While you might think you want your daughters to grow up sweet and agreeable, the real world demands that they be able to take care of themselves. And that’s one of the best things you can teach them. I have one child who has always been a stubborn contrarian. It was frustrating. It was difficult. But as she grew I was also proud of how strong and self-determined she is. She can take care of herself, and that’s worth more than all the affection she could have shown her parents. The concept is illustrated for even toddler age girls in the latest comic from Lunarbaboon.
Our friends from Geeks Are Sexy attended the Quebec City Comic Con this weekend, and caught some awesome cosplayers doing what they do best. Yan and photographer Patrick-Michel Dagenais brought us back a nice gallery of images. These folks went all out, from Disney Princesses to the toughest warriors in pop culture.
Ricordando #NaramiBarbagia, uno scatto dedicato alla lavorazione di #SuFilindeu, ospitato nei nostri locali. Su Filindeu è un'antica pasta originaria di Nuoro, realizzata con un processo artigianale che parte da un unico blocco di pasta e arriva alla creazione di centinaia di sottili fili che poi vengono fatti essiccare. E non è solo bella, è anche buonissima!
Paola Abraini is one of three women left in the world who can make su filindeu, which makes it the rarest pasta in the world. The family has passed down the technique for hundreds of years, but the recipe is no secret. There were once many women in the town of Nuoro, Sardinia, who made su filindeu for the Feast of San Francesco, when pilgrims traditionally eat a soup of su filindeu in mutton broth. Abraini would love to teach others how to make it, but the process is one that you can’t learn in an afternoon. It takes years of practice. First, you make pasta dough from semolina wheat, salt, and water, and knead it.
Then comes the hardest part, a process she calls, “understanding the dough with your hands.” When she feels that it needs to be more elastic, she dips her fingers into a bowl of salt water. When it needs more moisture, she dips them into a separate bowl of regular water. “It can take years to understand,” she beamed. “It’s like a game with your hands. But once you achieve it, then the magic happens.”
When the semolina reached just the right consistency, Abraini picked up the cylindrical strand to stretch and fold the dough, doubling it as she pressed the heads of the su filindeu into her palms. She repeated this sequence in a fluid motion eight times. With each sweeping pull, the dough became thinner and thinner. After eight sequences, she was left with 256 even strands about half as wide as angel-hair pasta. She then carefully laid the strands on a circular base, one on top of another, to form a cross, trimming any excess from the ends with her fingers before repeating the process over and over.
The result is a fine noodle, thinner than angel hair. Because the pasta is in danger of dying out, it has recently become available at restaurants in Sardinia. Read about su filindeu at BBC Travel. -via the Presurfer
Marie Connolly Owens was an officer in the Chicago Police Department for 32 years beginning in 1891, but her employment wasn’t seen as a breakthrough for the history books, and was forgotten for decades. Strangely, her obituary did not even mention her years on the force. But at work, she was quite effective and respected by her supervisors. Owen began working for the government as an inspector, enforcing the new city ordinance against child labor.
Sanitary inspector Marie Owens dove into her work with a passion, removing illegally employed children from their workplaces, helping them find other means of support and even paying out of her own pocket to help their destitute families. She soon earned a reputation for zeal and effectiveness tempered by a diplomatic approach to parents, children, and business owners that made her as popular as someone in her role could be.
In 1891, the newly appointed Chief of Police, Major Robert Wilson McClaughrey—a tireless reformer with a particular interest in the rehabilitation of juvenile offenders—took notice of Mrs. Owens' efforts in tracking down wife deserters—men we now call deadbeat dads. Owens saw first-hand how many children were forced to seek employment to keep the family from starving after the father abandoned them. She was relentless in ferreting these men out and turning them into the police, so much so that McClaughrey decided to employ Owens in the detective bureau.
Read the story of the first woman police officer in America, and why other Chicago women did not follow her into the profession, at mental_floss.
108 years later, Chicago holds its breath. pic.twitter.com/jnH02i34OV— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 23, 2016
The Chicago Cubs beat the Dodgers last night 5-0, which means they are going to the World Series. That hasn’t happened since 1945. They haven’t won a World Series since 1908, so I am assuming that’s the 1908 team who showed up as ghosts for yesterday's league championship game. The Cubs will be playing the Cleveland Indians, who last won the World Series in 1948. The 2016 World Series begins Tuesday. -via reddit
Living in a house that’s several hundred years old isn’t unusual in Europe, but in the U.S. it’s pretty rare. Your opportunity is listed in Hingham, Massachusetts, where the Thomas Lincoln Home is on the market. It was built in 1650, which makes it more than a hundred years older than the United States. It has four bedrooms, two baths, and five fireplaces. It needs a paint job.
To be clear, the whole house isn’t three centuries old—it had an addition in the early 1700s. Nor has it stood in the same spot for over three centuries—it was moved from its original plot of land.
In the winter of 1735, when the nearby marshes froze over, the entire house was dragged across the ice to reach its current address on Mars Hill. Its new hillside location allowed the Lincoln family to expand the home by adding a first floor underneath the original structure.
If you’re wondering about the name, Thomas Lincoln, who had the house built, was the brother of Samuel Lincoln, who was President Abaraham Lincoln's great-great-great grandfather. See more pictures at the real estate listing.
Stephanie Pokorny made an E.T. costume for her 2-year-old son Jack with a crochet hook and a good eye. She didn’t use a pattern, but just tried it on him as she went along and stopped when it was big enough! The costume is one-of-a-kind, so she won’t be making another, no matter how many requests she gets. Read more about the project at Pokorney’s website Crochetverse. -via Everlasting Blort
The annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade was held today, and the dogs really put on the dog! You can see the Queen and her corgis were there, as well as this “sheep” dog.
There was a rock band in attendance.
The 1970s were a weird time, as my children love to remind me. The ‘70s gave us The Exorcist, Jaws, Carrie, and a lot of other great horror films, but those just opened the doors for anyone and everyone to make horror movies, some that you’d swear were inspired by drug-induced hallucinations. Remember Night of the Lepus? Willard? Werewolves on Wheels? How about Trog?
Joan Crawford plays a scientist who discovers the missing link is alive and well and answers to “Trog,” short for “troglodyte.” Predictably, the creature doesn’t mesh well with the modern world. This very strange film marked the final on-screen appearance for Crawford; at the time, she probably had some regrets, but today Trog lives on as a wonderful curiosity.
During the 1970s, I saw just about every movie that came to the local theater. This list might brings back memories for you, or else you might see something worth checking out. The 20 weirdest horror movies the 1970s are presented in alphabetical order at io9. There are some trailers and video clips. -via Metafilter
The following article is from the new book Uncle John’s Uncanny Bathroom Reader.
(Image credit: Flickr user Bill Rockwell)
Since 1879, residents of a quaint town in upstate New York have mediated conversations between loved ones—parents and children, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters. What’s so special about that? These mediators connect the living…with the dead.
TRAPPED IN TIME
Pastel-painted Victorian homes line the streets of Lily Dale, New York, leftovers from the town’s golden age at the dawn of the 20th century. It’s been called Silly Dale, Spookdale, and—in a 1997 New York Times article—“New York’s own corner of the twilight zone.” In winter, Lily Dale is as quiet as the ghosts rumored to walk its streets. But when summer rolls around, this town’s population blossoms—from a few hundred to around 22,000.
This gated community, founded by members of the Spiritualist church beside a picturesque lake in western New York state, was set apart in its original corporate charter as a place “for the discerning of the spirits.” When tens of thousands of true believers stream through the gates each summer, it’s not the lake or the Victorian homes they’re coming to see: it’s the women (and a few men) who claim to be able to deliver messages from beyond the grave.
The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research, now in all-pdf form. Get a subscription now for only $25 a year!
Some studious looks at bodies and/or parts
Compiled by Nan Swift, Improbable Research staff
Dwarfs the Rat
“The Anatomy of the World’s Largest Extinct Rodent,” Science, Marcelo R. Sánchez-Villagra et al., vol. 301, no. 5460, September 19, 2003, pp. 1708–10. (Thanks to Kristine Danowski for bringing this to our attention.) The authors report that:
Reliable body mass estimates yield 700 kilograms, more than 10 times the mass of the largest living rodent, the capybara.
Cheap Trauma: Bedbug Organs
“Reducing a Cost of Traumatic Insemination: Female Bedbugs Evolve a Unique Organ,” K. Reinhardt, R. Naylor and M.T. Siva-Jothy, Proceedings: Biological Sciences, vol. 270, no. 1531, pp. 2371–5. The authors report that:
Proofreading is necessary drudgery and, at least in my case, not done as much as it should be. Proofreading is absolutely crucial when a book is going to print, and that’s a long hard slog. Grant Snider at Incidental Comics finished proofreading files for his first book, which we will all look forward to. The experience inspired him to doodle about the process. Editors will be mystified to see these marks, so they might want to purchase a poster for future reference.
Cher, who is 70 but looks perfectly preserved, appeared on The Late Late Show with James Cordon and sang the classic Sonny & Cher ballad “I Got You Babe,” with updated lyrics for the Tinder generation.
Cordon joined her for the duet. He sings pretty well for a talk show host! -via Tastefully Offensive
MY PARENTS ARE AT DISNEYLAND AND JUST SENT ME THIS pic.twitter.com/s0XdI4GQFf— cutie chaser (@cutiechaser_) October 14, 2016
Don’t you just love this scene spotted at Disneyland of a dog sitting for an artist to draw his caricature? He’s wearing a service vest, so he’s not only a good dog, but a working dog, too. Buzzfeed did some digging and found out that the dog’s name is Yahoo. He’s a pup in training with Canine Companions for Independence. His trainer and a friend took two service dogs in training to Disneyland for socialization, patience training, and fun. CCI provided an additional picture to show the finished caricature.
That’s a good dog.
If you’re in the right frame of mind, like if you’ve seen a lot of horror movie because it’s October, you can find horror anywhere. Shadrach451 shared a picture he took of his daughters at the zoo. It turned out to look like a teaser for a creepy horror film. He even has a plot for it.
I like to think that it's about a Ghost Zoo, and their father is one of the exhibits, called "The Weeping Man". And these girls go every week so they can visit their dead father, but one day they show up and find that there is a new exhibit being built next door and they read the sign and it says "Children of The Weeping Man". In horror they turn towards their father, locked in the green chamber of torment and he says, "My daughters, oh my daughters... why do you think I'm weeping?"
You did it when you were a kid. Your parents did, too. Maybe even your grandparents. Kids love to get trucks to honk their horn, and that pumping gesture will do it is the driver sees you. This little girl tried it with a ship.
As you can see, she got more than she expected! -via Viral Viral Videos
Halloween is our annual excuse for impersonating someone other than who we are. This guy was making his best effort, but was shot down for having motivations far beyond reality. He won’t try that again. This is the latest from Buttersafe.
Newspapers competed fiercely for readers in the late 19th century. One of the innovations of the time was the undercover reporter, particularly women, called “girl stunt reporters.” They could anonymously take on the role of the lowly victim and uncover injustice. Nellie Bly got herself committed to an insane asylum for a story. In another example, when publisher James J. West took over The Chicago Times in 1887, he wanted to turn the paper around and make it a respectable news source.
Nothing worked, though, until a schoolteacher-turned-reporter named Helen Cusack donned a shabby frock and brown veil and went looking for a job in the rainy July of 1888. In factories and sweat shops, she stitched coats and shoe linings, interviewed her fellow workers in hot, unventilated spaces and did the math. At the Excelsior Underwear Company, she was handed a stack of shirts to sew—80 cents a dozen—and then was charged 50 cents to rent the sewing machine and 35 cents for thread. Nearby, another woman was being yelled at for leaving oil stains on chemises. She’d have to pay to launder them. “But worse than broken shoes, ragged clothes, filthy closets, poor light, high temperature, and vitiated atmosphere was the cruel treatment by the people in authority,” she wrote under the byline Nell Nelson. Her series, “City Slave Girls,” ran for weeks.
The Chicago Times followed that series up with one even more sensational: an exposé of doctors willing to provide illegal abortions. Read how they did it, and how readers reacted, at Smithsonian.
(Image credit: Center for Research Libraries - Chicago)
Fifty years ago today, on October 21, 1966, the Welsh village of Aberfan lost 116 children and 28 adults when a slag heap from the nearby coal mines collapsed directly upon the Pantglas Junior School.
Down in Pantglas Junior School the lights began to flicker and sway; an ominous roar like “a jet plane screaming low over the school in the fog”.
The glistening black avalanche consumed rocks, trees, farm cottages then ruptured the Brecon Beacons to Cardiff water main, engorging it further and increasing the velocity of its murderous descent towards Pantglas.
Seconds after it hit, Cyril Vaughan, a teacher at the neighbouring senior school, said “everything was so quiet”.
“As if nature had realised that a tremendous mistake had been made and nature was speechless.”
It was an unbelievable tragedy, but it wasn’t unforeseen. Citizens had complained to the National Coal Board for years about the growing slag heap on the hills above the village, but got no action. Read about the horror of the Aberfan disaster and its aftermath at BBC News. -via Metafilter
It’s not right to make fun of someone who asks a question in order to learn something. It’s not kind to make fun of people who are low on the literacy scale, speak English as a second language, or can’t type well. At the same time, you have to wonder how so many people in the above categories end up on Yahoo Answers, asking the same questions. So enjoy this compilation of questions about pregnancy, and just be glad they are all anonymous (contains NSFW language). Oh yeah, do not watch this while consuming liquid. -via reddit
Oscar Wilde’s father William had six children; three with his wife Jane (including Oscar) and three older children born out of wedlock to two different women. The older children were raised by William Wilde’s relatives and it is not clear whether Oscar even knew about them. His two half-sisters, Mary and Emily Wilde, died tragically at a Halloween party. There is very little that we know for sure about the incident.
On October 31st 1871, the sisters were enjoying themselves at one such event. The Hallowe’en party was hosted by a man named Andrew Reid at the Drumacon House in Ireland. Everything was a success right until the end of the party when the host asked one of the sisters—most likely Mary—to one last dance around the ballroom. In a dark twist of fate that turned a night of joy into a tragedy, Mary got too close to the candlesticks and her dress caught on fire.
Panic ensued. The remaining guests screamed in wild terror as Emily dashed to her sister in an attempt to put out the fire. The attempt did not only prove futile, but also deadly, as Emily’s dress also caught on fire.
The details of what happened that night and afterward come from several sources and don’t always agree. In fact, very little was known about the deaths of the Wilde sisters and may even have been covered up. More recent investigations uncover yet more intriguing anomalies in the story that we still don’t have answers for. Read the accounts of the deaths of Mary and Emily Wilde at Atlas Obscura.
(Image credit: Wellcome Library, London)
In the early 1980s, a piece of land in downtown Osaka, Japan, was due for an upgrade. The landowners wanted a big new building on the valuable real estate. The highway department planned an expressway through the neighborhood, and wanted to put an exit ramp across the property. The ensuing fight stalled both plans for years. But eventually a compromise was reached, and both were built on the same plot of land. You can see how they did that in the picture above.
The Gate Tower is one of the strangest buildings in Japan with a freeway running through the center in a tunnel. Plans for the building began in 1983 and because of difficulties in negotiations, it was delayed until changes in the building codes could be legislated and passed to allow its legal construction. Previously, buildings and highways were not allowed to be built in such close proximity. The building was completed in 1992.
The Gate Tower is just one of Ten of the Weirdest Looking Buildings in Japan. Others include a small private home with 32 rooms, homes built on top of other homes, a home with holes in it, and more.
At first glance, this looks like a big Halloween decoration (and it is), but just watch what it does.
Help! I’ve been eaten by the garage! Amanda Destro Pierson made this monster garage for her home in Cleveland. It’s proved to be so popular that she is working on marketing a kit to sell for Halloween next year, so that every garage can be monstrous. Meanwhile, here’s an Instructable tutorial to get you started on your own. -Thanks, hearsetrax!
Chairs at colleges take a beating and rarely get replaced. If there’s a shopping list, something else gets a higher priority. Poorly-paid professors are used to getting along with little and keep using old chairs, no matter what shape they’re in. The universality of these conditions inspired the Tumblr blog Sad Chairs of Academia. Here’s a recent post, illustrating the picture above.
This multi-denominational congregation of sad chairs stoically gathered in a former basketball court (which for the past 40 years has been re-purposed as the Art + Design department’s Foundation Drawing Studio) to greet new students this September. This gang of seats was deemed enough of an embarrassment that the administration sanctioned replacing them all with set of previously decommissioned chairs that were, at least, matching.
The Fashion Institute of Technology is cleaning out its closet and trimming its collection of 50,000 pieces of clothing and accessories with an auction. The Charles A. Whitaker Auction Company will conduct the auction Friday and Saturday, October 28 and 29 in New Hope, Pennsylvania. You must register to bid by phone. Pictured on the left is lot #535, a young man’s French jeweled court suit from around 1790. On the right is Lot #605, a chiffon dress with metallic lace and sequins from the Roaring Twenties. You could lose yourself just perusing the lovely items to be sold. See the auction catalog here. -via Nag on the Lake
Devon made a silicone mask for her boyfriend Peter as part of a sculpting class at Make Up Designory NYC. The finished product is jaw-dropping! She posted the process of the mask being made, which meant making a mold and model of his whole head. See how she did it, plus more pictures of the finished product, at Unreality.
Have you ever wondered how artificial intelligence becomes intelligent? It learns. Jacob Werner caught a machine doing it.
The secret behind machine learning. This is how machines collect data. There isn't and won't be a more efficient way to gather information for machines. This is how artificial intelligence works and is created.
And now you know how it’s done. -via the Presurfer
Have you ever dreamed of living in a haunted house? Making that dream come true is as easy as believing the home you are in is haunted. But if you want a haunted house that has been scaring other people for years, you can certainly purchase one. For example, there’s the Priestly House in Canton, Mississippi.
Originally built by physician James Priestley in the 1950s, this Greek Revival home stayed in the Priestley family until the 1990s. When new owner Frankie McMillan moved in, she became concerned that Priestley’s wife, Susan, hadn’t gotten the message to clear the premises. McMillan claimed to have seen Susan in hallways and in the bedroom where the woman is believed to have died. The home was restored in 2004 and is listed for $699,000.
There are a range of locations, prices, and ages among the eight haunted houses on the market right now that you can check out at mental_floss.
A 26-year-old man in the University area of Tucson locked himself out of his house on Sunday morning. He tried to get back in by climbing down the chimney. He almost made it, too, except that the chimney is narrower at the bottom, and he became stuck just as his feet touched the floor. A neighbor eventually heard him yelling for help, and called the fire department. The Tucson Fire Department lowered a rope and pulled the unnamed man out. He had been stuck in the chimney for four hours. You can see additional photographs of the rescue at Facebook. -via Arbroath
(Image credit: Tucson Fire Department)
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