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The Euthanasia Coaster is an art concept for a steel roller coaster designed to kill its passengers. In 2010, it was designed and made into a scale model by Julijonas Urbonas, a PhD candidate at the Royal College of Art in London. Urbonas, who has worked at an amusement park, stated that the goal of his concept roller coaster is to take lives "with elegance and euphoria"
The Tyrant of Clipperton Island
Clipperton Island, with the freshwater lagoon visible in the center.For a tropical island, Clipperton doesn’t have very much going for it. The tiny, ring-shaped atoll lying 1,000 kilometres off the southwest coast of Mexico is covered in hard, pointy coral and a prodigious number of nasty little crabs. The wet season from May to October brings incessant and torrential rain, and for the rest of the year the island reeks of ammonia. The Pacific Ocean batters the island from all sides, picking away at the scab of land that rises abruptly from the seabed. A few coconut palms are virtually the only thing that the island boasts in the way of vegetation. Oh, and the sea all around is full of sharks. It isn’t much of a surprise that Clipperton Island is decidedly uninhabited.
This was not always the case, however. Over the course of the island’s modern history, four different nations–France, the United States, Britain, and Mexico–fought bitterly for ownership of Clipperton. It was desirable both for its strategic position and for its surface layer of guano, since the droppings of seabirds (as well as bats and seals) are prized as a fertiliser due to their high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus. Each of the four countries in turn attempted to maintain a permanent presence on Clipperton between 1858 and 1917. When a contingent of Mexican settlers did finally gain a toehold on the atoll, they were forgotten and left stranded on the island with a delusional man who seized the chance to become a dictator.
This is like browsing the "Today I Learned" thread on Reddit. http://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/
Speaking of random information (stolen from Reddit), the United States has 17,672 golf courses which is half of the all the courses on the planet.
This will make grocery shopping from your bike even more convenient...
The World’s First Virtual Supermarket: Life Just Got Easier
The world’s very first virtual grocery store opened this summer in Korea. This isn’t an online supermarket, which we’ve seen before, but it’s an actual store location where customers can purchase virtual items.
Shoppers see the items on the shelves as if they were in a grocery store. If they want to purchase them, they simply scan the barcode with their smartphone (after downloading the app) and the item is placed in their online shopping cart. Once they’ve paid, they simply drive home and the items they bought are delivered to them right away. They can even schedule a later delivery if they aren’t going straight home.
On 10 January 1709, pioneering weather observer William Derham recorded an historic event outside his home near London.
He examined his thermometer in the frigid morning air and jotted an entry into his meticulous meteorological log. The prior weeks had been typical for an English winter, but overnight an oppressive cold had lodged itself over the Kingdom. As far as Derham was aware, London had never experienced so few millimeters of mercury as it did that morning: -12º C.
The remarkable cold lingered in Europe for weeks. Lakes, rivers, and the sea froze over, and the soil solidified a meter deep. The cold cracked open trees, crushed the life out of livestock huddling in stables, and made travel a treacherous undertaking. It was the coldest winter in the past 500 years, and one of the coldest moments in a larger global phenomenon known as the Little Ice Age. Likely causes include volcanic activity, oceanic currents, and/or reforestation due to Black-Death-induced population decline. It is nearly certain, however, that it has something to do with the unusually low number of sunspots that appeared at that time, a phenomenon referred to as the Maunder minimum.
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