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Experience a Migraine Through Virtual Reality

If you’ve never had a migraine, you might imagine it as just a bit worse than your run-of-the-mill headache, or assume the sufferer is using it as an excuse. But anyone who’s experienced a migraine knows that they can be debilitating. That’s why Excedrin has created a Migraine Simulator, a head-mounted display (HMD) that uses the Oculus Rift development kit (DK1) to give users a sense of what a migraine is really like.

The experiment involved having family and friends of migraine sufferers wear the HMD for 30 minutes during a normal day to see what it’s like to suddenly develop—and carry on working during—a severe migraine. Each user’s visual display was individualized to replicate the exact visual symptoms of their partner. Using an HMD modified to include a pass-through camera and connected to a PC rig worn on the user’s back, the wearer could see what it’s like to have auras, light sensitivity, blurred vision, dizziness, and vertigo.

One thing the HMD can't simulate is the pounding headaches associated with migraines, but that might not even be necessary to get the point across: The participants stumble and fumble around, and when they remove the simulators, they look ill. "Can I take this off?" one volunteer, wearing the device at his office, asks. "I can't see anything ... it's a bit too much." Another, pushing a baby stroller, pulls the simulator off, saying he feels "a bit sick."

[h/t VRFocus]

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26 Facts About LEGO Bricks

Since it first added plastic, interlocking bricks to its lineup, the Danish toy company LEGO (from the words Leg Godt for “play well”) has inspired builders of all ages to bring their most imaginative designs to life. Sets have ranged in size from scenes that can be assembled in a few minutes to 5000-piece behemoths depicting famous landmarks. And tinkerers aren’t limited to the sets they find in stores. One of the largest LEGO creations was a life-sized home in the UK that required 3.2 million tiny bricks to construct.

In this episode of the List Show, John Green lays out 26 playful facts about one of the world’s most beloved toy brands. To hear about the LEGO black market, the vault containing every LEGO set ever released, and more, check out the video above then subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up-to-date with the latest flossy content.

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Of Buckeyes and Butternuts: 29 States With Weird Nicknames for Their Residents
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Tracing a word’s origin and evolution can yield fascinating historical insights—and the weird nicknames used in some states to describe their residents are no exception. In the Mental Floss video above, host John Green explains the probable etymologies of 29 monikers that describe inhabitants of certain states across the country.

Some of these nicknames, like “Hoosiers” and “Arkies” (which denote residents of Indiana and Arkansas, respectively) may have slightly offensive connotations, while others—including "Buckeyes," "Jayhawks," "Butternuts," and "Tar Heels"—evoke the military histories of Ohio, Kansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. And a few, like “Muskrats” and “Sourdoughs,” are even inspired by early foods eaten in Delaware and Alaska. ("Goober-grabber" sounds goofier, but it at least refers to peanuts, which are a common crop in Georgia, as well as North Carolina and Arkansas.)

Learn more fascinating facts about states' nicknames for their residents by watching the video above.

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