Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Warning: this video may be nightmare-inducing. Or you might just find it hilarious. We know artificial intelligence algorithms are pretty good for writing an essay or producing an illustration for you, but it doesn't do all that well recreating real living animals moving the way animals should. I don't know what program was used to make this video of dogs, but the producer should ask for his money back. From a different YouTuber, here's a cat video generated by an algorithm. It's just as disturbing.
I couldn't post these videos on Supa Fluffy, because people go there to watch real-life cute animals and feel good about it. But you were warned. (via Nag on the Lake)
The internet's favorite cat, Maru, recently celebrated his 16th birthday with his human Mugumogu and his younger roommates Hana and Miri. The party was held in a finely-appointed tent, complete with a bed, rugs, balloons, and party decorations. To celebrate, Maru played with feathers, posed for pictures, listened to birds, and ate special treats with his buddies.
At one point, he went in the house to make some udon noodles (the Japanese cat version of making biscuits) in his own special way. Maru may be a senior cat now, but he's still as charming as ever. (via Fark)
We think of T. rex as the king of dinosaurs, instilling terror into everything around it. But that wasn't necessarily so. In this scene from the TV series Prehistoric Planet, we see a Tyrannosaurus rex munching on the carcass of a sauropod dinosaur. But when he's confronted by a 20-foot-tall pterosaur species called Quetzalcoatlus, he has to consider his own safety. Quetzalcoatlus isn't as massive or as strong as the T. rex, but he sure is pointy. But how do scientists know what would have happened in such a scenario? It's a combination of anatomical studies of those species, plus knowledge of how predators of many different existent species behave. Dinosaurs may not have had large brains, but they knew how to calculate their odds well enough, or they wouldn't have survived as long as they did. Read an explanation of how this scenario was determined at BBC Science Focus. (via Real Clear Science)
George Lucas’ Original Indiana Jones 4 Story Was Even Worse Than Crystal Skull.
The Most Popular Grocery Item, According to Instacart.
Bird's Nests In The Most Random Places, like boots, automobiles, signs, and various equipment .
As a Therapist, I Know What’s Breaking Couples Up. (via Digg)
The same guys who gave us "the hat" a couple months ago now have an aperiodic monotile that goes one better. Behold "the spectre." (via Metafilter)
For Black drivers, a police officer's first 45 words are a portent of what's to come. (via Boing Boing)
Have You Been Misled by ‘Misles’? The Linguistics Behind These Commonly Mispronounced Words.
An Honest Trailer for John Wick: Chapter 4.
Robbie Sherrard brings his strange observations to a pair of women’s underwear. A thong, to be exact. He’s a bit confused. But he's got the perfect product name for them. (via reddit)
Tuesday, May 30, 2023
When we think of time, we think of our daily schedules or maybe a lifetime. But the human mind has a hard time grasping the history of the universe, and the relative blink of an eye that humanity has been around. The 300,000 years that homo sapiens has existed is the main focus of what we call history, and that seems like a long time.
Alex Gorosh and Wylie Overstreet built a timeline of the universe out in the Mojave desert, the only place they could build something that big. But the history of mankind had to be built to a different scale than the 13-billion-year history of the universe before we came along; otherwise, all of human history would be too small to even label. This video tries to explain the concept of that long, long time. (via Kottke)
Three cats, one spilled potted plant. From experience, I would place my bets on the orange cat. But Winnie, Teen, Libby, and Russell are all at least partially orange, and so is the cat called in to investigate! They all look guilty to me. But Detective Bean will find the culprit. It's a bit odd that The Dodo would post a humorous skit instead of their usual fare of sweet real-life pet rescue stories and the occasional wildlife tale, but they found CatManJohn and his four cats, and Bean at TikTok, and couldn't help themselves.
You remember the terrifying outbreak of Ebola virus in 2013, but do you recall the Ebola outbreak of 2021? That's probably because you were more concerned with COVID-19 by then, but it was also because health care professionals had a plan in place to stop Ebola in its tracks by 2021. While the world was dealing with the massive COVID-19 pandemic, several other epidemics were averted by public health systems and rapid response, and that's worth celebrating. The world has learned a lot about fighting diseases in a population, but it takes political will and government funds to keep those systems in place and ready to go to work when needed. (via Geeks Are Sexy)
A young man gets a little nervous as he prepares to propose to his girlfriend. He shakes so bad the ring falls into the sea! That’s when the real adventure begins. Thaddaeus Andreades, Marie Raoult, Nicholas Manfredi, and Elizabeth Ku-Herrero made this as their senior project at the School of Visual Arts.
Monday, May 29, 2023
Hair styles, like clothing, go through trends and fads that sometimes make us look back and say, "What was I thinking?" I've had bangs, mullets, Jheri curls, pixies, and purple hair, but all those pale in comparison to some of the hairstyle fads of history. Some were an attempt at beauty or cutting-edge fashion, while others signified status, either officially or unofficially. Weird History takes us on a ride through time by highlighting some of the more memorable or consequential hairstyles of various places and historical eras.
The phrase "keeping up with the Joneses" is familiar to most of us, and implies the sad but ubiquitous habit of comparing ourselves to those around us. We end up buying and showing off things we cannot afford just to keep up with those who can afford it, and show that we, too, are worthy of status. This applies to houses more than anything else. But who were these enviable Joneses, and what were they showing off?
That would be Elizabeth Jones, a staunch advocate of conspicuous consumption, and her lovely summer home in New York. The house, called Wyndcliffe, sat on 80 acres and was so grand that the area around it near the town of Rhinebeck on the Hudson River became hot property as others tried to, ahem, "keep up with the Joneses." That's where the familiar phrase came from. You might be interested in seeing this grand house and learning what became of it.
Jim Morrison performed his last concert at the Warehouse in New Orleans on December 12, 1970. He was in bad shape from drinking, drugs, and waiting for his trial on obscenity charges. The concert was a disaster, and the band stopped their scheduled tour, lest Morrison perform like that again. He went to Paris to get clean, and was dead at age 27 just a few months later. (via Digg)
The Ghost Army of World War II. (Thanks, WTM!)
The only Jeopardy! contestant worse than Wolf Blitzer in 2009 was Wolf Blitzer in 1997. (via Metafilter)
The Winners of the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year Contest. (via Nag on the Lake)
Everything you ever wanted to know about Dolly Parton and why she should run for president.
The Comedy Stylings of Ancient Sumer and the Oldest Joke in the World. (via Strange Company)
The Case for Room-Temperature Foods. How temperature affects our enjoyment of different dishes.
Beach Art House Party Palace For Sale.
You Aren't Prepared for How Disturbing Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets Is.
How Hot Dogs Became Norway’s National Snack. (via Strange Company)
Now that summer is unofficially here, you might be thinking about getting a swimsuit. Good luck! Summer clothing sold out a month ago. I tried to find a pair of good sandals and the local store had nothing close to my size. Oh well, watch this video, which should be called The Evolution of the Swimsuit, as only about half of them are bikinis, and you'll wish you could get one from the 1930s or '40s. Those are cool. (via Viral Viral Videos)
Sunday, May 28, 2023
The first computer to sing a song was the IBM 7094 in 1961. The song was "Daisy Bell," which i remember learning from my parents even before going to school. When we learned it in music class, that fact that I already knew it made me look just that much weirder to my classmates. This 1961 performance inspired the tense scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey in which the murderous HAL 9000 computer is deactivated.
As the supercomputer loses its working memory, it is left with only its earliest programming, including the song "Daisy Bell." And now we know why that song was used. (via Laughing Squid)
I hear that singer and actor Ed Ames died a week ago. Ames stepped into show business while he was still in high school as a member of The Ames Brothers. Afterward, he became a Broadway actor, then went to TV and played Mingo on the TV series Daniel Boone. Ames also recorded music as a solo artist and continued stage acting. Ed Ames was 95.
Ames is still remembered well into the internet age because of the enduring 1965 clip from The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, seen above. The reaction has been called "the longest sustained laugh by a live audience in television history." And you can see why. (Thanks, gwdMaine!)
Matt Wilson of Perry Township, Indiana, made it a habit over the years to prank his son into embarrassment when he gets off the bus on the last day of school each year. For Liam's last day in eighth grade, Wilson went all out. He arranged for his band, Union Suit Rally, to perform the Alice Cooper song "School's Out" as the bus pulled onto their street.
Liam, however, is less embarrassed now than in previous years. He's finished with eighth grade, and will no longer ride the bus next year when he's in high school. He also probably knows it's pretty cool to have an involved dad who's in a band. I would have loved coming home to such a concert. (via Fark)
Shadowfogkiller posted this picture at reddit, and covalentvagabond replied with a picture he took of the same cat in 2008.
Yo-yo master Luis Orlando Abrajan shows some tricks to a flock of ducklings. They hang on his every move, even when he starts to go really fast! He’s good, but his audience is adorable. Do this a little longer, and they’ll be completely hypnotized! (via Daily Picks and Flicks)
Saturday, May 27, 2023
I don't know what I expected from this, but it's gloriously goofy. Biden, Trump, and Obama are matching wits on Celebrity Jeopardy! They are all three, shall we say, out of their element on the game show. Lousy performance in the game notwithstanding, they all give poor Alex Trebek more than his share of grief. The voices are recreated by artificial intelligence, but the jokes are all the work of YouTuber Artificial Unintelligence, who explores the many ways smart folks can be completely dumb. (via Metafilter)
Zac Alsop got the idea to pit a computerized companion dog against real dogs in a competition, so he splurged on a Unitree Go1 robotic dog, which is quite expensive. Don't go thinking this video is an epic experiment, because while that was the intent, it's actually a comedy of errors as Zac's failures along the way are rather funny and make the video what it is.
The latest song from The Key of Awesome explores our addiction to our phones. After all, they have everything the internet offers, wherever you go, plus you can call someone on it. You can watch this video on your phone -but what where you step! (via Viral Viral Videos)
Friday, May 26, 2023
I well remember first hearing this song. I was familiar with Weird Al Yankovic from the Dr. Demento Show, and had played plenty of his parodies on air. But this was different, because the song parodied ("Jeopardy" by The Greg Kihn Band) was a recent hit and was still in heavy rotation. It was a sign that Weird Al had made it big. That was in 1984, and the TV show Jeopardy! had been off the air for five years. Just a few months after the song was released, Jeopardy! returned with new host Alex Trebek. The rumors started immediately that Yankovic's song had inspired the game show's revival, but it had already been in the works before the song was released. It was pure serendipity, as Yankovic could not resist the obvious pun possibilities in Kihn's song. That, and the music video (which is not embeddable), were completely off my radar in 1984 because I didn't have TV. Since then, "I Lost on Jeopardy!" has been the subject of the Daily Double three times, but was only answered correctly once.
What happens when Curious George grows up, and grows old, but he's still curious? Joel Haver imagines what a tragedy that would be. This video is ridiculous in how melancholy it turns out. You know, he's just a fictional monkey. (via Laughosaurus)
We had Conan the Barbarian in 1982, and Conan the Destroyer in 1984, so does anyone want a third Conan movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger? It can be done, thanks to deepfake technology. The Buff Dudes did it, using a version of Arnold's face from different eras to show Conan as an aged king and in the younger flashback scenes. In this story, Conan is defending his throne from all, or at least some, of those kids he spawned when he was younger. They call this a "concept trailer," although it does a better job at making us want to watch the full movie than most trailers. It's more like the early scenes of a film, just setting up the conflict. Alas, it is not a full movie but a fan film. You can also see a behind-the-scenes look at how the video was made. (via Geeks Are Sexy)
In a Sheep to Shawl competition, you have 5 people, 1 sheep, and 3 hours — good luck! (via Boing Boing)
The 40 Best TV Finales of the 21st Century, Ranked.
What do I do if I don't like a book at the library? A handy step-by-step guide. (via Kottke)
What’s Earth’s oldest animal? DNA study crowns new winner. (via Damn Interesting)
Firefighters Rescue Kitten From a Bridge Construction Hole.
7 Tips for Growing a Native Plant Garden.
Four Times Breakfast Cereal Invaded the World of Physics.
The ten finalists for the Best Illusion of the Year Contest have been selected. You can vote for your favorite. (via Boing Boing)
We’ve seen lots of videos of confrontations between cats and dogs. This is one of those videos on steroids. It turns out pretty much like the rest. Juan Cholo was riding his bike through River Legacy Park in Arlington, Texas, and encountered a bobcat and a coyote, who were busy encountering each other. Neither animal cares a bit that humans were watching. People must be just background noise to them, not a bit helpful, dangerous, or tasty.
Commenters on YouTube talk about seeing such critters as they jog through the park. The joke is that it’s an encouragement to run faster and further. (via Daily Picks and Flicks)
Thursday, May 25, 2023
The fabulous Tina Turner performed with The Ike & Tina Turner Revue on The Ed Sullivan Show in January of 1970 to showcase their new single "Proud Mary." That part about doing it "nice and easy" was added to the act later. And here she is almost 40 years later, performing "Proud Mary" in Arnhem, Netherlands, in 2009. There are singers, there are dancers, and Turner is doing both, still in high heels, at three times the other performers' ages.
I will never forget the day when I was new at a radio station in Tennessee. My boss came into the recording studio I was working in and asked to use the turntable. I said sure and started to leave. He said, no I want you to hear this. He put a record on, but didn't want me to see the label. I heard the opening bars of "Let's Stay Together," and said "Al Green." He said, yeah, but listen to the voice. Pretty soon I said, "Oh wow, is that Tina Turner? I haven't hear her in years!" He said, you know she's a local girl. Really? She was born just down the road in Brownsville.
To put you into the place and time, there were two Top 40 stations in town, and mine was the one that would play both Black and white artists. We played a lot of Tina Turner the whole time I was there.
May she rest in power.
SaveAFox Rescue took in a group of young fox kits from a rescue operation at a fur farm. Some will be staying there permanently, while others will be sent to various fox shelters across the country. They recently introduced the kits to the other foxes in their playground enclosure. At first, Finnegan and Dixie didn't want to have anything to do with the kits, but the female foxes Floofala and Serafina were more friendly, and became instant foster mothers! It wasn't long before they were all having fun together. (via Laughing Squid)
They call this a maze, but in places it resembles a Rube Goldberg contraption, and other parts may remind you of the American Ninja Warrior course. More than anything, this looks like a colorful classic Nintendo game maze. This little guy seems to have fun exploring the ins and outs of this new world as he makes his way through it and back to his normal but luxurious home. He should be used to it; his human Mister Hamster makes these kinds of things all the time. You get the idea he only adopted his hamsters as an excuse to buy lots of plastic toys and build huge labyrinths for him. (via Boing Boing)
Transgender kids just threw an epic prom in Washington, D.C.
Amber the Orangutan Wants to Look at Babies.
15 of the Biggest Cleaning Mistakes People Have Made. Learn how to not destroy whatever it is you're trying to clean.
The True Story of Philip Ashton, Island Castaway.
The Nib is shutting down this summer. Boing Boing has a tribute.
A couple of years ago, Ronnie Brower weighed 675 pounds. His doctor told him he wouldn’t live long like that -he might not even make it to age thirty. Brower took that seriously. He gave up drinking and pills, went on a diet, and worked out. Boy, did he work out! With the help of trainers, he has lost 425 pounds!
Brower is a big Taylor Swift fan, and played her music during his workouts for inspiration. His friend Joe Bufano is taking him to a Taylor Swift concert, and made this video in hopes that she will meet him then. (via Viral Viral Videos)
Wednesday, May 24, 2023
Forty-nine years ago, Steve Martin did this on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Martin was pretty wacky, but not as wacky as Carson's suit. The kicker is seeing Sammy Davis, Jr. on the same show and realizing that the entire bit is about Sammy's act.
Some think wearing shoes is a matter of civilization or fashion. But there's also hot sand and pavement, the danger of stepping on LEGO bricks, glass, or bees (a particular childhood memory of mine), and of course the fact that it gets cold in the winter. When I was young, it only took two weeks or so every spring to build the callouses I needed to walk on gravel or hot pavement, but as an adult I mostly wear sandals. Should we all just ditch shoes and go barefoot? SciShow goes over the research that says yes, at least for children and maybe for athletes. The rest of us would probably do well to kick off our shoes and feel the air on our feet more often, if just for the psychological boost. But make sure you are up-to-date on your tetanus shot. This video is only five minutes long; the rest is an ad. (via Digg)
The upcoming movie Killers of the Flower Moon received a nine-minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival Saturday. It tells the story of the Osage Indian murders. In a bit of cosmic karma, Native Americans who had been forcibly relocated to a reservation in Oklahoma discovered oil reserves in 1897 and the Osage people grew wealthy. By the 1920s, that oil was increasingly valuable, and more than 60 Osage of all ages were murdered or died under mysterious circumstances, with their wealth inherited by white relatives or assigned guardians. Eventually, the FBI investigated.
Director Martin Scorsese tells the story from two perspectives: an overview of the history of the FBI, and a more intimate focus on two historical characters, Ernest Burkhart (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his wife Mollie Kyle Burkhart (Lily Gladstone). This approach resulted in 206-minute movie! Digg has a roundup of review highlights, with links to full reviews.
Since the producers of Killers of the Flower Moon did not fictionalize the character's names, reading the historical account of the Osage murders will reveal spoilers for the somewhat-mysterious teaser trailer, but it only made me want to see the movie more.
Tuesday, May 23, 2023
The Daily Show is off air due to the writer's strike, so Ronnie Chieng talked with Roy Wood, Jr. about his viral 2016 response to a racist Jesse Watters piece on Fox News. You probably recall it, but they show it again anyway to refresh our memories, then talk about the response in Chinatown and how the piece came together.
The bear cuscus is an animal you may never have heard of before. It is not a bear, and is not to be confused with couscous. A bear cuscus is an Indonesian marsupial of the possum suborder that has fur like a bear, acts like a sloth, and is often conflated with the slow loris, which is a primate. To the layman, a cuscus is like a mixture of all kinds of animals in one species just minding its own business. The bear cuscus looks like a pretty generic mammal, which causes some confusion. There are other cuscus species that are more colorful and specialized, some that resemble monkeys and others that will remind you of shrews. The many species of cuscuses are another indicator of how animals, especially marsupials, can evolve and diversify magnificently when they aren't pressured by predators. That has changed with imported invasive predators and human activity encroaching on their habitats.
A shake table is not where you pick up your milkshake, nor is it furniture for a strip club. The shake table at the University of California San Diego is a stretch of ground intricately engineered to simulate an earthquake. Underground pressure pipes are constantly upgraded to cause different kinds of tremors so their effects can be studied. The last time Tom Scott visited the shake table, they tested a ten-story building with innovative architectural features designed to withstand an earthquake. So you can see that it has to be extremely strong, plus it must have plenty of redundant safety features for the sake of the engineers who work there and for the expensive items they test. Not to mention, the shake table itself has to survive the work it does.
When do humans become conscious — in the womb or after birth? (via Real Clear Science)
Orcas have sunk 3 boats in Europe and appear to be teaching others to do the same. But why? (via Damn Interesting)
30 Times People Wanted To Impress Their Special Someone By Cooking For Them But It Ended In Disaster. Beware, there are some pictures of food that no one can confidently identify.
Gen Z just wants a stable job. Young people are suddenly interested in working for the military industrial complex. (via Digg)
Alec Guinness Had Strict Requests For His Work In Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. It paid off handsomely. (via Boing Boing)
From Where the Sun Now Stands. The Real Story of Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce War.
Loz, of the Shonky Brothers, managed to record his own fart sound. And it wasn’t just any fart sound, but a magnificent multi-note series that he manipulated into a song. One that you can download as a ringtone, believe it or not. The video has few images, but does feature a non-stop barrage of fart jokes in text to accompany the story of the one fart that finally gave them a viral video. (via Viral Viral Videos)
Monday, May 22, 2023
Even the most outlandish legends and cryptids may be traced to real experiences that made a good story for someone somewhere. A good story tends to get larger with each telling, and details are added when different people try to translate them or pass those stories down to younger people who have less context. A string of unreliable narrators can easily transform a natural phenomena that no one understands into a fantastic fairy tale. Weird History take a look at a whole string of mythical creatures, from cyclops to vampires to unicorns, and ties them to plausible natural but misunderstood origins.
The Cut staged a speed dating game for older people. It's but awkward in places because older people don't really like the pressure of meeting others just for the purpose of evaluating whether to start a romantic relationship. On the other hand, I can tell you from experience that they don't want to waste time with someone they aren't compatible with in any way. In this sequence, there's an awful lot of rejection, and they aren't averse to explaining it. It's a snap decision, after all. But we finally get to a meeting between two people and find the one fact that makes them perfect for each other. You may be surprised, but you'll understand when you hear it. (via Digg)
It’s Been 14 Years Since I Went to Culinary School—These are the Lessons I’ll Never Forget (via Digg)
Humanity’s First Recorded Kiss Was Earlier Than We Thought.
Raccoon Uses the Drive-Through Window. https://supafluffy.com/p/raccoon-uses-the-drive-through-window
Hospitals in Two States Denied an Abortion to a Miscarrying Patient. Investigators Say They Broke Federal Law. (via Fark)
Someone Stole Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers in 2005. Now, a Minnesota Man Has Been Charged.
Australia once had real drop bears- 15 million years ago. (via Metafilter)
A Succinct Description of Fast X.
This Was One of the Most Famous Faces of the 17th Century. But we’re only starting to learn the facts of artist Juan de Pareja’s life.
Here’s another feline lip dub masterpiece from Faireset! A cat named Amaron is trying to seduce a lovely lady cat by reciting Shakespeare’s prose from Romeo and Juliet en Francaise -as well as he can recall it. He does a pretty good job, too, until he starts to feel a nap coming on. (via Tastefully Offensive)