The Sea Of Orange Happiness!


“Fifteen miles west of the city of Lancaster, in Los Angeles County, California is Antelope Valley, a dry and somewhat desolate looking place – it is after all the western tip of the Mojave Desert. Yet depending on the rainfall, between mid-February through mid-May something quite extraordinary happens. This otherwise bleak wilderness springs in to life and Californian poppies bloom in their millions. The landscape becomes awash with vivid yellows and vibrant oranges. It is a fantastic hidden treasure of California.” w/ photos

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China’s Dwarf Village


“Yangsi, a remote village in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, has baffling scientists for decades. Around 40 percent of its inhabitants are several heads shorter than the average human being. 36 of the village’s 80 residents are dwarfs – the tallest one is about 3 ft. 10 inches tall and the shortest, 2 ft. 1 inch. That’s too large a percentage to be categorized as random occurrence, but so far no one has been able to provide a better explanation.” w/ photos + video

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Spotted Lake Of Osoyoos


“A short ride northwest of the small Canadian town of Osoyoos there is a body of water which has come to be known in English as Spotted Lake. It is believed to be the most mineralized lake on the planet with 365 ‘circles’ – one for each day of the year – in a myriad of shapes, sizes and depths. It is an extraordinary natural phenomenon.” w/ photos

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Rise Of Robot Bosses?


“The idea that robots and algorithms will take jobs is a common concern about the future. As Bill Gates argued earlier this year: “20 years from now, labor demand for lots of skill sets will be substantially lower.” Automation has already removed the need for humans in many workplaces, from building cars in factories to taking bookings in call centers. And scientists at Birmingham University in the UK are testing whether an autonomous security guard can do a real job in a working office. However, one question rarely asked is: what would it be like to work for a machine? After all, a mixture of humans and machines is a more likely scenario for future workplaces.” w/ photos

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Underground Cave Trampolines


Giant trampolines inside a mammoth slate quarry cavern are the latest tourist attraction tipped to bring thousands of thrill seeking tourists to the region. Bounce Below will open next month at Llechwedd in Blaenau Ffestiniog – the world’s first facility of this kind. The caverns, twice the size of St Paul’s Cathedral, will be lit up in a light show while visitors bounce on giant trampolines linked by a 60ft long slide. People will be delivered to the deep attraction by train.” w/ photos

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Insects With Tiny Glasses!


Neuroscientists are giving praying mantises 3D glasses, in research that could help give robots 3D vision. There are many things about this idea that I love, first and foremost that A) the little dudes look rad in their chill shades, and B) it’s actually a worthwhile use of 3D glasses, albeit teensy tiny insect ones. 3D almost always seems to be more of a gimmick than a functional addition, but there are serious reasons behind the Newcastle University team’s project to kit out praying mantises with mini 3D specs in a mini insect cinema. Project leader Dr Jenny Read from the university’s Institute of Neuroscience spoke to me from Japan, where she was visiting another praying mantis lab, and told me that these particular insects are of great interest to our understanding of stereo vision—i.e., the ability to see in 3D.” w/ photos + video

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Hidden In Plain Sight


Now here’s a room with many views. At Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park in Scotland, you might come across this mirrored lookout blending into the landscape. The walls of mirrors are both framing device and invisibility cloak, reflecting an utterly unique view of the surrounding loch and trees.” w/ photos

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