Monday, January 31, 2022
If you saw this video with no context, you'd think it was computer rendered and animated. But these are real. NASA-JPL software engineer Kevin Gill works with images from various space missions. In 2000, the space probe Cassini sent back amazingly clear images of Jupiter and Saturn. In the first half of this video, the moons Io and Europa are crossing the red spot of Jupiter. That is followed by Saturn with its moon Titan crossing in front of the planet. In the Saturn sequence, the probe is above the equator and the planet's rings are just a line bisecting the image. But you can see the shadow of the rings on Saturn's lower half. How cool is that? (via Kottke)
When you just can't deal with it anymore, you might be tempted to just give up. But life ain't gonna let that happen. At least not often. This comic is from The Immortal Grind, where you'll find plenty of comics about the Grim Reaper and life in hell. (via Geeks Are Sexy)
Horrible Ways Gamers Have Murdered Sims. Don't let them keep you up at night. (via Geeks Are Sexy)
Meet Willow, the New White House Cat. (via Fark)
The Fight to Bring Live Television to Deaf Audiences. Closed captioning didn't even begin until 1980, and it was a difficult birth. (via Digg)
The Invisible College of Experimental Flatology. It's a website that brings us the science of farts, plus enough fart generators and web toys to keep any 12-year-old busy. (via Metafilter)
The Ultimate Love Boat Intro- with 901 Guest Stars!
How Does One Officially Measure Snow? There are rules for volunteer weather watchers.
Meet Jonathan, the 190-Year-Old Tortoise.
They Carry Us With Them: The Great Tree Migration. (via Damn Interesting)
A blast from the past (2014): 18 Athletes Who Went to the 2014 Olympics Alone.
Nick Santonastasso was born with only one arm and no legs. But he has a sense of humor, which he's used lately to prank people by sneaking upon them dressed as a zombie. The cast and crew of The Walking Dead contacted Santonastasso about pulling an elaborate prank for them. They flew the teenager to Tokyo, gave him the full zombie makeup treatment, and surprised actor Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon) while he waited to film an interview. It worked well! The Walking Dead returns in February. (via Uproxx)
Sunday, January 30, 2022
You know what a reverse mermaid is: a half-human and half-fish, just a like a mermaid, except that they are different halves. Comedian Eric Feurer took that concept to his stage show as he performed the song "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid. I'm sure this would impress Prince Eric to no end. The first half is lovely, with a dance showing off what a reverse mermaid can do with his legs. In the same vein, the second half reveals to us what a singing fish might sound like. But that was only temporary and caused by the dinglehopper he had swallowed. (via Nag on the Lake)
We’ve established that British people don’t understand American football and find it quite strange. But then, most Americans don’t really understand it, either. Here, we get a glimpse of what real British people have to say about it.
“The existence of a Super Bowl suggests that there are lesser bowls.” He’s absolutely right. The Super Bowl traditionally comes after the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, and Sugar Bowl, which used to be really big and had their own parades. But those are college games, and the names were changed to reflect corporate sponsorship, so no one can keep up with them anymore.
But they understand the expensive ads and the halftime show pretty well. (via Buzzfeed)
(via Everlasting Blort)
IGUANA WARNING | I'm issuing an Iguana Warning for Okeechobee county and Iguana Advisories for the rest of the area from 8p Monday Night until 8a Tuesday Morning.— Zach Covey (@ZachCoveyTV) January 17, 2022
An Iguana Advisory means temperatures will drop between 38-45 degrees and some iguanas may fall out of trees/bushes. pic.twitter.com/AvGTF8z6st
Saturday, January 29, 2022
"When tweedle beetles fight, it's called a tweedle beetle battle..."
Watching two massive insects fighting each other is interesting, but it's much better when set to the soundtrack of the Black Knight scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Thee two beetles are obviously mismatched from the beginning, both in size and in fighting skill. You'll be glad to know that in this version, neither combatant is left limbless and bleeding. It's just funny. Redditor moistobviously made this a long time ago, but only today posted it on the forum.
Yoda was a 900-year-old Jedi master in the Star Wars universe. He was also a Muppet, performed by Frank Oz, who also was the puppeteer behind Miss Piggy, Fozzy Bear, and Cookie Monster. Then came the prequels, where Yoda was the same character but younger and computer-generated. We all know these things. But the man behind the character design was makeup artist Stuart Freeborn, who paused during the filming of The Empire Strikes Back in 1979 to tell us a bit about how Yoda came about. I may be crazy, but the prototype puppet in the background seems more like Yoda than the more realistic sculpture in the foreground. But the most striking thing about this video is how much Yoda looks like Stuart Freeborn! Don't feel bad making the comparison; Freeborn admitted that was intentional. (via Laughing Squid)
Once upon a time, we mainly worried about computer viruses. Then came the coronavirus, and we had plenty to worry about. But we should also be concerned about the troll virus and the misinformation virus. This comic is from Jim Benton.
This song comes across as rather silly at first, but once you get into it, it's a wonderful story. A cowboy, who also happens to be a pumpkin, is dedicated to his cattle. He's a pacifist yet still a hero, seeking neither revenge nor accolade. He just does what a man's gotta do. Or what a pumpkin's gotta do, in this case. "Pumpkin Cowboy" created by Brian David Gilbert and performed by Jonah Scott, was inspired by the purchase of a somewhat-smiling pumpkin toy at a flea market. But you already figured that part out, didn't you? (via reddit)
This video shows 3-dimensional renderings of some serious computer graphics experimentation. From the video description:
We present a muscle-based control method for simulated bipeds in which both the muscle routing and control parameters are optimized. This yields a generic locomotion control method that supports a variety of bipedal creatures. All actuation forces are the result of 3D simulated muscles, and a model of neural delay is included for all feedback paths. As a result, our controllers generate torque patterns that incorporate biomechanical constraints. The synthesized controllers find different gaits based on target speed, can cope with uneven terrain and external perturbations, and can steer to target directions.
Yeah, whatever. What we see here resembles, in the best cases, a test of a Boston Dynamics robot, and in the worst cases, QWOP. The overall goofiness makes you wonder how we ever manage to walk anywhere. Oh yeah, don't miss the outtake at the end. (via Metafilter)
(via Bored Panda)
Just had a call with someone on Forbes 30 under 30 list and came away really impressed.— Peter Yang (@petergyang) January 14, 2022
He shared with me how he made VP at a top tech company before age 30:
1. 4:30 AM wakeup
2. Cold showers
3. Gratitude journal
5. Dad owns tech company
Friday, January 28, 2022
Medieval bestiaries were full of inaccurate depictions of animals. This was a result of world travelers who brought stories back to Europe of the amazing animals they encountered. Artists tried to recreate these animals from their descriptions, but were not all that successful. As it was, medieval artists always seemed to start with a dog and add features they were told about, at least for land animals. For sea creatures, they started with a fish and added what they were told.
But that's not all that's going on in this video. We also learn about some weird myths these exotic creatures became burdened with. Who knew you could distract a tiger mother with a mirror? Or that pelican babies ate their parents? (via Laughing Squid)
I was not familiar with the term "jet bridge" until I watched this video, although I have used them many times. It's the hallway that swings out from an airport terminal to an airliner so that passenger can board without climbing stairs. It's an innovation that makes all the difference in the world for people who use wheelchairs. However, in the cutthroat world of budget airlines these days, it's considered a luxury that can be cut to save some money. Airports charge the airlines per-passenger fees which can vary depending on whether a jet bridge is used. Planes are also charged parking fees (by the minute) which are higher near the terminal or at a jet bridge.
Personally, I don't mind climbing stairs to get on a plane, but when the plane is parked a half mile from the terminal and there's no bus or luggage transport, it can get a a bit annoying. Simple Flying explains what's happened to the simple luxury of the jet bridge. (via Boing Boing)
Click to the right to advance the comic. The next time your cat really annoys you, remember the possibility that he's already a hero, and you owe your life to him. This comic is from Elizabeth Pich and Jonathan Kunz at War and Peas.
Nothing's more fun than a music video made with Star Wars clips, especially if it's by the masters of the genre, Auralnauts. This is an original song by Scott Beetley and Auralnauts. The lyrics are at the YouTube page. Besides the song, the magic here is the absolute perfect clip choice for every lyric. That brings up the question: which came first, the clips or the lyrics? This music video is an excerpt from their latest parody called Star Wars Ep. 7: Banana Time. It's long, but worth every minute. (via Boing Boing)
Trumpet Day is Coming!
Why is a typeface named Jim Crow?
An album made entirely of endangered bird sounds beat Taylor Swift on a top 50 chart. (via Supa Fluffy)
That Night the Roof Fell In. The biggest single-day disaster in the history of the District of Columbia occurred one hundred years ago, on January 28, 1922, but few even know about it today.
Believe it or not, the economy grew last year at the fastest pace since 1984. (via Fark)
G/O Media is eating itself. See what happened to The Root, The A.V. Club, Jezebel, Deadspin, and Splinter. (via Metafilter)
Fake Poop Helps Owls Settle into New Neighborhood. (via Fark)
The Super Bowl quickly approaches, so animator Fraser Davidson made a little guide to help you understand American football as it is played by the NFL. If you're one of those who watch for the commercials and the food and since everyone else is watching, but you don't really understand the game, well, honestly this won't help a whole lot, but kit will probably make you laugh a little, and that's worth something. (via Viral Viral Videos)
(via Everlasting Blort)
Australian farmer Ben Jackson couldn’t attend his Aunt’s funeral due to Covid restrictions.— Michael Warburton (@MichaelWarbur17) January 16, 2022
So instead he laid out grain for his Sheep in the shape of a heart in order “that she could see it through the clouds”.
Thursday, January 27, 2022
Adding sound effects to cartoons is fairly easy in the age of computers. Sound effects are recorded, used, shared, archived, sold, and used again. But in the early days of animation, production crews had to use whatever they could to reproduce the sounds they wanted. And they could get pretty creative! See Disney foley artists making sound effects and then be surprised at how they were used in the finished product. What a cool job! (via Digg)
Click to the right to advance the comic. Eh, this guy is probably a little upset about the opportunity that skipped by, but he's got a trillion dollars, plus whatever his first and second wish were. He's got nothing to complain about. This comic is from The Mediocre Superheroes. (via Geeks Are Sexy)
You know the story "Button, Button." It was a Richard Matheson short story published in 1970, a radio play in 1974, became the script of a classic Twilight Zone episode in 1986, and then a feature film in 2009 called The Box. Well, this isn't that at all.
See, the horror in the original story comes from the ethical dilemma that was set up and the unseen consequences of one's decision. Even back in 1986, my friends and I joked about all the folks we knew who wouldn't have a dilemma because they have no ethics. Funny or Die just illustrated what we all know. (via TYWKIWDBI)
Create Your Own Music Box with Music Box Fun. Place your notes along the grid on a 15, 20, or 30 note scale and build a music box program or a player piano scroll. (via Laughing Squid)
I Was An ER Nurse For 10 Years. These Are The Nightmare Conditions That Made Me Quit.
Notorious prisons you can spend the night in. (via Fark)
How The Book of Boba Fett is Rehabilitating Tatooine's Image. (via Digg)
You Are Not Owed a Reason for Somebody's Abortion. (via Metafilter)
Horton the Justice hatches an egg. the latest from Tom the Dancing Bug.
The Struggle of Keeping a Jeopardy! Winning Streak a Secret. (via Digg)
The Witches of Paisley. The town that gave us the word for the textile pattern was also the site of the last mass execution of witches in Western Europe.
A blast from the past (2014): 10 Weird and Wacky Flowcharts.
Wednesday, January 26, 2022
The eruption of the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai volcano on January 15th was huge. The nearby nation of Tonga was flooded by a tsunami, covered with volcanic ash, and cut off from the internet for days. What have we found out since then?
Scientific analysis has revealed the actual size of the eruption, and the massive number of lightning strikes inside it. We have a possible trajectory of the ash flung skyward. We have pictures from Tonga, which you would have thought were taken with black and white film if it weren't for the blue of the ocean. The eruption's shock wave traveled around the world four times. Astrum brings us up to speed on the Pacific eruption and what we've learned about it. The last minute of the video is an ad.
Yeah, that's about how it is, except as a contract worker, I don't have to do zoom meetings or deal with trackers. I just get the work done that I'm supposed to do. Those of you who were sent home by the pandemic to work remotely have to deal with middle management whose sole responsibility is to make sure other people are working. The pandemic revealed that middle management is mostly unnecessary because the work either gets done or it doesn't get done, and they pay workers or they don't pay workers to do it. This graph is from Matt Shirley.
Tom Scott takes us on a visit to the International Coca Quarantine Centre. You can tell it's in England by the way they spelled "center." But why does cocoa go into quarantine? It's not the chocolate that they're worried about, but the cocoa plants that grow it. What's more, there are quarantine facilities for banana plants and potato plants and other crops before they can be certified safe for shipping to research facilities or to farms around the world.
Tyler walked the 2,600-mile Pacific Crest Trail from Campo, California (near the Mexican border) all the way to Manning Park, British Columbia. It took him four and a half months, but he’ll show it to you in just a few mesmerizing minutes. Find out more about this adventure at his website, Halfway Anywhere. The songs are “I Can See It In Your Face” by Party Lights and “Love Like A Sunset Part II” by Phoenix. I wish someone would do a video like this on the Appalachian trail. The scenery would be prettier but less variable. (via Metafilter)
Tuesday, January 25, 2022
The Eternals is the 26th movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After an exciting opening in theaters last fall, it made $402 million worldwide and was the tenth highest grossing movie of 2021. That would be a great run for most movies, but The Eternals is an MCU film with a bunch of well-known actors, so the box office was a disappointment. Reviews were mixed, and The Eternals is currently the lowest-rated Marvel film on both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. So what happened? Screen Junkies fills us in with their Honest Trailer.
The Coastal Watershed Institute surrounded a beaver lodge with cameras to see what they are up to in the middle of winter. They stay pretty busy, constantly reinforcing and repairing their home. They even incorporate the trail camera as part of the lodge! Watch Notch-Tail and Smooth-Tail and their kit doing what beavers do. Yes, the baby beaver we hear at the beginning does appear on camera at about five minutes in. (via Metafilter)
The 2009 Quentin Tarantino film Inglourious Basterds gave us bloodthirsty Nazi hunters, but we were okay with them because they were on the right side. The real bad guy was the actual Nazi Hans Landa, played by Christoph Waltz, who won an Oscar for his performance. But it was more than Waltz' acting that made the role memorable. Nerdstalgic breaks down his performance to explain the tricks used to make Colonel Hans Landa thoroughly charming while instilling fear and dread in everyone he encountered. And the audience, too. (via Digg)
15 Controversial Casting Choices That Are Perfect in Hindsight.
Can you hold your breath for 95 seconds? You will if you watch this video.
"My new hobby is taking graphs of economic data over time and indicating the year that Ronald Reagan was inaugurated, in case people find that helpful or informative." There are a lot of them in the replies. (via Metafilter)
16th-Century Haunted Scottish Castle for Sale. The listing from Savills has details on Earlshall Castle, but you have to submit an application to find out the price.
Children Aren't Supposed to Die. An article about children dying may seem depressing at first, but the main point of this essay is how far we've come in the last 100 years in overcoming the diseases, injuries, and random bad luck that once took so many children. (via TYWKIWDBI)
This kid knows what's important. And that's the beginning of wisdom. (via Nag on the Lake)
The frustrating Covid-19 test reimbursement process is a microcosm of US health care.
The live show called Saturday Night (later known as Saturday Night Live) premiered on October 11th, 1975. A few days before that, Lorne Michaels took all seven Not Ready for Primetime Players to the Tomarrow with Tom Snyder show to introduce them. For the vantage point of 47 years later, it's hard to imagine that no one had ever heard of these seven people.
Snyder: "What should we look for in your show?"Ah, memories. Even when I didn't make it home by 11:30 on a Saturday night, I managed to watch the show wherever I was at the time. But that one time we kept Neilsen diaries, I made sure to watch at home and log it. Open Culture tells us about the beginning of the show, complete with audition on video and a classic sketch by Gilda Radner. (via mental_floss)
Monday, January 24, 2022
Dragnet was a TV series in the 1950s and '60s about police work. This is not that. The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson invited Jack Webb to recreate the show for a parody that's as memorable as any of the cases on the real show. The whole thing is a tongue twister that just goes on and on.
Bill McCamley was NM's labor secretary, but working at a local movie theater taught him the truth about what's ailing the workforce. (via Metafilter)
The Blue Cows of Latvia. (via Strange Company)
The History of That Three-Note Mystery/Suspense Sound. (via Boing Boing)
For Shouichi Yokoi, World War II Ended in 1972. He spent almost 28 years on Guam, hiding from the Americans.
Read the story behind a $35 million castle in Connecticut.
Don't Bring Cougars in the House.
Lil Bub's Human Has a New Cat. Mike Bridavsky refers to Mr. Marbles as a "magical space cat." (via Fark)
The Deathless Arm of Dan Donnelly; Or, You Never Know What Will Get You Into the History Books.
A blast from the past (2014): 8 Snowmen We Wish We'd Built.
This is the story of a lion that captures a mouse. The mouse, being pretty desperate at that point, promises the lion anything. It’s a pretty good deal for the lion, since the mouse is only a bite at most. But the mouse proves that brains will defeat brawn in the long run. In French with English subtitles, by artist Reineke. (via the Presurfer)
Sunday, January 23, 2022
So, when will the pandemic end? The short answer is: we don't know. The more helpful answer is: it depends on a few different factors that we can't exactly predict now, but with a primer on what we've learned about coronaviruses and COVID-19 in particular, we can expect one of several different scenarios. Six, to be exact. Or at least that's what the guys from AsapSCIENCE tell us. They are basing these predictions on the history of the 1918 flu pandemic plus what happened to other coronaviruses, and the timeline of how COVID-19 has changed. They've been bathing in the latest research for the last two years, so we may as well learn a bit of it. (via Digg)
Click to the right to advance the comic. We all know how to tell the difference between an alligator and a crocodile: one sees you later, the other sees in you after while. But what about the other animals? There are plenty of rhymes for them, too. This comic is from Ben Hed at Pet Foolery.
Kate McKinnon channels Laura Ingraham on Fox as an excuse to bring on segments that explain some of last week's new stories, in the opening sequence of last night's Saturday Night Live. Aidy Bryant reprised his Ted cruz, not because he didn't anything funny this week, but just because her impersonation is so good.
Just like the rest of us, Priya the cat enjoys watching videos of kittens on the internet. But concern kicks in when the screen goes blank! Where are those kittens? The kittens were on a home video, but they were foster kittens from long ago, and Priya never knew them. But they were kittens, and she wants them back! (via Daily Picks and Flicks)
Saturday, January 22, 2022
The hardest thing about conveying a public service message is to get people to pay any attention at all. An anti-jaywalking campaign from the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec in Montreal solved this problem by presenting pedestrians on the streets of the city with something fun. They rigged a bus stop shelter with one of those interactive x-ray simulation devices, where people can see themselves as skeletons waving or dancing or whatever they want to do. Then suddenly, they are reminded of all the traffic in those streets. It's a sobering way to confront the danger. (via Everlasting Blort)
Whatever else you like about the Teletubbies, you have to admit they knew how to shake their booties to a good children's song. Their costumes were made with plenty of junk in the trunk (the result of eating Tubby Toast and Tubby Custard), and the kids that watched the show loved to dance along with them. So our favorite YouTube remixer, There I Ruined It, turned the Black Eyed Peas song "My Humps" into a bouncy children's ditty for Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa Laa, and Po to dance to. (via Geeks Are Sexy)
Neil Cicierega tagged his classic animation with "The best day of Adrien Brody's life." I was looking for this the other day for some unrelated reason and found that neither the search engine here nor at Neatorama could find it, and I know I posted it somewhere. Yeah, that was 12 years ago, but who's counting?
Friday, January 21, 2022
They call them Dad jokes now, but they've always been puns. Wordplay. Groaners. Dan Opsal and John Haskell of the Real Big Boys YouTube channel go on a picnic. They seem to be looking for a world record in stuffing as many puns as they can into two minutes. Forget trying to follow the conversation, as they get distracted constantly by the alternate meaning of a word. Since there's no pause for laughter, and no reaction from the principle punsters, you are guaranteed to miss some of them as they fly by. Yeah, you'll probably have to watch this twice. And don't be surprised if you get grated cheese on your hot dates. (via Laughing Squid)
YouTuber Hyperboliumn transcribed the shapes of each of the 50 United States onto a midi graph. You wouldn't guess how melodic they sound when played. I think there was some serious tweaks made to improve the sound. I know Wyoming isn't that irregular along the bottom. If you don't recognize the shape of each state, there's an index at the YouTube page. (via Laughing Squid)
You can be a consummate professional, but you can't control for everything when the cameras are broadcasting live. WSAZ reporter Tori Yorgey was on the scene of a water main break in Dunbar, West Virginia, when a car hit her. Her first reaction was to let everyone know she's okay, and she even took time to reassure the driver before she continued with her report. Yorgey was later interviewed about the incident, and takes her viral fame in stride. (via Neatorama)
Ernest Shackleton's Harrowing Journey to Elephant Island. They were on dry land for the first time in over a year, but that didn't help all that much.
Tangled Deer Freed by Hunter with Angle Grinder. His wife recorded the rescue operation on video, which you can see at Facebook. (via Fark)
How a small town can make a ton of money. Just take it from people passing through. (Via Digg)
50 Really Awkward And Embarrassing But Memorable Moments.
The Unicorn that Lived Among Early Humans. (via Damn Interesting)
Rod Serling was not the original narrator for The Twilight Zone. The first guy didn't sound quite right.
Arthur Erickson’s Starship House is For Sale. The house is historic and beautiful, but the view is to die for.
GOP States Are Shredding Voting Rights and Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema Are Now Complicit.
A blast from the past (2014): Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day!