But he's a good friend who practices tough love. Mr. Mabe has an alcoholic friend. This friend has had 5 arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol. Mr. Mabe and his colleague Jim Clark staged an intervention in the form of a prank.
After the drunk driver passed out, they moved him into a fake hospital room and convinced him that he had been in a coma for 10 years.
The funniest bit is the news update that the patient sees when he turns on the television.
Arsenic was, at one time, a very popular way to murder someone. It was the most common poison to factor in 19th century British murder trials, but it is also a particularly difficult cause of death to determine. In fact, most deaths by arsenic were attributed to natural causes, so for every murder trial involving arsenic, there were probably multiple cases in which the perpetrator got away with the crime.
Some poisons such as cyanide and strychnine work according to a strict timetable and dispatch their victims in a predictable manner. Arsenic, by contrast, is mysterious and shilly-shallying, behaving more like an infectious disease, so that the nature and length of the victim's suffering depends partly on their genetic make-up and general state of health. Death from acute arsenic poisoning can take anything from two hours to four days, although victims have been known to linger for a fortnight. For most, though, the misery lasts at least 24 hours.
To confuse matters further, human beings are capable of building up a certain tolerance to arsenic if they go about it carefully enough. In 1851, a community of peasants living on the Austria-Hungarian border were found to be taking arsenic in what would normally be lethal doses. They believed that the poison was good for their health and took it as a tonic, starting with a tiny sub-toxic dose and gradually increasing it.
Defense lawyers quickly seized on this to try to sow doubt in juries' minds. Was this case really murder? Perhaps the arsenic in the dead person's food or body had been self-administered for health reasons, only this time the victim had gone too far?
And there were other factors that made arsenic the go-to poison for those who wanted to hasten the death of someone they knew. Read about them in an excerpt from the book The Inheritor's Powder: A Tale of Arsenic, Murder, and the New Forensic Scienceat HuffPo Books.
It's so hard to quit smoking, but luckily, this little kitty has a good sponsor to help make sure she can't light up. Of course, like most addicts, she does put up a fight, but in the end, common sense (and a strong human hand) win out.
And don't worry for those nervous about hitting play, no kitties were harmed in the making of this video -including getting cigarette smoke in their lungs.
The holidays are here. Are you looking for the perfect gift for the person who always seems to be out to lunch? Get them the Will Return clock from the NeatoShop. This fun clock looks like a "Will Return" sign.
"We found use of uptalk in all of our speakers, despite their diverse backgrounds in socioeconomic status, ethnicity, bilingualism and gender," said Amanda Ritchart, a linguist at the University of California who led the research.
"We believe that uptalk is becoming more prevalent and systematic in its use for the younger generations in Southern California," she added.
The team recorded and analysed the voices of 23 native Californians aged between 18 and 22. The researchers were therefore not able to infer similar language patters in older Californians.
Here’s a music video that represents an almost perfect synergy between band and filmmaker, a video that is so hypnotic to watch you’ll lose track of time as the rhythm flows and the visuals unfold.
The song is “Before Your Very Eyes” by Atoms For Peace, and the animation was created by Andrew Thomas Huang, a master of bending minds and bringing the awe factor to music videos.
Andrew's past credits include equally amazing videos for Sigur Ros, Bjork and Solipsist. This time around he invites your mind on a trip across a living landscape, but beware the giant living in the mountains.
The Amish and similar groups call themselves "plain people." Here's the plain truth about the plain way they dress.
In the 16th century, a radical group of Protestant Christians from Switzerland and Germany formed their sect based on the belief that only adults could make the conscious choice to accept God. So even though they had been baptized as infants, this new group had themselves re-baptized, earning them the name Anabaptists (ana is Greek for "repeat" or "again"). Humility was the cornerstone of Anabaptist belief. They rejected pride, shunned non-believers, and refused to take part in any military action. They took no oaths, not even wedding vows, and firmly believed in the separation of church and state.
The Anabaptists were fiercely persecuted in Europe, which led to mass migrations early in the 19th century to the more tolerant United States. By this time the Anabaptists had split into a number of separate sects, most of them named after their spiritual leaders: the Amish, led by Jakob Amman; Mennonites, founded by Menno Simon; the Hutterites by Jacob Hutter; and the Brethren in Christ. Each branch established its own rules for living and for what devotees could and could not wear. They lived simply and dressed simply, which earned them the nickname "plain people." Their style of dress became known as "plain dress."
Plain people believe that beauty comes from within. Any sort of fancy dress or ornamentation that calls attention to the physical body is against their ordnung, or church rules. Their dress is an expression of humility and non-conformity with the outside world. Many people assume that plain dress is a 16th-century style, but it's really a mishmash of styles from different time periods. Today plain women wear 17th-century long-sleeved dresses with 18th-century bonnets and 19th-century shawls.
In Japan, it’s traditional to eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken on Christmas. It’s obviously not an ancient tradition. Rather, it is a marketing ploy that KFC made in 1974. A group of foreigners came into a KFC restaurant searching for a Christmas turkey dinner. They decided that chicken would be an acceptable substitute.
The company saw an opportunity and launched its new advertising campaign. It was straightforward: “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!”—“Kentucky for Christmas!” For about $10, diners could get chicken and wine.
This program became enormously popular with not just foreigners living in Japan, but the Japanese themselves. It’s now a tradition in many families to have Christmas dinner at KFC, even if they have to wait in line for two hours.
This is one of 12 Christmas traditions celebrated around the world that, to Americans, may seem a bit odd. You can read the rest at Flavorwire.
Ordinarily, snow flakes are a peaceful and relaxing sight, but when the snow flakes depict the different houses from Game of Thrones, it's guaranteed to be a very blood red Christmas. We all know that winter is coming though and when you're working with snow flakes and winter, only one house can come out on top and that's the House Stark.
These lovely tributes to the world of George R.R. Martin are the works of Redditor Elizerdbeth and I'm very happy she made them.
Meatball (a wonderful name) the Pembroke Welsh Corgi loves to ride on a carousel. Well, he's not so much riding as he is using it as a treadmill! Meatball (such a perfect name) gets plenty of exercise while Carter gets to ride around and around. Yay, Meatball! -via Daily Picks and Flicks
We see faces everywhere- on fruits and vegetables, in the structure of houses and cars, and sometimes even on people’s nude torsos. Faces are all around us, and in true internet fashion a Twitter account has been set up so people can send in their own photographic evidence of the facial invasion.
Faces In Things is where you need to go if you’re surrounded by eyes, mouths (and occasionally noses) and want to share your scopophobia with the world. Faces In Things will show you that you're not alone, others are seeing faces in things too, and some of those faces are so darn cute it's hard to be mad at them for wanting to hang around and stare at us all day.
Sir Walter Raleigh sponsored a colony of English immigrants on Roanoake Island, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. They arrived in 1587 and had disappeared by 1590. It has since been called "The Lost Colony" because no one knows what happened to the 90 men, 17 women, and 11 children who established the colony. They may had died from disease or violence from Native Americans, or they may have left, possibly splitting up to join tribal villages. In recent years, research into the mystery was sparked by a discovery on a map drawn by the colony's governor John White.
Two patches on the map made Brent Lane of the First Colony Foundation (the group behind the latest archaeological trip and a National Geographic grantee) in Durham, North Carolina, wonder if they might hide something beneath.
Scientists at the British Museum looked into the patches and discovered a tiny red-and-blue symbol. Could it have indicated a fort or a secret emergency location?
"Our best idea is that parts of Raleigh's exploration in North America were a state secret, and the map 'cover-up' was an effort to keep information from the public and from foreign agents," said Eric Klingelhofer of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, a historian and the principal investigator on the project.
This map point led researchers to take the latest technology out into the area, ground-penetrating radar (GPR). The intriguing results present evidence of a fort buried several feet under the ground. But what is really underneath, and how old is it? It has been suggested that the next step might be the use of a proton magnetometer. However, Clay Swindell of the Museum of the Albemarle thinks they may have to resort to old-fashioned research.
"We have to go in and dig some holes, I guess," Swindell said.
Here's a good pun by cartoonist and animator Louie del Carmen. Or maybe, as Mr. del Carmen advises, it's a "sponsorship opportunity" for Wonder Bread. The jet fuel for Wonder Woman's invisible plane has got to be expensive. She should monetize her superhero work.
It's funny, but I've seen my kids do this exact thing. They beg for an opportunity to make money for Christmas gifts, but it turns out the gifts -or at least the biggest gifts- are for themselves. I've also had a problem with them buying what's on their wish list, thereby throwing the entire family back into the confusion of what to get them. Comic by Ryan Hudson at Channelate. -via Geeks Are Sexy
Haaayyy Boo-Boo! Christmas time is here. Are you looking for a clever gift favorite Yogi Bear lover? Capture the Yogi Bear Cookie Jar from the NeatoShop. This fantastic ceramic cookie jar features your favorite bear clutching a pic-a-nic basket.
We just covered the world's largest gingerbread house, which is on display at Texas A&M University, but if just one house isn't enough to impress you, then you can't miss the world's largest gingerbread village created by New York Chef Jon Lovitch.
The incredible creation consists of 152 houses and 65 trees. It weighs over 1.5 tons, made up of 500 pounds of gingerbread, 400 pounds of candy and 2,240 pounds of icing. Unsurprisingly, it cost over a few thousand dollars to complete, but that's a small price to pay to live forever in the pages of the Guinness Book of World Records.
Opera ain’t just for sophisticated folks wearing fancy duds anymore, now geeks and gamers can enjoy some dramatic singing thanks to the virtual performance OPERAcraft.
Created by a bunch of music majors from Virginia Tech who were looking to bring a bit of culture to the video game loving masses, OPERAcraft stars pixelated Minecraft characters performing on the big screen while the VT squad sings, and the blockheaded characters on the screen even lip sync to the lyrics thanks to a Minecraft mod and the Pd-L2Ork orchestral software. This ain’t your grandma’s operatic performance, this is next gen virtual live performance/animated pixel art at its finest.
The website Movie Mistakes has collected over 100,000 mistakes spotted in movies by fans. Now they've released their list of the top mistakes of 2013, as voted by the site's users. Some of them are factual errors, like a scene in The Hangover III:
Chow is carrying around $21 million in gold bullion. A bar weighs 400 ounces. Gold prices at that time were around $1,200 per ounce, and he's got two bags, therefore he's supposedly carrying 8,750 ounces, or about 550lb, on each arm.
While others are mistakes in continuity, which is just weird things that happen in the confusion of filmmaking that someone should have caught, like what happened in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire:
The number of arrows that Katniss has in her quiver goes up and down through the games. For example, In the second cornucopia scene when the career tributes from Districts 1 and 2 attack Katniss, Peeta, Wiress, Johanna, Finnick and Beetee, one shot shows three arrows left, but there were plenty used during the rest of the film.
The Muppets' Swedish Chef is serving up his Swéédéé Méétéé Bøøls at a Food Truck Festival when celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay shows up. A challenge? It's a food fight! At least Ramsay does his own bleeps in this -after all, it is the Muppets! -via Boing Boing
Photoshopped pictures of hybrid animals that could never actually exist in the wild are funny, but when that hybrid is a powerful new species which embodies the strengths of both original species and is capable of subjugating the human race we need to take notice.
Beware the Dirds, for they are powerful creatures born of bird and dog, and they are sick of eating dry kibble, bird seeds and crackers. Dirds can be identified by their bone chilling squawk bark, their tendency to drool and their oily feather-fur which is so slick the blood of their prey runs right off. Dirds were created by humans, but will they become our new masters?
The past meets the future in the present! German cosplayer Genovefa designed and made these long dresses complete with corsets that resemble futuristic Starfleet uniforms. Here you see her wearing a Captain Janeway dress while her friend models a Data version. See more picture at her blog (which is in German). -via io9
This video is labeled "David and Steph Teeterboard training," so I guess we can assume that Steph is short for Stephan or Stephen, although I don't know which athlete is which. I watched and kept expecting one of them to hit the ceiling. It would be so easy for something to go wrong here! Kids, don't try this at home, only in a gym after years of practice and proper training. And this is the first instance I've seen in which a portrait orientation on a phone video is altogether appropriate. -via Viral Viral Videos
Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog
Add a little holiday cheer to your table with a Merry Christmas Vintage Card Plate from the NeatoShop. Each little plate features a vintage Christmas card design on the front and a gold leaf back. Each little plate is perfect for holding small precious possessions or candies.
Six different Merry Christmas Vintage Card Plates available. Buy them all and make it a very merry set.
Bart Simpson is cute as a troublemaker, right? Maybe not if you work in law enforcement. He's actually committed serious crimes that could send him prison for a long, long time. Bart probably gets away with it due to an incompetent local police force and the lack of a significant federal presence in town. Counterfeiting? That's a paddlin'.
This is one of 8 criminal chalkboard gags from The Simpsons rounded up by Brendan Lopez. You can read the rest here.
And if you think that Mr. Lopez might be missing any, you’re welcome to search through the comprehensive archive of chalkboard gags.
Who would steal vegetables from nuns? Someone snuck into the the Dominican Farm and Ecology Centre in Wicklow, Ireland, and stole an entire field of Brussels sprouts right out of the ground. Sister Julie Newman believes they will be sold for a high price as organic holiday fare. The sprouts, valued at around €300, were ready for harvest after two years of growth.
"It's not just the monetary value. It's when you think of the effort that people went to in caring for them," Sr Newman added.
She said the nuns believe that the sprouts will now be sold as high-end organic produce for the Christmas market.
The vegetables are biennial, so it takes two years to bring Brussels sprouts to full maturity.
While some produce at the farm has been stolen before, Sr Newman says the thievery was never on this scale.
"I feel sorry for our staff. They have minded them and cared for them all along, and someone came in the dead of the night and stole all of them.
"We would have the odd bit of pilfering of potatoes and onions, but this was deliberate. It wasn't just someone looking for a few vegetables for their dinner.
Dreams can be so freaky and weird sometimes, so full of vivid and surreal imagery, that they would make for really great short films. And since the imagery is so strange they’d probably have to be created with CG animation, to properly capture their bizarre visual nature.
Well what do you know, it appears former Northumbria University student Samuel Blain already had the same idea and created a short called In Dreams, featuring freaky realizations of (you guessed it!) people’s most vivid dreams.
Samuel calls it an experimental documentary, and while some of the dreams described may be a bit mundane the animated realizations are anything but, and will likely haunt your dreams for many nights to come.
When you get right down to it, gold is just a metal, an element with its own distinctive properties -like all the other elements. But we have chosen it to represent the very idea of value, using it as a symbol of wealth and an exchange medium, or money. We can understand why compounds and organic material isn't used this way -they have a tendency or at least an ability to change. But what makes gold different from the other elements?
An article from the BBC asks University College London chemistry professor Andrea Sella, who runs through the periodic table of elements and points out why every other element would not work for the purpose of a rare but stable measure of value. He eliminated all but silver and gold, and silver is also used as a measure of value, although gold edges it out because silver tarnishes. But even gold has its drawbacks. The U.S. unhooked the value of its currency from gold in 1973 because our population and need for currency outgrew the supply of gold.
In the 16th Century, the discovery of South America and its vast gold deposits led to an enormous fall in the value of gold - and therefore an enormous increase in the price of everything else.
Since then, the problem has typically been the opposite - the supply of gold has been too rigid. For example, many countries escaped the Great Depression in the 1930s by unhitching their currencies from the Gold Standard. Doing so freed them up to print more money and reflate their economies.