Quickly try to think of 10 different words or names in your head. Chances are, at least one of them had the letter ‘E’ in it. So far, this is only a few sentences long and has already used it 14 times. Now imagine trying to write an entire novel without using ‘E’ a single time.

That’s exactly what French writer Georges Perec did in 1969 with his novel, A Void. The title comes from the translation of the French term La Disparition, which literally translates to English as The Disappearance.

There is a 300-page novel without a single letter e
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Scientists have recently discovered that legs of plant hoppers are interconnected by mechanical gears that synchronise the movement of legs when the insect prepares to jump.


Wow. One would think this mechanism was invented by men. But no. Nature was first. Watch the cog wheels in action in an insect preparing to jump.

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Click to enlarge.

In order for people to have access to the Internet, thousands of kilometres of physical cabling are laid out. Much of this is under the sea, where they have to withstand high pressure salt water. Thus they are heavily reinforced with steel, a whole heap of polymer shrouding, and a dash of copper shielding.

This is how data cables that run across the oceans look like

Also, check out a map of underwater data cables running across the globe.

via buzzhunt.co.uk, gizmodo.com.au

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Apparently, wearing earrings by men is not a new thing. Even William Shakespeare wore one. Earrings became an object of male fashion at the time of the English Renaissance, in the late 1500′s. At the time of Shakespeare (d. 1616) earrings were emblematic of poets.

Shakespeare wore earrings

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Today I learned that Britain has a constitution that is not written down in any single document. Unlike France or America, Britain has never had a major event – such as a revolution – that would lead to a new system of government. Consequently, there has been no need to write up a constitution.

The British constitution is not written down in any single document, and therefore it's described as

British constitution is set on principles and institutions that have developed over hundreds of years. Much of the British constitution is embodied in statutes, court judgments and treaties.

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The Allied forces included professional artists and other creatives among their members. They were recruited with a specific mission – to fool the Germans. One of their major accomplishments was creating inflatable tanks that were effective at scaring the Germans away. The creative unit was known as the Ghost Army.

Jack Masey, who was recruited at the age of 18, recalls his time in the Ghost Army:

We were told we were going to be using inflatable equipment to try and fool the Germans into thinking that we were a real army, when we were in effect, I suppose, a rubber army.

The Allies fooled the Germans by using inflatable tanks and rubber airplanes at WW2

The Allies fooled the Germans by using inflatable tanks and rubber airplanes at WW2

The Allies fooled the Germans by using inflatable tanks and rubber airplanes at WW2

via theatlantic.com

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Guest post.

Did you know that a gang once stole a 10-ton metal bridge in Czech Republic? Home security company SimpliSafe has put together a list of weird thefts and some advice on how to avoid them.

Nutty as a…

Anibal Maldonado has been arrested for burglary in Brooklyn over forty times—he’s been nabbed for stealing everything from seven hoodies to a police bicycle. But this March he solidified his klepto status by lifting something no one could possibly want: a fruitcake. Jason Purdy savors his mom’s version of the holiday staple so much that she ships him one a couple of times a year; Maldonado swiped it out of the lobby of his Park Slope apartment. A policeman noticed the fruitcake filcher’s suspicious behavior, followed him, and cuffed him on the sidewalk. Purdy testified against Maldonado in court, where police generously valued the baked good at $100.

smiling fruitcake

TIP: Purdy’s dessert would have traveled directly to his stomach if one of his neighbors hadn’t accidentally enabled the theft. Maldonado “pushed buzzer after buzzer” until someone let him into the building, presumably out of annoyance or misplaced trust. Purdy has since gotten a security system installed in his building, and is taking the opportunity to spread the word about pressing charges against petty thieves, but he should also make sure he talks to his neighbors about community security. These tips from the National Apartment Association might help.
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According to a number of doctors, swimming is the best form of physical activity. Swimming is a low impact exercise (unlike jogging) and offers a high calorie burn while being safe enough for a wide variety of people. It also treats orthopaedic issues, such as back pain. Swimming strengthens your heart and lungs and works out all your major muscles. It’s good for you. Mikael Phelps won’t lie:

Fun fact: About 50% of people worldwide can’t swim.

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Ann Makosinski – a 15-year old Canadian student – invented a torch powered by the heat from ones hands. The voltage is generated as a result of different temperatures on each side of the device. This phenomena is known as Peltier effect. The torch is hollow inside, which makes the inside cooler than the outside. This temperature difference, supported by heat from palms, creates energy to power the torch.

A teenager from Canada invented a torch powered by body heat

The torch is able to maintain the light for 20 minutes, which makes it useful in emergency situations. Ann is one of the 15 finalists presenting her project at the Google Science Fair in Mountain View, California in September.

via dailymail.co.uk

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This photo shows a guy towing an island. The island is actually a piece of land that detached from the shore and floated into the middle of the lake. This incident took place in North Karelia, Finland this July. It looks pretty unusual.

Man tows an island back to the shore

via buzzhunt.co.uk

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