If you need to flesh out your bucket list, here are 10 natural wonders that usually get left off lists of old faithfuls like the Grand Canyon and the Great Barrier Reef.
Madrid’s Luzinterruptus collective’s large-scale light installations aren’t just haunting and beautiful — they’re also activist. Each piece is designed to call attention to some social or urban ill, from light pollution to nuclear radiation. Sometimes the targets are almost impossibly silly (sanitary napkins?), and sometimes the justification seems to have been reverse-engineered (are Madrid’s public sculptures really unapproachable, or did Luzinterruptus just want to cover them with light-up nipples?). But most of the art looks both stunning and effective. Click to embiggen. “Pharmacy Herbs” was staged as a protest of Madrid’s extra-bright, light-polluting new pharmacy signs.
Whatever, Google Glasses; I’m holding out for the Google brain implant. And that just got a little more plausible, thanks to new technology for fuel cells that run off of blood sugar. In theory, if you popped one of these babies in your brain, it could get all its power from your own cerebrospinal fluid (the stuff that cushions your brain inside your skull).
Denise Morrison had read the city code and knew her plants were legal. So why did the city come to her yard and bulldoze her garden?
Alex Schibli, 72, owns an island, right smack off the coast of Manhattan. (Delightfully, it’s called “Rat Island.” Great name for a NYC island, or BEST name?) When you hear “owns an island” you figure “Romney rich,” but Schibli only paid $176,000 for the 2.6 acres. That might seem like a lot, but when a studio apartment in the East Village is going for $400,000, really, it’s a steal. Schibli told the New York Post why he chose to buy a little piece of nature: I’d always dreamed of having my own place for peace and quiet in the middle …
The key to small-space living is not feeling cramped, which makes this Barcelona apartment the pinnacle of the genre. The home uses sliding doors to open the 430-square-foot apartment up for a sense of space, or close it for privacy. But the centerpiece of the house is the hole in the ceiling — a plant-filled half-outdoor shower that’s built like a chimney, open to the sky. (Don’t worry — there are camouflaging plants on top, so the drones will have to work VERY hard to see you naked.)
C’sar, a 38-year-old bull elephant living in North Carolina, could become the first pachyderm to wear contact lenses. Because nothing looks nerdier than an elephant in glasses. “An elephant has never been fitted with corrective lenses,” the Associated Press reports. (One elephant once had a contact put in his eye, but it was just to keep some gunk in, not to help his vision.) To give you a sense of the scale here, C’sar weighs 12,000 pounds and has eyes about the same size as a horse’s. His contacts would need to be 1.5 inches in diameter — about three …
North American black bears have the largest relative brain size of all carnivores, and apparently they are capable of using that brain power to count. Scientists tested three bears on their ability to look at groups of dots and identify whether one group had fewer or more dots than another. (Two bears were looking for “fewer,” and the other was looking for “more.”) Turns out, they could tell the difference, which means they can count, or anyway do some bear-brain counting-like thing. It’s not like they understand what a “five” is, but they know how many of things there are.
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