Saturday, February 04, 2023

Meet ReachBot, the Reaching Robot

Retractable metal tape measures are a wonderfully useful design for their main purpose and a lot of fun for other purposes. Robotics engineers at Stanford University have found another great use for them in making a small robot move around in uneven, unfamiliar terrain. ReachBot uses four retractable tape measures to move about the way Spider-Man hops between buildings using his webs. The robot pushes a tape measure out, grabs something, and then pulls itself to closer to the object by retracting the tape measure. By using a combination of all four tape measures, it can navigate in whatever direction it needs to go. The prototype above uses real-world tape measures, either for their convenience or to show us the concept in a manner we all understand. Great idea, either way. The goal is to develop robots that can explore other planets, including their caves and deep valleys where other robots would become stuck. It would make a pretty cool toy, too.

Eel Humor

(via Fark)

Nerf Star Wars

Kylo Ren chases our hero from the Resistance into the woods to finish him off- with plastic darts. If the characters in Star Wars fought each other with Nerf guns, there wouldn't be nearly as many deaths. Not that it matters; they all come back sooner or later anyway. This video from Nukazooka is a throwback to the days when friends got together to cosplay and have lightsaber battles with the excuse that they were making a Star Wars fan film. No budget was necessary, and we had Sweded Star Wars scenes hitting the internet every day. It was fun. (via Geeks Are Sexy)

TP Thief

(via Fark)

Plowing Snow with a Motorized Toilet

David Goldberg owns a hardware store in Bethesda, Maryland. Last summer he built a motorized toilet as a parade entry, and eventually won several awards for his creation. He calls it “Loo-cy.” When it came time to shovel all that snow on the sidewalk in front of his store, Goldberg figured Loo-cy could do a better job of it than his shovel. So he attached a plow to the front and cleared the whole block in no time! Now, don’t you wish you had a toilet snowplow? (via Uproxx)

Tweet of the Day

(Thanks, WTM!)

Friday, February 03, 2023



Some years ago, Playing for Change gathered child musicians and singers from all over the world to collaborate on the song "Celebration," originally by Kool & the Gang, to celebrate Universal Children's Day, which is November 20. It's quite joyous!

The Sign Guy

You'll find more here. (Thanks, WTM!)

Things Discovered by Accident

You may have heard some of these stories before, but you haven't heard all 13 of them! I might argue with the inclusion of Nutella, which doesn't seem to be an accident at all, but it's still an interesting story. They all are! (via Digg)

Happy Memory

Funny or poignant? A commenter at Instagram said, 
People underestimate how such compliments from strangers can brighten someone's day. As I was on vacation in Australia a random teenager yelled over to me: "Hey mate, awesome shirt!" complimenting my Watchmen shirt. I think about it regularly since almost a decade ago. ❤️
And another said, 
In 2011 I was a sad, chubby, shy sophomore from Germany at an american boarding school. During a shopping trip to the next town, a brown haired, cool-looking woman in her thirties said "Cool shirt" to me while passing me at a thrift store. Still thankful for that comment. It made me feel so much better, and I started complimenting others, too, just to see their faces light up. Random acts of kindness, however small, can mean the world to the person in front of you ♥️♥️♥️ Thank you, awesome stranger, I still think of you!
 There were more along those lines. Saying something or not might make no difference to you at all, but you never know when it could mean the world to the person you are complimenting. This comic is from Martin Rosner (HotPaper).

Traffic Tip

I am grateful they drew a red circle around the sign; otherwise I would have never read it. (Thanks, WTM!)


Felix Colgrave (previously one, two, three, and four) brings us a surreal and colorful animated video with a delightful retro vibe. This cartoon starts out following a shipment of discarded toy parts to the bottom of the ocean. You assume it's some kind of an allegory for microplastic pollution. But they start to take on a life of their own, and self-assemble into weirder and weirder creatures. You then realize this is an experimental animation, and you may as well enjoy it for what it is. He tells us this is an "exploration of ocean plastic, avatars and adaptive bottom feeders. The musical!" It was inspired by toy parts belonging to his two-year-old son that he calls donks. Thrown together, they make some pretty interesting toys. (via reddit)

Miss Cellania's Links

The Cage Gauge: 100 Nicolas Cage Movies Ranked. Note at the top of the page that the list comes in three links. (via Metafilter)

If men were to bear the pain of labor. It's not what you expect.

The first hour of a GOP-led House committee's meeting was a food fight over saying the Pledge of Allegiance. (via Fark)

Teasing out the secret recipes for mummification in ancient Egypt. (via Digg)  

Baby Map flashes every time a baby is born in that country. Watch for a while and you'll see patterns emerging. 

How to distress your jeans with a cat.

Why store-bought chicken broth is nothing like homemade chicken broth. (via Damn Interesting)

For the 20th anniversary of Dinosaur Comics, creator Ryan North posted a special giant-size update. Read the blog post underneath, too. (via Metafilter)

A blast from the past (2015): The Fifth Marx Brother.


(Thanks, WTM!)


In this short film by Evelien Lohbeck, the computer’s fan sets off a chain reaction a la Rube Goldberg. But the action returns to the computer, where the chain reaction continues on the digital screen, although in a strangely mechanical way. There’s a lot packed into a minute. No, you don’t have to understand all of it to enjoy it. (via Viral Viral Videos)

Tweet of the Day

(via Everlasting Blort)

Thursday, February 02, 2023


Can't really blame them after all the hoopla. (via Bad Newspaper)

Love is in the Air

Simon Tofield's annual Valentine cartoon is out. This year, Simon's Cat is once again trying to woo the fair feline maiden Chloe, but none of it goes right. She certainly is charming chasing a butterfly, but then she eats it, which might turn off some suitors. Not Simon's Cat! This cartoon makes me glad that Valentine's Day comes way too early for allergy season.

Artificial Intelligence Does a Sign Language Guide

It did not turn out well. (via reddit)