Tag Archive for madeline-distasio

Next Time Your Friend Tries To Be A Wine Snob, Tell Them About These Experiments

I’ll never forget the day when I sat down to watch a documentary and was verbally assaulted with this statement: “This wine has notes of tennis ball and garden hose.”

That is (a paraphrased version of) an actual sentence uttered by an insufferable snob from a film called “Somm.” I know that everyone has their thing, but watching grown-ass adults talking about the base notes in wine in comparison to garden tools for hours on end felt like a form of punishment.

And since I’m a glutton for the stuff, I tuned in until the end. Don’t get me wrong. I love wine. Most people love wine, but sommeliers are known the world over for being the most hardcore winos of all.

But are they really onto something with all that sniffing, spitting, comparison-making insanity? If you ask some researchers, probably not.

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According to one decidedly unenthused announcer from Freakonomics Radio, “Wine experts should just put a cork in it.”

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Why, you ask? Aside from opening up the possibility of making any friends ever, sommeliers should probably just throw in the towel for the sake of not lying professionally.

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“This wine has notes of oak, wet grass, and a lifetime without friendship.”

Call me unrefined, but something tells me that there is no possible way that one could tell the month and year in which a particular wine was bottled. To be fair, I once bought a wine called BearBoat solely because the label was stamped with an adorable bear sitting in a boat. I may not be the best judge here.

So without getting into formal wine-tasting jargon, let’s take a look at a few experiments run by the likes of Harvard economists and California vintners.

1. The Harvard Setup

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When Steven D. Levitt was a burgeoning economist at Harvard, he was asked to join a prestigious society filled to the brim with scholars and Nobel Prize recipients called the Society of Fellows. Fancy.

Levitt, who happened to have a taste for grape soda and beef jerky at the time, was a little peeved with the fact that he was paying a ton before each meal to make up for the absolutely insane amount of money the group spent on fine wine.

When he suggested that those who didn’t enjoy guzzling $300 wine pay less, his smarmy buddies turned up their pinot-sniffing noses. To retaliate in the most Harvard way possible, he conducted a little experiment.

When their next wine-tasting event rolled around, he had some tricks up his sleeve.

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With a little help from a wine steward, he purchased two bottles of wine that were close to $100 each. After that, he bought a bottle that his buddies would likely call “swill.” It was $8.

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He poured the two expensive wines into their own decanters. He filled a third decanter with the cheap wine and repeated one of the expensive vintages in the fourth.

The four wines received similar ratings from the panel. What’s more is that the ratings on the two decanters filled with the same wine showed greater disparity than ratings between decanters that contained totally different wines. I’d call that a win, folks. Needless to say, no one in the Society of Fellows was pleased to hear that they’d been duped.

2. The Vintner Victory

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One winemaker by the name of Robert Hodgson was getting all kinds of annoyed with the inconsistencies he faced when he sent his best bottles off to competitions.

Because he happens to have a background in statistics, he put judges at the California State Fair to the test. He presented them with a flight of four wines, three of which were the same one poured from a single bottle. The results made the judges’ inconsistencies blatantly obvious, since the exact same wine was often judged differently by the same people. Fun!

Because I ruin everything in real life, I love TruTV’s “Adam Ruins Everything.” To hear Adam Conover’s take on wine snobbery, check this out.

You know what? I’m going to drink my cheap wine proudly. Next time your wine snob friend decides to go from zero to infuriating real quick, smile as you drink your swill knowing that they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/lying-wine-snobs/

10 Awesome Things You Can Do With All Those Carabiners You Have Sitting Around

If you’ve ever been to an event that sends you out the door with a goody bag, you’ve probably opened it to find a pen, a lanyard, and for whatever reason, a carabiner.

I personally never know what to do with them. And that’s a problem, since I have approximately 35,000 carabiners hogging space in my junk drawer and I am 100 percent an indoor person.

Fortunately, this guy just put together a little list of awesome carabiner hacks that are actually useful to those of us who definitely don’t scale mountains in our free time.

See? They’re not just for campers! Which of these tricks will you try?

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/carabiner-tricks/

Instead Of Mailing This Broken Mirror Back, He Made Something Even Cooler With It

Before we begin, let me just fill you in on the reaction I have every time I look at what this guy made.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten myself together, we can start.

You know what’s worse than receiving a package in the mail containing something you bought with your own dollars and finding out that the UPS guy busted up your investment? Nothing. No things. You can imagine this guy’s dismay when he realized that his broken package came with a heaping helping of bad luck.

Why? Because it just so happened to be a mirror. Instead of doing what I would definitely do in that situation and fighting the mail carrier even though it probably wasn’t their fault, he turned his luck around by creating what could be the coolest decorative shelf OF. ALL. TIME.

I’m excited about this. Can you tell that I’m excited about this?

For more amazing DIY projects, be sure to check out HomeMadeModern’s YouTube channel!

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/broken-mirror-shelf/

What He Found In His Grandparents’ House Sent Him On A Journey Back In Time

There are endless treasures to be found in our grandparents’ attics. While digging through these family heirlooms and artifacts, we’re lucky if we come across a few tattered photos from the war, or a chipped teacup from an old collection. Although substantial finds may be few and far between, these relics help us piece together the stories of our lives.

But one man hit the jackpot one day while rummaging through his grandparents’ things. What he discovered sent him on a stunning journey back in time.

He found a perfectly preserved film of his grandparents’ wedding that dates back to 1944.

Although this footage was captured decades ago, the affection shown by these two lovebirds is timeless.

My Grandparents Wedding :: 16mm from 1944 from bliss* productions on Vimeo.

Grandparents are often viewed as the pillars of the family. They’re seen as sage, wizened monuments to everything that younger generations stand for. It’s rare that we get to peek behind the curtain and marvel at who they were before we were born, and now that this man has stepped back in time, he will be able to move forward with a whole new perspective on who he is and where he came from.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/family-history/

When This Artist Turns Off The Lights In His Studio, His Paintings Don’t Disappear

When the light goes out, your paintings on the wall go right along with it.

That could have a little something to do with why museums spend lots of money and even more time perfecting the lighting that shines over their exhibits. But what if those works could be seen in the dead of night?

This is a concept that artist Patrik Munchenberger explores in his paintings that completely transform in the dark and under UV light. Watch what happens to the paint in these pieces when each photosensitive work is given new life under those conditions.

“O mundo” in natural light.

“O mundo” in UV light.

“O mundo” in the dark.

“Aesthetic of Enthusiasm” in natural light.

“Aesthetic of Enthusiasm” in UV light.

“Aesthetic of Enthusiasm” in the dark.

“Die Freude ist ungebrochen” in natural light.

“Die Freude ist ungebrochen” in UV light.

“Die Freude ist ungebrochen” in the dark.

“Don’t wanna play this game anymore” in natural light.

“Don’t wanna play this game anymore” in UV light.

“Don’t wanna play this game anymore” in the dark.

“Untitled Trees” in natural light.

“Untitled Trees” in UV light.

“Untitled Trees” in the dark.

“Chapada” in natural light.

“Chapada” in UV light.

“Chapada” in the dark.

For more insight into his process, check out the videos below.

If you’d like to learn more about this artist, check out his website and his profile on Do nxt.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/photosensitive-art/

What Started As A Few Scribbles On A Canvas Turned Into Something Unbelieveable

For many artists, the process of creating a piece is even more important than the finished product. While that may seem strange to the average observer, anyone with a background in art can tell you that watching a piece come to life is often more fulfilling than seeing the culmination of their efforts.

That’s why it’s a privilege to see art in action. One illustrator named Jake Lockett recently created an incredibly intricate woodland scene, and he was kind enough to let us watch it evolve into something extraordinary.

It all starts with a sketch.

And the addition of color brings a whole new dimension to the piece.

The end result is something out of this world.

To see the process in full, check out the video below:

It’s awesome to see what someone can do with some pencils, paint, and paper. Luckily for us, there’s more where that came from. To see the rest of Lockett’s time-lapse work, be sure to check out his YouTube channel.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/forest-time-lapse/

With A Little Help From Gravity, This Guy Creates Hypnotic Music

Watching people do what they do best is always a gratifying experience. Whether you’re in the presence of an expert orator who can bring an entire audience to its feet or you’re in the crowd cheering for a star athlete, it’s always cool to see someone in their element.

And there’s something uniquely wonderful about watching musicians at work. When it comes to making us jealous, these virtuosos know exactly how it’s done. If you thought pianists and violinists were enviable, wait until you see what this guy can do.

Swedish musician Martin Molin from the band Wintergatan created this one-of-a-kind instrument that plays stunning music with a little help from gravity.

To learn more about this incredible music machine, check out the band’s website. For regular updates, follow Wintergatan on Facebook!

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/marble-music/

22 Animals That Are Living Their Best Lives In Pools

Now that summer’s back in town, you can usually find me wading in still water with total strangers at any given moment in the pool behind my apartment building.

Although dealing with people you don’t know when you hit the pool isn’t always ideal, it’s pretty great when it’s 400 degrees outside and you can’t exactly afford to keep the central air pumping 24 hours a day.

These animals tend to agree. I mean, can you imagine being covered in hair when summer’s nastiness is in full swing? No big deal, right? Just a waking nightmare. That’s why these animals have decided to use the tools in our human arsenal for their benefit. They get their full life in pools just like us, and they don’t give a damn if they’re not supposed to be there.

1. This woman is probably not as happy about having bears in her pool as the bears are about being in her pool.

2. I’m just going to put this out there, but maybe she needs two more bikini tops.

3. Just a fawn in the pool. Nothing to see here.

4. “I are good at water.”

5. “Oh, cats hate water, you say? Think again, sucka fool.”

6. Here we have five-year-old me in swim class.

7. This cat is doing it right.

8. I thought maybe my dog was my soulmate until I saw this one.

9. He even used the ladder like a GENTLEMAN.

10. They might need a bigger pool.

11. Large solo cup, or really tiny elephants? You decide.

12. You tried it, pig. You tried it.

13. Oh, this isn’t a pool? Tell that to him.

14. When Mom is all, “Don’t run,” and you’re all, “LOLNO.”

15. Here we have the guy who shows up with nothing to offer and drinks all the beer anyway.

16. I wish anything made me this happy.

17. Like me, if this dog’s options were swim or die, she would die.

18. “THIS IS THE BEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED.”

19. Piggy pool, party of one.

20. He’s probably just thinking about Nietzsche or something.

21. Much pool. Very can’t.

22. Bonus Round: This absolute classic.

Grab a girly drink (because it’s scientifically proven that everyone likes girly drinks) and meet me by the pool…with your dogs. Please don’t forget the dogs.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/animals-in-pools/

Something Rare And Beautiful Is Bringing Death Valley Back To Life

Life is something of which Death Valley is fittingly devoid.

This Californian wasteland is the hottest, driest place in North America, so it makes sense that the presence of anything verdant would cause a stir. The rangers who spend each day roaming the many acres of Death Valley National Park are thrilled to announce that a natural phenomenon known as a “super bloom” is on the horizon.

Roughly every 10 years or so, all of the life that’s lying in wait springs into action. Under the right conditions, thousands and thousands of seeds sitting on the floor of Death Valley take root and bloom into a sight without rival.

According to Ranger Alan Van, “When you get the perfect conditions — the perfect storm, if you will — those seeds can all sprout at once.”

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This super bloom is attracting visitors from across the country who want to marvel at a scene that may not roll around again for another decade.

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If you want more information about the phenomenon that’s injecting life back into the desert with a famously morbid moniker, Van has you covered.

(via The Huffington Post)

What’s most impressive about this super bloom is that something so powerful managed to spring from a place of fragility. If the region had experienced one fewer storm, or had even spent one more hour shrouded in cloud cover over the past few months, this might not have happened. It further proves that nature’s every move is part of a delicate balance.

To learn more about Death Valley National Park, be sure to visit its website.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/super-bloom/

When This Drone Flew Over The Ocean, It Found The Only Two People In The World

While weddings themselves are very much about people’s tribes in their entirety, a relationship that culminates in such a celebration starts with two.

Two people meet. Two people test the waters and take the plunge. They fumble through awkward dates until struggling with a plate full of pasta goes from embarrassing to endearing. They meet in the glorious middle filled with a type of love that warrants rings, parties, and promises of growing old together.

Her ability to capture the sense of oneness that can be found in a pair is what sets Helene Havard‘s wedding photography apart. The Tahiti-based artist recently teamed up with Flying World Pictures to create a collection that both literally and figuratively elevates the craft.

The combination of drone technology and Havard’s careful eye creates scenes populated by subjects who appear to be the last two people on Earth.

If you want to get a feel for what these shoots look like in action, check out the video below.

Bora bora Wedding Jacob & Jodi from Flying World Pictures on Vimeo

To see more of Helene Havard’s work, visit her website. For regular updates, follow her on Facebook and Instagram!

You can watch more videos by Flying World Pictures here.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/drone-wedding-photos/