This early 20th century photo reminds us of the Slicey the Pig Dashboard Wiggler. Could this be one of Slicey’s ancestors?

“The Pig Cafeteria” was an exhibit produced by the Department of Agriculture to educate farmers about new methods of farming and raising livestock — specifically, what to feed pigs so that they would be healthy and profitable.

Now we get it: Before a pig becomes so delicious that he starts offering up slices of himself for you to enjoy, he has to visit “The Pig Cafeteria” in order to fatten up.
[via Retronaut]

This early 20th century photo reminds us of the Slicey the Pig Dashboard Wiggler. Could this be one of Slicey’s ancestors?

“The Pig Cafeteria” was an exhibit produced by the Department of Agriculture to educate farmers about new methods of farming and raising livestock — specifically, what to feed pigs so that they would be healthy and profitable.

Now we get it: Before a pig becomes so delicious that he starts offering up slices of himself for you to enjoy, he has to visit “The Pig Cafeteria” in order to fatten up.

[via Retronaut]

Because we’re always happy to be reminded that cuttlefish are incredibly awesome, here’s a fascinating video by Science Friday that invites us to play a game called “Where’s the Cuttlefish?" and learn about how and why these amazing little cephalopods change the color and patterns of their skin. By studying their camouflage capabilities, scientists are learning how the cuttlefish perceive their surroundings and how it’s surprisingly similar to the way humans do:

"Cuttlefish change the patterns on their body for courtship rituals, when they eat a snack, and most famously when they want to blend in. How they change their skin patterns may tell us something about how they see the world, says Duke biologist Sarah Zylinski. Her work suggests that when cuttlefish see incomplete shapes, they fill in the visual blanks — much like humans do.”

[via Laughing Squid]

Nature + Science + Art = Super Awesome!

These amazing gifs, created from a video by Jonathon Bird’s Blue World, show a diver releasing a non-toxic fluorescent dye at the base of different sponges in the Caribbean to beautifully demonstrate how they feed on microscopic plankton by pumping and filtering the water through their bodies.

Click here to watch the actual video.

[via the io9 Observation Deck and reefs.com]

An audio illusion

Check out this amazing audio illusion that demonstrates one of the human brain’s awesome abilities. Jayatri Das, chief bioscientist at the Franklin Institute, first plays a short audio clip that’s been digitally altered so that it sounds like utter gibberish to our ears. Even knowing what you’re hearing, “The Constitution Center is at the next stop.”, doesn’t help at all. Next she plays the unaltered clip, which is clearly a woman’s voice speaking perfectly normally. Then Das plays the gibberish version again. And that’s when something incredible happens.

Now that your brain knows the words, it can’t help but hear them despite the heavy distortion.

"The point is: When our brains know what to expect to hear, they do, even if, in reality, it is impossible. Not one person could decipher that clip without knowing what they were hearing, but with the prompt, it’s impossible not to hear the message in the jibberish.”

The brain is awesome. And, of course, so is science.

[via The Atlantic]

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Source SoundCloud / WHYY The Pulse

Art + Science = Awesome

Claudia Diaz is a professor at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia who has undertaken an unorthodox method of teaching her human anatomy classes. After teaching the course for over 20 years, she found the traditional routine of rote anatomical memorization boring for both her students and herself. 3 years ago Claudia began incorporating body painting into the course as a way to inspire and motivate her students. Fellow students are painted by their peers as though their skin has been removed to reveal the structures of their muscles, tendons, and bones.

Featured in these photographs is chiropractic student Zac O’Brien who patiently sat for around 18 hours while fellow students painted him. The finished result is what Diaz likes to call “anatomical man,” first brought to one of her classes in 2010.

”We walked him in and I still remember the looks on the kids’ faces. They were just in awe,” she said. ”I realised it shocked them, it inspired them and it motivated them.” Previously shy about taking off their clothes so classmates could study their bodies, the students began to shed their inhibitions through this painting exercise. ”I couldn’t get the kids to keep their clothes on. They were all throwing them off,” Dr Diaz said.

Visit Beautiful Decay to view more photos from Claudia Diaz’s unusual human anatomy class.

This tentacular video is further proof that science is awesome and so are the kids who appreciate it. 

This is what happens when you mix Mercury(II) thiocyanate (Hg(SCN)2) and Ammonium chromate (NH4)2CrO4 and then set it on fire. I was honestly expecting the fiery volcano part, but at about 30 seconds in something… horrifying happens. The kids witnessing the experiment really make the video. “The kraken!!!!” 

Science + Kraken-aware kids = Super Awesome

[via Colossal]

Designer Peter Han creates awesome chalkboard drawings during a drawing class he teaches called Dynamic Sketching:

"Using only chalk, Han works with his students to let go of their preconceived notions about art and design by working in a fast, impermanent medium that always ends up being erased. The hope is to eventually free them from the idea of permanence and allow their ideas to grow through making mistakes."

Adriel de la Torre directed a short video, entitled Pardon My Dust, in which we get to watch Peter Han drawing and working with his students while telling about the philosophy behind his class. It’s beautiful and fascinating.

The video was produced by SnowGlobe StudiosClick here to watch.

[via Colossal]

The Pangolin is an awesome and completely unique mammal with large keratin scales covering its skin like a built-in suit of armour. Eight different species exist in different parts of Africa and Asia. When threatened, Pangolins curl up into a ball and tuck their faces under their tails. In fact, “the name, pangolin, comes from the Malay word, pengguling, meaning ‘something that rolls up’.”

Pangolins are shy, nocturnal creatures, and we still have a lot to learn about them. But while some people are trying to study Pangolins, poachers are hunting them to the very edge of extinction. That’s why dedicated specialists are gathering information about them in hopes of boosting global conservation efforts:

One such organisation is Pangolin Research Mundulea, whose UK co-investigator Paul Rankin, based in Surrey, works alongside Bruno Nebe at the Mundulea Nature Reserve in Namibia, tracking rescued pangolins in order to better understand them. [In the top photo you can see a pangolin with a tracking device on its tail.]

ONCA [One Network for Conservation and the Arts] has teamed Paul and colleague Debbie Shaw, an expert on Chinese traditional medicine, with a squadron of brilliant illustrators from Art Schism led by Sinna One, aka Daryl Bennett, to create the wild, colourful Pangolin Trail of paintings on telephone exchange boxes around Brighton, England.

The photos you see here are each part of an awesome interactive street art scavenger hunt devoted to educating the public about Pangolins and their plight. “Each painting features a detail from the world of pangolins, and if you scan the QR code on the painting it will take you to a webpage with more detailed information about the pictured aspect of this incredible class of beasts: their lives, their homes, their neighbours [hello Mister Honey Badger!] and the threats they face.”

Click here to view a map of the Trail.

Visit The Pangolin Trail website to learn more about this project.

[via ONCA and wombatarama]

Take a look—it’s in a book!

1983 was the year that an awesome American children’s television series called Reading Rainbow first aired on PBS. Passionately devoted to encouraging kids to read (and visit their local libraries), the show was hosted by LeVar Burton and ran until 2006. It is the third-longest running children’s series in PBS history, after Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and Sesame Street.

In 2012 LeVar Burton and his company RRKIDZ released the Reading Rainbow App for the iPad. Within 36 hours it became the most-downloaded educational app in the iTunes App Store.