Thursday, August 31, 2023
In the spots where the World Trade Center towers once stood, there is now a memorial to those we lost on September 11, 2001. It includes a museum and two massive pools of water below ground level, about an acre each, with waterfalls all around. The names of 2,983 victims from both 9/11 and from the 1993 WTC bombing are inscribed on parapets surrounding the pools. When the memorial closes at 8PM a dedicated crew gets to work maintaining it. This means cleaning the water, which collects leaves, dust, and debris every day, including some trash. They also brush up the algae and filter the water. The bronze plates with the inscribed names are also cleaned, and sometimes they have to repair acts of vandalism. The crew takes their work quite seriously, to make sure this sacred space is pristine when more visitors begin to arrive every morning at eight.
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum will hold special events for the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The schedule is here. (via Laughing Squid)
Among the many places people have lived that ended up underwater, there was once a big stretch of land between Britain and continental Europe, from northern France to Denmark. This area is now called Doggerland. We had no clue about it until the early 20th century, but now we regularly find more artifacts from Doggerland. Neanderthals lived there, and modern humans later on, as well as plenty of animals. But what happened to Doggerland? There are plenty of hypotheses, which might have all been true over time, as the land was cut up into pieces before it was completely consumed by the ocean. Somehow Britain and Ireland survived, but who knows what may happen in the next few thousand years? This video is only eight minutes long; the rest is promotional.
Apologies for the headline, but you cannot approach the Octopus Garden without the Beatles song playing in your head. The garden is two miles deep at Davidson Seamount, an area in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California. This is a popular nesting ground for the pearl octopus (Muusoctopus robustus), and may contain as many as 20,000 octopuses and their eggs. The Octopus Garden is the largest octopus nesting area is the largest ever discovered. It was first noticed in 2018, but with new technology, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) has gotten an up close look.
Why do octopuses come here to nest? The garden is among the remains of an extinct volcano, where there are thermal vents that warm the water. At that depth, you would expect water temperatures to hover around 35°F (1.6°C), but those thermal vents bring the surrounding water up to 51°F (11°C). The warmer water causes octopus eggs to mature much faster, which shockingly takes years anyway. MBARI has much more on these octopuses at their website. (via Metafilter)
Scientists Treat Severe Injuries in One Eye With Stem Cells From the Other. (via Damn Interesting)
This is so dumb I have to share it. Turn the sound on.
Naomi Klein writes about the horror of being mistaken for Naomi Wolf.
30 Behind-the-Scenes Facts About Star Wars. Actually 29, since one is repeated.
Sad Hill Cemetery. Its 5,000 or so graves contain no bodies, just a great story.
How to make school life a little less difficult for kids. Actually useful ways to help children with homework, bullying, and mental health.
The Rise and Fall of the Mormon King of Beaver Island.
Generation Gaps. The latest from Tom the Dancing Bug.
Jason Frost and Brandon Key went fishing on the Black Warrior River in Alabama. They didn’t expect to see kittens swimming toward them as if desperate for a boat ride! Frost posted the video to Facebook, where he said,
I really don't know how to describe this video, but the Warrior River never fails to surprise me......this puts a new spin on the term "catfishing"Both kittens already have new homes. (via Time)
Wednesday, August 30, 2023
Imagine being at an airport, bored and frustrated, and you see a parade of very good boys on a field trip. You're in luck! That was the scene recently at the San Diego International Airport when a group of students from Canine Support Teams showed up for class. These golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers are in training to become service dogs, and a day at the airport is part of their education. The dogs are there to get familiar with an airport, the crowds, and the special features like security. They also got to board a plane to see what that's all about. Around 80% of these dogs will eventually be paired with veterans. The service dogs will help enable those with disabilities to travel, when that may have been impossible before. (via Fark)
The all-you-can-eat buffet all but disappeared during the first years of COVID-19, but has sprung back up all over America. This video from Mashed explains the tricks that restaurants serving those buffets are designed to break even on unlimited food by filling you up quickly, before you down three plates of roast beef. Well, that's in the first half. The rest of the video is to help you select healthier foods when you are confronted with a cornucopia of choices. It's true that people often approach a buffet with the idea of getting the most for their money, but that's not always the best strategy.
Instead of trying to game the system by eating too much, or eating the more expensive food, maybe you should focus on the overall experience. First, consider what kind of food the place has, and is that something you will enjoy. Find out how much the all-you-can-eat costs before you go, so you won't feel challenged when you get there. Take into account that you won't be taking home leftovers as you would a regular sit-down restaurant. If you are still psyched up for the experience, go for it.
Also, be aware that there are other benefits from an all-you-can-eat buffet. When my kids were young enough to eat free, a buffet was the perfect place for them to try a tiny bit of new foods, without the risk of buying a whole jar of something that they would hate. It was also a cost-effective way to feed my husband, who was 6'6" and could easily eat enough for three people. My strategy was to select foods that were difficult to recreate at home. But now that I live alone, I prefer ordering from a menu, knowing that I will take half of my dinner home for another meal. (via Digg)
I dunno about this. It doesn’t look quite safe to me. But it must have turned out all right, because the entire video descriptions says,
Witness the awesome pulling power of Dodge trucks.Pulling down a tree with a truck is not a recommended tactic. You might save some money by not hiring a professional, but getting flattened, no matter how small the chance, can be a devastating consequence.
(via Everlasting Blort)
Legendary broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson has died at the age of 88.— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) August 17, 2023
Of the many incredible guests he interviewed over the years, he said boxer Muhammad Ali was his favourite.
Here's a clip from one of those memorable interviews from our @BBCArchive pic.twitter.com/3LaC7ckoBV
Tuesday, August 29, 2023
When I saw the headline for the video, I expected that a company's building was so crowded that someone got shifted into an elevator the way a new hire is sometimes assigned a closet for an office. But this was very deliberate, and honestly very cool. The building is the Baťa Skyscraper in Zlín, Czechia. It was built in 1939, 16 stories of state-of-the-art architecture. The elevator office, built for the Bata Shoe company's president, is the ultimate corner office, one that can move to any floor when he wants. Yes, it is equipped with electricity, phones, and running water!
Alas, the history of the elevator office was complicated by the fact that it was completed in 1939 in Czechoslovakia. We are lucky that in 2023, the office is accessible because it is now part of the building's museum, and Tom Scott went there to show it to us.
The Sticky History of Baklava.
What your hands say about your health. Changes in your fingernails' shape, color, or texture should be checked out. (via Real Clear Science)
The Gruesome History of Ohio’s “Fingers in the Jar.” Three of Mary Bach’s fingers, hacked off by her murderous husband in 1881, were displayed in a jar for more than a century in Bowling Green, Ohio. (via Strange Company)
An Amazingly Simple Home with a Genius Design.
Teddy's in Trouble Again. A golden retriever tries to raise money to pay for the toy he destroyed.
Live worm found in Australian woman’s brain in world-first discovery. (via Damn Interesting)
You put the pumpkin spice WHERE?
Wrecked Supercar Carrier Spills Lamborghini, Ferrari, Audi R8, and More. Oops.
Monday, August 28, 2023
Following the death of Bob Barker on Saturday, the internet is digging up some gems from the long history of The Price is Right. This sequence is from 1978, when they recreated scenes from Star Wars (within a budget) to show off their daily showcase prizes. Keep in mind that there was only one Star Wars movie at the time, and we didn't know much about that family who lived long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away. (via Neatorama)
Sometimes the best way to deal with the loss of a loved one is to direct that love to others. After this family lost their son to muscular dystrophy, they heard about a disabled kitten that needed a home. Luke has spina bifida, and cannot use his hind legs. The family took him in and found out how sweet and loving he is. Luke thrived in a safe and caring home, and is now the boss, even though he doesn't act like it. He inspired the family to take in more disabled cats, and they now have a house full of them! They also advocate for disabled cats everywhere. You can follow their adventures at Instagram.
The production of beer goes back to the beginnings of agriculture, and there are experts who think that the desire for alcoholic beverages actually led to the development of agriculture. but while this video from Weird History Food starts off with the origins of beer, it doesn't claim to be a comprehensive history, not does it proceed in a linear fashion. Rather, it's a collection of anecdotes from the drink's extensive history, kind of like a highlight reel. One thing that stands out is the availability of some historic recipes and beers recreated from earlier famous lagers and ales. And one ice cream. (via Laughing Squid)
Cat-astrophe! 5 Times Cats Made the Police News. (via Strange Company)
What's the World's Oldest Language? (via Digg)
The Early History of Counting. How ancient peoples learned to keep a tally. (via Damn Interesting)
11 Fictional Bands Who Scored Very Real Hit Songs.
50 Times Men Were Completely Unaware Of The Female Experience.
'Miracle house' owner hopes it will serve as a base for rebuilding Lahaina. And now you are thinking about getting a metal roof. (via Nag on the Lake)
Why Do We Need Three Willie Wonka Movies?
16 Fascinating Facts About the Venus de Milo.
We didn’t pay attention to those actors in those tiny roles because we had no idea they were going to be big stars someday. But every movie star has a first film, with usually a pretty insignificant role. Or amy be several movies with insignificant roles. Everyone’s gotta start somewhere, and you may be surprised to know that you’ve already seen them. (via Neatorama)
Sunday, August 27, 2023
"It's not the heat, it's the humidity." Except in America in 2023, it's both. I'm glad I don't look at the heat index, but where I live, we have been relatively lucky in that the mercury hasn't gone above 100 yet. I can tell you a couple of things- if you live in a two story home, you must either put a separate thermostat on the second floor, or else sleep downstairs. I sleep downstairs, even though I have a separate AC unit upstairs. And I have yet to turn on my AC. I can imagine everything upstairs is melted, but I haven't checked.
House cats love fish, but they rarely have to catch their own. That's what the fishing cat does on a regular basis. This threatened species is a small wildcat that lives in the wetlands of Asia. A mother cat has to teach her two cubs how it's done in this clip from the BBC miniseries Big Cats. They have never been to the water before, and mama can't help but show off a little. After all, she's helping them learn how to catch their own fish. The kittens make their best attempts, but their "catch" serves as a punch line for this video. (via Digg)
This group of friends loves basketball trick shots, even if they are just playing basketball until someone actually gets near the basket. How to make it more interesting? Rig up a Rube Goldeberg-style route to get that basketball somewhere near the basket!
This is a one-shot video, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only shot. The video description says it took three days of preparation and 137 attempts to get it right. Was it worth it? Two million YouTube views says yes! (via Viral Viral Videos)
Saturday, August 26, 2023
Dustin Ballard (There I Ruined It) has a particular talent for taking iconic musical masterpieces and showing us how common they really are by presenting them in a completely different and nonsensical musical genre. The band Nine Inch Nails had a depressing song called "Hurt" that was famously covered by Johnny Cash in 2002. If you liked the song, you thought of it as deep. If you didn't, it was pretentiously angsty. Here, The Beach Boys render the song in their good time surfer rock style. (via Laughing Squid)
Kareem and Fifi have the chillest cats in the world. It may be because Kareem spoils them so much. Spa days, trips to the beach, a nice bubble bath. I don't think my cats would put up with a bubble bath for more than a half second.
Skye, Chase, and Millie are rescue cats that have been in videos since they were kittens, and they know they will be rewarded for participating. (via reddit)
WRCB channel 3 news anchor Cornelia Nicholson was recording some promo clips for the 11 o'clock news last weekend when a story popped up on the teleprompter that she hadn't read. She almost lost it when she saw the image of herself and her boyfriend, reporter Riley Nagel, on the screen. Nagel had arranged a surprise proposal to be taped for posterity. His initial idea was to do it during the live newscast, but his supervisors decided a taping session would be better in case anything went wrong. Nothing went wrong, outside of both broadcasters being visibly nervous, and the recorded proposal was shared with the television audience on the late news that night.
The two had met while working together in Billings, Montana, and when Nicholson landed a job at the Chattanooga, Tennessee, TV station, Nagel followed her, taking a job at FedEx until he was also hired at WRCB. (via Fark)
A young man just wants to finish his drawing, but something isn’t quite coming together. It’s the boobs. You can see the ending coming a mile away, but that doesn’t make it any less satisfying. Dylan Simpson made this short animated film for a local animation festival. It's SFW. (via reddit)
If you enjoyed this, there's a Twitter feed for you. Excuse me, x-feed. (via Everlasting Blort)
I did a google image search for men next to potholes and put them all in a montage. pic.twitter.com/I0X0WiKwu7— Darren Dutton (@Darren_Dutton) July 30, 2023
Friday, August 25, 2023
Tech reporter Marques Brownlee tells us about Cleo, a healthy dog who only has three legs. Four-legged animals can get along on three legs, but it puts a long-term strain on the leg that has to support twice the weight on its own. The company 3DPets makes custom-designed prosthetics for pets using 3D scanning and 3D printing. The technique of 3D printing is perfect for this application, since each prosthetic they make is different, because if an animal's prosthetic doesn't fit and work perfectly, you can't train them to just put up with it. Cleo went through a breaking in period to get used to her new leg, but is coming to trust it and use it. (via Laughing Squid)
We've read the research on how smart crows are, and we've heard stories about how they never forget how a particular person has treated them. Amber of Spoiled Rotten Ranch animal sanctuary tells us about a fledgling crow that left the nest before his flight feathers were completely grown. She rescued and protected the baby, while his adult family members continued to feed him as he perfected his flying ability.
Even after the young bird was fully fledged and flown, the crows continue to hang around the sanctuary, where they perform their own protective duties and bring Amber gifts like bottle caps to show their loyalty and appreciation. Now, that's teamwork!
14 Hilarious Examples of Dutch Not Sounding Like a Real Language. It comes across as English with a laugh track.
Why Ulysses S. Grant’s Wife Julia Always Posed in Profile. There's a love story in there.
Human Embryos Have a Mysterious Yolk Sac, And We Finally Know Why. (via Damn Interesting)
How Iceberg Won the Lettuce Wars.
28 Inspirations Behind Popular Movies and TV Shows.
Who Was Betty Crocker? She was the fictional character who taught you how to make a pineapple upside-down cake. (via Damn Interesting)
A home for retired playground animals just opened in NYC. (via Metafilter)
Hey, sweetie, want some chocolate? These kids are expecting the sweet milk chocolate they’ve always had, but this is dark chocolate. The kind grownups eat, without so much milk and sugar. In slow motion, you can see the shock, disappointment, and near panic in their eyes. Once they get a bite, we don’t have to hide our chocolate stash from the youngsters any more. This is an ad from Splendid Chocolates of Quebec. It’s hard to see how this will sell more chocolate, but it’s awfully cute. (via Buzzfeed)
Gin in your tea, a cat in your lap, and slippers on your feet. What's not to like?
Today’s Vintage Ad With Unexpected Cats.— Undine (@HorribleSanity) August 19, 2023
This one’s for my fellow spinsters out there. pic.twitter.com/H79e7hXhd4
Thursday, August 24, 2023
In 1975, John Belushi had made a name for himself in improvisational comedy. He had been in Second City and National Lampoon: Lemmings, both stage shows, and on The National Lampoon Radio Hour. But the only actual film recordings he had were a couple of TV ads he'd done, so that's what he sent to Lorne Michaels when he was recommended for Michaels' new show Saturday Night Live. They got him an audition, and he became one of the Not Ready for Prime Time Players.
We brought you the first episode of Breaking Kitchen by Alternative Cuts last year. I honestly did not know that there would be an episode two, but now the series is up to episode six! In this video, Gordon Ramsey squares off with cooking show contestant Walter White over a disgusting pizza with a secret ingredient. Gus Fring is still in the running though, and is quite pleased that White could be eliminated at any time.
In case you want to catch up, you can see all six episodes of Breaking Kitchen in this YouTube playlist. (via Geeks Are Sexy)
Memorial of St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe. A World War II story you probably haven't heard before.
What You Need to Know About the Konami Code.
"Don't Arraign on His Parade!" a Randy Rainbow Song Parody. Contains NSFW language.
See the Rare, Spotless Giraffe Born at a Tennessee Zoo. (Thanks, WTM!)
Prison Can Be A Hostile Place. Then the Birds Came. (via Kottke)
The Remarkable Kindertransport Monuments of Frank Meisler They tell the story of his 1939 journey, and that of 10,000 other children.
Uraniborg: An Observatory Without a Telescope.
The First Teaser for the Frasier Reboot, premiering October 12.
Two robots are mining a distant planet. It’s a lonely job, until they run into each other. No, it’s nothing like Wall-E, even though these robots are cute, too. Jack Anderson made this award-winning animated short film by himself. He said this took about a year of rendering. (via Boing Boing)
Wednesday, August 23, 2023
Playing for Change, a global collaboration of musicians that this time includes the Doobie Brothers, plays "Listen to the Music."
The idea was born a few years ago during breakfast at the Byron Bay Bluesfest in Australia. Our friend and drummer, Peter Bunetta, introduced me to Tom Johnston of The Doobie Brothers and we talked about taking "Listen to the Music" around the world. We started the track with an acoustic guitar demo played to a click track and then added bass from Colombia, tablas and veena from India, and then headed to the Redwood Forest in Northern California to record and film Tom Johnston live outside. We then recorded and filmed Patrick Simmons and John McFee playing along to the track in a park in San Diego. The journey then continued throughout North and South America, Europe, The Middle East, Asia, and Africa. This final version features 30 musicians from 12 countries united through their love of musicAwesome.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse is the second Sony animated Spider-Man movie featuring Miles Morales as the superhero. Gwen Stacy and Morales visit six different universes in the film, each with a different visual style. In fact, this movie is all about visual style. It made $130 million in its first weekend! Of course, the plot is confusing, but it works out in the end, and there's enough humor to keep you stuck to your seat. In this Honest Trailer, Screen Junkies works as hard as they can to find things to poke fun in this film, but it's pretty clear they loved it. Released in theaters three months ago, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse is now available as a digital download and will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 5.
Roundabouts, sometimes called traffic circles, are safer, more efficient, and environmentally-friendly than intersections with stop signs or stoplights. They are everywhere in the UK, so much that there's a club for them. In this video we get to hear from their delightful leader, who goes by the title the Lord of the Rings. But the US has been slow in adopting roundabouts for several reasons. Many drivers don't understand them at all, like the people who suddenly had to deal with one in Kentucky a couple of years ago. This video will not help you in that area, as they switch back and forth from British and American roundabouts, with people driving the "wrong" way in one or the other.
But the US is slowly installing more and more of them. I hope road designers will learn from their mistakes. There is an interstate exit in my area that has low visibility and fast traffic on the cross highway. The reason for the low visibility is that the ramps had to be carved into rocky hills, and there wasn't enough carved away. So they installed roundabouts, but still didn't carve more of the rock away. Therefore, even though the signage is good and people know how to use a roundabout, the circles are way too small, visibility is still low, and those intersections are now effectively four-way stops. There are some kinks to be worked out before US traffic flows through roundabouts from sea to shining sea. (via Laughing Squid)
Mark Rober taught us how to make a watermelon smoothie a couple of years ago. Now he’s got a neat watermelon party trick to impress everyone at this year’s Labor Day picnic. I would add that it would behoove you to carry that watermelon in a cooler, tub, or at least put plastic under it until you get to the picnic, because it’s liable to leak a bit. And Mark, someone would eat that potato salad if you had remembered to put mustard in it. (via Digg)
Tuesday, August 22, 2023
Let's look into the mystery of the Pantone company. How did they come to own the concept of color, and what makes them the authority so many designers look to? Pantone started out as a printing company in the 1950s, in the world of design in which no one could agree on colors, the same way it had been for hundreds of years. But the world was going global. Pantone's secret is the system, first coding colors by percentage of inks, then later by digitizing color formulas. The Pantone Matching System brought standardization to color, making matching easier for everyone. And since the Pantone name preceded each code, the name became dominant. Phil Edwards explains this in much more detail. (via Digg)
A long barrow is a Neolithic underground chamber, found in many places across Europe. Not all were dug out from the ground, as it was easier to build the chamber, then heap earth over the top, creating a mound. But what were they for? The newest long barrows are thousands of years old, and were possibly used for different purposes in different eras, but were often used as tombs. We don't know for sure if that's what they were originally designed for.
These prehistoric chambers are not exactly safe for the general public to explore, so Tom Scott visited Soulton Long Barrow, which was built over the last ten years with modern safety standards in mind. This barrow is part of the Soulton Hall estate in Shropshire, where you can stage a wedding or book a vacation.
The World Yo-Yo Contest 2023 took place over the weekend in Osaka, Japan. Hajime Sakauchi won the 2A division with this amazing performance. I would have ended up with two yo-yos bound for the trash, hopelessly tangled, and that would have been after the first few seconds of this routine. If this is the winner in the 2A, what did the four other divisions do? You can see all of the champions at Neatorama.
Eighteen years, can you believe it? I haven't done anything for eighteen years. I've spent less time raising kids, less time in school, less time living anywhere I've ever lived. I've never held a job that long; Neatorama is close, but I got that job because of this blog.
When I started this site, my kids were seven and eight years old. Now Princess goes by "Mama" and Gothgrrl goes by "Doctor." In the time I've been blogging here, I've gone through six computers, two houses, and a husband. And a whole lot of hair colors!
Blogging itself has gone through a lot of changes in that time. I came to it through an explosion of bloggers in 2005, and rode the wave of bloggers being paid for writing. Some of those folks got tired after a while and decided to spend their time doing something else. Some, like me, began to make money at it and turned it into a career. I did that by writing for other, more lucrative sites, which was good because today, people who depend on their own blogs for a living are stressed out and suffering. Social media came along, and while it got millions of people to engage on the internet for the first time, they didn't venture far from the social media sites. It's just easier to rely on a feed than to seek out websites. I am reminded of that every time I repost something from years ago. On the admin side, I can see a list of posts with how many hits it has. The reruns have hundreds, sometimes thousands of views, while new posts peak at a hundred or less. Strangely, I manage to make a couple hundred dollars a year from just that, while back in the day, I made almost nothing for this site. Looks like there's more internet money involved now overall, just spread among way more people. Still, I was never interested in monetization or SEO. It just seemed more trouble than it's worth.
The decline of blogs means I've lost more jobs than I can count in the last few years, but I am lucky. I'm no longer supporting a family or paying a mortgage, and I'm reaching the age where I don't want to work anyway.
The reason I keep posting on Miss Cellania is because it's a hobby, and I enjoy it. I have no contract to deliver x number of posts a day, and I can take a break when I want to. But I never do, because I so often schedule posts ahead of time. My paycheck doesn't depend on the quality of posts, so I don't stress about it. Like any hobby, it would be easier to just not do it, but I enjoy posting here, and I love to hear from people who read it. I've made some really good friends by doing this. If no one came to read or comment, I'd probably let the site go. But the few readers I have left are well worth it.
An Easy Way to Diagnose Scabies Yourself.
A Unique Pink Batvan.
The annual Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race is the world's longest foot race. The route is only half a mile long, so that's a lot of laps. (via Nag on the Lake)
When Trump surrenders to arrest in Georgia, he will probably be weighed. Yes, there is online betting. (via Fark)
Healthy eating curriculum may contribute to eating disorders in kids. (via Metafilter)
The Real-Life Munster Mansion in Texas.
Why Did Tinker Bell and Esmeralda Lose Their Disney Princess Titles? It’s Complicated.
She Wasn't Able to Get an Abortion. Now She's a Mom. Soon She'll Start 7th Grade.
Imagine being sent on a round-the-world trip just to document public toilets. Cut Video sent Blaine on such a trip, although I have a feeling he had plenty of other assignments as well. That said, he indeed documented public toilets in major cities all over. They may not be representative of all the city’s, or country’s toilets, of course. This video contains images that might be NSFW, because it’s about toilets, but no penises. (via Viral Viral Videos)