Here's What's Awesome

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Here's What's Awesome
1:22 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Off-Road Wheelchairs Help Everybody Get Into the Wild

Still from Action TrackChair promo video.

The Here's What's Awesome mailbox is full of interesting pieces on wheelchair technology these days, starting with the Action Trackchair. It's an off-road wheelchair with treads - treads! - capable of negotiating sand, snow, and hiking trails. And, as the company's promo video points out, you can have it painted in camouflage colors for serious action.

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Here's What's Awesome
11:28 am
Mon March 19, 2012

A Fruit Label That Dissolves in Water

Fruit in its natural, sticker-less form.
Bright Meadow via Flickr/Creative Commons

One of my little psychological tics revolves around those little stickers on apples and oranges. For whatever reason they weird me out - I can pull them off and wash the fruit a thousand times and still I'll think of the trace amounts of invisible sticker goo I'm probably imbibing along with nature's candy.

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Here's What's Awesome
12:00 am
Fri March 16, 2012

Friday is for Memes: Defensive Nickelback Fan

Seriously, you guys, Nickelback is pretty good, right? Right? Anyone?

If you think Rebecca Black of "Friday" fame has had a tough run with web users, imagine being in the band Nickelback, the rockers the web loves to hate.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
10:41 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Here's What's Awesome...

Drawing and Photo by Evan Hahn, via Flickr Creative Commons

NHPR's All Things Considered host and Word of Mouth Internet Sherpa Brady Carlson joins us for his latest round up of what's viral on the web.

Brady's awesome links:

African voices respond to the hype over the KONY2012 film.

Just one of the criticisms of the campaign.

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Here's What's Awesome
11:13 am
Tue March 13, 2012

Flying the Self-Powered Skies

Vox Efx via Flickr/Creative Commons

Airplanes use a lot of energy to get from place to place, but they also create a lot of it - especially, say, when they're slowing down and landing. Engineers at the University of Lincoln are looking at how to harness that energy so airplanes can power themselves.

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Here's What's Awesome
1:38 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Ion Beams Shed Light on Forged Art

aartj via Flickr/Creative Commons

Best journal article title of the week? "Accelerated ion beams for art forensics." Frankly, they had me at "accelerated ion beams" - the beams could have been for almost anything - but using it to stop art fakes is even that much cooler.

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Here's What's Awesome
12:42 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Smart Thermostat Brings the Heat (But Only When You'd Want It To)

joelk375 via Flickr/Creative Commons

Most of the few routines we have in my house involve the thermostat - at night, as we all trek upstairs to bed, I turn the main floor thermostat down and turn the upstairs thermostat up. In the morning, we do the reverse. It keeps our heating bill down, but it's a little like trying to save gas by hypermiling - not everyone is going to put in that much time to save a buck here and there.

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Here's What's Awesome
10:36 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Friday is for Memes: Sad Packers Fan

The Green Bay Packers are not going to repeat as Super Bowl Champions this year. That you surely already know. But it's not because Eli Manning and the New York Giants managed to contain the Packers' offense or outplay the Pack's defense. It's because of some sparkly nail polish and an Aaron Rodgers jersey that sat at home, unworn, during the most important playoff game of the year.

So explains our senior sports analyst, Sad Packer Fan:

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Here's What's Awesome
10:06 am
Mon January 9, 2012

Packing Tape Art Shines on the Street, and Then Helps You Move Into Your New Place

Max Zorn is a packing tape artist. No, I don't mean he's really good at taping up moving boxes, I mean he makes really intricate pieces of art by slicing up bits of brown packing tape and arranging them into people and scenes. Packing tape is translucent, of course, so Max hangs the finished pieces next to streetlights in Amsterdam.

Check out the timelapse below of Max doing his thing, set to hip hop. And resist the urge to ask him to help you move on the first of the month.

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Here's What's Awesome
1:53 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Friday is for Memes: Wikipedia "Please Read" Banners Remixed

Please read: a special remix of an urgent appeal by Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales.

We all go to Wikipedia, which means we've all seen those banners. "Please Read: A Message from Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales." Where the "face of Wikipedia" has his face all over Wikipedia, asking for donations to keep the system running.

That alone was meme fodder, but then the late 2011 drive included new faces along with Jimmy's - programmers, server managers and other staff. All of which led to a sometimes disturbing but sometimes very funny series of revisions to the "please read" banner ads.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:09 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

2012 Social Media Predictions

Photo by Michelle Tribe, courtesy of Flickr creative commons

NHPR’s resident web trawler and afternoon host Brady Carlson is here plays Nostradamus for our Word of Mouth Futurama Edition, making some educated guesses as to where the social media explosion that’s figured so profoundly in our public and private lives in recent years will go going next.

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Here's What's Awesome
1:35 pm
Fri December 30, 2011

Friday is for Memes: The North Korean Hearse

Keyboard Cat somehow gets mixed up in a North Korean funeral procession. Remix culture strikes again.

Kim Jong Il's funeral was probably not intended to give birth to any memes, but when the hearse in the military procession featured a giant picture frame, the Photoshoppers' eyes got wide and the ideas started to flow.

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Here's What's Awesome
12:21 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

Hockey Announcer Don Cherry is the Greatest Invisible Piano Player in Canada

If you're a hockey fan, you know Don Cherry, or at the very least you've seen his amazing collection of suit jackets.

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Word of Mouth
10:21 am
Fri December 23, 2011

Word of Mouth for 12.24.2011

(Photo by zizagou76 via Flickr Creative Commons)


Part 1:

Why Music Writing Matters in 2011

In his introduction to an anthology of The Best Music Writing 2011, Alex Ross shares a selection of tweets reacting to bassist and singer Esperanza Spaulding’s upset over teen star Justin Bieber for the Best New Artist Grammy.

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Here's What's Awesome
1:14 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

Kim Jong Il Didn't Just Look at Things, Says the Web

The famous Tumblog Kim Jong-Il Looking At Things has already updated its "about" section to read in the past tense - it now says "the dear leader liked to look at things." Now the remixers have found a whole new side of the North Korean leader - as a DJ. Check out Kim Jong-Il Dropping the Bass to see him in action.

[via Cifanic]