In Alaska’s North Slope lives a population of bowhead whales with a remarkable life span. Some whales in the water are over 200 years old, and were alive even before Moby Dick, the famous novel about the white whale, was written. This population is the made up of the few survivors that made it through the commercial whaling spree from 1848 to 1915, which killed all the whales except 1,000 or so animals. These whales, some with barbed steel points still imbedded in their 17-19 inch blubber, rebuilt the population.
The bowhead whale gets its name from its definitive bow-shaped skull that measures over 16.5 feet long and is about 30-40% of their total body length. The bow shape helps the animal break through thick ice in the winter time when it needs air.
(via The Smithsonian)
Samuel Clemens, a.k.a Mark Twain, was great friends with American inventor and businessman Thomas Edison. Edison once said, “An average American loves his family. If he has any love left over for some other person, he generally selects Mark Twain.”
In 1909, Edison visited Twain’s home in Redding, CT, and filmed the famous author, creating the only known recording of the man in existence. Twain, very interested in the inventions Edison showed him, tried to record himself reciting his short story “An American Claimant” in a phonograph, but after 48 tries to get it perfectly, he gave up, and his attempts were lost. He tried again later at Edison’s laboratory in New York, but those cylinders were destroyed in a fire in 1914.
(via Mental Floss)
“The History of Typography” is a fascinating stop motion animation that provides a historical overview of typography in five minutes. Designer Ben Barrett-Forrest cut nearly 300 paper letters to make the animation.
(via Laughing Squid)
Why do our bodies, usually 98 degrees Fahrenheit, feel like it’s about to melt if the temperature is only in the 80′s or 90′s outside?
It’s because of how our bodies regulate heat. Any kind of physical activity our bodies make produces heat, regardless of whether it’s strenuous like working out, or chemical like digestion. In order to keep from overheating, our bodies release that extra heat into the atmosphere, which, ideally, absorbs the heat, keeping our bodies cool. However, if the weather outside is already hot, releasing extra heat into the atmosphere doesn’t work so well, and it’s harder for our bodies to get rid of that unwanted warmth. That’s why, even if the air outside isn’t as hot as our bodies, it’s still hot enough to reject extra heat, and our bodies have to resort to more extreme measures, such as evaporating heat through sweating, to keep itself at the ideal 98 degrees Fahrenheit. Sweating is a very efficient way for our bodies to get rid of extra heat in the summer time, but if it’s humid outside as well, that can be a problem. To learn why, read one of my previous posts on the subject.
(via Life’s Little Mysteries)
Not many people think about the music that accompanies movie trailers, but there is a surprising amount of work involved in making people want to see the actual movie. Because the music in the actual production is copyrighted, separate companies have to compose music, often blindly, to fit the movie trailer. In this short clip, co-founder Yoav Goren of Immediate Music, a lead company in movie trailer business, explains what all is involved in this overlooked art.
P.S. Please note that the PG rating for language on the still screen shot doesn’t apply to the documentary.
(via Laughing Squid)