Using footage from the International Space Station (courtesy of NASA’s Johnson Space Center), National Geographic filmmaker Fede Castro has created one of the most breathtaking time-lapse videos of Earth from space.
The video is just over four minutes, and features the world’s major cities, as well as the aurora borealis (Northern Lights) and a few massive thunderstorms, among other things.
Take a trip around the world in just minutes in National Geographic’s video “Nuestra Tierra—Our Earth”:
Recently an RV sold in Dubai for its asking price of $3.1 million. This hefty price tag put the RV on record as the world’s most expensive RV ever sold.
But why would someone pay so much for an RV?
Well for starters, the outside of the record-setting RV is covered in gold. Also, the RV is a double-decker that has tons of amenities, including a pop-up rooftop terrace, fireplace, master bedroom, underfloor heating, self-cleaning technology, a top speed of 93 mph, and much more.
The RV may look like a weird prehistoric creature from the outside, but the interior is lavish and fit for a king. Take a look inside the the 40-foot-long eleMMent Palazzo, from Austrian company Marchi Mobile:
So if you’d like to travel with the family in style one day, you may want to start saving up now!
The Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association in Portland, Oregon, just recently purchased a $1,500 DJI Phantom 2 Vision drone.
The association named the drone “Flying Monkey 1”.
The purpose of the drone is to monitor a nearby rail yard and a few local construction site, making sure the sites adhere to environmental standards that the group feel are a low priority for the city.
“We’ve had an interest in keeping a better eye on them,”
said the neighborhood association’s president, Robert McCullough.
For a while now, residents in this neighborhood have been in a battle with the Union Pacific Railroad, who they feel has been the overwhelming cause of local noise and air pollution.
Residents have already established an emissions monitoring station, but wanted to take it a step further by monitoring the actual operations of these projects first hand. McCullough added,
“How else do you actually see what’s going on inside these places?”
Now McCullough and other enthusiastic residents are excited, feeling that the situation may finally be closer to being under control and have hopes the pollution will stop.
The eye-in-the-sky treatment won’t stop with the rail yard and construction sites. McCullough has eyes set on monitoring a few local developing areas that also might be breaking environmental standards.
Below is a video detailing the DJI Phantom 2 Vision drone
Earlier this week, I was watching an episode of the BBC series Human Planet and saw clips of some amazing, natural-looking root bridges in India.
I immediately wanted to know more about them.
Cherrapunji is a subdivisional town in the East Khasi Hills district in the Indian state of Meghalaya. With over 75 feet of annual rainfall, the climate in this region is one of the wettest in the world.
The intense rains have created a perpetually wet and often harsh environment. Local villagers are forced to cross numerous rivers, many of which can turn into violent rapids during the rainy season.
But the wet climate has also given locals there a gift: it allows the Ficus elastica tree to thrive, giving the locals a solution to their problems.
According to inhabitat.com…
“Villagers in Meghalaya, India have come up with a unique construction technique that harnesses nature in its purest form – they grow their own living bridges! Using the roots of the Ficus elastica tree (rubber fig tree), the residents have woven an elaborate system of living bridges, some of which are thought to be over 500 years old.”
Below is a collection of Living Root Bridges Photos
The construction of these structures is almost as remarkable as their beauty. Since their strength comes from the growth of the roots, the pieces of living architecture can take as long as 15 years to become usable.
But after a bridge becomes functional it actually tends to become stronger with age- some of the older bridges can hold over 40 people at once.
The secret to creating these bridges is in the rubber fig tree’s unique secondary root system that grows above the ground floor. According to inhabitat.com…
“Long ago, the war-Khasis, a tribe in Meghalaya region, realized they could tap into the power of these roots and use them to their own advantage. By manipulating and directing the secondary roots, they could create ultra strong living bridges with which to cross streams and rivers.”
These bridges are still used daily by the people of the villages around Cherrapunji. Many people believe that some of the bridges are well over 500 years old. Over the decades, many of these bridges have grown deep foundations, and some have had rocks added to serve as foot steps.
The most famous of these bridges is a double-decker bridge known as the “Umshiang Double-Decker Root Bridge”. This unique two-level root bridge is thought to be the only of its kind in the world.
Okay so everyone hopefully understands that you can’t just simply survive in the openness of outer space. That’s why astronauts are required to wear sophisticated suits to keep them safe.
There are many reasons why outer space is not naturally habitable for humans, the lack of air and extreme temperatures being just the tip of the iceberg.
But with a proper suit built to provide protection and breathable air, one can spend limited amounts of time in outer space.
According to Space.com four of the most hostile elements in space are:
1. The Empty Vacuum – The vacuum force, caused by a lack of air in space, can be large and significant. If instruments are unsealed they can break apart. If an astronaut has a suit leak or damage it will be exposed and compromised.
2. Extreme Temperature/Temperature Variation – According to Space.com,
“If an astronaut’s back is facing the sun and the front is not, the temperature difference can be as much as 275°F”
That is an extreme temperature difference for just the direction that you are facing. Astronaut suits must have heavily shielded face plates to protect astronauts from the sun, as well as the capability to handle both temperature exteremes (hot and cold).
Universetoday.com did a great piece called “How Cold is Space” that helped answer a few questions on how extreme the temperatures get in outer space. According to them, the International Space Station…
“…under constant sunlight can get as hot as 260 degrees Celsius (500 F). This is dangerous to astronauts who have to work outside the station. If they need to handle bare metal, they wrap it in special coatings or blankets to protect themselves. And yet, in the shade, an object will cool down to below -100 degrees Celsius (-148 F).”
3. Meteorite Impacts – Although colliding with other objects in space is rare, it is entirely possible and a legit threat. If you are within the orbit of a planet, where much of this debris gets captured, the threat is even higher.
The amount of satellites in space is growing by the day, steadily increasing the amount of “space junk” within Earth’s orbit. Aside from that, small meteorites zoom past the outskirts of space and into our ozone everyday.
4. Radiation Damage – This is one of the most significant threats in space, especially to equipment. There are several sources and forms of radiation in space which can all be harmful to human health in a large enough dose.
The main issue, however, is that this radiation can damage the finely-tuned instrumentation used by astronauts to do experiments in space. The radiation can alter and destroy data, and eventually renders almost all instruments in space useless.
New Jersey resident Ian Bohman was heading out for a Monday morning workout when he noticed a local bear walking upright. The spectacle was too perfect to not capture a viral worthy video. Check out the video below to see just how human-like bears can be…
At first it’s not totally clear if this video is a hoax or just a man dressed up as a bear or something, but I can assure you that the video is actually of a real bear.
According to Bohman, the bear is actually “kind of famous” in his hometown.
Kelsey Burgess, who works with the New Jersey Department of Fish, Game and Wildlife, saw the video herself. She thinks that the bear was most likely injured in a car accident.
“Bears can walk on their hind legs very well. It’s just they don’t choose to do so unless they’re forced to,”
she told ABC News.
Locals have seen the bear walking on its hind legs and prowling through garbage on a number of occasions, but this was the first quality video captured of the bear’s strange behavior.
Bears are reasonably common in this area of New Jersey and this one hasn’t showed any aggression towards the locals, so little has been done about relocating the bear or bringing it into captivity.
Seven News in Australia recently released video of a fire tornado captured by Chris Tangey of Alice Springs Film and Television. A still from that video went viral and had everyone asking: What is a fire tornado? And what can cause one?
The recently surfaced “Firenado” picture was captured by Chris when he noticed a wildfire near Curtin Springs in Australia. Right as he began filming the blaze, a small tornado landed. Chris said that when the tornado touched down,
“It sounded like a jet fighter going by, yet there wasn’t a breath of wind where we were.”
According to Australia’s WPTV.com, the twister landed right in the middle of the fire,
“…causing it to build into a spinning flame.”
A phenomenon like this is rarely caught on video, but it isn’t exactly a rare occurrence. Here’s Jason Forthofer, a mechanical engineer at the U.S. Forest Services’s Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory in Montana, speaking about the phenomenon back in 2010:
“Also known as fire whirls, fire devils, or even firenados, these whirlwinds of flame are not really rare, just rarely documented.”
Fire tornadoes occur when intense heat and turbulent wind conditions combine to form a whirling fiery vortex. A fire tornado consists of a core—the part that is actually on fire—and an invisible pocket of rotating air that feeds fresh oxygen to the core.
Edit: We originally said the video was removed from Youtube for copyright infringement. Then, Chris Tangey himself informed us that it is available on vimeo. Thanks Chris! This footage is amazing!
Check out some stills from the video and other “Firenados” below
Photograph by Simon Gray, My Shot
Photograph by Christian Charisius, Reuters
Photograph by David McNew, Getty Images
Photograph by Nancy Greifenhagen
Photograph by David McNew, Getty Images
Photograph by Marc Piscotty, Reuters
Photograph by Gene Blevins, L.A. Daily News/Corbis
Video still courtesy Chris Tangey, Alice Springs Film & TV