Social Security numbers are confusing. The SSA tells you to never give your number out except to your employer and the government, but then the bank, the utility office, schools, and every store to visit want to know yours. And what do those numbers mean, anyway?
CGP Grey (previously at Neatorama) explains social security numbers from their beginning to us in a way we can all understand, which is what he's good at. Meanwhile, Social Security is not so good at security. -via reddit
This is just silly enough to be satisfying. Erwin Trummer recorded candy as it melts, reversed some of the sequences, and then set them to classical music. It doesn't make a bit of sense, but it's fun to watch. -via Tastefully Offensive
The X movies have been lacking something the original cartoon had plenty of- character. Those mutant men and women just don't look the same when they're played by big names on the big screen, and the costume changes are a bit jarring to anyone who once watched the cartoon as a youngster. But it seems that X-fans will have to settle for live action close enough since there aren't any more animated series on the horizon....or better yet just grab the old animated series on DVD and enjoy it with your mutant family.
Show the world how much better the original cartoon series was than the new movies with this First Class 92 t-shirt by JP Perez, it's sure to bring back memories and get people talking about the evolution of the X!
Pigs look like carefree critters when they're laying around in their sty or wallowing in the mud, but they're only super chill when they know they're protected from the big bad wolves by a fence or a wall.
So when 60 mph winds knocked down Hamlet the pig's protective fence he did the only logical thing to keep himself safe- he went down to his local Home Depot store in Portage, Michigan to look for some help.
Around the turn of the 20th century, people were nuts about new technology, even stuff that now seems so odd you have to wonder what they were thinking. Take kites: if you had enough of them, one could lift a man high in the sky, as if he were flying. It was fun! But could it be used for military purposes? Armies used weather balloons for surveillance. Surely a man-lifting kite would be better… at least that was the view of one Samuel Franklin Cody, who modeled his Wild West Show career after Buffalo Bill Cody. Kite designer Scott Skinner, who researches the history of kites, tells us about Cody.
“While touring Great Britain he became enamored with kites,” says Skinner. Kite enthusiasm in Europe was flourishing; serious hobbyists and scientists alike read kiting magazines and gathered at annual fetes. Cody built and flew them, and finally decided to throw his effort into designing a man-lifting kite that could be turned into dollar signs and prestige.
By 1901, Cody had patented a version of a man-lifting kite, and according to biographer Garry Jenkins, was flexing his entrepreneurial muscles. “By then he has already written to the war office, offering them first option on ‘SF Cody’s Aroplaine [sic] or War-Kite: A boy’s toy turned into an instrument of war,’” he wrote in Colonel Cody and the Flying Cathedral.
The military use of man-lifting kites soon faded with the rise of the airplane, which even Cody preferred. Besides, we eventually figured out how to use airborne cameras without a photographer. Read about the fascinating Samuel Franklin Cody and his kite scheme at Atlas Obscura.
Guests coming over for dinner? You don't have to grab a spare table or snap in an extra table leaf to fit everybody for dinner - with this Roll-Out Table by Norwegian designer Marcus Voraa, you just roll out more table! Clever!
Scribes decorated medieval manuscripts with all kinds of weird thing, like rabbits, cats, Star Wars characters, and lots of snails. Snails very often appear to be doing battles with knights -or, more accurately, the knight is attempting to do battle with the snail. Vox takes a closer look at this phenomena.
Waterworld isn't the kind of movie that makes people think "gee, I'd sure like to live there someday!", but Brooklyn street artist Swoon saw the film as inspirational- so she started making floating homes out of trash.
Swoon calls her creations "The Swimming Cities of Serenissima", and back in 2009 she and a few dozen friends crashed the Venice Biennale contemporary art show with their barges made of trash from NYC.
Photographer and lifetime crew member Tod Seelie captured the post-apocalyptic spectacle as the trash barges floated through Venice, giving everyone a glimpse of how people might live on a drowned world.
What's been going on in the world of archaeology? John Green fills us in on new stuff, big stuff, and fascinating stuff in this week's episode of the mental_floss List Show. To be honest, it's mostly old stuff, though -very, very old stuff, even if it's new to you and me.
Ask a chemist for flowers, and he'll likely give you these wonderful crystal flowers!
Chemistry professor Dean Campbell of Bradley University and his team were trying to develop new catalysts by making a solution of copper acetylacetonate in tetrahydrofuran, then soaking slabs of polydimethylsiloxane in the jar. After the experiment, Campbell found wonderful crystals that look like wildflowers forming on the wall of the beaker.
Kenny Au knew that his husky was destined for greatness if he just knew how to acheive it -so he and his wife trained Hunter to paint. Well, to be more accurate, they trained their dog to paint after the super smart pup learned everything else it seemed possible to know.
They taught him how to make a simple head movement with a brush in his mouth and the rest, as they say, is history. Now little Hunter loves to paint and even looks at his owners with a longing look in his eyes when he wants to make a little art.
According to Kenny, having a job like painting keeps Hunter calm -presumably stopping him from going on a destructive rampage like the dog with the caligraphy ink we featured earlier this week.
Hunter's art is now for sale on Etsy for $38.72 a pop and they can even be signed with a paw print stamp (since he doesn't like getting dirty even to sign his own creations).
Potatoes are the most versatile vegetable in your kitchen, as they can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, but most will agree the best potato dishes are either buttery or cheesy and easy to prepare.
Which is why this recipe for Fondant Potatoes has been driving foodies crazy online for the last few years- it uses simple ingredients and takes very little prep time to make crusty, creamy and totally heavenly potatoes.
After 12 seasons, the TV series Bones came to an end last night. The show focused on forensic anthropologist "Bones" Brennan and FBI agent Seeley Booth and the crimes they solved together. The series was based on the work of Kathy Reichs, a forensic anthropologist turned crime writer turned TV producer, so it had a sense of authenticity other crime procedurals lack. Fans of Bones will want to check out the list of the most dramatic moment of each season at TVOM. And of you haven't followed the show, it might set you up for binge-watching with home video.
It can be hard to take down your enemies when you're carrying around all kinds of weapons, and yet any warrior worth their salt knows they need a wide array of arms at their disposal in case things go sideways. So Zorg has created an universal killing device that's sure to live up to any combatant's level of expectation- the ZF-1 Pod Weapon, the all-in-one gun! The ZF-1 shoots bullets, arrows and rockets, it's a flamethrower, a net launcher and looks as cool as Zorg too! Just make sure you actually pay for your Zorg ZF-1 or he may conveniently forget to mention what happens when you push that little red button...
Add an element of nerdy humor to your geeky wardrobe with this Zorg ZF-1 t-shirt by adho1982, its the fifth most fun way to show love for your favorite sci-fi flick!
Visit Adho1982's NeatoShop for more geek-tastic designs:
Stephen Hawking is a forward thinking fellow, so when he was told his synthesized voice sounds a bit outdated he decided to call up some of his famous friends and let them have a go at becoming his new voice.
Janelle Shane spent some time teaching a neural network how to generate recipes. She set it to learn from 30,000 existing recipes, but learning to cook is hard. After all, it can't taste the results. But even before the recipes are completed, it had a difficult time learning ingredients, measurements, and processes. The results are quite interesting. For example, here are some ingredients the machine suggests.
1 ½ teaspoon chicken brown water 1 teaspoon dry chopped leaves 1/3 cup shallows 10 oz brink custard ¼ cup bread liquid 2 cup chopped pureiped sauce ½ cup baconfroots ¼ teaspoon brown leaves ½ cup vanilla pish and sours ½ cup white pistry sweet craps 1 tablespoon mold water ¼ teaspoon paper 1 cup dried chicken grisser 15 cup dried bottom of peats ¼ teaspoon finely grated ruck
And this is a thing that it came up with repeatedly for some reason, and was quite adamant that I use:
Ken Jeong is best known for his roles in The Hangover and Dr. Ken, but before he was famous, he was actually just a regular old doctor (although undoubtedly a funnier-than-average one). While he may not be a practicing M.D. these days, he still retains his medical knowledge and in this hilarious video, he answers burning medical questions on Twitter in entirely satisfying ways.
Tequila Cloud is an art installation that is a cloud made of tequila, that rains tequila on command. In case you're thinking of renting one for your next party, there's only one, and it was on display earlier this month in Germany.
The Mexican Tourism Board installed the cloud in Berlin at the Urban Spree compound in an art gallery and said “real tequila was turned into gas to create a floating cloud that rains tequila on command.” The art installation seems to be a cloud with lights to simulate lightening that is filled with tequila gas vapor that then rains down and fills a basin with tequila. If you’re not patient enough to collect your shot from a freakin’ cloud, there’s a handy tap that dispenses them, too.
Lucky visitors got to drink for free. Now, if the relations between the U.S. amd Mexico ever improve, we might get a chance to see it ourselves. See more pictures of the Tequila Cloud at Uproxx.
California has record rainfall this year and as a result, the desert is full of flowers and the Anza Borrego Desert outside of San Diego even had more flowers than it had since 2005 -what's known as a super bloom.
Even the second you get out of your car you're hit with flowers everywhere.
They seem to grow in every color -pinks, reds, purples, greens, yellows, blues, whites and more!
And it was amazing how many flowers were growing on some of the plants.
Dressing up isn't reserved for Halloween night when you're a monster movie fan, and trying to recreate those spooky looks becomes a lifelong mission we undertake so we can feel closer to those creatures of the night.
M.C. Escher was an uniquely gifted artist who had a knack for infusing art with mathematics, even though Escher himself claimed he had "no mathematical ability".
Obsessed with perspective, geometry, and pattern (Escher described tessellation as “a real mania to which I have become addicted”), his images have, by the count of mathematician and Escher scholar Doris Schattschneider, led so far to eleven separate strands of mathematical and scientific research.
In 1971 Dutch filmmaker Han Van Gelder asked Escher to demonstrate his artistic process for a documentary entitled Adventures In Perception, in which we can see Escher creating his final print Snakes.
The first movie in the expanded Harry Potter universe is Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which made over $800 million in 2016. But it doesn't matter how much people love a movie; Screen Junkies will find a way to turn that enthusiasm on its head with an Honest Trailer.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set in the 1920s, earlier than the Potter films, and is supposed to set up a series of several movies based on wizards in America. I don't think there's spoilers in this Honest Trailer. I haven't seen the movie, and I still have no idea what the plot entails.
Wade and Peter are both amazingly tough, they can both wisecrack with the best of them and they both favor the color red. But despite their similarities the two superguys didn't become fast friends, mostly because DP kept doing stuff that the super moral Spider Man didn't approve of, namely killing people and destroying stuff. Once they were able to iron out their differences and found themselves on the same side of the law DP and SM started doing that fist bump thang like total bros, and became a pair of unstoppable super friends!
Get geared up for some superheroic fun with this Brothers In Red t-shirt by OneBluebird Art, and celebrate a friendship forged in battle and reinforced by really bad jokes!
Adopting a new puppy is a wonderful, nightmarish experience, but it can be a lot more positive if you don't have to go to work every day and leave your pooch either outside, in a crate or with someone else. Just like a new baby, dogs need time to bond with their parents and that's why it pays to have a job that offers paid time off when you adopt a pup -and these three companies featured on Travel and Leisure offer just that (and a few even offer pet bereavement leave).
The Bottle Boys (previously at Neatorama) are back with a cover of Michael Jackson's 1982 hot "Beat It." You'd expect the Danish group to be able to play just about anything and make it sound good, but what's really impressive is how they recreate Eddie Van Halen's guitar solo on bottles!
Now that's tough love. Jeremy Brevard of USA TODAY Sports spotted this dad trolling his son with a funny sign at Friday's Cleveland Cavaliers - Charlotte Hornets basketball game, which said "Thomas get your grades back up and next time you'll be here. Love, Dad"
And he's not done! Here's one more at Sunday's Houston Rockets game:
When Hollywood does history, they often go to great lengths to portray an iconic moment accurately, especially when there is film or photographs of the original event. They get pretty darn close, as this comparison from Vugar Efendi shows us.
For most of these, I am more familiar with the actual film or photographs than I am with the movies. I'm impressed at how well they copied the existing archives. Then again, if a movie didn't resemble the real history, it wouldn't have made it into this video. If you have trouble reading the captions, try it in fullscreen mode. -via Laughing Squid