Every week we scour the Internet for fascinating sites (that sometimes prove really useful) and entertaining videos that will no doubt make you break more than a smile. Here’s this week’s interesting finds.
FEELING OUTER SORTS?
Welcome to the Google map of the universe. Well, sort of. The 100,000 Stars site picks you up and transports you to the sun, from where you can either take a tour around the titular 100,000 stars (87 major ones are featured with descriptions) or roam freely in outer space. The visuals are stunning at times, and the universe brought to scale may ignite an existential crisis. But, hey, as astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson puts it: “Not only do we live among the stars, the stars live within us.”
So you kinda know there’s a war in Syria, but you aren’t exactly sure about what’s going on there. You’re not alone. “What’s going on in Syria” was among the top search trends in the UK, Germany and France last year. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Google aim to change that with this website to raise awareness about “the biggest humanitarian and refugee crisis of our time”. There are no long, droning essays about why you should be concerned. Instead, it presents in an easy-to-understand slideshow the facts, figures and stories drawn from search trends and big data that would probably spur even the apathetic to action. It also reminds you of the pre-war Syria, one that has a long and rich history in arts and culture (since 3000B.C), and is home to six UNESCO heritage sites and was generating over US$6bn in revenue from tourism, drawing even more visitors than Australia.
THE LONG AND SHOT OF IT
Let’s face it: Not all who own cameras can take good pictures. Whether you carry a vintage Diana F+ or a pro-looking DSLR, being well-versed in photography will make you — and others — see the world differently. Photoskop, then, is your one-stop crash course to picture-taking legitimacy. The interactive exercises are realistic and relevant for both pros... and noobs who think ‘aperture’, ‘exposure time’, ‘ISO sensitivity’ have something to do with a cure for cancer. Learning is made so much easier because, as anyone who’s gone to school will know, we learn faster when we’re having fun.
The patient in this hilarious Snickers ad finds out that you should never go under the knife with a hungry surgeon. According to the candy bar maker, people — even top professionals — do stupid things on an empty stomach. In this case, the muddle-headed surgeon makes the egregious mistake of leaving a very crucial piece of equipment inside his patient.
Like Father Like Son
You may have mixed feelings about this new McDonald’s ad that has raised a stink in the UK for what critics are calling an exploitation of “childhood bereavement”. It centres on a young boy who has lost his father. As his mum describes his long deceased dad to him, the boy realises, to his disappointment, how little they have in common, except for one thing — their mutual love for Mickey D’s Filet-O-Fish.
This Thai car ad starts off as an antithesis of everything SDU stands for. It follows a young woman as she extols the many merits of being single. She enjoys her footloose and fancy-free lifestyle all the way through to middle age. But all that changes when she mistakes a stranger’s car as her own one day. Guess there’s hope yet for all the single ladies out there. You just need to buy a common-looking car first.