Large-scale electric discharges that occur high above thunderstorm clouds, or cumulonimbus, giving rise to a varied range of visual shapes flickering in the night sky. They appear as luminous red-orange flashes, with bluish hanging tendrils below, and can be preceded by a reddish halo. Sprites have been observed over America, Europe, Central Africa, Australia, and Asia.
A type of photography generally referring to pictures of both single and multiple exposure taken by flashes of light from electrical discharges.
The ability to see in low-light conditions through a night-vision device, mostly a night vision goggle with dual eyepieces, which turns the images green.
In 1991, Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti appeared in a concert in Hyde Park, London, UK to celebrate his 30 years in opera, which drew a record attendance of 150,000, including the Royal Couple.
A concrete and plastic sculpture designed by Chilean artist Mario Irarrázabal in 1982 and located in Punta del Este, Uruguay, depicting five human fingers partially emerging from sand. The Hand is the symbol of Punta del Este and one of Uruguay’s most recognizable landmarks.
The annual costume ball traditionally given by the students of the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His reputation soon encouraged imitators in American cities in the 1930s.
A satirical conspiracy theory created by Peter McIndoe in 2017, which posits that birds are actually drones operated by the United States government to spy on American citizens.
A length of linen cloth kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Turin, in northern Italy, and bearing the negative image of a man thought to be Jesus of Nazareth. Some believe the fabric was the burial shroud in which he was wrapped after crucifixion.
The process whereby objects are frozen in just a few hours by subjecting them to cryogenic temperatures, or through direct contact with liquid nitrogen at −196 °C (−320.8 °F). Flash freezing is commonly used in the food industry to quickly freeze perishable food items.
A species of flowering plant indigenous to South Africa which has a hard sheath, from which the flower emerges, placed perpendicular to the stem, which gives it the appearance of a colourful exotic bird’s head and beak.
The maraca player and dancer of English rock band Happy Mondays, chiefly remembered for his bizarre style.
The highest dormant volcano in the world and the highest peak in Chile, located in the Andes on the Argentina–Chile border. Its permanent crater lake is the highest lake of any kind in the world.
A fragmental material produced by a volcanic eruption regardless of composition, fragment size, or emplacement mechanism. Volcanologists also refer to these airborne fragments as pyroclasts.
A centennial conservation-restoration of the Statue of Liberty that occurred between 1984 and 1986. Much of the restoration effort was based on unprecedented restorative methods, as metallurgical repair work on such a large scale had never been attempted. The restored statue was reopened during Liberty Weekend, its 100-year anniversary celebration held July 3–6, 1986.
An Australian species which is the fastest-running known insect with a running speed of 2.49m/s, or 120 body lengths per second.
A Chinese opera singer from Beijing who became a spy to obtain secrets from an employee in the French embassy in the 1960s, during a 20-year-long sexual affair in which the performer convinced the man that he was a woman.
An artwork by German painter and photographer Sigmar Polke, consisting of several sheets of flannel covered with black-painted German swear words.
A form of body alteration in which the normal growth of a human being skull is distorted intentionally by flattening or binding the head with a force. One modern theory is cranial deformation was likely performed to signify group affiliation, or to demonstrate social status.
An Internet meme consisting of a green anthropomorphic frog with a humanoid body, that had become one of the most popular memes used on social media platforms. Since the late 2010s, it has been often associated with ideological trends, particularly in the US and Hong-Kong. The character creator, Matt Furie recently stated that he now “struggled to reclaim control of Pepe.”
An Internet language that is created from word conversion, meme lexicon, and onomatopoeia. Emerging in the 2010s, DoggoLingo is implied to be a dog’s own idiom, and is presented as what humans have long believed goes on in the canine brain.
Martian sunsets typically stand out for their blue color. Since 1976, sunsets have been recorded by NASA rovers and other missions.
The fraction of the sky obscured by clouds when observed from a particular location. On average, about 52% of Earth is cloud-covered at any moment.
A British IT engineer who threw away a hard drive containing £220million in Bitcoin.
An artificial intelligence basketball-playing robot created by Japanese automotive manufacturer Toyota, that scores 100 percent of its shots.
The tallest person in recorded history. When Robert Wadlow died in 1940, his height was 8 ft 11 in (2.72 m) while his weight reached 439 lb (199 kg). Even by the time of his death, there was no indication that his growth had ended.
An exploration game developed and published in the late 1990s by Japanese film production and distribution company Asmik Ace Entertainment for the PlayStation and conceived by Japanese artist Osamu Sato. In LSD, the player explores surreal environments without any objective and can only move and touch objects that will warp them to another setting.
A direct communication pathway between the brain’s electrical activity and an external device, most commonly a computer or robotic limb. BCIs are often directed at researching, mapping, assisting, augmenting, or repairing human cognitive or sensory-motor functions.
The title given to the “visions” of the Blessed Virgin Mary which allegedly began in June 1981 to six Croatian teenagers in Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Officially organised pilgrimages were prohibited till May 2019, when the Pope lifted the ban. However, clerics and the faithful are still not permitted to participate in meetings, conferences or public celebrations during which the credibility of such ‘apparitions’ would be taken for granted.
A swarm of associated meteoroids or meteors, observable in November, whose radiant is located in the zodiacal constellation Leo.
A 175-pound American black bear that died after ingesting a duffel bag full of cocaine in 1985.
The loss of peripheral vision with retention of central vision, resulting in a constricted circular tunnel-like field of vision.
A 1965 Japanese documentary film directed by Kon Ichikawa, which documents the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, considered as one of the best films about the Olympics and, indeed, as one of the best sports documentaries of all time.
A fish mainly known for its bright red lips, found in the deep waters of the Pacific Ocean, mostly around the Galapagos Islands. According to marine biologists, its extremely bright red lips may be used to enhance species recognition during spawning or to attract sexual tension within the species.
An American mystery documentary television show, created by John Cosgrove and Terry Dunn Meurer, documenting cold cases and paranormal phenomena. Unsolved Mysteries aired on TV from 1987 to 2010. In January 2019, Netflix picked up a reboot of the series, which premiered on July 1, 2020.
The longest dam of the Delta Works, in the Netherlands. This nine-kilometre-long dam took more than a decade to build. The dam is based on 65 concrete pillars with 62 steel doors, that can be closed under adverse weather conditions. Oosterscheldekering’s cost of operation is €17 million per year.
An 1879 artwork by French painter Luc-Olivier Merson’s, depicting a classic scene from the gospel of Matthew, in which an angel appears to Joseph in a dream to warn him that Herod is seeking to kill the Christ child.
Open channel spillways, also known as morning glory (after the flower) or glory hole spillways, designed like an inverted bell, where water can enter around the entire perimeter. They are used to control and convey impounded water from a dam or levee, in order to prevent dam failure.
The first practical powered exoskeleton built by General Electric between 1965 and 1971. The machine was intended to allow the wearer to lift loads of 1,500 pounds (680 kg) with ease but turned not to be successful. As a result, the Hardiman was never used.
A turbine interchange with a distinctive design, that includes super elevated circular ramps, consisting of six steel twin box girder bridges. The junction connects the SR 9A and SR 202 in Jacksonville, Florida, USA.
A computer worm that infected over ten million Windows personal computers on and after 5 May 2000, when it started spreading as an email message with the subject line “ILOVEYOU” and the attachment “LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.TXT.vbs”, considered one of the most virulent computer virus in history.
An American figurative artist born in 1933 who became known posthumously for his self-portraits created from 1995 to 2001, after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
A 3D suicide pod that allows people to kill themselves pain-free at the press of a button.
An example of convergent evolution in which a crustacean evolves into a crab-like form from a non-crab-like form. Carcinised crustaceans include hermit crab, porcelain crab, hairy stone crab and king crab, among others.
A code published in 1895 to help disguise internal police telegrams, considered as the 19th-century version of the encrypted email.
A variation of the eyes coloration, determined by the production, delivery, and concentration of melanin in the iris. It may be inherited, or caused by genetic mosaicism, chimerism, disease, or injury, and affects animals and humans.
An iconic land art work commissioned by the US Public Art Fund in 1982, taking the form of a two-acre field of wheat in downtown Manhattan, in order to protest against climate change and economic inequality.
The estimated weight of a 1 cubic kilometer (km3) cloud composed of water droplets is 500,000 kilograms or 1.1 million pounds (about 551 tons).
A species of frogs in the family Brevicipitidae, also known as black rain frog, plain rain frog or brown short-headed frog, due to its dark brown or nearly black colouration, with a slightly lighter ventrum and no pigmented patterns.
The bumps on a person’s skin at the base of body hairs which may involuntarily develop when a person is tickled, cold or experiencing strong emotions such as fear, euphoria or sexual arousal.
The earliest known druidic order in the world, founded in 1781 in England and based upon the iconography of the ancient druids.
Functional coffins from the Greater Accra Region in Ghana, representing priestly insignia, animals, or proverbs and used to protect the deceased in the afterlife.
A carbonaceous asteroid from the background population of the intermediate asteroid belt, popularised by American fast-food company McDonald’s, which explored with NASA an advertising agreement for a planned mission to the planet.
An 19th century Prussian showman, considered the father of modern bodybuilding, as one of the first athletes to intentionally develop his musculature to predetermined dimensions.
A meteorological optical phenomenon that sometimes occurs transiently around the moment of sunset or sunrise, popularised by Jules Verne’s 1882 novel The Green Ray.
A popular cheese slicer invented and patented by Norwegian inventor Thor Bjørklund in 1925, which is one of the most important export product of Norway.
The smoke signal is one of the oldest forms of long-distance communication. It is a form of visual communication used over a long distance. In general smoke signals are used to transmit news, signal danger, or to gather people to a common area.
If an Irish Guard starts to feel light-headed while on duty they are trained to “faint to attention” meaning they have to keep their disciplined pose even when falling to the ground. This is why you often see pictures of passed out guards lying flat on their face.
Men from the Asaro tribe in Papua New Guinea, also known as the Holosa, who wear a traditional costume notably composed of a huge mask made of mud. The “Mudmen” live nearby the village of Goroka, in the Eastern Highlands Province. Their masks have unusual designs, such as long or very short ears either going down to the chin or sticking up at the top, long joined eyebrows attached to the top of the ears, horns and sideways mouths.
DrugsData (formerly EcstasyData) is the independent anonymous laboratory analysis and drug checking program of Erowid Center. Its purpose is to collect, review, manage, publish testing results from their lab and republish those from other analysis projects worldwide.
A Dutch motivational speaker and extreme athlete noted for his ability to withstand freezing temperatures, also known as The Iceman. Since the early 2000s, Wim Hof has set numerous Guinness World Records.
A Japanese dog known as chūken Hachikō (“faithful dog Hachikō”), remembered for his remarkable loyalty to his owner, Hidesaburō Ueno, for whom he continued to wait for over nine years following his death.
We Are Our Mountains is a large monument north of Stepanakert, the capital city of the Republic of Artsakh. The sculpture, completed in 1967 by Sargis Baghdasaryan, is widely regarded as a symbol of the Armenian heritage of the region. The monument is made from volcanic tufa and depicts an old man and woman hewn from rock, representing the mountain people of Karabakh.
A town in Camargue, in southern France, where director Leos Carax set up his movie Les Amants du Pont-Neuf (1991). To date, it remains the most expensive set of French cinema.
A cactus species commonly referred to as queen of the night, that bloom only one night in late spring or early summer and turn white as the hours pass.
The most common user eye-scanning pattern, also known as F-Shaped Pattern, popularised by a Nielsen Norman Group’s eye-tracking study, which found that users typically scanned blocks of content in a pattern looking like the letter F.
1983 album by Japanese percussionist Midori Takada, which became an international success 30 years after its release thanks to the YouTube recommendation algorithm.
The largest and oldest high IQ society in the world, founded in 1946 in Oxford, England. Mensa is a non-profit organization, consisting, in the late 2010s, of around 134,000 members in 100 countries and in 54 national groups.
An ancient Persian ice house, used since the 1st millennium BC; the ancestor of the modern refrigerator. Mainly built in high-altitude deserts, the yakhchāl was used to store food. The structure is a dome, completed by a large subterranean storage space, that allows cold air to enter the lowest part of the building, while the tall conical shape guides heat outside.
A confidence game in which the victims (or “marks”) are tricked into betting a sum of money, on the assumption that they can find the target card (or “money card”) among three face-down playing cards. The Three-card Monte is an example of a classic “short con”.
The most widespread species of the genus Upupa, native to Europe, Asia, North Africa and northern Sub-Saharan Africa. The call is typically a trisyllabic oop-oop-oop, which may give rise to its English and scientific names.
A metaphor used to describe a situation where a person who knows nothing is getting advice and help from another person who knows almost nothing.
In January 2021, the Sahara desert, which is the largest hot desert in the world, was hit by an icy blast with temperatures dipping below freezing, making snow fell. Snow even blanketed parts in the Tabuk region in northwestern Saudi Arabia.
A non-linear two-terminal electrical component relating electric charge and magnetic flux linkage, first described in 1971 by American electrical engineer and computer scientist Leon Chua.
A series of coordinated shootings, also known as the Beltway sniper attacks, that occurred during three weeks in October 2002, mainly in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, USA. Ten people were killed and three others were critically wounded by the two snipers, John Allen Muhammad (age 41 at the time) and Lee Boyd Malvo (age 17 at the time), who traveled in a blue 1990 Chevrolet Caprice sedan.
The first Ferrari-branded amusement park, located on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
A term coined by British mathematician Ian Stewart and biologist Jack Cohen to define the cultural capital that is available to us in the form of external media (eg legends, folklore, books, music or video tapes, CDs, DVDs, etc). Stewart and Cohen contrast extelligence with intelligence, or the knowledge and cognitive processes within the brain.
A species of small, biologically immortal jellyfish named by German biologist August Weismann in 1883. The immortal Jellyfish (or Turritopsis dohrnii) is found free-living in the plankton in temperate to tropical regions in all of the world’s oceans and is the only medusa known to have developed the ability to return to a polyp state, by a rapid specific transformation process.
War that occurred between societies without recorded history. The existence — and even the definition — of war in humanity’s hypothetical state of nature has been a controversial topic in the history of ideas.
One of the three primary colours of pigments in painting and traditional colour theory, as well as in the RGB colour model. On the spectrum of visible light, blue lies between violet and green. The eye perceives blue when observing light with a dominant wavelength between approximately 450 and 495 nanometres. Most blues contain a slight mixture of other colours: azure contains some green, while ultramarine contains some violet.
Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment (VORTEX) projects are two field experiments that study tornadoes.
The graph of a system of parametric equations which describe complex harmonic motion. This family of curves was investigated by American mathematician Nathaniel Bowditch in 1815, and later detailed in 1857 by French physicist Jules Antoine Lissajous, hence its name.
A bridge where one or both ends are broken, incomplete, or unconnected to any roads. If it is an overpass or an interchange, the term overpass to nowhere or interchange to nowhere may be used, respectively.
A group of rare genetic connective-tissue disorders, which result in defects in the structure or processing of the protein collagen. As the disorders weaken the body’s connective tissue, symptoms may include skin elasticity and joint hypermobility.
The fourth Oasis-class cruise ship owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International and the largest cruise ship in the world by gross tonnage.
Mythical or magical animals mentioned in editions 1 to 5 of the 18th-century Swedish botanist, zoologist and physician Carl Linnaeus’ seminal work, Systema Naturae.
The difference of the arrow’s alignment between the moment of the shot and its final trajectory.
A Japanese mountaineer and the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest and to ascend the Seven Summits (ie climbing the highest peak on every continent.)
A micronation, founded in May 1987 by a Canadian citizen, that has no sovereign territory of its own and has never been recognised by any other sovereign state as existing. The name Aerican Empire stems from the term “American Empire”; it is conventionally referred to in short form as Aerica.
A captive orca that spent most of its life performing at SeaWorld Orlando in Florida, USA. Tilikum, nicknamed Tilly, was the largest bull orca in captivity, measuring 6.9m (22.5ft) long and weighing about 5,700kg (12,500lbs).
A primary colour in subtractive colour systems and a secondary colour made by combining red and green at equal intensity in the RGB colour model. Yellow is between orange and green on the spectrum of visible light. It is evoked by light with a dominant wavelength of roughly 570–590 nm.
Johnson’s criteria, or the Johnson criteria, created by John Johnson, describe both spatial domain and frequency domain approaches to analyze the ability of observers to perform visual tasks using image intensifier technology. It was an important breakthrough in evaluating the performance of visual devices and guided the development of future systems. Using Johnson’s criteria, many predictive models for sensor technology have been developed that predict the performance of sensor systems under different environmental and operational conditions.
Water intoxication, also known as water poisoning, hyperhydration, overhydration, or water toxemia, is a potentially fatal disturbance in brain functions that results when the normal balance of electrolytes in the body is pushed outside safe limits by excessive water intake.
Earthquake Baroque is a style of Baroque architecture found in the Philippines, which suffered destructive earthquakes during the 17th century and 18th century, where large public buildings, such as churches, were rebuilt in a Baroque style during the Spanish Colonial period in the country.
Neurons are the cells that transmit information in an animal’s nervous system so that it can sense stimuli from its environment and behave accordingly. Not all animals have neurons, Trichoplax and sponges lack nerve cells altogether. Neurons may be packed to form structures such as the brain of vertebrates or the neural ganglions of insects. The number of neurons and their relative abundance in different parts of the brain is a determinant of neural function and, consequently, of behavior.
Image that continues to appear in the eyes after a period of exposure to the original image. An afterimage may be a normal phenomenon (physiological afterimage) or may be pathological (palinopsia). Illusory palinopsia may be a pathological exaggeration of physiological afterimages. Afterimages occur because photochemical activity in the retina continues even when the eyes are no longer experiencing the original stimulus.
Hawk-Eye is a computer vision system used in numerous sports such as cricket, tennis, Gaelic football, badminton, hurling, rugby union, association football and volleyball, to visually track the trajectory of the ball and display a profile of its statistically most likely path as a moving image. The onscreen representation of the trajectory results is called Shot Spot.
The LaGuardia Committee was the first in-depth study into the effects of smoking cannabis in the United States. An earlier study, the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission, was conducted by the colonial authorities in British India in 1893–94. The reports systematically contradicted claims made by the U.S. Treasury Department that smoking marijuana results in insanity, deteriorates physical and mental health, assists in criminal behavior and juvenile delinquency, is physically addictive, and is a “gateway” drug to more dangerous drugs.
A monster truck is a specialized truck with a heavy duty suspension, four-wheel steering, and oversized tires constructed for competition and entertainment uses. Originally created by modifying stock pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs), they have evolved into purpose-built vehicles with tube-frame chassis and fiberglass bodies rather than metal. A competition monster truck is typically 12 feet (3.7 m) tall, and equipped with 66-inch (1.7 m) off-road tires.
The Weekly World News was a tabloid which published mostly fictional “news” stories in the United States from 1979 to 2007, renowned for its outlandish cover stories often based on supernatural or paranormal themes and an approach to news that verged on the satirical. It ceased print publication in August 2007. The company has a library of 100,000 articles and 300+ original characters.
In modern physics, antimatter is defined as matter that is composed of the antiparticles (or “partners”) of the corresponding particles of “ordinary” matter. Minuscule numbers of antiparticles are generated daily at particle accelerators – total production has been only a few nanograms (ng)– and in natural processes like cosmic ray collisions and some types of radioactive decay, but only a tiny fraction of these have successfully been bound together in experiments to form anti-atoms. No macroscopic amount of antimatter has ever been assembled due to the extreme cost and difficulty of production and handling.
Cerro Torre is one of the mountains of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field in South America. It is located in a region which is disputed between Argentina and Chile, west of Fitz Roy (also known as Cerro Chaltén).
Agalmatophilia is a paraphilia involving sexual attraction to a statue, doll, mannequin or other similar figurative object. The attraction may include a desire for actual sexual contact with the object, a fantasy of having sexual (or non-sexual) encounters with an animate or inanimate instance of the preferred object, the act of watching encounters between such objects, or sexual pleasure gained from thoughts of being transformed or transforming another into the preferred object.
The Mind’s Eye series consists of several art films rendered using computer-generated imagery of varying levels of sophistication, with original music scored note-to-frame. The series was conceived by Steven Churchill in 1990. It was produced, directed, conceptualized and edited by Jan Nickman of Miramar Productions and produced by Steven Churchill of Odyssey Productions.
The FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives is a most wanted list maintained by the United States’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The list arose from a conversation held in late 1949 between J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI, and William Kinsey Hutchinson, International News Service (the predecessor of the United Press International) editor-in-chief, who were discussing ways to promote capture of the FBI’s “toughest guys”.
Greenwashing (a compound word modelled on “whitewash”), also called “green sheen”, is a form of marketing spin in which green PR (green values) and green marketing are deceptively used to persuade the public that an organization’s products, aims and policies are environmentally friendly.
In Japan, yaeba are human teeth, especially upper canines, with an uncommonly fang-like appearance. It is perceived as a sign of youthfulness and natural beauty. In 2013 it had become a trend where teenage girls would undergo dental procedures to cap the upper canines.
Catatumbo lightning is an atmospheric phenomenon that occurs over the mouth of the Catatumbo River where it empties into Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela. It originates from a mass of storm clouds at an altitude of more than 1 km, and occurs during 140 to 160 nights a year, 10 hours per day, and up to 280 times per hour. It occurs over and around Lake Maracaibo, typically over a bog area formed where the Catatumbo River flows into the lake.
With the synthesis of information from human orthopedics, biophysics, and materials science, veterinarians and engineers have been able to develop effective and technologically advanced animal prosthetics.
A fallstreak hole (also known as a cavum, hole punch cloud, punch hole cloud, skypunch, cloud canal or cloud hole) is a large gap, usually circular or elliptical, that can appear in cirrocumulus or altocumulus clouds. Such holes are formed when the water temperature in the clouds is below freezing, but the water, in a supercooled state, has not frozen yet due to the lack of ice nucleation. When ice crystals do form, a domino effect is set off due to the Bergeron process, causing the water droplets around the crystals to evaporate: this leaves a large, often circular, hole in the cloud.
The Centennial Light is the world’s longest-lasting light bulb, burning since 1901, and almost never switched off. It is at 4550 East Avenue, Livermore, California, and maintained by the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department. Due to its longevity, the bulb has been noted by The Guinness Book of World Records, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, and General Electric.
The Klencke Atlas, first published in 1660, is one of the world’s largest atlases. Originating in The Netherlands, it is 1.75 metres (5 ft 9 in) tall by 1.9 metres (6 ft 3 in) wide when open, and so heavy the British Library needed six people to carry it.
Phineas P. Gage (1823–1860) was an American railroad construction foreman remembered for his improbable survival of an accident in which a large iron rod was driven completely through his head, destroying much of his brain’s left frontal lobe, and for that injury’s reported effects on his personality and behavior over the remaining 12 years of his life.
The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa (Indonesian: Letusan Krakatau 1883) in the Sunda Strait began on the afternoon of Sunday, 26 August 1883—with origins as early as that May—and peaked on the late morning of Monday, 27 August 1883, when over 70% of the island of Krakatoa and its surrounding archipelago were destroyed as it collapsed into a caldera.
Here and Elsewhere (French: Ici et Ailleurs) is a 1976 documentary film by Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville. It is a film essay, narrated by Godard and Miéville, on the limitations and artificiality of cinema in attempting to portray reality. It is additionally a critique of the Dziga Vertov Group, the partnership of Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin who together made a number of political, pro-Marxist films between 1968 and 1972.
A pyramid scheme is a business model that recruits members via a promise of payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme, rather than supplying investments or sale of products. As recruiting multiplies, recruiting becomes quickly impossible, and most members are unable to profit; as such, pyramid schemes are unsustainable and often illegal.
The growth of plants in outer space has elicited much scientific interest. In the late 20th and early 21st century, plants were often taken into space in low Earth orbit to be grown in a weightless but pressurized controlled environment, sometimes called space gardens.
A coloboma is a hole in one of the structures of the eye, such as the iris, retina, choroid, or optic disc. The hole is present from birth (except for one case, where it developed within the first few months of the child’s life) and can be caused when a gap called the choroid fissure, which is present during early stages of prenatal development, fails to close up completely before a child is born. Ocular coloboma is relatively uncommon, affecting less than one in every 10,000 births.
Thomasson or Hyperart Thomasson is a type of conceptual art named by the Japanese artist Akasegawa Genpei in the 1980s. It refers to a useless relic or structure that has been preserved as part of a building or the built environment, which has become a piece of art in itself. These objects, although having the appearance of pieces of conceptual art, were not created to be viewed as such.
Fires of Kuwait is a 1992 documentary film on the Kuwaiti oil fires directed by David Douglas. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. The film was the winner of the 2005 Hall of Fame Award from Giant Screen Cinema Association. The documentary focuses on the international effort to extinguish Kuwait’s burning oilfields in the aftermath of the Gulf War.
Busta Rhymes Island is a proposed name for an otherwise unnamed island in Shrewsbury, Worcester County, Massachusetts. The name refers to the rapper Busta Rhymes. The island is located in Mill Pond in Shrewsbury and measures 40 by 40 feet (12 m × 12 m). The proposal was made by Shrewsbury resident Kevin O’Brien who began frequenting and caring for the upkeep of the island. O’Brien stated he wanted it to be called Busta Rhymes Island as it had “rope-swinging, blueberries, and … stuff Busta would enjoy.”
The Lüscher color test is a discredited psychological test invented by Dr. Max Lüscher in Basel, Switzerland. Max Lüscher believed that sensory perception of color is objective and universally shared by all, but that color preferences are subjective, and that this distinction allows subjective states to be objectively measured by using test colors. Lüscher believed that because the color selections are guided in an unconscious manner, they reveal the person as they really are, not as they perceive themselves or would like to be perceived.
Kirov Reservoir, is a reservoir of the Talas River, located in Manas District of Talas Province of Kyrgyzstan. It is used for irrigation of lands in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
Ribs, also known as music on ribs, jazz on bones, bones or bone music are improvised gramophone recordings made from X-ray films. Mostly made through the 1950s and 1960s, ribs were a black market method of smuggling in and distributing music by foreign and emigre musicians that was banned from broadcast in the Soviet Union, such as Pyotr Leshchenko or Alexander Vertinsky, or Western artists such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, Ella Fitzgerald and Chubby Checker.
Chindōgu originated in Japan and is characterized by the invention of ingenious everyday gadgets that seem to be ideal solutions to particular problems, but which, in fact, cause more problems than they solve.
In addition to size classification, icebergs can be classified on the basis of their shapes. The two basic types of iceberg forms are tabular and non-tabular. Tabular icebergs have steep sides and a flat top, much like a plateau, with a length-to-height ratio of more than 5:1.
844-NEED-SCIENCE, also called The Science & Entertainment Exchange is a communications outreach program of the National Academy of Sciences. The Exchange maintains a local office in Los Angeles that is located on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles at the California NanoSystems Institute. The Exchange connects entertainment industry professionals with leading scientists to “create synergy between accurate science and engaging storytelling” in both film and TV programming.
Vladimir Petrovich Demikhov (July 18, 1916 – November 22, 1998) was a Soviet scientist and organ transplantation pioneer, who performed several transplants in the 1940s and 1950s, including the transplantation of a heart into an animal and a heart–lung replacement in an animal. He is also well known for his dog head transplants, which he conducted during the 1950s, resulting in two-headed dogs.
The Battle of Surfaces was a men’s tennis exhibition match that was held on May 2, 2007, between Roger Federer, the then top-ranked men’s singles player, and Rafael Nadal, the then World No. 2 in men’s singles. The match was played in the capital city of Nadal’s home island, Palma de Mallorca, in front of a home crowd at Palma Arena. Nadal won 7–5, 4–6, 7–6(12–10).
In biology, coevolution occurs when two or more species reciprocally affect each other’s evolution through the process of natural selection. The term sometimes is used for two traits in the same species affecting each other’s evolution, as well as gene-culture coevolution.
Bananadine is a fictional psychoactive substance which is supposedly extracted from banana peels. A hoax recipe for its “extraction” from banana peel was originally published in the Berkeley Barb in March 1967.
The birthday effect (sometimes called the birthday blues, especially when referring specifically to suicide) is a statistical phenomenon where an individual’s likelihood of death appears to increase on or close to their birthday. The birthday effect has been seen in studies of general populations in England and Wales, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United States, as well as in smaller populations such as Major League Baseball players.
The Dreamachine (a contraction of Dream Machine) is a stroboscopic flicker device that produces visual stimuli. Artist Brion Gysin and William S. Burroughs’ “systems adviser” Ian Sommerville created the Dreamachine after reading William Grey Walter’s book, The Living Brain.
Exploding head syndrome (EHS) is an abnormal sensory perception during sleep in which a person experiences unreal noises that are loud and of short duration when falling asleep or waking up. The noise may be frightening, typically occurs only occasionally, and is not a serious health concern. People may also experience a flash of light. Pain is typically absent.
A thagomizer is a term coined in 1982 by cartoonist Gary Larson in his comic The Far Side to refer to the tail spikes of stegosaurian dinosaurs. These spikes are believed to have been a defensive measure against predators. The arrangement of spikes originally had no distinct name; the term thagomizer was, and thereafter became, gradually adopted as an informal term occasionally used within scientific circles, research, and education.
Winona Laura Horowitz, known professionally as Winona Ryder, is an American actress. She is the recipient of several awards, including a Golden Globe Award and has been nominated for two Academy Awards. On December 12, 2001, Ryder was arrested on shoplifting charges in Beverly Hills, California, accused of stealing $5,500 worth of designer clothes and accessories at a Saks Fifth Avenue department store.
The Longyangxia Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam at the entrance of the Longyangxia canyon on the Yellow River in Gonghe County, Qinghai Province, China. The dam is 178 metres (584 ft) tall and was built for the purposes of hydroelectric power generation, irrigation, ice control and flood control.
A tidal bore, often simply given as bore in context, is a tidal phenomenon in which the leading edge of the incoming tide forms a wave (or waves) of water that travels up a river or narrow bay against the direction of the river or bay’s current.
John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie (October 21, 1917 – January 6, 1993) was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer, educator and singer who campaigned as an independent write-in candidate during the 1964 United States presidential campaign. He promised that if he were elected, the White House would be renamed the Blues House, and he would have a cabinet composed of Duke Ellington (Secretary of State), Miles Davis (Director of the CIA)…
A googol is the large number 10100. In decimal notation, it is written as the digit 1 followed by one hundred zeroes: 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.
Subfield of phonetics that studies articulation and ways that humans produce speech. Articulatory phoneticians explain how humans produce speech sounds via the interaction of different physiological structures. Generally, articulatory phonetics is concerned with the transformation of aerodynamic energy into acoustic energy. Aerodynamic energy refers to the airflow through the vocal tract. Its potential form is air pressure; its kinetic form is the actual dynamic airflow. Acoustic energy is variation in the air pressure that can be represented as sound waves, which are then perceived by the human auditory system as sound.
Obetrol was the brand of amphetamine mixed salts based drugs indicated for treatment of exogenous obesity by the American pharmaceutical company Obetrol Pharmaceuticals. Obetrol was a popular diet pill in America in the 1950s and 1960s. The ready availability of methamphetamine-based medications in the 1960s led to their use and abuse as recreational drugs. Obetrol was the recreational drug of choice for artist Andy Warhol.
The Greater Green River Intergalactic Spaceport is a small public use airstrip about five miles south of Green River, Wyoming on a mountain known as South Hill. It opened in 1963.
The Schmidt sting pain index is a pain scale rating the relative pain caused by different hymenopteran stings. It is mainly the work of Justin O. Schmidt (born 1947), an entomologist at the Carl Hayden Bee Research Center in Arizona, United States. Schmidt has published a number of papers on the subject, and claims to have been stung by the majority of stinging Hymenoptera.
The Peanut Hole was an area of open ocean at the center of the Sea of Okhotsk until 2014. From 1991 to 2014 its status was the subject of international disputes, although since March 2014 Peanut Hole’s seabed and subsoil is part of continental shelf of Russia.
Tornado Alley is a loosely defined area of the central United States where tornadoes are most frequent. The term was first used in 1952 as the title of a research project to study severe weather in areas of Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska. Tornado climatologists distinguish peaks in activity in certain areas and storm chasers have long recognized the Great Plains tornado belt.
Eunice aphroditois is a benthic bristle worm of warm marine waters. It lives mainly in the Atlantic Ocean, but can also be found in the Indo-Pacific. It ranges in length from less than 10 cm (4 in) to 3 m (10 ft). Its exoskeleton displays a wide range of colors, from black to purple. This species is an ambush predator; it hunts by burrowing its whole body in soft sediment on the ocean floor and waiting until its antennae detect prey. It then strikes with its sharp mouthparts. It may also be found among coral reefs.
Ideasthesia is a neuroscientific phenomenon in which activations of concepts (inducers) evoke perception-like sensory experiences (concurrents). The name comes from the Ancient Greek ἰδέα (idéa) and αἴσθησις (aísthēsis), meaning “sensing concepts” or “sensing ideas”. The notion was introduced by neuroscientist Danko Nikolić as an alternative explanation for a set of phenomena traditionally covered by synesthesia.
Plan Voisin was a planned redevelopment of central Paris designed by French Swiss architect Le Corbusier in 1925. It was sponsored by his friend, the avante garde aircraft and automobile builder Gabriel Voisin, whose cutting-edge design aesthetic Le Corbusier admired. The project is one of Le Corbusier’s most well known.
A class of stony-iron meteorite, mostly composed of small olivine crystals but also schreibersite, troilite, chromite, pyroxenes and phosphates. Pallasites were once thought to originate at the core-mantle boundary of differentiated asteroids that were subsequently shattered through impact. An alternative recent hypothesis is that they are impact-generated mixtures of core and mantle materials.
In fluid dynamics, a blast wave is the increased pressure and flow resulting from the deposition of a large amount of energy in a small, very localised volume. The flow field can be approximated as a lead shock wave, followed by a self-similar subsonic flow field. In simpler terms, a blast wave is an area of pressure expanding supersonically outward from an explosive core. It has a leading shock front of compressed gases.
The Maltese tiger, or blue tiger, is a reported but unproven coloration morph of a tiger, reported mostly in the Fujian Province of China. It is said to have bluish fur with dark gray stripes. Most of the Maltese tigers reported have been of the South Chinese subspecies.
The Controlled Impact Demonstration (or colloquially the Crash In the Desert) was a joint project between NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that intentionally crashed a remotely controlled Boeing 720 aircraft to acquire data and test new technologies to aid passenger and crew survival. The crash required more than four years of preparation by NASA Ames Research Center, Langley Research Center, Dryden Flight Research Center, the FAA, and General Electric.
Saturn’s hexagon is a persistent approximately hexagonal cloud pattern around the north pole of the planet Saturn, located at about 78°N. The sides of the hexagon are about 14,500 km (9,000 mi) long, which is about 2,000 km (1,200 mi) longer than the diameter of Earth. The hexagon may be a bit more than 29,000 km (18,000 mi) wide, may be 300 km (190 mi) high, and may be a jet stream made of atmospheric gases moving at 320 km/h (200 mph). It rotates with a period of 10h 39m 24s, the same period as Saturn’s radio emissions from its interior. The hexagon does not shift in longitude like other clouds in the visible atmosphere.
In computer science, time formatting and storage bugs are a class of software bugs which may cause time and date calculation or display to be improperly handled. These are most commonly manifestations of arithmetic overflow, but can also be the result of other issues. The most well-known consequence of bugs of this type is the Y2K problem, but many other milestone dates or times exist that have caused or will cause problems depending on various programming deficiencies.
The Tetris effect (also known as Tetris syndrome) occurs when people devote so much time and attention to an activity that it begins to pattern their thoughts, mental images, and dreams. It takes its name from the video game Tetris.
The multiverse is a hypothetical group of multiple universes. Together, these universes comprise everything that exists: the entirety of space, time, matter, energy, information, and the physical laws and constants that describe them. The different universes within the multiverse are called “parallel universes”, “other universes”, “alternate universes”, or “many worlds”.
Pinhead, or the Hell Priest, is a fictional character and the recurring antagonist of the Hellraiser franchise, first appearing as an unnamed figure in the 1986 Clive Barker novella The Hellbound Heart. When Clive Barker adapted the novella into the 1987 film Hellraiser, he referred to the character in early drafts as “the Priest” but the final film gave no name. The production and make-up crew nicknamed the character “Pinhead” and fans accepted the sobriquet, which was then used in press materials, tie-in media, and on-screen in some of the sequel films.
The Mir mine, also called the Mirny mine, is an open pit diamond mine located in Mirny, Sakha Republic, in the Siberian region of eastern Russia. The mine is more than 525 meters (1,722 ft) deep (4th in the world), has a diameter of 1,200 m (3,900 ft), and is one of the largest excavated holes in the world.
The Macdonald triad (also known as the triad of sociopathy or the homicidal triad) is a set of three factors, the presence of any two of which are considered to be predictive of, or associated with, violent tendencies, particularly with relation to serial offenses. The triad was first proposed by psychiatrist J. M. Macdonald in “The Threat to Kill”, a 1963 article in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
Ophiocordyceps unilateralis is an insect-pathogenic fungus, discovered by the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace in 1859, and currently found predominantly in tropical forest ecosystems. It infects ants of the tribe Camponotini, with the full pathogenesis being characterized by alteration of the behavioral patterns of the infected ant.
Colorless green ideas sleep furiously is a sentence composed by Noam Chomsky in his 1957 book Syntactic Structures as an example of a sentence that is grammatically correct, but semantically nonsensical. The sentence was originally used in his 1955 thesis The Logical Structure of Linguistic Theory and in his 1956 paper “Three Models for the Description of Language”.
The Snowball Earth hypothesis proposes that during one or more of Earth’s icehouse climates, Earth’s surface became entirely or nearly entirely frozen, sometime earlier than 650 Mya during the Cryogenian period. Proponents of the hypothesis argue that it best explains sedimentary deposits generally regarded as of glacial origin at tropical palaeolatitudes and other enigmatic features in the geological record.
In discussion of science fiction, a Big Dumb Object (BDO) is any mysterious object, usually of extraterrestrial or unknown origin and immense power, in a story which generates an intense sense of wonder by its mere existence. To a certain extent, the term deliberately deflates this.
The dream argument is the postulation that the act of dreaming provides preliminary evidence that the senses we trust to distinguish reality from illusion should not be fully trusted, and therefore, any state that is dependent on our senses should at the very least be carefully examined and rigorously tested to determine whether it is in fact reality.
Blood Falls is an outflow of an iron oxide-tainted plume of saltwater, flowing from the tongue of Taylor Glacier onto the ice-covered surface of West Lake Bonney in the Taylor Valley of the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Victoria Land, East Antarctica.
The Geologic Calendar is a scale in which the geological lifetime of the earth is mapped onto a calendrical year; that is to say, the day one of the earth took place on a geologic January 1 at precisely midnight, and today’s date and time is December 31 at midnight. On this calendar, the inferred appearance of the first living single-celled organisms, prokaryotes, occurred on a geologic February 25 around 12:30 pm to 1:07 pm, dinosaurs first appeared on December 13 and all of human history since the end of the last ice-age occurred in the last 82.2 seconds before midnight of the new year.
A mysterious, ancient tradition takes place each year in Mamoiada, a small village tucked into the middle of wild and mountainous Sardinia. On the day of Saint Anthony, the saint protector of animals and fire, the men of the village transform to become Mamuthones and Issohadores. Complementing one another like yin is to yang, mamuthones echo the darkness, while issohadores rope in the light.
Conspiracy 58 is a Swedish mockumentary from 2002, produced by Sveriges Television, the Swedish public broadcaster. The film examines the fictional KSP58 movement, that claims that the 1958 FIFA World Cup in Sweden did not really take place, but was faked and exists only as forged television and radio coverage in a conspiracy between American and Swedish television, the CIA and FIFA as part of the Cold War.
The use of profanity in films has always been controversial, but has increased significantly in recent years. The use of the word fuck in film draws particular criticism; in 2005, the documentary Fuck dealt entirely with this phenomenon. The word fuck is thought to be the taboo term used most in American film.
The X-Seed 4000 was a concept skyscraper. The idea was initially created and developed by Martin Pascoe. Its proposed 4-kilometre height, 6-kilometre-wide sea-base, and 800-floor capacity could accommodate 500,000 to 1,000,000 inhabitants. This structure would be composed of over 3,000,000 tons of steel. It was designed for Tokyo, Japan by the Taisei Corporation in 1995 as a futuristic environment combining ultra-modern and technological living and interaction with wildlife and nature. Methods of transportation within the X-seed would most likely include MagLev trains.
The expanding Earth or growing Earth hypothesis asserts that the position and relative movement of continents is at least partially due to the volume of Earth increasing. Conversely, geophysical global cooling was the hypothesis that various features could be explained by Earth contracting.
The Westbury or Bratton White Horse is a hill figure on the escarpment of Salisbury Plain, approximately 1.5 mi (2.4 km) east of Westbury in Wiltshire, England. Located on the edge of Bratton Downs and lying just below an Iron Age hill fort, it is the oldest of several white horses carved in Wiltshire.
“There are known knowns” is a phrase from a response United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld gave to a question at a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) news briefing on February 12, 2002, about the lack of evidence linking the government of Iraq with the supply of weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups.
In astrophysics, spaghettification (sometimes referred to as the noodle effect) is the vertical stretching and horizontal compression of objects into long thin shapes (rather like spaghetti) in a very strong non-homogeneous gravitational field; it is caused by extreme tidal forces. In the most extreme cases, near black holes, the stretching is so powerful that no object can withstand it, no matter how strong its components. Within a small region the horizontal compression balances the vertical stretching so that small objects being spaghettified experience no net change in volume.
Ichthyoallyeinotoxism, or hallucinogenic fish inebriation, comes from eating certain species of fish found in several parts of the tropics, the effects of which are reputed to be similar in some aspects to LSD. Experiences may include vivid auditory and visual hallucinations. This has given rise to the collective common name “dream fish” for ichthyoallyeinotoxic fish.
In mathematics, the moving sofa problem or sofa problem is a two-dimensional idealisation of real-life furniture-moving problems and asks for the rigid two-dimensional shape of largest area A that can be maneuvered through an L-shaped planar region with legs of unit width. The area A thus obtained is referred to as the sofa constant. The exact value of the sofa constant is an open problem.
Miss Belvedere is a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere that was sealed in an underground vault on the grounds of the Tulsa city courthouse on June 15, 1957, as a 50-year time capsule.
An eigenface is the name given to a set of eigenvectors when used in the computer vision problem of human face recognition. The approach of using eigenfaces for recognition was developed by Sirovich and Kirby (1987) and used by Matthew Turk and Alex Pentland in face classification.
The China National Highway 110 traffic jam was a recurring massive traffic jam that began to form on August 13, 2010, mostly on China National Highway 110 (G110) and Beijing–Tibet expressway (G6), in Hebei and Inner Mongolia. The traffic jam slowed thousands of vehicles for more than 100 kilometers (60 mi) and lasted for 10 days. Many drivers were able to move their vehicles only 1 km (0.6 mi) per day, and some drivers reported being stuck in the traffic jam for five days. It is considered to be one of the longest traffic jams by some media.
Hellmouth, or the jaws of Hell, is the entrance to Hell envisaged as the gaping mouth of a huge monster, an image which first appears in Anglo-Saxon art, and then spread all over Europe. It remained very common in depictions of the Last Judgment and Harrowing of Hell until the end of the Middle Ages, and is still sometimes used during the Renaissance and after.
Mind uploading, also known as whole brain emulation (WBE), is the hypothetical futuristic process of scanning a physical structure of the brain accurately enough to create an emulation of the mental state (including long-term memory and “self”) and copying it to a computer in a digital form. The computer would then run a simulation of the brain’s information processing, such that it would respond in essentially the same way as the original brain and experience having a sentient conscious mind.
An animal chimera is a single organism that is composed of two or more different populations of genetically distinct cells that originated from different zygotes involved in sexual reproduction. If the different cells have emerged from the same zygote, the organism is called a mosaic. Innate chimeras are formed from at least four parent cells (two fertilised eggs or early embryos fused together). Each population of cells keeps its own character and the resulting organism is a mixture of tissues. Cases of human chimerism have been documented.
Pareidolia is the tendency for incorrect perception of a stimulus as an object, pattern or meaning known to the observer, such as seeing shapes in clouds, seeing faces in inanimate objects or abstract patterns, or hearing hidden messages in music.
Titanosaurs were a diverse group of sauropod dinosaurs, including genera from Africa, Asia, South America, North America, Europe, Australia and Antarctica. The titanosaurians were the last surviving group of long-necked sauropods, with taxa still thriving at the time of the extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous. This group includes some of the largest land animals known to have ever existed, such as Patagotitan—estimated at 37 m (121 ft) long with a weight of 69 tonnes (76 tons)—and the comparably-sized Argentinosaurus and Puertasaurus from the same region.
Metta Sandiford-Artest (born Ronald William Artest Jr.; November 13, 1979) is an American former professional basketball player. He was known as Ron Artest before legally changing his name to Metta World Peace in 2011.
Archaeoacoustics is the use of acoustical study as a methodological approach within the field of archaeology. Archaeoacoustics examines the acoustics of archaeological sites and artifacts. It is an interdisciplinary field that includes archaeology, ethnomusicology, acoustics and digital modelling, and is part of the wider field of music archaeology, with a particular interest in prehistoric music.
Organ2/ASLSP (As Slow as Possible) is a musical piece by John Cage and the subject of one of the longest-lasting musical performances yet undertaken. It was originally written in 1987 for organ and is adapted from the earlier work ASLSP 1985; a typical performance of the piano version lasts 20 to 70 minutes. In 1985, Cage opted to omit the detail of exactly how slowly the piece should be played. The performance of the organ version at St. Burchardi church in Halberstadt, Germany began in 2001 and is scheduled to have a duration of 639 years, ending in 2640.
“Turner Doomsday Video” is the internal title of a video intended to be broadcast by CNN at the end of the world. The video, created at the direction of CNN founder Ted Turner before the network’s 1980 launch, is a performance of the Christian hymn “Nearer My God To Thee” performed by multiple members of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine bands.
Elephant’s toothpaste is a foamy substance caused by the rapid decomposition of hydrogen peroxide using potassium iodide or yeast and warm water as a catalyst. How rapidly the reaction proceeds will depend on the concentration of hydrogen peroxide. Because it requires only a small number of ingredients and makes a “volcano of foam”, this is a popular experiment for children to perform in school or at parties.
Prohibition of dying is a political social phenomenon and taboo in which a law is passed stating that it is illegal to die, usually specifically in a certain political division or in a specific building.
Angie Sanselmente Valencia (born 25 May 1979) is a former Colombian beauty queen and lingerie model believed to be the ringleader of one of the world’s largest drug syndicates.
Cicada 3301 is a nickname given to an organization that, on three occasions, has posted a set of puzzles to recruit codebreakers from the public. The first internet puzzle started on January 4, 2012, on 4chan and ran for nearly a month. A second round began one year later on January 4, 2013, and then a third round following the confirmation of a fresh clue posted on Twitter on January 4, 2014. The third puzzle has yet to be solved.
The Volcano Number (also Volcano Reference File Number, Volcano Numbering System, or VNUM) is a hierarchical geographical system to uniquely identify and tag volcanoes and volcanic features on Earth. The numbers consist of four numerals, a hyphen, then two or three more numerals. The first two numerals identify the region, the next two the subregion, and the last two or three the individual volcano.
Apeirophobia is the irrational and excessive fear of infinity and the uncountable, causing discomfort and sometimes panic attacks from intrusive thoughts of the infinity. It normally starts in adolescence, but in some rare cases, it can start before then. It may be caused by existential dread about eternal life after death.
Arachnacris is an Asian genus of large bush crickets in the sub-family Mecopodinae and tribe Mecopodini. They are found in tropical forest areas of Malesia.
Null Island is a name for the point on the Earth’s surface where the prime meridian and the equator cross, located in international waters in the Gulf of Guinea (Atlantic Ocean) off the west African coast. The name ‘Null Island’ serves as both a joke based around the suppositional existence of an island there and as a name to which coordinates erroneously set to 0,0 are assigned in placenames databases in order to more easily find and fix them.
Xenu also called Xemu, was, according to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, the dictator of the “Galactic Confederacy” who brought billions of his people to Earth (then known as “Teegeeack”) in DC-8-like spacecraft 75 million years ago, stacked them around volcanoes, and killed them with hydrogen bombs. Official Scientology scriptures hold that the thetans (immortal spirits) of these aliens adhere to humans, causing spiritual harm.
The Barcelona Supercomputing Center is a public research center located in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The Center is located in a former chapel named Torre Girona, at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), and was established on April 1, 2005. It hosts MareNostrum, a 13.7 Petaflops, Intel Xeon Platinum-based supercomputer, which also includes clusters of emerging technologies.
The Other World Kingdom (frequently abbreviated OWK) is a large, commercial BDSM and femdom facility, resort, and micronation, which opened in 1996 using the buildings and grounds of a 16th-century chateau located in the municipality of Černá in Žďár nad Sázavou District, Czech Republic. Although not recognized by any other country, it maintains its own currency, passports, police force, courts, state flag and state hymn.
Stubble burning is the practice of intentionally setting fire to the straw stubble that remains after grains, such as rice and wheat, have been harvested. The technique was widespread until the 1990s, when governments increasingly restricted its use.
The Philadelphia Experiment is an alleged military experiment supposed to have been carried out by the U.S. Navy at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, sometime around October 28, 1943. The U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Eldridge was claimed to have been rendered invisible (or “cloaked”) to enemy devices.
The Zone of Death is the name given to the 50 sq mi (129.50 km2) Idaho section of Yellowstone National Park in which, as a result of a purported loophole in the Constitution of the United States, a criminal could theoretically get away with any crime, up to and including murder.
Colors that do not appear in ordinary visual functioning. Different color theories suggest different hypothetical colors that humans are incapable of seeing for one reason or another, and made-up colors are routinely created in popular culture. While some such colors have no basis in reality, phenomena such as cone cell fatigue enable colors to be perceived in certain circumstances that would not be otherwise.
Heat haze, also called heat shimmer, refers to the inferior mirage observed when viewing objects through a mass of heated air. Common instances when heat haze occurs include images of objects viewed across asphalt concrete (also known as tarmac) roads and over masonry rooftops on hot days, above and behind fire (as in burning candles, patio heaters, and campfires), and through exhaust gases from jet engines.
The zoo hypothesis speculates on the assumed behavior and existence of technically advanced extraterrestrial life and the reasons they refrain from contacting Earth. It is one of many theoretical explanations for the Fermi paradox. The hypothesis is that alien life intentionally avoids communication with Earth, and one of its main interpretations is that it does so to allow for natural evolution and sociocultural development, avoiding interplanetary contamination, similarly to people observing animals at a zoo.
The Cholita Climbers of Bolivia are a group of Aymara women who summit different mountains all throughout Latin America while wearing their traditional dresses. The group was formed in 2015, and the women are all part of a tight knit community who work and live in the mountains. Their most recent expedition has become their most notable, as on January 23, 2019 they became the first Aymara women to summit Aconcagua.
Burj Al Babas is a residential development located near the Turkish town of Mudurnu. The homes in the development are designed to resemble miniature chateaux. The center of the complex was to include a domed structure containing stores, a movie theater, and other facilities open to residents. Construction began in 2014. The development was originally successful, but sales eventually stalled, causing the developer to enter bankruptcy.Falling oil prices and instability in Turkey have been cited as reasons for the lack of sales. As of January 2019, 587 of the planned 732 homes were started but none were finished.
Susan Charna Rothenberg (January 20, 1945 – May 18, 2020) was an American contemporary painter, printmaker, sculptor, and draughtswoman. She achieved a place of prominence through her iconic images of the horse, in which she synthesized the opposing forces of abstraction and representation.
Researchers know that high-voltage power lines have some strange influence on animals. Creatures from reindeer to elephants to birds tend to avoid the areas around power lines. This was mysterious because the structures seem passive and simple to walk or fly past. However, scientists now say this may be because power lines emit ultraviolet light, invisible to human eyes, that appears as frightening flashes to animals that can perceive ultraviolet light.
Deimatic behaviour or startle display means any pattern of bluffing behaviour in an animal that lacks strong defences, such as suddenly displaying conspicuous eyespots, to scare off or momentarily distract a predator, thus giving the prey animal an opportunity to escape.
The Richat Structure, also called Guelb er Richât, the Eye of Africa, Eye of Mauritania or Eye of the Sahara is a prominent circular feature in the Sahara’s Adrar Plateau, near Ouadane, west–central Mauritania, Northwest Africa. It is an eroded dome, 40 kilometres in diameter, exposing sedimentary rock in layers which appear as concentric rings.
Surface tension is the tendency of liquid surfaces to shrink into the minimum surface area possible. Surface tension allows insects, to float and slide on a water surface without becoming even partly submerged. At liquid–air interfaces, surface tension results from the greater attraction of liquid molecules to each other (due to cohesion) than to the molecules in the air (due to adhesion).
Déjà vu is the feeling that one has lived through the present situation before. This is a French phrase that translates literally as “already seen”. Although some interpret déjà vu in a paranormal context, mainstream scientific approaches reject the explanation of déjà vu as “precognition” or “prophecy”. It is an anomaly of memory whereby, despite the strong sense of recollection, the time, place, and practical context of the “previous” experience are uncertain or believed to be impossible.
Yareta or llareta (Azorella compacta, known historically as Azorella yareta, from yarita in the Quechua language) is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae native to South America. It grows in the Puna grasslands of the Andes in Peru, Bolivia, northern Chile, and western Argentina at altitudes between 3,200 and 5,250 metres (10,500 and 17,220 ft).
The Wow! signal was a strong narrowband radio signal received on August 15, 1977, by Ohio State University’s Big Ear radio telescope in the United States, then used to support the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. The signal appeared to come from the direction of the constellation Sagittarius and bore the expected hallmarks of extraterrestrial origin.
Atomic gardening is a form of mutation breeding where plants are exposed to radioactive sources, typically cobalt-60, in order to generate mutations, some of which have turned out to be useful.
The cobalt blue tarantula (Cyriopagopus lividus) is a tarantula species (family Theraphosidae) native to Myanmar and over the border into Thailand. It was originally described as Haplopelma lividum.
Alain Robert is a French rock climber and urban climber, from Digoin, Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy, France. Known as “the Human Spider,” Robert is famous for his free solo climbing, scaling skyscrapers using no climbing equipment except for a small bag of chalk and a pair of climbing shoes. Since 1994, Robert has climbed landmarks including the Burj Khalifa, Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House and the Empire State Building.
Olympus Mons is a very large shield volcano on the planet Mars. The volcano has a height of over 21 km as measured by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA). Olympus Mons is about two and a half times Mount Everest’s height above sea level. It is one of the largest volcanoes, the tallest planetary mountain, and the second tallest mountain currently discovered in the Solar System.
The Harbin International Ice and Snow festival is an annual winter festival that takes place with a theme in Harbin, Heilongjiang, China, and now is the largest ice and snow festival in the world. At first participants in the festival were mainly Chinese, however it has since become an international festival and competition, with the 2018 festival attracting 18 million visitors and generating 28.7 billion yuan ($4.4 billion) of revenue. The festival includes the world’s biggest ice sculptures.
Cortinarius violaceus, commonly known as the violet webcap or violet cort, is a fungus in the webcap genus Cortinarius native across the Northern Hemisphere.
The theremin is an electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact by the thereminist (performer). It is named after its inventor, Leon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928. The instrument’s controlling section usually consists of two metal antennas that sense the relative position of the thereminist’s hands and control oscillators for frequency with one hand, and amplitude with the other.
Blue-ringed octopuses, comprising the genus Hapalochlaena, are four highly venomous species of octopus that are found in tide pools and coral reefs in the Pacific and Indian oceans, from Japan to Australia. They can be identified by their yellowish skin and characteristic blue and black rings that change color dramatically when the animal is threatened. They eat small crustaceans, including crabs, hermit crabs, shrimp, and other small animals.
Hiroo Onoda (19 March 1922 – 16 January 2014) was an Imperial Japanese Army intelligence officer who fought in World War II and was a Japanese holdout who did not surrender at the war’s end in August 1945. After the war ended Onoda spent 29 years hiding out in the Philippines until his former commander travelled from Japan to formally relieve him from duty by order of Emperor Shōwa in 1974.
Radio telescope located in the Dawodang depression, a natural basin in Pingtang County, Guizhou, southwest China. It has a fixed 500 m diameter dish constructed in a natural depression in the landscape. It is the world’s largest filled-aperture radio telescope and the second-largest single-dish aperture, after the sparsely-filled RATAN-600 in Russia.
The radiography of cultural objects is the use of radiography to understand intrinsic details about objects. Most commonly this involves X-rays of paintings to reveal underdrawing, pentimenti alterations in the course of painting or by later restorers, and sometimes previous paintings on the support. Many pigments such as lead white show well in radiographs.
Orientation of a map with south up. Cultural diversity and media literacy educators use south-up oriented world maps to help students viscerally experience the frequently disorienting effect of seeing something familiar from a different perspective. Having students consider the privileged position given to the Northern hemisphere (especially Europe and North America) on most world maps can help students confront their more general potential for culturally biased perceptions.
Perpetual motion is the motion of bodies that continues forever. A perpetual motion machine is a hypothetical machine that can do work infinitely without an energy source. This kind of machine is impossible, as it would violate the first or second law of thermodynamics.
During the summer of 2000 and 2001 and the winter of 2001-2002, Carl De Keyzer stayed 6-7 months in Krasnoyarsk - Russia visiting 40-50 different prison camps, most of these former Gulags.
Pykrete is a frozen ice alloy, originally made of approximately 14 percent sawdust or some other form of wood pulp and 86 percent ice by weight . During World War II, Geoffrey Pyke proposed it as a candidate material for a supersized aircraft carrier for the British Royal Navy. Pykrete features unusual properties, including a relatively slow melting rate due to its low thermal conductivity, as well as a vastly improved strength and toughness compared to ordinary ice. These physical properties can make the material comparable to concrete, as long as the material is kept frozen.
The Darvaza gas crater also known as the Door to Hell or Gates of Hell, is a natural gas field collapsed into a cavern in Darvaza, Turkmenistan. Soviet geologists may have intentionally set it on fire to prevent the spread of methane gas, and it is thought to have been burning continuously since 1971.
The buttered toast phenomenon is an observation that buttered toast tends to land butter-side down after it falls. It is used as an idiom representing pessimistic outlooks. Various people have attempted to determine whether there is an actual tendency for bread to fall in this fashion, with varying results.
The Truman Show delusion, informally known as Truman syndrome, is a type of delusion in which the person believes that their lives are staged reality shows, or that they are being watched on cameras. The term was coined in 2008 by brothers Joel Gold and Ian Gold, a psychiatrist and a neurophilosopher, respectively, after the film The Truman Show.
Kowloon Walled City was an ungoverned, densely populated de jure Chinese enclave within the boundaries of Kowloon City, Hong Kong. Originally a Chinese military fort, the walled city became an enclave after the New Territories were leased to the UK by China in 1898. Its population increased dramatically following the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during World War II. By 1990, the walled city contained 50,000 residents within its 2.6-hectare borders. From the 1950s to the 1970s, it was controlled by local triads and had high rates of prostitution, gambling, and drug abuse.
In biological nomenclature, organisms often receive scientific names that honor a person. A taxon named in honor of another entity is an eponymous taxon, and names specifically honoring a person. Some creatures are named after famous figures such as Synalpheus Pinkfloydi, Librelula Maradoniana, Heteropoda Davidbowie, Eleutherodactylus Amadeus, Aptostichus Barackobamai and Agra Schwarzeneggeri.
Visions of Mars is a digital time capsule placed on mars for its future human inhabitants. Developed and funded by The Planetary Society, it arrived at the Red Planet on 25 May 2008 onboard NASA’s Phoenix lander. Along with personal messages from leading space visionaries of our time, Visions of Mars included a priceless collection of Mars literature, and art, and a list of hundreds of thousands of names of space enthusiasts from around the world. The entire collection was encoded on an archival silica-glass mini-DVD designed to last hundreds—if not thousands—of years.
Human furniture is furniture in which a person’s body is used as a tray, foot stool, chair, table, cabinet or other item. In some cases a sculpture of a human body is used. Forniphilia is the practice of creating human furniture. Examples of human furniture have appeared in modern art and in pornography.
An ant mill is an observed phenomenon in which a group of army ants are separated from the main foraging party, lose the pheromone track and begin to follow one another, forming a continuously rotating circle, commonly known as a “death spiral” since the ants might eventually die of exhaustion.
Point on the image plane of a perspective drawing where the two-dimensional perspective projections of mutually parallel lines in three-dimensional space appear to converge. When the set of parallel lines is perpendicular to a picture plane, the construction is known as one-point perspective, and their vanishing point corresponds to the oculus, or “eye point”, from which the image should be viewed for correct perspective geometry.
Artist, architect and designer, Gianni Pettena is a key figure of the radical architecture movement that was shaking up the architectural scene in Italy and Europe in the 1960’s. During his time spent in the U.S., Gianni Pettena nourished his research on space by drawing on the proposals then being made in Land Art. With his Ice House I project, he took advantage of the icy winters of Minnesota and poured water over former administrative offices. The building froze overnight, becoming entirely covered with a translucent layer of ice. Only perceptible through this new skin of ice, the architecture as such became invisible.
The Parental Advisory label is a warning label introduced by the Recording Industry Association of America in 1985. It is placed on audio recordings in recognition of profanity or inappropriate references. Shortly after their formation, the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) assembled a list of fifteen songs with deemed unsuitable content. Particular criticism was placed on “Darling Nikki” by Prince, after PMRC co-founder Mary Gore heard her 11-year-old daughter sing the lyrics. The first album to bear the “black and white” Parental Advisory label was the 1990 release of Banned in the U.S.A. by the rap group 2 Live Crew.
The vehicle using the giant suppressor is an M109G 155mm self-propelled howitzer at an artillery range in Germany. The steel construction allows for it to be lifted into position and used when firing at a 30-degree elevation. But it cannot be attached to the turret, because tests showed it affected recoil and harm the turret barrel.
Plant arithmetic is a form of plant cognition whereby plants appear to perform arithmetic operations – a form of number sense in plants.
A safety coffin or security coffin is a coffin fitted with a mechanism to prevent premature burial or allow the occupant to signal that they have been buried alive. A large number of designs for safety coffins were patented during the 18th and 19th centuries and variations on the idea are still available today.
Bir Tawil is a 2,060 km2 area of land along the border between Egypt and the Sudan, which is uninhabited and claimed by neither country. When spoken of in association with the neighbouring Hala’ib Triangle, it is sometimes referred to as the Bir Tawil Triangle, despite the area’s quadrilateral shape; the two “triangles” border at a quadripoint.
In the early 1980s, James R. Murphy began teaching mathematics using string figures in an effort to engage students who didn’t “like” math. Kids found the activity enormously fun and, almost without realizing it, learned to the kind of focus and dedication necessary for solving a problem by completing a series of complex steps — a fundamental skill in math and science. Essentially, it was an early successful experiment in using gaming for education — something on the minds of many in our age of social innovation.
Unplanned fortunate discovery. Serendipity is a common occurrence throughout the history of product invention and scientific discovery. The term “serendipity” is often applied to inventions made by chance rather than intent. The origin of cheese, for example, possibly originated in the Nomad practice of storing milk in the stomach of a dead camel that was attached to the saddle of a live one, thereby mixing rennet from the stomach with the milk stored within. Other examples of serendipity in inventions include: The post-it note, the microwave oven, the Velcro hook-and-loop fastener, the Popsicle and the penicillin.
Impact crater buried underneath the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. It was formed when a large asteroid or comet about 11 to 81 kilometers in diameter, known as the Chicxulub impactor, struck the Earth. The date of the impact coincides precisely with the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary (commonly known as the “K–Pg boundary”), slightly more than 66 million years ago, and a widely accepted theory is that worldwide climate disruption from the event was the cause of the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, a mass extinction in which 75% of plant and animal species on Earth became extinct, including all non-avian dinosaurs.
A cortical homunculus is a distorted representation of the human body, based on a neurological “map” of the areas and proportions of the human brain dedicated to processing motor functions, or sensory functions, for different parts of the body.
The Philip experiment was a 1972 parapsychology experiment conducted in Toronto, Ontario to determine whether subjects can communicate with fictionalized ghosts through expectations of human will.
The Gombe Chimpanzee War was a violent conflict between two communities of chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania lasting from 1974 to 1978. The two groups were once unified in the Kasakela community. By 1974, researcher Jane Goodall noticed the community splintering. Over a span of eight months, a large party of chimpanzees separated themselves into the southern area of Kasakela and were renamed the Kahama community. The separatists consisted of six adult males, three adult females and their young. The Kasakela was left with eight adult males, twelve adult females and their young.
A Fata Morgana is a complex form of superior mirage that is seen in a narrow band right above the horizon. It is an Italian term named after the Arthurian sorceress Morgan le Fay, from a belief that these mirages, often seen in the Strait of Messina, were fairy castles in the air or false land created by her witchcraft to lure sailors to their deaths.
In mathematics, the four color theorem, or the four color map theorem, states that, given any separation of a plane into contiguous regions, producing a figure called a map, no more than four colors are required to color the regions of the map so that no two adjacent regions have the same color. Adjacent means that two regions share a common boundary curve segment, not merely a corner where three or more regions meet. It was the first major theorem to be proved using a computer.
Tropical and subtropical cyclones are named by various warning centers to simplify communication between forecasters and the general public regarding forecasts, watches, and warnings. The names are intended to reduce confusion in the event of concurrent storms in the same basin. Generally once storms produce sustained wind speeds of more than 61 km/h; 38 mph, names are assigned in order from predetermined lists depending on which basin they originate.
Cydonia is a region on the planet Mars that has attracted both scientific and popular interest It contains the “Face on Mars”, located about halfway between Arandas Crater and Bamberg Crater. In one of the images taken by Viking 1 on July 25, 1976, a 2km-long Cydonian mesa had the appearance of a humanoid face. When the image was originally acquired, Viking chief scientist Gerry Soffen dismissed the “Face on Mars” in image 035A72 as a “trick of light and shadow”. However, a second image, 070A13, also shows the “face”, and was acquired 35 Viking orbits later at a different sun-angle from the 035A72 image.
Architecture characterised by the use of local materials and knowledge, usually without the supervision of professional architects. Vernacular architecture represents the majority of buildings and settlements created in pre-industrial societies and includes a very wide range of buildings, building traditions, and methods of construction.
Deep Blue was a chess-playing computer developed by IBM. Deep Blue won its first game against world champion Garry Kasparov in game one of a six-game match on 10 February 1996. However, Kasparov won three and drew two of the following five games, defeating Deep Blue by a score of 4–2. Deep Blue was heavily upgraded before playing against Kasparov again in May 1997. Deep Blue won game six, thereby winning the six-game rematch 3½–2½ and becoming the first computer system to defeat a reigning world champion in a match under standard chess tournament time controls. However, Kasparov accused IBM of cheating.
Cosmic latte is the average color of the universe, found by a team of astronomers from Johns Hopkins University. In 2001, Karl Glazebrook and Ivan Baldry determined that the average color of the universe was a greenish white, but they soon corrected their analysis in a 2002 paper in which they reported that their survey of the light from over 200,000 galaxies averaged to a slightly beigeish white. The hex triplet value for cosmic latte is #FFF8E7.
The Decline of Western Civilization is a 1981 American documentary filmed through 1979 and 1980. The movie is about the Los Angeles punk rock scene and was directed by Penelope Spheeris. In 1981, the LAPD Chief of Police Daryl Gates wrote a letter demanding the film not be shown again in the city.
Tardigrades are a phylum of eight-legged segmented micro-animals. They are the first known animal to survive after exposure to outer space. In September 2007, dehydrated tardigrades were taken into low Earth orbit on the FOTON-M3 mission carrying the BIOPAN astrobiology payload. For 10 days, groups of tardigrades, some of them previously dehydrated, some of them not, were exposed to the hard vacuum of outer space, or vacuum and solar UV radiation. Back on Earth, over 68% of the subjects protected from solar UV radiation were reanimated within 30 minutes.
Launched from the Lower East Side, Manhattan, in 1983 as a subscription only bimonthly publication, the Tellus cassette series took full advantage of the popular cassette medium to promote cutting-edge downtown music, documenting the New York scene and advancing experimental composers of the time – the first 2 issues being devoted to NY artists from the downtown no wave scene. The series was financially supported along the years by funding from the New York State Council of the Arts, Colab and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Forensic facial reconstruction (or forensic facial approximation) is the process of recreating the face of an individual (whose identity is often not known) from their skeletal remains through an amalgamation of artistry, anthropology, osteology, and anatomy. It is easily the most subjective—as well as one of the most controversial—techniques in the field of forensic anthropology.
In aesthetics, the uncanny valley is a hypothesized relationship between the degree of an object’s resemblance to a human being and the emotional response to such an object. The concept suggests that humanoid objects which imperfectly resemble actual human beings provoke uncanny or strangely familiar feelings of eeriness and revulsion in observers. “Valley” denotes a dip in the human observer’s affinity for the replica, a relation that otherwise increases with the replica’s human likeness.
Carstuckgirls.com is a website offering online images and videos of women trying to free their cars from a variety of obstacles, and selling tape and DVD recordings. Carstuckgirls.com has received several nominations and awards for its online imagery.
The Anarchist Cookbook, first published in 1971, is a book that contains instructions for the manufacture of explosives, rudimentary telecommunications phreaking devices, and related weapons, as well as instructions for home manufacturing of illicit drugs, including LSD. It was written by William Powell at the apex of the counterculture era to protest against United States involvement in the Vietnam War.
The Jarkov Mammoth (named for the family who discovered it) is a woolly mammoth specimen discovered on the Taymyr Peninsula of Siberia by a nine-year-old boy in 1997. The Jarkov Mammoth was recovered from a 23 tonne frozen block and transported to Khatanga under the supervision of French mammoth-hunter Bernard Buigues. This particular mammoth is estimated to have lived about 20,000 years ago. It is likely to be male and probably died at age 47.
Michel Lotito was a French entertainer, born in Grenoble, famous for deliberately consuming indigestible objects. He came to be known as Monsieur Mangetout (“Mr. Eat-All”).
The pineal gland is a small endocrine gland in the brain of most vertebrates. The pineal gland produces melatonin, a serotonin-derived hormone which modulates sleep patterns in both circadian and seasonal cycles. The shape of the gland resembles a pine cone from which it derived its name. The pineal gland is located in the epithalamus, near the center of the brain, between the two hemispheres, tucked in a groove where the two halves of the thalamus join. The pineal gland is one of the neuroendocrine secretory circumventricular organs in which capillaries are mostly permeable to solutes in the blood.
1893 painting by the German painter, sculptor, printmaker, and architect, Franz Stuck. Stuck was best known for his paintings of ancient egyptian mythology receiving substantial critical acclaim with The Sin in 1892.
The mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx) is a primate of the Old World monkey family. It is one of two species assigned to the genus Mandrillus, along with the drill. Mandrills are noted as being exceptionally colorful by mammalian standards. Charles Darwin wrote in The Descent of Man: “no other member in the whole class of mammals is colored in so extraordinary a manner as the adult male mandrill’s”. The bright colors of mandrills are indeed not produced conventionally (no mammal is known to have red and blue pigments), being derived from light diffraction in facial collagen fibers.
Savonius wind turbines are a type of vertical-axis wind turbine (VAWT), used for converting the force of the wind into torque on a rotating shaft. The turbine consists of a number of aerofoils, usually—but not always—vertically mounted on a rotating shaft or framework, either ground stationed or tethered in airborne systems.
The “tourist guy” was a hoax that featured a digitally altered photograph of a tourist on the observation deck of the World Trade Center, supposedly on the day of the September 11 attacks, showing a plane about to hit the tower in the background. The photo became an Internet phenomenon as many manipulated pictures spread online. The man in the photograph was identified as Hungarian Péter Guzli, who took the photo in 1997. Guzli said he edited the photo as a joke for his friends and did not realize it would spread across the Internet.
Embryo space colonization is a theoretical interstellar space colonization concept that involves sending a robotic mission to a habitable terrestrial planet, dwarf planet, minor planet or natural satellite transporting frozen early-stage human embryos or the technological or biological means to create human embryos.
Calculator spelling is an unintended characteristic of the seven-segments display traditionally used by calculators, in which, when read upside-down, the digits resemble letters of the Latin alphabet. Each digit may be mapped to one or more letters, creating a limited but functional subset of the alphabet, sometimes referred to as beghilos (or beghilosz).
Black Panthers is a 1968 short documentary film directed by Agnès Varda. The film focuses on the Black Panther Party in Oakland, California, during protests over the arrest of Black Panther co-founder Huey P. Newton for the murder of police officer John Frey in 1967.
The Rungrado 1st of May Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium on Rungra Island, Pyongyang, North Korea. It opened on 1 May 1989, with its first major event being the 13th World Festival of Youth and Students. It is the largest stadium in the world by seating capacity. The site occupies an area of 20.7 hectares. The stadium is currently used for football matches, a few athletics events, and most often for the mass games of the Arirang Festival.
House Gymnastics originated during an attempt by Harrison and Ford to put up a bedroom blind. “The Brace” and “The 25th Element” were the first moves conceived. From there on in moves were being created on a daily basis. Language was developed to complement the physicality of House Gymnastics, and new moves and areas of were given names. As such, words such as “busted” and “amped” were developed and entered the “House Gymnastics” vocabulary.
The emerald cockroach wasp or jewel wasp (Ampulex compressa) is a solitary wasp of the family Ampulicidae. It is known for its unusual reproductive behavior, which involves stinging a cockroach. This paralyzes the cockroach’s front legs and allows her to deliver a second, more precise sting in the cockroach’s brain. This second sting disables the roach’s escape reflex, essentially transforming it into a zombie to use it as a host for its larvae.
An electroencephalophone or encephalophone is an experimental musical instrument and diagnostic tool which uses brain waves (measured in the same way as an EEG) to generate or modulate sounds.
Synchronicity is a concept, first introduced by analytical psychologist Carl Jung, which holds that events are “meaningful coincidences” if they occur with no causal relationship yet seem to be meaningfully related.
“HIGH FASHION” is a series of work taken by Pawel Jaszczuk between 2008 and 2010 of drunk salarymen sleeping in the streets of Tokyo.
An out-of-body experience (OBE or sometimes OOBE) is a phenomenon in which a person perceives the world from a location outside their physical body. An OBE is a form of autoscopy (literally “seeing self”), although this term is more commonly used to refer to the pathological condition of seeing a second self, or doppelgänger.
Gate Tower Building is a 16-floor office building in Fukushima-ku, Osaka, Japan. It is notable for the highway offramp of the Ikeda Route that passes through the building.
Stendhal syndrome, Stendhal’s syndrome or Florence syndrome is a psychosomatic condition involving rapid heartbeat, fainting, confusion and even hallucinations, allegedly occurring when individuals become exposed to objects, artworks, or phenomena of great beauty.
Humans and animals exposed to vacuum will lose consciousness after a few seconds and die of hypoxia within minutes, but the symptoms are not nearly as graphic as commonly depicted in media and popular culture. The reduction in pressure lowers the temperature at which blood and other body fluids boil, but the elastic pressure of blood vessels ensures that this boiling point remains above the internal body temperature of 37 °C. Although the blood will not boil, the formation of gas bubbles in bodily fluids at reduced pressures, known as ebullism, is still a concern.
An anechoic chamber is a room designed to completely absorb reflections of either sound or electromagnetic waves. They are also often isolated from waves entering from their surroundings. This combination means that a person or detector exclusively hears direct sounds (no reverberant sounds), in effect simulating being inside an infinitely large room.
The world’s first photograph was taken by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in 1826 or 1827. Captured using a technique known as heliography, the shot was taken from an upstairs window at Niépce’s estate in Burgundy.
The Portuguese man o’ war (Physalia physalis), also known as the man-of-war, bluebottle, or floating terror is a marine hydrozoan found in the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Oceans. It is considered to be the same species as the Pacific man o’ war, which is found mainly in the Pacific Ocean.
Operation Midnight Climax was an operation carried out by the CIA as a sub-project of Project MKUltra, the mind-control research program that began in the 1950s. It was initially established in 1954 in order to study the effects of LSD on unconsenting individuals.
Apparent retrograde motion is the apparent motion of a planet in a direction opposite to that of other bodies within its system, as observed from a particular vantage point. Direct motion or prograde motion is motion in the same direction as other bodies.
A pointing machine is a measuring tool used by stone sculptors and woodcarvers to accurately copy plaster, clay or wax sculpture models into wood or stone. In essence the device is a pointing needle that can be set to any position and then fixed. It further consists of brass or stainless steel rods and joints which can be placed into any position and then tightened.
The Odeillo solar furnace is the world’s largest solar furnace. It is situated in Font-Romeu-Odeillo-Via, in the department of Pyrénées-Orientales, in the south of France. It is 54 metres (177 ft) high and 48 metres (157 ft) wide, and includes 63 heliostats. It was built between 1962 and 1968, and started operating in 1969, and has a power of one megawatt.
It serves as a science research site studying materials at very high temperatures.
Terminator 2 is heralded as a milestone in computer graphics and marked the first time that a lead character in a feature film had been created, as least in part, through the use of computer graphics created by Industrial Light & Magic.
The demon core was a spherical 6.2-kilogram (14 lb) subcritical mass of plutonium 89 millimetres (3.5 in) in diameter, manufactured during World War II by the United States nuclear weapon development effort, the Manhattan Project, as a fissile core for an early atomic bomb, that was involved in two criticality accidents, on August 21, 1945, and May 21, 1946.
Saddam Hussein, the late President of Iraq, wrote four novels and a number of poems. The first two books (Zabibah and the King and The Fortified Castle) were “Written by He Who Wrote It”, a traditional way in Arabic writing to preserve anonymity.
The Rag Chair was designed by Dutch designer Tejo Remy in 1991 and is layered from the contents of 15 bags of rags. It arrives ready made but the user has the option to recycle its own discarded clothes to be included in the design. Each piece is unique.
Ricardo López, also known as the “Björk stalker”, was a Uruguayan-American pest control worker who attempted to kill Icelandic musician Björk in September 1996. López developed an obsession with Björk in 1993, and became angry over her relationship with musician Goldie. Over the course of nearly nine months, López made a video diary musing about Björk and other topics at his apartment in Hollywood, Florida.
Type of housing development in which multiple similar homes are built on a tract (area) of land that is subdivided into individual small lots. Tract housing developments are found in world suburb developments that were modeled on the “Levittown” concept and sometimes encompass large areas of dozens of square miles.
The raven paradox, also known as Hempel’s paradox, Hempel’s ravens, or rarely the paradox of indoor ornithology, is a paradox arising from the question of what constitutes evidence for a statement. Observing objects that are neither black nor ravens may formally increase the likelihood that all ravens are black even though, intuitively, these observations are unrelated.
Hell money is a form of joss paper printed to resemble legal tender bank notes. The notes are not an official form of recognized currency or legal tender since their sole intended purpose is to be offered as burnt offerings to the deceased as a solution to resolve their assumed monetary problems in the afterlife. This ritual has been practiced by the modern Chinese and across East Asia since the late 19th century.
Some complex improvised firearms are not only well-built, but also use mimicry as camouflage, taking the appearance of other items. Improvised firearms in the form of flashlights, cellular telephones, canes and large bolts, have all been seized by law enforcement officials. Most of these are .22 caliber rimfires, but flashlight guns have been found ranging from small models firing 22 Long Rifle to larger ones chambered for 410 bore shotgun shells.
Central Asian sport in which horse-mounted players attempt to place a goat or calf carcass in a goal. Buzkashi is the national sport and a “passion” in Afghanistan where it is often played on Fridays and matches draw thousands of fans. Traditionally, games could last for several days, but in its more regulated tournament version, it has a limited match time.
Bloop was an ultra-low-frequency, high amplitude underwater sound detected by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 1997. By 2012, earlier speculation that the sound originated from a marine animal was replaced by NOAA’s description of the sound as being consistent with noises generated via non-tectonic cryoseisms originating from glacial movements such as ice calving, or through seabed gouging by ice.
Vincenzo Peruggia (8 October 1881 – 8 October 1925) was an Italian museum worker, artist, and thief, most famous for stealing the Mona Lisa on 21 August 1911.
Futurist meals comprised a cuisine and style of dining advocated by some members of the Futurist movement, particularly in Italy. These meals were first proposed in Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and Fillia’s Manifesto of Futurist Cooking, published in the Turin Gazzetta del Popolo on December 28, 1930.Marinetti’s culinary polemic advocated the introduction of scientific methods in the kitchen—a “cooking laboratory” replete with chemicals, ultraviolet lamps, electrolysis, and the use of perfumes to enhance the tasting experience to highlight olfactory sensations.
The Ijen volcano complex is a group of composite volcanoes located on the border between Banyuwangi Regency and Bondowoso Regency of East Java, Indonesia. It is inside an eponymous larger caldera Ijen, which is about 20 kilometres (12 mi) wide. The Gunung Merapi stratovolcano is the highest point of that complex. West of Gunung Merapi is the Ijen volcano, which has a one-kilometre-wide (0.62 mi) turquoise-coloured acidic crater lake recognised as the largest highly acidic crater lake in the world.
Clathrus ruber is a species of fungus in the family Phallaceae, and the type species of the genus Clathrus. It is commonly known as the latticed stinkhorn, the basket stinkhorn, or the red cage, alluding to the striking fruit bodies that are shaped somewhat like a round or oval hollow sphere with interlaced or latticed branches.
Technophobia is the fear or dislike of advanced technology or complex devices, especially computers. Although there are numerous interpretations of technophobia, they become more complex as technology continues to evolve. The term is generally used in the sense of an irrational fear, but others contend fears are justified. It is the opposite of technophilia. It is also known as technofear.
Decimal time is the representation of the time of day using units which are decimally related. This term is often used specifically to refer to the time system used in France for a few years beginning in 1792 during the French Revolution, which divided the day into 10 decimal hours, each decimal hour into 100 decimal minutes and each decimal minute into 100 decimal seconds (100000 decimal seconds per day).
Grover Sanders Krantz was an American anthropologist and cryptozoologist, he was one of few scientists not only to research Bigfoot, but also to express his belief in the animal’s existence. Grover Krantz donated his body on the condition his dog Clyde was kept close to him.
A facial recognition system is a technology capable of matching a human face from a digital image or a video frame against a database of faces, typically employed to authenticate users through ID verification services, works by pinpointing and measuring facial features from a given image.
33 Thomas Street is a 550-foot-tall (170 m) skyscraper in Tribeca, Lower Manhattan, New York City. The exterior walls have no windows. It is a telephone exchange or wire center building which contained three major 4ESS switches used for interexchange telephony. 33 Thomas was described as the likely location of a NSA mass surveillance hub codenamed TITANPOINTE, in an investigation by The Intercept, and in a documentary short film by Henrik Moltke and Laura Poitras titled Project X, both drawing on the surveillance disclosures of Edward Snowden.
“When not worn these pieces are totally flat,” read the words at the back of a stage on which men in white lab coats presented clothing on hangers as if at an auction. A video showing the garments on models also played. The challenge for Spring ’98 involved geometry, specifically how to make two-dimensional garments that would lie perfectly flat when not on a three-dimensional body.
Some types of science can say what could happen many, many years from now. For example, astrophysics can say how planets and stars form, affect each other, and die, particle physics can say how atoms and other matter act over time, evolutionary biology can allow us to see how living things change over time, and plate tectonics can say how continents shift over time. By observing the past and present, astrophysicists, particle physicists, evolutionary biologists and geologists can make good guesses about what might happen in the future.
In 1948, Swiss pharmacologist Peter N. Witt started his research on the effect of drugs on spiders. The initial motivation for the study was a request from his colleague, zoologist H. M. Peters, to shift the time when garden spiders build their webs from 2am–5am, which apparently annoyed Peters, to earlier hours. Witt tested spiders with a range of psychoactive drugs, including amphetamine, mescaline, strychnine, LSD, and caffeine, and found that the drugs affect the size and shape of the web rather than the time when it is built.
Vantablack is a material developed by Surrey NanoSystems in the United Kingdom and is one of the darkest substances known, absorbing up to 99.965% of visible light (at 663 nm if the light is perpendicular to the material). The name is a compound of the acronym VANTA (vertically aligned nanotube arrays) and the color black.
The Gouldian finch (Chloebia gouldiae), also known as the Lady Gouldian finch, Gould’s finch or the rainbow finch, is a colourful passerine bird that is native to Australia.
Claude Nicolas Ledoux was one of the earliest exponents of French Neoclassical architecture. The Oikema is the informal title for a ‘House of Pleasure‘, and is a part of his plan for the Ideal City of Chaux. The phallic-shaped house was to be an integral part of the city. The drawings first appeared in L’architecture considérée sous le rapport de l’art, des moeurs et de la legislation, Tome 1, 1804. There, under the heading “Oikema. Fragments d’un monument Grec,” is a text on the utopian brothel.
Body Worlds is a traveling exposition of dissected human bodies, animals, and other anatomical structures of the body that have been preserved through the process of plastination. Gunther von Hagens developed the preservation process which “unites subtle anatomy and modern polymer chemistry”, in the late 1970s.
Lenticular clouds are stationary clouds that form mostly in the troposphere, typically in perpendicular alignment to the wind direction. They are often comparable in appearance to a lens or saucer. Nacreous clouds that form in the lower stratosphere sometimes have lenticular shapes.
Sex in space, specifically human sexual activity in the weightlessness of outer space, presents difficulties due to Newton’s third law. According to the law, if the couple remain attached, their movements will counter each other. Consequently, their actions will not change their velocity unless they are affected by another, unattached, object.
The tempescope is an ambient physical display that visualizes various weather conditions like rain, clouds, and lightning. Based on weather forecasts from the internet, it can reproduce tomorrow’s sky in your living room.
The Euthanasia Coaster is a hypothetical steel roller coaster designed to kill its passengers. In 2010, it was designed and made into a scale model by Lithuanian artist Julijonas Urbonas, a PhD candidate at the Royal College of Art in London. Urbonas, who has worked at an amusement park, stated that the goal of his concept roller coaster is to take lives “with elegance and euphoria.”
Dempsey and Firpo (sometimes referred to as Dempsey Through The Ropes) is a 1923–1924 oil canvas painting by George Bellows, depicting the September 14, 1923 boxing match between American Jack Dempsey and Argentine Luis Firpo. As time passed by it has become Bellows’ most famous painting. The work has been in the collection of the Whitney Museum of Art since the museum’s opening in 1931.
Space debris is a term for defunct human-made objects in space—principally in Earth orbit—which no longer serve a useful function. These include derelict spacecraft—nonfunctional spacecraft and abandoned launch vehicle stages—mission-related debris, and particularly numerous in Earth orbit, fragmentation debris from the breakup of derelict rocket bodies and spacecraft.
A wolf collar is a type of dog collar designed to protect livestock guardian dogs from attack by wolves. Wolf collars are fitted with elongated spikes to stop wolves from attacking dogs on the neck. Such collars are used by shepherds in many countries including Italy, Spain and Turkey.
In astronomy, a syzygy is a roughly straight-line configuration of three or more celestial bodies in a gravitational system.
The “Cool S” is a graffiti sign in popular culture that is typically doodled on children’s notebooks or graffitied on walls. The exact origin of the “Cool S” is unknown, but it may have originated from geometry textbooks and has appeared around the early 1970s as a part of graffiti culture.
On 13 August 2004, the Olympic Games came home to Greece for the XXVIII Olympiad at an estimated cost of approximately €9bn. A decade after the sporting extravaganza, many of its once-gleaming Olympic venues now lie abandoned. For many Greeks who swelled with pride at the time, the Games are now a source of anger as the country struggles through a six-year depression, record unemployment, homelessness and poverty, with many questioning how the nation has benefited from the multi-billion-dollar event.
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s largest and highest-energy particle collider and the largest machine in the world. It was built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) between 1998 and 2008 in collaboration with over 10,000 scientists and hundreds of universities and laboratories, as well as more than 100 countries. It lies in a tunnel 27 kilometres (17 mi) in circumference and as deep as 175 metres (574 ft) beneath the France–Switzerland border near Geneva.
Stride jazz piano, often abbreviated to stride, is a jazz piano style that arose from ragtime players. Prominent stride pianists include James P. Johnson, Willie “the Lion” Smith, Fats Waller, and Luckey Roberts.
Bioluminescent bacteria are light-producing bacteria that are predominantly present in sea water, marine sediments, the surface of decomposing fish and in the gut of marine animals. While not as common, bacterial bioluminescence is also found in terrestrial and freshwater bacteria. These bacteria may be free living (such as Vibrio harveyi) or in symbiosis with animals such as the Hawaiian Bobtail squid (Aliivibrio fischeri) or terrestrial nematodes (Photorhabdus luminescens).
A meltwater channel (or sometimes a glacial meltwater channel) is a channel cut into ice, bedrock or unconsolidated deposits by the flow of water derived from the melting of a glacier or ice-sheet. The channel may form on the surface of, within, beneath, along the margins of or downstream from the ice mass. Accordingly it would be referred to as supraglacial, englacial, subglacial, lateral (or ice-marginal) or proglacial.
Paris syndrome is a sense of disappointment exhibited by some individuals when visiting or going on vacation to Paris, who feel that Paris is not as beautiful as they had expected it to be. The syndrome is characterized by a number of psychiatric symptoms such as acute delusional states, hallucinations, feelings of persecution, derealization, depersonalization, anxiety, and also psychosomatic manifestations such as dizziness, tachycardia, sweating, and others, such as vomiting.
The Monobloc chair is a lightweight stackable polypropylene chair, usually white in colour, often described as the world’s most common plastic chair. The name comes from mono- (“one”) and bloc (“block”), meaning an object forged in a single piece.
A vishapakar also known as vishap stones, vishap stellas, “serpent-stones”, “dragon stones”, or simply as vishaps, are characteristic menhirs found in large quantities in the Armenian Highlands, in natural and artificial ponds, and other sources of water. They are commonly carved from one piece of stone, into cigar-like shapes with fish heads or serpents. Supposedly they are images of vishaps, mystical creatures.