Wednesday, August 31, 2022
Look at that beard! That t-shirt! That baseball cap! Laurence Brown is an immigrant from England who hosts the series Lost in the Pond about the differences in the two countries. It's always funny, but if you've been keeping up, you can see his process of assimilation right on your computer screen. Or your phone, if you're younger than me. He's still got that British accent and that lovely dry British wit.
The biggest blockbuster of the summer of 2022 is Top Gun: Maverick. This was after years of speculation over whether Tom Cruise could possibly be believable as an ace navy pilot 34 years after Top Gun. Cruise holds up pretty well, but to get his character back in action after a long naval career with few promotions, the plot must be twisted into a narrative that has no connection to reality in the US military. Doesn't matter; the action is what put butts in the seats. In fact, the climactic mission may remind you of another that proved to be a hit no matter how implausible it was. Top Gun: Maverick proved to be the biggest hit of 2022 (so far), the biggest hit of Tom Cruise's career, and has grossed over $4.2 billion (so far). You can have all kinds of things wrong with a movie, but numbers like those tell the real story.
Need any more proof that the laser pointer is the best toy ever? We’ve seen all kinds of animals chase after the red dot, but in this case, a cat and a child compete to see who catches it first. Instant entertainment for Mom and Dad! (via Tastefully Offensive)
Tuesday, August 30, 2022
“Ichiro Girl” reuniting with Ichiro is the most wholesome thing we’ve ever seen pic.twitter.com/vrM41SHLaB— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) August 27, 2022
The Seattle Mariners celebrate Ichiro Weekend in honor of retired outfielder Ichiro Suzuki. To throw out the first pitch for Friday's game, they selected Mariners fan Iris Skinner, who came to be known as "Ichiro Girl" after a 2010 viral video caught her excited reaction when Ichiro retrieved a ball right in front of her. Skinner was in for a surprise in her moment of glory, and her adorable enthusiasm which will put a smile on your face for sure. (via Fark)
The University of Texas has a truck that's built to shake the ground under it. It's officially the Large Mobile Shaker, but they call it the T-Rex, because its effects may remind you of the earth-shaking footsteps of the T-rex in Jurassic Park. That's cool, but why would you want to shake the ground? It's for research and testing. The research is on what parts of the country could be subject to what kind of damage in an earthquake, and the testing is for projects like construction, in case there are soft spots and flaws underneath. Tom Scott talks to Professor Ken Stokoe about they way they use the Large Mobile Shaker. Read more about the truck here.
Hannah Beswick: The Manchester Mummy.
Clair de Lune: A Celestial Dessert for the Apollo 11 Astronauts.
When Big Hair Was the Biggest Ever. (via Nag on the Lake)
Why Random Acts of Kindness are Rare. (via Real Clear Science)
I’m Beginning to Think You Don’t Care About the Forty-Eight Pencils I Need for School Orientation Tomorrow.
The Difference Between a Husky and a Border Collie.
The Himalayas' ancient earthquake-defying design. (via Damn Interesting)
A generator that will make a cringeworthy but typical LinkedIn post. (via Nag on the Lake)
The Brotherhood Workshop brings us a Harry Potter LEGO short, with an awesome way to destroy a dementor.
Dementors feed on the happiness of others. So what happens when they find a creature with limitless happiness?Who could that be? Watch and find out! (via Laughing Squid)
Monday, August 29, 2022
Daniel Thrasher performs new lyrics to the tune of "Alexander Hamilton" by Lin-Manuel Miranda that's all about food. It starts off as a pizza order, which is funny enough, but he wants the entire kitchen sink thrown in! Well, maybe not the sink, but all kinds of food. The rest of the cast is aghast, especially since some of them are gluten-sensitive.
Can you count how many mustache mishaps occur in this video? I counted seven, but there may be more. It must have been hot on that stage. (via reddit) https://www.reddit.com/r/videos/comments/x01m4n/how_linmanuel_miranda_orders_a_pizza/
This little girl, probably about three years old, is the perfect student. She does everything her teacher does! Sure, that's a problem when you're supposed to demonstrate what you've learned, but the result is so precious we will give her a pass. She's quite enthusiastic about the activity, even if she doesn't understand the point. She does, however, have the yelling part down. Spoiler: she does end up breaking a board, but it's not in the manner one would expect. It's more in the style of professional wrestling than taekwondo. (via Fark)
A Case of Demonic Possession as Entertainment. (via Strange Company)
Putting a Safety Rail Around Our Zoo’s Tiger Pit Would Be a Slap in the Face to All the People Who Previously Fell into the Pit and Got Mauled.
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King Really Needed All Those Endings.
30 Of The Worst Tattoos Shared On This Online Group.
At $249 per day, prison stays leave ex-inmates deep in debt. It's not enough to take years of their lives, their right to vote, and job prospects away, they also get a lifetime of poverty. (via reddit)
Input magazine recently discovered the Holotypic Occlupanid Research Group, and sought out founder John Daniel for an interview. (via Metafilter)
Sympathy for the Devils: 8 of the Wildest Tour Stories in Rock Music History.
New World Record Set for Paddling in a Pumpkin.
“Hey, boys! Wanna Milk-Bone? I gotcha Milk-Bones right here! Have one! Have another! Just remember what your old friend Spike did for you some day when I need a hand. Ya never know when I might need a big dog to defend me!”
These Great Danes have a friend in a high place- Spike, the Umbrella Cockatoo, who is glad to hand out the treats they thought they’d have to earn. (via Arbroath)
Sunday, August 28, 2022
Warning: get a hankie. The music video for the 2015 song "We Hold Nothing In Our Hands" by Ram Wire is a beautiful animation about death and enduring love. Drawn by Aya Kii, it won acclaim at film festivals around the world. The full lyrics in English are at the YouTube page. (via reddit)
All the letters of the alphabet participate in a story of good and evil, of justice and revenge, of friendship and heroism. The letters are getting along fine, except for F, who terrorizes everyone. G has to take charge, and calls up the superheroes L, M, N, O, and P. We learn the personalities of the various letters as the epic battle rages. Q is quite the standout, because he knows everything, but fails to warn the others in time because he's naturally slow. The action movie has a bittersweet coda in which we learn why F is such a murderous psycho. You can tell it's a flashback because the same letters are lowercase, indicating they are children.
How did this happen? Mike Salcedo had an idea for a personal project. He would animate one letter of the alphabet every day. That project turned into something very different.
They were supposed to all just hop in and say their names, but I was already bored of that by C. I had the "FRIENDS" idea the night before I made D, and the rest snowballed from there. I outlined a long list of ideas that kept changing as the series progressed.You can see the individual letter animations in this playlist. The movie version has so many details you may have to watch it more than once. N transforms to Ñ when he needs to. X can multiply! G uses Morse code to call to the other letters. F farts. There are punctuation marks that look suspiciously like Infinity Stones, and they each have the power of their real-life function. (via Metafilter)
FIRST TEXT MESSAGE:
Hi, Morris. This is Saul, next door. I've been riddled with guilt for a few months and have been trying to get up the courage to tell you face-to-face. When you're not around, I've been sharing your wife, day and night, probably much more than you. I haven't been getting it at home recently. I know that's no excuse. The temptation was just too great. I can't live with the guilt & hope you'll accept my sincere apology and forgive me. Please suggest a fee for usage and I'll pay you.
Morris, feeling enraged and betrayed, grabbed his gun, went next door, and shot Saul dead. He returned home, shot his wife, poured himself a stiff drink and sat down on the sofa. Morris then looked at his phone and discovered a second text message from Saul.
SECOND TEXT MESSAGE:
Hi, Morris. Saul here again. Sorry about the typo on my last text. I assume you figured it out and noticed that the darned Spell-Check had changed "wi-fi" to "wife." Technology, hey? It'll be the death of us.
(Image credit: Free Clip Art)
The Murtah Sisters (Kate, Jean, and Onriett Murtagh) spent most of their singing career in the 1930s and '40s performing live, so there are very few film clips of them. This one was recorded in 1942. Kate Murtagh (the tall one) went on to movies and TV, where she found work until she retired in 1999. She is enshrined on the front and back covers of Supertramp's 1979 album Breakfast in America. If you want to see more of the Murtah Sisters, here they are performing "Arthur Murray Taught Us Dancing in a Hurry," also from 1942.
Saturday, August 27, 2022
Fred Turner and Robbie Bachman of Bachman-Turner Overdrive originally wrote "Roll On Down The Highway" for the Ford Motor Company, but the company never used any of their songs. So they put the song on their 1974 album Not Fragile and the single became a top 20 hit.
MinuteEarth explains why meteorologists are often wrong about rain. Who expects them to be right all the time? Weather forecasts are way more accurate than they've ever been before. But they aren't perfect. We shouldn't expect them to be. Okay, that being said, MinuteEarth explains why some types of rain are harder to predict than others. You will learn something new and useful about weather forecasting. This video is only three minutes long; the rest is an ad. (via Geeks Are Sexy)
Infinite dream (part 1) pic.twitter.com/9KgUZMlKgk— Vaskange (@Vaskange) August 15, 2022
French artist Vaskange has been experimenting with the iPad app called Endless Paper to make zoom illustrations that tell a story. I was completely pulled into the dream above when the sheep showed up, and I can't wait to see part two. Meanwhile, here's one about a robot in a dystopian city of the future.
You'll no doubt want to bookmark Vaskange's Instagram gallery to catch further episodes. (via Metafilter)
The Portuguese man-of-war is not a jellyfish, but is related to them. They are quite amazing, both in form and function. It is made up of a colony of genetically-identical creatures that take different forms to make up the “organs” of the colony. Photographer Aaron Ansarov has been photographing Portugese man-of-wars for two years to capture their ethereal beauty. You can read more about the animals and see more of Ansarov's pictures at National Geographic. (via Nag on the Lake)
Friday, August 26, 2022
Paul Klusman and TJ Wingard are the cat engineers. Their cats are Oscar, Ginger, and Zoey. They love the cats, but for years they've been trying to figure out if these cats can be useful at all. This video is a review of the latest in cat laser technology. Equipping cats with laser eye technology can be fun, but it can also be put to good use in welding, cutting, pest control, and communications. Also to fight aliens. And fun, too. The second half of this video is a throwback to what we non-engineers first used lasers for: to accompany disco music. (via Laughing Squid)
I knew a little bit about how arches work, but I didn't know how they related to hanging chains. If you've never taken an engineering course, this lesson might blow your mind. The concept is described in a clear and concise way at the beginning, but the further you go into how arches and chains actually work, the more interesting it gets. We may laugh at the lack of medical knowledge in the medieval era, but at the same time engineers and architects were transforming their physics observations and experiments into amazing bridges and cathedrals that are still in use hundreds of years later. (via Nag on the Lake)
The Ridiculous Story of Jonah. This points out how we get hung up on details and miss the greater meaning. (via Metafilter)
55 Impossibly Tough Humans.
The American Alliance of Museums posted a list of the best museum bathrooms. They are unexpectedly extra. (via Boing Boing)
What was your “damn I’m getting old” moment? (via Digg)
5 Actual Headlines From History That Sound Like Deranged Gobbledygook.
The Ashes of Several Star Trek Actors to be Flown into Space. Nichelle Nichols included.
The Oldest Manmade Structure in the Americas is a Mound on the LSU Campus. That's very convenient for their archaeology department. (via Damn Interesting)
Would you take on your new husband's last name? What if you already have the same first name?
Thursday, August 25, 2022
H.P. Lovecraft was a master of cosmic horror, the kind that stimulates your most primal fears and makes you question reality and the meaning of it all. The embodiment of that horror is his dreaded monster-god Cthulhu. Just the idea of this type of being will make you question the universe. Since Lovecraft died in 1937, his creation has come to mean so much more than the novels contain. (via Geeks Are Sexy)
Lowbrow Studios makes Pac-Man a lot more dramatic and a lot more bloody with the addition of an evil mad scientist. Dr. Albert Gerhardt Bergstrom makes what was supposed to be a fun little game into a disgusting house of torture. After all, the ghosts normally just kill Pac-Man, which they know isn't so bad because the ghosts are already dead yet still chasing around, and Pac-Man will come back for more. What to do? (via Geeks Are Sexy)
Have you ever heard of fur-bearing trout?
James Bond Villains Ranked from Worst to Best.
This Pirate Ship with a Skeleton Crew is For Sale.
Book banned at a school named after its author. You need to watch the video about that author.
A perfectly reasonable explanation for why all those human feet wash up on the shore in Canada.
The Death of Pennsylvania’s Forgotten Funeral Pie.
How Real was King Arthur? Archaeological clues from Tintagel suggest he may have been a real man.
Treat Your Dog to Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Friday for National Dog Day. (via Mental Floss)
Do not try this at home: Medieval medicine under the spotlight in major new project. (via Damn Interesting)
Wednesday, August 24, 2022
There have been five movies in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, which might make you forget that the first one came out twenty years ago. It was a fun story with great characters, and the world they inhabited looked so authentic that we completely overlooked the many computer-generated visual effects. They were so well-done that we just didn't notice. Oh yeah, we knew the ghosts were special effects, but that was just one small part of the CGI. The truth is that almost every scene in all five films involved CGI that ended up looking quite real. This dive into what was involved in making those movies will give you a new appreciation for those who do this work. (via Digg)
Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire, UK, welcomed the birth of a new red panda in July. The cub was born to red panda Tilly and her partner Nam Pang. They were matched by an international breeding program, but failed to produce a cub in four years. Nam Pang died in June. Zookeepers were devastated, but within a couple of weeks noticed that Tilly has started nesting behavior. On July 16, a month after Nam Pang's passing, she gave birth to his only offspring. The new cub's gender is yet unknown, and it will not be named until it is old enough for a veterinary checkup. (via Fark)
The misconception that there is no sound in space originates because most space is a ~vacuum, providing no way for sound waves to travel. A galaxy cluster has so much gas that we've picked up actual sound. Here it's amplified, and mixed with other data, to hear a black hole! pic.twitter.com/RobcZs7F9e— NASA Exoplanets (@NASAExoplanets) August 21, 2022
The Perseus galaxy has a lot of gas in its space, and the sound of the black hole at the center of the galaxy is a bit unnerving. These sound waves were detected by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, but they can't be heard in their raw form, which is 57 octaves below middle C. So NASA has "translated" the sound, much as they translate colors of far away images that are detected in parts of the light spectrum we cannot see with human eyes. This is what we call sonification. Read more about the project at NASA. (Thanks, WTM!)
The tiny hamster is back! See the hamster start his tiny day in his tiny mansion. He gets out of his tiny bed, eats his tiny breakfast, takes a tiny bath, eats a great big strawberry, and drives off in his tiny little car. (via Viral Viral Videos)
Tuesday, August 23, 2022
It takes nerves of steel and a trusty bee suit to do what Shawn Woods does! He approaches a large bald face hornet's nest, shakes it, and then takes it apart to show us what's inside. As you might guess, what's inside is even more hornets, but also a nicely symmetrical nursery structure with hexagonal cells containing eggs, larvae, pupae, and emerging adult hornets. And the queen! The video ends with him making a gift of the structure to someone who would really appreciate it. I know you wouldn't try this at home, but be aware that even watching this may give your the heebie-jeebies. (via Digg)
Aries was born with malformed joints that sent his back legs in all the wrong directions. But his foster family treated him as a normal cat, and encouraged him to exercise those back legs. And Aries learned to use those back legs the way they are! Sure, he looks funny, but he gets around. His foster family decided to keep him forever. Now Aries has the best of both worlds: a permanent home with plenty of other cats to play with and humans who know how special he is. Aries has gone on to be an ambassador for special needs pet adoption. You can keep up with him at Facebook or at Instagram.
The US has been battling invasive carp for almost 50 years, but they are thriving in the Mississippi River and other waterways. Catching them is not hard, they just jump into the boat. But as carp multiply their way closer to the Great Lakes, where they could wreck the balance of native species, we've had to pull out the big guns. The US Army Corps of Engineers built a series of "fences" by electrifying the water in canals leading to Chicago in order to stop the traveling carp from entering Lake Michigan. This electrified water is serious business and canal traffic has to adhere to strict rules to keep people from danger.
Yesterday, I saw that it was August 22nd, and that seemed important, but I couldn't recall why. My daughter's birthday is on the 22nd, but that's in April, so I convinced myself that I was just reacting to the number. Today I realize that it was the anniversary of this blog! My first post went up on August 22, 2005, which makes Miss Cellania 17 years old. That's a long time. I'd gotten the itch to blog since a couple of folks in my online parents group were doing it, but my old tangerine iMac G3 was incapable, so I had to order a new computer. As soon as I set up my new Mac Mini, I was posting away!
Since then, I've worn out two Mac Minis and two iMacs, and am now on my fifth blogging computer. I went from Blogger to Squarespace and back to Blogger (and lost a lot of content). Miss Cellania now has 37,500 posts, with quite a few being reposted years later and a ton of them suffering from link rot. I learned long ago not to use link-shortening URLs because eventually those services go out of business, and even if the target link is still good, you won't find it. Of course, back then I never anticipated I'd still be doing this 17 years later. It was just a hobby, something to do with my time after my husband died in 2004, and a way to reach out and make new friends. Turning it into a career was pretty much an accident.
In those 17 years, I've moved house, raised two kids, remarried, acquired five more kids, became widowed again, grown old, and worked for a half-dozen other blogs. I've made a lot of friends along the way. I've learned a million new things. I still enjoy building this site, even when I feel pressured, if I'm being honest. How many more years will this blog last? I have no idea, but going at it one day at a time has turned into 17 years, so anything is possible.
This is as good a time as any to say THANK YOU to all of you for coming to visit. Thanks to you who have commented, sent links, taught me stuff I need to know, shared my posts, and recruited your friends to enjoy Miss Cellania. You are what keeps me going.
7 Back-To-School Cakes That Shall Not Pass.
Sah Quah: More than twenty years after the American Civil War, an enslaved Alaskan walked into a Sitka courtroom and sued for his freedom. The case pitted native sovereignty against basic human rights.
You Don't Actually Need a Stomach to Live. Just ask the people who lost theirs. (via Damn Interesting)
Milky Whites: The Struggle of Putting a Cow On Stage.
Electra Rhodes tells a short story about saving a guy's life. (via Metafilter)
Officials in Nevada demolish tiny homes built for homeless in Las Vegas. They were on private land in compliance with a law that will go into effect in 2024. (via Boing Boing)
This kitten has found the perfect toy- a crocheted lampshade cover! The kitten is funny enough, but Grandma can’t stop giggling in the background. She was probably the one who made that cover, and now she reaps the rewards. (via Arbroath)
Monday, August 22, 2022
Seal Invades Home, Traumatizes Cat. (via reddit)
This Historic Boozy, Fruity Preserve Is a Celebration of Summer.
The Lost History of America's Traveling "Ghost Shows." (via Damn Interesting)
The Princess Bride as a horror film? Inconceivable! We all know how easy it is to make a comedy into a horror film with the proper music and sound effects. This one goes a little leftward by making the good guy into the bad guy. Still, those of us who love The Princess Bride cannot help but laugh at the memory of these very scenes. (via Geeks Are Sexy)
If this looks familiar to you, you're right. That's Christopher Walken's body, dancing to "Weapon of Choice" by Fatboy Slim. (via Everlasting Blort)
Hi.— ᑕᕼᑌᑎK (@chunkled) August 19, 2022
I love you.
(sound up) pic.twitter.com/4wyB39uj7M
Sunday, August 21, 2022
When Jill Tarter was a little girl, she was fascinated with the vastness of the universe and the stars and planets in it. She declared she was going to be an engineer when she grew up, in the days when people laughed at such ambitions in a little girl. Tarter was stubborn, and earned a bachelor's degree in engineering physics from Cornell, then a PhD from Berkeley, where she got in on the ground floor in computer programming as a side project. That skill helped her become involved in the search for extraterrestrial life. Tarter eventually worked for 35 years in the field, and worked her way up to director of the Center for SETI Research. In 1985, Carl Sagan wrote a novel named Contact in which the protagonist, Ellie Arroway, was based on Tarter. Here we meet the real Arroway as Tarter tells us a bit about her life and inspirations.
SolarProphet made a video for "Mr. Blue Sky" by the Electric Light Orchestra by feeding each line of the lyrics separately into the machine learning program Midjourney. The simple song about a day with nice weather can sometimes shift into emotional melodrama as each line is interpreted as a possible book cover. Mr. Blue Sky himself is quite lovely, but Mr. Night is a rendering of our worst nightmares. (via Laughing Squid)
At the juncture of pessimism and obsession lies the habit of overthinking. The minutiae of everyday life does not require excess planning, and the fleeting faux pas does not require guilt. No one else is looking at your life anywhere near that closely. We are so concerned about making the wrong decision that we often end up making no decision at all, which could be worse. At the very least, it wastes your time. The Holderness Family, who achieved offline stardom by winning The Amazing Race earlier this year, shares their theme song with us, a combination rap and children's song about overthinking everything.
A little boy opens a birthday gift and finds that it’s a wooden chopping board. Amazingly, he remarks that it is nice and he’ll use it. And he thanks his parents. Aww!
Then he gets another gift, in a shoebox. His mom mentions that he won’t have to glue his sneakers anymore… which leads us to believe that the family is far from wealthy. The boy thinks he is getting new sneakers and is happy about it -until he sees what’s really in the box. That’s when we who are watching go all verklempt. He’s a good boy. A part of the YouTube description is translated as “"Humility is synonymous with greatness.”
You can see a direct translation of the conversation from a YouTube commenter if you like. (via reddit)
Saturday, August 20, 2022
"Seven Seas of Rhye" is Queen's earliest hit song, from 1974. It's one of those songs you instantly recognize even though you don't hear it much anymore. It reminds me of the bass player who introduced me to Queen. I married him more than 20 years later.
RiffTrax, the successor to MST3K, skewered the 1989 movie The Return of Swamp Thing this week. See the original trailer to get a taste of how over-the-top it was. "He's got a grudge, 'cause they turned him to sludge!" Kevin Murphy and The RiffTones (featuring Brian Murphy) were so inspired by the love story between Swamp Thing and Heather Locklear that they wrote a little song about it. You'll find the full lyrics at Metafilter.