Science Friday Explains Myco-fluidics and the ‘Fungal Freeways’ Fungi Use to Transport Water

A recent video by Science Friday explains the study of myco-fluidics and the “fungal freeways” fungi use to transport water within themselves. The video features Mark Roper, an assistant professor of mathematics at UCLA, explaining his work studying the biology of fungi and how that work can be applied to solve organizational problems for humans.

Just as humans utilize roads and freeways to move cars and resources around our cities, fungus utilize fluid networks to move nutrients and nuclei through their cells. Dr. Marcus Roper of UCLA explains how these networks function with remarkable efficiency and prevent microscopic traffic jams.

‘Carnivora Gardinum’, A Short Time-Lapse Film That Captures the Unexpected Elegance of Carnivorous Plants

Filmmaker Chris Field has created Carnivora Gardinum, a beautiful time-lapse film that captures the unexpected elegance and grace of carnivorous plants as they trap their prey. While the project started out as a labor of love, Chris was able to turn the technology he was building into a business.

The completed Biolapse film of carnivorous plants. Over a year of effort, with 107 days of straight shooting with 2 cameras. I started out building timelapse equipment so I could go do timelapse. Then people started giving me money to build them systems. Eventually it turned into a business, The Chronos Project LLC. Finally I have had time to start working on my own timelapse work. I have decided to pull myself out of the world and into the studio for some areas of timelapse photography that are greatly under explored.

Chris has also shared some behind-the-scenes footage from the film.

via Vimeo Staff Picks, The Atlantic

Accursed Cthulhumas Cookies for a Singularly Decadent Holiday

Cthulhumas cookies

After the horrific construction of her Cthulhumas Wreath Creature, Geyser of Awesome co-editor Maika Keuben baked a batch of adorably accursed Cthulhumas cookies.

At first it just sounded like wind in the trees, but beneath that there’s the guttural whisper of an ancient voice saying “Into the kitchen with you, there’s unspeakable baking to be done.” Now my throat is sore from the endless chanting, my clothing and hair covered in flour, sugar, slime and soot (don’t ask), and I can’t remember the last time I slept through the night, but I wouldn’t dare complain. The Great Old Ones demanded Cthulhumas cookies, so cookies I did make. So very many cookies.

Cthulhumas cookies

Cthulhumas cookies

Cthulhumas cookies

images via Imgur

submitted via Laughing Squid Tips

An Experiment Proving People Can Get Drunk Just by Eating Food Cooked With Alcohol

In the video “How to Get Drunk by Eating Food,” New Scientist deputy editor Graham Lawton set out to disprove the common myth that alcohol is burned off entirely in the cooking process, so eating food can not get a person drunk. To test this, Lawton ate several foods cooked with alcohol and measured his blood alcohol content with a breathalyzer after each course. The results showed that just by eating food cooked with alcohol a person can raise their blood alcohol content well over the legal limit to operate a car.

Lawton describes the myth and the science behind it in greater detail in an accompanying article on the subject.

Joe Cocker OBE (1944-2014), A Unique Singer Known For His Soulful Voice and Passionate Stage Presence

Joe Cocker 2010

John Robert “Joe” Cocker OBE, the English singer known for his soulful voice and passionate stage presence while performing, sadly died on December 22, 2014 from the ravages of lung cancer at his home in Crawford, Colorado. He was 70 years old.

Sir Paul McCartney, whose songs Joe covered during the course of his career, paid loving tribute his old friend.

It’s really sad to hear about Joe’s passing. He was a lovely northern lad who I loved a lot and, like many people, I loved his singing I was especially pleased when he decided to cover With A Little Help From My Friends and I remember him and (producer) Denny Cordell coming round to the studio in Savile Row and playing me what they’d recorded and it was just mind-blowing, totally turned the song into a soul anthem and I was forever grateful for him for doing that. I knew him through the years as a good mate and I was so sad to hear that he had been ill and really sad to hear today that he had passed away. He was a great guy, a lovely guy who brought so much to the world and we’ll all miss him.

Well said, Sir Paul. Rest in peace, Joe. We will miss your beautiful voice indeed.

Joe Cocker_1970

images via Joe Cocker, Wikipedia

via The New York Times

How to Make a Pair of Functional Pliers From a Solid Block of Wood in Ten Cuts

In a fascinating short video, woodworker David Warther demonstrates how to make a pair of functional wooden pliers from a small block of wood in just 10 cuts. The wooden pliers are given away to children who visit the Warther Museum, a Dover, Ohio institution dedicated to David Warther’s father, master woodworker Ernest “Mooney” Warther.

via reddit

‘Neighbors’, A Web Series by Comedian Jackie Jennings About Annoying Neighbors in an Apartment Building

Neighbors is a web series by comedian Jackie Jennings about a series of annoying neighbors knocking on the door of her apartment. Jennings deals with neighbors who share garbage, overshare their evening plans, and even one who doesn’t know the differences between babies and cats.

via Boing Boing

Chinese Artist Li Hongbo Cuts Beautiful Metal Art in the Blades of Knives

Knife Blade Art by Li Hongbo

Chinese artist Li Hongbo (previously) cuts animals, figures, and scenes directly into knife blades in his latest sculpture series. In some pieces, the sculptural forms are cut out of the blades and removed, in others, they are cut and popped up, like pop-up book art. Hongbo’s knives vary in scale from life-size Chinese cooking knives to monumental knives some 6.5 feet in length. The series was recently on display at “Shadow of Knives,” Hongbo’s solo show at Contemporary by Angela Li gallery in Hong Kong.

The initial concept of this metal series came to Li back in 2007, the same time as he developed his extremely successful expandable paper sculptures series, during his studies at Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts. ”Shadow of Knives” is a warning he gives the society – human beings will eventually destroy themselves because of their gluttony and their abuse of animals.

Knife Blade Art by Li Hongbo

Knife Blade Art by Li Hongbo

Knife Blade Art by Li Hongbo

Knife Blade Art by Li Hongbo

photos via Contemporary by Angela Li


A Series of Festive Facts About Holiday Songs

Mental Floss guest host Mike Rugnetta, traditionally associated with PBS Idea Channel, shared a series of facts about holiday songs in the latest episode of List Show. For example, the song “Up on the House Top” was the first to mention Santa Claus.

Esther the Wonder Pig, Over 650 Pounds of Lovable Porcine Inspiration Who Forever Changed the Lives of Two Men

In 2012, two Canadian men named Steven and Derek adopted a tiny female pig whom they they were told was a “micro-pig” and named her Esther the Wonder Pig. But when Esther started getting bigger and bigger and the two men realized that they had been duped, it was too late. Both of them, along with the rest of the family, fell in love with the giant porcine, became vegan out of respect to Esther and even raised funds to build a farm in order to accommodate her enormous girth, as well as providing a home for other pigs.

Esther is a pig, that’s really all we know since she was misrepresented as a “micro-pig”. She was born in Summer of 2012 to what we believe was a commercial farm litter. She was somehow removed, perhaps because she was a runt?, and she found her way to us. This isn’t Esther’s fault, she didn’t ask for the life she was given. We have the chance to provide her with the life she deserves, not the one she was bred for. What kind of people would we be to deny her that? She deserves everything we can ever give her.

Esther in Bed

Esther Outside

Esther and Friends

Sleepy Esther

Daddy's Little Girl

Esther the Wonder Pig Inside

images via Esther the Wonder Pig

via Bored Panda