Why House Hunting is like Online Dating

Recently I have been fairly active on websites such as Spareroom, because I was looking for a new place to move to!

 

Aren’t we all familiar with the challenges: “I want a big room”, “I hope my house mate isn’t a psycho”, “What if it’s just a scam?”, “What if the walls are pink?”, “What if the house mate OWNS CROCS?”

Crocs and Socks

Nightmare: Crocs and Socks (Source: Sour Popsicle)

That’s when it dawned upon me: house hunting is pretty much like online dating. You don’t know what to expect, the visuals are often photoshopped and have no resemblance with reality. When it comes to the hobbies and characteristics – isn’t everyone laid back and up for fun, spontaneous and into the newest trends out there? Oh, let me post a picture of when I did my ice bucket challenge, so I can prove how cool I am. (I know, the ice bucket challenge isn´t so trendy anymore, how about just a really cool selfie with the cat?!)

Have you ever tried online dating? Tinder, Match.com, eHarmony – does this ring a bell? You might be familiar with the following steps…

 

1. Find someone who looks hot. First impressions are all about the looks. Are they tall enough, is their hair the right colour? Do they seem happy?

Megan Fox Transformers

Megan Fox in Transformers

 

2. Read the biography. What can they offer me? What extras do I get out of this?

Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum

 

3. The first message. “Hey, how are you doing? I like the look of you, this is who I am and this is what I have to offer”

Plate of Doughnuts

(Source: Guardian)

 

4. Praying for a reply. If it’s someone you really like the looks of, keep checking your phone every minute as they might reply to you from a divine intervention.

Lonely Girl

Lonely Girl (Source: Picphotos.net)

 

5. Let’s take things to the next level! When can I come over to yours?

The Proposal

 

6. I liked it. Can I come back?

Bachelor Juan Pablo

 

7. They’re having others round – it’s not exclusive yet. Ouch!

girl on the phone

 

8. Alright. It seems like you were better than the others at the end. Come and move in with me? Let’s share a bathroom.

Wedding

(Source: Dogfish Design)

 

Congratulations! You´ve found the perfect house. Took a while!

 

Psst. I´ll tell you a little secret: I love my Crocs.

Crocodile Guy

Crocodile Guy (Source: Daily Mail)

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Art of the Brick – Finally: A Lego Exhibition!

All you Lego fans get down to the Old Truman Brewery in London, as a range of unique Lego sculptures is exhibited at the Art of the Brick exhibition by Nathan Sawaya.

Art of the Brick

Art of the Brick Exhibition

Check out the timelapse video here:

 

If this doesn´t sound like a childhood dream…

You can buy tickets and find more information about the exhibition here: Art of the Brick.

How to scare off your friend’s partner

Relationship

 

A new relationship is always exciting, adventurous and a bit scary. The most scary thing though is meeting your partner’s best friends or family. Will they like me? What if they don’t?

If you happen to be on the other side of the spectrum – or known as the best friend – it can be quite exciting and scary too, because you obviously only want the best for the people that are close to you! However, if you’re not necessarily a fan of your bestie’s new love (and you feel like the cat below), here’s guidance on how to scare them off. All for your best friend’s own good, of course.

 

Sceptical Kitten

 

Make sure you follow the below step by step, in order to walk out as the successful party when you meet your friend’s new love.

1. Give them a proper handshake. Show your friend’s girlfriend/boyfriend who’s the boss by crunching those bones. If they start screaming, pretend you haven’t heard them. Serves you right, bitch!

2. Ask them about their opinion about the latest article in the FT, covering the Indonesian business that went bust the other day. This will make them feel like an integral part of their fiance’s friendship group right away.

3. Change your accent every time your friend’s new love turns their head away from you. Stay committed. This needs to be continued throughout the whole time period you know them. If you have to learn new accents and variations you’ll surely be able to make use of those later in life.

4. Accidentally call them the wrong name. If you want to take this a step further, guide the conversation towards your friend’s ex partners, and don’t forget to mention how awesome ex-girlfriend Kate / ex-boyfriend Tom were and how much you miss them. Lovely and charming.

5. As a rather classy variation – grab your nearest medical book about microbiology of the gastrointestinal tract and take it out with you. When you meet your friend’s partner, whack them over the head with it….or alternatively, just ask them what they thought of the book and be really shocked if they have never heard of it. Faint, if you want to enhance the effect.

6. Wipe your hands on a tissue every time you touch your friend’s new love, or their clothes. Make sure those germs and the dirt is all off.

7. Tell your friend what you think about their new partner – right in front of them. They will appreciate the honesty and transparency.

 

Good luck!

Squid-skin displays bring us closer to biotech camouflage

Cephalopods are curious creatures, able to flex their bodies into nifty shapes and camouflage themselves from sight. Unsurprisingly, they have also been inspiring biomimicry-led designs for years because of this. This month a paper to be published in Nature Communications deals with their flexi-strechy skills and describes how man can now engineer an elastic film that lights up when stimulated using electricity. Meanwhile, a team of US material scientists has opted to create a new method of colour display using a technique they say will get us that much closer to the holy grail of cephalopod biomimicry studies: camouflaging “squid skin” that morphs into background shades automatically, (otherwise known as a metamaterial).

Octopus pretending to be a stone

Octopus pretending it’s a a stone (Source: Shutterstock)

The group, led by Rice University’s Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP), has used aluminium nanoparticles to engineer a display technology that uses the same reds, blues and greens you might see in LCD screens. Five-micron-square pixels — 40 times smaller than the pixels in standard LCDs — deliver rich colours, with each containing a few hundred aluminium nanorods (the nanorods acting as a replacement for colour dyes usually used, which have a shorter life span and will eventually fade or change due to damage).

Using aluminium to deliver coloured displays has long-been considered — it’s cheap, there’s plenty of it and its compatible with production methods already in place, argue the Rice team. However, no one had nailed the colour richness. The LANP team has remedied this by altering the nanorods array — the space between each nanorod — and changing the lengths of the individual nanorods

“This arrangement allowed us to narrow the output spectrum to one individual colour instead of the typical muted shades that are usually produced by aluminium nanoparticles,” said Jana Olson, an LANP researcher and co-author on a paper on the technology published in PNAS.

Olson could work out the right distances and nanorod sizes by adhering to theoretical calculations shared with the team by a fellow Rice researcher working in the physics and astronomy department. The nanorods themselves measured 100 nanometres long by 40 nanometres wide, but the spacing and interactions the team engineered were tweaked to let the pixels produce different colours.

The authors write in PNAS that not only are their methods compatible with usual manufacturing methods for display, they are also scalable.

Still, it doesn’t yet quite sound as exciting as the squid-skin inspired materials being promised. For instance, like the ones a University of California Irvine team is working on to produce infrared camouflage for stealthy soldiers, using a protein called reflectin (yes, that’s its real name, and its common in cephalopods).

However, there is hope for squid-skin displays yet. The Rice team wants to combine this new approach with a series of other work going on related to light-sensing and pattern display. As LANP director Naomi Halas promises in a release: “We hope to eventually bring all of these technologies together to create a new material that can sense light in full colour and react with full-colour camouflage displays.”

“We know cephalopods have some of the same proteins in their skin that we have in our retinas, so part of our challenge, as engineers, is to build a material that can ‘see’ light the way their skin sees it, and another challenge is designing systems that can react and display vivid camouflage patterns. Our goal is to learn from these amazing animals so that we could create new materials with the same kind of distributed light-sensing and processing abilities that they appear to have in their skins.”

If you want to find out more about the flexi-stretchy skin being deliberated over in Nature Communications this month, our US colleagues have detailed the study over at Wired.com.

Original article: Wired

Scientists have learned how to ‘talk’ to atoms

atom-communication-research

Researchers have communicated with an atom using sound for the first time. Sadly, this wasn’t because atoms make such scintillating conversation. It was in the hope of building electrical circuits that obey the laws of quantum physics. In the short term, scientists want to study and learn to control these. In the long term, they want to exploit them to make our lives easier. (Super-fast computer, anyone?)

Experimental and theoretical physicists from Chalmers University of Technology worked together, using an artificial atom 0.01 millimetres long and made of a superconducting material. When charged up, all atoms emit energy as a particle. But instead of that particle being light as with normal atoms, the artificial atom gives off and receives energy as sound. (So it’s handy when you’re stuck for someone to talk to…)

Because sound moves 100,000 times more slowly than light, and has a high frequency (4.8 gigahertz) this should allow scientists to control the quantum particle more easily. For example, the Chalmers team were able to direct the sound across a microchip’s surface. Per Delsing, who is head of the experimental physics research group, said, ‘We have opened a new door into the quantum world by talking and listening to atoms.’ They’ve also given those of us who are prone to mumbling to ourselves in public the perfect excuse.

Image credit: Philip Krantz, Krantz NanoArt.

 

Souce: shinyshiny

Cats v Sloths: The most important battle on the internet rages on

Cats v Sloths: The most important battle on the internet rages on

(Picture: Picture: Getty)

A war is happening on the web between cats and sloths. Whoever wins, we lose.

Well, not really. Whoever wins, we get bombarded with pictures of the two cutest animals on the planet.

Whether you’re a cat connoisseur or a sloth aficionado depends on your outlook on life. Love sitting on the couch? You’re a sloth fan. Like chasing mice? Then you’re a cat man.

There’s only really one way to find out which animal is cutest… put a lot of pictures of them against each other and hope for the best:

 

Round 1. Human interaction

NEW YORK - AUGUST 11:  Cats on display during the cat fashion show at the birthday party for Matilda, The Algonquin's resident cat, benefiting North Shore Animal League America at the Algonquin Hotel on August 11, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

(Picture: Getty Images)

VERSUS

(Picture: Reddit)

(Picture: Reddit)

Round 2. Hypnotising powers

cats, languages, learning lolcatz

(Picture: AFP/Getty)

VERSUS

New Two-Toed Sloth Leander at ZSL London Zoo (c) ZSL (10)

(Picture: ZSL London Zoo)

Round 3. Intelligence

(Picture: YouTube / Pets Collective)

(Picture: YouTube / Pets Collective)

VERSUS

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Stock Connection/REX (2365833a).. Brown - throated Three - toed Sloth [Bradypus variegatus], 2 year old female Aviarios de Caribe Wildlife Sanctuary, Costa Rica... VARIOUS.. ..

(Picture: Stock Connection/REX)

Round 4. Posing for the camera

Cat on the Tube: Oyster stuns commuters on Victoria line train

(Picture: Battersea Dogs & Cats Home

VERSUS

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Action Press/REX (1617420e).. Camillo is the first two toed sloth to be born at Halle and will come to Chester zoo.. Zoo animals in Halle, Germany - 2012.. ..

(Picture: Picture: Action Press/REX)

Round 5. Companionship

TAKE me home¿ is the plea from these five cute kittens, dubbed One Direction by animal hospital staff after they were abandoned in a waiting room...Liam, Harry, Zayn, Louis and Niall hope that like their boy-band namesakes they will soon have an army of adoring fans queuing up to meet them...The black cats¿ bad luck will come to end if the right animal lovers cross their path and give them new homes ahead of Halloween...The moggies were heartlessly dumped at the Blue Cross charity¿s hospital in Merton, south London, during a busy afternoon this week ¿ a rare, but sadly not unique, occurrence...Deputy nurse manager Emmeline Macedo said: ¿As soon as we saw the five of them, with their scruffy hair and good looks, it was hard not to think of 1D ¿ they¿ve certainly got the X Factor...¿We¿re big fans of the group and it¿s been fun looking after them but they now need a loving home.¿..The cats are thought to be just seven weeks old and will be sent to one of Blue Cross¿ 12 rehoming centres with the hope that people will come forward and take them in...As soon as staff spotted the feline siblings, they took them to the hospital¿s kennels and gave them a pen and a meal. They have since had a check-up and are healthy...Emmeline added: ¿They are all doing well and are typical active, playful kittens...¿Black cats often take longer to rehome because they¿re not as popular, with Halloween coming up we really hope that it won¿t take long to find loving homes for these deserving kittens.¿..Between January and September this year, Blue Cross took in 2,234 stray and abandoned pets.n14.10.13n**MANDATORY CREDIT LONDON MEDIA**n©London Media Press Ltdn11a Printing House YardnLondon E2 7PRn0207 613 2548nn *** Local Caption *** ALL MATERIAL MUST BE CREDITED "LONDON MEDIA". 100% SURCHARGE IF NOT CREDITED

(Picture: London Media)

VERSUS

(Picture: ZSL London Zoo)

(Picture: ZSL London Zoo)

Round 6. OMG you are too cute, get outta my face!

sad and useless cats must credit and hyperlink to: http://www.sadanduseless.com/

(Picture: SadAndUseless.com)

VERSUS

A two-month-old sloth rests on the stomach of its mother Charlotte at the zoo in Halle, center Germany, on November 28, 2012.   The zoo which was founded 111 years ago, has had a record on breeding habits of sloths since 1996.     AFP PHOTO / WALTRAUD GRUBITZSCH /GERMANY OUTWALTRAUD GRUBITZSCH/AFP/Getty Images

(Picture: AFP/Getty)

Round 7. Who you lookin’ at? You wanna go?!

NEW YORK - AUGUST 11:  Cats on display during the cat fashion show at the birthday party for Matilda, The Algonquin's resident cat, benefiting North Shore Animal League America at the Algonquin Hotel on August 11, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

(Picture: Getty Images)

VERSUS

3 TOED SLOTH (O.S.L.)Television programme :Wild Planet Sloths of Panema.  You need to be a fairly extraordinary creature to be named after a Deadly Sin.  That's the onerous privilege bestowed upon the humble, tree-hugging sloth.  If you've always thought of sloths as one of the laziest of God's creatures, this documentary should be something of a wildlife awakening.  At the first sign of danger, these normally listless creatures become beasts of fury.

(Picture: Channel 5)

Round 8. Hey there you with the sad face

sad and useless cats must credit and hyperlink to: http://www.sadanduseless.com/

(Picture: SadAndUseless.com)

VERSUS

Sloths, East Sussex zoo

(Picture: Reuters)

Round 9. World domination

Cats v Sloths: The most important battle on the internet rages on

(Picture: Getty)

VERSUS

UNSPECIFIED - MARCH 03: Brown-throated sloth (Bradypus variegatus), Bradypodidae. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

(Picture: Getty Images)

Result:

And the winner is…..

EVERYBODY!

CATS AND SLOTHS LOVE EACH OTHER REALLY!

Sloth and cat hugging video

(Picture: Tumblr)

 

Source: Metro