Friday, February 28, 2014

Sounds Fun

Canadian Provinces

Skiing 1908


Jeff Gordon’s Revenge

When NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon staged a prank for a Pepsi Max ad last year, it went viral, but some questioned its authenticity. Travis Okulski’s review at Jalopnik stood out among the critics with its “FAKE FAKE FAKE FAKE” banner image. Well, that was last year. When the buzz died down somewhat, Gordon and Pepsi came up with a followup prank on Okulski to prove that such pranks can be pulled off. The results are frightening on the one side (because you can imagine finding yourself in this situation), but hilarious to those of us who are in on the stunt. Okulski wrote about the experience:  

What was I planning on accomplishing? Not dying? Taking him down with me? Strangling him? I don't know. I just had to do something.

What I do know is that I was incredibly polite to the man with my life in his hands. I always called him "sir" and said "please" a lot. I guess I did that because if you show someone respect, maybe they won't shoot you in the face later that day when you're tied up in his meth lab and he's planning on how to get rid of all the evidence.

The first half of the video is exposition; you can skip to the action at about 2:30 if you prefer. I don’t really care whether this is fake or staged; it’s entertaining! I think they may have at least edited out the part where Okulski changed his pants before appearing to emerge from the vehicle at the end. And it turns out that Jalopnik not only went along with the prank, but even paid for Okulski’s airfare to Charlotte. (via Daily of the Day)

10 Stories of Conjoined Twins

Conjoined twins are not as rare as they once were, for several reasons: if birth anomalies occur in a percentage of the population, there will be more of them in a larger population, and with advanced medical procedures, they are more likely to survive birth. However, they are not the celebrated “freaks” they once were. More such twins are able to be separated, while others choose to live private lives. And conjoined twins who are open to publicity contribute to a public that is more at ease with “human oddities” due to familiarity.

But only a few decades ago, the fate of conjoined twins was usually to be exhibited to the public. It was the easiest way to earn a good living, and life in a “freak show” often came with the comfort of living with others who knew what it was like to be different. Here are the stories of a few sets of conjoined twins who gained fame in the past, in an article I wrote for mental_floss.

Miss Cellania's Links

The Most Incredible Episode of M*A*S*H.

Taxing the rich is good for the economy, IMF says. (via reddit)

10 Controversies Caused by Nicktoons.

As the ISS flew over the Korean Penninsula, you can see the stark differences between countries. South Korea look like an island, because North Korea has so few lights. (via Death and Taxes)

The Lost Cow Tunnels of New York City. (via the Presurfer)  

Mediarun has a chart illustrating all the dresses worn by actresses accepting the Oscar for Best Actress for every year since the Academy Awards began in 1929. (via Nag on the Lake)

25 Years of Oscar Hosts, Ranked. How will Ellen Degeneres’ 2014 show fit in this list next year?

Why the Pinkification of Children’s Toys Hurts Women. There’s no good reason to segregate boys and girls even further than they already are.

The 6 biggest myths about money. Instead of hard-and-fast rules, they should all say, “It depends.”

Gimme That Broccoli!

Tsutsuji the cat is offered a bite of broccoli, but doesn’t get much of a chance before it is taken by Ginnan, the broccoli-loving cat. Ginnan won’t share with the dog, either. Or maybe I should say “share with the Doge.”

These cats are household siblings to Kabosu the Shiba Inu who became the famous Doge. This pet-centric household has some interesting moments.  (via Daily Picks and Flicks)

Corralling the Reindeer

Behold the swirling dance of the reindeer herd! Photographer Jan Helmer Olsen used a hexacopter drone to get an aerial view of the process of corralling herds of reindeer near Kautokeino, Norway. It all looks very orderly, with help from well-trained dogs, a movable fence, and plenty of herdsmen. Is this a livestock market? That would explain the spectators. (via Viral Viral Videos)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

You Don't Say

Boogie Maths

Cyriak Harris made a little educational video to explain mathematics through dance. It makes just about as much sense as you can imagine. (via Everlasting Blort)


Follow the Instructions

Rescued Cougar Triplets

Look at these babies with their big blue eyes! The Oregon Zoo has been the temporary home of three orphaned cougars whose  mother was killed by a hunter. They arrived dehydrated and scared, and were nursed back to health at the zoo’s Veterinary Medical Care Center. After six weeks of care, they will head to their permanent new home at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro. Read more about the cougars at the Oregon Zoo website. (via HuffPo Green)

It's Raining Cans!

Never Gonna Wake Up

You just got Rickrolled again, but this time he brought some friends along! This mashup by nils incorporates the 2013 song “Wake Me Up” by Avicii and “Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba from 1997 into the mix with Rick Astley’s 1987 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up.” The video features dancing video clips by Will Smith and John Travolta. It’s an odd mix of music and dancing from vastly different decades, but it works. After all, a dance beat is a dance beat no matter when it was recorded. (via Metafilter)

Miss Cellania's Links

What The Numbers Say About Who Will Win At The Oscars. Here are Academy Award winners predicted with a statistical model based on history and other awards this year.

Captain Phillips And The Problem With ‘Based On A True Story.’ Often, a historical event only provides a bare-bones story to hang the usual Hollywood tropes upon.

The Worst Oscar Winners, From Rocky and Crash to Gwyneth Paltrow. Politics of the times sunk many deserving nominees at one time or another.

7 Amazing, Obscure, and Wonderful Bits of Oscars Trivia.

The Union-Busting Birth of the Academy Awards. 

Watch a baby panda do an imitation of a turtle on its back. Let’s hope the panda learns to control his body better as he grows up.

Remote-controlled cargo ships are a great idea — unless you're a pirate. Sailors will be out of jobs, too, but they’ll be safer in port.

The Name Number for Astronomy.

The Long, Slow Surrender of American Liberals. (via Metafilter)

Dave Doesn’t Get the Drag Lift

Frank Spencer (who everyone calls Dave) and friends went to do some real Alpine skiing in Veysonnaz, Switzerland. Dave and his snowboard had a little trouble getting the hang of the T-bar drag lift. I don’t think he has ever waterskied, or been towed by a rope of any kind. If he had tried three, four, five times …well, it wouldn’t have been so funny. But some say he’s still there, still trying to get up the mountain. (via Tastefully Offensive)


As he did with the comic called Frequency, Randall Munroe continues to experiment with embedding his comic xkcd. Today is one you may want to permanently bookmark. It shows a global map that rotates to show what time it is now all over the world! The image here has already changed, because it only shows what time it was when the screen shot was taken. Check it out now.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Rice Krispie Treats

The JunkYard Music Box

Musical instrument builder Tom Kaufmann shows us the JunkYard Music Box, a massive musical installation he took to ArtPrize 2012 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It’s an “automated, human powered musical sculpture, made entirely of recycled materials.” The kids had a wonderful time playing it -or playing on it, or with it- anyway, they had a great time!  

Kaufmann also makes the personal musical sculptures called Your Name Rings a Bell, which you can buy here. My kids and I all have them.

Military Training

In the Netherlands, 1940. (via Weird Vintage)

Snowman Murder

Wood: Is It What's For Dinner?

Scientists Craig McClain and James Barry are researching the carbon sequestration that occurs when trees fall into the ocean (called a wood fall). This involves studying the marine creatures that eat the wood. McClain describes the experiment you see in this video.
In 2006, Jim Barry (Monterey Bay Aquarium) and I chunked 36 logs overboard to begin to examine wood fall communities. Chunked may be a strong verb for sending them down on a benthic elevator. Once on the bottom, a remotely operated vehicle dispersed them over a 1600 square foot area now affectionately referred to as Deadwood. In 2011 and 2013, we retrieved these wood falls. On the surface, I and others picked through the once solid but now bore-riddled and crumbling logs for Xylophaga, limpets, worms, snails, and other wee beasties. As we picked through the rotting wood carcasses, my level of excitement was only matched by the sulfidic, rotten egg, stench of decomposition.
The process is presented here in a souped-up musical video that is as entertaining as it is informative. McClain and Barry’s future plans involve a collaboration with David Hong of Duke University to analyze isotope compositions of the marine life that eats wood to construct a “food web” of the wood fall community.(via Metafilter)

Miss Cellania's Links

14 Facts You Might Not Know about The Brady Bunch.

The impending death of the internet. We can stop it, but only if we decide to treat broadband as a public utility.

A Century of Dazzling Party Dresses.

There is nothing Christian about Arizona's anti-gay bill.

10 Facts Only Lord Of The Rings Super Fans Know. But now you can know them, too.

Do you ever feel like someone is watching you? Here are 47 cute photos that may explain why.

An elderly British Columbia woman waved at students going to the nearby school every day for years. On Valentines Day, they paid her back for her cheerfulness.

Nickolay Lamm’s Fascinating Graphs Trace Words’ Appearances in Songs, 1960-Present. While “happy” and “smile” have become less common, “sex” and “weed” have exploded.

Goodnight Moon Has Been Hilariously Updated For The Modern Parent. Read an excerpt from Goodnight, Nannie-cam by Jen Nessel and Lizzy Ratner.

Brave Sydney divers wrestle an endangered nurse shark to save its life. And it was captured on video.

Excuse Me

Festival Dancing

Watch these guys cut a rug at Awakefest 2013, also called the Awakenings Festival in the Netherlands. One commenter said this type of dancing was called de konijnendans, or “rabbit dance.” They may have been pulling our legs. Whatever it is, it works better with “Yakety Sax” than with the original soundtrack. (via Daily Picks and Flicks)

Four Cats With Fewer Than Three Legs

We often read stories about the amazing adaptability of animals. They endure pain, but they do not wallow in self-pity. A disabled animal will do what it must do to get on with life using what it has. A four-legged animal can get around pretty well on three legs, as I learned when our border collie lost one. In these stories I posted at mental_floss, four cats learned to get around pretty well with even less than three.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Problems We Need

The Jackson 5

The Jackson 5 perform on The Flip Wilson Show in 1971.

Angels Fan

Bunny Stampede

Yu Yu found herself playing the part of the Pied Piper to a herd of bunny rabbits! Ōkunoshima is the Japanese island that was once a chemical weapons production facility, but is now famous for being overrun with rabbits. It doesn’t take much to attract them, just a bag full of salad! (via Viral Viral Videos)

Sweet and Dainty

Mott's Applesauce

(via Buzzfeed)

Extreme Ice Skating

In the winter, extreme skaters trade in their rollerblades for just blades. It’s as easy as covering a concrete skate park with a layer of freezing water! Well, easy of these ice cross skaters, not for you or me. Sooner or later, this will be another new sport added to the winter Olympics so Americans can win more medals. (via Viral Viral Videos)

Miss Cellania's Links

The Curious Case of the American Accent. Where does yours fit in?

11 Highlights From Harold Ramis’ Amazing Comedic Career. The world lost a great talent when he died Monday morning.

Taco Bell Is Rolling Out Its Breakfast Menu In March. Get ready for waffle tacos and new efforts from the competition.

Here Are the 50 States Ranked by How Happy Their Residents Are. As a Kentucky resident, I am grateful for the sad people of West Virginia.

From Limo Driver to Oscar Contender. Barkhad Abdi is more shocked than anyone that he was nominated for his first film role.

10 movies that got great performances from actors... by torturing them. Suffering for one’s art might not be a great way to live, but sometimes it works.

Top 10 internet cats hall of fame. (via the Presurfer)

Why YouTube’s Automated Copyright Takedown System Hurts Artists. It doesn’t cost a thing for record labels to cut off music they don’t even own. (via Boing Boing)

A strange subtext in Mulan.

Ten Of The Most Ludicrous Fox News Guests


(via Fark)

Super Mario Theme on Ancient Chinese Instrument

The Chinese Sheng is a musical instrument that resembles a cross between a clarinet and a pipe organ. It dates back at least three thousand years! Here, musician Li Jin Li performs the Super Marios Bros. theme on a Sheng, complete with sound effects. (via Tastefully Offensive)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Garden of the Month

Well, it was December. (via Bad Newspaper)

Give Me Compliments

From the Norwegian TV show Kollektivet, we get a music video that parodies the desire for appreciation, even for everyday things that everyone should do. But if your demand for a compliment is ever fulfilled, would you even know what to do with it? (via Metafilter)

Fighting Words

Why You Should Never Let Your Cat Drive

When you have a traffic accident, the first thing you do is switch places with the unlicensed driver behind the wheel. At least that’s what I’ve heard. What is it with Russian cats? They think they can go anywhere and do anything! (via Daily Picks and Flicks)

Jet Failure

You can read the story behind this picture here. (via Weird Vintage)

Hazardous Materials

A truck in Russia carrying “insecure high pressure cylinders” has a little accident. The crash is just the beginning, though, as the cylinders keep going off. Is it propane? Don’t ever take chances around those things. The driver escapes from the left side of the truck in the first 30 seconds, and after that no one wants to get anywhere near until the fireworks are completely over. Michael Bay would be proud. (via reddit)

Miss Cellania's Links

Drowning. Let me lend you a hand.

Inside The Army’s Spectacular, Hidden Treasure Room.

How North Became the Top of the Map. (via the Presurfer)

Wolves, dogs, and hybrids: a commonsense guide.

My Name is RX. A masterpiece of sampling -and you’ll recognize who they sampled.

25 Synonyms for 'Pussy Riot,' for news presenters who'd really rather not to say 'pussy' on-air.

10 Famous Musicians’ Hilarious and Surprising Ad Jingles. Worth it just to see Cinderella selling chili dogs.

Whole Foods: America’s Temple of Pseudoscience. The company’s devotion to organic food and homeopathic cures reach an almost religious level.

A new bill in Arizona allows businesses to refuse service to gays. A pizzeria responded by asserting their right to refuse service to Arizona legislators.

9 Terrifying Urban Legends From Victorian London. People feared pigs roaming in the sewers, ghosts, mutant humans, wild animal attacks, and more.

10 Cool Underground Hotels. As cozy as being wrapped up in a mountain.


(via Fark)

Squirrel Steals Airplane

He shouldn’t have built this plane the way he did. Yeah, he was trying to make it easy to fly, but you never know who’s going to try it. It’s Rocky, the flying squirrel! (via Daily Picks and Flicks)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Foot Loops

It Doesn't Get Better

Jason Headley parodies the Dan Savage “It Gets Better” campaign by turning it around. High school is a horrible experience for most kids, and they can’t wait to go elsewhere and do better things. So they do. I mean really, how can we be so cruel as to throw all our hormonal offspring together with others just like them for years at a time? Then there are those who were at the top of their game in high school, and expected everything to stay the same afterward. Life is not so kind to the regina Georges and the Al Bundys who look back at high school as the best years of their lives. (via Daily of the Day)

The Cup Can Do It

Katt Över Bord

Swedish sailors Johan Skärkarl and Stellan Stenberg of Visby, Sweden, heard noises underneath the ferryboat HSC Gotlandia II. It was a cat, which had probably fallen into the water and then found refuge in the undercarriage of the boat. They considered calling a rescue service, but then Skärkarl decided to just go get the cat himself. Stenberg videotaped the rescue operation. The frightened cat’s attitude changed considerably once it was on the dock, acting like it was no big deal. (via Daily Picks and Flicks)

Doris Day's Favorite Steamroller

Now, who was it that thought it would be a good idea to portray Doris Day as a steamroller operator? It says right there that the International Harvester Series 56 is the only road roller endorsed by Doris Day. Somehow I just don’t see her comparing the smoothness of different models to decide which is best. But this is only one of many vintage ads with questionable endorsements. Groucho Marx for Frosted Flakes? Bill Gates for Radio Shack? See all 28 ads at Collectors Weekly

Found Phone

Human Loop the Loop with Damien Walters

Stuntman Damien Walters manages to do a loop-the-loop on foot. Is this even possible? Only if you are Damien Walters, so don’t try this at home. You’ll hurt yourself. This is a Pepsi ad, which sparked jokes about caffeine fueling this stunt. (via Viral Viral Videos)

Miss Cellania's Links

10 Gloriously Underhanded Sports Tactics.

5 Things Movies Don't Tell You About Mental Institutions.

About “authentic” ethnic food. (via Metafilter)

Vulture’s Oscar Knock-Knock Jokes.

Once Upon A Time. A writer laments the loss of her childhood books.

Netflix packets being dropped every day because Verizon wants more money.

Malm is a line of IKEA bedroom furniture. Here they are, presented exactly like a porn website. Oddly SFW.

Deer Farming: The Next Adventure in Agriculture.   

Smile for the Selfie

Friday, February 21, 2014

Cherry and Ammonia

Test Question

(via Fark)

Cats Chasing Dogs Compilation

Is it a sign of the End Times? No, cats chasing dogs is more common than we were brought up to think, after years of watching cartoons that assumed dogs always chase cats. I thought my cat was going to attack a dog being walked in front of the house today, but it turns out they had make friends before. It was a little nerve-racking, because my cat is twice that dog’s size. (via Tastefully Offensive)

Kids Reenact the Oscar Nominees

CineFix put kids in the starring roles to show us a bit of the movies that are up for Academy Awards. I think all movies would be improved by casting like this. But then again, these kids are too young to even see most of these movies! (via The Daily Dot)

They Were Who They Weren’t: 6 Audacious Impostors

Throughout history, people have changed their identities and become someone completely different. Sometimes it was to avoid consequences in their previous lives, and sometimes it was to be something grander than they were. I wrote about the most famous impostors several years ago in the post We Love Who They Aren't: 7 Famous Impostors. Here are a few more stories of fake identities I’ve come across since then, an an article I posted at mental_floss.

Miss Cellania's Links

A Few Things You May Not Know About the Movie Grease.

"It Was Kind of Like Slavery.” Five men tell what it was like to be a young inmate at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Florida.

Here’s a fascinating blog called the man who is not my mother. It is a diary of an infant with an amazing internal vocabulary who describes her surroundings and experiences. (Thanks, Laura Grace Wheldon!)

Almost in America: Portraits from Ellis Island.

What life is like in your 90s. “Honored, respected, even loved, but not quite worth listening to anymore.”

Welcome to Sealand: a Sovereign Nation. Fifty citizens call the tiny platform in the North Sea home, even if they don’t live there.

Completely Unsolicited Advice on How to Give an Acceptable Oscar Speech. All you need to do is study Emma Thompson.

Propeller Island City Lodge is not what you would call a normal hotel. Each room is different -and some are just bizarre.

Can You Identify The U.S. States By Their Outlines? Why, yes I can, all 15 of them.

This Is Why It Was So Insanely Cold Last Month. An animation shows how the polar vortex is out to get you.

So Happy

(via Fark)

“Rappers Delight” by NBC News

Jimmy Fallon is going all out for his first week as host of The Tonight Show. We’ve seen NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams rap before, but in this longer yet still masterful edit, he’s joined by weekend anchor Lester Holt in the iconic “Rapper’s Delight.” For comparison, you might want to check out The Sugar Hill Gang performing the song on Soul Train. (via reddit)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

No Experience Needed


Chris Farley plays his motivational speaker character Matt Foley with Second City, long before he was on SNL. Bob Odenkirk is also featured. (via mental_floss)


Cold Child at a Bus Stop

This Norwegian ad placed a child without a coat at a bus stop to see what folks would do. When asked, he tells them that his coat was stolen on a school trip. At the end of the video, the purpose is made clear when viewers are told that children in Syria are cold; you can send them a coat. Redditor trondskij has an English translation. (via reddit)

Miss Cellania's Links

The Wisdom of the Shire. What Tolkien’s Hobbits can teach us about real life.

Finally, a Bachelor Contestant Exposes the Show’s Weird Sex Issues.

10 Japanese Travel Tips for Visiting America.

Sexual Assault at God's Harvard. Patrick Henry College was supposed to be a safe place. For these young women, it wasn't.

15 Things You Might Not Know About Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.  

A missing GoPro camera was reunited with its owner because his cat pics were identified from a forum. Just one more reason to post pictures of your cat on the internet.

South Korea’s High School Students Take The Best Yearbook Photos In The World. The goal is to stand out and be remembered.

The Worst Oscar Smear Campaigns: From Good Will Hunting to The Wolf of Wall Street. Campaigning ahead of the Academy Awards is a game of dirty tricks.

Crystal Head Vodka comes in a skull-shaped bottle. A forensic artist recreated what its face would look like, complete with that “full of vodka” expression.

Debt collectors are gorging themselves on student loans. High tuition, a struggling job market, and bad policy combine to make former students into indentured servants.

The Challenge

(via Fark)

Sheep Clears Pool Room

Warning: loud and possibly annoying music. We don’t know where this video is from, or the story behind it, but apparently the sheep does not want these men to enjoy a friendly game of billiards. If any videos cries out for a “Yakety Sax” soundtrack, this one does. (via Arbroath)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

An Honest Trailer for Gravity

I saw Gravity on the big screen and enjoyed it. I can’t imagine watching it anywhere else, because the visual effects are so stunning that you momentarily disregard the fact that the plot is one that would never happen in a million years. If you haven’t yet seen Gravity and plan to see it sometime, then be warned this contains massive spoilers. Otherwise, enjoy this takedown from Screen Junkies. (via Film Drunk)  

Sports 2014

Avoiding the Kiss Cam

What if you really don’t want everyone at the park to see you kissing on the Jumbotron? You might feel obligated to if the “kiss cam” is pointed at you, but you aren’t don’t have to to comply, even on Valentines Day. This guy has the perfect explanation. And probably will be remembered for it long after you’ve forgotten all those kissing couples! This was recorded at the Minnesota Gophers hockey game when they played Michigan last Friday. (via Digg)

Miss Cellania's Links

The Chemical and Physical Properties of Vampires in the Gaseous State.

Angela Clayton has taken cosplay to another level with her lovely Snow Queen costume from the movie Frozen. She chronicles the two-month project of making the costume in a five-part series plus two photo sessions. (via The Daily Dot)

1% Jokes and Plutocrats in Drag: What I Saw When I Crashed a Wall Street Secret Society.

Now you can make your warning level system, with the Personal Threat Level generator. (via Boing Boing)

The Conservative Crusade For Christian Sharia Law.

A Building Sheds its Skin.

It’s So Cold That a Plane Actually Landed on the Frozen Surface of Lake Huron. And it’s a good thing, because the engine wasn’t working.

Classic R-Rated Movies as Children’s Books. Artist Josh Cooley makes them just family-friendly enough to make adults laugh.

How Blacks Freed Themselves from Slavery. It’s time to give credit where credit is really due.

Sex Lives of the American Founding Fathers. A new book addresses the stories that have cropped up over the last two centuries.