CNN recently reported on the "death" of the home stereo system, and while that's an exaggeration, few people -- young or old -- have "stereos" anymore. CNN was asleep at the wheel on this one; precious few folks have had stereos for decades. Music is now almost always consumed in cars, and over phones and plastic computer or Bluetooth speakers. If there's an imminent "death" on the horizon, it will surely strike MP3 players and iPods. Phones have already taken over as the portable music players of choice. Do you know anyone … Read more
"Star Wars" celebrations are known for offering exclusive merchandise as special lures for attendees. Sometimes, those exclusive items sneak out and become available to the general public. That's what happened with the limited-edition Death Star soccer ball.
ThinkGeek is selling a small quantity of these exclusive balls that were originally offered at "Star Wars" Celebration Europe. Naturally, they were originally called the "Celebration Europe Death Star Football." Other European items may be destined to stay exclusive, like the Death Star paper lantern and Endor speeder bike floaty pen.… Read more
I confess: the first morning of my baby's life I woke up with a jolt, terrified that because I'd slept so soundly she was surely no longer breathing.
Irrational? Yes, but it's an all-too-common fear those first weeks of a newborn's life -- especially for those of us who have read the stats on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), which is the leading cause of death among babies in the US and claims the lives of almost seven infants every day.
What will become of us when we die? For many, it's a tough and frightening question. For some, it also presents an intriguing design challenge.
This year, 2,050 designers from 96 countries participated in Design for Death, a contest organized by the site Designboom to reimagine mourning and burial for the 21st century.
In a world where some countries hardly have room for the living, let alone the dead, it's not surprising to see new solutions usurping traditional burial practices. Among some of the more futuristic developments in death care, we've looked at liquid cremation that turns bodies into a sterile fluid; robot arms that retrieve urns and place them in mourning rooms for prayers; and even headstones that stream messages from the grave straight to your cell phone.
The Design for Death contest adds an astounding number of new proposals to the equation -- many of them take a practical approach to saving space and resources; others look like they crept right of a sci-fi flick. … Read more
In Death Valley, Calif. -- a desolate place that hit 134 degrees Fahrenheit a century ago -- it's usually so hot you can fry an egg. In a YouTube video posted earlier this month, one Death Valley National Park employee, equipped with a skillet, did just that.
However, the impressive act (with nearly 800,000 views on YouTube) inspired a rash of impromptu copycat chefs, and park employees have been cleaning up the mess ever since.
Leaked from today's 404 episode:
- Guy dressed as Darth Vader runs Death Valley in 129-degree heat.
- Grenades and #travel: the TSA wins Instagram with its feed of confiscated items.
- For the first time, you can actually own the comics you buy.
- U.S. police go high-tech to tackle Fourth of July celebratory gunfire.
Say it five times fast: "Darth Vader-dressed dude dashes in Death Valley." It sounds like a comic convention fever dream, but it's very real. Jonathan Rice is a fan of heat running. It's pretty much what it sounds like. It involves running in stifling hot temperatures.
Rice is the originator of the Darth Valley Challenge, a personal challenge he sets himself to run a mile through Death Valley at the height of its heat, all the while dressed as everyone's favorite "Star Wars" villain, mask and all.… Read more
Usually, "Liking" something gives it broader exposure -- and thus a better chance of propagating in the digital realm. A new online art project called "Like to Death" is the opposite. It disappears bit by bit as people "Like" it.
"Social media is the fifth dimension that fabricates our online existence," reads a screen that appears when visitors enter the flickering black and white site for Like to Death. "Imagine a life without it, if you can't you have been possessed. Break the curse, like it to death."
A collaboration for Adidas Originals by digital artist Geoffrey Lillemon and Stooki, an independent U.K. jewelry and apparel label that's also an art collective, Like to Death presents an ominous-looking seated robed figure of death wearing four heads like rings on its fingers. The artists describe these symbols as "demons," toying, they say, with the idea "that everyone possesses a social-media demon" -- be it an unhealthy addiction to social networks or the traces of ourselves we leave online that we might later wish we could make disappear. … Read more
Last month, NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft suffered a potentially mission-ending malfunction, prompting the eyes of many astronomers and space geeks to grow a little misty. The crippling blow came just as data from Kepler had begun to identify more distant Earth-like planets within the habitable zone.
What's not as widely known, however, is that Kepler data isn't used just to hunt for planets that could potentially support life, it's also been tapped by some intrepid explorers to search for stellar and planetary megastructures created by far-flung advanced societies. Since we've yet to send anything into … Read more