The non-toxic, non-staining, reusable modeling compound that came to be known as "Play-Doh" was originally a pliable, putty-like substance concocted by Noah McVicker of Cincinnati-based soap manufacturer Kutol Products; it was devised at the request of Krogers Grocery, which wanted a product that could clean coal residue from wallpaper. Following World War II, with the transition from coal-based home heating to natural gas and the resulting decrease in internal soot, and the introduction of washable vinyl-based wallpaper, the market for wallpaper cleaning putty decreased substantially. McVicker's nephew, Joe McVicker, joined Kutol with the remit to save the company from bankruptcy; he subsequently discovered that the wallpaper cleaner was being used by nursery school children to make Christmas ornaments. Continue reading for more accidental inventions that you might not have known about.
Hello Kitty like you've never seen the cat before in contact lens form. Even if you don't need contacts, these are purely cosmetic and also comes complete with a themed case as well as box, making it a perfect gift for any Hello Kitty fanatic. One caveat: it'll set you back $105 for a single set. Product page. Continue reading for more.
Lamborghini grew rapidly during its first decade, but sales plunged in the wake of the 1973 worldwide financial downturn and the oil crisis. The firm's ownership changed three times after 1973, including a bankruptcy in 1978. American Chrysler Corporation took control of Lamborghini in 1987 and sold it to Malaysian investment group Mycom Setdco and Indonesian group V'Power Corporation in 1994. In 1998, Mycom Setdco and V'Power sold Lamborghini to the Volkswagen Group where it was placed under the control of the group's Audi division. Continue reading for more.
The Meissner effect, also known as quantum levitation, is the expulsion of a magnetic field from a superconductor during its transition to the superconducting state. The German physicists Walther Meissner and Robert Ochsenfeld discovered this phenomenon in 1933 by measuring the magnetic field distribution outside superconducting tin and lead samples. Continue reading for some fascinating videos of the effect.
It's technically not an island, but the Recreational Island House by 2b4-architects isn't your average home, as it's designed to interact with the environment. For example, the northern facade opens up toward the water while the living room floor becomes a jetty, on a hot day. There's also a hanging fireplace and surrounding lounge area that can be rotated towards the outdoor terrace when it gets chilly. Continue reading for more cool homes geeks would love.
Did you know that coffee beans are actually extracted from a special berry species from coffea flowering plants? That's right, the tree of Coffea arabica will grow fruits after three to five years, and will produce for about 50 to 60 years (although up to 100 years is possible). The white flowers are highly scented. The fruit takes about 9 months to ripen. Continue reading for more cool and unusual things you may not have known about coffee.
If you thought sunrises here were beautiful, think again, as the International Space Station crew crew sees, on average, sixteen mind-blowing sunrises and sunsets during a 24-hour orbital period. The time between day and night on the ground is marked by the terminator, a line separating the sunlit side of Earth from the side in darkness. Astronaut Reid Wiseman, who is currently aboard the station, is known for his beautiful shots of Earth, along with his German colleague Alexander Gerst. Continue reading for more.
In astronomy and astrobiology, the Goldilocks zone is the region around a star where a planet with sufficient atmospheric pressure can maintain liquid water on its surface. A potentially habitable planet implies a terrestrial planet within the Goldilocks zone and with conditions roughly comparable to those of Earth. Although only about a dozen planets have been confirmed in the habitable zone, the Kepler spacecraft has identified a further 54 candidates and current estimates indicate that there are "at least 500 million" planets in habitable zones in the Milky Way. Continue reading for more.
Here's a first look at the all-new BMW M4 Convertible, which sports the Active Sound Control feature, like in the M4 Coupe, where a live amplification of the engine's natural sound will be inducted into the passenger cabin via the speakers. One caveat: it's slightly heaver than the coupe, at 3851-pounds. Continue reading for more cool things you may not have known about the sporty car.
The lion's mane jellyfish (above) is the largest known species of jellyfish. Its range is confined to cold, boreal waters of the Arctic, northern Atlantic, and northern Pacific Oceans. Divers may also find them in to the south-western part of the Baltic Sea (where it cannot breed due to the low salinity). Similar jellyfish, which may be the same species, are known to inhabit seas near Australia and New Zealand. Continue reading for more.