A Simple Explanation That Sniffs Out What Happens During an Allergy Attack

In “%$?# Allergies!“, a recent episode of It’s Okay To Be Smart, host Joe Hanson heartily sniffs out the answers as to what physically happens during an allergy attack, what causes allergies and why allergies seem to be on the rise.

Springtime means the arrival of green grass, bright flowers, and buzzing bees. But for many of us, it’s also about sneezing, watery red eyes, and a runny nose, thanks to allergies. In this week’s video, you’ll learn why we get allergies, how our immune system turns against us to attack pollen and pets, and why allergies seem to be on the rise in developed nations.

A Simple Explanation of Special Relativity and the Twin Paradox

In a recent episode of her series Physics Girl, Dianna Cowern gives a simple explanation of the two postulates of special relativity and the twin paradox. The twin paradox is a thought experiments where one twin stays on Earth and the other takes a journey through space at incredibly high speeds before returning home. Because of special relativity although the twins were born at the same time, after the journey their ages are now years apart.

Artist Creates Beautifully Detailed Illustrations From Intricately Cut Pressed Fern Leaves

East Sussex, England-based artist Helen Ahpornsiri creates beautifully detailed illustrations of animals and trees using pressed fern leaves. She documented the meticulous process of making intricate cuts and constructing animals in two time-lapse videos.

Prints of her work are available for purchase at her Etsy store and more of her work can be seen on her Instagram stream.

A photo posted by helen (@helenahpornsiri) on

Fern leaf sea horse

Fern leaf sea horse

Pressed fern weevil

Pressed fern trees

images via Helen Ahpornsiri

via The Kids Should See This

‘Las Muertas’, A Beautiful Photographic Tribute to the Traditional Mexican Holiday Day of the Dead


Photographer Tim Tadder (previously) has created Las Muertas, a beautiful photographic tribute to La Dia De Los Muertos, the traditional Mexican holiday that celebrates those who have died. Working with artist Krisztianna (previously) and stylist Julia Reeser, Tadder was able to capture the grace and elegance of the four seasons personified, resplendent in the sugar skull style of the holiday.

The Dia De Los Muertos festival is a beautiful display of culture, one that being in southern California is hard to hides its influence on visual arts. In October of 2014, I discovered Krisztianna, a Los Angeles artist that creates incredible Dia De Los Muertos sculptures. Inspired by her sculptures, I approached her about collaborating on a photoshoot. Krisztianna crafted a Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall set and hand painted the models as well as illustrating the portrait designs. For the incredible vintage styling we were fortunate to work with the talented Julia Reeser. The setting was a stormy day over the recently wild fire scorched earth. The combination of color, destruction and foreboding storm makes a truly surreal tribute to the traditions of the Dia De Los Muertos holiday.

Winter Exterior

Spring Exterior

Summer Exterior

images via Tim Tadder

via UFunk

‘The 20th Century Space Opera’, A Huge Oil Painting Tribute to ‘Star Wars’ & Kenner’s Classic Line of Action Figures


San Francisco-based artist Robert Burden has created The 20th Century Space Opera, a beautiful 15-foot by 8-foot oil painting tribute to Star Wars and Kenner‘s classic line of sci-fi action figures. The mural, which features over 150 Star Wars characters, will be on display and available to purchase at Star Wars Celebration 2015 in Anaheim, California from April 16th to 19th. A limited edition of 200 signed and numbered 36″ x 24″ prints are currently available to purchase from Burden’s online store.

Star Wars Vader




images via Robert Burden

via io9 Toybox

Chinese Scientist Works to Save the Ila Pika, An Endangered Species of Tiny Mammals That He First Discovered in 1983

Ili Pika

The Ila pika, a tiny furry mammal that resembles a cross between a rabbit and a teddy bear that lives in the Tianshan mountains of Northwest China, made its first appearance in July 2014 after over 20 years. The species was originally discovered in 1983 by 60-year old conservationist Li Weidong, who named the diminutive animal Ochotona iliensis after his hometown in the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture. Since 1983, however, the Ila pika’s numbers have dwindled dramatically and the species is considered to be endangered according to the IUCN Red List.

Last July, Li spotted and photographed the elusive creature for the first time since the early 1990s. He estimates its numbers have declined by almost 70% since its discovery. “I discovered the species, and I watched as it became endangered,” he told CNN. “If it becomes extinct in front of me, I’ll feel so guilty.”

Li has now made it his life’s mission to try and save the adorable species that he calls the “magic rabbit,” but unfortunately, the animal’s nature makes it difficult.

Ili pikas were originally found at elevations between 3,200 to 3,400 meters, he said. Now they have retreated to elevations of 4,100 meters. “They have nowhere else to retreat,” he added. It’s also a solitary animal and is not as vocal as other pika species, so if predators are near, Ili pikas are not able to alert each other, Li said. Disease may also be a factor in its decline.

Ila Pika

Ili Pika

Conservationist Li

images via CNN

via CNN, Daily Mail, Bored Panda

An Adorable Newborn Hippopotamus Bobs in the Water With Its Mother at the San Diego Zoo

Funani, a mother hippopotamus at the San Diego Zoo, gave birth to a calf on March 23, 2015. Her adorable baby hippo has spent the first week of its life nursing and learning to swim. While zoo staff have been giving Fuanani and her calf plenty of room to bond and nurse, they’ve made sure to share some videos of the baby toddling around in the water.

Mom and baby are doing fine and animal care staff witnessed the calf nursing on several occasions. Funani, who is 30 years old, has raised four other hippos at the San Diego Zoo – three females and most recently a male, named Adhama, born January 26, 2011. The sex of the newest calf has not yet been determined, as keepers and vets have not been able to get a close enough look at the animal.

Hippo calves are estimated to weigh about 50 pounds at birth and they typically nurse for about eight months. The baby will likely stay very close to Funani during the first several weeks.

via Boing Boing