A 1:60-Scale Boeing 777 Built Entirely from Paper Manilla Folders by Luca Iaconi-Stewart [via Nina Reznick]

Inspired by high school architecture class where he was assigned to create simple paper models using cut paper manilla folders, San Francisco-based designerLuca Iaconi-Stewart went home to begin construction on an extremely ambitious project: a 1:60 scale reproduction of a Boeing 777 using some of the techniques he learned in class. That was in 2008, when Iaconi-Stewart was just a junior in high school.





Unbelievably, the project continues five years later as he works on and off to perfect every aspect of the plane. Relying on detailed schematics of an Air India 777-300ER he found online, he recreates the digital drawings in Adobe Illustrator and then prints them directly onto the paper manilla folders. But everything has to be perfect. So perfect, that Iaconi-Stewart says he’s actually built two airplanes, the one you see here and the numerous failed attempts including three tails, two entire sets of wings, and multiple experiments to ensure everything is just so.

The paper plane-making wunderkind hopes to finally wrap up the project this summer and isn’t quite sure what will happen next, but thinks an even larger 20-foot model could be an interesting next step. So far there are no plans for the completed model to go anywhere, but it would look great in an aeronautical museum or in the lobby of a certain aircraft manufacturer’s lobby. Just some suggestions. All photos courtesy Luca Iaconi-Stewart.
 (via Wired)

Andrea Bocelli in China

On May 15th, by the invitation of President Xi and First Lady Peng Liyuan, Andrea Bocelli performed at the Beijing National Stadium in front of over 1.7Billion viewers on live TV and streaming.

Andrea Bocelli and Frankie Nasso

This portion of the program was produced by Frankie Nasso, Nova Entertainment, working throughout China, Italy, the US and the UK to deliver Maestro Bocelli to a live audience filled with Presidents and Leaders from 48 Asian Nations, from Australia to Israel to Japan and beyond. 

 This was the largest government-sponsored entertainment event ever hosted in China, with over 8,000 performers on stage throughout the evening. 

The Voynich Manuscript

There are still several ancient languages modern scholars cannot decipher, like Minoan hieroglyphics (called Linear A) or Khipu, the intricate Incan system of writing in knots. These symbols contain within them the wisdom of civilizations, and there’s no telling what might be revealed should we learn to translate them. Maybe scholars will only find accounting logs and inventories, or maybe entirely new ways of perceiving reality. When it comes, however, to a singularly indecipherable text, the Voynich Manuscript, the language it contains encodes the wisdom of a solitary intelligence, or an obscure, hermitic community that seems to have left no other trace behind.
Composed around the year 1420, the 240-page manuscript appears to be in dialogue with medieval medical and alchemical texts of the time, with its zodiacs and illustrations botanical, pharmaceutical, and anatomical. But its script only vaguely resembles known European languages.

Recording 900 years of graffiti in Orkney's cathedral

Exterior of St Magnus cathedral

Image captionSt Magnus is a pink cathedral built by the Vikings in Orkney

St Magnus Cathedral is a giant pink building which dominates the centre of Kirkwall.
It is a much loved building, at the centre of church and community events.
But for almost 900 years, people have been expressing their affection for the place by literally leaving their mark there.
Now Orkney Archaeology Society is training up volunteers to make the first full record of all the graffiti in the building.

East window
Image captionThe east window of the cathedral features carved stonework
Skull and hourglass on a memorial
Image captionMemorials lining the nave include grotesque reminders of death and decay
Image captionInscriptions like this are what you might expect to see in a church or cathedral

There are spectacular carvings in the cathedral that are supposed to be there - from the detail of stonework in the stained glass windows, to the inscriptions and grave markers in the nave.
But it is now becoming clear that there are hundreds - maybe thousands - of much more informal marks, which have been left in the fabric of the building over centuries.
It is a tradition which started with the stone masons who built it, and who cut their symbols into the blocks of stone they carved.
And it continued through the 19th Century and until World War Two when sailors based in Scapa Flow scrawled their names, and the names of the ships they served on, on to masonry in the galleries and upper levels of the building.

Image captionSome of the graffiti is easy to spot, and carved with great skill
Image captionOther carvings become visible if you shine a torch onto them, or they are caught in a beam of sunlight
Pencil note recording grave
Image captionThis pencil note, in the choir, seems to record the position of a grave - seven feet from the pillar and two feet four inches deep

Examples of graffiti which are already known about - but which have not been fully recorded - include a carved circle, thought to be a charm to protect from harm; peoples' initials; and a pencil note on a pillar in the Choir which appears to record the position of a grave.
The plan now is for archaeologists from the University of the Highlands and Islands in Orkney to train volunteers with the skills to find and note down every piece of graffiti in the building.
It is hoped that it might be possible to publish a record of them - either as a book, or as an online resource.

Circular charm
Image captionThis carefully carved circle featuring six petal shapes is thought to be a medieval charm
Double V graffiti
Image captionDouble V carvings like this are quite common in medieval church buildings, and are thought to refer to the Virgin Mary
Poster on stonework
Image captionAttempts by the authorities to stop people leaving graffiti have not been successful
Fake graffiti
Image captionNot all the graffiti in the building is what it claims to be. This inscription says it was left by Leif Ericson in the year 1156. Experts think it almost certainly wasn't.

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Sam Corso's Amazing and Rare Stain Glass Artwork [via Laurie Atchity-Dressman ]

Samuel J. Corso is a multi-media artist with a concentration in glass. He has been selected to participate in many juried and invitational exhibitions throughout the United States including exhibitions with the Mobile Museum of Art, the Regional Craft Biennial, The Arkansas Art Center Decorative Arts Museum and the Glass Art National.

The Town with a Subculture of Secret Tiny Doors

In Ann Arbor, Michigan, a series of what is known as ‘fairy doors’, began popping up around the area in 2005, built into buildings, shops and restaurants and quickly acquired a cult following. Father and children’s book author, Jonathan B. Wright, believed to be behind the installation of  the whimsical tiny portals, is kind of like the Banksy of fairy doors.

One of the fairy doors in Ann Arbor, outside the Peaceable Kingdom store. There’s a miniature replica of the shop behind the door built under the window display, which can also be seen from tiny windows inside the store…

It all began in 1993 when Jonathan was renovating his home and decided to install some fairy doors for his daughters (one in the fireplace and two in the kitchen). You can see the doors he built for them here. Over a decade later, he decided to go public. On April 7, 2005, the first public fairy door appeared outside Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea. Ten days later, the Peaceable Kingdom one appeared.

Ann Arbor Public Library

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Samsung Safety Truck

Have you ever found yourself driving behind a semi-trailer truck? If you’re on a single-lane highway or road, it can be a nightmare. Even though the truck is driving relatively slowly, you cannot overtake it due to its size, and because you cannot see what is happening in front of the truck. 

However, Samsung has developed a solution that may make this problem a thing of the past. 

Argentina’s statistics on traffic accidents are among the highest in the world, with most of these accidents occurring on two-lane roads and particularly in situations of overtaking. With this in mind, Samsung developed a technology for trucks that seeks to enrich the lives of people through innovation. But more than that, this time the goal is more ambitious: to save lives. 

How Does it Work? 

The Safety Truck consists of a wireless camera attached to the front of the truck, which is connected to a video wall made out of four exterior monitors located on the back of the truck. The monitors give drivers behind the truck a view of what is going on ahead, even in the dark of night. 

This allows drivers to have a better view when deciding whether it is safe to overtake. Another advantage of the Safety Truck is that it may reduce the risk of accidents caused by sudden braking or animals crossing the road. 

Samsung led the prototype development by providing large format display samples, and conducted a test with a local B2B client

Next Steps 

Currently, the prototype truck built is no longer operational. So far Samsung has been able to confirm that the technology works and that this idea can definitely save the lives of many people. 

The next step is to perform the corresponding tests in order to comply with the existing national protocols and obtain the necessary permits and approvals. For this, Samsung is working together with safe driving NGOs and the government.

Russia Wants Bulgarians to Stop Painting Soviet Monuments To Look Like American Superheroes [via Francke]

According to a report by the Moscow Times, pranksters in Bulgaria are repainting Soviet-era monuments so that Soviet military heroes look like American Superheroes. Needless to say, the Russians are not too happy about it: Russia is demanding that Bulgaria try harder to prevent vandalism of Soviet monuments, after yet another monument to Soviet troops in Sofia was spray-painted, ITAR-Tass reported.

The Russian Embassy in Bulgaria has issued a note demanding that its former Soviet-era ally clean up the monument in Sofia’s Lozenets district, identify and punish those responsible, and take “exhaustive measures” to prevent similar attacks in the future, the news agency reported.

Asteroid strikes 'increase threefold over last 300m years' [via Nina Reznick]

Planet and moon have been hit by more asteroids in the past 290m years than at any time in previous billion

The rate at which asteroids are slamming into Earth has nearly tripled since the dinosaurs first roamed, according to a survey of the scars left behind. Researchers worked out the rate of asteroid strikes on the moon and the Earth and found that in the past 290m years the number of collisions had increased dramatically. 

 Before that time, the planet suffered an asteroid strike about once every 3m years, but since then the rate has risen to once nearly every 1m years. The figures are based on collisions that left craters at least 10km (6.2 miles) wide.

Writing in the journal Science, the researchers describe how they turned to the moon to examine the violent history of Earth. The Earth and moon are hit by asteroids with similar frequency, but impact craters on Earth are often erased or obscured by erosion and the shifting continents which churn up the crust. On the geologically inactive moon, impact craters are preserved almost indefinitely, making them easier to examine.

Using images from Nasa’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the scientists studied the “rockiness” of the debris surrounding craters on the moon. Rocks thrown up by asteroid impacts are steadily ground down by the constant rain of micrometeorites that pours down on the moon. This means the state of the rocks around a crater can be used to date it.

3D Zebra Stripe Crosswalk in Iceland Slows Traffic with Stunning Optical Illusion

3d crosswalk in iceland

The use of illusion in art is nothing new, but a small town in Iceland is using the effect to help with public safety and traffic issues. In the small fishing village of Ísafjörður, a 3D pedestrian crossing was painted last month in an effort to slow traffic on a narrow street.

The eye-popping illusion gives the effect of walking on air as pedestrians move from one side of the street to the other. Environmental commissioner Ralf Trylla came up with the idea after seeing a similar project in New Delhi, India. Trylla was researching creative ideas on how to slow traffic when he stumbled upon the India project and came together with street painting company Vegmálun GÍH to create the effect. They experimented for several weeks before perfecting the technique and painting the crosswalk.

The visual effect is striking, as the optical illusion shifts depending on your perspective. From the air, the white stripes jump up, making them appear as a column of walls. While at ground level, the bars seem to hover just above the ground. Right now the project is experimental, with the town seeing what effect the creative zebra crossing will have before deciding if they’d like to roll out more in other areas of the village.

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The Gay Penguins of Australia

Two male penguins are raising a baby whose gender is unknown.

Sphen, Magic and Sphengic.CreditSea Life Sydney Aquarium

SYDNEY, Australia — It was a young penguin colony, and all but one of the couples were pretty bad parents.

They would get distracted from their nests, go for a swim or play, and so neglected eggs were getting cold, likely never to hatch. This was normal for inexperienced penguins, and the aquarium managers didn’t worry. Next mating season would be better.

One couple, though, was extraordinary. Not because they were the colony’s only gay penguins, though they were, but because Sphen and Magic looked like they would make great, diligent, careful egg-warming parents. They made the biggest nest, and they sat on it constantly.

Curious, the aquarium managers gave the two males a dummy egg. They took to it. And so then, when a particularly negligent heterosexual penguin couple looked to be leaving an egg exposed (females lay two, but usually only one survives), the aquarium workers figured they would give it to Sphen and Magic.

In October, that egg hatched. Now the chick of a gay penguin union is waddling around an ice enclosure by the touristy docks in Sydney.
When Sphen and Magic became a couple, Australia had just gone through a bitter battle about whether gay marriage should be legal. The human gay marriage debate had brought out thorny personal and religious tensions. These two diligent Gentoos, unaware of the political heat around their courtship, became a larger symbol for the country. If a penguin colony could figure this out, a human nation certainly could.

Up Yours [via Nina Reznick]

This imaginative gadget was designed to get operatives out of difficult situations.

AMONG THE ESPIONAGE ARTIFACTS ON display at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., is the rectal tool kit: a tightly sealed, pill-shaped container full of tools that could aid an escape from various sticky situations. This gadget was issued to CIA operatives during the height of the Cold War, according to museum curator and historian Vince Houghton.

The tools inside the kit include drill bits, saws and knives. “What I see when I look at the rectal tool kit is a great example of problem solving in the intelligence world,” Houghton says. It had to be made with materials that could not splinter or create sharp edges that could injure users. Additionally, it had to seal tightly to not let anything seep in or poke out. According to Houghton, the kits supplied spies with all the tools to break out of a jail cell, and “sometimes this was a matter of life and death.”

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Hilarious Times Coworkers Actually Made Work Tolerable

This World-Travelling Stapler From Floor 4

his Employee Who Made Every Frame For Sale Include A Photo Of Jeff Goldblum

This Worrying Sign

This Employee Who Brought In The Required Sick Note

These Goofs Who Miniaturized Their Coworker’s Desk

On Fetishes... The Real Thing [vian Nina Reznick]

Lillian of County Clork, Ireland has just revealed a shocking secret about her humble suburban home. Though it may look ordinary from the outside, it’s anything but once you step inside!
Everyone has a private obsession. For most, it’s usually something simple, like a shelf of Special Moments figurines. For others, it’s a bit quirkier, like a collection of 46 bridal bouquets.
But for Lillian, a wife and mother of two, it’s Coca-Cola.
For over 30 years, Lillian has been collecting Coke memorabilia. Now, her home serves as a live-in shrine to the yummy soda. What started as a tiny collection of old Coke cans has now blossomed into a household theme! Drenched from wall-to-wall in red and white, and peppered with the world-famous famous logo, this home is nothing short of a personal Coke museum.
But for many, Coke is more than just a carbonated drink; it’s a nostalgic American icon that brings up warm memories of days gone by.
After you scroll through Lillian’s amazing collection, paired with some interesting Coke facts, be sure to watch the video at the end! It’s a little slice of the past that you won’t want to miss!
Please SHARE if you love Coca-Cola!
Coca-Cola, the most widely distributed product in the world, was invented in 1886 by a pharmacist named John Stith Pemberton.
Pemberton, a veteran who was badly wounded in the Civil War, invented this “French Wine Coca” as a substitute for morphine, to which he’d become addicted.
Later renamed for its two core ingredients — extracts of the coca leaf and the kola nut — Coca-Cola was soon patented and sold as a “nerve tonic.”
The fizzy, “medicinal” drink was said to cure many diseases, including opium and morphine addiction, dyspepsia, neurasthenia, headache, and impotence.

Neurasthenia, or “tired nerves,” was a prevalent disorder of the 1800s caused by “the hurry, bustle, and incessant drive of the American temperament.” Coca-Cola was a fashionable remedy for this ailment.
Many people think Coke was popular because of its controversial ingredient — cocaine. However, the soft drink contained such small traces of the intoxicating substance, even a teeny-tiny ant couldn’t have gotten such a buzz from one.
Cocaine was actually a very common ingredient during the late 1800s, found in tablets, wine, liqueurs, hypodermic injections, and coca-leaf cigarettes. It wasn’t until 1929 that all traces of cocaine were removed from Coca-Cola’s famous recipe.
During World War I, the Coca-Cola company took a huge hit due to sugar rationing — but when World War II began, Coke positioned itself as a “soldier’s drink.”
During wartime, soldiers depended heavily on Coca-Cola as a pick-me-up. One military surgeon said, “I cannot conceive of a greater calamity worse than a loss of the base supply of Coca-Cola.”
During the 1930s, the soda forever engrained itself in American culture when Santa Claus — decked in red and white — made his first appearance in a Coca-Cola ad. Now, almost 130 years after its invention, this delicious soda still dominates the world’s soft drink market!

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