Saturday, April 30, 2011

Coral Steppi


It's an Italian ad from 1974. I'm not sure what it is for, maybe some fabric. (via Everlasting Blort)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Fun Links

5 Trends You Think Are Ruining Movies (Are Older Than Film). Oh, they’re still being ruined, but the methods are nothing new.

Royal Wedding unites the world in mathematical lunacy. Or, more likely, the media likes to hype a story and exaggerate the numbers.

Joe the paraplegic bunny rabbit got around by dragging his hindquarters behind him, until Liam designed him some wheels. Now Joe is an all-terrain bunny!

Florida takes the title of America’s Weirdest State. The evidence is overwhelming and strangely entertaining.

John McCain follows Obama's lead, releases original long-form Birth Certificate. (via reddit)

A kaleidoscope of pizza costumes. (via Gorilla Mask)

Sarah Hubbard was taken with the Pop Tart Nyan Cat just like the rest of us. She got out her violin and her cat ears and recreated the meme in real life.

The Intergroom’s Creative Challenge competition for dogs is not really a beauty contest, but more like using a dog as an artist’s canvas. Those poor, pitiful, patient dogs. (via Nag on the Lake)

A spider and an ant battle to the death, which is the way nature works. But this time, there’s a surprise ending you will not see coming.

Doggy Diva


In a sweet little pink dress. (via I Am Bored)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Informative and Interesting Links

11 Grammatically Incorrect Movie Titles. I’m sure there are way more than eleven, but these will cause you to wonder why you hadn’t already noticed (probably because you didn’t see the movies).

6 Little-known Secrets of the Mickey Mouse Club. Includes what the original Mouseketeers did after they left the show.

Horse Calculus.

Do you have one of the 15 Most Stressful Jobs in the World?

The Mystery of the Singing Mice. Researchers believe they have discovered that mice can carry a tune, but anyone who’s seen An American Tail knew that already.

A flash mob dances to illustrate how electrons act in a superconductor. A thermometer and subtitles help you follow along without spoiling the mood.

When fire ants are faced with lots of water, they will band together to form an ant raft. And try as you might, you can’t sink it.

14 Serial Killers Who Were Never Caught. Maybe they are dead, or maybe they are still out there. (via Neatorama)

26 Important Comic Books. Each is important for its own reasons, but together they helped create the culture we have.

Other species have incredible ways of seeing the world. Check out eyes that are made of stone, bifocal eyes, eyes with mirrors, and trinocular vision eyes.

You may have seen wooden bikes before, but this one is made of nothing but wood. The Splinter Bike has no metal screws, no rubber wheels, and (unfortunately) no padded seat. (via Metafilter)

A Spoonful of Wheaties Facts. Good for you, and a textbook lesson in marketing as well.

Crack in the World


The Trailer for the 1965 film Crack in the World. (via Everlasting Blort)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fun and Funny Links (Wednesday)

To create a TV ad announcing a new rail line, Japan Rail invited locals to come and participate. If I could see scenes like these, I’d take a train every day.

25 Everyday Things You Never Knew Had Names. Oh, mental_floss readers know at least some of these already, but you are still liable to increase your vocabulary from this list. Bonus points for using them in conversation today.

Scott Weaver spent 35 years building a model of San Francisco out of toothpicks. Take a tour as little balls move through this amazing work of art!

Duck news: AFLAC has found its new voice. And a baby duckling terrorizes a dog.

New drugs for women.

30 of the most elaborately nerdy wedding cakes ever. The cake is a lie, but it’s also worth a power-up!

A stage performer shows off amazing balancing skills. I found myself holding my breath for him.

Little Chefs illustrates why we don't let kids cook without supervision. Close supervision.

Puss 'n Boots


From 1963, Puss 'n' Boots was originally a Mexican production called El Gato Con Botas. (via Metafilter)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Taxidermy Gone Wild

Art takes many forms and uses a variety of media. A skilled artist can make a thing of beauty out of any available material, including dead animals. However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and many beginners think they are a skilled artists. That’s why we have a range of “art” that includes not only masterful results, but also bizarre artifacts from our nightmares and other objects we just can’t figure out at all. In this article I posted at mental_floss, you’ll find all three.


Good Reads and Info

The Great Moon Hoax. No, not Apollo, the more interesting story from 1835.

Larry Marten wanted to build a coffin for his father as one last gift. Making the finely-crafted coffin, complete with parts saved from his father’s life, was easy compared to negotiating the bureaucracy involved in burying the dead. (via Boing Boing)

Ten Royal Weddings to Remember. May Prince William and Kate Middleton be blessed with a marriage far less interesting than these.

10 Things You Didn't Know About IKEA.

10 Things Wrong With the MPAA Rating System. (via Interesting Pile)

In the 1920s, architect Hermann Soergel had a wild idea to build a dam across the Strait of Gibraltar, drain water into the Sahara Desert, and form lots of new land in the Mediterranean basin to colonize. (via io9)

Eight Tiny Numbers that Secretly Rule the Universe. (via Gorilla Mask)

The 5 Biggest Backfires in the History of Disaster Relief. Our attempts to intervene are like pouring salt on Mother Nature’s wounds.

Disney is updating the hitchhiking ghosts in the Haunted Mansion using state-of-the-art technology. They’ll be doing more than just hitchhiking with you!

Why is a curveball so hard to hit? It may be the optical illusion or it may be the curve …or both.

5 Massive Screw-Ups in Paleontology. What else can you expect from a science that involves a fair amount of guessing?

The tree named Ochroma pyramidale is better known as the balsa tree, from which we get lightweight wood. But its flowers are more valuable to many species in Panama, because they bloom at night during the dry season and fill and refill with sweet nectar.

Thinking Globally


The term "globally" here does not mean worldwide so much as it means seeing the problem as a whole as opposed to parts. Dr. Eli Goldratt explains what happens to the supply chain of consumer goods during a recession, in terms even I can understand. With animation by Aharon Charnov. (Thanks, Joe Brown!)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Links for Fun

A parakeet wakes a sleepy cat. That’s all that happens, but it’s incredibly cute.

How scary can a planet-destroying ray be if you can’t see it? Darth Vader gets his Storm Troopers to help illustrate the concept.

In her latest story, Allie Brosh goes into the mind of her simple dog, which appeared to be wiped clean by a small adventure. What she sees may be terrifying to contemplate, but more likely will provoke a laugh.

Cats Pepper and Snowball try their best to figure out a treadmill. Try slapping some sense into that contraption!

Inspired by the xkcd comic “Heaven,” GUD magazine made a playable version of Tetris that occasionally sends a piece “from heaven” that’s exactly what you need to fit in with the rest of your blocks. (via Blame It On The Voices)

Release the Dweebs! Guaranteed to make you smile.

How These Two White Guys Wound Up In This Kendrick Perkins Family Photo. A friendship between a young NBA player and two bloggers breaks the old rules about interaction between stars and fans. (via Metafilter)

Amazon’s $23,698,655.93 book about flies. This is what happens when we let computers and ‘bots do our work without proper supervision.

That’s an awfully big egg, so let’s open it up and see what’s inside. Maybe you can guess before the big reveal.

The Marconi 707


This was an early set TV set from about 1938.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Fun

Now that we are into a holiday weekend, let’s take a look at some of the goofier videos that celebrate the secular side of Easter in this list I posted at mental_floss. These are “fun”, but most are not recommended for children.

Narwhal Migration


(via the Presurfer)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday Links

After we published 6 Easter Traditions You May Not Know, you told us what traditions you do know. Enough that we could put together 6 Easter Customs from Our Readers.

How to Buy, Slaughter and Spit-Roast a Sheep. A report from a friend in Afghanistan, with pictures.

Acne is a peculiarly human problem that might have been caused by the loss of our ancient ancestor’s body hair. But knowing where acne comes from doesn’t help those who are mortified by having it. (via Buzzfeed)

Watch the birth of a sunspot cluster in a video from NASA’s SDO satellite. Each spot is bigger than the earth and more powerful than a million nuclear bombs.

Kiki Kannibal: The Girl Who Played With Fire. It’s not easy being a 14-year-old internet sensation, especially when the backlash and threats start raining down. NSFW text.

12 Golf Course Perils. These horrible things have really happened -and will make you want to stay in the clubhouse and drink instead of playing.

13 Delicious Recipes Using Cadbury Creme Eggs (with links to each). The Eggs Benedict is a lot sweeter than it looks.

A new world record has been set for the most complex Rube Goldberg machine ever. This contraption uses 244 steps to water a flower. (via Boing Boing)

10 Young Female Composers You Should Know. “Contemporary classical music” seems like a contradiction in terms, but it really just means some good tunes!

Some people work better in a coffee shop than in an office or at home. It’s either the distractions or the lack of distractions that fuel the creative fires. (via Metafilter)

5 Bad Ideas Humanity Is Sticking With Out of Habit. Or the fact that changing things, even for the better, is more difficult than doing nothing.

How good do you think you are at judging shapes, angles, and distances just by eyeballing? Test yourself and pat yourself on the back if you beat my score of 5.67. (via J-Walk Blog)

Svezia, Inferno e Paradiso


The song Mah Nà Mah Nà by Piero Umiliani was originally composed for the 1968 Swedish film Svezia, Inferno e Paradiso (Sweden: Heaven and Hell).

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Weird Camera Effects

We can never know the world around us as it really is; we can only know it as our brains perceive it. The process of interpreting the signals that come to our eyes is quite complicated, but it works well for us most of the time. Optical illusions occur when our minds interpret visual signals incorrectly. When we began to record images outside our brains, we added a mechanical layer of interpretation that can also go slightly wrong. Then we started using several different methods of recording visual images, and the possibility of incorrect interpretation multiplied, leaving us with some weird camera effects, as you'll see in this article I posted at mental_floss.


Image by Flickr user Jason Mullins.


Fun and Funny Links

Today is National High Five Day! Do you know how the High Five came about?

Weird Al Yankovic released his parody song “Perform This Way” free online. It was supposed to be on his next album, but Lady Gaga declined to approve it.

What Lies Behind the Grand Canyon?

Artist John Martz brings us Trexels, a poster featuring 235 characters from the Star Trek universe in pixel form, all in one artwork. How many can you name? (via Boing Boing)

7 Memes That Went Viral Before The Internet Existed.

5 Middle School Magazines. I have three middle school students, so I found this to be spot-on. (via Buzzfeed)

English as She is Spoke is a classic phrase book written by a translator who did not know English. The 19th century version of a bad mechanical translation was also the 19th century version of a viral sensation. (via Metafilter)

How to Cater a Roman Orgy.

Rob Cockerham knew that the Post Office would be a madhouse on the evening of tax deadline day, so he set up shop scalping postage stamps. It was a fine experiment, but next year he’s going to sell champagne instead. (via Boing Boing)

How difficult would it be to get a cat to climb into a bowl? This Japanese TV show wanted the answer, and used many cats and bowls to get the definitive answer.

Symmetry means more than being equal or even complementary. Sometimes imperfect matches are the most thought-provoking.

10 Foreign McDonald’s That Aren’t Exactly McDonald’s. These are just far enough off to be unofficial and completely funny.

Love-Tails of Morocco


A Dogville Short from 1931.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Interesting Links

As the Mountaintops Fall, a Coal Town Vanishes. The residents are leaving, and soon the native flora and fauna and the very contours of the earth will be gone a well. (via Breakfast Links)

Paul Jones was so ashamed of his teeth that he didn’t smile for years. Now he’s going through dental reconstruction, and is blogging about it. (via Metafilter, where you’ll find more dental horror stories)

Pie charts deserve more respect than they get. To prove it, here are charts on the effectiveness of different types of charts. (via Boing Boing)

America's immigration policies since 9/11 are contributing to a national "brain drain." We educate people from all over, and then won't let them work here.

9 People Who Knew They Could Do It. People who are labeled as disabled can opt out, but some take their dreams to the limit.

Is Chernobyl a Wild Kingdom or a Radioactive Den of Decay? Twenty-five years later, the Red Forest still has high radiation readings, but animals live there like they always have -or do they?

The 6 Greatest Athletic Feats Ever (Aren’t What You Think). Today you want to read the stories you haven’t heard a hundred times already.

The Mountain is a beautiful time-lape video of the Milky Way. Shot atop Spain’s highest mountain, El Teide, over several days in April, 2011.

6 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs. Not including the easy way: buying them in pre-colored plastic.

How record companies got into the music business: in order to sell furniture. Musician Phil Alvin condenses a history lesson into a few minutes in a 1993 video.

5 Presidential Secrets Left off the White House Tour. Bush the elder became a Japanese word -did you know that?

Flowers fool flat-footed flies by faking fungus-infected foliage. This orchid is just as clever as the headline writer.

The Makka Pakka Song


(via Everlasting Blort)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

10 Variations On Our March of Progress

The March of Progress is the name of a 1965 illustration by Rudolph Zallinger for the Time-Life book series Life Nature Library, specifically for the volume entitled Early Man. The image is so familiar that it is a classic jumping-off point for parodies, jokes, and illustrations for everything from advertising to politics. Here are some of the more clever reworkings found on the internet, in a list I posted at mental_floss.

Links for Fun

Sweet Home Alabama, performed by Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1987, their first concert after about ten years off.

A stupid line in a bad romance novel yielded an epic discussion and possibly the greatest literary passage ever. NSFW text. May cause you to LOL.

12 Hilarious Signs That You Are a Computerholic.

What if the upcoming Royal Wedding had the pop music and choreography of other weddings of the YouTube Age? Find out in the new ad from T-Mobile, featuring excellent royal look-alikes.

The idea in Dadgame is that poor Dad goes berserk after a long hard day at the office, and want to break things. The more chaos you cause, the more points you rack up- and you even get to play guitar! (via The Daily What)

Have you ever seen a penguin get tickled? Cookie the sock-wearing Little Penguin loves a tickle, and lets you know exactly how he feels.

Robot Monster: The Ultimate Golden Turkey.

The Comic Genius of Jonathon Winters.

Do we ever get tired of looking a the nocturnal primates we call tarsiers?

To promote the new Internet Explorer 9, Soap Creative developed the world’s biggest Pac-Man game which involves thousands of user-submitted screens, and could take years to play. (via Simply Left Behind)

Wayne Dorrington gave us Star Wars Episode IV in icons a couple of months ago. Now he has completed the plot of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back in the same manner, which he calls “Iconoscope.” (via Laughing Squid)

Bulldogs make great dance partners. This little fella gets his groove on with his best buddy.

Television


A clip from the 1936 film Television Comes to London.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Good Reads and Information

Six Odd but Awesome Spring Celebrations Around the World. Sign me up for the water fight when I’m supposed to be spring cleaning. (via Dark Roasted Blend)

When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink? There was a time when it wasn’t really necessary for strangers to know the sex of a young child.

How Ayn Rand ruined my childhood.

The Mickey, the Smoot and Other Unusual Units of Measurement. The post was really popular for about a warhol.

Why The Deadliest Catch is more documentary than reality TV.

The Real Housewives of Wall Street. Rolling Stone lays out who the bailout funds went to and how they profit off them. (via Fark)

Kazimierz Piechowski escaped from Auschwitz. Arrested for being a Boy Scout, the now 91-year-old tells how he joined the resistance and got out of the concentration camp. (via Metafilter)

Experience What It Is Like To Be Old With The Aged Simulation Set. All I need is a t-shirt that says “I am experiencing the effects of aging.”

6 Civil War Myths, Busted. Face it, it had a lot to do with slavery. (via Breakfast Links)

Boycotting and Banning: The Real Olympic Sports. Can sports ever truly rise above politics?

"The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson. How one short story outraged a nation in 1948.

Patriotic Millionaires For Fiscal Strength. This is not what you would expect. (via Breakfast Links)

Animatronic Human Eye Mechanism


The uncanny valley is about to get creepier, thanks to this realistic-looking animatronic eye developed by Dan Thomson of Visionary Effects. Will this be used for movie effects, Disneyland presidents, artificial girlfriends, or working robots? Maybe all of the above! (via Laughing Squid)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Where Led Zeppelin Music Came From

The group Led Zeppelin has copyrights on quite a few songs that were recorded much earlier. Other songs they never filed for copyright, but credited to themselves instead of the composer. And still others were properly credited, but you may not know about the original. You might recognize these earlier versions, or if you don't, you might enjoy them anyway, in a collection of videos I posted at mental_floss.




Japanese Relocation


A 1943 newsreel from the U.S. Office of War Information. (via Cynical-C, where you can see George Takei reminiscing about those days)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Fun Links

My cat Biscuit now has his own blog. It's an advice column for cats, curated by my daughter.

The 10 Most Inexplicable Fictional Games. They started out existing only in literature or media, and the authors never dreamed that people would actually play them. (via Gorilla Mask)

The Complete History of SNL‘s Celebrity Jeopardy. Includes 14 giggle-inducing videos dating back to 1996.

Two Japanese girls suddenly turn into old men. Obviously, the observer is the one who’s crazy here.

Trick Shot Doc.

A self-sufficient dog plays fetch with himself. Soon, the “auto-dog” will be in every household!

The Petticoat 5: a computer specifically designed for women. From the British comedy TV series Look Around You.

Maddox created an entire blog as an April Fool joke and filled it with annoying things bloggers do. He received a lot of mail from people who took it seriously, including some who liked it. (via Urlesque)

My cat Marshmallow learns Cat Bowling.

At the police academy, they teach you how to kick in doors. Sometimes it doesn’t work at all like you’d expect.

Pop Tart Cat! He spreads rainbows everywhere and leaves behind an indestructible earworm.

Pet Chipmunks


(via Buzzfeed)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Peeps of Art and Literature

I posted a roundup of Peeps dioramas called Heaps of Peeps back in 2007 and Peeps Imitate Life in 2009. There are thousands of Peeps scenes and dioramas to enjoy, but I decided this year to focus on art and literature. Why? Because marshmallow chicks and bunnies can be more than Justin Peeper and The Jersey Peeps: they can be highbrow, too, as you'll see in this list I posted at mental_floss.

Interesting Links

Miles per Gallon or Gallons per Mile? “The relationship between the amount of gas consumed by a vehicle and its MPG rating isn’t linear … it’s curvilinear.”

Architect Ricardo Bofill bought an abandoned cement factory in Barcelona and converted it to use as his business offices, creative studio, and home. He spent two years remodeling it into an inspiring and overwhelmingly spacious headquarters. (via b3ta)

75 Abandoned Theaters From Around The USA.

When Good Food Goes Bad. Do not read while eating.

Like mom always said, beauty is as beauty does. (via Buzzfeed)

Minnesotastan, who I believe lives in Minnesota, noticed his birch tree was dripping sap after being trimmed. So he did what you would expect: he collected it in a bag, researched it, gave it a taste test, and blogged about it.

Ray Cats, Artificial Moons and the Atomic Priesthood: How the Government Plans to Protect Our Nuclear Waste.

To Get Parole, Have Your Case Heard Right After Lunch. A study of judges and parole hearings points to mental fatigue as one of the “completely extraneous variables” that can affect a person’s trip through the legal system.

When the Blind Can Suddenly See, Do They Know What They’re Looking At? The centuries-old question is finally resolved by controlled studies of modern cases of restored sight.

The Origins of Your Favorite Condiments. I’m just glad my ketchup has tomatoes instead of anchovies!

Dispelling the Hollywood Myth that All Men Age Better than Their Female Contemporaries.

A report on Gabriella Giffords’ recovery. The congresswoman was shot in the head three months ago, and may attend the liftoff of the space shuttle Endeavor with her husband on board.

A Kiss in the Tunnel


An 1899 scene from a magic lantern show rendered in the newfangled film medium by the G.A. Smith company.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fun and Funny Links

13 Hilarious Peeps Candy Easter Dioramas.

The world's most beautiful 57-year-old. (via Breakfast Links)
The History of Cats and Dolphins Together On The Internet. With enough “Squee!” and “Awww” to last you all day long.

The entire film The Godfather, recreated in a one-minute continuous take. And just like the original , you’ll probably have to watch it twice to follow the story.

This name is a terrible thing to give to an innocent baby. Can it be real? How about this one?

That's no way to climb a fence, son.

Can you find the cat in this picture?

Actor George Takei is selling a ringtone featuring his personal catch phrase "Ohhh Myyy!" to benefit the Old Globe Theater.

Awesomely dumb prom photos from 1989. (via AOL News)

8 Absurd Jokes That Predicted Real Life Events. Of course, it’s to be assumed that some of these jokes inspired real life events. It’s Cracked, so NSFW text.

30 Nerdy Wedding Invitations. You know what kind of relationship you’re getting yourself into when your wedding correspondence resembles movie posters, steampunk, comic books, or video games.

Cats don’t need opposable thumbs when they have brains and perseverance, like this cat. Or a guardian angel, like this kitten.

A driverless tractor in the Richmond Hill, Ontario, Walmart parking lot drove around in circles on its own for several minutes, mowing down cars and anything else in its way. Bystanders stayed out of the way but captured the carnage on video. (via Cynical-C)

Island of Emotion


A classic Sesame Street segment animated by Sally Cruikshank.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Lion of Gripsholm Castle

King Frederik I of Sweden was given gifts from the Bey of Algiers in 1731. These included a lion, another wildcat, three hyenas, and a freed slave who became the animals’ keeper. The creatures lived out their lives at Djurgården, the Royal Game Park. Quite a few years after the lion died, some of its remains were sent to a taxidermist to be mounted. All that was left was the pelt and some bones. The taxidermist was not at all familiar with this animal called a lion. So he did the best he could with what he had. There’s always the possibility that alcohol was involved. The lion became a Swedish and then a global meme, as you'll see in this article I posted at mental_floss.

Good Reads and Information

Fifty years ago today, the first human being was launched into space. A new movie named First Orbit will premiere today on YouTube to honor the occasion. (via Metafilter)

9 Wedding Foods Around the World. (via the Presurfer)

Great reddit thread, no matter what sex you are: I am a Urologist. Ask Me Anything. Of course, that first story may give men nightmares.

5 Soviet Space Programs That Prove Russia Was Insane.

An American student was arrested on terrorism charges for innocuous actions and spent three years in pretrial solitary confinement before taking a plea bargain of 15 years -still in solitary. Civil rights went out the door after 9/11. (via Metafilter)

Disordered environments promote stereotypes and discrimination. Maybe we should straighten up and try to get along.

Looking Back at the Earth. A collection of quotes from history, poetry, and those who got a good look at our planet from outer space.

14 Interesting Facts About Tristan da Cunha, the World’s Most Remote Island. The island has 200,000 penguins, 275 people, and one TV channel signal.

A Flapper’s Dictionary. It’s no wonder your grandma can’t keep up with internet slang; she already learned a different version of hep talk. (via Boing Boing)

The massive amounts of carbon dioxide we produce are finding their way into the oceans. The acidification of the seas is already changing the balance of nature underwater.

So Ikea is outsourcing its manufacturing to a country where unions are weaker and wages are lower, because the standard of living is lower. On the bright side, the USA really needs the jobs. (via Metafilter)

Sausage Man


The Russian title for this video means "Sausage Person from the Meat Empire." (via Everlasting Blort)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Fun and Frivolous Links

George Takei wants to be Spiderman!

10 Hilariously Dated News Reports on “New” Technologies. Wonder at the first remote control, the microwave oven, and this newfangled thing they call “internet.” (via The Daily What)

Luna the Leaping Cow. When you want to showjump and don’t have a horse, you make do with what you have.

New blog: Posing with Potholes. Really.

T-shirts that will get you kicked off a plane. What were they thinking? (via J-Walk Blog)

A pie chart detailing the devastating ramifications of same-sex marriage.

Star Wars the Musical. The 1996 high school stage production by the students of Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in its entirety (with subtitles). (via Metafilter)

Mark Malkoff wanted to illustrate how slow New York City buses are. So he staged a race against a bus while he rode …a child’s Big Wheel!

Carl Sagan’s Fictional Cosmos. You might recognize some of these extraterrestrial life forms. (via Everlasting Blort)

A roundup of awesome Geek Cakes. Whatever your passion, there’s a way to illustrate it in frosting.

The Aurora


Terje Sorgjerd took footage of the Aurora Borealis around Kirkenes, Norway, near the Russian border. A week of footage is condensed in this beautiful time-lapse video. (via Metafilter)

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Prom?

It’s that time of year again, in which high school students play out the traditional rituals of the junior/senior prom. However, some of the rituals have changed in the decades since I went. The dresses are less formal, while the transportation is more formal. These days, kids have to pay to go to the prom, and some proms don’t even serve a meal! But one new ritual is kind of charming: the way some students are making a big production out of asking for a prom date, as you'll see in this collection of videos I posted at mental_floss.


Lovin' Between the Lions


A scene at Seaview Lion Park near Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (via reddit)

Friday, April 08, 2011

Interesting Reads

The early work of Jim Henson included various puppets who evolved into Kermit, and advertising campaigns for all kinds of products. (via Metafilter)

The Human Lake. Just as the ecosystem of a lake contains many species adapted to their niches, the human body contains a delicate balance of all kinds of life forms.

7 Basic Things You Won’t Believe You’re All Doing Wrong. Except, of course, not everyone does them the same way. NSFW text. (via Gorilla Mask)

Man vs. Volcano. Get up close and personal with an active volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Scientists and Their Belly Button Biomes. (via Carl Zimmer)

In 1997, a volcanic eruption buried Plymouth on the isle of Montserrat under several feet of ash, rock, and lava. The town was completely abandoned, and here are 40 pictures of what’s left.

Drink Making Unit 2.0 pumps microcontroled amounts of ingredients from six flasks into your cocktail glass while lights flash and mouths drop. Tell me how proud you would be to have this contraption in your home.

6 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Oil. In an age where knowledge is power, we need to know all we can about oil.

What You Didn’t Know About the Lincoln Assassination. The real story has enough plot points to fuel several films, but as fiction they would be critiqued as “unbelievable.”

Jean-François Rauzier makes huge high-resolution pictures with amazing attention to detail. Hyperphotos are his way of combining “infinitely big and infinitely small things in one same image.” (via J-Walk Blog)

Blackfriar's Bridge


Film footage taken in 1896 in London, England.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

8 Odd and Awesome Musical Instruments

We’ve shown you many strange and different musical instruments, but there are always more to be discovered. In this list I posted at mental_floss are some that you won’t find in your average high school orchestra, unless you want to introduce them to the class yourself!

Image by Flickr user sousveiller.

Fun and Funny Links

Best of a Normal Day. This two-minute video is quite impressive, but I hear the outtakes were 5 hours long.

6 Awesome Beer Festivals in the United States. (via Breakfast Links)

The Seven Most Stubborn People in History. (via Gorilla Mask)

The 10 Strangest, Most Terrifying Creatures Ever Found. They're mostly gross and explainable, but go look if you want.

You’re probably familiar with the ballerina optical illusion, but how distracting is a spinning cat? Can you make it change direction?

The odds of one’s grandmother dying on a particular day are directly correlated with the approach of college exams. This holds true for up to six grandmothers per student.

Who will be the new voice of the AFLAC duck? Here are a few that are auditioning for the job.

Mexican Pointy Boots.

How many internet memes are incorporated in this music video? All of them! But you won’t catch them all the first time around. (via Laughing Squid)

Funny or Die recruited everyone in Hollywood for the sequel to When Harry Met Sally -except Meg Ryan. This movie stars Helen Mirren and includes an unexpected twist. NSFW language.


Bunny Love


Whenever you hear the term "snuggle bunny" or "cuddle bunny," this is what it means. (via I Am Bored)

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Good Reads and Informative Videos

Judge Amanda Williams runs a particularly punitive drug court in Georgia -way beyond federal guidelines. This American Life looks at several cases that will break your heart. (via Metafilter)

Why You Should Care About Cricket. When one team commands a billion fans, there’s something special going on.

Our Amazing Planet -top to bottom. Its a big graphic for a deep subject.

The Animatronic Human Eye Mechanism.

6 Socially Conscious Actions That Only Look Like They Help.

How Slavery Really Ended in America. An argument of logic and law determined how the Union Army would handle a case of slaves who approached them for asylum. (via Metafilter)

“Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door” is an old saw, but it’s also literally true. Nicholas Jackson writes in The Atlantic about various mousetrap designs and how they represent the entrepreneurial spirit. (via Look at This)

The 6 Most Bizarre Medical Hoaxes People Actually Believed. The preposterousness of these cases vary; just because people can fake an illness well doesn’t mean a woman can give birth to rabbits.

Holiday Inn, Dial Soap & Other Famous Not-So-American Brands. Maybe they started out American, but foreign investment made them truly global.

The No-Baby Boom. More and more people are deciding that having children is just not worth it. (via Fark)

Rescued from an Eagle's Nest


Rescued from an Eagle's Nest is a 1908 film by D.W.Griffith. It featured cutting-edge special effects that were frightening to audiences. (via Dangerous Minds)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Make Your Own Easter Basket Treats!

It’s very easy to pick up traditional Easter candies at your local store, but it’s so much more fun to make them from scratch! Any of these projects can be an enjoyable and educational experience for kids, and homemade treats are a perfectly personal gift. And they’re tasty, too. See how it's done in this article I posted at mental_floss.

Funny Links

Manhood in the Mirror. When you stop laughing, check yourself, or remind your husband to. May be NSFW.

A difference in perspective -what we see and what kids see.

The 10 Most Liked Videos On YouTube, determined by the raw number of upvotes instead of the ratio of upvotes. Therefore, some of these are also on the most disliked list!

“Special Greg” Powell did a bike stunt so difficult that the maneuver is called a “special flip”.

Touch Wood. This musical Rube Goldbergesque Japanese ad for a cell phone is way more entertaining than it should be.

You may think the reason we don’t have cats as doctors is because they don’t have opposable thumbs and degrees, but there are plenty of other reasons. (via Maximum Verbosity)

Darth Vader plays the piano. This may be a leftover April Fool, but it’s a right nice performance.

Goats eyes look so weird because they have horizontal pupils. Even weirder, their eyes also rotate within their heads.

Arnold Schwarzeneggar is not going into retirement quietly. Look for the animated Governator in comic books, TV, and movies.

14 Crazy Chess Boards and Variations. Whether you want to play in three dimensions or fight over it, there’s a chess game just for you.

Goat Stampede!


A herd (well, three) of pygmy goat kids go on a rampage while a herding dog keeps watch. (vis Buzzfeed)

Monday, April 04, 2011

Informative Links

The Secret Fears of the Super-Rich. Having money often undermines everything else worth having in life.

In honor of Pixar’s 25th anniversary, here is a video montage of twelve feature films and 20 short subjects you know and love. Which part made you finally tear up?

Jeff Martin produced the largest indoor photograph ever: a 40-gigapixel, 360-degree image of the main hall of the 868-year-old Strahov monastery library in Prague, Czech Republic. Almost 3,000 images were shot over five days and then stitched together to make the mega-picture. (via The Daily What)

Geophagy: Not Your Average Eating Disorder. As anyone with a crossword puzzle Latin education can tell, this means eating dirt.

Ottawa artist Dan Austin makes awesome robots out of old appliances and other recycled bits of this and that.

One hundred and fifty years ago this month, the first shots were fired in the U.S. Civil War. How much do you know about what really happened that day at Fort Sumter, South Carolina?

How a differential gear works. Explained in small words and lots of visual analogies, just the way I like it.

Get your Country out of my Happy Meal!: Liberty cabbage, Freedom fries and other Product Renamings. Some of the strangest food terms we use came about for political reasons.

The History of Dairy Products (is spelled g-o-a-t).

Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy said he was struggling to pay his bills on only $174,000 a year. The GOP wants all copies of the video pulled from the internet. Maybe we can help.

Esso


A Finnish ad for the oil company, from about 1960 or so. (via Everlasting Blort)

Sunday, April 03, 2011

The Three Stooges TV Pilot



A project from 1948. From the Internet Archive:

This is a failed pilot for a "Three Stooges" TV show. The concept of the show was that the Stooges would try a new profession each show. In this episode they are interior decorators. Features Moe, Larry and Shemp.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

April Fool’s Day 2011 Video Collection

In case you weren’t everywhere on the internet for the holiday, here are some of the videos that were created especially for April Fool’s Day 2011, in a list I posted at mental_floss.





Riding on a Tramcar Through Belfast


Film footage taken in Belfast in 1901. (via Neatorama)