Monday, June 25, 2007

Why the DMV needs to issue IQ tests

"Keep your shiny side up and your rubber side down" - CB slang

Oops! Weirdest accidents, Part I and Part II (via Dark Roasted Blend)

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Day-By-Day Death

Between 1897-1901, the Antikamnia ("Opposed to pain") Chemical Company, of St. Louis, Missouri, manufacturers of various pharmaceuticals, produced calendars featuring "Skeleton Sketches" by artist-physician Louis Crucius.

In a bit of brilliant good fortune, we are in the midst of a sort of calendrical re-run, with the 1900 calendar being a day-for-day match with the 2007 calendar. What this means is that you can download and print off your very own "Year of The Skull", suitable for all your day planning needs, and mercifully, it also means you can finally deep-six that "365 Days of Garfield" one you got for Christmas from Cousin Stacy. After all there's only so many lasagna jokes one can stand per year, which is, I believe, somewhere between zero and one. (via BibliOdyssey, which explores the vast and fascinating world of biblio-arcana.)

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Kids these days...

Norwegian kids mess with a train (via The Presurfer)

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

What, no "Hummala bebhuhla zeebuhla boobuhla, hummala bebhuhla zeebuhla bop"?

The 20 Best Gibberish Lyrics, as compiled by
Extra Credit
: What song has the gibberish in this post's title?

Poking around a bit, I see a few other lists worth a look:
Worst Lyrics Ever
Worst Ideas Ever
Worst Band Photos (are you noticing a trend here?)

One annoyance about this site is their strict adherence to the "only one list item per page" rule, forcing you to click "Next" after each stinkin' one. Good for their advertisers, bad for one's patience. Actually, if you have Firefox, there is a little add-on I use called Repagination, which lets you concatenate all those separate pages into one super-page. Perfect for sites like this...

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What federal crimes are committed in Vegas, stay in Vegas

Having sat through the joyless outing that is Ocean's 13 this weekend, let me instead recommend Thirteen Real Heists From Around The World. If it helps, feel free to imagine them featuring George Clooney or Brad Pitt (or Elliott Gould if that's what does it for you, you sick puppy).
(via All Night Surfing)

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Somewhere, a sign language translator silently weeps...

A few months back I posted about this guy who could rattle off all 50 US states in 17 seconds.

At the time, I mentioned that he maybe should have covered his eyes or blindfolded himself of something to really prove to any naysayers that he wasn't simply reading a list just out of camera range. Not to doubt his verbal agility, mind you. I was just critiquing his... showmanship.

Well, yesterday I heard from Christopher, the aforementioned reciter himself (heretofore to be referred to as Mister SwiftyFifty). He affirmed that he was indeed reciting all 50 states from memory in just 17 seconds. In fact, in order to lay all doubt to rest, Mister SwiftyFifty has posted a New 'N' Improved YouTube video. Now with 100% more eye-closing goodness!

All well and good, until I ran across this video from someone called Thrond, who manages to recite all 66 books of the Bible (Old and New Testaments) the Book of Mormon, the 50 US States, the alphabet backwards, and all 43 United States Presidents in just under 60 seconds.(!)

For the full list of exactly what he is reciting (and notice he does indeed have his eyes closed during the performance), you can read it (and try to follow along yourself) here.

More critiquing, both negative and positive:
- Unfortunately, it's rather hard to understand what he is saying.

+ What do you expect? At 270 words (by my count) in 60 seconds, he is spitting out 4.5 words per second!

+ Best moment? When he starts getting into the groove and whips off those glasses!

Ha! Nosing around a bit further, I see a 2.0 version of this video with an additional listing of every Academy Award winner and helpful visual aids. While in this one it's not so obvious whether he is going from memory or not, it's still pretty dang cool.

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I say "po-ta-to", you say it wrong

What American accent do you have? Take the quiz and find out...

My results were pretty much spot on. I actually live about exactly in the center of this map, and my accent is:


You have a Northern accent. That could either be the Chicago/Detroit/Cleveland/Buffalo accent (easily recognizable) or the Western New England accent that news networks go for.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Hey Kool-Aid! You owe me $2400 for that load-bearing wall you just busted through.

Famous sports logos and their celebrity doppelgangers, if you are the type that would, for example, consider The Syracuse Orangeman mascot to be "famous", and the Hey Kool-Aid! Guy a "celebrity". (via Pop Culture Junk Mail)

The Father of Kool-Aid (amusing factoid from the article: did you know that in its infancy, Kool-Aid was originally called Fruit Smack? I am picturing thousands of disappointed 1920's junkies with orange- and grape-flavored veins cursing inventor Edwin Perkins for false advertising...)

Someone had to have been under the influence of something just a wee bit stronger than Kool-Aid to think that getting this tattoo was a good idea.

Ten unusual uses for Kool-Aid© Brand® Soft Drink PowderTM (pat. pend.)
Use #10. Use Kool-Aid to Check for Toilet Tank Leaks(!)

From the who-was-the-marketing-genius-behind-this-one dep't:
The Adventures of Kool-Aid Man comics. Me, I'm wondering if Kool-Aid Man needs to maintain that bowlegged stance just to keep his swimming trunks from falling down. I also bet all that condensation causes terrible chafing down there (and let's be frank... Kool-Aid Man's face, nay, his entire identity is dependent those life-sustaining sweat beads).

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Getting it together

I have gotten hooked on this show called How It's Made that my son Sam watches on The Discovery Channel. The title pretty much says it all. It shows how various items are manufactured, everything from Asphalt to Zippo Lighters. There's just something about watching the clever ways people have found to automate putting various things together really fascinates me.

There's also something very soothing about the program that I can't quite put my finger on. Maybe it's the friendly, laid-back Canadian vibe the host gives off, maybe it's the hypnotic visuals of the mechanized assembly.

You will have to check your local listings, as they say, to find out when it's playing in your part of the planet, but there are a few clips at The Discovery Channels site. I kinda like the one on aluminum foil for some reason...

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Ice Ice Baby

How to make "Instant Hot Ice" using sodium acetate (a common chemical compound readily available for purchase online) and water. This liquid turns into ice the moment it's touched. Actually, I can't tell if it's actually ice as in frozen H2O or just something that looks and acts like ice. Will it melt, for example? Is it safe to cool drinks with? Can some chemistry guru enlighten me, please? (via Spluch)

How does dry ice work?

1001 Things to do with Liquid Nitrogen (I am guessing a few?/a lot? of these are semi-unsafe and/or stupid to attempt, but I could be wrong. You go first.)

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Scribbling in History's margins

If you enjoy blogs like Damn Interesting, that often highlight some of history's more fascinating corners, I predict you will also get a kick out of Futility Closet, which I happened across this evening.

Like its semi-profanedly named counterpart, Futility also features wonderfully oddball stories in bite-size format. Two random-ish selections to get you in the spirit:

From the six-volume early 19th-century encyclopedia Kirby's Wonderful and Scientific Museum (which works best when treated as either fiction or an elablorate joke) comes a sighting of The Vegetable Lamb of Tartary. I see that Google Books has a scanned copy available of Kirby's tome for online perusal.

Is there a Ninth Symphony Curse?

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Friday, June 01, 2007

They walk among us!

Headless pedestrians, a black hole and E.T. in a field. Some of Google's new Street View discoveries. (via Boing Boing)

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The more things change...

Actors from the original Star Wars, then and now. (via The Presurfer)

You can see what's been happening lately with any number of random celebrities, has-beens, one-hit and nine-day wonders at (as in What Ever Happened To...?")

What ever happened to HotBot, Lycos, AltaVista and all those other search engines of yesteryear?

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