Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Thinking Outside of the Toy Box: 4 Children's Gizmos That Inspired Scientific Breakthroughs. The best argument yet for letting people play while at work. (via Boing Boing)
Look Deep Into the Mind's Eye. A man who lost his ability to generate mental images didn't suffer any loss of skills, and gave neurologists an opportunity to study the remarkable resiliency of the brain.
6 Spectacularly Bad Ideas From History's Greatest Geniuses. To b fair, These men were the type who kept reaching for the stars until they finally hit a brick wall.
Popular Science has published its annual list of the ten worst jobs in science. You won't want to read this while eating.
Preparing for Passover, a scientist looks at the injunction to welcome and feed hungry strangers. Modern refugees aren't much different from wanderers of the past, so we are we so afraid of them?
A woman prepares doses of LSD on candy in a scene from the National Geographic Explorer episode called Inside LSD.
The Geek’s Guide To Getting Girls. A little insight into the human mating dance we call "spring break".
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
A man is attacked by a swarm of ...butterflies. Oh, you think that would be nice? Watch and learn.
Arcade Aid is a game with 56 other games hidden in the graphic, and your mission is to identify them all. Expand your window horizontally to see all the possibilities.
As March Madness overlaps Passover, you might find the Ultimate Matzoh Ball Game a worthy distraction. Just click to launch the matzoh ball toward the basket, but be aware that the basket is constantly moving! (via Metafilter)
A Depressed Whale. I was waiting for the "blue whale" joke, but got something much better.
Did someone say cats were afraid of dogs? This cat knows how to put a dog in its place!
Avatar 2: The Sequel. See the trailer for the second film, with a totally original screenplay!
Here's how you say no to socialism.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Scientists say they've identified a new human ancestor. The unnamed hominid species roamed as far as Siberia and may have coexisted with Neaderthals and humans. (via Boing Boing)
The Sexual Politics of Toilets. Men might laugh, but equality is not equity in comfort stations, and women get the short end of the stick. (via Metafilter)
Detecting Wine Fraud in the Nuclear Age. Scientists can detect a wine's vintage to within a year using methods to detect traces of radioactive carbon-14 released into the atmosphere by nuclear testing. (via Arbroath)
Art of the Steal: On the Trail of the World’s Most Ingenious Thief. If Hollywood made a movie about Gerald Blanchard, critics would call it "over the top and unbelievable."
Brave New World novelist Aldous Huxley died of cancer in 1963. His widow recounts his last days and the LSD he took to reconcile the knowledge of his coming death.
It turns out that science of fat intake and obesity is a lot more complicated than we thought. It's getting to where I can't even decide whether I want a jelly donut or a burrito.
The Lake Wobegon effect applied to Indian stereotypes. (via Metafilter)
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
You might recall how Sir David Attenborough introduced us to the lyrebird, a master of mimcry (and later the wonderful remix). Chook the lyrebird lives at the Adelaide Zoo. After a period of construction at the zoo, Chook was able to recreate the sounds of hammers, saws, and power tools exactly. (via Arbroath)
Friday, March 26, 2010
Peek into a nest with Molly the doting mother owl and her babies Max and Pattison on this live webcam. More eggs should be hatching any day!
A plastic bag with the voice of Werner Herzog goes on a quest to find its maker. You have to laugh, and maybe even cry, at the existential angst of an inanimate object with a not-so-subtle environmental message.
Han Solo gets the final piece of the Puzzle. It all makes sense now! Wait, no, it really doesn't.
Another reason you don't want a raccoon for a pet.
Other names people call a vagina. This is reader-generated, which explains the name in the largest font.
Alien vs. Pooh. Silliness ensues when Winnie the Pooh mistakes an alien egg for a honey pot. (via Buzzfeed)
Installing a vanity in ten easy steps. Except that home repairs are never as easy or as quick as it says on the tin.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Suspending a student from school seems counterproductive to the mission of education at the least. It gets rid of troublemakers, but denies them the opportunity to become something else. (via Metafilter)
The 5 Creepiest Unsolved Crimes Nobody Can Explain. If this didn't have source links, you'd think these cases were urban legends.
The Most Depressing Children’s Books Ever Written. Some of these seem more like therapy for the authors than teaching aids for children.
KISS (Keep it simple, Stupid!) is more than just a political campaign strategy. Here are 8 Studies Demonstrating the Power of Simplicity covering different things we do every day.
An unemployed D.C. man is giving $10 a day away to different strangers to help foster kindness. Then he writes about the people he meets every day.
A strangely close look at the beep. Not a censored sound, but the beep sound itself.
NHS Choices: Behind the Headlines is a newsfeed that looks at medical science with no hype or agenda. Find out how the research was done and what the actual findings were before they were blown out of proportion. (via Metafilter)
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
20 Moments In Strange Pet Walking. Even hyenas need their daily constitutional.
Programming Language Inventor or Serial Killer? Good luck if you think you can tell the difference.
Great Movies About Farting. Well, let's say they're great movie scenes, and they're only better with farts added.
"Weird" Al Yankovic's Home Movies, with appropriate narration. Funny, his childhood seems a bit "weirder" than mine.
What has this cat seen? Apparently something amazing that cannot be unseen.
Geeky Variations of "Dogs Playing Poker". It's hard to believe anyone could improve on the original, but any of these would look right at home in my office. (via Neatorama)
The Virtual Choir, composed of 185 singers who never sang together. All recorded separately but blended together in a YouTube video. (via Metafilter)
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
On August 6, 1945 the nuclear age began as the B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, Japan. Twelve men were on that flight. After the war, some chose to keep a low profile and others spoke out about their place in history. Almost all had something to say after the war, as you'll see in this article I wrote for mental_floss.
The Upside of Depression. The condition is so prevalent that its evolutionary benefit must outweigh the dysfunction, or at least that was so sometime in our history. (via Metafilter)
The ScienceBlogs Pi Day Bake-Off received 35 pie entries, which have been narrowed down to ten finalists. Not only are these "pi pies" decorated in a mathematically clever way, they look scrumptious!
The hardest logic puzzle ever. Here's a hint. (via Neatorama)
Top 10 Anti-Gay Activists Caught Being Gay. We don't care about your sex life, it's the hypocrisy that puts you in the spotlight. (via Gorilla Mask)
For years, Viacom paid some people to upload its entertainment material to YouTube and paid other people to get it taken down for copyright violation. This behavior might jeopardize Viacom's lawsuit against YouTube.
How to make potato chips in a microwave. Or if you are British, you can make potato crisps.
What do zombies mean? Maybe the fear of an out-of-control world, a metaphor for the oppressor-of-the-day, or maybe we just like to be scared by gross things.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Headline of the week: Naked Swiss brothel fire man speaks of bum anonymity fear.
If World War II were fought on Facebook. It's the Cliff Notes version with 21st century slang. Whatever works.
This is not how you throw a bowling ball. In fact, this is the complete opposite of how you should bowl.
Manly Slang from the 19th Century. Shut your bone box, you saucebox, or my bunch of fives will give you a fizzing blinker. (via Boing Boing)
Go ahead and order from the menu -it's in English. I'll have the cowboy meat and a rurality salad, thank you.
This pianist improvises songs for and about the people he sees on Chatroulette. Brief NSFW language.
Once upon a time, astronauts were as famous as movie stars. NASA apparently wants to bring back those days with cinematic mission posters.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Christoph Neimann draws maps that illustrate concepts that aren't maps. It works so well, you know he had these in the back of his brain for some time.
The Icelandic Tattúínárdœla Saga (the Saga of the People of the Tattooine River Valley). In English, the story is better known as Star Wars. (via Metafilter)
7 Celebrities Who Had Badass Careers You Didn't Know About. I knew about Newton, but Chevy Chase and Tigger surprised me.
Franglais is the term for what happens when English speaker attempt to speak French when they don’t know it. Its rules are simple. Insert as many French words as you know into the sentence, fill in the rest with English, then speak it with absolute conviction. Made famous by Miles Kington. Try out a lesson yourself.
Forty-four years after he recorded the song we've come to know as Trolololo, Eduard Khil is offering to sing the song again, this time with lyrics!
Neil deGrasse Tyson receives hate mail from third graders. He may well deserve it, as the public face of the demotion of Pluto from a planet to a lesser body. (via Metafilter)
Can you really fit your whole body inside a giant balloon? Or rather, can you pull off the stunt the way it's supposed to be done?
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Does Playing Hard to Get Work? It depends on who will have a hard time in getting you.
Zebroids: On Beyond Zebra. Cross a zebra with some other animals and you get, um, some other animal with zebra stripes.
Answers Begin to Emerge on How Thalidomide Caused Birth Defects. It was only prescribed to pregnant women for five years, but left 50,000 of those babies (in addition to many who died) with lifetime disabilities. (via The Loom)
10 Animals That Deserve Their Own National Geographic Special. That shark looks like the Doomsday Machine from Star Trek!
What if you were the last person on earth? You might need some practical advice on what to do.
You are likely to be using too much soap for your laundry and dishwasher. Not only does this waste money, but it could shorten the life of your machinery and your clothing.
Mark Hogancamp created a fantasy world called Marwencol out of toys as therapy for his traumatic brain injury. Dolls representing the people he knows undergo dramas that we can follow in pictures. (via Metafilter)
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
The Nightmare Before St. Patricks Day. Jack Skellington finds a new holiday to investigate. (via Gorilla Mask)
Have a steampunk St. Patricks Day! The League of Steam tries to catch a leprechaun, with slapstick results.
The Adventures of St. Patrick. He spread the gospel to the ends of the earth by converting the frightening barbarians of that scary outpost known as Ireland.
Christoph Waltz won an Oscar for Inglourious Basterds, but he says Der Humpink is the role of his lifetime.
Misfortune Cookies. Just enough to make you feel sorry you bought a Chinese dinner.
Teddy bears attempt to cross a busy street. This simple action devolves into lunacy beyond your imagination. (via Arbroath)
Watch this cute puppy react to the camera. See other versions of this here and here. (via reddit)
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
The Full Story Of How Facebook Was Founded. Someone stealing your idea can hurt but also pay off handsomely years down the road. (via Metafilter)
The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) were a thousand volunteers who learned to fly during World War II because the US military was suffering from a shortage of pilots. Sixty-five years later they were finally honored with the Congressional Gold Medal.
In the opening sequence of the film The Hurt Locker, a soldier wears an explosive ordnance disposal (OED) suit pretty close to the spot where a bomb goes off. The manufacturer gives us the lowdown on how the suit protects a soldier from both shockwave and shrapnel. (via Unique Daily)
Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous …Criminals. Oh, they lived high on the hog, until they had to pay for that easy money.
Nella Cordelia: A Birth Story. Get your hanky out, because Kellie communicates conflicting and nuanced emotions in a way that will get you right here. Warning: sound. (via Metafilter)
A tragedy is caught on video and public curiosity inevitably follows. When open records laws invade a family's privacy, who has the right to control what goes on YouTube?
If you can’t move your face, can you still act with it? Hollywood is facing a dilemma of talented and experienced stars who have Botoxed away their ability to express emotion.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Neil Fraser wondered if a lava lamp would still work in the higher gravity environment of Jupiter. How such a question ever occurs to anyone is a matter of wonder in itself, but Fraser went ahead and built a ten-foot centrifuge in his living room to find the answer.
A killer puppy has been lost! Better get that dog home before someone gets hurt.
Logorama won an Oscar last weekend for Best Animated Short Film. This story of a world made of corporate logos is available to watch in its entirety online (language NSFW).
Here's the trailer for Avatar, or Pocahontas, or is it both? I hear you can tell the difference by the characters' skin colors.
Marcy made a lip dub for a Valentine gift. Then she showed how much blogger balls she has by posting it online. I think it's cute!
The Top Ten Wildest Moments at the Cannes Film Festival. We'll have to wait until May to see of anything joins the list this year.
How to write a Hollywood romantic comedy in ten easy steps. Although their examples are fairly new, this formula has been used for decades. (via Gorilla Mask)
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Babirusas are Indonesian pigs with tusks which can grow long enough to impale the animal with its own teeth! Whether the animal survived the wound (a la Phineas Gage) is unknown.
Inside the world of Furries. The realm of anthropomorphic animals is not necessarily a sexual fetish, but more of a hobby and community.
Universally Accessible Treehouses. Who knew that bringing the joy of treehouse living to the disabled was such a widespread trend?
How the cure for scurvy was found, then strangely lost, then found again. (via Metafilter)
CIA waterboarding protocols. The instructions from internal documents are disturbing, so read at your own risk.
7 (Thankfully) Extinct Giant Versions of Modern Animals. (via Gorilla Mask)
Take a look at what TV companies charge cable companies to run their channels. Customers pay those fees (and a markup) for every channel in your plan, so you're paying for sports coverage even if you never watch sports. (via Consumerist)
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
The Language of Johnny Depp. I thought it was just me, but he is officially recognized as a master of gibberish. (via Buzzfeed)
The Franklin Ace computer manual from 1983 is way more entertaining than it should be. And much more honest than today's sterile manuals. (via Monkey Filter)
The Endless Night is a tribute to film noir of 1940-1958. Brilliant editing and mood music makes this collage seem much shorter than it is.
Retro Sabotage is a collection of classic arcade games with a twist. I would tell you what the twist is, but it’s different for each game.
The Poetry of Reality. Twelve scientists explain what science is and what it does. Yes, you could call it a lecture if you miss the magic.
10 Celebrity Tombstones Worth A Laugh (Or At Least A Smile). I smile just thinking of these wits who got the last laugh even after they died.
Godzilla has a blog where he posts his haiku. Pretty philosophical for a 50-foot mutant prehistoric city-stomper.
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
The original Bayeux Tapestry is a huge embroidered panel illustrating the Battle of Hastings and other historical scenes surrounding the Norman conquest of England in the year 1066. Because of its use of pictures to tell the story, it has been called “the first known British comic strip.” Today, we have an online generator called the Historic Tale Construction Kit, with which anyone can create a virtual tapestry that will say anything you want. Modern pop cultural references and internet memes make great tapestries, which you can see in this collection I posted at mental_floss.
The oldest dinosaur fossil ever found dates back around 230 million years. But the fossils of around a dozen specimens of a new animal called Asilisaurus kongwe, or silesaur, found in Tanzania lead researchers to believe dinosaurs diverged from another evolutionary line around 243 million years ago.
Neat Facts About Alexander Graham Bell. Controversy about the invention of the telephone didn't stop him from inventing all kinds of other devices.
Can you place the nations of the Middle East on a map? Understanding what's going on over there is even harder than knowing where "over there" is.
Why Ad Blocking is devastating to the sites you love. A friend advised that I should run ads on my site, which I do but he didn't know because he has ad blocking!
The hierarchy of food needs and why poor people can be fat. Needy people understand nutrition as well as anyone, but that doesn't put food on the table.
DNA matching is not as cut and dried as CSI wold have us believe. How it is gathered, stored, analyzed, and interpreted often determines its accuracy as evidence. (via Metafilter)
Obsolete Occupations. People used to make an entire career out of jobs that no longer exist. I thought "radio announcer" would be on this list, but it's from NPR after all. (via Boing Boing)
Monday, March 08, 2010
Ten Ways to Win an Oscar. Continue with the slide show for evidence of each scheme's success. (via YesButNoButYes)
OK Go's second video for "This Too Shall Pass" takes on the Rube Goldberg technique. The making-of story says it was done in one continuous shot, after about 60 tries.
Have you ever "seen" a sonic boom? Watch the effect when a sonic boom meets a sundog during the launch of an Atlas V rocket.
Urinals with a View. Probably not a reason to plan a trip, but if you're going to these cities anyway, you'll want to "go" and see the scenery. (via the Presurfer)
Presidential Reunion. Even more amazing than getting our last half-dozen presidents together is getting the comedians who played them all together.
Kate trained a webcam back at the screen when she joined Chatroulette. Then she captured the looks on many people's faces when they "connected" with themselves.
The stop-motion geniuses at PES have made a new video for the Washington State Lottery. I love the lunchbox barn and corn-holder corn.
Sunday, March 07, 2010
Saturday, March 06, 2010
Friday, March 05, 2010
6 Restless Corpses. These remains have been seen by way more people than their living bodies ever were.
Supervisors and managers of low-income workers see the unfairness in our economic system, but often don't have the power to change it. This sometimes leads them to the moral gray area of "economic disobedience". (via Metafilter)
Economist Daniel Johnson developed a usually-accurate formula for predicting how many medals each nation will win at the winter Olympics. His predictions for the Vancouver games were way off, especially for the US.
We Have Become a Spoiled, Obese, Expectant and Fearful People. (via Chris Tackett)
In Our Parents’ Bookshelves. You can learn a lot about a person by seeing what books they keep, but how can you start a conversation about someone's e-reader collection? (via Metafilter)
Our moods affect our thinking abilities in several ways. The research may explain why our greatest artists are often unhappy people.
When whales die a natural death, they store tons of carbon on the sea floor for centuries. Whale hunting over the past hundred years the same effects as destroying forests in contributing to climate change.
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Validation is an award-winning short film about spreading happiness. The ending contains an unexpected twist that will put a smile on your face -guaranteed!
How to wash your hedgehogs. They're so cute, even the dog wants to help!
Randall Munroe ponders the optimum number and configuration of urinals in a men's room for the International Choice of Urinal Protocol. This is what happens when universal masculinity coincides with ultimate geekiness.
Take this color career quiz to see what profession you should be in. Did it peg you correctly? (Thank, Gwan!) This color quiz is even more fun. (via b3ta)
Notable Achievements in the Art of Passing Gas. You have to really stand out to make history in a subject we shouldn't even discuss.
Improv Everywhere went to a bar and threw a birthday party for a random stranger. Being one of their targets is sort of like winning a lottery without buying a ticket, but strangely cooler.
Tokyo/Glow is a stop-motion film that follows the "walk signal' man as he wanders through Tokyo at night. It's short, simple, beautiful, and has a hint of a happy ending.
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Not only is this broken step for sale on eBay a rare find because its from the Fifth Avenue Apple store, the value has increased because Apple doesn't want the owner to sell it.
5-year-old Savannah Hensley talked to a 911 dispatcher for ten minutes while an ambulance came for her father. The audio of that call is the most adorable emergency communication ever.
Love and Baseball. As spring training nears, a sportswriter looks at baseball as a metaphor for life and relationships.
So many reasons why the internet will fail. A essay from 1995 bemoans the lack of all the things we've managed to come up with since then. (via Boing Boing)
They've found the place in the brain where we judge fairness. It's possible there could be a biological reason why we care about equality even when it doesn't pertain to our self-interest.
Spaghetti With Eyes. More than you ever wanted to know about eels.
Defenestration means throwing something out the window. It's also a 13-year-old art project in San Francisco that features furniture on the outside of a building which may be torn down.
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
I think you've got a leak in your ceiling. You don't know what could fall through that hole!
Karl Lautman designed the Ouroborus, or self-correcting dominoes. If I had one of these in my office, I would watch it all day.
You know TV Tropes as the site that will suck you in and eat all your time. Founder Fast Eddie tells how it all came about. (via Metafilter)
When you move from the city to the suburbs, the culture, the people, and even the language is different. Here's a handy glossary to help you get acclimated.
The 7 Types of Internet Lists, including one by Ethan Trex he is now OBLIGATED to go and write. I want to know all about the Bazooka Shark!
My Solar System lets you select how many planets you want and adjust their orbits and other parameters. Then set it in motion and watch your planets crash into each other or fly off into deep space -or build a working system. (via J-Walk Blog)
What the World Needs Now, a happy bouncy song about those wonderful things we just can't get enough of.
Monday, March 01, 2010
A group of huge carved stones dating back 11,000 years has been found in southeastern Turkey. Gobekli Tepe predates metal tools, pottery, and even civilization itself. (via Jason Kottke)
Oath Keepers and the Age of Treason. Meet the fast-growing "patriot" group that's recruiting soldiers to resist the Obama administration.
What it's like to live on food stamps as your only source of income. When welfare is limited and jobs are scarce, those least able to weather the storm are going to fall through the cracks. (via Casaubon's Book)
Ten things that will influence your level of conformity. But remember, those things are influencing everyone else to conform as well.
How it feels to lose Olympic gold. For some, being the second-best in the world only makes you "the first loser." In fact, a bronze medal will make you happier than a silver medal.
Several authors give their personal top ten rules for writing fiction. And more as well. Several have a rule that you shouldn't follow someone else's rules. (via The Daily What)
The 1993 murders were horrific, but there is still doubt about the guilt of the West Memphis Three. The death-row inmates who were convicted as teenagers are getting another big name supporter who wants to reopen the investigation.