Thursday, September 30, 2010

Remembering the People of Mayberry

The Andy Griffith Show (TAGS) premiered on television on October 3rd, 1960. That means Sunday will mark the show’s 50th anniversary! There are events scheduled all over the country (and on TV) to celebrate this milestone. In the series’ eight-year run, we got to know the residents of Mayberry as if they were our own neighbors. Meet some of these characters, and catch up with the actors who played the parts, in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

The Flintstones Turn 50

Today is the 50th anniversary of the premiere of The Flintstones TV series. Celebrate with 10 Neat Facts About The Flintstones (on their 50th anniversary), an article I wrote for Neatorama.

Funny Links

The Limburger Cheese War. Stinky or not, it was a matter of pride and honor between postmasters who wouldn’t back down.

Can there be anything in the world cuter than Sand Cat kittens? These two, born at Sweden’s Parken Zoo, are just old enough to start exploring. (via b3ta)

A brother and sister get their wisdom teeth removed on the same day. Luckily, mom has a camera handy as they ride home.

How well can you catch and throw paper wads in the office? The game Sticky will drive you crazy.

Choir boys perform a lovely rendition of Duetto buffo di due gatti. In English, that’s The Cat’s Duet.

Jackie Chan vs. the Eye of Sauron. If you’ve ever seen any Jackie Chan movie, you know how this animated short turns out.

Tower repair in the big city. Warning: looking at this picture might make you feel just a little woozy.

The Real Life Inspirations For 14 Simpsons Characters.

The TV series The Flintstones premiered 50 years ago today. The groundbreaking animated series left some heavy fossils on our pop culture landscape.

Andy's Animal Alphabet

From the Prelinger Archives, this film follows an orangutan who gives a tour of the Bronx Zoo in 1950.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Do Something Different in October

A cold snap where I live made me face the fact that summer is over. October is looming, a month chock full of bizarre happenings. However, even when you take Halloween, baseball, and various harvest festivals out of the picture, there are still a lot of weird and wonderful events to enjoy in October. Running in the snow? Jumping off a bridge? Racing an outhouse? It's all in this list I posted at mental_floss.

Good Reads and Information

The Origins of Life. Bob Hazen and other scientists believe that the first life on earth arose through hydrothermal vents in the ocean floor, and shows how organic chemicals can come together to produce amino acids and proteins.

One-sheets are movie posters, commonly with floating movie stars stars and a Trajan font. Unsheets, on the other hand, are artworks created after the movie is out, which make then something altogether delightful. (via Metafilter)

Yes, there really was a Lynyrd Skynyrd, but his name was Leonard Skinner. The inspiration for the band’s name didn’t even like rock-n-roll, according to his obituary. (via The Daily What)

Humans aren’t the only ones with a sense of fair play. Just like children, dogs get all pouty when another dog gets special treatment.

5 Memorable White House Weddings. If there were unmemorable White House weddings, we’ve forgotten about them.

Families in Afghanistan who don’t have a son will sometimes dress a daughter up as a boy. Not to protect her from a woman’s harsh life, though; she’ll have to deal with that eventually. (via Metafilter)

The 9 Most Mind-blowing Disguises in the Animal Kingdom. You can’t trust Mother Nature -or your lyin’ eyes, either! Text NSFW.

If you were a tree, which social networking platform would you use? The Talking Tree in Belgium is on Facebook, Twitter, and its own website.

Too Many Kisses

A scene featuring Harpo Marx from the 1925 silent film.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Links for Fun

Hostage Drama Played Out By Fingers. A classic story, with no dialog, no text, no acting, and props that cost about a dollar total.

Never say no to a panda. These ads feature baffling music and an adorably cute panda inexplicably going off the deep end.

The pain of watching non-geeks use the computer. I live with five non-geeks. Pity me.

This long exposure of the aurora borealis will make you want to move to Norway. Except for the …uh, I really can’t think of any downside to going to Norway.

George Lucas Stole Chewbacca, But It’s Okay. The external origins of all the other Star Wars characters have been explored thoroughly; now it’s Chewie’s turn. (via Boing Boing)

Dictaphone Parcel. A running tape recorder is sent through the mail, and the journey is recreated in animation by using the sounds gathered along the way.

The 100 Worst Songs Ever (with audio). The fun part of lists like this is 1) recalling the songs you wanted to forget and 2) suggesting the songs the listmaker “forgot”. (via Gorilla Mask)

For your daily dose of cute, watch a hungry kitten eat and a turtle bully several house cats. Sometimes being small has its own power.

No Matter What

From Badfinger.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Informative Links

In The Beginning: Star Wars. A look at the various influences that inspired George Lucas.

The Banality of Narcissism. People who think they are all that and people who have low self-esteem may seem at odds with each other, but nobody is really sure what amount of self-absorption is “just right”.

America’s True History of Religious Tolerance. Since the first settlers, people are all for the freedom of their own religion, but not so much for other people’s religions.

Interspecies Mommying. That maternal instinct can make one blind to the fact that there is nothing familiar about this baby except its neediness. Also read about dog mothers and inanimate objects as mothers.

Jane Goodall arrived in Tanganyika in 1960 with no training but a lot of enthusiasm for studying chimpanzees. Fifty years later, National Geographic has an extensive retrospective of Goodall's life and work, as well as digitized archives of all the articles they've done on her since 1960.

Meet the Tomorrow Men. Eight futurists are working to make the world a better place, and as far as they’re concerned, the sooner the better.

The Just-World Fallacy. We tend to insert a structure of fairness into the world we perceive, but it just ain’t so.

Five Athletes that Played Through Old Age. Remember, age and treachery always trumps youth and energy.

Celtic Violins

Smith & Nesbitt. Mairead Nesbitt and Cora Smith. Live from Hyde Park London.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ferret Frenzy!

A pet ferret is a laugh a minute. More than one pet ferret means constant giggles for as long as you can stand them! Find out what I man with this collection of videos I posted at mental_floss.

The Promise of Living

Aaron Copeland's The Promise of Living set to old 8mm and 16mmm found footage. (via TYWKIWDBI)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Fun Links

The Best of Redneck Engineering. What you lack in funds for spare parts, you can always make up for in resourcefulness. (via Gorilla Mask)

Whatever happened to Elvira, Mistress of the Dark? She never really went away, and she’ll be back on TV starting this weekend. (via Boing Boing)

George Lucas in Love. A fantasy about the origins of Star Wars.

Pinocchio has gender issues. As if the story of a man carving his own son wasn’t hard enough to explain in the first place.

The Odd Tales of 5 People Named After Brands or Products. The rediscovery of Marijuana Pepsi Sawyer reminds us of a few other poor souls whose parents were at a loss when filling in the birth certificate.

My daughter and I star in a little comic.

Everything’s Better With Muppets is a catchy song, but also a real philosophy. Does seeing Miss Piggy and Kermit ever fail to brighten your day?

My daughters are playing Bloxorz constantly. Maybe they’ll learn a bit of logic or strategy or something.

The Big Kat: 45,888 calories of chocolatey goodness. Thanks to the pictorial, you can make one yourself!

Firefox wants your cookies! Too many cookies makes me crash, too.

Frank Zappa for the American Dental Association

Frank Zappa joined other celebrities in a radio campaign in 1981 and 1982 to get people to take care of their teeth. Still good advice. (via Dangerous Minds)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

10 Ways to Game Up Your Home

The first generation to grow up playing video games is now feathering empty nests, and plenty more gamers are buying and filling homes. Furniture and home decor companies keep adding designs catering to video game lovers, and those with a bit of time and creativity keep designing and building their own! A really dedicated gamer could furnish the entire house this way, but it’s more likely you’d want to add just one or two game touches to your home to honor that side of your personality. See ten ways to do that in this list I posted at mental_floss.

Good Reads and Info

The 80 million people of the Baby Boom generation are both blamed and credited for the way America is today. And they still have a chance to save or destroy the economy.

How Do Painkillers Find & Kill Pain? Believe it or not, our bodies them them where to go.

Building the Wall
. How the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial came to be.

You’d think that organic farming would be a good thing for the environment, but when you crunch the numbers, it’s not that simple. After all, how many acres does it take to feed the world?

How the iPhone changed the life of a blind man. Combine the Color ID app with VoiceOver, and it almost sees for you.

A squirrel built a nest on the outside of a window. Watch how she gave birth and cared for the babies up against the glass, documented in pictures and video. (via Metafilter)

Online Dating: 10 Psychological Insights. The condensed version is that online matchups aren't as weird or as fake as you may been led to believe.

StoryCorps interviewed retired NYC firefighter John Vigiano about his two sons, one a policeman, the other a firefighter, who both died on September 11, 2001. (via mental_floss' newsletter)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Celebration of Elephants

Every September 22nd, we celebrate Elephant Appreciation Day! To show our appreciation, here’s a look at some of the amazing things elephants do, from water-skiing to painting portrits, in an article I wrote for Neatorama.

Fun and Funny Links

A lizard riding on a wind turbine. On purpose.

Nine Lives. A fine motor skills game. Guide the mouse through each level, but be careful not to hit anything!

High Class (and high price) Toilets. Thrones for those for which an ordinary outhouse will not do.

It Never Hurts To Ask For Extra Credit On A Test. Do you think she received any?

The Echo Park Time Travel Mart has all your time travel supplies, from clones to mammoth chunks. But you should go there yesterday.

You don't have to speak the language to enjoy this Norwegian cooking show.

At a 1983 urologist’s symposium, a new therapy for erectile dysfunction was presented in a totally new way that no one present would ever forget. Text is NSFW, but as there are no pictures, you’ll be laughing at the mental images. (via Metafilter)

A compilation of people a few scant inches away from death. Watching it may make your heart skip a beat every now and then.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

10 People Who Did It Anyway

The news that quadruple amputee Philippe Croizon swam the English Channel over the weekend reminded me of so many people I’ve written about, that I had to look in my files and bring you another inspirational list of people who are labeled as disabled in one way or another, but who still accomplished exactly what they were not supposed to be able to do. Read about them in this article I wrote for mental_floss. Previous articles in this continuing series are linked at the bottom of the post. 

Good Reads and Information

Patience Worth: Author From the Great Beyond. A 17th-century spirit became a bestselling author in the 20th century via Ouija board. (via Boing Boing)

Five Lessons in Punctuation. It’s the difference between “Let’s eat, Grampa,” and the sentence without the comma.

The cameras were rolling as Dr. Richard J. Bing turned 100 last year. He’s sharp as a tack as he looks back at his amazing life, career, and family.

The problem in America is that we use pauses as communicative indicators that we're finished speaking. But because no one is actually listening to anyone, and instead are merely waiting for their opportunity to say what they think about something, there's a subconscious desire to keep talking lest we cede the conversation to someone else.

National Geographic Explores the Gulf Oil Spill. Read how it happened (and better yet, why) in a clear narrative without panic or sound bites.

5 Scientific Reasons You’re a Bad Employee. Science has a way of making us want to crawl into a hole and hide.

Molly Norris, the cartoonist who proposed an “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”, is now in hiding. She changed her name and disappeared after a fatwa was issued.

How 10 Well-Known Beverages Got Their Names. Kickapoo Joy Juice is prominently absent from this list.

Star Trek Bloopers #2

From the original series.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Funny Links

Both Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart are holding rallys in Washington DC on October 30th. Which side are you on?

The 20 Worst Politician Names Of All Time.

Misspelled food. I'll have a binano splat, thank you.

What do you do when your dogs won't come out of an elk carcass? A classic case of asking for advice and getting nothing but laughs. (via Solstice Dawn)

Did I ever tell you I was the subject of a Chinese film?

Allie Brosch tells about the time she had oral surgery the same day as a friend’s birthday party. Anesthesia and a burning desire to communicate do battle in a Jack in the Box restaurant.

Completely ridiculous business combinations.

All my friends are dead

Vagina Bubbles from Hell.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pirate Songs and Videos

International Talk Like a Pirate Day is Sunday, so I compiled some songs and videos to set the mood ahead of time, in this list I posted at mental_floss. Arrrr!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Good Reads and Info

5 Fictional Stories You Were Taught in History Class. You have to admit they were good stories, which is why we remember them and pass them along.

The Open Road Wasn’t Quite Open to All. For three decades, The Negro Motorist Green Book: An International Travel Guide contained not necessarily the best restaurants and hotels, but the only ones available to African-Americans. (via Metafilter)

Reminder: 5 Things You Think Will Make You Happy (But Won’t). With a bonus section at the end about what will make you happy.

How Jon Stewart took a talent for recognizing the absurd and ran with it. He made The Daily Show his own as American politics became more absurd every day. (via The Daily What)

The DTV Shredder is a badass military Segway-type machine that can carry 1,200 pounds over rough terrain. It will immediately go on millions of Christmas wish lists.

5 Sports Leagues That Didn’t Make It. For some reason, fans didn’t fill the arenas for roller hockey.

A secret corps of government photographers and filmmakers documented US nuclear testing in the 40s and 50s. The “atomic movie makers”, officially known as the Lookout Mountain Laboratory made at least 6,500 films. (via the Presurfer)

Everything is a Remix. The beginning of a four-part video series that looks at the nature of creativity, meaning pop music in this segment. (via Laughing Squid)

Serpentine Dance

Te Lumiere Brothers produced this film in 1899. Each frame was hand-tinted to make a color movie. Was it the first color film? maybe not.

The Edison Company made this film in 1894, also of a serpentine dancer (named Annabelle).

Thursday, September 16, 2010

5 Stories of People Delivered as Cargo

You hear about cases of smugglers who traffic in slaves or illegal immigrants as cargo, often with horrific outcomes. But there are a few stories of people who shipped themselves by mail or cargo carrier which turned out relatively happily, in this article I wrote for mental_floss. Do not attempt this yourself.

Fun and Funny Links

Serious Baby Talk. A cute toddler discusses Billy Idol, global warming, everyday stress, and cats.

Geek and Gamer Girls. Team Unicorn got together to make a song parody and a geektastic video to go with it.

How to get that asshole driver out of your blind spot.

Cartoon bears are still bears. Makes you wonder if we are doing the right thing by presenting them as cuddly teddies as much as we do.

The Little Red Monkey.

The Solo Adventures. An award-winning Star Wars fan film that explains why Han Solo “Dropped his cargo at the first sign of an Imperial Cruiser”.

Never celebrate your success until the play is completely finished. Hubris will turn on you in a heartbeat, and it will all be recorded for YouTube.

Jamalong. Senseless fun with your mouse. (via Gorilla Mask)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

10 Fun Facts about Bewitched

Bewitched was an American television series that ran from 1964 to 1972. The premise was that a witch (Samantha Stephens) married an advertising executive (Darrin Stephens), but in order to blend in with “mortals”, Samantha had to keep her supernatural powers secret. However, neither she nor Darrin could control her wacky relatives -particularly Samantha’s magically meddling mother Endora! In most episodes their cover was nearly blown, but the couple explained away the most ridiculous situations as a “demonstration” of a creative new advertising campaign. Learn some things you didn't know about the series in this article I wrote for Neatorama.

Information Links

5 Worries Parents Should Drop, And 5 They Shouldn’t. The real odds of what terrible things could happen are quite different from the horror stories you see on the news. (via Metafilter)

South Pole Traditions. If you ever get a chance to go to Antarctica, you’ll want to experience all the ice cold, weird milestones you can.

Humans use optical illusions to sell products or entertain ourselves, but we aren’t the only ones to use them. Male bowerbirds use forced perspective deliberately to impress lady birds.

Five Lessons in Grammar. A grammarian helps you with those nagging writing choices you aren’t quite sure about.

The 50 Best Blogs for Geography Geeks. (via Metafilter)

FarmVillains. How Zynga stole an idea, addicted millions of users, and profited greatly.

Some say bypassing a higher education is smarter than paying for a degree. If enough people begin to bypass college, the astronomical price may start to come down.

We've known for a hundred years that cars produce deadly carbon monoxide, yet people still die from breathing air poisoned by internal combustion engines. Don't wait until it's too late to learn that lesson. (via Not Exactly Rocket Science)

Herr Meets Hare

Warner Brothers, 1945. (via mental_floss)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Scientists Behind the Movies

Without science, there would be no science fiction. Here are some stories of real life researchers whose work was the inspiration for literature and eventually the Hollywood treatment. Read about a few of them in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

Funny Links

Evan Roth compiled classic internet gifs into a 9.5-minute video.

The Great Escape. A panda cub wins his freedom for a moment and melts our hearts along the way.

Women’s pants sizes are labeled in arbitrary ways that are designed to protect our dignity. Men’s pants are measured in inches, but it turns out that some of those inches are bigger than others.

Advice for Young Girls from Cartoon Princesses.

What can you do with old, unwanted electronics? Send them to Toronto!

Human Pac-man. One hundred eleven people moved around the seats for four hours to get this two-minute video clip. (via Neatorama)

A conversation with a dog about a sweet potato. (via Solstice Dawn)

Everyone's looking for "the Holy Grail of..." medicine, physics, chemistry, even archaeology. It's time for A Crusade Against the Quest for the Holy Grail.

Sammy Davis, Jr.

Performing in the 1940s.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Good Reads and Informative Links

Recent headlines at reddit proves that hell must indeed be frozen over.

The History of Diets.

5 Ways to Go Broke Getting Drunk. That is, if you're rich, because the rest of us can go broke without instructions.

12 Fun Facts about Lost in Space.

The 5 Strangest Things Evolution Left in Your Body. The human body has extra features that we don't use, but our ancestors needed a long, long time ago.

Microscopic views of ordinary stuff make great art photos. Look through the entries of the Nikon Small World photomicrography competition and cast your vote for the people’s choice award. (via Wired)

The Shock of War. Shell shock was malady first recorded in World War I, diagnosed as either physical concussion damage or psychological damage, which translates to TBI and PTSD in 21st-century wars.

Fun Facts about Sushi. Which I would much rather read about than actually eat.

Otters Chase Girl

(via Arbroath)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Tetris Theme

The theme from the video game Tetris is one we’ll always recognize. It’s an 8-bit version of the old Russian folk song Korobeiniki. Tetris just made it into a worldwide favorite. Now people everywhere want to play the song on any instrument they can find! See quite a few in this collection of videos I posted at mental_floss.

Josephine Baker

An excerpt from the 1927 movie La Revue Des Revues. See another clip from the same film.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Fun Links

30+ Weird, Geeky and Cool Wedding Cakes. If you want your wedding day to be memorable, give them a cake they’ll talk about for years to come!

Cat Parkour. Of course they’re good -after all, cats invented this sport!

Now, these are what you call soap bubbles! And everyone went home from the beach cleaner than they arrived that day.

That x-ray calendar we heard so much about a few months back? Totally 'shopped.

Neo Lebowski. Morpheus at first thought "the Dude" was "the One".

The 35 Dirtiest Vanity Plates Of All Time.

Google Instant brings up results for your search terms as you type. That is weird enough in itself, but use it to type the lyrics to Tom Lehrer’s “Elements Song” and it quickly turns to entertainment.

Disney princesses as superheroes. It’s not as far-fetched as you’d think -in fact, they look right at home Spandex! (via Buzzfeed)

Star Trek Bloopers #1

From the original series.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

12 Wild and Wondrous Aquariums

Almost anything can be made into a fish tank IF you’ve got the room, the money, the time, and the dedication to make it work. If you don’t, you can enjoy a dozen projects others have put their hearts into for a beautiful display of fish, in this list I posted at mental_floss.

Informative Links

The Lost Cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits. It turns out that the latest theories for learning academic material aren’t any more effective than earlier methods -and sometimes much less effective.

Why Do We Yawn? This is the science behind the act, although my answer was “to see if I can cause anyone else to yawn in return”.

The only ones: Escaping near death. Being the sole survivors means relief, gratitude, grief, guilt, and the burden of telling the story for everyone else. (via Metafilter)

Edison’s Failed Plot To Hijack Hollywood. He had deep pockets and the power of technology patents, but no understanding of the market.

7 Things You Need to Know about the Torah. Knowledge that will come in handy as we head into Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Through Japanese Eyes: WWII in Japanese Cinema. They say the winner gets to write the history, but movies are made everywhere.

The Unsolved Case of the "Lost Cyclist". Frank Lenz set out in 1872 to circle the world on a bicycle and got as far as Turkey before disappearing forever.


Film shot at 120 frames per second lets us get a better look at how its done. (via The High Definite)

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Truth Behind Big Ben

The nickname “Big Ben” is specifically for the clock’s hour bell (officially named the Great Bell), the largest of the five bells, but in common use also refers to the clock faces and the tower itself. I was once caught using the term incorrectly and made it a point to research the names of the bell, clock, tower, and building -and their history as well. You'll get all that in this article I wrote for Neatorama.

Links for Fun and Entertainment

The Clavin. A literary gem from the place where everybody knows your name.

A dog and a dolphin are best friends and swimming buddies. Seeing them together will start your day out on the right foot.

Hardcore sitter Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham became the first person to successfully execute a double backflip in a wheelchair. Seeing just a part of what he went through to perfect the stunt will make you cringe, but it paid off.

Last week's b3ta image challenge was won by a picture of Mary Bale, the woman who put the cat in a garbage bin. The theme was "making things worse".

The Four Levels of Social Entrapment. You've been there. I certainly have.

If you need help, call 911. If you need help with your math problems, they might not have all the answers.

The Ultimate Mandelbrot Zoom took six months to render. The result is ten minutes of groovy yet soothing wonder.

I Read Some Marx (and I Liked it) is a song parody that would probably fly right over Katy Perry’s head. Guaranteed to inspire heated debate.

Sammy Davis Jr.

Performing at age 6. Must have been in 1931.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Recluses: Private, Exploited, or Self-Destructive?

Sometimes very private people wish to withdraw from the world, and they have that right. Yet some cases may be more than just personal choice. When there is a lot of money at stake and a very few people have access to an elderly recluse, the temptation to take complete control may be too much to resist. Still, the privacy issues surrounding such cases make investigations difficult. Read about some famous cases in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

Informative Links

Debunking Etymological Myths. A grammarian sets us straight on some word origin stories we've heard all our lives.

Dr. Harvey Cushing revolutionized brain surgery in the early 20th century. Before imaging, antibiotics, or even effective anesthesia, he could remove brain tumors and extend patients' lives. (via Boing Boing)

Sentient Fireballs and Biting Lights. Historical accounts of luminescent anomalies, or, as Jerry Lee Lewis would say, "great balls of fire".

How to Turn a Frog Egg Into a Robot’s Artificial Nose. They don't really expect you to do it, but some scientists plan to!

Behind the Scenes of Macbeth. Getting the cursed play to the stage for the first time was an epic adventure in itself.

The Taxi Gourmet. Layne Mosler gets into a taxi and asks the driver to take her to his favorite restaurant. Then she writes about it so we can take the bus instead. (via Metafilter)

The Truth About Infographics. Presented on, yes, another infographic.

Body art puts paint next to nothing. Artists once painted nude bodies on canvas; now the naked body IS the canvas!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Labor Day Reading

Go Where? Sex, Gender, and Toilets. What minimalist restroom signs say about how men and women are perceived. (via Metafilter)

You've heard moderate drinking is good for your health. Now evidence shows that even heavy drinkers outlive teetotalers.

Chemistry Lab Horror Stories. Read these and never be caught without your goggles again.

A set of high-resolution photographs of the people of World War II. These were our parents and grandparents, or folks just like them.

6 Famous Unsolved Mysteries (That Have Totally Been Solved). Because the common, logical, and accepted explanation doesn't make nearly as good a story.

Scalpels and skulls point to Bronze Age brain surgery. (via Boing Boing)

Only the Creepiest Photos Ever Taken. Having a portrait made after death may give you the willies, but in Victorian times, it was often the only photographic record the person left behind.

A collection of candid photographs of Golden Age Hollywood stars.

The Origins of Labor Day

From the History Channel. Have a great holiday!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Drill Teams

Drill Teams come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors. Some have a gimmick (lawn mowers, strollers, book carts) and some must rely on talent, practice, and discipline. We have some of each in this collection of videos I posted at mental_floss.

Kodachrome Test 1922

This color footage was filmed even before movies had sound, and 13 years before a color feature film was released.
George Eastman House is the repository for many of the early tests made by the Eastman Kodak Company of their various motion picture film stocks and color processes. The Two-Color Kodachrome Process was an attempt to bring natural lifelike colors to the screen through the photochemical method in a subtractive color system. First tests on the Two-Color Kodachrome Process were begun in late 1914. Shot with a dual-lens camera, the process recorded filtered images on black/white negative stock, then made black/white separation positives. The final prints were actually produced by bleaching and tanning a double-coated duplicate negative (made from the positive separations), then dyeing the emulsion green/blue on one side and red on the other. Combined they created a rather ethereal palette of hues."
(via Nag on the Lake)

Friday, September 03, 2010

Niche Blogs for Everyone!

If you find yourself yearning for a fresh dose of websites featuring something different and bizarre that you’d never think to look for yourself, you’ve come to the right place. That is, of course, after you’ve read everything new at mental_floss! Here’s another round of blogs that focus on one very specific subject and still manage to update on a regular basis, in an article I posted at mental_floss.

Friday Fun Links

Are these squeaky toys on springs, or is at a chorus line of excited otters? Get your insulin out and be prepared for a cute overdose.

If Websites Were Pets, we could select those that have personality traits which mesh with our own. Or we could just laugh at the similarities to our furry friends.

Piano Accompanist Needed. Proof of diplomatic immunity is a plus. (via Nag on the Lake)

This dog earns her kibble many times over. After all, how well do you dance the merengue?

Dancing in the Movies. There are about 40 movies represented in this video; how many do you recognize?

We thought we had all the animals on treadmills covered in Friday's Late Movies, but alas there were no dinosaurs. But dinosaurs walk treadmills in the game Treadmillasaurus Rex. (via Look at This)

If you enjoy Hyperbole and a Half, you'll want to see this interview with creator Allie Brosch. She says what she does is "draw pictures" but her real talent is storytelling.

Really strange things can happen when you shoot something with a cell phone camera. If the image scanning process is moving slower than the object being recorded, you may get the eerie rolling shutter effect.

The Rescue

This award-winning 2001 Lego stop-motion animation recreates the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark, with a surprise ending. (via Look at This)

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Girl on the Flying Trapeze (1901)

A visual joke told in early motion picture format. By Thomas Edison.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Beer Facts from Around the World

There's a very specific ritual for sharing a beer in Peru. Beer was once brewed in New Zealand to treat scurvy. And brewers like to drink at work in Denmark. These and lots of other facts about beer in countries around the world are collected in a new post I wrote for Neatorama.

Information Links

Animal Name Origins.

King Tut’s Family Secrets. DNA analysis reveals a lot of the missing details in his 3,300-year-old story.

6 Little-Known Facts about The Dick Van Dyke Show. Beside the comedy, the show brought TV sitcoms closer to real life because it was based on real people.

The Kingdom of the Little People is a modern Chinese version of Coney Island's bygone Lilliputia, where little people live and work to entertain tourists. Critics call it a segregated freak show, while others call it acceptance and employment. (via Everlasting Blort)

The science behind glow sticks. Even if you have no intention of ever making your own glow sticks, this video is fascinating to watch. (via Metafilter)

14 Notable Multiple Births (for a total of 69 babies). High-order multiple births are more common than ever, but still strange enough to fascinate us.

A recipe for home made strawberry pop tarts. (via Omega Mom's Twitter feed)

The Rise and Fall of Quicksand. It may not be in as many movies as it once was, but there are still fans of the stuff out there.

Dead Rabbits and Other Historical Pregnancy Tests. When you need to know "now", you were pretty much out of luck until 1977.