Earth

Atlantic Set to Shrink Due to ‘Peeling’ Tectonic Plate?

As we move into an era of the climate change emergency where terrifying news comes out daily, another fine (read: horrifying) example of this has been laid bare. New stories come out all the time that show us just where the problems of the planet are starting from, and it’s often in the most important, foundational areas.

Scientists have recently revealed that a tectonic planet that is ‘peeling apart’ could lead to a significant shrinking of the Atlantic. As you might imagine, this is not a good thing.

With new stories breaking all the time, it’s hard to keep up with what new ways this environmental apocalypse is going to play out. Indeed, according to the Instituto Dom Luiz at the University of Lisbon, and their scientist Joao Duarte, we could be about to see something horrifying take place.

Indeed, he has found a location around 155-miles from Cape St. Vincent, Portugal, that is “peeling” apart.

Previously Unknown Process

This process was previously unknown and was previously only something that was found to have taken place underneath continents. This is quite a big thing, despite the peeling area being somewhat flat. This location, the Horseshoe Abyssal Plain, is peeling, and it’s not a good thing.

Duarte, a lead researcher on a study that was given to the European Geosciences Union in Vienna, Australia, has been involved in this research for some time. They found that an earthquake that had taken place off Portugal sometime in 1755, which played a role in the destruction of the city of Lisbon at the time, could be involved in this happening. It’s also linked to a 1969 earthquake that took place near Lisbon, too.

According to Duarte, speaking to Fox News: “The 20 upper kilometers [12.4 miles] of the plate is made of soft rocks that are light and the bottom is dense and heavy (because the plate is very old, more than 100 million years),

“This causes this lower part to detach from the upper part and sink in the mantle by the pull of gravity,” he added, noting that the process is aided by the infiltration of water that softens the upper part of the plate.

This could be caused by a subduction zone – when a tectonic plate falls beneath another. Duarte explained, saying: “We know that there are some margins of continents that do not have subduction zones, such as the margins of the Atlantic, and some margins of continents that have subduction zones, such as the margins of the Pacific (the ring of fire),

“But we do not understand yet very well how they form.

“This situation here may correspond to a rare example in which one subduction zone is just starting. And for that one of the plates has to slowly start peeling down, which is what we see (both in our observations/imaging and with some computational models with which we managed to reproduce the process).”

In terms of a potential shrinking of the ocean, Duarte said that: “It makes sense that a new supercontinent will form in the future as the result of the closing of the Atlantic,”

So, I think it would be safe to say that, for the near future, we should probably watch this new environmental change take place with crossed fingers. In generations to come, this could have a pretty significant role to play in how the world is shaped.

As we move into an era of the climate change emergency where terrifying news comes out daily, another fine (read: horrifying) example of this has...

Cool Stories Humans Are Awesome Tech News

249 MPH? Japanese Unveil World’s Fastest Bullet Train

Train speeds are improving all the time. Did you know, for example, that Japan has just unveiled a bullet train that can move as fast as 249mph?

The Japanese have a unique habit when it comes to innovation, and tend to be pretty good at taking inventions higher than ever before. Well, with the new ALFA-X, you will be able to see a train that can hit speeds you would barely be able to believe.

When you get on a train, the aim is to get you somewhere without wasting any time. It’s the obvious and main reason to get a train; to help you get to somewhere faster than you would if you had just gone on-foot or alone.

For many people, trains are getting faster and faster than we can imagine. Often, if you were to find out the pace that a train was moving at, you would likely be surprised at just how fast it is.

The power of this train is already making experts blush; though it won’t be actually in service until, it’s estimated, 2030. So, someone has 11 or so years to board a train that can go close to 250mph!

This new treat will be used at around 224mph on average, which would mean that it would travel on average 10kph faster than the Chinese equivalent, the Fuxing Hao. This has the same top speed capacity, but it’s likely that the ALFA-X will win on consistency.

Historical Speed

At around 72ft in the nose area alone, the ALFA-X is an imposing piece of modern locomotive history. It’s going to help change the entire industry, it is hoped, bringing to light an even higher than expected standard for the future.

The futuristic, modern design will obviously make it stand out, while the imperious design style – with 10 cars in total – ensures it will be efficient as well as stylish.

The train will be part of the new Shinkansen high-speed railway lines which are appearing all across Japan. Testing will begin between Aomori and Sendai, during the evening, and will be a 3-year testing plan. This will provide ample time to perfect the overall style of the train, and make sure that it is capable of meeting expectations performance-wise.

Interestingly, the Shinkansen N700S only was agreed to be put into operation in 2020, which can hit speeds of around 186mph. This, though, will simply blow it away, adding a new level of power and pace onto the railway tracks of Japan. While it may not be as fast as trains using magnetic levitation, this will ensure that this particular kind of bullet train can still keep up with the very best.

The bullet train has become a major part of Japanese travel culture, and for that reason many would be sad to see it go. Make no mistake, though, this new kind of train shows that – even with the growth of the maglev trains – there is still much love for bullet trains in Japan and beyond.

Train speeds are improving all the time. Did you know, for example, that Japan has just unveiled a bullet train that can move as fast as 249mph?
The...

Animals Funny Stories

Great Dane Extremely Jealous of New Puppy

Talk about a drama queen! Bagira the Great Dane is super jealous of the new puppy in the family, that he just can’t stand to see his owner holding and petting the puppy, instead of him!

Sure, we all get jealous sometimes, it is only a natural instinct. We were jealous of our siblings, of the toys our friends had – basically, of anything that we thought we were lacking and thought we had to have!

Adjustment can be difficult for people, can you imagine how difficult it must be for a dog, one that can’t really understand what you are saying to it?

Drama Queen

When the owner, Lindsey Heinz, picks up the new puppy and turns the camera on, we can immediately hear Bagira growling below. “I can pet him too…It’s not all about you” says Lindsey, but Bagira is not having it.


As huge as he is, Bagira gets up on his hind legs and puts his front paws on Lindsey, begging to be petted too! “You are so dramatic!” continues Lindsey.

She keeps on criticizing him, but the bog old pup is determined to stand his ground. We can only imagine what he must feel like, already having one brother and now another? It seems like only just yesterday that he was Mommy’s favorite lap puppy!

Talk about a drama queen! Bagira the Great Dane is super jealous of the new puppy in the family, that he just can’t stand to see his owner...

Science

New Crystalline Material Sparks Interest in Scientific Community

Whenever we find something new in this world, we have a tendency to want to know everything about it. In a world so full opportunity and discovery, it makes sense. With our immense ability to research and evaluate just about anything we find, why not find out everything that we can about, well, everything?

Sometimes though, we can find objects that totally shatter the conventional rules of what we thought we knew.

For example, a new crystalline material has been found that appears to have electronic properties never seen in the past. This unique new material was found recently and is made up of a mixture of aluminum and platinum.

It’s got a set of electronic properties that are unique, in that we have never seen their likes in the past. This was picked up in the Nature Physics science journal. Apparently, the structure is capable of producing Rarita-Schwinger fermions through its interior and also its Fermi arcs. That’s very interesting and shows a material state that behaves like an actual particle.

The finding is noted to be of significant importance moving forward. The research team working on it at the Paul Scherrer Institute, using the Swiss Synchrotron Light Source SLS, used this to observe the particles for the first time. It’s a very interesting finding and one that breaks away from a lot of conventional findings.

Unusual formation

Indeed, there is a repeated pattern of atoms taking place in a cube-shaped style, forming a cell unit of up to two elements. Inside this particular crystalline formation, there is a different layout. Normally, there would be a symmetry of sorts taking place within. This is different, with a slightly offset design in the middle. This forms what is known as a helical line.

This is known as a chiral crystal – a pair of mirror images, in essence. It’s very exciting and is the kind of finding which is often exceptionally rare in these particular fields. By using the SLS X-ray in conjunction with photoelectron spectroscopy tools at PSI, they were able to look at these unique electrical properties.

They found that it was not only chiral; it was also topological, meaning that it shows resistance to defects.

The hope is that, in time, this kind of finding could be used to assist in the creation of high-end computing equipment, such as quantum computing, in the near future.

Whenever we find something new in this world, we have a tendency to want to know everything about it. In a world so full opportunity and discovery, it makes sense. With...

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Health Lifestyle

Study Suggests Diet Soda Can Cause Weight Gain

A recent study published in the journal Pediatric Obesity, presents new evidence which suggests that children who drink diet soda are consuming 200 extra calories each day.  The study suggests that opting for the low-calorie option in an attempt to lose weight can actually cause weight gain.

The scientists compared teens who consumed diet soda to those that drank water.    A surprising finding was that those drinking diet soda were still receiving the same total dietary intake of calories as those drinking the regular sugary version.

Water is the best choice

The study, which took place at the George Washington University, was headed by Dr. Allison Sylvetsky.  The findings recommend water as the best option and confirms that the results of the study challenge the commonly accepted opinion that low-calorie or diet drinks were useful in weight management.

Dr. Syletsky’s team have conducted may studies on drinks over the years, and have found that as well as low-calorie sweeteners in drinks, children and young adults also eat these sweeteners in other food and drinks.  In fact, during the period between 1999 and 2012 their consumption in this age group leapt by a massive 200%.

Despite the growing popularity of low-calorie sweeteners, there is still no concrete knowledge as to how this affects a child’s calorie intake, and there is no guarantee that the sweeteners contribute to weight loss.

Diet drinks don’t reduce calorie intake

Between 2011 and 2016 Dr. Sylvetsky and her team examined the dietary records of 7,026 children and teens who had been enrolled in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.  In the survey, the participants self-reported everything they ate and dank within a 24-hour period.

The research was focused on those who were drinking sodas – either with low-calorie sweeteners or regular sugar.  The team compared those drinking the soda with water drinkers and discovered that those having diet drinks were consuming extra calories and they were taking in more sugar from other types of food and drink.

Accounting for body weight, the researchers compared the results for soda drinkers and water drinkers and found that:

  • Those children who consumed diet sodas increased their daily intake by 196 additional calories.
  • Drinking regular soda (sugar-based) led to an intake of an extra 312 calories each day.
  • Drinking both the diet and regular versions of drinks resulted in an additional 450 calories being consumed each day.

Weight gain can kill

The findings of Dr. Sylvetsky and her team are important because of the health effects of weight gain.

At present, the figures for American children state that 1 in 3 is overweight or diagnosed as obese.  Weight gain is a key factor for increased risk of type II diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and other health issues.

The data suggests that there is a link between drinking low-calorie drinks and consuming more calories and sugar throughout the day.  They are skeptical about claims that diet drinks help in weight loss.

Experts continue to give advice to parents with organizations like The American Heart Association advising against long term consumption of these low-calorie drinks.  Dr. Sylvestky confirms that this is good advice.  Children, teens, and adults drink should drink more water and add whole grains, fruit and vegetables to their diet.

A good alternative to diet sodas, she suggests, is to add some 100% fruit juice to some sparkling water.

A recent study published in the journal Pediatric Obesity, presents new evidence which suggests that children who drink diet soda are consuming 200 extra calories each...

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Inspiring Stories

Emotional Reunion as Irish Woman, 81, Finally Meets Her Mother, 103

81-year-old Eileen Macken from Dublin has finally found her birth mother.  Eileen was raised in an orphanage in Dublin and started her search for her mother over 60 years ago, when she was just 19.

Sadly Eileen had not been successful until one day she was contacted by a genealogist after appearing on RTÉ Radio 1′s Liveline.  The genealogist had tracked Eileen’s mother and found her living in Scotland.

Last month Eileen traveled to Scotland accompanied by her husband, daughter, and son-in-law and finally met up with her mother, now 103.

Macken revisited the radio show and spoke to the host, Joe Duffy, in a follow-up show after meeting her mother, Elizabeth.  She said she had been given a warm welcome both from Elizabeth herself and her family.

Despite having never met the two women had a bond and spent some time chatting.  Elizabeth is due to celebrate her 104th birthday this weekend.  Eileen did not stay too long because of Elizabeth’s advanced age but said that she was really kind and a fantastic woman.

She went on to thank the Liveline team and the genealogist for making their reunion happen, saying that she still felt like she was floating on a cloud and wondered if she would ever come down.

81-year-old Eileen Macken from Dublin has finally found her birth mother.  Eileen was raised in an orphanage in Dublin and started her search for her mother over 60...

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Entertainment Lifestyle

Violent ‘Fortnite’ Made Me the World’s Meanest Mom and I’m Fine with It

If you know anything about the recent trending game “Fortnite Battle Royale,” you’d probably say I’m the meanest mom in the world for banning it in my house.

It’s amazing how popular the game has become. Over 200 million are registered as users, making it even more popular than porn. Some might say, “Wouldn’t you rather your son be playing a video game than watching porn?” But I think I’d prefer to go with neither!

I know all the pros of the game and have wrestled with them, too. It’s social; it’s a great way for sons to bond with dads; its only cartoon violence – etc.

But I have my reasons for not allowing my kid to play it, and here are seven of them.

Reasons Are:

The alarming weapons roster. I know the violence is bloodless, but those weapons are pretty real and pretty scary. From shotguns to semi-automatic sniper rifles to pistols and more, it certainly makes guns seem more like toys rather than a dangerous weapon – a fact that we are trying to instill in our son. Letting him play around with one like this certainly sends a confusing message.

It’s cartoon violence. And along those lines, I’d almost rather my kid being seeing the horrific results of violence they’ve inflicted rather than it seeming inconsequential and bloodless. If they can’t handle blood, guts, victims screaming, and heartbroken families, then they’re not ready to be playing around with this stuff either.

The do-or-die premise. If you aren’t already familiar with the game, one hundred wannabe-killers are dropped on an island, and the point is to be the last man standing. Research is still being done on how violent entertainment impacts kids, and the findings have been conflicting, but I seriously doubt letting your child regularly identify with a murdering machine is beneficial.

It’s costing me money. I remember the good old days when we’d cut grass and clean to earn pennies for the bike we were saving up to purchase. Now, money is being wasted on “Fortnite” extras. Epic Games has made over $2.4 billion from “Fortnite” — an otherwise free game — in 2018, according to Nielsen’s SuperData! Money from my wallet sure isn’t going towards this!

It’s interfering with school.  Twenty-seven percent of teens surveyed by Common Sense Media in 2018 reported playing “Fortnite” in class. It’s not helping them get somewhere in life, that’s for sure.

It’s killing IRL playdates. My son used to invite friends over to play outside or to build a fort – or even to play Wii. Now, playdates consist of hanging out online playing “Fortnite.” If that were occasional, it wouldn’t be so bad, but it’s shouldn’t replace in-person interaction.

It’s like kid crack. Much research has concluded that video games flood our brains with dopamine, a happy chemical that floods in when you do something like winning a poker game, eat chocolate, or shoot heroin. Games like “Fortnite” are intentionally designed to do this, delivering small rewards that cause your brain pleasure and make it come back for more – again and again, and again.

Honestly, there are times I feel badly for my son, especially when everyone else is doing it. All his friends talk about it just about 24/7, so am I his worst enemy? There’s still a lot I allow, like FIFA 19. How mean of a mom am I, really? I decided to ask a leading national expert in video game research.

“Older adults tend to freak out about any youth trend. The data do not support that there’s any epidemic of game addiction,” says Chris Ferguson, a psychology professor at Stetson University in DeLand, Fla. “You’re thinking about this and looking for data. That certainly doesn’t make you the worst mom ever. I’m sure your son doesn’t really think so either!”

Let’s hope he’s thanking me when he grows up!

If you know anything about the recent trending game “Fortnite Battle Royale,” you’d probably say I’m the meanest mom in the world for banning it in my...

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Galleries

The Wildest Things You Will Only See In Texas

Texas is one weird and wonderful place with surprises on every street corner. Get ready to scroll through and see our collection of photos which show the hilarious and wild sides of Texas.

Drive-Thru, or Ride-Thru?

I have always secretly wished I live in a generation of horse riding rather than car driving, but it seems all I needed to do was go to Texas.

Apparently, many residents of the Lone Star State prefer to use the eco-friendly transportation method of a horse rather than the fossil-fuel killer of a car.

Texas is one weird and wonderful place with surprises on every street corner. Get ready to scroll through and see our collection of photos which show the hilarious and wild sides of Texas.
Drive-Thru, or Ride-Thru?
I have always secretly wished I live in a...

Cool Stories Lifestyle

Unfold Your Getaway: Canoe for City Dwellers Packs Down to a Suitcase

For those who live in a big city, canoes are just things you associate with getaways or, at the very least, an expensive rental at a nearby body of water. People who live in suburbia barely have room to store them, much less those of us who live in apartment buildings.

Imagine trying to lug a massive canoe up your narrow staircase or trying to fit it in your overhead storage space – not possible!

But Ghent-based designer Otto Van De Steene found the solution one day while he was fiddling around with an origami canoe. It made him think: could this be replicated in a real-life canoe? Steene has proved that it can with the ‘ONAK,’ a portable canoe that folds down to the size of a suitcase.

Steene had seen numerous other models that just didn’t measure up at outdoor recreation stores. “You have the canoes that have really good performance on the water – they’re fast, but they’re quite heavy and take an hour to assemble. Nothing to do in an evening after work.”

Trial and Error

One that was recently released was the Oru folding kayak which had the potential to be successful, but the plastic construction didn’t lend itself to durability. Steene tried making his out of a custom-made polypropylene for his own design, as it’s lighter and stiffer, improving the boat’s performance.

With its honeycomb-core composite material, it’s ten times as strong as standard polypropylene, making it highly durable and fully recyclable.“By making hundreds of paper models and fifteen real prototypes, we also refined the design of our patent pending hull.

This was a huge challenge due to the limitations of origami. We opted for a narrow and fast canoe design that keeps its momentum very well, while still being delightfully easy and stable to maneuver for beginners.

”The process of assembling or packing up the portable canoe takes about ten minutes. The size is a bit bigger than the Oru – 47”x15.7”x10” as a roller case, expanding to 183” long by 33.5” wide –, but the fact that it’s on wheels makes it more conducive to transporting from place to place.

It can also carry about 440 pounds with enough room for two adults, a child, and gear.

The Okak has met its goal after just a couple days left on its Kickstarter campaign, but if you back the project in time, you can still get a pretty good price. Once it hits the market, it will sell for about $1450 with two paddles.

For those who live in a big city, canoes are just things you associate with getaways or, at the very least, an expensive rental at a nearby body of water. People who live in suburbia barely have room to store them, much less those of us who live in apartment...

Humans Are Awesome Inspiring Stories

Celebrated SF Sculptor Ruth Asawa Honored with Google Doodle

On Tuesday, April 30, Ruth Asawa was memorialized with the online tribute of a Google Doodle. Asawa is a celebrated San Francisco sculptor who already has a public high school named after her and a day each year in her honor.

The Google Doodle appeared on 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 30 and ended the following night at 9 p.m, also the first day of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. For those 24 hours, anyone doing a Google search would see Asawa threading one of her trademark wire baskets. The search box was also illustrated in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Israel.

The logo shows Asawa kneeling on a carpet applying overhead stitching to a crochet wire basket with four more completed ones hanging alongside it, a bit like Chinese lanterns or Christmas ornaments. The unsigned color drawing was designed by Google staff artist Alyssa Winans.

Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page began the Google Doodle in 1998 when they first played around with their corporate logo to suggest they attended Burning Man. Since they began this fun and meaningful tradition, 2,000 or so doodles have been chosen and created by the Google Doodle Team.

Graduated in an Internment cap

When she was a teenager, Asawa was included in the internment of Japanese Americans living on the West Coast during World War II and began her artistic training from other internees. She graduated high school in 1943 while in an internment camp in Arkansas, which then allowed her to leave and go to college. Asawa studied at Black Mountain College in North Carolina but eventually moved to San Francisco, where she and her husband, architect Albert Lanier, raised six children.

It was Asawa’s doing that produced a public arts high school in San Francisco, founded in 1982. She was a faithful advocate of the study of the arts. Since its founding, the San Francisco School of the Arts was renamed the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts in 2010. Feb. 12 has been Ruth Asawa Day in San Francisco since 1982.

However, Asawa died at 87 in 2013. Her work continues to be represented through permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the de Young Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, plus several works of public art throughout San Francisco. The Doodle itself provides a biography of her life.

The Japanese American Internment Memorial Sculpture in San Jose and the Garden of Remembrance, which includes boulders representative of 10 internment camps, at San Francisco State University are just a couple of the permanent installations that memorialize her and her work.

“She was most proud of what she did in the public schools,” said her son, Paul Lanier, “and having so many people see the Google banner will draw their attention to learn more about her.”

On Tuesday, April 30, Ruth Asawa was memorialized with the online tribute of a Google Doodle. Asawa is a celebrated San Francisco sculptor who already has a public high school named after her and a day each year in her honor.

The Google Doodle appeared on 9...

Inspiring Stories Science

Utah Non-profit DNA Testing Lab to ‘Revolutionize Cold Cases’

The Utah Cold Case Coalition, a non-profit in Utah, just signed a lease for lab space in an office building in the city of Murray where they plan to build a DNA testing lab that will completely transform how cold cases are handled. The non-profit was first formed to bring attention to the cold case murder of six-year-old Rose Tapia in 1995, and it wholly relies on volunteer staff.

According to the Salt Lake City Tribune, its co-founder Karra Porter, a defense attorney, said, “This is going to revolutionize cold cases across the United States. We saw this need and it was too big to ignore.”

An estimated 103,780 of the murders that have occurred in America between 1996 and 2016 remain unsolved, said a report by the U.S. Department of Justice. In the state of Utah, The Utah Department of Public Safety website has recorded about 400 cold cases that run the gamut from missing persons to murders to unidentified bodies.

Crowd Funding

Porter hopes to begin by helping solve Utah’s cold case and moving from there to help police all over the country. The coalition launched a GoFundMe page with a beginning goal of $81,000 and hopes to raise a total of $200,000 for DNA lab equipment.

The GoFundMe page says: “Despite being staffed by volunteers, we’re one of the most creative and aggressive cold case organizations in the U.S. We began in Utah, but are now contacted by families and law enforcement throughout the country.  Early on, we learned how much evidence has not undergone DNA testing due to its high cost.  We’re doing something about it.”

Francine Bardole pointed out to the Tribune that the department has an enormous backlog of untested DNA, rape kids, and more and that DNA testing could take anywhere from 8 to 18 months. According to a police investigator in the Utah city of West Jordan, a DNA lab would help immensely to lessen the time and cost it takes to deal with cold cases.

“The price can be overwhelming,” Bardole said, adding that going to a private lab can cost about $6,000.

She asked, “How many departments can afford to pay, on one case, $6,000?”

The Utah legislature passed a law last year that required law enforcement agencies to enter cold cases or any cases that go unsolved for at least three years into the database.

The Utah Cold Case Coalition, a non-profit in Utah, just signed a lease for lab space in an office building in the city of Murray where they plan to build a DNA testing lab that will completely transform how cold cases are handled. The non-profit was first...

Cool Stories

Skydiver Solves Rubik’s Cube While Free Falling

Rumble / Unusual Talents — The world is full of many talented individuals. Some have very common talents such as singing or dancing, while others have very unique talents on their own. Whatever the case, talents deserve to be recognized. One such unique talent has emerged in this awesome video here!

There are many interesting and unique people in this world. Some have very unique skills and talents that others don’t. It seems that one such unique person with and amazing talent was discovered in this video here! Check out this daredevil as he attempts to solve a Rubik’s cube after jumping out of a plane!

Footage presents his 6th attempt to jump from 14,000 feet as he falls for about 60 seconds. However, it takes him 56 seconds to solve the cube which is insane! Most people have a very hard time solving a Rubik’s Cube just as it is, so it is a real miracle how this man manages to solve the cube in less than a minute during a free fall while skydiving! Talk about having an amazing talent!

It is amazing that he can do something like this! Most people take forever to solve a Rubik’s cube as they are pretty complicated. This man solved it in seconds and made it look so easy! The fact that he did this venture while skydiving made it even more memorable!

In addition, man’s nonchalant face expression makes this video unforgettable! He is so peaceful and concentrated at his task, that you can barely tell that he is actually solving it mid-air! Amazing!

Have you ever seen something like this before? Do you have any unique talents to present? Let us know down in the comments section below! Please share this video with your family and friends as it will surely make them smile! This is one clip that no one wants to miss!

Rumble / Unusual Talents — The world is full of many talented individuals. Some have very common talents such as singing or dancing, while others have very unique talents on their own. Whatever the case, talents deserve to be recognized. One such unique...

Cool Stories Entertainment News

Observatory Transformed into R2-D2

The German professor Hubert Zitt currently teaches at Zweibrücken University of Applied Sciences but frequently travels internationally to lecture on the subjects of electrotechnology, Star Wars, and Star Trek. But recently he did more than just lecture about Star Wars.

The famous professor’s efforts to give the Zweibrück Observatory of the Natural Sciences an R2-D2 themed facelift put his name in the headlines when Mark Hamill – Luke Skywalker himself – tweeted about it.

Getting the Job Done

Professor Zitt didn’t do all the work on his own. He pulled, first, his father-in-law Horst Helle in to help paint the observatory, and then to ensure its perfection, Zitt also involved Klaus Ruffing, an expert painter. On top of these three skilled men, many of Zitt’s students eagerly joined in to get the job done.

A True Star Wars Expert

Dr. Zitt is a unique character as he is a well-studied, international professor that lectures not just in science, but also in Star Wars and Star Trek. He does so in such a way that even non-fans find the subject interesting since he leaves out all of the typical jargon only avid fans usually comprehend.

But Zitt isn’t just knowledgeable in these iconic movies; he’s hugely skilled in relating them to scientific knowledge, just as he did in a famous lecture about the physics in Star Trek.

Interest in Astronomy

Zitt got permission from the university to transform the observatory after he noticed that it was shaped very much like R2-D2, according to Euronews. Once he started painting it, the media coverage blew up, and as a result, more and more people are flooding in to visit the observatory.

What Dr. Zitt loves so much about this endeavor is that a simple paint job is getting everyday people more interested in astronomy. This is just one simple anecdote that encompasses Zitt’s entire teaching career – making complex subjects more palatable to the public.

The German professor Hubert Zitt currently teaches at Zweibrücken University of Applied Sciences but frequently travels internationally to lecture on the subjects of electrotechnology, Star Wars, and Star Trek. But recently he did more than just lecture...

Celebs editorial Galleries

Instagram vs Reality: What These Celebs REALLY Look Like

Scrolling through Instagram, it’s easy to look longingly at the models and celebs you follow and be filled with jealousy – it seems these people are flawless! But we are here to tell you that many times it’s a result of filters, photoshop, and plenty of makeup. See for yourself!

Zendaya

Zendaya has quickly risen to be one of the It girls of Hollywood. At only 22 she has starred in some big box office hits like Spider-Man: Homecoming and The Greatest Showman.

She also happens to have one of the most flawless Instagram’s around.

See the true faces of your favorite celebs:

Scrolling through Instagram, it’s easy to look longingly at the models and celebs you follow and be filled with jealousy – it seems these people are flawless! But we are here to tell you that many times it’s a result of filters, photoshop, and...

Fashion Lifestyle Tech News

UK Using Smart Billboards to Secretly Ad-target Shoppers

Many shopping centers in the UK have adopted a new kind of ad technique that involves surveillance cameras in shopping center billboards. These cameras are used to spy on you in order to show you the “correct” advertisement. The new technology has the ability to identify your age, gender, and even mood.

The smart boards detect how long certain customers look at advertisements and then change what they display depending on who is walking past.

So far, The Sunday Times has happened upon 50 of these screens in the UK; several of them can be found at Westfield shopping center in Shepherd’s Bush, London.

Apparently, companies utilizing this equipment don’t legally need to inform their shoppers that they are being filmed because the system complies with the UK’s data protection laws. Since no individually identifying information is being collected or stored, no laws are being broken.

First Company to Try This

One of the first companies to try this system out is Ocean Outdoor. The LookOut system is found in multiple tracking billboards throughout the UK.

Tim Bleakley, the company’s chief executive, told The Sunday Times: “We pioneered a facial detection technology which identifies the characteristics of the face to allow you to talk to advertisers about mood, gender, emotion and those kinds of things. We can measure the level of happiness or sadness. We can measure the dwell time.”

Bleakley told of how satisfied the supermarket executives of Waitrose were when they sprayed fake snow into the store and saw how evidently ‘customer happiness levels’ rose.

The cameras installed into the billboards spend every hour analyzing the shoppers to see what kind of people shopped and when they shopped. At times, shoppers are even inserted into adverts, a feature called ‘interactive advertising.’ One promotional video from Ocean Outdoor implied that the technology can determine how many ‘affluent’ people are in the area.

One of the billboards at Canary Wharf stated that 49 percent of people walking past that day were “affluent” and earned “over £100,000 ($129,000).”

The technology of Ocean Outdoor can be used on roadside billboards to figure the price of passing cars and advertise expensive things to those it thinks have lots of money.

Quividi is a French firm that also sells the facial detection technology and says that it collects and processes images of people in milliseconds but then deletes them forever once their basic profile information has been taken. Determining someone’s gender can be done with 90 percent accuracy within a five-year age bracket.

Many shopping centers in the UK have adopted a new kind of ad technique that involves surveillance cameras in shopping center billboards. These cameras are used to spy on you in order to show you the “correct” advertisement. The new technology has the...