Kasper Stromman won the coveted Graphic Designer of The Year, which he promptly celebrated by designing the best sweatshirt the world has ever seen. Naturally, Comic Sans is involved. Link
Gabriel always wanted a firetruck, since he was a little boy. He never grew out of that infatuation with firetrucks, so at age 32 (and a half), he bought one.
If we based decisions on practicality, we'd all drive Taurcedes until we had kids, then we'd get minivans and we'd all be miserable. At 65, we'd retire and finally get that entry-level Porsche Boxter that we'd been wanting for the past 40 years. That doesn't sound like a good plan to me.
The coolest toys in the world aren't practical. Koenigsegg certainly aren't. Jet fighters - nope. Army tanks - nope. Did you know that you can buy old aircraft carriers on eBay? Can you imagine wake boarding behind one of those things? "Cool" just isn't practical. I've come to terms with that.
So I went ahead and pulled the eBay trigger and was elated to get truck 1213 for just $100 more than the reserve price. A total of $3,600 which also happened to be the hard limit my wife had imposed on this particular invaluable transaction.
Are you having one of those weeks lives? Bring the fun back to your day with the Curly Pop Sock Monkey from the NeatoShop. This strangely addictive toy features the iconic sock monkey. When you squeeze his belly he squeaks and his curls pop up.
Sometimes my wife complains of an earworm--a song that's stuck on a repeating loop in her head. I respond by loudly playing the Lexx theme song a lot. Later, she'll say that that song is stuck in her head. So I'll loudly play "Joxer the Mighty" a few dozen times.* Then, for reasons that are unclear, she stops telling me what she's thinking. Presumably the problem has gone away.
Why does my brilliant method work? Now researchers led by music psychologist Dr. Ira Hyman of Western Washington University have found out. If you want to get rid of an earworm, you need to use all of your working memory on another task, such as solving a puzzle:
Researchers claim the best way to stopping the phenomenon, sometimes known as earworms – where snippets of a catchy song inexplicably play like a broken record in your brain – is to solve some tricky anagrams.
This can force the intrusive music out of your working memory, they say, allowing it to be replaced with other more amenable thoughts. [...]
“The key is to find something that will give the right level of challenge,” said Dr Ira Hyman, a music psychologist at Western Washington University who conducted the research. “If you are cognitively engaged, it limits the ability of intrusive songs to enter your head.
“Something we can do automatically like driving or walking means you are not using all of your cognitive resource, so there is plenty of space left for that internal jukebox to start playing. [...]
“Verbal tasks like solving anagrams or reading a good novel seem to be very good at keeping earworms out,” said Dr Hyman, who now hopes to examine whether similar techniques could be used to prevent other intrusive thoughts caused by anxiety or obsessiveness.
*Message: I care.
We've featured the x-ray art of Nick Veasey before. Now he has a collection called "Man and Machine." The x-rays combine people with the machines we've created.
In the image above of passengers sitting on a bus, it’s interesting, if slightly morbid, to learn that everyone on the bus is actually the same person – and that person is a dead body, moved around and posed by a willing undertaker.
Still, it’s a captivating image that highlights the inner beauty and details often overlooked during mundane daily activities. The image proved so mesmerizing, in fact, that it had to be removed from roadways, where it was used as part of an advertising campaign, because it proved too distracting for drivers.
Not all the images involve dead people -some are just everyday skeletons. See more at Tech Graffiti. Link
Well, somebody at Wolfram Alpha likes StarCraft. The computational knowledge engine that high school students everywhere use to, uh, check their math homework (of course, they wouldn't use it to actually do the homework) has an Easter Egg of sorts. All you have to do is type in the phrase "zerg-like curve" into the Wolfram Alpha search field:
The equation to plot out the graph is 18,811 characters long, according to Alex Wilhelm of The Next Web.
But the fun doesn't stop there! Turns out, there's a whole bunch of these fun curves of fictional characters. Check out some examples below and let us know which one's your favorite:
The mother of redditor glNito was insistent. Fortunately, her son rose to the occasion.
One commenter pointed out that the tea selection would not be favored by most Britons. glNito responded:
I didn't really want to my fancy looseleaf teas and such in the bathroom. If the Queen is desperate for bathroom tea, she can compromise.
You can view three more photos at the link.
As the American economy has moved away from manufacturing to information services and the economy limps along, not keeping up with the number of people who need jobs, the U.S. Social Security Disability program has boomed. This boom covers up the real numbers of people who would otherwise be on welfare or counted among the unemployed. NPR looks at several factors that made this happen: for example, disability is for people who can no longer perform heavy labor, and don't have the education or skills for other jobs.
One woman I met, Ethel Thomas, is on disability for back pain after working many years at the fish plant, and then as a nurse's aide. When I asked her what job she would have in her dream world, she told me she would be the woman at the Social Security office who weeds through disability applications. I figured she said this because she thought she'd be good at weeding out the cheaters. But that wasn't it. She said she wanted this job because it is the only job she's seen where you get to sit all day.
At first, I found this hard to believe. But then I started looking around town. There's the McDonald's, the fish plant, the truck repair shop. I went down a list of job openings -- Occupational Therapist, McDonald's, McDonald's, Truck Driver (heavy lifting), KFC, Registered Nurse, McDonald's.
And disability payments shift the expense of maintaining people without jobs away from states and onto the federal government.
A person on welfare costs a state money. That same resident on disability doesn't cost the state a cent, because the federal government covers the entire bill for people on disability. So states can save money by shifting people from welfare to disability. And the Public Consulting Group is glad to help.
PCG is a private company that states pay to comb their welfare rolls and move as many people as possible onto disability. "What we're offering is to work to identify those folks who have the highest likelihood of meeting disability criteria," Pat Coakley, who runs PCG's Social Security Advocacy Management team, told me.
Other factors come into play, but the result is that 14 million Americans receive a disability check every month -and health care through Medicare. Learn more about the trend at NPR. Link
Hello Kitty Wind Chime (sold individually)
Attention Hello Kitty fans. Are you looking for the purr-fect way to incorporate your favorite kitty in the garden? The Hello Kitty Wind Chime from the NeatoShop is going to be music to your ears. This adorable garden accent features Hello Kitty and four small chimes that gently ring when the wind blows.
The Hello Kitty Wind Chime is available in red, pink, and purple. Buy all 3 and make it wonderful set.
As a grandmother who works online, I am happy to find the blog Grandma Got STEM. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. The blog is a response to the idea that grannies don't understand those fields, evidenced in the phrases "Explain that to me like you'd explain it your your grandma," and "Even my grandma could understand that." That attitude does a great disservice to women through the ages who are quite intelligent and have contributed magnificently to the world's body of knowledge -and also managed to live long enough to have grandchildren. That's a lot of them. Jans Wagner submitted information about her grandmother, Dorothy Gillett (both pictured):
My grandmother (no longer with us) got her BS in Astronomy from Wellesley in 1919, and had a long distinguished career first working on a family business which set up the first radio networks across the country, and ended up working for Lockheed for many years doing orbital calculations on the Mercury and Apollo projects. One of her titles when she worked for Lockheed was “Head Computer” so I always tell people I came by mathematical talent (such as it is, but I do have a PhD in OR from MIT) because “my grandmother was a computer”.
If you ever travel on the NJ Turnpike, and see all those radio towers in the Meadowlands (salt flats outside Newark) it’s because MY grandparents discovered that radio waves travel much better/farther in waterlogged sands then they do when broadcast off high buildings.
Call it revenge of the snake. An unnamed woman in Liberty Eylau, Texas, found a snake. For some reason, she decided on a strange and dangerous method for getting rid of it.
"While cleaning up, she saw snake, threw gasoline on the snake, lit the snake on fire," said Deputy Randall Baggett with the Bowie County Sheriff's Office. "The snake went into the brush pile and the brush pile caught the home on fire."
Despite the efforts of several fire departments that responded to the scene, the flames completely engulfed the home. It is a complete loss. A neighboring home was also damaged on one side.
We love, love, love Brazilian illustrator Fernando Degrossi's Cinemart series, where he mashes up various pop culture references into hilarious images. Check it out:
Oh hai! TV reception been a little bad lately? Big Brother Cat is controlling what satellite signals actually reach you. -via Daily of the Day
Everytime Depressed Copywriter, a subversively fun group composed of Chris Sheldon, Mariana Oliveira, Whitney Ruef and Tedd Wood, see an example of corporate happiness, they can't help but to rewrite their ad copy to reflect the reality of life.
The result is depressing/interesting/mind blowing (best of all, you can submit your own!) Check 'em out at their Tumblr site: Link
Alas, I made the mistake of waiting until my eldest daughter had been born before taking up instructing her in the Trekkie way of life. Now it's a struggle to get her to repeat the Ninth Rule of Acquisition (the foundation of wisdom).
Caleb Clark did not wait that long. An unborn child can hear after 23 weeks, so he began reading to her technical manuals, concordances and episode summaries at that time. But be sure to match your child's developmental level. "Then you can start to talk about Star Trek versus Star Wars, but not until they're a little older. Probably, like, 32 weeks."
Click on Continue Reading to watch Mr. Clark's hilarious video.
Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses? That's the first question you are asked in the personal combat game Super Duck Punch. I chose well, and won my first round. It gets more complicated after that, with a hippo-sized hamster and a hydra with giraffe heads. Or the opposite of each. Link -via Metafilter
How big is the Internet? Two years ago, the anonymous researcher behind the Carna botnet joked around that they should try the classic telnet login with default root username and password on random IP addresses. They gave it a whirl, and in a short period of time, found thousands of unprotected device on the Net.
But to scan the entire Internet would require a botnet, so they built one.
Curt Hopkins of The Daily Dot wrote:
Carna turned out to be an effective way of measuring a big chunk of the Internet, but there’s one major catch: It’s illegal and invasive, which no doubt explains why the researcher has remained anonymous. Carna was, as per the name, a botnet, a type of malware secretly loaded into any device it could penetrate. At its peak, the botnet controlled an estimated 420,000 devices.
“We used the devices as a tool to work at the Internet scale,” wrote the Carna author. “We did this in the least invasive way possible and with the maximum respect to the privacy of the regular device users.”
Although Carna was allegedly designed to minimize intrusion and avoid damaging an infected device or process, it remains a virus that a hacker used to infect millions of devices with no notice and no permission.
James Tazruk, an Inupiaq subsistence hunter in Point Lay, Alaska, shot a lone polar bear. Only when he rolled the carcass over did he realize the bear was a nursing mother. Tazruk and his hunting partner then searched for the bear's den, knowing a cub would be there. They found Kali hidden about 1500 feet away.
The big changes and long trips began when Tazruk entered the bear's three-chambered den
"I'm not going to hurt you. I'm going to take you home," he told it. "Just don't bite me."
Biologists from the Fish and Wildlife Service estimate the cub is 3 to 4 months old. Tazruk, who described the hunt in a phone interview Tuesday, said he scooped it in his arm like a puppy. He began the long ride back to Point Lay on his snowmachine, holding the bear close.
About 15 miles into the trip, Tazruk and his partner, Paul Stone, stopped at a cabin and grabbed a pair of ski pants, he said. They tied the legs together to form a pouch, and he cradled the bear cub in his lap against the handlebars.
After a night in the village, Kali was flown to the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage. The cub will be sent to the Buffalo Zoo when he is fully recovered, and will have a permanent home at the St. Louis Zoo when their new polar bear exhibit is ready in 2015. Link
See videos of Kali at Laughing Squid. Link
(Image credit: Bob Hallinen/Anchorage Daily News)
Earl the Squirrel and Forest Friends Woodland Gift Set (multiple sets shown)
Spring has sprung and love is in the air. Are you looking for the perfect gift for the new little bundle of joy in your life? You need the Earl the Squirrel and Forest Friends Woodland Gift Set from the NeatoShop. This charming set includes: fleece blanket, green squirrel plush, and a baby bird wristlet. Each set comes packaged in a delightful tree trunk shaped gift box.
Looking for something a little more pink? Pearl the Squirrel also available.
Be sure to check out the NeatoShop for more fantastic Baby & Tot items.
Photo: Doug Perrine
" 'Sup?," we imagine this False Killer Whale said to Doug Perrine of SeaPics as it swam on by. To which we imagine Doug replying back, "Oh, nothin' - please don't eat me."
The American marine wildlife photographer snapped this marvelous pic of the grinning cetacean off the shores of Kona, Hawaii. The Telegraph has the pic: Link
Chlorox Tooth Paste? I had to look it up to see if this was a hoax. I found a 1920 publication with a letter of praise to Nulyne Laboratories followed by an offer to send the toothpaste to any dentist free of charge to use on their patients. Mind you, current Chlorox products are not recommended for use on your teeth. Link