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Incredible Sculpture Looks Like an Infinite Staircase

Infinite Stairway

Diminish and Ascend is a sculptural installation by artist David McCracken that, from certain angles, looks like a never-ending staircase. Part of the annual event known as Sculpture by the Sea in Bondi, Australia, the staircase is one of the most eye-catching pieces at the outdoor exhibition this year that allows the mind to wander and imagine a surreal escape. Though it appears to be a long climb to the top that goes beyond the Earth’s atmosphere, it is nothing more than an optical illusion.

More at My Modern Met

The Mystery Of The Missing Money

Empty Wallet

The Federal Reserve tells us that more than $1.2 trillion worth of paper money is in circulation. In fact, there is $3774 in cash for every American. But we only know where roughly 15 percent of that money is—in banks or in regular, everyday circulation in the United States. The other 85 percent of the United States currency supply is simply missing. No one knows for sure where it is or what it’s doing. “We call this the currency enigma,” said Edgar Feige, an economics professor emeritus, in an interview with American Public Media’s Marketplace. “It’s hard to figure out where this currency is and why so much of it is out there.”

More at Mental Floss

The Creepy Sleeping Beauty Experiment Changes The Odds Of A Coin Flip

Sleeping Beauty

Ever heard of the Sleeping Beauty experiment? It’s an experiment that, for many reasons, will never be conducted. If it were, we’d have to rethink the way we calculate the odds of a coin flip.

Allow me to describe the Sleeping Beauty experiment’s surpassingly creepy procedure: Sleeping Beauty is put under sedation on a Sunday. A coin is flipped. No matter what, she is woken up on Monday. She is briefly interviewed, but before she is put back to sleep, she is given a drug that wipes out her memory of the interview, and being woken at all. If the coin comes up heads, she is only awakened on Monday. If the coin comes up tails, she awakened on Monday and on Tuesday. During each interview, before she is given the amnesiac drug, she is asked what she believes the result of the coin flip was. Should she say heads or tails? Or should she just bolt for the door?

More at io9

How To Make Dinner In Your Coffee Maker

Coffee Maker

The chefs at Chowhound have brewed up entire breakfasts and lunches in the coffee maker. And the kitchen wizards at the blog Kaffekokarkokboken developed recipes for pumpkin soup, chutney, even cinnamon buns, all made in the humble appliance.

So why in the heck would anyone not living in a freshman dorm ever want to do this? Well, if you’re a soldier deployed in a war zone, a coffee maker might be your only option for a home-cooked meal.

More at npr

A Scientific Approach To Telepathy

Telepathy

Why do humans often make independent but similar discoveries at about the same time? What makes us repetitively stumble upon that new word or phenomenon that we just learned about the other day? And how do mice know all about our poison and traps? Is it because all members of a species share a thelapethic-like collective memory?

It is an idea suggested by just a few scientists without much actual data to build upon, yet it recieved a lot of attention. Every once in a while someone else opens the (online) discussion again: “I once heard about this amazing experiment in which…”, pointing for example to a study in which subjects were given either a one day old or a brandnew newspaper crossword puzzle that they didn’t ever see before. The puzzles that had been in the newspaper, and that thus thousands of people had already been working on, were solved much quicker.

More at United Academics

Cops Set Up A Sting To Catch Guy Impersonating A Cop To Get Discounted Donuts

Donut

It might seem like a giggle and a half to pretend you’re a police offer to get a discount on donuts, but rest assured, cops take it very seriously. Not donuts, impersonating the police. Well okay, also probably donuts but they’re delicious so who can blame’em?

Officials in Florida say the 48-year-old man went to the drive-thru of a local Dunkin’ Donuts last week and said he was a police officer, reports WWSB News. He then asked for a discount on his donuts. A docount?

More at Consumerist

Willian Murai’s Painted Ladies

Will Murai

Willian Murai, a.k.a Will Murai, was born in a small town in southeastern Brazil. The son of Japanese immigrants, has been a fan of anime, manga, and comic books since he was little kid. Inspired by the classic and contemporary artists in the industry, early on he knew that drawing is what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.

More at Juxtapoz

Inside The World Of Competitive Laughing

Great Canadian Laughing Championships

On Sunday night in Toronto, Albert Nerenberg sits on a grey plastic folding chair inside The Great Hall, a historic building in the west end of the city. He’s three hours away from hosting the first-ever Canadian competitive laughing championship.

In front of him, there are three male “laughletes,” who will be performing later in the evening. Behind Nerenberg is a small black stage, and a low-hanging video screen that reads, “It’s Laughter Night in Canada.” Red velvet curtains are drawn across the stage, and a golden trophy sits on a mantle, on top of more crushed red velvet.

More at Pacific Standard

What Neuroscience Says About The Link Between Creativity And Madness

Van Gogh

The idea that very creative people are also a little crazy has been around since humanity’s earliest days. In ancient Greece, Plato noted the eccentricities of poets and playwrights, and Aristotle saw that some creative types were also depressives. In modern times, that connection has persisted, from Robert Schumann hearing voices guide his music to Sylvia Plath sticking her head in an oven to Van Gogh cutting off his ear to Michael Jackson … being Michael Jackson.

More at Fast Company

Is Andy Kaufman Still Alive?

Andy Kaufman

Rumors of a faked death have been just as much a part of Andy Kaufman’s legacy as watching him turn from Foreign Man to Elvis, but if what played out at this week’s Andy Kaufman Awards in New York City are actually true, the comedic genius may have pulled off his biggest hoax of all: not just faking his own death, but secretly spending the last 29 years raising a family.

Sean McCarthy from The Comic’s Comic was at the closing night of the 9th Annual Andy Kaufman Awards and reports back an incident that’s sure to reignite the rumors that Kaufman—known for his elaborate pranks and performance art—is actually alive and well, and did pull off the faked death hoax he was known to be fixated upon. During the closing ceremony, Kaufman’s brother Michael took the stage during the closing ceremonies to once again address the rumors that his brother had not passed away from lung cancer in 1984, but was actually alive, and living in obscurity.

More at Defamer