Mobile Home, Flying Edition

Scroll down for today's pictures & links.

Mobile Home, Flying Edition

Four Pratt & Whitney engines propel this "flying RV boat" to recreational bliss in the clouds. Even if this is not real, somebody should definitely step up to the challenge and build this thing!


Today's pictures & links:

A Rainbow at Mt. Rundle, Banff, Canada

(image credit: Mark Thomas)

This is just one of many spectacular photos taken by Mark Thomas on the trip from Calgary to Vancouver (read the travelogue and see photos at Summit Post). Since we are based near Banff National Park ourselves, we are very aware of the Canadian Rockies's abundant natural wonders. With Mark Thomas' kind permission, here are more shots of the area:

Mt. Biddle & Lake McArthur with its vibrant color:

(image credit: Mark Thomas)

Some nameless, beautiful Alpine ledges:

(image credit: Mark Thomas)

Climbing even higher, here is a superb view from the Panorama Ridge:

(image credit: Mark Thomas)


Messier Deep Sky Object Number 78

Well, climbing even higher... we see a shimmering nebula and dense clouds of cosmic dust in the Orion constellation. This NGC 2068 nebula near the famous Orion's belt is often called "Reflection Nebula" because the dense dust clouds (which give birth to new stars) reflect the starlight around them. This beautiful pale blue glow is seen in visible light and hides even more deep objects inside (more info).

(image credit: ESO/APEX T. Stanke/Igor Chekalin/Digitized Sky Survey 2)

We flipped the original photo on the side to better fit the format of our page (after all there is no up and down in space). See the full version here.


Manhattan: Before and After

One picture is worth a million words, especially in this case (part of the Mannahatta Project, a digital recreation of Manhattan circa 1609):

(image credit: Wildlife Conservation Society, via)

"There were paintings and maps... most notably Victor Gifford Audobon's "View of Hudson River" and the British Headquarter's Map of Manhattan from 1783... that presented idyllic visions of Manhattan". The original Lenape people called the island, Mannahatta, meaning "Island of Many Hills" (today it is rather the Island of Many Skyscrapers).

Purchase the study "Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City" here and read more about it.


Mixed fresh links for today:

Coming Soon: Mining the Asteroids - [wow space]
Rare Sea Monster Caught on Video - [a Deepstaria Enigmatica!]
Awesome Prosthetic Leg Design - [from Japan]
Transparent Aluminum, Dry Water, & more - [wow science]
The Oldest Mayan Calendar Discovered - [no Apocalypse]
Wonderfully complete, high-res map of Middle Earth - [wow map]
A Firsthand Account of the Hindenburg Disaster - [doc, info]
Old Lady Crossing the Highway - [wow video]
Augmented Reality Sandbox - [wow art, video]
Subterranean Landscapes of Sicily's Salt Mines - [gallery]
Tesla Coils Dueling Banjos - [wow video]
Probably the best steam train video ever - [wow video]
Gorgeous Cyberpunk Future Paris - [wow video]
Be-A-Doll: Action Figures of your Loved Ones - [great gift idea]


A "Kerr Stuart" Traction engine showing the "Pedrail System" (1902)

The Pedrail wheel and the pedrail locomotive were invented by Bramah Joseph Diplock of London - this was the original "steam caterpillar", as seen in 1904 drawing by The New York Times:

(images via)

While researching this topic, we also came by other great tracked vehicles; some of them snowmobiles, perfect for frozen Canadian landscapes. Here is a B71 snowmobile for "Perfection Ice Cream" (left), and other snowmobiles by Joseph-Armand Bombardier, whose dream was "to build a little machine that glides over the snow" - the dream that resulted in the machine we now call the snowmobile:

(images via 1, 2)


Cute Little Manta Ray (Wants to Say Something)

(original unknown)


Abandoned Cathedral in Snow

As you remember, we had the article Exploring the Ruins of Gary, Indiana. Today the photographer David Tribby announces the giveaway of his spectacular print "City Methodist Church, Gary Indiana after the 2011 blizzard":

(image credit: David Tribby)

Full details of the giveaway are here, also see the full version.


A rare fisheye Nikkor: the world’s most extreme wide-angle

This is a rare 1970 fisheye Nikkor 6mm f/2.8 lens (on sale at Gray’s of Westminster in London, UK) that offers an angle of view of 220º, and comes with a price tag of $160,000 USD.

(images credit: Tony Hurst)

The lens uses 12 glass elements in nine groups, and weighs a staggering 11.46 pounds! - more info.


The following is a short round-up of the best from our Facebook stream (which we update every day with unique material, not available on DRB otherwise):

Something unmentionable happened to this Bentley - more info:

(image via)

This cat has a lot to say:

(original unknown)

"Goodness gracious me!" -

(image via)

Fantastic, sophisticated ring, designed by Sergey Zhiboedov - it's inspired by the antique Greek architecture and true classic style, and includes 14k gold figures of the Atlant (male) and the Caryatid (female) giants supporting an amazing 9mm freshwater pearl:

(image credit: Sergey Zhiboedov)

Some grassroots ingenuity regarding washing the dishes... and a knitter who was bored? -

Owl in Hiding! -

(original unknown)

A tooth monster! (definitely NOT a fairy) -

Some assorted alpacas, looking like a 1980s rock group lineup:

(photo by Kerstin Joensson/AP)

This balancing rock is a tall basalt stack located on the coasts of Digby County (part of North Mountain and cliffs along St. Mary’s Bay and the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia) -

Nikita Khrushchev in 1959, showing Communist Party members of the Politburo the benefits of growing corn all over Russia (even in the cold climate areas):

"After a trip to Iowa in 1959, he became a huge enthusiast of corn and decided to introduce it to his country", a doomed obsession that would carry a huge cost to the Soviet Union in the years to come.


Almost Unexplainable:

(image via)

But no, the explanation can be found here: this is "a diver at Tokyo's Sunshine International Aquarium, wearing a traditional kimono, embracing a Giant Moray during a feeding performance."


Galaxies on Edge... and the Galactic Onion Rings

All these edge-on observed galaxies are from the Virgo Cluster and the Coma Berenices, an area incredibly rich in deep space objects of all sorts: NGC 4452 is an interesting flat-line Galaxy on Edge (lower left) and NGC 4402 shows some star formation and dust turbulence along its edge (upper left). On the right is spectacular NGC 4565, a "Needle Galaxy" that shows more traditional structure in the center:

(images via 1, 2, 3)

Ngc488 in Pisces resembles an onion cut in half, or some cosmic "onion rings":

(images via)


Bored at work? Then try assembling these structures:

(image credit: Knormy)

or this -

(sent in by Jay Gairson)


"Welcome to Weirdsville" book by one of the DRB contributing writers, author M. Christian

Check out this compendium of the bizarre facts and marvelous (mostly true) stories: order the Kindle edition from Amazon, and the print version will be in the stores soon.

Many of the chapters of this book were originally published here on Dark Roasted Blend (with additional material and illustrations), so much of it will be familiar to our long-time readers - but for those new to wonderfully tongue-in-cheek erudite style of M. Christian we recommend to give this book a try.


Did you hear about the Steampunk World's Fair?

It will take place May 18-20 in Piscataway, NJ. Featuring the extraordinary Steampunk Circus, the Carnival Obscura, absinthe tasting... plus Dr. Grimm himself is expected to attend.

Besides the "Lost Treasures of Steampunk" (a program promoting overlooked works by steampunk artists) to look forward to, this year’s Steampunk World’s Fair promises to be grand: over 3,000 steampunk enthusiasts come to the World’s Fair each year along with hundreds of performers, artisans, writers, and creators from across the country - more info.


Some Reviews: Monkeys and Energy

Not that monkeys need any additional energy, but we do. Here at Dark Roasted Blend we get some commercial product samples from time to time, and here is a couple that "hit the sweet spot":

Funky Monkey Snacks boast great taste and very unique process of "freeze-drying full slices and pieces of real fruit to lock in taste, smell and nutrients of freshly picked fruit, while creating a fun and satisfying crunch". Well, these were lovely to crunch and snack on.

And then these is a new energy drink concept in town - MIO Liquid Water Enhancer. These droplets of extremely concentrated energy stuff - zero calories, zero sugar and six flavours - come in very cool-looking Mio bottles (one such bottle can turn into energy drink full twenty four 16oz bottles of water):


A couple of weird t-shirts


Can you spot Keanu Reeves?

(original unknown)


I sense some angst in this graffiti.

Or just dissatisfaction with Mickey Mouse?

(original unknown)


The utmost in balance!

Try it at home.


A Perfectionist's Routine:



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Blogger Rachel said...

In that b&w picture with Keanu on one side... Johnny Depp is on the other.


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