Tuesday, November 30, 2021
No Time to Die was the 25th film in the James Bond franchise, and the fifth Bond film starring Daniel Craig as secret agent 007. It's also his final Bond movie, which Screen Junkies agrees is enough, since Craig's Bond was just way too serious, emotional, and depressing. Too realistic, actually, even with the over-the-top gunfights, explosions, and violence. That said, No Time to Die had a respectable run, becoming the most lucrative American film so far in 2021. Yes, it's time for a new Bond, but please, not Chris Pratt.
YouTube has decided to put an age restriction on this video, so you'll need to go there to see it.
For more than 400 years, Bridgwater, Somerset, UK, has celebrated Guy Fawkes Day, the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot, with plenty of gunpowder. The Bridgwater Carnival is held every fifth of November, except it was canceled in 2020 and scaled back in 2021. In a normal year, there is a full carnival including an illuminated parade after sundown. This year they still managed to do the traditional "squibbing," which involves a phalanx of 150 or so people holding fireworks over their heads. Tom Scott got a chance to investigate and participate, and seems downright giddy at the pyrotechnical display. A good time was had by all.
It happens, and the local news has to give a report because traffic is blocked. But it might make national news if a truck spills something funny or something you can make a pun about. That happens often enough that we all know what the aliens are really saying, if they were a bit more fluent in English. This comic is from Nathan Pyle's Strange Planet.
For the first day of Hanukkah, Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters producer Greg Kurstin teamed up for a cover version of "Stay (I Missed You)" by "one of Dallas, Texas’s favorite Jewish daughters" Lisa Loeb. Loeb Tweeted her approval. For night two, they covered "Blitzkreig Bop" by The Ramones, in a more straightforward manner.
The song for day three should be posted anytime now. This is the second year Grohl and Kurstin are covering eight Jewish composers/artists for eight nights during Hanukkah. We'll be looking forward to a new musical treat each day until December 6.
Monday, November 29, 2021
On January 7, 1969, Paul McCartney sat down with a bass guitar and wrote a Beatles song out of thin air. It became their next single, "Get Back." If that's not impressive, I don't know what is. This clip is featured in the Peter Jackson documentary series The Beatles: Get Back, which is now streaming on Disney+. (via Fark)
These guys have won the lottery! You can't beat real estate that will also feed you. At least until the cat comes around. So if you find that your cat has wrecked the gingerbread house you painstakingly made, there may be a good reason. This comic is from Jimmy Craig at They Can Talk.
In the town of Watford, UK, city managers decided they didn't want large trucks passing through the downtown area, so they installed width restrictors. This is a set of bollards that are only seven feet wide (2.1 meters), and if your vehicle is wider, it cannot pass through. The bollards are 29 inches high, so the side mirrors on most passenger cars can pass above them. But one particular width restrictor, on Woodmere Avenue, is notorious for the number of cars, even rather small cars, that crash into the bollards.
While the drivers appear to be not paying attention, this is far from the only restrictor in the UK, and not even the only one in Watford. This image shows a design flaw in that the curb acts as a ramp on the left side that leads right to the first bollard. (via Jalopnik)
Watch Mark Hamill and Lena Headey Recording Masters of the Universe.
Seven Surprising Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Josephine Baker. Like the time Hermann Goering personally tried to murder her, and nearly succeeded before she made a daring escape.
All 63 US National Parks, Ranked. (via Kottke)
First you think this is about the couple, then you think it's about the lady crossing the street, then maybe the cat, but then you find out what it's really about.
The Woman Who Pulled a Paul Revere.
A Squeaky Dryer Becomes a Worldwide Collaboration.
Bison Become Archaeologists, Discover Ancient Petroglyphs.
Opinion: Lethal Weapon is More of a Christmas Movie Than Die Hard.
A blast from the past (2014): The Shark Whisperer and Other Animal Whisperers.
Koi living in a pond outside Kek Lok Si temple temple in Malaysia play a game of follow-the-leader that eventually turned into a circle as they forget who is following who. The videographer says they did this for twenty minutes. I bet they stopped to get a bite to eat after that. (via Arbroath)
Sunday, November 28, 2021
When I occasionally battle an infestation of poison ivy, I wonder about its place in the ecosystem. One might assume that it developed its "poison," called urushiol, to protect itself from being eaten or otherwise disturbed. It turns out that most animals are not at all allergic to poison ivy, and will happily eat it! Humans, on the other hand, can experience long-lasting misery from just touching the plant. Why do our bodies react so violently to something that's not even harmful? MinuteEarth goes into our immune system to explain how this unique chemical sends us into overdrive. The video is barely more than two minutes long; the rest is an ad.
The lion tamers wrestle with the lions in a cage,
With but a fragile whip they dare their charges’ feral rage.
They put their heads in tigers’ mouths and do not flinch a grain,
But … they never tried to take a cat five hundred miles to Maine.
You hunters who bring back alive from Afric’s roaring shore
The nilghai and the elephant, the rhino and the boar;
Who load them on a steamer and evince no sign of strain –
Let’s see you drive a cat five hundred miles to Maine.
Go cope with your rhinoceros bare-handed and alone,
Or kick a famished grizzly if for harmless fun you hone,
Or aggravate a timber wolf with pokings of a cane,
But do NOT try to drive a cat five hundred mile to Maine.
There is no word, there is no tongue, there is no ink to tell
One tenth of what one cat can raise of concentrated hell,
When after two hours’ driving to mistaken qualms you yield
And take poor puss to stretch her limbs in some adjacent field.
And if you’ve done the things set forth in stanzas two and three,
You stand a chance, when Krazy from the leash has wriggled free
(Provided you are clad in steel with hat and gloves to match),
To get her back into the car without a bite or scratch.
Ye lion tamers, naturalists, and big-game hunters eke,
When I’m around be chary of your tendency to speak.
To hear you boast your petty deeds gives me a shooting pain
For I have driven Krazy — phew! — five hundred miles to Maine!
– Baron Ireland
(via Futility Closet)
Ozzy is a full grown least weasel (Mustela nivalis). Ozzy is a rescue that was hand-raised, but generally weasels do not make good pets, and are illegal to own in many places. least weasels in the wild can kill rabbits that are much bigger than they are. See more videos of Ozzy at his YouTube channel. (via Metafilter)
Saturday, November 27, 2021
We make fun of the Jell-O salad fad of the 20th century because 1. we think of Jell-O as a sweet treat or dessert, and 2. we can't imagine people actually liking something that's so processed and artificial. But cooks who jumped on Jell-O when it was first produced didn't see it that way. It was an affordable way to recreate the earlier, labor intensive aspic dishes that most people had never experienced. And it was natural, up to a point. Aspic, and their vegan alternatives pectin and agar, are natural products even if they weren't used much before Jell-O came along. But then things started to get weird. I'm glad we are mostly over that now. (via Mental Floss)
A 1957 documentary short explains how service stations work. We call them gas stations now, because no one is providing a service outside of taking your money and letting you use the toilet. But the video starts with a look at how you got gas for your car "a long time ago," which appears to be around 1890. I had to laugh at the station attendant checking the oil and showing the dipstick to the driver. The car is completely devoid of oil, but no one is panicking.
A film like this makes you think about how fractured our services are now. If you want a tire changed, you go to a tire place. If you need oil and lube, you go to an oil change place. If you have a different problem, you go to a mechanic shop. It's hard to get an appointment at any of those places, none of which sell gasoline. And if your car won't run, you must engage a third party wrecker service to deliver it.
A modern gas station won't even let you put air in your own tires for less than 50 cents, and even self window washing is disappearing, but they will sell you hot dogs, coffee, and all the Mountain Dew you can handle. And the restrooms are clean. (via Nag on the Lake)
The a cappella group Six13 have debuted their annual Chanukah production! This year, it's a medley of familiar tunes from the Broadway musical West Side Story. They channel the Sharks and the Jets as they sing about the Jewish Festival of Lights and the history behind it. While you know the songs from the 1961 movie, the newest film version of West Side Story is due in theaters on December 10. Chanukah begins at sundown on Sunday and lasts until the evening of December 6. Chag Chanukah same’ach!
Sesame Street teaches a lesson on signing a contract without thinking it all the way through. In a 1988 episode, Oscar sells his spot to a shady builder named Ronald Grump, and soon regrets it. The other Sesame Street residents come together to bail him out. There was also a character named Donald Grump who came to Sesame Street in 2005 to hire an apprentice. You can watch that story here.
Have you ever been stymied in your quest to draw a butt? Karl Gude shows you how to draw butts. He enjoys drawing butts, and hopes you will, too! I love the way he draws a butt, then he figures out what kind of butt it is, so the butt comes first, then the character, I guess. But after watching this, you will be able to draw a butt. Look at that butt thing stickin' out! (via Metafilter)
Our #Caturday Feline of the Week is Melvin. During the 1930s & '40s, he wowed nightclub audiences with his rendition of "Silent Night." He carried the melody, and his human, Louise Howard, sang harmony.— Undine (@HorribleSanity) November 20, 2021
And here's the photo to prove it. (Commercial Appeal 1949, via @_newspapers) pic.twitter.com/SFzBRpGFAO
Friday, November 26, 2021
After a nine-month absence, Bad Lip Reading is back to give the treatment to the movie Dune, which here is called "Doon't." As is their mission, we get random yet plausible lines that make just enough sense to be funny, yet still perfectly fit the actors' mouth movements. The spitting contest is genius. This nonsense ends with a music video, but it's short and doesn't overwhelm the overall comedy of fake dialogue. That's what she said. (via Digg)
Plankton is a catch-all name for the tiny lifeforms that inhabit our water. As they are the bottom of the food chain, they are essential to all life on earth. They also excrete oxygen as a waste product and perform other chemical processes that help to keep ocean waters healthy for other living things.
Dutch filmmaker Jan van IJken filmed different types of plankton through a microscope and assembled this gorgeous compilation of their forms. Some look like inanimate objects, while others resemble critters we might recognize if they were bigger. (via Geeks Are Sexy)
In the comments under the last racehorse video, Douglas2 reminded me of this classic from the 1980s. The horse's name is Hoof Hearted, which only makes sense when you imagine a race narrator giving it his all as the horse finally wins a race.
See also: Potoooooooo.
29 Christmas Decoration Fails.
What Shape Makes the Best Fried Potato? (via Metafilter)
Ghostbusters: Afterlife Merchandise Contains Spoilers. The post also discusses the ill-advised tagline proudly displayed on the box.
Unexpected Problems New Homeowners Encounter. (via Digg)
There Are Two Unexplainable Things That Often Occur Before Patients Pass Away.
8 Very Weird TV Series Finales.
The latest mashup by FAROFF throws everything into the stew. You'll hear a mix of songs by James Brown, Gorillaz, The Doors, Queen, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder, AC/DC, and Torpedo Boyz. And the PInk Panther Theme, for good measure. What's really impressive is the medley of guitar riff toward the end, in which you can recognize a song by a single note or two. (via Buzzfeed)
Thursday, November 25, 2021
In 1894, Sholem Aleichem published a book called Tevye the Dairyman. In the 1950s, Arnold Perl wrote a play based on the book, which was adapted into a Broadway musical in 1964, and then a film in 1971. The story is set in tsarist Russia in 1905, amid government persecution of Jewish communities and the rumblings of revolution. The main story concerns Tevye's daughters, who want to marry for love instead of tradition, and how Tevye reacts to three such scenarios. Contains awesome songs you'll recognize.
Arlo Guthrie's 1967 saga about how he evaded the Vietnam draft has become a Thanksgiving classic, which is special because we don't have many Thanksgiving songs. This version has illustrations by Andrew Colunga for the story, so that it's like a shorter and more musical version of the movie. (via Nag on the Lake)
Bill McClintock is known for seamlessly mashing up very disparate songs into something weird and different that works. This time, he's taken the vocals tracks from "The Trooper" by Iron Maiden and laid them over the music of "She's a Maniac" by Michael Sembello. The singing is all you get of Iron Maiden, except for a clever little snippet for a switcheroo in the guitar solo. Those songs both came out in 1983, so the music video is very 1980s. Those clothes!
America’s Most Unique Thanksgiving Side Dishes. Show some state pride with persimmon bread or frog eye salad.
How to Love Your Parents Even If You Hate Their Politics. (via Digg)
The Science of Overeating, and How to Do It. (via Boing Boing)
The Firste Thanks-giving, in 2021. The latest from Tom the Dancing Bug.
The Deep and Twisted Roots of the American Yam.
The Day John Madden Ate His First Turducken. He didn't need a fork to made the regional dish nationally famous. (via Digg)
Glen Arbor, Michigan, encourages everyone to come out and do their Christmas shopping on Black Friday wearing pajamas. Their parade begins in the morning, and features beds rolling down the street! (via Fark)
Joke Website RentAHitman Turns Out to be Useful. An astounding number of people filled out an inquiry form with their personal information and were contacted by police.
The Great Dane and his Foster Kittens.
A blast from the past (2014): The Thanksgiving Film Festival.
In case you haven't had time to watch all the cat videos coming out of Russia, Ignoramusky has compiled the best into one for you. He titled it That's Why I Love Cats (volume 2). You can find volume one here. It's just the best parts of videos showing cats doing funny, confounding, and adorable things. (via Tastefully Offensive)
Wednesday, November 24, 2021
After a long hiatus, kaptainkristian is back! This time he's looking at the many layers of The Shining. He's seen the movie many times, so he shows us things we'd never noticed before, yet work together to give us a sense of building dread through the film. Kaptainkristian takes a deep dive into the music and sound design of the film, which is a work of art once you understand how it was done. It's no wonder that people are still obsessed with The Shining even 40 years later. The video is only 12 minutes; the rest is an ad. (via reddit)
Perth Zoo welcomed two new giraffes into their fold this fall! Zahara was born in September, and her half-brother Akiki was born in October. This is the first time the zoo has had two giraffe calves at the same time. Akiki was fed by hand after his mother couldn't produce enough milk. A few weeks later, the two were deemed old enough and healthy enough to make their grand debut. Despite already being taller than most people, the two are still babies, and their time in the public eye is limited each day. The two giraffes will eventually be sent to other zoos with giraffe breeding programs to ensure genetic diversity. (via Digg)
Marvel dipped its toe into the world of martial arts films this year with Shang-Chi and the Legend of The Ten Rings. Screen Junkies are here to point out how this movie uses all the usual tropes from Marvel superhero movies plus all the tropes you expect from a martial arts film, and yet it works. After all, those film elements became ubiquitous because audiences liked them. While there's plenty to say, it's obvious that our favorite film critics really liked Shang-Chi and the Legend of The Ten Rings. Even if they are really bracelets.
God Creating Animals with a Wholesome Sense of Humor.
20 of the Most Important Moments in Internet History.
The ‘Torture Orchard’ Is a Testing Ground for the Coming Climate Crisis.
Movie Theater Etiquette 1912. (via Fark)
103-Year-Old Madie Scott Is A Walking Textbook, from picking cotton to raising her siblings, grandchildren, and other people's kids.
Little Buddy (John Belushi) is in a coma, and his parents (Bill Murray, Jane Curtin) must decide whether the doctor (Steve Martin) should accidentally pull the plug.
Fairview Manor: The Perfect Tim Burton Setting Can Be Yours.
Bizarre Dog Breeds that Vanished. (via Nag on the Lake)
A blast from the past (2014): Survival Kits: The Useful, the Cool, and the Ridiculous.
Gritty, the Philadelphia Flyers mascot finds he is not only force-sensitive, he can control it ...somewhat. (via Boing Boing)
I AM ONE WITH THE FORCE pic.twitter.com/bDFvCasDCW— Gritty (@GrittyNHL) November 21, 2021
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
When Harry caught a glimpse of Santa Claus one year, it began a relationship that took years to unfold. Posten Norway, the Norwegian mail service, used this year's Christmas greeting to celebrate 50 years since Norway decriminalized same sex relationships. Their own service is relegated to just a few seconds, but they are important seconds. (via Metafilter)
Ewan McGregor was a recent guest on The Jonathan Ross Show. Of course they talked about Star Wars. The prequels relied an awful lot on green screen technology, and McGregor gives us a hilarious re-enactment of what it was like to interact with people and props that weren't there at all, like the big lizard he rode. Since it was such a long time ago, we can forgive him for thinking there are two moons on Tatooine, and mispronouncing Aunt Beru's name. (via Digg)
Filmmaker Jordan Halland picked a particular night to propose to Summer Jones. Somehow, she found out about it ahead of time. But did she know that he knew that she knew? He used this knowledge to set up something completely different, and spent the evening teasing her. Meanwhile, his buddies were surreptitiously following the couple and recording every scene. That's going to be a proposal neither of them will ever forget. Particularly as the video is going viral! (via Daily Picks and Flicks)
Monday, November 22, 2021
Radon is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas that we are warned about in our basements. We know the dangers of radiation, which was driven home forcefully after Hiroshima and during the arms race. But there are people who believe that exposure to radon can be beneficial in curing what ails ya, including chronic pain. There are places that people go to and pay good money to be exposed to radon. Radon therapy seems to help some people, but is it a miracle, a placebo, or a matter of faith? Tom Scott visits the radonstollen (radon tunnel) in Bad Kreuznach, Germany. The unique feature of this tunnel/pain clinic/spa is that the radon can be turned on or off! It sounds like the perfect place to propose a double-blind study on the effects of radon, but that probably won't happen.
Money Can Make or Break Your Mental Health. The proof is in the data on suicide rates during the pandemic.
Gunther the German Shepherd is Selling his Eight-Bedroom House. (via Digg)
The Crucifixion of the Cable Guy. More work, less money, late stage capitalism.
Microscopic Robots in the Works to Deliver Anti-Cancer Drugs. (via Damn Interesting)
An Archaeological Dig Reignites the Debate Over the Old Testament’s Historical Accuracy.
The History Of The Morton Salt Girl. (via Metafilter)
Passive-Aggressive Christmas Gifts for People You Don't Like. (via Everlasting Blort)
The Story of the Leaning Tower of San Francisco. Plans to repair the Millennium Tower are on hold again. (via Nag on the Lake)
A blast from the past (2018): 13 Twists on Traditional Thanksgiving Dishes.
In this mental_floss video, John Green busts some myths and dishes the trivia about the Pilgrims and their feast that got handed down to us in the form of a holiday that now consists of eating too much, watching football, and Christmas shopping. We don't need to recreate the Thanksgiving celebration at Plymouth Colony, which would be mostly impossible, but we should know some of the real history of the holiday. (via Tastefully Offensive)
Sunday, November 21, 2021
Pete Davidson and Big Wet do a parody of Marc Cohn's song "Walking in Memphis," which eventually includes Marc Cohn and Method Man. I didn't know much at all about Staten Island at all before I heard this, but I feel like I do now. (via Metafilter)
The name of the race horse is Sumomomomomomomomo. The owner no doubt did that just to mess with announcers. The name is based on a Japanese tongue-twister, but you don't have to understand Japanese to enjoy the race commentary.
Click to the right to advance the comic. Talk about starting off on the wrong foot! You can walk away from a job or a school when things get bad enough, but a trip to Mars is a real commitment. This uncomfortable story is brought to you by StrangeTrek.