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Sand Sculptures By Guy-Olivier Deveau

Sand Sculpture

Every year in San Francisco local architects and designers work with students from schools across the city in an annual sand castle competition. This year due to the government shut-down the 30th annual competition has been suspended indefinitely! So this morning, because sand castles are on our mind, we take a look at the sand sculptures of Guy-Olivier Deveau.

More at Juxtapoz

Bitcoin Is The Offshore Tax Haven Of The Future

Bitcoin

During the 2008 election, much hay was made of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s stashing millions of dollars in Cayman Island investment funds as a way to avoid paying taxes. According to an essay published earlier this month in the Michigan Law Review, University of Florida law professor Omri Marian predicts future electoral contests may see similar charges hurled at the next generation of well-coiffed plutocrat candidates—except with a virtual wallet full of bitcoins in the place of a P.O. box in a sunny Caribbean locale.

Ttitled “Are Cryptocurrencies ‘Super’ Tax Havens?,” the article points to how the very nature of Bitcoin, combined with a recent shift in how the United States government deals with foreign banks shielding U.S. citizens from taxation, has the potential to make encrypted, electronic currencies the “weapon of choice for tax evaders.”

More at The Daily Dot

Scientists Just Discovered Water Near A Star 170 Light Years Away

Asteroid

The star GD61 is a white dwarf. As such, it’s insanely dense—similar in diameter to Earth, but with a mass roughly that of the Sun, so that a teaspoon of it is estimated to weigh about 5.5 tons. All things considered, it’s not a particularly promising stellar locale to find evidence of life.

But a new analysis of the debris surrounding the star suggests that, long ago, GD61 may have provided a much more hospitable environment. As part of a study published today in Science, scientists found that the crushed rock and dust near the star were once part of a small planet or asteroid made up of 26 precent water by volume. The discovery is the first time we’ve found water in a rocky, Earth-like planetary body (as opposed to a gas giant) in another star system.

More at Smithsonian

Amazing Plant Grows Both Tomatoes and Potatoes AKA Ketchup And Fries

Ketchup And Fries

Imagine a world where your favorite food combos could grow on one plant. A chicken and waffle tree, perhaps? Or maybe a Nutella crepe bush? Well, science is getting it all started with the TomTato plant — a vine of cherry tomatoes attached to potato roots. Or, as I like to see it, the ketchup and fries plant.

So maybe it’s not as indulgent as the former suggestions, but I think we can all agree this is one cool creation by horticultural company Thompson & Morgan. Apparently, tomatoes and potatoes are in the same plant family (and they call the former a fruit, bah!), so the combination actually makes sense.

More at Foodbeast

U.S. Judge Tells Man He’s Still Legally Dead

US Judge

A man who disappeared decades ago is finding out there’s no easy way to come back from the dead.

Donald Miller Jr. went to court this week to ask a county judge to reverse a 1994 ruling that declared him legally dead after he had vanished from his home eight years earlier. But the judge turned down his request, citing a three-year time limit for changing a death ruling.

Hancock County Probate Court Judge Allan Davis called it a “strange, strange situation.”

“We’ve got the obvious here. A man sitting in the courtroom, he appears to be in good health,” said Davis, who told Miller the three-year limit was clear.

“I don’t know where that leaves you, but you’re still deceased as far as the law is concerned,” the judge said.

More at npr

Could We Make A Computer Out Of Our DNA?

DNA

It’s easy to miss the amazing natural computing power of living things. Our brains recognize faces with a facility that the latest software struggles to match; an amoeba can create a transportation network as efficient as one designed by the Tokyo rail system’s crack team of engineers, and even single-celled bacteria perform sophisticated navigational computations as they hunt for food. Every single one of our cells continually carries out basic computing functions, taking inputs from the environment and processing them to come up with the correct output. So what would it take to harness the tremendous computing power of biology and make a computer out of DNA?

More at Pacific Standard

New Large Scale 3D Drawings By Ben Heine

Pencil Vs Camera - 72 (Peace Vs Violence)

Belgian artist Ben Heine has gained recognition for his Pencil Vs Camera series, in which the clever illustrator superimposes a drawing on a sheet of torn paper over a real-life background. As a continuation of the series, Heine has recently ventured into new territory that allows him to enter his drawings, thereby reversing the components of his work that are drawn illusions and real-life objects or figures.

More at My Modern Met

Geologists Discover Evidence Of A Comet That Rained A Shockwave Of Fire On Earth

Comet

A comet that struck Earth around 28 million years ago annihilated part of modern-day Egypt — but managed to leave behind a few relics for modern scientists to marvel over.

According to a team of South African researchers, a small pebble discovered by an Egyptian geologist in 1996 has been identified as having come from an ancient comet. Although comet material has been identified in atmospheric and Antarctic dust, this pebble marks the first time that a comet fragment of such size has been found on Earth. That fragment was analyzed by the team of researchers, who published their results this week in Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Using techniques that included X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy, they were able to determine that the pebble was a fragment from a comet, rather than a meteor.

More at The Verge

Why Nutrition Is Disappearing From Our Food

Nutrition

The fountain of youth may be made of dirt.

So supposes Steve Solomon in The Intelligent Gardner: Growing Nutrient-Dense Food. He asserts that most people could “live past age 100, die with all their original teeth, up to their final weeks, and this could all happen if only we fertilize all our food crops differently.” It’s a bold statement, but mounting evidence suggests that remineralization could be the definitive solution to our nutrient-light diet.

Concerns about the quality of our food tend to focus on the many evils of modern industrial farming, but 10,000 years of agriculture have created a more insidious problem. The minerals and phytonutrients historically derived from rich soil are diminishing in our produce and meat. It takes 500 years for nature to build two centimeters of living soil and only seconds for us to destroy it. While pesticides, chemical-rich fertilizers, and agro-tech exacerbate the problem, even natural gardening can leach soil of vital minerals. When the same land is constantly re-cultivated without replenishing phytonutrients it yields more disappointing and nutrient-deficient crops.

More at The Week

Pictures Of People Freaking Out In A Haunted House

Freaking Out In Haunted House

More at Funny Or Die