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Monday, August 15, 2011

The Art and Science of S’mores

Does anyone know where the idea for the s’more came from? How about how it got its name? Did you know that there is an official 3-step process to making them? And where DID all those parts come from, anyway? I bet you want to know. I did. Yes, It’s all here, the classic ingredients, the history, the tips on mallow roasting and fire managing, and even–yes–an explanation of the Russian Matryoshka Mallow doll technique. You too, can be a master of the mallow and czar of sweet, sticky, melty campfire crackers. REI shares its tips and tricks of this delectable, historic treat.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Kimbo Slice Wins Boxing Debut in 10 Seconds

Kimbo Slice Wins Boxing Debut in 10 Seconds

Former street fighter turned mixed martial artist Kimbo Slice has taken his skills to the boxing ring. His long-awaited debut finally took place, and he was up against James Wade. It didn’t take too long for Kimbo to notch his first victory.

Uploaded by on Aug 13, 2011 Kimbo Slice knocks James Wade out in crucial fashion, It was bad. Was tooken out on a strecther.

Tornado and Rainbow Over Kansas


See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download the highest resolution version available.

Tornado and Rainbow Over Kansas
Image Credit & Copyright: Eric Nguyen (Oklahoma U.),

Explanation: The scene might have been considered serene if it weren't for the tornado. During 2004 in Kansas, storm chaser Eric Nguyen photographed this budding twister in a different light -- the light of a rainbow. Pictured above, a white tornado cloud descends from a dark storm cloud. The Sun, peeking through a clear patch of sky to the left, illuminates some buildings in the foreground. Sunlight reflects off raindrops to form a rainbow. By coincidence, the tornado appears to end right over the rainbow. Streaks in the image are hail being swept about by the high swirling winds. Over 1,000 tornadoes, the most violent type of storm known, occur on Earth every year, many in tornado alley. If you see a tornado while driving, do not try to outrun it -- park your car safely, go to a storm cellar, or crouch under steps in a basement.

Haven't visited Ferrari World Abu Dhabi yet? Watch this


Ferrari World Abu DhabiRoller coasters: fun. Driving a Ferrari: also fun. And there's only one place where the two meet. Nope, not in the parking lot at your local Six Flags. We're talking about Ferrari World.

The theme park is finally open to the public, complete with all the attractions, from F1-themed coasters to a pit crew-themed acrobatic take on Cirque du Soleil. Unfortunately you'll need to travel all the way to the Abu Dhabi to see it first hand, so if that's not in the cards any time soon, or even if it is, you can follow the jump to watch the video and see what's in store.

News Source: YouTube


NASA's space shuttles Discovery and Endeavour meet nose to nose as they cross paths at Florida's Kennedy Space Center.
The space shuttles Endeavour and Discovery cross paths as they roll to new facilities at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on Aug. 11, 2011.

Two NASA space shuttles, each on the road to retirement, posed nose-to-nose Thursday (Aug. 11) while switching places at the space agency's Florida spaceport.

To stage the maneuver, NASA rolled Discovery out of the giant Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and moved it to a hangar-like building called the Orbiter Processing Facility-1, or OPF-1. Meanwhile, the shuttle Endeavour (which was already inside the hangar) was moved out and over to the massive VAB.

"Endeavour and Discovery switched locations — a shuttle shuffle," Kennedy Space Center spokesman Allard Beutel told "It's just a storage thing, is what it comes down to — we have three shuttles and two locations." [Images: Two Shuttles Meet Nose to Nose]

When the two spacecraft passed one another on the same road, space shuttle shutterbugs went wild. The result: Never-before-seen photos of two-thirds of NASA's shuttle fleet in the same place at the same time.

"We've never had two shuttles pass each other to go to two separate locations," Beutel said. "This was the first time we've ever done this."

The two space shuttles, along with their sibling Atlantis, are being readied for retired life at museums now that NASA has finished flying the orbiters.

Discovery and Endeavour Space Shuttles Meet on the Ground
At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, space shuttles Discovery and Endeavour part company outside Orbiter Processing Facility-3 (OPF-3) where they paused for a unique "nose-to-nose" photo opportunity.
CREDIT: NASA/Frankie Martin

Thursday's double-shuttle move will allow technicians to work on Discovery inside the OPF-1 in preparation for shipping it to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center outside Washington, D.C., around April 2012.

Work is also ongoing inside the nearby Orbiter Processing Facility-2, where Atlantis is being prepped for its retirement home at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Center, down the road.

Atlantis was the last shuttle to fly; it landed July 21, finishing the 135th and final mission of the 30-year space shuttle program. Atlantis is due to travel almost seven miles to the Visitors Center in early 2013.

For the time being, Endeavour will rest dormant inside the VAB, which was where NASA stacked orbiters with their external tanks and solid rocket boosters in preparation for launch. Sometime next summer Endeavour will travel across the country atop a special Boeing 747 jet to the California Science Center in Los Angeles, where it will live out its days.

NASA named the three recipients of the flown shuttles earlier this year, crushing the hopes of about 20 other museums that had lobbied to host an orbiter. New York's Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum will also get a shuttle, the test vehicle Enterprise (currently housed at the Smithsonian), which never made it to space.

Before Discovery, Endeavour and Atlantis can be put on display, they must be processed to remove all hazardous parts and materials, especially any residual rocket fuel lingering in the Forward Reaction Control System and the Orbital Maneuvering Systems Engines.

Those systems have been removed and sent to the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico for intensive cleaning. Once they are safe, they'll be shipped back and reinstalled on the orbiters before they are sent to museums.

"The entire system is completely cleaned out so there's not even a modicum of toxic chemicals left, so 20 years from now, someone standing under a shuttle doesn't get dripped on," Beutel said.

2012 Hyundai Equus Trades iPad For Paper Manual


2011 Hyundai Equus
2011 Hyundai Equus
Enlarge Photo

By almost anyone’s standards, the 2011 Hyundai Equus is an exceptional automobile at a near bargain-bin price. Depending upon the model you choose, you can even get a reclining and massaging rear passenger seat, as well as a rear beverage chiller and dedicated audio and climate controls. The same level of content would cost thousands more, or even tens of thousands more, if the Equus had a Lexus or Mercedes-Benz badge on the hood.

As content-rich and comfortable as the 2011 Hyundai Equus was, there’s no denying that one of its most innovative features was the included Apple iPad owner’s manual. Not only could you use it to show off the Equus’ features to your friends, but you could also use it to schedule service visits, make dinner reservations or even buy concert tickets (not while driving, of course). Try that with a paper owner’s manual.

Hyundai even chose to highlight the Equus’ unconventional owner’s manual in a TV spot, proving to customers that the brand once associated with disposable cars had matured into a forward-thinking automaker willing to challenge the status quo. The combination of content and value presented by the Equus proved to be a hit, and Hyundai grabbed a 5-percent share of the premium luxury sedan market in the Equus’ first year of sales.

Now comes word that the 2012 Hyundai Equus will be just a bit less innovative. Gone is the Apple iPad, replaced with a conventional paper-and-ink owner’s manual. From a financial perspective it’s not a big deal, since an Apple iPad can be bought for less than one percent of the cost of a new Hyundai Equus. From a value perspective, we say it’s noticeable: the iPad owner’s manual set the Equus apart, and showed that Hyundai was capable of thinking outside the box.

The 2012 Hyundai Equus will come with a larger and more powerful V-8, and, in Hyundai fashion, will likely include other updates to make it a better car than the 2011 version. Owners can still download an electronic owners manual, but now they’ll to supply their own iPad to do so. We can’t help but think that’s a step in the wrong direction.

[USA Today via MotorAuthority]

Awesome Product Innovations


Zombie Doorstop (Crawling)

Doorstop shaped like a crawling zombie, squished by the door. Buy it here.

Doctor Who TARDIS 4 Port USB Hub

Collectible item from the Doctor Who TV series. 4-port USB hub shaped like the Doctor’s TARDIS. Buy it here.

Between the sheet Bed Fan

The Bed Fan delivers a cool breeze between the sheets—without AC costs, and without disturbing your partner. Buy it here.

Bizarre Night Bulb

Product page here.

Best Book Stand Ever?

Stop those books from falling over with Art Ori Design’s funky bookend. The heavy books appear to almost crush the handsome little man, but don’t worry – the sturdy bookend will keep your books tidy and upright. Product page here.

Portable Amplifier for iPhone

Slip the BONE Horn Stand speaker onto your iPhone for lo-fi amplification simplicity. Using old-fashioned acoustical science, this silicone stand adds 13 decibels of sound pressure to your iPhone’s speakers without asking for an erg of battery juice. Buy it here.

Half Liter Pirate Skull Drinking Glass

You can buy it here.

Shark Socks

You can buy it here.

Pay with The Force? Tiny Island Nation Mints 'Star Wars' Currency


New Zealand Mint

New Zealand Mint

Four words you'd never expect to hear: "Use the coin, Luke."

And you thought you were Star Wars die-hard. Apparently not as die-hard as the Pacific nation of Niue, a roughly 100-square-mile island located 1,500 miles northeast of New Zealand, sometimes called the "Rock of Polynesia," or just "The Rock" for short. These folks just opted to print coins adorned with color images of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Darth Vader and other Star Wars fan favorites. We're not kidding: actual, usable, carry-in-your-coin-purse change.

The catch: the coins will be worth too much to justify spending. That, and you'll have to be one of Niue's 2,000 residents to actually use them, probably making this the world's most exclusive sci-fi-themed currency.

But still, honest-to-goodness, financially legitimate Star Wars coins? Who'd-'a-thunk.

Niue—whose name means "behold the coconut"—uses New Zealand's currency, the "Kiwi dollar," and the Star Wars coins are valued at NZ$2 each (or directly converted, about US$1.66). But their actual value, according to AAP New Zealand (via The Sydney Morning Herald), is upwards of AUD$100 (Australian dollars). The coins are apparently made of silver that's worth AUD$40 alone—the set includes eight one-ounce solid silver coins and 10 silver-plated base metal ones, and retails for about AUD$450, or about US$465 if you're looking to collect a set to ship stateside.

"You wouldn't want to go and spend them because they're only worth $2 [officially] but the value is much more than that," said New Zealand Mint Vice President of USA Operations Chris Kirkness (speaking to Fairfax New Zealand), quipping "No one is going to go buy an ice cream with them."

If you want a set, you'll have to be quick: They're only printing 50,000 of each coin, with some offered in special collectors' boxes (limited to 7,500). There's one modeled after Darth Vader (opening it triggers Vader's trademark mask-breathing sound) and another after the Millennium Falcon (opening it triggers a launch-engine sound).

Will the force be with your checkbook? You'll have to find out November 1st, when they're due to go on sale.

Sugarland Concert Ends In Tragic Stage Collapse

Uploaded by on Aug 13, 2011

Fan video of August 13, 2011, Sugarland Concert stage collapse at Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis, IN, USA.

Catastrophe struck the Indiana State Fair on Saturday, where a 60mph gust of wind brought down the concert stage where the country music duo Sugarland was about to appear.

With the stage coverings acting as an enormous sail, the lighting grid and supporting scaffolding collapsed under the wind’s force, killing at least five people and injuring about 40.

Warning: The video above is the clearest view of the stage collapse yet available on YouTube, and is disturbing to watch.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Marion County coroner’s office identified the dead as Tammy Vandam, 42, of Wanatah; Glenn Goodrich, 49, of Indianapolis; Alina Bigjohny, 23, of Fort Wayne; Christina Santiago, 29, of Chicago; and Nathan Byrd, 51, of Indianapolis, who died overnight.

Our sympathy goes out to the victims of this tragic accident.

Sweet dreams? 'Sleep Box' opens at Moscow airport


Russian designers are hoping to give tired airline passengers a chance to rest in more comfort with their new ''Sleep Box'' which has opened its doors at a Moscow airport.

The BBC's Russell Trott reports.

more info here:

Huge diamond forfeited in Ohio to be auctioned

CINCINNATI – A large yellow diamond — known as the "Golden Eye" — seized in a federal drug and money-laundering investigation in northeast Ohio is going on the auction block with the minimum starting bid set at $900,000.

The 43.51-carat diamond belonged to a northeast Ohio businessman who was convicted of money laundering and conspiracy. Prosecutors said he tried to sell to an undercover FBI agent the diamond and an estate once owned by boxer Mike Tyson, all for $19.5 million and a boat.

The gem — about an inch long, almost 3/4-inch wide and nearly 1/2-inch deep — was seized in the sting operation and forfeited to the federal government.

It is believed to be one of the largest internally flawless yellow diamonds, said Jenny Lynch, a spokeswoman for the online auction company Bid4Assets. The company, based in Silver Spring, Md., will auction the diamond next month for the U.S. Marshals Service.

"This is the largest and most valuable diamond that we have auctioned in our company's 12-year history," Lynch said. The stone, which has a rectangular brilliant cut crown with 25 facets, is an intense yellow color.

"This precious gem is sure to generate interest worldwide," Peter Elliot, U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Ohio, said in a statement.

The diamond auction already has attracted interest in the United States and abroad, said Lisa Black coordinator for the forfeiture unit in the Marshals Service's northern Ohio district. After the starting bid of $900,000, bids must increase in increments of $110,000, according to the website, which had more than 9,000 page views for the gem through Friday afternoon

There is a hefty cost to even submit a bid for the diamond.

A refundable deposit of $180,000 is required for viewing the gem in Cleveland the week of Aug. 29-Sept. 2 and for bidding on it during the auction that begins Sept. 6 and ends Sept. 8, Deputy U.S. Marshal Ryan Helfrich said.

Officials would not release the appraised value of the Golden Eye, but federal prosecutors previously have said it could be worth millions.

The origin of the diamond remains shrouded in mystery, and authorities say they do not know where the former owner — Alliance businessman Paul Monea — acquired it. The Marshals Service has not been able to determine the mine of origin, but says it has no connection to any famous historic diamond.

Tom Moses, a senior vice president with the Gemological Institute of America that graded the diamond, said it likely came from southern Africa, especially because of its stronger yellow color.

"Historically, these kinds of larger yellow diamonds have come from that area," he said. "What makes this one rare is its color and clarity combined with its large size. The more yellow it has, the higher the value."

The institute grades diamonds for quality, but does not make pricing valuations.

Monea, who made millions in the `90s on infomercials that sold Tae Bo exercise videos, was convicted in May 2007 of money laundering and conspiracy in federal court in Akron. Authorities said Monea was trying to sell the Golden Eye diamond and the estate once owned by boxer Mike Tyson to an FBI agent posing as a broker for a drug cartel when he was caught in the sting operation.

Monea bought the 25,000-square-foot mansion in northeast Ohio's Trumbull County from Tyson in 1999 for $1.3 million, according to county records. Now 64, Monea was sentenced in 2007 to 12 1/2 years in prison. He is scheduled to be released from a federal prison in Ohio in 2018.

After the diamond was confiscated in the sting operation, it was claimed by numerous people — including two of Monea's children, a New York minister and a California business owner. But a federal judge in 2009 ruled that the government could keep the diamond, and a federal appeals court in Cincinnati affirmed that ruling last year. The final forfeiture order was issued in March, allowing the Marshals Service to proceed with selling the diamond.

Some of the proceeds from the sale will go to victims in the Monea case, and some will go to the federal government and state and local agencies that helped in the investigation, the Marshals Service said.

James Bond's 50th Anniversary: Largest Exhibition Of Bond Movie Cars Ever

BY Nelson Ireson

1964 Aston Martin DB5 from Goldeneye

2008 Aston Martin DBS from Quantum of Solace

2002 Jaguar XKR from Die Another Day

1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III from Goldfinger

Next year, starting in January, the U.K.'s National Motor Museum will host the largest exhibition of James Bond movie cars ever assembled. Some of the highlights include the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 from Goldeneye, the 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III from Goldfinger, and the weaponized 2002 Jaguar XKR from Die Another Day.

Whether you're a fan of the more recent Bond flicks or the originals, there's something for everyone. You don't even have to be a Bond fan to enjoy--these cars are, for the most part, simply beautiful bits of automotive history.

The exhibition is being arranged to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Bond franchise as well as the 40th anniversary of the National Motor Museum. The display will run through December, 2012..



Singer & other stars honoured in collage

The late, great Amy Winehouse has received an unusual tribute in the form of a portrait made from pills. San Francisco-based artist Jason Mecier used 5,000 multicoloured tablets to create the intricate work, in honour of the Back to Black singer's short but remarkable life.

Mecier is well-known for his wacky celebrity collages, which he builds from beer tops, sweets, trash and other unusual materials. Stars including Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson and Shirley Bassey have been lovingly re-created in this way - and some are apparently so enamoured by the idea they contribute items for Mecier to feature in their portraits. See examples of some of Mecier's best celebrity pieces, below, and immerse yourself in a world of junk.

Simply click on an image to launch the gallery.

Picture Credit: Rex Features

  • Amy Winehouse
  • Lady Gaga
  • Frida Kahlo
  • Mo'Nique
  • Mary-Louise Parker
  • Kelly Osbourne
  • Taylor Swift
  • Michael Jackson
  • Courtney Love
  • Dexter / Michael C. Hall
  • Shirley Bassey
  • Tina Fey
  • Heath Ledger
  • Rosie O'Donnell
  • Faye Dunaway
  • Scissor Sisters
  • Pink
  • Kathy Griffin
  • Anna Nicole Smith
  • Nicolas Cage

Mad Man Builds Ridiculously Cool 40-inch iPhone

Benjamin Bachmeier turned a 40-inch LCD Full HD display into a perfect giant iPhone replica. It doesn't run iOS but Mac OS X, but it's gigantic buttons are fully functional. It's computer, a display, a table and completely ridiculous.

He calls it the iTableous. It's not even a Mac, but a Hackintosh running Mac OS X and Windows 7. Funnily enough, I think this is the only time that I've actually liked the white iPhone 4. [Benjamin BachmeierInsanely Mac]