Monday, February 20, 2017

More Periodic Tableware

I have an ongoing project to make posts for mental_floss articles I wrote way back when that I do not have an archive for. Here's another one. 

My very first week here at mental_floss I wrote an article called Periodic Tableware, about how people have taken the periodic table of the elements and adapted the form in interesting ways. Since then, I've run across quite a few more examples. See them in this article from 2007.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Executive Order 9066

Today is the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, issued on February 19, 1942, which allowed the U.S. government to inter Japanese-Americans, German-Americans and Italian-Americans in camps for the duration of the war. Around 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry were removed from their West Coast homes and taken to internment camps. The above government newsreel was made in 1943. The dialogue sugarcoats the entire experience, while the visuals tell a different story. I was struck at the 7-minute mark, where internees were taking an "Americanization" class, and the camera focuses on three women students who look as if they'd spend their entire lives being American.

At the National Archives' Unwritten Record Blog, you can read about the internment project and see an 18-minute 1944 color documentary.

At The New Yorker, you can see Bill Manbo's rare color photographs of his internment camp.

At NPR's Code Switch, you can see photographs of the internment from three different photographers which very different agendas: Dorothea Lange, who wanted to convey the unfairness of the order; Ansel Adams, who depicted the internees as patriotic and cooperative volunteers, and Toyo Miyatake, who was himself an internee.

(via Metafilter)

Bank Loan

(via reddit)

Kids Are Awesome

If you need a smile, take a look at what some kids are doing with their spare time. Desire, hard work, and persistence come together to give us some awesome performances, even in children that look too young to be doing these things. This compilation is brought to you by People Are Awesome to show us that kids are awesome, too! (via Tastefully Offensive)

Dirty Dishes

(via Buzzfeed)

Explaining the Joke

(via reddit)

The Smart Pen

It's called Ghlargh. (via reddit)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Horses and Dogs

Playin' with Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen played in Brisbane Thursday night. A teenager held up a sign that said he was missing school for the concert, and could he play "Growin' Up"? Springsteen called him up on stage to play. Fifteen-year-old Nathan Testa knew the song, and well. In the middle of the song, Springsteen gives him some advice about looking good on stage. 

What's really strange is that this isn't the first time Testa has played with the Boss. His family are all avid Springsteen fans, and attended a Brisbane concert in 2013, when Testa, then 11, was pulled on stage to play "Waitin' on a Sunny Day." (via Metafilter)


(via reddit)

Ridiculous Rat Removal

Jodie, Logan, Briana, and Meg share an apartment in Pittsburgh. A rat got into their apartment earlier this week, so they put their heads together to figure out how to evict it. They cornered the rat in the shower, then set up a complicated course to shoo it downstairs and out the door. What are the odds of this working? The four women and Logan's boyfriend Bo were all ready when Logan forced the rat out of the tub, and surprise! Their scheme worked like a charm, and even better, they got video evidence. Read more about the adventure at Buzzfeed.

National Park Service

(Thanks, Peter!)

Why is a Lazy Person Called a Couch Potato?

We all know what a couch potato is- a person who sits on the couch and watches TV, moving about as often as a potato. But where did the phrase come from? The story is a lot more complicated than you knew. The term was actually trademarked. Imagine that. Simon Whistler of Today I Found Out tells us the story. (via Laughing Squid)

Pole Dancing

(via Fark)

How The Toilet Changed History

If you've ever had to do without a toilet, whether long-term or temporarily, you can appreciate what a difference flush toilets make. Even outhouses are a big step up from what came before. The YouTube channel It's Okay To Be Smart leads us through the history of the toilet. Our poop customs go way back. I was surprised about ten years ago when I read the instructions for dealing with "that which comes from your body" in the Bible. After watching this video, you'll know more about the history of toilets than you ever thought you would. (via Geeks Are Sexy)

Tweet of the Day

(via Everlasting Blort)

Friday, February 17, 2017


Alternative Facts Songified

We've heard more than our share of alternative facts lately. A little autotune added to the dismal news of the week doesn't make the news any better, but it does give it a beat. (via Tastefully Offensive)

PM Steal Yo Girl

(via reddit)

Robert Irwin on The Tonight Show

On The Tonight Show, Robert Irwin presents Jimmy Fallon with a variety of creatures to gush about. Have you ever heard an armadillo scream? You're about to.

Robert Irwin is the 13-year-old son of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin. He is the spitting image of his dad, in his looks, his enthusiasm, and his knowledge of animals. (via reddit)