To celebrate YouTube's eighth anniversary, Dane Boe put together a retrospective of viral videos to the tune of Billy Joel's song "We Didn't Start the Fire." You might recognize all the clips, most of them were posted here at Neatorama over the past eight years. -via Viral Viral Videos
Etckt had great success with their Periodic Table of Star Wars (the Original Trilogy), so, just like Lucas did, they followed that up with the prequels. And just like the prequels, this new periodic table has more special effects.
Each element cell is now a cube (rendered as hexagons), with all the pertinent information, and elements/characters categorized as Jedi, Sith, royalty, politicians, droids, etc. Of course, Anakin Skywalker heads the table, along with Qui-Gon Jin. You can see more details and the full-size version by clicking the image at Etckt. Link -Thanks, Matthew Gallagher!
This video from RTÉ Radio 1 shows a cat in County Offaly, Ireland, suckling ducklings along with her own kittens. Isn't that amazing? Well, from what I can see, the ducklings are not nursing, although they may give it a try after seeing the kittens do it. After all, ducks don't suck. But they sure are craving some snuggling from the mama cat! What really is amazing is that a video from a radio network has no audio. -via Daily Picks and Flicks
Jason Marlin of ars technica was struck by a bolt of lightning. He was apparently okay enough to write about it right away.
Yesterday, I was sitting in my studio office—basically a converted garage—while a thunderstorm brewed outside. After wrapping up a conference call with some of Ars' finest, I was getting ready to dive back into work when the storm really picked up. "Ahhhh," I thought as I leaned back in my chair to stare out at the strange greenish light against a purple-clouded backdrop. "So beautiful!"
At that moment—and this part is a little foggy—a bright arc of electricity shot through the window and directly into my chest. I'm not sure whether the arc originated from the sky or the ground, but it knocked me out of my chair. I hit the concrete floor and bounced back up to my feet, which were shuffling at top speed into a bookshelf. I remember thinking, "OK, going to die now. Do not fall down. Do not pass out."
I've read that being struck by lightning is akin to a being hit by a huge defibrillator. I'm not sure about that—but it did feel magnitudes worse than the time I touched an electric fence as a kid.
Sunday afternoon, four American tourists in Iceland decided to picnic on an ice floe in the Fjallsárlón glacial lagoon. But that was not a great idea, as they discovered when the ice they were sitting on started floating away!
According to Páll Sigurður Vignisson, member of the Hornafjörður rescue team and employee at Jökulsárlón, the tourists, who were from the United States, had set up a table and chairs on an ice floe with the plan of eating dinner when a gust of wind suddenly pushed the ice away from land, leaving them stranded about 10 meters from the shore.
One of the tourists managed to jump to shore before the ice drifted too far and called 112 for help. "When we arrived it was quite comical to see them sitting on chairs and with a table on an iceberg ... Yes the dinner was over," Páll told Iceland Review, adding that he had not noticed what they had been eating as he was too busy getting life vests to them.
This is what you get when a linguist's children reach middle school. Linguist James Harbeck gives us the phonetic analysis of the things teenagers say WAY too much, mainly to annoy parents, teachers, and even their best friends. A sample:
1. Breathy-voiced long low back unrounded vowel with advanced tongue root
This is usually spelled something like auuggghhh. It's the classic teenage sound of utter exasperation. The eyes are usually angled upwards, sometimes in contrast with a downward movement of the shoulders. "Breathy-voice" means that the vocal folds are wide apart, giving a very "chesty" sound. "Advanced tongue root" means that the back of the tongue is moved forward to make a larger resonating cavity behind it. "Low back" means the tongue doesn't rise anywhere in the mouth (compare this with "eee," which is high front). "Unrounded" means the lips aren't rounded.
When you see the many jokes about graduation, remember they are just jokes. Finishing your education is clearly an accomplishment to be proud of, when you consider the many folks who do not get the opportunity. As his daughter graduates this year, Dr. Harley A. Rotbart thinks back to his own medical school graduation in 1979 and what it meant to his father.
He was the most brilliant fruit peddler in the history of fruit peddling, the smartest man I ever knew. Deprived of a high school education when the Nazis raided his town of Klodowa, he came to America years later as an apprehensive, thickly accented refugee from the unspeakable horrors of Europe. Despite many years in America, the emotional scars were still there. He had a sense of inferiority and was intimidated by those around him who had an education. He was always socially self-conscious, acutely afraid of standing out for his lack of accomplishments. Within his circle of family and friends, dad was proud of who he was and what he had overcome. We knew he was proud of us, too.
Matt Clarke has started a YouTube series called Convos With My 2 Year Old. In it, he recreates conversations with his daughter Coco. I'm sure the words were exactly the same, but common sense tells me that the original wasn't nearly as creepy as it seems when Matt plays the part. Look at that adorable little girl -who wouldn't want to play the princess for her? -via Viral Viral Videos
In 1960, ABC brought something new to the young medium of television: A full-length (30 minute) animated cartoon TV series. Sure, cartoons had been broadcast since TV's inception, but never an actual primetime cartoon series. The show was "made for adults," but the millions of kids who routinely tuned in didn't know or didn't care about that.
The Flintstones ran for six very successful years (1960-1966). The original pilot for the series was called The Flagstones. This name was changed because of the popular comic strip Hi and Lois, whose last name was Flagstone. Their creators threatened legal action if that surname was appropriated by ABC. (Daws Butler voiced both leads, Fred and Barney, in this original pilot.)
And obvious and openly admitted rip-off of The Honeymooners, the show's cast included four lead characters. Fred Flintstone (the earliest animated precursor to Homer Simpson) was the show's central character. Interestingly, although Seth MacFarlane, the brilliant creator of Family Guy, is often accused of "ripping off" Homer Simpson for his lead character Peter Griffin, Seth always denies this theory and says Fred Flintstone was his "favorite cartoon character as a kid" and was the actual inspiration for Peter.
Much like Jackie Gleason's legendary Honeymooners character Ralph Kramden, Fred was loud, overbearing, blustery, and obnoxious. But underneath, he was a good guy, just an average Stone Age "John Doe" trying to earn a living, get by, and have a few laughs on the side. Fred shared one other quality with Ralph: his unequivocal and undying love of this wife, Wilma.
It's once again time for our collaboration with the wonderfully entertaining What Is It? Blog. Do you know what the pictured item is? Can you guess? Or can you make up something totally wacky?
Place your guess in the comment section below. One guess per comment, please, though you can enter as many guesses as you'd like in separate comments. Post no URLs or weblinks, as doing so will forfeit your entry. Two winners: the first correct guess and the funniest (albeit ultimately wrong) guess will win T-shirt from the NeatoShop.
Please write your T-shirt selection alongside your guess. If you don't include a selection, you forfeit the prize, see? May we suggest the Science T-Shirt, Funny T-Shirt and Artist-Designed T-Shirts?
See another picture of this item at the What Is It? Blog. Good luck!
Some quotes are attributed to the wrong person. Some get their words garbled a little. And others were just made up and we don't know where they really came from. However, many of these misquotes are versions that I've never heard. Does anyone really think it's "Bubble, Bubble, toil and trouble"? After all, the next line uses "bubble" as the rhyme. Who are all these people getting quotes so very wrong? John Green sets the record straight for mental_floss.
Cracked goes where no one else has time for to find clues hidden in the backgrounds of movies that tell you what's going to happen or what twist will eventually be revealed. Since I now have the endings to three movies I have never seen, I won't give an excerpt here. But your mind will be blown by the tiny details in Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, The Avengers, Reservoir Dogs, and Fight Club. All contain spoilers, so you decide whether to jump into the wormhole. Link -via mental_floss
Adafruit, which posts the geekiest, most wonderful projects I'll never understand, tells you how to make your own "chameleon scarf," an accessory that changes color to match your clothing. The scarf itself is incidental, because what blew my mind is a sensor that detects the color of an object -a piece of fruit or the shirt you're wearing- and matches its RGB code. Then there are LEDs that change color depending on the code sent to them. The possibilities are endless, if you know a little about electronics. Find a video that shows how it works, and links to pages of information behind this project at Adafruit. Link -Thanks, Becky Stern!
(Image credit: Johngineer!)
Drusilla's Park is a zoo in East Sussex, England. On April 26th, there was a breakout when two raccoons escaped into the surrounding neighborhood. Turpin was found in another area of the park a week later and returned to her enclosure. But her sister Bandit remained at large until she suddenly was seen back in her enclosure when a zookeeper made an evening nose count. She has returned on her own!
Claire Peters, of Drusillas Park, said: “We were incredibly surprised to see Bandit return. Obviously we longed for her safe return but no one expected her to turn up. It is thought the sisters escaped after being spooked by a noise or unexpected movement, leading them to flee up the perimeter fence and through the electric deterrent. Thankfully neither appears to be injured.”
Bandit's identity was confirmed by a scan of her embedded microchip. She apparently found that the grass was not greener on the other side of the fence. Link -via Arbroath
(Image credit: Drusilla's Park)
Tyler Marcum made a silly dance video in his underwear back in college ten years ago. Now he's turning 30 and recreated that same dance, side-by-side with the original, to mark the occasion. The song is "Landslide," originally by Fleetwood Mac, but this verso is by the Dixie Chicks. -via Viral Viral Videos
You don't have to be crazy to believe in conspiracy theories. In fact, 63 percent of registered voters in American believe in at least one political conspiracy theory. Scientists say that the belief that powerful people are manipulating things behind the scenes is the brain's way of making sense out of forces that the individual cannot control, sparked by the region of the brain called the amygdala.
Economic recessions, terrorist attacks and natural disasters are massive, looming threats, but we have little power over when they occur or how or what happens afterward. In these moments of powerlessness and uncertainty, a part of the brain called the amygdala kicks into action. Paul Whalen, a scientist at Dartmouth College who studies the amygdala, says it doesn’t exactly do anything on its own. Instead, the amygdala jump-starts the rest of the brain into analytical overdrive — prompting repeated reassessments of information in an attempt to create a coherent and understandable narrative, to understand what just happened, what threats still exist and what should be done now. This may be a useful way to understand how, writ large, the brain’s capacity for generating new narratives after shocking events can contribute to so much paranoia in this country.
“If you know the truth and others don’t, that’s one way you can reassert feelings of having agency,” Swami says. It can be comforting to do your own research even if that research is flawed. It feels good to be the wise old goat in a flock of sheep.
Read more about the research into conspiracy theories in an article by Maggie Koerth-Beker in the New York Times. Link
(image credit: Matt Dorfman)
A woman in Tasmania pled guilty to five counts of sex with a minor after she was caught in the act with her boyfriend's 16-year-old son. She explained that she mistakenly thought 16 was the age of consent. But the real kicker is how they were caught.
Crown Prosecutor Jackie Hartnett told the court in October last year the woman had gone to her stepson's room to discuss his driving lessons.
Although the pair had previously had a strained relationship, tickling led to kissing and then to intercourse, the prosecutor said.
The following day, the woman's de facto partner set up a video camera in a bid to capture evidence of paranormal activity in the house, but forgot to turn it off.
When he returned from work and reviewed the footage, he saw his son and the woman kissing and cuddling.
Movie posters are pretty important to the overall success of a film. They go through different drafts of different visions before the final product is released. What didn't make the cut gives us a glimpse into the creative process. In this collection at Flavorwire, you will see that changing and refining the initial concept is usually a good idea. Link
Imagine that you bake so many pies that you need a special tool for crimping the top and bottom crust together -one that makes different patterns to keep things interesting. Then imagine that yours was custom-carved from whalebone or walrus tusk by someone who loves you. The New Bedford Whaling Museum has many, many scrimshaw pie crimpers.
The exhibit attributes this functional extravagance to many hours of boredom at sea, but also to the American diet in the nineteenth century. A typical New England meal of the era would involve not just pie, but pies, in both savoury and sweet form. Armed with a crimping multi-tool, a lucky whaler’s spouse or mother need never fear a moment’s confusion differentiating between her cherry and chicken pies.
You hear stories about waiters being stiffed, which is inevitably followed by a storm in the comments about the entire system of tipping. But how about some really good tipping stories? Every so often, a very generous diner surprises the server with the tip of a lifetime.
Rhode Islander Kristen Ruggiero is a single mom of three who has had a tough time making ends meet by working the restaurant job she’s held for the last 15 years. One day last year, a couple came in and ordered a pizza, a salad and a pitcher of beer only to settle their $42 bill by leaving $500 on the table. At first, the waitress thought they made a mistake and accidentally left the five hundreds thinking they were ten dollar bills. So Kristen set the money aside until the pair returned to the restaurant and tried to return it to them. That’s when they assured her that the $458 tip was no mistake. "He said no it was absolutely not a mistake, you deserved it," Kristen said.
But that's far from the biggest tip in this roundup of stories at mental_floss. Link
A juvenile fox takes advantage of a golf ball coming his way. This hazard wasn't explained back at the club house. Still, watching him play was probably more fun than the game. -via Daily of the Day
Quick -how many nuclear accidents can you name? Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Fukushima …any more? There have been quite a few nuclear accidents of varying danger that you probably never heard of, including some fatal incidents. For example, in 1957, nuclear waste exploded at a reactor near the Soviet town of Ozyorsk.
One of the storage tanks contained around 70 to 80 tons of radioactive liquid waste, and its cooling mechanism stopped working and wasn’t fixed. The tank’s contents, made up mostly of ammonium nitrate and acetates, began to dry out as the liquid heated up and evaporated. Moreover, the temperature increase caused an explosion whose force was equivalent to 70 to 100 tons of TNT, and this sent huge amounts of radioactivity – roughly 20 MCi (800 PBq) – into the environment. The fallout cloud from the explosion contaminated an area of up to 7,722 square miles (20,000 square kilometers).
Over a period of nearly two years, about 10,000 people were evacuated from the surrounding area. In terms of fatalities, the exact cost of the incident is not known, but immediately around the site of the explosion there were 66 diagnosed cases of chronic radiation syndrome.
Read more about the Ozyorsk incident and nine others in a list at Tech Graffiti. Link -via the Presurfer
(Image credit: Ecodefense, Heinrich Boell Stiftung Russia, Alla Slapovskaya, Alisa Nikulina)
At first I thought this might be a sequel to the 2008 video Death Star Over San Francisco, but it's not. and it is, directed by Mike Horn. In this alternate reality, Earth is part of the Galactic Empire, but it's still okay to use the fake "amateur shaky cam" effect. And then the Enterprise shows up from the future to grab some more whales. -via Buzzfeed
A truck carrying tons of grapes overturned and spilled on the 210 in the San Gabriel Valley in California. You don't get an opportunity to write a headline like that often. Link -Thanks, Michael Carney!
Photographer Nolan Conway was impressed by the wide variety of people who visited his local McDonalds, which led to a photo project called Happy Meals. He's traveled the country, finding interesting people at McDonalds. Of course, you recognize this couple. That's Vance and Nancy Evans of Bakersfield, California. At least that's who they say they are. See more photos from the series at Wired. Link -via Laughing Squid
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