Monday, February 28, 2011

Informative Links

Anything that’s not worth staying up all night for will be on the ‘net the next day anyway. See the complete list of Oscar winners, plus photos and videos at the Academy Awards site.

It's a Small, Small World.

Some monkeys have enough self-awareness to realize when they don’t know an answer, and will tell us if we make it worth their time. It appears that uncertainty is not an exclusively human trait. (via J-Walk Blog)

The 50 Greatest Opening Title Sequences of All Time. For some of these movies, it’s the only part worth remembering.

Scientists can convince people that they have three arms. This could lead to, scientists telling us a Nigerian prince is going to transfer his money to our accounts.

Wedding Traditions from Around the World. If you think these are bizarre, remember they probably think the same of our customs.

NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has identified 54 planets that are close enough to their stars so that conditions for life are possible. The SETI Institute (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) turned their antennas to the most promising candidates for a listen.

The Drinking Bird, a Scientific Toy for the Ages. After 55 years, it still fascinated us to find out how it works.

Six Brands That Don’t Mean What They Used To. Most because they were bought by someone who just wanted a valuable name to trade on. (via Fark)

An interactive graph of income distribution in the US from 1917 to 2008 shows how the rich are getting richer. Everyone else, not so much. (via Metafilter)

Ørkenens Sønner

I have no idea what the title means. I have no idea what the performance means, either. (via Arbroath)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Machine Music

One subject I come back to again and again is unusual musical instruments. Besides instruments you rarely encounter, people use everyday objects to make music. We also use natural resources to produce melodies. Even information can be converted to music. So of course, when a machine produces more than one type of sound, someone, somewhere will play music with it. Here are some examples of all this machinery making modern music, in a collection I posted at mental_floss.

Pigs in a Polka

The Three Little Pigs set to music, from 1943.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Fun Links

His and Hers Road Trip.

Racehorse Names Rejected by the British Horseracing Authority. All extremely naughty. (via Arbroath)

Here are 83 Gut-Busting Restaurant Challenges for Free Food, but only if you eat it all, and usually within a time frame. This handy guide may help you plan your next vacation road trip. (via The Daily What)

Oscar the Grouch Picks the Oscar Winners. You can say he is talking trash here.
Your cats may act sweet, but if these photos are any indication, they are ready to destroy you and everything you love. Don’t count on any help from the dog, either.

Early Pixar Shorts. Whether you’ve seen these before or not, they are always worth another go-around.

Predator: The Musical.

6 Scientific Reasons Your Girlfriend's Father Hates You.

Swiss Ball Surfing

This would be so much fun if you get it right, but think of the many ways it could go wrong! (via the Presurfer)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

10 Classic Video Game Fashions

Playing video games is usually a solitary pursuit. You wear what you like as long as you’re comfortable. A t-shirt and pajama pants will do nicely, and you can find those printed with your favorite video game characters and icons at most clothing stores. For conventions and cosplay events you will want a full costume, which you can find online with no problem. Then there are those times you go out in public and would like to broadcast your interests, subtly or not-so-subtly, to break the ice with potential kindred spirits. The ten fashion articles in this list I posted at mental_floss are for just such an occasion.

Links for Fun

Ten-year-old Maria Aragon sang Lady Gaga’s new song and got 12 million YouTube views in one week. Listen and see why.

How to twirl your nipple tassels. NSFW.

Russian Wedding Photos: When bad taste and bad Photoshop meet eternal love.

The only thing sillier than making a 60-second version of The Exorcist would be to animate it in Claymation. Except for the doctor, who can be a doll since he has no important emotions to show anyway.

8 Forgotten Kids Shows Sure to Give You Nightmares. If that’s what you really want.

Allie Brosh at Hyperbole and a Half has a new post in which she relates her experiences with childhood nightmares. This, of course, affected everyone around her.

What happens when Antoine Dodson, Gary Brolsma, Paul Vasquez, and other instant internet stars collide in a feature film? An all-meme movie called The Chronicles of Rick Roll.

Incident in a Movie Theater.

I Don't Wanna Marry Until I Have a Job First! Life plans from a five-year-old.

You wouldn't guess it by looking at him, but close your eyes and this guy is Axl Rose. (via Buzzfeed)

Stephen Scott's Entrada

The Bowed Piano Ensemble: ten people play one piano, each in their own way.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Good Reads and Information

Focus is overrated and distraction has its benefits. What you lose in productivity with your terrible attention span, chances are you’ll probably make up in creativity. (via Wired Science)

The 100 Best Protest Signs At The Wisconsin Capitol. Back in the day, you were lucky to get 100 people to carry signs, much less that many with creative slogans worth reposting.

Restaurants to Die For. Guaranteed to impress a date -or scare him/her off forever.

Eight charts that explain everything that's wrong with America.
A simple solution to the budget crisis in Wisconsin.

Power of Decision is a 1958 Strategic Air Command film that illustrates how to start a nuclear war. In this scenario, the “success” of a nuclear war was defined as not having the will of the enemy imposed on the US, despite millions of citizens killed. (via Metafilter)

What Happens When You Stick Your Head Into a Particle Accelerator. Anatoli Petrovich Bugorski was extremely lucky; don’t try this at home. (via Boing Boing)

The 6 Most Epic Escapes Across Hostile Territory. When you’re desperate and have nothing left to lose, it’s time for a Hail Mary play. NSFW text. (via Gorilla Mask)

How far is the Moon from Earth? Knowing the numbers and visualizing the vast distances of space are very different things.

100 Years of world history in two minutes. Just think how much time this would have saved us in middle school!

Synchronized Kittens

Not original or groundbreaking, but they sure are cute! Warning: music. (via Buzzfeed)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Art of Jello

Gelatin as a dessert has a fascinating history and there is plenty of jello trivia, but for pretty pictures, there’s nothing like edible art. Let’s take a look at how creative people are using gelatin as an art medium in this list I posted at mental_floss. Some of these are strictly professional; others you might want to try yourself!

Fun and Funny Links

Oh The Places You’ll Actually Go! Dr. Seuss gets the real world treatment in this parody video.

M. C. Escher’s Waterfall is an optical illusion, so how could this guy build one in his garage and get it to work? Personally, I prefer this version.

The Worst Gig. Music journalist Jon Niccum collected unforgettable stories from musicians about jobs gone horribly wrong. (via Metafilter)

What is best on the internet: Star Wars or cats? What if we combined them?

Do Your Own Adventure With Sue Teller. An elderly teachers learns to get her freak on.

Mike Cooper made a cake for his son’s 6th birthday on the theme of the Angry Birds video game. However, this cake was a game itself, complete with a working catapult, and was played before eating! (via Laughing Squid)

Pink Armadillo Attack. This is a real Japanese movie about a woman who swivels her hips and turns into a giant pink armadillo that can roll around in a ball and cause mayhem. While she giggles.

Japanese Shadow Swordplay On Stage. Who needs computer-generated effects when you have timing, choreography, and a clever idea?

This puppy knows he can’t walk through glass, but he doesn’t quite get what a mirror is. We’ll forgive him because he’s so cute!

Beanstalk Bunny

Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck re-enact the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. From 1955.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Presidents Day Links

Abraham Lincoln: Portrait of a Crazy Badass. Among the hyperbole and NSFW text, this Cracked article has some very good reasons Lincoln is one of our favorite presidents. (via Gorilla Mask)

We’ve only had one president who won four elections, pulled us out of a depression, guided us through a world war, and did it while hiding the fact that he was confined to a wheelchair. But today, instead of hiding the chair, we celebrate it.

Theodore Roosevelt: Mojo in the Dojo. Teddy had a brown belt in judo and was just as tough when setting policy.

Badass of the Week: George Washington.

The First Ladies of the US, ranked by sexiness.

Bouvet Island is 1,700 miles from Antarctica and covered in ice. The few expeditions to explore it were many years apart, but in 1964, a South African expedition found an abandoned boat that is still a mystery. (via Dark Roasted Blend)

The U.S.A. Memory Championship pits mental athletes against each other to see who can recall long strings of information. Joshua Foer writes about how he trained to win the event.

Einstein's Twin Paradox Simplified.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cat Bowling

A cat, a stack of lightweight containers, and an optional laser pointer. That's all you need for a round of cat bowling, as you'll see in this collection of funny videos I posted at mental_floss.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Good Reads and Information

Why You're Not Married. This comes across as harsh, but has a lot of wisdom behind it.

“Let me show you why you would not want to be shot by a 357 Magnum.” Not that I ever did, but this guy drove the point home convincingly.

What to Do (and Not Do) In A Fistfight. Asking for a three-step head start toward the door isn’t a bad idea, either.

The day when we will use microbots to perform surgery from the inside of the body is getting closer. Scientists have figured out how to steer them with electricity. (via Boing Boing)

You like fizzy drinks and pop rocks, don’t you? For a healthy alternative, you can carbonate your own fresh fruit.

Locked in a Vegas Hotel Room with a Phantom Flex. If someone handed you a video camera that recorded 2,564 frames per second, you’d stay up all night playing with it, too! (via Cynical-C)
5 Horrific Murders (and the TV Movies made from them). Read how close the movies are to the actual cases.

Tycho Brahe: The Drinking Man's Thinking Man.

“Wet Houses” are hospices for alcoholics, where they can drink themselves to death. If you don’t want to quit drinking, at least you’ll find a bed and safety from street violence. (via Metafilter)

It looks like the Robocop statue for Detroit is fully funded! The mayor may have to take a second look at the idea.

The Legend of Lincoln’s Fence Rail. He was honest, but still a politician who valued some spin on his best story.

A little car trouble, according to this email from a guy out camping. (via reddit)

The High and the Flighty

Foghorn Leghorn meets Daffy Duck in this 1956 cartoon.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

10 Strange and Wonderful Plush Toys

There should probably be a rule #34 for toys: “If it exists, someone will make a plush doll of it.” In a couple of previous posts, we found roadkill, monsters, germs, food, and internet memes rendered in cuddly toy forms. We have yet to tax the supply of available plush, as you'll see in this list I posted at mental_floss.

Fun and Funny Links

The Pliocene Pussy Cat Theory.

Watch a 3D video mapping experiment called Living Room. A white room and furniture is assigned different colors and textures and sent through quick changes.

The Evolution of Ghosts. Weren’t they invented to scare us? What happened?

The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger. (via Metafilter)

How to properly hold a cat. (via reddit)

Ass-cam is the easiest way to find out how many people are checking yours out.

Baby Trashes Bar. Like one commenter said, we’ve all been there, but most of us didn’t have the sense to wear nappies.

Letters from the Muppets. A glimpse at correspondence from Jim Henson, Caroll Spinney, and the Swedish Chef, plus complaints about the Count.

Superman denies shaving your wife. But he will admit saving your life.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Informative Links

National Geographic has assembled their online archives on Egypt into one index. You can brush up on what ancient artifacts tell us about Egyptian history and how they have been impacted by the revolution.

Baba Yetu is the first song specifically written for a video to ever win a Grammy. But who needs the video game when you can just listen to the music?

15 Things Kurt Vonnegut Said Better Than Anyone Else Ever Has Or Will. It had to be hard to just select 15 things. (via The Daily What)

Boy Without a Cerebellum Baffles Doctors. Chase Britton has “the MRI of a vegetable,” but the 3-year-old is learning to walk and talk and use a computer. (via Metafilter)

Doctors removed the entire right half of Jody Miller’s cerebrum to stop constant seizures. She recovered from surgery, and the left half of her brain has taken over all functions.

The Pudú is the world’s smallest deer, and is exceptionally cute. The world’s largest deer is a moose, and they are quite strong.

Weird Wedding Laws Still on the Books. For each of these laws, you know there’s a great story that caused it to be enacted.

What’s the difference between animals we can domesticate and animals we can’t? It’s in the genes, and it turns out that when we selectively breed friendly animals, we also get cute and smart animals.

The Soviets always wanted to build ever bigger, better, and more modern buildings. Some of those projects look downright freakish to 21st century eyes. (via Metafilter)

Joanne Siegel was the real-life inspiration behind the character of Lois Lane. She auditioned for a modeling job as a teenager and ended up married to Superman’s co-creator.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Extraordinary Life of Liviu Librescu

There are those who are remembered for their wisdom and caring during their lives, and others who are remembered for undergoing and surviving trials. Some are remembered for a life of accomplishments. And there are those who are remembered for heroic deeds. Every once in a while, there comes someone who is remembered for all of those things. If you don't know Liviu Librescu, you will after reading this article I posted at mental_floss.

Links for Fun and Enjoyment

You thought he would never have a girlfriend, but you see you were wrong. The Cereal Guy meme generates more laughs than you would expect.

A new version of Huckleberry Finn is coming out with the n-word replaced by the word “robot”! In fact, the entire character of Jim will be replaced by a robot to highlight how silly it is to edit a classic.

Concerned citizens are raising funds to erect a statue of Robocop in Detroit, with or without the city’s help. They’ve already got a place to put it and 10% of the funds they need.

Back to the Future. Argentine photographer Irina Werning went to great lengths to faithfully reproduce childhood photos with the same subjects as adults.

Lady Gaga’s new song “Born This Way” reminds of lot of people of Madonna’s 1989 hit “Express Yourself.” If you can’t tell, here are the two songs played together.

Dusty, the Klepto Cat, caught in the act. If you asked him, he’d say it wasn’t stealing, it was collecting things as a hobby.

Among many wonderful but sad comics at Pictures for Sad Chlidren, this particular one made my day.

Omer. L Baumgartner led an interesting life. (via Dangerous Minds)

Albert Einstein spent the summer of 1939 vacationing at the beach. His quest for a sundial led to the later notoriety of a picture taken that summer.

The game Cheese or Font? gives you a word, and you decide whether it’s a cheese or font. How hard could this be? Surprise! There are way more of both in the world than I realized.

A Sheep's Best Friend

A bouncy sheep and his dog playmate have a good time! (via Buzzfeed)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Day Links

Your Valentines Day playlist at YouTube, compiled by J-Walk and his readers. Let this go all day long, while you work in another window.

Romantic Gestures That Make Yours Look Pathetic.

Mashable's Top 5 Nerdy One-liners for Valentines Day.

Statistical Love Poems for Valentines Day. This is so far above my head, I’d be awfully impressed by anyone who understands it. (via Everlasting Blort)

The Secrets Behind Your Flowers. Did your valentine bouquet do its part to supplant the cocaine trade in South America?

The 8 Most Romantic Creatures In The Animal Kingdom.

14 Romantic Gestures Gone Terribly Wrong.

Tongue Wrestle Mania: The Art and Science of French Kissing. Don’t be one of the many kinds of kissers that could drive your kissee away!

10 Great Love Affairs in History. Maybe some inspiration for your Valentines Day plans?

More Valentine links.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chocolate Salty Balls

Isaac Hayes performing the song he made famous as the character Chef in South Park.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Red Pandas

A video of a red panda trying to reach a doorknob charmed everyone who saw it this week. Red pandas are possibly the cutest animal on earth. Let’s take a good look at these little balls of fluff, in this collection of eleven videos I posted at mental_floss.

(Image by Wikipedia user Brunswyk)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Good Reads and Info

Spent is a role playing game where you negotiate life as a poor person. The choices and results can seem random and capricious, but that’s life for millions of people. (via Fark)

A 100-year-old men’s club in New York has been renovated and converted into a home. With some of the original fixtures and furnishings, it’s a one of a kind historic property I’d love to live in. (via Everlasting Blort)

The Gippsland Lakes are a chain of lakes in eastern Victoria, Australia. A combination of fire and floods changed the conditions of the water and led to the proliferation of a new species of dinoflagellate, which glows in the dark when you disturb it. (via Monkeyfilter)

The Top Ten Passwords. Don’t use these unless you’re trying to hack into someone else’s account. And don’t do that, either.

10 Pop-Culture Facts That Hammer Home the Reality of Just How Depressingly Dumb Americans Are.

The Anchoring Effect gives you a number you can us to begin comparisons. Whether that number is a useful statistic, a random number, or a deliberate manipulation, it will affect your perceptions and choices.
It’s been a year now since Conan O’Brien left The Tonight Show to avoid being pushed around by Jay Leno. Here’s the story of how the internet rallied around him while he waited to get back on TV. (via The Daily What)

A Brief History of Historically Incorrect Oscar Winners. Now that I’ve learned the truth and seen the clips, I want to go back and watch about half of these movies again.

Things To Do For Lonely People On Valentine’s Day. You know, to get your mind off the fact that everyone else is totally focused on pair-bonding with their sweetheart.

6 “Ghosts” Caught on Film. With video “evidence”, of course.

Horse Enjoys Petting the Cat

(via Arbroath)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

12 Science Valentines

There are Valentine cards, ecards, and gifts for every taste imaginable! If you don’t find a card or image that perfectly expresses your sentiments, you can easily make your own. And if you lack the imagination, skills, or time to create one, someone else probably has just what you’re looking for. The scientific community is no exception -and they take advantage of every opportunity to make a pun when they can. Here are some valentines from different scientific disciplines, in a list I posted at mental_floss.

Fun and Funny Links

Can you think of anything better to watch in high-definition slow-motion than this attractive and energetic kitten? I chose to watch it over and over again.

Dispatches from the Fast Food Wars of the Twentieth Century. If you don’t remember the Burger King Kingdom and its bizarre characters, you’ll be forgiven for doubting they could ever be real. (via The Daily What)

Reel Wisdom: Lessons From 40 Films in 7 Minutes. The more you listen, the more banal and trite they sound.

The Crack/Cocaine/Meth-Addiction Employment Plan.

The Harry Potter Pole Dance. Did you ever think you'd see those words together?

C3PO tries to be helpful. He isn't.

Is this the coolest welcome page ever, or the creepiest?

If social media were a high school, we could slot all the sites into well-known stereotypes. Ethan Bloch has already done that, and designed a yearbook already.

Lucy Lou is a bitch, but she’s also the mayor of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky. She beat out a jackass, a possum, a cat, lots of other dogs, and even a human to win the 2008 election, and has handled her duties admirably.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Informative Links

6 Weird Things That Influence Bad Behavior More Than Laws. The human race is seven kinds of gullible to fall for these tricks.

Dream Rangers. What do you do when your old friends die off, your health is failing, and life is getting short? Go ride motorcycles!

The Apostate: Paul Haggis vs. the Church of Scientology. Screenwriter Haggis resigned from the church over its attitudes towards homosexuality, family ties, fraud, human trafficking, and many other issues. (via The Daily What)

The corner store in New Orleans is an architectural oddity that is repeated around the city. A closer look shows that the traditional style, although strange to outsiders, developed for perfectly reasonable aesthetic purposes. (via Nag on the Lake)

7 Simple Rules For How to Take A Nap. Rule #8: Don’t wake me up from one.

Tetsuro Ahiko was a World War II prisoner in Russian Kazakhstan who twice, maybe three times, lost his chance to go back to Japan due to clerical errors. Now he is the last Japanese man remaining in Kazakhstan, out of choice. (via Metafilter)

We fought a war on lies, and lies won. Part of Salon' series The Real Reagan. (via TYWKIWDBI)
Images from the Secret STASI Archives. Simon Menner explains how these pictures are only sinister if you know the stories behind them. (via Metafilter)

If I had a 32-foot long touch screen, I wouldn’t get any real work done all day. The University of Groningen in the Netherlands has the only one, and they are too busy playing with it to make more.

Behold, the most terrifying thing your roommate can invent and ask you to test: the Shaving Helmet!

The Bizarre Origins of 8 Wedding Traditions. You won’t believe what earlier tradition the garter toss replaced!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Statues from Movies and TV

Detroit mayor Dave Bing reached out to citizens of the internet for suggestions for how to invigorate his city. One of the suggestions that came in yesterday was that Detroit should erect a statue of Robocop, from the 1987 film Robocop, which was set in Detroit. The mayor seemed to dismiss the idea out of hand. He’s probably hearing more about it today, as the idea is gaining ground. Plenty of statues of fictional characters from film and TV stand in other cities, as you'll see in this collection I posted at mental_floss.

Links for Fun

The Adventures of Eggplant. Nasubi became a national superstar on the weirdest game show ever and didn’t even know it!

Portraits from the most stylish goth weddings. They do look a bit hot, however.

How not to launch a boat. Still, the boat came out better in the end than the crane that launched it. (via Breakfast Links)

Paul “Bear” Vasquez, the guy who went nuts over seeing a double rainbow, swoons over other things in this New Zealand Vodaphone ad. It’s catchy, but darned if I know what they are trying to sell.

99 bottles of wine of the wall, 99 bottles of wine… Hey! What if ALL of those bottles should happen to fall?

Adorable puppy enjoys a bath. Video slowed down and set to music for your enjoyment.

Axe Cop became a hit webcomic, then a book, and now it’s been brought to life in a live-action video that stays true to the spirit (and appearance) of the original.

Devils and Angels. Another really weird moment at the new Family Feud.

How to Embarrass a Bee.

Andy Ellison posts MRI scans of vegetables on his site Inside Insides. This is a much cooler idea than can be conveyed without seeing it for yourself. (via Everlasting Blort)

Slacklining at the Totem Pole

Jen, who must be made of pure steel, walks a slack line at Tasmania's sea stack known as the Totem Pole. After you marvel at his focus, strength, and balance (not to mention bravery), consider one other thing -how did they get up there in the first place? (via Metafilter)

Monday, February 07, 2011

Good Reads and Information

Yesterday, for the first time in history, humans got to see the entire sun. Probes launched in 2006 reached opposite sides of the star and will send back data for the next eight years.

Humans are peculiar among species in that we can deliberately adapt to almost any situation we put ourselves into. A case in point is how some people learn to swim underwater for minutes at a time. (via Not Exactly Rocket Science)

The Roma's Long Road to Equality.

You probably remember how the Berlin Wall fell, but do you know how and why it was erected? The building of the wall in 1961 was actually a deadly serious game of double-dare between world superpowers, as the world waited to see who would blink first.

The Big Picture has a roundup of disturbing, scary, uplifting, and certainly historic photographs from Egypt. Despite interruptions in internet service, journalism rises to the challenge.

What we know so far about the Jerusalem UFO. Three videos from different angles, but as of yet no one is asking us to take them to our leader.

7 Animals Humans Brought to Extinction.

Think about it: when someone hugs you, it lasts about three seconds. But it’s not just a rule for hugs -almost everything we do happens in three-second durations! (via J-Walk Blog)

Now we have statistics that track the outcomes of the cases in each of the first ten seasons of the TV show Law & Order. Not only that, but they are compared with what was actually going on in New York City at the time -the NYC murder rate and the politics of municipal law enforcement. (via Metafilter)

10 Foods You Can Allegedly Make In A Coffee Maker. The only problem I see if that the coffee maker would be temporarily unavailable for coffee-making. (via Gorilla Mask)

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Mega Monster Movies

Movie trailers aren’t what they used to be. The trailer for the 1975 movie Jaws was 3.5 minutes long and you never saw the shark, except for a short clip of a fin and a shot of the movie poster. We all wanted to see the shark, so we all paid our $2 to go to the theater. In more recent monster movies, the trailer has all the very best scenes so you can avoid the movie altogether! Here are some over-the-top sea monster movie trailers that will save you a lot of time, in a collection I posted at mental_floss.


A bayan is a Russian accordian, which has a ton of buttons. Performing here is bayan virtuoso Alexander Hrustevich.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Friday Fun Links

Alchemy’s Shower of Gold. That means exactly what you're thinking.

Mind Heist has several animations you can change with the “view” menu. Created by the guy who composed the music for the Inception trailer.

For those who cannot get enough of Allie Brosh’s stories at Hyperbole and a Half, she also writes for The Gloss.

A collection of Soviet work safety posters that will give you nightmares. An extensive gallery of the horrifying things industrial accidents can do to your body.

Thought for the day: I reckon if you're not making a fool out of yourself at least once a day, you're not living hard enough.

That’s the Most Illegal Thing I’ve Seen in the History of Wrestling! Not to mention the most bizarre! (via Breakfast Links)

Darth Vader uses the Force for his own ends. Can’t you just feel his surprise when it actually works?

The “All In Your Head” Movies.

Everything is a Remix: Movies. If that movie you’ve never seen already seems familiar, it’s because all good ideas get recycled. (via Metafilter)

Carl Sagan and his Fully Armed Spaceship of the Imagination. The late astronomer is a super hero who battles the forces of woo with the power of the scientific method!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

8 Regional Foods You Might Not Know

A couple of weeks ago I linked to a map of the US in which each state was labeled with a kind of food associated with the state. Many sites featured the map, and the comments were full of consternation and alternatives. Sure, Hawaii produces the pineapples, but the people who live there eat Spam. All over the world, people think fried chicken when you say Kentucky, but it’s not a particularly native dish nor all that popular in the state. There are foods listed that some state’s lifelong citizens had never heard of! So I looked up some of those obscure regional foods to see what they are all about. Read about knoephla, pasties, chislic, and more in this article I posted at mental_floss.

Informative Links

The difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain, and England, explained in a hurry. Which leaves time to then explain the British Empire, the Commonwealth Realm, Crown Dependencies, and Crown Colonies. Go that?

A biologist at Colorado State University working with the Department of Defense is training plants for national security. Genetic engineering is making plants react to threats they never encountered in nature -for human benefit. (via Fortean Times)

Guillermo del Toro’s Monsters. A biography and interview, with some clues about the characters you’ll see in The Hobbit. (via Metafilter)

The Big Picture has a roundup of disturbing, scary, uplifting, and certainly historic photographs from Egypt. Despite interruptions in internet service, journalism rises to the challenge.

Cracking the Scratch Lottery Code. The tickets are mass-produced, but cannot be completely random because the lottery company must control the number of winners -how do they do it? (via Metafilter)

5 Complaints About Modern Life (That Are Statistically B.S.) We never had it so good as you kids do, so get off my lawn! NSFW text.

7 Myths Mythbusters Proved That We Still Can’t Believe Are True (with video evidence). Probably because we are so used to seeing myths “busted”. (via Gorilla Mask)

6 Obscure Sports To Try This Summer. Sign me up for watching them instead.

Darcy Padilla documented Julia’s life in words and photographs over an 18 year span. The grind of poverty, drugs, HIV, and childbirth played itself out over and over for all of us to see. (via Metafilter)

Explaining the Chinese Zodiac (Just in Time for Chinese New Year). Which is today! Happy New Year!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Funny Links

Developing a habit of reading, in the cutest way ever.

6 Plot Threads Famous Movies Forgot to Resolve. No, you weren’t the only one wondering about Toto’s fate.

Overthinking it. The curse of the thoughtful person is to imagine the best and then expect the worst possible outcome.

The Rick-Rolling Essay. This student should get an A for effort alone, however misguided.

Stacy posted a list of The 10 Most Annoying Songs Ever and got 154 suggestions and arguments. Sounds like “annoying” is in the ear of the beholder.

Banana War.

Meet Candle Kid - The Kid Who Loved Candles.

This is kinda cute! Click the zombies in the Zombie Tabernacle Choir to make them sing sweetly, if a little bit creepily.

This Belgian cartoon features a pig with a gas problem. But it’s no problem for him as he sings and dances through his day. Warning: earworm.

Weird Al Yankovic is now a grammar Nazi. In this particular case, I’m inclined to side with him.

The King's (Real) Speech

Best Picture Oscar nominee The King's Speech is about George VI of England's speech impediments. Here is an actual speech by the King, recorded circa 1938.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The Proliferation of a Virtual Species: You’ll Like This Alot

The world of the internet has seen the genesis of many fabulous creatures, but the alot has managed to successfully breed and proliferate across the virtual landscape better than most. It was introduced on April 13th, 2010. By April 18th, it had its own definition at Urban Dictionary. I believe there are two main reasons for the alot’s success.

1. The grammatical phenomenon of making “a lot” into one word strikes a chord with many internet users. This habit is common among English speakers, but is only obvious when typed. Therefore, the annoyance it brings flourishes naturally on the web, where the literate and semi-literate live side-by-side.

2. This creature is so ugly that it’s cute. Folks love that. Alot.

See how the alot has spread across the web in this roundup I posted at mental_floss.

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