The legacy of war continues to wound countries long after the peace treaties have been signed. In Western Europe, the discovery of undetonated, and unstable mines and bombs from World War II is a regular occurrence, parodied in the Simon Pegg movie Hot Fuzz. Elsewhere, in lands which have known war more recently, the situation is no joke. In Afghanistan alone, it’s estimated that more than 1 million civilians live within 500 meters of an undetonated and undiscovered land mine.
Massoud Hassani, who was raised in Afghanistan, has taken inspiration from wind-powered children’s toys to build an ecological, safe, and affordable minesweeper. It is also breathtakingly beautiful, and the prototype is now in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Hassani, who now lives in the Netherlands, hopes the Mine Kafon will go into commercial production soon, and to raise the funding, he turned to Kickstarter, which amply rewarded him. Although the project is still open for funding, it is already over its goal amount, with 3,650 supporters and £105,089 ($169,394) raised.
The globular shape and Dalek-like legs allow the Mine Kafon to roll around the rocky steppes of Afghanistan by wind power, and while the device is light, the shape also concentrates all the weight on a very limited area, enough to set off a mine. Each detonation removes one or two of the legs, but with so many spares, it can roll on. Hassani estimates that each should be able to take out three or four land mines per trip before repairs are needed.
Previous methods of choice for mine sweeping include sniffer dogs, sniffer rats, cattle, specially trained and equipped forces, and (according to some witnesses) children. This is the best example we’ve seen lately of what you call progress.
The title on the Rainbow Hands Tumblr is “Spider Webs - No Doubt,” the title of a major 1995 hit from a major band, one that formed back in 1986 and is still performing and releasing albums. Yes, at least one ska band made it big.
The great thing about abstract art, however, is that titles may or may not relate to the actual visual content of the artwork in question.
So, on the one hand this may be a straightforward representation of layered spiderwebs. A straightforward representation of layered spiderwebs that has been rainbow-ified and animated in a psychedelic, throbbing tunnel of RGB-enhanced madness.
On the other hand, this may be your frontal cortex neurons this morning. Our condolences.
Congratulations to Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who have announced they are expecting a little royal. For the first time in British history, this child will be third in line to the throne behind its father, William, and grandfather Prince Charles regardless of gender, thanks to a recent feminist change in the law of primogeniture. This shunts royal heartthrob Prince “Hot Ginge” Harry to fourth in line, most likely to his vast relief.
The announcement came early in the pregnancy because the Duchess had to be admitted to hospital suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, an extreme form of morning sickness. It occurs in only about 1% of pregnant women, although (cue royal-watcher hysteria) it is more common among women carrying twins. In the history of the House of Windsor (formerly known as Saxe-Coburg-Gotha) and the House of Hanover before them, there has never been a case of twins born in the direct line of the throne.
Gawker has tried counting backward to determine where, exactly, the royal impregnation took place, and lists Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Borneo, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and England as the possible options. While no one in the media can claim definite knowledge, it seems logical to call it for the Polynesian island of Tuvalu, if only because of this GIF from the visit. Clearly the royals were influenced by the tropical sensuality of the locale and let it move them. Whether or not the Earth also moved that night, well, nobody’s telling.
6) Heavy petting
A docile reef shark and a handsy diver make beautiful music together in this outtake from the BBC mockumentary Walk on the Wild Side. Do not try this at home (although if you have reef sharks hanging around your home chances are you’re plenty tough). Uploaded to the The Ocean Is Wonderful Tumblr, it’s netted 579 notes.
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Tumblr curated by Fernando Alfonso III (@fernalfonso), Aja Romano (@ajaromano) Gaby Dunn (@gabydunn), and Logan Youree (@loganwtf).