San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge Light Installation ‘The Bay Lights’ to Become a Permanent Installation

The Bay Lights

Today Illuminate the Arts, the organization that produced The Bay Lights (previously), a large-scale LED installation by Leo Villareal currently on the San Francisco—Oakland Bay Bridge, announced that it has raised enough money to make the work a permanent installation. The group has raised the $4 million necessary to upgrade and reinstall the work in 2016, after its scheduled removal in 2015 to make way for bridge maintenance. Upon its reinstallation, the State of California has agreed to take ownership of The Bay Lights and provide for its maintenance in future years. It is expected to be on display through 2026 at the least.

photo by Scott Beale

via The New York Times, Burning Blog

‘Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea’, A Documentary About the Curious Tale of California’s Salton Sea

Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea is a documentary about the strange case of the Salton Sea, a manmade lake in the California desert that was once a tourist resort destination, but is now a much-diminished salt lake notorious for its brackish water and rank odor. Directed by filmmakers Chris Metzler and Jeff Springer, the 2006 documentary tells the tale of the lake, from its accidental creation in 1905, through its brief success as a resort destination in the 1950s, to its subsequent decline. The film also includes interviews with some of the lake’s few remaining residents–a remarkably resilient community of artists, eccentrics, and recluses. The documentary was selected for Truly CA, a KQED series that showcases independent documentaries about California. Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea can be streamed in its entirety through the KQED Arts YouTube channel.

Once known as the California Riviera, the Salton Sea is now called one of America’s worst ecological disasters: a fetid, stagnant, salty lake, coughing up dead fish and birds by the thousands. Yet a few hardy eccentrics hang on to hope, including a roadside nudist waving at passing European tourists, a man building a religious mountain out of mud and paint, beer-loving Hungarian Revolutionary Hunky Daddy, and the real-estate Ronald McDonald known simply as The Landman. Through their perceptions and misperceptions, the strange history and unexpected beauty of the Salton Sea is revealed.

Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea

image via Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea

JetBlue Employee Digitally Clones Himself to Fill All 100 Seats in an Airliner in Creative Composite Photo

100 Tims on a Plane by Timothy LaBranche

Back in October, photographer and JetBlue employee Timothy LaBranche created a digital composite photo in which “100 Tims” occupy all 100 seats of a JetBlue Embraer 190 aircraft. To create the image, LaBranche photographed himself in each of the aircraft’s seats–a one-hour process that he accomplished with the aid of the Wi-Fi remote function of his Canon 6D. And if you’re wondering–he did the photo shoot in his off hours.

photo by Timothy LaBranche

via PetaPixel

Mental Floss Shares the Surprising and Festive Origins of Holiday Traditions

In a recent episode of the Mental Floss series List Showhost John Green shares the festive origins of some holiday traditions. A few of the more surprising origins include how Christmas Eve became the busiest night of the year for KFC restaurants in Japan, the fact that the celebration of Festivus predates its inclusion in an episode of the television show Seinfeld, and the persistent lie of the Christmas pickle.

Compound Interest Explains Why a Love of Brussels Sprouts May Be Genetic

Brussels sprouts

UK chemistry teacher Andy Brunning of Compound Interest explains the possible genetic basis for people’s appreciation of the taste of Brussels sprouts.

Sulforaphane, a compound found in Brussels sprouts, was featured in the 2014 Chemistry Advent Calendar.

There’s one vegetable at the Christmas dinner table that’s always bound to elicit strong and contrary opinions: brussels sprouts. Much like marmite, they seem to conjure up a ‘love it or hate it’ sentiment; however, if you fall into the latter camp, there may actually be a chemical and genetic reason why you can’t stand the taste.

Brunning’s book, Compound Interest: The Curious Chemistry of Food and Drink, is scheduled to be released next year and is available for preorder.

image via Compound Interest

MinutePhysics Explains Why Driving Backwards Is Harder Than Driving Forwards

Host Henry Reich explains why driving backwards is harder than driving forwards in a recent episode of MinutePhysics. The challenge in driving backward is due to the fact that when moving forward, the rear wheels follow the direction of the front wheels, but when driving in reverse, the rear wheels veer away from the direction of the front wheels, needing constant correction from the driver. Reich compares the action to the difference between dangling a pencil vertically and trying to balance the same pencil on its point.

Delightfully Surreal Paintings of Plaid Animals by Sean Landers

Surreal Plaid Animal Paintings by Sean Landers

Animals are covered in plaid patterns in this recent series of delightfully surreal paintings by artist Sean Landers. The paintings (some of which are quite large) are currently on display at Landers’ solo exhibition, “Sean Landers: North American Mammals” at Petzel Gallery in New York City through December 20, 2014. For more of Landers’ plaid animals, check out his work gallery (scroll all the way to the right).

Surreal Plaid Animal Paintings by Sean Landers

Surreal Plaid Animal Paintings by Sean Landers

Surreal Plaid Animal Paintings by Sean Landers

Surreal Plaid Animal Paintings by Sean Landers

Surreal Plaid Animal Paintings by Sean Landers

photos via Petzel Gallery

via Contemporary Art Daily, This Isn’t Happiness

SciShow Explains the Science Behind the Ups and Downs of Air Turbulence

In a recent episode of SciShow, host Hank Green explains the science behind the ups and down of air turbulence. The episode talks about the different types and sources of turbulence that planes can experience, or even cause, during flight.

Ever wonder why sometimes the airplane you’re flying on decides to lurch suddenly and cause your little baggie of peanuts to spill all over the place? Join Hank on SciShow today as he explores the in and outs and the ups and downs of turbulence.

Famous Self-Portrait Paintings Are Reimagined as Selfies in Clever Samsung Camera Ads

Famous Self-Portraits As Selfies

In these clever ads for the Samsung NX mini camera, classic self-portrait paintings are reimagined as selfies. The campaign depicts artists Vincent van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, and Albrecht Dürer. The campaign was created by ad agency Leo Burnett Switzerland.

Famous Self-Portraits As Selfies

Famous Self-Portraits As Selfies

images via Samsung

via Ads of the World,, PetaPixel

Aaron Carroll of Healthcare Triage Debunks Common Myths About Catching a Cold That Are Often Mistaken as Fact

Aaron Carroll of Healthcare Triage debunks many of the common myths about catching a cold that many have mistaken as fact. Some of the myths include the ideas that weather, temperature, going outside with a wet head, and drinking alcohol will cause a cold. Using a very direct, plain language style, Aaron cites studies that he admits are old and somewhat disgusting, but valid nonetheless.

Yeah the older studies are older, but they’re exactly how you’d design a trial if you want to test this hypothesis. Look, I don’t know who’d volunteer to have mucous put in their nose, but they went ahead and did it. Let’s take their work and accept it.