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6

16-Million-Year-Old Tree Opens an Exhibit About Time

Last June 8, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History opened an exhibition called, “Hall of Fossils—Deep Time”. The muse of the exhibit is the shining sequoia tree slab, preserved and polished.

Scot Wing, the Paleobotanist who studied the said sequoia tree, said that he came up with about 260 rings. Though he notes that there's always a little bit of uncertainty in the count, he said that he doesn't mind it if someone one day write him saying, "You're off by three," and even added that it's a good thing for it'd be an opportunity regarding the ongoing conversation about time.

"Each yearly delineation on the sequoia’s surface is a small part of a far grander story that ties together all of life on Earth. Scientists know this as Deep Time. It’s not just on the scale of centuries, millennia, epochs, or periods, but the ongoing flow that goes back to the origins of our universe, the formation of the Earth, and the evolution of all life, up through this present moment. It’s the backdrop for everything we see around us today, and it can be understood through techniques as different as absolute dating of radioactive minerals and counting the rings of a prehistoric tree. Each part informs the whole."
Wing says, people can play the classic game of comparing the tree’s life to a human lifespan. If a long human life is about 80 years, Wing says, then people can count 80, 160, and 240 years, meaning the sequoia grew and thrived over the course of approximately three human lifespans—but during a time when our own ancestors resembled gibbon-like apes. Time is not something that life simply passes through. In everything—from the rings of an ancient tree to the very bones in your body—time is part of life.

-via Smithsonian

Image Credit: Smithsonian / NMNH

“This tree was alive, photosynthesizing, pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, turning it into sugars and into lignin and cellulose to make cell walls,” Wing says. After the tree perished, water carrying silica and other minerals coated the log to preserve the wood and protect some of those organic components inside. “The carbon atoms that came out of the atmosphere 16 million years ago are locked in this chunk of glass.”

Image Credit: DAVID MCNEW / Smithsonian


6

The Street Sign Skateboard of Benedetto Bufalino

Benedetto Bufalino, an artist from Lyon, France, is known for transforming ordinary objects into whimsical work of art. His famous arts include playable ping pong table made from upside down cars, aquariums built from telephone booths, and many more.

Bufalino’s latest work of art is a skateboard made from street signposts. He calls this “le poteau cédez le passage skateboard”. 

To create the artwork, bufalino worked with skateboarders from besançon, a city in eastern france which has a burgeoning culture for urban sports. It recently opened the CCUB (center for urban cultures in besançon) which saw a €500,000 renovation of an old tennis club to accomodate various kind including skateboarding, rollerblading and breakdancing.

Learn more details of Bufalino’s art over at DesignBoom.

Video: Vimeo 


8

The ABCs of Writing

Cartoonist Grant Snider of Incidental Comics drew this fantastic panel explaining a writer's routine.

I'm very well acquainted with P and X!


6

12-Ton Sphinx Floats Out a Window

Penn Museum in Philadelphia had the epic task of relocating the 12.5 ton sphinx to its newly redesigned entrance hall.

Moving the iconic statue—which is the largest sphinx in the western hemisphere—takes more than a dolly and a few burly movers. The carving was first 3-D scanned to determine its weight and density to make sure the hulking beast could be properly rigged. A safe, manageable 250-foot route was then mapped that took the sphinx through doorways, out a second-story window, through a courtyard, and back through another window on the other side, Brian Houghton, the museum’s building engineer, tells WHYY’s Peter Crimmins.

In 1912, the Sphinx of Temple of the God Ptah in the ancient city of Memphis was excavated by archaeologist W.M. Flinders Petrie. One of his backers, Penn, wanted  the statue. So, the Sphinx was wrapped in burlap and shipped overseas to the Penn Museum. As of the present day, the Egyptian government has not called for its repatriation.

Learn more about the Sphinx at the Smithsonian.com

Image: Penn Museum


7

The Winston Smith Illusion: When 2+2 = 5

Professor of Psychology and Computer Science Arthur Shapiro of American University tweeted this illusion, named after Winston Smith, the protagonist of George Orwell's dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Shapiro wrote:

Since “post-truth” is the Oxford word of the year, let’s start off this new blog with an Orwellian twist. In 1984, the mathematical expression 2+2=4 is the centerpiece in a battle over Truth. After all, 2+2 obviously equals 4, and the Party’s final and most essential command is for Winston to reject the evidence of his eyes and ears. Winston therefore pleads in his journal, “[T]he obvious, the silly, and the true had got to be defended”; otherwise, the Party can control all of our thoughts.
I am not trying to soften your mind for Big Brother, but … is the mathematical statement 2+2=4 always true? Certainly, 2+2=4 is true for numbers and simple counting: 2 apples plus 2 apples equals 4 apples. However, not everything in the world follows the rules of simple arithmetic.


7

Get Drunk with Cereal

We often associate cereal with these words: “children” and “breakfast". So, is it possible to get wasted with Cereal? 

On Thursday, three beers — Sling it out Stout, Throw Away IPA and Cast off Pale Ale — officially launched, the brewery and cereal giant confirmed.

Kellogg’s, a cereal company, is teaming up with Seven Brothers Brewery in England to produce beers from leftover cereals. Kellog’s Corn Flakes replaces wheat grain in the beer mix during the mashing process. Their Rice Krispies and Coco Pop replaces the malted barley. 

"Kellogg's is always looking for innovative ways to use surplus food, the collaboration with Seven Bro7hers is a fun way to repurpose non-packaged, less-than-perfect cereal. This activity is part of our new 'Better Days' commitments which aim to reduce our impact on the planet."

We waste 1.3 billion tons of food annually, and roughly 30% of these are from cereals. I admire Kellogg’s heart to not let their food go to waste, and their passion for reducing impact on the planet.

Image: BeerStorkUK/Kelloggs


6

The Closer You Look, The Creepier It Gets

If you love Jeff Lee Johnson's Blue Plate Special (previously on Neatorama), then you'll love his next installment in the series: The Grand International Hotel (larger version here - you'll need it to fully appreciate Johnson's masterpiece).

See if you can find the gentleman with the goat hooves, the giant spider, and the giant rat.

Can't wait for the third installment!

Don't forget to visit Johnson's Deviant Art page for more neat artwork.


5

For the Fathers Who Stepped Up

Yes, this is an ad for Budweiser - but set that aside for the moment.

Instead, focus on the message within on this Father's Day:

Stepfathers embark on a difficult journey when it comes to building a relationship with their stepchildren. Although there are often ups and downs, many stepchildren grow to consider their stepfather one of the most important people in their lives. So this Father’s Day, Budweiser is shining an unexpected light on fatherhood by toasting stepfathers who have risen to the occasion and owned their roles as fathers.

Thanks Tiffany!


7

Man Offered "Free Dad Hugs" at a Pride Parade and People Fell Crying Into His Arms

Scott Dittman, 44, went to the Pittsburgh Pride Parade and wore a tank top with the words "Free Dad Hugs" emblazon on it. Little did he know that it had a huge impact on people attending the event:

"I turned around and she’s just standing there in front of me with tears in her eyes," said Dittman.
"She just threw her arms around me and just thanked me over and over and over again," he said.
The second big moment was the man on the left. He told Dittman he was abandoned by his parents when he came out at 19.
"He just sobbed and sobbed and thanked us," said Dittman. "He just melted. It was an honor to be involved in that, but it was terrible at the same time." [...]
"You could tell they hadn’t had something as simple as a hug from their dad in a long time," he said. "That broke my heart."

Read the rest of the story over at BuzzFeed News

Image: Scott Dittman


5

Yazi Yolcuzu's Forkligraphy is Calligraphy on a Whole ‘Nother Level

That's right, forkligraphy - Turkish artist Yazi Yolcusu creates stunning calligraphy using cutlery like forks and knives.

Yolcusu uses only metal cutlery for his calligraphic works, as Oddity Central explains:

   Yazi Yolcusu, which apparently means “Text Traveler” in Turkish, is living proof that it’s not the tools that make the artist, but their skill. Using only metal cutlery – a spoon to hold the ink and forks and knives as writing tools – the talented artist creates some of the most amazing calligraphy you’ll ever see.
   The way the Turkish calligrapher switches between the bottom and top prongs of a fork and uses all four of them to create a truly unique font is truly mesmerizing to watch.
   Yazi’s knife wielding skills aren’t too bad either, as he’s able to use the sharp tip as a fountain pen.

Now that is talent and skill.

image credit: Yazi Yolcusu


5

The Toxic Organisms Behind China's Sparkling Blue Seas

The blue glow behind China's sparkling seas is also a contributor to red tides, as George Dvorsky reported:  

  “ ... red Noctiluca scintillans (RNS), a single-celled microorganism that produces the beautiful bioluminescent blue glow known as “blue tears.” These tiny sea creatures prefer coastal waters, especially along the coast of the East China Sea where they appear in the numbers required to produce the spectacular blue glow.”
  “ Also known as sea sparkles, red Noctiluca scintillans are contributors to red tides—deadly algal blooms that are toxic to marine life. Excessive algae can also starve water of its oxygen, creating noxious dead zones. At the same time, however, RNS are important to ocean ecosystems, as they feed on other phytoplankton and zooplankton.”

In the midst of the RNS' bigger bloom and its effect on marine life, Dvorsky elaborates on the need of a further understanding of how the algae grows :

  “ A deeper understanding of how RNS blooms grow and spread in the East China Sea is obviously important given the ecological value of this species, and its potential to wreak havoc as a contributing organism to red tides.”

image credit: Yu-Xian Yang, Lienchiang county government, Taiwan via Gizmodo


5

Photo of a Thanos Cosplayer Attending a Wedding Goes Viral

It seems like the next appointment Thanos had after dusting half the universe away was a wedding on Earth.

Reddit user kittencookies uploaded a photo of a Thanos cosplayer attending their sister's wedding online - and as expected, the photo went viral. Kittencookies later clarified:

The invite did specifically say to “Wear your best Marvel t-shirt” since that was the theme. Additionally, their goal was to keep it as low cost as possible for everybody involved since most of those people are barely getting by but they still wanted a wedding.

To know more about the person who wore their best Marvel shirt to the wedding, head here.

image credit : kittencookies on reddit


5

Apollo 11 in Real Time

With the 50th anniversary of the first moon mission approaching, NASA wants you to experience the event as it happened in 1969. They've set up an interactive website that incorporates mission control film footage, footage from Apollo 11, TV transmissions, commentary and documents, 2,000 photographs, and 11,000 hours of mission control audio recordings to bring you the immersive experience as it happened in 1969. Honestly, you could lose days at a time listening, watching, and reading therough the available archives.

The Apollo 11 launch was on July 16, 1969, so that's the day the 50th anniversary commemoration actually begins. If you click "now" before that date, you will be taken to the correct current time, but until July 17, you'll be taken to that time on July 16, 1969. Or you can start the experience at one minute to launch. Between July 16 and 25, you'll be able to sync the website to what was happening exactly 50 years ago to the day.

-via Metafilter


5

The Solo Dining Capsule of Japan comes with Free Wifi and Power Outlets

This restaurant is for the solo diners - those who want a quiet place to study or to simply be in their own company. Gusto, a family restaurant chain in Japan, remodeled their locations to cater large number of solo diners. A weekday lunch in one of their private booths costs from ¥499 (around $4.61). Aside from food, there is also free wifi and a personal power outlet to charge your gadget. 

Oona McGee, writer of SoraNews24, shared their experience on the article:

 “We’ve worked remotely from a lot of shared work spaces and cafes before, but never have we felt this satisfied, working from the Gusto booth. The seat was comfortable, the table was big enough for us to use a laptop and eat at the same time, and reasonably priced meals were just a call button away.”

Let’s hope that most restaurants would have solo dining capsule similar to Gusto’s. This would be helpful to the restaurant owner especially if most of their customers are solo diners. Students would really be delighted to study, dine, and charge their laptops as well.

Check out more pictures of the solo dining capsule at the SoraNews24

Image: SoraNews24


6

What Are Little Cats Made Of?

Cat Anatomy

Most people have undoubtedly heard the nursery rhyme What Are Little Boys Are Made Of, but most have no idea who is responsible for its creation. This funny little poem about snips, snails, puppy dog tails, sugar, spice, and everything nice has long been attributed to Robert Southey. 

Robert Southey was an English poet and author who was born in 1774. Although he was a prolific writer, Southey is not well known today. Perhaps one of the things he is most famous for, besides the nursery rhyme, is advising Charlotte Bronte to give up writing.

Charlotte Bronte had sent Southey some of her poems and writings to review. Southey's response was to tell her, "Literature cannot be the business of a woman's life, and ought not to be." He wrote this to her 10 years before she published Jane Eyre. Thankfully Charlotte Bronte paid no attention to him and kept on writing. 

While Southey probably never expected his claim to fame to be The What are Little Boys Are Made Of, one cannot deny its popularity. The rhyme is so ingrained in our pop culture that it is even said to be the inspiration of The Powerpuff Girls. The professor created the three little girls by literally mixing sugar, spice, everything nice, and a chemical known as x. 

Robert Southey died in 1843 so we will never know what he thinks of Cat Anatomy by artist Hillary White. One would like to think that, despite his clear lapse of judgment when it came to Charlotte Bronte and women writers, he would obviously still appreciate the spiciness of this comical Cat Anatomy artwork.

What are cat's made of? Sugar, spice, and of course dead mice. Look closely and you will see pieces of candy, a bottle of hot sauce, and a mouse skeleton. What a purr-fect design!

Be sure to check out the NeatoShop for more great wearable art and fun items. New items arriving weekly. 

The NeatoShop specializes in curvy and hard to find sizes. We carry baby 6 months all the way up to Big and Tall 10 XL shirts. We know that fun and fabulous people come in every size.  






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