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Archive for March, 2007

In 2005, the world’s largest all-wood treehouse was built amongst the lime trees of the non-profit Alnwick Garden in Northumberland County, UK. This 6,000 square foot treehouse is comprised of walkways, cottages, shops, a restaurant, and play areas. It is even wheelchair accessible, and holds close to 1,000 people, so everyone can play.

The Treehouse from Outside:

Alnwick Treehouse

Alnwick Treehouse

Alnwick Treehouse

Alnwick Treehouse

The treehouse’s wooden suspension bridge:

Alnwick Treehouse Bridge

Alnwick Treehouse Bridge

Inside the treehouse (fireplace, gift shop, restaurant):

Alnwick Treehouse Fireplace

Alnwick Treehouse Gift Shop

Alnwick Treehouse Restaurant

It takes a lot of support to hold up the treehouse:

Alnwick Treehouse Support

If you have kids, you may want to wait until they’re older and tired of treehouses to take them to Alnwick. Otherwise, you can be certain their current playset or treehouse will never be used again.

Thanks to Alnwick Garden, Chung-tung Yeh and fatcontroller for most of these pictures.

Since a lot of you feel strongly about the definition of a treehouse, I’ve added a quick poll. My vote is that it’s a treehouse since it’s suspended off the ground and amongst the trees, but I’m looking forward to your votes:

Is this really a treehouse?
Total Votes: 2004 Started: March 26, 2007 Back to Vote Screen

Trigger Happy and Loving It

If you never saw Trigger Happy TV, you missed some of the best hidden camera and harmless pranks ever conceived. Since the show has been off the air in both the UK and U.S. for a couple years, I thought you might enjoy a few of my favorites.

Don’t Feed the Pigeons:

(if you can’t see the video, click here)

A Spy Among Us:

(if you can’t see the video, click here)

Still spying:

(if you can’t see the video, click here)

Snail Crossing (not surprisingly, some slow parts):

(if you can’t see the video, click here)

Walking the Dog (a little twisted):

(if you can’t see the video, click here)

Original Mob of 100 (inspired the Japanese Mob of 100):

(if you can’t see the video, click here)

For Trigger Happy viewers … what was your favorite skit?

Dinner in the Sky

Would you eat dinner in an open air restaurant, with 21 of your closest friends, suspended from a crane at 160 feet above the ground?

Crane raising dinner in the sky

Interested? Before answering “Yes”, look at the Dinner in the Sky in action, and see if you detect anything missing:

Chefs eating at the dinner in the sky

Imagine 8 hours of eating and drinking, secured only by a seatbelt rigged dinner chair, with NO BATHROOM! For the $9,000+ rental cost, I’d at least expect a port-a-potty … watch out below!

There’s not even a pesky floor to ruin your view (or your aim after a few drinks):

Looking down from the dinner in the sky

On the plus side, Belgium-based Dinner in the Sky will drive their invention to almost any accessible destination (sorry fellow Americans, our only option is to buy the contraption, no rentals available stateside). The mobility of the venue opens up some fantastic viewing opportunities, like at this Formula One race:

(if you can’t see the video, click here)

Considering some box seats can run $1,000 apiece at high profile events, this could be a bargain for those with the money (and the bladder control).


Amazing Pencil Carvings

Inside Out Pencil

When I was in school, girls would put teethmarks all over their pencils, while boys would chip off the paint with fingernails. Those of us who carried pocket knives for sharpening pencils (most of us) might also carve out rings and spirals when we were bored. We had nothing on these guys though.

Ball joint pencil:

Ball Joint Pencil

Ball Joint Pencil Close-up

Just one hiccup could destroy a carving in progress. The photos are from a 1990’s Japanese exhibition by Kato Jado and Mizuta Tasogare, titled “The JAD Project”. Unfortunately, the website is limited in English descriptions, but the photos speak loudly…

My favorite – all from the same Ticonderoga H pencil:

Fold-up Pencil

Fold-up Pencil Collapsed

Fold-up Pencil Close Up

A Six-fold spiral pencil:

Six-fold spiral

Six-fold spiral close up

Honeycomb pencil:

Honeycomb pencil


People Pulling Illusion or Trick

I must be slow – it just looked like a random street picture to me at first. A friend had to point out the folks in the upper right. I wonder how they walk sideways like that?

This ripped little guy did 10,000 at once … and he’s only six!

Chinese Boy Flexing

Lu Di performed these 10,000 pushups in only 200 minutes at a Kungfu school in Central China’s Henan Province, at least according to the school’s president Shi Yongdi. Here he is in action:

Chinese Boy Pushups

The school decided that he showed so much potential that they waived his tuition for ten years. Talk about a scholarship!

via China Daily

Pokemon Seaweed Nori

What kid wouldn’t love to open up their lunchbox to find a tub of rice sprinkled with shriveled green seaweed that somewhat resembled Pokemon cartoon characters?

Or maybe they would prefer Hello Kitty seaweed?

Hello Kitty Seaweed Nori

Or seaweed designed to make rice look like soccer balls?

Rice Soccer Ball Seaweed

All three odd seaweed products are examples of kirinuki nori, meaning “cut-out seaweed”. They’re also available in generic shapes such as animals, trucks, and airplanes. If I had the patience, the soccer balls actually look like they’d be fun for my 2 year old – although can you really trust seaweed purchased on ebay?

Soccer ball and Hello Kitty are available for purchase here and here. Pokemon seaweed via Kotaku.

Not good with directions? Then buy a TomTom or a car with built-in satellite navigation. Directionally challenged, but driving a sporty $100,000 Mercedes SL500? Then follow the navigation system’s instructions precisely, regardless of how illogical they may seem.

Sounds like ridiculous advice, right? Not to the 20-something British driver:

Mercedes Poor Navigation

The young woman, identified only as Hayley, was recently on her way to a party in central England when the navigation system led her down an old farm road. She completely ignored signs stating that the road was impassable by non-farm vehicles, and continued until she reached a ford in Sheepy Magna.

Even though the usually shallow river was swollen from flooding, the driver accepted her navigation system’s instructions and attempted to cross. Almost half a mile downstream, the car finally ran aground and the woman was rescued by a local villager. Within minutes, the car became dislodged again, and completely filled with water.

Little additional information is available regarding the navigation-deficient driver, although we do know she was finally rescued from the village itself by a chauffer-driven Bentley. How tragic.


Romance is in the Air

Squirrels Kissing

Despite the 8 inches of new snow outside my window, I’m told that Spring is still just around the corner. While we may think of Spring in terms of flowers, sports, and allergies, these squirrels have only one thing on their mind.

Thanks Tim!

Crazed Sheep Attacks Swingset

This video illustrates one of the many reasons that I don’t own a swingset:

(if you can’t see the video, click here)

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