Monday, April 30, 2018

Evil Cat

Pharmacy Sign

(via reddit)

Why English Sux

Jordan Watson is famous for his How To Dad series. His daughters are growing up, though, and the oldest is learning to read. There is nothing that makes you question the universe more than helping a child with homework. That's what it took for Watson to realize how weird our language and spelling conventions are. (via Tastefully Offensive)

Opening Things

There's one in every family. If you think there's not one in your family, it's you. From Big Fat Comics. (via reddit)

Frank and Murphy

From Whomp Comics. (via Fark)

One Man Band

Here we have a throwback to the early days of internet animation technology, in which an artist takes a painful amount of time and effort to produce something clever, but the result is comically horrible due to the limits of the software. It appears that this is exactly the effect the artist was going for, and she achieved it brilliantly. The technical part is not as difficult as it looks, in 2018. @BarbroFarbror took a single image meme and made a music video out of it. She says the whole thing took about two hours, and then explains how she did it. (via reddit)

Miss Cellana's Links

No One in Marvel's Avengers Universe has a Character Arc That Compares to Tony Stark's. His missteps, losses, and failures keep making him a better person.

Why Can’t We Figure Out How the Vikings Crossed the Atlantic? One theory is that they used "sunstones," or Iceland crystals.

I Joined the Tea Party to Drain the Swamp. Trump Isn’t Helping.

When Not-So-Smart People Do Not-So-Smart Things.

Shanghaiing: How Trickery And Deception Turned Thousands of Unwilling Men Into Sailors. During the Age of Sail, a man could wake up at sea with a new name and a contract. (via Strange Company)  

This Is What Your Tongue Looks Like When You Talk. An MRI video takes a look inside, which can be a bit unsettling.

An MSG Convert Visits the High Church of Umami. Once unjustly vilified, monosodium glutamate is making a comeback.

The Souls of Poor Folk. See how far America has come in 50 years (spoiler: not far).  

The 10 Best Sentences in English Literature. Many are stories within themselves. (via Nag on the Lake)

Your Job is Killing You. The number one source of stress may contribute to 120,000 excess deaths a year.

Pup Tent

(via Fark)

You Bet Your Life Outtakes 1950-52

The humor of the 1950s was not all squeaky clean, that's just the parts that made it to broadcast. Behind the scenes, everyone had a dirty mind. And no one could channel that better than Groucho Marx. These outtakes are from this quiz show You Bet Your Life.

Tweet of the Day

(via Buzzfeed)

Sunday, April 29, 2018

It's a Step

Test Question

(via reddit)

Baboons React to Their Own Reflection

A crew from BBC Earth left a camera out in the midst of a group of baboons. A pretty large camera, with a lens that acted as a mirror. Instead of wrecking the camera out of curiosity, the baboons wanted to examine their own reflections. What the camera recorded was a wide variety of reactions and facial expressions among the troop. This clip is from the show The Secret Life Of Primates: Baboons. (via Laughing Squid)   


I had wondered for some time what makes a meteorologist. Wikipedia tells us that they are scientists who have specialized knowledge in meteorology or other atmospheric science. A degree in such science will do, but is not required. The American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association both have certification procedures to give you some bona fides. The weather forecasters on TV may or may not be meteorologists, but who knows what background each really has. There's nothing that says a mathematician or a linguist cannot gain the specialized training for such a designation. And there's nothing that says you have to be a meteorologist to give the weather forecast. I did it all the time in radio, with no specialized knowledge whatsoever. This comic is from Randall Munroe at xkcd.  

Bootleg Avengers

Yeah, it's fake. This is from Obvious Plant.

This Is What Your Tongue Looks Like When You Talk

Speaking seems like a pretty straightforward and natural activity to those of us who do it, but have you ever wondered what it looks like from the inside? It can be unsettling to watch. That tongue that we use and misuse every minute of the day looks totally foreign when we see the muscle at work in an MRI video.
The European Patent Office nominated physicist and MRI pioneer Jens Frahm at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry as one of the three finalists for its European Inventor award, in the field of research. In the mid-1980’s, over a decade after the MRI was developed, Frahm invented FLASH MRI, a faster way to view what’s going on inside our bodies. In 2010, he and his team developed FLASH2, speeding the imaging up to real-time.
To celebrate their recognition, the institute released a handful of real-time MRI films of people speaking and singing. You can see the lips, tongue, soft palate, and larynx moving together to form words, all in German. It’s weird!
There's another video of a man singing at Motherboard. (via Digg)

Rainbow Cat

(via Fark)

Three Stooges Pie Fight

From the early 40s. (via Dangerous Minds)

Tweet of the Day

(via Boing Boing)

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Hydraulic Press vs. Non-Newtonian Fluid

Dissolved corn starch is a non-Newtonian fluid that turns solid under sudden force. We've seen how you can run a cross a pool of it, but a slow walk will mean you are swimming. What would happen if you forced it through an extruder with a hydraulic press? Lauri Vuohensilta shows us with his hydraulic press.

After the cornstarch, he has some fun with color-changing putty, cheese, ballistic gel, crayons, canned shaving cream, and soap bars, all which go through the extruder. (Thanks, Edward!)

Our of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire

New Perspective

(via reddit)

Shaq the Mathematician

Shaquille O'Neal has a doctorate in education, but everyone has a brain fart occasionally. His came on the TV show Inside the NBA, which can be classified as either a sports talk show or a comedy. The subject is how to save money on gas, which devolves into a comedy of errors as each participant focuses on a different aspect of the problem. 

It's about two minutes in before Shaq figures out his math error, but the logic problem remains. The price of running this particular car is going to be the same no matter how often you stop for gas or how much you put in. And the entire cast is ignoring the fact that the size of the tank really has no bearing on its mileage. What really matters is how how many miles you can drive on a gallon of gas.

That said, you shouldn't let your vehicle run all the way to empty, because in many cars, the fuel pump is cooled by the gasoline, and running it empty will wear out your pump. Don't ask me how I know.

(via Digg)

Batman and Robin

And the moral of the story is: don't rock the boat, if you know what's good for you. Not that he'll ever know that. Or will he? Can Robin's memory be uploaded into a new version without that last part? How often is that memory backed up? So many questions, but they will never be answered, because this is just a comic from Zach Weinersmith at Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

Marvel Pun

(via Buzzfeed)

Batman for U.S. Savings Bonds

This ad is from 1966, when the government reached out to schoolchildren to help fund the Vietnam War. It's the American way.  

Rocking Chair

(via Fark)

How a TV Show is Made

It's pretty complicated. You have to wonder how every series used to do 39 episodes every year. (via Geeks Are Sexy)

Tweet of the Day

(via Metafilter)

Friday, April 27, 2018

Every Home Has a Story

Not many of them are like this story. (via Bad Newspaper)

Could Marijuana be the Solution to the Opioid Crisis?

Why yes, yes it could. But first, those in power will have to quit lumping marijuana in with dangerous drugs just because it's been illegal for a long time. They say it's a gateway drug, but that can be fixed if we just take it out of the gateway. I grew up in a dry area, where you could buy alcohol from bootleggers, the guys who also sold marijuana and LSD and opium. Once alcohol was legalized, you no longer had to go to criminals to get it. If marijuana were legal, it could actually break one's dependence on harder drugs, from prescribed Vicoden to heroin.


(via reddit)


"Maybe I'm not lying. Maybe you're just crazy." That's the short version of gaslighting. In this episode of PBS Digital Studio's series Bad Behavior, we learn all about gaslighting. Slightly related: the Overton Window. (via Laughing Squid)

If You Will Indulge Me for Another TinyKittens Update

Three feral cats gave birth to litters at the TinyKittens shelter in British Columbia, and I've been watching them every day. Thirteen kittens were born, and four have since died from congenital weaknesses. Two of Rula's three kittens passed, and she appears to have lost interest in the last one (Nakia). Ramona had four kittens and lost two. Nakia was put into the nest that Ramona and Chloe (the big ginger) share, so all nine kittens are together, being co-parented by two mother cats. Chloe does most of the nursing, while Ramona does more of the cleaning. The depressed Rula will be given some time, and then she will go into treatment for her kidney problems, become spayed, and will be adopted out. Some of the kittens have partially opened their eyes. One kitten, Aura, has a cleft palate and is getting special feeding. She can't have it surgically corrected until she's 16 weeks old. You can join the 2K or so people watching the kittens here. You'll find more updates at Facebook.


(via Buzzfeed)

Infinity War of Infinite Avengers

The war cry is "Avengers, Assemble!" because there's strength in numbers ...up to a point. When you have to assemble eleventy-eight superheroes, it can take a bit of time. How many superheroes is too many superheroes? If the new movie Avengers: Infinity War is as big as Marvel hopes, you can expect way more superheroes to be introduced over the next few movies. You know what they say, nothing succeeds like excess. (via Geeks Are Sexy)

Miss Cellania's Links

Street Style for the Sensitive German Renaissance Man. Matthäus Schwarz hired an artist to illustrate his clothing for a fashion diary he kept for decades in the 16th century.

A Lynching’s Long Shadow. Elwood Higginbotham's murder in 1935 is a story we would all hear.

Is This Anteater Alive or Stuffed? Marcio Cabral's award-winning photograph looks a lot like a taxidermy display at the park it was taken in.

Tabasco Sauce Is in a Battle For Its Very Survival. Business is good, but rising sea levels threaten the company's island home.

What Made Oscar Tschirky the King of Gilded Age New York. He wasn't one of the elite, but he knew them all.

Artificial Intelligence Can Realistically “Paint In” Missing Areas of Photographs. Our descendants won't know what's real about this era of history.

Professor Kokichi Sugihara Creates His Mind-Blowing Illusions With Math. There's magic at the intersection of engineering and human perception.

The Mysterious Life and Death of Frank Meyer, the Man Behind Meyer Lemons. He spent 10 years walking across China to bring new crops to America.

The Rise of Nanosatellites. We no longer have to haul hundreds of pounds of junk into space to carry out the task.

10,000-year-old Tracks Document Battle Between Humans and Giant Sloths. Armed with spears, the Clovis people tracked the giant animals across the salt flats. (via Metafilter)


(via Fark)

Robot Chicken Does The Force Awakens

This contains spoilers for The Force Awakens, but if you haven't seen the movie, they won't make any sense at all.

Tweet of the Day

(via Buzzfeed)

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Stock Picker

You know what they say, the best way to make a small fortune is to start with a large fortune. (via Bad Newspaper)

Snowstorm on a Comet

We followed the adventures of the Rosetta spacecraft as it approached and sent the Philae Lander onto the surface of comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The European Space Agency (ESA) is just now releasing substantial data gathered during the expedition. And it's awesome. Twitter user landru79 combined that data into a gif, which Phil Plait converted to a video.
Plait explains what we are seeing.
The landscape itself is the comet. Comets are lumps of ice — things like frozen water, carbon dioxide, and ammonia — and rock, mostly in the form of gravel and dust. Some orbit the Sun on long ellipses, and when they get close in the ice turns into a gas, releasing ice flakes and the gravelly bits. This surrounds the solid nucleus with a gaseous/dusty coma, and that can then blow away from the comet due to the solar wind and pressure of sunlight to form the tail.

67P is a double-lobed comet, looking more like a rubber ducky than anything else. It's very roughly 4 or 5 km across, and takes about 6.4 years to circle the Sun once. Rosetta was about 13 kilometers from the comet as it took these images, slowly moving around it so that our vantage point in the video changes slightly. Comets are very dark, and it was three times farther from the Sun than Earth is when these images were taken, so the lighting is fainter. Also, these were on the "dark side" of the comet, so the illumination you see is from reflected sunlight by the coma. The video represents about a half hour of real time.   
Phil has plenty more to tell us about the data from 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko at Bad Astronomy.

Home Defense

(via reddit)

The Marvel Bunch

Some of the cast of Avengers: Infinity War recreated the opening song from The Brady Bunch with their own superhero characters. This was on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last night. (via Laughing Squid)


America doesn't have enough affordable housing, and certainly not enough low-income housing. I was struck by the juxtaposition of these two stories, side-by-side on the front page of Digg this morning. The Seattle eviction story is here. The Ben Carson story is at the Washington Post, which means I can't read it without paying, but here is a CNN version of the story. The proposed rules are not as draconian as the pictured headline implies, but it's an extra burden on those who cannot afford what they pay already.

I know a woman who was paying $400 a month in rent on a monthly income of $640. One unexpected expense, and she lost her apartment. I drove her to a homeless shelter yesterday, which has a spot, but it's twenty miles from her bank and her mailbox, and the housing authority won't have anything for several months at least.  


Ride a Bike

This unbranded PSA asks, why anyone would put up with the headache of traffic when you could ride a bike? It's cheaper, more fun, and you can get in shape doing it. If someone asked me, I'd say, why do either when I can just stay at home or walk somewhere? Still, it's a neat video. (via Laughing Squid)

Miss Cellania's Links

Why Restaurants Love Buffets Even More Than You Do. While you get all you can eat, they profit in several ways.

Kate Middleton’s Postpartum Look Sums Up Our Untenable Expectations for Women. Seven hours after the prince was a born, she was posing for pictures.

When the U.S. Kept Losing Nuclear Bombs. Some are still out there, waiting to be found someday.

Play Saturn's Rings Like a Harp. An image of the rings from the Cassini probe has been linked to harp sounds, so you can pluck them with your mouse. (via Metafilter)

How the Trump Show Gets Old. Ratings on The Apprentice went down every year, but then as now, Trump still reaps the benefits.  

Woman Who Looks Like Trump Goes Viral In Spain. Dolores Leis Antelo is a farmer who is more interested in raising potatoes than building a wall. (via The Daily Dot)

Feed the World With Bad Music: The Wacky World of Charity Singles. There have been a lot more of them than you realized.

Mitchel Wu Has a Lot of Toys. They are the subjects of his photographs, placed in unexpected settings in odd combinations that show us another side to life as a pop culture icon toy.

Decoding My Pup's DNA. More evidence that mutts are the best.

Tia Freeman tells incredible story of how she used YouTube videos to carry out the waterbirth of her baby while alone in hotel room. (via Metafilter)


(via Fark)

Covering the Hot Tub

A woman in Colorado is trying to put the cover on her hot tub. But it's a very windy day, and Mother Nature is working against her. (via Tastefully Offensive)

Tweet of the Day

(via The Daily Dot)

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

That's Not How Breathalyzers Work

True Facts About the Frog Fish

It's been quite some time since we've seen a "True Facts" video from Ze Frank -years, in fact. He's back with a introduction to the frogfish, a tropical relative of the anglerfish. The frogfish is not only ugly, it comes in a variety of ugliness. You'd better believe that Ze Frank has plenty to say about that ugliness. They're kind of clumsy, too. (via Tastefully Offensive)

Video Store

(via reddit)

World Penguin Day

Today is World Penguin Day! Just ask Benedict Cumberbatch. He should just say "woggin." It's a good time to learn some things about penguins. For example, I knew that emperor penguins were the largest species, but I never thought about what a four-foot bird would be like up close. That's almost to my shoulder! So, in the picture above, piper Gilbert Kerr is about eight feet tell, or else that bird is some other penguin species. There are plenty of other things to learn about penguins, like

5. Fossils place the earliest penguin relative at some 60 million years ago, meaning an ancestor of the birds we see today survived the mass extinction of the dinosaurs.

6. Penguins ingest a lot of seawater while hunting for fish, but a special gland behind their eyes—the supraorbital gland—filters out the saltwater from their blood stream. Penguins excrete it through their beaks, or by sneezing.
See more facts about penguins at Mental Floss.

Hush, Child

A Bad Lip Reading of Mark Zuckerberg's Congressional Testimony

The people behind Bad Lip Reading have gotten really good at what they do. In this retelling of Mark Zuckerberg's (or Bojane Bugabe's) congressional testimony, the lips match what they're "saying" perfectly, while the dialogue actually make sense in that setting. And it's funny. They had a ton of material to work with, and they made the most of it. (via reddit)

Miss Cellania's Links

The Battle of New York: An Avengers Oral History. It took a huge team of professionals to pull it off.

The Mountain Man Who Outran His Captors Barefoot and Naked. John Colter had to think fast to escape Blackfoot country.

A Program to Guide You to College Success. First-generation college students do much better when they have personal guidance from trained counselors.

When Don the Talking Dog Took the Nation by Storm. He only knew eight words, but was the hit of the vaudeville circuit.

The Heart-Racing Drama of Dissecting a Beached Whale. Dr. Joy Reidenberg shares stories from her unique job.

The reality of being a man with dwarfism in 2018. Eugene Grant, who has achondroplasia, explains that ridiculing dwarf bodies isn’t funny: it’s prejudice. (via Metafilter)

1960s Board Games For Girls Were Messed Up.

5 Insane Small-Town News Stories You Need To Know About.


(via Fark)

"Alfred Matthew Yankovic"

Michael William Hunter was impressed with "The Hamilton Polka" and came up with the idea of doing the opposite -a song about Weird Al, set to the tune of "Alexander Hamilton." It's the story of Yankovic's life, and it works really well. (via Metafilter)

Tweet of the Day

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Keep Looking

An Honest Trailer for The Incredible Hulk

With Avengers: Infinity War coming out this weekend, Screen Junkies looked back in their records to see if there are any Marvel movies they haven't done an Honest Trailer for yet, and The Incredible Hulk drew the short stick. It was ten years ago that we met this incarnation of the Hulk, back when Bruce Banner was played by Ed Norton -remember that? A lot has changed since then. True Marvel fans won't be surprised by anything in this Honest Trailer, but they may enjoy a nostalgic look back that reminds us of how many movies we've watched since The Incredible Hulk

Reasonable Explanation

(via reddit)

A Spring Drive in Nepal

Springtime in Nepal means that snow and ice are melting in certain elevations of the Himalayas, and the runoff will not be stopped by mere roads, even the infamously dangerous Besisahar-Chamé Road. The cascading water can take out what few guardrails there are. Meanwhile, people have places they gotta be, so a driver powers on through the treacherous path while a passenger films. Grab your armrests for this sequence. (via Laughing Squid

The Eye of Answers

Isaac the Wizard is so smart. This comic is from Tredlocity. (via Geeks Are Sexy)

Search Engines

(via Buzzfeed)

How Much Fish

How big would a fish have to be before a cat can't steal it? A Japanese TV show ran an experiment to find out. They left increasingly larger fish out for stray cats to find. The cats dragged off astonishingly large fish, and it's quite funny. The experiment was supposed to end when the fish got too big, but my theory is that all the cats of the area had eaten too much fish by then to consider it worth the effort anymore. But this experiment wasn't stringently-designed for research, it was just a cool idea for a TV show. If you don't understand Japanese, the relevant segment runs from 3:50 to about 15:00. I posted this more than ten years ago, but that copy of the video has been deleted from YouTube.

Miss Cellania's Links

What Are Mercury's Mysterious Red Spots? Data from the MESSENGER probe proves the tiny planet to be more interesting than we ever knew.

A tantalizing casting call may give us a clue to Star wars: Episode IX. In other words: Rey's parentage is back in play. 

How Antonio Banderas Conquered His Fear of Playing Picasso. The role of his hometown hero was intimidating before now.

Whose Story (and Country) Is This? We shouldn't have to be white, male, and Protestant to matter. (via Metafilter)

What Kind of Town Elects a Cat as its Mayor? The kind of town Talkeetna, Alaska, is.

Where the Amish Go on Vacation. A neighborhood in Sarasota, Florida, is the place for an annual respite from normal work. (via Nag on the Lake)

8 Serious Hollywood Scenes That Looked Hilarious Before CGI. Don't let a look behind the scenes ruin your suspension of disbelief.

The Dark History of 'America First.' The dog whistle phrase has been around more than a century.

How Charles Dickens Imagined a Westworld-like Robot Theme Park Back In 1838. The Mudfog Association proposed using automatons to provide immersive entertainment.

The Jewish Psychic Who Tricked Hitler. Erik Jan Hanussen was a master at manipulating gullible people, up to a point.

Pull Cord

(via Fark)

The Lost Voice Guy

Lee Ridley is a standup comic who doesn't speak. He has cerebral palsy and performs under the name Lost Voice Guy, even though he apparently never had one. Ridley's disability-themed routine is delivered by a synthetic voice machine. The machine itself, called a Lightwriter, is the focus for some of his jokes as he performed on Britain's Got Talent. (via Boing Boing)

Tweet of the Day

(via The Daily Dot)

Monday, April 23, 2018

The Convert

Aie Rama Rama

Every once in a while, it's good to take a Bollywood break and enjoy an over-the-top production number with joyous music and more dancers than Hollywood can afford. (via Everlasting Blort)

The Credible Hulk

(via reddit)

A Cat Walks Into a Deli...

A cat walked into the deli-cat-tessen and admired the items on display at the meat counter. The clerk, who may be the butcher as well, went into his sales spiel and gave the cat a better look at a variety of offerings until the cat indicated what he most wanted. The cat probably thought he'd get away with not paying, but the deli got a viral video out of it.

TinyKittens Update

All three cats at the TinyKittens livestream have given birth to their litters. Ramona had five, but one died within a day. Then Rula had three. Then Chloe, the big orange cat, produced five with the help of Ramona, who acted as midwife. Ramona nursed Chloe's new kittens along with her own, and even cleaned Chloe up. One of Chloe's kittens has a cleft palate, and is getting tube feeding until she's completely assessed.

Meanwhile, Shelly, their caregiver, has been shuffling the kittens among the mothers to ensure they all get properly fed. Rula doesn't mind nursing everyone's kittens. Ramona won't leave Chloe alone. Chloe, who is older, has birthed many litters, and suffers from kidney disease, doesn't feel all that great. The three cats love all the kittens, and tend to appropriate babies from each other when they get the chance. Shelly has documented all the kittens, and the ones that look alike got collars to tell them apart. They are being weighed and assessed regularly. Meanwhile, the mama drama is addicting. As you can see from the screenshot above, the mother cats have to take TV breaks every once in a while. You can read more about TinyKittens mission at their website.  

Identifying a Dinosaur

Last Takes to Midnight

A compilation of a week's worth of sketches from The Nib. You can see the latest episode here.

Miss Cellania's Links

How the Log Cabin Became an American Symbol. It wasn't because of Lincoln- it was an earlier political figure that make the log cabin an icon.

These Celebrities Weren’t Dead When Their Obituaries Were Published. The erroneous reports gave us some enduring celebrity quotes.

When You're Black, Every Place Is A Starbucks.

Looking Like a Flapper Meant a Diet of Celery and Cigarettes. For freedom-loving women of the Roaring Twenties, it was worth it to ditch the corset.

7 Split-Second Movie Jokes You Totally Missed. Production designers know that only avid fans will ever find them on their own.

Stories Behind 10 Of The Most Haunted Paintings In The World. You don't want to spend too much time staring at them. (via Nag on the Lake)

What Would A Guitar Sound Like If You Played 37 Guitar Pedals All At Once? Samuraiguitarist Steve Onotera decided to find out.

Eddie Putera Recreates People’s Childhood Memories With Realistic Dioramas. His attention to detail is a real delight.

An Increased Minimum Wage’s Positive Effects “Persist and Indeed Grow in Magnitude over Several Years.” The report is from the U.S. Census Bureau. (via Metafilter)

The Hidden Dangers of Flexible Work Hours. When you can work any time, you risk ending up working all the time.

Cats Are All Alike

(via Fark)

The Black Hole Bomb and Black Hole Civilizations

Black holes are pretty cool to study, not cool to get close to, but did you know that black holes spin? You never thought about it before, but since everything else in space spins, it makes sense. What's really cool is that we could theoretically harness this energy. In reality, we are nowhere near having the capability of approaching a black hole, much less surviving such an adventure. From that point, this video from Kurzgesagt takes the theoretical possibilities to the next level by explaining how to make the biggest bomb in the universe. We know the science, but we are far from being able to do it the present time. (via reddit

Tweet of the Day

From reddit: