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YouTube Keyboard Shortcuts

By Chad Upton | Editor

The youtube.com video player only has a few buttons on it, making it hard to freeze a video on a specific frame. But, using the keyboard shortcuts, you can control the video frame-by-frame or quickly expand it to fullscreen mode.

My favorite is probably the fullscreen shortcut; it’s much easier to hit the F key than move the mouse and click the fullscreen button. Here is a list of some other shortcuts:

Playback Controls:

  • K – Play/Pause (spacebar does the same)
  • J – Jump back 3 seconds when playing / jump back one frame when paused (Left Arrow Key does the same)
  • L – Jump forward 3 seconds when playing / jump forward one frame when paused (right arrow key does the same)
  • 0 – Jump to beginning
  • 1-9 – The number keys can be used to jump to a relative point on the timeline. For example, 5 jumps to the 50% mark on the timeline, half way through the video. 1 jumps to the 10% mark and 9 jumps to the 90% mark.

Volume Controls:

  • M – Mute
  • Up Arrow – Increase Volume 5%
  • Down Arrow – Decrease Volume 5%

View Control:

  • F – Fullscreen (ESC to exit fullscreen)

This is great if you’re trying to spot a secret in a video or just cue up a clip to show a friend. From my testing, these keys work in Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

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April 11, 2013 at 2:00 am 1 comment

You Cannot See the Great Wall of China from Space

By Chad Upton | Editor

Before we could even go to space, the myth was the great wall is visible from the moon. Ever since we got to space, astronauts have been looking for it.

GreatWallOfChina

Mathematically, the wall would have to be at least 70 miles (110 km) wide to be seen from the moon with unaided eyes. Since the wall has a maximum width of 30 ft (9.1 m), this is easily dismissed as myth. The moon legend came from a 1754 letter by William Stukeley; his remarks on the massive size of the wall could have been literary hyperbole. But, some people took it literally.

In his defense, there have been a few claims that the great wall can be seen from low earth orbit — as little as 100 miles (160 km). A number of astronauts have claimed they have seen it. Even the European Space Agency claimed it was visible and published a picture. A week later they issued a press release indicating it was actually a river and not the Great Wall of China.

NASA claims it, “generally isn’t [visible], at least to the unaided eye.” Mathematically, it’s the same answer, unless you have 20/3 or better vision. But, according to the Journal of Optometry, “Not even the best of human eyes at a simple glance could see the Great Wall of China from Space.” That’s because the anatomy of the eye limits vision to an acuity no greater than 20/9. So, 20/3 is impossible.

The gaza pyramids on the other hand are about 22 times wider than the Great Wall of China; they are visible from low earth orbit.

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Photo: Keith Roper (cc)

Sources: wikipedia (Great Wall of China), Journal of Optometry, NASA

April 4, 2013 at 2:00 am 1 comment

Olympic Medals Awarded for Art from 1912 to 1948

By Chad Upton | Editor

The modern Olympics are all about athletics, but from 1912 to 1948 they also included competitions in art and science.

craig-deakin-olympic-rings

The main categories were as follows:

  • Architecture
  • Literature
  • Music
  • Painting
  • Sculpturing
  • Statistics

Some of the events included “town planning”, “Epic works” (long poems), “Drawings and water colors”, “Medals”. Yes, medals were given out for creating the best medals. (more…)

March 28, 2013 at 2:00 am 1 comment

Page Up and Page Down Shortcuts in Mac OS X

By Chad Upton | Editor

Unless you’ve specifically bought the full size Mac keyboard, you’re missing dedicated page up and page down keys.

Page Up Page Down Mac

But, you’re not missing out on the functionality; here are the shortcuts: (more…)

March 21, 2013 at 2:49 pm 3 comments

Nigerian Visa Doesn’t List Blonde Hair Color Option

By Chad Upton | Editor

If you have blonde hair and you’re planning a trip to Nigeria, you may want to visit your colorist first. The online visa application doesn’t have “blonde” as an option for hair color.

nigerian_visa_no_blonde

No research turned up any answers, although I have sent an inquiry and will report back with any findings. (more…)

March 12, 2013 at 2:00 am 2 comments

Kosher Coke Contains Real Sugar

By Chad Upton | Editor

In many countries, Coca-Cola and most other soft drinks, are sweetened with High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). This is not real sugar from cane or beets, it is a processed sweetener made from corn that is almost identical to natural sugar.

There have been some debates and studies about whether or not HFCS is bad for us. Without getting into it, I will say that some people don’t have a problem eating HFCS and other people do.

The reasons for avoiding HFCS vary widely and one of them has led to Kosher Coke. Because high fructose corn syrup is made from corn (a grain) it cannot be consumed by (Orthodox) Ashkenazi Jews who refrain from eating grains during passover.

You can spot Kosher Coke by the yellow cap on the bottle (white in Chicago). It typically has a Kosher certification symbol and sometimes Hebrew characters. If you live near Cleveland  the local bottler never switched to HFCS, so check the ingredients — your Coke might be perma-Kosher. (more…)

March 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm 14 comments

Koala Fingerprints are Nearly Indistinguishable from Human’s

By Chad Upton | Editor

Dermatoplyphes or “fingerprints” are common among higher primates, but are present in only some other mammals.

Take whales for example. They’re mammals and they don’t have fingers (although the bones inside their flippers looks like fingers on an x-ray) but the pattern on the underside of their tail is still unique like a fingerprint.

Koala’s on the other hand do have fingers and they do have fingerprints. Koala fingerprints are so similar to human prints that even under an electron microscope they’re nearly indistinguishable from each other.

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Photo: michael fontenot (cc)

Sources: naturalscience.com, whalewatchmaui.com

February 26, 2013 at 2:00 am 1 comment

LEGO is the Largest Tire Manufacturer

By Chad Upton | Editor

One of the oldest tire manufacturers is Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, founded in 1898 in Akron, Ohio.

A couple years later, Firestone Tires and Rubber Company was also founded in Akron. It’s unclear why both companies formed in the same city, but there’s no question they were the kings of the tire world for over 75 years.

Tire Comparison

If you ask someone which company makes the most tires, they’re likely going to answer Goodyear or Firestone. Goodyear does have one Guinness World Record, although it’s for fuel economy. But, the company that produces the most tires is LEGO.

It seems reasonable once you think about it, but the number of tires they product is absolutely stagering. The first LEGO set with tires shipped in 1962 and that set was one of the top sellers in 1967 with 820,400 units sold. In fact, nearly half of all current LEGO sets include a tire of some kind. That adds up to about 318 million tires per year or 12 tires every second.

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Sources: lego.com, guinness world records, wikipedia (firestone, goodyear)

February 19, 2013 at 2:00 am 2 comments

TIME Stands for The International Magazine of Events

By Chad Upton | Editor

The first TIME magazine was published on March 3rd, 1923 and sold for fifteen cents.

Cover Credit: WILLIAM OBERHARDT

It’s the first and longest running weekly news magazine in the United States. There are also European, Asian and South Pacific editions.

TIME is well known for its annual “Person of the Year” edition. This special edition has been running since 1927 and can be controversial. This is most apparent in “Person of the Year” choices such as Adolf Hitler (1938) and Josef Stalin. Many people have earned the title multiple times, including Stalin in 1939 and 1942. Franklin D Roosevelt earned the title three times between 1932 and 1941. Nearly a dozen other presidents have been given the title too. Person of the year is not necessarily an honor or prize, it’s simply a recognition of influence.

Although it’s been called TIME for the better part of a century, the founders originally considered naming it Facts. Through an ad campaign, TIME was assigned the backronym, “Today Information Means Everything.” But, on the landing page for the official Kindle edition of TIME, it is referred to as “The International Magazine of Events.” I guess that explains why the name is always capitalized, TIME.

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Sources: everything2, time.com, wikipedia (time), new world encyclopedia

February 12, 2013 at 2:00 am 1 comment

How to Generate Credit Card Numbers

By Chad Upton | Editor

First of all, I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea; although the credit card numbers you generate are valid, they’re not active and aren’t for making (fraudulent) purchases.

So, what’s the point?

red amex

Just like you may use a junk email address to sign up for special offers, you may want a junk credit card number too. That’s because free things are rarely ever free and that’s especially true of free trials.

Companies frequently offer “free” trials in exchange for your billing info. They’re betting against you — hoping you’ll forget to cancel your subscription so they can get some money out of you for at least one month, maybe a couple months if it’s only a few bucks and you’re too busy to cancel at the moment you notice the charge. Then you’ll probably forget about it until you see it again next month. (more…)

February 5, 2013 at 1:00 am 4 comments

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