Shared posts

30 Jun 23:06

Great Barrier Reef at risk

UNESCO World Heritage delegates recently snorkelled on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, thousands of coral reefs, which stretch over 1,200 miles off the northeast coast. Surrounded by manta rays, dolphins and reef sharks, their mission was to check the health of the world’s largest living ecosystem, which brings in billions of dollars a year in tourism. Some coral has been badly damaged and animal species, including dugong and large green turtles, are threatened. UNESCO will say on Wednesday whether it will place the reef on a list of endangered World Heritage sites, a move the Australian government wants to avoid at all costs, having lobbied hard overseas. Earlier this year, UNESCO said the reef’s outlook was “poor”. -- By Reuters

Peter Gash (L), owner and manager of the Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, snorkels with Oliver Lanyon and Lewis Marshall, senior rangers in the Great Barrier Reef region for the Queenlsand Parks and Wildlife Service, at Lady Elliot Island, north-east of the town of Bundaberg in Queensland, Australia, June 11. They are carrying out an inspection of the reef's condition in an area called the 'Coral Gardens'. Gash snorkels every morning before he attends to managing duties on the island, and was showing the Great Barrier Reef rangers the current condition of the reef. (David Gray/Reuters)

08 Jun 13:34

Pantograph Imagines Gadgets From A Parallel World

by Johnny

The binary typewriter!


A binary typewriter with keys for just zero and one

A tube amp wireless router? A binary code typewriter with only a zero and one? A record player that can play 4 records – vocals, guitar, base and drum – at the same time? These are all gadgets that almost seem like they could exist, but of course they don’t. And you won’t see them being funded on kickstarter anytime soon either. They’re imaginary gadgets thought up by the creative minds of Pantogram, a Japanese model making company.


a tube amp wireless router

Pantogram is a Japanese company of creative minds and hands who specialize in model-making for commercial applications. They’re work has been featured on the cover of magazines, CD covers, and textbooks. Perhaps you’re familiar with the April Fool’s pranks that Google Japan pulls off? Those models were all made by Pantogram.

Now, the company has collected 130 gizmos and gadgets that seem both useful and useless, and compiled them into a book that’s being published by Pie Books. The title translates to ‘Parallel World Souvenir Notebook‘ because the artists imagined what the gadgets of a parallel world might look like.


just pop open your smartphone and you’ve got a pair of binoculars – perfect for the opera or for birdwatching.


This diskmaker takes balls of data and flattens them into CDRs


a record player that plays 4 records – vocals, guitar, bass and drums – at the same time so you’ve got a full band.


A playful power surge protector that shoots a cord out its top if you plug into a wrong outlet.


In this parallel world, data is stored in barrels. Pull the cork out and out comes a red cable.

07 Jun 06:57

My book of cartoons ‘You’re All Just Jealous of my Jetpack’ is...

My book of cartoons ‘You’re All Just Jealous of my Jetpack’ is available now:
Other stockists and info at
(you can also buy prints there).

15 Jun 15:21

Adam J. Kurtz Matches Quotes To Help You Tackle Life With Calming GIFs

by Caroline Kurze

Don't you just love Mondays? No? We neither, though we found these ‘12 Perfect GIFs To Keep You Relaxed & Soothe Your Spirit’ that might help you to focus and get your stuff together while fading out your growing to-do list.

Graphic designer and illustrator Adam J. Kurtz created them from Twitter submissions he received from individuals who shared their personal mantras for keeping calm and focused—and turned them into hypnotizing hand-lettered GIFs.

All images © Adam J. Kurtz | Via: Buzzfeed

03 Jun 17:19

an all-day meeting

by kris


“then i say, ‘no, you’re the dumb one,’ and he says ‘well, maybe this will lose you my business’ and i say ‘fine! i don’t care! get out!’ and he starts to leave but trips on the rug”

i have spent more time in this meeting than i care to admit

26 May 20:36

The human condition.

The human condition.

29 May 09:54

Why the subway isn’t getting a move on already

by Nathan Yau

Subway Delay story

You're headed to the subway platform and you hear a train coming. The warm musty air that blows directly into your nostrils is near. So you speed up your steps. Oh forget it, who are you trying to impress? You run to make sure you get to the platform. Yes, you made it! You hop on with your heart rate up a few beats. Nice.

But the doors stay open.

The train isn't moving.

What gives? ARGH.

Of course, there's a perfectly logical explanation. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority provides a scenario in 8-bit format.

As we've seen, it doesn't take much to throw off the schedule of a transportation system. Sometimes the weird delay you experience is just the system trying to make things better overall. [Thanks, @reconbot]

Tags: subway, transportation

26 May 16:05

crystalpools: wuqs: please look at this entire page This is...


So much laughing.



please look at this entire page


This is the first time the Internet has really made me laugh out loud since my oral surgery ten days ago.

Thanks, Internet.

15 May 08:08


by Ben Hutchings


I made this as a present for my sister Sarah’s birthday but then it took me 7 months to finish.

12 May 14:44

Which country has the most venomous animals? (Hint - not...

Which country has the most venomous animals? (Hint - not Canada.) (map by redditor lanson15)

19 May 09:53

This Is How Lesbians Have Sex


It's buzzfeed but pretty funny! Also a little bit NSFW.

17 May 22:40

Set the budgies free! Indian Courts find for the birds

by Bob Gosford

Further to a landmark decision of the Indian Supreme Court in May 2014, the High Court in Delhi has found that birds have the fundamental right to “live with dignity” and fly in the sky without being kept in cages or subjected to cruelty, Delhi High Court has said while holding that running their trade was a “violation of their rights”. As reported in The Indian Express, birds have:

… the fundamental right to “live with dignity” and fly in the sky without being kept in cages or subjected to cruelty, Delhi High Court has said while holding that running their trade was a “violation of their rights”. Justice Manmohan Singh expressed anguish that instead of being allowed to fly free, they were “exported illegally to foreign countries without availability of proper food, water or medical aid”.

This case follows a 2011 decision in the High Court in Gujarat where Justice M R Shah emphasised the importance of fundamental rights of the birds to fly in the open sky. Criticising the manner in which the birds were kept, the court observed that “Nobody has a right to inflict pain or suffering to others, including animals and birds. To keep birds in cages would be tantamount to illegal confinement of the birds, which is in violation of right of the birds to live in free air and sky.””

In May 2014 the Indian Supreme Court banned the popular post-harvest Jallikattu (taming the bull) or bullfights in Tamil Nadu and bullock-cart racing in Maharashtra, Punjab and other states, saying they violated provisions of the 50-year-old Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

Significantly, the court favoured constitutional status for rights of animals similar to those enjoyed by (human) citizens, saying that “Parliament, it is expected, would elevate rights of animals to that of constitutional rights, as done by many of the countries around the world, so as to protect their dignity and honour.”

08 May 13:22

Original illustrations by Tebe Interesno

by abvh

Original illustrations by Tebe Interesno

22 Apr 17:27

What plane seating would look like, laid out on the basis of the U.S. income distribution

by Chris Blattman

As I boarded a flight last night, I tweeted that airline boarding is the new caste system.

It could be worse. Suresh Naidu pointed me to Kieran Healy’s terrific illustration of the Air Gini. Here’s what seating in an Airbus A330-300 would look like if space were proportional to the US income distribution:


If there were more than three classes, I have to imagine the people in the back would be sitting four to a seat.

The post What plane seating would look like, laid out on the basis of the U.S. income distribution appeared first on Chris Blattman.

17 Apr 15:08

theWAREHOUSE comic 944 – Epithet Epitath

by carlh


He’s got me dead to rights.

16 Apr 23:55

So books get on your mark and spark that old censorship. Drats and double drats, I smiggedy-smacked the weekend.

by ben
22 Apr 22:50

say anything

by kris


yeah. we were happy once. but that was a long time ago

22 Apr 16:21

jennipoos: kungfucarrie: thessalian:oracleanne:good-night-white...






Really happy to see this at my local library

OOOOH. *happy YA librarian dance*

I want this in every library, everywhere. After all, some kids won’t even google this stuff because they don’t want parents/siblings checking their browser history.

This is really awesome. And if you’re not familiar with how the Dewey Decimal system works - the numbers subject-based, which means these numbers are applicable in EVERY library. So if you see something you want to research on this list - look for those same numbers in any of your local libraries.

Libraries!  The best.

Libraries AND librarians = the best!

01 May 18:58

The Night CafeVR experience by Mac Cauley recreates scenes and...

The Night Cafe

VR experience by Mac Cauley recreates scenes and objects from paintings by artist Vincent Van Gogh for you to explore. The work is a submission for the Oculus VR Jam:

What did the world look like through Van Gogh’s eyes? Enter into his painting to find out.

More Here

14 Apr 07:02

It’s All Greek (or Chinese or Spanish or…) to Me

by Nathan Yau


In English, there's an idiom that notes confusion: "It's all Greek to me." Other languages have similar sayings, but they don't use Greek as their point of confusion, and of course — there's a Wikipedia page for that. Mark Liberman graphed the relationships several years ago, but the table on Wikipedia references more languages now. So I messed around with it a bit.

"Chinese" is the leading point of confusion, then Spanish and Greek, and then you just move out from there. Languages with lighter border and towards the edges don't have any other languages that point to them.

Obviously the Wikipedia page isn't comprehensive, but hey, it was fun to poke at.

Tags: language

09 Apr 10:34

A tall graphic to show Mt. Everest scale

by Nathan Yau

Mt Everest scale

Mt. Everest is a tall mountain. How tall is it?? Glad you asked. The Washington Post has a tall scrolling graphic to help you understand the scale of the world's tallest mountain. But, instead of scrolling down the page, the scroller takes you to the bottom of the mountain first and against all preconceived notions of scrolling on the internet, you scroll up. Gasp.

Tags: Mt. Everest, scale, Washington Post

28 Mar 11:37

Every TV News Report on the Economy Ever

by Alex Tabarrok

Hat tip: Daniel Altman.

04 Apr 13:52


by Victor Mair

A month ago, we studied the enigma of "Anti-mouth-bowls" (3/1/15).  It was Jan Söhlke who had sent me a photograph of what were labeled "Anti-Mund-Schuessel" ("anti-mouth-bowl").  He mentioned that the same Viennese shop had other bowls with equally mystifying names and promised to go back and take pictures of them.  Jan has now delivered on his promise by sending the following photographs:


German translation of the Chinese:  "Anti-Rand Schuessel"

English translation of the German:  "anti-edge / rim bowl"

Chinese:  fǎnkǒu wǎn 反口碗

English translation of the Chinese:  "bowl with everted rim; flare-rimmed bowl"

Notes:  Is the German trying to say "bowl without an edge / rim"?  Could there be such a thing?


German translation:  "Anti-Bowl"

English translation of the German:  "anti-bowl"

Chinese:  fǎnkǒu wǎn 反口碗

English translation of the Chinese:  "bowl with everted rim; flare-rimmed bowl"

Notes:  This sounds like something from Nietzsche's kitchen or a particle physicist's laboratory.  Very mysterious.  Is the bowl meant to prevent something?  What is the bowl against?


German translation:  "Fashion Plattenspieler"

English translation of the German:  "fashion turntable"

Chinese:  shíshàng zhuǎnjiǎo pán 时尚转角盘

English translation of the Chinese:  "fashionably undulating plate"

Notes:  The German comes from Google Translate.  The Chinese word for "turntable" is zhuǎnpán 转盘.  The literal translation of zhuǎnjiǎo pán 转角盘 would be something like "plate with corners that turn".  So far as I know, "fashion" is not a German word; the German equivalent would be "Mode".

From Jan:

As for "Platte", there are two relevant meanings in this context and it isn't that straightforward: A "Teller" (plate in English) is the dish you put in front of you and it serves as the last station from which food goes to the mouth. The thing in the picture looks like a "Teller" to me. Then, there is German "Platte", the etymological relative to English plate. A "Platte" would hold a dish in the middle of the table (as in "Schlachteplatte", butcher's plate). In my mental lexicon it would be something much larger which would never be used as a "Teller", where a "Teller" could occasionally fulfill the duties of a "Platte".

The other meaning of "Platte" is "record" (think vinyl, 33 rpm). Here "Platte" is short for "Langspielplatte" (long playing plate). Thus, a record player is a "Plattenspieler".

4. (the type of bowl in the previous post)

German translation:  "Anti-Mund-Schuessel"

English translation of the German:  "anti-mouth-bowl"

Chinese:  fǎnkǒu wǎn 反口碗

English translation of the Chinese:  "bowl with everted rim; flare-rimmed bowl"

Notes:  The first two bowls in this post and the bowl in the previous post all have the same name in Chinese:  fǎnkǒu wǎn 反口碗 ("bowl with everted rim; flare-rimmed bowl").  They also have the same shape.  Their only difference is in size, and consequently in price.  How could the translator(s) come up with three such dissimilar German translations?

1. "Anti-Rand Schuessel"

2. "Anti-Bowl"

4. "Anti-Mund-Schuessel"

All of this reminds me somewhat of IKEA naming practices, which we have addressed before on Language Log:

However, this shop in Vienna has an entirely different, and much more haphazard, system, one given to generating conundrums.

26 Mar 23:30

Where/What/Who is Scandinavia? 

by ericmortensen


Where/What/Who is Scandinavia? 

23 Mar 18:01

High definition Pluto needs names

by Jason Kottke

HD Pluto

Ok, Pluto fans. They evicted Pluto from our solar system's planetary pantheon, but a NASA mission launched in 2006 is nearing the dwarf planet with its cameras. We'll soon have photos of Pluto that are much more high resolution than we currently have, which means scientists will need names for all the new geographic features. The Our Pluto site has been set up to help suggest and vote on names for these features. Naming themes include historic explorers, travelers to the underworld, and scientists and engineers. Go vote! (via slate)

Tags: astronomy   language   NASA   Pluto   science   space
22 Mar 22:05

Bollywood does Seinfeld?

by Chris Blattman


Last week Jerry Seinfeld cancelled his first ever performance in India because of traffic and parking issues. Two Indians responded with this South Asian Seinfeld spoof. Brilliant.

The post Bollywood does Seinfeld? appeared first on Chris Blattman.

20 Mar 15:11

Xiangjun Shi: Why Do I Study Physics?

by S. Abbas Raza
14 Mar 14:44

Boing Boing Hiné Mizushima’s lovely felt Apple Watch.

10 Mar 19:14

simpleescapism:flavorcountry:Dr. Mae Jemison, MD, the first...

by ajlobster

Onboard shuttle Endeavour in 1992

As Lt Palmer in TNG s06e24, "Second Chances"



Dr. Mae Jemison, MD, the first black woman in space and first actual astronaut to appear on a Star Trek show, one of the very few people on this planet of whom two pictures can be posted depicting them doing their job on a spaceship with entirely different contexts.

Holy shit this is a serious contender for the best post I’ve ever seen on tumblr.


12 Mar 21:40

R.I.P. Terry Pratchett

by abvh

R.I.P. Terry Pratchett