Mental Floss Explains Why Teeth Chatter When People Get Cold

Host Craig Benzine explains why teeth chatter when people get cold in a recent episode of the Mental Floss video series “The Big Question.” Teeth chattering is caused by the “shivering center” of the brain’s hypothalamus, and is just one of the body’s many responses to the cold.

Incredible Light Installations From the 2014 Fête des Lumières in Lyon, France

2014 Lyon Festival of Lights
photo by Muriel Chaulet

At the 2014 Fête des Lumières, or Festival of Lights (previously) in Lyon, France earlier this month, 75 fantastic light installations were displayed throughout the city. The festival has existed in its modern form–a 4-day citywide celebration of lights and lighting art–since 1989. Among this year’s most striking installations: Laniakea, a constellation of thousands of illuminated globes by artists Simon Milleret-Godet and Jérôme Donna, and Color or Not, a vibrant projection mapping installation on the facade of Cathedral Saint-Jean created by Yves Moreaux. Cool Hunting has more on the 2014 Fête des Lumières.

2014 Lyon Festival of Lights
photo by Nara Shin

2014 Lyon Festival of Lights
photo by Muriel Chaulet

2014 Lyon Festival of Lights
photo by Nara Shin

2014 Lyon Festival of Lights
photo by Nara Shin

via Cool Hunting, Archie McPhee’s Endless Geyser of Awesome

CollegeHumor Clears Up a Series of Things People Think Are True, But Are Not

In the CollegeHumor video “13 Things You Think Are True, But Aren’t” comedian Adam Conover clears up a series of things people commonly believe are true, but are in fact false. Conover explains things like the fact that George Washington did not have wooden teeth, Napoleon Bonaparte wasn’t short, and there is no medical reason to drink eight glasses of water per day.

Man Without Arms Operates the First Set of Modular Prosthetic Limbs That Move Independently With His Thoughts

Leslie (“Les”) Baugh, a former electrician in Colorado, who lost both of his arms during an accident 40 years ago, was the first person ever to wear and operate a set of prosthetic limbs that operate bilaterally with his thoughts. The unique limbs were created by a team at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), who fitted Les for the brace and socket before having him work with a virtual reality system (VRS). The VRS then learned Les’ movements and applied the information to the prosthetics so that they would move with intuitive thought control. Mike McLoughlin of APL’s Revolutionizing Prosthetics looks at this history-making event as the first step in advancing the progress on prosthetic limbs.

I think we’re just getting started at this point. It’s like the early days of the internet, there’s just a tremendous amount of potential ahead of us and we just started down this road and I think the next 5, 10 years are going to bring some really phenomenal advancements.

Once the limbs were in place, the team found that Les adapted beautifully to them.

We expected him to exceed performance compared to what he might achieve with conventional systems, but the speed with which he learned motions and the number of motions he was able to control in such a short period of time was far beyond expectation. …What really was amazing, and was another major milestone with MPL control, was his ability to control a combination of motions across both arms at the same time. This was a first for simultaneous bimanual control.

Simply amazing.

via Josh Ellingson

Austrian Actor Christoph Waltz Explains the Krampus Christmas Demon to Jimmy Fallon on ‘The Tonight Show’

Austrian actor Christoph Waltz explains Krampus, the fearsome holiday demon of European Christmas tradition, to Jimmy Fallon in a clip from the December 16, 2014 episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Krampus
Krampus riding a flaming cart. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Cats, Dogs, and Birds Are Fooled Into Thinking the Images of Other Animals on an HD Television Are Real

In their latest commercial, LG Corp demonstrated the clarity of their new 4K TV by making videos that mirrored the room’s environment and showed different animals making their way across and around the screen. The video was then shown individually to cats, dogs, and birds who all appeared to be fooled into thinking that the image on the television was real.

The Internet is full of videos of pets playing with iPad games and howling to music, but watching our furry friends get fooled by a TV with resolution so clear they think whatever is on the screen is actually in the room can be pretty adorable!

submitted via Laughing Squid Tips

‘The Sensational December Machine’, An Interactive Story About an Inventor and Her New Machine

thesensationaldecembermachine

The Sensational December Machine is an interactive story by developer Simogo about an inventor and her new machine. Simogo is the developer behind popular games DEVICE 6, The Sailor’s Dream, and Year Walk. The story is available for free on PC and Mac.

It features hand-drawn art and text, and dynamic music (which evolves with the story) by Daniel Olsén. We hope you’ll snuggle up with this little seasonal, and very three-dimensional, tale in fullscreen mode. Perhaps with some good headphones, and a warm drink by your side.

The Sensational December Machine

The Sensational December Machine

The Sensational December Machine

images via Simogo

Comedian Jenny Slate Sings ‘Landslide’ by Fleetwood Mac as Her Character Marcel the Shell

During a recent appearance on Conan, comedian Jenny Slate performed a portion of the Fleetwood Mac song “Landslide” in the voice of her character Marcel the Shell (previously). Marcel has appeared in a series of short popular films by director Dean Fleischer-Camp.

For comparison, here is Fleetwood Mac performing the song during a 1997 concert, and the original Marcel the Shell short film.

AbilityList, A Multi-Platform Website That Gives People With Disabilities Access to Local Resources and Each Other

AbilityList is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to creating a single point-of-service multi-platform website that connects Americans with disabilities with the local services, resources and community they need. Co-founders Theresa Previ, Andrew Horn and Andrew Zitek are currently seeking funding through an Indigogo campaign to bring their vision to life.

The way things are now, searching for disability resources is a difficult and incomplete practice that produces uninspiring results leaving people feeling disconnected. This disconnect can lead to the unnecessary isolation of people with disabilities. We are looking to change that. AbilityList aims to be a “one stop shop” directory of disability resources including automatic updates and an engaged community of users who connect and share the helpful things they know about. The more money we raise the faster we can begin to expand into other cities and even beyond our website. We’re launching in New York City first and once we’ve worked out the kinks, we will expand into every city in the country and eventually around the globe.

AbilityList

‘NES My Life’, T-Shirt Designs That Depict Everyday Real-Life Challenges as Classic 8-Bit Nintendo Video Games

The Internet
The Internet

NES My Life is a series of t-shirt designs by Jeremy Kalgreen of Amorphia Apparel (previously) that depict everyday real-life challenges as classic 8-bit Nintendo video games. All twelve of his clever t-shirt designs are available to purchase online from Kalgreen’s Amorphia Apparel store.

Commute
Commute

Newborn
Newborn

Right Wing Relative
Right-Wing Relative

Lost Remote
Lost Remote

Job Hunt
Job Hunt

images via Amorphia Apparel

submitted via Laughing Squid Tips