Time-lapse video: Fireflies turn Ozarks into enchanted forest


“Is there anything cooler than firefly light reflecting in still-water?”  asks Vincent Brady, a photographer who used “every trick” for his first “whole-hog” time-lapse video.

He shot the footage at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, where his family gathers, and around Grand Ledge, Mich., his hometown.

“We call them fireflies or lightning bugs, but they aren’t a fly or a bug,” Brady notes on his website. “They are beetles, and there’s over a 1,000 different species of them.”

You can visit Brady’s Facebook page here.

h/t Smithsonian’s SmartNews


Christian tattoo found on Nile mummy


A photograph (left) and an infra-red reflectography of a tattoo found on the mummified remains of a Sudanese woman. | Photo courtesy of the British Museum.

The British Museum has used CAT scans to examine eight Egyptian-era mummies, one of whom was a woman who died about AD 700. But researchers were able to discover with their eyes alone what the 20-to-35-year-old carried to protect her in life and death: a Christian tattoo. Continue reading


Just in time for tornado season, an interactive map


mtwashingtontornadoAnybody remember the Mount Washington tornado?

Esri has made an interactive map that lets you explore all the tornados that have struck the country from 1980 to 2012. Even Western Pa.’s small storms are plotted.

The Enhanced Fujita Scale uses wind speeds and damage indicators to calculate the severity of the storm.  Since 1980, the country has suffered through 21 Category 5 tornadoes. Despite how much better forecasters have become at pinpointing paths of storms with the help of  technology, the single deadliest tornado since modern-record keeping began in 1950 occurred only a few years ago. On May 22, 2011, 158 people were killed in Joplin, Missouri.

The worst that swept into our region appears to be the Great Pennsylvania Tornado of 1985, which solidified May 31 as the commonwealth’s deadliest day: As many as 21 storms tore through Western and Central Pa., killing 89, including  9 in Beaver and Butler counties.


You can play with Esri’s tornado map here.

h/t Smithsonian Magazine


Video: Shark gives kayaker a 2-hour ride


A Florida fisherman got more than he bargained for.

“I hooked a hammerhead shark” on Sunday, Adam Fisk posted on LiveLeak, “and fought it for about 2 hrs. It towed me for miles causing me to beach my kayak two cities over from where I launched.”

You can watch Adam’s wild ride here.

The hammerheads must be in bloom, because last week a college student managed to haul a 14-foot hammerhead onto a beach in Broward County.

“It was extremely exciting, an adrenaline rush,” Viktor Hluben, 22, tells the Sun Sentinel.

He and his friends also took kayaks out to sea, where they used amberjack for bait. You can watch the shark fight here:

h/t Daily Dot


Don’t tell your boss: Most psychopaths hold what job?!


According to the book  The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success, we all can find a spot on a scale of madness. (And I use the first-person plural for a reason.)

One profession, however, seems to attract more psychopaths than most: CEO.

Not that the Big Boss is a serial killer. But he or she is more likely to be callous, uncaring, shallow, glib and selfish with a grandiose sense of self-worth, meeting the psychological definition of “psychopath.”

The same attributes evidently apply to reporters and media personalities — who are so egotistical, we hog two spots on the top 10 list.

The jobs most likely to attract psychopaths are … Continue reading


Photo: Giraffe bids farewell to dying friend


GiraffeHe has spent his life as a maintenance worker at a zoo in the Netherlands. Now, the 54-year-old — identified only by his first name, Mario — doesn’t have much time left. He’s incapacitated by terminal cancer, and his last wish was to see the animals at Rotterdam’s Diergaarde Blijdorp zoo for a final time.

When Mario’s hospital bed was wheeled into the zoo enclosure, a giraffe recognized his friend and nuzzled him.

‘(It was) a very special moment,” says Kees Veldboer, founder of the Ambulance Wish Foundation, which granted Mario’s wish and posted a photo on its Facebook page. “You could see him totally light up … it’s very special to see that those animals recognise him, and sense that he isn’t doing well.”

h/t Daily Mail


50 greatest world leaders? Obama not on list


The pope tops Fortune’s idiosyncratic list of the world’s 50 greatest leaders.

In order to make the list you couldn’t be dead or retired. The other criteria? “In an era that feels starved for leadership, we’ve found men and women who will inspire you — some famous, others little known, all of them energizing their followers and making the world better,” the magazine says.

President Obama does not make Fortune’s list.

Instead, it’s chock full of CEOs, with a sprinkling of celebrities and former heads of state/politicians thrown in, including Derek Jeter (No. 11); Michael Bloomberg (15); Angelina Jolie (21);  Gabrielle Giffords (24).

The top 10 … Continue reading


States with the lowest, highest tax burden


Round up the usual suspects? Well, OK, taxpayers in New York and California (the first and second in the most onerous tax list) do get hammered, according to an analysis by WalletHub. But who knew that Nebraskans (No. 3) have the tax man breathing down their necks?

We in Pennsylvania aren’t exactly lucky, either — we’re No. 13 on the highest tax rate list. Continue reading