Archive | November, 2010

Flowering Tea

24 Nov

Flowering tea, commonly referred to as blooming tea, is a small bundle of dried tea leaves and flowers bound together with cotton thread into a ball. When steeped, the bundle expands and unfurls in a process that emulates a blooming flower. Typically they are sourced from the Yunnan province of China. Flowers commonly used in flowering teas include globe amaranth, chrysanthemum, jasmine, lily, hibiscus, and osmanthus.It remains uncertain whether flowering tea was developed in the 1980s or was a much older invention. Flowering tea is generally served in containers made of glass so that the flowering effect can be seen. Also, the bundles can usually be reused two to three times without the tea becoming bitter. Check out an assortment of the teas in action in the below video.

La Isla de las Munecas

23 Nov

Vying for the creepiest place on Earth, I present you with Isla de las Munecas. To the non-Spanish speakers, I present you with The Island of Dolls. The island itself is a small island hidden deep amongst the canals of Xochimico, somewhere near the middle of Teshuilo Lake, which is south of Mexico City. Roughly fifty years ago, three young girls were playing on the island near the canal. One of the girls fell in the water and drowned. The island’s only permanent inhabitant was a recluse named Don Julián Santana Barrera. Soon after the girl’s death Barrera fished an old doll out of the water. The next day he fished out another. And then another. Barrera was convinced that this was a sign from the netherworld, and he started collecting the old dolls and hanging them around the island. These dolls, he believed, formed vessels for spirits that kept the deceased girl company and prevented further evil from descending upon the island. The dolls, tied to trees, in addition to a special alter he constructed for the child, became known by locals. What was also learned was that Barrera had a wonderful garden of fresh produce. Locals began bringing old dolls in trade for fresh vegetables. The trade increased the collection so much that the island now has an amazing collection of thousands of dolls in various stages of disintegration. The following are a few glimpses of this wonderous and creepy destination! Enjoy!

Quantitative Easing Explained

22 Nov

Sent to me by one of my most loyal readers, this Xtra Normal video explains The theory of Quantitative Easing. Basically, what the Federal Reserve is up to, and how we got there. It is quite humourous and informative. Enjoy!

Wingsuits & Proximity 2.0

21 Nov

The Cultivated Mind’s October 27th  post was about wingsuits and proximity flying with said wingsuits. Since that post, I have found out a few interesting facts. A typical skydiver sans wingsuit has a terminal velocity of 120 miles per hour. Using a wingsuit, skydivers can not only control the freefall more but also increase their terminal velocity to roughtly 140 miles per hour. The following are a few more of my favorite wingsuit flying videos. Enjoy!

Jeb Corliss is known to be one of the most experienced wingsuit pilots out there. The following is a compilation of some of his flights. It starts off with a view of the Matterhorn in Switzerland, and soon you get to see first hand, through Jeb’s helmet camera, what it would be like to fly roughly 140mph down the iconic mountain’s face. Shortly after, Jeb soars right past Cristo Redentor in Brazil. However, probably the coolest part of this video starts at roughly 2:50 when Jeb approaches and then flies through a canyon. The video if perfectly set to Invaders Must Die by The Prodigy.

 This is a perfect video to watch if you have asked the question, “But how do you land?”

It is pretty interesting to see the difference in procedure and protocol of the militarized wingsuit pilots and people like Loic-Jean Albert and Jeb Corliss. This is a video of the Air Force Golden Knights and their world record setting wingsuit run. All told one of the knights traveled 11.51 miles shattering the previous record by 1.5 miles.


19 Nov

From the creator of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, comes the most revolutionary product for independent, small, or mobile business to ever hit the market. Behold Square.  Square is an iPhone application that allows anyone to accept payment by credit or debit card using the signature Square Swiper. Square also comes with some groundbreaking functions such as the saleman can use facial recognition to verify the name of the cardholder with a photo of the client, the client then can supply a signature directly on the iPhone, and lastly the salesman can send a receipt directly to the client’s email address tagged with a GPS location. You can purchase the application in the iTunes store for one U.S. dollar. The Square Swiper is free. With each transaction, one U.S. penny is donated to a charity of your choosing. It is an amazing concept that should be coming out of beta testing soon and eventually taking the business world by storm. Look for it everywhere from the pockets of entrepreneurs to the pockets of overly ambitious street corner drug dealers. Learn more about it in the following videos or here

Fresh Flowers

17 Nov

The design studio ITUNUBE, came out with a interesting approach to sprucing up your dining room table (or any room) this winter. It is a product they named Fresh Flowers and is delivered in the form of a newspaper. There are 32 pages, and each page has a different flower printed on it. the instructions are easy, and is as follows:

1. Choose a flower.
2. Place it as the cover.
3. Make a roll with all pages together.
4. Put it in a vase.
5. And of course, don’t water it!

Check out Fresh Flowers and more at

Khan Academy (.org)

16 Nov

The Khan Academy is a not-for-profit educational organization created by Salman (Sal) Khan. With the stated mission “of providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere”, the Academy supplies a free online collection of around 2,000 videos on a plethora of subjects such as, but not limited to, mathematics, science, history, economics, test prep, currency, physics, Geithner’s bailout, Paulson’s bailout, and venture capitalism. Each lesson is broken down into a twelve minute video. Since it’s inception the Khan Academy’s website has logged over 17 million views.  As of September 2010, Google announced they would be providing the Khan Academy with $2 million to support the creation of more courses and to enable the Khan Academy to translate their core library into the world’s most widely spoken languages, as part of their Project 10^100. This seems to be the start of the Khan Academy revolution, as other benefactors such as the Doerr Family and Bill Gates are rumored to be backing it.  Check it out at

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