YouTube just hit another ‘one billion’ milestone, this one for auto-captioned videos

YouTube revealed this week that it now has more than a billion captioned videos on its site. Primarily for those with hearing impairments, the feature launched in 2006 with the company automating it three years later.

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Octopus suckers don’t just suck

The amazing suckers on octopus arms aren’t just for sucking. They also are used to smell and taste. To deal with all that sensory input, the vast majority of an octopus’s brain cells are in its eight arms!

“It’s more efficient to put the nervous cells in the arm,” neurobiologist Binyamin Hochner, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, told KQED’s Deep Look. “The arm is a brain of its own.”

How Sweetheart candy hearts are made

For more than 100 years, NECCO has cranked out its iconic Sweetheart candies. Some of them are still emblazoned the original statements of “Be Mine,” Be Good,” and “Kiss Me.” The company says that “to meet the high demand for Sweethearts, NECCO continuously produces them from late February through mid-January of the following year.”

I prefer learning how they are made to actually eating them.

Hypnotic forest of resonating lamps

TEAMLAB created this beautiful installation reminiscent of Chinese sky lanterns, except the color of each can be controlled. The result is simply gorgeous. (more…)

Drone footage of a spectacular deep gorge river in Mallorca

The island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean has remarkable geologic formations, but one of the most stunning is Torrent de Pareis, a meandering stream that cuts through a steep gorge, emptying into the ocean at Sa Calobra. Max Winter captured this lovely drone footage. (more…)

How an old camera flash became the first Star Wars lightsaber

The legendary lightsaber that Obi Wan passed on to Luke in Star Wars: A New Hope was actually a modified battery tube from a 1940s Graflex camera flash. Once that was known, prop recreators drove up the price of the flashes, frustrating vintage camera geeks who appreciate the elegant gear for a more civilized age.

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