I’m not sure that he was the first to think of it, but Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad started a flood of people asking Siri the question “What is zero divided by zero?” For those of you who don’t use iPhones (like me), Siri is a personal assistant that talks to you. Those of you who use Siri may want to stop reading right now and try it. Otherwise, here is what she said:
“Imagine that you have zero cookies and you split them evenly among zero friends. How many cookies does each person get? See? It doesn’t make sense. And Cookie Monster is sad that there are no cookies, and you are sad that you have no friends.”
Look at this beautiful suit of custom-made armor! It was fashioned by Samuel Lee of Prince Armory (previously), who specializes in one-of-a-kind cosplay armor. It’s made of leather with brass hardware, and it’s not for sale. Yes, Lee can make you something just as awesome, but he’s got a substantial waiting list. See more pictures at Geeks Are Sexy.
Take a look at this gravestone. It would certainly give you pause if you came across it, wouldn’t it? Lily Gray died in her seventies, and was buried in Salt lake City over 50 years ago, but is still the subject of urban legends. Was she killed by demonic spirits, or even Satan? What would cause someone to think that? There are plenty of colorful tales, but the real, or at least the most believable, explanation is found at Urban Ghosts.
A World War II bomb shelter 100 feet below the streets London once had room to protect 8,000 people. Now it’s a farm! Last year, we told you about the plans to open an underground vegetable farm called Growing Underground, where leafy greens are grown under LEDs. Now the project is reality.
Crops will be grown in a sealed clean-room environment with a bespoke ventilation system, advanced LED lighting and a sophisticated irrigation system that enable the farm to produce crops with very little energy.
The farm’s mission is to deliver fresh produce with zero effect on the environment and all energy is sourced from green suppliers.
The farm says its advanced systems mean crops can be grown year-round in a perfect, pesticide-free environment because there is no risk of pests or disease.
“Because we have total control over their environment, each tiny leaf tastes as amazing as the last and because they are unaffected by the weather and seasonal changes, we can reduce the need to import crops and drastically reduce the food miles for retailers and consumers.”
Growing Underground is expected to deliver pea shoots, radishes, coriander, celery, parsley, and other vegetables sometime in July. Read more about the project in two articles at Farmer’s Weekly. -via Boing Boing
We’ve seen plenty of nursing mammals take in orphan babies of a different species, but it’s a totally different story with marsupials. Kangaroos and wallabies are born very underdeveloped, and stay in their mother’s pouch for months while nursing and growing. At the Adelaide Zoo, a Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo died while nursing a joey. Zookeepers transferred the baby to the pouch of a a Yellow-foot rock wallaby, a completely different species. That had never been done before, but the joey, named Makaia, survived and thrived with his surrogate wallaby mother.
We once posted about the business of hauling pollinating bees across country by truck for agricultural purposes. And it had to happen sooner or later. A truck carrying bees through Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, overturned on I-90 and spilled up to a million bees on Sunday. Traffic was backed up for a couple of miles, and drivers were warned to keep their windows rolled up. To make matters worse, Coeur d'Alene was hosting an Iron Man Triathlon event at the same time. That couldn’t have been pleasant. -via reddit
The street artist Mobstr found a wall in East London that was partially red and decided to have a little fun with it. It turned into a battle of wits that lasted an entire year.
I cycled past this wall on the way to work for years. I noticed that graffiti painted within the red area was “buffed” with red paint. However, graffiti outside of the red area would be removed via pressure washing. This prompted the start of an experiment. Unlike other works, I was very uncertain as to what results it would yield. Here is what transpired over the course of a year. --Mobstr
New Zealander Jordan Watson has a baby, and has classified 17 different ways to hold her. He’s glad to share them with you in this instructional video. He must be doing it right- the baby never hit the ground and never started wailing in terror. My favorite is the Superman. -via Tastefully Offensive
On the surface, they look just like any other couple their age. And just like any other couple, you can’t know what astonishing forces shaped their lives until you ask. Helena and Szczepan Wojtak were born only 35 miles apart in Poland, but did not meet each other until they were refugees in England after World War II.
Frankly, American history classes in public schools are lucky if they have time to touch on anything more recent than World War II. Even if they do, there probably wouldn’t be more than a day or two devoted to the entire space race. The story of space exploration is a long and rich one, with occasionally bizarre incidents that we can laugh about, now that we know no one died because of them. This tidbit is bizarre because of the difference in the American and Soviet space programs. Cosmonauts carried a weapon into space that was basically a sawed-off shotgun.
The TP-82 pistol was developed specifically for cosmonauts and packed enough punch to take out a half-ton grizzly bear. That specification is not an accident, either -- despite our sincerest hopes that the Ruskies had armed their cosmonauts with a hand cannon to fight off aliens or in the event they got into a space-train robbery gunfight with the Americans, the gun was actually intended as a survival measure once they were back on Earth. Why? Because unlike the stupid Americans, who directed their spacecraft into the Pacific Ocean, the Soviets cleverly pointed their returning capsules to the nice, soft rock of Siberia. And, as is wont to happen, capsules occasionally went off course, landing somewhere else in the vast, inhospitable wasteland.
In one such instance, two cosmonauts ended up stranded in the middle of the woods in the Urals, 600 miles from their intended landing site, with only a 9 mm pistol to deal with the bears and wolves that lurked in the woods around them. Despite the fact they never encountered either, they managed to convince their bosses that future crews should be packing more heat.
The Jurassic Period was a long time ago, and it had dinosaurs, which made for an exciting movie in Jurassic Park. But if you can resurrect DNA from that geologic period in fiction, then the other geologic periods of earth’s history wouldn’t be off limits, either. That could give us a lot of sequels!
That is, if they could find any creatures from those other periods that might cause fear and conflict among humans. Or even be the least bit familiar to audiences. College Humor looks at what might have been. -via Tastefully Offensive
Miss Emmylou Cakehead snagged another opportunity to make gruesome but delicious dishes around a theme: an alien invasion! To promote the new season of the TV series Falling Skies, Miss Cakehead teamed up with culinary renegade Jim Thomlinson of London Mess to create a feast of seafood fashioned in the likeness of the the aliens from the show.
The event was Tuesday in London, and featured not only dishes such as “Espheni limbs” and “mucus eyeballs of Skitters,” but the actual aliens from the show were flown in, including the three-meter tall Scorch, a Skitter, and a Harness, plus the alien ally Cochise.
Just when I think there couldn’t be any weirder mashups, comes a version of The Avengers that stars the characters from The Wizard of Oz. Darren Wallace casts the Cowardly Lion as Thor and the Scarecrow as Captain America, but the real star is the Tin Man, who embodies the role of Ultron.
This Japanese movie trailer doesn’t exactly scream “blockbuster,” but the premise is too precious. Kyutaro Madarame is an accomplished but criminal samurai who is hired to assassinate Tamanojo. Tamanojo is a cat. Really. But he can’t kill the cat because it’s so adorably cute! Still, he has to make the cat disappear to fulfill his obligation, which leads to a comedy of errors along with the samurai action.
Isaac Eddy was a Blue Man in the the Blue Man Group for twelve years. It’s not a typical job, even among performers. He tells us how he got the job, how the show is put together, the philosophy behind the performance, the makeup process, and some other tidbits you didn’t know about the Blue Man Group.
In a given production, how many Blue Men are there? Are the just three leads and a couple of stand ins or are there 20 guys who rotate in and out?
In the smaller shows there is typically seven full time guys. In the bigger shows, like Vegas, there are upwards of nine guys full time. The reason is because we do so many shows. In New York, the typical Broadway run is eight shows a week, and we will often do much more than that. On a slow week we’ll do 12, and on a high week we can do upwards of 20. So we need those extra guys to do those shows. This is also another reason why guys stick around for so long, because there is less of a grind that way. There will be slow weeks and you can take leaves of absence to do other artworks. Its just a much more stable, supportive environment that way. And for a theater gig… it was 12 years with 401K, full benefits for me, my wife, and my kid, a really stable setup.
A 32-mile stretch of road between the towns of Gladstone and Regent, North Dakota, is called the Enchanted Highway because it’s filled with huge scrap metal sculptures depicting wildlife, Western scenes, and even historical figures. The artist is retired schoolteacher Gary Greff.
Small towns in the country were slowly being deserted and Gary Greff was worried about this growing trend. So beginning in 1990, he started creating massive metal sculptures that he planned to place along the Regency-Gladstone Road every few miles to arouse the curiosity of drivers and tourist using the road. Gary wants to create ten sculptures. So far, he has completed seven and the eighth one is reportedly in progress. All the sculptures face north, toward the oncoming traffic from the interstate, and each one is accompanied by a pull-out area with place for picnic and tourists to unwind. It was Gary’s idea to rename the road the Enchanted Highway.
Just a couple of days ago, we showed you how Alexander Fredriksen can’t lie on the couch without his cat Nala wanting to snuggle. In this video, Texan Roy Field had the same problem, but his cuddly pet is a Great Dane that’s as big as he is! Bodie Gene just wants to lie down and snuggle with his human like any good lap dog. The pup is only a year old. If Bodie Gene gets any bigger, Roy may be squashed flat! -via Daily Picks and Flicks
According to the Blobfish Cafe’s website, the pop-up has acquired three blobfish—named Barry, Lorcan, and Lady Swift—that will be on display when the business opens next summer in 2016. With three blobfish in their possession, this could not have been a cheap or easy project to conduct for the cafe’s creators, as one blobfish alone costs $100,000, with its large tank coming in at $500 (meaning that with three of them, these unnamed individuals have probably paid over $301,500 alone just to obtain blobfish).
This is definitely an endeavor taken on by those who are committed to showing the world blobfish in a new light, a goal not only reflected in the estimated price paid for these creatures but in the words expressed on the cafe’s site, which promise that the cafe’s creators “have been working with some of the world’s top marine biologist.”
Our friend Rob of the What Is It? Blog has been traveling, but he's back for a limited time, with more mystery items!
What is this thing in the picture? Your guess can win you a free T-shirt of your choice from the NeatoShop! Here's how to play:
Place your guess in the comment section below. One guess per comment, but you can enter as many guesses as you'd like in separate comments. You have until tomorrow afternoon to enter.
You might know what it is, but if you want to win a t-shirt, you'll have to use your imagination, because we are going to select two winners who give us the funniest incorrect guesses. If you guess right, then good for ya - but you don't win anything, okay? So, it's up to you, creative people: you have twice the chance of winning that T-shirt.
Please write your T-shirt selection alongside your guess. If you don't include a selection, you forfeit the prize. We highly suggest you take a look at the NeatoShop's new selection of Funny T-shirts and Science T-Shirts.
Update: This item is, indeed, a Morris scissor bench plane, or plow plane. You can see the patent application at the What Is It? blog. Several of you knew that, but as we said, we are giving away T-shirts from the NeatoShop for the funniest answers.
A t-shirt goes to canyourepeatthequestion for this gem:
Although incorrectly displayed laying on its side, it is still easily recognizable as a scissor lift for squirrels performing bird feeder "Maintenance". What appears to be a curved wooden handle is in fact the lateral stabilizer, stylized to resemble a squirrel's tail in the style of famed rodent lift designer Sir UpseeDaisy J Nutter. At auction, I would expect this piece to fetch at least three or four hundred acorns.
and to Berhard for his pun:
It is one of the classic "phrase causes": If you worked with this pane-tool and placed on a chair and you forget about it... and you later sit down on exactly this chair, you instantly become aware that this tool is the reason for the phrase "pane in the ass"...
Thanks to everyone for playing along! We’ll do it again next week, for a limited run as long as Rob has items to identify at the What Is It? blog.
In 1938, a Detroit street sweeper named Joseph Figlock saved the life of a baby falling from an apartment building. A lucky moment, indeed. It was also an odd coincidence, because, according to Time magazine, the same man had performed the very same act just a year prior. Even more astounding? It was reported to be the same baby.
Astonishing tales like this make us laugh in disbelief. But behind the laughter lurks fear: Humans have a deep psychological need for the universe to feel controllable—or at least predictable. “People are much more relaxed if they feel in command, whether they really are or not,” says David Hand, a British statistician and author of The Improbability Principle. “The notion that events might happen just by chance can be terrifying.”
As a species, we persuade ourselves that we can influence random events, a fantasy psychologists call “the illusion of control.” Casino gamblers throw dice more gently when they want lower numbers, according to one study. In another, 40 percent of subjects believed they could get better outcomes from tossing a coin the more they practiced. It’s little wonder, then, that people sit up and listen when self-help gurus claim to offer techniques for learning to be luckier. The good news is that, in some sense, you really can “make your own luck.”
For starters, forget about influencing the outcome of truly chance-based events, like coin tosses or lottery draws.
All of the following are actual injuries to major-league baseball players.
Babe Ruth knocked himself unconscious by running headfirst into a coconut palm tree in spring training, chasing after a fly ball.
Walter George “Jumbo" Brown, a 255-lb. pitcher for the Yankees, injured two of his teammates, putting them on the disabled list, when he played leap frog with them.
Tom Glavine broke a rib vomiting, after eating bad airplane food.
Denny McLain, a Detroit tigers pitcher, was trying to win his 30th game of the season. When he saw his team score the game-winning run, McLain excitedly jumped up, hit his head on the concrete dugout roof and knocked himself unconscious.
“Fat Freddie" Fitzsimmons smashed the fingers on his pitching arm when he fell asleep in a rocking chair. His fingers fell under the chair and he rocked over the hand, smashing his fingers.
Steve Sparks hurt himself ripping a phone book in half. He was out for the entire season from the injury.
Jim Palmer was removed from the pitching rotation because he hurt his neck sleeping on a pillow that "was too soft.”
There is a peculiar tradition among the people of Australia’s Northern Territory of dressing up termite mounds to make them look more distinctive, or at least more humorous. This custom is most notable along the Stuart Highway between Darwin and Alice Springs. Ian Hance is working on documentaing the mounds and painting their portraits for his master’s thesis in visual art at Charles Darwin University.
Mr Hance said there was a high concentration of dressed mounds along the highway between Katherine and Larrimah, along with large clusters around Threeways Roadhouse and Alice Springs.
"Many have a sexual element to them, while others appear to be brandishing a political statement or were created by tourists to commemorate their travels in the region," he said said.
He said among his 350 photos were mounds dressed as soldiers with sticks for guns, tradesmen wearing hi-visibility clothing, and even a biblical reference to Michelangelo's Madonna and Child sculpture.
Hance also has a website where people are encouraged to send in pictures of dressed termite mounds they’ve photographed. -via Arbroath
The most mesmerizing videos are those in which someone seemingly selected elements pulled from different hats and put them together. Here, we see a man in a long-neck giraffe mask lip-synch to Marvin Gaye’s song “Let’s Get It On.” You can’t turn away from it. Puppeteer/mask maker Sebastian Mayer made this for “all the lonely long-legged lovelies.” -via Tastefully Offensive
On the surface, you might think that the game Super Mario World and the HBO series Game of Thrones have nothing in common to lend itself to a mashup. But the TV show intro has many art elements that would easily be adaptable to a video game world. Make the GoT theme into a chip tune and voilà! Mashup. The video is from Steven Jase, with music by Paul LeBlanc. -via Uproxx
Mike Wilson is a professional freerunner and parkour athlete. He’s also a father. His son Jayden developed a passion for Spider-Man, so Wilson became SpiderDad! Jayden was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer just after his 4th birthday. For his 5th birthday, Spider-Dad came to visit! The event last fall was captured on video, which eventually got over ten million views. Wilson had further plans to make a Spider-Dad movie to show Jayden, but Jayden died on Christmas Eve, 2014.
The SpiderDad Film was inspired by my son Jayden who sadly lost his 18 month battle at Christmas to a Grade 4 Brain Stem Tumor called, Glyoblastoma Multi-Forme. Before he died, we began filming with the full intention of giving Jayden his very own Premiere at home, with drinks and popcorn. Just like at the cinema. I was very passionate about making this look and feel as real as possible for our little super hero. Even to the finest details of webbing effects, stunts, the Spiderman suit and generally providing a feel good energy about the film.
Sadly, the little fighter became very ill, and his very own Premiere wasn’t able to happen. It became a dedication project to the bravest, and most courageous little boy we know, always willing to give a smile and thumbs up at even the most difficult of times. In addition, we wanted this to also raise awareness and money for the charity who gave our family so much support whilst caring for Jayden, as well as the continued after care for our entire family and his big sister Ella.
Don created the flamingo when he was freshly graduated from art school, and newly employed at a plastics factory. One of his first assignments was to create three-dimensional plastic lawn ornaments (up to that time, most plastic lawn ornaments were more or less flat). The flamingo was one of his earliest efforts for the factory.
The Disney animated feature Lady and the Tramp opened in theaters on June 22, 1955, which makes the movie 60 years old today. How long is that in dog years? Maybe you saw it in theaters; it was re-released every six years or so, as the custom was before home video. Maybe you grew up with it on videotape. But no matter how much you enjoyed it, you probably don’t know what went into the making of the movie.
1. It was inspired by a real dog named Lady.
In 1937, Disney writer Joe Grant showed Walt Disney some sketches he had done of his Springer Spaniel, Lady. Walt was impressed, and encouraged Joe to create a full storyboard. Like her fictional counterpart, the real-life Lady was learning how to deal with her owners’ new baby, which served as the main inspiration for Grant’s plot. In the end, Walt wasn’t thrilled with the storyline, and the idea was scrapped. Several years later, Disney came across a story by Ward Greene in Cosmopolitan titled “Happy Dan, the Whistling Dog." He believed that the two ideas could be combined into one to create a stronger story, and asked Greene to come up with one.
3. The real Tramp was a girl.
The writers and animators had plenty of inspiration for Lady, as some of the people involved with the film had spaniels they brought in as models. But the perfect mutt proved to be more elusive. One of the writers spotted the perfect happy-yet-bedraggled dog roaming around his neighborhood and tried to coax it over, but the dog was too quick. After failing to spot the dog again, the writer eventually checked with the city pound, where he found his perfect Tramp. Disney adopted the dog, who had apparently been just hours away from “taking the long walk,” and let her live in a private area behind Disneyland.