Monday, February 20, 2017

Singing Dog

This is a creepy video of a person playing with a dog and making it "sing." Watch it once, and then go back and watch it again with the automatic captions on. Then it becomes truly terrifying. (via reddit)

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)

Chocolate Milk

Miss Cellania's Links

10 Presidential Marriage Proposals. Some future leaders had to work really hard to win her hand.  

Churchill essay on the possibility of alien life discovered in US college.  Scientific thinking has caught up to his 1939 conclusion. (Thanks, John Farrier!)

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: How La La Land Misleads on Race, Romance and Jazz. (via Metafilter)

The Messy History of the Pie Fight. The second best use for baked goods. (Thanks, Walter Mosley!)

The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of FDR's Floating White House. The USS Potomac had plenty of adventures besides hosting a president.

The Man Who Played with Absolute Power. Philip Zimbardo shares what he learned from conducting the Stanford Prison Experiment.

17 pictures that will turn you off escalators forever. Or they might just make you more careful using them.

Library Hand, the Fastidiously Neat Penmanship Style Made for Card Catalogs. It's pretty, but wouldn't it have been easier to just learn to type?

Meet the hackers trying to solve the problem of death. If we can't maintain the body, maybe we can download the mind.

TV's callous neglect of working-class America. Their only portrayal these days is on reality TV.

Adoptable Pet!

This is one of a series of cat ads from Obvious Plant (Jeff Wysaski). See the rest of them here. The cats are all real, and available for adoption through the Santé D’Or Foundation in Los Angeles.(via Metafilter)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Fat Eddy

The Matrix Starring Forrest Gump

How It Should Have Ended and Klomp! Animation have teamed up for a new series of animations called Hero Swap. In this video, they've taken the title character from the 1994 movie Forrest Gump and made him the protagonist in the 1999 movie The Matrix. They've managed to work in the memorable visuals of The Matrix and shoehorn in the most memorable catchphrases from Forrest Gump. That's pretty neat. (via Tastefully Offensive)

Custom LEGO Roller Coaster Dinosaur Amusement Park

James Burrows built a working LEGO roller coaster and set it in an amusement park filled with dinosaurs. Right there you have a hit: LEGO, roller coaster, and dinosaurs. This construction, seen at BrickFair Alabama 2017, uses around 125,000 LEGO pieces. But wait! There's more! This amusement park has secrets and extra features you would only find if you look closely, or if you listen to the interview. (via Geeks Are Sexy)


(via Buzzfeed)

Dr. Strangelove Remix

Stanley Kubrick's Cold war satire Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb was a masterpiece of filmmaking that stands the test of time. If you don't have the time to re-watch the whole thing, enjoy the best lines of the movie (often rhyming, no less) in the new musical remix by Eclectic Method with Martin Ware.

Martyn Ware, founder of Human League, Heaven 17, legendary producer of Tina Turner and Erasure, Multimedia artist and professor has teamed up with Eclectic Method to remix Dr. Strangelove. With relations between East and West at such an ambiguous point and the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight then it's been since the Cuban Missile Crisis what better time to revisit the Stanley Kubrick Classic. "Gentlemen, You can't fight in here this is war room!"

(via Laughing Squid)

Miss Cellania's Links

Cynthia: John Lennon's First Wife. She handled chaos with grace.

Stuff in Space is an interactive visualization of all the objects orbiting the earth. Aliens should be able to find us by all our satellites, rockets, and garbage.

Some animals kill each other after sex because their distinction between hungry and flirty is blurred. Single parenting is already common in those species.

19 Insanely Cute Kittens Who Just Don’t Know Any Better. Your daily supply of squee.

The Most Quoted B.S. Myth Inside The Right's Media Bubble. You don't have to be a U.S. citizen to have rights under the Constitution. 

The Underwater Photographs Of The Year Are Here, And They're Breathtaking. It's a live action version of Finding Nemo.

Films That Led To Other Films Being Cancelled. The victims were from a similar genre, a dying trend, or had their budgets slashed.

Medieval Europe Couldn't Quit This Story About a Woman Eating Her Lover's Heart. There are 14 to 24 versions, with varying lessons attached. 

This is What You Get

(via Fark)

Squirrel Attacks Burglar

Adam Pearl of Meridian, Idaho, came home to find evidence that his home had been burglarized- footprints in the snow, missing items, etc. His pet squirrel Joey was okay, though. As events unfolded, it turns out that Joey had acted as a guard dog, and repeatedly bit the suspect! He should get a "Beware of Squirrel" sign to warn off any future intruders. Joey is now regarded as a hero. (via Uproxx)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017



Abe or Andrew? (via reddit)

Tweet of the Day

Yeah, it's from 2014, but it means even more today. To answer the question, a crime is an impeachable offense, and there are plenty of those in play, but incompetence in itself is not crime. However, under the 25th Amendment, a president can be removed from office for incompetence. Neither that action nor impeachment will happen under the Republican congress. (via Uproxx)

We'll Start Tomorrow

There's a time and a place for everything. Today is not the day to give up candy. Anyone who isn't scanning the seasonal aisles for bargains the day after a Valentines Day are most likely working on a big box of chocolates they received yesterday. If you bring that idea of eating healthier up later, I'll think of some other reason to put it off. A good reason. This is the latest comic from Megacynics.

How Cats Show Their Love

Simon Tofield of Simon's Cat fame illustrates the many ways cats show affection to humans. And the humorously unintended consequences of that affection. Suddenly, I realize that none of my three cats feel any affection at all toward me. Ungrateful beasts. (via Laughing Squid)

Miss Cellania's Links

Where The. What do you do with that word when you index things? 

Here's how some senators are handling their constituents these days. Here's how to find yours.

"No Stairway! Denied!" The Inside Story of Wayne's World's Most Unintentionally Complicated Gag. The way you saw it was not the way your parents saw it.

The Story of the South’s First Black Millionaire. Robert Church was known as the known as the “Boss of Beale Street.”

This ‘Prison Beauty School’ Is Giving Inmates Hope For The Future. Learning a trade is the biggest weapon against recidivism.

Chris Evans (Captain America) Has Been Fighting (former KKK Imperial Wizard) David Duke On Twitter.

Playboy is bringing nudes back after a year of expecting people to read it for the articles. But can it ever really join the 21st century?

Links about the current administration's ties with Russia. (via Metafilter)

Can You Be Friends With a Bear? Long-distance friends, maybe.

Don't look now, but American judges are attacking debtor's prison. There's no reason why the poorest people should pay for our justice system.

Ode to Spot

(via Fark)

Moose Rescued from Frozen Lake

When you are judging whether the ice on a frozen lake is thick enough to walk on, you must take your own weight into account, which this moose clearly didn't. Norwegians Viktor Johannesen and Sigrid Sjösteen found the moose that had fallen through the ice. It wasn't that far from shore, but the animal was exhausted from struggling to get out of the hole. The couple chopped through the ice, giving the moose a narrow path back to the shore, so he wouldn't have to climb out of the hole. They occasionally stopped work to take a little video footage. The video is entirely in Norwegian with no subtitles, but we get the picture anyway. The translated video description said it was a "long and arduous" rescue, so once the exhausted moose was finally out of the water, I would bet that Viktor and Sigrid realized how exhausted they were, too. (via Boing Boing)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Designer Plunger

Dating Venn

(via reddit)

Mia Wins Hearts at the Agility Course

Mia knows the agility course, and she's got plenty of speed and agility. But Mia is a beagle, and is therefore both happy and distractible. She delighted the audience at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Don't be a beagle, don't be a beagle!
That's a good dog. (via Metafilter)

Kellyanne Conway's Interview Tricks

The face of the current administration on TV  news is Kellyanne Conway, who is a master at not answering interview questions. Here is a breakdown on her tactics. Not that you need to learn from her, because this is a unique talent that leads to total non-communication. Yes, there may be a demand for such talents, but you'd never be able to look yourself in the mirror if your entire purpose is to defend, deflect, and obfuscate. 

Love Affairs and Differential Equations

In 1988, Steven Strogatz of Harvard University looked at a pair of star-crossed lovers to illustrate a math concept, "coupled ordinary differential equations." That sounds complicated, but the way he explained it with an example, even I can understand.
Romeo is in love with Juliet, but in our version of this story, Romeo is a fickle lover. The more Juliet loves him, the more he begins to dislike her. But when she loses interest, his feelings for her warm up. She, on the other hand, tends to echo him: her love grows when he loves her, and turns to hate when he hates her.
Then there's a math formula, but you can see where this is going, as if it were a movie.
The sad outcome of their affair is, of course, a never ending cycle of love and hate; their governing equations are those of a simple harmonic oscillator. At least they manage to achieve simultaneous love one-quarter of the time.
Does that remind you of anyone you know? The original paper is here. The equation can be found in various forms in math departments all across academia. (via Cliff Pickover)

When It's Just The Dudes At Home

Fathers and babies left unsupervised will find something weird and fun to do. Adam Ballard and his infant son Miles show off some killer dance moves to the Michael Jackson song "Beat It." Miles does the Moonwalk made famous in "Billie Jean" and the impossible lean from "Smooth Criminal." He also does air guitar to Eddie Van Halen's solo. There's some nice shuffling and other fancy footwork going on here, too. (via Tastefully Offensive)

Miss Cellania's Links

5 Sleep-Deprived Disasters. Bad things happen when you don't get enough shut-eye.

22 Small Ways People Say "I Love You." It's all in knowing what makes that person happy.

When Heart Transplant Patients Were Celebrities. Part of Atlas Obscura's Hearts Week.

A US-born NASA scientist was detained at the border until he unlocked his phone. NASA is not happy about that. (via Fark)

“And why doesn’t Batman dance anymore?” The importance of the Dark Knight’s lighter side.

The people who lived in the French region of Landes once got around the marshy land on stilts, looking after their sheep. Their tradition of stilt walking lives on in illustrations and photographs.

Oroville's Evacuation Exposes Some Glaring U.S. Infrastructure Issues. We have thousands of dams just as old and decrepit as the Lake Oroville dam.

The Lesser-Known History of African-American Cowboys. They made up 25% of the Old West profession, but not in our history books or pop culture. 

9 Megalomaniacal Facts About Narcissism.

When my father went on strike with other air-traffic controllers, in 1981, he escaped legal prosecution but suffered in other ways. (via Digg)

Happy Valentines Day!

(via Fark)

A Valentine Collection From Simon's Cat

Simon's Cat looks for love, but it never really works out in this compilation of stories for Valentines Day.

Tweet of the Day

Nice to have a Tweet of the Day that's both political AND funny. (via Buzzfeed)

Monday, February 13, 2017


House of Dan

Dan's house was blanketed with several feet of snow. So was his "yard," if that's what you can call it living in the woods. Dan took advantage of the situation and turned it into a snowboarder's dream run. Sweet! The only way extreme sports videographer Scott Barber could keep up with him was to snowboard along with him to catch the action in this video. (via Digg)

Valentine Poem

(via reddit)

What She Really Wants for Valentines Day

Roses are nice, but they're really only there for looks. On the other hand, you can eat donuts on a stick! Or burgers on a stick! Or chicken nuggets on a stick! With a Valentines Day gift like this, we could eat ourselves sick. (via Buzzfeed

Cold Comforts: 10 Hotels Made of Ice and Snow

Do you love winter weather enough to stay in a hotel room made of ice and snow, where the temperature stays around -4°C (25°F)? Some winter resorts give you the chance to do just that. You won't freeze to death. While the beds in such hotels are usually made of a slab of ice, hoteliers want their guests to be comfortable, so they're equipped with insulated mattresses, animals skins, and arctic sleeping bags. In these cold weather resort areas, you can be assured it's a lot colder outside. You'd better get your reservations in now, because most hotels built of ice won't survive the longer sunny days of spring. Read about ten such hotels in a list I compiled for mental_floss.

Star Trek is Just a Space Fantasy

Trump vs. Truth

Jon Oliver is back from a long holiday break, and came back armed to the teeth on his show Last Week Tonight to point out Trump's words and what they may or may not mean. If you spent Sunday night watching the Grammys or The Walking Dead, you can catch up now. Contains NSFW language.    

Miss Cellania's Links

Sandra Day O'Connor: A Case for Justice. How she made history in the all-boys' club. 

Where Nature is Most Likely to Kill You. (via the Presurfer)

Farmers That Backed Trump Now Fear Losing Their Workers. They were just picking and choosing which campaign promises to believe.

Kiiking: The Estonian Sport of Competitive Swinging.

The 5 Most Satisfying 'Told You So' Moments Of All Time.

The winners of the 2017 Grammy Awards. And in case you're wondering, here's what they wore.

Why Did Medieval Artists Give Elephants Trunks That Look Like Trumpets? Was it just because they looked cool that way?

How Scientists Collected a Piece of the Sun. Brought here by the spacecraft Genesis, it's now stored in Houston.

Why You Should Never Kiss a Toad. He won't turn into a prince, and you might be poisoned.

Rio's Olympic venues, six months later. It didn't take long for them to fall into ruin.

The Gift

Seven Strange and Wonderful Dishes

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. 

Nothing succeeds like excess! People love to tinker with food. If you like two kinds of food, why not put them together? Just because they don't normally appear at all similar is no reason to shy away from combining them! Or you find one taste that you love, you can go completely overboard with it. And you can take something normal and traditional and stand it on its head to suit your own tastes. See some of the weirdest food mashups in an article I wrote for mental_floss in 2008.

Sunday, February 12, 2017


Nature Photography

(Thanks, Stepahnie!)

The People's Court

The president takes his most notorious executive order to the highest court in the land. He's suing the three "so called" judges of the 9th District in The People's Court.

Pop Rocks

(via Buzzfeed)

McCarthy Does Spicer

Melissa McCarthy returns as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Saturday Night Live. I'm so glad they put this at the beginning of the show, because I fell asleep immediately afterward.

Poor Kitty

(via Michael Leavitt)

The Night the Moon Fell

A young boy is an amateur astronomer, watching the moon through his telescope. But one night, the moon fell from the sky, and he went to find it. This quite short film by John Bashyam has a twist ending. (via Geeks Are Sexy)

Saturday, February 11, 2017


Exploding Rainbow

Gav and Dan, the Slow-Mo Guys, are always looking for something to film with their high-speed cameras. Something that people will find interesting, but more important, things that will look good. Explosions? Yeah! Pretty colors? Yeah! So they gathered bags of paint powder and vehicle airbag devices and headed out to a quarry, far from anyone who would be bothered. They do it three times! That must've cost a fortune in airbags. The result is not as educational as some of the other videos they'd done, but it sure is pretty! (via Laughing Squid)


(via reddit)

Cats Wearing Socks Compilation

If you ever wondered why the three little kittens lost their mittens, it was because cats do not  like to wear mittens, shoes, or socks. It's just not natural. (via Fark)

Ask Your Mom

(via Buzzfeed)

Toe Truck

12 Historic Westminster Best in Show Winners

As the 2017 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show gets ready to kick off this weekend, let's take a step back into its history to see the prestigious dog show's earliest, most groundbreaking, and interesting Best in Show winners, in this list I wrote for mental_floss.

Pogo Stick

(via Fark)

Dinner Date: Starters with Simon's Cat

Looks like Simon may have a dinner date for Valentines Day! Or at least he's been shopping, preparing for one. Simon's Cat is curious about all this stuff. Of course. We don't ever get as far as the date in this cartoon, but it does end with a familiar internet joke.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Armed and Ready

Videobombed by Pot Sasquatch

A news crew trying to cover the snowstorm in Massachusetts were photobombed by a person dressed as a walking clump of marijuana. This is apparently not the first time it's happened that day to WWLP meteorologist Jennifer Pagliei. Her cameraman panned away to keep the video bomber out of the frame as much as possible. From here, he looked just like some yeti trying to fit in. (via reddit)


(via reddit)

Cats Demanding Attention

Cat owners know how it is: when you want to snuggle with your cat, they won't have anything to do with you. But when they want your attention and loving, they can be pretty demanding. If you aren't in the employment of a cat yourself, watch this and see how it is. A cat knows what it wants, and they want it now, no matter what else you have going on. As someone once told me, a cat has never seen a downside to asking for what they want. And they get it, too! Who could say no to that adorable little fuzzy face? (via Tastefully Offensive)

Inside During Rough Seas

This is a crew cabin on a cargo ship. It's bigger and nicer than one would imagine. But then the sea intervenes. You don't see the ship rocking, because the camera is fixed to the wall, but what you see looks like a poltergeist is coming through. How often does this happen? I might be tempted to get some duct tape and bungee cords. (via Boing Boing)

Our American Heritage

Miss Cellania's Links

24 Things You Don't Know About Tom Brady. Eddie Deezen has the story. 

Dads Who Didn’t Want The Damn Dogs In Their Lives. (via Metafilter)

15 Popular Comic Book Characters That Started As Jokes. Turns out they were pretty good jokes.

10 Superstitions About Stars. Those lights in the night sky must be magical, right?

What Happened When a Swedish Town Tried a Six-Hour Work Day. In the U.S., that would be called a part time job.

Revenge of the Lunch Lady. She performed a miracle by serving good food, that kids like, that meets federal nutrition standards, within a budget, in a school kitchen.

What Would Happen If You Just Left Your Stove Burner On? The answer depends on the exact situation.

This foster father takes in only terminally ill children. Mohamed Bzeek has loved and lost the neediest kids for more than twenty years.

How Uber could become a nightmarish monopoly. That's a possibility when a trade war eliminates the competition.

Lover's Spat

(via Fark)

1934 Motorcycle Gymnasts

Recorded in Munich in 1934, this show was the bee's knees! Where else could you see a spinning trapeze driven around by two bears on motorcycles? (via Atlas Obscura)

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Dog Bite

Washing Machine Rhythm

Aaron McAvoy plays "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" along with his washing machine. He titled the video White Trash Washing Machine Cover, but I think that's exaggerating a little. If it were really a white trash washer (and I've had a few), the washer would be dancing, too. Or at least walking around the room. (via Pleated-Jeans)

Text Me, But Don't Expect a Reply

I have mentioned to my family several times that I have a dumb phone and I don't know how to text. They don't listen. (Thanks, Brother Bill!)