The Chinese have now surpassed Americans and Germans as the world's top international spenders and are becoming one of the most significant global tourism markets. As the throngs of Chinese tourists venture out into the big wide world, the Chinese government has some words of advice for them, " Be polite!"
Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang has called on his nation's tourists to improve their behavior, stressing it was important to project a "good image of Chinese tourists," official state media outlet Xinhua reported.
The Internet is saddened by this command. Scuffles between Chinese tourists and the locals of the country they are visiting make for wonderful content.
In 1920s America, the # sign served as a shorthand for weight in pounds (and they still call it the pound sign). It was first brought to a wider public thanks to its adoption by telephone engineers at Bell Labs in the 1960s as the generic function symbol on their new touch-tone phones – and if you're looking to sound clever, you could call it an "octothorpe", the tongue-in-cheek term coined at Bell to describe it. It's on Twitter, though, that hashtags have really come into their own, serving as a kind of function code for social interaction #ifyoulikethatkindofthing.
There's a special place in my heart for the supremely useful three letters of "meh", which express an almost infinitely flexible contemporary species of indifference. In its basic exclamatory form, it suggests something along the lines of "OK, whatever". As an adjective, it takes on a more ineffable flavour: "it was all very meh". You can even use it as a noun: "I stand by my meh." Apparently first recorded in a 1995 episode of The Simpsons, some theories trace meh back to the disdainful Yiddish term mnyeh. Its ascent towards canonical status, though, embodies a thoroughly digital breed of boredom.
Also known as "auto-correct errors", a Cupertino error occurs when your computer thinks it knows what you're trying to say better than you do. The name comes from an early spell checker program, which knew the word Cupertino - the Californian city where Apple has its headquarters - but not the word "cooperation". All the cooperations in a document might thus be automatically "corrected" into Cupertinos. Courtesy of smartphones, Cupertinos today are a richer field than ever – a personal favourite being my last phone's determination to transform "Facebook" into "ravenous".
Tom has a few more examples over at The Guardian: Link
To celebrate the premier of Star Trek Into Darkness, the artists behind The Joy of Tech assembled their best Star Trek cartoons. At the link, you can find their slideshow hosted by a reasonable facsimile of J.J. Abrams.
Are you looking for a fashion accessory that supports your geeky lifestyle? you need the Pixel-8 Necktie from the NeatoShop. This fantastic costume necktie looks like it is made from pixels. This makes a winning fashion statement.
Be sure to check out the NeatoShop for more great Neckties.
With great flour comes great delectability. To welcome the Big Wow Comicfest in San Jose, California, which starts this Saturday, Psycho Donuts is offering Spider-Man donuts. How do you think a Spider-Man donut should be flavored?
Famed Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet made a beautiful and complex watch for Marie Antoinette. The works were mostly gold, and its value is hard to estimate not only because of its history, but because of its workmanship. But Marie Antoinette never wore the watch that eventually became known as the Queen.
The watch ultimately took 44 years to complete. In the interim, the French Revolution and the resulting European upheaval led to the death of both the man who likely commissioned the watch and its intended owner. (Marie Antoinette, of course, fell under the guillotine. Seventeen years after her death, an incensed crowd, convinced that von Fersen had conspired to assassinate Sweden’s would-be king, beat him to death in a Stockholm square.) Breguet died in September 1823. His son, a talented horologer in his own right, finished the masterpiece in 1827. It traveled in the coat pockets of a French nobleman and later ended up in the collection of Sir David Lionel Salomons, a British polymath who brought the first car shows to England and patented an idea for buoyant soap. Salomons left his watch collection to his daughter Vera, a globe-trotting nurse who settled in Jerusalem after World War I and later used her father’s money to build the museum—and to house his collection of watches.
What made Breguet’s work so significant was his skill as both a watchmaker and a designer. His creations have pristine faces, delicate hands that end in apple-shaped tips, and movements that appear as complex as a computer circuit. The Queen was at once immensely complicated—it had all the features of a cathedral clock in the space of a pocket watch—and beguilingly elegant. Breguet even made a clear crystal face that allowed the owner to see the movement of the gears underneath.
Skip ahead to 1983, and the watch is stolen from the museum, along with other valuable watches. The investigation led nowhere for 23 years. But then, it gets really interesting again. Read the saga of the watch Wired. Link
Over the years, the event grew from a few food bloggers posting recipes to thousands of participants Tweeting, pinning recipes on Pinterest, making songs, poems, and short films.
It's not surprising, because, as you know, yummy Nutella goes with everything. Well, almost everything. There's one thing that doesn't mix well with Nutella and its fans: lawyers.
Sara Rosso wrote on World Nutella Day's website:
On May 25, 2013, I’ll be darkening the World Nutella Day site, nutelladay.com, and all social media presence (Facebook, Twitter), in compliance with a cease-and-desist I received from lawyers representing Ferrero, SpA (makers of Nutella).
Seven years after the first World Nutella Day in 2007, I never thought the idea of dedicating a day to come together for the love of a certain hazelnut spread would be embraced by so many people! I’ve seen the event grow from a few hundred food bloggers posting recipes to thousands of people Tweeting about it, pinning recipes on Pinterest, and posting their own contributions on Facebook! There have been songs sung about it, short films created for it, poems written for it, recipes tested for it, and photos taken for it.
The cease-and-desist letter was a bit of a surprise and a disappointment, as over the years I’ve had contact and positive experiences with several employees of Ferrero, SpA., and with their public relations and brand strategy consultants, and I’ve always tried to collaborate and work together in the spirit and goodwill of a fan-run celebration of a spread I (to this day) still eat.
I have hope that this is not a goodbye to World Nutella Day forever, for the fans’ sake, and hopefully it will live on in one form or another in the future.
Nutella dissing its fans? Now that's just plain nuts: Link
Wild animals are not your friends. They would be quite content to kill and even eat you. How will you survive? Liam Gooley illustrated helpful guides that show you how to keep safe if you meet dangerous creatures, such as elephants, scorpions and aliens. You can read all of these guides at the link.
Photo: Miaow Miaow/Wikimedia
Love may just be a subway ride away. Ropid, Prague's public transport company, is planning to provide singles-only train cars:
The project's planners hope the single-only carriages will provide people with a rare opportunity to meet and form a relationship in an increasingly frantic world dominated by work.
"In the metro you can already read and learn, so why not find a partner?" said Filip Drapal, spokesman for Ropid, Prague's transport company. "We want to make life more pleasant. People today have no time to meet.
"We do not know yet whether the dating car will be the last carriage on each train and whether it will work day a week or one an hour," he added.
"We need to do some fine tuning."
Aneta Rehkova, spokeswoman for the metro system, said they were conducting surveys to find out what age groups would be interested in the special carriages and what times would be best to run them.
In 2010, doctors diagnosed Jen with a rare type of bone cancer. As part of her thankfully successful recovery, part of Jen's pelvis was surgically removed. Now she can bend her left leg much farther than ever before. In this video, she asks TV show host Ellen DeGeneres to let her show off this ability on television.
Tulsa, Oklahoma, is not the largest city around. It's not even the largest city in Oklahoma. But they are thinking about putting in a bid to host the 2024 Olympics.
"I see this as a great opportunity, I really do,” said Tulsa’s mayor, who probably has a name like Dewey Bartlett. Oh. His name really is Dewey Bartlett. Anyway: "If we come off looking a little lighthearted on it, so much the better, but we are serious about putting our name out there."
Although Tulsa has almost 400,000 people, the Olympic Committee might consider it a small town. ESPN Playbook had a little fun with the idea, and made a template for small-town Olympic bids. All you have to do is fill in the name of your town. A sample:
Gym Sports Venue: High School Gym and the YMCA
Basketball, volleyball, wrestling, badminton, whatever handball is, gymnastics -- we can host them all. The main gym floors at our high school and our town’s YMCA have lines for basketball and volleyball. There is also a full-sized basketball court at the middle school, but the floor is pretty old and it is slippery even if it’s just been swept.
If these venues are not enough to accommodate all the gym sports, the badminton competition can be moved to any number of backyards in our town. Gymnastics have not been part of our gym curriculum since the late '80s -- again thanks to insurance issues. (People will sue you nowadays if their kid gets hurt falling off a pommel horse.) However, we probably have most of our gymnastics equipment still in some equipment closet somewhere.
Attention Doctor Who fans! Are you looking for an out world accessory worthy of adventurous Time Lord such as yourself? Behold The Doctor, Amy Pond, and The Daleks Doctor Who Seatbelt Belt from the NeatoShop. This fantastic belt is made of tough nylon webbing and features an authentic seatbelt clasp as the belt buckle.
Be sure to check the NeatoShop for more great Apparel & Accessories.
What is J.J. Abrams going to do with Episode VII of Star Wars? Given the success of his rebooting of the Star Trek franchise, these cookies illustrate a likely option. Sarah Trefney made these cookies mashing up the two franchises. Darth Vader is now a Klingon, Princess Leia Uhura works the comm station and Chewbacca is a tribble. You can view more photos of them at the link.
I put this new Windows 8 advertisement on my own site because, although it's funny, I didn't think it was quite "neat" enough for Neatorama. Then later, I found out something strange about it. No one seems to know what language the actors are speaking!
Native speakers of Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, and Korean declare that it is not any of those languages. The first time I listened to them, the ads sounded as though they contained elements of some Wu topolect, a bit like mangled Shanghainese, but I could also definitely hear bits of Mandarin, albeit with unusual tonal contours and slurring. What was most perplexing of all to me was that, although I was certain that the ads contained Chinese phrases and sentences, every Chinese person to whom I showed them emphatically maintained that they could not understand a single word! In contrast, several non-native speakers of Mandarin said they could pick out a word of Chinese here and there.
Look at this: A historic brick temple raised up two stories high on scaffolding. Just imagine the strength and care that went into this feat of engineering! The Provo (Utah) Tabernacle burned in 2010, and although the interior is gone, the brick facade survived. To restore the building, it has been raised up so that a two-floor foundation basement can be built underneath it. Read about the project and see more pictures at Gizmodo. Link
(Image credit: Flickr user Brian Hansen)
Questioning your existence? Doubting the reality of transcendent meaning? Randy Sarafan has designed a phone for your needs:
The way that it works is that when you pick up the handset, the telephone makes a call using a custom cellular module to a list of predefined phone numbers. Whether the phone calls a list of people you know, a list of people you don't know, or randomly dials strangers in your area code, is really up to you. Alternately, the number can be distributed to people with existential emergencies and they can dial in for others to answer.
You can find building instructions and process photos at the link.
A group of researchers from the CDC sampled water from 161 public and private pools and water parks in Atlanta and found that half of them were contaminated with e. coli, which comes from -you guessed it- poop.
The study, published in the latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, specifically looked at pools in Atlanta, but the researchers say such contamination is likely a widespread problem in U.S. pools, thanks to swimmers not washing themselves off before taking a dip. According to the scientists, each of us carries about 0.14 grams of fecal material into the pool — and that doesn’t include accidents or cases of diarrhea. Among municipal pools, the genetic testing for pathogens detected E. coli in 70% of the filters, while 66% of the water parks contained the bacteria and 49% of pools in private clubs showed evidence of the contamination.
“These findings indicate the need for swimmers to help prevent introduction of pathogens, e.g., taking a pre-swim shower and not swimming when ill with diarrhea, [for] aquatics staff to maintain disinfectant level and pH according to public health standards to inactivate pathogens, and state and local environmental health specialists to enforce such standards,” the authors write in their report.
Because of the way they did the tests, the researchers did not determine whether the bacteria was alive. If pools are properly chlorinated, they should be dead. Atlanta had no reported pool-borne illnesses last summer, when the samples were taken. But just to be sure, try not to swallow pool water. Link -via Digg
(Image credit: Flickr user Vegas ER)