Posts by Melissa Knowles
The LGBT community has a lot to celebrate this week, thanks to two landmark Supreme Court rulings in favor of same-sex marriage and the beginning of Pride Month. As part of the celebration, YouTube has started highlighting inspirational videos, and it has even created one of its own. The YouTube video is a compilation of moving moments that include people coming out to family members, marriage proposals and historic events during the gay rights movement.
How many times has this happened to you? Someone grabs a camera and acts as if they're about to snap a picture of you, and you pose, holding still and smiling or making whatever cute or goofy face you want. Then you realize the person is still standing there pointing the camera at you, and instead of taking a picture, they're actually taking a video. Yes, it's an embarrassing moment because you realize you've been holding a pose for a still shot, but you can rebound from it.
Seattle YouTube user Florin Merano decided to compile some of these kinds of moments into a video titled "Are You Taking a Video?" starring his friends. Their reactions are varied once they figure out what is actually going on. A few hold their poses for a while, and then get annoyed. Others just laugh it off.
A couple of guys from Hawaii have taken daredevil surfing to a whole new level. Garrett McNamara and Kealii Mamala set out to surf a huge wave caused by a calving glacier in Cordova, Alaska. The duo waited for 20 hours a day over the course of a week for a 300-foot-tall glacier to create the icy wave. McNamara was on a surfboard and Mamala was on a personal watercraft, a practice known as tow-in surfing.
When a chunk of ice finally broke off the glacier and created the massive wave, it was tremendous. Forty-five-year-old McNamara said of the experience, "It's the heaviest thing I've ever done in my life! ... It's like the Empire State Building about to come down on top of you. ... It was the closest I've ever come to death."
I am not a fan of roller coasters, but that does not mean that I do not appreciate them. Even though physics was by far my worst subject in high school, I'm still in awe of how roller coasters seem to defy the laws of physics while embodying the very definition of those laws at the same time. All told, I think they're cool—from afar.
A new video taking YouTube by storm gives viewers a stomach-turning, first-person view of Six Flags Magic Mountain's newest thrill ride, Full Throttle. The new coaster in Valencia, California, contains the tallest vertical loop in the world, topping out at a whopping 160 feet.
When the coaster leaves the station, it accelerates from 0 to 70 miles per hour as it takes thrill-seekers into the loop. A little while later, it comes to a stop inside a tunnel, and some would suspect that the ride is over, but it is not. The coaster shoots backward, accelerating rapidly, and takes the riders back up a bit, and then forward through the tunnel and down a steep drop.
For some people the act of flying in an airplane induces uncontrollable anxiety and panic. These are classic symptoms of aviophobia, the fear that something bad will happen once a person is airborne, and it will be completely out of his or her control. If you're one of those people, then I recommend that you stop reading now, and definitely do not watch the video above.
A Thomas Cook Airlines flight from Manchester, England, was about to take off from the tarmac when suddenly the right engine exploded. The incident was caught on video by aviation videographer Simon Lowe. The Airbus A330 had 325 passengers onboard and was en route to the Dominican Republic. The plane veers a bit to one side, but the pilot is able to regain control of the aircraft.
A spokesperson for the airline said, "The aircraft developed an engine fault and returned to stand; as a precaution, the airport emergency services attended the aircraft—but at no time were passengers or crew at risk."
A lot of us waste at least some of our days being lazy or not doing anything particularly productive. Then there are those people who try to squeeze as much joy and happiness as they can out of every hour of every day.
Performance artist Ze Frank, who is also the executive vice president of video for Buzzfeed, wanted to illustrate the ways we use the number of days in our lives. With the help of the American Time Use Survey, featuring information collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Frank used jellybeans to symbolize the number of days in the average human life span and what we typically do with them.
Unless you just love the outdoors so much that creepy-crawly things do not bother you, even the toughest of us freak out at the sight of a spider. Called arachnophobia, the fear of spiders and other arachnids, such as scorpions, is very real. I'm convinced that we all have a touch of it in some way.
Meteorologist Kristi Gordon of Global BC in Canada had her spider freak-out moment on live television. While giving her weather report, Gordon saw a spider crawl across the live-shot camera. Even though the camera was outside of the studio and nowhere near her, the spider appeared to crawl right on her head. Plus, because of the magnification of the camera's lens and the spider's location, it appeared much larger than it actually was.
There's been a lot of evidence lately of animals in mourning. It could be due to the loss of a fellow pet or owner, but whatever the case more and more people are realizing that dogs can possess human emotions. There's the pit bull who refused to leave the side of his fallen comrade on the streets of Phoenix. The female pit bull appeared to have been struck by a car. Her male companion stayed by her side for more than 14 hours.
There was also Bella the dog who seemed to mourn the loss of Beavis the beaver. The two were adopted by the same family. They ate together, slept together and played together. When Beavis passed away, Bella stayed by Beavis's side for hours, as she mourned the loss.
When I was in middle school, there was this cool optical illusion that everyone was talking about. It was called a "stereogram," one example of which is Magic Eye, and these pictures are still around today. I tried and tried, but the 3D image never jumped out at me the way it did for all my friends. I was so disappointed.
Luckily for me, and for everyone who loves optical illusions, photographer Bela Borsodi's latest work involves an optical illusion that almost everyone can appreciate. Borsodi created a photo for the album cover for "Terrain," by the band VLP. He set out to do something different, but what he has created is truly unique.
Today's solstice marks the official start of summer. For most school-age kids, the beginning of summer is not just an opportunity to sleep in but also a reminder that those long summer reading lists await them. The Seattle Public Library wanted to do something to get students pumped up about getting started on their summer reading.
So the library teamed up with two college students to kick off its 2013 Summer Reading Program by breaking a world record. It took seven hours, but with the help of 27 volunteers, who set up 2,131 books, the library displayed a book domino chain that spelled the word "READ."