We played mile high tennis and have the photos to prove it

Tuesday, 23 September, 2014

Tennis game, aircraft wing

There’s playing tennis, and then there’s playing tennis on the top wing of a biplane, at an altitude of one kilometre or thereabouts. I wonder how long a rally might last on such a narrow… court?

Via Historical Pics.

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Please accept this apology that is being made by proxy

Tuesday, 23 September, 2014

If, somehow, you fancy a career as a professional apologiser – as opposed to an apologist – then Japan is the place to go. There you might find work with an “apology agency”.

By hiring an expert, not only do you get to avoid the discomfort, you also make sure that the person gets a proper apology. These agencies train their employees to handle things based on the gravity of the situation. These people are professionals, and it looks like they can get you out of all sorts of sticky situations.

You have to wonder how a person on the receiving end of a professional apology must feel though. Wouldn’t it be a little too impersonal? It’s the thought that counts I guess.

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Ho Fan’s photos of Hong Kong from the 1950s

Tuesday, 23 September, 2014

The way Hong Kong just to be… a collection of photos of the city taken by renown Hong Kong based photographer Ho Fan, as a teenager.

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Playing violin… one way to whittle away the time during surgery

Tuesday, 23 September, 2014

Stories come along from time about people who wake up, or regain consciousness, while supposedly under anaesthetic during surgery. I’m not sure how I’d react if that were me, save to say I’d likely be petrified.

Then there’s the case of a Lithuanian woman who played violin during some recent brain surgery. Yes, you read that correctly, and it wasn’t because she wanted to keep herself amused, her playing was crucial to the outcome of the procedure

Naomi Elishuv used to be a world-class violinist who played with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, but uncontrollable shaking caused by a neurological disorder called essential tremor forced her to stop playing 20 years ago, the Telegraph reports. She only recently learned of deep brain stimulation, the surgery that could correct the problem, but there was an unusual aspect to her eventual operation: Elishuv had to play her violin during the procedure at Israel’s Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center on Tuesday so doctors could make sure they positioned an electrode needed to stop the tremors in the correct place.

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This is what synchronised traffic chaos look like

Monday, 22 September, 2014

You may not want to drive in a city centre, or try to walk across a street, after watching Fernando Livschitz’s Rush Hour

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Stuck in the present? You could try asking the past what to do…

Monday, 22 September, 2014

Stumped by a present day problem? Contemporary advice for a contemporary issue not cutting it? Maybe it’s time to take a leaf from our forebears’ books, and try out ideas from the past.

So to get you started, some old school advice, from 1595, for doing well at school:

Make no noyse nor use any meane, whereby thou maiest disturbe thy schoolefellowes: much lesse thy schoolemaster. Be a patterne of good manners, industry, curtesie, and obeying thy Master unto all in the Shoole. So shall thy praise be great, and thy profit greater.

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Even when I sleep I can still be productive

Monday, 22 September, 2014

If you have a full diary, or an overly busy schedule, news that you might be able to do a thing or two while sleeping could be music to your ears

The researchers then lulled the participants to sleep, putting them in a dark room in a reclining chair. Researchers watched them fall into the state between light sleep and the deeper sleep known as rapid eye movement (REM). They were then told a new list of words. This time, their hands didn’t move, but their brains showed the same sorting activity as before. “In a way, what’s going on is that the rule they learn and practice still is getting applied,” Tristan Bekinschtein, one of the authors of the study, told Shots. The human brain continued, when triggered, to respond even through sleep.

It sounds like what we might be able to do while asleep is pretty limited – actually it’s incredible that anything at all is possible – so I wouldn’t go expecting to achieve all that much.

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Procrastination, a symptom that all may not be well?

Monday, 22 September, 2014

Simply trying to force yourself into action may not be the remedy for procrastination. In fact procrastination may be symptomatic of stress and low self-compassion, suggests some Canadian research into the subject.

Sirois found that people prone to procrastination had lower levels of self-compassion and higher levels of stress. Further analysis revealed that procrastination might increase levels of stress – particularly among people low in self-compassion.

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The original “Star Trek” in the widescreen

Friday, 19 September, 2014

Star Trek widescreen by Nick Acosta

San Francisco based illustrator and concept artist Nick Acosta has created a series of images depicting scenes from the orginal “Star Trek” television show, that, by the way, first went to air forty-eight years ago, in widescreen format. This I could get into I think…

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The dark of night, a relic of a bygone age?

Friday, 19 September, 2014

The dark of night has become a thing of the past, an anachronism, in an age where there’s always a light switched on somewhere… how’s that for a take on light pollution from US astronomer Tyler Nordgren?

“We’re losing the stars,” the 45-year-old astronomer told me. “Think about it this way: For 4.5 billion years, Earth has been a planet with a day and a night. Since the electric light bulb was invented, we’ve progressively lit up the night, and have gotten rid of it. Now 99 percent of the population lives under skies filled with light pollution.”

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