Thursday, December 31, 2009
In Spain, people ring in the New Year by eating 12 grapes. In Bolivia, to bring good fortune in the coming year they wear yellow-colored underwear (presumably it comes from the store that color, and is not the byproduct of overexcited Bolivians).
Technorati tags: New, Year, traditions
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
For sound complexity, one language stands out. !Xóõ, spoken by just a few thousand, mostly in Botswana, has a blistering array of unusual sounds. Its vowels include plain, pharyngealised, strident and breathy, and they carry four tones. It has five basic clicks and 17 accompanying ones. The leading expert on the !Xóõ, Tony Traill, developed a lump on his larynx from learning to make their sounds. Further research showed that adult !Xóõ-speakers had the same lump (children had not developed it yet).
Technorati tags: language
It's official. Dylan is out of his everlovin' mind. Wearing a ridiculous wig and barely managing to lip sync to his own vocals, I am not even sure if he realized the cameras were on. Though the album (Christmas In The Heart) was roundly panned by the critics, I've gotta tell you, this song burrowed past my earworm defenses and is still rattling around in my head hours later.
Must be Santa! Must be Santa! Must be Santa, Santa Claus!
Technorati tags: Bob, Dylan, Christmas
The older you get, the more rules they are going to try and get you to follow. You just gotta keep on livin', man. L-I-V-I-N.
I'll take this time to say that if you grew up during the 70s and have not yet seen Richard Linklater's 1993 classic (featuring a fairly skeevy character played by the then pretty much unknown Matthew McConaughey), do yourself a favor and check it out. You'd be a lot cooler if you did...
Technorati tags: Dazed, Confused, Santa
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Come on, big guy. You're in like hundreds of millions of houses tonight, most with a fully functional toilet, and you choose this very second to let it fly? (via AmyOops)
Technorati tags: Santa, when you gotta go...
The Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair this past November featured a book bound in human skin. Ick.
Not having read the books or seen the movies, this was a tough quiz for me, and I scored a middling 67% to prove it. Take the quiz: Harry Potter Character or Hideous Skin Disease?
7 Most Bizarre Skin Diseases
Dede Koswara, a 35-year-old Indonesian fisherman suffers from a severe Human Pappiloma Virus (HPV) infection. he is called the "tree man" because of the gnarled warts all over his body.
Technorati tags: Harry, Potter, skin, disease, quiz, book
As expected, a friendly little game of lasercat tag is all fun and games until somebody brings out the nuclear hairball.
Seriously, though. What kind of targeting mechanism are they using with these cats? With that kind of aim, I don't think even the Imperial Stormtrooper Academy would take them. (via Neatorama)
Technorati tags: pew, pew, pew, pew, pew, pew, pew, pew, pew, laser, cats
Hmm. Should I celebrate Christmas or crush the entire planetary ecosystem with my gargantuan carbon footprint? Can't I do both?
Technorati tags: Christmas, lights, Step away from the LEDs
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Just Who Is This Guy? It's that time of the year where we actually welcome nocturnal break-ins. Just as long as the perpetrator leaves a copy of Rock Band...
Santa's Crime Wave - By all accounts, the suspect is still (at) large.
Sherwood Linton - Santa Got A DWI
Technorati tags: Santa, Christmas, Ho ho ho, crime
Monday, December 21, 2009
Shoot some online baskets, and compare your prowess to others playing around the world. In a case of gaming imitating reality, I suck out loud at both virtual and actual basketball. (via Kottke)
Technorati tags: flash, games, basketball
Sunday, December 20, 2009
A cute video of little robots dancing to some of your favorite Christmas songs. (via [Geeks Are Sexy]
Daft Punk - Robot Rock
Battle of the Robot Dance Moves (Even a Robot's Got to Protect His Junk)
Dancing Citroen Transformer
Dancing Sony Robots
This contestant on So You Think You Can Dance has really got his 'bot on. Day-um.
Technorati tags: robot, dance
It's the end of the year, and that means lots and lots of "Best Of"/ "Top 10" lists covering 2009.
A piffling 365 days? Forget that noise. The Onion steps up their game and brings you their Top 10 Stories of the Past 4.5 Billion Years. A few of my faves would be Fire, Setting Everything In Sight On Fire Discovered, Dinosaurs Sadly Extinct Before Invention Of Bazooka and Rat-Sh**-Covered Physicians Baffled By Spread Of Black Plague.
Technorati tags: Onion, news
Friday, December 18, 2009
CAUTION: There is so much action packed into this video (called "The TV Show") directed by Sugimoto Kousuke, you might need a seatbelt just to watch it. Strap in.
If you like that, you might also enjoy Kousule's Full Moon Party, which compresses thousands of years of ape civilization into a three-and-a-half minute guitar-propelled barnburner.
Technorati tags: Sugimoto, Kousuke
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Go out and amaze your drinking buddies, maybe even win a few bar bets with these balancing tricks.
This Diet Pepsi is part of a balanced breakfast.
Although it looks impossible, that 2-liter soda bottle is balancing without any hidden support other than that acrylic board with a hole just big enough to accept the neck of the bottle. Neat center-of-gravity physics that looks like magic.
How to balance 10 nails off the head of a single nail. Ingenious.
Technorati tags: balancing, trick, soda, bottle, nails
Friday, December 11, 2009
A final countdown of that cheesiest of 80's power anthems, Europe's 1986 mega-hit "The Final Countdown". All 16 (count 'em, 16!) versions, everything from a version done by a "manualist", aka one who forces air through this cupped hands to make musical sounds to some guy performing it on a homemade "kazookelele" (kazoo + ukelele). I'd say, "enjoy", but that may be asking a bit much. How 'bout, "good luck"?
Go to Google and don't enter anything into the search box. Click the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button and you will see how many seconds are left in 2009. (via TYWKIWDBI)
Technorati tags: Europe, Final Countdown, Google
People all over Norway were freaking out December 9th because of a mysterious ginormous spiral of light in the evening sky. (via The Presurfer)
Update: It was caused by a failed Russian rocket launch. Interesting video explaining the cause of the spiral.
So, I guess that means my They Might Be Giants "Spiraling Shape" Theory is definitely not a contender. Ah well, it's still a good song and I recommend listening...
Mess up your brain with these hypnotic spirals and optical illusions.
Technorati tags: spirals, Norway, tagname, They Might Be Giants, hypnosis, optical, illusions
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
How would things look if the Earth had rings like Saturn? A cool thought experiment with some gorgeous visuals. (via Albino Blacksheep)
Elephants on Acid, just one of 10 Bizarre Scientific Experiments.
Schrödinger's cat and 7 other Famous Thought Experiments.
Technorati tags: weird, experiments
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Sunday, December 06, 2009
A Japanese Halls lozenge commercial. Somehow I don't think subtitles would have cleared this up any. (via List of the Day)
Nice. Make sure your speakers are turned up.
Odd commercial with an anthropomorphic dog(-like demoncreature) for Calbee potato chips.
Technorati tags: strange, Japanese, commercial
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Epic Oreo Cookie
Oreos as artistic medium. Using 1,887 Oreos, Phil Hansen recreated the famous 1963 photograph of a Vietnamese Buddhist monk immolating himself in protest of the persecution of Buddhist monks by the South Vietnamese government.
Kind of a downer in a post about Oreo cookies, fer cryin' out loud, so you can go here for more history and the original photo. You can view more of his unusual work at PhilInTheCircle.com.
Recipe for Oreo Balls, a/k/a Reindeer Droppings
How to make deep-fried Oreo cookies.
Technorati tags: Oreos
Not everyone can (or should) be a superhero. I can totally see Wolverine here walking around Comic Con '09 eating Sausage McGriddles that have been skewered on his claws.
Technorati tags: overweight, superheroes
Technorati tags: USB, flash, drive, flashbag
Friday, December 04, 2009
Man dressed as elf causes mall evacuation
Atlanta, GA - Southlake Mall was evacuated Wednesday night after a man dressed as an elf allegedly told the mall Santa that he was carrying dynamite. [more]
Man gives up attempts to produce milk
Stockholm, Sweden - Swedish man who spent months attempting to pump milk from his breasts has given up on the failed attempt, his observers said. [more]
Technorati tags: odd, news
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
I have a gun in my bag.
Give me $5,000 please.
Thanks a bunch.
This is a bank robbery,
place 1 100.00 bill
on the counter
or I will shoot you
Technorati tags: bank, robbery, notes, crime
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Oh, who am I kidding? Of course it was for nothing! Even so, The Universal Record Database wants to know about it! (via In4mador!)
From their About page:
- Let's see what humans can do.
- What world record are you capable of setting? We believe every person on earth has potential to be the world's best 'something'. URDB's mission is to become the database where all such achievements will live.
- What record categories are acceptable?
The general guidlines are simple: every record in the database must be a) quantifiable, b) breakable and c) legal. If you want to set a record for, say, "Fastest Time Eating a Banana While Standing On The Great Wall of China and Wearing A Purple T-Shirt", go for it. Creativity is highly encouraged.
While not mandatory, achievements that positively impact mankind are encouraged. For example, think "Most Soda Cans Recycled in 24 Hours" instead of "Most Oil Spilled Into a Lake". Let's build a site we'll all feel good about.
Technorati tags: world, record
Stephen Wiltshire is an autistic man also known as "The Living Camera" for his ability to recall and sketch landscapes with incredible detail after viewing them only once. Here he draws from memory a 17-foot long aerial recreation of the city of Rome after seeing it for the first and only time on a 45-minute helicopter ride. Astounding. (via Bits & Pieces)
Technorati tags: memory, autism
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The Muppets - Bohemian Rhapsody (thanks, Tim!)
The six kinds of wonderful Julia Nunes - You're My Best Friend
Freddie Chin - Bicycle Race
My favorite Queen song, the one that always puts a big dopey smile on my face (and looks of consternation on everyone else's when they hear me trying to sing along), Queen - Somebody to Love
Technorati tags: Queen, Muppets, Julia, Nunes
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Stairways to Heaven, Stairways to Hell - One man, one song, 101 ways.
Ken posts at WFMU's Beware of the Blog and has just completed a quest to collect as many unusual covers of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven" as possible, including a banjo version (Todd Taylor), a mashup with Laurie Anderson's "O Superman" (DJ Earworm), a Gregorian chant, and, unless my math fails me, 98 other versions. (via Mookie)
Technorati tags: Stairway, Led, Zeppelin, covers
Monday, November 09, 2009
Name That Movie: Each series is a sequence of six drawings of shots from classic films (in the order they appear on screen.) No portraits of movie stars, just iconic images from the film.
Technorati tags: movies, cinema, quiz
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Continuing on... Obscure Brands of Soda Pop (#6 - #1)
Technorati tags: obscure, sodas
Sunday, November 01, 2009
The Story of John F. Ptak and His Large (90,000) Collection of Pamphlets From the Library of Congress, and How Many of The Publishers Tried to Spice Up The Somewhat Mundane Subject Matter by Using the Narrative Form "The Story Of ________" In Their Title
Get the full story (and lots of other examples) here. (via Growabrain)
Technorati tags: pamphlets, not that interesting
Because the original title of "Excuse me there, Jude. I was wondering if I could have your attention, please?" lacked a certain punch
Hey Jude: The Flowchart (click to automagically embiggenate) (via Bits & Pieces)
Hey Jude: The Diaper Years
This has been kicking around for years and years. Linda McCartney's isolated vocal track of "Hey Jude" from a live show in 1990.
Technorati tags: Beatles, Hey, Jude
Friday, October 30, 2009
Air Supply: Literal Video Version (Making Love Out of Nothing at All). The White Man Afro, Dave Coulier lookalikes, and illegal U-Turns. This video's got it all! (via Bored At Work)
Technorati tags: Air Supply, literal, video, comedy
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Hmmm, it seems though there might be some other obscure holiday around the same time. Wonder what that could be... Ah, yes! This so-called "Hallow's Evening" or something similar.
As usual, we visit the go-to site for all things having to do with mutilated gourds, ExtremePumpkins.com for a bit of inspiration.
Worm Infested Pumpkin
In this article they called him "Stay Puff", but every Ghostbusterphile knows him as Mr. Stay Puft a/k/a The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Only in this case he's made out of pumpkins, of course.
The Ravenous Baby-Eating Jack-o-lantern (not to be confused with a certain Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal)
Technorati tags: halloween, extreme, pumpkins, Stay Puft, Hitchhikers, Guide
You know the economy is hurting everyone these days when burglars can't even afford the basic tools of the trade, namely ski masks. Two would-be Iowan burglars were arrested, their faces blackened with permanent marker. The third member of their gang, Joey "The Highlighter" McConnell, remains at large.
Technorati tags: dumb, criminals
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Name the rock band that was the subject of these rockumentaries (I got a 15/24)
Things with "Blue" in the title (30/40)
Name the movie from its initials (15/30 -- note: spelling COUNTS)
Presidential first names (38/43)
Looking at a world map, name the mountain ranges around the world (I didn't even attempt)
Technorati tags: quiz
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Here are four of my favorites, but really, practically every single one of the songs and videos is equal parts entertaining, ear-wormy and educational. But don't tell my boys that last bit; they're too busy sing-shouting "I Am A Paleontologist".
Here Comes Science on Amazon
"I Am A Paleontologist", with vocals from TMBG bassist Danny Weinkauf.
"Put It To The Test" in all its 8-bit goodness. And you don't even need to insert a quarter to play it.
"Electric Car", with Robin Goldwasser. Beautiful animation. Adorable overload.
"Meet The Elements". Did you know that elephants are made of elements?
Technorati tags: TMBG, Here, Comes, Science
Friday, October 16, 2009
I don't know about you, but me, I've had a stressful last couple of days (work-related stuff), so I am self-prescribing this video of the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Japan. Gonna put it on HD and full-screen and just chill out a bit. (via Pharyngula)
Technorati tags: aquarium, aaahhhhh
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
A Brief History of Gummy Bears
Molten potassium chlorate is a strong oxidizing agent that reacts violently with sugar. Lucky for us, Gummy Bears have lots of sugar in them.
Aaaaand in this corner, disturbingly wearing no trunks whatsoever and weighing in at a whopping 5 pounds and 12,600 calories, the Sugar Coma from Oklahoma, the Leader of the Nation of Cavity Formation, the Treat to Lead Us to Diabeetus, won't you please put your hands together for... The World's Largest Gummy Bear!!
There is much more at Vat19's Gummy Bear site, including the semi-disgusting video these shots were captured from.
Technorati tags: Gummy, Bears