In Science, Strange Oddities, Wild Stuff on July 9, 2011 at 5:00 am
An incandescent light bulb recognized by Guinness World Records as being the longest burning is still glowing strong days after celebrations that marked its 110th anniversary.
The Centennial Light Bulb, at Fire Station No. 6 in Livermore, Calif., has been burning bright since it was first installed in 1901. (The exact date appears unknown, though the bulb’s “birthday” is typically held in June, most recently June 18th.) Since then, the 60-watt bulb has been alight 24 hours a day, operating at about 4 watts, to provide night illumination of the fire engines.
Other than a few power outages, there has only been one break in its operation, when it was removed from one fire station and fitted in another in 1976. The cord was severed out of fear that unscrewing the bulb would break it, and it was moved with a full police and fire truck escort, under the watch of Capt. Kirby Slate. It got but 22 minutes of rest during the ordeal.
The bulb is an improved incandescent lamp, invented by Adolphe A. Chaillet, and produced by the Shelby Electric Co. It is a hand-blown bulb with carbon filament. The light continues to confound scientists from across the country who have been unable to explain how it has managed to continue to glow for so long. Read the rest of this entry »
In Culture, Fun Technology, Quality of Life, Wild Stuff on July 1, 2011 at 5:04 pm
This last April, Corning, the American manufacturer of glass, ceramics and related materials, showed a dramatic video presentation of their future to institutional investors and analysts in New York.
It provided a breath-taking look into a modern world our parents could not even have dreamed was possible.
The video depicts a family using futuristic glass technologies such as touch-operated kitchen counter tops, smart appliances, mirrors, tables, car information console and auto-dimming sunroof, interactive glass road signs, an interactive bus stop map, wafer-thin glass books and phones, and much more.
When you’re watching the video it should immediately strike you as to how real it all seems. Real and natural – the adults and children using the technologies to communicate and connect are doing so in the most natural way: it’s something they’re all accustomed to doing as part of their lives.
That’s the aspirational aspect of this video. Some of the technologies demonstrated aren’t in production (or even in existence) yet. So how did Corning make this and make it so realistic and credible?
Read the rest of this entry »
In Dreams, Mind-Body, Strange Oddities on June 29, 2011 at 11:56 pm
Can children pick up another’s thoughts, know about events happening far away or even be able to know what might happen in the future?
Could the current wave of movies, such as “The Sixth Sense” or TV shows such as “Crossing Over” be influencing children? Research in parapsychology, the study of such phenomena, has come up with some answers.
What is Psychic Ability?
A psychic is said to have a sixth sense that goes beyond touch, smell, hearing, taste and sight. Someone with psychic abilities might, for example, know when a person is going to stop by before they do. These mysterious abilities have even been attributed to children.
Understanding Types of Psychic Experience
According to Athena A Drewes, Psy.D. and Sally Feather, PhD, “there are several categories of psychic experiences: telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition and psychokinesis.” A person with telepathic abilities is capable of knowing what another person is thinking.
Clairvoyance is an awareness of places, objects and events. Precognition is the ability to randomly predict events that are going to happen. Psychokinesis is the mental ability to alter the physical state of an object. Read the rest of this entry »
In Fun Technology, Photography, Strange Oddities, Wild Stuff on June 28, 2011 at 3:45 am
Here's looking at you kid!
A crazy new viral video shows a seagull grabbing a video camera, flying away with it and recording the trip through the skies over Cannes, France – no doubt a contender for winning the title of best Seagull Video Ever at the Cannes Film Festival.
Posted on YouTube by user opica1983, the video shows an unseen cameraman walking through a large house’s garden at night. He then places the camera on the ground, for who knows what reason?
That’s when the seagull strolls over, grabs the mini-video camera in its beak and takes off.
After the short flight, the seagull lands on a building before dropping the camera, turning it over and walking off.
The posted video includes the comment, “Seagull stole my video camera in Cannes France. I found it on the castle wall, where I had to climb”.
There are some obvious questions surrounding the video’s spontaneity. For instance, many are wondering why someone would be creeping around in the garden with a video camera at night and how they were able to track the seagull to find the camera probably nearly a mile away.
Also, the person who posted the video says it was taken with a GoPro camera. GoPro makes so-called “hero cameras.” These are cameras made for sporting applications and are designed to be used during everything from surfing to skydiving. Read the rest of this entry »
In Mind-Body, Science, Strange Oddities, Wild Stuff on June 25, 2011 at 6:32 pm
Twenty-five years ago, Morely Safer’s 60 Minutes, introduced viewers to George Finn, who many believed was immortalized in the movie “Rain Man”.
However, Kim Peek was the real life Rain Man on whom the Dustin Hoffman character of Raymond Babbitt was based in the movie.
Described as a confounding mixture of disability and brilliance, Kim was in love with knowledge and was probably the world’s most famous savant. He has even been referred to as a mega-savant due to the astounding volume of data he managed to accumulate over his lifetime.
Both George Finn and Kim Peek were diagnosed with a condition known as savant syndrome, a mysterious disorder of the brain where someone has a spectacular skill, even genius, in a mind that is otherwise extremely limited.
Years later, Morley Safer met another savant, Daniel Tammet, who is called “Brain Man” in Britain. But unlike other savants, he has no obvious mental disability, and most important to scientists, he can describe his own thought process.
He may very well be a scientific Rosetta stone, a key to understanding the secrets of the brain at long last. Read the rest of this entry »
In Culture, Food & Drink, Fun Technology, Quality of Life, Wild Stuff on June 24, 2011 at 10:14 pm
Need a car…right now? Then you just need to jog over to your corner Smart-Car vending machine, and as fast as you can say “coin-slot”, you can be on the road in your new, very own Smart-Car.
The up-scale vending machine market is exploding with just-in-time products for on-the-go shoppers. You won’t believe what you can get out of a vending machine these days!
Eliminating the inconvenience of register lines and adapting to the needs of the modern shopper, many of these crazy vending machine concepts have taken off as successful franchises.
As much as people might not like to admit their tendencies toward instant gratification—without the salesperson hassle—it can no longer be denied.
Need a pair of sneakers, a spare pair of panties (featuring neon colors no less), live bait for that last-minute fishing trip, or maybe you just need to pick up a few bars of gold bullion to tide you over – look no further.
Practically anything that can be crammed into a machine with a coin-slot, or credit card reader is being offered through these new high-tech machines. Read the rest of this entry »
In Quality of Life, Strange Oddities, Wonder on June 22, 2011 at 10:43 pm
This picture shows a group of Ibex climbing the near vertical wall of the Cingino Dam in the Italian Alps, almost 150 feet of sheer concrete and stone.
The Ibex is a kind of goat, sometimes referred to as a Rock Goat – for good reason as you’ll see shortly.
It resembles the common goat, but is larger, and it lives in places where you would think no animal could get to without falling and breaking its neck. They are sometimes frightening to watch, climbing up rough and narrow crevices and jumping from rock to rock with amazing dexterity.
The Ibex has an unusually small hoof, something like those of a sheep, except that its hollow underneath, and has a sort of ridge around it the animal uses to cling to precarious rock outcroppings, without slipping. They are extraordinarily graceful and nimbly navigate the sheer cliffs of their native habitat seemingly without any fear of falling.
Two goats occasionally meet on a high narrow path, with just room for one, above a dizzyingly shear drop high on a cliff face. They cannot retreat without the danger of falling, and they can’t pass each other either. For a while they seem to quietly consider their options, but at last one bends its knees and lays down, while the other walks safely over his back to safety on the other side. Read the rest of this entry »
In Culture, Freedom, Funny Stuff, Wild Stuff on June 21, 2011 at 8:44 pm
If you haven’t, you should check this out. Obviously if you have a cause you feel passionately about, you should promote it by going naked. Just make sure to pick your weather carefully if you want a big turnout.
It was a typical early summer evening in Portland: cloudy skies threatening rain, temperatures in the mid-60s, and thousands of naked bicyclists gathered near the city’s waterfront for a clothing-free night ride.
The Portland version of the World Naked Bike Ride was about to begin.
“It is the most liberating, natural feeling possible,” said Brooklyn Jay, who came all the way from Phoenix for the ride.
World Naked Bike Ride is a globally observed event among hard-core bikers designed, at least ostensibly, to promote the use of the bicycle for transportation. But Portland cyclists have been especially adamant about making it another of the Pacific Northwest city’s quirky traditions. Read the rest of this entry »
In Culture, Funny Stuff, Strange Oddities, Wild Stuff on June 16, 2011 at 10:19 pm
So you think you’ve seen it all? Check this out and maybe you’ll change your mind.
This is an amazing video showing the unusual, to say the least, India-Pakistan border crossing at closing time. These are some pretty crazy antics and apparently this goes on every single day!
In fact, its become so popular they draw a tremendous crowd just to watch the ceremony. The video is fast loading and in high-quality HD. Enjoy!
In Photography, Zowie Contest, Zowie Fun Facts on June 10, 2011 at 11:06 pm
Are you good at puzzles? Maybe you’ll like this one. The above three pictures are all a small snapshot of very famous places everyone will know.
The trick is to figure out where in the world you’ve seen them before. Can you guess? Click on each one for a larger image.
Here are some clues: we’ve named the pictures the following from left to right: (L) Her Inside Out (M) Above the Law (R) Stairway Down Under. One is a place in Washington, one is in New York and the other one, well let’s just say it’s in a place that almost made it to New York.
Stay tuned over the next couple days to see if anyone solved the mystery.