Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Fun Links

Happy Rosh Hashanah! Dip your apple in the honey!

Behold, the winners of the 21th First Annual Ig Nobel Prizes, awarded just last night. My favorite was the biology prize for the Aussie beetle that mates with a beer bottle.

What really happened in the November Rain video. (via Breakfast Links)

If the USS Enterprise were a teaching hospital, the film The Wrath of Khan would go something like this. Warning: proctology humor.

Now, that's a headline!

Tommy Williamson built the characters ("So-called Arthur king and his silly English knnnnnigits") from the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail out of LEGO bricks! They were constructed for a special diorama called Pythonscape that will be featured at BrickCon 2011 this weekend. (via Geeks Are Sexy)

Danish comedian Anders Lund Madsen explains Norwegian swimming rules.

If you read the New York Times story I linked last week, What if the Secret to Success Is Failure? you were probably impressed with the graphics that accompanied the story. Laughing Squid has time-lapse videos showing how they made those illusions.

The Greatest Minds of our Generation.

Have you ever looked back and realized you were totally oblivious to something wonderful, but it's too late to fix now that you understand?

Puppy Vs. Paper

(via Arbroath)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Good Reads and Info

Lives Within a Drop of Water. A sneak peek at some of the awesome images from Nikon's Small World microphotography competition.

Even networks are shocked at the police brutality against the Occupy Wall Street protesters. It's about time. (via Metafilter)

Whatever Happened To Colour? The movies used to have glorious Techncolor; now they are muted and dark. And I thought it was just my eyesight!

The Top 10 Books Lost to Time. No, you can't read them. Not for you.

Jack Horner is seeking funding for a project in which he would reverse-engineer a dinosaur using chickens. He plans to switch on ancient traits that still exist in the DNA of modern birds to create a "chickensaurus."

The US's childbirth statistics average out fine, but that covers up a real problem. Both professional women and poor women are struggling with an awful "choice" between children and financial solvency.

The fish in your aquarium are probably pretty upset about being there.

This Lunchtime Quiz at mental_floss challenges you to name all nine of Led Zeppelin's studio albums in three minutes or less. It took me about a minute to complete, because I'm not much of a typist.

Report from the front lines on how the repeal of DADT is affecting the troops. Plenty of other active military have comments in there, too.

The Origins of 7 Common Superstitions.

The Last Meal

A 1956 song from Hurricane Harry. Especially timely when Texas has decided to do away with the last meal ritual for condemned prisoners before they are executed.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Meet Apollo

Princess was so heartbroken when her beloved Biscuit died, her daddy immediately told her she could get a new kitten. I was appalled that he would make such a promise so quickly. He's one of those men who can't stand to see a woman cry, even if she's a little girl. Princess eventually got her wish. We went to the local shelter and picked out a male kitten. She named him Apollo.

Introducing Apollo

My cats have always been casual rescues. Just a couple of years ago, a group of volunteers set up an animal shelter in my county, the first one ever. Man, that's the way to go! Adopting Apollo only cost me $39. Sure, all the other cats were free (well, except for Savannah), but this one came already neutered and with his first shots, which cost way more when you buy those services yourself. A bonus is that we know where a couple of his littermates ended up.

He's just a baby, but he was obviously a model for a cat food company in a previous life.

modeling for the cat food company

Apollo has his own personality. Instead of staring at me wide-eyed like the other cats do when they want to be fed, he narrows his little eyes as soon as he knows you're looking, as if to say, "I'm starving to death! Look at me, I'm wasting away!" As the only male, he demands tremendous amounts of food. Also as the only male, he has all the female cats wrapped around his little paw.

With Go Go.

Go Go and Apollo

With Savannah.

Savannah and Apollo

And especially with Marshmallow, who is his mother figure, role model, and playmate.

Marshmallow and Apollo

He's even found his place in my office cat organizer.

Organized Cats

And he farts. Oh, how this kitten farts! Marshmallow was bad enough, but she grew out of the fart-anytime-a-human-touches-you habit. Apollo needs no such cue. He just farts all the time, toxic tomcat farts, even at his tender age. But he's adorable anyway.

Funny Links

How Many Beans Make Soup? Improbable Research crunches the numbers. The delicious, homemade numbers.

Carlsberg set up a stunt in which they filled a movie theater with tough-looking biker types and filmed what innocent ticket-buyers would do.

A Day in Palindromia. This silly story contains 52 different palindromes.

Josh Gondelman's grandma reviews the movie Titanic. By the time I got to Revolutionary Road and Selina Deon I was pretty sure this story was embellished, if not totally fictional, but it's funny. (via Breakfast Links)

American daredevil Jeb Corliss became the first man in a wingsuit to fly in China and flew right through a natural arch in Tianenman mountain in Hunan Province. The action starts about one minute into the video. (via Arbroath)

Dark Roasted Blend's "Feel Good Issue" #3.

12 Panda Cubs In One Crib. Squee!

102 Doritos Flavors from Around the World.

Front Flips And Back Flips In Super Slow Motion.

George Takei Reassures Humanity About The New Facebook.


The Blue Ridge Mountain Dancers perform at the 1966 Newport Folk Festival. Background music by Pete Seeger.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Interesting Links

If you were to leap out the sixth-story window of a building, how much bubble wrap would be required to ensure your survival? Rhett Allain tackled the problem with graphs, math, physics, and experiments.

Whatever happened to ride you enjoyed so much as a kid at Disneyland that just disappeared? Find out in a rundown of Closed Disney Rides.

"There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own." Find out more about Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren at HuffPo.

10 Odd Things Swallowed, with X-ray Evidence. The X-rays are crucial because without them, you would not believe these stories.

Black Like Me, 50 Years Later. I read the book when I was a kid, but had no idea what kind of backlash the author received.

This photo illustrates what badass heavy metal really is.

The History Behind Comic Books and Comic Book Censorship.

When you drop a slinky, which part of it moves faster? When you get a good look at it in slow-motion, it only raises more questions. (via mental_floss)

"Has anybody been watching the debates lately? You’ve got a governor whose state is on fire denying climate change. It’s true. You’ve got audiences cheering at the prospect of somebody dying because they don’t have healthcare. And booing a service member in Iraq because they’re gay. That’s not reflective of who we are."

7 Famous Works of Art With Bizarre Mistakes You Can't Unsee.

Little girls or little women? The Disney princess effect.

Nyan Cat in Lego

If you're not familiar with Nyan Cat, read up on it in an article I posted at mental_floss.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Links for Fun and Entertainment

The All Ireland Scarecrow Championship. 150 of them competing to be the best scarecrow. (via the Presurfer)

There will never be another Freddie Mercury, but Marc Martel is about as close as anyone will get. Does he have what it takes to sing in the Queen Extravaganza?

Yes, you, too, can build a motorized two-stage water rocket out of plastic bottles. Or you can just watch the video of a launch and a view from the rocket-cam.

After Bucky Larson, we didn’t think a movie could get worse reviews. Then Abduction came along, and the reviews are a delightful exercise in negative hyperbole.

I must admit, I haven’t checked out the changes at Facebook, but if it’s anything like this cheeky guide, then I’ll be avoiding it even more. Click to enlarge it and weep.

The Phylogeny of Bread Clips.

Who needs a computerized fountain when you've got a dozen teenagers with Super Soakers?

Veterinarian Vanessa Hawkins of Bayshore Animal Hospital in Warrenton, Oregon removed nine handballs from a dog and won the annual x-ray competition from the trade publication Veterinary Practice. The competition runners-up have some strange stories, too. (via Metafilter)

Look at all the neat things starfish can do, in this list of videos at mental_floss.

Do you remember A Cat's Diary? redditor TheAtomicPlayboy added a perfect new entry.

The Princess Bride Monopoly Board. As you wish.

Strictly Personal

Life in the Women's Army Corps in 1963. This is a training film from the US Army. I love the chant at the beginning.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Interesting Links

Digital Face Swapping is in the works, giving us a creepy look at the way our identities will be stolen in the future.

Did the recession cause a spike in child abuse? The incidence of abusive head trauma has jumped, but the jury is still out on the reason behind it.

John Draper, the original whistle blower. His perfect pitch enabled him to hack Ma Bell.

Teachers often tell the story of how assassin Gavrilo Princip would not have been in shooting range of Franz Ferdinand that fateful day in 1914 if he hadn’t stopped to buy a sandwich about the time the Archduke coincidentally passed by. Mike Dash first heard the strange story from his daughter, and decided to investigate its origin.

Ten Historic Female Scientists You Should Know. They held their own with the male scientists of their times, even though they had bigger barriers to leap getting there.

The Great Pumpkin Shortage of 2011. Flooding, fungus, and Hurricane Irene conspired to ruin our October porch decorations and Thanksgiving pies.

Better Know Your Flossers. I just yesterday found this extremely useful list of personal websites for the mental_floss staff.

How to Make American Cheese. Don't laugh, many of us were raised on government cheese and consider it comfort food.

The History of the Laughing Squid Logo.

Multi-Millionaire Rep. Says He Can’t Afford A Tax Hike Because He Only Has $400K A Year After Feeding Family. He's not even aware of how that sounds to people who feed their families on much less and then have nothing left over.

The New York Times Just Turned 160. Happy Birthday! Now let me through that paywall.

Penguin Attack

(via Arbroath)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

10 Heroic Battlefield Medics

When we study war in history class, we learn about kings, presidents, and generals. It’s a shame we don’t get to learn about the many everyday people who step up and do extraordinary things, like the medical workers who perform heroically under terrible conditions. Here are a few of those extraordinary people, in an article I wrote for mental_floss.

Funny Links

Music from a Dry Cleaner. Diego Stocco takes ordinary industrial noises and creates a pleasing tune.

What's the best non-sexual sensation ever? Thousands of answers!

Batman interrogates the wrong clown. They all look alike with that silly makeup, anyway.

The World’s Most Shocking Study Reveals That People Like Brad Pitt. And if Facebook “likes” can be used for statistical analysis, his new baseball movie is predicted to hit a home run.

Following in Netflix’s footsteps, Blockbuster and it’s popcorn division have split. The popcorn division is now called Plopydop, because that’s just cool.

The Oatmeal explains why Netflix split itself in two. Well, it doesn't really explain why, but makes a funny metaphor.

If you ever have anything to do with a feature film, do not design the poster like this, because it’s been done. And see the rest of this week’s new movie posters, too.

The Past and the Future of Famous Logos. All tend to evolve into simpler graphics, but some may encounter “circumstances” in the future.

Benjamin Oliver Jenks hitchhiked from L.A. to Maine, and took a picture of all 930 people he met along the way. Then he put them together in a video. NSFW due to very brief nudity.

If Computer Problems Were Real, then we’d really have problems. This video illustrates the silliness of the terms we use for the world of computing.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Informative Links

Myth-Adventure: The True Story of Captain Kidd.

Inside Amazon's Warehouse: Lehigh Valley workers tell of brutal heat, dizzying pace at online retailer. Since OSHA is suffering budget cuts and unions are weak, this kind of thing is not limited to one company. (via Metafilter)

6 Obnoxious Assumptions Hollywood Makes About Women.

Slate is beginning a series of articles focusing on school records for 395 students who attended the Manhattan Trade School for Girls in the 1920s. The records are more than just grades; they are snapshot of what like was like for young women in New York at the time, mostly daughters of poor immigrants. More here.

IQ and grades aren’t the only things students need to succeed. An educator looks at the importance of imparting character, a combination of traits that make a student into a successful adult. (via Neatorama)

Qualitest Pharmaceuticals warns women that 1.4 million packs of birth control pills may be ineffective. Here’s what you need to know.

8 Strikes that Turned Ugly (or Inspired Keanu Reeves Movies). Although some would argue those results are not mutually exclusive.

A Letter To My Brand New Teenager. Advice all 13-year-olds should get.

The Dark Side of the Placebo Effect: When Intense Belief Kills. (via Metafilter)

The Pathology of the Unlucky Coke Mule. The man with 72 packets of cocaine in his gut would not have survived even one breaking open.

Uncle Pen

A 1956 performance of Uncle Pen by Bill Monroe, the father of Bluegrass.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

8 Strange Sea Creatures

With new species being discovered all the time, there seems to be no end to the strange wonders of the seas. See a few of the oddest in this list I posted at mental_floss.

Links for Fun

What is more appropriate to mark the release of Star Wars on Blu-ray than a big blue ray? It’s the size of the BT Tower in London, which was dressed up as a light saber for the occasion.

How an internet meme is born, proliferates, and dies in two days. The brighter they burn, the faster they burn out.

Remember Backstroke of the West? It's now been dubbed with audio of the odd English-Chinese-English translation, and available to watch on YouTube. Of course, it's got NSFW language. (via Metafilter)

The way I enjoy extreme sports is to watch them on video, but only if the boring parts are edited out. Then please put all the awesome parts together in a compilation like this.

Is it true that every movie can be improved just by adding Tom Selleck’s mustache? Watch and judge for yourself.

Possibly the world's most boring webcam.

Batwoman returns to DC Comics with her own series that has little to do with Batman and Robin. The independent crime fighter has a different style, a different story, and even a different type of adversary.

The west will never be the same, now that you can round up and lead herds of cattle by remote control vehicle. I think every cow wants to take a turn playing with it.

Kitten vs. Printer. This time, the printer wins.

Mongolian Kazakhs

Monday, September 19, 2011

Good Reads and Interesting Links

We’ve learned from recent research that the human brain undergoes immense changes during the teen years, which are often not finished until the mid-20s. Some of those changes are highly adaptive in an evolutionary sense, although they drive parents nuts.

A Message To Women From A Man: You Are Not “Crazy.” You are being emotionally manipulated.

Astronomers discover a wretched hive of scum and villainy. What else would you call a planet with two suns, like Luke Skywalker’s home?

9 Modern-Day Independence Movements. It seems like everyone wants to be their own country -and pay UN dues.

Molecular biologists spent ten years trying to figure out the structure of the rhesus monkey retroviral protease enzyme. A group of gamers playing Foldit figured it out in less than ten days. (via Metafilter)

It’s extremely difficult to integrate people with Autism into regular workplaces, but a new program gives it a shot. Students like Justin Canha might find a happy, productive place in the adult world. (via Boing Boing)

The Amazing Feather Starfish Swimming. Beautiful, creepy, and doomed to a life of never really getting anywhere.

Hillary Clinton is currently the most-liked politician. Here are four possible reasons, which all boil down to the fact that she is not in the White House.

When people are taped in secret, become unknowingly famous, and then are the subject of a documentary, do they have any rights to the story? That’s the process that led to the film Shut Up Little Man. (NSFW text)

Photos from the International Space Station were stitched together to create a video tour of the earth. (via Neatorama)

The World's Strongest Teenager

April Atkins made a living as a strongwoman in the mid-1950s when she was only 12 years old!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cat Pwned

One cat traps another in a box. Then a lion walks up.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Fun Links

Chuck Testa makes dead animals look lifelike, even when they’re in your bed! This ad caused entire blocks of the internet to answer every question with “Chuck Testa.”

One of the Best Basejumping Videos You’ll Ever Watch. It almost makes jumping off a cliff look like something good to do …almost.

The Super Nineties TV Quiz will test your knowledge, or memory, of kids’ favorite TV shows from the 1990s. One screenshot and some music should be enough to give you all 72 titles.

The weird trailer for the next Twilight film, Breaking Dawn Part One is out, and the parodies are rolling out quickly. One uses the comedy Slap Shot, another uses LOLcat captions. (NSFW language)

A Slice of Life is the first “good sized animation” from Terry Border of Bent Objects. In it, a piece of sliced bread searches for his true love.

Some of the more memorable Miss Universe 2011 National Costumes. (via Everlasting Blort)

14 Things That Never Happen In Real Life.

The 2012 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records is out. Here are some of the weirdest new record-holders found in it.

The new viral video from the Muppets is a parody of the trailer for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It’s called, appropriately, The Pig With The Froggy Tattoo.

The Jedi Kittens Strike Back! This time, they have spaceships.

Some classic toys, like the Easy-Bake Oven, are being reworked for a new generation. Oh, they’ll be fun to play with, but I think some of these just try too hard.

Love Lucy Theme

I bet you didn't know the I Love Lucy theme song had lyrics. Here it is, sung by Desi Arnaz. (via Clueless in Carolina)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

7 People Who Prove Their Abilities

Every time I write about people who belie the term “disabled” by doing the exact thing they are not supposed to be able to do, I am delighted to run across more stories that prove that point. There is no limit to what an ambitious hardworking person can do, even when they have more than the average number of drawbacks to overcome. Read about seven such folks in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

Good Reads and Information

Air Force Lt. Col. Dan Ward did a cost/benefit analysis of a fictional project for the Pentagon’s in-house publication Defense AT&L Magazine. It’s a cautionary tale about the Empire’s Death Star. (via TYWKIWDBI)

Many of the iconic sounds you associate with classic Top 40 music started out with “Hey, check out this sound!” The Word magazine has a list of 40 of those sounds you know, with the story behind each and samples for you to hear. (via the Presurfer)

Vladimir Putin, Action Man. The former Russian leader is carefully cultivating his image as he prepares for another run at the presidency -and enjoying every minute of it.

What Happened To Mitrice Richardson? The strange actions of the local police only add to the mystery of the young woman’s 2009 murder. (via Boing Boing)

America currently has a higher poverty rate than at any time in the past twenty years. The line is drawn at $22,113 for a family of four, so if you make more than that, you’re officially not poor.

TNT and Dynamite: What’s the Difference? For one thing, I’ve never heard of anyone fishing with TNT.

An Immune System Trained to Kill Cancer. (NYT link) Doctors used the HIV-1 virus to re-engineer a patient’s T-cells to battle his leukemia.

Puzzlemaster Will Shortz explains how he edits a New York Times crossword puzzle. It’s a matter of collaborating to make a good puzzle into a great one. (via Neatorama)

Isn’t it time to give up the charade of the student-athlete and start paying college athletes the six-figure salaries they deserve? After all, they earn millions of dollars for the schools and the NCAA.

12 Unusual College Football Trophies. There’s plenty of awards up for grabs besides the Heisman and the NCAA championships -many designed with old rivalries in mind.

Kitten Band

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Links for Fun

Michael Jordan runs down the six greatest NBA teams ever. Does anyone have the chutzpah to disagree with him?

Kaleidoscope. (via Gorilla Mask)

30 Gifts to 30 Strangers.

Here’s a wonderful way to keep your mall from looking like it’s got a lot of empty stores. It’s not so great for people who are interested in shopping there.

The Duck Who Goes Shopping and everywhere else his favorite man goes. The quacker appears to be a real chick magnet.

Origami Star Wars Battle. An ad for a Moleskine notebook turns epic as folded paper x-wings take to space.

20 Things You’ll Regret Doing in College. Trust me, you’ll always regret the things you don’t do more than the things you did.

That new hockey enforcer movie has a trailer, but not the one by Kevin Smith. How many hockey movies can one season handle?

Marlene Dietrich

This screen test from 1929 got Malene Dietrich the starring role in the 1930 film Der Blaue Engel (The Blue Angel), which led to international stardom. Read more at Dangerous Minds.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pyrophonia: Music on Fire

“Flaming” and “on fire” are words used all the time for musicians who are “burning it up,” or playing with talent and fervor. The phrases are usually not meant to be taken literally. But the universal human fascination with fire and music is sometimes combined into instruments that are literally on fire. And they come in all shapes and sizes, like the ten listed in this article I wrote for mental_floss. Warning: these projects are dangerous, and should be left to professionals.

Interesting Links

The Parrot Panic of 1930. Psittacosis spread faster by journalism than it ever did by infection. (via Metafilter)

Deducing the Physics of How Cats Fall. If you drop a cat and an astronaut, which one will land on his feet? (via Buzzfeed)

The Heroes of Flight 93. Excerpts from a new book piece together the actions of the passengers who decided to stop the hijackers’ suicidal mission.

Why Does Hot Water Sometimes Feel Cold? It could be a problem with your water heater, or it could be something called paradoxical cold.

What's So Funny About War? The comics, that's what!

5 Bits of Advice That Don't Make Sense Until It's Too Late.

A new probe is on its way to the moon to map it and analyze its gravitational field. The GRAIL probe’s mission is to find out what’s below the surface of the moon.

A Disturbingly Long List of Celebrity Motorbike Crash-ups. And why Gary Busey always wears a helmet while riding -now.

The Cognitive Neuroscience of Liberals and Conservatives. Yes, studies show their brains are biologically different, but is this a cause or an effect? (via Boing Boing)

Someone stole a mentally disabled man’s entire Superman collection. The good news is that people all over the internet are trying to replace his treasures. (via FilmDrunk)

Maru on Nip

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fun Links

How to make cookies that look exactly like the cast of Star Trek. Somehow, I don't think it's quite as easy as that.

Who are the better lip-synchers, the girls on the left or the boys on the right? Hard to tell, as they are exactly in sync with each other!

The Autocorrect Love Song. iPhone's are perverted and texting will get you in trouble. NSFW language.

Have you figured out how to send a large file to someone yet?

Waking Up Full of Awesome. (via Metafilter)

The Yip Yips showed up at DragonCon and made everyone happy.

American Apparel launched a competition called The Next BIG Thing Contest to find a plus-size model for their long-overdue larger size clothing. Nancy Upton entered the contest with the intention of mocking it, but her satirical photographs won the most votes of any entrant.

Nike finally came up with the futuristic shoes Marty McFly wore in Back to the Future 2. If you want a pair from the limited edition run, you’ll have to cough up some serious money.

The 2011 Breakdancing Championships. Honestly, bodies aren’t supposed to work like that, much less look graceful doing it.

If they can edit Darth Vader’s NOOOO! into Return of the Jedi, they can edit it into any movie, right? “Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you have constructed.”

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The New World Trade Center

Ten years after 9/11, we have turned from wallowing in the misery of the attack of 2001 toward the opening of the NEW World Trade Center. This is what it will eventually look like.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Good Reads and Info

3,000 hours of television footage of the World Trade Center attack is available to watch online. Those too young to remember can watch the news coverage as we saw it on September 11, 2001. (via Breakfast Links)

One sperm donor has fathered at least 150 kids -maybe more. For various reasons, other countries put a legal limits on this sort of thing.

Don’t Trust Your Hotel Room Safe.

The Availability of Marijuana Across the 48 Contiguous States.

Body of Work: Guéguen and the Goad of Small Things. Imagine a French scientist spending his life researching breasts and their effect on men.

Food bloggers invited to an “underground restaurant” were instead served frozen dinners so Con-Agra could film their delighted reactions for ads. What could possibly go wrong?

Deeply Embarrassed White People Talk Awkwardly About Race. It would be easier to ignore the issue, but that’s a privilege minorities don’t enjoy. (via Metafilter)

Why is the Drinking Age 21? The U.S. didn’t just pull a number out of a hat, but long ago someone, somewhere did something like that.

Are jobs obsolete?

A study says Belgian Is The World’s Least ‘Cool’ Nationality. The real truth is that Belgium is so obscure, it’s actually underground hip.

How to make cookies that look exactly like the cast of Star Trek. Somehow, I don’t think it’s quite as easy as that.

How Military Operations Get Their Code Names.

The Hucklebuck

Ralph and Ed show off their moves on the TV series The Honeymooners.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Deep Fried on a Stick: Innovations in Fair Food

Fair food vendors seek publicity for the newest and most outrageous recipes to draw crowds. And since the fair is a once-a-year event for most people, they don’t mind trying something new, even if it costs an arm and a leg and seems dangerous to one’s cholesterol level. Here are some of the foods you might see at a fair near you, in an article I wrote for mental_floss.

Links for Fun

Work It by the Norwegian Ylvis brothers. NSFW language, but altogether hilarious.

A real musician can make music on any kind of instrument. Even a discarded soda bottle.

What if Darth Vader had been the main character in the Jim Carrey movie Yes Man? Well, for one thing, it would have been funnier.

20 Ridiculous Cat Names. Just to make you laugh.

Evil Twins from '60s Television.

Take a little trip back in time with me for some of the awesome tunes of 1971.

Don't Make Me Destroy You.

The 6 Levels of Extreme Apple Fandom.

Superhero Auditions. Not everyone has what it takes -especially these folks. NSFW audio.

A perfect visual pun for movie buffs. And if you don’t get it, the puppy is still adorable.

Ride along with Bridgestone test rider Tim Röthig on the Nürburgring test course. It’s hypnotic and a bit terrifying.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Informative Links

Belle Gunness: The Terror of La Porte. She murdered dozens of people right under the authorities’ noses because no one wanted to believe a woman would do that.

If you liked reading the above story, also check out 7 Black Widows and 16 Dead Husbands.

Eddie Murphy is on the shortlist of possible hosts for the next Academy Awards presentation. In fact, he’s the only name on the list!

6 ways Washington could create jobs. Vote for the idea you think is best, but strangely, you can only select one, while the government could implement them all.

Ghost Cities of the Future. Nature is reclaiming some metropolitan areas whether we like it or not.

New York Magazine posted a comprehensive Encyclopedia of 9/11. There’s a chance you might read it all before the anniversary, but better to keep it and read bits at a time.

Did something just go missing in your favorite TV series, without any mention of it? Here are 21 forgotten TV subplots that were never explained. (via FilmDrunk)

A new study shows people who smoke marijuana are less likely to be obese than those who don’t. Hard to believe, when one of its effects is to encourage you to eat an entire family-size lasagna or two.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

7 Groundbreaking Specialty Acts

Imagine that you had one very specific talent -something unusual, that people would normally never encounter in their everyday lives. Could you make a living doing it? Maybe, if you were willing to put the necessary time, effort, and imagination into your act. After all, if Joseph Pujol could make a living by farting, anything is possible! Here are a few entertainers who hustled an unusual idea or ability into a full-fledged career, in a list I posted at mental_floss.

Fun and Funny Links

It takes a real adrenaline junkie to go kiteboarding during a hurricane. But it only takes a few seconds of your time to see what he did!

Freddie Wong illustrates the future motion control gaming. You can assume before you watch that there will be plenty of gunfire.

Going to the Store. This video might be considered NSFW, but I don't know why. It's just so odd.

Who sits like this? A lot of people tried.

Women Suck At Making Coffee: The Hilariously Misogynistic Supercut. Sure, it’s funny now, but back in the day, it took us on another of a long lines of guilt trips.

If movies followed their original casting...

The Legend of Zelda Theme on Marimba.

Simon’s Cat only wants to find out why this computer thing is so fascinating. The mouse, at least, is irresistible.

Burning Man Has A Thunder Dome. No sign of Tina Turner or Mel Gibson, who apparently couldn’t get tickets.

Tokyo’s top 10 mythical beasts. I’m familiar with some of these, but no matter how much I looked, there was no Godzilla to be found. (via Boing Boing)

Anti-Racism PSA

The Dumont Network aired this anti-discrimination ad in 1949. Yes, they did.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Labor Day Links

Happy Labor Day! Mental Floss looks back at how this holiday came about.

Top 10 Labor Day Conspiracies. Working people find no end to those who want to divide and exploit them. (via Fark)

Death in the Workplace. (via the Presurfer)

Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Time. Number 11: Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

Freddie Mercury would have been 65 years old today if he hadn’t died in 1991. Google Doodle pays tribute with an animated video.

George Lucas is altering the Star Wars trilogy yet again for the Blu-Ray release. This is exactly the kind of thing Lucas preached against before he got the opportunity to do it himself.

America ranking among countries of the world is slipping in a surprising category: infant mortality. There’s no deadly epidemic, but other nations are improving faster than we are.

The Extraordinary Lives of the World’s Tallest People. They can’t hide, and they didn’t ask for the attention.

NASA issued a press release to remind everyone that the movie Apollo 18 is fiction and not a documentary. They needn’t have bothered, since film critics are recommending you don’t see the movie at all.

Ten Strange Places People Live. They look like pretty nice homes, except for the ones from which you could plunge to your death. (via the J-Walk Blog)

Scientists are working on the possibility of sunscreen we can take in a pill. Coral and other creatures in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef produce chemicals to protect themselves from the sun, which might work for humans, too.

Labor Day

How Labor Day came to be. Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Saturday, September 03, 2011

The Flagstones

An early demo version of he TV show that would eventually be called The Flintstones.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Friday Fun Links

The 10 Biggest Movie Flops of the Summer. Some were only flops because they cost too much to make; others were so under-promoted I never even heard of them.

You love downhill skiing, but there are no mountains in the Netherlands where you live. That’s about to change, as plans are afoot to sink $400 billion over thirty years to build an artificial mountain.

7 Comic Book Superpowers the World Can Do Without. In fact, comic book readers would prefer to do without these lame characters.

Amusingly Horrible Things Moms Have Said. (via Environmental Graffiti)

For incoming freshmen, here’s a visual essay on What College is Like. You want to be prepared.

Can we predict the next leader of Russia by his hair? The succession has followed a strict pattern for a couple of hundred years so far.

Speaking of hair, have you ever wondered what happened to Steve on the TV show Blues Clues? No matter what he does, the children’s show colors how everyone sees him.

A group called Ghostbusters: Chicago Division recreated the Ecto-Cooler drink from Hi-C. They’ll show you how to make your own, all while staying in character.

To Live in the 1920s

For most folks, it wasn't as glamorous and fun as these video clips make it seem, but we can enjoy them anyway.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

A Tribute to the Grilled Cheese Sandwich

A grilled cheese sandwich is a staple food for children because it’s simple, quick, and cheap to make. Kids like simple food, and an American cheese slice on white bread is as simple as it gets. Melt it by frying it in butter, and that adds a dose of love to the dish. When we get older, the pleasure that sandwich brings stays with us, even as we add adult touches like gournet bread, a variety of cheeses, and extras like vegetables and spices. A grilled cheese is both vegetarian and kosher, but if that’s not a concern it is certainly acceptable to add meat as well. Read about how much we love our grilled cheese sandwiches in this article I wrote for mental_floss.

Informative Links

The Curse of Reality TV. Playboy looks at the morbidity of regular folks who jump at the chance of instant stardom.

Mankiw’s Ten Principles of Economics, Translated.

Six years later, a Katrina survivor talks about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Her experience led her to a project involving veterans and their experiences. (via Boing Boing)

An astrophysicist at Fermilab developed a method of sending passengers to board a plane that proves to be twice as efficient as the current boarding method used by airlines. It’s even somewhat faster than a boarding randomly.

Get a taste of films coming out the rest of this year (and some from next year) by peeking at the posters. Not all of them are representative of the film’s promise.

A small liberal arts school asks students about their sexuality on the application form. They say they are fostering diversity, but are they putting young people in a tough spot instead?

When the American West was settled, railroads and farmers put up barbed wire fences, and ranchers tore them down. Manufacturers were making lots of money selling their own unique designs of barbed wire, which are now proving to be rare treasures for collectors.

Einstein had more than his share of brain glue, also known as glial cells. The number of glial cells you have depends on how much you use your brain while you are young.

The birth rate in Brazil has dropped to historically low levels over the past 50 years. National Geographic lays out six reasons for the relatively sudden empowerment of Brazilian women, one of which is television.

Use this handy chart to find out How Old is Your Globe? And then you can go to Metafilter for the jokes about who has the oldest globe.

New York Times photojournalist Joao Silva was in Afghanistan when a land mine blew his legs off last year. He talks about that day, plus his recovery and the important of war journalism, in a transcript of a recent speech. (via The Daily What)

6 strange ways to power your cellphone. Green innovations will make sure we can play Angry Birds even after the apocalypse.