Decoding the language of flowers has been a decades-long challenge. But that changes today. Thanks to great advancements in artificial intelligence, Google Assistant on phones and Google Home is now able to understand tulips, allowing translation between Tulipish and dozens of human languages.
Laminar Flow is awesome.
THESE ARE THE MOST INTERESTING, HUMOROUS AND INSPIRING THINGS I FOUND ON THE NET THIS WEEK. IF YOU ENJOY, PLEASE SHARE WITH A FRIEND.
Laugh. Think. Feel.
2 Patrons…and Counting
You may have noticed, I removed all ads from Ventipop when I rebooted the site last month. So…the only revenue I receive is from “Buy Me A Coffee” link on the homepage and the “Become A Patron” link on the top of every page of Venti. Last week, I received a coffee and gained my 2nd Patron which is a monthly contribution. (Thanks Lisa!) I don’t expect it, but it sure is appreciated and good people affirming when it happens. If you can click one of those links and give even a little, it helps offset the costs associated with the site.
Ask For Rick Astley…and Ye Shall Receive
Book Recommendation - Charlesgate Confidential by Scott Von Doviak
A breathtakingly clever, twist-filled narrative that moves from 1946 to 1988 to 2014 and back again. Charlesgate Confidential is a tremendous modern-day pulp story that combines fact, fiction, legend, and baseball. It reads like an unassisted triple play and is so fun.
I’m not usually attracted to this genre, but even the Wall Street Journal gave it a good review so I decided to check it out. Read it in almost one sitting. Von Doviak does a fantastic job of creating setting, tone, dialogue and characters for each distinctive decade. From the 40’s rat-a-tat-tat rapid fire made-guy dialogue to the 1980’s record shop, big hair-trying to get laid in college narrative to the present day detective looking for treasure storyline, Charlesgate Confidential is a throwback and a flashforward joy of a read all-in-one.
…The Best Tradition of All
Giving the Gift of Gift Guides
I used to put out a Ventipop Gift Guide, but then I decided my gift to the world would be to stop putting out another gift guide into the world. There’s already way too many of them. But here are my favorite go-to Gift Guides:
Books, Books, Books Gift Guide by Penguin Random House
Finnish Design Shop offers a list of “Pieces of Nordic Happiness”
Canopy curates Amazon into a single hub for easy gift giving
The Best Gifts for men who have everything gift guide by The Manual
Tom’s Guide offers gifts for the techies in our lives
Travel & Leisure share their best gifts ideas for travelers
Refinery29 offers up a very unique index of alt Gift Guides
The Guardian offers a nice Culture Gift Guide
Daily Nous offers a unique Philosopher’s Gift Guide
Tom Cruise & Christopher McQuarrie Explain The Proper Way To Watch Action Movies On Your TV
Movie Trailer of the Week
Inappropriate Non-PC Comment of the Week
This little gem ran through my brain as I was attending my daughter’s choir concert tonight: “I'd like to start a choir that stars only kids with speech impediments.”
Sway bells wing, aw you wistenin’?
In da wayne, snowis gwistenin’…
Seriously, who wouldn’t be entertained by that?
Pause-vertising is the latest attempt by advertisers to get tv viewer’s eyeballs and ears on their commercials. Ads that only run when you pause a tv show while streaming. "Imagine an ad for soda or beer that comes on the screen just as you decide to stop the action during a run of an episode of Black-ish on Hulu to go to the kitchen for a snack, or a pitch for toilet paper that begins to move in the moments before you choose to halt the video stream for a bathroom break," reports Brian Steinberg. "And yet, there’s no guarantee viewers will welcome 'pause-vertising' any more than they do the current crop of 30-second pitches." Read more about Pause-vertising…here.
Snaps & Buckles & Japanese Things…
It’s the most busiest time of the year, so if your’e in need of some nature-based relaxation, check out these live 24/7 nature streams.
Fashion Policia - If you don’t want to support “fast fashion” and cheap, exploitive clothing labor, read 14 Expert Ways To Tell If Clothes Are Well-Made Or Super Cheap.
Blue lights in Japanese train stations have played a huge role in suicide rate reduction since 1984. This interesting tidbit is explained along with a ton of other really interesting things in Tom Whitwell’s infatuating article “52 Things I Learned in 2018”.
More Japan, please. For my brother, Top 10 Books About Japan.
And one more for Japan. The Michelin Guide recognizes fine dining, was started by a tire company and is now awarding a used car dealership in Totttori Japan…for its Ramen noodles. Makes perfect sense.
Gross: Man coughs up a giant blood clot. Grosser: Man coughs up a giant blood clot in the shape of his lung.
Luxembourg will be the world’s first country to make all public transportation free.
Every single time anyone on the news or in the movies fires a gun up in the air, I know the next words coming out of my wife’s mouth, “Those bullets are gonna come down and kill someone.” Turns out, she’s been right about this the whole time:
Interview of the Week
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel started season two this week. Here’s an interview with the starring actress Rachel Brosnahan. “[Frances McDormand] said something to me that I will never forget, that there seem to be 27,000 new products a day out there to alter your face… but that your face is a road map to your life and to everything that has made you who you are up until that point. And why would you ever want to erase any part of that? That every line on her face is every smile she’s ever smiled and every tear she’s ever cried and frown she’s ever frowned. And she wears them with pride.”
Fall Asleep In Two Minutes
This military secret formula for falling asleep in two minutes is said to work for 96 per cent of people after six weeks of practice.
Here’s how to do it:
Relax the muscles in your face, including tongue, jaw and the muscles around the eyes
Drop your shoulders as far down as they’ll go, followed by your upper and lower arm, one side at a time
Breathe out, relaxing your chest followed by your legs, starting from the thighs and working down
You should then spend 10 seconds trying to clear your mind before thinking about one of the three following images:
You’re lying in a canoe on a calm lake with nothing but a clear blue sky above you
You’re lying in a black velvet hammock in a pitch-black room
You say “don’t think, don’t think, don’t think” to yourself over and over for about 10 seconds.
A Beautiful Thing
Can a Windex ad move you to tears?
...The Best Thing I Saw Yesterday:
Annie Onishi, general surgery resident at Columbia University, takes a look at emergency room and operating room scenes from a variety of television shows and movies and breaks down how accurate they really are. Would the adrenaline scene from Pulp Fiction actually play out that way? Is all that medical jargon we hear in shows like Grey's Anatomy and House true-to-life? Is removing a bullet really a cure-all for a gunshot wound?
Kick The Habit...There's An App For That
The Hold App cures digital addiction by rewarding users for avoiding their phone.
How Bout Them Apples?
MIT Technology Review's annual list of 10 Breakthrough Technologies is a must-read every year. The editors seek out technologies they believe will have a profound effect on our lives. Making the list for 2018:
ARTIFICIAL EMBRYOS SENSING CITIES 3-D METAL PRINTING
A.I. IN THE CLOUD DUELING NEURAL NETWORKS
BABEL-FISH EARBUDS ZERO-CARBON NATURAL GAS
PERFECT ONLINE PRIVACY GENETIC FORTUNE-TELLING
MATERIALS' QUANTUM LEAP
Read the details on all ten here.
The Most Unknown
The Most Unknown is an epic documentary film that sends nine scientists to extraordinary parts of the world to uncover unexpected answers to some of humanity’s biggest questions. How did life begin? What is time? What is consciousness? How much do we really know? By introducing researchers from diverse backgrounds for the first time, then dropping them into new, immersive field work they previously hadn’t tackled. The film is Motherboard's first feature documentary.
A Less Than Perfect Dynamic Tripod
Call it reverse evolution as kids around the world lose the ability to hold a pen correctly.
David Lynch Teaches Typing
Do you have five minutes? Then master writer-director David Lynch can teach you how to type. Developer Rhino Stew has just unleashed an excellent parody of Lynch’s work in the form of an early 1990s style typing program.
Researchers are developing a camera that can see through skin which will make it easier for doctors to diagnose a wide range of health conditions. Dermatologists are not overly impressed with the new technology.
"Clean Meat" Is Coming
The Frustrated Pharmacist
Why can't your pharmacist tell you that your $20 prescription could cost only $8? All of that may be about to change.
Sadly, Bulletproof Clothing
"From bespoke suits to safari jackets, the new breed of bulletproof clothing is comfortable and undetectable."
Inside America’s Growing Bulletproof Clothing Industry: Retailers are offering ballistic apparel to wary US citizens, and it’s not cheap.
Circadian Rhythm Is Gonna Get You
Rather than jar ourselves awake with an alarm, we prefer this gentle sunrise digital clock, good for heavy sleepers and kids alike. Helps with mood and circadian rhythm modulation.
And in a related note...Late Sleepers Rejoice! Science says you should never apologize for sleeping in...here's why.
A Newfangled Intervention Called Community
"It could, if the results stand up, be one of the most dramatic medical breakthroughs of recent decades. It could transform treatment regimes, save lives, and save health services a fortune. Is it a drug? A device? A surgical procedure?" The Guardian: The town that's found a potent cure for illness – community.
...More Science Stories:
- What color is a tennis ball?
- Leonardo da Vinci, The Engineer: The Science Behind Mona Lisa's Smile
- ICYMI: The Top 11 Innovations That Made Women’s Lives Better In 2017
- A Washington teen made a Rubik's Cube for the blind
- Mosquito on mosquito crime: Miami released millions of modified mosquitos to fight Zika
- That's Just Weird: No one knows why your eardrums move when your eyes move.
- A Fitbit for...Sex?
- DO NOT PANIC, but there's a mutant crayfish that clones itself and it's taking over Europe
I think we're all getting dumbed down in the world of Google and info at your finger tips. We don't know anything anymore. We don't even make an effort to store data. We know, if we need it, it's only an internet search away. I remember, one time spending an entire week trying to remember the name of the blind guy band from the movie Roadhouse. That was like my hobby for an entire week. Every waking second, all my free time, every lazy minute, racking my brain, calling friends who couldn't remember either. They'd say stupid things like, "Was he really blind?" just to piss me off.
Nowadays, you'd Bing or iMDB the movie Roadhouse and boom. You'd have the answer. If you really want verification we're getting dumber, ask a person from an older generation anything about something that really matters. Let's make the cut-off age 50+. Go ahead, ask them. I bet they know it or at the very least, they know more than you do. You see, they were raised to know stuff, not remember stuff. They didn't grow up with the internet, a computer, a smart phone or empathetic adults coddling them with a "Good Job!" every five minutes.
We shouldn't have to Google stuff to be interesting people. That's the point of today's Daily Grind. Here are a bunch of interesting tidbits on everything from cars to science to sex to relationships. When I read these articles, I really tried to store them away, and hopefully you will too. Store all this up so you can recall it the next time you head out with some friends or family. They'll be amazed at how interesting you've suddenly become. Then, maybe stumble over to the juke box, drop a quarter and play some Jeff Healey Band. (I wasn't going to leave you hanging like that; I know the pain.)
- Take a listen to history. Scientists have restored the first computer-generated music recorded on a machine built by Alan Turing more than 65 years ago.
- Amaze all your friends at your next part with this little nugget: "When trees are really thirsty, they begin to scream."
- These days, you can order anything on demand via an app: food, car service, groceries, and now sperm. I'm not making this up. The U.K.'s largest sperm bank is now an app.
- Staying on topic, can you guess what percentage of college students say they've had sex in a car?
- Still on topic, the first 3-person baby was born this week.
- Can you do any of the 10 things most humans can't do?
- If your "Low Fuel" light on your car burns out, you have a problem and may need to seek help or get another job so you can afford more gas. Do you know how far you can go once your low fuel light illuminates? Here's a vehicle specific handy guide that may save you from getting stranded on the side of the road.
- I'd never heard of paratransit before reading this article. Technology offers numerous ways to help Grandma get around.
- I haven't played this game since I was like eight or nine: "Will It Flush?"
- Because we are now too lazy to stand in line, Nissan has developed an autonomous chair.
- While you're waiting in line in your friggin' chair, read this fascinating piece about "The Jones Project: Smuggling Nikita Khrushchev’s memoirs out of the USSR". Read it for real; it's great.
- Here's what you need to know about Friday's rare Black Moon.
- Ever wonder how they get a 3 ton statue in place at a museum? The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City shows us in a time lapse video.
- He claims he bought the mini-van with the spacious rear compartment so you and the kids would be more comfortable on the way to soccer every Saturday. But what if he's really just in need of a ride that can store more bodies beneath the spare? Just sayin'. You never know about people. Or do you? "11 signs your partner is a match for the long haul".
- Have a kidney stone? Hop on a roller coaster.
- I can't even use the excuse "I don't have time" to workout now that they've come up with the scientific seven minute workout.
...The Last Drop
"Science does not know its debt to imagination."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Turns out all the maps are wrong, you don't live where you think you live and we've been taught to look at the Earth upside-down. Cartographers use a 2D projection to convert our spherical world into a flat world for mapping purposes; which distorts the hell out of everything and misrepresents the sizes of geography everywhere. This projection is called the Mercator Projection. After a couple scientists watched an episode of The West Wing (see clip below), they created this app, The True Size Of.., with the hope teachers would use it to show their students just how big the world is.
We continue with even more science below as we get all nerdy on a Friday up in dis hizzy.
- It's official: The nicer the home you have, the weirder the bugs are inside.
- It only took 20 years, but Japanese researchers have developed an onion that doesn't make you cry and has the taste profile of...an apple?
- You can get apples. You can get onions that taste like apples, but you might have a hard time finding fresh, local peaches this season.
- A Crime Scene Investigator's worst nightmare is oftentimes...Squirrel!
- CSI: Lakes, Rivers, Oceans. What's it like to be an Underwater Crime Scene Investigator?
- Underwater Sculpture Museums featuring 5-ton works of art on the ocean floor seem surreal.
- Maybe I'm cruel, but I do like the idea of this device which kills mosquitos via dehydration.
- Stop for just a second and think of the ramifications of this sentence: Scientists just put a 3D printer in space. All future Sci-Fi movies where a part breaks on the ship can never be made now.
- Two random but really good questions: Do fish get sunburns? and Why can't geckos climb out of bathtubs?
- Lately, I've noticed people taking pride in their tiredness. "How Exhaustion Became A Status Symbol" speaks to this new ideology.
- "Man, the Brits are really off their rockers lately." They are, but I'd still enjoy driving through this 7-Circle Magic Roundabout in Swindon, England: