Tuesday, November 30, 2010

13 Weird and Wonderful Gingerbread Houses

Traditional alpine chalets, woodland cottages, and Victorian mansions made of gingerbread are impressive, to say the least. I know from experience that they are not easy to make. Yet some folks go the extra mile to make their gingerbread constructions stand out from the crowd by building them bigger, adding clever details, or redesigning them altogether. Some aren’t even houses! See 13 creative holiday displays in this list I posted at mental_floss.

Fun and Funny Links

Conan O’Brien’s return to TV was the subject of a Taiwanese Next Media animation, so he parodied them, which led to an even sillier backlash. (via Metafilter)

Don’t Touch My Junk. Clever editing has president Obama delivering a musical sermon on the TSA.

The only thing better than cats playing pat-a-cake is cats arguing about how to play pat-a-cake. After insults and violence, they settle down and get to work.

The sci-fi Nazi film Iron Sky has been in development for years. Filming is finally in progress!

It might take a genius to find the way through the Albert Einstein maze! Print out a full size copy and give it your best shot. (via Nag on the Lake)

When Congressmen Attack! Read 14 accounts of our representatives in Washington wreaking violence upon their opponents, cohorts, and constituents. (via Everlasting Blort)

Life cannot be all that bad when you can watch a dog doing a salsa dance.

Leslie Nielsen, who appeared in over 200 movies and TV shows over six decades, died Sunday at age 84. Filmdrunk posted a collection of videos as a tribute. (via Gorilla Mask)

Bars and Stripes Forever


A Leon Schlesinger production from 1942.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Informative Links

The Top Ten Daily Consequences of Having Evolved. Hiccups and goosebumps are a small price to pay for being at the top of the food chain. (via Neatorama)

A business finds that customer complaints push them higher on Google’s search results. After you read this, you’ll do your research before you buy anything off the web.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About the NYC Subway (not relating to that mysterious smell). Next time you’re there you can entertain your fellow riders with your new knowledge -they’ll appreciate that.

A laser burns up a piece of paper inside a balloon! Science can be so cool, particularly when someone else does the math.

An author discovers that his grandfather was an anonymous benefactor who gave money to 150 families for Christmas in 1933. He tracks down the descendants of those who received $5 to see what difference the money made for them.

What Food Says About Class in America.

Phrases that announce that someone is about to dis you or lie to you. I've told my kids this over and over and they believe me when I have backup from the Boston Globe.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

8 Odd Acts of the Vaudeville Era

Before movies could talk, there were endless opportunities for those who had talent to make a living performing in front of live audiences. Singers, dancers, actors, and comedians were the backbone of the traveling show. There were also side show exhibits with human oddities and specialty acts such as the circus, the wild west show, and the medicine show. But in those days, just like today, audiences wanted something new and different. And there were many who stepped onto the stage to provide something different. See some of them in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

Coney Island Wild Animal Show


Not sure when this was recorded, but I believe it was the late 1940s.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Links for Your Edification

The Case of the Vanishing Blonde. A story worthy of Sherlock Holmes, but which happens to be true. (via Metafilter)

How well do you use apostrophes? Test yourself with this simple 10 sentence quiz. (via b3ta)

There are ten countries that have four-letter names. Can you name them all in four minutes?

5 Famous Scientists Dismissed as Morons in Their Time. Sadly, it’s hard to say “I told you so” when you’re dead.

The “Router” in Your Head. Understanding a weakness in the human brain by comparing it to computer technology only makes it appear more impressive.

You Fix the Budget. Select your plans for spending cuts and/or tax increases to balance the 2015 and 2030 US government budgets. Then see how others did it. (via TYWKIWDBI)

A roundup of science articles that try to draw readers by using Harry Potter analogies. Next month: the science of Cowboys and Aliens.

Diagrams that Changed the World. Who knew Florence Nightingale invented the pie chart? (via Boing Boing)

Isabella Rossellini makes videos that explain the sex lives of animals. She’s covered many species and their odd mating habits, but none as weird as the duck.

Cat Loves Watermelon


Nom nom nom! (via Bits and Pieces)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Links

Thanksgiving is here! Do you have the proper hat to wear?

10 Great Thanksgiving Quotes.

Why ‘Thank You’ Is More Than Just Good Manners.

Kitty Pilgrims. Because every cat calendar must have a photograph for November.

As American as the Pilgrims’ feast was, the rest of the world also has times set aside to count blessings and express gratitude. Read about Five Other Thanksgiving Holidays.

What’s on TV for Thanksgiving: all the holidays episodes, specials, and movies. Hey, it’s a way to spend time with family without having to actually talk to them!

10 Most Memorable TV Thanksgivings.

Thanksgiving Myths.

Let’s Talk Turkey! Let’s especially talk about the people who don’t know what to do with a turkey.

How to host a throwback Thanksgiving.

Why We Eat What We Eat On Thanksgiving. Personally, I’m thankful that we eventually settled on such a delicious menu.

The editors of Slate asked their readers how Thanksgiving cooking traditions get passed from one generation to the next. It seems that in many families, the one who cook every year has a hard time giving that position up to anyone else.

How to eat more of Thanksgiving dinner. (via Breakfast Links)

Alexander Zass


Polish strongman Alexander Zass shows off his stuff around 1930.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Funny Links

The Taxonomy of Barney.

If I had a marble run like this installed in my bedroom as a child, I’d have never grown up. Luckily, the builder posted instructions so you can make one yourself.

In Soviet Russia… you know how it goes. Like when one rat goes up against five cats, you don’t bet on the cats.

How long can you last on a raft with a chicken? The music helped me last a few seconds longer than otherwise. (via b3ta)

Total silliness: Russian Dancing Men. (via Everlasting Blort)

David Balboa put together a supercut of movie introductions, 250 in all, with a complete list of the clips used. (via The Litter Box)

Disney goes to great lengths to translate their movies into other languages while keeping the music, the meaning, and the tone consistent. Hear what “The Circle of Life” sounds like around the world.

Have you ever seen a kitten hunt a duck? Modern hi-tech kittehs do it by computer.

Tiger Stone


Now THIS is the way to lay bricks without killing your back! And a most efficient way to lay down a road, too.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Links for Good Reads

Was the Kingdom of David and Solomon a glorious empire—or just a little cow town? It depends on which archaeologist you ask. Glory is in the eye of the beholder.

The geeks at CERN have managed to trap a bit of antimatter, specifically antihydrogen. I read this to see what kind of bottle they store it in, and the answer blew my mind.

The 7 Deadliest Bacteria on Earth. Excuse me, I feel the need to go wash my hands now.

Read about the lobbying behind the TSA airport backscanners. (via a comment at Cynical-C)

Is legal marriage obsolete in the modern world? TIME looks at statistics on our changing opinions and behavior with regard to marriage and its benefits. (via Metafilter)

Attack of the Vintage Toy Robots! Japan embraced robots early, which both frightened and fascinated us back then -but now they’re just awesome.

I well remember when the Taliban demolished the two 1,500-year-old giant stone Buddhas of Bamiyan. Now archaeologists are looking for a rumored third Buddha, and finding other ancient treasures along the way.

Astronomers have found an exoplanet that belongs to a different galaxy. How it came to be close enough for us to find is a really cool story.

How Chuck Berry Became a Beach Boy (and other copyright infringement cases). Like the horror of the singing Girl Scouts.

Fresh Hare


Bugs Bunny, 1942.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fun and Funny Links

36 Pictures Of Cats Watching Cats On TV. That is all.

Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving. But Allie’s dogs think throwing up is magical, being yelled at is a bonding experience, and wearing shoes is a sign of the apocalypse.

Zoom in for a look at this amazing picture of London made from 8,000 photographs stitched together over six month’s time. At 80 gigapixels, it is the largest 360-degree panorama ever.

Jimmy Fallon does his Neil Young impression and sings Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair.” If that’s not silly enough, he gets Bruce Springsteen to sing along with him.

6 Obscure Facts About the Noid. If you don’t recall the 1980s advertising mascot, you probably won’t understand why he was so popular. I don’t either, and I was there!

Pointing out how Disney Princesses are poor role models is like shooting fish in a barrel. That’s not to say it can’t be entertaining.

Red and Jonny are married Star Wars geeks who chronicle their life and love in photographs. The fact that they always wear Storm Trooper helmets in the pictures makes them much more interesting.

Helpful Figures has plenty of those infographics you see all around the web, but these are entertaining! All have interesting “facts”, possibly related artwork, and unclickable sources printed at the bottom, just like all those not-so-entertaining infographics.

Polar Bear Cubs


Polar bears at the Munich Zoo get their first bath in 1958. (via Arbroath)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Informative Links

Quarks and Leptons and Bosons, Oh My! The short course in subatomic particles.

This guy makes a good living writing custom papers for college students, from admissions essays to graduate theses. Is this cheating or just another way to get ahead? (via Metafilter)

Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje took photographs of Mecca in 1885, until he was thrown out just before the Hajj. Now they are on exhibit as the annual pilgrimage begins. (via Neatorama)

You’ve probably seen the move The Bridge On the River Kwai, but you might not know how much of the film was true and how much was fictionalized. The real history of how the railway between Burma and China was built, including the bridge, is a horrific story.

Popcorn popping in super-slow motion. This really should have “The Blue Danube” playing behind it, don’t you think?

5 Average Joes That Became Famous. When lightning strikes, it’s good to be ready for your turn at stardom.

5 Ways Stores Use Science to Trick You Into Buying Crap. Everything about your shopping experience is designed not to serve your needs, but to manipulate you. NSFW text.

The Landsat 5 and Landsat 7 satellites are sending back images of Earth in false color. Not only are they useful to scientists, but they can be called works of art.

Love Potions: 6 Surprising Aphrodisiacs. Traditional medicines were developed for more important things than just healing!

Mad Men Theme


Adam Ben Ezra performs the theme to the TV show Mad Men on bass guitar and bass fiddle.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Not-so-ancient History of 10 Thanksgiving Dishes

On Thanksgiving, more than any other day of the year, Americans sit down and eat the same meal as their neighbors and countrymen. It’s tradition, after all! But we know our history: most of the Thanksgiving dishes we enjoy today weren’t at the original Pilgrims’ feast in 1621, or at least not in the way we enjoy them. How did we come up with the modern menu on so many tables? Find out in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

Digg this article!

Funny Links

The Kurt Vonnegut Dictionary of His Imagination. Seeing the world through his eyes is a process that opened many minds. (via The Daily What)

Fun with Pie Charts. Crusty, sweet, delicious pie charts.

A house cat with massive cajones tells an alligator who’s the boss. When the alligator returns with a friend, the cat gets serious.

A helpful customer review of Dave's Ghost Pepper Naga Jolokia Hot Sauce.

Harry Potter and the Porny Recut Trailer. It's all innuendo, but it's a hoot!

Andrew Shears created a US Map with a TV show to go with each state (and explained his choice). It’s good to see that TV sometimes happens outside of New York and California. (via The Daily What)

The history of TV is captured in a less-than-two-minute video. Only the catchphrases are included, but that’s enough to ignite our shared memories of these 71 shows. (via Gorilla Mask)

36 Pictures Of Cats Watching Cats On TV. That is all.

Ten Centuries in Five Minutes


How Europe has changed over history. (via Dark Roasted Blend)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Good Reads and Information

High-Speed Video Reveals Cats’ Secret Tongue Skills. Your kitty harnesses the principles of fluid mechanics every time they take a drink.

The backlash against more invasive airport security measures now includes pilots, flight attendants, unions, and the general public. It’s your choice between a nude body scan and a thorough frisk, so many will stay home instead.

Do you think there might still be ghosts wandering around from the sunken Titanic? A group of ghost hunters want to go to the spot where the boat sank in order to find out -if they can raise enough money.

Well, it looks like the Poor Man’s Polygraph has some shortcuts for detecting lies you hear. Of course, once you’ve raised a few kids, you get really good at this.

Triclosan and triclocarban are chemicals used to kill germs in surgical patients. Now they are in everyday products where they do little good, and worse, are building up in our environment.

Courts Helping Banks Screw Over Homeowners.

A Look at the Kind Heart of One of the Most Influential Communities on the Internet. Keep this story when you need to remind yourself the web is more than just trolls and grammar Nazis.

World’s greatest dad makes his son a DeadMau5 head (with lights!) for Halloween. Even the performer himself thought this was awesome.

Who Will Stand Up to the Superrich?

Boxing Cats


By Thomas Edison, 1894.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

When Pigs Fly

“When pigs fly” is a term we all know that brings up a ridiculous picture. The phrase is akin to “when hell freezes over”, meaning that something is not liable to happen -ever. But “swine flew” jokes aside, pigs do fly, mainly because we like to see it happen! You'll see it happen a lot in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

Fun and Funny Links

The World's Laziest Inventions.

10 Regrettable Christmas Toy Crazes. Only time will tell if this year’s must-have gifts land on a list like this someday. (via Interesting Pile)

A Life on Facebook. It’s a lot like other lives, but much better documented.

What kind of trendy, ultramodern wedding processional can you have when you manage of group of professional dancers? What if those dancers happened to be the Chippendales?

23 years’ worth of soap opera romance condensed into 6 minutes. This video flowchart from hell is psychologically exhausting.

What is “People who are not Ken Jennings”?: Other Notable Jeopardy! Contestants. The mental_floss magazine columnist is not the only Jeopardy whiz you should know.

Mad Aunt Bernards Tortoise Poetry is the nuttiest blog ever! I love it. (via Monkeyfilter)

If Silly Bands are too silly for you, you might prefer Wear A Willy, which is still silly but also NSFW. (Thanks, Mark!)

Epic Duck March. Brighten your morning by watching ducks waddle along to some snappy music.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Links for Information and Edification

The Insanity Virus. Schizophrenia (as well as multiple sclerosis) may begin with an infection, one that we all carry in our junk DNA.

What Alcohol Actually Does to Your Brain and Body. It’s like a “pharmacological hand grenade”, but the news is not all bad. (via The High Definite)

Watch a 3-year-old conduct the 4th movement of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. He obviously knows the piece inside and out, but he’s still as cute and excited as a preschooler should be. (via Metafilter)

Who Needs Paper? It’s filling up our landfills, and there are plenty of alternatives.

Reddit has formed a political action committee to push for net neutrality! Visit them on reddit or at the blog.

Because of finances, age, or health, many survivors are unable to travel to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC for military funerals. For over 60 years, the Arlington Ladies make sure that no soldier or veteran makes their final journey alone. (via Metafilter)

The Mythologies Behind Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling adapted many very old stories to populate the world of Hogwarts and its students.

It is said that the winners get to write the history, so why have we always focused on General Custer’s side of the story? It’s about time we looked at How the Battle of Little Bighorn Was Won.

Duckling on a Treadmill


From I Can Has Cheezburger. For more animals on treadmills, see this collection at mental_floss.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Soda


Buster Keaton tries to be a soda jerk, from the 1927 movie The College.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Late Movies: Mario Theme

Almost as popular as the plumber/hero himself, the Mario theme song is one that people who don’t even play the games know by heart. It can be performed in all kinds of ways,. as you’ll see in this collection of videos I posted at mental_floss.






Cat and Metronome


(via Arbroath)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Fun Links

Frank Zappa appeared on ‘What’s My Line?’ in 1971. It’s all over when he was asked if he had a mustache.

The blog Women Running from Houses is subtitled “judging books by their covers”. Not having read many Gothic romance novels, I had no idea that a woman running away from a house was such a common theme for a book cover! (via Metafilter)

April in Paris?: A Striking Analysis.

In Case You Missed It, watch Conan Obrien's show opening from the premiere of his new talk show.

6 Eerily Specific World Events Predicted by Comics. Is it possible that comic book writers have a super power of their own? (via Interesting Pile)

X-ray Mania! At the end of the 19th century, x-rays were so popular that many products sported the word (if not the actual rays), from prophylactics to stove polish. (via National Geographic News)

When is a music video made of toast? When it’s the new song “Last Leaf” from OK Go!

Defenestration is the act of throwing something out of a window, or in this case, your body right through the glass. It’s also an easy way to put a little oomph into a mediocre movie. (via Gorilla Mask)

Safety Last


The classic sequence from the 1923 movie Safety Last.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rocks that Rock: 8 Stone Giant Sites

Nature carves wonderful sculptures all over the earth. We saw some in a previous post; now let’s take a little trip and see a few more of the many awesome giant rock formations suggested by readers, in this list I posted at mental_floss.







Informative Links

In the early 1970s, millions of Americans bought and wore metal bracelets each inscribed with the name of one American who was missing in action or a POW in the Vietnam War. Over the years, many who wore the bracelets got in touch with “their” POW, or his survivors. (via Fark)

The Evolution of Psychopathology. The difference between brain disorders and mind dysfunction is illustrated with the history of ADHD.

How do we express what cannot be said? Thomas Aquinas said to consign it to silence, but many philosophers just use more and more words to explain why it cannot be put into words. (via Metafilter)

7 People Fired For Blogging. So now you know where professional bloggers come from.

Nine Movies that Killed Real-Life Romances. (via mental_floss)

A 1995 Newsweek editorial explains why shopping on the internet will never take off, websites will never influence elections, and newspapers are safe. Then of course people studied these drawbacks and made a ton of money finding ways around them.

Seven graduates of the Bronx High School of Science went on to win the Nobel Prize in Physics. The schools resources varied over the years, but consistently instilled a love for learning.

The McGurk effect is a perceptual illusion that helps us hear by seeing. Run the video again without looking at it and it all sounds different.

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Paragliding. Most of which you should learn before you ever try it yourself.

Persistance


A Yorkie swims through a sea of balls.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Funny Links

How would you expect children to react when they find out they’re going to Disney World? Better ask first; you could save yourself about a thousand bucks.

David Jablow took one simple template and made a world of imaginative drawings. Much better than it sounds. NSFW. (via b3ta)

Mick Jagger responds to Keith Richards about his new autobiography. It's fictional, but it's funny!

Swimming lessons for baby otters. Trust me, little guys, one day you’re going to really enjoy the water! (via Breakfast Links)

Steve Martin wrote a hymn for atheists. Rendered in four-part harmony by the Steep Canyon Rangers.


We’ve found the real reason there are no unicorns. They all died from diabetes or else collapsed under their own mass.

Damn You, Autocorrect! is a site for incorrect corrections that your iPhone thinks you need, even when you don’t. Poofarts and terbium almost make texting worth the effort. Some text may be NSFW. (via Metafilter)

Cat Plays with iPod.

Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show


Neil Diamond on the Johnny Cash Show in 1970.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Swords into Plowshares: Peaceful Weapon Recycling

And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. -Isaiah 2:4
The familiar Bible verse is repeated in the book of Micah. There are those who are doing just that, whether they draw inspiration from Isaiah or simply from a desire for peace and a safer world. In this article I posted at mental_floss you'll see eight projects that make deadly weapons into something to inspire that desire in all of us.







Good Reads and Informative Links

George Takei responds to an Arkansas school board member who encouraged gay people to commit suicide. His clever speech is the only bright spot in this sad story.

James Bond Villain or Nobel Laureate? Mental Floss Releases Trivia Game. You can buy it here.

A print magazine lifts an article from the web without crediting (or even notifying) the author. The editor defends the action by saying the web is “public domain”. The internet quickly responded. (via Cynical-C)

Award-winning novelist Hilary Mantel relates her experience as a surgical patient. Her observations and descriptions will make you feel as if you were the one the doctor cut into. (via Metafilter)

Why are more and more children being diagnosed with bipolar disorder? The short answer is that a scary label helps open doors to scarce psychiatric help.

19 Iconic Products That America Doesn’t Make Anymore. Oh, you can still buy them, but they are made overseas. Even Levis.

5 Sports Innovations That Didn’t Quite Take. Honestly, a mechanical ball rabbit?

Talking Pictures: Times of Trouble. Ransom Riggs continues his series on found photographs with notes added. This one is heartbreaking.

"Welcome to the Plutocracy!" If you're in a hurry, read the condensed version.

Same subject, different author: Our Banana Republic. Is our economic priority the jobless, or is it zillionaires?

Cat and Cardboard Tube

Monday, November 08, 2010

A Brief History of Bugs Bunny

Bugs has come a long way since this 1939 prototype in the cartoon "Porky's Hare Hunt". The story of how the "Daffy Duck in a rabbit suit" became the most popular cartoon character of all, in this Bathroom Reader article I posted at Neatorama.


Funny Links

A man has a really close call when he falls through the roof. No, the close call comes after he hits the ground.

10 Most Memorable TV Thanksgivings. If you don’t remember them all that well, there’s always YouTube.

Kurt Vonnegut Didn’t Know Doodly-Squat About Writing: Finally, Literary Analysis Worth Reading. Knowing this is fiction doesn’t make this scenario any less fascinating. (via Metafilter)

The new Chicago soccer team is going to be called the Fire. That takes some balls.

News.com.au got schooled in the ways of Star Trek fandom when they posted an article containing errors about the Trek universe. So they printed an apology with corrections, itself containing many errors.

Birds of a Feather. Three weird stories of poultry.

This young woman is having altogether too much fun with the special effects. Bet you can’t watch this all the way through without laughing!

Advice on Cleaning Up. You only have to decide who to take advice from. I suggest Mom.

Snail Soccer


Enjoy the fast paced action! A riveting game! (via Neatorama)

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Electricity Dance


From the 1930 film Madam Satan. Sadly, not the original soundtrack.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Reg Kehoe and his Marimba Queens


Eight marimba players, and the bass player steals the show! This was recorded sometime in the 1940s.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Links for Your Edification

How a Pulitzer prizewinning writer constructs a job departure email. If you’re going down in flames, you may as well do it with style. NSFW text. (via Lifehacker)

The Wagah Border Closing Ceremony is going to be scaled back, and may end altogether. Not because it’s silly, but because it’s unhealthy for the participants. (via Metafilter)

People are having their sight restored by artificial retinas. A small chip with 1,500 light-detecting diodes makes it possible.

7 Heroic Dogs. A good dog will give his all in the name of loyalty. Bring hankies.

Life aboard the International Space Station. Walking, eating, cleaning, and other everyday activities have to be totally relearned for living in space. (via Jason Kottke)

A video shows how the Soviets digitally doctored photographs in 1987, before the availability of Photoshop. It looks crude now, but it sure beat the scissors and glue they once used!

What do you get when you cross a Segway with a submarine? A scooter called BOB, which is short for HydroBOB.

When the Internet Attacks: Cyber Vigilantes. Be recorded doing something offensive, and you might receive payback from strangers the world over.

Changing of the Guard


A little boy in Stockholm plays changing of the guard, so a Swedish Royal Guard plays along. Adorable! (via Arbroath)

Thursday, November 04, 2010

10 Dramatic Marriage Proposals

I saw a new online marriage proposal yesterday. While I waited to see what the potential bride’s reaction was, I thought about how many imaginative proposals I’ve seen. Some are so very public and entertaining, yet personal at the same time because they are custom-made for the couple involved. If you haven’t seen these ten proposals I listed at mental_floss, you are in for a treat!




Fun and Funny Links

Human Oil (and Other Hoaxes).

Doggie Parkour. If it takes climbing a tree to please you, he’s on it.

5 Incredibly Specific Magazines. None of these would have ever been printed if there weren’t an incredibly specific readership.

How Many Bloopers Can a News Crew Stuff into a Single Minute?

So You Want To Get a PhD In The Humanities. What could possibly go wrong with this foolproof plan?

Strange Charm is a song about the subatomic particles called quarks. It may get stuck in your head, but good luck learning the lyrics.

Band Names In Icon Form. For kicks, try to name them all before you scroll down for the answers. (via Gorilla Mask)

A friendly reminder from Dad that you should change your clocks this weekend. Daylight Saving time is ending -and do you need anything from Costco?

Caught in the Web of Love


From the 1929 film The Great Gabbo. (via Everlasting Blort)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Neatolicious Fun Facts: Marbles

The game of marbles is estimated to go back 5,000 years. Through most of their history, marbles were made of stone, bone, clay, or whatever material was available. Truly round marbles were a rare and expensive toy, but we eventually found ways to make enough of them for everyone. Read about how that happened in this article I wrote for Neatorama.

Good Reads and Info

The Great Place the Ball Swindle. It was a complicated but seemingly perfect scam, until threats and fear got out of hand.

Drugs marked as “not for human consumption” span a legal gray area between legal and illegal. Some are making a killing selling them to people who, not surprisingly, consume them. (via Metafilter)

7 Tragic SNL Deaths. Each was devastating as we felt like we lost a close friend, one who was too young to die.

Aiden is a 5-year-old leukemia patient who has been selling his drawings to pay for medical treatment. (via Metafilter)

It's hard to believe today, but less than 100 years ago, there was a great debate about whether women should be able to vote. The anti-suffragettes declared that voting women would abandon their families, turn ugly and mean, and society would collapse.

In the Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling, the explanation for how the elephant got its trunk involved a crocodile that pulled on a baby elephant's nose until it stretched out. That same scene was photographed recently in South Africa. (via Fark)

A blogger reminisced about the wonderful tree that was the center of the Disney film The Swiss Family Robinson. One of his readers responded by not only tracking down the location of the tree in Tobago, but taking pictures of it as well! (via Metafilter)

The “Black Death” Bacterium Began Its Rampage in China. What impresses me is how they can figure that out 700 years later.

Rapture is a time-lapse video of the night sky. You have to get far, far away from town to see stars like this -and then you wouldn’t have the music.

Pet Hummingbird


This young man rescued a baby hummingbird when it was attacked (by what, he doesn't say). Music by Jack Johnson. (via Cute Overload)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Fashions for Scientists (and Those Who Love Them)

Scientists and science geeks alike can wear their chosen discipline on their sleeves, so to speak, or around some part of their bodies. It’s not exactly bragging, especially when the references are so obscure that only a kindred spirit would understand it! Oh yes, these scientific fashions also make great gifts for the scientist in your life. See lots of these items in this list I posted at mental_floss.


Links for Fun

Nine NEXT-LEVEL High Fives. What's the use in greeting a friend if you can't impress him and everyone around you?

Political Machines: a pair of useless machines make a perfect analogy.

Vintage Fitness Equipment will raise your eyebrows for you, if nothing else. That's a lot of gadgetry to rub your belly or tickle your toes. (via Dark Roasted Blend)

Allie Brosch of Hyperbole and a Half is suffering from writer’s anxiety. There’s only one cure: alcohol.

Misery Bear battles zombies in Dawn of the Ted. Who knew you could defeat a zombie with a microwave oven?

The 100 Best Signs At The Rally To Restore Sanity And/Or Fear. And (almost) all are spelled correctly.

Lions, tigers, leopards, and other big cats are given pumpkins to play with, maul, and chew on. The result is exercise, mental stimulation, and fun for the cats and an entertaining video for us.

The 7 Most Ridiculous Ghost Stories from Around the World. Meant for Halloween and NSFW, but so funny you’ll be glad you found it.

Dance in Your Pants


(via Arbroath)

Monday, November 01, 2010

Informative Links

10 Things I Learned at BlogWorld in Las Vegas. Ya'll didn't even know I was gone, did you?

Mother Earth Mother Board. The story of how the world became wired by a system of cables laid across the bottom of the seas. (via Metafilter)

Harnessing Your Marilyn Monroe Neurons. Pop culture icons literally become part of your brain, and when found, can be used to control a computer.

The fear of waking up six feet under can be worse than the fear of dying. Safety Coffins were developed specifically for the possibility that one might be buried alive.

A young man rescued a baby hummingbird and fed it with an eyedropper. Now he has women all over the internet swooning over him.

How a man can serve 18 years in prison for murder despite no evidence against him. He was finally freed last week.

Tony Acevedo was 20-year-old medic in the US Army when he was captured in early 1945. He was sent to perform slave labor for the Germans, but managed to record his experiences in a secret diary. (via Fark)

Resurrecting the Czar. This story of the Romanovs begins with their deaths in 1918, and hasn’t concluded yet.

Cat Concert


Soviet animation from 1983. It's noisy, but that's not the cats' fault!