January 31, 2017 Elia: The World's Most Frustrating Work of Art Near the town of Herning in Denmark sits Elia, a giant metal dome sculpture by Ingvar Cronhammar that occasionally spouts flame. Here's why it's the world's most frustrating piece of art.
January 27, 2017 Growing Coral Decades into his career, marine biologist David Vaughan stumbled upon a method for growing coral faster than had previously been believed possible, a breakthrough that can add clean air to the planet, and has possible implications for treatment of cancer and tumors. Now he has a new lease on life and is determined not to retire until he can plant a million new corals.
January 25, 2017 Riding Light In our terrestrial view of things, the speed of light seems incredibly fast. But as soon as you view it against the vast distances of the universe, it's unfortunately very slow. This animation illustrates, in realtime, the journey of a photon of light emitted from the surface of the sun and traveling across a portion of the solar system, from a human perspective.
January 24, 2017 Harald Bluetooth and Your Phone The Jelling Stones, thousand-year-old Viking runestones, sit in the town of Jelling in Denmark. They tell the tale of Harald Bluetooth: one of the first kings of Denmark. Here's why his name is on your phone.
January 23, 2017 The Rhino Guardians In 2016 Dan Sadgrove travelled to South Africa to visit The Black Mambas - the worlds first all female anti-poaching unit operating in the Balule Game Reserve in South Africa. Coming from disadvantaged communities and breaking strong patriarchal tradition, these courageous women focus on eliminating illegal wildlife trade through conservation, education and the protection of wildlife, helping to ensure the long term survival of threatened and endangered species in the area. Each day they patrol up to 20km, unarmed, looking for poachers, wire-snares, and break-ins along the fence line. Their lives are at constant risk from poachers and the dangerous wildlife they protect.
January 20, 2017 Education for Death: The Making of the Nazi
This Film is an animated propaganda short film produced by Walt Disney and directed by Clyde Geronimi. It was released when Disney was under a U.S. government contract to produc 32 animated shorts from 1941--1945. These wartime propaganda films saved the studio from bankruptcy.
January 19, 2017 Leonora Carrington – Britain's Lost Surrealist Leonora Carrington was one of the most prolific members of the Surrealist movement. After rejecting her upper-class upbringing in northern England, Carrington embarked upon a relationship with Surrealist artist Max Ernst, and became central in the Surrealist circles of France and New York. After hanging out with celebrated names such as Andre Breton and Pablo Picasso, the artist then moved to Mexico where she spend the rest of her life painting, as well as making sculpture, tapestry, writing poetry and designing for theatre and film.
January 13, 2017 Strobe-Animated Artichoke Here we see an artichoke spinning while being videotaped at 24 frames-per-second with a very fast shutter speed (1/4000 sec). The rotation speed is chosen to cause the artichoke to rotate 137.5º—the golden angle—each time a frame is captured, thus creating the illusion that the leaves are moving up or down the surface of the artichoke. The reason this works is that the artichoke grows by producing new leaf one at a time, with each new leaf positioned 137.5º around the center from the previous leaves. So, in a sense, this video reiterates the artichoke's growth process. (The movement is wobbly because the artichoke is not completely symmetrical.)
January 12, 2017 Finch Frozen to Fence Rescue While feeding my horses on New Year's morning Nelson Wilson noticed a solitary finch perched upon the steel fence near the water tank. The tank is heated to keep it from freezing. It is not uncommon for birds to drink from the heated tank. Apparently this unfortunate bird had gotten its feet wet and, while making its exit, had become frozen to the fence in the prevailing near zero Idaho temperatures. First, Nelson attempted to warm the feet of the frightened bird by pressing my palm against both the fence and the birds feet, while also gently restraining the bird's flapping wings. It then seemed that warming the birds feet with my warm breath would bring quicker success. Gentle sideways motion with his thumb brought freedom for the frightened bird and a smile of satisfaction to Nelson's face... a delightful way to start a new year.
January 11, 2017 The Little-Known Patterns on British Streets Tom Scott thought about saying "secret patterns" or "mysterious patterns" in the title, but that'd be a lie: they're just mostly unknown! So let's talk about tactile paving, about design, about accessibility, and about those bumpy bits that you stand on when you're crossing a British street.
January 10, 2017 The Greatest Chess Game Ever Played Garry Kasparov, who is one of the top chess players ever, said that his 1999 match against Veselin Topalov was the greatest game of chess he ever played. In this video, MatoJelic goes through the game, move by move.
January 6, 2017 Brilliant Accidents "It’s misleading to make out entropy is just the universe’s tendency towards disorder. Like most things in physics, it’s much bigger than that, and more convoluted. But ‘winding down’ is a big part of it nevertheless. Order can also spontaneously rise out of entropy though, which was certainly news to me.
January 5, 2017 The Confusing Borders of Lake Constance If you're sitting on a boat in Lake Constance, are you in three countries at once? Or just in one? Does it even matter? Because strangely, it turns out there are parts of the world where no-one really minds when international borders are not just ignored, but are completely undefined.
January 3, 2017 Why Comics Were So Weird in the '50s and '60s If you've ever gone back and looked at some of the old comic book covers from the '50s and '60s, you might've noticed that most of them were pretty odd. But why is that? Polygon's resident comics expert, Susana Polo, explains.
January 2, 2017 A Single Life In this Oscar-nominated animated short, a young woman receives a mysterious package that contains a vinyl record. She soon realizes that she can go forward or backward in time by simply adjusting the position of the needle as the record plays on her stereo.