CLOSE

Morning Cup of Links: Roomba Pac-man

Top 10 Reasons Why the World Won't End in 2012. This list will be handy when someone you know gets a bit too nervous about the doomsday predictions.
*
It makes perfect sense to play Pac-man with a team of every cat's favorite vacuum cleaner, Roombas. However, it take some creative programming skills to pull it off.
*
The New York Times has an interactive graph that plots the jobless rate for different groups of Americans compared to the average for all those who are unemployed. Mouseover to find lines for different races, ages, and levels of education. (via Metafilter)
*
Have you ever wondered how they put really big boats in the water? According to this video, they just shove them in and hope they will float upright.
*
Human beings develop social bonds when giving and receiving gifts. Our natural sense of reciprocity is keenly upset by the system of anonymous organ donation.
*
20 of the Worst Men's Hairstyles. Some of these look funny; others have just worn out their welcome.
*
7 Super-Sized (And Somewhat Insane) Soviet Projects. Those wacky Soviets, always trying to outdo Texas.

Original image
Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images
arrow
Space
Can’t See the Eclipse in Person? Watch NASA’s 360° Live Stream
Original image
Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

Depending on where you live, the historic eclipse on August 21 might not look all that impressive from your vantage point. You may be far away from the path of totality, or stuck with heartbreakingly cloudy weather. Maybe you forgot to get your eclipse glasses before they sold out, or can't get away from your desk in the middle of the day.

But fear not. NASA has you covered. The space agency is live streaming a spectacular 4K-resolution 360° live video of the celestial phenomenon on Facebook. The livestream started at 12 p.m. Eastern Time and includes commentary from NASA experts based in South Carolina. It will run until about 4:15 ET.

You can watch it below, on NASA's Facebook page, or on the Facebook video app.

arrow
Art
Cephalopod Fossil Sketch in Australia Can Be Seen From Space

Australia is home to some of the most singular creatures alive today, but a new piece of outdoor art pays homage to an organism that last inhabited the continent 65 million years ago. As the Townsville Bulletin reports, an etching of a prehistoric ammonite has appeared in a barren field in Queensland.

Ammonites are the ancestors of the cephalopods that currently populate the world’s oceans. They had sharp beaks, dexterous tentacles, and spiraling shells that could grow more than 3 feet in diameter. The inland sea where the ammonites once thrived has since dried up, leaving only fossils as evidence of their existence. The newly plowed dirt mural acts as a larger-than-life reminder of the ancient animals.

To make a drawing big enough to be seen from space, mathematician David Kennedy plotted the image into a path consisting of more than 600 “way points.” Then, using a former War World II airfield as his canvas, the property’s owner Rob Ievers plowed the massive 1230-foot-by-820-foot artwork into the ground with his tractor.

The project was funded by Soil Science Australia, an organization that uses soil art to raise awareness of the importance of farming. The sketch doubles as a paleotourist attraction for the local area, which is home to Australia's "dinosaur trail" of museums and other fossil-related attractions. But to see the craftsmanship in all its glory, visitors will need to find a way to view it from above.

[h/t Townsville Bulletin]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios