Interesting Thing of the Day

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Nyepi

by Morgen Jahnke / 2 months

On the day designated as the beginning of the new year in Bali, residents celebrate with silence, pretty much the opposite of the way it's done in North America.

ITotD on Summer Break

by Joe Kissell / about 1 year

My attempts at building a time machine having failed thus far, I find myself with too few hours in the day. So ITotD will be on a (hopefully brief) hiatus while I take care of business.

Take Control of Your Digital Photos

by Joe Kissell / about 1 year

Digital cameras make it easy to take way too many pictures. Need help sorting, organizing, storing, and managing them? We've got a great book for you—and Interesting Thing of the Day readers can save 30% on it.

Killer Snails

by Joe Kissell / about 1 year

When you think of deadly animals, you may picture lions, hippos, or even mosquitos. But watch out for the real killer: snails.

Cruise Ship Condos

by Joe Kissell / about 1 year

If you love to travel and have a few million spare dollars, you can buy a condo on any of several luxury cruise ships and live there year-round, taking your home with you as you sail around the world.

The Sinking City of Venice

by Joe Kissell / about 1 year

The water level is rising in Venice, while the buildings are sinking. An ambitious plan is underway to save the ancient city from an untimely demise.

Winds with Names

by Joe Kissell / about 1 year

It's one thing to give a storm like a hurricane or typhoon a name, but it's another to assign a proper name to wind of a certain type in a certain season and location.

Solar Sails

by Joe Kissell / about 1 year

Outfit a spacecraft with a huge but incredibly lightweight mirror, and it can travel indefinitely, without fuel, at speeds that eventually exceed those of conventional rocket-powered craft.

Take Control of Your Digital Legacy

by Joe Kissell / about 1 year

Do you have the equivalent of a will for all your digital possessions—photos, email, online accounts, and all the rest? If not, you should, and we have a book that shows you what to do. Plus, Interesting Thing of the Day readers can save 30% on it.

___-of-the-Month Clubs

by Joe Kissell / about 1 year

The Book-of-the-Month Club is still going strong after more than 90 years, despite the rise and fall of mega-bookstores (and the advent of Amazon.com). But that's not all: you can get a monthly subscription to just about anything.

Oil from Garbage

by Joe Kissell / about 1 year

As long as we have garbage, we'll never run out of oil, thanks to a technology called thermal depolymerization process (TDP).

Ischigualasto

by Joe Kissell / about 1 year

A park in northwestern Argentina earned the nickname Valley of the Moon for its stark landscape and weird rock formations, but its real claim to fame is an extensive cache of rare fossils that help to show the origins of both dinosaurs and mammals.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

by Morgen Jahnke / about 1 year

A Welsh aqueduct completed in the early 19th century was constructed right over a river; instead of being used to transport water, it used water to transport cargo.

The Fata Morgana Effect

by Morgen Jahnke / about 1 year

A mirage in which a building, ship, or other structure appears to hover above the ground was named after the legendary half-sister of King Arthur.

Take Control of Your Digital Storage

by Joe Kissell / about 1 year

We have the ultimate guide to choosing, setting up, using, and understanding mass storage of all kinds for Macs. And this week, Interesting Thing of the Day readers can save 30% on it.

Hubbert’s Peak

by Joe Kissell / about 1 year

A theory proposed in the 1950s says that the world's production of oil has already peaked and is heading toward a rapid decline. Is it truth, fiction, or merely optimism?

Llívia

by Joe Kissell / about 1 year

Situated entirely within France, though quite close to the Spanish border, is a town that's considered part of Spain. Both countries go to considerable (if sometimes silly) lengths to protect their turf.

Carbon Sequestration

by Joe Kissell / about 1 year

The world is having trouble reducing its production of carbon dioxide, which increases global warming. But there's a way to make the problem less bad, at least temporarily: storing excess greenhouse gases in a safe place.

The Crypt of Civilization

by Joe Kissell / about 1 year

There are time capsules, and then there are time capsules. A vault sealed in 1940 in Atlanta contains a huge stash of artifacts that should be unearthed in 8113.

Complaints Choirs

by Joe Kissell / about 1 year

Around the world, choral ensembles have formed for the express purpose of singing litanies of complaints. The result is surprisingly satisfying to listen to.

Take Control of Apple Home Automation

by Joe Kissell / about 1 year

If you’re an Apple user who’s interested in joining the smart home revolution check out our book that walks you through the whole process—and you can save 30% on it this week!

Robots that Smell

by Joe Kissell / about 1 year

Robots that see and hear are nothing new, but researchers have developed machines that can distinguish and identify odors. Applications include healthcare, public safety, and rescue work.

Automatic Transmissions for Bicycles

by Joe Kissell / about 1 year

Automatic transmissions are common on cars, but a similar technology can provide easier pedaling for bicyclists too. Bike manufacturers are trying to overcome the technical and marketing challenges.

Rescue from Dunkirk

by Joe Kissell / about 1 year

The battle was a failure, but hundreds of thousands of soldiers were rescued from the coast of France by the ordinary citizens who formed the Bathtub Navy.

The Nazca Lines

by Morgen Jahnke / about 1 year

A series of gigantic drawings on a desert floor in Peru depict people, animals, and complex geometric shapes. They were made thousands of years ago, but can only be seen in their totality from the air, making their origin somewhat mysterious.

Tiki

by Joe Kissell / about 1 year

You'd probably recognize a Tiki bar if you walked into one, but what is Tiki exactly? This faux Polynesian culture (along with the fruity drinks) is a pure American invention.

Take Control of Your Passwords

by Joe Kissell / about 1 year

Suffering from password overload? You don't have to choose between security and convenience. This book shows you what to do, and you can save 30% on it this week!

The Experience of Things

by Joe Kissell / about 1 year

You can learn a lot by reading books, watching TV, or talking to other people. But there's another kind of knowing you can get only from having an experience yourself.

Churchill, Manitoba

by Morgen Jahnke / about 1 year

A tiny town in northern Manitoba is accessible only by rail or air, but it still manages to draw more tourists each year than it can handle. The big draw? Polar bears, which you can observe from the comfort of a huge, heated Tundra Buggy.

The Giants of Royal de Luxe

by Morgen Jahnke / about 1 year

A French theater group put on a series of traveling shows featuring the world's largest marionettes, which acted amazingly lifelike despite being suspended from cranes by ropes.

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