Microsoft Office 97 came with a virtual assistant named Clippy, an animated paper clip. He could be helpful if you had no idea what you were doing, but as you mastered the program, Clippy became more annoying by the day. He was cute, but could be snarky at times, and always managed to treat you like an idiot. But Clippy managed to escape his original job and became a meme, so now he is less an annoyance and more of nostalgic reminder of 1990s computer culture. You wouldn't be at all surprised that the guy who created Clippy was a children's book illustrator. Kevan J. Atteberry tells the story of how Clippy came about. (via Nag on the Lake)
Saturday, June 10, 2023
The Illustrator Who Gave Us Clippy
Why We Should Be Thankful for Anesthesia
Modern medicine has made things so much easier for us, with vaccines, antibiotics, chemotherapy, and anesthesia. But surgery itself is pretty old. What was that like before we had knockout drugs? Do you really want to know? Back then you didn't want surgery ever, unless it was a life-or-death situation. Yeah, you could drink alcohol, but that made uncontrollable bleeding more likely. Harder drugs were tried, but they might just kill you. But this TED-Ed video is not all about the agony of surgery while awake, but goes through the history of how proper anesthetics were developed. It was a bumpy ride from there to where we are now. (via Digg)
Cats just love those enclosed spaces! Ignoramusky compiled a collection of clips featuring cats putting themselves into bags and boxes, against all odds, because that is what they want. (via Tastefully Offensive)
Tweet of the Day
They’re better than me 😂pic.twitter.com/K0jBiSb3I0— Pier Pets (@PierPets) May 31, 2023
Friday, June 09, 2023
Expiration DatesAren't What You Think
To get the most out of the food you buy, you need to learn how much you are able to use while it's still good, or how much you can store properly if you find it on sale. Canned goods and dry goods are easy, because they can go a long time before losing any quality. But how about fresh and refrigerated foods? Frozen food? You can read up on recommended storage techniques to get the most time out of stored food, but most people just go by the dates stamped on the product. The thing is, these aren't really "expiration dates"as we've come to call them, but some other metric determined by the seller... and not by any government agency. Sometimes they are just tracking numbers so that teh store can rotate in new stock properly. Learn how to use those dates as they were intended, and you may end up wasting a lot less food that you've already paid for! (via Damn Interesting)
Dancing While Falling
The only way I would deliberately jump out of a plane is if the alternative is crashing, but some folks love the rush of skydiving. And when you seek adrenaline like that, you are always trying to up the ante. These folks managed to all sync up and hold hands while falling head first toward earth at terminal velocity. Just watching the video gives you a rush from the speed and the weird orientation.
We don't have any information on who these people are, how high they started out, or where they are skydiving. The most I could count at once was 18, meaning 17 in the frame plus the videographer. There may have been more. How many planes does this kind of stunt require? (via Born in Space)
Miss Cellania's Links
What explains the rise of noise complaints and get-off-my-lawn violence in America? Research points to one intriguing possibility. (via Digg)
A Calvinist and Hobbesian look at Meatball Ron. The latest from Tom the Dancing Bug.
Pizza Hut Is Launching a Pickle Pizza and I’m Furious.
Great White Sharks Come Much Closer to Swimmers Than Thought in Southern California.
46 Books That Changed the World.
Historians are learning more about how the Nazis targeted trans people.
How Long Have You Had Those Hiccups?
The Psychiatrist Who Won a Nobel Prize for Treating Syphilis With Malaria.
Accidental Flying Cat
Stowaways come in all shapes and sizes. French pilot Romain Jantot did his preflight checklist, but did not specifically scan for flying cats before he took a woman for a ride in his ultralight plane in Kourou, French Guiana. The cat was well hidden, but apparently woke up during the flight and slowly approached the pilot to ask something like, “What the hell is going on?” (Que se passe-t-il? Mettez-moi en bas à droite en ce moment! Es-tu fou?)
Jantot’s face when he notices the cat is priceless. As is the cat’s. The plane immediately heads back to the runway to offload the kitty. Jantot said, “The cat is doing well, she is still our mascot.” But she probably won’t be napping on the wing again anytime soon. (via reddit)
Tweet of the Day
The slap express 😂 pic.twitter.com/vqPHOawP4G— Pier Pets (@PierPets) May 31, 2023
Thursday, June 08, 2023
Over 70, Not Pregnant
Who says classical music concerts have to be serious? (via Boing Boing)
Rescue of a Helpless Baby Bat
Eddie is a flying fox, a species of megabat that eats fruit. Eddie was found all alone at an amusement park, and the staff there contacted Rhi Batty, a wildlife rehabilitator who knows all about bats. She figured that Eddie was born premature, and could not successfully cling to his flying mother as other flying foxes do. So Eddie got round-the-clock care until he was big enough to fend for himself. That was enough time for Rhi to fall in love with Eddie, and for Eddie to fall in love with Rhi. That adorable little face may change the way you feel about bats.