The chocolate fairy forms from maturing cocoa plants; the leaves morph into her wings and the stem into her body. Her skin takes often on a creamy hue, very similar to truffle filling. The green swirls in her brown wings smell of mint and her skin smells of chocolate. Legend holds that her veins carry sugar and that icing composes her insides. Needless to say, the chocolate fairy has more attempts on her life than most other fairies, as many animals and even people (however unwittingly) try to eat her. Understandably, then, the chocolate fairy avoids all other species as much as possible. Still, a human can attract her by leaving out a small piece of chocolate; if she knows a visitor poses no threat, she will be more willing to show herself. These fairies can transform any inanimate object into chocolate, so they are certainly worth having around, unless the object in question was valuable; some even say that she can turn living beings into chocolate, but no reliable records exist to support the claim. Read more
The chocolate Fairy (Angelicae theobromae)
Perpetual Ocean: hypnotic video of ocean surface currents
The Perpetual Ocean video by NASA is absolutely hypnotic, and lets the viewer appreciate large-scale and smaller-scale surface circulation patterns. The visualization was created using a model crunching satellite and in-situ data collected from June 2005 to December 2007. You can download the full-version at NASA's website.
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Review: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
When I first heard about the pitch for A Link Between Worlds -- that you could switch into 2D -- I groaned, thinking it a reverse rip-off of Paper Mario: Sticker Star's 3D-flip (which sucked). I couldn't have been more wrong. Read more →
Best trick for learning the seven crystal systems
You can find various websites discussing the crystal systems (see my short list below), but in all honesty, the best way to mastering these systems is to deal with them in 3D. Read more →
12 great intro to optical mineralogy resources [updated]
The following list contains the websites I visited most often when I studied optical mineralogy; these sites saved my butt on more than one occasion! A lot of the sites overlap in information, but sometimes a particular site had that key picture or explanation that was essential for me in understanding a concept. I've organized the sites into two groups depending on whether they focus on explaining mineralogy properties or identifying specific minerals. (Image from Geoffrey Clarke.)
Very awesome animated map of current global wind conditions
Head on over to earth.nullschool.net to see animated global wind conditions and be prepared to spend a few minutes just staring; it's very hypnotic. How does it stack up to what you would expect wind patterns to look like? One thing that popped out to me was the clearly northward position of the ITCZ relative to the equator. Read more →
Unbricking a soft-bricked Samsung Note 8.0 (and then rooting it!)
I soft-bricked (the device would still power on and flash the Samsung screen before going dark) my Samsung Note 8.0 a few months ago after attempting to root it. After many hours of attempting to fix it, I decided to sell it on Craigslist. When people tried to lower my price to ridiculous levels, I ended up trying to fix it again. This is what I did to recover stock settings (note that the binary was still being recognized as official). And when you're ready to try rooting your device again, head over to Unlockr for a super-easy method that worked for me.