Inventions

Since 1977, Paris has banned skyscrapers, but architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron have designed a triangular 50-story skyscraper. The shape, more like a shark fin, is designed for "optimum solar and wind power generation." The skyscraper, Le Project Triangle, will be a combination office-hotel. The big sell? Because of its design, it "won't cast shadows on surrounding streets." In Britain in 1832, if a window had sunlight for twenty years, according to planning regulations, it could legally demand to keep at least some of that light despite new buildings. Instead of a height-restriction on buildings, New York regulates the shape of building as to not block too much light. Source. Source.

Architect David Fisher has designed the first moving skyscraper for Dubai. There will be 80 floors, each a prefabricated apartment, that will be able to independently rotate 360 degrees at a vocal command. A rotation takes between one to three hours. The building will generate its own energy and feed extra energy into the grid with its "79 giant power-generating wind turbines located between each floor." The project will cost $700 million and be completed in 2010. The residences will cost anywhere from $3.7 million to $36 million. Another moving skyscraper is planned for Moscow. Source. Source.

Most foods are harvested then transported to stores, but Agata Jaworska believes that food should grow while being transported. Perishable items could grow during transportation and arrive at the store more fresh. Source.
The Touch Sight Camera is a camera for the blind. To take a picture, hold the camera to your forehead. On the back of the camera, the picture is displayed on a braille screen with a three dimensional representation of the image. Helpful audio is also included. Source.

Another post with an imaginative title

In June 2008, a seventeen-pound black watermelon was auctioned in Japan for $6,100 making it the most expensive sold in Japan. Luxury melons are common Japanese gifts, and this melon was bought by a marine products dealer wishing to support local agriculture. Jumbo black watermelons, Densuke, are grown only on the northern island of Hokkaido and have a 9,000 annual harvest. Most of these watermelons are sold in stores and markets for $188 to $283. The previous month, two Yubari cantaloupes set another record, selling for $23,500.
Source. For more expensive food, see this older post.

At Sarah's Smash Shack in San Diego, customers can "throw, smash and destroy an array of breakable objects in two private rooms and release their energies and emotions without fear of reprisal." Customer can rent "break rooms" for up to four people. The rooms are wired for customer MP3 players and the VIP break room has a viewing area. The staff will frame one of your pictures for you to smash. For $45, you can smash 15 plates or smash three glass flowers for $10.
Source.

It turns out the 1977 song "Staying Alive" can help with CPR. The song's beats per minute follows the recommended chest compressions per minute. Fifteen doctors and medical students practiced CPR for five weeks along with the song. While most people perform chest compressions too slowly, these doctors and students were able to perform CPR at the correct rate when tested without music. Dr. David Matlock says,"The theme 'Stayin' Alive' is very appropriate for the situation. . . Everybody's heard it at some point in their life. People know the song and can keep it in their head."
Source

Artist Marco Evaristti is currently planning his next subversive art project. When Texan death row prisoner Gene Hathorn is executed, Evaristti will freeze-dry his body into flakes and encourage museum visitors to feed the flakes to goldfish. When asked if he thinks visitors will really feed the fish, Evaristti replied, "They won't be forced to do it, but if they don't, the fish will die."
For context, here are some of Evaristti's other works from an earlier post:

  • Marco Evaristti created an art diplay consisting of 10 blenders with live goldfish inside. The audience was invited to partisipate by turning a blender on. Says Meyer, "An artist has the right to create works which defy our concept of what is right and what is wrong."
  • Marco Evarisitti also served his friends up meatball cooked with his own liposuctioned fat. "You are not a cannibal if you eat art," he commented.
  • The same Marco Evarisitti also painted an iceburg in Greenland red. He said, " This is my iceberg; it belongs to me."
Source Source Source Source

Because odd artists seem to be a popular topic, here are some of my older posts. Art crack, licking, " free="" trade="">, 35 second play, this old post.

Here goes...

(The next all-new post will be on October 27th.)


The Long Island funeral home chain, Moloney Family Funeral Homes, now offers the Tombstone Hearse. This is a custom hearse drawn by a Harley Davidson 2006 Road King Classic. A complete ride costs $795 compared to a traditional hearse's $475-$575. Says Michael Moloney: ""It's not morbid, it's cool. . . It's a way for people to always remember your funeral."
Source, source


Under Brazilian law, political candidates may run under a name of their choosing. This has allowed at least six Brazilian politicians to officially run under the name Barack Obama. Claudio Henrique dos Anjos, running for a mayoral position, has jumped in the polls from third to being tied for first.
>Source, >Source,

33-year-old Wisconsinite Wendy Brownis accused of felony identity theft. She is accused of "st[ealing] her 15-year-old daughter's identity" who lives in Nevada with her grandmother.

Wendy Brown attended one day of high-school classes, practiced with the cheerleading squad and attended a pool party at the coach's house. Staff described her as timid and said she cried when talking about moving from Pahrump Valley High School in Nevada (her daughter's school). A student, Hope Edlebeck, said, "She did look a little insignificantly older, but you didn't want to question it. . . You just go aw, alright, whatever."

"If convicted, she could face up to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine." She has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. She also fases unrelated theft and forgery charges.

Source, Source, Source,

In October, 1999, Nicholas White, a thirty-four-year-old production manager at Business Week, was trapped in an elevator for forty-one hours. While working late, the elevator jammed on his way back to his office from a cigarette break. He only had three cigarettes and two Rolaids, no watch or cell phone. No one heard the emergency alarm he activated. While maintenance was performed on the other three elevators, he was not noticed on the security monitors so no one knew he was there.
Without a concept of time, Nicholas smoked his cigarettes, waved at the security cameras, yelled, pried open the doors and attempted to open the locked escape hatch.
"He paced and waved at the overhead camera. He couldn’t tell whether it was night or day. To pass the time, he opened his wallet and compared an old twenty-dollar bill with a new one, and read the fine print on the back of a pair of tickets to a Jets game on Sunday afternoon, which he would never get to use."
Thirsty and disconcerted, Nicholas lay motionless for hours in a fever dream, even experiencing aural hallucinations.
Finally, the security staff found Nicholas. Nicholas rode the elevator up to get his jacket, but insisted a guard ride with him. In the office, a coworker had taped a letter to his computer, angry at him for not returning. At home, reporters crowded his house so he mostly stayed in his apartment.
Nicholas did not return to work, was let go from his job and settled four years later for a "hardly six figures" number. As of April 08, he is unemployed.
Security-tape footage of his 41 hours are sped up and can be viewed here.

Source.

Agr!

Arg! I am very very very sorry for neglecting to post recently. I have not fallen into a hole somewhere, I have just been really busy in a good way. This week is the busiest week I have had in a really long time. This post will be a re-posting of some posts from the first two months of this blog. I am sorry for this, but I promise to have an original post as soon as I have the time. Thank you for your patience.


Aya Tsukioka has started a Japanese clothing line aimed at those who fear crime. Featured above is a skirt which folds out to disguise the wearer as a vending machine. Also featured is a purse resembling a manhole cover and a backpack that can disguise a child as a fire-hydrant. Aya admits, " These ideas might strike foreigners as far-fetched, but in Japan, they can become reality.” She has already sold 20 skirts at $800 apiece.



Here are some odd street names:
      • Bear Bottom Dr - central Pennsylvania
      • Cowshit Ln. - central Pennsylvania
      • Imalone Rd. - northern Wisconsin
      • Zzyzx Rd. - California (how do you pronounce that?)
      • Horne Street intersects with E Church Street. - As Hormazd N Sethna said,
        "Telling someone you'll meet them at the, Horne-E Church Intersection is
        disturbingly provocative."
      • Grinn Drive and Barret Road intersect in West Chester, Ohio
      • Clinton and Fidelity intersect in Huston, Texas
      • In Tennessee, the only road leading up to Constipation Ridge is Farfrompoopen Road.
  • For pictures, go to http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/4766448.stm.


The world's longest acronym was found in the USSR:

NIIOMTPLABOPARMBETZHELBETRABSBOMONIMONKONOTDTEKHSTROMONT

Meaning:
Laboratory for Shuttering, Reinforcement, Concrete and Ferroconcrete Operations for Composite-monolithic and Monolithic Constructions of the Department of Technology of Building Assembly Operations of the Scientific Research Institute of the Organization for Building Mechanization and Technical Aid of the Academy of Building and Architecture of the USSR.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/teachers/literacy_7_11/word/newsid_1651000/1651769.stm




There was no gravestone for "Steady" Ed Headrick when he died. Instead, as he wished, his ashes were molded into Frisbees and given to his family. Known for his sense of humor, he quipped, "We used to say that Frisbee is really a religion — ‘Frisbyterians,’ we’d call ourselves. When we die, we don’t go to purgatory. We just land up on the roof and lay there."




  • In 2001, Doctors performed surgery on a 40-year-old Ethiopian man and removed 750 grams (26.344 ounces) of nails, door keys, hair pins and watch batteries. The man had 222 metal objects in his stomach and one of the nails was 15 cm (5.9 inches) long. Dr. Samuel said, " He must have been eating these objects for at least two years, as the wall of his stomach had thickened to accommodate all the inedible objects." - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/1402616.stm


  • Monsieur Mangetout has made a career out of eating metal objects and has no side-effects. For his performances, he drinks mineral water and then chows down 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of metal with periodic glasses of water. Perhaps he is best known for eating an entire airplane (Cessna 150-see picture above) which took him about 2 years to eat.


  • Ramon Barrero entertained others by playing on "the world's smallest harmonica." However, during a 1994 performance, he inhaled a D-minor, chocked to death and died.


  • When composer George Antheil's unique music inspired his audience in Budapest to riot, the next night he had all the doors locked and set a gun on the piano. That night he enjoyed a quiet performance, but with audiences often strongly disliking his new style of music, he began to carry a concealed gun for concerts. In his words, "I felt for the automatic under my arm and continued playing...but catastrophe and myself at concerts were old pals...Besides, I could always shoot my way out."

  • For more on Antheil and mp3s of his music, go to http://www.paristransatlantic.com/antheil/mainpage/home.html

What is 007's favorite drink? . . . Not a vodka martini. But that doesn't mean Bond doesn't like his alcohol. on the contrary, in the novels James Bond drinks once about every 7 pages and prefers whiskey, drinking 101 in all. For an in-depth survey go to http://007.atomicmartinis.com/nstats.htm.

Paris and Unicyles


About a million Japanese tourists visit Paris every year. And of those million, about 12 Japanese tourists per year develop "Paris syndrome" and must return home. Some are returned home with a doctor or nurse.
Paris Syndrome is a psychiatric breakdown caused by the gap between a "deeply romantic" expectation of Paris and the reality encountered . The most common sufferers are women in their 30s.
BBC describers the trigger: "An encounter with a rude taxi driver, or a Parisian waiter who shouts at customers who cannot speak fluent French, might be laughed off by those from other Western cultures. But for the Japanese - used to a more polite and helpful society in which voices are rarely raised in anger - the experience of their dream city turning into a nightmare can simply be too much."
Source, source.

If you are willing to pay for it, there are several companies that will provide you with private paparazzi.
Some companies offer the full treatment, filled with paparazzi, stretch limos, "adoring fans," and bodyguards. Some companies even offer fake gossip magazines with their client's picture on the cover.
If the company approach is not for you, you can imitate Phillip Barker who hired a paparazzo over Craig's list for his 29th bar-hop birthday. His paparazzo fooled people into thinking he was an important person, and he was bumped to to the front of several club lines.
The events the paparazzi are hired for vary. From bar crawls to weddings. From corporate events to bachelor parties. Stran Vez hired paparazzi to surprise his finance Paige Hill. The paparazzi ambushed them as they left a theater, taking pictures and asking questions. Tania Cowher, one of the paparazzi said, "A couple of times, Paige tried to run away. . . so we ran along with her."
King of Clubs founder, John Theiss, offers the same experience to his VIPs. His most extensive package is $24,000 and includes a "publicist or a crazed fan who w[ill] ask for an autograph during dinner." Theiss says, "The ruse is really on the general public that’s watching all this thing."
Source, Source,
To raise money for Nepal, Steve Colligan will unicycle 1000km (620 miles) across the Roof of the World. To accomplish this feat, Steve will have to deal with an average elevation of 4000 meters (2.49 miles), and temperatures of -15 degrees centigrade (5 degrees Fahrenheit). He will be camping. His journey will take him up to the Mount Everest base camp and down the longest downhill slope (4,500 meters/ 2.8 miles. Colligan describes the slope as "great if you're a mountain biker, who can free-wheel, but us unicyclists have to keep pedaling the whole way to stop from falling off."
His Blog where you can follow his progress
Source, Source, Source
49-year-old Ramchandra Katuwal of Nepal has found hapiness in his 25th marriage to Sharada. They have been married 7 years. First married at age 26, Ramchandra's first wife ran away with her lover, a trend continued by many of his following wives. He also cites his struggle with poverty as a contributing factor. Over the next 16 years, Ramchandra only fully remembers 9 of his wives' names. Even though he resolved to never marry again after wife 24 left, he married Sharada. Why? ""I wanted to have a wife, because a house is not house without a wife."
Source.
This story reminds me of an earlier story I did on Kamarudin Mohammed which I will include.
72 year old Kamarudin Mohammed is a Muslim from Malaysia who has been married 53 times. His shortest marriage lasted 2 days and all but one ended in divorce. His most recent wife is also his first wife. Says Kamarudin: "I am not a playboy. I just love seeing beautiful women."
Source.
In Sharia law (Muslim law), a talak means for the husband 'to untie the matrimonial knot by articulating a word denoting divorce.' If a husband utters the word on his wife, the two of them would automatically be divorced and the wife would be in a state of iddah. If, during iddah, the parties wish to reconcile, the divorce may be revoked without their having to go through the process of nikah." (For detailed info from a Muslim court go here.)
Some men have tried to pronounce talak on their wives through text messages, causing the issue to reach courts.
Singapore rejected text message divorces. Qatar and the
United Arab Emirates upheld them. Malaysia fines men who use text messages, but upholds their legality.
Egyptian courts are debating the issue.
According to CAMPAS (Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics), In Egypt, a divorce is filed every 6 minutes and 1/3 of marriages break up in the first year.
Source. Source. Source. Source. Source. Source. Source. Source.

No Theme


Handcuffed and shackled, and fighting against strong winds, Jack LaLanne swam 1.5 miles, towing 70 boats with 70 people on it. . . he was 70 years old. LaLanne, called the Godfather of fitness, gave up white flour and white sugar at 15 and has been devoted to healthy living ever since. Among other things, he is responsible for the first"nationally syndicated exercise show on television." A firm believer in healthy living, he avoids steroids, takes a myriad of daily vitamins and even avoids aspirin. LaLanne will be 94 in September.
Source. Source. Source.

In Detroit, this house was foreclosed and sold for $1. It was on the market for 19 days. Once selling for $65,000, the house had be extensively vandalized, had attracted squatters and had racked up $4,000 in back taxes. The house's bank owner payed "$2,500 in sales commission and another $1,000 bonus for closing the $1 sale [and payed] $500 of the buyer's closing costs. . . The agent did say that the buyer agreed to pay the full list price of $1"
Source.


Following Wilhelm Roentgen's discovery of the x-ray, one London company began selling x-ray proof underwear (probably lead-lined).
Source.

Tremayne Durham agreed to plead guilty to murder after Oregon prosecutors took the death penalty off the table, and agreed to his demand to have two special meals. He will immediately receive a meal of "KFC chicken, Popeye's chicken, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, carrot cake and ice cream. " On his sentencing date (also his wedding-date), he will receive a meal of "calzones, lasagna, pizza and ice cream." "Prosecutors said they hated appearing to cater to the whims of a murderer, but eying the expense of a long trial and lengthy appeals, as well as the turmoil for the victim's family, they agreed."
PETA sent a letter protesting the conditions and demanding that Durham only be served vegetarian meals while incarcerated. The final paragraph of the letter reads, "Feeding prisoners corn chowder rather than chicken will go a long way toward ending the cycle of violence. You can help prevent Durham from contributing to any more suffering and death by mandating that he be placed on a healthy, humane vegetarian diet." The letter can be read here.
Source. Source.

For your viewing

Here are some visual illusions. I included some favorites from old posts. You will probably have to click on many of these pictures to get an enlarged view to see the illusion. I set it so the pictures will pop up in a new tab or window (depending on your browser.)


These two tables ave the same dimensions:
In the image on the left, squares A and B are the same shade of gray. The image on the right proves it.
These lines are all horizontal.

This triangle is impossible.Try to follow the stairs up.
Move your head from side to side, and the inside of the circle seems to move.
Move your eyes around.
Can you spot the word in the face?
Think about it.
You have to click on this picture to enlarge it. This is a static picture, but as you can see it seems to move. If you really want to give yourself a headache, set it as your computer background like I did.
All these lines are vertical and horizontal:
You will recognize these two from a recent post.


Read the directions:
Count the legs:

For an older post of some cool sites to explore with spirals and moving optical illusions, go here.
Here is a spiral you can stare at. The next thing you look at will appear to be swirling.
Source.

For Your listening


In 1625, all of the sopranos in the Sistine Chapel choir were castrati who had been castrated as young boys to achieve a unique singing voice. Castrated before puberty, they would retain their boy soprano voice but sing with the strength and breath capacity of a man. Part of their necessity was the fact that at that time, women could not sing in church choirs, but the men were said to be extremely popular and have the "voice of angels". "During the 17th and 18th centuries in Italy, some 4,000 - 5,000 boys were castrated annually for the purpose of singing alto in the church choirs." By 1640, castrati were used in choirs throughout Italy. The practice was officially banned by Pius X in 1903.
The only audio recordings of a castrati is of Alessandro Moreschi (1858-1922). Critics say Moreschi was past his singing prime wen he made this recording. Because the style of music has changed so much, keep this in mind: "Many of the seemingly imperfect vocal attacks, for example, are in fact, launched from as much as a tenth below the note - in Moreschi's case, this seems to have been a long-standing means of drawing on the particular acoustics of the Sistine Chapel itself."
Here Morschi sings Ave Maria.
Here he sings Domine Salvum Fac.
Source. Source.
Georgia Brown is a Brazilian singer who holds the Guinness World Record for singing the highest recorded note. Her vocal range spans 8 octaves. A word of warning on the audio link. It is, how to put it, all very very high notes. Here. is her song. For a smaller dose of high notes, here is a video where she only sings high at the end.


In 1877, Thomas Edison recorded the first sounds for play back. He recited Mary Had A Little Lamb. Here is the recording which is very clear. Up until recently, Edison was thought to have made the first recording, but an 1860 recording of "Au Clair de la Lune" by French inventor Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville has been found. Scott recorded by "etch[ing] representations of sound waves into paper covered in soot from a burning oil lamp." The distinction is that Scott's recordings were not designed to be played back. Here is the recording. Source.


Florence Foster Jenkins (1868-1944) was famous for being a terrible singer. Despite this, or because of this, she managed immense popularity and was able to draw 5,000 people to a 3,000 ticket Carnegie Concert performance. It is agreed that Jenkins was sincere in her belief in her singing, dismissing laugher as "professional jealousy." Her balls and recitals each had a theme. Between every song, Jenkins would change costumes. Both Enrico Caruso and Cole Porter were admirers. Cole Porter never missed her concerts. "He apparently screamed with laughter all the way through . . . but at the end he was the first one to stand up and scream and shout 'bravo'." While making this recording here, she allegedly only snag the song one time. She told the sound engineer it was perfect so no second try was necessary.
Source. Source. Source.

For more audio, you can visit here, and also here for such recordings as: Einstein explaining E=mc^2, Ted Bundy confessing, King Edward VIII abdicating and Neville Chamberlain's declaration of war.

By the way, I am currently on vaccation. I scheduled this to post automatically. (creepy music) Hope it works correctly.