Monday, October 19, 2020
Somebody Else's Sin? The Mystery of Nell Cropsey's Murder.
How Venus Flytraps Store Short-term ‘Memories’ of Prey. (via Boing Boing)
Would You Live in an Air Traffic Control Tower? One is Wellington is for sale. https://www.tommys.co.nz/property/34-36-tirangi-road-rongotai-wellington-6022/ (via Metafilter)
Machu Picchu Reopens for a Single Stranded Tourist. He waited seven months, so was it worth it?
Why are These Graves in Niagara-on-the-Lake on Sovereign Polish Land? (via Nag on the Lake)
America Has Lost Its Taste for Iceberg Lettuce. Read about the rise and fall of all kinds of green leafy vegetables.
Artificial Intelligence Tries Street Art. (via Boing Boing)
Could an Ancient Megashark Still Lurk in the Deep Seas? (via Digg)
A blast from the past (2016): 11 Recipes For Creatively Creepy Halloween Cocktails.
(via Everlasting Blort)
"Dr. Catherine Wraithdale the Plague Demon of Winchester"— Steampunk Tendencies (@Steampunk_T) October 10, 2020
This was done and shared in our Facebook group by Henry Dervaric pic.twitter.com/UHsZrPlXzP
Sunday, October 18, 2020
Bill McClintock mashed up "Beautiful Girl" by Van Halen with "Shining Star" by the Temptations and Stevie Wonder's "Superstition." The music is sublime, but watching the video might give you whiplash as Van Halen ages twenty years forward and then back again.
The historic Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic, was built over the Vltava River. Construction began in 1357 and continued for around 50 years. How did they build such a large and sturdy bridge back then? This video from Engineering and architecture gives us a ridiculously quick idea of what was involved in the bridge construction. We can only hope the engineers and laborers alike were adequately compensated. (via TYWKIWDBI)
Saturday, October 17, 2020
A mysterious stranger gives Dennis Hopper advice on becoming a political star. This is an excerpt from The Twilight Zone episode "He's Alive," originally aired in 1963. A longer clip that includes the big reveal can be seen here. Season four of The Twilight Zone gave us hour-long episodes, while the other seasons were a half-hour, and that's why this particular story isn't available on Netflix, but Hulu and CBS All Access has it. (via reddit)
Can you carve a pumpkin with a power washer? This guy is obviously more experienced with a power washer than he is with a pumpkin. He neglects to open and clean out the guts first, so he has so do it mid-project. But the video is short and the results are astonishingly adequate. Besides, you know it's gotta be super clean. (via Fark)
Click to the right to advance the comic. It's somehow the story of my life after I started getting gray hair and began to live on the internet. Oh, and if you want sound for the last panel, that's here. This comic is from Zach Cranor at Last Place Comics. (via reddit)
Eddie Van Halen did that guitar solo on the song "Beat It" from the album Thriller, but was not credited anywhere. Still, it was pretty easy to figure out who it was. Can you imagine if Pete Townshend had done it instead? Here's the story behind the collaboration. (via Laughing Squid)
You thought Storm Troopers were clumsy, inept, and altogether incompetent? Take a look at them before the worst was edited out! A long-lost collection of outtakes from the original Star Wars film resurfaced after 36 years and debuted at Comic Con in 2013. Some clips have no sound, so there is no need to adjust your volume. (via Metafilter)
Friday, October 16, 2020
We've long known that the theme from Gilligan's Island, "Amazing Grace," and "House of the Rising Sun" can all be sung to each other's tunes. However, that only scratches the surface. From the YouTube page:
The Gilligan's Island theme song is what is called a "Ballad Metre" (or Meter). Each stanza of ballad metre has four iambic lines. Typically, only the second and fourth lines rhyme. Here are 31 short samples of the some of the songs whose lyrics can be sung to the Gilligan's Island Theme Song and Vice Versa (mostly, not every lyric fits perfectly).
Read more about ballad metre here. The YouTube page also has a list of the 31 songs with timestamps so you can skip ahead and hear the ones you want. Some are Gilligan's Island lyrics set to other tunes, and some are other lyrics set to the TV theme's music. You can switch them around in your head if you like. (via Metafilter)
The 2020 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award Winners. Learn more here.
Crowny the Coronavirus, in "Presidential Host." The latest from Tom the Dancing Bug.
The ‘Unflattering Cat Photo Challenge’ Is Trending And It’s Hilarious How Unphotogenic These Cats Are.
What if a Pill Can Change Your Politics or Religious Beliefs? (via Damn Interesting)
The Story Behind Eva Perón’s Secret Lobotomy.
When a group of libertarians set about scrapping their local government, chaos descended. And then the bears moved in. (via Metafilter)
Why Did Renaissance Europeans See Merpeople Everywhere? (via Strange Company)
Senator Gary Peters Shares His Abortion Story. He’s the first sitting senator in history to do so. (via Digg)
A blast from the past (2016): 12 Fun Novelty Twitter Accounts You Should Follow.
Thursday, October 15, 2020
Elvira, Mistress of the dark, is upset that COVID-19 will put damper on her favorite holiday, so she made a song parody about it, to the tune of Madonna's early hit "Holiday." She also illustrates all the things she likes about Halloween, which are things I don't particularly care for. I won't be home to give out candy, and I don't want to dress up or party. I'll celebrate in the usual manner, by watching horror films. Maybe next year, Elvia? but only if we can ever get everybody on board to follow the guidelines -otherwise we'll have to stay locked down until they are all convinced by illness. (via Nag on the Lake)
The game is to guess what product they are advertising. It will be revealed at the very end. if you want to have some real fun, stop the ad and tell us your guess as soon as you come up with one. Otherwise, just watch and feel sorry for these guys. (via reddit)
'These,' she explained, 'are the older goats put out to pasture when they no longer produce.'
She then asked, 'What do you do in America with your old goats?'
A spry old gentleman answered, 'They send us on bus tours!'
(Thanks, Holistic CPA!)
An educational film by Jason Willis.
Catnip is all the rage with today's modern feline, but do we really understand it?
Is it a source for harmless kicks, or a potentially crippling addiction? Is it a tool to expand one's consciousness, or a downward spiraling path that can eventually lead to insanity?
Knowledge is the first step toward battling this scourge of felinekind. (via Metafilter)
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Kevin James' short comedic videos have become so popular that he's expanding his scope and getting his friends involved. Nature Planet is a sendup of overly dramatic nature documentaries focusing on the critically endangered Silver-Breasted Montle, played by James. Adam Sandler does his best impression of Sir David Attenborough as the narrator. (via Nag on the Lake)
Earlier this year Tom Scott told us about the Zwentendorf nuclear power plant, which was built but never used. To be exact, it was never used as a nuclear power plant. With a little imagination, it has become something much more fun.
Every presidential election that comes around reminds me of how my vote doesn't count. I live in a reliably red state, so reliable that candidates don't bother visiting us. And thanks to the winner-take-all electoral apportionment, my vote is effectively erased when the map lights up.
In the 2016 election, Trump won the electoral college despite losing the popular vote by three million or so. He blamed his popular vote loss on illegal voting in California. No, that's not it at all. Those three million votes included mine. One out of every three voters in Kentucky cast a ballot for Clinton in 2016, yet none of them were reflected in the electoral college.
So why do I vote in every election? Because I love my country. I would never forgive myself if I didn't participate in a chance to shape it for the better. Because my vote should mean something, even if it doesn't determine the outcome. Because my fellow Americans might someday surprise me.
Someday we might progress to the point where we get rid of the winner-take-all apportionment. There's no real reason why a vote in the state minority party shouldn't count. Someday we may even discard the electoral college. There's no real reason that a vote in Wyoming should count 3.6 times as much as a vote in California.
The electoral college has outlived its usefulness, even if you were taught that its purpose was to turn the election over to wise men who would prevent the common people from electing someone who wasn't competent- you see how well that works. The real reason for the electoral college was to appease slave states, since it would count enslaved people toward representation without allowing them to vote.
The outmoded system of federal elections in the US now tilts power to states with smaller, rural populations, meaning people who prefer to stay spread out and away from other people, and diminishes the power of people who prefer to live in densely-populated areas and care what their neighbors are going through. Still, each of those states have more and more people over time who see beyond what their inner circle thinks, or what one TV channel says. And that's why I have hope for the future, and why I will continue voting every chance I get.
Click to the right to advance the comic. There are some things that just don't work the same with online classes. Maybe that's why so many of us have used quarantine to start baking for the first time in our lives. This comic is from dogmodog. (via Geeks Are Sexy)
Scream came out in 1996, but since it's October and we've never seen an Honest Trailer for it, well, that makes today an appropriate time to take another look at the movie. Scream was both a slasher/horror film and a comedy satire of such films ...and it almost single-handedly saved the horror genre from fading away in the mid-'90s. If you've never seen the original Scream, this Honest Trailer might convince you to give it a look this Halloween season -or maybe watch it again, because it's been long enough to forget the details.
This man is predicted to win overwhelmingly. (via Boing Boing)
Amy McGrath calling out Mitch McConnell over the coronavirus and him laughing like Dr. Evil. What a jerk... pic.twitter.com/px5SFQbKmi— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) October 13, 2020
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Under most circumstances, a mountain lion will avoid humans. But they are dangerous cats, and will attack if they are frightened or hungry. Kyle Burgess was running a mountain trail in Utah and saw some cats. He thought they were bobcats, but they were cougar kittens, and their mother was not happy about it. From this rather long sequence -six minutes!- we can gather that she was trying to get rid of him more than wanting to kill him. Kyle had the presence of mind to keep facing the cat, because turning his back could have been deadly. He finally threw a rock, and the cat decided it had chased him enough. (via Digg)
At one time, the job of astronaut was the deadliest job in America, right after the Apollo 1 disaster, and possibly again after Challenger and Columbia. But there are a lot more astronauts now. We have only had 44 US presidents, and eight of them have died in office. What happens when a sitting president is no longer able to serve is a process that has undergone many band-aid fixes over the years, and is now so complicated that CGP Grey has to explain it to us. (via Digg)
Studies say that more people are afraid of public speaking than are afraid of dying. But put them behind a keyboard, and they'll spill their guts in an instant. This comic is from Sarah Andersen at Sarah's Scribbles.
The 2020 fall semester is different, so Duke University Library wanted something catchy to explain to students how to get the library materials they need. Luckily, they had a music composer on staff, librarian Jamie Keesecker, who was working from home while caring for his three-year-old daughter. He started writing music as a teenager.
And he kept writing music, for more than 17 years. He got a master’s in music composition from Duke in 2011 and a doctorate in 2016, but worried constantly about his career. He realized he would make a better hobbyist composer than professional.But this project he started completely from scratch, and ended up with a cute hand-drawn animation and an earworm song that is now available on Spotify and Apple Music. (via reddit)
Keesecker began work at the library, where his work felt refreshingly regular. He didn’t need to invent things from scratch.
What's the First Species Humans Drove to Extinction? (via Damn Interesting)
Home Electrical Projects You Can Totally Handle Yourself. Just make sure the power is off.
How a Road Trip Through America's Battlegrounds Revealed a Nation Plagued by Misinformation. (via Digg)
The Beat of Her Own Drum. Viola Smith, now 107 years old, was the leading female drummer of the jazz era. (via Metafilter)
The Strange Saga of America’s Most Reviled Statue, Nude George Washington.
The latest in wedding shaming. Contains four instances of someone other than the bride showing up in a wedding dress.
The Rats Evicted from Paradise. Palmyra Atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean was once a paradise of coral, seabirds, marine life, and forest ...before the rats moved in. (via Nag on the Lake)
A blast from the past (2016): 10 Creative Halloween Candy Dispensers.
(via Everlasting Blort)
This is not Brazil, sorry.— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden_) October 6, 2020
World Record of the longest Urban Downhill Track
🎥 IG: remymetailler
Full video: https://t.co/8d2km7T69Z
Monday, October 12, 2020
For the music video of the song "Who Dat" by Emmit Fenn, Patrick Jean created a dancing pigeon who struts through the streets like the proudest peacock. His footwork gets pretty fancy after the two minute mark. (via Everlasting Blort)
This first-person action short Everywhere from Alex Schauer is all the more ominous because of the things it doesn't tell us. We don't know who is confronting our protagonist here, but she comes across as some kind of Terminator or something.
What is she, the mysterious woman in leather pants? A robot? A witch? A robot-witch? Is she even real or is this all just a dream? Am I dreaming?(via Geeks Are Sexy)
These are all questions we have to answer for ourselves.
Thanksgiving is a celebration of gratitude for a bountiful harvest. Harvest is earlier in Canada. What's so hard to understand about that? This video is a couple of years old, so the only inaccurate part is the American being welcome to join in. Canadians don't want us disease-riddled Americans over for dinner right now. But we hope your holiday is a great one!
A Caterpillar With Vomit-Inducing Poison Fur Is Taking Over Virginia.
The Fascinating Story Behind the Longest Known Prehistoric Journey. Scientists have identified one individual's path and what happened along the way, all from the footprints left behind. (via Damn Interesting)
The Resurrection of the Slippery Quean. Anne Greene was hanged, but she didn't die. (via Strange Company)
Here's How the Future of The Walking Dead Will Unfold.
The Inspiring Tale Of America's First Dumb Trashy Millionaire.
When you are outnumbered.
The Art of Digging a Buried Building Out of Maine’s Desert Dunes.
Thousands Of D.C. Renters Are Evicted Every Year. Do They All Know To Show Up To Court? This is why we need to support investigative journalism. (via Metafilter)
A blast from the past (2016): 10 Amazingly Intricate Jack O’Lanterns.
You'll have to click through to read the whole story, but this one is well worth it. (via Digg)
My 20 year old cousin got his own apartment and it's going pretty well pic.twitter.com/SaPSogpo0r— Henpecked Hal (@HenpeckedHal) October 8, 2020
Sunday, October 11, 2020
Bill McClintock mixed the Jackson Five's "Dancing Machine" with "Mean Streets" by Van Halen. This makes me think about musicians my age who die. Up to now, they died of mostly drug overdoses or plane crashes. But lately, they are more likely to die of cancer or COVID or strokes. I suppose that is inevitable. Except the COVID.
When Chad Mitchell left the Chad Mitchell Trio, they changed the name to The Mitchell Trio, and replaced Chad with a very young John Denver. This performance is from 1966, and teh lyrics to the song are here. I was surprised -or maybe not- at the number of YouTube commenters who thought this was a serious tribute to the Klan instead of satire. (via a comment at Fark)
Maya Rudolph and Beck Bennett reprise the vice-presidential debate and added comedy, thank goodness, for Saturday Night Live's opening skit last night. There was an call from viewers to get Jeff Goldblum on this week, but Jim Carey took care of that obvious bit. And you have to see Kate McKinnon as Dr. Wenowdis.
Saturday, October 10, 2020
Sci-Fi fan Phil Stiller spent a year building a home theater, and made it exactly what wanted. Behind these Space Invader doors is the bridge of the starship Enterprise! It has all the Star Trek details, plus four
comfy recliners and ample video screens.
Yes this room is TOTALLY my inner 12 year old and I make no apologies. I'm a total space/scifi/tech geek and it was really fun creating a cool theater room for my family to watch movies. (which we love to do) and NASA/SpaceX launches.Stiller gives some specs on this build at the YouTube page, and you can see progress pictures at imgur. He's not an exclusive Star Trek fan; he also has a TARDIS for a front door. (via Geeks Are Sexy)
When a moose wants to eat your autumn decorations, there's nothing you can do about it. (via Nag on the Lake)
Halloween Moose kicks The Great Pumpkin's ass, every time. pic.twitter.com/vRnnpZG3vy— ᗰᗩᖇᛕ ᗩ. ᖇᗩƳᑎᗴᖇ (@markarayner) October 7, 2020
Friday, October 09, 2020
Tom BetGeorge has unveiled his Halloween light show for 2020. It's set to the song "Enter Sandman" from Metallica. This is for his own home; he also does light shows for hire through his company Magical Light Shows. His personal show is a fundraiser for McHenry House, his local homeless shelter. (via Laughing Squid)
While they are both very important for protection, they are not the same. A better comparison might be masks to underwear. But this one has room for some fine jokes in there. This Venn diagram is from Matt Shirley.
Do you recall Rax Roast Beef? The fast food chain had 504 outlets in 38 states in the 1980s, but took a nosedive in the 1990s. It now has five remaining locations. Although it wasn't the only reason Rax went under, a disastrous advertising campaign help drive the nails into its coffin, as the Vlogbrothers explain. In case you are interested, the documentary mentioned in this video can be seen here. (via reddit)
How Hatred Came To Dominate American Politics.
The Island That Humans Can’t Conquer. St. Matthew Island was "discovered" several times, and there is evidence of a prehistoric home, but no one ever stays there long. (via Smithsonian)
Centuries Ago, They were Facetuning, Filtering and Catfishing Too. Powerful people wouldn't pay their portrait painters if they were pictured poorly.
What Can You Do When You’re Burned Out — Not on Work, but on Family? Pair social media pressures with a coronavirus lockdown, and you've got a recipe for parental burnout.
Maybe I'm Immune.
24 Times Pets Unintentionally Sent Their Owners Into Panic Mode. Your first glance isn't always reliable.
How the 'Girl Watching' Fad of the 1960s Taught Men to Harass Women. (via Metafilter)
Fungi, Folklore, and Fairyland. An article at Public Domain Review takes us through a brief history of magic mushrooms in the British consciousness, and then settles on Lewis Carroll. (via Damn Interesting)
A blast from the past (2016): Leo Wins an Oscar: The Meme.