Wednesday, June 30, 2010

10 Weird Items People Tried to Smuggle

When laws forbid people from transporting something from one place to another, there will be those who try to do it anyway. Smuggled drugs, guns, cash, stolen goods, and immigrants are seized every day. However, some things that people try to sneak through security make you scratch your head in wonder. Read about ten such items in this article I posted at Neatorama.

Good Reads and Information

There was a lot more to basketball star Manute Bol than his NBA career, as you'll see in this tribute that was written before his death. He was totally devoted to making life better for the people of his native Sudan. (via TYWKIWDBI)

The secrets of "Psycho's" shower scene. Including one great big secret you've most likely never heard before. (via Metafilter)

How to Train a World Cup Referee. Hundreds of millions of people are watching, so they better know their stuff.

I Could Care Less
. David Mitchell knows the queen and here's what she would like to Americans to learn about her language.

The Frozen Addicts. An outbreak of paralysis in 1982 taught us that recreational drugs can produce new and surprising dangers, and that Parkinson's disease may have a chemical foundation.

How Our Gang came to be, and how they became a big sensation. Also, how they came to be known as The Little Rascals.

This guy took the challenge to eat off $1 a day using coupons. He got so good at it that he often gives food away. (via Metafilter)

On Caregiving
. Some time or another, we all find ourselves either responsible for someone else's quality of life, or we rely on someone for ours. It is part of being human. (via Casaubon's Book)

Cardboard Boxes

Loudon Wainwright III getting ready to move. (via Holy Kaw!)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Bovine Gift from the Heart

Last week we had seven cow tales, but here’s one that can’t be told in just a simple paragraph. The story of the Masai village of Enoosaen and their gift of cattle is a story you won’t forget. Wilson Kimel Naiyomah told the story of the World Trade Center to the people of his hometown. The villagers were horrified. They had trouble understanding how buildings were tall enough to cause death if one jumped from them, but they understood what 3,000 dead meant -that would be most of their village. The entire tribe anguished over the tragedy. They felt they had to do something to help the United States in their time of need. Read about it in this article I posted at mental_floss.

Fun and Funny Links

A Need for Silly Public Works. If we're going to spend x dollars on infrastructure, why not give people a smile along the way?

Steve Martin's Tour Rider. These are some demands I could get behind, but only if I were the star instead of the provider.

A gourmet supermarket in Berlin that carried ethnic foods has an American section. Before you watch the video, try to guess what uniquely American groceries should be there.

Safety takes a back seat to getting the job done in this picture collection. In other words, we need to print more Darwin Awards applications.

Clint Webb is doomed to be your next U.S. senator. He's got all the tricks down, and he'll be glad to tell you about them.

10 Famous (or Notorious) Ducks. Of course, there are way more than ten famous ducks, as you'll see in the comments.

One of the more enjoyable mental_floss quizzes I've tried: name the movie from the poster font. It's easier than you think!

AT-AT Day Afternoon. Just a simple look at what they do when they're not in battle against the Rebellion.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Information Links

Why Indiana Jones Was Right to be Scared of Snakes. Here are four reasons you should be, too.

Moonage Daydream: The Rock Album as Science Fiction. Take a closer look at some classic albums and the space age stories that inspired them. (via Metafilter)

Edith Shain, the nurse who became an icon when she was snapped receiving a kiss from a sailor on VJ Day in New York, died at her home in Los Angeles Tuesday. To commemorate her passing, Buzzfeed posted a collection of recreations of that kiss.

Do you want your baby to be pretty, smart, or resemble some celebrity? Designer sperm and egg banks made do-it-yourself eugenics possible for everyday people.

A beloved and successful racehorse dies under mysterious circumstances. After 78 years, science finds that it was, indeed, equicide.

8 Songs Inspired By Real Women. Or actually seven women and one who just dressed like one.

World's Largest Dinosaur Graveyard Linked to Mass Death. A "monster storm" apparently killed out an entire herd of dinosaurs in western Canada 76 million years ago.

To win choosy females, male bowerbirds swagger, croon, and… decorate. Female bowerbirds can't resist a male with a nice home to offer, unless there's another guy with a better bower.

So Alone

Song by Ty Segall. Video by tab_ularasa. (via The Litter Box)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

General Grievous Costume

How do you create n oversized movie character with computer generated images? Old-fashioned ingenuity! Rick builds a lot of science fiction costumes, and all are impressive.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fun with Shakespeare

Someone once told me Shakespeare was boring. I doth verily beg to differ. Or differeth. Or something. Here are eight videos that proveth that The Bard verily lent himself to comedy, even with his tragedies. See them in this collection I posted at mental_floss.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Fun Links

The National Pork Board is upset that Think Geek is marketing their Unicorn Meat using a slogan that slightly resembles theirs. The 12-page cease and desist letter was written as if unicorn meat really exists. (via Boing Boing)

Dogs chase cars, and you wonder what they'd do if they ever caught one. This video has the answer.

The 15 Cruelest Deaths in Star Trek History. As if they were exploring not only new worlds, but also new ways to give us nerds night panics. (via Gorilla Mask)

The 10 Most Important Things They Didn't Teach You In School.

The A (B and C) Team. Options are there is the A-Team is out of your price range.

A chorus line of French robots perform at the Shanghai Expo 2010. Don't expect the can-can, but they do balance on one leg during Bolero.

If you want something done right, you should do it yourself. The last thing you want to do is give it to David Thorne, especially if it has anything to do with a cat.

A provocative new public service announcement showing moms with deadly weapons may be disturbing. Believe me, this is how we feel inside when our kids are threatened.

The Facts of Life

The theme from season one, back when Molly Ringwald was one of the little girls.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

No Bull (well, one): 7 Historical Cow Tales

There were 94.5 million head of cattle in the US in 2009. Many millions of cows and bulls have lived relatively short uneventful lives over the years producing milk and calves or ultimately steaks and hamburgers. Among those millions are a few who made the news and then the history books for one reason or another. Read about seven of those bovines in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

Informative Links

Some who were supposed to benefit from the war on sudden death became its victims. After you read What Broke My Father’s Heart, you'll want to look into making a living will.

Embarrassing Moments in Engineering (and what they taught us). Like, the bigger they are, the harder they fall.

The Dunning-Kruger Effect is seen when incompetent people are too incompetent to know that they are incompetent. Then every competent person who learns of it worries that it may apply to them. Am I right?

Color footage taken in Honolulu on August 14, 1945 sat in an attic for 60 years. Now we can see what it was like to know that World War II had ended.

A male skeleton of the species Australopithecus afarensis (of which "Lucy" was a member) shows signs that he walked upright. This could mean that hominids could walk almost as well as we do 3.6 million years ago.

The Great Escape From Slavery of Ellen and William Craft. This took guts: the married couple snuck away in broad daylight with Ellen disguised as a white man.

Sharks Smell in Stereo, meaning they can determine the direction a smell is coming from. That's just about as cool as nature can get!

Women who should be setting an example are instead acting like mean girls. Are TV and politics just like high school?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Octopus Blogging

The blogosphere has plenty of treats for those who are fascinated with cephalopods: octopus, squid, cuttlefish, and other tentacled sea creatures. Even if you aren’t an avid octopus fan, these “cephaloblogs” have some really interesting stuff for your edification and enjoyment, as you'll see in this article I posted at mental_floss.

Links for Fun

Cows in Cars! (via mental_floss)

The 6 Most Insanely Misguided Attempts at Viral Marketing. Because instilling terror in potential customers sounded like a good idea at the time.

Things I Learned from Chuck Jones.

John Cleese explains the difference between American football and what the rest of the world plays. Some even refer to the US game as "hand egg".

You plan a shot, set the timer, then run to get into place before the camera snaps. Sometimes it doesn't turn out as planned. (via reddit)

Not only is violinist Teppei Okada playing the Mario Theme, he also recreates all the sound effects as the game is played.

John Clarke and Bryan Dawe explain the Gulf oil spill. The actual newsmakers are so absurd that it's hard for parodies to measure up -but these guys are up to the task.

Cat Meets Money Box Cat

(via Arbroath)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Good Reads and Information

How to keep someone with you forever. If you've haven't yet been a victim of this sick system, it's only because you are young. (via Metafilter)

6 Organizations You Didn't Know Were Secretly Badass. Or maybe you already knew, but here are some great stories anyway.

Why Our Brains are Fooled by Illusions. The short version is that we are supposed to see in 3D, not 2D, but don't let that stop you from checking out the gallery of colorful optical illusions.

5 Ways Vultures Are Making Money in the Recession. You can make a killing -if that's the kind of moneymaker you want to be.

MRI Magnet Madness. Those have access to magnets this powerful hear a little child inside daring them to experiment.

When you think you hate your job, think about the guy who dives into the sewers of Mexico City. Julio Cou Cámara works in water he can't see through to clear blockages, repair the system, and make sure the city isn't flooded. (via Metafilter)

Thomas Edison and Henry Ford came close to producing an electric car nearly 100 years ago. We can only speculate how the world would be different now if they had done so.

Everything you ever needed to know about subtitles. Most of which is a lot more interesting than you ever suspected.

Dr. Mark Greene

The 2002 death of Dr. Mark Greene on the series ER was traumatic for those of us who had watched the show since its beginning. The music is by Israel "Brudda Iz" Kamakawiwoʻole, who died in 1997. I can't even watch this video anymore; just reading the character's Wikipedia entry made me cry. (via Metafilter)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Walk the Dinosaur

Queen Latifah's version, from the movie Ice Age 3. (via Metafilter)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Schrödinger’s Cat Videos

Schrödinger’s Cat is the name of a thought experiment in quantum mechanics that posits that an unknown exists in more than state until it is observed. I always considered this idea a particularly human conceit, as if the existence or condition of something has anything at all to do with our knowledge of it. But then again, I’m no quantum mechanic. I can’t even change my own oil. What I do is post things on the internet, like this collection of funny and interesting videos about Schrödinger’s idea, in this edition of The Late Movies at mental_floss.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Fun Links

See both highlights of the US-England World Cup game rendered in Lego. This includes instant replays.

12 Impressively Active Animal Fathers.

The 10 Funniest Movie Credits Of All Time. Admit it, there have been times when you got up and left a movie theater as the credit started, and days later someone told you the credit roll was the funniest part of the film.

The Most Common Uses of Irony. A title guaranteed to bring out those who know what irony actually is better than the next person. (via Gorilla Mask)

Amputee Rap. Champion skier Josh Sundquist busts some rhymes about his handy crutches, his expensive prosthesis, and his socks that don't have to match.

"End Love" is the new single from OK Go. Of course, the video is something everyone must see at least once.

This is either a model of gravitational orbs, or an idiot attractor. Here are some wild guesses as to how we should play with it.

This is Why I'll Never be an Adult. I laughed; maybe you fragile young folks will relate to her troubles.

Pulling a Tooth with a Rocket

Jimmy had a plan to get rid of a tooth. I hope it was one of the baby teeth. (via The Daily What)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Extreme Backyard Thrills

While some families are putting helmets and knee pads on their children in order to ride a bicycle, others are installing trampolines in the backyard. Here are some ways new space age materials can intensify the thrill we used to get from an old-fashioned rope swing. As a mother, I would not personally recommend any of the following activities, but boy, are they fun to watch! Check out three such activities in this article I posted at mental_floss.

Information Links

This weekend will mark 35 years since the movie Jaws made us all afraid to get in the water. Johnny Cat takes a look back at what a groundbreaking movie it was.

From Bat Bombs to Goo Guns: Crazy Military Experiments. There's strangeness enough here to feed conspiracy theorists and UFO fans for years.

Whooping Cranes began to die out in the 1800s when Americans settled in their nesting grounds. By 1940, there were as few as 22 cranes left. Since then, a major effort has made some progress in saving the whoopers from extinction.

Mike Rowe wrote a letter to an Eagle Scout -or all Eagle Scouts, with some advice about life. Then he followed up a complaint from an offended Scout. (via Metafilter)

Have you ever dreamed of being attacked by a swarm of South African vuvuzelas? Those who are attending the World Cup games can't get away from them.

Our brains tell us where our hands are, but we must use our eyes to know what they look like. When our hands are out of sight, we really don't know them that well.

Paging Dr. Freud: 8 Unusual Mental Illnesses. Look through these and find out what's wrong with you, you hypochondriac!

Don Ritchie has spent fifty years trying to prevent suicides at the cliff top where he lives. He's managed to talk at least 160 people out of ending it all. (via Neatorama)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Links for Fun and Entertainment

The Dog and the Butcher. Which one will get his way in the end?

22 Fictional Characters Whose Names You Don’t Know. But now you will!

One Reason Why Japanese Curries Are Best. Actually two reasons: the vegetables are so cute and also very brave.

8 Very Different Weddings to Remember. It's certain that no one who attended these will ever forget.

You call that art? Some folks bend the definition of art just enough to get a grant; other bend it even further.

Your "Awww" of the day involves two turtles. You might think that turtles are not as cute as puppies or kittens, but "beauty is as beauty does."

How To Place An Effective Craigslist Swap Ad. He got an immediate response -from the police.

6 Acrostics You May Not Have Noticed. After reading this, you will always check poetry vertically before rendering your judgement.

The Critic

Mel Brook's first film, from 1963. (via Everlasting Blort)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ten Tentacled Characters

No matter how well modern filmmakers can create characters with no human attributes, we still find it easier to communicate with and relate to humanoid forms. What’s the simplest way to take a humanoid fictional character and make it different, frightening, and maybe even disgusting? Put some tentacles on it! On the surface, tentacles evoke a mental image of the octopus, a strange and mysterious creature of the deep we never encounter in everyday life. Its tentacles are far-reaching, flexible, and numerous -attributes that can each be threatening. On a deeper psychological plane, tentacles remind us of snakes and the near-universal fear they inspire. Extending on that association, Freud would say the snake is a metaphor for the penis. Let’s look at some pop culture characters presented as different, frightening, or disgusting through the appearance of tentacles, in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

Informative Links

Gobar gas, a byproduct of the decomposition of cow dung, other waste, and any biomass, fuels villages in Nepal and many parts of Asia. The benefits go way beyond saving money and the environment. (via Metafilter)

Comedienne Carla Zilbersmith died last month from complications of ALS. She surprised her family and friends with a video she prepared ahead of time to be played at her funeral. (NSFW language)

6 Races That Make Marathons Look Wimpy. Reading this article might make you tired, but it's a GOOD kind of tired.

The Soviets put a remote-control vehicle, Lunokhod 1, on the moon in 1970. Forty years later, we figured out a dazzling new use for it.

Whenever you see a new product that seems like a dream come true, remember the lessons J-Walk has on how products are marketed on the internet. Check out the comments for more.

Can we do those things in real life? The MacGyver Fact-Check says "maybe".

6 Companies That Make Money Solving Problems (They Made Up). I find that I save a lot of money by not watching television and remaining ignorant of these dangers.

More and more of the professional wildlife photography you see is faked. The animals may be professional models, or zoo animals, or possibly Photoshopped.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fun and Funny Links

Oprah Winfrey is having a competition in which people pitch ideas for their own show. Actor and filmmaker Zach Anner is a shoe-in to get his own show, whether he wins the contest or not.

You've seen kittens play with mirrors before, but this video has a bit of a punch line.

Weird, Wild & Wheeled: The Top 10 Craziest RVs. Before you decide they are too strange to stay in, consider the price of hotels, and then see how much nicer these vehicles start to look.

Videos of babies laughing will do your heart good.

Presidents, Pierogies and Other Strange Things That Race at Ballparks. Mascot racing should have a league and stadiums of their own.

How Dinosaurs Learned to Fly.

The Terrestrial Shrub Rover would be a top-selling vehicle if it were available, for no particular reason whatsoever. In my opinion, it's better to see one than to drive one.

Make and fly your own Origami Hang Glider. The video makes this look like a levitation illusion! (via Neatorama)

Put Another Log on the Fire

Candice Bergen guest stars on The Muppet Show. (via Bits and Pieces)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Hawaii 5-0 Theme

I had no idea this song had lyrics! Here they are sing by Sammy Davis, Jr. (via Cynical-C)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Japanese Game Shows

In the US, there are game shows and there are variety shows. In Japan, the two are often blurred, as the goal is entertaining the audience more than winning a competition. Even the coolest celebrities are not afraid to look silly! Visuals are very important, which is great for those of us who don’t understand the language. You don’t need to know what people are saying to enjoy twelve classic TV clips I posted at mental_floss.

Sea Lion Pup's Swimming Lesson

(via Arbroath)

Friday, June 11, 2010

The MacGyver Fact-Check

MacGyver could do anything with almost nothing. Can you really build an airplane out of duck tape and chewing gum? Well, maybe with some bamboo and an old engine as well. Mental Floss Magazine takes a look at several of MacGyver's most outrageous kludges to see if they are plausible in the real world, in this post at Neatorama.

Good Reads and Info

Fathers Day Gift Suggestions from The Art of Manliness. Because even men with simple tastes should get the best every now and then. (via Holy Kaw!)

Kids of lesbians have fewer behavioral problems, study suggests.

Hard Candy Jewels: the recipe and step-by-step illustrated instructions, and also warnings about what could go wrong and why. (via Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories)

Mathematician Skip Garibaldi worked out the most geometric layouts that will accommodate more stars if the US flag has to be updated when more states join the union. Slate posted a calculator in which you can enter a number of states, from one to a hundred, and see the best star patterns according to a Garibaldi's computer program.

Wildlife experts use perfume to attract jungle animals to camera traps so they can be photographed and identified. The most successful scent for animal attraction is Obsession For Men. (via Everlasting Blort)

If real-life high school students did what the kids on the TV show Glee do, they could be liable for millions of dollars in fines. But the show will not address the issue at all. (via Boing Boing)

North Koreans temporarily in China give us a glimpse of what life is like in their homeland. It's not pretty, and it may get worse before it gets better.

From the highest mountain to the deepest ocean trench. Everywhere in between, there's something amazing about our planet. (via Gorilla Mask)

The weirdest news stories of the week.

Get Ready

The Temptations a cappella, or sans music. They were so awesome! (via Metafilter)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

8 Amazingly Abled Athletes and Artists

A few people who are missing a limb, or one of the senses, or have some other physical anomaly are notable for achievements in the very area in which they were supposedly restricted. Usually this has little to do with proving something to the world, and is often a case of someone beginning or continuing an activity they truly love and enjoy. They just don’t see any reason not to. However, such unique achievements are likely to make the news, like these eight stories I posted at mental_floss.

Links for Fun and Entertainment

To fill time while they waited for an appearance on The Jack Paar Program in 1964, Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Don Sahlin, and Jerry Juhl decorated some pipes in their dressing room. They left a note that said, "With love, from the Muppets." The pipes remained as they were for 46 years. (via Metafilter)

People are often not at their best when they are arrested, but they still have to pose for a picture that becomes public information. These folks were far from their best when that happened. (via I Am Bored)

Oxygen tries to make friend with the other elements, with varying results.

My new favorite blog today is Weirdo Toys, where you can find oddities like the Super-Spider-Man! Behold his hollow arms, his wandering eyes, and his superhero identity crisis. (via Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories)

You Became A Meme. Taylor Swift found out that once you've gone viral, your life is never the same.

The 6 Most Hilarious Undercover Operations Ever Pulled Off.

How does a true geek express his love? With a song about comic books, video games, or alternate-reality avatars, or course!

A roundup of robots who play music.

The Silver Rainbow

By Genesis, I think it was 1983.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Good Reads

The Klingon Language Institute is offering a $500 scholarship each year to a college student studying language. That language doesn't have to be Klingon, but that would certainly impress the selection committee. (via NeatoGeek)

"Opiophobia" on a global scale keeps millions suffering in pain because they have no access to legal morphine. Often their only relief is the illegal drug trade.

Guided by Parasites: Toxoplasma Modified Humans. The parasite that hijacks rats to get to cats also has strange effects on the human brain. NSFW text. (via Boing Boing)

The recipe door. I love this idea, but mine will likely use notebook paper and scotch tape. (via Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories)

Bernie Madoff was sentenced to 150 years for scamming investors out of over a billion dollars. In prison, he is regarded as a hero for his success, cunning, and lack of conscience.

Photography, and especially photojournalism, are all about hard work and preparation. And then every once in a while, it comes down to dumb, blind luck.

Scientists say our dependence on gadgets is reducing our ability to focus. But according to the tests, my ability to focus is perfect, and I can multitask way better than most people. (via Metafilter)

The Ten Most Disturbing Scientific Discoveries. The part about sugar and fat being bad for you still disturbs me.

Shirts Become Pixels

This Japanese ad uses 2700 polo shirts to make a portrait of Vincent Van Gogh. (via the Presurfer)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

11 Ways We Used Radiation in Everday Life

Radiation as a medical cure has valid uses and definite dangers to the human body. We use radiation for diagnosis (as in x-rays) and for therapy (as in cancer treatment), but the benefits must be carefully weighed against the costs. Once upon a time, radiation in different forms was new and wondrous and had a million uses -medications, cosmetics, industrial applications, and even entertainment. It was only later that the danger became evident. Read about these uses in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

Fun and Funny Links

The good part was going to the NCAA regional track meet, but it was in Texas at the start of a hot summer, and she had a raging fever. Oh sure, it makes for a good story now.

TV University Faculty Roster. If these were your professors, would you change your major?

NPR tries out autotune, Chatroulette, motion capture, and other gimmicks to stay hip and in touch with their audience. In their failure, we see National Public Radio is way more hip than they will ever admit.

Funeral planning outside the box. Or, how to spice up your sendoff by making it a spectacle everyone will want to attend. (via Fark)

Urlesque has a collection of screen captures featuring subtitles so bad they deserve to be kept for posterity. Some are TV feeds, which have to be done in an instant, but most are bootlegged movies transcribed by ear, or possibly by alchemy.

Chicken Monkey Duck
. The lyrics are simple, so feel free to sing along.

There is only one newspaper in the TV universe.

This music video from Iceland's tourism board makes me want to go visit. Until I remember that mountain that exploded all over Europe.

Cat has a Drinking Problem

(via The Daily What)

Monday, June 07, 2010

Good Reads and Information

The Complete History of the Fallout Shelter Sign. Those of us who grew up during the Cold War knew what this symbol meant, and we knew we might need that shelter at any time. (via Everlasting Blort)

Building my father's coffin. His last request made no practical sense, but it brought the family together and gave them lasting memories.

An hour-long video interview with Ingmar Bergman. Subtitled in English for your convenience.

Once Upon a Time in Afghanistan, women weren't only educated, they even attended college beside men. Now, just building an elementary school is a heartbreakingly difficult task.

Albert Kahn collected 180,000 black and white photos and 72,000 autochrome plates by 1929. In these, we can see the early 20th century in color. (via Metafilter)

We love Who They Aren’t: 7 Famous Impostors looks at cases of impersonation that made big headlines, and sometimes became Hollywood fodder.

Cracked continues its mission to make history more interesting than Hollywood with 5 True War Stories That Put Every Action Movie to Shame. These stories would have been movies, if they were a bit more believable.

A new theory states that damage to to vagus nerve might be behind the fact that bulimia is so hard to cure in some patients. This might lead to new drug treatments or new ways of disrupting binge and purge cycles.

Sunday, June 06, 2010


Students and faculty from the University of Washington's Information School do librarians in a parody of Lady Gaga's Poker Face. (via Boing Boing)

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Weird, Uncontrolled, and Infectious Laughter

Some people have strange laughs and are ashamed of them. Others are happy to share, especially when they can’t help themselves! If laughs are contagious, you might want to share these video clips I posted at mental_floss with someone who needs one.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Good Reads and Info

Male red-eyed tree frogs communicate dominance to each other by shaking their butts. We have infrared nighttime video to prove it; all it needs is a new disco soundtrack.

DNA studies show that a Caribbean fruit bat is a mashup of three different species. Hybrid species that came from a mashup of two other species are rare enough, but three is very rare indeed.

5 Ways to Cheat Death in New Zealand. You could also stay home and not tempt fate, but that's not the Kiwi way.

The Coolest Bikes on Two (Or More) Wheels.

The dream of free time vs. the realities of unemployment. The fun part lasts no more than a month, and that's only if you have an emergency fund to draw on.

A golf ball hit a steel plate and deforms enough to stretch credulity. Is this a real golf ball or some unreasonable facsimile?

When you drop an Alka-Seltzer into a glass of water, the bubbles rise to the top. If that water was in space, and the bubbles were unaffected by normal gravity, you'd see something a bit different.

The weirdest news stories of the week.

Goldigger + Beethoven's 5th Video Mashup

Thursday, June 03, 2010

10 Crazy Cupcakes

The cupcake is an art form we can all get behind. It involves baking, an art form in itself, decorating, where the sky is the limit, and photography if the results are good. The best part is that even if the decorating isn’t the greatest, you get to eat them! The decorations are excellent in this list of ten crazy cupcakes I posted at mental_floss.

Links for Fun and Entertainment

The modern version of The Ugly Duckling. You guessed it, computers are involved.

Sprocket Rocket is a physics-based game from Aardman Studios (the folks behind Wallace and Gromit) in which you design your own tools to accomplish tasks and collect cogs. Not as difficult as it sounds, since there are hints, prompts, and do-overs along the way.

La Maison en Petits Cubes is an award-winning Japanese film about an old man whose home must grow taller as the water rises. He revisits his life in a trip downstairs, which requires diving gear.

The Wikipedia Game is somewhat like 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon, but for Wikipedia articles. You are given starting and stopping points, and you connect them in the fewest steps possible. (via Gorilla Mask)

Groovin' with Ken. In a teaser for Toy Story 3, Barbie's boyfriend confronts uncomfortable questions from an interviewer.

Pi Beta Phi Sorority Girls Know How To Party. Next time, they'll charge admission so they can cover the bill for damages.

Could the power of the Mentos/Coke reaction propel a vehicle? Of course it can! (via Unique Daily)

Nomen Ludi. The engaging (and possibly true) story of a lost and found video game, spanning quite a few years. (via Metafilter)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Good Reads and Information

The Gulf oil spill may engender a sense of deja vu for folks of a certain age. You'd think we would have learned some lessons on how to deal with these things in the last 31 years.

11 Brain-Twisting Paradoxes. I could answer all of these if I had enough aspirin. (via Gorilla Mask)

Peter Sagal of NPR talks about his way cool job and researching people who don't want to be normal. Also find out how a political story he wrote became the Dirty Dancing sequel.

The Tragic Race to Be First to the South Pole. A museum exhibit shows us how Roald Amundsen and Robert F. Scott made their way to 90 degrees south 100 years ago.

How to make perfect fried chicken (which is pretty much the way I already do it). Unless you prefer testicles. (via Metafilter)

Day is Done. The story of how the bugle call we know as "Taps" came to be.

It took less than 12 hours for a new word appearing in an xkcd panel to be defined in a dictionary, which confuses the definition of a "real word". Personally, I am going to try to use malamanteau in a sentence today.

The 5 Most Badass Prison Escapes in the History of War. These took imagination, intelligence, and desperation. (via Gorilla Mask)

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

World Cup: The Seven Sins of Soccer

The 2010 FIFA World Cup begins June 11th in South Africa. The whole world is watching! To get into the mood, here are some stories you may not know of the seamier side of the wholesome sport of football. Drugs, sex, crime, and even the Battle of the Beers is included in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

Links for Fun

5 Lesser Known and Completely Ridiculous American Civil Wars. "States rights" once meant that Iowa and Missouri would try to settle their tiffs with firearms and farm implements.

The best senior portraits. I hopes these graduates remember the stories behind the pictures when their grandchildren ask. (via Everlasting Blort)

Leave Me is the story of a guy and a digital camera. Yes, it's pretty simple, but you might want to have a hanky ready.

The Haunted Household. Christoph Niemann is bedeviled by mischievous spirits which you have most likely seen in your own home as well. (via Boing Boing)

10 People Who Laughed Themselves to Death.

Just like the rest of us, Tony Stark was once a child. Unlike the rest of us, he was Iron Baby.

Police officer Nick Shepherd rescued a dog that was tangled in a fence. What happened afterward is worth worth sitting through the jumpy footage from Shepherd's automatic camera.

Can you match Nicholas Cage's hair to the movie it appeared in? Here are the answers. (via The Daily What)