Matthew and his friend Andrew like to shred a couple waves every now and then.
Recently, they were enjoying the waves off the coast of England when they had an unsuspected visitor. Matt describes the event:
“Me and my friend Andrew were out enjoying some summer waves when this little guy came along and scared the hell out of Andy because we didn’t know what it was! It nudged his foot from underneath.”
The next hour was filled with fun for both the surfers and the seal. Check out some of the footage below:
When the pair finally decided to call it a day, the seal pup followed them to the beach, and even tried following them up the beach.
As a precaution, Andy called the local wildlife authority to inform them of the strange behavior when they got home, in case there was something wrong with the pup. But he did however add that,
“He didn’t seem unwell when he was surfing in like a pro!”
Although a representative from a local sanctuary said that they had never heard of seals jumping on surfboards before, it’s most likely that the young pup was just enjoying a new play experience with its new friends.
With more than 87% of its population subscribing to Islam, Indonesia is predominantly a Muslim country. In fact, with just under 210 million Muslim citizens, it is home to the largest Muslim population in the world.
However, this didn’t stop the Indonesian government from passing a new law on Monday that banned all public support for the terrorist group ISIS (sometimes known as ISIL), which recently emerged in the Middle East.
Djoko Suyanto, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs in Indonesia, said that ISIS’s rising profile in the country seriously threatens the country’s cultural and religious diversity:
“The government rejects and bans the teachings of ISIS […] from growing in Indonesia. It [ISIL] is not in line with state ideology, Pancasila, or the philosophy of kebhinekaan [diversity] under the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia,”
he told reporters at a press conference following a private meeting with the Indonesian cabinet on Monday.
The meeting was attended by Indonesia’s top military commander, its National Police chief and its National Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief, as well as the Religious Affairs minister.
The meeting produced three major strategies for combating the influence of ISIS in Indonesia:
The Ministry of Religious Affairs will launch a campaign in coordination with major religious figures in the country to educate the public on the dangers of ISIS.
The Foreign Ministry, the Law and Human Rights Ministry, the National Intelligence Agency (BIN) and the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) will all coordinate to detect and prevent Indonesians trying to join up with the terrorist group (56 Indonesians have already left the country to join ISIS since the group was formed).
A government-ordered ban on all YouTube videos promoting or endorsing ISIS.
Sidney Jones, director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC), praised the government’s move, but added that Indonesians were already rejecting ISIS, adding that more concrete steps need to be taken to actually curb their operations within the country:
“In terms of deterring support for ISIL, many Indonesians are already playing a role, rejecting ISIL on Facebook and Twitter, pointing to ISIL brutality against other Muslims and questioning [ISIS leader] al-Baghdadi’s claim to the caliphate,”
she said in an e-mail interview on Monday.
Following the announcement of the new ban on Monday, Indonesia’s president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono urged Indonesians to carefully examine the current situation in the Middle East, including ISIS. He also added that, “not all problems in the Middle East concern religion”.
Read the original story from The Jakarta Post here.
Director Devin Graham, better known by his Youtube name, Devin Supertramp, has been getting a lot of attention on Youtube lately.
A few weeks ago, he released an awesome video in which he and his crew converted a hill in San Francisco into a giant slip-and-slide. They used $85,000 worth of camera equipment to capture the fun:
Now, Devin and his crew have taken on a new challenge: filming themselves riding the world’s biggest urban zipline in Panama City.
The team ascended to the top of a 700-foot building before launching themselves down the 10,000-foot line.
If that wasn’t crazy enough, the daredevils also unclip themselves halfway down the line, finishing out the ride with a short free-fall followed by a gentle trip to the ground via parachute. Check it out in the video below:
Yamal is a peninsula in northern Siberia. In the language of the peninsula’s indigenous inhabitants, the Nenets, Yamal means “end of the world”.
This past week, aerial images of the peninsula posted to YouTube showed a giant, 80m wide crater. Check out the footage below:
Authorities from Yamal have organized a team of scientists from Russia’s Center for the Study of the Arctic, the Cryosphere Institute of the Academy of Sciences and Russia’s Emergencies Ministry to investigate.
At first glance, it just looks like a sinkhole. But experts who have examined the images say the debris around the edge of the hole isn’t consistent with a sinkhole, and the blackened rim of the crater indicates “sever burning”.
This has led to speculation that the hole was the result of an explosion, a space laser, or even the burn-hole left behind by an alien spaceship.
One of the best theories I’ve heard so far comes from an expert at the Sub-Arctic Scientific Research Center in Canada. He theorized that warming temperatures in Siberia could be melting the thick layers of ice and permafrost on Yamal Peninsula.
When that ancient ice is melted, it releases gases that have been trapped within it. The theory is that these gases mixed with water and salt closer to the surface, creating an explosive chemical reaction (think vinegar and baking soda, but MUCH bigger) which pushed the earth up out of the crater, kind of like the cork popping off a champaign bottle.
It’s also possible that simply the pressure of the released gas alone could have caused this same cork-pop effect.
Those are still just theories though. I’ll definitely be keeping up with this investigation as more information becomes available.
“Verrückt” is the German word for “insane”. It is a fitting name for the world’s tallest waterslide, which was just opened to the public at the Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City.
At 168 feet and 7 inches, the Verrückt is taller than Niagara Falls. To get the top you have to climb 268 stairs.
John Schooley was the engineer who designed the slide. Here he is talking about when he and park founder Jeff Henry came up with the idea:
“Basically, we were crazy enough to try anything. We decided to design something entirely new, because we decided to put a three or four man boat down it, and we wanted not only the fastest and steepest water slide going downhill, but we wanted to take it uphill over a hump, to give people a weightless experience going down the other side.”
Schooley was also the first to test out the slide, along with another one of the slide’s engineers. Speaking later about the experience he said, “I was terrified.” Check out video of that first test run below:
That second hill is one of the coolest features of the slide. Because of the speed and momentum you build up going down the first slope (you drop 17 stories in 4 seconds), G-force can feel up to 5 times greater than normal as you travel up the second hump.
G-force is defined as a measurement of acceleration felt as weight. Basically, it’s the perceived increase in gravity you feel because of the fact that you’re accelerating. G-force is what pushes you back into your seat as a plane takes off, for example.
So, when you reach the top of that hump and begin the second drop, you go from feeling like gravity is 5x stronger than normal (5 Gs) to feeling weightless in a split-second. It’s not unlike what astronauts experience when they leave Earth’s atmosphere (although the G-force they feel is many times higher).
The slide was opened to the public this past Friday. Here’s what it looks like to to ride the Verrückt as a member of the public. Garmin VIRB sports camera technology allows you to track speed and heart-rate as you watch:
You may have never heard of stoats before. These cute little creatures are closely related to ferrets, which are becoming an increasingly popular house pet these days.
But don’t let their innocent appearance fool you- stoats are ferocious hunters. And when their speed and agility isn’t enough, they have a strange but fascinating secret weapon: hypnotism.
Check out a stoat using this amazing ability to snare a rabbit in the video below:
Stoats are very hardy creatures, and are able to live in all kinds of environments from the Siberian Arctic, to the mountains of Japan to the Great Plains of the United States. They can be found in Europe, North America, Asia and New Zealand.
A large portion of a stoat’s development centers around play fighting, which builds up their strength and stamina and hones their agility. These fine-tuned skills allow them to take down some surprisingly challenging prey.
The video below shows some of this play fighting, and also shows a stoat taking down a rabbit 10 times its size, using the hunting skills it perfected as an adolescent.