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Bulldog Completes a Record-Setting Skateboard Stunt

November 12, Guinness World Records' 11th annual World Records Day, was one for the—well, you know. Guinness estimates that as many as 650,000 people participated this year, and news of their accomplishments are still rolling in.

A man in India fit 15 lit candles in his mouth at once to beat his own existing record. A robot created by a student in Florida set a record for the fastest time to solve a Rubik's cube—besting the classic toy in just 2.39 seconds. A Marine veteran completed 5,862 pull ups in Times Square in 24 hours to not just set a world record, but to also raise awareness for Veterans Operation Wellness. And the Harlem Globetrotters set seven distinct records: Farthest kneeling basketball shot made blindfolded, longest basketball shot made backwards, most basketball three-pointers made in one minute by a pair, longest underhand basketball shot, longest duration spinning a basketball on the nose, most basketball slam dunks in one minute, and furthest blindfolded basketball hook shot.

But perhaps the cutest record-setter of the day was Otto, a three-year-old bulldog from Peru who set the (presumably not highly-contested) record for "Longest Human Tunnel Traveled Through By a Skateboarding Dog." Otto—who surfs, too, according to his owners—rolled through the legs of 30 people. And while it looks like he certainly got a little help from gravity and a hill, he also demonstrates an ability to steer and give himself an extra push. Check him out:

[h/t SB Nation]

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technology
This High-Tech Material Can Change Shape Like an Octopus
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Octopuses can do some pretty amazing things with their skin, like “see” light, resist the pull of their own sticky suction cups, and blend in seamlessly with their surroundings. That last part now has the U.S. Army interested, as Co.Design reports. The military branch’s research office has funded the development a new type of morphing material that works like an octopus’s dynamic skin.

The skin of an octopus is covered in small, muscular bumps called papillae that allow them to change textures in a fraction of a second. Using this mechanism, octopuses can mimic coral, rocks, and even other animals. The new government-funded research—conducted by scientists at Cornell University—produced a device that works using a similar principle.

“Technologies that use stretchable materials are increasingly important, yet we are unable to control how they stretch with much more sophistication than inflating balloons,” the scientists write in their study, recently published in the journal Science. “Nature, however, demonstrates remarkable control of stretchable surfaces.”

The membrane of the stretchy, silicone material lays flat most of the time, but when it’s inflated with air, it can morph to form almost any 3D shape. So far, the technology has been used to imitate rocks and plants.

You can see the synthetic skin transform from a two-dimensional pad to 3D models of objects in the video below:

It’s easy to see how this feature could be used in military gear. A soldier’s suit made from material like this could theoretically provide custom camouflage for any environment in an instant. Like a lot of military technology, it could also be useful in civilian life down the road. Co.Design writer Jesus Diaz brings up examples like buttons that appear on a car's dashboard only when you need them, or a mixing bowl that rises from the surface of the kitchen counter while you're cooking.

Even if we can mimic the camouflage capabilities of cephalopods, though, other impressive superpowers, like controlling thousands of powerful suction cups or squeezing through spaces the size of a cherry tomato, are still the sole domain of the octopus. For now.

[h/t Co.Design]

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Animals
25 Benefits of Adopting a Rescue Dog
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According to the ASPCA, 3.3 million dogs enter shelters each year in the United States. Although that number has gone down since 2011 (from 3.9 million) there are still millions of dogs waiting in shelters for a forever home. October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month; here are 25 benefits of adopting a shelter dog.

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