Tuesday, August 31, 2021
In grade school, you probably mixed vinegar and baking soda to make a papier-mâché volcano erupt. Cool when you're six, but lame afterward. The guy from The Action Lab has an alternative that is more realistic. Using amonium dichromate produces heat and ash like a real volcano, and actually builds a volcanic cone and crater out of its own spent material. The weird thing is that amonium dichromate becomes safer as it erupts. The experiment is only three minutes long, the rest is an ad. Oh yeah, in case you haven't figured it out, the "cooler" in the title refers to desirability, not temperature. (via Digg)
Montana Tech's former coach Bob Green was always ready with the perfect simile or one-liner that could induce a spit-take. You might not remember anything about the football analysis, but he always made you want to listen to him. just try to hold your laughter through this compilation or you'll miss the next joke. (via reddit)
You wouldn't know it from this strip, but this is the latest installment in a continuing story called Time Traveling to Save my Butt. You can begin here and click to the right to see the series (with other comics in between). By the time you reach the hospital you still won't be quite sure how he broke his butt.
Mark Hamill considered the many adventures Luke Skywalker must have had between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, but he assumed they would get a younger actor to play the role. Thanks to computer technology, he got to play Luke again himself, sort of, with a body double and some de-aging magic. (via Digg)
Strange Wasp Nests Glow Neon Green Under UV Light. (via Damn Interesting)
Barbie Career of the Year as a Window on Centrist Feminism. (via Metafilter)
13 Of The Most Bizarre Disasters In History.
Simple Tips That Can Instantly Make Your Cooking Better.
Spectacular Space-Themed Places to Stay.
30 Tattoos Greatly Improved with a Cover Up.
How the Airline Industry Got Wise to Seat Belts. It took decades, because one crash gave seatbelts a deadly reputation.
6 Mysterious Structures Hidden Beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet. (via Damn Interesting)
A blast from the past (2014): The Era of the Body Snatchers.
(via Nag on the Lake)
American Kestrels have super head stabilization skills, making it look locked in one position in the air. This video by YT channel Talons and Teeth shows the natural ability this bird has to stabilize its head [source, full video: https://t.co/5OUdd8idLl] pic.twitter.com/A0KVCerSWt— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) August 27, 2021
Monday, August 30, 2021
"Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins always invokes images of Navy fighter pilots in either training exercises or dogfights, since the song was prominently featured in the film Top Gun. But X-wing pilots are pretty much the same, except they reach higher altitudes in a galaxy far, far away. Jackson McKay used footage of X-wing fighters in action from the Star Wars saga episodes IV through IX, plus Rogue One, to make this exciting music video. (via Digg)
If you love someone, it's your duty to take them down a peg every once in a while to keep them humble. At least that's what I tell my kids. Your mileage may vary. This comic is from Nathan Pyle's Strange Planet.
In Switzerland, cows spend their summers grazing in the high meadows, then descend to the valleys at the end of the season. However, there are always a few cows who become injured or suffer a strain, so dairy farmers call in the helicopters. This year, ten cows needed a lift part of the way down the mountain. They didn't seem to mind the flight at all. A word to the wise: if you ever see a flying cow, helicopter or not, don't stand directly below it. (via Fark)
Tramp, the Beloved Police Cat of the Richmond Hill Police Station. (via Strange Company)
How to Get Republicans Vaccinated. https://youtu.be/ZX6969X-zAw (Thanks, Bicycle Bill!)
A Honest Review of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire.” (via Metafilter)
How One Artist Makes New Art From Old Coloring Books and Found Photos.
An office installed a beehive at work to coax employees back. The Twitter thread about it is both tragic and hilarious. (via Everlasting Blort)
Scientists Discover World’s Northernmost Island. (via Damn Interesting)
I Can’t Stop Thinking About This Subreddit That Collects COVID-19 Deniers Who Then Suffer the Worst.
The Beauty of a Rhodochrosite Stalactite.
A blast from the past (2013): When Gamers Decorate: 7 Awesome Video Game Rooms.
Sunday, August 29, 2021
Together, Matt Richert and Keith Habersberger make up the comedy band Cardboard Sword. This is music video for their song "Giant Bird in a Man Suit." Try to imagine the brainstorming session that came up with this. Nah, it's obvious that someone told him he looked like a giant bird on a man suit once, and the lightbulb went off. (via The Daily What)
Saturday, August 28, 2021
Charter Group Birdcams
in Israel gives us a glimpse into barn owl nests as they raise their
young. Sometimes there is real drama. See, barn owl parents leave the
nest during the day and return at night. In the above video, from June
8, a pigeon enters a nest with seven owlets of various sizes. The pigeon
decides to stay, regardless of the other residents. She even lays an
egg! But then the parents come home, bringing rodents for the kids, and
do not take well to the home intruder.
In a second video, taken June 29, a couple of pigeons invade another owl's nest with four nestlings, but these are larger owlets who defend their home even before mama gets back.
In the third video of this trilogy, recorded on July 5, the pigeons tried setting up shop in an owl's nest in which the owlets have fledged, but they still consider this box their home. They will defend it.
Despite the violence, the pigeons appear to be ultimately successful in
this last attempt to take over an owl's nest, as the owlets are old
enough to leave the nest for good. Persistence pays off, but at some
cost. (via Nag on the Lake)
This young leopard is either very hungry or very curious. His confrontation with a porcupine held up traffic for an hour! The porcupine relies on his own natural defenses, and the leopard ends up with a bloody paw. Maybe he learned a lesson: just because you're at the top of the food chain doesn't mean you can eat anything you want. We hear that they both survived the incident. (via Boing Boing)
(via Bored Panda)
My 72 year-old mother just informed me she is going to her first "sex party" and doesn't know what to bring.— Balm Threat (@balmthreat) June 15, 2020
After some delicate questioning, "Gender Reveal, Mom. It's called a Gender Reveal."
Friday, August 27, 2021
Enjoy the Eurythmics hit played by various gadgets, devices, and appliances, such as a toaster, printer, electric toothbrushes, and calculators. The steam iron adds both a good hiss and visual effects, but it's the googly eyes that really make the video special. (via reddit)
The guy on the right gave a truly unhinged performance at a San Diego Board of Supervisors meeting last week. You'll have to listen very carefully to discern what his point was supposed to be, but that was pretty much lost in the reaction to, well, everything else about it. He was only missing a heavy metal guitar, as Andre Antunes provides in this remix. (via Boing Boing)
To be honest, this question all depends on how you define a "successful animal." But trilobites had innovative features, branched out into many species, and lasted for many millions of years. While you may recognize a trilobite fossil, how much do you really know about these amazing creatures? (via Damn Interesting)
The Kingpin of Shanghai. Drug lord Du Yuesheng had a prominent role in the rise of Chiang Kai-shek.
How Data Science Pinpointed the Creepiest Word in Macbeth. (via Metafilter)
For Sale: Boston’s Skinny Spite House.
Chicago River: The River That Runs Backward. They engineered the river to run into the Mississippi instead of Lake Michigan, taking the city's sewage with it.
Her Name Is Not Honey Boo Boo. Alana Thompson turns sixteen. (via Digg)
The staggering, exhausting, invisible costs of caring for America’s elderly.
The Time Idaho Dealt With Its Surplus Of Beavers By Parachuting Them Into Its Backcountry.
Why wasps become so annoying at the end of summer. (via Damn Interesting)
A blast from the past (2014): Alphonse Bertillon and the Identity of Criminals.
Thursday, August 26, 2021
"The Elephant's Song" tells the story of Old Bet, the first circus elephant in the United States, related from the perspective of a farm dog. Written by Lynn Tomlinson and Sam Saper, the bouncy blues tune belies the sad story, accompanied by lush animation by Lynn Tomlinson.
Interior designer Erick Garcia is challenged to update and improve a room in only two and a half hours. That means identifying what should be changed quickly, buying just a few new things, and scrambling to get it all together in a hurry. Before it's over, you can see the difference between what an experienced interior designer does and the way you and I lay out our furniture and belongings.
This is the first episode of a new video series from Architectural Digest called Room Refresh. Garcia lays out simple concepts that we can all use to achieve a new look without a major remodel.
One day, I was mowing and got attacked by yellowjackets. I ran inside immediately and applied bee sting relief syrup from the first aid kit. Too late: I had four stings, and I knew what that meant. They make you plead for the sweet release of death for about 48 hours, and then they just plain hurt for another week. I later saw yellowjackets around the compost heap, and figured they built a nest in it. So I decided to dump compost in a different place; I could combine the piles in October, when hives die out for the year.
That didn't work. The next time I mowed, one stung me. I rushed into the house, peeled my shirt off, and did first aid. Then I put my shirt back on, inside out because I was delirious with pain, and heard a buzzing. I pulled the shirt back off, shook it good, and saw that yellowjacket flying around. I chased it around with a flyswatter until I killed it. It's still in the windowsill, as if it could serve as a warning to others. I hope the neighbors weren't watching as I ran around the house shirtless like a crazy woman.
So by then I was afraid to mow at all. A couple of weeks later, I found the nest. It was a hole in the ground. Consulted YouTube on what to do, and laid out my plan. I marked the spot with a tomato cage, gathered the necessary supplies, and waited for dark. After the premiere of The Walking Dead, I set out to kill.
The basement is full of things that might be useful someday, so I pulled out a window screen with a broken frame. Laid the screen over the hole and quickly weighed it down with bricks around the hole. Then I immediately dumped a half-bottle of dishwashing liquid down the hole, waited for it to seep in for a minute, then filled the hole with a water hose. Overfilled, really. The soap keeps the yellowjackets from flying, and the water drowns them. Water by itself might not reach all the nooks and crannies of the nest, but soap suds should.
The next morning, I found two yellowjackets circling the nest hole. Are they stragglers or did they escape? I didn't find a second nest entrance, and believe me, I searched for one. I hoped they would give up and fly away. Later that afternoon, I checked the nest, and saw three yellowjackets under the screen, trying to escape. Apparently the screen was weighed down pretty good! So I dumped more soap on them. Went back a few minutes later and gave them the hose treatment again.
That screen stayed over the hole for three days. Yesterday evening, I finally mowed the back yard -or at least a part of it. It was so deep that I had to dump grass clippings quite often, and it got dark before I finished. But I haven't seen any yellowjackets, so maybe I'm back in business!
Restored Vermeer Painting is Drastically Different. A whole "painting within a painting" has been hidden for hundreds of years. (via Kottke)
"Edge of Seventeen": An Anthem that Stuns Each New Generation.
Town's Sole Resident Shocked at Census Results. Elsie Eiler is the mayor and only resident of Monowi, Nebraska, but the census said the population is now two! (via Damn Interesting)
Heat Map Of Active COVID-19 Cases Per Capita In The United States From January 2020 To August 2021, Visualized.
The Strange Effect of Trespassing Cats on Major League Baseball. And the ultimate fate of the famous Rally Cat. (via Metafilter)
OnlyFans decide to reverse their planned bankruptcy.
We All Know Columbus Didn’t Discover America—So How Did He Become a Symbol of Its Founding? (via Damn Interesting)
Will God-Man save reporter Millie Mills from Covidhead? The latest from Tom the Dancing Bug is basically an update of an old joke.
A blast from the past (2013): Ochre Jelly's LEGO Memes.
We all used these games to stretch our imaginations and make our world a little more interesting. I recall a lot of car games that involved making my side of the road better than the side my brother looked out on -which is not all that easy in the modern world where we drive on divided highways. What games would you add to this? (via reddit)
If the Robot Parkour video gave you a sense of dread about the capabilities of our new robot overlords, rest assured that it took a lot of practice and crashes before they got it right. (via Gizmodo)
At Boston Dynamics, crashes are part of the process. Discover what we do when robots break and learn how we take the opportunity to rebuild more robust robots. https://t.co/znVJAYgwA5 pic.twitter.com/bvauH1kV7x— Boston Dynamics (@BostonDynamics) August 25, 2021
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
I missed this the first time it went around, but a repost at reddit caught my attention because WYMT is the closest TV station to where I live. Mason Tackett became a viral sensation after he was interviewed about a burglary. He now goes by @cheesegraterguy on Twitter.
Photographing, or taking video, of sports events is pretty prestigious among photographers, but it can be dangerous! This supercut shows that occasionally a cameraman will stick his lens in the wrong place, but most of it involves being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Access has its hazards. (via Digg)
It should be common knowledge that you shouldn't do the things you see done in YouTube videos. But if it isn't obvious to you, well, let's sing a little song. This is from Unus Annus, performed by CrankGameplays and Markiplier. You are welcome to use the link in the address bar above if you ever need to put a disclaimer on something. I'm sure I will be linking back to this post in the future. Warning: earworm.
The Messy History of Emily Dickinson's Black Cake Recipe.
The One-Week Cartooning Workout. It's a free, self-directed course in stretching your creativity and making your cartoons better. (via Metafilter)
Make a Halloween Pumpkin for Your Cat to Hide In!
On the Link Between Great Thinking and Obsessive Walking. Firing up the body and clearing the mind tends to boost creativity.
Excommunicated Spanish ‘Witch’ Village Turns Curse into Tourist Cash.
How to Give Your Bedroom a Makeover in the Cheapest Way Possible.
Watch an animated sequence made by knitting! And see how it was done.
50 Confusing Pictures that are Accidental Optical Illusions.
A blast from the past (2010): Neatolicious Fun Facts: Red Shirts.
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
The ninth, or possibly tenth, movie in the Fast & Furious franchise is called simply F9, or sometimes F9: The Fast Saga, or maybe Fast & Furious 9. At any rate, that's so many movies that the main cast has wandered far from the world they inhabited in the first movie, yet they continue to use the same action movie tropes to reel in an audience. Screen Junkies is well aware of this, and so they had plenty of material for this Honest Trailer.
Ginger cats tend to be large, friendly, and convinced that they are the king. My Apollo is like that. Trekkie is all that, plus he is obsessed with food with no regard at all to the cats and people around him, much less the house rules.
Apollo doesn't fight for anything resembling food like Trekkie does, but he always shows up for the evening dinner of Fancy Feast at least an hour early, and he must be fed outside to prevent him from taking the other cats' portions.
Elmo is possibly the biggest star on Sesame Street now, but he started out as a generic Muppet with a gruff voice. Who knew? The Smithsonian Channel explains Elmo's transformation and rise to stardom. (via Laughing Squid)
The German science group Kurzgesagt produced this lovely motion graphics video explaining our Solar System, newly translated into English. It is simple enough for schoolchildren, but if you watch long enough, you'll run into things you don't already know. (via mental_floss)
Monday, August 23, 2021
While the rest of the world is turning off lights to save energy, the Orkney Islands are producing so much clean renewable energy that they don't know what to do with it! To be honest, there are plenty of things they can do with it, but the necessary infrastructure is not quite there yet, so they are looking in many different directions to keep from wasting it. The obstacle, of course, is money. Sadly, according to an Orkney resident in the comments, one thing the power companies haven't considered is dropping the price of electricity for local residents, so they still burn coal and oil to heat their homes, if they don't have their own turbine.
The world runs on coffee, and to a lesser extent tea, chocolate, and other caffeine drinks, but it wasn't always that way. Plant scientist Michael Pollan explains what caffeine does to our minds, and how the use of caffeine supercharged the progress of civilization. (via Geeks Are Sexy)
Movies transport us to worlds unknown, but it's not always been easy to pull it off. In the old days before computer-generated cinematic effects, people would often leave a theater wondering how they did that. What filmmakers did was put 100 years of imagination to work in any way they could. The classic effects of those films inspired and guided modern computer effects. Insider explains how that happened. (via Damn Interesting)
The Extinct Human Species That May Replace Neanderthals As Our Closest Relatives.
Rare Albino Alligators Hatch at Florida Zoo.
The 20 Greatest Movies Hollywood Never Made.
A True Crime Whodunit in the Australian Outback. When someone is murdered in a town of 13 people, you have 12 suspects. (via Damn Interesting)
18 Photos And Memes About Capitalism.
The Amazing Ecological Transformation of Ascension Island.
The Potato Photographer of the Year Awards 2021. See the top photos here. (via Nag on the Lake)
They Ate More and It Paid Off. What New Zealand's women's rowing team changed for the Tokyo Olympics. (via Metafilter)
A blast from the past (2014): The Terminator: 30 Years Later.
when people say "you have more filmmaking technology in your pocket than alfred Hitchcock had his whole career" theyre referring to how smartphones make it much easier to harass blonde women to the point of mental breakdowns— cullen "swamp trash" crawford (@HelloCullen) August 18, 2021
Sunday, August 22, 2021
The YouTuber behind the Brick Experiment Channel designed and built a remote-control LEGO car to see how it would climb obstacles. The first iteration of that car is here, but it wasn't good enough. In this video, he adds another joint to the chassis and puts it into situations you just know the car cannot climb out of. But it does. The vehicle design is quite impressive, but his skills at controlling the movements are amazing. (via reddit)
Click to the right to advance the comic. The story ended too soon, but I like to believe that they told the cow to stop farting so much, as it contributes too much methane to the atmosphere. This comic is from Yanni Davros at Prolific Pen Comics.
This classic Looney Tunes short from 1939 is full of non-stop puns and sight gags, most of which you have to be pretty old to recognize. I sent it to Princess to prove to her that "bread and butter" was really a thing. The kids always acted like I just made that up. (via reddit)