Monday, August 31, 2009

Good Reads and Information

Why our sun makes a figure eight in the sky every year. It’s complicated.

The Ten Most Shocking Olympic Gender Scandals. Yeah, it should be “sex scandals,” but that title would lead you to think they were about sexual behavior.

Can a cat do a scientific experiment? We weren’t sure until she repeated it, just like a scientist is obligated to.

What can you do for a schizophrenic 6-year-old? There are no proper services available. The story continues on a blog. (via Metafilter)

Window replacement is one of the least cost-effective ways to make your home more energy-efficient. If you do it for the tax credit, be sure to read the fine print.

A love story of Olympic proportions. 25 years later, Al Joyner sees Flo Jo every day, in their daughter. (via Metafilter)

Rare Photographs of Now Extinct Beasts.

Government health insurance explained in simple terms.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Stairway to Heaven on Harp

Performed by YouTube user CKania13. Lovely! (via Arbroath)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Fun Links

Rainbow cake!

The 6 Most Horrific Bosses of All Time. Read this and be thankful for OSHA, unions, and minimum wage laws.

The original Zoom Quilt Project. Hold your mouse button down; let go when you become late for work.

10 joke technologies that became reality. Now I’m convinced that Think Geek should post a money tree on April Fool’s Day, 2010.

5 Reasons Why "House, M.D." Is Science Fiction. This explains why I like it even though it centers around an unlikable character.

Get your insulin ready for an overdose of adorable. Here are nine videos of cute little bunny rabbits falling asleep.

The Snuggie Sutra could be very useful for those who like sex, but don't necessarily want to see their partner naked. Or who don't want to be seen naked.

Have you ever been hypnotized by a cat? You might not realize that they do this all the time. (via Gorilla Mask)

The weirdest news stories of the week.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ten Pigs We Love

Pop culture is full of cute, smart, and talented pigs that we love. Sure, you adore bacon, but this list is going whole hog! One thing you won’t find here is swine flu, because we don’t love that. See the biggest and brightest in this list I posted at mental_floss.

Information Links

The Unfortunate Sex Life of the Banana. Bananas as we know them are all hybrid clones not found in nature, which leaves them in danger of sudden extinction.

30 Classic Games for Simple Outdoor Play. Nice to have the goals and rules spelled out for parents with poor memories, but where was this post in June when I needed it?

100 Ways to Use a Strip of Bacon. Relax, they all involve something good to eat.

Debt: The first five thousand years. The history of how we came to be beholden is linked to slavery, violence, and greed.

The Boy Who Heard Too Much. Blind teenager Matthew Weigman used his “telephone superpowers” to run a crime spree from his bedroom.

Physicist Richard Feynman explains why a mirror switches your left and right, but doesn’t switch your up and down. He also makes other points about mirrors that can lead to more head scratching.

Meet the forgotten 90 percent of your brain: glial cells, which outnumber your neurons ten to one. And no one really knows what they do.

Just as we thought: those environmental experiments people put themselves through are gimmicks to sell books. And why not? These stunts work better now than they did for Thoreau! (via The Popcorn Trick)

The Holy Mountain

A 1973 film by Alejandro Jodorowsky. Read more about it at Wikipedia. (via YesButNoButYes)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fun Links

In case you missed it, this site is now four years old! The celebration post, with a heap of videos, is at Miss Cellania. Jonco made the picture for his anniversary greeting.

A western tale dramatized entirely by monkeys. And a dog named Plastic.

How to defeat your toddler using karate techniques. The farce is strong with this one!

Due to there being an unprecedented twelve coffee cups needing to be cleaned in the sink at work, it is understandable that Shannon would be outraged by this intrusion on her facebook and looking out the window time.

Raptors have dreams, too. (via YesButNoButYes)

The Top 20 Jewish Comedians of All-Time. Plus the chance to vote for your favorite.

Shitmydadsays is a Twitter feed of the things Justin’s dad says. It’s a hoot, but NSFW. (via Buzzfeed)

British police politely asked the Climate Camp to advise them of their schedule and locations so they can be there to protect and serve. Climate Camp replied with an equally polite video explaining that the answer is no. (via Boing Boing)

Le Freak

Performed by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Rise of the Flapper

Several factors were in play in the 1920s for the emergence of what came to known as flappers, teenagers and young women who flaunted convention and spent their time pursuing fun instead of settling down to raise children in the prime of their lives. Many entered college or the workforce and felt entitled to make their own decisions about how to live their lives. Learn more in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

Fun Links

Bad Designs in the Star Wars Universe. Yes, a robot that can save the world but can’t go down steps or speak English is a major design flaw.

If it’s ever been spilled by the truckload, it’s probably on Oh, you didn’t know horse blood and whale guts were transported by truck?

21 Oddly Named Places and the Stories Behind Them. I’ve managed to live near three of these in my life and never knew their stories until now. (via J-Walk Blog)

The Top Ten Daredevils (of the past and present). You can probably guess number one, and maybe number two, but have you heard about the 63-year-old woman who went over Niagara Falls in a barrel?

It’s both cute and awkward when a star struck fan gets to interview Rupert Grint from the Harry Potter movie series. You don’t have to understand a word to know what’s going on.

A woman saw a bear in her backyard, but there is no footage, or even a picture of the actual bear. How do you make a compelling video report for the evening news?

The Beloit College mindset list for the class of 2013, mostly born in 1991. This annual list can make you feel downright arthritic, but Britney Spears is NOT played on MY classic rock station.

Shimura Zoo’s chimpanzee celebrity Pan-kun is shown some magic tricks. He is the perfect audience for this type of entertainment, but to us, he IS the entertainment.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Links for Fun and Entertainment

Wizard Rap Battle. Harry Potter and Voldemort are bustin' rhymes to decide the fate of the magical world.

Man And His Dog. A collection of photos guaranteed to make you go "Aww". (via the Presurfer)

When a storm sewer overflows, it seriously overflows! Watch where the manhole cover ends up in this video.

A slideshow of the 25 best redneck wedding photographs ever. The photos are real. The weddings may or may not be real. A

Two girls, one bicycle. You have to wonder how many injuries they sustained to become the best in this odd sport.

How does a child really feel when he finds out he's going to have a little brother or sister? Put yourself in his place, and consider how you would feel. (via Now That's Nifty)

Sugar Gliders can be cute but frightening pets. Unless you live to be leaped on, as this collection of videos shows.

10 Nursery Rhymes and Their Origins. Although some origins are just conjecture, they make more sense than the rhymes themselves do. (via Unique Daily)

Cat Under a Bed Sheet

(via Arbroath)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Informative Links

The ultimate backyard status symbol is a tree that has been to the moon. There are hundreds of them, and most are unaccounted for.

For kids with xeroderma pigmentosum, sunshine is deadly. It was magic when the New York Yankees put together a night to remember for these kids who never get to do normal things. (via YesButNoButYes)

The Top Ten Notorious American Biker Gangs. There are plenty of others; these are just the ones getting all the headlines. (via Gorilla Mask)

How to harvest honey from a bee hive. A sweet and scary job that’s best left to those who know what they are doing.

The Best Science Visualization Videos of 2009. Earthquakes and plasma and nuclear reactors, oh my!

Get a peek into how scientists think and converse with two posts and comments about relativity. How fast can a stadium wave go, and does it matter anyway?

11 Things You Didn't Know About Pinball History. Trouble with a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for pinball. (via Neatorama)

The Business of Human Smuggling on the Mexican Border, part one and part two. The author visits Altar, Mexico, a crossroads of drug dealing and emigrants waiting to enter the US.

Adopt a Dog

It may need just a little training. (via the Presurfer)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Amazing Life of Audie Murphy

Audie Murphy was a star in more ways than one. He was the most decorated hero of World War II, after being rejected for service because of his youth and size. He returned from war hailed as a hero, only to see hard times once again as he tried to find civilian employment. But that was just the beginning of his story, as he became a movie star, songwriter, veteran’s advocate, and a role model as you’ll see in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

Fighting Fire with Grace

Former Ku Klux Klan leader Johnny Lee Clary talks about how Wade Watts singlehandedly defeated the Klan.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Good Reads and Information

Details Magazine ranks the top 25 fast food items in America. Even though I've never had one, I could have guessed their pick for #1.

The 100 Most Iconic TV Show Intros Of All Time. Scroll through to find your favorites, or skip to the top ten (like I did).

You've heard about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer? Here's the math.

10 Must-Dos for the First Week of College. "Find a date" can wait until week two.

Why Humans Don't Have Fur. Could it be because of all those fleas?

How to select and use screws and nails correctly. (via Interesting Pile)

What Does it Take to Really Disappear? Matthew Alan Sheppard found out faking your own death is not as simple as it looks.

7 Awesome Acts of Nature (That Science Can't Explain).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

7 Flowcharts for Fun

The funny flowchart is a subject I keep coming back to, because there's a never-ending supply of geeks with great ideas they put in chart form on every subject imaginable. Today, it's the fourth installment of funny flowcharts in this post I did for mental_floss.

Fun Links

The burning question is, how much time did Bill Murray spend stuck in a time loop in the movie Groundhog Day? Wolf Gnards combs through the clues for a definitive answer.

Small Penis Alert! Don't pee in my building unless you see a toilet.

The 5 Stages of Grief, applied to everyday situations. We may have a new unified theory for all human behavior.

I've had a lot of fun with a generator that marries random Twitter updates with the graphics from Dinosaur Comics. Refresh often for more surrealism. (via Metafilter)

Invent is a creative printer ad that Hewlett-Packard ought to use and pay the creators well. Don't ask me how much is really paper and how much of it is special effects.

Little Big Love. A bittersweet short film about a robot who falls in love with a teapot. Cute AND creepy.

The top 10 workplace time wasters. Being on this list is my goal in life.

The 30 Weirdest Shoes in the World. Going barefoot never looked so good!

His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz

Written and directed by L. Frank Baum, who wrote the original story in 1914.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Informative Links

In America, Crazy Is a Preexisting Condition. If history is any indication, passionate outrage is a political staple.

Seven Historical Figures Who Married Their Cousins. You'd expect this sort of thing of royal families so they aren't included.

Using pesticides in your garden can make life simpler for the moment, but it's like "like squirting your fairy godmother with Clorox." Instead, make friends with The Good Bugs.

Getting Cancer in a 'Hell Hole' Socialist Country.

A visit to the Kriminalmuseum in Vienna yields a couple of chilling stories of torture and murder. One may have even inspired one of Mozart's biggest hits.

If you only watch one astronomy video this year, make it The Hubble Deep Field in 3D. Getting a taste of how big our universe is can make you feel very small.

Is it OK to eat moldy foods? According to the USDA, some are OK if you take the mold off; others not so much. (via Make)

A Malignant Melanoma Walks Into a Bar... Relatively young cancer patients are fighting back with their sense of humor. (via Metafilter)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Fun Links

The Ultra Easy Internet Locator is an online GPS locator you can use wherever you are. It's both simple and free! (via the Presurfer)

Four perfectly round circles. You might be able to see them all at once, but believe me, they are there.

Behind the scenes at Sesame Street. The Muppeteers make it look so easy -and so fun!

23 Movie Plots That Could Have Been Solved in Minutes. A Photoshop contest that makes everything seem so simple.

Time-lapse video of blooming roses. A simple idea, well-executed, with a gorgeous result.

Singles, an award-winning animated short from Rebecca Sugar.

This is a pretty straightforward website for Fujinon Binoculars, but if you take a peek at the source code, you'll see they are a little obsessive about their 8-point font. (via b3ta)

The Ukraine's Got Talent TV show competition was won by Kseniya Simonova, who is a sand artist. She gives an amazing performance, but would this art even make it past the auditions in the US?

L'eau Life

Water recreation in water colors. With a surprise ending. (via Everlasting Blort)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

7 TV Celebrities Your Parents Loved

The trailer for the new movie Julie & Julia brings back fond memories. Julia Child was the first voice impression I perfected as a teenager. My kids have no idea who she was. At the same time, they know who Billy Mays was and I didn’t until his recent death made the news. That caused me to think about the celebrities my generation shared and of whom those of you who are under 35 probably have no experience. It didn’t take long to think of a half-dozen people who achieved television fame in the 60s, 70s, and 80s even though they weren’t actors or singers. Meet them in this article I wrote for mental_floss. Since most folks who visit this site are older, this will be a walk down memory lane for you!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Good Reads and Info

Some people believe the BS about "death panels" under the proposed new US health care plan. The problem is, we already have them under the current system, and they don't belong to the government. (via Simply Left Behind)

It's the wild west of the internet, where anonymous users invent new memes, plot hack attacks, and post child porn. Find out what really goes on at 4chan, without having to actually go to 4chan. (via Boing Boing)

Decidophobia, or ten ways people go to great lengths to avoid making a decision. We all want freedom of choice but would rather stall for time than make the wrong decision. (via Metafilter)

Thousands of people live up to receive free vision and dental care in Appalachia. 4,000 teeth were pulled in three days from the mouths of people who can't afford regular dental checkups.

Top Five Most Respected Military Geniuses. All the technology in the world can't out perform a commander who was born to lead.

My Father, The Inglourious Basterd. The real story that inspired Quentin Tarantino's Nazi revenge movie is even better than the Hollywood version.

Adjustable-focus eyeglasses could mean clear sight for millions who don't have access to optometrists. And mean money saved for those who do.

Ethiopia's passion for bureaucracy. A few more rubber stamps means that no one wants to take responsibility for anything.

The Marijuana Menace

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Look What the Dog Swallowed!

It’s been said that dogs will eat anything, whether it tastes good or not, and regardless of whether it is edible. Some dogs not only eat weird things, but they eat as much of it as they can. Here are eight recent stories that illustrate that point, in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

Fun and Funny Links

The World's Weirdest Ice Cream Flavors. Cucumber with Cayenne seems to be the most normal of the list.

Most ridiculous exercise equipment of all time. I feel for the models who are so desperate for work that they will appear in these ads. (via Everlasting Blort)

Aboxalypse Now. A roundup of excessive packaging that will make your eyes pop. 17 boxes for 34 sheets of paper? (via Dark Roasted Blend)

Ten Drugs You Shouldn't Do While Driving. Yes, this could have been a simple list, but a video is way funnier!

The Ballad of G.I. Joe. A video that sheds light on what all those heroes and villains do in their spare time.

Having a n00b for a boyfriend can be really embarrassing to your parents. Will true love conquer all prejudices?

Photobombs are when extraneous people ruin your pictures by overstepping their welcome. See some fine examples of the art.

The story behind the squirrel photobomber.


The Village People from 1978. (via Amy Oops)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Informative Links

Combine bored sailors, a long voyage, and seven-pound teeth, and you get a new art form. Read how scrimshaw arose from the whaling industry.

Love in the Time of Leprosy. A true tale of life in an American leper colony.

The real story behind the Little House books. The children's books don't hold a candle to the dramatic real lives of the authors.

The Texas Library Association is selling a 2010 calendar called "The Tattooed Ladies of TLA," featuring 21 inked librarians. It's a fund raiser to assist libraries that are still recovering from damage caused by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

On the Trail of a Serial Killer in Macedonia. It took years for anyone to realize there was a pattern of missing women and start looking for the Kičevo Monster. (via Metafilter)

Cahokia, the ancient city on the Mississippi where St. Louis is now, flourished in the 12th century and was an center of commerce. Archaeologists are also finding evidence of human sacrifice, which flies in the face of conventional wisdom about Native Americans.

An atmosphere made of titanium oxide? The Kepler Space Telescope is showing us how very different planets outside our solar system can be.

The history of dirt. How old is dirt, and where did it come from, anyway?

Furry Happy Monsters

R.E.M. appears on Sesame Street for a slightly-altered version of Shiny Happy People, complete with a Kate Pierson monster. (via mental_floss)

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Match Your Mood

All the sudden I have the urge to buy a 40-year-old refrigerator in psychedelic paisley. (via Fuzzytopia)

Friday, August 07, 2009

Friday Fun Links

Translation Party is where you can type in an English phrase and have it translated into Japanese and back again, several times until it gets as funny as it can be. Check out this one. (via the Presurfer)

10 Unfortunately Named Drinks.

Uncanny Old Gags. Artist Gary Lee-Nova takes panels from old Nancy comic strips and combines them into something much funnier than the original. (via Boing Boing)

I don't have any information on this animated short except that it's from Russia. And it's pleasantly weird.

25 Creatively or Humorously Altered Signs. I especially like what people have made of a simple stop sign. (via Gorilla Mask)

Seven unconventional uses for heavy construction equipment. The human operator is doing the job, just in an awesomely massive and powerful way.

If you enjoyed WTF Taxidermy, you'll also like Crappy Taxidermy. Some items are art pieces and some are just plain bad.

The weirdest news stories of the week.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Musical Cats of the Internet!

Cats and music go together like Romeo and Juliet, rest and relaxation, or green eggs and ham. No one really knows why, but there they are: cats playing piano, cats in a piano, a catcerto, and of course, keyboard cat in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

Links for Fun

31 Unbelievable High School Mascots. My favorite is the Arkansas School for the Deaf Leopards.

Neighbors at war, part one and part two. Something is seriously wrong when a person thinks they can force someone else to move lawn chairs out of their own backyard.

This crazy dream may give you nightmares. Or it might just give you a few laughs.

Choose Your Own Apocalypse. Select your favorite scenarios out of 144 possible ways for America to collapse, and compare your picks with those of other people. (via Boing Boing)

Guess the Google
. From the images shown, can you guess what the search term was? (via Bits and Pieces)

Before he died, actor Heath Ledger was directing an animated music video for Modest Mouse's song “King Rat”. The video has finally been completed.

In theaters now: Gotta Dance. Finally, a film that captures the adventures of a bunch of sexy senior citizens trying out for an NBA hip-hop dance team.

Charles Nelson Reilly, the new song from Weird Al Yankovic. Watch out Chuck Norris, you have competition!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Good Reads

Feral Houses of Detroit. An estimated 10,000 homes are empty and Mother Nature is claiming many of them. (via Everlasting Blort)

The International System of Typographic Picture Education is better known to us as pictograms. The system featuring a round-headed man was invented by Austrian philosopher Otto Neurath and German artist Gernd Arntz, who called them Isotypes for short. (via Metafilter)

Which Site Has The Stupidest Commenters On The Web? They failed to mention Cracked. (via Look at This)

Our health care system is fine just the way it is! The conservative argument in shortened form. Bonus: Why the Public Option Sucks.

Politicians with ties to the insurance industry are keeping the U.S. from real health care reform. No duh!

After Combat, Victims of an Inner War. The number of suicides reported by the Army has risen to the highest level since record-keeping began three decades ago.

High Risk, High Reward. A blow-by-blow account of how John McCain chose Sarah Palin to be his running mate.

Which one of these fribbles looks more intelligent? How you answer may have more to do with whether you are left-handed than with your judgment. (via Metafilter)

Sports Acrobatics

I am amazed.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

7 More Mysterious Ape-men

When I began to research cryptid apelike creatures from around the world, I was amazed at how many there were, from almost every corner of the earth. After posting 9 Mysterious Ape-men from Around the World last week, there were plenty left to investigate. They may be legends, illusions, or real animals we can’t identify, but they are all quite interesting. Read about seven more in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

Fun Links

Make your own "Crunchy Frog" confection made famous in the classic Monty Python sketch using Gummi frogs, Pop Rocks, and chocolate. "If we took the bones out it wouldn't be crunchy would it?"

10 Ways to Vent Your Job Frustration Online. With so many people out of work, you might feel guilty about complaining, so these activities might help you work off steam.

If you thought Jill and Kevin’s wedding entrance was exceptional, you should see what they did for the divorce!

Top 10 Ironic Ads From History. Sometimes a wonderful ad campaign will come back to bite years later. (via Boing Boing)

The 10 Manliest Names Ever belong to soldiers and strongmen. I wouldn't want to backtalk any of them.

Microwave dinners usually don't look like the picture on the front of the package. In this quiz, you'll be given a picture of what the food actually looks like. Can you tell which box the pictured food came out of? (via b3ta)

Zombie Boot Camp. Looks like learning to stumble around and rot requires intensive training.

Watch this Indian acrobat they call the Monkey King. Spider Man has nothing on this guy!

Betty Boop. MD

Monday, August 03, 2009

Information Links

Science fiction warned us, now real world scientists are becoming concerned. How will we control robots that are too smart for us?

11 Famous People Who Were in the Completely Wrong Career at Age 30. See? It's never too late to shift gears when you find your calling.

The World's Biggest Messes. These environmental disasters make my kids' messy rooms look practically sanitary in comparison.

10 Incidents of Cannibalism. As repulsive as the practice is, there's a world of difference between eating corpses to survive and killing people to eat.

Marvin Heemeyer spent a year and a half modifying a bulldozer into an "armored vehicle of vengeance". In 2004, he rampaged through the town of Granby, Colorado, smashing vehicles and buildings, including the homes of those he felt had plotted against him.

The Mysterious Downfall of the Neandertals. The standard theories of why they disappeared don't hold up, so scientists are looking in new directions.

Respect For the Fungus Overlords. The Loom explains the details of zombie ants and the fungus that controls their lives and deaths.

Crows can recognize individual people, but can you recognize a particular crow in a photo lineup? NPR presents the quiz and an accompanying video about crow research. (via the Presurfer)

Ice Cream and Cake

(via YesButNoButYes)

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Hill of Beans

Not exactly as you remember it. (Thanks, John!)