Friday, October 30, 2009

9 Signs You Might Be Going Insane

Dementia Disorders
Something doesn’t feel right.

Maybe you’ve been depressed—crying at the drop of a hat, not enjoying things that used to make you happy. Or you feel overwhelming anxiety, the kind that makes you think your heart might beat right out of chest. Or perhaps it’s a little scarier than that, and you’ve started seeing things that aren’t there.

The bad news: something’s up. The good news: you’re not going insane.

Insanity is actually just a legal term to describe abnormal mental patterns and behaviors (as in not-guilty by reasons of insanity). Your symptoms could indicate any number of diagnoses. Most of them decrease with treatment, including psychiatric attention and medication.

If you’re concerned by your feelings or behavior, you may be struggling with one of the following common psychiatric illnesses:


Via: Mamapedia

Autistic artist Stephen Wiltshire draws spellbinding 18ft picture of New York from memory... after a 20-minute helicopter ride over city

This astonishing 18ft drawing of the world’s most famous skyline was created by autistic artist Stephen Wiltshire after he spent just 20 minutes in a helicopter gazing at the panorama.

The unbelievably intricate picture was drawn at Brooklyn’s prestigious Pratt Institute from Stephen’s memory, with details of every building sketched in to scale.

Landmarks including the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building can be seen towering above smaller buildings after just three days in his spellbinding creation.


Via: Daily Mail

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Scientists discover gene that 'cancer-proofs' rodent's cells

Scientists discover that the naked mole rat, the only known cancerless animal, has two-tier defense against cancer. Credit: University of Rochester
Despite a 30-year lifespan that gives ample time for cells to grow cancerous, a small rodent species called a naked mole rat has never been found with tumors of any kind—and now biologists at the University of Rochester think they know why.



Thursday, October 22, 2009

'Missing Link' Primate Fossil Debunked

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer The 47 million-year-old fossilized remains of a creature known as Ida are shown during a news conference at the American Museum of Natural History. Although this fossil discovery was trumpeted as the
Remember Ida, the fossil discovery announced last May with its own book and TV documentary? A publicity blitz called it "the link" that would reveal the earliest evolutionary roots of monkeys, apes and humans.

In fact, Ida is as far removed from the monkey-ape-human ancestry as a primate could be, says Erik Seiffert of Stony Brook University in New York.

The new analysis says Darwinius does not belong in the same primate category as monkeys, apes and humans. Instead, the analysis concluded, it falls into the other major grouping, which includes lemurs.

Experts agreed.


Via: Discovery Channel

50 Kick-Ass Websites You Need to Know About

by Alex Castle, Norman Chan, and Forence Ion
It's time to update the entries in your browser's links toolbar. But with recent estimates putting the size of the internet at well more than 100 million distinct websites, it's getting harder and harder to get a handle on all the great stuff that's out there. That's why we've compiled this list. And unlike some lists you may have seen, which try to name the very "best" websites, but end up just telling you a lot of stuff you already know, we've chosen instead to highlight 50 of our favorite sites that fly under most people's radar. Think of it as the Maximum PC blog roll (remember those?). These sites represent great alternatives to popular web destinations like YouTube and Hulu, and include useful references, powerful web apps, and the unknown blogs you must absolutely bookmark.

You might have heard of some of these sites, but we'll bet you haven't heard of all them. Read on and find out. You won't be disappointed.


Via: MaximumPC

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Quick 10: 10 Smurfy Smurfs Facts

Smorf holding his breath, turns purple
The Quick 10 is a regular feature at Mental Floss. I loved the Smurfs since I was a child so I am including this on the site today. Deal.

Here at the Quick 10, we’re taking a break from our regularly-scheduled Halloween posts to bring you this public service announcement: it was 51 years ago this week that The Smurfs were first introduced to our pop culture vernacular. I thought it seemed like a pretty worthy reason to break the spooky string of posts, and anyway, I bet at least one of you _flossers spent a Halloween or two slathering yourself in blue paint to portray one of the sapphire shorties (you’ll let us know if you did, right?).


Via: Mental Floss

Spiraling Out of Control: The Greatest Spiral Stairs in the World

With no central support the stairs are said by the sisters of Loretto Chapel to be miraculous in construction
Without further ado the Atlas Obscura presents to you the most intriguing, fantastical, dizzying spiral staircases from around the world.

Spirals are flat, two dimensions, so technically these are all helical stairs.


Via: Atlas Obscura

Monday, October 19, 2009

9 Insane Torture Techniques

the rack
So you think your mother-in-law is torturous? Or your boss with the lame sense of humor? Get a load of the following nine insane torture techniques used in different parts of the world to kill, dismember, or otherwise cause inordinate amounts of pain. We promise: you’ll never use the word torturous the same way again.


Via: Mental Floss

The Helmet Project

NFC West 49ers
A visual history of football helmets.

The "Helmet Project" web site is an attempt by its creator, a completely amateur graphic artist and a long-time fan of football at all levels, to create and maintain an on-line "catalog" or "atlas" of uniform-sized, accurate, and up-to-date images representing the football helmets worn by college football teams and teams from a few professional leagues in the United States and Canada. To the best of my knowledge, nothing of this sort has previously been attempted for as many different teams and helmets as are covered at this site. Initially, I started "drawing" these things just for my own amusement (I will frequently use the word "draw" here for lack of a more precise term to refer to the use of graphics software), but I eventually decided that other people might find this subject interesting, also, and might be able to fill in some of the missing information. So, I "opened" this web site in July, 1999.


Friday, October 16, 2009

14 Sculptures made of Tires

Fat Happy Budda
I used to work at a Goodyear and Firestone. I loved the smell of the rubber in the showroom. I really think this work is outstanding. Tires are hard to dispose of, so any form of tire recycling intrigues me.



Thursday, October 15, 2009

German arm wrestler shows off his single Popeye-esque limb

Eye-popping: German arm wrestler Matthas Schlitte reveals his massively oversized forearm
Boasting muscles a superhero would be proud of, Matthias Schlitte has good reason to be considered the toast of the German arm wrestling circuit.

But a closer look reveals that only ONE of his arms is bestowed with bulging biceps.

The 22-year-old’s whopping right forearm measures nearly 18in – and is in stark contrast to his puny left arm.


Via: Daily Mail

Ever Dream This Man?

EVER DREAM THIS MAN every night throughout the world hundreds of people dream about this face
In January 2006 in New York, the patient of a well-known psychiatrist draws the face of a man that has been repeatedly appearing in her dreams. In more than one occasion that man has given her advice on her private life. The woman swears she has never met the man in her life.

That portrait lies forgotten on the psychiatrist's desk for a few days until one day another patient recognizes that face and says that the man has often visited him in his dreams. He also claims he has never seen that man in his waking life.

The psychiatrist decides to send the portrait to some of his colleagues that have patients with recurrent dreams. Within a few months, four patients recognize the man as a frequent presence in their own dreams. All the patients refer to him as THIS MAN.

From January 2006 until today, at least 2000 people have claimed they have seen this man in their dreams, in many cities all over the world: Los Angeles, Berlin, Sao Paulo, Tehran, Beijing, Rome, Barcelona, Stockholm, Paris, New Dehli, Moskow etc.

At the moment there is no ascertained relation or common trait among the people that have dreamed of seeing this man. Moreover, no living man has ever been recognized as resembling the man of the portrait by the people who have seen this man in their dreams.

Via: Thisman.Org

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Why I Give My 9-year-old Pot

He has autism and terrible pain. Marijuana is taming his demons.
Question: why are we giving our nine-year-old a marijuana cookie?

Answer: because he can't figure out how to use a bong.

J has autism. He’s also had two serious surgeries for a spinal cord tumor and has an inflammatory bowel condition. Last year his medication stopped working and he began to bite and get aggressive.

Why would a mother give her 9-year-old pot?

Then read the follow-up here:

Via: Double X

Leonardo da Vinci picture 'worth millions' revealed by a fingerprint

Fingerprint points to $19,000 portrait being revalued as £100m work by Leonardo da Vinci
A Paris laboratory discovered that a fingerprint from the tip of an index or middle-finger, found on the top left of the picture, was "highly comparable" to one found on da Vinci's work St Jerome, which he painted early in his career when he did not have assistants, according to the Antiques Trade Gazette.

The infrared analysis also showed "significant" stylistic parallels with those in da Vinci's Portrait of a Woman in Profile in Windsor Castle.

The ink and chalk drawing was also made by a left-handed artist – as da Vinci was – while carbon dating was consistent with the Milanese fashion the girl was dressed in, from the late 15th century.

If verified as a genuine da Vinci it could be worth tens of millions of pounds.


Via: Telegraph UK

Welcome to the Pleasure Dome! A weird and rather bizarre discovery by Italian archaeologists in Rome.

Archaeologists in Rome have made an interesting discovery. They think they may have unearthed the site of a Roman rotating dining room – renowned for being one of Emperor Nero’s more fantastic and extravagant architectural feats!


Via: Socyberty

Welcome to the Pleasure Dome! A weird and rather bizarre discovery by Italian archaeologists in Rome.

Roman Romps and Rotations. Neros rotating dining room
Archaeologists in Rome have made an interesting discovery. They think they may have unearthed the site of a Roman rotating dining room – renowned for being one of Emperor Nero’s more fantastic and extravagant architectural feats!

Reference to this rotating dining room was made by Roman historian Suetonius in “Lives of the Caesars”. This dining room (the coenatio rotunda) was discovered amongst the ruins of the Golden Palace (Domus Aurea) on Palatine Hill in Rome.


Via: Socyberty

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

God, creation, science, religion: the conflicts

Creation and evolution
An academic has claimed that the Bible passage saying God created the Earth has been mistranslated. Here are four other times when science and religion have clashed.


Via: Telegraph UK

God is not the Creator, claims academic

The Earth was already there when God created humans and animals, says academic Photo: PA
Professor Ellen van Wolde, a respected Old Testament scholar and author, claims the first sentence of Genesis "in the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth" is not a true translation of the Hebrew.

She claims she has carried out fresh textual analysis that suggests the writers of the great book never intended to suggest that God created the world -- and in fact the Earth was already there when he created humans and animals.


Via:Telegraph UK

5 Creatures That May Not Exist, But Get Government Protection Anyway

Dave Shealy is founder of the world’s only research center dedicated to the skunk-ape (the 7-foot tall, 450-pound apes that supposedly stroll through Florida reeking of rotten eggs). He’s spent much of his life trudging through the Everglades looking for signs of the creatures and has even gone so far as to call for the state of Florida to pass a law outlawing the hunting of them.

This guy is nuts, right? No matter your answer, he’s not the first person to try this with the skunk apes, and certainly not the first to push for government protection of a cryptid (an animal whose existence can’t be proved with scientific certainty). In Florida, the US, and even elsewhere in the world, individuals, politicians, and organizations have fought for legal protection for cryptids.

Here are five times where they’ve been successful.


Via: Metal Floss

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Fall of the Maya: 'They Did it to Themselves'

Mayan ruins in Guatemala. Photo copyright Tom Sever
For 1200 years, the Maya dominated Central America. At their peak around 900 A.D., Maya cities teemed with more than 2,000 people per square mile -- comparable to modern Los Angeles County. Even in rural areas the Maya numbered 200 to 400 people per square mile. But suddenly, all was quiet. And the profound silence testified to one of the greatest demographic disasters in human prehistory -- the demise of the once vibrant Maya society.

What happened? Some NASA-funded researchers think they have a pretty good idea.


Via: PhysOrg

Visionary Treehouses by Baumraum

Terrific Treehouse Designs from Baumraum
Treehouses are an interesting branch of design. They are usually modest in size, certainly tread lightly on the ground, and can bring us closer to nature. The German firm Baumraum has been building treehouses and platforms around the world, calling them:

Special little dwellings installed up among the trees fire our imagination and rouse our curiosity, bringing back childhood memories, and with them the desire to climb up and enter a magic world amongst the foliage.

The ones they have built are interesting, but the ones on the boards, the visions that haven't been built (or perhaps are unbuildable) are fascinating, and sometimes scary.


Via: Treehugger

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Jack the Ripper's identity finally uncovered?

An historian has claimed to have discovered the real identity of Jack the Ripper, and believes the notorious Whitechapel murderer was also responsible for killing two more women.

Mei Trow used modern police forensic techniques, including psychological and geographical profiling, to identify Robert Mann, a morgue attendant, as the killer.

His theory, the result of two years intensive research, is explored in a Discovery Channel documentary, Jack the Ripper: Killer Revealed.

LINK w/Video

Via: Telegraph

Roger Penrose Says Physics Is Wrong, From String Theory to Quantum Mechanics

Roger Penrose
One of the greatest thinkers in physics says the human brain—and the universe itself—must function according to some theory we haven't yet discovered.


Via: Discover Magazine

Monday, October 5, 2009

'Bluehenge' the new Stonehenge, say researchers

Bluehenge may be just as important as the nearby Stonehenge, say archaeologists / AP / The Associated Press
A "NEW Stonehenge" uncovered near the original famous monument could be one of the most important prehistoric finds in decades, archaeologists say.

Dubbed "Bluehenge", the site was unearthed over the British summer and has been kept secret since.

Researchers say it appears to have been constructed around the same time as Stonehenge and the two may have been used in conjunction.


Via: Courier Mail

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dwarves found 'theme park' commune to escape bullying

A community of dwarves has set up its own village to escape discrimination from normal sized people
Everyone in the mountain commune in Kunming, southern China, must be under 4ft 3 ins tall and they run their own police force and fire brigade from their 120 residents.

Now the group has turned itself into a tourist attraction by building mushroom houses and living and dressing like fairy tale characters.

I love midgets but I am also pretty fond of dwarfs. As Ralphie May puts it, "You are not a dwarf unless you are a midget in direct pocession of a battle axe."


Via: UK Telegraph