Monday, November 30, 2009

Funny Links

31 Unbelievable, Ridiculous, or Funny High School Mascots.

LOLcats turn tragedy into comedy, Shakespeare-style! They don't really care for King Lear, however.

All 193% of Republicans Support Palin, Romney and Huckabee. The support isn't so surprising, but the use of a pie chart for this kind of data is.

Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal reviews Twilight.

Nine Obscure Holidays in December.

The Muppets perform Bohemian Rhapsody. Think of this as a holiday gift.

5 Star Wars Status Updates on Facebook. Awkward moments from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Jalopnik asked its readers for suggestions on what vehicles would be best for surviving and traveling in a post-apocalyptic world. Nine existing vehicles and one semi-fictional vehicle were selected. (via the Presurfer)

Homemade Thrill Ride

A piece of farm machinery gets adapted to recreation. Whee! Whatever you do, don't try this when you've been drinking. (via Woosk)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Must Be Santa

By Bob Dylan, from his album Christmas in the Heart. (via J-Walk Blog)

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Voice of Florence Nightingale

Pioneering professional nurse Florence Nightingale was already 70 years old when she recorded this snippet for Thomas Edison and posterity in 1890. This recording has been redubbed to different formats and speed-corrected at least once, so the legibility after 119 years is due to Nightingale's slow and overdramatic delivery. (via the Presurfer)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day Reading

Adults Fooled by Visual Illusion, But Not Kids. It takes years for someone to learn how to be distracted by context.

Shaolin Monk balances his body on two fingers. Supposedly, there are only two people in the world who can do this.

Since the 1997 Kyoto accord to fight global warming, climate change has worsened and accelerated worse than we ever thought possible.

James Earl Jones owes his acting career to his efforts to overcome stuttering. The actor opens up about his personal life and history as he prepares to do Tennessee Williams in London.

The Jewish Autonomous Region of the Soviet Union was never autonomous, and isn't very Jewish. Even its history is hard to access.

The Black Friday website, with loads of information for holiday shoppers who want to get the goods they want early and cheap.

The Coldest Places on Earth. When your home is a little chilly, be glad you don't live in Yakutsk, Russia.

Hi De Ho

Cab Calloway and the Muppets, from an appearance on Sesame Street. (via Metafilter)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Informative Links

The Mother Nature we rarely see. Feast your eyes on the winners of the Olympus BioScapes 2009 digital imaging competition.

Foreign Afflictions: Mental Disorders across Country Borders. Are mental illnesses in other cultures really different, or are the underlying processes the same with different manifestations?

Popular Mechanic's Guide to the Perfect Deep-Fried Turkey. Not just a recipe, but a detailed explanation of why it's the best way to cook your Thanksgiving bird.

You can Eat Like the Pilgrims this Thanksgiving, but it might not be like any normal holiday meal you've ever had.

Golden retrievers + atoms = science! Sixteen very well-behaved dogs explain the structure of atoms in a manner even my youngest child can understand.

What would Earth look like if it had rings like Saturn? In a word: stunning.

Americans consume around 46 million Turkeys over the Thanksgiving holiday. How do farmers produce so many birds for a one-day celebration?

The Denver Post recently uncovered a collection of photographs taken by William Pennington and Lisle Updike between 1915 and 1920. The photographers' hobby was taking portraits of Native Americans.

Ukrainian Children Got Talent

7-year-old Jurij and 6-year-old Karina perform on Ukraine's Got Talent. (via the Presurfer)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

5 Odd Holiday Dishes

Serving traditional holiday foods can be a great way to bond with family members and create lasting memories. It can also become boring after so many years. Every once in a while, you want to change things around just for the sake of change. These five variations on tradition Thanksgiving foods might be a hits, or they may make your meal one of those stories of disastrous holidays we tell for years to come. My advice is to try only one wacky menu variation per year, lest your guests end up leaving hungry. See how you can add anchovies, vodka, bananas, and more to your feast in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

Fun Links

Close Encounters of the Redneck Kind.

Watch Stefanie Germanotta perform at an NYU Talent Show. She would later make a name for herself as Lady Gaga.

What can you expect out of a game called Knife Throw? I killed the girl several times before I figured out how to play it!

7 Popular 'Chick Flicks' That Secretly Hate Women. I could think of many more, especially "You've Got Mail".

Illustrator Christoph Niemann looks at the identification of leaves in a whole new way. See a collection of leaves from trees you never knew existed, like the Fast Forwood and the Alder Ego.

Can't decide what kind of pie to serve after Thanksgiving dinner? Make them all in one pie pan! Cakespy experimented with pecan, apple, and pumpkin pie recipes to make this triple threat. (via Unique Daily)

In Japan, Hall's Cough Drops will cause ugly little birds to sprout from your chest. Since this what they pay to advertise, it must be a good thing.

Goodnight, Keith Moon.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Good Reads and Information

101 Ways to Get Ahead on Thanksgiving Cooking. You might save yourself enough time and stress to enjoy the parade on TV. (via Lifehacker)

Not all mom and pop businesses are worth saving, but those who serve their community the old-fashioned way have a place. This look at Busy Bee Hardware in Detroit shows just why. (via Metafilter)

Subways provide a great laboratory for psychology experiments. Here are some things we've learned over the years from strangers crowded together in a moving tube.

The remote Mustang caves of Nepal are yielding treasures and artworks that lead explorers to think it may be the legendary Shangri-La.

Before They Came to America: Giants of Hong Kong Cinema. You know the names, but you probably don't know their history.

20 Things You Didn't Know About Sugar. Pick and choose the facts you need to bolster your argument for an extra dessert tonight.

How (and why) did Twilight become such a phenomenon? It's not just because preteen girls are smitten with vampires -older women are, too.

Why We Eat What We Eat On Thanksgiving. Traditions may go way back, but many of them don't go back as far as the Pilgrims.

Short Letterpress Documentary

I appreciate traditional print so much more after watching this.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

My Friend the Leopard Seal

National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen shares his encounter with an Antarctic leopard seal. More here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Fun Links

Will turkeys respond to beatboxing any sooner than plain turkey calls? Well, you also have to factor in the giggling.

Children re-enact the First Thanksgiving. And and then go on to illustrate a big chunk of American history.

Six Crazy Internet Money Making Ideas (That Worked). The problem is that they most likely work a second time. (via Gorilla Mask)

Sidney the baby otter plays with his toys. I bet you haven't seen anything this adorable all week.

How Not to Take Over a Country: The Six Most Ridiculous Invasion Attempts in Military History. There are always a few folks with grand delusions who miss some vital detail, like resistance. (via Unique Daily)

Most Awesome Lifetime Movie Titles Ever. (via Gorilla Mask)

In horse racing: Your Guide to the Dictator's Cup.

NASA needs lots of help sorting through the hundreds of thousands of images they've collected from the surface of Mars. To enlist volunteer participation, they developed the online game Be A Martian, in which players analyze data and collect points. (via Metafilter)

Pigeon Impossible

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Run Your Life with Flowcharts!

Decisions, decisions -you make them constantly about big and little things. Daily decision making might be easier for you if you used these handy flowcharts. On the other hand, they might wreck your life! Choose wisely, but enjoy the ride in these seven flowcharts I listed at mental_floss.

Good Reads and Information

Reprogramming brains with algae DNA and lights sounds like an evil plan for world domination. In this case, the aim is to cure patients of debilitating diseases.

The murders that inspired the book In Cold Blood happened 50 years ago this week. Here's a look back at the crime, the book written about it, and how the town of Holcomb, Kansas has dealt with its notoriety. (via Metafilter)

7 Badass Vikings. Funny how a few murderous berserkers can give an entire ethnic group a bad name.

Famous Globsters. Basically, a globster is a blobby-looking, unidentifiable carcass that has washed up on a shore somewhere.

Have you cleaned your computer lately? You don't want yours to end up in this gallery of dirty, dirty PCs.

National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen made friends with an Antarctic leopard seal. It was mostly a one-way relationship, as the seal considered him to be helpless and not-too-bright.

7 Famous Phrases Famous People Own. Oh, you can say them, but you might get a bill afterward.

Oxford Word of the Year 2009 is Unfriend. With friends like these, who needs unfriends?

Adorable Moment from The Today Show

"At first I was hmm, then I was !!!!"

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Funny Links

Amazin Blaze Heatin ana Beatin Welding Service. "If you don't like the way I do it, I'll let you try it."

Twilight: Three Wolf Moon. In case you don't get the joke, the backstory is here.

A drunk bridesmaid, a bride with a nosebleed, and a disastrous pole dance attempt. Now that's what you call a wedding to remember!

A soap bubble with a tornado inside? This has to be way more difficult than it looks!

Apelad (of Laugh Out Loud Cats fame) has been writing and illustrating Limericks for Naughty Children. Safe for work, and even for naughty children. (via Neatorama)

Can you name the most commonly used words in the English language? In this quiz, you'll have twelve minutes to name the 100 words most used. (via J-Walk Blog)

Seventeen Things Worth Knowing About Your Cat. Who knew president Lincoln was such a cat lover?

Gary Brolsma, the star of the hit video Numa Numa, conducts the MSU marching band. You can probably guess what song.


By Mike Nesmith. (via Frontier Former Editor)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nature's Stone Giants

Stonehenge is impressive, but pales in comparison to the massive stone pillars Mother Nature gave us. The real stories of how they came to be are as fascinating as the legends that people use to explain unusual rock formations. See six of these stone giant locations from around the world in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

Good Reads and Information

Everyone in the family is happy and excited when a soldier comes home after a long deployment, but who is best at expressing that joy? Right, the dog! I dare you to keep a straight face and a dry eye while watching these videos.

New research find dyslexic children have trouble focusing on one voice among ambient noise. The inability to separate what's important from everything else may explain their problems with learning to read.

Why Do They Play Bagpipes at Soldiers' Funerals? You might want to thank (or blame) president Kennedy.

10 Unabashed Quacks in Medical History. Why spend all those years studying and treating sick people when you could just make up something to sell them and get rich?

The Decade in Seven Minutes. Did all this stuff really happen since 2000?

The History of ‘It’ Girls (And Their Predictable Downfalls). You fall harder from a pedestal than from the floor.

In most societies, men are more competitive than women. But not all, which points to the idea that competitiveness is a learned behavior and not a product of evolution.

The Physics of Touching Your Toes. A simple parlor trick can teach kids about stability, or else leave someone flat on their face.

Auto Tune Explained

Featuring Weird Al Yankovic. (via Buzzfeed)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Links for Fun

Octomom Teaches Miss South Carolina Where Babies Come From.

Seth McFarlane's Secret. So many different shows, you won't realize they're exactly the same!

Do-it-yourself Serbian lowrider. When you don't have the necessary parts, you make do with what you have.

A strange case of pets petting pets. Oh sure, every cat would love to have a scratching bird!

Seven Strange and Wonderful Dishes. Barreling down the cholesterol highway in search of palate nirvana.

8 Animals That Ran for Government Office. The list includes three who actually served.

My youngest daughter wants to grow up and design computer games. I'm afraid if I show her this, she'll want to be a waitress instead.

Diplomatic relations can get a little crazy when it comes to World Cup soccer. The last message is the most believable.

Parrot Loves New Bunny

Marnie the parrot has a collection of bunnies. Really.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cat Needs a Scratch

Music appreciation be damned, he just wants a scratch! (via mental_floss)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Fun Links

Men Pisseth Against a Wall. Does that mean that those who don't are not men?

What if The Matrix had been made during the silent movie era? The Russian comedy troupe Bolshaya Raznitsa shows us what might have been.

One email message out of context can make you oh-so-curious about the backstory. What you imagine is probably funnier than the truth.

That goes double for this collection of tattoos. There must be some freaky stories behind these. One is NSFW.

Summarize your sex life with a Star Wars quote. Redditors take the bait with hilarious results. (via Andy's Blog)

7 Things "Good Parents" Do (That Screw Kids Up for Life). Sure, it's exaggerated, but common sense still trumps the trendiest parenting techniques. (via Gorilla Mask)

The most elaborate marriage proposal I've ever seen took nine months and lots of money to pull off. Was it worth it? I think so.

This charming science fair display follows the scientific method of hypothesis, experimentation, and conclusion. In this case, the conclusion is what I would call a punch line: "My hypothesis was wrong, because they did not care either way." (via Buzzfeed)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Sampling of Niche Blogs

A few years after ordinary people discovered the joys of blogging, experienced bloggers branched out into multiple blogs. This led to the rise of niche blogs, blogs devoted to a very narrow subject. The internet audience is so big that even the most obscure topic can gain an audience if it has two things: a good idea and enough material for regular updates. Since readers are often glad to contribute material, sometimes a good idea is enough. Find some really focused niche blogs in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

Informative Links

Human beings develop social bonds when giving and receiving gifts. Our natural sense of reciprocity is keenly upset by the system of anonymous organ transplantation.

Top 10 Reasons Why the World Won't End in 2012. This list will be handy when someone you know gets a bit too nervous about the doomsday predictions.

7 Super-Sized (And Somewhat Insane) Soviet Projects. Those wacky Soviets, always trying to outdo Texas.

The New York Times has an interactive graph that plots the jobless rate for different groups of Americans compared to the average for all those who are unemployed. Mouseover to find lines for different races, ages, and levels of education. (via Metafilter)

23 geeky QWERTY-inspired designs. Think of it as a Christmas gift list for the typist, writer, graphic designer, or printer who has everything. (via the Presurfer)

The education of Little Fraud. Forrest Carter, the author of Little Tree, was also Asa Carter, speechwriter for George Wallace. (via Metafilter)

The All-Inclusive All-You-Can-Eat Buffet Guide. Use these tips to maximize your return on investment, if you can physically handle it.

America’s Plan to Invade Everyone. Preemptive strikes have always been an option, although these plans haven't been used. Yet.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fun and Funny Links

Sometimes you just have to come out and say what you want. Because some people will not take hints.

What To Do If Romulans Invades Your Renaissance Fair. Sometimes violence IS the only solution.

Catblogging, 1940s Style. Now I know how to pick up a cat during an air raid. (via YesButNoButYes)

In the days leading up to the annual bush races, the locals in Kulin, Australia construct fanciful horses out of all kinds of materials to entertain those who travel the highway leading to the Jilakin Racetrack. This has become known as the Tin Horse Highway.

Illustrator Paul Rogers puts together six drawings of iconic images from a classic movie. Your challenge is to name the movies from the drawings.

It makes perfect sense to play Pac-man with a team of every cat's favorite vacuum cleaner, Roombas. However, it take some creative programming skills to pull it off.

Have you ever wondered how they put really big boats in the water? According to this video, they just shove them in and hope they will float upright.

20 of the Worst Men’s Hairstyles. Some of these look awful; others have just worn out their welcome.

A Tribute to World War One Airmen

Remember those who served on this Veteran's Day.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Extremophiles: Life on the Edge

The possibility of life on Mars and other planets and moons has been debated for as long as we have known about those planets. Now that water has been found on the Mars, that possibility is more believable than ever. Sure, conditions are fierce on Mars, but research here on planet Earth reveals that life forms can be tough. In fact, wherever it was once thought that no life could exist, more and more organisms are being found that not only live, but thrive and evolve. Read about them in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

Digg this!


Why Women Hate Sports

Monday, November 09, 2009

Infomative Links

A profile of Sgt. Kimberly Denise Munley, the hero of the Ft. Hood shooting. “She had the training; she knew what to do. And she had the courage to do it — by doing it she saved countless people’s lives.”

The Price of Sex: Women Speak. Eastern European women who were sold as prostitutes speak to photojournalist Mimi Chakarova. Yes, this is disturbing. (via Metafilter)

He served his country in many offices, including vice-president of the United States, but all we remember is how he shot that one guy. No, not Dick Cheney, but one of 6 Historic Villains You Didn't Know Had Incredible Careers.

Thousands of mummified animals have been recovered in Egypt over the past hundred years. Scientists are now studying them in detail to get details on the way ancient Egyptian humans lived.

One less thing to worry about: Cleaning for a Reason is an organization that offers housecleaning services to patients undergoing cancer treatment. (Thanks, Liz Z!)

How can someone be in "critical but stable condition"? In plain English, those words are opposites, but in medical terminology they make sense -to medical professionals.

9 Times They Probably Should Have Stopped The Presses. Newsaper and magazine lead times occasionally cause embarrassment, if not downright horror.

6 People Who Faked Their Own Death (For Ridiculous Reasons). What may seem to be an easy way out of a difficult situation only made things much worse. (via Gorilla Mask)

The Money Song

A Monty Python classic.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Friday, November 06, 2009

Friday Fun Links

A man cave is a place for a man to go to get away from the rest of the family and the problems of the world. Check out the 15 Best Man Caves on the Internet. (via Gorilla Mask)

I once said this was the best Halloween costume for a kid in a wheelchair. I may have to rethink that, because this one is adorable.

A clever ad for a Yamaha dealership. It all comes down to your point of view.

8 Chimpanzee Stars. They work for peanuts and bring in King Kong-sized audiences.

Top 5 Folky Covers of Rap & Hip-Hop Songs. I will always love Jonathon Coulton's version of Baby Got Back.

There is an elaborate set of rules you must follow to decide who gets the honor of “riding shotgun”.

He was delighted to find his son had his own terms for different LEGO pieces. So he gathered more children, four in all, to find out what names they used, and assembled those names in a handy chart. (via Buzzfeed)

Movie quotes that are also movie titles. The video is much cooler than its description would lead you to believe.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Holocaust Hero Chiune Sugihara

Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugahara enabled thousands of Jewish refugees to flee Europe during World War II. For his efforts, he was imprisoned by the Soviets and fired from his job by the Japanese Foreign Ministry. Read about Sugihara in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

Interesting Links

The blog Bank Notes is a collection of real robbery notes from all over. They aren’t literary masterpieces, but some are interesting, along with sparse details of the actual robbery. (via Metafilter)

Top 3 Tips To Motivate Yourself While Learning A Second Language. Bonus: they all involve using the internet. (via Lifehacker)

10 Scandalous Stars of the Silent Screen. The tabloids were just as busy covering actors and actresses 100 years ago as they are today.

You can get a taste for what it was like to live through historical moments by watching converted film footage, news reports, historic speeches, sports coverage, and even famous musical performances with this listing of 101 video links. (via the Presurfer)

8 Racist Ads You Won't Believe Are From the Last Few Years. Of course, not everyone will see racism in all of these, so let the debate rage.

In 1898, two lions in Kenya were killed for killing and eating 135 people. New research on their preserved bodies causes scientists to re-estimate the number of victims to 35 people.

The recruitment, training, deployment, and finally the homecoming of an American soldier. Ian Fisher was followed and photographed for 27 months to complete the entire story. (via Fark)

13 Examples of Literature in Song, with more examples in the comments. One day, someone will write books about these songs, and then songs about those books!

Puppy Attacks a Dandelion

(via Bits and Pieces)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

2009 Weblog Award Nominations

The 2009 Weblog Awards
Nominations are now open for the 2009 Weblog Awards. To nominate your favorite blog in one (or more) of the categories, go to the nominations page. Select a category, then leave a comment with the relevant information. You can nominate as many blogs as you like. There are fifty categories this year! Some have to do with the content of the blog (technology, law, parenting, etc), some with the part of the world it is from (European, Asian, etc), and some depend on Technorati authority, which gives smaller and newer blogs a more level playing field. I have to admit that I'm screwed in the Technorati categories, since this blog would be in the "large blog" category", which is a joke. My main blog would be in the "very large blog" category, which is an even bigger joke!

You can nominate as many blogs as you like in as many categories as you like, although the administrators will probably ignore you if you are abusive, redundant, or spamming. If your favorite blog has already been nominated in the comments, you can vote that comment up. I will be going through my blogroll, source lists, and contacts to find blogs to nominate for the various categories as time allows. Nominations are open until November 20th.

Links for Fun

Rap to the Future. Futuristic Sex Robotz relate the entire movie in five minutes, and it makes complete sense even if you hadn't seen the film. NSFW.

You've probably had some odd neighbors, but have you ever had any neighbor problems this weird?

The Hierarchy of Monsters. Posted in response to io9's online competition amongst monsters. (via Metafilter)

A new direction for advertising? One company attached little banners to houseflies and set them free to spread their, um, message.

The new movie The Box is based on the 1970 short story Button Button, which became a Twilight Zone episode. The Funny or Die version doesn't follow either script.

Xkcd has movie graphs that help explain the sequence of characters for those who have trouble figuring out what went on over a long narrative. This is most helpful is the largest graph, which deals with the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Christopher Walken recites Lady Gaga's "Poker Face". Deadpan, like he does, which makes it hilarious.

Cats Performing Household Chores. It's about time those furballs started earning their kibble.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

5 Classic Poisons and the People Who Used Them

Long before our modern industries developed the cleaning products, industrial solvents, and drugs that can kill when misused, people used simple plants to murder each other. Some were especially effective, like the five poisons in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

Informative Links

Top 11 Oddball Tax Deductions. People have deducted swimming pools, breast implants, and body oil from their income for tax purposes -and the IRS allowed it!

The World's Most Magnificent Pipe Organs. Size matters when you want to sound majestic to everyone within miles.

6 Real People Who Turned Their Homes Into Death Traps.

Get a sense of how small things are with this scale from the University of Utah. Slowly pull the slider to the right to zoom in an be amazed. (Thanks, Matthew Russell, Ph.D.!)

Why couldn't we tell that the balloon boy's parents were faking their distress? Detecting fake emotions may be more difficult than identifying a lie, which is still very difficult.

Shaolin Temple Warrior Monks. If practice makes perfect, these guys must train 24/7.

Why are there so many types of electrical plugs and sockets in the world? Knowing why won't make taking your hairdryer on a world tour any easier.

The Top 10 Weirdest CIA Programs. From ridiculous concepts like pigeon-guided missiles to actual disasters like the Bay of Pigs, our spies crank out the world's wildest ideas. (via Unique Daily)

Are You Ready for Marriage?

MST3K style!