Sunday, March 26, 2017


The Economics of Airline Class

Wendover Productions goes deep into the economics of airlines and the tickets we buy. In case you want to see the previous video he referred to, it is here. My kids are becoming frequent fliers; in fact, I'm driving seven hours (round trip) today to put one on a plane that will get her back to school in two hours. Go figure. (via mental_floss)


(via reddit)

Ceiling Cat Goes to School

It can be annoying when non-students drop in unannounced. This happened at the University for Peace in Costa Rica. (via Buzzfeed)

Discount Curtains

Dolphin Enjoys Floor Show

Bonnie Anna "MissChief" from FunDipped Productions (a circus theater company) visited an aquarium and did a few tumbles. One dolphin was particularly impressed. (via Bits and Pieces)

A Word to the Wise

(via Fark)

Where the Easter Bunny Came From

An interspecies relationship leads to a child who feels like she doesn't fit in. She can't take the bullying anymore and decides to leave it all behind. It's a common story, but well done here. Grab a hankie just in case. This ad is from the German supermarket chain Netto Marken-Discount, who earlier brought us the Grocery-Shopping Cats. (via Metafilter)

10 Internet Memes Illustrated in Peeps

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, from 2014. 

Marshmallow Peeps are everywhere! The stores are full of them, and so are Easter baskets. Better stock up now if you use them as an art medium. Plenty of people do for the Peeps diorama competitions held each year. And every year I pick some of those best, centered around a theme for your entertainment. More and more of the dioramas feature internet themes and memes, social networking, and popular videos. See ten of them in this list I posted at mental_floss.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Family Time

R2-D2 is Sad Obi-Wan Doesn't Remember Him

Obi-wan doesn't remember R2D2, but the droid remembers, and those memories are painful. But you have to remember that Obi-wan in his ild age fed Luke a lot of other BS, too.  And then he wanted to get out of this awful movie hurt Vader by turning Luke against him so bad that he committed suicide by Vader. Still, poor R2! (via Geeks Are Sexy)

Stubborn Russian Cat

Boris is hungry, or at least he knows a good stash of food when he sees it. He's not giving up his loaf of bread easily. No siree. And you see who wins the battle, even though Boris never stooped to attacking the woman. Boris lives in an animal shelter in St. Petersburg. He has to share food with 25 other cats who need homes, and no doubt has memories of greater hunger in his past. While this particular scene doesn't bode well for Boris' adoption, the Instagram video assures us that he is usually a nice cat, believe it or not. See more from the shelter 50 Tails. (via reddit)

The Secrets Behind Rogue One's Final Vader Scene

Director Gareth Edwards explains how the Darth Vader scene in Rogue One came about. It almost turned out quite differently. (via Tastefully Offensive)

Makin' Room

(via Fark)

Friday, March 24, 2017

Costlier Amenities

Like sheets. (via Bad Newspaper)

Simon's Cat in Camouflage Challenge

Blending in with one's surroundings is a common strategy for predators to use in getting some other animal to eat. Leopards are good at it. So are spiders, anglerfish, and octopuses. Simon's Cat tries it out. But Simon's cat is neither a spider nor an anglerfish, although he probably thinks he's a leopard. He just doesn't quite have the needed skills. It might have been his comfy suburban upbringing, or it may be just his bad luck.

Lottery Math

Miss Cellania's Links

The Grateful Dead of Kay Powell. She turned obituary writing into an art form. 

Nowruz Celebrations Around the World. Nowruz is the Persian New Year holiday, which starts at the vernal equinox.

The Upside of Anger: It's a Strong Emotion, But Not Always a Bad One. And it makes people finally listen to you.

Why 10 Daily Tons of Ant Poop Keep This Rainforest Thriving. Instead of a village, it takes an army to grow a tree.

30 Passionate But Pointless Arguments. And afterward, you wondered why it mattered so much. (via Metafilter)

This $5900 office chair is supposed to counteract the ill effects of sitting at work. But can you stay awake while being that comfortable?

The Gig Economy Celebrates Working Yourself to Death.

Trump Lawyers Swipe at Teen Over Cat Website.

Why Are There No Eggs in Indian Cakes? You don't need them to make light and airy pineapple cake.

Neuroscience reveals 4 rituals that will make you stress-free. Bring on the puppy videos!


(via Fark)

Peeps in a Vacuum

This is neat. Scientist and science educator Carl Nelson demonstrates what happens when you put things that contain air pockets into a vacuum chamber. the Peeps are cool, but the shaving cream is the best part.

13 Graphs for Laughs

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, from 2014. 

Can graphs be funny? That’s a silly question, as you’ve seen plenty of funny flowcharts, pie charts, and Venn diagrams, as well as other charts and graphs, made just for fun here already. But there are other kinds of charts that have a joke in them somewhere. Doghouse Diaries explains a graph's potential for humor. This type of chart is called an XY Plot, or scatter chart, which places items along two axes depending on the two variables measured in relationship to other items. See all of them in a post I did for mental_floss.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Unwind With These 6 Quirky Crochet Projects

If you can imagine it, you can make it with yarn and a crochet hook. Let the crochet lovers of the internet help you try some of these projects from a list I compiled for mental_floss.

Life Like

Things Many People Still Don't Understand About Star Wars

Star Wars has become such an epic franchise with such a devoted fandom that the origins of that universe have been left behind. To understand some of the mechanics of the story, Looper takes us back to how the stories were first constructed to remind of some details we've either forgotten or never realized in the first place. A little context helps us to understand how the juggernaut we know as Star Wars grew from just a movie into what it is today: a modern mythology that became more than anyone could have imagined. (via Geeks Are Sexy)

Dino Pun

What Have You Got to Lose?

(Thanks, Papasan!)

Miss Cellania's Links

The Marx Brothers in A Day at the Races. A movie worthy of another Queen album.

White House: Trump's golfing is work, unlike Obama's golfing, which was scandalous.

30 Years Ago: A Look Back at 1987.

"A woman came through the drive through yesterday and got a little irritated with me because we didn't have drink carriers. Today, she came back and handed me this."  

The Origins of the World’s Most Divisive Condiment. There is no middle ground when it comes to Marmite.

North Carolina’s Shangri-La Stone Village. More links to explore Shangri-La.

10 of the Lowest-Rated Cars for 2017. If you're having trouble deciding on a model, at least you can eliminate the bottom of the barrel.

Catnip Ain’t the Only Plant That’ll Send Your Kitty to Blissville. A cat-loving scientist has discovered three others.

This Is What America Looked Like When Alcohol Was Illegal. A gallery of images from Prohibition.

If Deadpool were a musical, our hero might sing this parody of "Gaston" from Beauty and the Beast. Contains NSFW language, as you would expect.


(via Fark)

The Best Wheel of Fortune Failure

This guy watches more porn than classic films, and it cost him big time. (via Digg

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Care Label

(via reddit)

Trump Campaign Rally

Trump is already campaigning for the 2020 presidential race, because running is way more fun than presidenting. (via Uproxx)

Yard Sale Sign

(via 22 Words)

Hi Stranger

Kirsten Lepore gives us an odd little video that turns out to be just a nice, affirming talk from an animated humanoid with a butt. (via Metafilter

Miss Cellania's Links

Dr. Parker’s Latent Library and the Death of the Author. Is the guy who supposedly wrote 142,000 books still with us?

Where to Hide If a Nuclear Bomb Goes Off In Your Area. It's been a few years since they taught this in school.

How WWI food propaganda forever changed the way Americans eat. We learned to be more resourceful, thrifty, and efficient.

The Like Button Ruined the Internet. Why bother with words when you can just press a button?

How to trap a self-driving car. It's much easier than it should be.

How Disney Saved Musicals for a New Generation. A little song and dance seems almost normal again.

The Haunting Face of a Man Who Lived 700 Years Ago. He could be our neighbor, but his life was very different from ours.

How many kids is too many kids? Large families were once unavoidable, then irresponsible, and may now be turning into a status symbol.

10 Things to Know When Sneaking into North Korea. Not that we recommend actually trying that, of course.


(via Fark)

Chop & Steele Prank Morning Shows

Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher are not strongmen, but they play two of them on TV. They took on the duo name Chop & Steele and convinced TV morning shows to feature them. Their strongman act is obviously lame, but it's probably the best they could do. This stunt is from the Found Footage Festival. (via Tastefully Offensive)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ground or Wild

Smart Car

(via reddit)

Hamster Potty

(via Buzzfeed)

Cheetah Encounter

A safari into cheetah country got more than they bargained for when a curious cheetah climbed into a tourist-filled vehicle. This cat apparently had some contact with people before, probably in previous safaris, but he still wanted to check them all out. This video is a compilation of such encounters, with different cheetahs. If you were in that position, you' be stuck between the impulse to pet the kitty and terror at confronting an apex predator who could chew your face off if he so desired. (via Laughing Squid)

Miss Cellania's Links

Sticking Around: The La Brea Tar Pits. It was Mother Nature's fossil trap.

From T. Rex to Pantydraco: How Dinosaurs Get Their Names. Some are very serious about it; others, not so much.

Unspeakable Realities Block Universal Health Coverage In America. 

Bedtime for the twins. (via reddit)

The Zeppelin Stamps That Enraged 1930s Collectors. And they didn't do much for the post office, either.

Losing weight won’t make you happier—but eating a balanced diet will. Studies show that's more important for your mental health than what's in the mirror.

Agloe: a Fake Town That Became Real. But not too real that it couldn't disappear again.
Reindeer really can fly! This herd flew coach on Polar Airlines.

How Hospitality and Some Tulips Brought Canada and the Netherlands Together. Canada still gets tulips in gratitude.


(via Fark)

Elmo Gets Fired

Proposed cuts to the federal budget might land some educational TV stars on their ears. It's hard to understand when you've been at the same job for decades… and you're only four years old.
It’s a rough world out there, even for the Sesame Street gang who, through no fault of its own, has stayed in its comfortable bubble for the past 48 years. Now, Ernie might be forced to get a job, Bert might have to start driving for Uber, and the Count might have to actually go back to CPA school.
(via The Daily Dot)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Sylvester and Tweedie

Spring is Here!

(via reddit)


Russian Car Curling Tournament

In Russia, car pushes you! The sport of curling involves sliding a stone across ice to score points and knock the opposing teams stone out of points. Curling stones are very expensive, so a group of Russians came up with a better idea: use old Yugos to slide across the ice! The first ever Russian Carl Curling Tournament was held in Yekaterinburg Saturday. Four teams hurled small cars across the ice at each other. The cars were devoid of any heavy parts, such as motors. A good time was had by all. (via reddit)

Miss Cellania's Links

Mythconceptions About Animals. Learn the real story behind them.

Why Chess Fans Hate the Movies. Hollywood can't ever seem to get the game right.

Secret Crime-Fighter Revealed to Be 1930s Physicist. William Souder went by "Detective X" in his forensic work for the FBI, the Secret Service, and other agencies.

The 2017 Name Of The Year Bracket. Keep up with the tournament progression, and cast your votes, at the Name of the Year website. (via Deadspin)

Josh and Hannah Brown of Frankfort, Kentucky, remodeled their basement to be a replica of the Haunted Mansion attraction at Disney's Magic Kingdom! See more pictures in their Facebook album. (via Laughing Squid

9 Famous Puppeteers of the 20th Century. They brought the art into the television age.

Ranking the Most Dangerous Countries for American Tourists.

51 Pictures That Are Guaranteed To Make Every Teacher Laugh.

The Best Free Throw Line Distractions Throughout NCAA History. 

What America Could Be Losing Out On Because Of The Proposed Trump Budget Cuts. Then there's the food programs. Trump’s budget would cut funding for Appalachia — and his allies in coal country are livid. Who will lose if the US National Endowment for the Arts is eliminated? Did someone talk about jobs? Trump’s Budget Could Cut 200,000 Federal Jobs.


(via Fark)


Charlie Peck recorded half of "Home" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros on the day he started testosterone treatment. After nine months of treatment, he recorded the other half of the duet. Essentially he is singing to himself, but the duality of the finished product is thought-provoking.
As a sidenote: In the video I refer to myself with my previous name. I do this because I personally feel comfortable with this. Generally never refer to a trans* person with their "dead name".

My way to transition is also just that - My way. There are so many ways to feel comfortable in your own body and no way is more right than the other. Go your own way.
(via Metafilter)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Cause and Effect

Why is this Chicken So Big?

Maybe it's Foghorn Leghorn! (via Metafilter)

Just Before

(via reddit)


(Thanks, Peter!)

The Academy Where Butlers Are Born

The International Butler Academy in Simpelveld, Netherlands is where professional butlers learn everything they need to know to assist their employers in genteel living. Every aspect of service is done just so, and they need to look good doing it. Who knows? Graduates might end up running a household for a reclusive billionaire who fights crime in his off hours. Or an eccentric old lady with spoiled cats. Or a judge with a house full of teenagers in California. Someone like that has no time to run a household themselves. Great Big Story takes us through the 10-week course that prepares new butlers for a career. (via Nag on the Lake)

Pokemon GO

(via Fark)

Why is Greenland an Island and Australia a Continent?

What makes a continent? There's no simple definition, but Simon Whistler of Today I Found Out has some observations about why our geography ended up being labeled the way it is. I never really thought about comparing Australia and Greenland, but both places are pretty much outliers in any category. Greenland is closest to North America, but considers itself part of the European continent, mainly because it's a part of the Danish realm. How the people of a place consider that place has more lasting meaning than some definition that someone elsewhere came up with. (via Laughing Squid)

The Eiffel Tower: a "truly tragic street lamp"

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, from 2007. 

When the Eiffel Tower was first built, it was the tallest building in the world. At 986 feet, it was almost twice as tall as the previous tallest building, the Washington Monument. It wasn't until 1930 that the Chrysler Building in New York surpassed the Eiffel Tower in height. Read about how the Eiffel Tower came about in an article I wrote for mental_floss.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Call the Sheriff!

Oh, Yeah?

(via reddit)

Simon's Cat in Dinner Date: Main Course

Remember back around Valentines Day when Simon was getting ready for a dinner date? Here's the second part of that story, in which the date meets Simon's Cat. Good news- she likes cats! In another month or so, we'll get the next chapter. Will there be a disaster? Knowing Simon Tofield and his animated cat, the odds are good.

Birthday Wish

The Rise and Fall of Saturday Morning Cartoons

Saturday morning cartoons were around when I was a kid in the 1960s, but in the 1980s, they were ramped up to define a generation. Every cartoon was designed to sell toys and cereal, and children who watched them learned how to immerse themselves in a "franchise." But the cartoons got better in the '90s, so those same kids kept watching them. Now those kids of the '80s and '90s are the perfect age to market nostalgia to, as you can tell by the flood of movie remakes. But their own children will never know what it was like to set aside one whole morning for week's worth of cartoons. (via Geeks Are Sexy)

Easily Entertained

(via Fark)

Friday, March 17, 2017

St. Panties Day

Woman Interrupted During BBC Interview

If it had been a woman sharing her expertise instead of a flustered dad, things would have worked out just fine, because women keep up with everything, all at the same time. (Thanks, Betsy!)

Sir Patricks Day

(via reddit)

Puppies vs. Couches

These puppies want to be on the couch so bad! They're too young to jump and too short to climb, but they give it their all because the couch is where the humans sit! Puppies will learn soon enough, with a little growth and a lot of practice, so enjoy them when they're little, and be sure to take video. Enjoy this compilation from MrFunnyMals. (via Tastefully Offensive

10 Times Kids Stole the Spotlight on Live Television

The perils of live television news include dealing with children who either jump at the chance to be on TV or who just wander into the shot being themselves. Some of those encounters are so cute and funny that they become more popular than whatever was being reported. See ten of them in a video roundup I posted at mental_floss.


Previously Classified Nuclear Test Videos Now on YouTube

Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have been analyzing old films of nuclear weapons tests, using more modern equipment to get more accurate data. As they go through the thousands of old films, they've found many hadn't been properly stored for long-term preservation, so they are digitizing the collection. Physicist Greg Spriggs said that about 6500 films have been found, 750 have been declassified, and this week, 63 of them have been uploaded to YouTube. The goal in preserving and digitizing them, Spriggs said in a news release, was to keep the films for future study, lest they decompose and disappear forever.
“You can smell vinegar when you open the cans, which is one of the byproducts of the decomposition process of these films,” Spriggs said. “We know that these films are on the brink of decomposing to the point where they’ll become useless. The data that we’re collecting now must be preserved in a digital form because no matter how well you treat the films, no matter how well you preserve or store them, they will decompose.”
But once a sequence is on YouTube, there will be copies of it everywhere. And we get to see them.

Read about the film preservation project at Atlas Obscura, and see the newly-released videos at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's YouTube channel.

Happy St. Patricks Day!

They say everybody's Irish on St. Patricks Day. Here's a picture of my kids from at least ten years back- don't they look Irish?

Miss Cellania's Links

6 Secrets of Supermarkets.  They know how to make you spend more.

10 Trailblazing U.S. Law Women

Goal of Kentucky Republicans: School Re-Segregation.

10 creative St. Patrick's Day recipes. The fun way to eat your greens!

Who Was Saint Patrick? Ireland's patron saint had nothing to do with green beer or leprechauns.

A Grown-Up’s Guide to St. Patrick’s Day Whiskey. Super-premium Irish whiskies are now more available than ever.

The Invisible Unmarried Mothers of Ireland. For decades, they were treated like criminals, and their children suffered, too. 

17 Jokes That Only The Smartest People Will Get. Oh, you'll get them all, and then groan about them.

Operation London Bridge: the secret plan for the days after the Queen’s death. No one wishes her ill, but Queen Elizabeth II is ninety years old.

Follies on Ice: Showgirls, men in drag, an ice-skating chimpanzee, a robot, and Elvis. Bygone ice shows were like circuses with even more glitter and spangles. 

Dinner for Seven

(via Fark)

Canterbury Park Corgi Races

Dozens of Corgis and their short little legs give it all they have in the Corgis races. Whoever thought this up is a genius. (via Metafilter)

12 Internet Memes You Can Snuggle Up With

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, from 2014. 

Many internet memes find their way into toy stores as cuddly stuffed plushies, if they are popular enough. And when someone you love becomes enamored of an internet meme, they make a thoughtful gift. Here’s where to get yours. And only half of them are cats. See them in a list I posted at mental_floss.