Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Your Choice

Tour of South Pole Station


The coldest place in the world has pretty decent accommodations. Kate Miller gives us a tour of the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.

The latest version of the station is surprisingly big. Considering that shifts are six month long, and the sun only rises and sets twice a year, the staff can use all the amenities they can get. If you don't have the time to watch the whole video, the living quarters are in the first half, and the work spaces are in the second half.  (via reddit)

Note From Teacher

(via reddit)

Robot Cat

Robot Cat is a lethal humanoid mecha controlled by an adorable but ferocious kitten. Robot Cat rescues animals and seeks revenge on animal abusers! However, the robot doesn't always function at peak efficiency. English captions are available, but not really necessary. You'll need to turn them on if you watch the making-of video, which is in Polish. It's quite funny, and you get to see more of the kitten. (via Metafilter

Mardi Gras

I wonder if she's giving up beef for Lent.


Kamala Khan is a Pakistani-American teenager struggling with the pressures of growing up in an immigrant family, but in her spare time, she's Ms. Marvel, a crime-fighting superhero! Come for the story, stay for the over-the-top special effects in this fan film by Anita Kalathara and Landis Aponte. (via Rizal Farok)  

Miss Cellania's Links

The Dust Bowl Revolution. Farmers who migrated to California were fleeing truly horrible conditions.

Happy Pancake Day! Today is the last day to glutton out before Lent.

9 Royally Interesting Facts You Might Not Know About King Cake.

John Oliver clearly explains the current state of the health care debate, with plenty of NSFW language.

A Five-Year-Old Becomes Historical Figures for Black History Month. Little Lola has now completed a gallery of recreations of amazing black women.

Space Puppies: The Cold War's Cutest Diplomats. The puppy Pushinka was the daughter of a space pioneer and the family dog of a president.

Self-Righteous Devils: What Ozark Vigilantes of the 1880s Reveal About Modern America. The story of the Baldknobbers and other vigilante groups.

Papers, Please: Border Patrol Agents Stop Domestic Travelers at New York Airport. Better get a passport, even if you never leave the U.S.

Canadian photographer David Burdeny spent an entire year trying to get permission to photograph the gorgeous Moscow subway between midnight and 6AM, when the trains aren't running and the halls are empty. When it finally happened, he got some truly sublime images. (via Nag on the Lake

Why People Once Loved Linoleum. It was a lot better than what came before.

I Has Beads

Happy Fat Tuesday!


Happy Mardi Gras! Let's have some pancakes, with some music from James Proven. This video is just as good today as it was in 2006.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Nights in the Sun

This would be possible in the Arctic Circle, but not in Cancun. (via Bad Newspaper)

Fun Facts

(via reddit)

Angry Octopus

Check out all the things this octopus does. It controls the water underneath its membranes to appear inflated at times. That's the biggest thing you'll notice in this video, but there's more. It changes color, from purple to pink to blue and back to purple again, with orange highlights and white spots at times. The octopus also appears to have spikes on its head, but that's more of a disguise. As it swims away, its head is smooth! If you watched this video a few more times, you'll probably find some other amazing power. What's happening is that the octopus was not happy with the presence of the videographer, and was warning her off. You can read the story at Pink Tank Scuba. (via Everlasting Blort)

You Can't Fire Him

World's Fastest Apple Peeling

Lauri and Anni Vuohensilta, the couple behind Hydraulic Press Channel, show us how to peel an apple in a ridiculously fast way, using an apple peeling devise and a power drill. Bonus: interfering cat.

The whole video is entertaining, but if you can't wait for the fastest apple peel, it's at about five minutes in. There is a faster attempt, but the apple did not survive. I have an apple peeler and a rotary tool; I should try this next time I need a lot of apples peeled. You have to admit it's more fun than efficient, and then you think about how much fun Lauri and Anni have in their everyday lives. (via Metafilter)

Miss Cellania's Links

The Mounties: They Always Get Their Man. How the RCMP came about.

Here Are All The Winners At The 2017 Oscars.

Listen, if you're going to have a fish on the table where the cat can reach it, the cat will reach for it. (via reddit)

Six Stories of Passports From Countries That No Longer Exist. Including one with a picture of a dog.

The Holocaust’s Great Escape. How the Burning Brigade tunneled out of Ponar extermination camp.

Salvador Dalí on how to eat sea urchins. With beans and nice light wine.

I Was a Muslim in Trump's White House

In 1914, Feminists Fought For the Right to Forget Childbirth. "Twilight sleep" turnout to be not so miraculous after all.    

What's the laziest thing you've ever done? It's not going to top this story.

19 Things You Might Not Know Were Invented in Canada. A surprising number of which we use every day.


Are Boys Smarter Than Girls?

Who's smarter, boys or girls? That's a difficult question, considering the cultural biases that have shaped the way we think of both sexes over thousands of years. But with modern science, we can study  tiny differences in the brain, which somehow just muddies the question even more.  AsapSCIENCE gives us an overview of the latest research. One of the most memorable things I learned in school is that there are more difference among people within groups then between groups, and that goes especially for male and female humans. (via Geeks Are Sexy

The Legacy of Sadako

I have an ongoing project to make posts for mental_floss articles I wrote way back when that I do not have an archive for. Here's another one.

Sadako Sasaki was two years old when the atom bomb was dropped on her hometown of Hiroshima, Japan in 1945. Sadako's home was about a mile from the epicenter, and her family survived. When she was an eleven-year-old school athlete, she began to experience weakness, lumps on her neck, and spots on her legs. Sadako was diagnosed with leukemia, with a life expectancy of a year. She survived until 1955, but this article I wrote for mental_floss is about what happened after her death.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

School Donation


(via reddit)

Baba Singh and His Turban

Baba Avtar Singh may be the wearer of the largest turban in the world. It is his pride and joy, but is too large for him to get around in busses and cars, so he rides a motorcycle -barefoot. The turban weighs 187 pounds, and takes several hours to construct. That's 700 yards of fabric, not to mention the weight of the decorations. Enjoy this video of Baba Singh from Great Big Story. (via Laughing Squid)

8 Restaurant Treats Made with Girl Scout Cookies

People just can't get enough of Girl Scout cookies! Not only are they great by themselves, but the cookies are also used as ingredients in fancy desserts of all kinds. Talented chefs from restaurants all over take the opportunity to devise creative offerings made with Girl Scout cookies. See some of them in a list I posted at mental_floss.


(via Buzzfeed)


(via Fark)

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Septic Broth

Patrick Stewart’s Ridiculous Circumcision Story

Sir Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman were on The Graham Norton Show when the subject of Stewart's anatomy came up. The man had gone 70 years thinking he was circumcised. Which just goes to show that not every man automatically takes the opportunity to compare his with other men's. (via Uproxx)

Train Delay

(via reddit)

Dog Goes Shopping

A border collie goes to Canadian Tire and picks up several bags of dog treats. Meaning, he picked them out himself, presented them to the cashier, and carried the bag himself. Like some humans, he was too proud to count the change.

Border collies are the smartest dogs on the planet. Somehow I got one that would walk straight into a wall. But she was lovable anyway. (via Tastefully Offensive)

10 Carnival Traditions From Around the World

In some Christian traditions, Lent is the 40-day period of fasting leading up to Easter. Carnival is the period of overindulgence before Lent, a sort of last chance to party. Traditions grew up around Carnival that are still celebrated today in different parts of the world, even where Lent is no longer observed. It's much easier to drop a deprivation than it is to drop a party. Read about how Carnival is celebrated around the world in a list I posted at mental_floss.


Driving the Same Car for 53 Years

Grace Braeger bought a Chevy in 1957. It was her first new car, and the last she's ever bought. She's still driving it! The car is still in great condition, even after 116,000 miles (which isn't much for a car that old). Cars were built to last back then, and you can even repair them yourself. But it would be good if she got it fitted with seat belts. (via Neatorama)

Red Shirt

(via Fark)

Human Lovers, Cat Brothers

Cathleen Cavin and Brian Herrera were matched on Tinder. They have a lot in common. They both have young daughters, and they both have orange-and-white cats. In fact, when Cavin saw Herrera's cat Butter, she exclaimed that it was her cat Ozzy. It turns out that they had adopted cats from the same shelter at around the same time. The shelter checked their records, and the two cats were from the same litter. Butter and Ozzy are brothers! The shelter even had a picture of the litter mates together when they were kittens. It was a sign that the two were meant to be together. Cavin and Herrera are getting married next month, and the cats will be moving in together again. See more pictures at Buzzfeed.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Flesh Tasty

Oh No!

(via reddit)

Geography Class

Keeping up with the Kattarshians

Four kittens live in a house together. It's scaled to be just their size. Three live webcams (and a night vision camera) follow their antics as they learn to get along with each other -or not. Is that a great premise for a show or what? That's Keeping up with the Kattarshians, an Icelandic production starring a litter of kittens who will eventually be up for adoption.   
The overwhelmingly cute kittens are siblings and we call them the Catdashians (The Kattarshians in Icelandic, due to the spelling in our language) and we’re keeping up with them. They are unfortunately orphans and will stay in their wonderful house for 3-4 weeks until some nice people adopt them and other homeless kittens take their place.

Keeping Up With the Catdashians is a cooperation project with The Icelandic Cat Protection Society and with full knowledge and approval of the Icelandic Food And Veterinary Authority, the Animal Welfare Officer and the Expert Veterinarian and Animal Welfare Officer in Iceland.

Employees and volunteers from The Icelandic Cat Protection Society take care of the kittens and make sure they get a sufficient time with people which is very important. They also take care of housekeeping, cleaning the litter box and serving food. Meanwhile we take a break from the streaming. This happens 2-3 times a day.
This video compiles the best scenes from the past week. To watch the action live, bookmark this link. When I last checked, they were asleep: one in the top bunk, two on the floor, and one in the bathtub.

Miss Cellania's Links

10 Shocking (Mis)Uses for Electricity.

Inside Uber’s Aggressive, Unrestrained Workplace Culture.

Artists, designers, coders, bloggers, speakers, actors, and other professionals are often offered jobs for no pay at all, as they think you'll want to do it "for the exposure." The Twitter feed For Exposure shares many examples of real-world expectations for work to be done for no pay at all. (via Nag on the Lake)

NASA’s longshot bet on a revolutionary rocket may be about to pay off. A physicist/astronaut is on his way to unveiling a plasma rocket.

Kenya's Tsavo West National Park has seen no rainfall at all since last June. Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua spends hours every day driving a truck to waterholes in the park to make sure elephants, zebras, buffalo, and antelopes have enough water to survive.

Is It Okay to Enjoy the Warm Winters of Climate Change? Just wait until summer and see how you like it.

Five Moments That Prove Batman is as Insane as the Joker. We can identify with heroes who have psychological problems.

It's time to retire the Oscars' Best Picture award. It's hard enough to define "picture," much less "best."

The History of Hollywood's It Girls (And Their Tragic Downfalls). They burned brightly and didn't last long.

All the Ladies

(via Fark)

Siberian Tigers Take Down Drone

These well-fed tigers live at the Harbin Siberian Tiger Park in Heilongjiang Province, China. A quadcopter was sent in to get some footage of the cats in the snow. But the cats chased the drone just like any prey, and actually caught it! They soon found out it didn't taste good, and it wasn't quite dead, either. the staff was able to recover the drone and the footage. (via Gizmodo)

Thursday, February 23, 2017


Stool Bus

(via reddit)

If La La Land Were Directed by David Lynch

I watched La La Land in a theater, and only fell asleep twice. I didn't miss anything, though. I was surprised to later find out it was only two hours long. The dances were nice, but the characters were not likeable. Maybe I would have liked it better as a surreal horror film a la David Lynch. (via the A.V. Club)

Sitar Metal

Rob Scallon, who never met a musical instrument he didn't like, rocks the sitar. I found this extremely pleasant. (via Geeks Are Sexy)

Andrew Huang's Midi Unicorn

Andrew Huang synched a drawing of a unicorn with his midi program and made some pretty music! How did he do that? It's not an automatic program, just a lot of work and experimentation. He'll tell you about it. Huang was inspired by the work of musician Savant, who has midi art on his Facebook page. (via Laughing Squid)

Miss Cellania's Links

14 Facts You May Not Know About Johnny Carson. The longtime host of The Tonight Show had an amazing life.  

The Pineapple Pizza Scandal was Nearly an International Incident Between Canada and Iceland. It's a good thing the president of Iceland clarified his remarks. (via Metafilter)

Blame: Was the death of Jill Wells an accident or murder? A gripping true crime story.

15 Perfect Spots to Watch the Total Solar Eclipse as It Crosses the U.S. Next Summer. Make your reservations now.

Seven New Exoplanets Discovered, Three Possibly Habitable. Read more about the discovery at NASA, and at the website dedicated to TRAPPIST-1. (via The Daily Dot)

The Mall of America is looking for a writer-in-residence. It would be really hard to beat this applicant

Donald Trump’s Deportation Plans Will Cost The U.S. $5 Trillion Over The Next Decade. That's not counting the cost of the wall.

Christopher Hesse created a way for everyday internet users to experiment with artificial intelligence-created images. What could possibly go wrong? 

The Latest in Menstrual Products: Vaginal Glue.

What’s Killing America’s Black Infants?

Dog on a Mic

(via reddit)


David Armand (as his interpretive dance character Johann Lippowitz) went viral with his dance to the song "Torn." It was such a funny performance that Natalie Imbruglia joined him to perform "Torn" at the Secret Policeman's Ball in 2006. Armand then got a job on the BBC show called Fast and Loose, with a game segment called Interpretive Dance in which people who couldn't hear the song tried to guess what it was, while the audience had a great time watching him. He also occasionally appeared in the US knockoff show Trust Us with Your Life, in which he did the same thing. (via Metafilter)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Butt Flap Meat

Overflowing Glory Hole

The spillway at Lake Berryessa in California's Napa Valley works like a sink or tub overflow drain. It just automatically drains when the water level in the reservoir behind the Monticello Dam gets to a certain height. The locals call the round, accessible spillway the Glory Hole. Last week, after torrential rains, the water level got high enough to reach the Glory Hole for the first time in ten years -and this time, we have drones to record it. Bonus: AC/DC.

The concrete funnel is 72 feet wide, and goes to work when the water reaches 440 feet above sea level. This week, it is draining at about two million gallons a minute. In case you are wondering, here's what the Glory Hole looks like when the water level is low. (via Digg)


(via reddit)


Miss Cellania's Links

Libretto: The Last Second. An opera about adding a leap second to our year.

Why can 12-year-olds still get married in the United States? (via Kottke)

Zippo lighters of Vietnam soldiers. Some are NSFW. (via reddit)  

Competitive Eating in the 17th Century. Nicholas Wood made himself a reputation as The Great Eater of Kent.

What It’s Like to Be in the Running to Be an Astronaut. It's a months-long audition for a very few slots.

Has the Large Hadron Collider Disproved the Existence of Ghosts? Even if they did, people would believe in them.

How Stuttering Works. Some people overcome it, some learn to work around it, and some suffer greatly from it.

The Only Thing, Historically, That's Curbed Inequality is Catastrophe. While everyone suffers, the rich simply have more to lose.

12 Ridiculously Cool Playgrounds That’ll Make You Want To Be A Kid Again.

The science of why we experience false memories. Even false memories we share with others have to come from somewhere. 


(via Fark)

Sis Boom Bah

Johnny Carson as Carnac the Magnificent delivers the funniest dad joke ever. I remember watching that night and I couldn't stop laughing. I missed the rest of the sketch, which was okay, as nothing could top that one joke.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Useless Coupon

An Honest Trailer for the Oscars 2017

Oscar season is here, and Screen Junkies is taking the time to give us a mini-honest synopsis of each of the nine films nominated for Best Picture. There's a couple of historical dramas, a war movie, a coming-of-age story, a musical, some love stories, and even a science fiction film represented. They each gets theirs in this Honest Trailer. Sadly, Deadpool is not among them. They also take some jabs at the Oscars themselves. The Academy Awards ceremony is this Sunday night.

DIY Selfie Stick

(via reddit)

The Past Month in a Nutshell

By Tom Tomorrow. See more of his comics here.


The father's name is Copi, the son's name is Paste, so of course they are a lot alike. But as Copi sees him son become more and more like him, he learns to put a little color back into his own life, for his son's sake. This short film by Daniel Martínez Lara and Rafa Cano Méndez says a lot without saying a word. Watch for extra illustrations during the credits that continue the story. (via The Kid Should See This)

Miss Cellania's Links

The Volunteer Sky Watchers of the Cold War

Why Does This One Couch From West Elm Suck So Much?

Reflecting on one very, very strange year at Uber. It was nonstop sexual harassment, which is egregious but not surprising. (via Metafilter)

Tom the Dancing Bug presents The Donald Trump Mysteries. “The Leak Is Real, The News Is Fake.”

Abandoned Helicopters: 22 Derelict Choppers & Rotorcraft Graveyards.

The Future of Advertising Starts With Your Face. Ads will recognize you and customize messages to put you in the picture.

How a Chinese restaurant kitchen works. Structure and Procedure stand between a staff and chaos. (via Metafilter)

This Woman Has Created Brutally Honest Illustrations About Her Eating Disorder. Christie Begnell used illustrations as therapy while she stayed in a private clinic.

Street Art and Graffiti Cats. Colorful felines brighten public walls all over the world. (via madamjujujive)

Hollywood Peeps: 15 Oscar-Winning Films in Marshmallow. Pretty soon, people will start creating scenes of the 2017 winners.

That Raise

(via Fark)

10 Terrible Early Drafts of Villains

It takes a bit of tweaking to get a character right for a movie, especially if it's science fiction or a comic book adaptation. What looks good on paper often doesn't translate all that well to the screen. So it's common that early drafts are tested out and changed considerably before production. Sometimes those early ideas were just plain stupid. But thanks to archived art and screen tests, we can see what those early and awful ideas were like. Aren't you glad they tried again and again until they got it right …or at least better? (via the A.V. Club)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Uncle Jimmy

Cat Tries To Steal Food From Dog

This slow motion video shows you in excruciating detail what happens when you interfere with a dog getting a treat. Notice the looks of extreme anticipation on their faces. The cat is calculating some kind of subterfuge. Then a french fry is finally flung in their direction. Yeah, that's what they say about the best laid plans. At least the cat will be able to explain his injury as a "Lab accident." (via Boing Boing)

Street Pineapple

Who lives in a pineapple under the street? Urban Spongebob! And you thought it was the just the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles who lived in the city drains. And Pennywise. The next step is to see how many puns can be made about the sponge that might be found under this colorful manhole cover. You'll find about a hundred attempts in the discussion at reddit.

How the BBC Makes Planet Earth Look Like a Hollywood Movie

If you've been watching the BBC TV series Planet Earth II, you've no doubt been amazed at the wildlife footage. It almost looks like a Hollywood action film -a blockbuster, even. A lot of that is due to new filmmaking technology. The BBC has been making nature documentaries for 60 years, and they have steadily gotten better as the cameras and equipment get better. This video from Vox gives the short history of that technology and how it can be used to film fascinating creatures that don't follow a script. This is "part 1 of 3," so we can look forward to more behind-the-scenes looks at how Planet Earth was made. (via Tastefully Offensive)

Tweet of the Day

Stop, Cats!

Dog Intersects Waterslide

The dog got more air than the kid who rode it all the way down. Yes, the dog was fine afterward. (via reddit)

Miss Cellania's Links

In Loco Presidentis: Who's In Charge Here? The long road to covering presidential succession scenarios.

When Lincoln Was More a Politician Than an “Honest Abe.” He became a newspaper troll for a short time.

While the internet was having fun with Trump's press conference last Thursday, he overturned a law preventing companies dumping coal mining debris in streams and rivers. (via reddit)

19 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Working In Radio. Actually, I know them all, and don't miss it a bit.

Trump’s Russian Connections, A Handy Timeline.

6 Horrifying Realities Of Living In A Sitcom Universe. You could spend a lifetime watching TV sitcoms and not realize that the same weird things keep happening from show to show over time.

Japanese interpreters are having a hard time making sense of Donald Trump's words.  "…if we translated his words as they are, we would end up making ourselves sound stupid.”

Stop blaming brown recluse spiders for your horrifying flesh wounds. Their bites gets diagnosed even in places where they don't live.

The Difficult Journey of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The production staff learned from the mistakes of the first movie, and even used them to their advantage.

What Happens When Teens Run the Court. Some real offenders get to take a chance with their peers instead of facing juvenile court.


Singing Dog

This is a creepy video of a person playing with a dog and making it "sing." Watch it once, and then go back and watch it again with the automatic captions on. Then it becomes truly terrifying. (via reddit)

More Periodic Tableware

I have an ongoing project to make posts for mental_floss articles I wrote way back when that I do not have an archive for. Here's another one. 

My very first week here at mental_floss I wrote an article called Periodic Tableware, about how people have taken the periodic table of the elements and adapted the form in interesting ways. Since then, I've run across quite a few more examples. See them in this article from 2007.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Executive Order 9066

Today is the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, issued on February 19, 1942, which allowed the U.S. government to inter Japanese-Americans, German-Americans and Italian-Americans in camps for the duration of the war. Around 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry were removed from their West Coast homes and taken to internment camps. The above government newsreel was made in 1943. The dialogue sugarcoats the entire experience, while the visuals tell a different story. I was struck at the 7-minute mark, where internees were taking an "Americanization" class, and the camera focuses on three women students who look as if they'd spend their entire lives being American.

At the National Archives' Unwritten Record Blog, you can read about the internment project and see an 18-minute 1944 color documentary.

At The New Yorker, you can see Bill Manbo's rare color photographs of his internment camp.

At NPR's Code Switch, you can see photographs of the internment from three different photographers which very different agendas: Dorothea Lange, who wanted to convey the unfairness of the order; Ansel Adams, who depicted the internees as patriotic and cooperative volunteers, and Toyo Miyatake, who was himself an internee.

(via Metafilter)

Bank Loan

(via reddit)

Kids Are Awesome

If you need a smile, take a look at what some kids are doing with their spare time. Desire, hard work, and persistence come together to give us some awesome performances, even in children that look too young to be doing these things. This compilation is brought to you by People Are Awesome to show us that kids are awesome, too! (via Tastefully Offensive)

Dirty Dishes

(via Buzzfeed)

Explaining the Joke

(via reddit)

The Smart Pen

It's called Ghlargh. (via reddit)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Horses and Dogs

Playin' with Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen played in Brisbane Thursday night. A teenager held up a sign that said he was missing school for the concert, and could he play "Growin' Up"? Springsteen called him up on stage to play. Fifteen-year-old Nathan Testa knew the song, and well. In the middle of the song, Springsteen gives him some advice about looking good on stage. 

What's really strange is that this isn't the first time Testa has played with the Boss. His family are all avid Springsteen fans, and attended a Brisbane concert in 2013, when Testa, then 11, was pulled on stage to play "Waitin' on a Sunny Day." (via Metafilter)


(via reddit)