Saturday, July 31, 2010

Fun with Zoom

We can zoom in and we can zoom out, but we can’t zoom infinitely because these are videos instead of loops. But you can get the idea with a few minutes of each of these videos I posted at mental_floss. Cosmic.

The Blue Danube

From Perfect Pitch Poultry.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Fun Links

Sarah moved to tiny apartment in Manhattan and found the lack of space severely affected her cat Bubba. After much angst, she tried taking him out on a leash and was surprised by how the adventure turned out.

Hey, look who's mowing the lawn!

Vintage book covers with unintentionally dirty titles. (via Everlasting Blort)

Diogenes: the Henny Youngman of Philosophers.

30 Dentists You Should Never Visit. That is, if you judge their dental competence by their sign making skills.

Did you hear the story about how Allie tried to learn how to ride a bike? She was deathly afraid of the contraption, and for good reason.

#Wookieleaks Reveals Classified ‘Star Wars’ Documents. Everyone wants to get into the act now, as the risks at Twitter are nothing like Wikileaks.

A music video pits a flamethrower against a fire extinguisher -in slow motion! Even if you don’t care which wins, the effects are awesome.

Chicken Dance

(via YesButNoButYes)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Non-Math Look at Math Objects

I found out something neat about three-dimensional shapes. Many strange mathematical solids are constructed by rotating the plane of a two-dimensional shape around an imaginary axis. Think of the flat holiday decorations you fold out around its spine/axis. Once I understood what is called a “surface of revolution” in my mind, the construction of many odd mathematical shapes began to make sense. Let's look at a few really strange shapes in this article I wrote for Neatorama.

Niche Blogs: The English Language

There are many, many blogs dedicated to the use of the English language. Some are fairly comprehensive; others are tightly focused on one aspect of language usage that should be corrected, protected, or mocked. Here is a sampling of those blogs for your enjoyment in this article I posted at mental_floss.

Informative Links

Paper Mache Masters: From Crafters to Professionals. The medium is easy to use, lightweight, versatile, and can turn out to be way cooler than you might think.

The Last to Surrender
. Every war has at least one soldier who doesn't get the message.

The Science Behind “Having a Bad Day” (and how to solve it). Life is too short to waste the rest of today, no matter how awful it started out. (via Lifehacker)

Two seconds in the life of a lightning bolt shown in a slow-motion video of over a minute. Cool!

There are an estimated 1.6 million ants for every human being on earth. When all of them come to live in your home at once, you have to rethink your natural, organic, respect-for-life philosophy. (via Metafilter)

How Preschool Changes the Brain. Early education may not raise our IQs, but there is evidence it instills values like perseverance, dependability, and consistency, which are more important in the long run.

Ten Infamous Islands of Exile. Even a tropical paradise is a prison when you can never leave.

The End of Online Anonymity: Why Will You Be Freaking Out? Cracked looks at five types of people who have opinions about using their real names online.

Get Ready

The Temptations.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fun and Funny Links

How to give your opossum a pedicure. Nothing makes a possum happier than looking her very best!

Vintage Bibliomysteries: Books Can Be Fatal! People who read murder mysteries are, in fact, book readers, so whodunnits about readers, writers, and librarians who kill and are killed deliver a special kind of thrill.

Meet the wild honey badger. The world's most fearless animal doesn't back down just because an opponent is bigger, stronger, or angrier.

If Jane Austen had written Fight Club, it would go something like this. And the movie would make the perfect date activity for both men and women.

Watch a Star Trek fan film made by kids in 1978. It was a great time to be young, with the old-fashioned freedom to roam and the newfangled video technology.

8 Sports Your Dog Can Play. Of course, he thinks he can do anything, but I'd keep him away from skydiving.

The best cosplay pictures from Comic-Con 2010. Unless you have a better one, in which case you could win a prize!

8 Famous Sea Monsters And Their Amazing Real Life Equivalents. You might not ever want to go to sea again -if you ever did. NSFW text. (via Gorilla Mask)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

5 Big Cities That Changed Their Names

The Four Lads sang a song in 1953 about a city that changed its name.
Take me back to Constantinople
No, you can’t go back to Constantinople
Now it’s Istanbul, not Constantinople
Why did Constantinople get the works?
That’s nobody’s business but the Turks’

Constantinople isn’t the only city to change its name. I grew up learning about Bombay, Canton, Leningrad, and Saigon (especially Saigon), but those names aren’t used much anymore. Here are the stories of a few city names, new and old, in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

Good Reads and Info

Ancient Ninja: Separating the Men from the Myth.

WikiLeaks gave 90,000 classified documents on the war in Afghanistan to the New York Times, The Guardian, and Der Spiegal. You betcha they are sifting through and publishing what’s in those documents.

10 Sports Heroes You Won’t Find on a Wheaties Box. I would certainly buy a box with a sumo wrestler on the front!

Wear a Pink Sari and Carry a Big Stick. Women in India are forming gangs to stand up for women's rights, and their vigilante justice is working where peaceful politics never could. (via Boing Boing)

The guy who services ATMs at the bottom of the world tells us about his job. The ATM stocks recycled cash and only gets serviced every two years -IF the repairman can get a flight. (via Discoblog)

Parenting through History: A Look at Childrearing in Five Historic Societies.

What should medicine do when it can’t save your life? Providing quality time for dying patients requires medical professionals to get past admitting defeat. (via Metafilter)

Once again, science confirms what we already knew: romance is like a drug addiction. Love and rejection stimulate the same areas of the brain as motivation, reward, and addiction. (via Boing Boing)

Best Cat Jump Ever

A classic!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Links for Fun

Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church demonstrated at Comic-Con in San Diego. Robots, magical anime girls, Trekkies, Jedi, kittens, and other cosplayers demonstrated right back.

The cleverest pinata yet.

You can spice up your Twitter feed by following fictional characters from movies, TV, and literature! Twitter is full of people who don't exist, but have plenty to say anyway.

I never get tired of watching super-long homemade Rube Goldberg contraptions. How come no one ever posts video of the hundred times it didn't work right?

Serenity Now: Seinfeld recut as an action thriller. Now everyone can see the show as the creepfest I always thought it was.

The Early Days of Mickey and Minnie Mouse. See how Disneyland costumes have changed over the mouse's long career.

A little pug dog knows who to call for in times of danger. Add music, and you have a dog singing a theme song that we all know and love.

Ten Strange Toothpastes. I can't think of too many things more unappetizing than brushing my teeth with black or brown toothpaste. (via Unique Daily)

A Marmot

Eating a biscuit. (via Arbroath)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dickson Experimental Sound Film

The oldest surviving sound film, from 1895.
This short film was a test for Edison's "Kinetophone" project, the first attempt in history to record sound and moving image in synchronization. This was an experiment by William Dickson to put sound and film together either in 1894 or 1895. Unfortunately, this experiment failed because they didn't understand synchronization of sound and film.
(via Metafilter)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hayseed Dixie

Hayseed Dixie plays hard rock songs bluegrass style. Yeah, they started out doing AC/DC tunes almost exclusively, but after some success, they branched out. Hayseed Dixie is an experience no one should miss out on, but you can catch up with this collection of videos I posted at mental_floss. Hear them cover Queen, Aerosmith, Kiss, and even the J. Geils Band!

Bagpipe Blues

Performed by Honey Blo. (via Arbroath)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Goods Reads and Informative Links

From the 1958 until 1992, the Greenbriar Resort in White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia sat on top of a secret. Underneath was a huge fallout shelter designed to accommodate members of the US Congress and their aides in case of a nuclear attack. (via Atlas Obscura)

A shotgun blast destroyed a 16-year-old girl's face. But doctors gave her a new one, which you can see in these pictures. (via Metafilter)

Thomas Jefferson: The Sensitive Writer Type. See how the founding father's insecurities make him seem just like the rest of us -except for that founding father stuff.

How Money Restricts Life’s Pleasures. Since we don't have any, let's look at the bright side of being broke.

Apollo astronauts couldn't buy life insurance if their lives depended on it. But NASA came up with a seemingly silly but genius scheme to raise money in the event of an on-the-job death. (via Neatorama)

How big can a star be? Astronomers have found a blue giant that is 265 times the mass of the sun, and 10 million times as bright!

They called me a child pornographer. Family camping photographs caused a legal nightmare when Dad forgot to take the digital camera. (via Metafilter)

Drivers tend to think they can multitask better than they actually can. Take the test to see why you should never text while driving. (via Monkey Filter)

I Ain't Gonna Give Nobody None Of My Jellyroll

By Sweet Emma Barrett.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

10 Bizarre but Cuddly Plush Toys

Since I posted a list called Plush Toys Grownups Will Love a couple of years ago, I’ve been collecting new and different stuffed toys that appeal to one’s sense of fun, irony, and/or anarchy in one way or another. Here are ten of these toys you'll want to get for yourself or for someone you love in this list I posted at mental floss.

Fun and Funny Links

A dozen videos are finalists for Neatorama's GTFO contest. Take a look and cast your vote!

John Scalzi wrote a biography and a touching epitaph for his dog, Kodi. She was a credit to her species and will remind you of a dog you loved. (via Fark)

24 Types of Libertarians vs. 24 Types of Authoritarians.

A classic that still makes me smile: a romance story told in road signs. Someday, someone will collect photographs of all these signs in the wild to recreate this.

Surreal Bovine Choreography by Cyriak. They've obviously been eating more than just plain grass.

The Windmill Farmer

Stinkers the porcupine will try to convince you that porcupines makes wonderful pets. Don't let the overwhelming "Aww" factor influence your opinion.

The greatest Halloween costume idea ever. I hope someone picks this up and runs with it this year.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

10 Things You Didn't Know About Ghostbusters

The 1984 film Ghostbusters starred Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, and Dan Akroyd as paranormal exterminators in New York City (later joined by Ernie Hudson). The script was written by Ramis and Akroyd. The movie was #1 for five weeks straight that summer, and became the most successful comedy of the 1980s. But you already knew all that, didn’t you? Here are ten things you might not know about Ghostbusters, in an article I wrote for Neatorama.

Informative Links

OK, who really invented baseball?

6 Labyrinths To Get Lost In (not counting the David Bowie movie). Don't forget your lunch and your cell phone!

Top Secret America. Homeland security, counterterrorism, and spying have grown so much in the past nine years that the result "amounts to an alternative geography of the United States". (via Metafilter)

A Tale of Two Cockies is a love story about cockatoos. If you've never seen a baby cockatoo, be warned that its not pretty, but you'll enjoy this pictoral about a disabled mama and a devoted daddy.

Numbers Stations: Mystery Over The Airwaves.

The Top Ten Militant Animals. They're not necessarily violent, but these species have been trained to fight our wars for us. (via Boing Boing)

Confessions of former debt collectors. Making other people miserable for a living can take a lot out of you. (via J-Walk Blog)

What do you call more than one octopus? Uh, I don't have a great punch line for that one yet, because it's a serious question.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

7 Fugitives who Became Folk Heroes

Last week, in the wake of the arrest of Colton Harris-Moore and his surprising internet fandom, we took a look at what made some criminals into folk heroes in the manner of the legendary Robin Hood. Five factors stood out in case after case. One thing that immediately arises is that factor one, paying back “the man” for unfair treatment, can be experienced vicariously. If the police or the victims of crime can be seen as oppressors to the masses or just having an unfair edge, then it doesn’t matter whether the criminal himself experienced a particular injustice. Let’s see how these factors contributed to the celebrity status of a few more outstanding cases, in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

Blacksmith Scene

With this Edison film from 1893, the concept of Hollywood was born. It was the first movie made with actors acting out a scene, to be shown to the public. It is also the oldest film in the LIbrary of Congress. (via Metafilter)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Funny Links

The 10 Best Bars in Namibia. Does the Taliban know about this?

Special effects creator Bill George opened the Sci-Fi Air Show to bring classic science fiction aircraft to everyone. Sadly, it only exists on the internet. (via Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories)

How many cats are too many?

Improv Everywhere brought Star Wars to the New York subway system as a treat for some lucky riders. Was there ever any doubt that they would love this stunt?

Sitcoms' Very Special Episodes. Hey, if you need some comedy that bad, try the History channel.

A proposal made via graffiti.

Jewel goes to a karaoke bar in disguise and sings her own songs. I think anyone who can stay on key would be a hit at this place.

A huge timeline plots 120 science fiction events into the years they were set. Apparently we have been living in a post-apocalyptic dystopia for years. (via NeatoGeek)

Super-fast Ninja Cat

(via Arbroath)

Good Reads and Information

The Top Ten Female Assassins. That's about nine more than I could've come up with off the top of my head.

Whatever happened to the box-office bomb? Thanks to home video and overseas revenues, even bad movies will make money if you give them enough time.

The New Abortion Providers. How abortion was pushed out of medical schools and hospitals for decades, and how it is returning to regular medical training and care. (via Metafilter)

for Personal Growth or Burnt Feet? If my boss requested me to walk on hot coals as a team-building exercise, I think I'd reconsider my place of employment.

10 Mind-Boggling Psychiatric Treatments. During certain parts of our history, you'd have to be crazy to let anyone know you were mentally ill.

Sperm is so useful that the gene responsible for it hasn't changed in 600 million years. It's still found in sea anemones, insects, worms, and others of our close relatives.

The Fayum portraits are up to 2,000 years old, yet they were preserved so well that they appear to be recently painted. They give us a look at ancient Egypt that their mummies can't give us. (via Metafilter)

It's sad to see how much edible food grocery stores toss out every day, but freegans are doing something about it. When your name is Ginger Freebird, dumpster-diving might just come naturally.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Rocket 88

The song that many consider the "first ever rock and roll song". Ike Turner, from 1951.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Western Spaghetti


Western Spaghetti is wonderful stop-motion short from the geniuses at PES. You really should look through their entire portfolio.  (Thanks, Jon Jason!)


Our Gang Follies of 1936

The Little Rascals are at it again!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Good Reads and Stuff You Should Know

Preview the new NatGeo Amazing! book and maybe win copy of your own from Neatorama!

At one time, the 6 Worst Jobs Ever were done by children. See, they didn't know any better and didn't have the power to quit. NSFW text.

Richard Nixon: The Shy Guy. He went from a fearful and awkward child to a paranoid and awkward politician.

The Curious London Legacy of Benedict Arnold. An American historian paid thousands of dollars to have a proper grave marker for the notorious Revolutionary War traitor.

Take a walk down the uncanny valley with Bina48, a robot designed to be a "friend" with conversational skills. New York Times reporter Amy Harmon interviewed the robot itself (or is it "herself"?) to see how conversational she really is.

LBJ: The President Who Marked His Territory. And those around him felt obliged to respect his dominance, like it or not.

Happiness and sadness spread just like germs. Be careful what you spread, and what you expose yourself to today, OK?

Altered animals: Creatures with bonus features. I'll take a pre-plucked chicken and a glow-in-the-dark kitten, thank you. (via Boing Boing)

Curly's Sweater

The Three Stooges!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

8 Obscure but Adorable Wildcat Species

We all know the big cats: lion, tiger, leopard, cheetah, jaguar, and cougar. You are probably also familiar with some smaller wildcats such as the lynx, ocelot, and bobcat. These cats have other cousins that roam the wilds, but we don’t get a look at them as often as the bigger, more famous species. See eight of them in this list I posted at mental_floss.

Fun and Funny Links

Funniest Last Words, Deathbed Witticisms. These people took the advice to "leave them laughing" a bit too literally.

A collection of The Web's Worst Lawyer Commercials. Would you trust your future to an attorney who can't face the fact that their ads are awful? (via J-Walk Blog)

Alien Roll is a simple physics game that requires you to think before acting. A couple of failures will teach you what you need to know.

Retro Recipes Attempts tries out those 50-year-old dishes in your mother's file, to save you the trauma. Tomato soup cake, anyone? (via Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories)

The History Channel doesn't even try to make their stuff believable. This World War II has too many plot holes and the characters are too polarized, with no gray area between good and evil.

Isiaha Mustafa, the Old Spice Guy, was busy posting YouTube videos all day Tuesday in response to messages at reddit, Digg, and Twitter. And he won't even return my calls!

Here's a guy who knows how to enjoy himself: the happiest DJ to ever DJ a party. Maybe his smile is contagious!

Lullaby Land

From 1933.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ancient Bodymods from Around the World

What, did you think face-stretching and skin-piercing were modern fads? Not by a long shot! People have been undergoing painful procedure to modify their bodies (and their looks) for thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands, of years. See an overview of these ancient customs in this article I wrote for Neatorama.

Good Reads and Stuff

It takes a real passion for your work to descend into the deepest caves of the world. James M. Tabor not only has the passion, but he communicates it well to those of us here on top of the earth. (via Metafilter)

89-year-old Adolek Kohn returned to Auschwitz 65 years after he was imprisoned there and did a victory dance with his descendants. Do you think this is disrespectful or life-affirming?

An expedition into the Atlantic Ocean finds lots of new species that are actually very old species. Some are referred to as "living fossils", which I know from experience can cut deeply.

6 of Oprah’s Famous Feuds. It's a game you can't win, unless you happen to be Oprah Winfrey.

The 9 Most Statistically Terrifying Days On the Calendar. It's enough to make you want to give up statistics.

Treehouses for All Occasions. Any treehouse can be fun, but these constructions stand tall above the rest.

How is a marriage affected when one partner seeks immortality and the other doesn't? That's the dilemma that comes with plans for cryogenic preservation.

The Amygdaloids are a band of neuroscientsts who sing about the brain. Read about them in this interview at NPR. (via Metafilter)

The Life of the Party

Featuring The Cabin Kids, from 1935.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Outlaws as Folk Heroes

Nineteen-year-old Colton Harris-Moore was arrested in the Bahamas Sunday after a two-year run from the police. The “Barefoot Bandit” is accused of a string of robberies, including the theft of up to five airplanes. Along the way, he picked up 83,000 fans on his Facebook fan page and spawned a fan club. What makes an outlaw into a hero, or at least a pop culture figure? Those individuals who achieve such status have a few things in common that tweak the interest and sympathy of the public. Read about a few of these outlaws and the factors that made them heroes in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

A Tarsier Eats a Snack

Monday, July 12, 2010

The King of Farts

Joseph Pujol was a particularly specialized entertainer in turn-of-the-century France. He farted! Yes, he had an uncanny talent for farts, which he developed over years of practice. Under the name Le Petomane, he headlined at the Moulin Rouge and became the toast of Europe. Read the entire story of how this act came to be at Neatorama.

The King of Farts

Joseph Pujol was a particularly specialized entertainer in turn-of-the-century France. He farted! Yes, he had an uncanny talent for farts, which he developed over years of practice. Under the name Le Petomane, he headlined at the Moulin Rouge and became the toast of Europe. Read the entire story of how this act came to be at Neatorama.

Fun and Funny Links

Meet Allie's dog. You are going to love her no matter how intelligence-challenged she is.

Reviews of Wendy's in Waltham, Massachusetts from Google Maps. (via Cynical-C)

College humor shows us what games would be like if each had a "super-easy" mode. If this had been the case in the 80s when I hung out at the local arcade, I might be a dedicated gamer today!

What You Get When You Name a New Dinosaur Over Beers: Mojoceratops. Frankly, you could think all day and never come up with a cooler name.

An experienced wedding photographer has probably done this a thousand times. Except for that last part, which he won't ever do again.

Buzzfeed collected 30 of the funniest GraphJam graphs from your entertainment. The cleverest, in my opinion, is the one about bears.

Model train enthusiasts will salivate over the largest train set in the world at the Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg. Ten kilometers of train tracks join computer-controlled cars and boats and all kinds of people, too! More here.

More evidence that what happens in the stands is more exciting than what happens on the baseball field. At least this action got some play-by-play commentary.


Life in the Roaring Twenties!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Zach Anner

Actor and video producer Zach Anner from Austin, Texas has made quite a splash since he auditioned for Oprah Winfrey's online contest to award someone their own television show. However, he's not new to the business. Check out some of Anner's earlier video productions and what he's been up to since becoming net famous in this video list I posted at mental_floss.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Informative Links

At the intersection of science and science fiction, you get SETI-Con, August 13-15. The theme of the event is, "Are we alone in the universe?" (via Science Not Fiction)

Secret of AA: After 75 Years, We Don’t Know How It Works. Group therapy may be a more important component than the twelve steps, buy then again, who knows? (via Metafilter)

Sam Kean is starting a series of posts on the periodic table of elements, meaning he is writing a separate post about each of about two-dozen of the most interesting elements. Antimony and hydrogen are leading the parade.

More on the ScienceBlogs blow up over the addition of a Pepsi blog. The Loom is keeping up with the ScienceBloggers who are leaving over the issue.

What would happen if the earth stopped spinning? We'd be able to drive around the world, except we couldn't visit Canada or Siberia without a submarine.

How about a nice frozen bloodsicle? It's one of the imaginative ways zoos are keeping their animals cool in the east coast heat wave.

Whiskey Business: The Many Myths of Jack Daniel. We separate the truth from the legends so you'll be armed the next time you have a friendly debate over shots.

Japanese artist maps 1945-1998's nuclear explosions. Maybe you are familiar with the first test and those two that ended World War II, but how about those other 2,050 nuclear explosions?

Thursday, July 08, 2010

World Record Garden Produce

I picked the very first ripe tomato from my garden yesterday. It wasn’t even big enough to cover a sandwich with a slice. There are much larger green tomatoes that will, whenever they ripen. But they are all small potatoes (so to speak) compared to the monsters that some serious gardeners grow. I’m talking about the biggest vegetables ever, in this article I posted at mental_floss.

Monkey Cat

(via Arbroath)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Bygone Practice of Foot Binding in China

It is estimated that between a billion and four billion women in China had bound feet between the 10th and 20th centuries. The practice essentially crippled them, but only the upper classes could accommodate such a disability. The rest of these women had to work every day of their lives, balanced on their heels, enduring pain in the name of beauty, status, and tradition. Read about how this happened in this article I posted at Neatorama.

Fun and Funny Links

A tribute to Bruce Willis, who has been in way more movies than I could possibly keep up with. My apologies for the tune which will be stuck in your head all day. (via the Daily What)

A Completely Illustrated Course of Instruction on How to Enter Vaudeville. I wonder if this is how Bob Hope got his start? (via Gorilla Mask)

The 7 Most Bizarre Sports Rituals in the World. Read about seven Because if you forget to fling an octopus on the ice and your team begins to lose, it's ALL YOUR FAULT!

Watch a 30-minute fireworks display in Toledo in only 3 minutes, thanks to the magic of video. Fast-forward for the fantestic fast finale!

12 Bizarre Hello Kitty Products That are a Sign of The Coming Apocalypse. Oh yeah, some of these awful products are backlash, but others are from and for seriously addicted Hello Kittyholics.

If a bird were to wear a hat, what hat would it wear? There are dozens of answers to that question. (via Gorilla Mask)

6 Things From History Everyone Pictures Incorrectly. Of course, it's mainly Hollywood's fault, but Michelangelo bears some guilt as well.

I hate to admit it, but Ragdoll 3 is the kind of game you'll enjoy losing. Oh, I would enjoy winning as well, but just shooting the little doll was a lot of fun.

Let's All Go to the Lobby

My kids were amazed that I had this memorized. They don't understand why I went to the movie theater twice a week when I was a kid. It's because that's how often they changed the movie! Of course, I would usually sit through the same feature twice... and sometimes pay to see one I'd already seen the day before. They can't fathom a world without home video.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Ape Women: 10 Dedicated Primate Researchers

Women are doing amazing work in primatology, the study of monkeys, apes, prosimians, and even humans. Although many are working on furthering our understanding of our closest relatives, we will take a look at only the most prominent in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

Informative Links

Psychological research conducted in WEIRD nations may not apply to global populations. America is certainly WEIRD: Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic. (via Boing Boing)

Is the Mafia Dead? No, but it's not looking too healthy according to this article that I imagine took guts to write. (via Dark Roasted Blend)

The Best Movies Never Made. And that's probably for the best, as the concepts sound greater than the finished product could ever be.

The symbolism of historic icons usually gets simplified over the years, and often co-opted by groups with their own agendas. Along the way, the actual history gets lost, which is the point this Cracked article 8 Historic Symbols That Mean The Opposite of What You Think.

The (Very Profitable) Economics of Emissions. People know preventing pollution is the right thing to do, but they tend to do it only when there are financial incentives.

Immigrant farm workers challenge unemployed people to try farm labor. Especially those who claim undocumented workers are taking good jobs away from Americans. (via I Am Bored)

The Geek's Vacation Checklist
. Before you get away from it all, make sure you have take everything with you!

Rock the Joint

By Wild Rumpus featuring Beardymen. (via Everlasting Blort)

Monday, July 05, 2010

The Curse of the Little Rascals

The Our Gang series of short films delighted generations of theater patrons and TV viewers. Then as the years went by, we heard of all the awful things that happened to the kids who starred in those shorts. Were they cursed? Read about The Curse of the Little Rascals at Neatorama.

Fun and Funny Links

Toronto's Eaton Center Mall closed due to the G20 protest. This caused a real problem for a guy who really, really wanted to go shopping. NSFW language.

In honor of Larry King's retirement, here are The 10 Funniest Moments In Larry King Live History. See, you cold skip 25 years of watching and catch the best parts on the internet!

15 Grave Coincidences. Snapping pictures of gravestones at "a certain angle" could become a new hobby. Here's one more.

Cats play soccer! That goalie is definitely World Cup material.

Isaiah Mustafa explains how they did the latest Old Spice ad in one continuous shot. Knowing the secrets behind the sequence only makes it more impressive.

Chivalry rears its head during a recent flood in St. Petersburg, Russia. Watch for a surprise bonus to pass by as well.

Imagine you are a performer, and the composer of the song you're singing drops by, and even joins in! Could you keep your composure as well as this choir did?

Ninja cat strikes fast; leaves no trace. Oh, except for the video evidence, which we can slow down if need be.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Stars and Stripes: Forever!

John Philip Sousa wrote the tune we know as Stars and Stripes Forever on Christmas Day in 1896, according to his autobiography. Most Americans associate it with Independence Day more than any other holiday. As we head into a Fourth of July holiday weekend, lets get into the proper patriotic mood with a variety of strange and wonderful renditions of that old classic, Stars and Stripes Forever that I posted at mental_floss.

Independence Day Links

5 Neat Facts About The Declaration of Independence.

5 Forgotten Founding Fathers. No school teaches you about all 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, but we can help close the gap. Also see 4 More Forgotten Founding Fathers.

Slate challenged readers to rewrite the Declaration of Independence as one Tweet. The top three selected are here. Read the other entries in the comments here.

10 Big Uncle Sams. Larger than life, and big enough for us all to look up to!

The History of Fourth of July Fireworks. It's how we celebrate out independence, with "Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more."

How Fireworks Work.

How to take better photographs of your fireworks.

10 Fireworks Effects To Watch For. Armed with this information, you'll be able to describe them much better than “The Ones That Do That Shooty Thing”.

The 13 Most Horrible Firework Accidents.

Check your state laws concerning fireworks.

7 July 4th Traditions from Around the Nation. Of course, if you're from New England and have never eaten salmon for Independence Day, you are not alone.

A list of 155 TV marathons and specials for the Fourth of July weekend.

See also: Fireworks and The Fourth of July

Samantha the Fox Cub

Can it get any cuter than this?

Friday, July 02, 2010

Good Reads

The movie Airplane! opened 30 years ago today. Over, Oveur, roger, Roger, and don't call me Shirley!

ScienceBlogs had a Zombie Day Thursday. Click on the zombie portraits and check out the many posts that show us how zombified scientists are underneath those lab coats.

Norman "Sailor Jerry" Collins revolutionized the art of tattoo. He refined the process to make it safer, developed new colors, and taught other artists to carry on his legacy. (via Everlasting Blort)

Does national IQ depend on parasite infections? A newly-proposed theory suggests so, but correlation is still not causation.

Rob Spence had his missing eye replaced with a wireless video camera. His next plan is to upload what he sees so that we can all see through his eye -literally.

If you can't solve your Rubik's cube (or even if you can), you can use it as an art medium. Here are 30 works of art made from the big pixels on the puzzles. (via Gorilla Mask)

Scientists have discovered 150 gene variants that can predict how long your lifespan will be. It's as if we have an internal expiration date, but would you want to read it?

6 Laws That Were Great On Paper (And Insane Everywhere Else). It's only human nature to find a way around restrictions, with sometimes devastating unintended consequences.

The Handicapped Stall

A video Zach Anner did several years ago.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Canada Day

Happy Canada Day! Canada became independent of Britain gradually, in stark contrast to the fit we Yanks threw in the 1770s. The celebration of Canada Day grew gradually as well. There was no instructions from the founders on how to commemorate the holiday, like John Adam’s plan to celebrate July 4th “with bonfires and illuminations”. Nevertheless, some traditions have taken hold for Canada Day, as it is the one day every year when Canadians feel the need to show off their patriotism. Read about it in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

Fun Links

The 2010 Bulwer-Lytton awards for bad fiction have been bestowed. Enjoy the glistening dewdrops, the axe-bearing villagers, and the very worst opening sentences of the past year.

Amazon bought Woot, and Matt Rutledge wrote the most awesome acquisition announcement ever. "One, our business model is so vague that there’s no way Amazon can possibly change what it is we’re truly doing..." (via Holy Kaw!)

A mother's work is never done. For a single mom with more than one child, even more so.

Booktails: Our Favorite Alcoholic Beverages From Literature. With these recipes, you can feel oh-so erudite and sophisticated as you become thoroughly sloshed.

Sweet James Bond-Like Space Saving Furniture. After a couple minutes of this presentation, I was expecting them to fold an entire apartment into a suitcase.

This FaceTime Commercial Parody looks at the real consequences of being connected by technology. If that's all you have, then that's all you have.

The baffling euphemisms of plus-sized clothes. Different shapes have different names, but it just won't do for a clothing manufacturer to label them as "fat-shaped".

You see beautiful rooms in catalogs and magazines and you have to wonder about people who would live in such artistic perfection. The blog Catalog Living gives you a glimpse into the life of those who live in those places, and it's not always pretty. (via Metafilter)