10 Feb 2016

This Man’s Mugshots Show His Progression into a Hardened Criminal over Time (4 pics)

Matthew Joseph Medlin was first arrested in 2002 as a young boy of 18. Since then he has been arrested many times and his mugshots show how he has changed over the years from an innocent teen into a tough criminal.

Photos show the moment Niagara Falls was switched off

Nearly four decades later, the photos have been released after a man from Connecticut stumbled upon them.  Russ Glasson had found the photos in an old shoebox he found at his in-laws’ home.  Apparently, his in-laws had taken the pictures during visits to Niagara Falls.  Glasson had explained that his in-laws took the photos over the six-month span, from June to November, when the Army was working on it.

Two rockslides, in 1931 and 1954, had caused a large amount of the rock to be collected at the base of the waterfall.  In 1965, a local newspaper had stated that if the rocks were not removed from the base, the waterfall would eventually cease to flow altogether.

9 Feb 2016

If You Are Going to Go to Prison Then This Is the Prison You Want to Be in (9 pics)

In Norway the government believes in rehabilitating prisoners and has designed their prisons to accommodate this. The Halden Prison is state-of-the-art (about $1 million has been spent on art) and cells are fitted with flat screen TV’s, toilets, showers, a mini-fridge and unbarred windows. The prison’s cells are 10 square metres (110 sq ft). I don’t think any of these prisoners are complaining.

Every 10-12 cells share kitchens and living rooms, and while the prison does provide food, there is a store where prisoners can purchase and make their own meals.

There’s plenty of things for the inmates to do, including a soccerfield, gymnasium, music, and various hobbies for them to pick up.

Half the staff at the facility are women, and no one carries any weapons, as it’s believed that this would raise tensions between the prisoners and the staff.

So does it work? Norway has the one of the lowest re-offending rates and lowest imprisonment rates in the world. 67 out of every 100,000 are imprisoned in Norway, compared to the USA which imprisons 716 out of every 100k. 20% of prisoners go on to reoffend later in Norway, while the states has one of the highest: 76.6%.

Inside An Abandoned Titan Missile Silo (16 pics)

Jim Sullivan, an urban explorer, visited huge abandoned facility that was once housed weapons of mass destruction. This Titan I ICBM missile complex is situated in Deer Trail, Colorado.

This is a map of a typical Titan launch complex.
At one point this facility was state of the art…

The Titan I ICBM's have all been decommissioned. They were replaced by what is currently the only land-based intercontinental ballistic missile, the LGM-30 Minuteman.

There are about 450 LGM-30 Minuteman silos hidden in Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming. Hopefully, the Minuteman silos are in much better shape.

8 Feb 2016

North Korea Send South Korea an Unusual Gift (3 pics)

The rivalry between the countries is well document but it recently reached new heights when North Korea sent balloons filled with used toilet paper and dirty cigarette butts to their enemies as rather disgusting gift.

Gomantong Caves: The Caves of Horrors

Deep in the steamy jungles of Borneo, in Malaysia, is a massive crack in the limestone outcrop that leads to an intricate system of caves. Entering the caves is not for the squeamish. In the dank interiors are millions of bats that hang from the roof, while the floor and walls are covered with cockroaches, beetles, rats and other creepy bugs that feast on bat shit and dead swiftlets that fall out of their nests. The caves also house snakes that feed themselves on the rats and cockroaches. The air smells thick with ammonia because of the bird droppings. The guano deposit on the floor is estimated to be 10 feet deep. Wooden walkways through the explore-able section of the caves keep visitors safely above the horrific creatures that litter the ground.
Located on Gomantong Hill inside a protected forest reserve of the Sabah Forestry Department, the Gomantong Caves are the largest caves in the state of Sabah. The caves are best known for their birds' nest which has been harvested for centuries and used in the preparation of bird nest soup.

The swiftlets build their nests almost entirely with threads drawn from their saliva which hardens when exposed to air. Soup prepared from these nests is a prized delicacy in Chinese cuisines due to their rarity, supposedly high nutritional value and health benefits. Some nests also contain foreign materials such as feathers and twigs, and are known as black nests. Both are harvested for consumption, but the purer version fetches a higher price.

Harvesting of birds' nest is now regulated to prevent over-exploitation. Twice a year, from February to April and July to September, licensed locals climb to the roof of the caves and collect the nests only by using rattan ladders, ropes and bamboo poles. The first collection takes place early in the breeding season before the swiftlets lay their eggs. The birds then make another nest in which they finally lay their eggs. After the eggs have hatched and the young swiftlets have abandoned these nests, the second collection is made.

The bulk of the swiftlet nests collected goes to Hong Kong where it is used in soup, drinks, and medicine. The U.S. is surprisingly the second-largest importer of birds’ nest in the world. A bowl of bird's nest soup in a nice restaurant can cost as much as $100. A kilogram of white nest can cost up to US$2,000.

Despite the high price, the gelatinous soup is said to be nearly tasteless, with one author describing it as “vanilla banana with stringy noodles”.

7 Feb 2016

Europe's First Underwater Sculpture Museum

The island of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, Spain, has set up of the first set of sculptures in what will be the first completely underwater museum in Europe. The museum is located off the coast of Lanzarote at a depth of 12-14 meters and features the works of British artist Jason deCaires Taylor, who has created similar works in both Cancun, Mexico and Grenada in the West Indies. The sculptures on display include several human figures representing people engaging in mobile phones, walking, taking pictures and selfies. Another installation titled ‘the raft of lampedusa’ depicts a boat of figures desperately waiting for treatment and aid, representing the ongoing refugee crisis. The underwater sculptures will eventually attract and promote growth of plant and animal life, symbolizing the symbiotic relationship humans have with nature.