Random Attrition


"For a long time I’d wanted to make a really interesting film. It finally turned into this picture. The story is so ideally interesting that it’s surprising no one else ever thought of it. The idea is about rivalry on both sides, and both sides are equally bad. We all know what that is like. Here we are, weakly caught in the middle, and it is impossible to choose between evils. Myself, I’ve always wanted to somehow or other stop these senseless battles of bad against bad, but we’re all more or less weak-I’ve never been able to. And that is why the hero of this picture is different from us. He is able to stand squarely in the middle, and stop the fight. And it is this-him-that I thought of first. That was the beginning of the film in my mind."

- director Akira Kurosawa discussing the origins of his film Yojimbo (1961).

(via slawikaruga)

— 1 day ago with 1078 notes


Carina Nebula
Rosette Nebula
Heart Nebula
Fairy Pillar Nebula
Orion Nebula
Eagle Nebula
Flame Vista Nebula
Crab Nebula

Unf space.

(via paisleydanger)

— 3 days ago with 193649 notes


Caught this aerial acrobat buzzin’ and bumblin’ in the garden this morning. Can’t believe how much lift and agility those little wings provide!

Flight skills brought to you by evolution, slo-mo brought to you by iPhone 6.

— 3 days ago with 82 notes


Getting prints ready for Comikaze!

I’ll be at table AA532 :)

(via nihileigh)

— 3 days ago with 4584 notes

Weirwoods are considered sacred to the followers of the old gods. The children of the forest are said to have carved faces in the weirwoods during the Dawn Age, before the coming of the First Men across the narrow sea. It is said that through the faces the old gods watch over the followers and bear witness to important events. The greenseers of the children of the forest can see through the eyes of weirwoods. Since trees have no sense of time, the greenseer can see into the past or present when looking through the eyes of a tree.

(Source: tywins, via nihileigh)

— 3 days ago with 6295 notes


Watch A Writhing Aurora in Real Time

I love me some auroras. They are the visual manifestation of an invisible force field, tongues of light that illuminate Earth’s magnetic shell, which by shielding this blue orb from the onslaught of the charged radiation known as solar wind, makes life itself possible.

As charged particles belched from the sun strike our planet’s magnetic carapace, they are diverted poleward on electromagnetic conduits and eventually thrust into the upper atmosphere at Earth’s higher latitudes. There, collisions with atmospheric molecules illuminate the sky in green and red atomic excitation spectra. Their downward orientation makes them appear like needles pushing in from space itself, or as if one was gazing upward at a flag flapping vertically in the wind.

None of that have I ever witnessed with my own eyes, because I live at far too equatorial a latitude for even the largest solar storm to deliver this show to my front door. In learning about auroras through time lapses and astrophotography, which I have done my fair share of here on It’s Okay To Be Smart, I suppose I’ve always assumed they were a slow, gradual thing to behold, moving alomst imperceptibly, but definitely moving, like the way we can watch a cloud dissipate without ever really seeing it happen.

This video of a recent aurora over Yellowknife, Canada tells a different story. It is moving in real time. Stunning work from photographer Kwon O Chul. Not every aurora moves this fast, but this video completely changes the way I look at auroras.

I’ve often thought of the auroras as Earth’s own performance art, as if the sun is thanking us nightly for the simple act of noticing. But for this private light show, it is we who should be thanking the sun.

For more beautiful aurora science check out one of the first videos I ever made for the It’s Okay To Be Smart YouTube channel

— 1 week ago with 1116 notes


Tracking Movement with Human Smartphone App

Using data collected from the Human smartphone app, major urban centers such as London, New York and Amsterdam have been drawn with pixels created by its users’ movements. The resulting imagery shows the unique energetic patterns created over time according to different types of motion: walking, cycling, running, and motorized transportation. The iPhone app was originally designed to encourage users to undertake at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, but the live maps it has created reveal how a ‘simple’ consumer app can lead to insights on a larger scale, from a population’s physical health to tools for urban planning.

(Source: dezeen.com)

— 1 week ago with 145 notes


Second Life: The Heineken WOBO Doubles as Beer Bottle and Brick

Fifty years ago, Heineken developed a revolutionary and sustainable design solution to give its beer bottles a second life: as an architectural brick. The concept arose after brewing magnate Alfred Heineken visited Curacao during a world tour of his factories in 1960. He was struck by the amount of beer bottles—many bearing his name—littering the beaches and the lack of affordable building materials for residents. In a stroke of genius (or madness), Heineken realized both problems could be solved if beer bottles could be reused as structural building components. Enlisting the help of Dutch architect N. John Habraken, Heineken created a new bottled design—dubbed the Heineken WOBO (World Bottle)—that doubled as a drinking vessel and a brick. As author and architecture critic Martin Pawley notes, the WOBO was “the first mass production container ever designed from the outset for secondary use as a building component.” The new squared off bottle was both inter-locking and self-aligning, allowing it to nestle seamlessly and snugly into adjoining “bricks.” With Habraken’s design, a 10 by 10 foot hut could be constructed with 1,000 WOBO bottles. Though a test run of 100,000 bottles was produced in 1963, the marketing department’s worries about liabilities doomed the project. The WOBO was subsequently and unceremoniously retired. Though only two official WOBO buildings remain, both on the Heineken estate in Noordwijk near Amsterdam, the concept remains a powerful and inspiring one. Indeed, the experiment is a reminder of how a major corporation might seriously take on sustainability in an innovative way.

(Source: archdaily.com)

— 1 week ago with 1100 notes
http://theenergyissue.com/post/97571583897/everyday-energy-what-people-around-the-world-eat →


Everyday Energy: What People Around the World Eat on a Daily Basis


37-year-old Ecuadorian mountain farmer, 5’3”, 119 lbs, typical daily caloric intake: 3,800 kcal. Food staples: Empanadas, barley flour soup, roasted potatoes, plantain, hard brown sugar mixed with hot water.



(Source: NPR)

— 1 week ago with 184 notes