26 Nov

Would it help if you could be attached to a rope? Not a bungee cord. A climbing rope.

And would it be comforting to know that you'd be jumping off the bridge at the same time as the 245 Brazilians who recently attempted the feat?

Back to the rope thing. Since there's not much give to a climbing rope, especially when compared to a bungee cord, how exactly does the end of the jump affect people? No one wants to be the person whose foot and shoe remain securely looped to the rope while everything else hurtles in free fall toward the ground.

It helps to understand something about the physics of pendulums. It helps even more if, as a jumper, you can act like one.

24 Nov

Judging by a few photos of the place, Toyota's new rental-showroom-and-cafe space in Tokyo seems perfectly suited for folks who'd prefer to have a side of car with their snacks and drinks , not the other way around.

But that seems to be the point. The Japanese automaker created Drive to Go by Toyota in order to entice younger customers to consider sharing or renting a car, since many of them are reportedly wary of ponying up the cash to buy one.

By making it just as easy, if not easier, to fill up oneself while also filling one's need for a vehicle, customers are arguably more likely to take the car-rental plunge. As is the case with many public gathering places nowadays, the cafe's furniture features power points for recharging mobile devices.

22 Nov

Humans aren’t the only species that show a preference for left-handedness or right-handedness. In fact, cats, dogs, and other animals have also demonstrated a preference for either the left or right side of their bodies. And new research may extend that behavior to insects.

A team of researchers at the Queensland Brain Institute recently discovered that honeybees can show a preference for either their left or right sides, although seem to have no preference at all. The preferences weren’t specific to any particular type of honeybee, showing just how unique these insects are in their personality traits.

20 Nov

Each day, a UK resident named Matt Rogers posts a video on his YouTube channel, where he offers his thoughts about Planet X. Under the name Sky Watcher, Rogers makes predictions about the alleged mini solar system, also known as NIBIRU. Rogers and other conspiracy theorists believe that the mystery system will soon pass by our own planet, causing serious disruptions in our weather patterns.

But our government is denying that all of this is about to happen, Rogers claims, saying that officials are afraid of inciting panic with an official announcement. If Rogers’ predictions are correct, those very officials will instead retreat to underground bunkers for safety while NIBIRU passes by, leaving those aboveground to fend for ourselves.

18 Nov

Videos and photos taken by smartphones have proliferated recently, documenting everything from questionable traffic stops to more serious crimes such as assault.

While those images have often proved useful in prompting authorities to act, smartphone cameras aren't always welcome in every, say, locker rooms, where people invariably pull out their phones even in the presence of signs forbidding the practice in the interest of protecting privacy.

Producers of live theater performances aren't thrilled by smartphone use inside theaters, either; after all, why fork over major bucks for a ticket if you have access to someone else's clandestine recording of it?

Now, researchers at the University of California, San Diego have come up with a method for complicating smartphone camera use.

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