Fong Qi Wei is a super-talented photographer from Singapore who happens to have combined two of our favorite things: time lapses and GIFs. (Oh yeah, and cities. Three favorite things.) The artist captured China, Indonesia, and Bali over a several-hour period, usually sunset, and then spliced the photos together to create beautiful animated images:
Warning: If you like tiny houses, carve out the next half hour, because this is some serious tiny house crack. California-based Blu Homes specializes in prefab houses ranging from studios to three-bedrooms, all of which can be LEED silver-certified. They’re built with green features including recycled steel frames, FSC-certified hardwood floors, energy-efficient lights and appliances, and recycled insulation. You can even opt for radiant floors (mmm!).
But the best thing is that you can customize them to your heart’s content (well, practically). The 3D Blu Homes Configurator gives you nine home options to choose from. Then you get to pick the flooring, paint color, cabinets, lighting, bathroom fixtures, and fanciness level of the kitchen.
You’ve probably heard that penguins get covered in muck from oil spills, which makes them chilly. Thus, we should all take a break from infinity scarves and snail jumpers to knit sweaters for penguins. Not true! Put down those knitting needles!
As we mentioned when this story went around in 2011, there really have been calls for penguin sweaters from wildlife conservation groups. But response tends to be disproportionate, and organizations are flooded with seabird apparel, a fraction of which -- if any -- gets used. Plus, penguin advocates dispute whether the knitwear is a good idea to begin with.
A keeper at Auckland Zoo said the idea of making the little birds wear the jerseys might cause them extra stress ...
"Putting something like that on a penguin, it's probably only going to stress it out even more than they already are. These are wild penguins; they haven't had any interaction with humans. There's already enough stress on a bird without trying to put a sweater on it," [bird keeper Natalie Clark] said.
Have you ever scoffed at a subway delay? Rolled your eyes at yet another crowded Q train? Looked at a veiny metro map and said, "Give me five minutes and a Sharpie and I'll show you a more efficient system?"
Well, my friend, it's time to put your fingers where your mouth is (unless, oh god, you've recently been holding onto a train pole). The free, in-browser game Mini Metro lets you design your own subway system. Players simply drag and extend lines between an ever-increasing number of stations while tiny symbols wait to catch a ride. A polished version of the game will eventually be released on tablets, PCs, and Macs, but for now, the online version is fun enough.
It's a potent timewaster, too: A cursory look by this reporter turned into a full hour of frantic clicking and cursing at traveling triangles who just want to get home to see their kids. OK, full confession: I'm playing right now.
For rebels with sharpies, the Great Wall of China sounds like the ultimate thing to tag (other than carving your name into the moon). But so many people have scratched their names into the monument that the ancient stones are getting damaged. And the last thing you wanna hear is that one of the seven wonders of the world fell down because someone just HAD to write “Joey + Dawson 4ever.”
So authorities are designating a special area where graffiti artists can leave their signature flourishes. They’re even talking about a hi-tech digital section for the art, which doesn’t really sound like it's in the scrappy DIY spirit of street art, but which might suffice to corral tourists' destructive tendencies:
Thanks to the sharing economy, you can use a stranger’s hammer, car, or even apartment -- but what about life’s most basic needs? With Airpnp you can find (and if necessary, pay for) the nearest toilet. If the line for portapotties is too long, why not at least see which nearby neighbors and businesses will take your No. 1 for a couple $1s?
Airpnp is now available for users to lease out their bathrooms through a mobile optimized web app, and native apps are in the works. The service itself will be put to test during Mardi Gras 2014 in New Orleans, which happens on March 4. There are currently a handful of toilets listed on the site spanning a range of prices -- some bathrooms are free, while urinating at a hotel bathroom where “Tom Cruise, Nicholas Cage, Frank Sinatra, and Walt Disney have all peed” requires a payment of $10.
I think I’d actually pay to AVOID a toilet some of those guys had used, but that’s just me. (The throne that has witnessed Ryan Gosling’s turds, on the other hand ...)
Mshale the bull elephant is the biggest badass ever. The roughly 40-year-old African elephant has now survived the fourth attempt on his life by poachers in Kenya’s Tsavo National Park. That’s an impressive feat, considering that almost 1,500 elephants have died there since 2011, and the poachers have gotten increasingly desperate for Mshale's $16,000 tusks.
Poachers hit Mshale with a poison arrow in November 2012, but fortunately he made his way to a haven for orphaned elephants where a vet with the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust treated him. Recognizing the facility as a source of fresh water, mud baths, and company, Mshale kept coming back to the spot.
Conservation workers kept an eye out for him, too. While on aerial patrol, a pilot from the Trust noticed Mshale limping down below in March 2013, with a gaping wound on his bum. After vets removed two poison arrows, Mshale thanked them with a gaze and headed off, according to the Trust:
He stood gazing at his human helpers for a few minutes and then with a knowing look he limped back off into the bush.
Look away if you’re eating, because this is truly disgusting. Didymo (code name: rock snot) is an algae bloom that looks like barf mixed with mucus. When it first showed up in eastern Canada in 2006, people assumed it was an invasive species, BECAUSE IT IS SO TERRIFYING. (Conventional wisdom was that fishers were accidentally spreading it by tromping around with their dirty boots.)
Nope! Turns out it’s native -- it was just sleeping all this time, and climate change woke it up!
California Gov. Jerry Brown has taken his cue from Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, and countless other public figures by coming out with his own fragrance: Frack Water. It “smells like a man. A man who doesn’t give a sh*t about drought or climate change!” OK, it's not ACTUALLY endorsed by the governor, but still. Splash some on your wrists, why don’t you?