The Professional Bridesmaid?


Surprisingly, Jen received an overwhelming response to her ad – it looks like she accidentally taped into a market that no one ever knew existed. Over night, her mailbox was flooded with requests from a wide range of people – right from gay couples who wanted a female member in their bridal party, to brides who had just moved and couldn’t have their friends to attend the wedding. The ad soon went viral, appearing on popular websites like Elle Magazine and Buzzfeed.” w/ photos

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McDonald’s Becoming Popular Wedding Venues


“With prices starting as low as $350 per wedding, the place is pretty much a steal – the deal includes the venue, decorations, audio equipment, food, gifts and invitations. The dream wedding has only one drawback – years later, couples will have to tell their kids that they got married at McDonald’s. Surprisingly, not many couples are bothered by this. The demand for McDonald’s weddings is growing in Hong Kong – the wedding party program that was started in three locations in 2011, has now been extended to 15 branches. And, believe it or not, it’s not just about the money, there’s a sentimental value associated with getting hitched at McDonald’s.” w/ photos + video

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Turkish Man Builds His Own Heavy Truck


He managed to complete the seemingly impossible project through sheer grit – he had no prior experience, no proper plan and no idea of how he was going to pull it off. ‘When I started the construction, everyone was taunting me,’ he said. ‘Everyone was making fun of me.’ But Ismail was not one to give up. He started visiting scrap dealers and gathered as many parts as he could. He also bought an old Murat 131 car for the motor. For the body of the truck, he bought metal sheets and built the entire body of the vehicle himself. After several months of hard work, his patience finally paid off and the truck was ready. And the most impressive thing is it only cost him around $2,800.” w/ photos + video

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Brain-Enhancing Smart Drugs Are Going Commercial


It’s one of an increasingly popular, if controversial class of drugs and supplements called nootropics that are designed to boost memory, attention span and cognitive function, even in people with otherwise healthy brains. And as the demand for cognitive enhancements expands, nootropics have grown from the stuff of internet-driven self-experimentation to an expanding sector in the massive supplements market… Some online merchants try to get around the FDA’s regulations by labeling piracetam and other nootropics as lab chemicals not meant for human consumption, and at least one vendor takes a more aggressive stance. LifeLink, which sells piracetam under the brand name NoöRacetam, essentially argues that the FDA restricts the compound and the information vendors can provide about its efficacy as part of an effort to keep Americans stupid.” w/ photos

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Sandstone Arches Form Under Their Own Stress


The fantastical arch shapes of sandstone formations have long been thought to be sculpted by wind and rain. But a team of researchers has now found that the shapes are inherent to the rock itself. “Erosion gets [excess] material out, but doesn’t make the shape,” says Jiri Bruthans, a hydrogeologist at Charles University in Prague, who led the research. Rather, erosion is merely a “tool” that works in combination with more fundamental factors embedded in the rock. These factors are stress fields created by the weight of overlying rock. Under low stress, Bruthans says, sandstone erodes easily. But as stress mounts — as parts of a cliff or pillar are eroded away, for example — the sand grains on the surface of the remaining rock lock together and become more resistant to further erosion.” w/ photos + video

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Moon’s Underground Caves Could House Astronauts


“The moon’s more than 200 holes, or ‘lunar pits,’ were discovered by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, reports Motherboard. These pits range in size from about 5 meters in diameter to more than 900 meters, and were likely formed when part of the moon’s surface collapsed over a cave. And the caves themselves may have been formed by ancient lava streams, NASA says. “A habitat placed in a pit — ideally several dozen meters back under an overhang — would provide a very safe location for astronauts: no radiation, no micrometeorites, possibly very little dust, and no wild day-night temperature swings…” w/ photos

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World’s Biggest Picnic Blanket


This summer’s blanket was already pretty big – a little over 3.5 acres – but the designers say this is only four percent of their goal. By the summer of 2040, the blanket will be complete, covering a space that’s the size of 100 football fields, or 132 acres. For comparison, the AIDS Memorial Quilt, which is too large to fit on the Washington Mall, is about 26 acres. They’re gonna need one heck of a potato salad to feed all those picnickers come 2040.” w/ photos

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Squeeze Your Partner’s Hand From The Other Side Of The World


Long distance lovers can speak for hours online using video services like Skype, but holding hands has been impossible, until now… Frebble uses haptic technology, or ‘tactile feedback’ to mimic the sensation of hand-holding through two devices. Once the Frebbles have connected to each other through the internet, when one user squeezes their device, the other user will feel the sensation of their hand being held. They do this thanks to two pressure sensors at the front of each device to register squeezing, two vibration motors on the side to make the sensation feel more real, and one integrated ‘squeeze bar’ to replicate holding hands. A multicolour LED will indicate connection status and when a squeeze is waiting.” w/ photos + video

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Huge Abandoned Island Fortress


“Construction began on the 45-foot-high, hexagonal Fort Jefferson on Garden Key in the late 1840s when U.S. Army strategists became concerned about the security of shipping lanes in the Gulf of Mexico, and it was still unfinished 30 years later. It was briefly used as a prison for Union deserters in the Civil War, but was besieged in later decades by yellow fever, hurricane damage and the fact that its cannons had become obsolete. It was permanently abandoned in 1907.” w/ photos

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