D. Westry (The Master Speed Painter) wowed the audience with an iconic performance by completing an amazing speed painting in only 1 minute and 22 seconds.
D. Westry (The Master Speed Painter) wowed the audience with an iconic performance by completing an amazing speed painting in only 1 minute and 22 seconds.
Tadashi Tokieda RI ’14 invents, collects, and studies toys—simple objects from daily life that can be found or made in minutes, yet which, if played with imaginatively, exhibit behaviors so surprising that they intrigue scientists for weeks.
Astronaut Chris Hadfield is the first Canadian to walk in space, and also the first Canadian to command the International Space Station. So far so good but did you know about his musical talent? Enjoy David Bowie’s Space Oddity, performed by Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station.
Do plants have social skills? Do they sleep? Do plants have a memory? The following documentary discusses these and other interesting questions on plants.
You might end up thinking that this movie is real.
While it originated online, the series of puzzles collectively known as Cicada 3301 has spread across the globe, with people finding clues on every inhabited continent. But what is it exactly? Who’s behind it, and why? Tune in to learn more.
A useless but amusing story…
Lou, are you sure she is real?
Friday 13 December 2013
by Nick Davies
The Queen was concerned that police were eating all the nibbles left out for guests before the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles, it has been claimed at the phone-hacking trial.
The monarch’s apparent unhappiness emerged in an email that was read out in court from the News of the World’s then royal editor, Clive Goodman, to his editor, Andy Coulson, which began: “Queen furious about police stealing bowls of nuts and nibbles left out for her in the BP/Queen’s corridor. She has a very savoury tooth and staff leave out cashews, Bombay Mix almonds etc.”
The Queen evidently had turned detective to catch the police. “She started marking the bowls to see when the levels dipped,” the email continued.
What happens to boiling water by -41°C ?
I have joined Tales and noticed that Lou is all gaga over UFO’s. How about you, guys? Enjoy
With thanks to Anna at http://www.learning-mind.com
Nov. 21, 2013
2. What can be shared just once?
3. What cannot be hold even for ten minutes despite it is lighter than a feather?
4. How to increase the number 666 in half without making any arithmetic operation?
5. A man was driving a big truck. The lights on the car were turned off. There was no Moon in the sky. A woman was crossing the street in front of the truck. How did the driver see her?
6. Mary wants to buy a chocolate bar, but she lacks 1 dollar. Bob also wants to buy one, but he lacks only 10 cents. The children decided to buy at least one chocolate bar for two, but they still lack 10 cents. How much is the chocolate bar?
7. There are five apples for five children on a plate. Each child took one apple. However, one apple is still left on the plate. How is this possible?
8. There are two islands: on the one there is a boy and an apple tree, and on the other – his grandmother’s house. There is a bridge between the islands. The boy has to take two apples to his grandma, but the bridge can withstand only one boy and one apple. After the boy crosses it, the bridge will collapse. What should he do?
9. There was once a stepmother who hated her stepson so much that she wanted to poison him. But he was very careful and always ate only the same food as she did. One day at dinner the stepmother cut a piece of meat in half, ate one half herself and gave to her stepson the second one. Then he died. How did she manage to poison him?
10. Today is not Sunday, and tomorrow is not Wednesday. Yesterday was not Friday, and the day before yesterday was not Monday. Tomorrow is not Sunday, and yesterday was not Sunday. The day after tomorrow is nor Saturday neither Sunday. Yesterday was nor Monday neither Wednesday. The day before yesterday was not Wednesday, and tomorrow is not Tuesday. Neither today is Wednesday. What day is today, considering that one statement in the list is false?
A few possible answers. What do you think? It sure torqued my brain around. Have a cold too.
From new contributor BMC:
In this highly personal talk from TEDMED, magician and stuntman David Blaine describes what it took to hold his breath underwater for 17 minutes — a world record (only two minutes shorter than this entire talk!) — and what his often death-defying work means to him.
13 November 2013
Coming soon to a theater near you: famine! The second film in The Hunger Games trilogy, “Catching Fire,” opens wide on November 22, based on the hugely popular novels of a post-apocalyptic world in which poverty and starvation force young people into a desperate but oh-so-glamorous, televised competition to the death.
With the movie’s release come some especially crass and bizarre product tie-ins, including the Cover Girl Hunger Games assortment of nail polishes called “Capitol Colors” (the name makes sense if you’re familiar with the books or films) and my personal favorite, the Subway Restaurants line of “Fiery Footlongs,” described on the MTV News website as “Sriracha-powered hoagies that hope to cure the hunger games happening at lunchtime in your tummy.”
So let me get this straight: fast-food submarine sandwiches are being used to market a motion picture about people who will do anything to survive a dystopian society in which there’s nothing to eat? Yikes.
All this might be even more darkly comic if not for the fact that here in the real world, Washington is playing a Hunger Game of its own and the results are devastating. Yes, winter is coming, the holidays are on their way, and on November 1, the United States government cut food stamp benefits by 13.6 percent.
To those of you who aren’t deficit hawks circling over the Potomac keeping a precise count on this sort of thing, this will constitute a federal budget savings of $5 billion for fiscal year 2014 and another $6 billion from fiscal 2015 through 2016. Meanwhile, this has a real and drastic impact on every one of the 48 million Americans — that’s one in seven of us — who receives the aid, now officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. (The cut marks the end of extra funding that was put into the program as part of the stimulus package in 2009.) Forget the crude stereotypes and clichés, by the way: close to half of the households receiving help from SNAP have someone working and 61 percent of the recipients are white.
The reductions have been described as “unprecedented” by the progressive Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a loss of approximately $9 per person per month, or $36 a month for a family of four. This leaves each person affected with $1.40 less per meal, which not only stretches the food dollar past the breaking point for poor families on assistance but leads to the purchase of cheap foods filled with empty calories that do little for nutrition or overall health.
And typical of a Congress unable to think more than a step ahead, if at all, not only do we face these immediate reductions in SNAP payments but further slashing of the food assistance budget as the House and Senate try to come up with a farm bill acceptable to both sides. Democrats in the Senate propose additional cuts to SNAP of $4.5 billion over the next 10 years while Republicans in the House seek a whopping $39 billion.
If ever there was such a gathering of the pennywise and pound foolish as this current band of representatives, I’d like to hear about it. For one thing, they fail to take into account the estimation that every dollar of SNAP assistance actually generates $1.70 in economic activity — that’s money spent on food in grocery stores, bodegas and big box giants like Wal-Mart and Target that then goes toward paying their workers and suppliers and on and on. Thus the poor may be better job creators than say, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, who claims the program “lulls able-bodied people to lives of dependency and complacency.”
But worse may be the failure to contemplate the long-term effect of these cuts not only on poor adults but future generations. As Reid Wilson reported in The Washington Post, “SNAP benefits disproportionately help families with children. More than 21 million children — one in four children in the country today — live in households that participate in the program. More than two-thirds of the $5 billion the government saves will come from households that include children.”
A Bronx mother whose SNAP allotment has been reduced to $250 a month told The New York Times that she denies herself things she wants, like coffee and sugar, to favor her young one. “I try to get most of the things my daughter eats because I can hold the hunger — I’m an adult — but she cannot,” Ingrid Mott said, “They don’t understand when there’s no food in the fridge.”
As a mother, she instinctively knows, as Mariana Chilton of Children’s HealthWatch does, that when children are hungry “it has disastrous effects on their health and their cognitive, social and emotional development… SNAP not only buffers children from hunger but also helps them to grow, to be healthy, to learn, and to develop their full potential.”
Related data backs this up. A new study from the University of Denver finds that the neurological impact on children growing up in poverty increases the odds of mental health problems and perhaps even mortality. Pilyoung Kim, director of the university’s Family and Child Neuroscience Lab, told Bloomberg News, “Living in poverty at a young age can cause long-lasting changes in brain development, which contribute to difficulties in regulating of emotions and future devastating health outcomes, including mental illness and high mortality and morbidity in adulthood.”
Other recent research from the University of Georgia connected childhood poverty to compromised immune systems and, according to the progressive website ThinkProgress, “puts them at greater risk for developing conditions such as obesity, cancer, hypertension, stroke, and cardiovascular disease at a young age.”
And a 2009 report from Cornell found a connection between children raised in poverty and poor working memory. “It’s critical for learning,” Gary W. Evans, a professor of human ecology at Cornell, explained to The Washington Post. “If you don’t have good working memory, you can’t do things like hold a phone number in your head or develop a vocabulary.”
Even before the cuts, monthly food stamps for most families only last about two and a half weeks — that’s according to Amalia Swan, outreach director at a food bank in Syracuse, NY. Now more than ever, many will be turning to food banks like hers for help — but such programs are stretched to the limit.
The first Hunger Games movie sold $700 million worth of tickets worldwide, and last year, its studio, Lionsgate Entertainment, established a partnership with the United Nations’ World Food Program as well as Feeding America, the largest US network of food banks. Good for them. But here’s a thought for those companies like Cover Girl, Subway and others who stand to make money from their product tie-ins: if you’re not already doing it, donate profits to the food banks and soup kitchens around the country. Show you know that hunger is not a game.
This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.
Click on music and focus on pic. That should get the doldrums out…
Samhain (pronounced // SAH-win or // SOW-in) is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year. It is celebrated from sunset on 31 October to sunset on 1 November, which is nearly halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. Along with Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh it makes up the four Gaelic seasonal festivals. It was observed in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Kindred festivals were held at the same time of year in other Celtic lands; for example the Brythonic Calan Gaeaf (in Wales), Kalan Gwav (in Cornwall) and Kalan Goañv (in Brittany).
In the following article you will find some of the best optical illusions and visual paradoxes.
Focus on the stairs and you will see that in a while it will turn upside down.
Focus on the door and answer the question: is it closing or opening?
If you focus on the orange dot in the center of the rotating square for a few seconds, you will see the 3 black dots disappear!
Despite the picture below is static, it seems to be moving!
Similar to the previous illusion. The picture is static but we see it moving. If you cover with your hand all the circles except one, you will see that it does not move at all.
Initially the hearts around the king seem to rotate clockwise. But after looking at them for a few seconds they start rotating in the reverse direction!
Close your eyes for a few seconds and imagine the hearts turning clockwise/counterclockwise. When you open your eyes, you will see them turning in the direction you imagined!
The actual direction of the movement of the hearts is clockwise and is the one we see when we look at the picture for the first time.
Could such a box exist in reality and not only in the picture?
Similar to the previous visual paradox. Probably, your mind will not manage to find the answer to how this can be possible.
Do you think that the green and the blue lines are of different color? In fact, they are not! If you do not believe, download the image below and zoom in.
In my opinion, this is the most impressive illusion for today. Look at the picture below for 30-40 seconds. However, make sure not to look at it for more than one minute!
Then look at your palm or at the objects around you. Don’t worry, it will last only for a few seconds
The knives are out for Banksy – or rather the paints are out. Everywhere he goes in his month long residency in New York rival graffiti artists are out to find him, to paint over him and sometimes to obliterate him completely.
But is it is not just graffiti writers who are upset that Banksy has gone beyond his peers and appealed to a much wider audience that on the whole hates the tags, the throw ups and the dubs of traditional graffiti. It is the critics too, who tend to put him in the same bracket as Jack Vettriano – too simple and too easy.
Almost from the start, Jonathan Jones in The Guardian dismissed his show Better Out Than In as a collection of ‘banal daubings, just because it’s urban and outside doesn’t make it any good.’ ‘The hype is contagious’, writes Justin Jones in The Daily Beast ‘ and everyone is drinking from the Kool-aid.’ In The Independent Jack Orlik complains that celebrity recognition has turned Banksy ‘into a commodity to be sold to hipsters and hoorahs.’ Above all both graffiti writers and critics are united in finding him guilty of one unforgivable crime: he is just too popular.
In New York Banksy is almost rubbing it in. Here is an artist who has got people running around the city desperate to see his work before it gets painted over; who has everyone asking whether a photograph of a truck driver is Banksy (no, it is not) and who has someone putting a tracker device on one of his moving exhibits to try to hunt him down.
But actually what Banksy is doing in New York is expanding his range dramatically. Yes there is still some clever, clear well placed graffiti, but now he is going beyond the wall. Take, for example, his video work, which speaks with a directness that much contemporary art lacks. In his first week in New York, Banksy posted a video on YouTube. Rebels, who could be anywhere in Middle East, fire a rocket which hits a helicopter. There is much triumphant whooping and rejoicing. But when they get to the site where they expect to find the dead pilot and crew they find instead a very sad Dumbo. A little boy kicks one of the rebels in disgust. The video is an eloquent polemic against the war and just because it is obvious and popular (five and a half million hits and counting) does not take away from the fact that it is brilliant art.
As he has done before, most notably at the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery back in 2009, or in his animatronic pet shop show in New York the previous year he is turning the way art is exhibited on its head. Much of his work in New York comes with an 800 telephone number giving you a mocking artspeak commentary of what it is all about – and if you can’t get the number you can find the commentary on his website. His mobile paradise, a heavily tagged truck, visits a different part of New York each evening and when the back is opened a pastoral scene is revealed complete with a waterfall and a couple of butterflies; it also comes complete with just such a commentary.
The commentator starts by telling us in a slightly lisping voice that the truck ‘delivering calm’ has been painted by ‘the British graffiti artist Bambi.’ But then he goes on to quote Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath and argues a serious point, comparing ‘Bambi’ drawing on unused walls and ‘the acts of farmers in the Great Depression who being kicked off their land by large corporations took to sowing seeds illicitly.’
Or take another example, his installation – because that is what it would be called in an art gallery lucky enough to have it – where horses (of the Apocalypse?) wearing night vision goggles are bearing down on the defenceless victims painted on a Mazda that Banksy has parked on the street has been compared by the blogger Vandalog with Goya’s Disasters of War. This is accompanied by part of a WikiLeaks audio of a helicopter crew, one of whose code names is Crazy Horse, talking as they launch the attack in Iraq in 2007 which killed a reported 18 people including a Reuters photographer. Like the rocket attack video it brings home the increasing disconnect in modern warfare between pulling the trigger and people actually dying.
The other criticism usually levelled at Banksy is that he makes money out of his art. But this past weekend in New York he delivered the most brilliant attack imaginable on the hyping of art as a commodity. He set up a stall in Central Park selling original canvases charging $60 each for spray paintings that would fetch close to $100,000 in the international auction houses and nobody, or almost nobody bought them. They did not have the comfort of the art dealers’ soothing words or the assurance of knowing the prices to guide them – only a slightly dodgy looking seller and his stall. The people who did buy often bartered and got an even better good deal.
If his previous exhibitions are any guide then Banksy will turn some of the images from New York into canvases and possibly prints that will be a lasting and nowadays expensive record of what he created. Good on him. All artists have to eat and he is giving us an exhibition which is not just free to everyone, but includes work that is imaginative, meaningful and bold.
Banksy The Man Behind The Wall, published by Aurum Press, is now out in paperback.