very keen to help one another. We had our own career counseling.”

The pro-apartheid government sought to quell the anti-apartheid movement by sealing its activists away on a rocky island. But putting them in the same space emboldened their efforts.

With the help of Mandela, who by then had already been free for nearly a year, the ANC negotiated a deal with the then South African president F.W. De Klerk to release political prisoners. In 1991, Mabaso left a free man, and in 2002, five years after Robben Island Museum opened, he came back as a tour guide. He wanted to educate others about Robben Island’s brutal history, and prevent future atrocities.

It wasn’t easy. Everyday, he re-lived his trauma for tourists. The UNESCO heritage site suffered from mismanagement, corruption, and labor strikes. Some former prison guards, like Christo Brand, became tour guides, which added another emotional layer to his experience. “The wardens were so indoctrinated to believe that we were the most dangerous prisoners in the country, and that we wanted to take their country,” Mabaso says of his time in prison. “through the power of education and through our interaction, we were able to win some of them to be on our side, but it was kept secret all the time.” Brand and former captain James Gregory are a few examples.


According to Wesleyan professor Robyn Autry, the Robben Island tour is spatially designed to recreate the insular prison experience. Tourists come to the island via ferry, and then proceed with the bus and prison tour. From the quarries to Mandela’s cell, every movement is confined until the very end of the tour at an expansive dedication area. Autry says this museum sequence can be transformative for tourists. Tour guides who were formerly incarcerated are allowed to relate stories, but must follow government-approved guidelines on how to portray the prison. Most visitors are there to see Mandela’s cell and hear stories about him.

For Mabaso, spending time in the prison, though it’s now a tourist attraction, takes its toll. “The pain is existing still when I share with people,” he says. “Sometimes, I break out every other two minutes just to cool myself.”

Several psychological studies show revisiting and safeguarding traumatic places for generations can have rehabilitative effect on survivors. In the case of the Greek island of Ai Stratis, many political prisoners were exiled there from the 1920s until the 1960s under General Ioannis Metaxas’s military regime. Like with Robben Island, former exiles felt preserving this place of pain was instrumental for their healing. For Mabaso, however, that healing came gradually.


His commitment to keeping Robben Island’s memories alive helped him move forward. “We need to rewrite our history so former inmates come and interact with visitors and re-educate our children about the history of the country,” he says.

There’s a somewhat brighter side to seeing the island differently. Mabaso gets to look at the white lilies and Springbok antelopes that he could never see or touch. He used to think of the ocean as a 6-kilometer swim to freedom. Now, it’s just an ocean. While taking visitors on tours of his former daily struggles is painful, he hopes releasing his story out to the world will make people take action against institutionalized racism. “I am very pleased that I am still alive to see these days,” he says. “There are comrades who never see this day. For those who are still alive let us use our days properly.”

08 Mar 06:42

Lottery hacking, winning millions

by Nathan Yau

I always love a good lottery hacking story. Jason Fagone for The Huffington Post chronicles the winnings of Gerald and Marge Selbee, a retired couple from a small town in Michigan. It is a story of probabilities, expected values, and arduously buying a lot of tickets to maximize profits.

That’s when it hit him. Right there, in the numbers on the page, he noticed a flaw—a strange and surprising pattern, like the cereal-box code, written into the fundamental machinery of the game. A loophole that would eventually make Jerry and Marge millionaires, spark an investigation by a Boston Globe Spotlight reporter, unleash a statewide political scandal and expose more than a few hypocrisies at the heart of America’s favorite form of legalized gambling.

I think it’s every statistician’s fantasy to crack open a lottery’s flaw using the numbers. No? Just me? Okay, whatever.

The most interesting part though is that the loophole didn’t seem to be that obscure. Selbee just needed a bit of knowledge about big numbers, a pencil, and a napkin to crunch on. Are there more games out there like this? Do I need to start playing the lottery?

See also the statistician who cracked a scratch lottery code and the other statistician who won the lottery four times.

Tags: lottery

06 Mar 16:21

A Little Long Haired Dachshund Hesitantly Walks Through a Maze Made of Plastic Water Bottles

by Lori Dorn

Doxie Walks Through Bottle Maze

An adorable little miniature long haired dachshund named Takao rather hesitantly walked through a maze made of water bottles that his human had set up in the hallway for him to run. All was going well until Takao turned around as if he were expecting something. Giving up on that idea, Takao finished the maze with only one bottle tipped over.

A post shared by ???? (@takaou5868) on

Takao, however proved that he was far more skilled at the slalom course (also made of water bottles)

A post shared by ???? (@takaou5868) on

Takao also showed off his talent for the ski jump. His papillon sister Chloe also joined in on the fun.

A post shared by ???? (@takaou5868) on

via RM Videos

The post A Little Long Haired Dachshund Hesitantly Walks Through a Maze Made of Plastic Water Bottles appeared first on Laughing Squid.

13 Jan 16:37

Models in Hand Knitted Sweaters Blend Perfectly Into Colorful Backgrounds in ‘Knitted Camouflage’

by Lori Dorn

For his amazing series “Knitted Camouflage“, British photographer Joseph Ford enlisted the yarn skills of Nina Dodd to create custom sweaters that exactly match the environment of the photograph. For one photo, Ford collaborated with French street artist Monsieur Chat, who created an amazing piece for which a knitted outfit was made to match. Other photos in the series take place in a variety of colorful environments with different models – sisters leaning against a tiled wall, a man in knitted sweater and trousers matching the wall of a train station, a another model coming to life in a gray tiled room and even a bearded man in a sweater matching the seat of a train.

via Colossal

11 Jan 06:27

Names Written in Blood

by Miss Cellania

In 2012, Syrian journalist Mansour Omari was one of tens of thousands of people who "disappeared" under the rule of President Bashar al-Assad. He was taken to an underground military complex, where he lived in a cell with dozens of other prisoners. One of the worst realizations they confronted was that their families had no idea whether they were still alive.

Omari and a handful of other prisoners grouped together spoke about this at length. Ultimately, they made a pact: whoever made it out of the detention center first would take with them a record of who their fellow cellmates were.

Among the men, Nabil Shurbaji, another journalist, had the neatest handwriting. Discreetly, with the understanding that anyone could report him to the authorities, he began the work of collecting the identities of the inmates. The men had no pen or paper to record the names, so they tried writing with watery tomato soup. When that proved ineffective, they tried eggplant. Then, one of them, a tailor, had an idea. Like his fellow detainees, his gums were swollen and weak from malnutrition. He squeezed them until his blood filled a contraband plastic bag. Mixed with rust, the concoction formed their ink. Five precious scraps of cloth torn from a worn shirt served as paper.

Using a chicken bone, Shurbaji stained the names of 82 detainees onto the small strips of clothing. These precious records of blood and rust were then hidden away into the collar and cuffs of one of Shurbaji’s shirts until the day Omari’s name was called to be transferred to Adra Central prison.

Omari now lives in Sweden, and he stills has the cloths. Or, he still owns them, but they are on loan to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum until August. Read what happened to Omari, and about the cloths now on exhibit, at Smithsonian.

(Image credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

11 Jan 05:46

LEGO ship in a bottle

by Rusty Blazenhoff
Julia S

Love this!

After completing a ship in a bottle kit, screenprinter Jake Sadovich of Garden City, Idaho decided to make a LEGO one. Soon after, he submitted his model to LEGO Ideas where it quickly gained the community support it needed to be reviewed to put it into production and sold around the globe.

In an interview with LEGO Ideas, he was asked how he felt about getting the "magic 10,000 votes" from the community, "Awesome and kind of strange. Excitement at reaching the 10K mark, and in just 48 days! A great feeling of satisfaction that so many people liked my creation and gratitude that they took the time to support it and make this happen."

The 962-piece Leviathan will hit stores on February 1 for $69.99.

Continue a nautical tradition when you build this LEGO® Ideas 21313 Ship in a Bottle, featuring a highly detailed ship with the captain’s quarters, cannons, masts, crow’s nest, flag and printed sail elements. Place the ship inside the LEGO brick-built bottle with a buildable cork, wax seal element and water-style elements inside, then showcase it on the display stand featuring the ship’s ‘Leviathan’ nameplate, globe elements and a built-in ‘compass’ (non-functioning) with compass rose and spinning needle. This wonderfully nostalgic construction toy also includes a booklet about the set’s fan creator and LEGO designers.

Photos of Sadovich's original design can be seen at his Facebook page.

(The Awesomer)