Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Where Did Groundhog Day Come From?

You gotta love a holiday centered around weather. You might think it’s about the animal, but no, any hibernating animal will do just as well. Did you that in Germany, it's known a Badger Day? This is the turning point of the season, and for pre-industrial societies (particularly farmers), the midwinter date was a day to take stock and determine whether you have enough food and firewood to last the rest of the winter. If you miscalculated the previous fall, or you found that the grain is full of weevils and your cow started looking skinny, you had good reason to look for omens of an early spring. Read about the origins of this holiday in an article I posted at mental_floss.

Fun and Funny Links

Time Travel Movie Marathon. What a great way to spend a weekend!

Microwaves Ruin Everything shows you all kinds of things that shouldn't be microwaved -in slow motion. I'd have to disagree about the Ivory Soap, that's always a hoot.

Jaipur's Elephant Festival is like a big beauty pageant for pachyderms. They show up with painted faces, bejeweled clothing, and bells on their toes!

Smitty the dog has found his favorite film. Don't turn it off; you'll break his heart.

Boots and Cats and Bees and Beef.

6 Amazing Animals That Practically Lived Forever.

The Colon Rectum, and Other Weirdly-named Animals.

Anne Billson knows that the cat Jonesy is much more important to the 1979 film Alien than most viewers realize. So she wrote the story of the spaceship Nostromo and its crew from Jonesey's point of view. (via Maximum Verbosity)

Save the Date Photobomb. Can you find what Ben added to the scene?

The Mathematics of Boneless Pork Rectums. Read at your own risk. (via a comment at Arbroath)

Fourteen dancing robots make up a chorus line to celebrate Chinese New Year. Do you think they could put the Rockettes out of business?

Liam Neeson records an awesome outgoing phone message for a fan. Her phone has been ringing off the hood ever since.

Filmmaker Freddie Wong attempts to find and unlock the power of the Fire Flower from the Mario Universe. However, with great power comes great responsibility, or risk, or something.

Chimpanzee hosting a talk show

Japanese TV is so much more entertaining than US TV.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Fascinating Links

10 Secrets of the Vatican Exposed.

Should Teens Be Jailed for Sex Offenses? Laws are there for good reasons, but the actual cases come in all shades of gray.

A state trooper pulled over a South Carolina mayor for speeding. The mayor than returned the favor and pulled over the trooper for speeding.

Mitt Romney's tax return reveals he is rich, but that's not the real shocker. The details show how the U.S. tax code is rigged to benefit the wealthy.

Julian Assange is going to be a TV talk show host. He's made a deal with Russia Today to host ten episodes of The News Tomorrow, even while under house arrest.

Should audiences be allowed to cheer at presidential debates? On the one hand, there's free speech; on the other hand, a few well-placed fans can affect an entire news cycle.

Cheetah vs. Leopard: What’s the Difference? I know cheetahs never prosper, and I heard leopards live in colonies.

Dance Moms
and Toddlers & Tiaras are popular train wreck reality shows, which may verge on child abuse. Which is more exploitive: putting pressure on kids to perform, or recording their childhoods for an audience to ridicule?

In an alternate timeline of history, Nazis colonized the moon in order to launch a new invasion of Earth. After years in development, Iron Sky will premiere at the Berlin Film Festival next month.

Alibi aftershave products can make you smell like car trouble instead of smelling like the strip club you just left. If your wife knows what a strip club smells like, you'll have to go all out to fool her.

Historic new rules for school lunches will mean we can't blame them for obese kids. Costs will go up, but no one knows whether kids will actually eat more fruits and vegetables.

15 Noteworthy Nobel Prize Nuggets. These stories are obscure and strangely tangential but still fascinating.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hound Dog

By Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton, recorded in 1952.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Fun Links

What Your Favorite Blog Says About You.

7 Amazing Stories of Lost and Re-Found Wedding Rings.

The meaning of friendship, told in pictures.

The World's Ugliest Cars.

It is strange enough that a little boy in China has light blue eyes, but reportedly Nong Youhui can also see in the dark. Sounds like a melanin deficit to me, but some are calling him an "alien starchild."

Artist Scott Garner created a work called "Still Life." It shows a bowl of fruit, but this interactive artwork is anything but still.

No, you can't ski the way freeskiier Tom Wallisch does it. But in these videos, you can feel like you are right there with him.

The video for "Dawned on Me" by Wilco features the first newly-drawn Popeye cartoon in over thirty years. Oh yeah, the band is also in it.

The Origin of the Beatles Haircut.

Meme Watch: ‘2/10, Would Not Bang’ Is Here To Help Point Out The Flaws You May Have Missed.

How my cat sees things.

Imagine AMC's series The Walking Dead as an '80s family sitcom, complete with the proper theme music. Silly? Go see for yourself.

Hand Jive

The Johnny Otis Show from 1958. (via Metafilter)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

9 Crazy, Creepy, and Creative Knit Projects

Maybe you can knit a scarf or a sweater. If so, imagination is the only thing standing between you and these delightfully odd creations. Well, time may be another factor. But isn’t it wonderful that some folks have the time, skills, and imagination to create these daringly different knitted works? See a bunch of them in this list I posted at mental_floss.

Informative Links

Etgar Keret writes about his father's decision to have his tongue removed as a treatment for cancer.

Apple’s Deal With the Devil. A manufacturing turnaround that executives call "breathtaking" strikes many as "barbaric."

Tracy Morgan collapsed after receiving an award at the Sundance Film Festival. They haven't told us what's wrong, but he is a diabetic with a transplanted kidney.

Gabrielle Giffords' 'bittersweet' resignation video. Recovery must be her priority, but she vows to return to public service someday.

5 Bodies Nobody Ever Found. But even decades later, people are still actively looking for clues.

The John F. Kennedy Library has released 45 hours of secret tapes recorded by the president. So you don't have to listen to all that, here are the most interesting parts.

The world's longest-running scientific experiment began in 1927 and is still going. The pitch drop may continue for another 100 years!

Borrow $5,000 and pay back only $40,842.72. It's not fuzzy math, but lesson in debt explained in the comments.

10 Famous People and Their Drug Habits. Following in their footsteps could lead to an early grave.

Joel Sartore's Biodiversity Portraits. The NatGeo photographer will be visiting a zoo near you.

Imagine a President Newt Gingrich Who Thinks Rules Don’t Apply to Him.

When Larry Met Sergey is the highly condensed story of Larry Page and Sergey Brin and the company they named Google. (via the Presurfer)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Links for Fun

What kind of countdown was that? NSFW language, but oh, so funny!

Well this is interesting. (via Fark)

Probably the Craziest Finger Drumming Video You’ll Watch Today. The machine does amazing things, but it still takes talent to play it like this.

How Return of the Jedi Should Have Ended. Pointing out all the plot holes and what the prequels did to the story makes that last scene really awkward.

Winter Pick-Up Lines. NSFW text. Funny to read, but hearing these would leave you cold.

What if one of your battle robots stopped battling and acted like a real person? Archetype is a short film that's really a teaser for a possible future feature film.

Whaddaya know ...it turns out I don't need to see How I Met Your Mother because I've already seen Friends.

The Psychoanalyst Says Your Gut Says…

Michel Gondry directed a Japanese commercial, and it’s awesomely weird. There's no need at all to understand the language, and you'll be too busy laughing to listen anyway.

10 Famous Misconceptions Debunked. Don't believe everything you read or hear on the internet!

And the nominations for the 84th annual Academy Awards are... The winners will be announced February 26th.

This year, the Oscars nominations are more notable for their omissions than for the nominees themselves. Here are the most surprising snubs.

U Can't Kiss This

U Can't Kiss This

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Extraterrestrials and Cows

For quite some time now, we’ve known that UFOs tend to whisk away people and return them to Earth with amazing stories. But there are plenty of stories of aliens abducting cows. While the thought of alien abduction of humans can be frightening, we seem to have embraced the idea of UFOs carrying off our cows. Maybe it’s a case of reassuring ourselves that there are alternate victims. I explore the obsession that aliens have with cows in an article I wrote for mental_floss.

Good Reads and Interesting Links

Extinction of the Passenger Pigeons: How Man Destroyed a Species. Or was it an example of a species too stupid to adapt?

7 Athletes Who Went Directly To Jail. Surprise -you're not above the law.

Amazing X-rays show things people shouldn't live through, but they do. They also show a variety of other crimes, diseases, and anomalies.

A newer, stricter definition of autism could exclude many who are diagnosed already. Or maybe not, but parents are nervous about the possibility of losing current therapies and services.

The Fairy Chimneys and Underground Cities of Cappadocia. Geologic formations and ancient history come together to make you want to visit.

The Amazon's head hunters and body shrinkers. An author investigates Gustav Struve's tales of South American warriors and their gruesome souvenirs.

Eight Stories of Locked-In Syndrome. There's nothing more terrifying than awareness without the ability to communicate.

The real story behind Sir Ian McKellen and his t-shirt.

10 Handsome Men (Who Were Born Female).

Cable TV Is Full of Liars. Or, don't name your network after your content unless you are damn sure it's never going to change.

Goodbye, Farewell, and A*M*E*N. The story of how the finale episode of M*A*S*H came about and broke TV records.

Photographer Vanessa Bahmani Gathered 1,000 Portraits Of Occupy Wall Street Faces. Guess what: they're not all unemployed hippies.

Tiny Ninjas

On the one hand, this video illustrates how special effects, especially sound effects, make all the difference in a fight scene. On the other hand, it’s just plain cute. (via Gorilla Mask)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Fun and Funny Links

新年快樂 Happy Chinese New Year! Welcome to the Year of the Dragon.

Don't cry -that's a copyrighted emotion. Hitler reacts to SOPA.

In this video, a 5-week old Tonkinese kitten named Jumpin Jack Flash starts his training for a career in Feline Agility competitions. He’s already got a blue ribbon in “adorable.”

A French Metal group called Fadades is one you'll never forget. And for that, I apologize.

The 5 Most Insane Original Uses of Famous Products.

A skit called Surprise Party, performed by boobs. This is very much NSFW, but oh, so silly. (via Breakfast Links)

Star Wars Uncut is finally finished, and it's a real hoot! The two-hour fan film features the work of hundreds of filmmakers recreating the first Star Wars movie in 15-second increments.

A traffic cop in Quezon City, Philippines, really wanted to be a dancer instead. Many motorists are entertained nevertheless.

45 Cats Wearing Glasses. They must be hipsters, since cats all have laser lights for eyes and can already see everything.

These guys parked a bike in New York City and photographed it every day to see how long it would last. After a few months, folks probably assumed it was abandoned and resented it taking up a parking spot.

Happy Chinese New Year!

Welcome to the Year of the Dragon!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Informative Links

"At least 10 senators and nearly twice that many House members announced their opposition" to SOPA.

PIPA support collapses, with 13 new Senators opposed.

After the blackouts: What's next for SOPA? Millions responded and both Senators and Representatives dropped their support, but the legislation may come back.

The 5 Stupidest Habits You Develop Growing Up Poor. Oh, you may think they may seem stupid, but when you have no choice, you do what you gotta do. NSFW text.

George Lucas' movie Red Tails opens today. Before you see it, read the real story of Tuskegee Airman Dr. Roscoe Brown.

People who are diagnosed with Internet Addiction Disorder have the same brain structure anomalies as those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol. So Internet Addiction may be an organic condition as well as a psychological disorder.

Bulgarian artist Plamen Ignatov Spent 16 Years and 6 Million Matchsticks Building a Model of Rila Monastery. The result is worth at least 15 minutes of internet fame.

The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy was established in 2007 to nurture impoverished girls in South Africa. Now the first class of 72 students has graduated, and Oprah was there to see her dream realized.

Native or Not? The True Stories behind 5 “American Indian” Actors. Sometimes an Italian, German, or Armenian background can be "close enough."

Francesco Schettino, the Costa Concordia’s captain, is facing charges of manslaughter and abandoning his ship. Here's what he did the night the cruise ship sank.

Grant Korgan is paralyzed from the waist down, but that didn't stop from from traveling to the South Pole on a Sitski. He reached his goal exactly 100 years after Robert Falcon Scott's expedition did.

Meet the guy who decides how much Wall Street bankers get in their yearly bonus checks. (via Breakfast Links)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Funny Links

A conversation with a robot gets creepier the more it understands. He even looks human, at least from the front.

Amy Oops is having a contest at her site in which you could win a t-shirt!

You can't have a Brad Pitt movie without a scene of him eating (or at least drinking). There's enough material for a nice-looking supercut of such scenes.

This is a video of a dog on a chain. You will still be surprised at what that means.

If the gizmo you invented never found a clientele, it may end up in the Museum of nonsense. But how much nonsense does it take to justify a trip to Austria?

8 Things the Internet Ruined. But don't mourn the loss -the list of things the internet has improved or made possible is much longer.

50 Brilliant Fan-Made Remixes, Mash-Ups, and Supercuts That Will Be Strictly Prohibited Under SOPA. Select them from a menu on the right, and sat goodbye to the next hour or so.

Wait a minute, you need something light and pleasant to start your day off right. How about 32 Pictures That Will Make You Say Awwwwwwww. Guaranteed.

New Zealand has some of the best sheep-shearers in the world. They believe that sheep-shearing would make a wonderful Olympic sport.

Haley Joel Osment is back and he’s gay in ‘Sassy Pants.’ He's been in quite a few independent films over the past decade (since he grew up), but this ought to get him some attention.

Students doing homework were aghast that their main reference, Wikipedia, was gone yesterday. Adults had a field day making fun of the overly tech-dependent scholars.

Do-It-Yourself Molded Pumpkins. It's possible to grow sculpted fruit, if you're not too cheap to invest in the right equipment.

New York Fire Brigade

Footage from 1893 is reshown in this 1936 British Pathe report.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Most Amusing Images from the SOPA Strike

On January 18th, websites across the internet went on strike to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the related Protect IP Act (PIPA). Some sites were completely blocked; others added censorship graphics to their banners, and some posted about the strike. The point was to make all internet users aware of the bills before Congress and to encourage reader participation. A few sites went above and beyond the call of duty and made the strike itself entertaining. If you didn’t see them, I saved a few of the best. See them in a list I posted at mental_floss.


Where's reddit? Where's Boing Boing? Where's Cheezburger? Where's Wikipedia? Where's Fark? Where's xkcd? Where's Miss Cellania?

A large part of the internet is on strike today to highlight the dangers of the Stop Online Piracy Act (and the related bill called PIPA) now before Congress; the vote is scheduled for January 24th. You can read the full text of the bill here. The result of the bill, if passed, would be to destroy the internet as we know it. Boing Boing explains the effects succinctly:

Boing Boing could never co-exist with a SOPA world: we could not ever link to another website unless we were sure that no links to anything that infringes copyright appeared on that site. So in order to link to a URL on LiveJournal or WordPress or Twitter or Blogspot, we'd have to first confirm that no one had ever made an infringing link, anywhere on that site. Making one link would require checking millions (even tens of millions) of pages, just to be sure that we weren't in some way impinging on the ability of five Hollywood studios, four multinational record labels, and six global publishers to maximize their profits.

But it's not just entertainment for you and me that is threatened.

Big Content haven't just declared war on Boing Boing and Reddit and the rest of the "fun" Internet: they've declared war on every person who uses the net to publicize police brutality, every oppressed person in the Arab Spring who used the net to organize protests and publicize the blood spilled by their oppressors, every abused kid who used the net to reveal her father as a brutalizer of children, every gay kid who used the net to discover that life is worth living despite the torment she's experiencing, every grassroots political campaigner who uses the net to make her community a better place -- as well as the scientists who collaborate online, the rescue workers who coordinate online, the makers who trade tips online, the people with rare diseases who support each other online, and the independent creators who use the Internet to earn their livings.

While I'm not tech-savvy enough to disable my entire website temporarily (I use a hosting service), there will be no new content until the strike is over. While there's not much else to read on the internet today, check out these links and educate yourself about the SOPA bill. And then take action.

Please go to Stop American Censorship to add your name to the many who oppose these bills.

Get Involved

Thank you!

Interesting Links

Will Wikipedia's one-day blackout sink SOPA? Maybe not, but how would you do your research if the internet gets wrecked?

The blackout will much wider than just Wikipedia.

Dancing for Dollars. The story of the 20th-century dance marathon craze.

More and more, U.S. schools are using police to discipline children.

What would happen if you ate one of those silica gel packets? The warnings make you think they are irresistible for some reason.

How Consumption Makes Us Sad. Things eventually just take up room in our homes instead of in our hearts.

We knew it would happen: In Icons has cancelled production of its uncannily-realistic Steve Jobs Action Figure because of legal objections from Job's family and Apple.

The Aurora Borealis and the Aurora Australis show up in a unique way seen from space. Space pictures of the lights in various parts of the world have been stitched together for an awesome virtual tour.

The Chilean Town Engulfed by a Volcanic Mudflow. Chaitén was wrecked in 2008, then frozen in place as the mud solidified.

With most of the excitement of the GOP nomination over, we can now speculate on who will win the title of Mitt Romney's running mate. Take a look at seven veep possibilities.

The Melancholy Deaths of Edward Gorey’s Children. The author's morbid visions may explain why he never had kids in real life.

Ten Days in a Madhouse: The Woman Who Got Herself Committed.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

6 Notable Pop Culture-themed Weddings

A wedding is a celebration of the joining of two people who share love, life, and common interests. Many people plan their wedding to reflect their common interests -and if two people can plan a pop culture-themed wedding together and survive, their chances for a lifetime of happiness look pretty good! Here are some notable themed weddings from the past couple of years, in a list I posted at mental_floss.

Funny Links

Beyonce's baby Blue Ivy was just born and already has followers and hangers-on. And that's just in the hospital nursery!

We've already got a remix of the trailer for the Ridley Scott Alien prequel film Prometheus. The footage from WALL-E works well, giving us a trailer for WALL-Etheus.

Get ready for the strangest Old Spice commercial you've ever seen. That's because Blown Mind is from Tim and Eric.

Redditor Vidzilla composed an apocalyptic story using the internet: website screenshots, photographs, social networking, generators, and news sites. Click on each day in order to follow the story, but be aware that the images become increasingly graphic and may be disturbing. (via Metafilter)

The Most Extreme Super Bowl Party Recipes. But why should we wait three whole weeks to try them out?

Little Chloe says, "Bye!" to people going down the escalator. Everyone who saw her was compelled to respond -and you'll understand why.

The Lazy Jedi. The ability to move things by using The Force discourages you from using anything else.

Web 2.0 Site or Don Martin Sound Effect?

The most insane surf footage you’ll ever see was recorded in Tahiti on August 27th. The waves look like they came out of a special effects lab for a disaster film.

The greatest calendar ever invented probably won't last past the end of January. Well, could you resist the temptation?

Snippets from movies were edited together to give us Lionel Richie's song "Hello." It's a strange idea, but impressive that so many of the clips seemed to be born for this project.

Drinking Games for the Mature Adult. If this is what mature adulthood really is, you'll need a few drinks.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Great Reads and Interesting Links

Stephen Colbert gave his Super-PAC away and announced he is running for office. Every step he takes points out the absurdities of our presidential election system.

Would you really want to know when you are expected to die? On online mortality calculator designed to help doctors is now available for anyone.

In 1835, Andrew Jackson escaped the first attempt to assassinate a U.S. president. Richard Lawrence had him at point blank range, but incompetence or luck saved the president's life.

The Supreme Court has reaffirmed religious organizations' freedom to hire and fire as they see fit, meaning they have an exemption from laws against discrimination. This is the opposite of what some Christian groups expected.

New research shows that cravings for fatty foods can be blamed on our genes. Which only makes sense, as it affects how we fit into our jeans.

"I love the smell of napalm in the morning!" The line from Apocalyse Now has been used and reused and adapted in so many other movies that they've been compiled into a supercut. (NSFW language)

Adele's song "Rolling in the Deep" is awesome. Mike Thompkins does all the vocal parts and all the instrumental parts, too, in this version -with his mouth.

Should there be national standards for sex education? Right now, the average student only gets about 17 hours of sex ed before college.

6 Crises That Keep Economists Up At Night. At least they still have jobs, but they also know things could get much worse.

The point of the long and winding sentence.

U.S. Government Terrorist Identification Chart.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Who needs a dog when you've got a penguin to fetch your newspaper for you? (via the Presurfer)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday the 13th Links

Happy Friday the 13th! Here are some facts about this supposedly unlucky day.

How 'The Phone Stack' is civilizing dinners out with friends. Try this out and be amazed at the uninterrupted conversations that follow.

It’s beautiful, it’s intelligent … it’s slime. And slime molds might be the stuff of your nightmares.

Golden parachutes are getting bigger. Fired business executives get severance packages that set them up for life, even if they did a lousy job.

Homeland Security may be keeping an eye on your Facebook page. They routinely check social media sites and blogs, too, as part of its “Social Networking/Media Capability.”

This Chinese Women’s Volleyball Rally Might Be the Most Insane Thing You’ll Watch in Sports Today. They had to be exhausted afterwards, since it made me tired just watching.

Lucy the Yorkshire Terrier holds the record for the world's smallest working dog. The 2.5 pound therapy dog is adorable, which is hard work in itself.

The 7 Creepiest Abandoned Japanese Love Hotels. Apparently charging by the hour didn't cover expenses for these places.

The Supreme Court is hearing arguments about allowing swear words on network TV. Broadcast networks say they need the freedom to compete with cable channels, even though the networks own those cable channels.

New Uses for 5 Old Pests. If we can recycle invasive species, we can do anything!

What Rick Santorum Doesn’t Know About Sex.

Three-legged Puppy. It's a translation of the Brazilian comic MenTirinhas http://mentirinhas.com.br/ by Fábio Coala. (via reddit)

When Mitt Romney Came to Town is a film that could sink Romney's presidential campaign -if anyone watched the whole thing.

Three Marus?

As someone said "There can never be too many Marus!" (via Neatorama)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

11 Incredible Edible Daleks

A dalek is a science fiction character found in the British TV series Doctor Who. They are evil alien mutants who travel inside cyborg shells and try to exterminate other beings. They are also funny-looking, and have inspired many cooks to recreate their appearance in tasty treats! See a whole slew of them in this list I posted at mental_floss.

Fun and Funny Links

The 30 Best Taco-Related Crimes Ever. People who write for the internet will make a list out of anything, and I wish I had thought of this one first!

Why Do Nerds So Often Wear Glasses? Eddie Deezen (who should know) looks at the history of nerds in pop culture.

In the Friendzone. (via reddit)

Can you think of any movie that needs to be remade more than Police Academy? Sure you can, but it's Police Academy that's getting a reboot anyway.

Dogs are awesome athletes. Because you deserve a treat, here are 20 Funny Pics of Flying Dogs Catching Frisbees.

MySpace isn't quite dead yet. It's coming back as MySpace TV, which may be something like MTV was when it first entered the market.

A Bee Battle Of Epic Proportions. Around 30 Japanese hornets take on 30,000 honeybees, with an appropriate soundtrack for the war.

In the Friendzone. (via reddit)

28 Jokes You Can Tell Your Grandparents. They don't make sense anymore, but you may recall reading the original versions here.

The 10 Cheesiest Movie Moments of 2011. With an in-depth analysis for each over-manipulative scene.

After thirty years, I just found out the dirty little secret in Journey's song "Don't Stop Believin'." There is no South Detroit. (via Metafilter)

A history lesson for the History Channel. It was once called the Hitler channel, then the Nostradamus channel, now what?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Informative Links

A Thousand Cranes.

The 5 Reasons Marriage Scares Men (Aren't What You Think). On the contrary, they are exactly what I thought, but I've been around a long time.

The Sad Story of Elvis Presley’s Senior Prom.

America’s Unlevel Field. "America actually stands out as the advanced country in which it matters most who your parents were, the country in which those born on one of society’s lower rungs have the least chance of climbing to the top or even to the middle."

How No Child Left Behind Corrupted Education. In ten years, making the program work led to lowered standards and inflated grades.

If the moon passes overhead once daily, why are there two high and low tides every day? And how does this lead to the Earth's rotation slowing down?

The projections of rising tuition suggest that babies born today could pay over $400K to go to college. The secret is to not pay the suggested retail price.

An Ohio professor proposes that pregnancy be classified as a disability. His point is that this would protect jobs, but others say this is totally unnecessary.

7 Crafty Zoo Escapes. When the opportunity for freedom presents itself, who cares that you're still far from your natural habitat.

Mitt Romney won the New Hampshire Primary, but does that mean everyone else goes home? Read several opinions on what comes next.

Organized Hypocrisy: Major TV networks support SOPA but avoid primetime coverage. An uninformed populace doesn't get upset or voice an opinion.

The first pictures of live Myanmar Snub-nosed Monkeys have been captured. It's good to see that the critically-endangered species is producing babies.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

12 Heroic U.S. Military Chaplains

Military chaplains are classified as non-combatants, but they still put their lives on the line to serve their country and its military members—and often civilians and enemy soldiers, too. Many went above and beyond the call of duty, and their stories should be remembered. Last week I posted about heroic chaplains; twelve more chaplains are profiled in an article I wrote for mental_floss.

Links for Fun

Anti-zombie presidential candidate ‘Vermin Supreme’ needs our support. After all, if he wins, everyone gets a pony!

The Joy of Books. The magic starts to happen at closing time, when the people aren't there to see.

Baby pandas love to play, but one is determined to escape from his crib. His perseverance is only matched by the relentless supervision of his nanny.

His name is Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop-Bop-Bop. And he most likely got arrested so everyone will know.

Doctor Who is comfortable in any time, place, or different pop culture universe. See 20 pieces of fan art that show how versatile the series is.

Watching Dave Wassel riding the biggest wave in Maui will make your jaw drop. Then it will make you wish you could go surfing (someplace safer) in January.

It's a feast for the eyes, but would you eat a cake that looked like Deathwing the Destroyer? Someone did, but they got plenty of pictures beforehand.

Mutantland is a terrifying place. The only thing worse than having to eat nasty mutants is being eaten by one of them.

Cufflinks: A Half-Inch of Personality. And you can get them in almost any shape, size, and allegiance.

‘Huge Group Of Girls’ Is The Most Ridiculous Comedy Music Video You’ll See Today. All the better because it's sung by men. (NSFW lyrics)

Literally Unbelievable is a website dedicated to documenting those moments on Facebook when people react to Onion articles as they were real news stories.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Good Reads and Interesting Links

Al Qaeda appears to be fading away. Since bin Laden's death, the terrorist group has become decimated, discouraged, and underfunded.

10 Amazing Stories of Animal Prosthetics. Not only do they make a world of difference to a disabled pet, but each is also a step toward better human prosthetics.

Celebrating Hollywood’s Love Affair With The Cold War. The Soviets were an easily recognized villain and nuclear war fueled more film plots than we care to count.

The erstwhile Chinese practice of foot binding left millions of women crippled for life. Learn how it was done, but be warned there are pictures that will make you sad.

Genetically-altered silkworms can produce, um, spiderwebs. The spiderweb material is more valuable than silk, but harvesting from spiders was next to impossible.

How Many Stephen Colberts Are There? He formed a Super-PAC last summer and is now starting to use it to highlight the absurdities of our election process.

Stephen Hawking Understands Everything but Women. Black holes, the nature of time, and subatomic particles are easy in comparison (unless you're a woman).

USC’s Ski and Snowboard Team Thrashes Mammoth Mountain. Looks like a lot of fun, but I wonder how many broken bones it takes to get this good.

Believe it or not, Kodak is going bankrupt after 130 years. Take a trip through the company's history before it's gone completely.

The 6 Most Mind-Blowing Modern Ghost Towns. Bad planning and way too much ambition add up to some weird and wasteful land use. NSFW text.

Former Egyptian First Lady Suzanne Mubarak lives in luxury, just like she did before the Arab Spring. The power she wielded as part of the Mubarak government is unknown to many outside the country, but she is hated in Egypt.

A Chinese construction company built a 30-story hotel in just 15 days. Watch the time-lapse video and think about whether you would stay there.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

The End of Prohibition

Scenes from the repeal, taken in New Jersey in 1933. Music by Spike Jones.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Links for Fun and Entertainment

The Battlestar Galactica Video Game. If you haven't seen the entire 2044-2009 series, be aware that this contains spoilers, but its totally worth it.

Awwwright, Dude! Watch turtles give each other a high-five underwater.

A glitch in the new game Star Wars: The Old Republic has characters becoming invulnerable if they keep dancing. Add a little music, and you can prevent a war!

British footballer and actor Vinnie Jones shows you how to do "hard and fast" hands-only CPR. Or he might jump-start your heart just out of sheer fright.

The 6 Most Ridiculous Abuses of Diplomatic Immunity.

Literally Unbelievable is a website dedicated to documenting those moments on Facebook when people react to Onion articles as they were real news stories.

‘Huge Group Of Girls’ Is The Most Ridiculous Comedy Music Video You’ll See Today. All the better because it's sung my men. (NSFW lyrics)

Here's an ad that didn't make the cut in Dorito's annual fan-ad competition. I can't imagine anyone else making the chips look better.

General Zoi's Pony Creator lets you design your own My Little Pony. Five-year-olds and Bronies will stay busy all weekend!

Return of the Farting Jedi. Oh, it's simple and mindless and juvenile, but you'll laugh before it's over.

The Internet’s Famousest Felines. Enjoy the cats, but be aware this was written before Maru and Shiro became well-known.

The Artists

A game of one-upmanship gets out of hand in a rivalry between two painters. You can see the end coming, but that doesn't detract from the charm of this animation by Giant Creative. (via Tastefully Offensive)

Thursday, January 05, 2012

8 Heroic U.S. Military Chaplains

While researching the post 10 Heroic Battlefield Medics, I came across a couple of fascinating stories about military chaplains and their wartime exploits. Those stories were filed away for later, and they grew into a list of stories that deserve to be told and remembered. They are presented here in more or less chronological order in an article I wrote for mental_floss.

Informative Links

Tipper vs. Music. The story of Tipper Gore and her 1985 campaign to label music with explicit lyrics.

The Highest-Grossing Films of 2011. What does it say about our tastes that eight of the top ten are sequels?

Gigantic Glowing Forms Hovering Over The World's Cities. You may think of UFOs, but they are enormous featherweight art installations from Janet Echelman.

There's a shortage of ADHD drugs. Is it the DEA's fault for cracking down on abuse, or the manufacturer's fault for trying to maximize profits?

Money for (Practically) Nothing: 4 Very Big Paychecks for Very Little Work. The problem is that these schemes are pretty much un-reproducable.

Police are investigating the discovery of an unidentified murder victim on the grounds of Queen Elizabeth's country estate Sandringham. It sounds suspiciously like a plot from a popular British TV show.

Five opinions on why the Iowa caucuses are so important. And number 6 is that it gives us something to talk about.

In 2011, Kein Lam took 19 planes, 18 boats, and 58 buses to visit 17 countries. He recorded plenty of video and packed the entire adventure into one frenetic video.

Three guys took up crochet as a hobby because they wanted cool accessories. years later, they turned that hobby into an industry that employs impoverished women in Uganda and Peru.

Harry Burkhart is accused of serial arson in more than 50 Los Angeles area fires. The plot thickens as we find his mother was arrested on behalf of the german government for mysterious undisclosed charges.

Second-Cheapest Syndrome. You don't want to get the very cheapest, but you want to save money -yet marketers have already figured you out.

New York: The Wonder City

A newsreel from 1938 (via Metafilter)

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Funny Links

How to Write a Ph.D. Dissertation.

13 Simpsons Jokes That Actually Came True.

The 1980s Film Alphabet. I guessed all of them -can you?

In a series of text messages and photos, a drunk octopus steals a diver's camera and then relates his adventures to other cephalopods. There's really nothing I can add to that.

Gravitas is a simple physics game in which you release a little red block by rotating the fence holding it. Or multiple fences. And please avoid the force field!

The dancing inmates at the Cebu Detention Center in the Pilippines have inspired a web-only musical production. Part one of Prison Dancer will drop in March, but the teaser should hold you until then.

If you are going to graduate this year, don't do this, especially in high heels. Hundreds of parents are videotaping the event, and your name will be enshrined for posterity.

A Supercut of Gene Shalit’s Most Delicious Puns. Each is like a very small bonus for listening to the movie reviews.

This is what happens when you give kids thousands of stickers. They take your boring monochrome decor and make it all happy and colorful.

This guy hooked together a Nao robot, a Kinect sensor bar, two Wii remotes, a head-mounted display, and a treadmill for the purpose of brushing his cat. All this technology only worked because the cat is extremely tolerant.

Is this a cheap foreign knockoff of Star Trek, or a parody that attempts to look like a cheap foreign knockoff? Does it honestly matter?

Fishing Under Ice is about ice fishing from a completely different perspective. That perspective is the fishermen standing upside down on the underside of the ice!

A Very Very Sleepy Kitten

Leave me alone! I learning to be a cat! (via Metafilter)

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Not Your Parents’ Action Figures

Action figures began with Habro’s introduction of G.I. Joe in 1964. Since then, they’ve become associated with the marketing of TV, film, and comic book characters. But those are just the ones you see all the time. If you look, you’ll find just about anyone available as an action figure, which can spur imaginative play, fill out your collection, or give you bragging rights when your friends see them. See quite a few of these in a list I posted at mental_floss.