Author - Harry Anson

I love writing and reading. It's all about information moving in and out of our brain.

Celebs

Obamas and Clooneys on Double Date

Photos have been released showing Barack and Michelle Obama having a great time with George and Amal Clooney during a boat excursion in Italy.  The two couples were spotted enjoying each others company while on a lake located close to the Clooneys’ Italian villa.

Both men were smartly dressed in gray suits, with the former US-President opting for a darker shade of gray.  Michelle sported black trousers teamed with a white blouse, while Amal chose a long floral dress.

They looked set for an evening out and it is likely that the two couples were en route to a dinner supporting The Clooney Foundation for Justice.  The charity was founded by the Clooneys in order to tackle worldwide human rights injustice.

Long-time Friends

Of course, the couples have been friendly for a long time.  George Clooney has been a long time supporter of Obama and back in 2012 he held a fundraiser at his home in Los Angeles on Barack’s behalf.

It was during this event that it was revealed, by Barack, that the “Hope” poster by was inspired by a photo of himself and George at the event.  Barack laughed that it was the only time where George Clooney had been edited out of the photo, speaking highly of the actor, his work and his congeniality.

 

June has been a great month for the Obamas.  As well as their outing with the Clooneys their daughter Sasha, 18, graduated from High School back on June 9th The whole family attended the High School graduation ceremony including Sasha’s older sister, 20 year old Malia.

Photos have been released showing Barack and Michelle Obama having a great time with George and Amal Clooney during a boat excursion in Italy.  The two couples were spotted enjoying each others company while on a lake located close to the Clooneys’ Italian...

Animals Cool Stories

Study: Dolphins Form Friendships Based on Shared Interests

Just like humans, male dolphins have been shown to form long-lasting bonds and These ties are formed with those who have similar interests or traits.

It is well known that dolphins live in social groupings, known as pods, and carry out quite complex social interactions. However, this study is another indication of the level of intelligence they possess.

The international group of scientists from Australia, Switzerland and the UK studied dolphins in Shark Bay, Western Australia.  The particular pod of bottlenose dolphins has been observed before and it was discovered that the female pod members had developed a unique method of foraging using marine sponges in order to find food.

This behavior, known as sponging,  has not been seen outside this group and has been passed down from mother to calf.

Male Bonding

The scientists wanted to return to Shark Bay to look specifically at the behavior of the males in the group and studied 124 male bottlenose dolphins in their study which lasted from 2007 to 2015.

They found that some males used the sponging technique while others did not but those that did tend to associate with other sponging males.  They also spent more time foraging than the other males and less time sleeping.

It seems that, like the female dolphins, the males have formed social bonds based on the shared activity of sponging.

Another finding of the study is that the social alliances play a key role in the males’ mating success and that the bonds formed indicate, not only that the males can form social bonds based on similar traits, but also that these bonds can last for decades.

Just like humans, male dolphins have been shown to form long-lasting bonds and These ties are formed with those who have similar interests or traits.

It is well known that dolphins live in social groupings, known as pods, and carry out quite complex social...

Health Lifestyle

Sore Back From Sitting? Try This Simple Solution

Are you like me, sitting in a chair most of the day? It’s quite sore, isn’t it?

For someone who is comfortably over the average height, too, living a quite sedentary life means having consistent back pain. It’s an irritant most of the time, but it can be a properly debilitating experience when it’s at its worst.

So, I have suffered from back pain since my late teenage years, and it has never gotten any better: well, until now. Now? I might have just found the perfect solution to a sore back that won’t go away.

If you are like me and you manage to spend most of the say slouched forward or leaning back in equal measures, you’ll have all manner of pains and aches in the body. Well, I want to help you understand that it does not have to be this way. In fact, all it takes is a very simple change to how you sit!

What can I do to help my back problems from sitting?

So, for me, the best thing I can recommend is simply sitting a bit straighter. I know, it’s not the most revolutionary idea in the world, but a change in how you sit is essential to reducing back strains. Often, we sit in a manner that means our neck, spine, and back – as well as our hips – are out of sync with one another. This leads to the strains and complications that we often end up facing for most of the afternoon.

So, the best way to sit is to avoid slouching forward or leaning too far back. Hunching over means putting excess pressure on the muscles that you are supposed to be keeping stable and supported. This forces needless pressure on the discs in the back, leading to the pain that you feel.

The best way to solve that, though, is to simply roll up a thick jumper, or even a pair of jumpers. Once you have it around 6” in thickness when rolled up, and now sit yourself as straight as you can. Basically, get the seating potion that you know you should take, but often find it hard to maintain.

Now, take your rolled-up object and shove it down between the back of your chair and down to where your belt would normally sit. This makes it easier for you to have no space to slouch into; it will force you to retain the position that you just took. As such, your back will remain much straighter.

The closer to where your spine meets the pelvis that you can get the jumper, the better. This will leave you to get the help that you need to avoid excess extensions on the back and should play a role in helping you to avoid the curve in your back becoming a source of needless, excess support.

This simple but effective tip – the simple rolling-up of a jumper – can be all that you need to turn poor posture into a perfect posture in a short space of time.

Are you like me, sitting in a chair most of the day? It’s quite sore, isn’t it?

For someone who is comfortably over the average height, too, living a quite sedentary life means having consistent back pain. It’s an irritant most of the time, but it can...

interesting Lifestyle

Why Do My Canned and Bottled Soda Taste So Different?

Do you ever buy a can of Coke, for example, and wonder why the canned stuff tastes so different to the stuff in the big, plastic bottles?

You aren’t alone. Most of us struggle with this from time to time, and it can be quite annoying when you cannot work out why the taste is so different. In a bid to help you out with that issue, we recommend that you take a look at why this unique difference in taste even exists. Most of the time, you would probably never guess why it exists!

The recipe is, according to the manufacturers and the ingredient lists on the back, identical. So, what is there such a clear and obvious difference in the taste? It’s hard to deny.

One of the main reasons why is that a can of soda often tastes milder and less ‘juicy’ – which some people prefer – due to the polymers in aluminum soaking it up. However, by the same token, if that makes you think that sounds dodgy, it’s believed that the acetaldehyde in the plastic can adjust the flavor of your juice, too.

How should I drink my soda, then?

Glass bottles, then, are where to go if you want something that is as close to the ‘real’ taste as is possible. However, one thing to note is that if you think canned soda tastes quite metallic, you are likely to be more sensitive to metals than the average person.

Therefore, it’s not so much that the soda tastes of metal, but that you’ve noted a heightened sensitivity to the taste of metal as soon as your lips touch the can.

So, keep this in mind the next time you buy a soda. The best way to get something close to the real thing is to buy it from a glass bottle. Then, find the best way to store it. Putting it in the fridge makes it extremely cold, but the coolness can actually limit how much the taste manages to come out from the drink: something near freezing cold will just taste fizzy and cold!

Always be sure to take the time to look at what kind of soda you prefer. We all have our own choice when it comes to the kind of bottle/can we like to drink from. Find yours, and enjoy it!

Do you ever buy a can of Coke, for example, and wonder why the canned stuff tastes so different to the stuff in the big, plastic bottles?

You aren’t alone. Most of us struggle with this from time to time, and it can be quite annoying when you cannot work...

Galleries

People Who Asked For Photoshop Help and Got Hilarious Results

Everyone loves a good selfie, and now we have mobile phones so we can take photos all the time – ourselves, our pets, and our day to day lives.  The only trouble is that sometimes the pictures don’t turn out just as we want them.

It may be that there is something we don’t want in the background, we might not be looking our very best or we might want to add something in to make the image a little more exciting.

And that is why Photoshop was invented!  A little time on Photoshop and you can make your pictures magical.  It might not be exactly what was happening at the time, by nevertheless the image will be amazing.

Photoshop takes a lot of skill to use it properly, but once you have mastered it you can remove people, change their look, add people in, or add scenery and items.

Everyone loves a good selfie, and now we have mobile phones so we can take photos all the time – ourselves, our pets, and our day to day lives.  The only trouble is that sometimes the pictures don’t turn out just as we want them.
It may be that there is...

Humans Are Awesome Inspiring Stories

The Unpredictable Story of Ted Williams, Homeless Man with ‘Golden Voice’

With social media’s current popularity, it’s easy to become accidentally famous with a video or post gone viral. Internet fame has become more and more common in the last decade, and Ted “Golden Voice” Williams is one of those who has benefitted in such a way from social media.

Years ago, a video of this homeless man’s voice went viral, and he was no longer a nobody. But what has come of him since then?

Ted Williams: “The Man with the Golden Voice”

With such a deep, rich voice, Ted Williams quickly received the reputation as “The Man with the Golden Voice” after a video of him spread. At the time, however, he didn’t have the best luck. He was homeless and struggling with addictions in Columbus, Ohio, and because of his addictions, he couldn’t get a job.

So, rags to riches, right? Well, for Williams, it wasn’t quite so simple.

Williams’ Burst of Success: Rushed for Work

After he went virally famous, Williams was bombarded with all sorts of job offers. William jumped at the opportunity for employment and accepted several advertisement gigs with companies like Kraft Mac & Cheese, Pepsi, and the Cleveland Cavaliers, even signing a book deal for over $100,000! But William’s problems went deeper than just surface level.

Roadblocks: Battling Brutal Addiction

The reason William had found himself homeless in the first place was because of his drug and alcohol addictions, and those didn’t just go away overnight. It wasn’t long before he found himself in the same struggles as before and found himself in rehab.

Following two stints of rehab, Williams has been on an upward climb, but that hasn’t been the end of his struggles. He also had to deal with manipulative individuals who tried to take advantage of his naivete in the business.

Fighting for His Finances: Escaping Manipulative Colleagues

People were eager to sign him on and hire him to do this or that for them, but they cared little for his actual welfare. He even found himself almost as broke as he was before, at one point. What’s more, his former manager, Alfred Battle, allegedly tried to involve him in a heroin smuggling ring, but Williams was fortunately smart enough to stay out of it.

Refocusing on The Future: Reclaiming His Radio Voice

At this point in time, Williams is settling into his own radio show entitled, “The Golden Voice Show,” and he’s making use of his success to do more than just support himself; he is faithful to support the homeless shelter where he once received meals.

There was even some mention of Williams running for president! His story is a shining encouragement to all of us that anything is possible if you persist.

With social media’s current popularity, it’s easy to become accidentally famous with a video or post gone viral. Internet fame has become more and more common in the last decade, and Ted “Golden Voice” Williams is one of those who has benefitted in...

Vacation

Visiting Italy? Here’s Some Places to Look At Outside of the Eternal City

When it comes to visiting the continental delight of Italy, there’s a lot to enjoy. Many people, though, keep it simple; they go to Rome.

While a stunning city, and a true capital of the country, it’s not all there is to Italy. From trips to Florence and Turin to Milan and Genoa, there’s a hell of a lot to see in this beautiful country. It’s a nation steeped in history and culture, and one of the most amazing places on the planet to visit.

Where else, though, might you find some inspirational places to see outside of the capital?

Piedmont

First on our list is a trip to the beautiful and irreplaceable Piedmont. This amazing place is one of the most impressive in the country. Sitting on the border between France and Switzerland, it’s home to many amazing ski resorts and amazing vies of the Alps. You’ll find many amazing places to visit here – not least Turin, the city mentioned above.

It’s a fine place to visit for those who like stunning views, serene sports and tremendous food.

Puglia

We’d recommend that anyone with some time on their hands make the opportunity to go and see Puglia a priority. It’s become a major part of the Italian cultural scene outside of its big cities. A great place for foodies in particular, you’ll find the whole place awash with foods that you have never tried before.

It’s also a place where you can find some great cities and sights to enjoy, not least in the city of Lecce.

Palermo

If we wanted to find a place that sells a vintage and romanticized idea of Italy, we would pick Palermo. It’s the Sicilian capital and the kind of city that makes it easy to see why life here is so special. From the amazing cathedral to the Palatine Chapel, there is much to enjoy about a trip to this city.

Also, you’ll also get amazing views of some natural sights, including Mount Pellegrino. If you like sport and happen to arrive in the city, try and pick up tickets for the Palermo football team: their pink and black kits are striking, and the fans are some of the most raucous in Italy.

Matera

Last by but no means least, a trip to the stunning Matera is a must-see for many people. It’s listed by many top locations as a ‘must-see place to travel’ to and has won numerous awards for its beauty from the likes of National Geographic.

Here, you’ll find one of the most stunning selections of natural cave structures anywhere in the world. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site; one that makes it exceptionally easy to see why.

So there you go! With the above list, you can see why Italy has so much hidden beauty. We even mentioned a few cities at the top of the article who are more than worth your time. This makes it easy for you to engage with the whole country, not just the capital. On your next trip through Italy, then, remember there is more to enjoy here than just the capital!

When it comes to visiting the continental delight of Italy, there’s a lot to enjoy. Many people, though, keep it simple; they go to Rome.

While a stunning city, and a true capital of the country, it’s not all there is to Italy. From trips to Florence and...

Earth

Changing Climate Could Melt Tons of Human Poop

Climate change with global warming is doing more and affecting us differently than we may have ever expected. Decades of hikers have been leaving their poop on Denali, North America’s tallest mountain located in Alaska, and with the warmer climate, these feces might become exposed on the glacier.

It’s been surmised that this Alaskan summit has 66 tons of frozen feces as it’s, by far, one of the most popular climbs in America. Over the future years, this excrement will become more and more visible, USA Today reported.

As a result of this recent discovery, some guide companies are doing what they can to alleviate the situation. These businesses that take climbers up year after year have changed their policy to require climbers to pack their waste down the mountain.

Updated Policy

Just a year ago, the National Park Service had made a new policy stating that all human waste below 14,000 feet must be taken off the mountain.

“Climbers and particularly guide services are really embracing the new policy and are even exceeding it. It has become kind of an informal badge of merit to carry off all your waste,” Michael Loso, a National Park Service glaciologist, told USA Today.

However, there’s more at stake than we realize. From his research, Loso has discovered that bacteria and bugs that thrive in human feces can survive snow, cold, and time. Tests of water melt from Denali revealed small amounts of fecal coliform bacteria.

The poop will be brought to sight, regardless. “The waste will emerge at the surface not very different from when it was buried. It will be smushed and have been frozen and be really wet,” Loso told USA Today. “It will be biologically active, so the E. coli that was in the waste when it was buried will be alive and well. We expect it to still smell bad and look bad.”

Climate change with global warming is doing more and affecting us differently than we may have ever expected. Decades of hikers have been leaving their poop on Denali, North America’s tallest mountain located in Alaska, and with the warmer climate, these...

Cool Stories

This Guy Sent A Big Mac to Space, Then Ate It!

I’m not really sure how many people have actually contemplated what a Big Mac Burger would actually taste like after visiting outer space.  Well, this guy decided to find out by launching his McDonald’s Big Mac into space at 100,00 feet, 24-miles high with temperatures reaching minus 50% Celsius.

Tom Stanniland, a UK YouTuber, known as Killem on the video platform, told his more than 2 million viewers he wanted to send the very first McDonald’s burger into space and then actually eat it once it was returned to earth.

Stanniland told Today.com that he had seen many things sent to outer space but never anyone sending a burger, so he wanted to be the guy to do it first.  He said it took a few weeks to prepare the launch and making sure they had everything exactly in-place to make it happen.

To make his goal a reality, he needed a weather balloon, four canisters of helium, a GoPro camera, the Big Mac burger, and glue to fasten the burger inside the polystyrene box.  One section of the burger was left unglued so he could eat it once it returned.

In his 20-minute video, Stanniland said there were so many things to take into consideration including everything that could go wrong.  He did all the math and said the balloon could pop, his GoPro camera could freeze or overheat, the string could snap off, or the tracker could stop working.

If at First You Don’t Succeed

His first attempt failed but during the second try, he was able to launch the balloon.  He waited patiently for the balloon’s return though he feared the tracker could be lost but, lo and behold, the Big Mac burger returned to Earth, landing in a football field.

Unfortunately, when he took a bite out of the burger, it was dry, powdery, and frozen.  He said he had to chew it for approximately 2 minutes to force it down.  His final comment was he wouldn’t recommend it to anyone!

McDonald’s in the UK responded to Stanniland’s space project “We always knew the Big Mac was out of this world”.  My thoughts – I’d say, this is something better enjoyed right here on earth and in its natural environment.

I’m not really sure how many people have actually contemplated what a Big Mac Burger would actually taste like after visiting outer space.  Well, this guy decided to find out by launching his McDonald’s Big Mac into space at 100,00 feet, 24-miles...

Cool Stories

Passenger Hail Pilot Who Ordered 23 Pizzas for Flight Stranded on Tarmac

You’re a pilot with a plane full of passengers; you’re all stuck on the tarmac for hours due to annoying snow delays, and you can feel spirits dampening and tempers rising. What do you do?

Well, I’ll tell you what the pilot of an Air Canada Flight 608 did when he was placed in this exact scenario. The flight had been diverted to Fredericton, New Brunswick when the destination ought to have been Halifax, and as the unease grew, the pilot made a decision.

Pizza party!

Apparently, that pilot and I are agreed on one essential thing – pizza is the cure to all ailments. The captain ordered twenty-three whole pizzas to be delivered to the plane and handed out to passengers.

I’m pretty sure Minglers Restaurant and Pub in Oromocto had never been asked to deliver to such a location, but that didn’t cause them to hesitate. They delivered all twenty-three pizzas in just an hour!

 Though they were short-staffed on this stormy night in New Brunswick, the workers at Mingler were happy to bring joy, said Roch Larivée, the owner, and the manager on the floor that night, Jofee Larivée, said they were all “laughing all night” about the unique request. The delicious pizzas were made and delivered promptly and cheerfully!

Passenger Philomena Hughes stated, “It was something that could have been very stressful. He made it a lot easier. There was lots of help, there were a couple of Air Canada Jazz pilots that were traveling on the plane and they were helping to pick up the pizza and distribute it.

Everybody chipped in, so he didn’t want to take the whole credit for himself.” All Larivée and the pilot wished to do was lift some spirits, and it seems they accomplished just that!

 According to Hughes, the pilot was also careful to keep his passengers thoroughly informed on what was happening the entire eight hours they were on the plane after boarding in Toronto. He even called Minglers himself to thank them personally for their aptitude! And now this once-ordinary, kind pilot is a hero!

You’re a pilot with a plane full of passengers; you’re all stuck on the tarmac for hours due to annoying snow delays, and you can feel spirits dampening and tempers rising. What do you do?

Well, I’ll tell you what the pilot of an Air Canada Flight 608...

Tech News

AI Google Doodle Lets Users Make Bach-Music

Google’s innovation and creativity never ceaseto amaze, and one of our favorite features is its goal of honoring different men, women, and key holidays through the Google doodle on their search engine homepage. In honor of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach’s birthday, Google created and released its first artificial intelligence-powered doodle.

Google made the doodle available internationally in over seventy countries and set it to run for a full forty-eight in most of those countries. Users had the freedom to create their own melody and allow the Al built into the doodle to form the melody they created into one that matches Bach’s own style.

But that’s not all the doodle was built to do! Users could also hear their melodies in a rock genre, seeing how it transforms the notes to sound like a Bach melody, and exactly how Google did all this is in a behind-the-scenes video they released later on.

Google’s Magenta, Google’s People + AI Research team, and doodle teams collaborated together to create the Bach doodle. Magenta is a mind-blowing project that uses machine-learning to create music – not just a single melody but harmonies and smooth transitions, as well. Then, Google’s PAIR program does the research to creates technologies that shape the approach to work with AI.

The Google team created a model called Coconet through Magenta which was able to pick out Bach’s individual style through a dataset of over 300 of his own harmonies. As a result, Coconet could match the doodle users created to Bach’s works. “Coconet is trained to restore Bach’s music from fragments: we take a piece from Bach, randomly erase some notes, and ask the model to guess the missing notes from context. The result is a versatile model of counterpoint that accepts arbitrarily incomplete scores as input and works out complete scores,” said the blog post from Magenta.

Which Calendar?

According to the Julian Calendar, Bach was born on March 21, which is now March 31 on the Gregorian calendar used today. Google decided to honor him on the original date of March 21, however, and then had the doodle run for forty-eight hours instead of just twenty-four.

What Google wanted was for users to learn more about the composer himself as they created melodies through the doodle, and what a creative and fun way to remember the famous composer! The doodle is still accessible now in the doodle archive online, so if you didn’t get a chance to use it for yourself, you still can.

Google’s innovation and creativity never ceaseto amaze, and one of our favorite features is its goal of honoring different men, women, and key holidays through the Google doodle on their search engine homepage. In honor of German composer Johann Sebastian...

Lifestyle

Future Meat: Artificial Seafood

Studies have shown there is a rise in consumer interests in alternative choices for protein instead of meat. This interest has given literally hundreds of millions of dollars to companies that are trying to replace beef and/or chicken. Unfortunately, many companies have overlooked and just not focused their attention on developing seafood as an alternative.

Shiok Meats is now stepping up to change that attitude. The company has raised financing from various investors including AIIM Partners Fund, Boom Capital, and Ryan Bethencourt and is now a part of the recent Y Combinator partners for new startups that will be presented next week.

Both Sandhya Sriram and Ka Yi Ling are co-founders and stem cell scientists working at the Singapore’s Agency for Science, technology, and Research who decided to leave their government positions and become a part of the entrepreneurship world.

They have set their goal to create a shrimp substitute that would be very similar to what you find in your freezer section in the grocery store along with a minced shrimp replacement for using in dumplings.

Accord to a 2015 study from the Food and Agriculture Department of the United Nations, Chinese consumers, alone, account for approximately 3.6 million tons of crustaceans. There is a huge market for seafood all across the globe, especially in Asia and Southeast Asia. This is a popular spot for crustaceans which are a large part of Asian diets.

Clean Up A Nasty Business

That said, cultivating shrimp is a pretty nasty business. The industry is constantly criticized for horrible working conditions, unsanitary farms, and endless environment damage. A report from the Associated Press revealed cases of modern-day slavery in the seafood industry in Thai!

According to Sriram, they chose to use shrimp because they are easier to deal with in comparison to crabs and lobsters. The company is planning to expand its choices over time which will include these other crustaceans as well.

For now, their focus is on shrimp and the company’s earlier tests have proven successful. The company estimates they can make a kilogram of shrimp meat for around $5,000. While some believe this sounds expensive, in comparison to lab-grown meat companies it’s a great deal less expensive and these meat companies are still pending to produce their beef replacements.

Ling said they are still relatively low in comparison to other clean meat companies which are still around hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The company is hoping to bring its first product to the market over the next 3 to 5 years and will initially target the Asia-Pacific market. Initially selling in their own market of Singapore and then expanding into Hong Kong, India, and eventually Australia!

Studies have shown there is a rise in consumer interests in alternative choices for protein instead of meat. This interest has given literally hundreds of millions of dollars to companies that are trying to replace beef and/or chicken. Unfortunately, many...