Sunday, September 25, 2016

As It Happens


(via reddit)

The Staten Island Ferry Disaster Memorial and Museum

Warning: this video contains NSFW language.

Do you recall the Staten Island Ferry Disaster of 1963? The news flew under the radar because it happened on the morning of November 22, and the media became overwhelmingly focused on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. But now there’s a memorial and a museum dedicated to the memory of the disaster and those who lost their lives. From the memorial page:
It was close to 4am on the quiet morning of November 22, 1963 when the Steam Ferry Cornelius G. Kolff vanished without a trace. On its way with nearly 400 hundred people, mostly on their way to work, the disappearance of the Cornelius G. Kolff remains both one of New York’s most horrific maritime tragedies and perhaps its most intriguing mystery. Eye witness accounts describe “large tentacles” which “pulled” the ferry beneath the surface only a short distance from its destination at Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan. Nobody on board survived and only small pieces of wreckage have been found…strangely with large “suction cup-shaped” marks on them. The only logical conclusion scientists and officials could point to was that the boat had been attacked by a massive octopus, roughly half the size of the ship. 
You can find out more about the memorial and the attached museum at its website. You can even get a memorial t-shirt. Residents of Staten Island were surprised by the sudden opening of the memorial, but that’s to be expected, because it was 53 years ago. It also didn’t happen. The story  is hoax by artist Joe Reginella, a Staten Island native who has been handing out brochures for the memorial. The memorial does exist, if you can find it, but the museum does not. The ferry Cornelius G. Kolff existed at one time, but was not attacked by a giant octopus. The t-shirts, of course, are real. The brochures, t-shirts, and the actual statue depicting a ferry being devoured by a tentacled monster will go a long way toward perpetuating the urban legends city dwellers like to tell tourists. (via Metafilter)


(via Fark)

Magic Markers

(via Fark)

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Do You Know This Man?

Two Handed Snake sings "Trust in Me"

Mike Phirman does a snake puppet that lip-syncs (if a snake had lips) to the song Sterling Holloway sang in The Jungle Book. Actually, he doesn’t even have a puppet -he’s using just his two hands! It’s a trick that’s as mesmerizing as the animated sequence, simply because he’s so good at it. (via reddit)

Adopting a Dog

(via reddit)

Paralyzed Bulldog Gets Prosthetic Legs

This story is a couple of years old, but it’s so cute it’s worth sharing. Spencer’s back legs are paralyzed. You may wonder how prosthetic legs help a paralyzed dog, and it doesn’t appear that they amputated his legs. I believe (and I may be wrong) that the new legs are fitted over his existing legs, and act as a brace so that he can use his upper thigh muscles to control his lower leg movement. And the shoes she gave him are fabulous! (via Metafilter)

The Rifleman

This morning my husband was watching The Rifleman on TV, while I heard the dialogue in my office. The show did its best to showcase morality tales as Lucas McCain imparted life lessons to his son. This episode was about discrimination against a Chinese father and son. There was an altercation between the two boys, which came about when Mark McCain compared the newcomer to a girl. Rightfully, he got his lesson in cultural differences and why a Chinese boy of the time period would wear a queue. All was forgiven, and the father was allowed to open a laundry in the Western town. It was a comically gentle depiction of racism, but progressive for its time. 

However, looking from the vantage point of 2016, it strikes me how normal it was that being called girlish or anything to do with girls was a genuine insult and worth fighting over. No one in the 1950s and ‘60s questioned that. While delivering a morality tale on discrimination, the show blithely perpetuated another form of it with no thought at all. I well recall those days, and that’s the way things were. No wonder I spent a big part of my childhood wanting to be a boy -not necessarily because I felt like I should have been a boy, or because boys were inherently better, but because boys were held in higher esteem and regarded as normal humans, while girls were some other kind of thing. And that was rarely even questioned.          

LA Gifathon

A video posted by James Curran (@slimjimstudios) on

Last spring, animator James Curran gave us a month of gifs illustrating life in New York City. In July, he spent a month in Los Angeles and created a new gif every day for 30 days based on his activities. This video shows all of them strung together with music.

You can see each individual gif at his website. (via Viral Viral Videos)

Arthur Spanks

Don't Let the Cat Out

(via Fark)

Friday, September 23, 2016


Breaking Bad: An Episode Of Reactions

Three years later, and we are still talking about Breaking Bad. Maybe it’s because it’s been long enough that fans are going back to binge-watch the whole thing. Evan “The Nerdwriter” Puschak put together a closer look at the most memorable episode of the series, “Ozymandias.” While we are getting a discussion from a filmmaker’s point of view, remember that it was an emotionally draining episode. If you haven’t seen it, this contains spoilers, of course. (via Laughing Squid)

Cutie Pie

(via reddit)

TV Doctor Reviews TV Doctors

Ken Jeong of the sitcom Dr. Ken is an actor, but he’s also a medical doctor, unlike most TV doctors, who only play one on TV. Here he gives his reviews of fictional doctors from movies and television, from Dr. Oz to Dr. House to Dr. Pepper. (via Tastefully Offensive)

The End of the Open Door Policy

My husband has been talking about installing a cat flap so we don’t spend all our time letting the four cats in and out. I am wary of cutting a hole in the house, so we compromised and got a fabric mesh screen for the back door. So this summer, we left the back door open for the cats except during the hottest part of the day.

The cats made friends with a new Siamese cat in the neighborhood. Occasionally I would find the cat in the kitchen, eating cat food. I would chase it out, proclaiming “You don’t live here!” The cat got bolder. My daughter called me upstairs to help her with a “critter.” I’ve helped her chase birds and bats out, but she thought there was a possum under her bed. No, it was the Siamese cat. How did a cat who is afraid of us make it upstairs? 

My daughter then left for college. I took a bag of garbage downstairs one day and spotted a small possum in the garbage can. He did not want to come out. I had to dump the entire can on its head to get him out, while my cats gathered around to watch. Did they chase the possum off? No, they followed him under a vehicle to watch. Apparently, they made friends.

Not long afterward, I walked in the kitchen at night to find the possum eating cat food! I chased it out, and scolded the cats. I didn’t want four cats in the first place, so you’d think that at least one of them would try to make sure the house was vermin-free. That’s when we discontinued the open door policy. I started shutting the back door at night as well as the afternoon. I still left it open for a couple of hours during morning and evening.

However, there were two mornings when I discovered that the possum had sneaked in before dark and stayed in all night. “You don’t live here!” If you’ve ever dealt with a possum, you know that it would rather hide than run, so it was not easy to get him to go outside, even after being shut in overnight. From then on, the door was only opened when one of us humans was standing there. That was about a week ago. No one entered or left without us seeing.

The cats have always come and gone through the back door, because it’s glass and we can see them asking to come in. Twice during the past week, I saw the possum looking through the back door, as if I was going to let it in to eat, like the cats.

So last night, I heard some infernal yowling in the laundry room (where the back door is). It was the Siamese cat! I opened the back door and approached the cat, who, instead of running out the door, ran back through the kitchen and up the stairs! The only way that cat could have been inside was …she’s been in here for a week. There are two empty beds and a  litter box up there, and I don’t go upstairs any more often than I have to. She could have easily sneaked downstairs to eat at night. And now she was surprised and frightened to find the door was closed.

I got my husband to hold the back door open (lest a possum come in), and I chased the cat out from under a bed upstairs. The cat ran downstairs, into the living room. When I flushed it out, it ran back upstairs. I chased the cat down a second time, and then blocked off the stairwell with a piece of paneling. I yelled “You don’t live here!” I swear the cat meowed, “But I do!” The cat ran to the kitchen, but took a right turn into the pantry and hid behind a Dutch oven. There’s barely room to stand in there, much less chase something. I ended up throwing a towel over the cat and pulling her out, while she desperately clung to the shelf.

We managed to get the cat outside, so now we are down to four cats again. And no possum for the moment. But the laundry room smells like terrified cat pee.

I don’t think we are going to install a cat flap.  

Hillbilly Recycling

Continuing the series of old mental_floss articles that I don't have in my archives, here's one I wrote back in the spring of 2008 about some of my personal home projects, meant to save money by reusing what I've got. I've since learned the difference between the terms "recycling" and "reusing." Enjoy Hillbilly Recycling.

Veterinary Clinic

(via Arbroath)