Monkey Riding in Car Stuns Motorist in Alabama

A driver in Alabama could not believe their eyes when they spotted a monkey riding shotgun in a car next to them. According to a local media report, the puzzling scene unfolded in the city of Tuscaloosa and was shared on social media earlier this week by Charles Newman, who says that his friend filmed the wild moment when they had stopped at a red light. In the video, the curious capuchin can be seen clamoring around the open passenger side window of its ride and observing the people in cars nearby.

The witnesses initially react with delight at the unexpected sight, but their amazement quickly turns to concern when it appears that the monkey is about to leap out of the car and escape. Fortunately, their fears are quelled when they realize that the creature is wearing a leash. With that bit of drama behind them, one person in the car wonders aloud how the driver of the other vehicle managed to get a monkey in the first place, while another simply and understandably exclaims, “oh my gosh, that is so weird!”

Since the video was posted online, the creature has become something of a viral sensation thanks in large part to the fact that it was wearing a University of Alabama Crimson Tide t-shirt. Dubbed ‘Bama Monkey,’ the capuchin quickly won over the hearts of the football-crazed community and even got an endorsement from the college athletic department, who retweeted the video and declared “we need more Bama Monkey in our lives.”

Girl in Taiwan Is Swept High by a Kite

Powerful winds swept a 3-year-old girl into the sky after she became entangled in the kite’s tail during a festival in Taiwan. The girl landed safely.

HONG KONG — A 3-year-old girl was swept high into the sky after a streamer became tangled around her neck during a kite-flying festival in northern Taiwan this weekend.

The child hovered above throngs of spectators and was zipped around by strong winds for a heart-stopping 30 seconds amid inflatable pandas and astronauts as screams erupted from spectators.

The girl, who was identified by news outlets only by her last name, Lin, landed mostly unscathed at the Hsinchu International Kite Festival. She suffered abrasions around her neck and face, the mayor of Hsinchu, Lin Chih-chien, wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday. She was admitted to a hospital for a medical examination, he said.

The startling episode drew an apology from the mayor, led to the suspension of festivities and added a frisson of horror to an event that usually draws tens of thousands of visitors for what’s supposed to be a fun time at the two-day festival.

“The city government expresses its deepest apologies to the public and to the individuals involved, and we will review the reasons to avoid this type of accident from ever happening again, conducting a thorough review and holding people to account,” he wrote.

The girl is not the only toddler to have found herself in a harrowing situation in recent days.

Last Monday in Greece, a 3-year-old girl was swept out to sea in a winged unicorn inflatable toy before she was rescued by a ferryboat captain.

The kite festival in Taiwan, featuring larger-than-life designs from around the world, took place on a grassy expanse at a fishing port on the last weekend before kindergartens and other schools reopened for a new year. On Saturday, the Asia Kite Foundation, a Taiwan-based group that helped promote the kite-flying event, had urged families to take care on Sunday, when gales were forecast for the afternoon.

Sure enough, the winds were strong.

At 4 p.m., children gathered around for the unfurling of a “candy kite,” officially named “Joy Falls From Heaven.” A compartment attached to the long, voluminous orange fabric was filled with candy, and once it was sent into the air like a flying piñata, confection was supposed to rain down. Footage showed several men struggling to control the long streamer as gusts of wind whipped it around.

Somehow, as a powerful draft lifted the ballooning kite from the grass, its tail lassoed the 3-year-old by the neck and hoisted her upward. The pumpkin-orange kite suddenly became a parachute.

Dangling from the kite, the girl was whizzed across a sky full of floating cartoon figures and jerked around like a spool. Screams and shouts could be heard.

When the winds shifted less than a minute later, the girl was spun rapidly in circles before people managed to pull the kite to the ground. Spectators jumped onto the kite’s tail to prevent it from taking off again.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Shie Jiun-hung, an official with the Fisheries Department, said the girl’s parents had blamed themselves for the accident.

He said that the local government would no longer allow candy kites to take flight again in public events and would impose stricter rules in the future.

As for the girl, the official said that she returned home Sunday and promptly had a nap.


The Genius Behind Japan’s New Transparent Public Toilets

Most people are apprehensive about using public restrooms as it is, so making them completely transparent would just boost their anxiety, right? Well, apparently, the exact opposite is true.

Japanese public toilets generally have a higher standard of hygiene that other public restrooms around the world. I distinctly remember posting about Benjyo Soujer, a Tokyo social club whose members gather every Sunday morning to voluntarily clean public toilets around Japan’s capital. But even in this country, some people dread the thought of having to walk into a dark, smelly, dirty and possibly unsafe facility to do their “business”. But what if you could see how clean or safe this facility was before walking in?

Photo: The Tokyo Toilet Project

Earlier this year, the non-profit Nippon Foundation launched “The Tokyo Toilet Project” in a creative attempt to cure people’s toilet phobia. The project tasked 16 experienced architects with renovating 17 public toilets located in the public parks of Shibuya District, one of Tokyo’s busiest commercial areas. According to a Nippon Foundation statement, the main goal of this endeavor was “that people will feel comfortable using these public toilets and to foster a spirit of hospitality for the next person”.

Pritzker Prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban’s creations have been getting the most attention so far, mostly because his design seems to go against the main characteristic of a modern toilet. When most people think about toilets, the first thing that comes to mind is privacy, but the Japanese architect’s creations in Haru-no-Ogawa Community Park and the Yoyogi Fukamachi Mini Park both have see-through walls…


But the transparent nature of these revolutionary public bathrooms is by design, as they allow potential users to see inside before venturing in, thus laying their two main concerns to rest – “the first is whether it is clean inside, and the second is that no one is secretly waiting inside,” according to the Nippon Foundation.

Consisting of several adjacent cubicles, each sporting a different color, the ingenious public toilets rely on the latest smart glass technology to turn the transparent walls opaque whenever the door is locked, and transparent again when the door is unlocked.


“This allows users to check the cleanliness and whether anyone is using the toilet from the outside. At night, the facility lights up the park like a beautiful lantern,” the Nippon Foundation statement mentioned.

Along with Shigeru Ban’s transparent creations, three other public restrooms designed by participants in The Tokyo Toilet Project also opened this month, and two more innovative designs are set to be showcased in the coming week. The remaining public toilet renovations are set to be unveiled in spring of next year.

Interestingly, transparent toilets have been used in Japan before. Back in 2014, the city of Oita introduced see-through toilets that relied on motion sensors to turn the walls opaque. However, Kotaku reported that the toilets were risky to use, as if the sensors didn’t detect any movement for 35 consecutive seconds, they turned the walls transparent again.

Talented Artist Creates Beautiful Artworks with Hundreds of Strips of Paper

Bekah Stonefox is a 45-year-old artist from the UK who specializes in creating intricate works of art with hundreds of colorful strips of paper.

The talented artist has been honing her quilling skills for the last five years, and has put together quite the impressive collection of artworks, from detailed portraits of imaginary human characters, to animals like dogs, cats and even gorillas. Bekah’s most remarkable skill is using various quilling techniques to depict various textures, like the fur on mammals, the feathers on birds, or the skin of reptiles. It almost seems like there is nothing she can’t recreate from tiny bits of paper.

While many quilling artist use multiple techniques in their artworks, Bekah Stonefox relies only on the on-edge technique to make her creations look as realistic as possible.


While you’re here, you may want to take a look at the works of Danny Schleibe, the creator of a unique art form called “tapigami”, which uses vinyl masking tape instead of rolled bits of paper.

Photos © Bekah Stonefox

Mexican Bank Builds Branch in the Middle of Nowhere

Photos and videos of a functional Banco del Bienestar branch seemingly located in the middle of nowhere have been getting a lot of attention on Mexican social media this week.

Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador was one of the very first people to get blamed for wasting government money on useless buildings after the photos and videos of a Banco del Bienestar branch located a long way from any human settlement, somewhere in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. The building was used to mock Obrador’s “Fourth Transformation” of Mexico initiative, but a representative of the bank was quick to explain that although bizarre, the location of the branch actually makes sense.

Mario Saldaña, a representative of Banco del Bienestar, told RID Noticias that initially the new branch was supposed to be built in a more central area of Nuevo Casas Grandes, a small municipality in Chihuahua, but Mayor Héctor Mario Galaz refused to provide a plot of land for construction, so the bank had no choice but to accept a piece of land donated by the Mexican Army.

The bank representative added that if they did not act fast, they would have had to wait for the third or fourth stage of the Fourth Transformation project, which meant that people in the Nuevo Casas Grandes area would not have had access to a bank for their everyday needs until next year at the earliest.

Apparently, most of the beneficiaries of the social programs carried out through the Banco del Bienestar only need about 20 minutes to reach the unique branch, despite it being located a long way from town.

The building and the parking lot in front of it were completed this summer, but the branch is not yet operational, because the furniture, computers and other equipment are missing. However, Mario Saldaña said that he expects to be fully operational by the beginning of October.

Although the current location of the Banco del Bienestar was not the first option, the bank representative assured reporters that the route will be viable for beneficiaries who do not have their own cars, because public transport drops them off 100 meters from the branch.

The Banco del Bienestar was founded in July 2019, after the intention of President López Obrador to replace the Banco del Ahorro Nacional y Servicios Financieros.

The Polar Bear Jail of Churchill

Living in Churchill in northern Manitoba, Canada, has its perils. Situated on the banks of Hudson Bay, approximately 1,000 km north of the provincial capital, Winnipeg, Churchill is one of Canada’s most remote towns. Few places are inhabited so far north, with the exception of a couple of Inuit communities and research stations. But cold and isolation are not the only challenges its residents face. Their biggest threat is polar bears.

Polar Bear Churchill

A polar bear warning sign in Churchill, Manitoba.

Churchill stands on the migration route of these large predators, who travel along the coastline to their hunting ground in Hudson Bay, where they look for seals in the ice. Although the hunting season lasts only through fall when the sea ice has just started to form after months of summer melt, polar bears skirt the town’s borders throughout the year. More often than not, one would wander into the streets and frighten the living daylights out of the residents.

“It’s unnerving, walking around,” a Churchill resident told The Atlantic. “You walk out in the morning, and from the tracks in fresh snow, you see that a bear has walked between the houses.”

Churchill grew from a small remote outpost to a thriving commercial port engaging in fur trade to a strategic US military base all in the span of four hundred years. After World War 2, Churchill became part of the Canadian signals intelligence network, and later the site for rocket research for atmospheric studies. Churchill was nearly annihilated when the British government decided to test nuclear weapons there, but then chose Australia instead.

Today, Churchill is mostly a polar bears’ town, with nearly 800 of them living in the vicinity. That number swells to 10,000 during the hunting season. That’s the best time to watch polar bears. Tour operators take visitors to the town’s fringes on giant buggies from where they can watch the animals in the wild. The vehicle’s height keeps the occupants safe and beyond the reach of even the largest bear.

Polar Bear Churchill

The town of Churchill. 

Polar Bear Churchill

Various warning signs inside Churchill. 

Polar Bear Churchill

Tourists watching polar bears from a Tundra buggy.

To live in Churchill, one has exercise caution at all times. There are warning signs posted all around the town reminding people not to leave the town’s borders or venture into bear sites. Many people keep the doors of their houses and vehicles unlocked, should anyone need to make a quick escape.

In the past, polar bears that wandered into the town were shot, but it only aggravated conflicts between the two species. So in the 1970s, Churchill adopted the Polar Bear Alert Program.

Now, when people spot a bear, they call a hotline number and staff from the Program then tries to scare the bear away by firing crackers shells or rubber bullets. If that doesn’t work, the bear is tranquilized and taken to a holding facility—the world’s only polar bear jail.

Polar Bear Churchill

The Polar Bear Holding Facility. 

The jail is housed inside a former military aircraft hangar, and contains a number of cells, each approximately 12 feet wide and 16 feet long. The polar bears are kept locked inside these cells for up to 30 days and fed only snow and water to discourage them from returning to town in search of food. Polar bears are accustomed to not eating for long periods of time, so this does not kill them. But it’s certainly not a pleasant experience.

“You don’t really want them to be so comfortable. You want them to not want to return,” explains Brett Whitlock, the District Supervisor Conservation Officer of the Churchill District. But then he adds:

“I wouldn’t say it’s imprisoning them. We’re not putting them in here to punish them for something. We’re putting him in here to protect them from causing more damage or, inevitably, hurting somebody and then themselves getting dispatched or euthanized, so I don’t think it’s a punishment. That’s why we hold call it a holding facility. The term jail really makes it sound like it’s a punishment by putting them in here. We’re trying to save their lives.”

When the bears are ready to be released, they are tranquilized again and a helicopter flies them out. Bears are marked before they are released, so that they can be tracked. Repeat offenders are held for more than 30 days. If a bear is deemed unable to be released into the wild, for various reasons such as being too young or too old, it is transferred to the Assinbone Park Zoo in Winnipeg.

The Polar Bear Alert Program receives about 300 calls on average each year. About 50 bears end up inside the jail.

Polar Bear Churchill

A bear is caught in a trap containing seal meat. Photo: Province of Manitoba/Vice

Polar Bear Churchill

A bear inside a cell. Photo: Province of Manitoba/Vice

Polar Bear Churchill

Inside the polar bear jail. Photo: Province of Manitoba/Vice

Since the establishment of the Polar Bear Alert Program, bear-human conflicts have dropped drastically, but only until recent times. The climate is changing and the ice is disappearing. Polar bear needs ice to survive because it enables them to walk over the water and hunt seal. Now the summers are longer and the ice is delayed. The bears become restless for food after months of starvation, forcing them to frequently encroach into human space and not just in Churchill. The trend has been seen in Alaska, Norway, Greenland, and elsewhere in Canada.

The late freeze is coupled with an increasingly early thaw, which means that the bears spend less of the year hunting. This leaves them with not enough time to build up an acceptable amount of body fat to survive the summer. So bears start exploring alternative food sources such as whale leftover and human trash, which brings them to towns like Churchill.

Throughout the lean months, the bears feed off their reserves, losing as much as a kilogram of body fat a day. Many bears end up dangerously skinny and starve to death. Skinnier bears also produce smaller cubs, which struggle to survive. Since 1987, there has been a 22 percent decline in Churchill’s polar bear population. Some experts fear that two-thirds of all polar bears will be gone by 2050, and they might even become extinct in the wild by the end of the century if steps are not taken to check the global climate change.

Really Cool Globes



















Electro-magnetic levitating globe





Door Knob



Rich Arab from the UAE had this huge globe built that is actually a mobile camper.



Globe display in Boston



Huge rotating globe in the lobby of the Daily News building in New York City. It was used in a scene from the first Superman movie starring Christopher Reeve.


Rock and Water Paradise

Get a boat, and along with some friends, go exploring this rugged yet beautiful paradise would be one bloody good time.


Scenic aerial of Lake Powell and rock formations. MICHAEL MELFORD/National Geographic

Scenic aerial of Lake Powell and rock formations. MICHAEL MELFORD/National Geographic


Lake Powell is a reservoir on the Colorado River, straddling the border between Utah and Arizona (most of it, along with Rainbow Bridge, is in Utah). It is a major vacation spot that around 2 million people visit every year. It is the second largest man-made reservoir by maximum water capacity in the United States behind Lake Mead, storing 24,322,000 acre feet (3.0001×1010 m3) of water when full. Due to high water withdrawals for human and agricultural consumption, and because of subsequent droughts in the area, Lake Powell is currently the largest reservoir in the United States in terms of capacity of water currently held, depth and surface area. Lake Powell was created by the flooding of Glen Canyon by the Glen Canyon Dam, which also led to the creation of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, a popular summer destination. The reservoir is named for explorer John Wesley Powell, a one-armed American Civil War veteran who explored the river via three wooden boats in 1869.




lake powell1


lake powell3


Young Woman relexing in waterhole laying on air matress, Lake Powell, Utah

Young Woman relaxing in waterhole laying on air matress, Lake Powell, Utah


lake powell5


lake powell6




lake powell8


lake powell9












Glen Canyon Dam