To the Bayaka people, who inhabit the jungles of the Central African Republic, honey is an extremely valuable commodity. Besides being a rare and delicious delicacy, it provides essential energy and nutrition.
So, when a beehive is found in the jungle, some men are willing to take extreme measures to secure the precious honeycombs for their family.
Tete is an hour into a 40 meter (131ft) climb to a beehive way up in the canopy of a massive tree when we join him:
Not only does Tete climb without a harness (he uses only a vine wrapped around the tree), but once he gets to the crown of the tree, he still has to battle the angry bees as he carefully makes his way to the hive.
“When climbing trees, you have to empty your heart of fear… If you have fear you will fall.”
Once Tete arrives at the hive, he has to break into the interior. He passes the honeycomb down to his eager family via a basket pulley system. Even bee stings don’t stop his wife and kids from thoroughly enjoying the feast.
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 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.
That’s still just a theory though. I’ll definitely be keeping up with this investigation as more information becomes available.
The two chimps above, Vali and Sugriva, attended the premier of the new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes film along with a thousand other movie-goers in the BigD Auditorium at Carmike Cinema, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
The two chimps are highly intelligent, and often watch other movies, like Lord of the Rings, on televisions at Myrtle Beach Safari, where they live. They even paid for their own food and drinks!
Check out the video below to learn more about their trip to the movies:
Vali and Sugriva were escorted by the safari’s director, Bhagavan Antle. He points out that the chimps are able to identify the good guys and the bad guys by their facial expressions. In fact, their reactions to the movie weren’t all that different from our own.
Although some people were somewhat uncomfortable with the idea of watching Planet of the Apes with two chimps, Antle dismissed the notion that the film could somehow make Vali and Sugriva turn into the chimps from the movie.
Plus, they clapped for the good guys and jeered the bad guys, so I don’t think we have anything to worry about.
“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:
Liquid nitrogen has one of the lowest boiling points of any known substance at -321ºF, which is why anything that comes in contact with the substance is usually flash-frozen.
A substance’s boiling point varies with air pressure. For example, at sea level, water boils at 100ºC (212ºF). But at the top of Mt. Everest, where the air pressure is only about a third of what it is at sea level, water will boil at 71ºC (160ºF).
So as the air is sucked out of the vacuum, the liquid nitrogen’s boiling point drops below the substance’s temperature inside the vacuum, making it a superheated fluid. This superheated liquid nitrogen does some crazy things:
The evaporation of the nitrogen during boiling cools it back down until it freezes solid. In an attempt to align its molecules in a more tightly-packed pattern, all of the atoms will reorient themselves in a fraction of a second, causing cracks to spread quickly in fractal patterns across the solid nitrogen.
Liquid nitrogen isn’t just cool for science experiments. It’s widely used in every day life as a refrigerant for the freezing and transportation of food and as a coolant for superconductors. It’s even used to freeze off skin abnormalities like warts.
Frank “Cannonball” Richards may have the strongest gut in history. Richards earned his fame with his death-defying 12 pound cannonball to the gut act.
Taking a spring-loaded cannonball to the belly is no easy feat. Richards had to gradually work himself up to this infamous act.
He started with hard punches, slowly working his way up to hammer hits and wood blows to the belly before taking on the canon.
Check out the video below to see vintage footage of Frank “Cannonball” Richard’s iron gut in action.
From the video above you can tell that Richards is pretty legitimate, but it’s hard to tell exactly how powerful the cannon is. I’m sure the cannon wasn’t suitable to take down castle walls, but it does appear powerful enough to severely harm or kill a normal man.
Richards made a huge splash in the media in the early 1930’s when the cannonball to the gut act was newly introduced as a live performance. At his prime during the 30s, Richards would perform the act as much as twice a day, but no more because of the obvious pain and risks involved.
Since then, the act has been included on the N.Y. Daily News’s list of “Wildest stunts in New York City History”, reenacted in The Simpsons by Homer himself, and even referenced by Jerry Seinfeld in Seinfeld‘s “The Apology” episode, and more.
You have likely seen this act before, and now you know Frank “Cannonball” Richards is that dude.
Earlier today, I discussed the controversy surrounding Kendall Jones, a 19-year-old Texas Tech leader who hunts big game in Africa and posts the pictures to Facebook.
In the caption of a picture of her with an African leopard, Kendall described the hunt as a “fair chase”. I feel the need to disambiguate that term.
Let me present the San people of the Kalahari desert in Africa. This traditional hunter-gatherer society inhabits the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. San men go on marathons across the desert to track down the Kudu antelope which provide key protein for their families:
The San people lived as hunter-gatherers for countless generations until government modernization programs, lasting from the 1950s until the 1990s, mandated that many of the San switch to farming.
They are one of our fourteen surviving “ancestral population clusters” from which all modern humans today descend from. Studies of the San have provided a wealth of information in the fields of anthropology and genetics.
So let’s be clear: hunting with high-powered rifles and motorized vehicles is as far from a “fair chase” as it gets.
What would you put on the line in the pursuit of your passions?
Clark Little regularly puts his life on the line to capture images of breaking waves. Rather than shooting images inside perfect wave tubes in deep water, Little chooses to shoot at the shorebreak, where the waves hit the sand.
Because of where he positions himself, the waves hit him full force, sometimes forcing him underwater for minutes at a time. Check out the video below to learn more about him and see some of the live footage from his photo shoots:
You can check out more of Little’s photos below. Click an image to enlarge.
If you’d like to get to know Clark Little a little better (pun intended), you can watch this in depth profile that Vice did on him lat year.