Sep 18 2014

Hooray for Science: New Insight on King Richard III’s Death

cidlfmyhchswgsmv3nuwSo King Richard III. You remember him right? You spent like 4 seconds glazing over him in that European history class you took your sophomore year because you thought it would be good to learn about the wars and weapons. Only to find out the class was actually just some tenured professor complaining for 4 months about people spelling Medieval wrong and calling it the dark ages. No, just me? Well lucky you.

Well let me fill you in:

Richard III was the last king of England to die in battle. But as a new forensic analysis of his remains shows, he didn’t just die in battle — he had the living tar beat out of him. Here’s how this king met his maker on that fateful day in 1485.

As you may recall, Richard III’s remains were discovered in 2012 under a parking lot by archaeologists from the University of Leicester.

A forensic imaging team, working with the Forensic Pathology Unit and the Department of Engineering at the University of Leicester, used whole body CT scans and micro-CT imaging of Richard’s preserved bones to analyse trauma to the skeleton, and to figure out which of his wounds were fatal. In addition, the team analysed tool marks on bone to identify the types of medieval weapons used during the attack.

It appears that the King sustained no less than 11 distinct wounds at or near the time of his death. Nine of them were to the skull, likely inflicted during the battle.

Isn’t science great? Now I want to see the episode of Bones that the writers make up to go with this story.

Hit the jump for more shots and a video.

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Sep 10 2014

We’re All Gonna Die: Bus’ Steering Wheel Comes Off in Drivers Hands

steeringwheelIt’s happened to everyone, you’re driving around and your vehicle starts to do something strange. Like every other person on the planet without a huge bank account you just ignore it and hope that the problem stops soon. Then the problem just gets worse, because of course it does.

Here is a bus driver in Malta having exactly that problem. I’ll break it down for you. He’s driving along and his steering wheel is wobbly. Wobbly enough for a passenger to notice and start filming, because that’s what you do when you’re about to die.

Eventually the steering wheel comes right off. Luckily for everyone on board the bus is not currently driving through a school zone or off of a bridge. So in the end it comes out as just funny. And there was much rejoicing.

Hit the jump for the video.

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Sep 08 2014

Would Ride into Battle: New World’s Largest Dinosaur

bigRemember when you were a kid and the biggest dinosaur out there was the Brontosaurus. Then you learned at about 19 years old that no such dinosaur ever existed. And you were crushed. Well here’s a new one for you.

The latest dinosaur to be discovered was 26 metres long and seven times as heavy as Tyrannosaurus rex . Named Dreadnoughtus schrani by the team who found it, the bones belonged to the largest known land animal whose size can be reliably calculated. And it wasn’t even fully grown.

The 77-million-year-old Dreadnoughtus skeleton was found in south-west Patagonia, Argentina, in 2005

Ok, Dreadnoughtus is a pretty bad ass name but I move that we name this one the Brontosaurus and save the Dreadnought-name for the next huge one that comes around. Who’s with me?

Hit the jump for a video.

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Sep 03 2014

Scented Duck Tape: For the Discerning Kidnapper

whqvnbguds5ywgqwyrwq zotc7c68aec7aw65pexrIf you haven’t seen it yet Duck Tape now comes in different smells. Yes Duck Tape, read the pictures.

For a few years now you’ve been able to buy tape of varying colors, patterns, and qualities but it has all had the same neutral smell. Until now when you can get it in 6 different scents.

No word on how long the smell sticks around or why 8 yards costs $6.50 but I guess if you want the kidnappee to enjoy having tape over their mouth I guess it’s worth it.

I think when I’m flush with cash I’ll buy a couple dozen rolls and cover the walls in it. I wonder if it tastes as good as it smells. You know, the same way that the snozzberries taste like snozzberries.

Aug 28 2014

Finally: Photos of Schrödinger’s Cat

catIf you know what Schrödinger’s cat is then you’ll be happy to hear that his photo has now reached the Internet. Seeing that the Internet was created to house cat photos I find it surprising that it’s taken so long. Of course people are hesitant to post pictures of dead animals, or maybe dead animals. I’m not sure where Schrödinger’s cat lands on that line. But I guess that’s the point.

Schrödinger’s cat is the poster child for quantum weirdness. Now it has been immortalised in a portrait created by one of the theory’s strangest consequences: quantum entanglement.

These images were generated using a cat stencil and entangled photons. The really spooky part is that the photons used to generate the image never interacted with the stencil, while the photons that illuminated the stencil were never seen by the camera.

I think it’s time we give Schrödinger’s cat a name. I vote for Chester. He feels like a Chester to me. Let me know what you think. Maybe you think he’s a she.

Aug 26 2014

Must Watch: Slow Motion Video of People Getting Tasered

 

imageOk, let me start with this. I’m not sure why no one in this video is wearing a shirt but you are still safe to go ahead and watch it at work. In fact, call your buddies over from their cubicles and share your strawberry Yoohoos and doughnuts with them while you watch. Because you’re a good person like that.

Photographer Patrick Hall took a series of portraits of people getting hit with a 300,000-volt taser. What’s even better: He also made a super-slow-motion video of the process for our enjoyment.

I’ve never been hit by a Taser brand stun gun but I have been shocked hard enough by other stuff to know that I would participate only unwillingly. Good thing I’m already dressed for the part.

Hit the jump for the videos.

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Aug 25 2014

Lots of Practice: 87-Year-Old Grandma the Gymnast

grannySeen here pulling off an amazing feat of strength that I have never and will never be able to match is Johanna Quaas. Her and her 87 years hold the Guinness World Record for being the oldest practicing gymnast. When I’m 87 years old I doubt I’ll be able to do anything with the ease and grace that Johanna pulls off on her parallel bars routine.

Last time I tried to do anything resembling gymnastics I spent the next four days in the hospital. Don’t worry though, I was perfectly fine I just had a lot of people visit. You kind of feel obligated to visit when you miss the jump that bad and smash their human pyramid. And bones.

Hit the jump for a couple of videos.

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Aug 22 2014

Clamps

FQYB8O6HXY0HRI4.MEDIUMIf you’ve ever wondered why C is the only letter that gets its own clamp then you have far too much free time on your hands. If you’ve ever wondered what legal retributions came against the number 7 after seven eight nine then you have an entirely unique set of life issues. However I did hear that Sesame street will be doing a 2-hour special on just that case coming in the fall so I guess watch out for that.

Back to the story.

One Instructor and his dad decided it was time that the C clamp should be reunited with his 25 other friends. So they made a whole alphabet of clamps. Some are pretty useless, others are also pretty useless. But there is one that rises above its status as a lowly consonant and becomes a great shape for a clamp. That letter is, C. Oh wait….

Anyway. The project is silly and there’s a humorous video to go with it. But the kid does a great job of staying serious throughout. So I’m deeming it worth your time to have a look.

Hit the jump for the video.

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Aug 19 2014

I Knew It: The Earth Used to be Covered in Dragon

flight-of-dragoonsFinally science has caught up with reality and admitted that the world used to be inhabited by dragons. I’ve known this day was coming and I’m seriously surprised it didn’t come years ago. So here’s the deal:

According to a new study published recently in ZooKeysthe Earth used to be ruled by Azhdarchidan pterosaurs–massive, toothless winged creatures named from the Persian word for dragon.

According to the new study, the variety of locations where Azhdarchidan remains have been discovered hint that the creatures dominated the skies worldwide throughout the Cretaceous period. The dragons are believed to have been the last of the pterosaurs.

I’ll admit that I am pretty disappointed that these dragons don’t show any evidence of breathing fire but what can you expect. I’m pretty sure that fire hadn’t even been invented back in the cretaceous period.

Kinda makes me want to go watch How to Train Your Dragon for the 4 billionth time. I have a new appreciation for Toothless.

Aug 14 2014

Roadside Attraction: Salmon Cannon

fish cannonSo salmon, amiright? They’re crazy animals. Ever year they swim up a river and do their thing to make new little salmon. Sounds pretty simple right, a little swim up stream with the reward of sexy-time? I suppose it could be, up until they hit a dam or something that has been built up in their way since they came down.

So how does a simple salmon go about getting over a dam. Some places build special little rivers for the fish to swim around, others collect them manually and haul them up to the top. But now there’s another option. Why not shoot the fish over the dam in a pneumatic cannon? I vote for that.

The company behind the idea even has a rather silly name: Whooshh Innovations. But they are quite serious about their fish transport system. They recently worked with the Yakama Nation Fisheries to test the system over the Roza Dam.

I know next time I’m up there I will be making a detour to see fish getting fired over the dam. I hope that by then there’s a floating target on the uphill end so the fish have something to aim for on their way back down. Place your bets.

Hit the jump for a video.

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