1 July 2016

Accidents, Blunders and Calamities


A father possum reads his kids a story that’s an alphabet of the most dangerous animal of all – HUMANS! Inspired by the Edward Gorey classic, this black-comedy for kids and parents alike is a hilarious and brutal alphabet of death and mayhem exacted upon animals by ignorant humans. 30 CGI animals were meticulously crafted and killed by a team of 44 students at Media Design School.

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Gambling Online and Avoiding Rogue Casino Operators

Although the industry that supports online casinos and online gambling in general has come a long way there continues to be draw backs. The vast majority of the draw backs and pitfalls to online casino gambling as a player for the most part revolve around the integrity of the operator. Something that not all players recognize when playing online is that operators that run online casinos are not all created equal. Many online casino operators continue to choose to defraud their players purely for selfish reasons and increasing their own wealth at a quicker pace. Make no mistake regardless of how you look at it the operators that run online casinos are in the business of making money so naturally there's going to be a bad bunch among them.

Players getting started at online casinos can benefit from avoiding some of the pitfalls when it comes to choosing where to play. A lot of the risk associated with playing online can be mitigated simply by playing at an online casino that is powered by the likes of Microgaming, Playtech or Net Entertainment. All these software providers are regarded as industry leaders and have a fairly rigorous vetting process to ensure that operators that use their software run their casino brands with integrity. Even still choosing a casino powered by one of these software providers is not fool proof and there will still be the few rogue operators among the many. Ultimately approaching with caution is advisable and starting out small, attempting to withdrawal when you win and testing their customer support will give you greater confidence as to how things may work out with a particular brand.

One way to take a lot of the guesswork out of where to play is by visiting an online casino portal. There are many such portals out there with listings and reviews some of which cater to specific markets like website AussieOnline.com which providers information dedicated at serving Australian online casino players. Similarly players from New Zealand can visit a site such as this NZ casino portal & guide for information on the brands that are recommended to them in their market.

If you're ever in doubt on where you should play a quick google search can help you identify portals that provide reviews and ratings for the jurisdiction you reside in and assist you in making a decision on where to play next!
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30 June 2016

Villa Epecuén: Argentina’s Pompeii Revealed

Villa Epecuén Argentina Abandoned Submerged Town Flooded Like Pompeii
Once, people would flock to the small town of Villa Epecuén in Argentina’s Buenos Aires Province to take advantage of the saline, healing waters of its lake. Decades of tourism was wiped away in November 1985.  The rains were unusually heavy and the lake burst its banks.  The entire town of more than 100 blocks disappeared under ten meters of water.

Villa Epecuén Argentina Abandoned Submerged Town Flooded Like Pompeii

26 June 2016

Nightvision: The Brilliance and Diversity of European Architecture


Nightvision is a celebration of the brilliance and diversity of architecture found across Europe. Over the course of three months Luke Shepard journeyed with a friend through 36 cities in 21 countries with the ambition of capturing some of the greatest European structures in a new and unique way. Comprised of thousands of carefully taken photographs, strung together, Nightvision aims to inspire appreciation for these man-made landmarks.

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Orbit


How did the moon first come in to Earth’s orbit? Theories abound… and this isn’t one of them.  However, the idea that the moon was having a childish race with another celestial body when it got stuck in our orbit is a novel and entertaining one, given life in this animated short by Francesca Pich.

What in my mind makes this even better is the fact that the moon then sulks for four and a half billion years until… well, you had better watch this to find out what finally lifts the moon’s mood!

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Would Say Would Fall


The byline for this short documentary by MEL Films is two guys, a particle accelerator and a lost city with a story to tell and them sums it up succinctly. We visit Vesuvius, the far from dead volcano in Southern Italy which destroyed the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 AD.  The documentary focuses on scrolls discovered in a library of the latter city, which now look more like large chunks of charcoal.  Inside, though, the writings of the ancients persevere.  Would Say Would Fall discovers how scientists, using a type of X-ray vision similar to a CAT scan, are rediscovering what is written on these scrolls.

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Please Help Keep Kuriositas Online

You may or may not know this but Kuriositas is curated by just one person – and that person would be me! There are a number of expenses that the site incurs each month and so, with my cap in my hand, I’m going to beg a favour.

If you enjoy Kuriositas, please consider helping out with the cost of running the site.  As you can guess, it takes a lot of time and effort, too!

Below this post you will see a button which will enable you to make a contribution safely and securely. You can give as little or as much as you like – I’m not going to limit your choices! Anything will be gratefully received and will help to ensure that I can carry on bringing you all the great science, art and interesting things in-between that makes the site what it is.

So, if you read or watch something that you have really enjoyed, please think about sending us a small donation. Thanks!

Best regards

Robert-John

PS: The donation page is set to US dollars as that is where we get most of our traffic from. So, if you are outside the USA please remember to calculate the amount from your currency first!
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25 June 2016

Now We Know Why the Daleks Always Fail (and Other Stories)

Doctor Who fans regularly scratch their heads and wonder why a force such as the daleks always seems to be beaten.  Well, now we know.  It seems that the genetic structure of the original beasts of Skaro has been somewhat usurped by that of another life form – the minions.  It seems only right, considering their attempts to do nasty things with our DNA to enhance their own. It doesn’t stop there, however. Their casings have now become multiple rather than single residences.  I guess it’s more fun that way.

This amusing picture and those below were created by Rooners Toy Photography on Flickr.  Pop over and take a look at the whole stream – lots of Doctor Who stuff but representatives, too, from other science fiction shows.

The Flying Monkeys of Burlington

Flying winged monkey sculpture burlington vermont
Even though Burlington is the largest city in the US state of Vermont, its population only numbers just over 40,000 souls.  Yet every place needs its guardians and protectors and Burlington has its very own to defend and preserve the population.  The fact that they are winged monkeys might raise few eyebrows in the town: for visitors these primates with plumage are a source of surprise and delight.

Flying winged monkey sculpture burlington vermont
Flying winged monkey sculpture burlington vermont
Although no one is 100 percent sure where Burlington acquired its name, the city has a history dating back to 1763 when a land grant was given to one Samuel Willis and 63 others.  The winged monkeys are a more recent addition: their essentially gargoyle form lends itself well to the town’s European roots.

If You Have Never Wanted to Visit Shanghai, You Will After You Watch This


Shanghai is the most populous city (proper) in the world and has seen remarkable growth over the last few decades.  This superlative time-lapse by Brian Hawkins was filmed in the Huangpu and Pudong areas of the city.  Thanks to a knowledgeable fixer he managed to get access to some roof-tops enabling him to produce this timelapse showing Shanghai from some rare angles.  Remarkable.

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Escargore


Claude and his friends chose the wrong lettuce to have for lunch and now they have been plucked from their garden home and in to the kitchen.  Can all five of them make it back to freedom?  Going by the title I think you can guess what happens next in this entertaining horror comedy for snails by a group of students at the Media Design School in New Zealand.

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Nocturno


When you are consigned to live forever things can get a little tedious to say the least.  Can you imagine generation after generation with the same problems and issues?  Even an angel, fallen or otherwise, might get a little jaded.  This short, written and directed by Herminio Cardiel focuses in on one lonely immortal who believes that he is the only one.  This evening, however, he is in for something of a surprise.

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24 June 2016

Gamevice makes your iPhone a Portable Gaming Powerhouse

If one your favourite medium to play games is your mobile device, you can insure that you are playing in style with the new Gamevice iPhone controller. With all the convenience of the portability of your iPhone, gaming is now on the go.

While tapping and swiping on a screen may be fun for some, adding an attachable controls device may be the perfect solution to experience gaming which is fully in your power on a mobile device. Taking charge of your gaming outcomes has never been this easy.

Gamevice also understands the irritations caused by ugly or bulky devices which attach to your phone and cause more nuisance than pleasure. Gamevice’s controller provides an aesthetic appeal which compliments your iPhone and adds value, instead of detracting from your phones overall look. It also weights only 0.16kg, creating less distracting and sometimes painful game related fatigue. This weight and compact size also makes it easier to transport, allowing you to play anywhere, anytime.

The controls include 4 buttons, which are made up of a D-pad, duel analogue joysticks, and four front triggers. These buttons suit the look and feel of your classic controllers which are designed for ultimate user satisfaction.

If you are a fan of iPhone gaming, you will already know that there is a huge selection of games to choose from. This controller is compatible with over 800 games, and is the only featured gaming device in Apple stores, but if you want online pokies, you will need to download the casino app.

This controller fits snugly onto your iPhone mobile device as it is made specifically for you and your needs. If you want a device which is easy to use and improves your overall gaming experience, the Gamevice controller is for you. If you are a fan of online casinos, you can visit Casino Mate at https://www.casino-mate.com/.

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19 June 2016

A Handful of Soil - Garść Ziemi


A young Polish immigrant returns to the country of his birth after his father’s death.  Retracing his family’s past he discovers how the fight for freedom in Poland would change their lives forever.  This touching short film was directed by Piotr Skowronski and stars Levan Sonego and Sebastian Naskrent. English subtitles above, Polish ones below.  If you don’t speak both languages you will need one or the other.
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The Pink Robin: The Gloriously Pink-breasted Bird

The robin, both European and American is famous for its red breast.  The subject of nursery rhymes and Christmas cards the male of the species is resplendent in red. Australia, too, has a robin.  One might, of course, expect this particular country to produce something a little different: it has form, after all.  So, step forward the pink robin, Australia’s passerine of pulchritudinous pinkness.  Our sibling site, the Ark in Space has the full story.
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Zuri


Zuri is a forest spirit who nurtures his home world, allowing it to grow and thrive.  Yet one day his planet has a visitor from the stars, one intent on commandeering and using the resources of this beautiful place. A confrontation is inevitable but will forest magic be able to defeat the onslaught of avaricious technology? Zuri is the work of a number of students at the Digipen Institute of Technology in Singapore.
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Iggy Pop – Do Not Go Gentle


When you think about it, this was almost inevitable.  So inevitable, in fact, that it is a wonder that no-one has previously imagined Iggy Pop reciting perhaps Dylan Thomas’ most famous poem.  Grey London, an “open, ambitious collision of almost 500 people working in London’s Hatton Garden” has done just that. Nils Leonard, one of the collision’s cohort created the visuals here.

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Auto


I may have led a sheltered life but I don’t think I have ever seen timelapse photography done in quite the same way as in Auto, the Rhode Island School of Design senior film by Conner Griffith.  I'm not sure it could even be described as such but watch it and decide for yourself. Instead of people and cars appearing as blurs, Griffith has taken a single frame for each (or very few) and then added the next person or car.  It’s when static things start moving that you might scratch your head when trying to figure out how he did this.

Then there are the hot air balloons. You will have to wait till the very end for the money shot (as it were) but I have no clue how this was done.  And do you know something, I’m not sure I care.  Widescreen and volume up, folks!

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18 June 2016

The Tallest Abandoned Structure in the World: The Leaning Tower of Yekaterinburg

Turn your eyes skyward anywhere in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg and you will see it.  A tall off-white, disheveled but somehow elegant tower is by far the tallest building in Russia’s fourth most populated city.

Yet this is not a monument to a fallen tsar or departed dictator.  It is a TV tower. What is more, it’s an unfinished TV tower.  Nonetheless it gives the city another claim to fame – as the home to the tallest abandoned structure in the world.

There are three parts to the building:  the trunk of the tower, the lower joint-work with the base and the metallic aerial. The tower has 26 floors in total (not accounting the floors which make up the base). The lifts were never installed.  Instead any visitors must clamber up the concrete stairs of the half-complete tower.  It is quite the local landmark.

The Teacher’s Lament


If you are a teacher you will probably ‘get’ this immediately!  It’s a small ‘semi-sonnet’ which sums up something that seems to happen a lot.  Even if you’re not I expect it resonates as the same could be said for virtually every profession.   So perhaps this shouldn’t have been called The Teacher’s Lament at all – perhaps The Worker’s Lament instead?  It’s short and my first attempt at poetry since I was about 16 so be kind..!

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