Monday, July 31, 2023
This video from Weird History goes more than nine minutes before it addresses the actual question of why the US doesn't completely operate on the metric system. Up to that point, we get the history of trying to set a standard for weights and measures in the United States from its founding. That history is essentially that congress didn't want to put in the work at first, and later on decided it was too expensive to change what people were already doing. Then it boils down to what we already know- Americans are a contrary bunch and don't like to be told what to do. Also, Some of us are lazy and don't want to go to the effort of learning a new system, while others of us have no problem understanding both systems, even the difficult one.
You might be aware that Vantablack is the blackest color humans have produced. It absorbs up to 99.96 percent of light, but you can't get it because its use is restricted to one artist. But you can buy Musou black paint, which absorbs up to 99.4 percent of light. The effect of either is surreal, as if Photoshop were involved, because we are used to painted surfaces reflecting light. Or any surface for that matter.
James Orgill of The Action Lab had been experimenting with Musou black paint. But then he found that Musou black comes in a fabric, too! So he covered a car in the fabric called Kiwami, which seems like velvet, except there is no part that ever shines like velvet, from any angle. Then he took the car out to show off, both in daylight and at night. I wouldn't want to drive this car in dim twilight without the headlights on. Then he eventually finds out how much light it takes to get a reflection from this fabric. This video is only five minutes long. The rest is an ad. (via Born in Space)
Mongolia’s ‘Forbidden Zone’ Is Guarding an 800-Year-Old Secret. Is the vast Khan Khentii Strictly Protected Area the final resting place of Genghis Khan?
How I Became A Modern Bootlegger. An essay on the allure of illegal professions. (via Damn Interesting)
The curious history of the dancing chicken in Werner Herzog's 1977 film Stroszek.
This is why you don't feed wildlife.
The Detroit Cotillion. "The Cotillion Society has worked to reframe the ball not as an antiquated mating ritual but as a launching pad for the girls’ academic and professional ambitions. " (via Metafilter)
The Most Popular Baby Names in Countries Around the World. (via Digg)
Seven Techniques to Avoid Regaining Weight After a Diet.
Everyone is Crazy About Tater Tot.
Sunday, July 30, 2023
Wouldn't it be great to live in a liquor store? There are people around all the time, and you have all the cardboard you can eat! Amanda took in a stray cat, named her Betty, and then put her to work at Liquor Barn. The problem is that Betty thinks of the store as her home, and not her job. Try as they might, the staff cannot get a good day's work out of Betty. She naps on the job, and recommends terrible wine to customers. But she's a happy cat, and customers love to see Betty doing the absolute minimum to keep her job. She'd rather taste the box than the wine, but at least she doesn't knock the tasting cups off the table. She more of Betty hard at work at Instagram.
When the US government launched the Manhattan Project during World War II, they went all out to recruit the best scientists available. That's how they found J. Robert Oppenheimer and why there's a movie about him now. But the untold story involves a scientist you may know who was right there in New Mexico already. Alternative Cuts in not afraid to tell the story of how Walter White lent his expertise to the making of the atomic bomb, quite enthusiastically, as it turns out. White was omitted from the history books because he's shy and really didn't want the publicity. (via Laughing Squid)
Cats love to cause chaos by overturning your wastebasket and knocking things off shelves and tables. They get even worse when you aren’t looking! Not to be confused with Garbage Cat, Trash Cat is Kelsey Goldych's senior animation project at the Savannah College of Art and Design. (via Tastefully Offensive)
Saturday, July 29, 2023
"It Don't Come Easy" by Ringo Starr will always remind me of hanging out at the city pool in the summer of 1971, when I was 12 and beginning to really notice boys. It was on the radio often, and the pool kept the radio on the loudspeakers all the time, except when they ordered everyone out of the pool for one reason or another. That was the summer Junior Jackson kissed me and gave me his watch with the leather fringe and told me we were going steady. That lasted a few days before he asked for it back so he could give it to another girl. I don't know when this video was made. Starr uploaded it 14 years ago, and I'm just now seeing it for the first time. It could have been constructed in the 21st century with archival footage, or anytime since 1971 for that matter.
Denali, in Alaska, is the tallest mountain in the United States. In 1906, Frederick Cook claimed to have reached the summit, which would make him the first to do so. However, no one believed him, especially after his photographic proof was identified as a different location (Cook later claimed to have been the first man to reach the North Pole). Alaskan miner Thomas Lloyd was skeptical about Cook's claims and said he could do better than Cook. The bartender replied, "Tom, you are too old and too fat to climb to the top of Denali."
There's nothing that will light a fire under a man like someone telling him he can't do something. And that was the beginning of the Sourdough Expedition of 1910, in which four guys with no climbing experience went up Denali and lived to tell about it. But if a movie were to be made about the expedition, it would be a comedy, as David Friedman of Ironic Sans explains. See, no one believed any of the four had reached the summit, and they had plenty of reasons to be skeptical. (via Laughing Squid)
I had never heard of the Magnus Effect before, but if it explains this weird flying basketball, clue me in! Derek Muller shows us how his buddies threw a basketball off the top of the Gordon Dam in Tasmania to see what would happen. A little backspin made all the difference. It turns out that you can do all kinds of things by harnessing the Magnus Effect. Cool! (via Viral Viral Videos)
If you'd just turn your phone to landscape mode to take video in the first place, you wouldn't have to twist it around. (via Everlasting Blort)
Weekend plans pic.twitter.com/Cc3V4fsXxR— Scott Kerr (@scott_kerr) July 21, 2023
Friday, July 28, 2023
This is from a 1964 episode of The Twilight Zone called "The Brain Center at Whipple's." You can read a synopsis of the entire episode at Wikipedia. It features an appearance by Robby the Robot, who was in five different Twilight Zone episodes. (via reddit)
Before the 16th century, art depicted subjects that were important: religious imagery, mythological figures, and portraits of wealthy people who could pay for a painting. After all, those were the people who were paying for the art. But when life changed in the 16th century, art changed as well. The philosophical schools of thought expanded concern for the unwashed masses, and the process of printing made art more accessible to regular people. Not only that, but artists themselves found they could shape public thought by showing how regular folks lived. This was popularized by Dutch artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder, who made prints of everyday scenes that appealed to a wider audience. His later paintings were from his own viewpoint of the world, and were often satire. From that point, it became commonplace for artists to depict the world as it was, instead of just what they were commissioned to paint.
This video is only four minutes long. The rest is advertising. (via Nag on the Lake)
It's long been a fact of life that if we are lucky enough to grow old, our hair will either turn gray or fall out. Or both. In recent years, the stigma of having gray hair is not as dire as it used to be, and gray hair has become kind of chic among young people. This shift ironically coincides with new research that shows why hair turns gray, and how we can stop it from doing so. Further medical research shows that hair that has already turned gray can, in some cases, start to grow in color again.
Fortunately, most people already know a shortcut to covering gray hair, or changing one's hair color completely. It comes in a bottle and you can even do it at home, as I have off and on since I was a teenager. Now that my hair is partially white, I have expanded my palette to include a range of shockingly unnatural hues. But I can see the value in this research, as it contributes to our understanding of how our bodies work at the cellular level. (via Geeks Are Sexy)
Leendert Hasenbosch: The Gay Soldier Who Was Marooned on a Deserted Island.
South Pole Signage. The Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica has many ways to transfer unique knowledge to newcomers. (via Metafilter)
This Fried Chicken is Actually Ice Cream in Disguise.
The Orthodontist's Grand Entrance.
Writhing, Gren, & Diferent. Miscommunication cakes, including one with the original mangled order form.
Jonathan Frakes Looks Back at His Star Trek TV Directing Career, From Next Generation to the Strange New Worlds’-Lower Decks Crossover.
Tiny Roman dog remains found during Oxford archaeological dig. Maybe the phrase "get a long little doggie" had meaning long before the dachshund breed was perfected. (via Fark)
Napa County’s largest lake covers 1.6 million acre-feet—and submerged an entire town. Dorothea Lange photographed the flooding of the valley in the 1950s. (via Metafilter)
Kevin Libertowski is a basketball trick shot artist, but even he was astounded that this one worked.
I made this shot from a trampoline over 60 feet away from the hoop I was shooting on. The shot starts off with a ball in my hands and another in between my legs. I then back flip releasing the ball in my hands towards the hoop, then go immediately into a front flip while exchanging the ball from my legs to my hands, then wait to rotate around a bit and shoot the second shot at the hoop while still in my front flip. Each shot reaches the hoop at the exact same time colliding inside the net for a double swish.It would have been tragic if any of the cameras had failed on this one shot. Yes, he made many attempts before getting it just right. (via Uproxx)
Thursday, July 27, 2023
When a song is good, it can sound good in any genre, by any talented band. This is a country version, but you may ask "which country?" That would be the United Kingdom, which is where the group Remember Monday is from. Yes, it's a bit different from the Queen version, but they do it justice and then some. (via Memo of the Air)
Is risking your life to be attractive ever worth it? maybe, if you've been taught that beauty is the only thing you have to offer, or if everyone around you is doing the same risky thing, or if you have no idea how dangerous an everyday beauty regimen can be. Society has gone through many cycles of less-than-healthy beauty fads, from makeup made of lead and arsenic to eating disorders. Weird History focuses in on some unhealthy trends of the Victorian era, namely consumption chic, corsets, arsenic baths, and dangerous makeup ingredients. While we can look back and say "What were they thinking?" we also have to wonder what we are doing today that will cause people of the future, say a hundred years from now, to say the same about us.
Americans tend to drive large vehicles. We like our cars to be roomy, powerful, and safe like a tank. There's also something to be said for having a car that you can load up with furniture or building supplies when you need to. And of course, there's the idea of conspicuous consumption, because a gas guzzler indicates you can afford a lot of gasoline, and a bigger truck looks both expensive and manly. But it's not just pickup trucks and luxury cars that are taking over America's streets. The rise of the SUV over the last few decades means that economy cars are dwarfed by big cars even at the grocery store or the school pickup line.
But the trend toward trucks and SUVs was not all due to consumers. Vox looked into the history of SUVs and found that a combination of government regulations and auto manufacturers moves in response led to the development of the SUV and a massive surge in sales of larger vehicles. Once the market was established, SUVs gave way to crossovers. And since fuel efficiency has risen across the spectrum, and US gas prices are lower than in most of the rest of the world, these big vehicles may be here to stay. (via Digg)
27 Common Misconceptions About Everyday Life.
Oyen the Orange Cat Is Officially Part of This Malaysian Capybara Herd.
Death on the Driver’s Side. (via Strange Company)
Exaggerated Fruit On Vintage Postcards. Back when you had to do Photoshop in your photo shop. (via Everlasting Blort)
Get a Look at the New Sequel to The Exorcist.
Lucky Ducky in "That's Entertainment!" The latest from Tom the Dancing Bug.
How the Kentucky Cave Wars Reshaped the State’s Tourism Industry.
French Titles of American Movies Are in English. See if you can figure out why from the examples.
Ethan Scott has been colorblind all his life. Some colors are muted for him, and others he’s never seen -like purple. Then his friends got together and bought him a pair of those new EnChroma glasses that allow colorblind people to see colors. They didn’t tell him what the glasses were, so we get to see his complete surprise as he discovers what the world is supposed to look like. He gets a little emotional. Contains some NSFW language. (via Viral Viral Videos)
Wednesday, July 26, 2023
Laurence Brown of Lost in the Pond has been an American citizen for the better part of a year now. He's got an American wife, a house in the suburbs, a dog, and he's finally got time to sit down and tell us how he feels about being an American.
Poor Kona was rejected by three families. First, her original family abandoned her and her three puppies. They all went to a shelter, and the puppies found homes, but Kona was adopted and rejected two more times! Asa took her home forever, where Kona's real talents came to light. See, Asa is a foster mom to kittens from the shelter, and Kona became a foster mother, too, to every one of them. Kona loves the kittens and they love her. You can see more of Kona and all the foster kittens at Instagram.
You know those cute aliens who do everything earthlings do, except they use very literal language that makes us laugh? They love each other, their three-eyed dogs, and their vibrating cats. Their creator, Nathan W. Pyle has teamed up with Dan Harmon to brings those aliens to TV, and here's the official trailer. The series Strange Planet will premiere on Apple+ streaming on August 9th. (via Fark)
Lilo the Husky lives with two other huskies and a few cats. The family took in a weak and lethargic three-week-old foster kitten, and Lilo became her surrogate mother! Rosie the kitten thrived under Lilo’s affection, and has regained her health. The dog and cat are bonded now, and Rosie has been made a permanent member of the family.
Rosie has taken on some canine habits, and considers herself a member of the husky tribe. Read the story of Lilo and Rosie at HuffPo, and see plenty of pictures and video of their adorable lives at lilothehusky on Instagram.
Tuesday, July 25, 2023
The new song from Claud Mintz is "A Good Thing" in more ways than one. The song is a real toe-tapper, but the video is a mini-film featuring Paul Rudd as a clueless mail carrier who has a ferret with an eye problem. But that's not what the video is about at all. It's about Claud, and the gift from their girlfriend. There's a cat who looks exactly like my Marshmallow, and then things get weird. When the song was over, I had to look up the lyrics to see what it is about. It's a normal love/angst song, but I couldn't follow because I was busy concentrating on what was happening in the video. Which is both cute and funny. "A Good Thing"is from the album Supermodels. (via Nag on the Lake)
Isn't it nice when a human swing set comes with a swing that's bear size? Alena and her family live in the foothills of California, where human living borders on wildlife territory. Trees, water features, and a camera in her backyard led to a series of videos of wildlife encounters. Bobcats, raccoons, birds, deer, opossums, and foxes all come and visit, but a family of bears has especially come to see her yard as a playground. She knows them all by name. This one is called Pumpkin.
You can see more of the bears' shenanigans at YouTube, and plenty of different critters having a drink, or a playtime break, in Alena's backyard at Instagram.
To understand this story, you'll need to see last week's video in which bears test bear-resistant trash cans at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center. A bear looting a trash can made off with Tom's GoPro camera, and I made a remark about it being a write-off. But there's more to the story. Tim commented that the camera should be okay since GoPros are fairly waterproof. But are they bear-proof? After all, that's what the testing center is for. Miraculously, the camera was later recovered from the bear pond, and it more or less worked. So this week we get to see the footage from the camera that the bear chewed on.
The Slovenian band Laibach does oddly militaristic versions of well-known songs, as well as their own tunes. Their music styling and video imagery are parodic, actually “a critique of totalitarian ideology,” but somehow they were still invited to North Korea to become the first foreign band to perform there, with two concerts in Pyongyang in August. Of course, no one will dare explain the joke to Dear Leader. (via Metafilter)
Monday, July 24, 2023
Believe it or not, buffalos do not have wings, and Buffalo wings are not made of buffalo meat. That's the usual joke, but these spicy chicken wings were created in Buffalo, New York. And... that's about the only fact we can assert with absolute confidence. Were they created by Teressa Bellissimo at the Anchor bar in 1964? Or was it John Young at Wings 'N Things in 1961? We may never know the exact truth. But the city of Buffalo has benefitted greatly from the wings and their popularity. Two hometown guys took the idea nationwide with Buffalo Wild Wings. Other sports bars started selling Buffalo wings, and the dish became known as the perfect snack to eat while watching sports. Chicken producers in general benefited, too, as the smallest part of the chicken went from almost useless to a valuable commodity, especially around Super Bowl time. You have to admit, wings are a lot more appetizing with the tip gone and the elbow separated. Throw in some spicy sauce to make you forget there's hardly any meat on them, and you've got a hit.
Unbelievable tale of a gentleman's unfortunate bottle encounter. There was a scientifically plausible explanation as to how he got his penis stuck in it.
John Cotta: An Early, Failed Forensic Toxicologist? (via Strange Company)
Street Artist Frankey Adds Clever Elements to Urban Objects
A Spiritual Revisiting of the Lost Beatles Ashram. Abandoned for decades, people never stopped going there.
Surprising No One, Toxic Men Are Being Weird About Barbie Online.
Something in space has been lighting up every 20 minutes since 1988. (via Metafilter, where many tongue-in-cheek explanations are offered)
A Retro Candy-Colored Dream House. In case you've always wanted to live in a Barbie colored home from the Oppenheimer era.
Titanic Thompson: The Golfer Who Married Five Women and Murdered Five Men. (via Strange Company)
We have little cameras attached to everything: to cars and helmets as a defense, to animals for LOLs, to public places for security, to microscopes and probes for research purposes, and to inanimate objects for all sorts of reasons.
Bill Parker attached a GoPro camera to a Jedi Knight to record his point of view as he goes about his day wielding a light saber, using the Force, fighting stormtroopers and other Imperial enemies, and restoring justice to the galaxy. You know, normal everyday stuff that the Jedi do. (via Viral Viral Videos)
Sunday, July 23, 2023
As a kid reading Laura Ingalls Wilder stories, I was fascinated to read about making maple syrup and snow candy. It seemed so neat that you could go collect tree juice from the forest and make candy from it! But that was 150 years ago, and she saw it from a child's view. Making proper grade A maple syrup takes a lot of work and expertise, but more importantly, it takes time. Forty years to grow a sugar maple tree, although you can skip that if you're lucky. Weeks of gathering sap, which must be done at just the right time, and you'd better get a year's worth when you do it. Many hours of filtering and reducing each gallon of sap. It's no wonder then, that grade A maple syrup can cost $200 a gallon, and that tiny bottle at the grocery will cost you $15. In this video, Jeffrey Schad and Ashley Ruprecht of Laurel & Ash Farm in New York take us through the process of producing maple syrup, from the trees to the table.
Tyler Crawford was the victim of a road rage incident last month. The rager punched his window in such a useless and rhythmic way that he's become a TikTok meme. The meme has reached its apex when The Kiffness got hold of it, putting himself in the place of The White Stripes when inspiration hits.
While the original incident was pretty scary, Crawford indicates that the man has been identified by police. The judicial system may give him a light sentence, but he will spend eternity as an internet joke.
Saturday, July 22, 2023
Home Economics just bought a house, and decided to throw a party. They've invited every subject they know, and a few they've forgotten. They've also forgotten how none of those subjects get along with each other at all. It's a silly premise, but these interactions will take you back to your school days. It's the latest nonsense from Foil Arms and Hogg.
Amelia and Arnold are Canada geese who live in a pond near the New England Wildlife Center in South Weymouth, Massachusetts. Canada geese normally mate for life, and these two were well known locally. But then Arnold was injured in what was believed to be an attack by a snapping turtle. He was taken into the nearby hospital for surgery. It wasn't long before Amelia was knocking on the door, looking for Arnold! The clinic staff arranged for Amelia to be the first thing Arnold saw when he awoke from surgery. They then moved Arnold to recover near a window where Amelia could see him, and they shared meals together under supervision, until Arnold was discharged back to the pond. Read more about Arnold and Amelia at Bored Panda.
The first trailer for The Walking Dead spinoff featuring everyone's favorite character was unveiled Friday at San Diego Comic-Con. The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon was designed completely around Norman Reedus' character Daryl, who wakes up to find himself inexplicably in France. It is only explained by the cryptic phrase "a bunch of bad decisions," although it was obviously in a boat. We don't learn much about the plot, but it seems to involve Daryl being charged with protecting a young girl on a journey, which echoes the plot of so many other adventures, like The Last of Us, 64, Game of Thrones... and many others. But that doesn't make it a bad story. The visuals are beautiful, for a zombie apocalypse, and a whole slew of new characters and unfolding mysteries in a different world is quite attractive. The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon is ready for a six-episode run beginning on September 10th, and has already been renewed for a second season. (via Gizmodo)
Friday, July 21, 2023
As someone whose knowledge of world history is mostly self-taught, I must admit that I occasionally mix up Attila the Hun with Genghis Khan. They were both imperial conquerors from the east, both fierce warriors, both known by their titles instead of their birth names, both considered to be barbarian (by those they conquered), and both have unknown burial places thanks to lots of witnesses being murdered. But Genghis Khan lived 600 years later, and had a well-documented life. Not so for Attila. The Huns didn't write anything down, and the people who did write about them hated Attila. So in this mini-biography of Attila the Hun, you will hear "maybe" and "possibly" a lot. What we know about him is swamped by what we don't know for sure. (via Digg)
The Golden Retriever Club of Scotland arranged for a reunion of Goldens at Guisachan House in Glen Affric, Scotland. That is the place where the breed was founded, 155 years ago. Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks, later known as Lord Tweedmouth, produced the golden retriever breed. Guisachan House is now a ruin, but the goldens gather there every five years to mark their anniversary. The four-day event was held last weekend and drew 300 golden retrievers and their owners. A good time was had by all. (via Fark)
In the 1940s, around 300 babies were born with the address of P.O. Box 1663, Santa Fe, New Mexico. If that happened today, some blogger would be investigating it, but this was wartime. All the mail that came to that box was trucked further up into the desert to a secret town of several thousand people called Los Alamos. Just a few years earlier, it had been empty desert except for a residential school for cowboys, but it suddenly became the scientific center of the Manhattan Project. No one knew how long the war would last, or how long it would take to develop the atomic bomb, so Los Alamos was home for as long as it needed to be. Today, Los Alamos is a city of 12,000 people, many of whom work at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. You can't keep a secret forever.
My grandfather worked at one of those secret cities, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, during World War II. My mother was seven at the time. She later became one of the inordinate number of people from that age and place to develop thyroid cancer. Mom was successfully treated, but might not have been diagnosed early enough if she hadn't been a Peace Corps volunteer.
Flood Damaged Cars Are Coming To Your Local Facebook Marketplace.
The Fastest Wiener in the West.
Telephone operation was a good career for women. Then it got automated. (via Damn Interesting)
You Hauled the Whole Farmers Market—Now What? Learn the best ways to store, ripen, and schedule your produce for eating.
The Sad Tale of Ethelbert the Orca.
Pictograms Gone Wild. See if you can figure this sign out.
According to his obituary, Craig Johnstone Kingsbury led a singularly full and interesting life. (via Metafilter)