Friday, 24 April 2015

Cinnamon: Harvesting Cassia In The Jungles Of Sumatra

One of the most beloved spices in the world, cinnamon is actually the dried and curled up inner bark of trees in the genus Cinnamomum. Cassia Cinnamon is one of those and the majority of it grows in the lush Kerenci Valley on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia.

It's a sustainable crop that has been harvested in more or less the same way for centuries. See how the inner bark of the tree is harvested and dried to form this incomparable spice loved around the world.

YouTube link

(thanks Cora)

What's My Starbucks Name?

Many people have complained about their name being misspelled on a Starbucks drink cup. If you've never been to a Starbucks and want to know how your name would appear on the cup, try this Starbucks Name Generator. This app is created by Bob's Burgers writer Justin Hook.

Well, it appears my Starbucks name is Jerried.

A Restaurant With Goats On The Roof

image credit: JanetandPhil

Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant and Butik is a family owned, casual dining restaurant in the village of Sister Bay in Door County, Wisconsin, USA. The restaurant is known for its authentic Swedish cuisine and Scandinavian experience, but it is more commonly known for its sod covered roof where goats graze.

Sod roofs or grass roofs are traditionally found in Scandinavian countries where the gently sloping wooden roof boards are covered with a layer of sod and grass, and is part of the Scandinavian experience Al Johnson's tries to deliver. The addition of goats give it a unique touch.

Top 10 Terrifying Prehistoric Sea Monsters

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The modern ocean is a scary place, filled with barracuda, sharks, and super-squids. However, no matter what we find in the depths these days, none of them seem to come close to the giant terrors that roamed the seas in Earth's past; giant sea-lizards, monster sharks and even 'hypercarnivorous' whales.

For most of these things, humans would barely qualify as a snack. Here are 10 of the scariest prehistoric sea monsters to ever call the ocean home in prehistory.

Dutch Skies

Timelapse video by photographer Stef Kwinten that shows the beauty of the Netherlands.

Vimeo link

Cheeky 19th-Century 'Pickup Line' Calling Cards

image credit: SU Professional & Technical Writing

Calling cards (also know as Acquaintance cards and Introduction cards) were used in the United States during the 1870s and 1880s. They were used by the 'less formal male in approaches to the less formal female.'

We think of 19th century courtship as being impossibly straight-laced and buttoned-down, and certainly a printed card inquiring for permission to accompany a young miss to her door is consistent with that, but the eager men found plenty of ways to work clever jokes and insinuations into their calling cards.

8 Underground Rivers

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Rivers run underground all over the world. These occur naturally in cave systems, and have been known since antiquity, as evidenced in legendary myths of underground waterways such as the River Styx which forms the boundary between Earth and Hades.

But this is about subterranean rivers that were once open to the sunlight and were buried by human hands (or heavy machinery). This happens when cities are built overtop, when wetlands are drained, and when existing waterways are consolidated and hidden to give people and their infrastructures more room to grow or move.

(via Miss Cellania)

Thursday, 23 April 2015

102-Year-Old Woman Sees Herself Dancing On Film For The First Time

Alice Barker was a chorus line dancer during the Harlem Renaissance of the the 1930s and 40s. She danced at clubs such as The Apollo, Cotton Club, and Zanzibar Club, with legends including Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly.

Although she danced in numerous movies, commercials and TV shows, she had never seen any of them. David Shuff got hold of the videos of her performing and showed them to her at her nursing home.

YouTube link

(via Neatorama)

Furore: An Italian Village Hidden In A Fjord

image credit: Antonio Salsano

Furore is a small village located in the Coast of Amalfi, in the province of Salerno in south-western Italy. The paths and stairs that led to the village were not visible from the coastline, so that Furore remained practically hidden to the passing traveller. This earned Furore the name of 'the village that doesn't exist.'

It was then the mayor decided it was time to put his tiny comune on the map. He ordered every house to be brightly painted so that they couldn't escape the sight of travellers passing down the road. This tradition is maintained till this date, by inviting artists from around the world every September to paint and decorate the local buildings of Furore with murals.

100 Objects That Have Been Sent Into Space

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Lego, a tandoori lamb chop, a lightsaber, a pizza, Buzz Lightyear, a Chuck Berry record and the remains of Star Trek's Gene Rodenberry are among this list of 100 objects waiting to be found by aliens in space.

Neanderthals May Have Died Off Because They Couldn't Harvest Fire

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Neanderthals may have died off because they failed to harness the power of fire to the extent their human cousins did, a new data analysis from Boston University suggests.

Using fire for cooking would have allowed these human relatives to get more calories from the same amount of food, thereby edging out the Neanderthal population. Over time, the anatomically modern human population would have risen, while the Neanderthal population plummeted toward extinction, according to the model.

Elevator Ride From One World Trade Center Shows Time Lapse Of New York Skyline

Tourists and locals alike have a hard time resisting the bird's-eye view a skyscraper observatory affords. But in lower Manhattan, where the World Trade Center towers once stood, views from on high will forever be tinged with mixed emotions.

The elevators to the observatory atop 1 World Trade Center show an animated time lapse that recreates the development of New York City's skyline, from the 1500s to today.

YouTube link

(thanks Cora)

Relax, Let's Go Through A Car Wash

A meditative video experiment in an unlikely location. Sit back, relax, and just let it wash over you.

Vimeo link

(thanks Cora)

The Most Accurate Clock Ever Built

Scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Colorado Boulder have a set a new record in accurate timekeeping, creating an atomic clock that won't lose or gain a second in 15 billion years - a time span greater than the estimated age of the Universe.

The atomic clock measures the oscillation of strontium atoms to create its 'tick,' and could one day become the standard for the world's official time. Currently, the official time is set using atomic clocks that measure the vibrational frequency of the element caesium, although these are only accurate in the region of one second in hundreds of millions of years.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Dutch Flower Fields Near Keukenhof, The Netherlands, Drone Footage

Keukenhof (kitchen garden) in the Netherlands is the world's second largest flower garden. Approximately 7 million flower bulbs are planted annually in the park, which covers an area of 79 acres.

Take a beautiful flight with a drone over the colorful flower fields. Filmed during a sunny spring day in april 2015 with a DJI Inspire drone in full HD. Tulips, hyacinths and other colorful flowers are lined up in long stretches across the Dutch fields.

YouTube link

(thanks Cora)

Full Service Hotel

(via Bad Newspaper)

Save Peru's Dolphins

BlueVoice, in partnership with Mundo Azul, has documented the brutal slaughter of up to 15,000 dolphins by Peruvian shark fishermen. Dolphins are harpooned when they come to ride the bow of the fishing boats then clubbed to death. The dolphin is cut into pieces for use as shark bait. The fins of the sharks taken are sold to Asia to make soup.

Love has started a crowd funding site in order to raise money to try to stop the slaughter of dolphins for shark bait.

(thanks Hardy)

Google Brings Street View To Loch Ness

Google has uploaded some Street View images of Loch Ness in Scotland, above and below the surface. You can now explore the surface and dive underwater in the freshwater lake of Loch Ness.

Take in its haunting beauty, made darker still by the peat particles found in its waters, and let the rippling water, tricks of the light, and drifting logs bring the legend of Nessie to life.

Kite Fight

Soltar pipas (flying kites) is one of Brasil's most popular sport. In the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, flying the pipa is more than a leisurely escape from on-the-ground realities - it's a venue for battle, with the entire sky as the arena. Pipa designs and airborne strategies have been passed through generations, from rooftop to rooftop.

Vimeo link

In 1851, A Man Picked Two Unpickable Locks And Changed Security Forever

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The pursuit of lock picking is as old as the lock, which is itself as old as civilization. But in the entire history of the world, there was only one brief moment, lasting about 70 years, where you could put something under lock and key - a chest, a safe, your home - and have complete, unwavering certainty that no intruder could get to it.

But everything changed in the 1770s with the arrival of an inventor named Joseph Bramah to the English locksmithing scene. Joseph Bramah was a polymath engineer who would come to be known as one of the fathers of pneumatic power.

Parked Park: Taiwan's Greenest Parking Lot

image credit: Forgemind ArchiMedia

The CMP Block Museum of Arts in the West District of Taichung City, Taiwan, features a series of exhibitions throughout the year in its outdoor cultural creativity square. This exhibition shows 'green' vehicles sunk into the lawn, landscaped in a bid to merge 'art, aesthetics, and nature.'