How fun can it be to skateboard in a skatepark filled with 5001 balloons? Great fun, I’m sure, if you know what you’re doing. In my case, the fun would be in the slight possibility that those balloons might somehow cushion my fall. This video by Devin Supertramp is an ad for Banzai Skatepark in Linden, Utah. See the behind the scenes video, too. -via Viral Viral Videos
When you take a hike through the woods, you may see a deer or a few squirrels. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a woodchuck, beaver, or a skunk (if you call that lucky). You probably have no clue how many animals are actively hiding from you. There may be more than you can imagine. Jason Groseclose let out a coyote call, which is frightening in itself. But then the coyotes started answering the call. Keep listening, because this will become chilling. You can see how they responded in the next part of the video. -via Daily Picks and Flicks
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the movie Ghostbusters (and the Blu-ray release), Krispy Kreme will feature two new Ghostbusters doughnuts from September 29 through Halloween. The Ghostbuster and the Stay Puft are both marshmallow-filled doughnuts with Ghostbusters icing decoration.
You can pre-order if you need five dozen or more of them. I hope that’s for sharing at work or at a party. If you really need five dozen marshmallow-filled doughnuts for yourself, shame on you. -via Daily of the Day
Pop Tarts were introduced to the public 50 years ago. Really. I have a slightly embarrassing confession: I remember that. There was a rivalry between Kellogg’s Pop Tarts and Toast'em Pop Ups, but I found out from Uproxx that neither of these were the first fruit-filled toaster pastry introduced in 1964. Back then, they had no frosting, and no one considered eating them cold. Pop Tarts have an interesting history on their way to being the snack food that everyone makes fun of, but eats anyway. There’s not much fruit in them, and no one considers them health food, but we eat them anyway. We argue about whether to toast them or not, and we argue about which flavors are the best, but we eat them anyway.
The post at Uproxx is titled as a ranking of the best Pop Tart flavors, which no one will totally agree with. Blueberry is best (I’m eating a blueberry store brand toaster pastry as I type this), then cherry, then the rest are awful. But there’s a lot more to learn about Pop Tarts along with the ranking. What’s your favorite Pop Tart flavor?
(Image credit: Allegrorondo)
Yep, that’s about it. Up to a certain point, your biggest job as a parent is to feed your child and keep him or her safe from the worst consequences of their poor decisions. That point is when they leave home as an adult, and even afterward occasionally. And believe me, the most important job you have for your children’s entire lives is teaching them how to make good decisions on their own, since they come pre-wired to make bad ones. This is the latest comic from Doghouse Diaries.
Elliott Morgan hosts this week’s mental_floss video, in which we hear about jobs that no longer exist. Most of them are jobs that you wouldn’t want to do, anyway, done away with by the miracles of electricity, plumbing, and mechanization. There are more occupations joining these every day. I had to explain to my kids why anyone would ever need a “typist.” They also discovered a new occupation when we visited Idaho, because they’d never seen a “cobbler” before. Still, they know of some obsolete jobs, as their grandma spent decades as a "local telephone operator." Her stories of those days never made much sense to the kids, but they are aware of them.
Floridians will vote in November on whether to adopt Amendment 2, which would legalize the use of medical marijuana in the state.
Medical marijuana proponent Steve Berke produced this video promoting the referendum, starring himself and Briley Hale as Danny and Sandy from Grease in a parody of “You’re The One That I Want.” It was recorded at the original fun house used in the movie, which is in Decatur, Texas. You can also watch a side-by-side comparison of the parody with the original. It's practically indistinguishable. -via Buzzfeed
Diatoms are at the bottom of the food chain, and provide sustenance for many sea creatures. If you can see the tiny things, you'll find they come in a amazing variety. At one time, they were used as an art media! Filmmaker Matthew Killip made a documentary about the last remaining master of the art of arranging diatoms.
Diatoms are single cell algae that create jewel-like glass shells around themselves. Microscopists of the Victorian era would arrange them into complex patterns, invisible to the naked eye but spectacular when viewed under magnification.The best of these arrangements are stunning technical feats that reveal the hidden grandeur of some of the smallest organisms on Earth. Klaus Kemp has devoted his entire life to understanding and perfecting diatom arrangement and he is now acknowledged as the last great practitioner of this beautiful combination of art and science.
It’s extremely difficult work, but the complex kaleidoscopic results are stunning. Continue reading to see more of Kemp’s diatom art and the video about him.
Thursday, the citizens of Scotland will vote on whether to leave the United Kingdom and stand on their own as a sovereign nation. There are a lot of issues to consider, and, as of now, the vote is too close to call. One of the less important questions surrounding the referendum is what will happen to the British flag if Scotland secedes. The Union Jack has been a familiar sight all over the world for a couple of hundred years now.
The Union Jack is a combination of some other very historical flags. It started off as St. George's red cross flag in 1270. In 1606, it was combined with the cross saltire of St. Andrew, the Patron Saint of Scotland. That's the white cross on the blue background Lord West is not fond of right now. After that, St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, had his cross saltire incorporated into the flag. That's the red diagonal. On the first day of 1801, the Union Jack flag as we know it today was created.
While that is when the flag came to be, it was never actually formally adopted. Chief executive of the Flag Institute Charles Ashburner told The Guardian that the Union Jack "fell into use" and therefore "nobody controls the union flag." He also notes that removing the blue would allow for Wales to be represented in the Union Jack. Wales could also be represented using the flag of their Patron Saint David, a black and yellow cross.
Honestly, Wales has an awesome flag, but incorporating it into the mix may be problematic. The Wire has some possibilities to show you, none of which will please everyone. -via Digg
(Image credit: Flickr user Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P.)
Henry the peacock is displaying his glorious plumage. Putting his fabulous feathers on parade is serious business for a peacock. The last thing he needs is interference from a curious 5-week-old kitten!
Henry: “Scram, kid! Can’t you see I’m trying to impress the ladies? You’re crampin’ my style! Why don’t you go play in the road?”
Kitten: “Oooh, shiny feathers!”
Henry, you're just lucky the entire litter isn't playing with your feathers! -via Daily Picks and Flicks
This video of traffic during rush hour will probably make you nervous -if you’re an American. Those who have driven in other countries may see it as an everyday occurrence. Relax, it’s not a documentary. This art video was directed by Fernando Livschitz of Black Sheep Films, but I still don’t know for sure if it’s all editing and CGI, or if he used stunt drivers. Considering the other films by Fernando Livschitz we’ve posted, I’d go with “masterful editing.” -via Buzzfeed
Bryan Cranston talks about his one-man show in which he dramatizes the entire MLB season by himself. How’s he going to do that? You get to see in this video that’s actually an ad for the TBS postseason shows. You’ll have to admit, it’s a dumb idea. It’s so ridiculous, you have to watch it! -via Uproxx
Comics creator and historian Trina Robbins recently published Pretty in Ink: North American Women Cartoonists, 1896-2013, and an art exhibit from Robbins’ collection, inspired by the book, is on display at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco. Robbins tells us about the history of the women who write and illustrate comics, including her own experiences in the 1970s.
The underground comix scene was taking root in San Francisco, in part, because the Print Mint, a publisher in San Francisco and Berkeley, California, that started out making psychedelic rock posters, regularly published these comix, such as their anthology called “Yellow Dog,” which Robbins contributed to, and Robert Crumb’s “Zap Comix.”
“The underground comix movement grew as more and more people said, ‘Oh, yeah, we can do our own comics. They don’t have to be superhero comics. We can do comics about the life we relate to as hippies in the counterculture,’” Robbins says. “And it seemed like the exciting stuff was coming out of San Francisco. Underground cartoonists on the Lower East Side moved to San Francisco, and so did I. But then, when I got to San Francisco in 1970, that was when I discovered that maybe it was the mecca of underground comix for the guys, but not for the girls. To start with, there was only me and one other woman there, Willy Mendes, drawing comics, and we were left out of the scene.
“The guys would call each other up and say, ‘Hi, I’m going to put together a comic. Would you like to contribute?’” she continues. “But nobody ever called me. However, both Willy and I were good enough. Both of us eventually did our own comics with the Print Mint because the male cartoonists wouldn’t put us in their comics.”
The entire post at Collectors Weekly is a fascinating look at the history of comics, and how women have always been a part of it.
The kitten on the right is an example of a new breed called Lykoi. Veterinarian Johnny Gobble breeds Lykois, a name that is derived from “lycanthrope,” or werewolf. The cat is result of a mutant gene that inhibits hair growth, leaving a cat with sparse hair, especially on its face. Although the gene is naturally-occurring, these cats do not last long in the wild. Due to lack of fur, they are suseptible to hypothermia.
According to Gobble, the cats’ infirm appearance is only skin deep. Aside from the patchy hair that makes them notable, the first few generations of Lykoi cats seem rather healthy thus far. Tests conducted by Leslie Lyons, an aptly named expert in cat genetics at the University of Missouri (home of The Tigers), found no recognized genetic disorders in the cats; a battery of tests done by Gobble at his clinic, from blood screenings to thyroid function exams, turned up nothing out of the ordinary. Gobble cautions, though, that giving the breed an entirely clean bill of health right now would be premature. “It’s way too early,” he emphasized. “A lot of health problems won’t show up until a cat is 6 or 7 years old, and we don’t have any Lykois that old yet.”
Cats with the sparse hair gene are bred with black cats to highlight their unusual fur pattern. A cat must carry two copies of the gene to be a true Lykoi, which is why the littermates in the above picture look so different. The black cat on the left carries only one copy of the pertinent gene. Read more about this new cat breed at Nautilus. See more pictures of Lykoi cats at Gobble’s website.
(Image credit: Brittney Gobble)
A woman on a motorcycle rides around in Russia dispensing karma to those who litter the streets. She may not be the superhero Russia deserves, but she is the one it needs. Really, how hard is it to put your garbage in a drive-through bin?
Many folks are calling this staged. So what if it is? It makes a great public service announcement, although Russian commenters have not seen it on TV …yet. I actually hope that it is staged, because this kind of behavior would eventually lead to someone shooting her. And that's a video we don't want to see. -via reddit
THe following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research.
(Image credit: Flickr user Dave)
by Stephen Hardy, Improbable Research staff
The supposedly staid, unglamorous field of accounting is in fact packed, to some degree, with exciting adventures. Accountants rarely divulge this fact to persons outside the profession, but three monographs, all produced in Australia, document some of the adventure and even some of the excitement.
Great Adventures in Accounting (1967)
In 1967, a paper by Professor R.J. Chambers of the University of Sydney essayed to describe the essentially adventurous nature of the accounting field.
“Prospective Adventures in Accounting Ideas,” R.J. Chambers, Accounting Review, vol. 42, no. 2, April 1967, pp. 241–53. Looking both backwards and forwards, Professor Chambers enthuses ruefully:
These fifty years have seen quite a few potentially fruitful ideas, with wide implications, brought to notice, noticed scarcely at all and almost abandoned.... Some 43 years ago, Hatfield said “Let us boldly raise the question whether accounting, the late claimant for recognition as a profession, is not entitled to some respect, or must it consort with crystal-gazing... and palmreading?” I wonder what Hatfield would think today, to see how far some would have us go in the direction of crystal-gazing. I leave you to think about what I am referring to.
Great Adventures in Accounting (1999)
Have you ever noticed that most women in old paintings look unimpressed, bored, and even frustrated? It’s probably because they had to sit and pose for some slow artist, but Mallory Ortberg at The Toast has some better ideas, and she captioned paintings to show what these women are really thinking.
i thought we were going to cover the whole harp in roses
but if these were all the roses you could find
i guess that doesn’t have to ruin everything
hey girls i have a fun idea
try playing something good
just for a change
just to see what it would be like
See 22 such pictures and the thoughts that go with them at The Toast. -Thanks, Anne!
WheezyWaiter has been on YouTube a long time -years, in fact. This is his thousandth video! But why is there a question mark in front of the title? It’s because he’s been planning this video for some time, and the question mark is crucial for asking Chyna to marry him. Yes, it’s a proposal, and it’s darn cute. -via Digg
With the recent hipster obsession with Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte, and the other foods that jumped on the pumpkin spice bandwagon, it only makes sense that we eventually have a pumpkin spice hamburger. And here it is. As a play on the latte, Pornburger calls their creation the Pumpkin Spice Fatte. But this one goes the latte one better: it actually contains a bit of pumpkin! And coffee, too! If the list of ingredients is too small on the picture, see it full-size at Pornburger.
You might love it, but I’m an old fart a purist. The cinnamon, ginger, and clove combination (with occasional allspice, nutmeg, and mace) is what makes pumpkin pie special. Or at least edible. If we put it in everything, we may as well just forget the pumpkin. -via Time
Even though Maru now has his cat friend Hana to play with, he still loves boxes. He recently received a new set of boxes, and each one had to be tried out and tested individually. It must have been like Christmas for this cat! -via Tastefully Offensive
We’ve posted an awful lot of restaurant dishes that are super expensive in order to generate publicity, and their price is justified by ingredients such as edible gold leaf and the jewel-encrusted souvenir dish they are served in. This is different. The list at Cracked contains dinner orders that come with theatrics or gimmicks, such as the Octopop.
The terrifyingly named octopop was conceived by Australian chef Adam Melonas at Dubai's Burj al-Arab hotel, presumably after he read the Necronomicon and mistook it for a confectionery handbook. Its basic idea is actually pretty simple: It's a piece of roast octopus on a stick.
However, in true mad scientist fashion, Melonas has added to the process until the end result barely resembles octopus or, for that matter, food. The waxy sheen and structure of the octopop are achieved by vacuum-cooking the octopus for 12 hours, then using a knife and an enzyme called transglutaminase (a substance commonly used to glue bits of meat together) to turn the perished cephalopod into a pretty, flower-like construct. The end result is dipped in spiced gel and stuck on a stick with some dill for you to try and figure out what the hell you're chewing on.
That’s just one of six really weird foods or food presentations that will set you back big bucks, described in the not-for-broadcast language of Cracked. -via Metafilter
Finnish heavy equipment operator Juha-Pekka Perämäki shows off his skills by constructing a LEGO truck with an excavator! A Hitachi ZX210-11, With Engcon EC30 rototilt, to be exact. I know a heavy equipment operator who can’t even put LEGO blocks together with his hands. To be honest, I don’t even know how hard it is to put LEGO blocks together with your hands, much less with an excavator. -via Tastefully Offensive
The following is an article from Uncle John's Fully Loaded 25th Anniversary Bathroom Reader.
(Image credit: Flickr user Claire L. Evans)
If mainstream religions leave you cold, why not spice things up by throwing a few UFOs in the mix? Here’s a look at some “religions” that draw inspiration from extraterrestrials.
Close Encounter: In the early 1950s, a suburban Chicago housewife named Dorothy Martin began receiving “mental messages” from what she said were extraterrestrial guardians from a planet called Clarion. She attracted a little band of followers and formed them into one of the earliest UFO cults, which she called “The Seekers.” The aliens reportedly told her that they’d discovered unstable fault lines in the Earth’s crust while observing the planet from their flying saucers. The faults were going to rupture before dawn on December 21, 1954, and cause floods that would destroy much of North America. The good news: Just before midnight, a UFO would take Martin and the Seekers to safety on the planet Clarion.
What Happened: On Martin’s orders, Seekers quit their jobs and gave away their money and belongings in anticipation of a new life on Clarion. Some even divorced their spouses. About 20 Seekers gathered at Martin’s house on December 20 to await the UFO. Midnight came …and went… and no spaceship arrived. The terrified Seekers huddled together until 4:45 AM, when Martin claimed to receive another message from the aliens. More good news! The “God of Earth” was so impressed by the Seekers’ devotion that he’d decided to spare North America. The crisis averted, the alien rescue saucer had returned to Clarion without picking up the Seekers.
Aftermath: Martin fled Chicago to avoid being sent to a mental hospital. She lived in Peru from 1954 to 1961, then returned to the U.S. Now calling herself “Sister Thedra” and leading a group called the Association of Sananda and Sanat Kumara, she continued to relay messages from space aliens until her death in 1992. The Association of Sananda and Sanat Kumara, headquartered in Sedona, Arizona, is still active.
Close Encounter: One afternoon in October 1975, a former aerobic instructor named Claude King was relaxing, eyes closed, on the couch in his Salt Lake City, Utah, apartment. He’d had some ringing in his ears lately, but this time it was much more intense: King claimed he was “engulfed” by the sound and teleported to an alien world. When he opened his eyes, he was standing next to a giant pyramid on a green lawn, under a blue sky filled with stars. It was the first of many visits to the world of “angelic Beings” known as Summa Individuals, who transmitted their Summum philosophy (“Nothingness and Possibility come in and out of bond infinite times in an infinite moment”) to King via mental telepathy.
(Image credit: Summum)
What Happened: King had his named legally changed to Summum Bonum Amon Ra (although he still went by his nickname Corky). He then founded the ancient-Egyptian-themed Summum religion, which today is headquartered in a pyramid-shaped temple in Salt Lake City and promotes the “Seven Summum Principles: Psychokinesis, Correspondence, Vibration, Opposition, Rhythm, Cause and Effect, and Gender.”
Kevin Weir takes public domain photographs from The Library of Congress and makes them into surreal and sometimes creepy animated gifs. He gives new life to old photos, but it’s not like any life we’ve ever seen. Don’t blink or you’ll miss ..a possible spark for your nightmares tonight. We’ve featured Weir’s works before, but I thought this one was particularly worth sharing. See more of his imaginative gifs at Flux Machine. -via HuffPo
Legendary Australian diver and environmentalist Valerie Taylor tells how she made friends with an eel. It took quite a few years, but sometimes that’s what it takes to build trust. I’m sure the gift of fish didn’t hurt, either. Look at them together! That's amore. I mean, a moray. -via Viral Viral Videos
Finally, a comic convention came to the doorstep of our Canadian friend Kiltak at Geeks Are Sexy, and he got the pictures to prove it! See a gallery of some the best cosplayers from the three-day Comic Con Montreal/Le Comiccon de Montréal, which is just now wrapping up. There will be more pictures tomorrow. Glad you had so much fun, Kiltak!
Update 9/15/14: Here's Part II
Jürgen Horn and Mike Powell are living in Macedonia for 91 days, and recently took a sightseeing trip to the town of Tetovo. There they saw the Šarena Džamija, the Painted Mosque. The mosque lives up to its name, with intricate and colorful decorations painted inside and out. The other town attraction is a dervish monastery named Arabati Baba Tekke.
The Arabati Baba Tekke was established in 1538 by Ali Baba, the brother-in-law of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. After his sister had angered the Sultan, Ali Baba was exiled to the fringes of the Ottoman Empire. In Tetovo, he decided to spend the rest of his years as a Bektashi monk, devoting his life to Sufism.
The tekke is still in use by a single dervish: a very tall man with a very long beard, whom we had the opportunity to meet. We saw his quarters, along with the graves of the babas who have led the tekke throughout the centuries. And while German Jürgen was a hit at the Painted Mosque, here it was American Mike’s turn to shine. Flying above the door to the dervish’s quarters was a big USA flag. Perhaps our government helped with funds, or maybe there’s some personal connection — I can’t say for sure, but I sure liked it.
Take a video tour of the Painted Mosque and see pictures of both the mosque and the monastery at For 91 Days.
One of the adages I grew up with is that when you move to a new house, you should rub butter on your cat’s paws. Mom said it made sense, because it would keep the cat busy. That advice is older than I ever thought possible, having been published in medieval times.
"If you have a good cat and you don't want to lose it, you must rub its nose and four legs with butter for three days, and it will never leave the house."
The Distaff Gospels
This trick will certainly prevent your cat from running away. It's less clear whether the cat will stick around because of adoration or poor traction.
That’s an entry from Ask the Past, a blog by Johns Hopkins history professor Elizabeth Archibald. She quotes advice from old books, often very old books, whether it’s good advice or not. Mostly not. Here are some other example posts.
How to Mouse-Proof Your Cheese, 1649
How to Fart, 1530
How to Tell if Someone Is or Is Not Dead, c. 1380
How to Impress Girls at a Dance, 1530
How to Sober Up, 1628
How to Play with a Cat, 1658
If you start reading at the home page, you may be busy all day. -via Metafilter
Steve Simons takes the images on ancient Greek vases and makes them move! Some of the vignettes he creates tell stories from Greek mythology, the Olympics, or everyday life. This one, however, puts those ancient characters into a modern setting as they stage a short dance battle. The story was conceived by the students of Maiden Erlegh School, who did the storyboards for it. You can see more of Simon’s ancient Greek vase animations at his YouTube page and read about what went into this project at his website. -via Everlasting Blort
Success! Your email has been sent!