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Why Is The Otsuka Museum Of Art So Popular?

Otsuka Museum of Art

The Otsuka Museum of Art is a place of extremes. It’s the biggest exhibition space in Japan, housing masterpieces of Western art from antiquity to the modern day. The route around its 1,000 artworks is 4km long (2.5 miles), and it takes a full, tiring day to see it all. And with a 3,150 yen (US $29.22) adult admission fee, it’s also Japan’s most expensive gallery.

The works on show are, quite literally, too good to be true. The Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, Guernica, Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, Rembrandt’s self-portraits: everything is here. And every single one of them is a replica. But why are so many people prepared to pay through the nose to see prints of masterpieces?

More at Rocket News 24

People Feel The Weather In Their Bones

Bones

When I was younger, my grandma would occasionally issue solemn prophesies for rain. These declarations would come after she’d spent a few minutes rubbing her arthritic wrists. With a pensive gaze, she’d credit the prediction to her aching joints.

I was reminded of this yesterday. I’d been working on my laptop when my ankle, titanium-braced from an old break, started throbbing. I thought nothing of it until I stepped outside, and into a surprise rainstorm. I’d always been skeptical of grandma’s arthritic omens, but limping down the sidewalk in the wake of my own revelation gave me reason to reconsider. Could science have an answer for why some people seem to feel the weather in their bones?

More at Wired

Hunger Is Associated With Advantageous Decision Making

Decision Making

In their daily lives, people are frequently confronted with self-control dilemmas requiring them to choose between an immediate but small reward or a larger reward in the long run. Opting for a small reward when a bigger one is available can be regarded as self-control failure, even when the bigger one is delayed. Yet, many people tend to engage in this kind of disadvantageous choices, such as weight watchers who prefer a high caloric muffin for breakfast over a slim waist or business men preferring a night out at the casino over preparing next day’s meeting. Hot states like emotions or visceral drives have a bad reputation of compromising such self-control dilemmas by making people less patient to wait for the long-term benefits.

More at PLOS One

The Airplane Of The Future Won’t Have Windows

See Through Airplane

Vague, over-wing cloud photos are a staple of vacation albums across the Internet, but a British technology incubator wants to do away with them completely. You’ll still be able to see the sky, though. The Centre for Process Innovation is proposing the elimination of airplane cabin windows to make room for floor to ceiling wraparound screens showing continuous footage from outside the plane.

The goal of the proposal is to reduce how much commercial aircraft bodies, or fuselages, weigh thereby also reducing fuel consumption, costs, and carbon emissions. Windows add weight to aircraft cabins because of both the materials used to make them, and the additional components that must be added to the hull to strengthen and secure it.

More at Slate

We Couldn’t Directly See How Roots Grow Underground Until Now

Plant Root

As scientists look at crops to find ways to help them deal with climate change stress and growing populations, a tool has emerged to give them a new perspective: the view from underground.

Plants are a lot like icebergs: A bulk of their mass is invisible to the naked eye, buried in their roots. Roots allow plants to compensate for their stationary role in life, hunting for nutrients and diving to mine for water in times of drought.

More at Scientific American

You Can Fit Every Planet In The Solar System Between Earth And The Moon

Between Earth And The Moon

I’d honestly never heard this stat before, and it’s pretty amazing how well they tightly fit together.

I ran into this intriguing infographic over on Reddit that claimed that you could fit all the planets of the Solar System within the average distance between the Earth and the Moon. I thought it would be a good idea to double check the math, just to be absolutely certain. I pulled my numbers from NASA’s Solar System Fact Sheets, and they’re a little different from the original infographic, but close enough that the comparison is still valid.

More at io9

The CIA Used And Protected 1000 Ex-Nazis During The Cold War

Nazis

In the decades after World War II, the C.I.A. and other United States agencies employed at least a thousand Nazis as Cold War spies and informants and, as recently as the 1990s, concealed the government’s ties to some still living in America, newly disclosed records and interviews show.

At the height of the Cold War in the 1950s, law enforcement and intelligence leaders like J. Edgar Hoover at the F.B.I. and Allen Dulles at the C.I.A. aggressively recruited onetime Nazis of all ranks as secret, anti-Soviet “assets,” declassified records show. They believed the ex-Nazis’ intelligence value against the Russians outweighed what one official called “moral lapses” in their service to the Third Reich.

More at The New York Times

Did Led Zeppelin Plagiarize Stairway? A Pennsylvania Judge Will Decide

Led Zeppelin

Everyone who knows rock ‘n’ roll knows the opening riff to Led Zeppelin’s 1971 hit “Stairway to Heaven.” Play it side-by-side with the 1968 song “Taurus” by the band Spirit, and they sound almost the same.

The songs were released more than four decades ago, but just this week, a judge in Pennsylvania allowed a lawsuit about the issue to move forward.

More at npr

The Gentleman Thief

Venice

Venice was built to confuse. The floating Italian city has few straight lines: Each cobblestoned footpath veers and twists, the buildings lean, and small bridges vault sideways. For tourists, it’s like entering a labyrinth. Locals have tried to help, scrawling arrows on the walls. They are supposed to point to San Marco Square, the city’s most prominent attraction, but sometimes the arrows point in opposite directions.

The beauty is that it doesn’t really matter. Somehow, everybody ends up in San Marco anyway, as if by magic. Befuddled tourists emerge from narrow alleys and abruptly find themselves standing on the edge of a grand square with a towering 323-foot-tall bell tower. To get some perspective on the mystery, many visitors ride the elevator to the top of the tower. On the observation platform, they can use coin-operated telescopes to scan the vast medieval tangle of waterways, churches, and tiny, hidden piazzas.

More at Medium

The Secret History And Uncertain Future Of Comics Character John Constantine

John Constantine

There’s never been a comics character like John Constantine, DC Comics’ trench-coat-sporting magician and wisecracking righter of wrongs. He’s openly, specifically political. He’s queer. He’s working-class. He’s wordy. He’s indelibly and un-stereotypically English. Astoundingly, he’s remained largely unchanged since he first took to the page in 1985 and throughout 26 years of constant publication — a kind of character consistency that’s unheard of even among icons like Superman or Batman.

And there’s also the matter of how often he appears before his writers. Like, literally shows up out of nowhere on an otherwise ordinary day. Flesh and blood, cigarette and tie. They swear to it.

More at Vulture