Farewell... for now

So, I have been offered a fantastic new position in a new country, which means I will leave Hong Kong after 4 years, 7 months and 16 days (or 1689 days, I'll have you know thanks to this gadget). I am extremely happy. The new role is in a (for now) undisclosed location, but let me just say it's a bigger role, and it's not in China or Southeast Asia.

The role starts on September 1st (tomorrow), so I will not post for a while, at least until things have settled down in the new role. Together with my co-bloggers Sergio and Jorge Sapio, we have written almost 1000 posts (950 to be precise), and have received almost 100k visits. To all of you, dedicated and casual readers, I say... thank you!

I need to go...

... but I will be back.

(I think).

Will you miss SapioBlog?

Song of the weekend: an optimistic tune with an amazing voice

I don't think there are many more beautiful voices in pop than the one from Eurythmics' lead singer, Annie Lennox. I absolutely love her deep, husky voice, and her style.

One of my favourite Eurythmics songs is the one below, slow, with a deep cadence, but still quite optimistic. And the harmonies! (You know by now I like them, right?)

Did you like it?

Fantastic comedy show

I was told by a friend the other day that Brian Regan was worth my time. I did see him and I loved his show so much that I saw all that was available from him. I especially love the fact that his shows are totally devoid of any bad words. He shows that you don't need profanity in order to make you laugh.

Did you like it?

Finding passion in work

Below, please find a list of fantastic quotes to find inspiration in our daily work... truly worth a read!

I particularly like this one:

And this one:

The rest (and source) after the break:

The art of photobombing

There is an art almost as ancient as taking pictures: photobombing them - or appearing in them in an awkward or funny pose, completely disrupting and usually ruining the photo. However, in the great compilation below, the photos are actually improved!

More pictures and the source to the full list of 28, after the break.

Light stopped for a full minute

So the New Scientist magazine reports that scientists at the Saint Andrews University in the UK have managed to stop light for a full minute. For comparison, in this period the light would have travelled 18 million kilometres - or one seventh of the distance which separates us to the Sun.

I mentioned the Sun just to put up this awesome infography...
Imagine the possibilities of light and power saving that this technology will have, when properly reined in! Amazing, huh?

Public service: how to make better decisions

This article tells the results of an interesting battery of studies performed to determine what affects decisions. Some are downright quirky (did you know that apparently leaning your head left makes your number decisions to go smaller?). But all in all, it makes some interesting conclusions as to how to make better decisions in general. Eat well, sleep well, and have a bladder full of pee (not joking!).

The only difference? In the "blue" countries, "Don't donate" is the default, in the "red ones", "Donate" is default.
Did you like it?

Found: the best opening paragraph in Wikipedia

I saw this here, and frankly I give them credit. I find it hard to believe there is a more impactful first paragraph in all of Wikipedia's articles:

Lieutenant-General Sir Adrian Paul Ghislain Carton de Wiart VC, KBE, CB, CMG, DSO (5 May 1880 – 5 June 1963), was a British Army officer of Belgian and Irish descent. He served in the Boer War, First World War, and Second World War, was shot in the face, head, stomach, ankle, leg, hip, and ear, survived a plane crash, tunneled out of a POW camp, and bit off his own fingers when a doctor refused to amputate them. He later said, "Frankly I had enjoyed the war." -

This is the bloke the paragraph refers to:

Quite impressive, huh?

Song of the weekend: an inspirational song with an amazing voice

Every once in a while, voices come that make you listen, because they have a unique characteristic. Leonard Cohen, Rod Stewart, Frank Sinatra... and Tunde Baiyewu, the leader of Lighthouse Family.

Just listen to this (amazing) song by the band, and surely you'll feel goosebumps (if not for his voice and for the harmonies, at least for the inspirational lyrics).

Sorry for the cheesy video, but at least it has the lyrics! This is the band, by the way (it's a duo, really):

Did you like it?

Meme watch: That Escalated Quickly compilation

One of the funniest memes out there is the Ron-Burgundy-inspired "That escalated quickly". It comes from this brilliant scene of Anchorman:

Here find a list of some fantastic examples, such as this one:

Did you like them?

Nobel prize winners explaining why they won in one drawing

This is an original idea. The Smithsonian magazine asked several Nobel-prize winners to summarize their work (for which they had been awarded the prize) on a white A2 page. The results are interesting. I don't think most are immediately understandable but the below one is, at least its summary.

Did you like the idea?

Epic compilation of hyper-realist artists

In previous posts, I have clearly shown how much I love hyperrealism. This website is a compilation of several of them. Some of them you've seen here, some others you haven't. Enjoy - I know I did!

Art. It's important.

Not a photo!
Bonus: this 3-minute clip by Brian Regan discusses art in an extremely funny way. Worth watching.

Public service: 15 TED talks you need to hear

Y'all know TED, so I won't introduce them. I think they have expanded their scope, from strictly business, to more "inspirational" talks... and this page has compiled 15 of the most inspirational ones. Below the one I found more interesting:

Other 14 inspiring talks following the link. Which one did you prefer?

The best comic from XKCD - the evolving "Time"

Randall Munroe, the creator of XKCD, has done it again. He's created an "evolving" cartoon here. If you go there, you'll just see the last image of the cartoon. 

Not related but amazing
But if you go here, you can see the cartoon in an evolving way. You can press Play above left and see the 3005 images  (at the moment of writing) as a movie. Did you like it?

The full Cosmos trailer. DO WANT!

This is the full trailer they've shown at ComiCon. Some thoughts: Cosmos. Carl Sagan. Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Where do I sign?!??!

Song of the weekend: from Boston, with love

So this band Extreme is mostly known for one song (More than Words), which is nice. But for me, their nicest song, with fantastic vocal harmonies and a catchy tune, is the one below. Ideal to start the weekend.

Let me know if you liked it!

The 25 greatest unscripted scenes in movie history

I wouldn't know if all of these are that great, but some of them are literally awe-inspiring, or hilarious. Very worthwhile 6:24 minutes of your time, below:

Which one did you like the best? The Usual Suspects one is very funny.

How did Michael Jackson do it?

In this post we reveal how the genius of Michael Jackson actually did the moonwalking. How did he lean forward so far? The solution is after the break, and it's simpler than it looks.

How did he do it? After the break...

Public service: life hacks

These are 3 images chock-full of life hacks which are really worth trying.

(Click to enlarge). Two more after the break. Which one did you like the most? Seen here.

The Hyperloop: hyper-sensation or hyper-hype?

So the day has come. The South African multimillionaire Elon Musk (the closest thing to a real-life Tony Stark, founder of SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla Motors) has announced plans to create a super-fast, super-safe method to communicate San Francisco and LA: a tube containing pressurized wind travelling at 600 mph, carrying "pods" which carry some people very fast - 30 minutes from SF to LA (even quicker than doing it by plane!)

Would you buy a used car from this guy?

The problem so far, is he has only Tweeted about it promising the design for today. Up to now, speculation is rife that this is only a bluff by the guy. Others, like me, like to be optimistic and think that he can, eventually, do it.

Do you think he's bluffing or that it will happen?

Babies reacting to things

How can you not go "Awww!" when you see these babies reacting to things (some for the first time)? I particularly liked this one below. Some more and the link, after the break.

Watching fireworks for the first time

World War I photos "in 3D"

A set of 3D photos has been bought by the "A Nerd's World" in Canada, portraying some very interesting images of World War I. You can use a 3D viewer in the images if you go there, but if you can't go, you can see a poor substitute here. This bring the War closer and it makes the whole thing more haunting...

One more image and the link to see the rest, below the break.

Song of the weekend: the best mashups

So there are people on the Interwebz with a lot of time in their hands. And they do mashups: mixing two songs that originally weren't meant to be together. Results are somewhat a mixed bag: sometimes so-so, and sometimes hilarious and very good musically. Below a prime example, mixing the Ghostbusters theme with Thunderstruck by AC/DC gives us... what else... Thunderbusters:

After the break another mashup, which is even more epic than this one. I promise you won't regret clicking on it.

Public service: 425 free e-books

So this website has compiled 425 books which are in the public domain. Not only this, but they have helpfully collected links for Apple products, Kindle & other e-readers, and also on the web. We can't complain.

A post so nice can only be improved with a baby elephant.
How many have you downloaded?

NASA's awesome 1-billion-pixel photo of Mars

Every time I look at these pictures of the Mars Rover I can't believe... that these are actually from Mars! Isn't that absolutely unbelievable?

Also, for me, what does it is the definition, you can see the details perfectly of the photo above, in this original resolution copy to download, or the viewer with zoom.


Richard Feynman on God

We've already covered the genius of Richard Feynman here. I love his child-like attitude to discovery of science.

I also liked his view on God, and the way that he is so happy with not knowing. He'd rather not know and be on a quest for answers that content himself with theories full of holes in them. And that's what makes a great scientist.

The most interesting facts... EVER! (?)

So of course, in the search of a big title, Business Insider has done it again, publishing the grandiose title with 14 facts that, I must admit, are quite interesting. But... ever? I doubt it.

See them after the break, with source link.

50 science misconceptions

I love Mental Floss. This website has countless videos and articles that appeal to the miscellanea lover such as me. Now they've gone and done this video to debunk 50 science myths. While I don't agree with some (the bit about the Coriolis force; glass not being a solid), this is quite informative.

Also, when you finish the video, look at all the other options to see from them! (Man, I love lists...).

Public service: extract the DNA from a banana

So this website (quite cool, by the way) shows a way you can easily impress your kids: extract the DNA from a banana and show it to them. It only requires, well, a banana (duh), alcohol, detergent and some patience. The instructions are in the link.

Relevant, of course.
Did you do it? Let me know!

Song of the weekend: what goes around comes around

One of the favourite phrases of my late father was "what goes around comes around". I adopted it as a motto in my life, so when a song comes about using the phrase I naturally tend to like it. Below two prime examples, of two bands who could not be more different, but both of them managed to create a great piece of music. Funnily enough, both of the songs have very different pieces in them, almost like being "opuses" rather than just songs.

First up, Living Colour, the legendary american band (now reunited and still touring!) with this fantastic song, Type. Listen to the virtuosism of the band, it is clearly not something seen often now:

And then, from the oooother side of the spectrum, Justin Timberlake, with his best song, by far. I love the harmonies (as I would):

Did you like them?

The Last Meals Project

What would you have as a last meal? Me, I would have a schnitzel Argentina-style, with fries and two fried eggs on top. With a generous helping of dulce de leche ice-cream as a dessert.

This website shows us what famous death row inmates chose as their last meal. Not a very nice topic, so I've decided to put a dancing guy in his knickers instead. Good times.

Did you like the site? It's oddly mesmerizing.

Wrong title, right science

Well, it's more of a misleading title. The fact that we have a delayed reaction to visual stimuli does not mean, of course, that we are dumb. But this video puts the attention-grabbing headline to get us to watch. And we do, and we find the video funny and entertaining.

Like they say in it: do try it at home. Did you like it?

Gregory Hines FTW

I remember Gregory Hines from that 80's movie with Baryshnikov. He was superb in there. But look at this very short video which shows his amazing skills and humour (and the orchestra isn't half-bad either).

What I find unbelievable is the lack of response of the crowd at the end - almost no-one stood up to applaud! They must be British!

Public service: (almost) all the courses of the MIT, available for free!

And it's not a third-party, pirated site. It's official from the MIT!

The link is here, you can access the bibliography, the notes, download the course materials... it's amazing.

I like waterfall gifs.
Which ones will you study?

Foreign words we need to start using

This list by Mental Floss is an amazing compendium of useful words in other languages than English (the only one in Spanish, I didn't know as it is from the Caribbean).

Not related... but you're welcome
Of course we will not implement any of these, but they are very good to read.

Photo tampering through history

This fantastic page shows the tampering of photos from the beginning of photography until our days. Well-known forgeries, such as Stalin's petty "enemy eliminations" until the most recent ones. Who knew the Rolling Stones were so petty (in page 5)?

Did you like it?

Song of the weekend: upbeat tune for the broken-hearted

I have always liked this song by Belinda Carlisle. It's up there with "I'll say a little Prayer" in the "upbeat song for those who have been broken-hearted". Besides, Belinda doesn't hurt the eyes. From a comment, I've just realized that it is written by Per Gessle, from Roxette. No wonder it's so catchy.

Did you like it?

GIF and JPEG round-up strikes back

Some more images and GIFs for your viewing pleasure.

I had never thought of it in that way...
The rest after the break.

Public service: how to remove people from scenery photos

This image taught me something.

Two thoughts:

1) Make sure you do this in a first-world country. If not, the camera is at risk!
2) If you or your loved one/s can stand still for two minutes or so, you can actually make it so that all the other people are eliminated from the shot. That should be cool - imagine the Louvre without anyone but you!

Don't laugh, this is a necessity for some people

A fantastic find from Sergio Sapio: for those who are usually embarrassed by their lack of sphincter control in a social setting, this company has come to the rescue. They describe their product as "the ultimate flatulence-filtering underwear".

I like the way they photograph the product with models that probably (nah, surely) don't have this issue, but I guess putting a flatulent person on the website would not be very glamorous.

Sociological analysis at Walmart

You could write a book about the fauna that goes to Walmart. I love the chain and all it represents (the possibility of more people to access cheap and relatively good-quality goods). I even love the fact that the customers can go in whatever clothes they want, viva la liberté and all - but some of its patrons are... you now... a bit weird. Like Mr Ponytails Skater below.

Or Madam Undescribable:

See more, the original link and an unmissable video set to "Sexy and I know it" below the break. Enjoy the weirdness!

Public service: how to spot a liar

In a new installment of the Public Service... er... service, this is an interesting talk by Pamela Meyer, who happens to specialize in psychology and language, on the ways we can tell if someone's lying.

I really loved this video. Can you tell if I just lied?

Meme watch: epic alley-oop competition online

So these seven guys (plus the cameraman), with apparently too much time on their hands, filmed this Vine video (6-second limitation) performing a crazy alley-oop (a basketball term meaning, well, this):

The mantle was taken by these 10 friends who raised the stakes (their technique is a bit more boring but hey, it's a much smaller pool!):

And then, someone posted this video online. I am not sure if these are real or faked, but some of them are fantastic.

Are you going to try this at home? Do. And post it in the comments!

Song of the weekend: two of the best of the greatest band

I will take it personally to whomever tells me that the Beatles are not the best band that has ever existed. The genius of the three (plus Ringo) surpassed all boundaries. Below two of the songs that I like the most right now.

The first one, quite a quick one that I like because of... you guessed it, the harmonies:

The second one, for me one of their best, after the break. Did you like them?

A patch that will save lives

This new clothes patch called Kite contains chemicals that, when released, interfere with the CO2 sensing of mosquitoes, essentially making the person carrying the patch invisible to them.

This is excellent news for Africa, where malaria causes 660 thousand deaths a year! I found this here, and their website is here (they are looking for donations via their IndieGoGo campaign).

Faith in humanity restored... at least somewhat!

For those who played Mario Bros...

...you'll love this 1-minute video of him going berserk. The best part are the voices and music. (Even if you never played Mario Bros, I think you'll enjoy it).

Did you like it?

Public service: is this the most useful site ever?

You know I am not one for hyperbole. I would never in a trillion years exaggerate any phrase of mine. But anyway... I do believe that this title hyperbole might indeed be accurate! Wolfram Alpha is one of the (if not THE) most useful sites dwelling on the Interwebz. Sergio Sapio found this amazing compilation of 32 tricks to get the most of it. Some of them are simply amazing.

Unrelated... but how nice, innit?
Do you have others? Let us know!
(I wonder how long it'll be before Google - or Microsoft - buy it?)

25 epic comebacks

I have something that the French call L'Esprit d'Escalier, or "the wisdom from the stairs": I always have the great comeback way too late. (I love that French phrase by the way).

So when someone has a witty remark and it can't be anything other than spontaneous, I admire them. Even if they are not so spontaneous, I find wit usually disarming.

So a website collated 25 witty comebacks, and I can't encourage you enough to visit them. This is one of the best:

(BTW, this actually happened... and Philips did NOT invade Sparta because of it. Alexander would, some years later).

Some others and the page, after the break.

Public service: how to make a good paper airplane

I like titling in a way that leaves little to explain, don't I? Well, there you have it.

I don't like the angle he used to film this, but apparently the actual plane works very well. Have you tried it?

GIF and JPEG roundup

So I keep collecting these GIFs and pictures from the Interwebz, and every once in a while I like putting them in here. Here's the latest batch (some after the break):

Oh, the possibilities...
On your marks, get set... go!

Song of the weekend: oh yes, more harmonies

This is my most listened song in my playlist. I absolutely love it, and I think you'll love it too. The lead vocals is definitely a multi-faceted player (he does vocals very well, also drums and also keyboard!).

I loved the YouTube comment: "This is where Hagrid worked before he was hired at Hogwarts". Hehe. Did you like it?

The Bad Piper playing AC/DC

This video doesn't need too much of an intro - it's a piper (whose mot is "Bad Piper") playing "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC. It's starts a bit uninteresting but it quickly escalates.

Did you like it?

Pale blue dot

This video is a must see. It underscores Carl Sagan's philosophy in an easy to hear manner.

How I miss his clarity! (The soundtrack is in this post).

The flight of the Angel... in 350 hands

That would be, in a nutshell, the story of this video, which purportedly was made without any Photoshop, painting on the hands of 350 people gathered in a library. I find it quite amazing, really.

Did you like it?

First movie about space... made only from real footage!

The makers of this film (coming out in 2014) claim it doesn't have CGI at all, that it's fully based on pictures taken by all the space missions of NASA. I highly doubt it, as at 1:15 you see an explosion that is clearly made by CGI!

But despite this detail, this looks amazing! Will you see it?

Yearbook trolling

So Mashable has compiled the Top 20 Yearbook trolling photos of all time. I must admit, some of these made me laugh. Including this one, of a girl who surely deserves to be a sapiosexual. Can you read the coded message?

Some more and the link, after the break.

The art of resonance

There is a physical phenomenon called resonance: when you make a body vibrate in a certain frequency, it assumes certain patterns, where parts of the body move and others don't. When you put sand on top of that body, it follows the pattern, accumulating in the parts that don't move.

This is what they did in the video below. It's very interesting! If you want to see the complete video with the original sound (it's loud!), check it here.

Did you like it?

Song of the weekend: amazing medley

So this a capella band, PTX, did a 4-minute medley of the evolution of music from the 11th century until now. Fantastic, and I have to say, I envy the bottom-left guy's voice.

Did you like it?

Art with Lego

I strongly believe that sometimes art (especially "modern" art) happens to be mostly about having an original idea, and doing it before anyone else. So Nathan Sawaya had the idea that every other person on Earth thought, when confronted with it: "Why didn't I think of that?": life-size art with Legos. I'll admit it's good quality art, but I don't think you need a particular skill to do this, other than coming up with the idea:

What do you think? The rest and the link to all, after the break.

The latest meme (and one of the best!)

So this guy has done this amazing video which went viral. I won't spoil too much of it, but it's quite fun and surprising. More after the break.

What did you think?

Amazing feat of engineering in a small space

Our friend Sergio Sapio brings us this amazing feat of engineering: the RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) has built this fantastic Escherian Stairwell (called like that due to M.C.Escher's work on impossible constructions) inside its campus. It blows your mind away.

Some important info about the physics of this staircase (how did they do it?) after the break.

Definitely do not try this at home!

Or, if you do, film it and send the results to Sapioblog!

I can't help but laughing at these wake-up pranks. I feel bad! (No, not really).

Public service: calculate cubic roots instantly

So you are at this party, right? And you want to become the center of attention. In a loud voice, say "I can calculate the cubic root of any number that you've cubed". Then watch the reaction (or lack thereof).

Anyway, if someone's still interested, do as this video indicates...

... and profit.

Troll speed painter

So this happened in the US, you need to see this. Look at the faces of the judges as the painting is being "completed", and the masterstroke at the end.

Trolls be trollin'.

Song of the weekend: a spectacular rendition of a classic

I use the term spectacular literally. This re-thinking of "Stairway to Heaven" by the band Heart, complete with Jason Bonham (son of the original Zep drummer) and a humongous choir even made old Robert Plant cry!

Did you like it? Or, more appropriately, how much did you like it?

Do a double-take

These photos are not what they look like at first glance. Which one is your favourite? (More and the link to all of them, after the break).

What if the Earth had rings like Saturn?

Well, apparently the Earth did have rings at one point. Billions of years ago, a small planetoid impacted against the Earth, lifting billions of tons of debris into the atmosphere, where they formed a ring. As this ring was outside of the destructing sphere of influence of gravity (what is called "Roche's limit") the Moon was formed.

But what if besides the Moon, we still had the rings? An artist has imagined how it would look. Retouched photos (obviously) below and after the break tell the story.

The shadow is the Earth reflecting on the rings

Try not to laugh: a jumping raccoon

This is the best gif I've seen in a while. It's a raccoon getting ready to jump a chasm. Notice his concentration, and his body tension as he gets ready... and jumps.

I bet you have laughed at this!

Rules of storytelling by PIXAR

Ok, not by Pixar itself, but by a storyboard artist who works at Pixar. Close enough? They are very good, ideal for new writers. And they are... after the break.

Tell me which one you liked the most!

Epic movie GIFs

This site has collected 40 GIFs of movies. Out of them, for me 39 are very well done, the only one that is not great is the one of Arnold looking at his mechanical hand. Still an impressive ratio. Some of my favourites below:

Which ones did you like the most?