23 October 2016


A solitary dish washing robot living out his life in the back room of a restaurant is enlightened to the world that exists beyond his four walls, with the help of a small friend he breaks free of confinement to pursue his dream of exploration. Hum was created for the junior year advanced production class in 2015 by a group of students at Chapman’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. The film was created over one semester (February 2015 – May 2015) with a budget of $2000. 
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The Art of the Romanian Haystack

At this time of year the fields of the Romanian countryside are full of new haystacks.  Over the centuries this particular method of haystack building has become more refined to the point where the haystacks of Romania have their own unique characteristics. Haystacks like this are found nowhere else on earth.

It is of absolute importance to get the haystack just right.  In the past, without the extra food supply to see them through the cold Romanian winter, vital farm animals would have perished.  If the haystack is compromised then disaster could strike.  Great care, then, has always been taken in the construction of these stacks, some of which tower over four meters in height.

Sea Lebrities: The Sea Lions of Pier 39

We often read about people taking over the natural habitat of other species but today the Ark in Space tells the story of a rare case when the animals came back and reclaimed their territory from us.  It happened in San Francisco - where admittedly stranger things may have happened over the years.

Local Californian Sea Lions have always been present in the city’s bay but had been pushed out to Seal Rocks, a small formation at the north end of the Ocean Beach.  Pier 39’s K Dock was developed and opened in 1978.  Little did we know that the sea lions also had their eyes on this particular piece of seaside real estate.

The Ark in Space has a great feature, packed with pictures, telling the history of these unusual squatters!

First Image Credit Flickr User WallyG
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Valley of the Last Dinosaurs

Tyler Lyson is one of those very lucky people who has known since he was a small child exactly what he wanted to do and was born close to where he wanted to do it, the Hell Creek Formation.  This is one of the most dinosaur bone-rich places in the world and where dinosaurs roamed when the big rock landed from the sky. MEL Films joins him on one of his annual ‘dino camp’ excursions where a triceratops skull, hidden for 160 million years, awaits discovery.
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Borrowed Time

A weathered Sheriff returns to the remains of an accident he has spent a lifetime trying to forget. With each step forward, the memories come flooding back. Faced with his mistake once again, he must find the strength to carry on. Borrowed Time is an animated short film, directed by Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj, and produced by Amanda Deering Jones. The music is by Academy Award winner Gustavo Santaolalla.

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22 October 2016

Teufelsberg: Abandoned Cold War Listening Station Built on an Artificial Hill

A remnant of the Cold War, Teufelsberg Listening Station stands deserted, abandoned to the ravages of time and vandals.  Dominating Brandenburg Plain, in the northern section of Berlin’s Grunewald Forest, the permanent station at Teufelsberg was constructed in 1963.  Yet perhaps the most surprising fact is that the hill itself is less than twenty years older than the listening station that sits atop it.

At the end of the Second World War, Berlin was in ruins.  The process was to take more than twenty The process of rebuilding was to take more than twenty years but by 1948 the city was in crisis.  The Soviet Union had blocked all transport access to the parts of the city under Allied control, to effectively control Berlin.

How to Design a Particle Accelerator

Have you ever wondered how to design a particle accelerator but were too afraid to ask? Well, now you don’t have to live in ignorance anymore.   Suzie Sheehy discusses how they work, what form they take, and what champagne means to an accelerator physicist.  This animation is part of an excellent series of science-based shorts by the Royal Institution which have really helped to make science more approachable to a lot of people.

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Domestic Policy

Margaret was an ambulance driver on the Western Front during the Great War. Now, however, it’s 1919: the war is over and she has gone back to her job as tea lady to government ministers.  It is while she performs her duties that she overhears the plans that the cabinet has for women now that their war-time services are no longer required.  Written and directed by Alicia MacDonald this short film may leave you wondering whether it is fact or fiction…

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When two young gods fall out the consequences for life on earth can be... apocalyptic! This very entertaining animated short was created by a group of students at Supinfocom Valenciennes in 2015 and, after the festival runs, has recently been released on to the internet.

For anyone interested in animation, Greek legend and dinosaurs, this is a must!

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18 October 2016

HyperNormalisation: A new film by Adam Curtis available on BBC iPlayer

Is the world that we know it changed, quietly, forever – and are we complicit in that change simply because of our inactivity? This question and many others is raised by the new film by Adam Curtis, available on BBC iPlayer.  It is causing something of a stir on social networks and for good reason as it asks a number of long overdue questions.

First and foremost is this: do we live in a world where the truth is no longer valued – to the extent that the term post-truth has been coined?

There is another word in the mix too, one which I have not come across before – and that is HyperNormalisation (excuse the capitals, not quite sure what to do with them!).  The teaser above is just that – it is the process of how we got to where we are now – the point at which the truth, at least politically, is no longer a prerequisite in terms of what we demand from our politicians.

The simplified and frankly fake version of the world that many of us now see is where the term hypernormalisation comes in and this riveting film has a cast of characters from over forty years.  Has the chaos of those years culminated in a kind of paralysis where those who are supposed to lead us find that they do not know what to do?

Take a look at this film – you can then judge for yourself how this perceived retreat from the reality of the world has taken on an authenticity all of its own.

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16 October 2016

Dalek Pumpkin

Just because we have never seen one before. Just because the maker of this particular Halloween pumpkin really knows his Kaled anatomy (post mutation of course and tucked inside its new shell) and... just because we thought you would love it!

The carrot is an unusual eye-piece - and the whisker is just what you might expect.  Plus - what is that sticking outside? Are the Daleks tracking down Timelords through their ability to hide from the rest of the universe?

Whoever made this - we salute you!

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Now that’s what I Call a Halloween Costume

What makes a great Halloween costume? Money? Certainly the more you spend the more likely your costume is going to be realistic and scary. Time? Perhaps – the more elaborate a costume is then the longer it will take to prepare. Energy? Perhaps, but the single most vital element that makes for a great Halloween costume is thought (and perhaps a permutation or combination of the above too). Here are some of the best Halloween costumes we found.

Something unusual that others may not have considered can do the trick nicely.  Not many people would have considered making a costume based on the front cover of Seth Grahame-Smith's 2009 mashup novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  However, it works beautifully on two levels.  First and foremost, those in the know will just worship your creation.  Secondly, even if people are unaware of the novel they will still think that you have made a brilliant effort - and it is certainly a twist on the zombie hosts we see every year.


It wouldn’t really be Halloween without a short movie following a kid dressed as the devil as he goes around on his annual trick or treat mission.

Yet this year he may get more than he bargained for!

This very short short was written and directed by Matteo Bernardini who shoots shorts, documentaries and music videos while training for features.

One word of advice. Watch this very, very closely. Blink and you may miss it!
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ABC of Monsters

Halloween is almost upon us and so it’s time to remember those monsters that kept you awake at night.

Here we have an ABC of monsters, each letter of the alphabet assigned to a particular beasty (though I am not sure about ET’s inclusion to be honest!). It was created by La Pompadour.

This is probably a good time for a confession - although I think I got most of these there were one two which I just simply cannot guess!
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Things That Go Bump in the Night

Tommy SpaSe And The Alchemists are a seven piece band from Los Angeles (well, this is the earth bound city they call home, at least) and they have a little Halloween treat for you. And it's a blast.

Producing what they refer to as WhimZicaL, HigHEneRgY, TheAtRicaL, KoZmiC, VauDeVilliaN Rock, I find it very hard to disagree with that description - in fact it is a way perfect to describe their sound. To find out more about the band, head for their website.

I have to admit that I had not heard of the band before I had seen this promo and to be honest, I love them!  I will be checking out the rest of their catalogue.  In the meantime, this video certainly demands more than one view - as Tommy and the band navigate the netherworld, spirits stir, the forest churns and if you blink you feel that you have missed something.

This awesome video is directed by the extremely talented Micah Chambers-Goldberg, otherwise known as MicahMonkey.  As well as directing music videos he is gaining a reputation for himself as an illustrator and painter.

The combination of Tommy SpaSe And The Alchemists' music with the directorial flair of MicahMonkey lead to quite a ghoulish music video for Halloween!
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10 October 2016

Coulrophobia – Are You Afraid of Clowns?

Did you find Heath Ledger as The Joker scary? Then perhaps you suffer from coulrophobia, the abnormal fear of clowns. Join a self-confessed coulrophobic for a look at these guys and see if you are too- as if you don’t already know!

9 October 2016

Please Help Keep Kurositas 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. There is also a Support Kuriositas button right at the top right hand corner of the site.

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


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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8 October 2016

The Human Towers of the Castellers

No one is quite sure but at some point in the 18th century someone in the Valls, near the Catalonian city of Tarragona dreamed of a tower of a castle (castell in Catalonian).  Yet he may not have been an architect or an engineer: his tower was made of people.

It was an idea that took off.  It developed throughout Catalonia – even spreading as far as Majorca – and has for the last few decades been enjoying something of a renaissance after many years of prohibition under General Franco.  Although it is popular throughout many parts of Spain, you have to go to its birthplace to find the most skilled castellers.

Amung Feedjit
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