Monday, March 31, 2008

The Reds are hosting a contest that's impossible to win

The Cincinnati Reds are hosting a promotion this year that will award one lucky fan with a brand new truck if any particular Red happens to hit the truck with a home run. The truck is perched in center field, 500 feet away. It's a neat promotion. Except that it's physically impossible for anyone to hit the truck.


Install a miniature parallel world on your ceiling

Clever interior decorating idea from Ji Lee. Click through for a closeup. Via.

WSJ writer discovers his children prefer a five-year-old computer to a One Laptop Per Child laptop

That was the rub: Out of the box, the XO lags behind in its ability to browse today's Web in all its multimedia glory. Even after I upgraded the XO with Flash software, it didn't smoothly or quickly play animations or videos -- the screen tended to jump around, games stalled while loading, video clips stuttered so much they were unwatchable. That ruled out most online video and Web-based games -- no videos on YouTube, no "Flight of the Hamsters" game on Cartoon Network's site, which even our five-year-old desktop PC can handle.


Seems like it was just last week that Yves Behar won a design award for the device.

Watchmen Vietnam War Army Patch

Found here. Apparently a bit of swag given to people who worked on the movie.

*Previously: Awesome U.S. Military Patches.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Foam cups crushed to the size of thimbles by ocean pressure

Last August, as a team at the North Pole prepared to plunge more than two miles to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, some of the dozens of specialists who staged the dive engaged in a time-honored ritual: drawing on foam cups, decorating more than 100 of them.

The cups were then gingerly sent into the deep. During the historic dive, led by Russian scientists, the pressure of the surrounding water crushed the cups to the size of thimbles, also squeezing their whimsies of writing and drawing.

Afterward, the tiny cups became instant mementoes of the polar dive, offering striking proof of the descent into an unfamiliar zone and silent testimony to the crushing power of plain old water.

Photos here.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Holographic sea monster

A promotion for The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Meet the winner of Russia's Miss Atom beauty contest

Larger photo of Yulia Nagayeva at the pageant's official site. Supposedly, the contest is only open to workers in Russia's nuclear industry.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Here's a great ghost story for a Saturday night

The nutshell: In 1959, nine experienced Russian cross-country skiers — seven men and two women, led by a man named Igor Dyatlov — headed to the Ural Mountains, to a slope called Kholat Syakhl (Mansi language for "Mountain of the Dead," ahem) for a rugged, wintry trek. On their way up, they are apparently hit by inclement weather and veer off course and decide to set up camp and wait it out. All is calm. All is fine and good. They even take pictures of camp, the scenery, each other. The weather is not so bad. They go to sleep.

Then, something happens. In the middle of the night all nine suddenly leap out of their tents as fast as possible, ripping them open from the inside (not even enough time to untie the doors) and race out into the sub-zero temps, without coats or boots or skis, most in their underwear, some even barefoot or with a single sock or boot. It is 30 degrees below zero, Celsius. A few make it as far as a kilometer and a half down the slope. All nine, as you might expect, quickly die.

And so it begins.

Why did they rush out, unable to even grab a coat or blanket? What came at them? The three-month investigation revealed that five of the trekkers died from simple hypothermia, with no apparent trauma at all, no signs of attack, struggle, no outward injuries of any kind. However, two of the other four apparently suffered massive internal traumas to the chest, like you would if you were hit by a car. One's skull was crushed. All four of these were found far from the other five. But still, no signs of external injuries.

Not good enough? How about this: One of the women was missing her tongue.

Oh, it gets better. And weirder.

Tests of the few scraps of clothing revealed very high levels of radiation. Evidence found at the campsite indicates the trekkers might've been blinded. Eyewitnesses around the area report seeing "bright flying spheres" in the sky during the same months. And oh yes, relatives at the funeral swear the skin of their dead loved ones was tanned, tinted dark orange or brown. And their hair had all turned completely gray.

Read the whole thing. Via.