Coast Guard Ship Cuts Through the Icy Hudson River to Provide Safe Water Passage for Boats Carrying Essentials

In “Breaking Ice on the Hudson River“, The New York Times profiles the Sturgeon Bay, a Coast Guard icebreaker ship that has been making its way up and down 120 miles of this winter’s frozen Hudson River in order to provide safe waterways for other boats and ships that are carrying winter essentials for towns and cities along the winding river.

At least once a day lately, the Sturgeon Bay has been crunching and crashing up and down the Hudson, clearing paths through the crystallized expanse so that boats carrying supplies can reach the communities counting on them. Barges on the Hudson transport 70 percent of the home heating oil in the Northeast. In 2014, barges brought 20 million barrels of it northward, as well as 100,000 tons of dry goods, like salt and cement.

Sturgeon Bay

Icy River

Crew 2

Docked

photos via The New York Times

via The Kid Should See This

The Real Story Behind the Fisher Space Pen, A Pen Designed to Work in Microgravity

The first episode of the new series What’s the Story? by the online store Dat Twenty focuses on the real story behind the Fisher space pen. The pen is sometimes cited as an example of government waste, with a story claiming NASA spent millions of dollars developing the pen while the Russian space program simply used pencils in space.

That story isn’t true, and because of the electrical conductivity of pencil graphite and the flammability of wood, pencils are a terrible writing implement for spaceflight. The pens were actually developed by inventor Paul C. Fisher, who later sold them to NASA.

via Digg

Mysterious Centuries-Old Mass Graves Containing 200 Skeletons Discovered Under Paris Supermarket

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photo by Denis Gliksman/Inrap

The Guardian reports that eight mass graves containing the skeletal remains of 200 bodies were recently discovered under a supermarket in Paris. The discovery, at a Monoprix near the center of Paris, occurred as archaeologists surveyed the store’s basement in advance of a construction project. The archaeologists were on site because store managers knew the supermarket was located at the site of Hôpital de la Trinité, a hospital built in 1202, and the discovery of human remains was a possibility. However, it was believed that most of the remains in the hospital cemetery were removed when the hospital building was demolished in 1817–those bones were sent to the famed Catacombs of Paris. The catastrophe that led to the mass deaths is currently unknown, as is the date of the burials, though archaeologists are using DNA testing and carbon dating to find answers.

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photo via Agence France-Presse

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photo via Agence France-Presse

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photo via Agence France-Presse

via The Guardian

’88 Miles Per Hour’, An Art Print Featuring 88 Vehicles That Appeared in the ‘Back to the Future’ Movie Trilogy

88 Miles Per Hour

Toronto, Ontario-based art director Scott Park (previously) has created 88 Miles Per Hour, an art print featuring 88 various vehicles that appeared in the Back to the Future movie trilogy. The fantastic print is available to purchase online from his Society6 store.

In honor of the 30th anniversary year of Back to the Future (and “the future” from BTTF 2), I give you my latest poster: 88 Miles Per Hour – The vehicles of the Back to the Future Trilogy. How many vehicles? Well, to paraphrase the legendary Dr. Emmett Brown: “When this baby gets up to 88 vehicles, you’re going to see so serious obsessive levels of illustration”. Oh. Did I mention that they’re all in order of their appearance in the films. Because they are.

image via Scott Park Illustration

Vince Vaughn and ‘Unfinished Business’ Costars Pose for Generic-Looking Stock Photos to Promote the Film

Business fulfills each and every one of them

Vince Vaughn and his Unfinished Business costars Tom Wilkinson and Dave Franco posed for some generic-looking stock photos to promote the film. The photos show the actors in stereotypical business settings in poses which echo the business themes of Unfinished Business.

Unfinished Business is scheduled to release in theaters on March 6, 2015.

Business team enjoying victory

Successful applauding executives sitting at the table

Nothing left to chance - Business Strategy

images via iStock

via Adweek

A Roundup of Mini-Drones Available in the Laughing Squid Store

Limitless Drone

On February 24, 2015, we announced the launch of the new Laughing Squid Store which features an eclectic mix of awesome gear and gadgets, software, lifestyle products, web services, designer assets, eLearning services, freebies, and much more great stuff at a deep discount. With that, we will be writing a weekly roundup blog post highlighting items in the store as well as the occasional blog post about individual items in the store.

This week our focus is on mini-drones; flying remote-controlled quadcopters that range from beginner to expert, tiny to workhorse, and from extremely affordable to investment worthy.

Faze Bantam Drone
Faze Mini-Drone
The Faze Bantum Drone is a tiny quadcopter that is light and nimble, but makes up for its diminutive size with a host of features including 6 LED lights and affordable price.

The Faze, weighing in at just 12.2 grams, is small in size but big in features. Auto-flip with the switch of a button and pull-off incognito maneuvers through even the smallest and darkest of spaces with its 6 LED lights.

Extreme Micro-Drone 2.0 w/ Camera
Extreme Microdrone

The Extreme Microdrone 2.0 is another small quadcopter that’s equipped with a built-in camera that documents whatever it sees.

The Micro Drone 2.0 is equipped with an aerial camera so you can capture photos and video while flipping through the skies. This crazy maneuvering remote-controlled Micro Drone 2.0 can do it all!

Blade Pico Double-Flip Drone
Pico Flip
Blade Pico Double-Flip Drone is another extremely lightweight nimble drone that comes with SAFE stabilization technology.

Weighing in at just 8 grams, the Blade ‘Pico’ QX is the smallest drone Blade has ever released, and comes equipped with SAFE® (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) technology to make flying easier for newer pilots. Capable of single and double flips, and adorned with prop guards to minimize the effects of collisions, this drone starts fun and stays fun.

Limited-Edition ‘Code Black’ HD-Camera Drone
Limited-Edition 'Code Black' HD-Camera Drone
The Limited-Edition ‘Code Black’ HD-Camera Drone is a petite and sleek beauty of a quadcopter that’s perfect for the beginner who likes a little style with their technology.

This powerful little drone is the size of your palm, and uses 6-axis gyro technology for an extremely smooth flight. With a flight time of about 10 minutes, it’s a great introductory drone for anyone looking to dominate the sky.

3DRobotics IRIS+ Super Drone
IRIS Drone

3DRobotics IRIS+ Super Drone is a multicopter backed by Sir Richard Branson and its “Follow Me” technology allows it to follow and film you with any GPS enabled Android-device.

The IRIS+ personal drone is all you need to take to the skies and soar through the sky. Fy manually using the included controller or use 3DR’s groundbreaking autopilot technology to let IRIS+ fly on on its own.

3DRobotics X8+ Workhorse Drone
Limitless Drone
The 3DRobotics X8+ Workhorse Drone is a beautifully sturdy copter, also with Follow Me technology, that can take on a variety of tasks while looking sleek and sophisticated in the sky.

This aerial workhorse has limitless potential to fulfill tasks beyond the reach of your average drone: from carrying a GoPro (or any personal camera) to generating highly accurate maps to delivering small goods.

These drones and other cool stuff are available at the Laughing Squid store for a limited time, so get it while the getting’s good.

‘Coen Country’, A Short Video Essay Exploring the Various Recurring Themes in the Films From the Coen Brothers

Coen Country” is a short video essay created by Irish broadcaster Steven Benedict that explores the various recurring themes in films from Joel and Ethan Coen over the course of both of their impressive movie-making careers.

While other essays have assembled several recurring visual tropes: elevators, dogs, dream sequences, bathrooms etc., this essay has the characters talk to one another across the films so we can more clearly hear the Coens’ dominant concerns: identity, miscommunication and morality. Taken as a trinity, these elements indicate that the Coens’ true subject is the search for value in a random and amoral universe.

via The Awesomer

Scientists Capture the First Microscopy Images of Ultra-Small Bacteria Believed to Be the Smallest Life Possible

ultra-small bacteria

Scientists from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley have captured the first detailed microscopy images of ultra-small bacteria believed to be some of the smallest life possible. The bacteria are so small that about 150,000 of them could fit on the tip of a human hair.

Samples of groundwater were collected and filtered before being flash frozen for study. The team then used 2-D and 3-D cryogenic transmission electron microscopy to analyze the samples, capturing the first images of the incredible small cells. Little is understood about the ultra-small bacteria, but the ability to capture images of them will likely lead to further study.

ultra-small bacteria 2

images via Berkeley Lab

via Phys.org, Engadget

Marvel’s Team of Superheroes Try to End Ultron’s Path of Destruction in a New Trailer for ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

Marvel has released their third full-length trailer (previously) for Avengers: Age of Ultron, the upcoming sequel to the 2012 superhero film The Avengers. The new trailer features Marvel’s team of mighty superheroes working side-by-side to end Ultron‘s murderous path of destruction on Earth. As a bonus, Marvel also give us a quick look at Vision, a powerful android and “son” of Ultron portrayed by Paul Bettany.

With S.H.I.E.L.D. destroyed and the Avengers needing a hiatus from stopping threats, Tony Stark attempts to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program with Ultron, a self-aware, self-teaching, artificial intelligence. However, his plan backfires when Ultron decides that humans are the main enemy and sets out to eradicate them from Earth, and it is up to Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, along with support from Nick Fury and Maria Hill, to stop him from enacting his plans. Along the way, the Avengers encounter the powerful twins, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, as well as the familiar Vision.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

image via Avengers