Shared posts

01 Nov 08:15

Nailed It: Woman Dresses Her Mop-Coated Dog As A Mop For Halloween

dog-mop-costume-1.jpg These are several shots of a corded coat Hungarian Puli (not to be confused with the much larger Komondor, like on the cover of Beck's Odelay album) named Keki in her mop Halloween costume at the annual Mainstrasse Paw-Rade in Covington, Kentucky. Now that is a solid costume. If you're trying to win the costume contest and Keki rolls in chilling in her mop bucket your best bet is to just go home and start working on next year's costume. Keep going for a couple more shots.
31 Oct 18:12

Real Products That Exist: The Cat Butt Tissue Dispenser

This is the $30 'Funny Orange Tabby Cat Tissue Holder' designed and sold by WhatOnEarth (valid question). It covers a regular square-sized box of tissues, which you can then pull from the cat's ass. Obviously, it's perfect for the friend who wants me to immediately regret coming over to visit. Keep going for a video of the cat in action. And for the record, yes, I did just buy a couple to keep in the closet and give as gifts when I forget people's birthdays.
29 Sep 12:16

Video Of A Flamethrowing Drone Burning A 40-Foot Piece Of Netting Stuck On A Powerline

danipretto

somehow i don't think a flame-throwing drone is a good idea. at all.

This is a video of a flamethrowing drone employed by power line maintenance workers in Xianyang, China, burning a 40-foot piece of nylon netting that had gotten wrapped around an ultra high voltage (UHV) power line and was affecting the line's performance (previously: photos of power companies in China doing the same thing). Some more info while I run to AutoZone for a funnel. "Buttchugging coffee?" Everybody deals with Mondays in their own way.
In the morning, our inspector found a foreign matter on the line. Through investigation, the nylon net was brought by strong wind, and severely affected the line's safe operation. We'll use a drone to deal with the emergency to ensure safety," said Feng Qi, head of Xianning power line maintenance station, Hubei power transmission and transformation project company. Workers flew the flame-throwing drone towards the net, spitting fire at about four to five meters away from the nylon net and burnt it to the ground. In ten minutes, the power line resumed its normal operation.
So like, what happens if you fly a drone INTO a power line? Is that bad news? Because I hate bad news, and I've already gotten my fair share this morning and it isn't even 10AM. "AutoZone was out of funnels?" Apparently a lot more people deal with Mondays the same way than I had expected. Keep going for the video.
29 Sep 07:46

Middle School Teacher Spent 70 Hours Turning His Classroom Into Hogwarts

harry-potter-hogwarts-classroom-18.jpg These are a ton of shots of Hillsboro, Oregon based Evergreen Middle School teacher Kyle Hubler's Hogwarts themed classroom. Hubler spent 70 hours over five weeks converting an otherwise plain classroom into one resembling Hogwarts. And who wouldn't want to go to Hogwarts? Do you think he teaches potions or defense against the dark arts? "I doubt it." That's a shame.
A long-term Harry Potter fan himself, Hubler incorporated his own collection of merchandise into the room and paid for the rest of the supplies out of his own pocket, since the series holds a very special place in his heart. "I love Harry Potter because of the impact it had on me as a kid. Being a kid can be tough sometimes... and reading the books was a way to escape that and feel like I did belong."
You know what I did when being a kid was tough and I needed to escape and felt like I belong? Went and played in the forest with all my animal friends where I really did belong. That's where I finally discovered what my Patronus was. "And?" One of those monkeys with the crazy red asses. Keep going for a bunch more pictures.
29 Sep 07:44

Teacher's Moldy Bread Experiment To Teach Kids The Importance Of Washing Your Hands

danipretto

did someone already share this? i saw it everywhere last week and i can't remember where. but its cool. and gross. at the same time.

bread-hand-washing-experiment.jpg This is a shot of the experiment conducted by high school (high school!) Health Occupation teacher Donna Gill Allen while teaching her class about germs and how they spread. I imagine a lot of kids learned an important lesson from this experiment. And that lesson is if you're going to make a sandwich with dirty hands, eat it right away and don't put it in a bag or it will get gross. Thanks again to Jody, who agrees life is too short to care about not eating off the floor.
28 Sep 11:15

Wolves return to Rome's periphery for the first time in 100 years

by Greg Beach
danipretto

good news?

wolf, Rome, wolves

The wolf, an animal that has served as a symbol of Rome since ancient times, has returned to the historic Italian city for the first time in a century. The alpha predators were recently sighted in a nature preserve at Castel di Guido, only a short distance from Leonardo DiVinci international airport and the perimeter highway encircling the capital of Italy. Scientists estimate that there are at least four wolves (two cubs and two adults) that reside in the area.

wolf, Rome, wolves

According to Roman mythology, Romulus, Rome’s founder, and his brother Remus were suckled by a female wolf in a cave after being abandoned on the Tiber River. This episode is represented throughout Roman iconography, including the seal for Rome’s soccer club, AS Roma. The return of this iconic species to Rome is welcomed by the locals. “We’re very pleased that they are back,” said Alessia De Lorenzis, a professor whose work involves tracking and documenting the wolf pack.

Related: American Coywolf is a fascinating hybrid species with supercharged adaptation

wolf, Rome, wolves

Wolves were originally hunted in Europe and North America, nearly to extinction, in part due to their predation of livestock animals. The modern wolves of Rome seem to pose little threat to livestock as an analysis of their feces has demonstrated that they rely almost entirely on a diet of wild boar, a plentiful animal in the region. In Italy, the killing of wolves was promoted until the 1970s, a time when the Italian wolf population had fallen to about 100 animals. Wolves received protected status in 1971 and the population has since recovered to about 1,500-2,000 individuals, with a particularly robust population in the mountainous region on the border of France.

Via The Telegraph

Images via the Italian League for Bird Protection

27 Sep 19:42

Dyson the famous vacuum maker is building an electric car

by Marc Carter

dyson, dyson electric car, electric car, james dyson, green car, green transportation, automotive, zero emissions, dyson ev

Dyson is famous for its bagless vacuum cleaners and other unique household appliances, but founder and chief engineer James Dyson has some bigger plans for the company. James Dyson sent out an email yesterday to the company announcing his ambitions to introduce an electric car by 2020.

dyson, dyson electric car, electric car, james dyson, green car, green transportation, automotive, zero emissions, dyson ev

With an investment of at least $2.7 billion and a staff of 400 people, Dyson is hopeful that it can get an electric car to market in the next three years. Dyson has already started hiring engineers from automotive companies to help launch the vehicle.

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Related: James Dyson on using his famous vacuum technology to suck garbage from rivers

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In his email, Dyson outlined how in 1988 a study from the the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health that linked the exhaust from diesel engines to premature death in laboratory mice and rats, put the company on a path to improve air quality. Two years later, in March 1990, the Dyson team began work on a cyclonic filter that could be fitted on a vehicle’s exhaust system to trap particulates. Sadly, even though the prototypes were developed, automakers weren’t too interested.

Now Dyson will do away with the need to reduce particulates by creating a zero emissions electric car. James Dyson hasn’t gone too far into the details, since competition in the electric car segment is incredibly strong right now. Several other startups are racing to bring their cars to market, like Lucid and Fisker, so it makes sense that Dyson would try to keep details about its technology under wraps.

+ Dyson

Images @Dyson

21 Sep 02:08

What It Means When You Get 'SSSS' on Your Boarding Pass

by Emily Price

Recently, a friend of mine tried to print his boarding pass for a return trip home from San Francisco and had some issues. No matter how many times he reloaded Delta’s site or tried checking in on his phone, he kept getting a message that he wouldn’t be able to print his boarding pass. At the time we attributed it to…

Read more...

20 Sep 18:37

Tesla patent reveals plans for a new battery-swapping machine

by Amanda Froelich

Tesla, electric vehicles, Elon Musk, patent, green technology, green transportation, electric cars, green technology,

In the not-so-far future when electric vehicles (EV) rule the road, don’t expect to sit around in line waiting for your battery to charge. That’s because electric automaker Tesla recently filed a patent for a mobile battery swapping technology that could replace a depleted battery in under 15 minutes.

Tesla, electric vehicles, Elon Musk, patent, green technology, green transportation, electric cars, green technology,

In 2013, the company toyed with the idea of building stationary rigs that can replace a car’s battery pack. However, that idea never took off. Now, the EV maker is improving on the concept and has filed a patent application for a more compact, mobile version that would be placed in strategic locations where Superchargers aren’t always available.

As Elektrek reports, Tesla’s original system was designed to be autonomous, while the newer one can be operated by technicians. Additionally, the original battery swap service claimed a 90-second swap, whereas the new one says “less than fifteen minutes” is more plausible.

Tesla, electric vehicles, Elon Musk, patent, green technology, green transportation, electric cars, green technology,

Says the patent application, “In some implementations, the battery swap system is configured for use by one or more technicians, who will monitor certain aspects of the system’s operation and make necessary inputs when appropriate. For example, the battery-swapping system can be installed at a remote location (e.g., along a highway between two cities) and one or more technicians can be stationed at the location for operating the system. This can reduce or eliminate the need for the system to have vision components, which may otherwise be needed to align the battery pack or other components. Using techniques described herein it may be possible to exchange the battery pack of a vehicle in less than fifteen minutes.”

Tesla, electric vehicles, Elon Musk, patent, green technology, green transportation, electric cars, green technology,

As can be seen from the application figures, the patent application references swapping Model S and Model X battery packs. Both vehicles’ battery packs have been designed to be easily swappable. Model 3’s battery pack is not, on the other hand. Because the company aims to expedite the process in 15 minutes or less, it is unlikely the system will apply to more complicated swaps.

Related: Tesla to TRIPLE number of Superchargers by end of 2018

Tesla, electric vehicles, Elon Musk, patent, green technology, green transportation, electric cars, green technology,

When Tesla CEO Elon Musk last mentioned the battery swap system, he said it would likely be developed to support commercial fleets — if pursued at all. Now that plans for Tesla’ all-electric Semi-Truck have been shared, Musk’s vision is coming into focus.

+ Tesla

Via Elektrek

Images via Tesla, Pixabay

20 Sep 06:25

These vegan "Star Wars" sneakers are made with discarded pineapple leaves

by Jasmin Malik Chua
danipretto

want

Po-Zu, Star Wars, Piñatex, vegan fashion, vegan leather, eco-friendly sneakers, sustainable sneakers, eco-friendly fashion, sustainable fashion, eco-fashion

The pineapple is strong with these sneakers—literally. A collaboration between Star Wars and London-based shoemaker Po-Zu, the limited-edition “Silver Resistance” high-top combines silver woven linen and Piñatex, a leather alternative engineered from the fibers of discarded pineapple leaves. The sneaker, which is handcrafted in Portugal, also features a rubberized Rebel Alliance badge, a quilted rear panel, a removable memory foam insole, and a grippy natural-latex outsole.

Po-Zu, Star Wars, Piñatex, vegan fashion, vegan leather, eco-friendly sneakers, sustainable sneakers, eco-friendly fashion, sustainable fashion, eco-fashion

The result is a shoe that is as visually striking as it is environmentally friendly. “We go the extra mile to make our shoes ethically and sustainably so you can wear them with clear conscience from dawn till dusk,” Sven Segal, fouder of Po-Zu, said in a statement. “We want them to be comfortable, collectable, and wearable. This sneaker has all of that and more. I love that it is vegan, too.”

Related: Aspiring Jedis can pilot the Millennium Falcon at Disney’s upcoming ‘Star Wars’ hotel

Available for preorder, the “Silver Resistance” is expected to ship in October, “just in time for Christmas and the launch of Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” according to Po-Zu.

If you miss out on one of the 1,000 pairs, you can still catch a glimpse of the sneaker, along with rest of Po-Zu’s co-branded Star Wars collection, at the Museum of Brands during London Design Week.

Po-Zu, Star Wars, Piñatex, vegan fashion, vegan leather, eco-friendly sneakers, sustainable sneakers, eco-friendly fashion, sustainable fashion, eco-fashion

+ Star Wars Silver Resistance High-Top £150

+ Po-Zu

19 Sep 20:49

Dozens of Japanese cities and towns quietly go off-grid

by Greg Beach

solar panels, solar power, Japan

Dozens of cities and towns in Japan have quietly shifted from traditional utility-based grid power system to a more local, resilient model of generating and storing energy where it is used. After significant damage caused by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, many Japanese municipalities rebuilt to be more equipped for the 21st century through the country’s National Resilience Program. The Program offers 3.72 trillion yen ($33.32 billion) in funding each fiscal year to be distributed to local communities seeking to become more self-reliant and locally empowered.

earthquake, natural disaster, Higashi Matsushima

“Since Fukushima, there has been a gradual elaboration of policies to realize that kind of local autonomy, local consumption paradigm,” said Andrew Dewit, a professor of energy policy at Rikkyo University in Tokyo. Although the Resilience Program was designed for recovering from and adapting to natural disasters, it has blossomed into a powerful tool in the fight against climate change. “At the time of the Great East Japan earthquake, we couldn’t secure power and had to go through incredible hardships,” said Yusuke Atsumi, a manager at HOPE, a utility created to service this new localized energy model. Under the old system, a “blackout at one area would lead to wide-scale power outages. But the independent distributed micro-grid can sustain power even if the surrounding area is having a blackout.”

Related: Japan’s new mushroom solar farms produce sustainable energy and food

solar panels, solar power, Japan

In its recovery from the earthquake, which destroyed 75 percent of its homes and killed 1,100 of its residents, the city of Higashi Matsushima constructed micro-grids and decentralized renewable power generation that currently allows the city to produce 25 percent of its power needs without tapping into the main grid. Additionally, the city has installed batteries capable of storing enough energy to run the city for three days without access to the grid.

“We are moving towards a day when we won’t be building large-scale power plants,” said Takao Kashiwagi, renewable energy luminary who serves as head of the New Energy Promotion Council and designed Japan’s first smart city. “Instead, we will have distributed power systems, where small power supply systems are in place near the consumption areas.” In light of the program’s success, the Japanese government seeks to increase funding for the Resilience Program by 24 percent in the next fiscal year.

Via Reuters

Images via Save the Children Canada/WikimediaDepositPhotos, and Pavel Ahmed/Flickr

11 Sep 13:04

All The Rage: Squiggly Scallop Shell Lipstick

danipretto

y tho?

scallop-shell-lips-1.jpg Squiggly lips: they're allegedly the latest beauty craze. And by craze I obviously mean crazy. They're the latest beauty crazy. Created by carefully drawing the shape using a lipstick brush, they make your lips look like a scallop shell. And who hasn't dreamed of kissing a scallop shell? "Not me." Not even the scallop shells of a mermaid's bikini top? "I take it back." No, no, it's too late, I'm trying to teach you to think before you answer. Keep going for a couple more examples of looking at lips so up close is weird.
11 Sep 05:24

Giant bamboo planters protect a Ho Chi Minh City home from the sun and rain

by Lucy Wang
danipretto

very cool. but i keep hearing that bamboo grows so fast and is so hearty that it will bust out of planters... so will they have to replace these every few years?

Vo Trong Nghia Architects worked their bamboo magic on a slender residence in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City. In a bid to add green space in the city’s increasingly dense concrete jungle, the architects installed giant bamboo-filled planters to the building’s street-facing facade. Located in the city’s colorful and bustling central urban district, the House in District 1 uses the green screens for privacy, air purification, shading, and visual appeal.

House in District 1 Ho Chi Minh City, House in District 1 by Vo Trong Nghia Architects, Vo Trong Nghia Architects bamboo architecture, bamboo architecture, bamboo privacy screen, bamboo screen in Vietnam, bamboo architecture Ho Chi Minh City

House in District 1 Ho Chi Minh City, House in District 1 by Vo Trong Nghia Architects, Vo Trong Nghia Architects bamboo architecture, bamboo architecture, bamboo privacy screen, bamboo screen in Vietnam, bamboo architecture Ho Chi Minh City

From the street, the House in District 1 looks like a series of stacked and staggered planters bursting with bushy bamboo. The overgrown effect contrasts sharply with the home’s minimalist and modern design. Concrete is predominately used and is texturized to lessen its monolithic appearance. “In addition to growing bamboo on the front facade, the concrete formwork is also made by using bamboo to allow a consistent design language,” said Vo Trong Nghia Architect, according to Dezeen. “The bamboo texture also helps to reduce the intense and heavy appearance of conventional concrete wall and thus, improves the overall aesthetic quality of the house.”

House in District 1 Ho Chi Minh City, House in District 1 by Vo Trong Nghia Architects, Vo Trong Nghia Architects bamboo architecture, bamboo architecture, bamboo privacy screen, bamboo screen in Vietnam, bamboo architecture Ho Chi Minh City

House in District 1 Ho Chi Minh City, House in District 1 by Vo Trong Nghia Architects, Vo Trong Nghia Architects bamboo architecture, bamboo architecture, bamboo privacy screen, bamboo screen in Vietnam, bamboo architecture Ho Chi Minh City

Related: Lush green rooftop terrace invites homeowners outdoors in the foothills of Vietnam

The four-story Ho Chi Minh residence features a guest room and entry hall on the first floor with an open-plan living room, dining area, and kitchen on the floor above. The kids’ bedroom and the master bedroom with ensuite bathroom are located on the second and third floors, respectively. The top floor houses the home office that opens up to an outdoor rooftop swimming pool. The bamboo planters are on every floor and provide privacy, shade, and protection from the tropical rains.

+ Vo Trong Nghia Architects

Via Dezeen

Images via Hiroyuki Oki

House in District 1 Ho Chi Minh City, House in District 1 by Vo Trong Nghia Architects, Vo Trong Nghia Architects bamboo architecture, bamboo architecture, bamboo privacy screen, bamboo screen in Vietnam, bamboo architecture Ho Chi Minh City

House in District 1 Ho Chi Minh City, House in District 1 by Vo Trong Nghia Architects, Vo Trong Nghia Architects bamboo architecture, bamboo architecture, bamboo privacy screen, bamboo screen in Vietnam, bamboo architecture Ho Chi Minh City

08 Sep 00:50

Summer Blockbusters: 8-Minute Battle Between Convenience Store Clerk And Two Would-Be Robbers

danipretto

this man is my hero

convenience-store-robbery-battle.jpg Note: Watch with volume, solid soundtrack. This is the security cam footage from a convenience store in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, of a clerk doing battle with two would-be robbers. They come for cigarettes and lotto scratchers, they leave with bruises. One brandishes a small pickaxe before the clerk wrestles it away and rips his mask off. The other, a female, produces what appears to be lipstick but could be a small pistol although I doubt it. She then tries to mace the clerk but doesn't know how to operate the can. They continue to scuffle, swinging various objects at each other including a tire iron and bong, before the clerk retreats outside and, unbeknownst to the robbers, proceeds to block the doors with a bench and set up a tactical defense from which he lobs giant bottles of antifreeze at the thieves as they try to escape through the shattered doors, scoring several direct hits. Eventually, the robbers do make it out of the store, although the male was apprehended on the scene because the clerk and a good samaritan caught him and restrained him until police arrived. The female was caught just a few blocks away. And, as much as I hate to admit it because I really did enjoy all the movies, it was still a better love story than Twilight. Keep going for the video and watch all eight minutes straight through, it really is action-packed.
07 Sep 02:25

German Sets New World Record For Most Beer Steins Carried At Once (29 Steins, ~150 Pounds)

danipretto

a tax inspector? also i totally agree RE: disqualification for losing any.

beer-carrying-world-record.jpg This is a video of 38-year old German tax inspector Oliver Strümpfel setting the new world record for most liter beer steins carried at once during the 2017 Oktoberfest celebration in Bavaria. You may recall Oliver's previous record of 27 steins set back in 2014. Competitors had to carry as many mugs as possible with no tray a total of 40 meters (~131-feet) without spilling more than 10%, then set them down. Oliver started with 31 mugs, but lost two while setting them down, setting the new record of 29. Personally, I feel that losing any steins should be grounds for disqualification because what if those were the two beers I'd ordered? I don't care how many beers you can carry if you pour mine in my lap when you get to the table. Now I'm upset. Also, I'm pretty sure in the time it took to stack all those mugs Oliver could have just taken two trips. But what do I know? I'm just a man who carries the memory of all the beer he's drank around with him in the form of a bitchin' gut. Sometimes when I'm peeing I pretend it's a keg I just tapped. Keep going for the record-breaking video while I try to figure out why that guy in the upper left hand corner of the screencap wants to kill me so bad.
07 Sep 02:24

A Man's Unintentional Camouflage Socks On The Subway

danipretto

yes!

camouflage-socks.jpg This is a picture of a man's unintentional camouflage socks on the subway. Or, who knows, maybe it was intentional and he was actually trying to hide his ankles on purpose. I try to hide my ankles on purpose. You know why? "Kankles." They're embarrassing and I hate them and it sucks because I love wearing culottes and boat shoes. "You're a fancy dresser." You know who Mr. Peanut calls for fashion advice? "Not you." He's really missing out though. Thanks to Andrea, who agrees you don't want to blend in to the subway too well or somebody might sit on you.
06 Sep 16:59

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Special

by tech@thehiveworks.com


Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Hovertext:
We are a unique and imaginative animal. Like, not me in particular, but I know a guy.

New comic!
Today's News:

Hey geeks! Just a few days to get in your proposals for BAHFest Seattle and BAHFest San Francisco! (please note, we've extended the Seattle submission date, due to some earlier errors on the form).

09 Mar 10:01

Donald Trump selects Elon Musk to serve as strategic advisor

by Katie Medlock
danipretto

some please explain this

President-elect Donald Trump recently invited Tesla CEO Elon Musk to Trump Tower for a surprising reason: he wants Musk's advice. The Trump administration’s new Strategic and Policy Forum will place the SpaceX CEO and other notable tech executives in advisory roles to help mold future policies. The addition of Musk as an advisor is both a smart and surprising choice, as Musk has been very critical of fossil fuel industries and encourages politicians to take climate change seriously - something Trump and many of his cabinet picks refuse to do.

Policy, elon musk, News, Donald Trump, Tesla CEO, Tesla, Politics, trump administration, strategic and policy forum, elon musk trump advisor, elon musk strategic advisor, spacex ceo, elon musk trump meetingPolicy, elon musk, News, Donald Trump, Tesla CEO, Tesla, Politics, trump administration, strategic and policy forum, elon musk trump advisor, elon musk strategic advisor, spacex ceo, elon musk trump meeting

Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum will draw upon the perspectives of successful US tech businesses to help the president-elect and his team mold future policies. "My Administration is going to work together with the private sector to improve the business climate and make it attractive for firms to create new jobs across the United States from Silicon Valley to the heartland,” Trump said.

Related: Elon Musk is heading to Trump Tower with other tech executives

Musk has been critical of Trump in the past - before the election, he told CNBC, “[Donald Trump] doesn't seem to have the sort of character that reflects well on the United States.” As a figure in this forum, Musk will have Trump’s ear and can hopefully express his concerns as a clean tech innovator and a citizen of Earth. His role has great potential to plant seeds of logic and reason in the new administration regarding the future of technology and renewable energy.

Among the others in attendance were Apple CEO Tim Cook, Alphabet CEO Larry Page, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, and Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. Here’s to hoping they use their powers for good.

Via Autoblog

Images via Flickr, Wikipedia

23 Dec 20:11

Original Legend Of Zelda Overworld Map Gets 3-D Printed, Painted

danipretto

want

legend-of-zelda-miniature-1.jpg Note: Larger version of the above image HERE. This is Legend Of Zelda overworld map that somebody spent six months building in Minecraft, then exported as a 3-D printable file. 24 hours of printing and six hours of hand painting later, TA-DA, a beautiful miniature of one of the best video games of all time. The whole thing looks like its about a foot and a half long, but I want a bigger one. I want one that's coffee table sized, and filled with clear resin. How cool would that be? "Very." You think it's too late to ask Santa for one like that for Christmas? "You haven't been on the nice list since you were four." Wow, you could have just said "Yeah, it's probably too late" you know. Keep going for a shot of the thing on a car seat for scale and some sweet closeups.
23 Dec 17:12

Obama uses 1953 law to block Arctic drilling under Trump

by Timothy J. Seppala
danipretto

is this true? can he just do this for everything? the clock is ticking.

President Obama has blocked any attempts at drilling for oil off the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. This would "indefinitely" stop oil and natural gas extraction in the areas, according to a report by CNBC. And unlike executive orders that've been sig...
16 Feb 19:56

It's Never Too Warm For Hidden Flask Mittens

danipretto

EVIL MITTENS!

hidden-mitten-flask.jpg This is the $20 Mitten Flask. It's a pair of mittens with a 3-ounce (5-ounces too small) flexible flask hidden inside the palm of the left-hand mitten, with a bite-valve at the thumb. That sucks because 1. I'm left-handed and would prefer the flask be in the right mitten, which 2. they could have avoided by making the mittens ambidextrous, but 3. really should have just put a flask in both. If I was one of the investors on Shark Tank I would demand this inventor pay me for wasting my time. That said, they still made #8 on my Christmas list. Thanks to Kumo, who just carries a liquor bottle because the police have stopped caring.
16 Feb 06:19

21 snacks that explain our delicious world

by Phil Edwards
danipretto

kind of long but interesting

The world spends about $374 billion each year on snack foods — and it's not all just a bunch of empty calories. You can often learn a surprising amount about a country by its junk food, whether it's Russia's red caviar potato chips or Britain's Cadbury Creme Egg McFlurry. So here's a rundown of some of the most distinctive snacks across the globe and what they tell us about how the world works.


    North America

  1. Mexican Coke tastes better because of trade policy

    Soda lovers have long argued that Mexican Coca-Cola is better than America's — because Mexican Coke uses real cane sugar, while American coke is sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). It happened thanks to key economic policies: The US government has long subsidized corn and had put up tariffs on cane sugar imports. Now, however, free trade may be shaking up the Coke bottle. Since the advent of NAFTA in 1994, subsidized American corn has been flooding into Mexico, and some critics charge that inferior HFCS is creeping into their beloved Mexican Coke.

  2. Canadians think American Hershey bars taste like vomit

    Sometimes snack companies have to vary their products from country to country to accommodate local preferences. The chocolate Hershey bar actually tastes a bit different in Canada than it does in the United States. In the US, the bars go through a process called controlled lipolysis, giving the snack a tangy, slightly sour flavor (it's due to butyric acid). The problem is that both Europeans and Canadians think butyric acid tastes like vomit (possibly because they're more accustomed to darker chocolate). So Hershey had to modify their recipe to fit the European — and Canadian — palate.

  3. Fritos: the ultimate American snack

    Fritos might not be America's most popular chip (that honor goes to Lay's), but it might have the most all-American backstory. Charles Doolin invented Fritos in San Antonio in the 1930s, modeling them after a Mexican beach food made from fried corn. He kept tinkering with the Fritos recipe — even using a hybridized variety of corn he developed — until he'd created a business empire. It's all there: the melting pot, entrepreneurialism, and engineered corn. Maybe Frito pie should be the new national dish.


  4. Central America

  5. Zambo Chips reflect Honduras's dark history

    Not all snacks have such an uplifting backstory. Zambos are the most popular chips in Honduras. They also have an ugly history. The name itself is arguably a racist term to describe mixed-race people. And the company that makes Zambos, the Dinant Corporation, is often at the center of controversy. Depending on whom you believe, its owner, Miguel Facussé, may have been at the center of the violent Honduran coup in 2009. Critics have accused the firm of engaging in violence, theft, and corruption. The story is reminiscent of United Fruit's famously sordid past in Central America.


  6. South America

  7. Chile's Tika Chips are spiced with indigenous flavors

    A number of foods in Latin America put a European twist on indigenous cuisine, reflecting the continent's long history with colonialism. Chile's popular Tika Chips, for instance, use merken, a smoked chili pepper common in Mapuche cuisine (the Mapuche live in the southern Patagonia region). The chips have become a heavily marketed hit throughout the country, but they also obscure some underlying political tensions. Back in 1993, Chile passed a law to return land to the Mapuche people, but the process has been racked by land seizures and violence.

  8. McDonald's makes delicious banana pies for Brazil

    Bananas are hugely popular in Brazil — about as popular as apples are in American culture. (Brazil isn't the world's largest banana producer, but it exports very little of what it does grow, which means it has an extremely high consumption rate.) That explains why McDonald's offers a banana pie as one of its local dessert menu items. They know their audience.


  9. Africa and the Middle East

  10. Ouma Rusks, brought to you by South Africa's government

    It's rare that a country's government can help create a hit snack — but South Africa is a notable exception. Ouma Rusks are a biscuit that goes back to 1939, when an Eastern Cape resident named Ouma Greyvensteyn first made them. Her company survived thanks to support from the state-run International Development Corporation (its parent company, RCL Foods, is private today). That unexpected lineage isn't a coincidence: The OECD notes that even today much of South Africa's economy remains dependent on state-owned enterprise.

  11. Nigeria is a major cocoa exporter, but its favorite candy is minty

    Nigeria is the world's fourth-largest producer of cocoa beans, so you'd think its most popular snack would involve chocolate. Surprisingly, that's not the case. When Cadbury arrived in Nigeria in the 1950s and 1960s, it wasn't chiefly interested in finding a new markets for its chocolate — it was interested in sourcing cocoa beans for export. While the company did sell a few snacks domestically, it was TomToms — a sugar candy with a strong dose of menthol — that ended up becoming the best-selling hit.

  12. Party with Saudia Arabia's popular nonalcoholic beer

    In the Middle East, nonalcoholic beer is vastly more popular than it is in the West, due to the Muslim prohibition of alcohol in places like Saudi Arabia. Barbican is a popular halal nonalcoholic beer available throughout the Middle East. It began in Saudi Arabia in 1983 and is a companion to the popular Rani drink (which proudly includes real fruit pieces) and Vimto, a nonalcoholic cordial. There are plenty of Western brands, like Coke, that have made inroads in Saudi Arabia. But the beer market is a different thing entirely.


  13. Asia

  14. In North Korea, Choco Pies are subversive

    In 2002, North Korea opened the Kaesong Industrial Complex — the one place where South Korean companies could come in and hire workers from the north. Those firms often handed out Choco Pies as bonuses to workers. The treat, two chocolate halves around marshmallow, became hugely popular in North Korea, and a large black market for them emerged. That's why in 2014 the totalitarian North Korean government decided to ban the snack. North Korea was worried Choco Pies might have a subversive impact, and South Koreans responded by sending balloons carrying the sweet sandwich across the border.

  15. China's Oreos are shaped like tubes

    The Oreo tube is a cream-filled lesson about how Western companies have to enter Chinese markets with a respect for the country's often unique preferences. Not even the Oreo is sacred. When Kraft Foods (now Mondelez) tried to bring the iconic cookie to China in 1996, it found that Chinese consumers didn't respond to the classic taste. Kraft was forced to rework the ratio of cookie and cream into a straw-like structure that is almost unrecognizable to its American fans.

  16. Japan has 200 insane KitKat flavors

    KitKats are ludicrously popular in Japan. There's a KitKat boutique and more than 200 flavors, including red bean toast, soy sauce, blueberry fromage, and many others. Why so many? Some manufacturers say the country's unique retail system deserves credit. Because there are more than 40,000 retail stores competing for customers, manufacturers create many new, limited-edition products to grab the shelf space necessary to drive sales.

  17. ITC

    India fended off multinationals with Bingo Chips

    When Bingo Chips launched in India in 2007, the company had a steep hill to climb against foreign competition — Lay's Kurkure chips were the market leader. But Bingo has done astonishingly well. The maker of the chips, ITC Limited, used its extensive local distribution network — originally created to sell cigarettes — to get Bingo Chips to customers. Locally sensitive ad campaigns and competitive pricing helped India's homegrown chip beat the bigger players in the market. It's a lesson in how local upstarts can beat massive multinationals, if they're smart.

  18. Thailand is obsessed with fried seaweed

    Seaweed isn't an especially popular snack in the West. But it's a multibillion-dollar market around the world — with most of the consumption and production in Asia. In Thailand, Tao Kae Noi dominates the snack market with its delicious fried seaweed fare. The company is led by the 30-year-old Aitthipat Kulapongvanich, a local tycoon and billionaire who is now the subject of his own movie. That's right — Asia's Mark Zuckerberg is a seaweed titan.


  19. Europe

  20. Finland's revolting Salmiakki connects it to Scandinavia

    Finland is pointedly not part of Scandinavia — its language is radically different, and in many ways it has a distinct culture. But Finland has managed to forge a bond with its fellow Nordic countries over Salmiakki, a salty licorice flavored with ammonium chloride. Most people around the world find this popular Finnish snack revolting, but it has found fans in Denmark and Norway.

  21. French McDonald's finds success by getting classy

    France, which is famously proud of its homegrown cuisine, has long had a rocky relationship with McDonald's. When the company first tried to enter France in 1972, it was rejected outright. In the 1990s, the issue came to a head when France saw a national protest movement against the golden arches. Which makes it shocking that, today, France is the second-most profitable McDonald's market after the United States. How did it happen? McDonald's started offering locally sourced versions of French foods — like the Mandise, a delicate sponge cake with chocolate and hazelnut. The company even toned down the golden arches to make them a more tasteful green.

  22. Romania's top candy is ... healthy?

    The most popular candy in Romania isn't marketed as a conventional sweet. It's Orbit gum, which sells widely in Eastern Europe because it's marketed as the best way for people to freshen their breath and care for their teeth. The gum's ad campaigns and Facebook page heavily emphasize oral health as a key reason for buying gum — a marketing tactic that's used in Russia and Poland, as well.

  23. Tayto/Tayto

    Ireland's two Taytos Chips split the island

    The island of Ireland is famously split between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland — and this contentious fact is even reflected in the country's potato chips. In the Republic of Ireland, Joe Murphy began making Tayto Chips in 1954. The chips caught on, but the company didn't think it was a good idea to simply expand into Northern Ireland. So instead, Tayto licensed the brand to a local manufacturer in the north — and in 1956, Thomas Hutchinson began making his own version of Tayto chips. Same name, different countries. It's not exactly a Protestant-Catholic split, but the fact that there are two distinct versions of the same chip is emblematic of those fissures.

  24. Filipinos

    Spain snacks on Filipinos cookies

    Spain ruled over the Philippines for more than three centuries, from 1521 to 1898, and the colonial ties are still a strong memory for both countries (about 3 million people in the Philippines still speak Spanish). Which explains why Spain now has a snack called Filipinos, a chocolate-coated cookie. The snacks sparked protests in the Philippines, with some critics arguing that the name is a racist jokes (similar to "Oreos" in the United States, the joke posits that Filipinos are white on the inside, brown on the outside). Defenders say the name comes from the Philippine Rosquillo cookie. Whatever the truth, the cookies speak to the long history between the two countries.


  25. Oceania

  26. New Zealand has a chocolatey colloquialism

    If you visit New Zealand, you might hear the suggestion that someone be "given a chocolate fish." The phrase — akin to a "pat on the back" — is common because of a beloved New Zealand snack. Chocolate fish — fish-shaped chocolate surrounding pink or white marshmallow — are both homemade and mass-produced by companies like Cadbury. Next time a kiwi tells you that you've done a good job, you'll know just why the compliment was so sweet.

  27. Australia's lonely, but everlasting, love of Vegemite

    Why did Australia ever embrace Vegemite, one of the strangest of all snacks? Blame (or thank) the country's isolation. The yeast spread was invented after World War I disrupted marmite imports from far-flung England to Australia. Vegemite stuck around after the war and then got another boost during World War II, when the Australian army bought supplies as a nutritious food for the troops. Think of it like Spam — an odd food born of necessity and isolation — although, in Australians' case, they've stuck with it. Even today, Australians buy 22 million jars of Vegemite each year.


Credits

  • Editor: Brad Plumer
  • Developer: Yuri Victor
16 Feb 06:12

Photo

danipretto

must try this



15 Feb 17:20

Slow Cooker Cranberry-Pear Butter

by Skinnytaste Gina
danipretto

obsessed with things that go in the slow cooker right now

Slow Cooker Cranberry-Pear Butter

Sweet Autumn pears compliment tart cranberries in this wonderful spread, perfect for Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving or anytime you want to add a little sweet-tartness to your meal.

I especially love it with turkey or on a roasted turkey breast sandwich. Pictured below I served this with turkey on a whole wheat baguette with some broccoli sprouts – delicious.

Slow Cooker Cranberry-Pear Butter

Click Here To See The Full Recipe...
08 Jan 20:42

‘Significant Contribution’

by John Gruber

Horace Dediu applies his “Cook Doctrine” to the idea of an Apple car:

So what does being significant in the car business mean? Does it mean becoming the next Tesla? The next BYD or the next VW? How quickly?

Fortunately, we have something to compare an Apple entry to. Apple has made a “significant” market entry in phones and others have made entries in cars. If we contrast the rate of growth of Tesla, EVs, and Hybrids to the rate of growth of iPhones in their respective US markets, we obtain a test of significance. […]

Within a similar time frame, the range for entrant company share capture spanned between 0.15% (Tesla as percent of US car market) and 35% (Apple iPhone percent of US phone market).

The differences are thus measured with two orders of magnitude (>100x). Put another way, if Tesla’s car entry was equivalent to Apple’s iPhone entry they would have delivered about 5.5 million cars rather than the 50.5k they delivered in 2015.

Speaking of Apple making cars, did anyone notice the doors on the prototype Apple retail store that Charlie Rose toured with Angela Ahrendts on 60 Minutes?

Update: Those new-style wide doors are already in place at Apple’s brand-new store at the Mall of the Emirates.

07 Dec 08:18

Meanwhile In China: This Bizarre Dancing Vans Accident

danipretto

whoa

dancing-vans-accident.gif This is a video of two vans in China that are involved in a car accident. Not a typical car accident though. In this case there was a cable laying across the road waiting to be installed on phone poles when a street sweeper's brushes caught the cable, jerking it while it's underneath the vans and causing them to dance for a second before the front one eats shit. That is not something you see every day. My roommate drunk off his ass and about to pee in the kitchen trashcan? That is something i see ALMOST every day. Hit the jump for the video.
03 Dec 13:53

Baby Blue Heron Is A Dead Ringer For A Little Dinosaur

baby-blue-heron-dinosaur.jpg This is a baby blue heron. It looks like a little dinosaur, doesn't it? That's because birds are the modern descendants of dinosaurs. It really shows. Well, at least in this case. Owls and penguins not so much. What's your favorite kind of bird? Mine are dragonflies. "Dragonflies aren't birds." Well they're not dragons or flies. "They're insects." I'm pretty sure they're related to hummingbirds. Thanks to Franco, who asked me if I am into dinosaur birds and the answer is no. I only like the oldschool scaly ones.
10 Nov 19:05

LA’s new street lamps will keep cell service running after an earthquake

by Katie Medlock
danipretto

good idea

philips smartpole, smartpole, ericsson 4g lte, philips citytouch, philips and ericsson, los angeles smartpole, los angeles street lighting, wireless technology, led street lamps, wireless street lamps

Los Angeles just announced plans to roll out a new generation of high-tech street lamps that can keep citizens connected even when cell networks are down after a debilitating natural disaster. Philips’ SmartPole streetlights are equipped with energy-efficient LED bulbs and 4G LTE wireless technology by Ericsson. City officials are eager to celebrate the adoption of 100 SmartPoles, which will keep both businesses and citizens connected in densely populated areas.

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Read the rest of LA’s new street lamps will keep cell service running after an earthquake










10 Nov 14:39

Woman Sets Her Parachute On Fire With Flare Gun To Illustrate The Importance Of Packing A Backup

danipretto

i love the writing. the video is ok if you want to click through

parachute-fire-demo.jpg This is a video of skydive instructor Brianne Thompson setting her parachute on fire with a flare gun to illustrate the importance of always packing a backup. Obviously, Brianne DID pack a spare and was able to land safely. I performed a similar demonstration when I pooped my pants at the office this morning after chugging six cups of coffee. Unfortunately, I forgot to pack a backup so I'm writing from a bathroom stall until my roommate comes to save the day. I mean, IF he comes to save the day. Hold on, he's calling. Hello? Yes, in the top drawer. THEN PUT A GLOVE ON TO MOVE THE SEX TOYS, BUT I NEED SOME CLEAN BOXERS STAT. Hit the jump for the video.
10 Nov 01:45

4gifs: Wagging intensifies. [video]

danipretto

love dogs



4gifs:

Wagging intensifies. [video]