It seems many of the totally radical heroes of the 1980s had one thing in common- their mighty sword, which allowed them to channel their awesomeness and cut the bad guys down to size. Whether you were a Thundercat, a He-Man, or a Ninja of any species, you had a sweet sword with a keen edge which you slid out of its sheath at the first sign of trouble. Being a big buff dude or mutant turtle simply wasn't enough without that sweet sword in your hands...
Keep your geeky wardrobe extra sharp with this Fantastic Swords t-shirt by Rocky Davies, it's the totally radical way to declare your love of those sword-wielding superstars of the 80s!
Humans are so emotionally complex we feel emotions we can't even describe very well, so all of our complex emotions tend to get lumped into generic categories such as anger or sadness.
But indescribable simply won't work for the human race, so we create words which attempt to describe or quantify these feelings, words as complex as the feels.
Unsurprisingly many of the most complicated words on the list are in German, since the German language has many longer words made up of a bunch of shorter words, such as mauerbauertraurigkeit (wall builder sadness).
Now the next time you suddenly feel one of those oddball emotions you can give it a name!
Photographer Dirk Nienaber watched a a group of processionary caterpillars make their way across Perth, Australia. They don’t go this fast; it’s a time-lapse video. These are probably Ochrogaster lunifer, or the bag-shelter moth. They exude a silk trail as they walk, and other caterpillars of the same species will follow that trail -and leave one of their own as they do.
There are quite a few species of processionary caterpillars. I found an experiment in which pine processionary caterpillars were induced to walk in a circle.
Fabre conducted a famous study on the processionary pine larvae where a group of them were attached nose-to-tail in a circle with food just outside the circle; they continued marching in the circle for a week; he described the experiment in his 1916 book The Life of the Caterpillar.
Aside from being one of the most time consuming of the needle arts, embroidery is also (arguably) the most personal way for a textiles-based artist to express themselves.
The artist holds the cloth "sketching" surface in their hands, pushes the needle through to create each illustrative stitch, and often literally bleeds for their art.
That's what makes embroidery art so special, but self-taught embroidery artist Michelle Kingdom truly elevates the artform by stitching wonder and mystery into each piece she creates.
A quote from Michelle on why she loves the medium so much:
My background is actually in traditional fine art but I stumbled upon the medium back in college. Combining the immediacy of sketching with a deep love for textiles and sewing, drawing with thread satisfies both of my interests. There is just something beautifully fragile, odd and otherworldly about the medium. Densely embroidered, compressed images composed entirely out of thread is a direct link to my inner world, and seems tailor made for secret thoughts.
Dean was clearly in awe of the squeaky little guy when he wrote this about the encounter:
I recorded a short clip of the defensive cry of the Desert rain frog – Breviceps macrops while walking along the sand dunes in Port Nolloth, a coastal town in the Northern Cape province, it alerted me to its presence with its fearsome war cry. I knelt down and proceeded to photograph and film this unusual creature’s behaviour.
The Desert rain frog clearly doesn't have a clue about active defenses, because if it did it would realize its ridiculously cute squeak just makes people like Dean Boshoff want to pester it more!
While it could be argued that any brick home is “made from mud,” that’s not what this is about. These homes are made from cob, which is an ancient combination of clay-rich soil, water, and straw. When formed and dried, cob is strong, eco-friendly, economical, and versatile. With care and imagination, cob homes can be gorgeous, like the one shown here.
The 832 square foot house was built by Austin senior systems analyst for the University of Texas, Gary Zuker. He built his own home out of pure economics. He couldn’t afford to have his home built, so he used common sense to build it himself, resourcing books about architecture from the university. He spent a fair amount on timber, and created the roof with scissor trusses on the recommendation of an architect friend. He wanted to have a maintenance free home, and finally the old world style of stone appealed to him. He spoke with an indigenous building expert, where he learned how to build with mud and straw. Batches of straw are covered with clay mud which is mixed until it becomes a form of clay. Then, the clay is thrown onto forms for the walls. The walls are gradually built from the bottom up, and the forms removed. The straw clay dries hard as concrete. It took him “millions of hours” and he started completely without building plans. He used curved logs to build the curved front door. He used logs from the oldest log cabin in Austin to build the fireplace and exterior porch. The home is filled with reclaimed building supplies. Exquisite details include the hammered copper coverings he added to traditional white, basic appliances. The house cost $25,000 to build, and an additional $15,000 was required for its septic system and a well. He built the entire home by hand, contriving what he needed as the interior emerged.
Cob houses range from traditional styles you’d never recognize as mud homes to Hobbit homes and whimsical art structures. See them all at Housely.
Movie easter eggs are fun to hunt with your eyeballs and often so deliciously geeky that you want to share them with friends.
Which is why sites keep posting articles revealing the locations of movie secrets and we keep eating it all up!
In this collection of 30 Clever Easter Eggs put together by gamesradar we learn the morse code message received in Peter Jackson's 2005 version of King Kong was not an arrest warrant for Carl Denham- it actually said “show me the monkey!”.
The list also shows us little details we may have missed, like the painting of Roland the Gunslinger Thomas Jane's character is painting in The Mist, or the fact that Freddy's glove is hanging in the tool shed in Evil Dead 2.
And lastly, did you think the name of the Mexican restaurant in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy seemed a bit long?
That's because it was a big joke- Escupimos en su Alimento means "we spit in your food".
Educators had a love-hate relationship with graphing calculators when they launched, but students loved them because they were great for games.
Remember this time last year, when the saga of teenage clock-hacker Ahmed Mohamed turned into a political fireball? That case, if you'll recall, involved a student who chose to bend the rules of his own education by learning things outside of school, only to get punished for it. He quickly found himself over his head, with many of his critics obsessed with discrediting a teenager. (His family has since moved to Qatar, and he's since filed a civil-rights lawsuit against the school district over the incident.) In a way, Mohamed’s efforts were nothing new. Tech-savvy kids have been screwing with teachers’ expectations for generations, and nowhere is this more obvious than the phenomenon of graphing calculators. These devices are immensely hackable, but most classrooms only use a fraction of their capabilities. Here’s why.
As powerful as Game Boys, and mostly used for the same reason
For roughly two decades, high schools have been giving graphing calculators to students, requiring them for key math classes, and for pretty much that entire time, students have been figuring out ways to use the devices to bend the rules.
Part of this was actually allowed by Texas Instruments, which around 1990 started making graphing calculators that could be programmed in various ways—generally through a variation of BASIC, but also through low-level assembly code, which had a clear advantage for the slow calculator. To this day, the company’s TI-84 remains its most popular and widely used, with the TI-83 not far behind.
Eventually, the kids got savvy and started learning to program the devices. Naturally, the first programs they built were games, because of course they did. Variations on Super Mario Bros, Pac Man, and Pokémon quickly arrived. The quality of the games got better as the programming techniques got more savvy. Website repositories of said games launched and found lasting popularity. (One such site, TI Calc, has been around for roughly two decades.)
Screen Junkies takes a look at the CGI/live action version of The Jungle Book, which will be available on DVD and Blu-ray next week. While they tend to tear movies apart with their Honest Trailers, the critique of this one is downright positive.
That doesn’t mean they won’t point out all the silliness that went into it, including some jabs at the 1967 animated version. We also get to see some of the work that went on behind the scenes. -via Uproxx
A pearl retrieved off the coast of Palawan Island in the Philippines appears to be the biggest natural pearl ever found, much bigger than the current record holder known as the Pearl of Allah. This one was brought up by a fisherman whose anchor got stuck. He dove down to free it, and found it was wedged in a giant clam shell. He brought the clam up and saw it had a gigantic pearl inside. The yet-unnamed fisherman put the pearl away under his bed as a good luck charm. That was ten years ago.
According to various online reports a fire in his residence forced the fisherman to move house prompting him to turn the priceless piece over to a local tourism officer.
The prize pearl measures in at a jaw dropping 1ft in width and 2.2 feet in length making the world’s former biggest pearl –The Pearl of Allah- look like a lightweight.
A supernatural force is threatening the nation, so a secret government agency must locate and assemble a group of mutants with super powers to save the day. Sound familiar? What’s different is that this Russian movie is set in the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
It seems no one really knew how bad it would hurt to lose Bill Hicks, and to those who say "his candle burned brightly for a shorter time" I say he should have been born with a longer wick. Bill said what we're all thinking to this day, and opened doors for comics who cared enough to share their insight and true feelings with the world. And whether he was talking about politics, interpersonal relationships or playing you a song, Bill Hicks took a stand for sanity at a time when that dark little poet's unpopular opinions made him a target.
Take the comedic voice of reason with you forever you go with this Bill Hicks- I Don't Mean To Sound Bitter... t-shirt by Dan Avenell, it's sure to earn you the admiration of your fellow Hicks fans while everyone else goes "Huh?"
When people start traveling around the world at a young age they discover one big thing about their lives- all that travelling makes their mothers worry.
She starts demanding phone calls, postcards and social media posts as assurance you're okay, and if you're a good son or daughter you comply...when you remember.
But Jonathan Quiñonez is both well traveled and a really good son, so he kept assuring his mom of his safety while traveling the world by posting pics of himself holding up a sign that said “Mom, I'm Fine”.
The sign appears to have worked as the ultimate icebreaker for Jonathan, although the former Belgian model probably doesn't need a sign or a gimmick to get attention.
Is that neat rock you found a meteorite? Probably not, but to be sure, you might want to use this handy flowchart by Randy L. Korotev of the Washington University Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. It was adapted from a simpler chart from Deborah Guedes. But if you want a really simple chart, check out Randall Munroe’s version. -via Boing Boing
Suicide Squad has been out for a few weeks now, so chances are fans who wanted to see it on the big screen already have while the rest of us who are waiting for the DVD no longer care about the hype.
Despite the critical reviews and haters the film managed to make some money at the box office, but after seeing the movie twice Jenny Nicholson was left with a hollow feeling and some nagging questions. (Video is full of Suicide Squad spoilers)
Young people might be forgiven for thinking that Kraft invented macaroni and cheese. Thomas Jefferson enjoyed it on a diplomatic mission to France- so much that he championed its adoption in America. But even before that, macaroni and cheese was an old and established European dish. How far back does it go?
The Liber de Coquina, or Book of Cooking, was published around the beginning of the 1300s. That’s roughly the same time William Wallace was marauding around Britain and killing English. Liber de Coquina includes recipes for baked pasta dishes with parmesan and other cheese sauces. Basically your average mac and cheese casseroles. If you can read Latin, the cookbooks are available online. They’re a fascinating snapshot into our shared culinary past.
There have only been 12 people in the world who have gone over 400 miles an hour in a piston-powered car. One of them was legendary racer Mickey Thompson in 1960, when he became the first American to exceed 400 mph. The twelfth man to do it was his son Danny Thompson, who broke his father’s speed of 406.6 miles last week at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
At Bonneville you have to make the trip twice to enter the record books. You go straight out, foot to the floor, for 5 miles or more on the first day -- the down run. Then you do the same thing again on the next day: the return run. Your official time is the average of both speeds at the 5-mile mark.
Mickey Thompson was never able to accomplish that. His car broke down on the return leg. He tried in 1968, but rain stopped him. He was going to try a third time in 1988, this time teaming up with Danny, when a bullet stopped him forever.
Danny couldn't bear the thought of continuing the project alone, and so he put Challenger in storage. Half a century after his dad broke 400, he decided to go for the official recognition that comes with two successful runs. He spent nearly seven years working on the car, getting it just right.
Danny Thompson’s speed was 411.191 on the first run and 402.348 on the second, for an official average of 406.767, just above his father’s speed and a new American record for his vehicle’s class. Read the story of the race at CNN.
Imagine you are nine years old and you don’t feel at all confident about moving up to the fourth grade. You don’t know who your teacher is going to be, or what you’ll be doing this year. And then your parents get an email from your new teacher, and it’s a music video!
New teacher Dwayne Reed sent a video to his incoming students to show them what the next year will be like for them. I can imagine that other Chicago fourth-graders are already envious. -via Tastefully Offensive
Slurpees are delicious. So delicious that sometimes even the biggest officially licensed Slurpee cup still isn't big enough. That's why we love 7-Eleven's once-a-year Bring Your Own Cup Day. Of course, some people don't care about quantity, they care about cup quality...
The conventional wisdom for a trip to Las Vegas is to not take more money than you are prepared to lose at the casinos. But if you have the bucks, there are plenty of luxury accommodations, side trips, sports, fine dining, and shopping to do. Like a private skiing expedition to the secluded Ruby Mountains via helicopter.
If you have the money and enjoy adventure, you can escape from your Las Vegas trip to the nearby Ruby Mountains. Joe Royer has led Helicopter Skiing adventures in the snow covered mountains since 1977. The Ruby Mountains are a little known area of Nevada with 10 peaks above 10,000 feet. The secluded spot features powdered slopes and alpine lakes.
Royer offers a 3 day package. This includes helicopter lifts up the mountain for at least 20 ski runs. The package includes fine dining, luxury lodging and hiking tours. The company also offers private guide service.
If you see this dinosaur stompin' around town you should probably steer clear, because you're either about to be eaten whole or you're being pranked. But if that dinosaur appearst to be rendered in 8-bit graphics, complete with pixel edges and minimal detail, you'd better get your eyes checked...after you run for your life, of course!
Who needs a Tyrannosaurus costume when you've got this 8-Bit T-Rex t-shirt by Caloy Aurellano? It's way more comfortable to wear and it'll still make you feel like the king of the dinosaurs!
It seems all roosters think they are the cock of the walk, but Charlie the chicken knows how to look good. He lives on Arizona’s Snodgrass family farm and while I can't find any information on why he has pants or where he got them, there's no denying that he looks great in them.
The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research, now in all-pdf form. Get a subscription now for only $25 a year!
Research studies about or on bagels by Stephen Drew, Improbable Research staff
The Philosopher’s Bagel Question “How Many New Yorkers Need to Like Bagels Before You Can Say ‘New Yorkers Like Bagels?’ Understanding Collective Ascription,” Todd Jones, Philosophical Forum, vol. 36, no. 3, Fall 2005, pp. 279–306, DOI:10.1111/j.1467-9191.2005.00204.x. The author, at University of Nevada at Las Vegas, explains:
Using this phrase tells people that it is the case that large numbers of New York City dwellers eat bagels regularly. The context of the conversation often lets a listener know that the speaker is telling her which group compared to others, we’ll find large numbers of Y-doers in. Now this context doesn’t explain what the percentage of Y-doers in this X group is. So such a phrase does run some risk of misleading listeners, if it is interpreted as meaning that most New Yorkers eat lots of bagels. To avoid potential misleadingness a speaker could say “New Yorkers eat a higher percentage of bagels than people in other cities—though it’s not clear that people who eat a lot of bagels are really a majority in New York.” But it is difficult and time-consuming to sift through ones knowledge and come up with this idea. And it’s awkward and time-consuming to speak this way. “New Yorkers really like to eat bagels,” is quicker and easier.
This Pokémon Go craze has even invaded the flower garden! Redditor space_wyrm found a zinnia in the garden that aspires to be a Pokeball. You know what they say, dress not for the job you have, but for the job you want.
Goats have figured in several political campaigns, but one of the most memorable was when John F. Kennedy first dipped his toes into politics in 1946 at age 29. His older brother Joseph had been groomed for a political career, but he was killed in World War II, so second son John stepped in to fill his shoes. His first run for office was to represent Massachusetts’ 11th Congressional District. It wasn’t going to be easy. The district was full of working class people who didn’t know Jack.
Kennedy's main opponents were formidable: John F. "Spring" Cotter, a Charlestown local, and Michael Neville, a city councilman from Cambridge. Both had experience, and strong community ties. Kennedy didn't. "He was virtually a stranger to Boston," writes historian J. Anthony Lukas in Common Ground. Worse, his chief assets—his name recognition and his dad's money—counted as demerits in the largely working-class areas where he was campaigning. "[Kennedy] is registered at the Hotel Bellevue in Boston, and I daresay he has never slept there," one opponent accused. A local newspaper renamed him "Jack 'Jawn' Kennedy," calling him "ever so British."
"His patrician gloss, the elegant ease acquired at Choate and Harvard and cultivated in London and Palm Beach, was not calculated to go down well in the waterfront saloons of Charlestown, the clammy tenements of the North End, or the bleak three-deckers of East Boston, Brighton, Somerville and Cambridge," writes Lukas. The political establishment ignored him, too. "He was rich, he was young," of his staffers, William J. "Billy" Sutton, later recalled. "They figured he wouldn't catch on."
In 2011, Michael Gosselin jumped in to help a friend who was being mugged. The perpetrator stabbed him in the abdomen, and he had to have one kidney and part of his colon removed as a result of his heroic actions. His childhood friends Garth Purkett and Andy Osborne flew out to see him soon after his surgery. They showed him the new tattoos they got in support: semicolons on their bellies! After he was completely recovered, Gosselin got one, too. The tattoos are now a symbol of their lasting friendship. You can read the whole story at Today. -via a comment at Metafilter
Before the 15th century, Korean existed as a spoken language only. Korean writing used Chinese characters, which limited literacy to the elite class who could spend years learning the thousands of pictograms. Then in the 1430s, a scholar came up with an idea to develop a Korean alphabet based on the sounds of the spoken language. Once the alphabet was learned, writing would become accessible to the masses. It was an idea that scared the wits out of the ruling elite class.
“What do you know of language and linguistics?” the bold scholar asked of several high-ranking officials who objected to his idea. “This project is for the people, and if I don’t do it, who will?” The scholar was none other than Sejong, the king of Korea, who had held the throne since 1418. His profoundly democratic conviction that literacy ought to be accessible to everyone was revolutionary in every sense. When King Sejong unveiled Hangul—his new alphabet for the Korean language—it was met with vehement opposition from Sejong’s advisors, from the literary elite, and from subsequent monarchs. For these objectors, Hangul was barbaric, it was primitive, it was unnecessary, it was an insult, and it needed to be eliminated.
Nevertheless, Sejong was the king, and his alphabet was developed. Still, the powerful bureaucrats of Korea fought its adoption for centuries. The history of Hangul is a fascinating story told at Damn Interesting.