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Earworm Indian PSA warns against street-shitting
09.29.2017
07:23 am
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I had no idea that just dropping a deuce in the streets was a thing in India, and I probably wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t read the statistics on UNICEF’s “Poo2Loo” website.

According to UNICEF’s figures, about half the population of India uses toilets, with “more than 620 million still defecating in the open.” Almost 70 percent of the population in rural India have no access to toilets.

That’s half the population dumping over 65 million kilos of poo out there every day. If this poo continues to be let loose on us, there will be no escaping the stench of life threating infections, diseases, and epidemics.

Apparently, the amount of human excrement that people come into direct contact is causing a public health crisis, and in an effort to educate the Indian public on the necessity of using toilet facilities, UNICEF has come up with the most unbelievably insane PSA of all time.
 

 
“Take the Poo to the Loo” is not only one of the most bizarre PSAs I’ve ever seen, it’s also got one of the catchiest songs. In fact, this thing is a straight-up jam that’s likely to be stuck in your head for days after just one listen. The animation in the clip is also top-notch. The entire thing is extremely well done in spite of how utterly crazy it might seem.

In the climax of this completely bonkers video, the residents of the town build a gigantic disco toilet and throw a “Poo Party,” in which all of the poo (that had been antagonizing people in the streets) congregates and dives in. The townspeople summarily flush all of the poo down the disco toilet just before instructions appear on screen allowing you to make “Take the Poo to the Loo” your ringtone.
 

 
The first time I watched this thing, I was taken aback at the opening line which is “First thing in the morning, what do I see? A pile of shit staring at me.” It just gets weirder from there. I almost lost my shit (no pun intended) when the Indian “happy birthday” crap rap started. This is seriously the best song I’ve heard in 2017.

See for yourself, after the jump…

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Posted by Christopher Bickel
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09.29.2017
07:23 am
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Fungus from HELL: Messed up mushrooms that look like boners, brains & zombie fingers!
09.27.2017
09:16 am
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An example of “Xylaria polymorpha” aka a mushroom known as “Dead Man’s Fingers.”
 
Even though I love being outdoors and have hiked my way around much of the Pacific Northwest, I have a deep-rooted fear of bears—and that keeps me from deviating from paths that are not well-worn. Now, thanks to what I’ve recently learned about mushrooms, I’m also afraid of running into some of the bizarre fungi that grow in the woods. Bleck! For this post, I’m going to showcase four different types of mushrooms that for very good reasons have earned the following names; “Dead Man’s Fingers,” the nightmarish “Bleeding Tooth,” the “Brain” mushroom, and one that should need no real introduction at all, the “Common stinkhorn” which looks just like a penis. For the record, I’ve never seen any of these natural abominations in the wild, and I’d love to keep it that way. Now, here are a few gross facts about each weird shroom.

Dead Man’s Fingers” are unsurprisingly as bad as they sound. And not because ingesting them will result in a long strange trip, but because the appearance of this fungus at the base of a tree means that it is quite literally breaking down the structure of the tree which results in soft rot. In other words, Dead Man’s Fingers (aka Xylaria polymorpha) are tree-murdering mushrooms though it is said that they are edible. Good luck with that. As gross as those mushrooms are, the “Bleeding Tooth,” (Hydnellu Peckii) fungus looks like something Dr. Seuss might have had nightmares about. The Bleeding Tooth secretes a dark red liquid which as you may have guessed, makes it appear to be “bleeding.” The non-toxic fungus is quite useful as it possesses the naturally occurring chemical, atromentin which is said to work quite well as an antibacterial and anticoagulant. (It’s a dessert topping and a floor wax.)
 

As if going to the dentist wasn’t enough of a drag, here’s a species of mushroom known as “Bleeding Tooth.”
 
Gyromitra esculenta or “Brain” mushroom is somewhat common fungus, and highly toxic. But that doesn’t stop people from eating them despite the risks associated with ingestion that include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, dizziness and sometimes (though rarely) coma and death. Brain mushrooms are quite popular in Finland and are sold with extensive warning labels because even boiling them in water will causes the chemical gyromitrin (the stuff that might kill you in a Brain mushroom) vaporize which can make you sick just by breathing too much of it. Yikes.

Lastly, I give you the “Common stinkhorn” or the Phallus impudicus—the mushroom that looks like just like a dick. The stinky horns allegedly smell wretched and toward the end of their lifecycle the produce a nasty looking dark-colored goop out of the top of their “heads.” Regardless of what appear to be warning signs to stay the fuck away from them, the stinkhorns are eaten widely across Germany and France. The mythology around the distinct-looking mushroom includes its use as a “love potion” in medieval times for somewhat obvious reasons. I’ve posted photos of all the funky fungus discussed in this post below—some images are slightly NSFW.
 

A Gyromitra esculenta or “Brain” mushroom.
 

A “Common stinkhorn” or “Phallus impudicus” in the wild.
 

Dead Man’s Fingers.
 
More images of disturbing mushrooms after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.27.2017
09:16 am
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The ‘Bunny Succulent’: Adorable plant that looks like it has bunny ears
08.01.2017
11:03 am
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I’m always looking for something easy to grow in my home as I don’t really have much of a “green thumb.” My friend on Facebook, Kevin, hipped me to a plant nicknamed the “Bunny Succulent ” or as it’s scientifically known, the monilaria moniliformis or monilaria obconica. The adorable plant resembles bunny ears and comes in blue or green. I dig the blue one. It would make a nice addition to my workspace.

Apparently they’re rather easy to care for, but they do need full sun to light shade. One thing I have learned about caring for succulents is to never overwater them. Their roots tend to rot easily.

So if you don’t have the time, money or the poop-scooping energy to raise a real bunny, here’s the next best thing. No fuss, no muss, no shit pellets all over the place…

You can buy the Bunny Succulent seeds here at the Blue Fire store for $4.51. They’re also sold on Amazon


 

 

 
h/t Kevin!

Posted by Tara McGinley
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08.01.2017
11:03 am
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Man casually mows lawn with huge tornado behind him; says he ‘was keeping an eye on it’
06.05.2017
08:13 am
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This is one of those “Not the Onion” posts as this actually did happen on June 2, 2017. Meet Alberta-based Theunis Wessels who thought it was more important to mow his damn lawn than to seek shelter from the terrifying looming tornado right behind him.

Theunis’ wife, Cecilia, captured the image as her husband mowed the lawn.

According to Theunis, the tornado was actually far away and was no real threat to him. “It looks much closer if you look in the photo, but it was really far away. Well, not really far, far away, but it was far away from us,” he said.

“I was keeping an eye on it.”

That is some determined commitment to household chores. A dangerous mind indeed… if a danger to himself?

via Times Colonist

Posted by Tara McGinley
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06.05.2017
08:13 am
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Beautiful porcelain sculptures of women with animal heads
05.12.2017
09:04 am
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The artist Crystal Morey believes our species are at “a pivotal moment, faced with monumental questions leading to difficult, uncertain answers.”

As she writes in her artist’s statement:

​Humankind has become the driving influence and force behind natural evolution. We are able to alter life from a single cell all the way up to entire ecosystems. Intentionally or unintentionally, we are rapidly affecting changes to the environment that would have taken natural processes millennia. Through these actions we are leaving many vulnerable species and habitats frantic, facing disruptions and uncertain outcomes.

Morey investigates these issues through her beautiful, talismanic sculptures of women with animal heads, which she sculpts from “the silken white earth of porcelain.” These delicate, fragile figures show our interdependence with the animals and landscape around us. Morey’s animals are reminiscent of the magical creatures found in children’s tales—rabbits, owls, bears, and wolves.

Having spent part of her childhood in the Sierra Nevada foothills, Morey once believed that humans were subservient to nature. But when she moved to the city, Morey soon realized that “humans are the largest variable in the changing of our planet’s ecological and environmental outcome.”

Based in Oakland, California, Morey was educated at the city’s College of the Arts, where she earned a BFA with High Distinction in 2006. She went on to study for an MFA in spatial art, at the San José State University, CA. Morey has exhibited her work since 2010. Her most recent show Entangled Wonders was held at Abmeyer + Wood Fine Art, in Seattle, Washington, earlier this year.

Crystal hopes that the viewer will come away from her work “thinking and asking questions about our role as humans on the earth and our relationship to other living beings.”

Follow Crystal on Instagram and see more of her work here.
 
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See more of Crystal Morey’s beautiful work, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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05.12.2017
09:04 am
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Steven Spielberg predicts the psycho-delic future of today in 1971’s ‘Los Angeles: A.D. 2017’!


 
I had heard about this impossible-to-see episode of The Name of the Game—a cutting edge television show that ran for seventy-six 90-minute episodes from 1968 to 1971 on NBC—but until recently, I’d never seen it. The Name of the Game had the biggest budget of any show of its time and a very interesting concept. First of all each episode was, in effect, it’s own semi-standalone 90-minute movie. The series was one of the first of what was then known as a “wheel series.” A wheel series was mostly known as a time slot on TV that two or three different shows shared, alternating each week. With The Name of the Game‘s high concept though, this wheel was alternating between three different stars who were featured in their own episodes/movies. And what a high concept it was!

From Wikipedia:

The series was based on the 1966 television movie Fame Is the Name of the Game, which was directed by Stuart Rosenberg and stars Tony Franciosa. The Name of the Game rotated among three characters working at Howard Publications, a large magazine publishing company. Jeffrey “Jeff” Dillon (Franciosa), a crusading reporter with People magazine (before there was a real-life People magazine); Glenn Howard (Gene Barry, taking over for George Macready, who had originated the role in the earlier film), the sophisticated, well-connected publisher; and Daniel “Dan” Farrell (Robert Stack), the editor of Crime magazine. Serving as a common connection was then-newcomer Susan Saint James as Peggy Maxwell, the editorial assistant for each.

 
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Which brings us to one of the last episodes of the series, LA 2017 aka Los Angeles: AD 2017. This episode was the first long form directing assignment for 24-year-old Steven Spielberg. Written by well-known offbeat author Phillip Wylie (who wrote Gene Barry’s wild episode Love-In At Ground Zero in the first season). Wylie’s work is known to have inspired the characters of Superman, Doc Savage and even Flash Gordon (from his story that was later made into the film When Worlds Collide). In this episode, Glenn Howard is hunted down in a lethally polluted, frightening and sometimes hilarious Los Angeles of the future, where the fascist government is ruled by psychiatrists and the populace has been driven to live in underground bunkers to survive the pollution. Sounds about right, right? This was the sixteenth episode of the third season, and the cast included Barry Sullivan, Edmond O’Brien, and (in a brief cameo) Spielberg’s friend Joan Crawford.
 
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It starts out with a car crash while character Howard (Gene Barry) is seen driving through the mountains recording a memo to the President to do with an important pollution scandal story that will appear in his magazine, and ends up being a dream, which allowed the science-fiction plot to fit into the modern-day setting of the show, though in the final moments he is still contemplating what happened while driving back in his car (cue close-up shot of his tail pipes chugging out 1971 style car exhaust fumes). In the end, we see a stiff bird hanging in a tree… a close encounter of the (dead) bird kind indeed!
 
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Watching this 1971 pop culture prophecy in the actual Los Angeles of 2017 is a total mindblower. Some of it is insanely far-fetched and yet there are a few humdingers that really freak you out and make you think, the most well known being my favorite scene where we are taken into a truly “underground” club with a demented octogenarian acid rock band totally freaking out (or at least trying to):
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Howie Pyro
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04.20.2017
12:08 pm
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Small World: Artist’s miniature models have BIG political message
04.20.2017
08:42 am
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Sometimes cliches are true. Strong medicine does often come in small bottles. We need only to look at the work of artist Isaac Cordal to apprecaite the truth of this adage. Cordal produces handcrafted minature cement scupltures which he then places in urban landscapes and photographs to make big and important statements.

His miniature sculptures—half-submerged in puddles, imprisoned in filing cabinets, or choking in dirt and rubble—critique modern life. Isaac describes his work as making “small interventions in the big city.” His figures depict the ruinous greed of corporations and politicians who devastate the world through their thoughtless actions. Cordal’s subject matter is climate change, the plight of refugees, and the destructive nature of capitalism.

Cordal’s artwork is powerful and eye-catching. He has exhibited these incredible tiny sculptures on sidewalks and public locations all across Europe. He’s like a movie director creating highly iconic and dramatic scenes which shock the passerby into questioning what it is they have just seen and thinking about how it reflects the world in which we all live. More of Isaac’s work can be seen here.

From such small acorns do mighty oaks grow.
 
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See more of Isaac Cordal’s minature marvels, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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04.20.2017
08:42 am
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Animal Planet: The beautiful, disturbing and surreal paintings of Martin Wittfooth
04.04.2017
10:09 am
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“The Sacrifice” (2011).
 
New York artist Martin Wittfooth produces stunningly beautiful and detailed allegorical paintings featuring animals wandering through a post-apocalyptic world. Humans are absent—perhaps dead. The world humans have bequeathed these animals is choked with plastic, devastated by pollution, and illuminated by all-consuming fire. The one hope is a progression to a better more fruitful world through personal sacrifice and death. Animals snared in manmade tangles of telephone cords sprout flowers from their eyes; a dead wolf bursts with colorful blooms that nourish a hummingbird; a white horse is set on fire by deranged monkeys.

Wittfooth’s animals represent the human experience. We are all part of his paintings. His work has examined the folly of religion in The Passions (2011), which included paintings like “The Coronation” that depicted a saintly baboon haloed by fire feeding pigeons with the pages of a burning book. Or the redemptive nature of sacrifice in “Fall/Advent” (2012) or again with the series Gardens from 2010.

Thirty-something Wittfooth is a highly accomplished artist, he has an incredible technical skill, and an uncompromising vision that thrills enthralls and tells us something deeply profound about our existence. See more of Martin Wittfooth’s work here and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
 
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“The Coronation” (2011).
 
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“The Ecstasy” (2011).
 
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“Pieta” (2011).
 
See more of Martin Wittfooth’s animal magic, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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04.04.2017
10:09 am
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Beautiful panoramic Cubist drawings of China’s urbanized landscape
02.20.2017
08:53 am
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Panorama of Tuan Jie Hu.
 
I spent twenty minutes looking for Waldo but was too overawed by the sheer magnificence of these panoramic drawings that I gave up looking for the stripy little fucker.

Not that I would have ever found him in these stunning, breathtaking, incredible, ___ [fill in the blank with your own adjective] architectural drawings of Beijing’s downtown districts. These massive, painstakingly created drawings are the work of artists/architects at the Drawing Architecture Studio, China. The images form part of their Urbanized Landscape Series.

Awesome, aren’t they?

Just take a look at the panorama drawing above (and its details below) of Tuan Jie Hu—“old residential area located by the East 3rd Ring Road in Beijing”—which “vividly depicts the views from the daily life in this busy local community.”

At the same time, the piece also shows some new exploration in architectural drawing techniques. Some 45-degree axis from different directions allow the viewers to constantly change their viewpoints, which is like a Cubism painting.

The Drawing Architecture Studio was founded by architect Li Han and designer Hu Yan in Beijing. Their intention is to offer a “creative platform integrating architecture, art, design, urban study, pop culture, and aiming to explore the new models for the creation of contemporary urban culture.”

Sounds good to me. They also sell a variety of products which you check out here. Click on the images below for a closer look.
 
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Detail of Tuan Jie Hu panorama.
 
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More gorgeous panoramic maps of downtown Beijing, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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02.20.2017
08:53 am
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The City of Tomorrow: Presented by Ford
02.14.2017
12:06 pm
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The story of mankind is the story of technology and innovation. From the discovery of fire and the invention of the wheel to the earliest attempts at farming, humanity’s progress is indistinguishable from man’s uncanny ability to conquer nature (or at least move it around a bit easier). Harnessing and benefitting from the bounties of the material world is what “we” do best. It’s not just “how we live,” this process cannot be separated from the continuation of life itself. We must feed, shelter and transport an ever growing population, but manage and conserve our dwindling resources at the same time we seek out new ones, a tricky balancing act, both locally and globally. It’s all about mobility. And mobility is our business at the Ford Motor Company.

We’re already deep into the event horizon of a third stage of the industrial revolution where once-unthinkable levels of technology—like advanced computation, artificial intelligence and automation—will be part of everyday life, alongside more green space, more walkability, more renewable energy sources and more reliable ways to get where you need to go. If you already think things are changing fast, well just wait (but not for long!). The City of Tomorrow will be here sooner than you think.

Ask yourself: As a third industrial revolution is upon us with new modes of communication, new forms of energy and new ways to get around, what may change in the City of Tomorrow?

And what will the City of Tomorrow look like when there are flying cars, packages being delivered by airborne drones and our human habitats will require—in the words of economist Jeremy Rifkin—“a new infrastructure that fundamentally changes the way we manage, power, and move economic life”?

Driverless taxis. Wireless charging systems. Advanced transportation ecosystems with reconfigurable roads which will respond to traffic flow. Automobiles that are connected to each other and that interact with urban planning.

Have you ever thought about this stuff? It’s what we at the Ford Motor Company think about every day.

#CityOfTmrw
 

 

Posted by John Shankman
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02.14.2017
12:06 pm
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