Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Guy Builds A Mini Plane Because It’s Faster To Get To His Work (13 pics)

Frantisek Hadrava, a 45-year-old locksmith from Czech Republic, thought that driving 14 minutes to his work was too much, so he built himself a plane. Now it takes him only 7 minutes to get there. It would actually take less, but he makes a small detour not to disturb people early in the morning.

It took him about two years to build his ultra-light plane Vampira based on the US-design of Mini-Max. The plane has an open cockpit, its maximum speed is of 146kph, and it cost Mr. Hadrava about €3,700 ($4,132) to build.

When he flies to his work, he lands on a meadow across the road from the factory, and then he pushes the plane to a parking lot.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Denki Buro: The Electric Baths of Japan

Many public bath houses in Japan have special pools lined with live metal electrodes for those peculiar bathers who would rather have actual electricity surging through their bodies than have coffees like normal folks. These baths are known as denki buro or “electric baths” and they are found throughout Japan.

Whatever you had learned about the deadly combination of electricity and water at primary school, you can experience first hand at a denki buro. The bather sits in a small pool between two plates of opposite electric polarity and lets a low-level electric current to pass through their body. The current induces mild shock causing the muscles to contract and develop a tingling sensation which some people find relaxing while others find it painful. Electric baths are said to provide relief from rheumatism and spondylitis, but it is also rumored, especially by the younger generation, that denki buro reduces sperm count.

The history of deniki buro is difficult to trace, but they've clearly been around since at least 1928 when a story called Denkiburo no Kaishi Jiken (“The Case of the Suspicious Death in the Electricity Bath”) was published. Electrotherapy itself has existed since the 18th century when it was first used at a London hospital for unknown therapeutic purposes.

During the 1940s, the U.S. War Department gave electrotherapy to wounded soldiers to retard and prevent atrophy as well as to restore muscle mass and strength. Electrotherapy was also used with positive results in the treatment of cancer. In 1985, the journal Cancer Research published a remarkable study where researchers reported 98% shrinkage of tumor in animal subjects when treated with electrotherapy for only five hours over five days.

Although its effectiveness has not been conclusively proved, electrotherapy is often used as alternative treatment for back pain, muscle pain, headaches and migraines, arthritis, disorders of the nervous system, neuromuscular dysfunction and a host of other conditions.

According to the popular health information portal WebMD, electric current may cause people to experience less pain because “the electricity from the electrodes stimulates the nerves in an affected area and sends signals to the brain that block or "scramble" normal pain signals.” According to another theory, electrical stimulation of the nerves helps the body to produce natural painkillers called endorphins, which may block the perception of pain.

As always, it’s always advisable to consult your physician before you tryout new therapies especially those that involve electricity. And stay clear of denki buro if you’ve got a pacemaker installed or have a heart condition.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Polar Stratospheric Clouds And Its Dark Secret

Sometimes deep into the winter, after sunset or before dawn, sheets of unbelievably bright and vividly colored clouds can be seen forming against the partially dark twilight sky. This rare type of cloud formations are known as “polar stratospheric clouds” or “nacreous clouds”, and they can only be seen from high latitude regions such as Iceland, Alaska, Northern Canada, the Scandinavian countries and Antarctica. The Scandinavians call them “mother of pearls” because of their spectacular iridescent colors. Described as “one of the most beautiful of all cloud formations,” nacreous clouds are also the most destructive to our atmosphere. Their presence encourages a chemical reaction that breaks down the ozone layer, which is an essential shield protecting us from the sun's harmful rays.
Nacreous clouds develop at very high altitudes, within the lower stratosphere at 70,000 feet or above. For comparison, some of the highest clouds in the troposphere have a ceiling height of about 40,000 feet.

Clouds generally do not form in the stratosphere because there is not enough moisture. But nacreous clouds are different. They are not entirely composed of water droplets, but a mixture of naturally occurring water and nitric acid that comes from industrial sources.

Decades ago, we started using substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in aerosols and refrigeration. These chemicals have been phased out, but they are so stable they persist to this date. CFCs take several years to rise through the troposphere until they reach the stratosphere where they begin to break down by ultraviolet light producing free chlorine atoms. Like any free radicle, chloride ions are very reactive and they go on a rampage attacking and destroying the ozone layer.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

‘Fallen Star’, University of California, San Diego

Teetering on the corner and edge of Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California, San Diego, is a small cottage that appears to have been picked by a tornado and dropped on to the ledge of the towering seven story building. It’s an installation art titled “Fallen Star” by Korean artist Do Ho Suh. Opened in 2009, “Fallen Star” is the 18th permanent sculpture commissioned by the university’s Stuart Collection.

The 15-foot by 18-foot house has a cozy interior and is fully furnished. There is a couch with comfortable-looking pillows, a television set, chandelier, framed photos, and lighting that is switched on after sunset and switched off late at night. Leading up to the house is a small garden with a brick path framed by tomatoes, wisteria vines and plum tree. From the street below, one can see smoke rising up from the chimney, creating an impression that the house is occupied. It even has a fake address: 72 Blue Heron Way.

This bride learned to walk again for her wedding

The Couple
Meet Jaquie & Andy, absolute sweethearts and completely in love. Jaquie lost the ability to walk after a traumatic accident. She made it her goal to walk down the aisle to Andy on the big day and went through grueling physical therapy for a year to make her dream a reality.
The Aisle
Preparing to walk down the aisle.
Which she totally did! You could feel the joy in the room, it was amazing!
Happy Groom
It was really beautiful.
The celebrating was so real, everyone was laughing and crying and totally overjoyed for both of them.
Seeing Her Surprise Gift
Jaquie's mom hired me to paint the first dance. Jaquie had no idea I would be at the wedding, even though she had hinted that she wished she could hire me. Her reaction at seeing me in the reception space was so awesome, we both cried haha!
Starting the Base Drawing
I was painting a watercolor, so I started with a drawing of the space, to get the layout right. The space was Ambient Plus Studio in Atlanta, Ga, which is a loft space drenched in sunlight, and the bones of the room were all exposed, so my perspective had to be perfect before I could work on anything else.
The First Dance
Leaving her wheelchair aside so she could dance :) It was an incredibly sweet moment.
I Spy An Easel
Look at the emotion in the room. The first dance was as powerful as walking down the aisle for everyone. This was 200 people who love Jaquie and Andy more than anything, and they were all witnessing the culmination of a year's hard work and hope. The blurry easel in the background is me, haha, working away!

Friday, August 26, 2016

White Monks: A Life in Shadows (15pics)

 The 'White Monks: A Life in Shadows' photography exhibition unveils scenes of life among Trappist monks from three monasteries in Spain. 
Here we present a selection of photographs taken in Monasterio de La Oliva in Navarra, Monasterio de San Pedro de Cardeña in Burgos, and Abadía San Isidro de Dueñas in Palencia, by British documentary photographer and filmmaker Francesca Phillips. The exhibition is currently open in London at Holy Trinity Church and will also be displayed at Wolfson College in Oxford from May 6.

 The Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance is a Roman Catholic contemplative, enclosed order of monks and nuns.

 They evolved from a succession of reforms to return to the true spirit of the Benedictines.

 Today their spiritual descendants, both monks and nuns, number nearly four thousand in forty-four countries.
 Abadiìa San Isidro de DuenÞas, Palencia
 The monks take vows of stability, conversion, which constitutes fidelity to monastic life and obedience.

 The Trappist monks live in solitude in an atmosphere of silence.

 These photographs offer a glimpse into an ancient way of life in extraordinary counterpoint to the modern world.
  Monasterio de San Pedro de Carden in Burgos
They form a testament to lives devoted to spiritual service.