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”:
China has become notorious in recent years for its high levels of air pollution. This, however, is only one of many issues facing China as the country’s middle class continues to grow.
Beijing, China’s capital city, is home to around 20 million people. As a result, the city produces a lot of trash.
On a number of occasions, academics have attempted to estimate just how much trash Beijing produces. They have all failed, due in large part to the fact that the massive trash collection industry in China is extremely unorganized.
So back in 2012, the government of Beijing came up with an innovative solution to their trash problem: reverse vending machines that reward people who recycle with credits that can be applied to phone cards or public transit costs.
The machines are equipped with scanners that can identify what type of bottle you are recycling to determine its value. More valuable bottles get you more credit.
Beijing has contracted Incom, the company building the kiosks, to build 100 of the machines across the city (Incom thinks the number will eventually be in the thousands).
34 kiosks have been built so far. Check out the video below to see one of the machines in action and hear how local people are responding to them:
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!
Today, we think of Mars as having a cold, dry, and desolate environment (because it does).
But that was not always the case. Four billion years ago, while our Sun was still in its infancy, Mars was covered with water.
Back then, it had a much thicker atmosphere, which kept the planet warm enough for water to exist in its liquid form. Some estimates say that at one point, up to 1640 ft (about half a kilometer) of water covered the whole planet.
In 2001, Robin Williams traveled to the headquarters of the Gorilla Foundation in Woodside, California after taking a personal interest in ape conservation.
While there, he met the famous gorilla Koko, who was taught American sign-language at a young age.
The two were made for each other. Koko quickly took a liking to Williams’ kind heart, and almost immediately he was one of the ape’s closest friends.
When she met Williams, Koko had been going through a bout of depression following the death of another gorilla that had been her good friend.
At the same time, Williams was battling the issues of depression and addiction that plagued him throughout his life.
Williams made Koko laugh for the first time in six months, granting her requests to be tickled and letting her try on his glasses as the two unlikely friends bonded. It was obvious to anyone watching that Williams enjoyed the experience just as much as Koko did.
You can watch some video of the pair becoming friends below:
The meeting changed the lives of both man and ape alike:
“Not only did Robin cheer up Koko, the effect was mutual, and Robin seemed transformed,”
Koko’s caretaker Dr. Penny Patterson said while reflecting on the meeting.
So when staff at the Gorilla Foundation used sign language to tell Koko of Williams’ passing, it was no surprise that she was visibly upset.
She sat hunched over, her bottom lip quivering as she mourned the passing of her friend.
Koko’s bond with Williams and her grief at his passing serve as a powerful reminder that a truly kind heart can transcend all differences. Even the differences between man and animal.
Dr. Maximilian Schich is a professor of art and technology at the University of Texas at Dallas. His current research focuses on how the spread of the arts and sciences affected the spread of culture.
To illustrate this process, he decided to map the movements of 100,000 of the most influential figures of western culture from the past 2,000 years.
Among the names were people like Apple founder Steve Jobs, Pride and Prejudice author Jane Austen, and the famous artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci.
Schich gathered information about the birth and death places of all these great figures, and plotted it on an interactive map. Being able to actually see culture as it spreads over time is a truly fascinating experience: