Use LEGO bricks to make all kinds of things that you’ll actually use around the house, or solve some household problem. A second benefit will be how your guests say “Cool!” when they see what you’ve done. The LEGO chess set would be perfect for a game of Coaster Chess. -via Viral Viral Videos
When you’re the younger brother, you’re always player two. That’s the way it is growing up playing video games with your older sibling. But there comes a time when “the way it is” suddenly is no more. Older brothers grow up, leave home, and the younger is now player one. While it’s nice to be number one, it’s a bittersweet victory.
Zachary Antell captures that feeling that so much of the video game generation can relate to, in this story that’s making the rounds of various film festivals. If you ever bonded with a sibling over The Legend of Zelda or Super Mario, you might need to have a hankie ready. -via Geeks Are Sexy
Redditors who drive for a living outdid themselves with a one-upmanship series of posts over the weekend. It all started when redditor 060789 posted a picture and said, “I know it's not the most interesting pic in the world, but here's the inside of my garbage truck, for all your inner kids who wanted to see one.” Yes, people wanted to see the interior cab of a garbage truck! But that started a chain of events as other people started posting interior shots of the vehicles they drive for a living.
Redditor corey_m_snow admitted, “It's not *quite* as cool as a garbage truck, but here's the driver's area of my school bus, where I sit for up to six hours a day, sometimes more.” Yes, there are a lot of people who did not ride a school bus while they were growing up.
How about a fire truck? Redditor polak187 gave us the cab of his fire department command vehicle. Oh, it gets better. You can actually say "that escalated quickly."
When a guy tries to write a nice love letter, or poem, or comic describing what a lovely sight a lady is, he can get all emotional and clever. Or he can end up on some overly-literal tangent because he’s just that observant. And if he’s lucky, she’ll understand and take it as he initially intended. This is the latest from Grant Snider at Incidental Comics.
Fail Army has compiled a whole slew of clips of people breaking, burning, and blowing up things, usually in some unexpected way. And then they set it to some classical-type music. Contains NSFW language.
Five years ago, we told you the story of how Geraldine Doyle was identified as the inspiration for the Rosie the Riveter poster. Doyle died in 2010 at age 86. Now evidence has come to light that she wasn’t the model for Rosie at all! Dr. James Kimble of Seton Hall University followed the story of how Doyle was identified as Rosie and was bothered by how little fact-checking went into it. So he decided to investigate himself. He began working on tracing the provenance of the photograph that Westinghouse used when their graphics department designed the poster. None of the available copies of the photo had any information on them, and the identification was made by Doyle herself.
So he called all the various wire services and stock photo collections that might now own the photo. He called naval bases and photo experts. He did endless Google searches. He leafed through endless issues of WWII-era magazines, looking for the photo in question in the hope it might be captioned with a date or a place. This took months, and got him pretty much nowhere — though a particular naval base in California kept popping up, a location that piqued Kimble’s interest because Doyle had worked at a factory in Michigan.
And then, in a feat of both persistence and luck, yet another Google search led Kimble to a Memphis company that sells old newspaper photos. The company just happened to be selling the photo he was looking for, the photo of the woman leaning over the lathe. He bought it, and when it arrived in the mail he realized it had the caption information he had been searching for on the back.
The photo was taken March 24, 1942, in Alameda, California. That pretty much eliminated Doyle as the photo’s subject, because she worked in a plant in Michigan and hadn’t even started there by that date.
Besides, the woman in the photo had a name.
Not only that, but Noami Parker Fraley is still around at age 94 and living in California. Read the story of how Kimble found the real Rosie at the Omaha World-Herald. -Thanks, Dr. Kimble!
Not all heroes wear capes. Sonia Ulrich, Marla Saltzer, and Monica Kenyon were celebrating Happy Hour together Thursday at the Fig restaurant at the Fairmont Hotel in Santa Monica, California. Kenyon saw a guy slip something from a small vial into the drink belonging to the woman he was dining with. The women found his date in the restroom and told her about it. They also told the management, who contacted the police, gave the woman a different drink, and delayed the couple with "computer problems" on their bill. Meanwhile, hotel security found video evidence. The police arrested Michael Tsu, who is being held on a million-dollar bond on charges of administering a drug with the intent to commit a felony and intent to commit rape. They also confiscated the drink and the security recording as evidence. You can read the entire story in Sonia Ulrich’s Facebook post.
This little chipmunk thought he had stumbled on the perfect treasure trove of food when he found a full bird feeder. Yet he couldn’t shake the feeling he was doing something wrong by taking all those seeds. When confronted by the guy who loaded the feeder, he did the only thing a thief with a conscience would do. He gave it all back.
Redditor devgal graduated from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania with a degree in environmental engineering. When the time came to decorate her mortarboard, she had the perfect idea, because she’s heard all the jokes since she was four years old and her leg was amputated. She explained that she has two prosthetics: one for everyday use, and one with a foot made for high heels that she can switch out for a running blade. Oh, that 45K? That's per year. -via reddit
Society has gone from bartering to trading with gold, then cash, then checks, credit cards, debit cards, and now digital transactions. The idea of money is now less physical and largely just a construct that goes from one entity to another in exchange for goods and services. Charlie Warzel wrote an extensive article on the future of financial transactions in the cashless society, after he spent a month using digital transactions only. There are myriad ways to pay digitally: Paypal, Venmo, Apple Pay, Android Pay, Square Cash, M-Pesa, and apps that only work at certain retailers. There are so many that it’s a real pain for vendors to keep up, although history tells us that some will rise above others and become the default way to pay.
There are, of course, legitimate reasons not to trust these new forms of payment. Anyone who’s been mugged or lost a wallet knows cash is far from perfect, but this constellation of new digital payment products introduces a whole new category and scale of ways to get robbed, hacked, scammed, and screwed. Venmo — the social payment service that’s now transferring over $1 billion per month — may, in some ways, be the truest glimpse at a mobile payment future, but it’s not exactly entirely secure. Smartphones can be as easily lost and stolen as wallets, but they’re also eminently breakable, orders of magnitude more expensive, and obsolete after two or three years. And the payment-apps landscape is still such that living cashlessly in 2016 means entering your credit card information or routing number into dozens of stand-alone apps, some of which look as if they’ve been built overnight by a high school computer science class.
One way to get around the physical stealing or breakage of phones is to have a chip implanted in his hand to use for transactions, which is what Warzel ultimately did. This is not common, and he had to make some upper-level arrangements to get it to work.
What could possibly go wrong? I can think of a few drawbacks to paying with an embedded chip.
1. How does one actually give permission for such a transaction? Like credit card skimmers, you can imagine someone being able to draw money from your account (and body) without you even knowing it.
2. How much personal information can be stored on a a chip, and how can outside entities (government, advertisers, information traders, scammers) access this? Would someone be able to find out where you live just by being near you?
3. The more removed from the physical act of financial transactions we are, the easier it is to spend it all. Using actual cash keeps you aware of how much you are spending and how much is left.
4. You would no longer have the freedom to deliberately leave your wallet at home.
5. Of course, there is Revelation 13:16-17. That’s over two billion people who will never get aboard with implanted chips.
6. It’s a lot of hassle for both small businesses and for people who just plain don’t have enough money. Wouldn’t it be better for the future to be the Star Trek model?
I’m sure you can think of other reservations, not the least is the pain involved. While the hook is Warzel’s chip implant, the article has a lot to say about the current state of flux in our digital transaction system. Read the whole thing at Buzzfeed.
The Commute Map is an interactive graph that shows the flow of commuters in your area. Select a state and county, and whether you want to see the patterns for people who live there or for people who work there. Below the map, you'll see a list of counties where the traffic is coming from or going. You can even select the range, up to 300 miles. The commute to work in Washington, DC, is shown here; apparently no one travels to work in my county. Creator Mark Evans explains more about this visualization at I Like Big Bytes. -via Metafilter
Montreal is marking the 375th anniversary of its founding in 1641. One of the ways the city is celebrating is with projection art that tells stories from the city’s history. Cité Mémoire (Memory City) consists of 18 installations, projected on buildings, roads, and even trees. There is audio to go with them, accessible through an app on your mobile device. Juergen Horn and Mike Powell made a video giving us a little taste.
If it were just short movies projected against the sides of buildings, Cité Mémoire would be cool, but not all that memorable. However, each of the eighteen tableaux has been produced with the utmost artistry. They’re the work of some of Quebec’s most renowned multidisciplinary artists. The projections are poetic, haunting and beautiful, and each one makes perfect use of its individual location.
For example, the tableaux about the 1849 burning of the Parliament is found at the old firehouse in the Place d’Youville. The projection uses a walled-up window on the building to create the illusion of a concerned couple peering outside. You watch along with them as protesters gather in front of the building across the street, which has been illuminated to resemble the Parliament. As it burns, the effect is stunning.
Let’s Melt This is a YouTube channel that shows various things melting. This one a switch-up, where they show the videos in reverse. It’s neat because instead of being destructive, it looks constructive. Also, some of the things are completely unidentifiable melted, so we get to guess what they are as the video rolls.
The folks at the Cincinnati Zoo outfitted Savanna the cheetah (previously at Neatorama) with a GoPro camera on her back. She probably wouldn’t have liked one on her head, and you really can’t force a wild cat to do something they don’t want to. Watching her zoom around the compound with this point of view is terrifying, kind of like riding in the car with your 16-year-old driving.
When they go to slow-motion, you really get a sense of how fast they run. I couldn’t even keep up with a cheetah in slow motion! But then again, if a wild predator were chasing me, I might surprise myself. -via Tastefully Offensive
In 1999, a horrified mother took this picture of her daughter just before telling her to come down. The redditor with a NSFW name posted it and explained what kind of childhood she led.
The trick we came up with was to spit on our hands and feet and rub it in so they were kind of sticky (gross, I know). I basically just shimmied up like a bear cub. I remember having to take a pretty long breather about halfway up. Childhood is a hell of a drug.
Haha she had the camera in one hand and the phone in the other, ready to call for help if I fell. She said she didn't want to yell or panic because she thought it would scare me and I would fall. So she acted supportive then asked me nicely to come down and when I did I got a stern talking to about safety.
My mom got many a call from the neighbors saying, "do you know where your daughter is?" and she would say, "probably very high up in a tree. Call me back if she falls."
Yeah, as a girl wanting to be tough like the boys in my neighborhood I wound up getting hurt pretty often. I once climbed onto the cross beam of a playground swing set and thanks to a group of kids chanting "jump jump jump," I did, landed on my butt, kneed myself in the mouth, and broke 4 of my bottom front teeth. Many a bad choice was made.
To be clear, the list below does not represent what each state Googles the most, it simply shows the searches each state Googles more frequently than the other 49 states and the District of Columbia.
While people in paradise (Hawaii) have the leisure to pose philosophical questions, those in Alaska are worried about stocking up for the winter, lest they starve. Arkansas needs a history lesson. People in Montana are apparently reacting to people in Idaho. You have to wonder what is going on in Delaware. And sadly, people in Kentucky learn how to use the internet before they learn the important things in life. -via the A.V. Club
Police in Anchorage, Alaska, were involved in a chase about 3 a.m. Thursday after a front-end loader was seen smashing into the front of a liquor store. Witnesses saw the machinery break the glass at Brown Jug liquor store. The driver went in and took several bottles of liquor. Police pursued the front-end loader, but the driver refused to stop. Once they blocked his path, they arrested 38-year-old Joseph Martin, who failed a sobriety test. He also had liquor bottles in the front-end loader. The next morning, Trina and Gus Gaskov found the fence damaged at their landscaping business and a front-end loader missing.
"He's obviously a good driver, 'cause he was drunk off his butt but he was still driving really good," she said in a phone interview Thursday. "He didn't hit a car or nothing — and making those wide turns — he must have experience driving around the loaders or something."
No one was injured in the chase. Martin was charged with DUI, theft, burglary, criminal mischief, and refusal to submit to a drug test. He is being held until a third party takes responsibility. -via Fark
About half the students reading this will cringe because they can relate to it, while the other half will laugh because finals are over. Finals week is the one thing about school you won’t miss at all when you graduate. This is the latest from Buttersafe.
If you enjoyed the post last week about the erratic way kings are numbered, you’ll love a look at how popes are numbered. The Catholic Church has had a pope in charge of all its members for about two thousand years now, and records from the earliest ones are pretty scant. Also, papal records have been wiped out a few times, and then there’s the custom of yanking a pope’s title long after he’s dead. The results can be confusing.
The numbering of popes named Felix has been amended to omit antipope Felix II; however, most lists still call the last two Felixes Felix III and Felix IV.
So the official list includes nightmarish entries like “St Felix III (Felix II)”, or, to give him his Latin name: “Papa FELIX Tertius (Secundus)”. He ruled for nine years in the late 5th century; 30 years later came “St Felix IV”, who is also known as Felix III.
Additionally, there was an antipope Felix V.
So, for those keeping count, there have been five Pope Felixes, only three of whom were actually Pope. Glad we got that straight.
Dr. Henry Heimlich, the inventor of the Heimlich Maneuver that has saved countless choking victims, is 96 years old and lives at a senior living facility in Cincinnati. The staff are all trained in the Heimlich Maneuver, but on Monday, when 87-year-old Patty Ris got a piece of hamburger stuck in her airway, they deferred to Heimlich. The doctor immediately performed as he had practiced for decades, and the obstruction was dislodged. Ris was okay! The real kicker is that this is the first time Heimlich had ever used his maneuver to save someone's life.
In a telephone interview Thursday, Heimlich recounted what happened. He said Ris had been sitting next to him at his table.
“When I used it, and she recovered quickly,” he said, “it made me appreciate how wonderful it has been to be able to save all those lives.”
His son, Phil Heimlich, said his father regularly meets people who were either saved or saved somebody else.
“Just the fact that a 96-year-old man could perform that, is impressive,” he said.
Heimlich has lived at the facility for six years, but still stays active and in shape. -via Metafilter
Remember the Junk Lady from the film Labyrinth? Jen Yates of Cake Wrecks and Epbot and her husband John built this Junk Lady costume. The whole thing is 37 pounds, and can either be worn or carted around. It was designed for the Labyrinth Ball at Dragoncon, but alas, the tickets to the ball sold out immediately.
See more pictures and a description of the build process with all the little details at Epbot here and here. Look for the Junk Lady at Megacon this weekend, and also at Dragoncon in Atlanta this fall. -via Metafilter
A group of scientists are testing a new kind of sticky trap. To get accurate information on its effectiveness, they sent various types of humans across a 20-foot section of the material. First, a scientist as a baseline, then a sprinter, then a sumo wrestler. I was hoping the sumo wrestler wouldn’t get his loincloth caught in the sticky stuff. He does.
While the poor horses got slandered, there were definite advantages to driving cars, especially in cities. Car manufacturers didn’t have to be so nasty about it, but even when they’re right, business trumps the common good. The campaign against the horse wasn’t nearly as bad as the battle against pedestrians or the campaign to design American infrastructure around the automobile. -Thanks, Phil Edwards!
The title of this list is really 20 Movies Every Real Estate Agent Should Watch, but that’s too narrow. While they feature real estate professionals, the subject of where to live affects us all. There’s at least one movie in here that relates to the travails of home buyers, homeowners, home sellers, renters, roommates, homeless people, landlords, neighbors, and yes, real estate agents. I’ve lived through the movie The Money Pit. Twice.
This 1980’s comedy focuses on a young couple who moves into a huge and expensive house that appears to be perfect right up until they purchase it, at which point it starts to fall apart in an absurd manner. Real estate agents are probably going to appreciate the number of lessons in real estate that the movie subtly delivers, such as the importance of looking past the surfaces when deciding on a house. The couple partly got into the mess in the first place because they were seduced by the promise of a bargain home and by a seller’s sympathetic sob story, which happens frequently in real life.
Barnaby Dixon shows off his new puppet design, and it’s quite clever. It combines the articulation of a marionette with the direct action of a hand puppet. Of course, the skill of the operator is key to making it move realistically, and he’s pretty good at that, too.
Marvel movies are action films: Good vs. evil, superpowers, and special effects. But each has some kind of romantic pairing going on, for better or worse. maybe it’s part of the formula that all Marvel movies much adhere to. I guess we should consider it a good thing, because otherwise there might not be any women in those movies at all! But while some romance subplots are hot, others seem to be phones in. Den of Geek counts down the ten romances in Marvel movies, ranked from worst to best.
While the artists who make rock concert posters for venues in San Francisco in the 60s became famous, John Moehring was doing the same thing in Seattle with little fanfare. Fifty years later, he is famous among poster collectors, those who really appreciate the psychedelic art of the era. Moehring produced posters for appearances by The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, and other monsters of rock. Collectors Weekly has an exclusive interview with Moehring about those days.
“Lots of bands playing at Eagles came to the house to partake of the Alice B. Toklas-inspired chewies and hang out before or after concerts,” Moehring says. “It was a safe environment for rock ’n’ roll road warriors often quite a distance from home.”
Naturally, Moehring had his favorites. “I have special memories of Pink Floyd’s visits,” he says. “They were fun people to spend some time with. And Alice Cooper, in spite of his appearance, was just a down-to-earth guy who liked to play golf. Go figure. People weren’t really stuck-up about their fame back then,” Moehring adds. “Everybody was interested in meeting new people and hearing what they thought and had to say.”
One of Moehring’s fondest memories is of an evening spent with English rocker Marc Bolan of Tyrannosaurus Rex—his second band, T-Rex, and its big hit, “Bang a Gong (Get It On),” were still a few years away. Accompanying Bolan on this particular evening was his then-girlfriend and future wife, June Child.
“Marc wanted to go out and have some real American French fries,” Moehring recalls, “so we piled into whatever ramshackle vehicle I had at the time and drove to a restaurant, where we ate French fries and just talked and talked. Eventually Marc got tired, so I drove him back to where they were staying, but June was still raring to go. We stayed up the entire night driving all over Seattle. I showed her all my favorite little places.” For example, one stop on this after-midnight tour was an old water tower way out on the Magnolia Bluffs overlooking Puget Sound. “The tower had these real cool cross braces all around it,” Moehring says, “and if you shook one of the braces that was down close to the ground, the whole thing would start to vibrate and reverberate. It was just a lovely, lovely evening.”
In a wonderful example of how to reuse Olympic venues, the city of Montreal converted the velodrome from the 1976 Olympics into an indoor zoo, with five distinct ecosystems, plenty of sunlight and vegetation, and animals from all over. Juergen Horn and Mike Powell visited recently to enjoy the environment and take pictures.
Dwarfed by the Olympic Stadium to which it’s adjacent, the Biodôme doesn’t look like much from the outside. But inside, an illusion of immense space has been created, and each of the five ecosystems are surprisingly spacious. After leaving the Biodôme, I looked back on the building in confusion. How did they manage to fit everything into that cycling dome?
The more high-tech your devices are, the faster they become obsolete. That’s heartbreaking for thrifty people who don’t like to replace something that still works, even if it doesn’t work for your needs anymore. Most households have obsolete but still-working gadgets stored somewhere “in case I ever need it.” You probably won’t, but there's a fuzzy line between obsolete and collectible. As older devices become rarer, they may be worth something for that alone. Take the Atari VCS:
Before it was called the Atari 2600, it was called the Atari VCS, or video computer system. If you got one of these early generation machines from 1980-1982 and still own it, you’re in luck: they’re going for around $100 on eBay. And if you’ve got some games to go with it, you’ll pull in even more depending on which titles you can offer. Air Raid is the most expensive, with one selling for over $30,000 a few years ago, while ET is the most interesting in that it is widely considered one of the worst games for the console. A few years ago, a massive collection of ET games was dug out of a landfill in New Mexico, so owning one is like owning a fun bit of video game history.
Burger Fiction’s latest supercut is a welcome change. It’s nice to be welcomed. I think you’ll recognize the majority of these films, not least because many of them have the title in the clip. The word “welcome” will sound really silly by the time this is through. You’re welcome. -via Tastefully Offensive