Isn't it ironic that Alanis Morissette's hit song "Isn't It Ironic?" isn't actually about irony at all, but rather coincidence or happenstance? I guess "Isn't It Happenstance?" didn't have the same ring to it.
Twenty years ago "Isn't It Ironic?" made Miss Morissette a household name, and nowadays she has a pretty good sense of humor about the silly pop song that earned her millions of fans.
But a lot has happened in the last twenty years, so when Alanis needed lyrics for an updated version of her song she turned to James Corden for help encapsulating the ironies of the modern age.
Earthship homes are designed to be completely friendly to the environment, sustainable, and inexpensive. Just don’t try to build one in an area with an HOA. They may look weird, but there are plenty of advantages to living in an Earthship. First off, you can build it yourself. They are made from recycled tires and aluminum cans, although you really can’t tell by looking. They are solar-powered and use collected water for four purposes, running from clean to dirty. Get the details of the many benefits of an Earthship home at Housely.
Doctor Venture wasn't having any luck recruiting new henchman staff members for Ven-Tech, because for some reason all the armed mercenaries in the world want to go work for that maniac The Monarch, so he put Brock on the job. Suddenly a whole slew of new recruits started coming in begging Rusty for work, and for some reason they were all bleeding from one orifice or another. The Doc knew better than to question Samson's methods, but he also knew that if he let this recruitment push carry on too long the recruits would start coming in without limbs!
Campaign for cartoon cool with this Join Ven-Tech t-shirt by Adho1982, it's the coolest way to go team Venture!
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DJ Cummerbund combined as many internet memes that revolve around sadness as he could find to make this remix. We have Smash Mouth’s big hit “All Star” altered to a minor key, the musical hook from “The Sound of Silence” (with a bit of the music video from Disturbed), and clips from various sad movie movies that will bring the feels.
Most fans believe H.P. Lovecraft drew inspiration for the Cthulhu mythos from a variety of sources- Science fiction and mythological beings as the physical inspiration for the creatures, cosmic indifferentism and nihilism as the philosophical influence behind the stories, and horror the plot vehicle that drives the terror home.
You've got a drone! It's an incredibly advanced piece of technology. But that doesn't make you invincible. It might even make you more vulnerable.
This drone flew over a medieval historical reenactment in Russia. A warrior on the ground who is clearly a master of his weapon knocked it out of the sky with a well-placed spear. He wasn't the least bit afraid of this witchcraft in his midst.
We’ll never know why a cat decided to climb this tall utility pole, but we know he/she was there long enough for someone to call out the Algerian Civil Defence force. They came with a ladder and safety equipment for a rescue, but the cat was not having any of that.
Two ad agencies in Brazil built this billboard in Rio de Janeiro as a way to kill mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus. It emits Lurex 3, a chemical that smells like human sweat. This attracks mosquitoes. It traps the bugs inside, killing them by dehyrdration. Hack A Day explains:
Inside the billboard are canisters of Lurex 3, a lactic acid-based mosquito attractant that is available pretty cheaply on Amazon. The lactic acid mimics the scent of human sweat and is released outward to distances up to 4km (2.5 miles) in a fine mist along with CO₂. Together, the Lurex and CO₂ act like a sweaty, mouth-breathing human beacon to lure mosquitoes into the billboard, where they become trapped and are doomed to die of dehydration.
For a short period in the early 1980s, giant satellite dishes ruled the land. It was a rare moment when big telecom wasn’t in control. That quickly changed.
As a whole, the most interesting time for television was the late 1970s and early 1980s. It was an era when most networks were still willing to experiment and the technology wasn’t so locked down that an enthusiast couldn’t get around it. Comcast existed back then, but it wasn’t the juggernaut it is now; DirecTV and Dish Network hadn’t yet taken their current forms. The result was that satellite dishes—which were really freaking massive back then—were only starting to take off, and there was nothing really stopping people willing to buy a dish from investing once and getting all their shows for free after that. Today’s Tedium is about the rise and fall of the 10-foot-wide satellite dish during its glory days—before cable networks learned how to encrypt their feeds.
They weren't cheap in the beginning
The price of a backyard satellite dish advertised in a 1979 Neiman Marcus catalog was $36,000 —the first such dish sold commercially. Soon, the prices went down significantly, especially after the Federal Communications Commission deregulated the usage of such dishes, which used the open-air C-Band range of wireless signals, so they could be used by more than cable companies. A 1981 New York Times article noted that dishes could be had for as low as $3,000; a 1985 piece cut that price down to $1,500.
The guy who built his own satellite dish on his kitchen table
In the 1970s, the odds of seeing a television program designed for another country were extremely low—especially if you didn’t live near that country’s border. But when British man Stephen Birkill heard that NASA was delivering educational literacy programs to rural India via satellite, he had a hankering to see what they were like.
Birkill, fortunately, was the kind of person who could figure out such a task. He was a tinkerer who already managed transmitters as a BBC employee. Inspired, he decided to attempt to build his own dish and point it in the general direction of the satellite broadcasting the program.
Third-grader Andrew Calabrese of San Diego, California has Type 1 diabetes. Everywhere he goes, he carries with him a robotic pancreas to regulate his blood sugar.
Designs for these machines exist, but the Food and Drug Administraton won't approve them for manufacture. So Andrew's father, Jason Calabrese, built it himself. The Wall Street Journal reports:
Jason Calabrese, a software engineer, followed instructions that had been shared online to hack an old insulin pump so it could automatically dose the hormone in response to his son’s blood-sugar levels. Mr. Calabrese got the approval of Andrew’s doctor for his son to take the home-built device to school. […]
Initially, Mr. Calabrese worried about the safety of the do-it-yourself project. He built it over two months, and spent weeks testing. At first, he only tried it out on his son on weekends and at night. Once it performed well enough, he said it felt irresponsible not to use it on his 9-year-old son.
“Diabetes is dangerous anyway. Insulin is dangerous. I think what we are doing is actually improving that and lowering the risk,” Mr. Calabrese, 41, said.
Andrew's artificial pancreas is one of about 50 in the United States that individuals have built themselves.
Nathan Yau at Flowing Data has a chart that explains where you are on the age continuum. Select your age, and find out what percentage of all living people are older than you are, and what percentage are younger. Before you try it, think about whether you even want to know. At least I can console myself with the fact that I am at the 50th percentile in my household, unless you count the cats. Now get off my lawn! -via Digg
It's a hot day out on the lake in Brazil. The fishermen brought beer to help keep themselves cool and hydrated. They generously share with one of their new friends--a fish that poked up out of the water for a drink.
Life is but a game when you approach it as such, and daily life means playing a role that leads to experience, character growth and (if you're lucky) enough treasure to pay your bills. Some garments help protect you from the harsh elements, others communicate to the world for you, but this tee imbues you with the power to become a hero in your own lifetime. But don't forget- life isn't actually an RPG, and you only get one life with no save points, so use this power with caution...
Get geared up for the harsh realities of daily life with this Undertale t-shirt by Haplo, it's terrifically texty and sure to make life feel like a grand adventure!
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This truck was spotted in Florida. If you were following it, you might become alarmed until you saw it from the side. The truck belongs to All-Pro Blinds (note the URL), which has several locations in northern Florida. It’s an old joke, but it’s still funny. And like many other people, you will be reminded of a similar joke (NSFW language). -via reddit
How do you sing underwater without your tones getting garbled? The secret is to not blow bubbles. This is an incredibly difficult task, but after 10 years of effort, Laila Skovmand has learned how. New Scientist reports:
Skovmand’s first experiments with aquatic singing involved submerging her mouth in a kitchen bowl filled with water and trying to produce a steady vibrato. During a diving trip, she then had the chance to try singing underwater. It worked but generated a lot of bubbles, adding popping sounds to the vocals.
To prevent this, Skovmand came up with a technique where she keeps an air bubble in her mouth and sings through it when submerged, rising to the top about every minute to take in a breath and a new bubble. “There is also a technique where I switch between singing on the exhale and inhale,” she says. “But it can be hard to control.” Due to the small amount of air in a bubble, she can only produce short tones. High notes also tend to sound better than lower notes, which sound nasal.
Skovmand worked with musical instrument maker Andy Cavatorta to develop instruments that could play underwater:
The rotacorda, inspired by a traditional hurdy-gurdy, has six strings that can be plucked like a guitar. Move your fingers along the string and you can modify the pitch of the note. Turn a crank so as to strike them repeatedly with a mechanical hammer, however, and they produce a continuous sound.
The second instrument, called the crystallophone, is a modified version of Benjamin Franklin’s glass harmonica. It is made up of bowls that are played with the fingers like singing bowls, creating a similar effect to a bow moving over a violin string in air.
The results of their efforts is Skovmand's band AquaSonic, which bills itself as the world's first underwater band. The members plan to hold their first concert on May 27 in Rotterdam. They will perform inside huge aquariums.
Fred Harvey knew an opportunity when he saw it. Railroads were bringing travelers to California and the West Coast, but the desert in between was still seen as the rough-and-tumble Wild West. The trips took quite a few days, and the trains made many stops in small towns along the way. That’s how Harvey House restaurants became familiar to travelers. They were large, clean, and respectable, unlike so many of the desert’s earlier facilities. Beginning in 1876, Harvey and the Santa Fe Railroad opened around 100 restaurants along the railway, which made him a pioneer of the chain restaurant business.
In 1883, Harvey had decided to fire the rowdy male waiters at his restaurant in Raton, New Mexico, and hire respectable young women in their place. Customers responded so positively to the female staff that Harvey began replacing all of his company’s male servers, advertising for women employees in newspapers throughout the Midwestern and Eastern states.
Unlike much of the Eastern United States, in small Western outposts, it was acceptable for single young women to work and live away from their parents—though they were often stigmatized as being prostitutes or sexually promiscuous. “The Harvey Company called its servers ‘Harvey Girls’—not waitresses—because the term waitress had a bad connotation: It was linked to the saloon girls,” who were viewed as bawdy and indecent, Melzer says. “Fred Harvey didn’t want customers thinking there were saloon girls at his restaurants, and he certainly couldn’t recruit respectable women to work there if they thought they’d be working in a saloon-like atmosphere.” To ensure there’d be no confusion, the Harvey Girls were always attired in a conservative black-and-white uniform, just one of many strict job requirements.
Russian artists seem to be coming out of the woodwork online lately, but the difference between the Russian art boom and others is most of the stuff they're posting online is really good.
Whether digital, traditional or experimental, the new wave of Russian artists love to pay homage to their sources of inspiration while pushing their chosen medium forward.
If you're a fan of classic pin-up art, retro advertising or old school Rockwell style realism you'll adore the cool and colorful artwork that springs from the mind of Valery Barykin.
Valery's wonderful illustrations are a bit naughty at times but never too risqué, manage to contain modern devices and such without losing their classic appeal, and the colors and contours are always easy on the eyes.
Joe Santagato came up with a game that’s not only challenging, but entertaining. He and his siblings try to make each other understand a nonsense phrase they say while wearing a dental mouth opener. Yeah, that’s what those things are called.
There are points where I can tell they really want to just break down and start acting their words out, like charades. If you ever get a chance to play this in real life, don’t be in a hurry to get the right answer, because it’s much funnier when you don’t! -via Tastefully Offensive
What do you want to be when you grow up? There’s a lot more occupations to select from than there once were, even if there are fewer jobs available overall. Maybe the lack of jobs has something to do with the more unusual new jobs that have sprung up, because so many more people are self-employed and using their imagination to fulfill a need that one can be paid for. John Green explains some of the jobs you don’t normally hear about on this week’s episode of the mental_floss List Show.
Redditor Grimdotdotdot asks that question. Many people recount their travels around the world, encountering strangers who assumed that they were ignorant of their native languages. Here are some of the best responses.
Me and 2 other friends (one American, one German) were in rural town Philippines. We were getting out of a cab and unloading our bags when the cabbie's buddy pulls over next to us and they start chatting in the local language.
Buddy: "Whoa - foreigners! How much did you get off them?"
Cabbie: "Usual 80 pesos"
Buddy: "No way! I would have charged them at least double!"
Me: "I think 80 pesos is quite fair, don't you?"
His jaw dropped - and he awkwardly drove away.
I learned enough to get by, but I deliberately keep it to myself - just for moments like these.
We’ve always said “Money can’t buy happiness,” because we don’t want to overlook the intangible pleasures of life. Of course, you know that research says that for people who don’t have much, money can well buy happiness, in the form of stress reduction, safety, health, nutrition, and a decent standard of living. We also know that spending money on others produces happiness. But aside from all that, the way you spend your money can make all the difference in the amount of happiness your purchases bring you. Jacob Falkovich has some tips on how to get the most bang for your buck. He even breaks it down into a formula to select what item or activity will bring you more happiness than the next item or experience. But even if you don’t want to crunch number with him, there’s a lot of good advice here.
Finally, if you take nothing else from this post, take this tip: buy great soap. I think that people strongly undervalue the happiness to be had from excellent products in cheap categories. A Chanel bag costs $5,000 not because it’s 1oo times better at being a bag than a $50 bag, but because it’s a signaling-positional-keeping-up-with-Joneses-luxury good. On the flip side, in every category that’s not consumed conspicuously the highest quality things will not be overpriced. I drive a cheap ass-car and wear $30 jeans but I buy the best soap, underwear, toilet paper, tea, socks, shaving cream and bbq sauce I can find.
Back in the 1980s a little movie came out called Top Gun that changed the way kids saw cool. This awesome action flick featured Cruise and Kilmer flying fighter jets, the radical soundtrack song "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins, and lots of cool catchphrases kids would repeat for years to come after watching the movie. While it wasn't the greatest movie ever made, Top Gun did make an impression on youngsters who wanted to be pilots, and nowadays there are probably quite a few Navy flyers who got into flying fighter jets after watching Top Gun!
Add some high flying fun to your geeky wardrobe with this The Need For Speed t-shirt by WinterWolfMedia, slip it on with a pair of aviator shades and you'll be too cool for the old school!
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How can you find enough space to build a campground in the city? Make it a skyscraper! That’s the idea behind “Camping in the Sky,” a concept building from the Italian architecture firm FLT Office. The outside of the building can go from transparent to semi-translucent depending on weather conditions, and therefore acts as a greenhouse for the trees and plants inside -and the photovoltaic skin provides the energy needed to keep guests comfortable year-round.
The proposed skyscraper model boasts a rooftop that can host concerts and other events. On every level of the skyscraper is a forest to simulate the natural environments found during a camping trip. As an added benefit, the skyscraper can act as a greenhouse during the winter to protect guests and internal plants from the cold temperatures and other weather patterns. The boom on a sail is the inspiration for the adjustable skin on the skyscraper. The façade is the piece that contains the organic photovoltaic system which works in conjunction with the skin to maximize flexibility.
People who question or disagree with a scientific theory often have a hard time proving the theory is wrong, and if they want their proof to resonate with the internet community they must put the proof on video.
So when Destin Sandlin, host of SmarterEveryDay, took issue with a Tweet sent by Neil deGrasse Tyson claiming “A helicopter whose engine fails is a brick” he knew he'd actually have to ride in a falling 'copter to debunk the theory.
Tumblr user kehinki imagined a synopsis of a James Bond-type movie with the gender roles reversed. Other Tumblr users gladly added to the story until it was a full-blown treatment. A team of spies made up of diverse women battle super villains, also women, while the sole male character is only there because he’s sexy. Here’s one contribution.
In one scene, the lead villain captures the Strong Male Character. He is, once more, inexplicably shirtless as she ties him to the chair. He makes some quips about his sexual independence before he is rescued by a sweat-drenched Helen Mirren, who kicks down the door and nukes everyone in the room. Strong Male Character’s hair remains perfect throughout the ordeal.
Tomohiro Matsu, a prominent manga author, died on May 2. There was an outpouring of grief by those who knew him, especially those who worked with Matsu on his manga projects, many of which were adapted into animes.
Recently, his family conducted a kokubetsushiki, which is a viewing. People can visit his coffin and say goodbye before the deceased is cremated. Many artists who worked with Matsu took the opportunity to draw on the coffin images of the characters that he created and to write farewell messages.
Hiroshi Aizawa, an illustrator, took photos of the results and commented, "he wanted his send-off to be like a fun festival." It worked! You can see more pictures of the coffin at Rocket News 24.
The Covington Farmers Market in Covington, Kentucky, marked its season opening Saturday by staging The Running of the Goats. The name was meant to evoke images of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain, but organizers assured people on its Facebook event page that the goats would not be running rampant. They would be marching to the market, escorted by handlers.
Are the goats RUNNING through the streets (Bulls of Pamplona style??) Nope! The goats will walk/trot an organized route through Covington guided by our goat team volunteers and the City of Covington Police Department. You and yours are asked to walk along on the sidewalks. Several local shops will have fun interactions (music, photos) to keep the walk interesting along the way.
During the parade, six of the seven goats decided to break out of the pack and run through the town. A mad dash ensued as volunteers and police tried to catch the goats. They eventually rounded them all up by Sunday, after the last two goats spent Saturday night on the run. Organizers say that the incident brought so many people to the park that they plan on doing it again next year, with improved procedures. -via Arbroath