Author Archive | Marcie Gainer

Woman Opens Professional Cuddling Shop, Struggles to Keep Up with Demand

Photo: Cuddle Up to Me

Photo: Cuddle Up to Me

via Oddity Central:

This Oregon woman is paying her bills by cuddling with people all day. It might not sound like much of a career choice, but believe it or not, Samantha Hess is making a decent living out of hugging. Within a week of opening her store – ‘Cuddle Up To Me’ – she has already gotten requests from a whopping 10,000 customers!

Samantha charges her clients (who must be above 18 years of age) $1 per minute of cuddling in one of four themed rooms at her store. She also provides remote services by travelling to locations of her clients’ choice. She calls it a method of self-taught therapy through which she helps people feel loved and get comfortable with the physical touch. The snuggles are strictly platonic, of course, and she signs an agreement with her customers to be clean, courteous and to keep their clothes on at all times.

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How Ross Perot Saved the World’s First Electronic Computer

ENIAC panels on display at the Smithsonian.

ENIAC panels on display at the Smithsonian.

via Gizmodo:

Ross Perot is a collector. He once bought a copy of the Magna Carta in 1984. But more intriguingly, he also bought and resurrected ENIAC, the world’s first electronic computer.

ENIAC stands for the “Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer” and was conceived of during World War II to help calculate the arched paths of artillery bullets. It is an absolutely massive machine weighing in at 27 tons and occupying 1,800 square feet when fully assembled.Construction began in 1943, but by the time it was finished in 1945, the war was over. The Army kept a tight lid on things at first. Even the maintenance manual (below) remained classified until 1946. So what did the United States Army do with this marvel of technology? They used it to design the first hydrogen bomb. Then, in 1955, they threw the thing away.

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Portuguese Man Buys Tiny Island, Successfully Establishes His Own Kingdom

Renato-Barros-Pontinha4-550x385

via Oddity Central:

While this American searched the entire African continent for a piece of land to call his Kingdom, Renato Barros managed to establish his own country much closer to home. The 56-year-old Portuguese citizen purchased a small island on Funchal harbor, in Madeira, Portugal. He named it the Principality of the Pontinha, and anointed himself Prince Renato II.

Pontinha is actually just the size of a one-bedroom house, and has only four citizens – Barros, his wife, and his son and daughter. In addition to his Portuguese passport, Barros holds a passport for Pontinha with the number 0001. An art teacher by profession, he’s also taken on the roles of policeman, gardener, caretaker, and member of the royal family of his very own country.

“I am whatever I want to be – that’s the dream, isn’t it,” he said. “If I decide I want to have a national song, I can choose it, and I can change it any time.

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How Vultures Can Eat Rotting Flesh Without Getting Sick

Turkey Vulture  Linda Tanner (CC BY 2.0)

Turkey Vulture
Linda Tanner (CC BY 2.0)

via Live Science:

Vultures’ faces and large intestines are covered with bacteria that is toxic to most other creatures, but these birds of prey have evolved a strong gut that helps them not get sick from feasting on rotting flesh, according to a new study.

In the first analysis of bacteria living on vultures, the study’s researchers found that these scavengers are laden with flesh-degrading Fusobacteria and poisonous Clostridia. As bacteria decompose a dead body, they excrete toxic chemicals that make the carcass a perilous meal for most animals. But vultures often wait for decay to set in, giving them easy access to dead animals with tough skins.

Moreover, vultures will often pick at a dead animal through its back end — that is, the anus — to get at the tasty entrails. Their diet may be filled with toxic bacteria and putrid feces, but vultures are apparently immune to these deadly microbes, the researchers said.

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Rare Footage of a Black Seadevil (Deep-Sea Anglerfish)

Deep-sea anglerfish are strange and elusive creatures that are very rarely observed in their natural habitat. Fewer than half a dozen have ever been captured on film or video by deep diving research vehicles. This little angler, about 9 cm long, is named Melanocetus. It is also known as the Black Seadevil and it lives in the deep dark waters of the Monterey Canyon. MBARI’s ROV Doc Ricketts observed this anglerfish for the first time at 600 m on a midwater research expedition in November 2014. We believe that this is the first video footage ever made of this species alive and at depth.

h/t Live Science.

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15 Years Of Transparency

Kartell – 15 Years Of Transparency - from abstract groove on Vimeo.

15 years of Kartell transparency told through a surreal journey of light and plastic.

The protagonists: 7 icons of contemporary design.

From the lightness of La Marie to the success of Louis Ghost, all the way through to the majestic Uncle Jack (which marks yet another technological landmark for the company), the creative team at abstract:groove designed a visual path made of scenographic installations that come to life through simple creative clockworks, limiting the use of post-production to the bare minimum.

The actors in the film are extraordinary: their personality is shown through a clever use of lights, reflections and behaviours. The souls within the objects are animated by scenery and scenography, informed and mutated by the concept of “motion design”.

“Our main goal was to capture the soul of these objects through the relationship between light and plastic surfaces, trying to let them express as if they had a life of their own.”(Luigi Pane, abstract:groove creative director).

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Stung by criticism, Federal Reserve will review how it supervises large banks

FederalReserveLogovia Fortune:

New review lasting “several months” will try to address concerns about “regulatory capture”.

The Federal Reserve is to launch a major review into whether it is too close to the banks it supervises, after a recent spate of criticism alleging that it is still in thrall to Wall Street’s giants.

William Dudley, who heads the New York Fed and is consequently responsible for supervising most of the country’s largest banks, will tell a Senate committee later today that a new review into its supervisory practises will look specifically at the issue of ‘regulatory capture’–the idea that a supervisor tasked with upholding the public interest ends up under the influence of the companies it is supposed to be monitoring.

According to remarks prepared in advance and published on the NY Fed’s website, Dudley will say the review is expected to last “several months”.

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Cymatics: Science Vs. Music

CYMATICS: Science Vs. Music – Nigel Stanford from Nigel Stanford on Vimeo.

 

From Nigel Stanford’s (the composer) website:

In 1999 I watched a documentary on ‘Synesthesia‘ – a disorder that effects the audio and visual functions of the brain. People with the disorder hear a sound when they see bright colors, or see a color when they hear various sounds. I don’t have it (I don’t think), but I have always felt that bass frequencies are red, and treble frequencies are white.

This got me thinking that it would be cool to make a music video where every time a sound plays, you see a corresponding visual element. Many years later, I saw some videos about Cymatics – the science of visualizing audio frequencies, and the idea for the video was born.

In 2013, I approached my friend Shahir Daud, a talented film director working in New York, and asked him if he was interested in collaborating on the video with me.

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