Miss Cellania's Liked Blog Posts

Why Do We Judge Parents For Putting Kids At Perceived -But Unreal- Risk?

A 9-year-old girl spent all day playing at a park near her home. She had a cell phone and a house key with her, and went home when she got tired. Was that dangerous? It sounds like typical behavior for a 9-year-old. But what if you knew she was there while her mother worked all day? Does that change anything about how dangerous her day at the park appears? An experiment shows that people don’t so much judge such a situation as dangerous because it’s objectivly dangerous, but because of how neglectful the parent appears. In fact, the morality of the reason a parent leaves a child unsupervised directly affects how dangerous the situation is perceived to be. Ashley Thomas, Kyle Stanford, and Barbara Sarnecka of the University of California at Irvine conducted an experiment that showed such bias.

To get at this question experimentally, Thomas and her collaborators created a series of vignettes in which a parent left a child unattended for some period of time, and participants indicated the risk of harm to the child during that period. For example, in one vignette, a 10-month-old was left alone for 15 minutes, asleep in the car in a cool, underground parking garage. In another vignette, an 8-year-old was left for an hour at a Starbucks, one block away from her parent's location.

To experimentally manipulate participants' moral attitude toward the parent, the experimenters varied the reason the child was left unattended across a set of six experiments with over 1,300 online participants. In some cases, the child was left alone unintentionally (for example, in one case, a mother is hit by a car and knocked unconscious after buckling her child into her car seat, thereby leaving the child unattended in the car seat). In other cases, the child was left unattended so the parent could go to work, do some volunteering, relax or meet a lover.

Not surprisingly, the parent's reason for leaving a child unattended affected participants' judgments of whether the parent had done something immoral: Ratings were over 3 on a 10-point scale even when the child was left unattended unintentionally, but they skyrocketed to nearly 8 when the parent left to meet a lover. Ratings for the other cases fell in between.

The researchers were motivated by an increasing number of parents who get into legal trouble for allowing their children to be unsupervised in situations that were once considered normal. The case of the 9-year-old girl was real, and her mother was arrested for child neglect. They talked about the research at NPR, and said the most surprising thing was how judgmental the participants were, and the most judgmental of all were mothers, who also overestimated the risk of danger the most. -via Digg

(Image credit: Flickr user Dave)

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Life as a Berserker

The berserkers were a subset of Viking warriors who went into battle wearing wolf or bear skins instead of armor and fought with uncontrollable fury, which is where we get the phrase "going berserk." While in their battle state, they were a danger to even their own compatriots. The berserker fighting style has been attributed to a self-induced trance, drugs, or possibly mental illness. Life couldn’t have been easy for a berserker, especially when they had time to confront moral dilemmas. This comic is from Zach Weinersmith at Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.


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Before the Breathalyzer There Was the Drunkometer

Did you ever see someone in an old movie blow into a balloon to see how drunk they were? That was part of a device called the Harger Drunkometer. After Prohibition was repealed inthe 1930s, police had to deal with an upswing of drunk driving. It was hard to get a conviction without concrete evidence, though, so law enforcement turned to science for help.

Cue Indiana University biochemist and toxicologist Rolla N. Harger, who had been working since 1931 on a machine to put hard evidence behind a police officer’s claim. Harger finally got a patent for the Drunkometer in 1936. The upshot? A person would blow into a balloon, and the air would drop into a chemical solution, with the corresponding color change indicating blood alcohol content. “Instead of banning alcohol, which didn’t work, we look to a device that quantifies just how much drinking is OK,” says Bruce Bustard, who curated “Spirited Republic,” the National Archives exhibit on the history of the U.S. government’s relationship with alcohol.

The Drunkometer was used until the Breathalyzer came on the market in the 1950s. Read about the first case in which a Drunkometer was used at Ozy.

(Image credit: Florida Memory)


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Fisherman Lands 17-foot Sawfish

Josh Jorgensen knew he had a really big fish on the line, but when he finally saw it, he was a bit shocked. It was a sawfish, which is a critically endangered species. Jorgensen called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission for advice. They told him to record the location it was caught via GPS, try to estimate its size, and cut the line as close to the fish as they could without getting hurt.

(YouTube link)

The fish appeared to be about 17 feet long and weighed 700 pounds. When Jorgensen tried to cut the line with a pair of bolt cutters, the sawfish knocked them right out of his hands! But they did manage to free the fish. The screenshot above is when he grabbed the fish’s tail and the fish said, “Do you mind!?” -via reddit


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The Fourth Olympic Medal

 

On August 16, New Zealand runner Nikki Hamblin collided with American Abbey D’Agostino as they were running the first heat of the 5,000-meter race at the Rio Olympics. D’Agostino jumped up quickly, but instead of running off, she helped Hamlin to her feet and told her she had to finish the race. But D’Agostino had injured her ankle. Hamlin held back to help her make it to the finish line.

 

Despite finishing last and next-to last in the heat, both women were cleared to advance in the competition. However, D’Agostino had torn thee ligaments and could not race. Both Hamlin and D’Agostino were awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal. It’s a rare Olympic medal awarded for extraordinary sportsmanship, and it’s only been bestowed 17 times before, beginning in 1964. Pierre de Coubertin was the founder of the International Olympic Committee. Each of those awards has an amazing story behind it, and you can read the stories of all the winners at Metafilter.


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On Being Hated

How do you handle haters? In the 3D world, you can avoid such people -if you ever even learn they are don't like you. It’s not so easy on the internet, where so many people have access to so many other people and most of them remain anonymous.

(YouTube link)

The School of Life looks at why criticism, contempt, and hatred bother us so much. Many people come across as haters when they really just don’t know how to criticize wisely, while others are just trolls. And how we respond to online criticism or hatred is key to learning to handle the feelings it brings. -via Digg


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The Movie Pitch

Hollywood seems to have lost the art of originality. Or at least, lost the art of greenlighting original stories. In the decade between 2004 and 2014, the number of movie releases that were sequels, prequels, remakes, or reboots doubled, and 2016 has even more. In fact, there are 252 planned sequels, prequels, remakes, and reboots between now and 2020. The reason is money, of course. A familiar universe based on an successful existing franchise is a safer bet than an unknown. Studios take that into account, and so do distributors, and so do moviegoers, because they are all risking more money than ever before on theatrical entertainment. This is the latest comic from Thor’s Thundershack.  -via Geeks Are Sexy


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Why You Shouldn’t Drive Slowly in the Left Lane

(Note: this video is only aimed at drivers in countries where you drive on the right.) When you drive down an interstate highway, you constantly see signs that say “slower traffic keep right” or “use left lane for passing only.” There’s a reason for this. The narrator of this video apparently had never heard of the rule, which says something about his driving instructor, and also tells us that he does not read signs.  

(YouTube link)

Nevertheless, there will be people who prefer to use the left lane of a four-lane road because the pavement is better. Or they are afraid that the right lane will end. Or they are going the speed limit, and no one should go faster than that. None of those reasons are good for the flow of traffic. Feel free to send this video to someone who needs it. The next lesson: turn signals.  -via reddit 


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Dancing Pokémon

An animation of Dragonite and Charizard dancing has Twitter users trying to one-up each other with the music they add.

Ashley Feinberg has a roundup of the Pokémon dancers set to various songs (post title contains NSFW language). But it doesn’t contain “All Star” by Smash Mouth. -via Metafilter

BTW: Enlarging this video caused Sandyra's screen to freeze. Besides, it looks better small size.


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Duet with a Parrot

(YouTube link)

A Brazilian musician sings with his parrot, who knows the songs and even harmonizes in places! I’d like to know how long they’ve been making music together for the bird to be such a good performer. -via Digg

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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John Lennon’s First Acid Trip

In the spring of 1965, dentist John Riley slipped LSD into after dinner tea for John Lennon, George Harrison, and their wives Cynthia and Patti. John Lennon later recalled the experience in a radio interview, which became the narration for this animation.



(video link)

Rolling Stone has some thoughts from the others who were present, and the story of what happened afterward. John and George introduced LSD to Ringo that summer, but Paul resisted until the next year. That fact created some problems in the group as they worked on their next album, Revolver. -via Uproxx


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Free Bear Hugs

Comedian and prankster Stuart Edge (previously at Neatorama) bought a couple of big bears from Costco and used one as a bear costume. That’s a great opportunity to go out and offer free bear hugs!

(YouTube link)

But that’s not all. Edge also shows off some moves at a skate park, which can’t be easy wearing a plush bear. At least when he falls, he has plenty of padding! -via Tastefully Offensive 


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The Best 100 Films of the 21st Century

It might seem a little premature to be ranking the films of the century, but there’s nothing wrong with ranking the films of the past 16 years. A list at BBC Culture used the input of 177 movie critics from 36 countries. Yes, they included movies from 2000, although some will argue whether that year is in the 21st century. At the top of the list:

10. No Country for Old Men (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2007)
9. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi, 2011)
8. Yi Yi: A One and a Two (Edward Yang, 2000)
7. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)
6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)
5. Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)
4. Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)
3. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
2. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2000)
1. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)

Check out the entire list of 100 movies and how the list was compiled at BBC Culture. If you’re like me, you might want to save the list for future use when you have time on a weekend, or for when you retire.  

 


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20 Things You Didn’t Know about Betty White

Depending on your age, you might recall Betty White from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Golden Girls, or Hot in Cleveland. However, the 94-year-old actress had a long list of television credits before any of those shows. She was cast in an experimental TV show in 1939! Yes, there was television back then, although very few people had receivers before the postwar boom. Over the years, Betty White has been involved in talk shows, game shows, and dramas that made her a fan favorite and brought her seven Emmy Awards. Let’s learn more about Betty White.  

1. She has a Guinness World Record

In 2014, when the record keeping show was being auditioned, Betty White received a title for the Longest TV Career for a Female Entertainer. The record showed seventy four years+ in show biz. The year before, the title for the Longest TV Career for a Male Entertainer had been given to Bruce Forsyth, who’d been a long time British Television host. Since the two both started their careers in ’39, they would be competing for the same title, were it not for the gender disparity.

12. She is not a big fan of reality TV

Betty White has made it clear that she does not like reality TV. Although she has not clarified why, most people assume it’s her history in creating and writing conflicts with how random people with virtually no talent gain fame by simply recording their lives and frequently acting like morons. Surprisingly, Betty White hosts a kind of reality television show known as Betty White’s Off Their Rockers in which old people play pranks on young guys.

There’s a lot more about Betty White to learn at Money Inc.

(Image credit: Alan Light)


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Whatever Happened to Pay Toilets?

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website or at Facebook.

(Image credit: Flickr user Michelle Kinsey Bruns)

Going to the bathroom might be the one and only activity in America that's cheaper than it used to be. Pay toilets used to be the rule in airports and bus and train stations, and one would often encounter them in gas stations and restaurants.

The earliest pay toilets in history were erected in ancient Rome in 74 AD, during the rule of Vespasian, after a civil war greatly effected the Roman financial scene. His initiative was derided by his opponents, but his reply to them became famous: "Pecunia non olet," i.e. "money does not smell.”

Okay, here's your "question of the day" folks: “Who had the first pay toilets in North America installed?" The first pay toilets in North America were installed by Walt Disney. Walt disney? The cartoon guy? The Mickey Mouse guy? In 1935, Walt opened “Walt’s,” a popular cafe on Hollywood Boulevard, and the first restaurant ever run by an animation studio. In 1936, Walt's became the first establishment in North America to install pay toilets.

Pay toilets spread across America and were soon common sights in almost all the major cities.

Continue reading

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Radio Drama Stairs

This is a staircase with four different surfaces. These are radio drama stairs, which are used for sound effects. An actor or Foley artist would walk or run up and down the stairs to simulate, er, walking or running up and down stairs. The different surface would make different sounds, because you don't want every instance to sound like the same house, particularly in the same drama. Here’s a set made of wood, carpet, and concrete.   

Both sets belong to the BBC, and both appear to be functional stairs that lead somewhere when they're not in use for sound effects. -Thanks, John Farrier!

(Image credit: Andrew Ho)


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16 Misconceptions About Football

(YouTube link)

I was reminded that summer is almost over Friday night when I could hear the local high school football game from my backyard. The NFL season begins in two weeks. You might be a big football fan, but you probably don’t know all the trivia John Green has for us in this week’s episode of the mental_floss List Show.


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Mine’s the Red One

Silver medalist Nick Dempsey posted pictures of the British Olympic team’s flight home from Rio. They traveled together on a chartered British Airways 747. And they were all given luggage for the trip. The same red luggage. It took about two hours for everyone to find their bags. -via reddit


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Processionary Caterpillars

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.

(YouTube link)

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.[8]

-via Arbroath


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10 Incredible Homes Made from Mud

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.


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Welcome to the Fourth Grade

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!

(YouTube link)

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

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Pokeball Flower

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.

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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Semicolon

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


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Unmanned Boat Reaches Hawaii; New Zealand Next

Damon McMillan and friends spent three years designing, building, and perfecting a solar-powered boat called the SeaCharger. The vessel is eight feet long and weighs 60 pounds, and is powered by two plastic solar panels. How far can a boat like this travel on autopilot? On June 11, McMillan launched it into the surf off the coast of Half Moon Bay, California.

An older man who has been watching the entire time approaches me and tells me that he’s sorry that I lost control of my boat and that he’s sure it’ll wash up on the beach somewhere. I assure him that the boat is on autopilot, going exactly where it’s supposed to be going. “And where is that?” he asks. “Hawaii.” The look on his face is priceless.

Indeed, the idea of this tiny, homemade boat surviving 2,400 miles of open ocean to reach Hawaii seems foolishly unrealistic, and I know that more than anybody else. With help from friends, I built the eight-foot-long, autonomous, foam-and-fiberglass, solar-powered SeaCharger in my garage – not to make money or to win a contest, but simply as a challenge.

McMillan tracked the SeaCharger by satellite when it checked in every two hours (or didn’t). On July 22, he was there at Mahukona Harbor in Hawaii when his boat arrived. That’s some accomplishment! But the SeaCharger is still going. After five days of maintenance, it was launched again from Hawaii on July 27, bound for New Zealand. McMillan writes about building the boat and the experience of tracking it at Make. You can keep track of the SeaCharger as it makes its way to New Zealand at the project’s website. -via Metafilter


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The King’s Letters

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.

(Image credit: Republic of Korea)


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Hamster Plays Mario

If you enjoyed Pac-Dog, you’ll love watching a hamster play a hamster-sized game of Super Mario Bros! He’s not at all bad at it, too.

(YouTube link)

The hamster only gets through the first level, however. I’m sure that constructing the subterranean maze would be a huge project. Had my hopes up for a minute there, didn’t you? -via Viral Viral Videos

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Carpenter Shenanigans

Jason Wolfe set up a prank in which he pretended to be impaled by a staple gun. Well, just his finger. He needs help! Luckily, Tyler was there to lend a hand. Tyler didn’t scream or get grossed out, he was just willing to do what was needed.

(YouTube link)

But honestly, would you depend on Tyler to be able to handle a real emergency? -via Tastefully Offensive


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Life and Limb

The following article is from Uncle John’s Factastic Bathroom Reader.

(Image credit: Sgt Ian Forsyth RLC/MOD)

Throughout most of history, if you lost a limb, the replacement of choice was a wooden peg (which only looked cool if you were a pirate). But that all changed after a young soldier lost a leg in the Civil War and refused to take his injury lying down.

WALKING TALL

“You’ll dance again, but it’s going to take a year.” That’s the kind of thing that Dr. Mac Hanger III tells a lot of his patients. As one of the world’s leading prosthetists, it’s his job to fit amputees with new limbs and help them acclimate to them. For example: Hanger helped several maimed victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings get their lives back. Losing a limb once meant losing your quality of life, but that’s not so anymore. “People really become different people,” Hanger says. “You lose a leg, but you gain a lot of wisdom and strength.” He should know, because that’s exactly what happened to his great-great-grandfather, J. E. Hanger. And that’s how the modern prosthetics industry was born.

CASUALTY OF WAR

On June 3, 1861, the first land battle of the Civil War took place in Philippi, Virginia. Early that morning, an 18-year-old Confederate soldier named James Edward Hanger was standing guard outside a stable where his fellow soldiers were sleeping. Private Hanger had enlisted only two days earlier. He’d dropped out of engineering school to join his brothers in the Confederate Army. But his career as a soldier would be short-lived. Just after dawn, Hanger heard gunfire, so he ran inside the stable to get his horse. Just then a six-pound cannonball tore through the barn and struck his left leg.

With only a bit of skin keeping his lower leg attached, Hanger crawled to a corner of the barn to hide… and passed out. The next thing he knew, Union soldiers had him on a table, and he was writhing in pain. Unable to save the leg, two field surgeons spent an hour with a jagged saw cutting through Hanger’s skin, muscle, and bone a few inches above his knee. The surgeon then cauterized the wound with a hot iron. The excruciating amputation saved Hanger’s life. But what kind of life would that be?

Continue reading

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How Dick Came to be Short for Richard

Have you ever wondered why we call someone Dick when their name is Richard? I thought I knew, but maybe there’s something weird going on in history that I should learn about. Simon Whistler of Today I Found Out explains the reasoning. This contains language that might be NSFW.   

(YouTube link)

What I thought I knew turned out to be exactly the reason people named Richard are called Dick. The next question is why are people who are not named Richard called Dick. But that probably varies on an individual basis. -Thanks, Daven!


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The Mystery of the Basket

She is tired of him not doing his share of the housework, but he puts her concerns to rest right away. No worries, there are supernatural things going on in the house! And they are to his benefit

(YouTube link)

This skit by Australian comedian Troy Kinne makes plenty of sense. I’ve imagined before that this is what most of my family believes. -via reddit
 


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Profile for Miss Cellania

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