China may have managed to launch its first space station module flawlessly, but it appeared to flub the soundtrack.
State broadcaster CCTV and the Chinese space agency collaborated on a short video to mark the liftoff of Chinas unmanned Tiangong 1 space lab Thursday night Sept. 29, The Guardian newspaper reports. The 98-second video gives an animated look at the launch and Tiangong 1s mission — all set, puzzlingly, to an instrumental version of “America the Beautiful.”
“We saw a big ball of fire rushing across the sky and a little spark came off of it,” recalls Tulsan Lottie Williams…
“I felt a little tap on the back of my left shoulder and I thought someone was just trying to get my attention, and I knew everybody else that I walked with were nowhere near me to be doing that,” says Williams. “I turned around and looked back because you could hear it hit the ground.”
via FOX23 News
It turned out to be a small piece of the second stage of a Delta II booster re-entering the atmosphere. There’s lots more at the link. She is the only person ever to be hit by a piece of re-entering debris.
- What It Feels Like To Get Hit By Falling Space Junk [Science] (gizmodo.com)
- What happens when you get hit by space junk (news.cnet.com)
Anyone with a little time to kill on the way to or from Incheon airport should head to Geokkuro Jip “Upside down house” for an unusual photo op.
This curious upside down house was built by its owner and former clothing designer, 51-year-old Jeon Yong-sun, who designed the house himself.
Halloween is still more than one month away but archeologists working in Ireland have uncovered a couple of 8th century human skeletons that point to a ghoulish story.
The skeletons, dug up between 2005 and 2009 at Kilteasheen, near Loch Key in Ireland, were found with stones stuck into their mouths. Researchers examining the remains suggest this may have been related to a belief among the locals that this practice would prevent the dead from returning to walk the Earth as zombies.
More via CBS News.
Although it is just probably another case of hydrocephalus, residents of Santa Cruz El Chol in Guatemala are convinced that beings from outer space should be blamed for the newborn freak of the nature – piglet with human head.Locals claim strange bright lights were hovering in the sky on the night of its birth, which sounds interesting, but still this abnormality may not be extraterrestrial deed.
- Aliens Blamed for Newborn Pig With Human Head (Video) (dailypicksandflicks.com)
- Alien Monster Pig Born In Guatemala: Photos Of The Visitation (realthinktank.com)
- Piglet Born with Humanoid Face (livescience.com)
This is definitely one of the strangest natural phenomenon I’ve ever read about.Just imagine dumping enough dish-washing liquid into the ocean to turn all the waves into light and fluffy soap bubbles that are soft enough to blow out of your hand into the air…Well, that’s basically what happened off the coast of Yamba in New South Wales!
More via One Man’s Blog.
Have you ever stopped to contemplate the existence of rubber barf? It opens up enough philosophical quandaries to make your head spin. Who would ever think of such a thing? Why would he feel the need to manufacture it?
Fortunately, Stan and Mardi Timm, the foremost experts on famed novelty company H. Fishlove & Co., have the answers to these vexing questions. The couple even got a personal tour of the factory where “Whoops,” the original fake vomit, is still churned out.
- Scott Beale: An Inside Look at The Fake Barf Industry (laughingsquid.com)
- The Inside Scoop On The Fake Barf Industry (presurfer.blogspot.com)
- Fake Vomit: The Real Story (PHOTOS) (huffingtonpost.com)
Tens of thousands of people pelted each other with 120 tons of ripe tomatoes Wednesday in an annual battle that left the eastern Spanish town of Bunol awash in red pulp.
Bunol’s town hall estimated that around 40,000 people, including many tourists, took part in the hour-long street fight known as the “Tomatina,” an event that has its roots in a food fight between childhood friends back in 1945.
Everyone knows the potential destructive power of hurricanes, but few people are aware that storms like Hurricane Irene encourage growth of psychedelic mushrooms.Yes, it sounds trippy, but one of the strange aftermaths of a hurricane is an increased amount of mushrooms popping up — especially the psilocybin — or “magic” kind — the ones that cause hallucinations.
via Magic Mushrooms.
- A Technicolor Lining To The Storm? (andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)
So you’ve blinged up your neck, decorated your ears and added horns to your forehead okay, maybe not the last one. Whats next?
Your eyeballs, thats what. A company is offering contact lenses fitted with real diamonds and gold that you position over the most delicate organ of the human body. No sweat.Thats right, 18 diamonds studded onto an 18-carat gold plate on a special lens is yours for just $15,000 (£9,000.)
via ShortList Magazine.
- Contact Lenses Made from Diamonds & Gold Are Too Much Bling [Dumb] (gizmodo.com)
- Gold Plated, Diamond Encrusted Contact Lenses (presurfer.blogspot.com)
When a cockroach wants to shake a tail feather, what music does it prefer? Apparently, Lady Gaga.
This summer, four teenagers in an engineering program at New York’s Cooper Union were studying the movement of roaches by hooking them up to electrodes and then exposing them to electric pulses. But soon the roaches got used to the pulses and stopped moving about when they started. Desperate to find a way to get the roaches moving, the guys decided to try playing music for them. They tried Weezer, but got no response from the bugs. Ditto for heavy metal rockers Avenged Sevenfold.
But when they started playing Lady Gaga—well, the roaches responded immediately, and never stopped their flapping.
The most massive fruiting body of any fungus yet documented has been discovered growing on the underside of a tree in China.
The fruiting body, which is equivalent to the mushrooms produced by other fungi species, is up to 10m long, 80cm wide and weighs half a tonne.
That shatters the record held previously by a fungus growing in Kew Gardens in the UK.
via BBC Nature
- China’s giant fungus (bbc.co.uk)
Doctors were baffled when a British man told them, “I can hear my eyeballs moving”.
But they finally diagnosed that Stephen Mabbutt had a rare ear condition in which sounds inside the body are heard very loudly, The Sun reported.
Mr Mabbutt, 57, could also hear his heart beating – and when he chewed food, the noise was deafening to him.
A South African man awoke to find himself in a morgue fridge – nearly a day after his family thought he had died, a health official said Monday.Health department spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said the man awoke Sunday afternoon, 21 hours after his family called in an undertaker who sent him to the morgue after an asthma attack.
- South African man thought to be dead wakes after 21 hours in morgue fridge (guardian.co.uk
- South African ‘Dead’ Man Wakes Up Alive in Morgue – ABC News (news.google.com)
Burke Kenny said it’s not unusual to notice people staring at his chest.”I have to say, ‘I’m up here,” ‘ he said, pointing to his face. “Just like a girl.”
Of course, they’re probably not really staring at his chest so much as they’re looking at what’s covering it: an amazingly full and curly brunet beard with auburn undertones that contrast with the straight black hair on his head.
More via Seattle Times Newspaper
Like most of us, Michael Staley didn’t much care for getting into his hot car after it baked for hours in a shade-less parking lot.Unlike most of us, he created his own shade.
The good burghers of the Icelandic town of Bolungarvik have intervened to prevent further action by elves who are evidently unhappy they weren’t consulted about the construction of an anti-avalanche barrier.
Bolungarvik recently suffered a bombardment of rocks during “routine dynamiting” on the barrier, with fist-sized missiles causing damage to several properties.
This led locals to suspect the huldufólk (hidden people) had finally got a bit miffed with civil engineering projects, including the construction last year of a road tunnel through a hill.
via The Register
- Icelandic Town Discovers Source of Construction Problems – Angry Elves (jonathanturley.org)
- Icelandic municipal government hopes songs will pacify elves disgruntled by highway construction (josephfclark.wordpress.com)
Ron Gordon would like you to take a moment or three to think about what an odd day (last) Saturday (was).
Why? Because 7/9/11 is one of only six dates this century that features three consecutive odd numbers. Next up, 9/11/13.
The human navel should be designated as a bacterial nature reserve, it seems. The first round of DNA results from the Belly Button Biodiversity project are in, and the 95 samples that have so far been analysed have turned up a whopping total of more than 1400 bacterial strains. In 662 cases, the microbes could not even be classified to family, “which strongly suggests that they are new to science”, says team leader Jiri Hulcr of North Carolina State University in Raleigh.
- OMG: You Won’t Believe What’s Living in Your Belly Button (blippitt.com)
- Discovering my microbiome: “You, my friend, are a wonderland” (3quarksdaily.com)
Taisto Miettinen and Kristiina Haapanen defended their title in front of 6,500 spectators who turned out to watch the celebrated event in Sonkajarvi.
The 46-year-old lawyer, his partner’s legs wrapped around his head, sprinted 253 metres, leaping hurdles and negotiating a water pool along the way, all in a time of one minute.