Miss Cellania's Blog Posts

Skiing in a Lightsuit

(vimeo link)

Skiing at night in LED-suits makes for a beautiful film sequence. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but it sure is pretty. I watched and hoped that the skiers could see as far ahead as they needed to. This video is part of the longer film Afterglow, made to promote Philips TV. It wasn’t easy to pull off, according to director Nick Waggoner.  

The technical production of the segment involved a MASSIVE amount of energy, 5 weeks of filming, 9,000 lbs of equipment, operating 70 miles from a road at times, in temperatures as cold as -15 in the deepest snow on earth.

It was definitely a logistical nightmare, but one tamed by our 14 person crew to produce what you see here. From Zac Ramras and Max Santeusanio working on the details of production to controlling the camera on the aerial cinematography, all the way to our lighting team, it was a disgustingly big effort. We [pored] over crazy lens diagrams for lights, read over their photometric charts and electrical currents for months, and finally came up with a system that involved 8 main lights, 8 generators, 16-20 light stands, miles of extension chords, colored filters, and a heap more of support equipment.

We topped that off with an optacopter carrying the weight of a Red Epic Camera slung on a Movi Stabilization system. If it sounds high-tech, that’s because it is.

You can read more about it at HuffPo. The full 12-minute Afterglow will be available on Sunday.


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Houdini's Greatest Trick

The magician is famous for his thrilling escapes. But the feat he should be known for is breaking into a seance.

On July 23, 1924, Boston was suffering from a brutal heat wave. The evening temperature hovered in the high 80s when the famed magician Harry Houdini trudged up to the fourth floor séance room at 10 Lime Street. With him were O.D. Munn, editor of Scientific American, and an esteemed panel of scientists. They had come to witness the psychic feats of the nation’s most credible spirit medium, a pretty 36-year-old flapper with blue eyes and a bob.

Her name was Mina Crandon. Followers called her “Margery”; detractors knew her as the Blonde Witch of Lime Street. And she was renowned for conjuring the voice of her dead brother, Walter, whose spirit rapped out messages, tipped tables, and even sounded trumpets. Even by ghost standards, Walter was unfriendly, answering questions and quoting scripture in a gruff disembodied voice. Margery, by contrast, was charming and attractive—at least when she wasn’t showing off her most convincing psychic talent: extruding a slithery, viscous substance called “ectoplasm” from her orifices. Photos show this otherworldly substance flowing from her nose and ears, but mostly it emerged from beneath a sheer kimono like a string of entrails—an “ectomorphic hand” that Walter used to carry out his commands.

Today we remember the era’s jazz, speakeasies, and glitz, but the ’20s were also the zenith of America’s obsession with the spirit world. Reeling from losing an estimated 15 million people in the Great War and 21 million more to the Spanish-flu pandemic, people were searching for ways to connect with the dead. Spirit guides emerged to help the bereaved, usually for hefty fees. And as reputable magazines and newspapers increased their coverage of paranormal phenomena, mediums became rock stars. Margery herself had become a messiah to hundreds of thousands of Americans.

In the summer of 1924, Margery occupied the red-hot center in the raging national debate over Spiritualism, an 80-year-old religious movement that centered around the possibility of communicating with the dead. The most famous of its 14 million believers was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries and a man of impeccable reputation. Witnessing a séance in his London home, he became convinced of Margery’s supernatural powers. Her refusal to be compensated for her miracles only added to her credibility. It wasn’t long before Doyle had recommended her to the editors of Scientific American, which was offering a $2,500 prize to the first medium who could verifiably demonstrate to its six-man investigative committee a “visual psychic manifestation.”

This was no fly-by-night group of spook hunters. Scientific American’s J. Malcolm Bird chaired the committee, which included psychologist William McDougall of Harvard, former MIT physicist Daniel Comstock, and two members of the Society of Psychical Research, Hereward Carrington and Walter Prince. Bird and Carrington had already examined Margery more than 20 times and were ready to hand over the money. The New York Times reported the development with a straight face: "'Margery' Passes All Psychic Tests Scientists Find No Trickery in Scores of Séances with Boston Medium."

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How to Move a Couch

(YouTube link)

Which would you prefer: carry a couch down two flights of stairs, negotiating tight corners, or would you rather just throw it off the third floor balcony and be done with it? These guys came up with an alternative scheme that’s somewhere in between those two extremes. What could possibly go wrong? I might call this Southern ingenuity, but the lack of accent in the narration makes it seem more like Yankee ingenuity. -via reddit


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The Difference Between Knowledge and Wisdom

Well, the cloak of wisdom worked exactly as it should, but it didn’t do him much good at this late date, now, did it? He should have put on his thinking cap instead! This kid must be a sophomore, because that word translates to “wise fool.” Or something like that. The is the latest comic from Up and Out by Jeremy Kaye. -via reddit


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Bats: Wonders of the Night

(YouTube link)

Twenty million bats in one cave! Can you imagine being there and not knowing that until it happens? And did you know that a bat’s hearing has to be ignored while it uses its sonar trick, lest it drive them batty? This video from the PBS YouTube series It's Okay To Be Smart has all kinds of fascinating facts about the 1300 or so species of bats on earth. By the time you finish this, you’ll have a new respect of those fearful flying Halloween symbols. Read more about bats at Bat Conservation International, or any of the other links about bats you’ll find at the YouTube page. -via Everlasting Blort


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The Murderous, Sometimes Sexy History of the Mermaid

For many people, the idea of a mermaid is shaped by the 1989 Disney movie The Little Mermaid, or possibly the 1984 Tom Hanks film Splash. The myth of a half human-half fish creature wasn’t always as delightful. They were originally considered gods along with other strange chimeras. In the Odyssey, mermaids were deadly sirens that lured men to their deaths.

And so mermaids entered European mythology with conflicting personalities: Sometimes they were portrayed as beautiful, seductive maidens—almost goddesses like Atargatis—greatly desired by lonely sailors, while also being cast as siren-esque beasts that dragged men into the inky-black depths. But whatever the portrayal, mermaids wound their way deep into the nautical lore of the Middle Ages onward.

Really, it was best to avoid mermaids and mermen, just to be sure. Olaus Magnus, the 16th century writer and cartographer whose seminal map Carta Marina obsessively cataloged the many monsters of the seas around Scandinavia, noted that fishermen maintain that if you reel in a mermaid or merman, “and do not presently let them go, such a cruel tempest will arise, and such a horrid lamentation of that sort of men comes with it, and of some other monsters joining with them, that you would think the sky should fall.” Sea-people, it was widely held, were terribly bad luck to see or snag.

Plenty of seafarers saw mermaids, because the sea is full of strange unidentified creatures that are difficult to describe. You can read about quite a few of these sightings over the centuries that added to our mermaid myths at Wired. The linked article contains art nudity. -via Digg


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The Evolution of Music

(YouTube link)

The a cappella group Pentatonix (previously) sing a medley of familiar songs that span centuries. It’s heavy on music from the 20th century, of course, because we have a great archive of recorded songs since the phonograph was invented. There are more songs per decade in the 21st century, but the century is still young. Something tells me Pentatonix is gearing us up for new Christmas music, since that's what they've become most known for.  -via Metafilter


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Australians Taste Test American Snacks (and vice versa)

(DailyMotion link)

Australian folks try out some really odd foods they’ve never encountered before: aerosol cheese, dried meat sticks, and something that night be chips, but are designed to burn your tongue. Described that way, they really do sound weird, don’t they? It’s difficult to suddenly develop a taste for something you’re not used to. If you grew up in Australia and never had ranch dressing on a salad, you would have no idea what to expect from Cool Ranch Doritos. In the same vein, most Americans have never tried Vegemite. Let’s see how that goes.

(DailyMotion link)

-via Tastefully Offensive

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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When Coonskin Caps Were Cool

Coonskin caps were used by Native Americans and pioneers to keep heads warm for hundreds of years, but the fashion faded out in the 20th century. The big exception was in the 1950s, when the furry caps were all the rage. If you can immediately say why, then you are likely older than most of the internet generation.

At the time, Walt Disney was trying to find a way to finance the construction of Disneyland, his grand theme park. In 1954, eager to raise funds, he signed a deal for a television series with ABC, and launched a serial titled “Davy Crockett,” chronicling the life and times of the famous frontiersman who’d died at the Battle of the Alamo. “It’s time to get acquainted, or renew acquaintance with, the robust, cheerful, energetic and representative folk heroes," Disney said in a press statement. “Who better than Davy?”

Airing in five one-hour installments from December 1954 to December 1955, the show was insanely popular: Nearly 12 million viewers tuned in to each episode, a full-length, color feature (Davy Crockett, King of the WIld Frontier) was released, and the show’s theme song -- “Ballad of Davy Crockett” -- rose to become a #1 Billboard hit:

Because Crockett wore a coonskin cap in the show, the coonskin craze took the nation by storm. It was led by children, but plenty of adults bought the caps, too, until a shortage of raccoons led to substitute furs. Read about the history of the coonskin cap, from native tribesmen to today, ay Pricenomics. -via Boing Boing


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Yardbird

(vimeo link)

Yardbird, directed by Michael Spiccia of Brindle Path Films, is a beautiful and disturbing short film about a young girl who is kept away from civilization because of her superpowers. When Ruby’s world is invaded by a gang of bullies, she has no choice but to do what she does. Yes, it’s violent. It's been compared to Carrie, but not to the inferior recent remake. (via io9)


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Will John Lennon’s "Paperback Writer" Guitar Be a Million-Dollar Seller?

Any artifact connected with the Beatles has a market. What prices those artifacts command depends on their intrinsic value, rarity, and provenance. A guitar up for auction in November has plenty of all three, which may drives the price up as high as a million dollars! John Lennon used a 1963 Gretsch model 6120 Chet Atkins Nashville hollow-body guitar in the mid-‘60s, and gave it to his young cousin David Birch in 1967. Birch has been in possession of the guitar ever since, so there’s no question as to its provenance. 

Birch watched his cousin’s rise from both up close and afar, visiting Lennon’s home, Kenwood, in Weybridge, just southwest of London, on several occasions. By the time the 19-year-old Birch went to stay with Lennon for a couple of days in November of 1967, he, too, was living with Mimi, as Lennon had done before him. Thus the two men were linked by shared experiences, as well as blood.

On that November visit, while hanging out in Lennon’s music room, where Lennon wrote such compositions as “We Can Work It Out,” “I Am The Walrus,” “A Day In The Life,” and “Across The Universe,” Birch mentioned that he was trying to start a band. “I was just cheeky enough to ask John for one of his spare guitars,” Birch recalls. “I had my eye on a blue Fender Stratocaster that was lying in the studio, but John suggested and gave me the Gretsch while we were talking.” Over the years, the guitar got enough use by Birch that it underwent a few minor repairs, but the handsome instrument, whose laminated-maple body, headstock, and neck retains its original orange-stain finish, is mostly as it was when it changed hands that day in Lennon’s Kenwood music room.

Although we don’t know exactly how many songs Lennon wrote using the guitar, a witness documented it being used to compose “Paperback Writer.” When the Gretsch goes up for auction on November 14th, the bidding will start at £400,000 ($638,048). Read the story of this particular guitar at Collectors Weekly. 

(Image credit: Leslie Bryce)


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87 Bounces

(vimeo link)

A guy shoots and misses the goal, but where this that basketball go? It bounced through 24 different movies! Maybe that doesn’t sound cool, but just wait until you see the scenes that the French collective HOTU selected to showcase a wayward ball. It all hangs together beautifully. You’ll recognize most of the films, but in case you don’t, they are listed in the end credits, and at Sploid.


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The Greatest American Jedi

(YouTube link)

Star Wars and its sequels were great 1970s movies. And with a little editing, they could have been a stereotypical 1970s TV series! We already have the perfect song, which makes me wonder why no one ever thought of this one before. Robert Jones edited this so we could get all nostalgic about both Star Wars and The Greatest American Hero-Thanks, Robert!  


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30 Unusual Wills

(YouTube link)

A will is often formally read long after the funeral, and gives the writer an opportunity for one last audience that is guaranteed to pay attention. Some wills are shocking, maybe in their generosity, their favoritism or snubs, or for their just plain strangeness. In this week's mental_floss video, John Green talks about some of the more unusual wills in history, which includes some funeral instructions as well as wills. They can be quite amusing as long as you aren’t one of the presumptive heirs.  


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8 Things You Didn't Know About Zombie Movies

When Jamie Russell wrote Book of the Dead: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema, we had yet to cycle into the current zombie craze. The book has been updated and revised, and Russell gave an interview to HuffPo that was turned into an extensive list of interesting facets of the zombie movie genre. Here’s a snippet on how malleable this kind of monster is:

The zombie myth regularly updates and adapts to the times. Whatever we're most deeply afraid of, the zombie can embody with their reanimated bodies.

R: "What's interesting about the zombie myth is just how much it evolves. If you go back to the original Haitian myth, the fear of the zombie isn't so much a fear of death, it's a fear that death might not be a release from slavery. The worst thing as a slave is imagining, 'After my death I might still be reanimated to continue working in the cane fields, that there is no escape.' And that changes once [the myth] comes to America and that idea of the zombie then becoming an image of death itself is something very powerful."

Although the zombie originally started as a fear of eternal slavery, the zombie can constantly update to take on contemporary issues.

R: "It's a very malleable and flexible monster. It's very good at reflecting. Horror is generally very good at reflecting the kind of anxieties and fears of the audience that's watching it at the time. [But] the zombie in particular, as it evolves so much over time, really reflecting different fears in different eras in really interesting ways. So certainly for the original readers of 'The Magic Island' it was very much a fascination in fear about Haiti, this island that america at the time had invaded and was occupying and it was a military occupation. For those early stories it was that. Later it became American race relations in society ... What I love about this monster, is that it is very good barometer of the times in which the movies are being produced."  

Despite the list title and format, the article is more like a condensed history, full of facts, anecdotes, and analysis. Read the whole thing at HuffPo.


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Real Zombies: Mind Controlling Parasites of Nature

Scientific research can read like a horror story when the subject is parasites. There are numerous parasite species that not only feed on their victims, but actually start to control their victim’s behavior for their own ends. In effect, the parasite is exerting mind control to turn the victim into a zombie slave. That’s a standard horror film plot right there. Carl Zimmer wrote the cover article for the new issue of National Geographic magazine, in which he gives us plenty of creepy examples from nature.

Frederic Libersat of Ben-Gurion University and his colleagues, for example, are dissecting the sinister attacks of the jewel wasp, Ampulex compressa. The wasp stings a cockroach, transforming it into a passive zombie. The wasp can then walk its drugged victim into a burrow by the roach’s antenna, like a dog on a leash. The roach is perfectly capable of movement. It just lacks any motivation to move on its own behalf. The wasp lays an egg on the roach’s underside, and the roach simply stands there as the wasp larva emerges from the egg and digs into its abdomen.

What is the secret hold that the wasp has over its victim? Libersat and his colleagues have found that the wasp delicately snakes its stinger into the roach’s brain, sensing its way to the regions that initiate movements. The wasp douses the neurons with a cocktail of neurotransmitters, which work like psychoactive drugs. Libersat’s experiments suggest that they tamp down the activity of neurons that normally respond to danger by prompting the cockroach to escape.

This is just one of many species that take over their victim’s brain, instincts, and behavior. Read about more of these parasites, as well as the research about them, in the NatGeo article Mindsuckers. -via Carl Zimmer


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What If Horror Movies Took Place on Facebook?

Finally, a truly modern horror movie! Except it’s not a movie, it’s a string of Facebook posts, which will make it easy to follow for those who live on Facebook. Like many horror films, the plot is inconsequential, or at least overly familiar: teenagers gather in a spooky place that hides something bent on killing them.



How does it turn out? If I were to guess without peeking, I would suppose that the cute girl with the most previous acting credits is the sole survivor. Read your way through a horror movie, Facebook-style, at Mandatory. It is conveniently flipped so the posts read from top to bottom. -Thanks, Daniel!


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House Cat Worth $140,000 in Real Estate Deal

The Perceval family of Glen Iris, Victoria, Australia, sold their home at auction for $2,060,000. But before the final paperwork was done, they got a better offer: real estate agent Glen Coutinho said the new offer asked for the inclusion of the Perceval’s cat Tiffany.

Mr Coutinho, of RT Edgar, said that a child of one of the bidders had fallen in love with Tiffany during the inspections of the home.

“Tiffany decided she would sit on the couch,” Fran Perceval told the Herald Sun.

“People would come through, and she’d observe them and be patted.

“She loved all the attention — she does look a bit ornamental,” she said.

Ms Perceval had even jokingly suggested to Mr Coutinho that Tiffany could be included in the sale, because after all “she believes the house is her property”.

But then the bidder offered to buy the home for $2.2 million — as long as Tiffany was included in the deal.

The Percevals did the math, and since the cat is worth an extra $140,000 to the buyer, Tiffany will stay in her home with the new owners. The cat actually belongs to the Perceval’s 19-year-old son Sam, who stands to get a cut of the profits. Would you give up your cat for that kind of cash? Keep in mind that the new owners would be devoted to her, and the cat gets the house, so to speak. It’s possible that the “cat clause” might be a way to get around the terms of the original auction, but I am not well-versed in Australian real estate laws. -via reddit

(Image credit: News Corp Australia)

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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U.S. Marines vs. ROK Army

(YouTube link)

The U.S. III Marine Expeditionary Force faces off with the Republic of Korea Army Band in a drum battle. Korea wins the coin toss, but the U.S. returns the fire with a ferocious display of intimidation tactics. A good time was had by all. If only all global conflicts could be resolved in this manner. Dancing sure beats becoming collateral damage for civilians! -via Digg


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Stella's Leaf Pile

(YouTube link)

Stella knows that there’s nothing more fun for a dog than a ball to chase and a big pile of leaves to jump in. And it’s all the better when the ball is in the big pile of leaves! Oh yeah, jumping in the pile of leaves is the best part of chasing a ball, as you can tell by that tail wag, even when the rest of Stella is buried. That’s a good dog. -via Buzzfeed

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Inspirograph

Remember all the fun you had as a kid with your Spirograph, making lovely creations that your folks never considered “artful” enough to keep? You can have that fun again anytime you like, with no ink blotches, torn paper, or plastic pieces to step on! Software developer Nathan Friend has an online version of the classic Spirograph called Inspirograph, that may well suck up the next few hours of your time. If you don't know what you want, look through the gallery for inspiration. -via Metafilter


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What $1,000 In Rent Gets You In 12 U.S. Cities

(YouTube link)

How big of a home can you rent for $1,000? It depends on where you want to live. In New York City, you can get maybe a room with a sink, if you’re lucky. Where I live, you can have my 11-room +3 bath house for $1,000 a month, and I’ll take that rent money and buy three other houses with it. But you could probably find a better rental for your money. -via Digg


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12 Halloween Ideas From 1884's Hottest Costume Guide

What would you wear for a Halloween costume if you didn’t have a century of pop culture characters to select from? Masquerades are nothing new, but long ago there was a whole different group of characters to dress up as. However, if you emulated the fancy dress balls of the 19th century, you might have to explain to people who you are impersonating, and then explain who that person was. The exception is the skeleton show here, which is eternal. Enjoy some obscure but wickedly elaborate costumes from the 1884 book Male Character Costumes, a Guide to Gentlemen's Costume Suitable for Fancy Dress Balls and Private Theatricals at mental_floss. 

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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The Lazy Hamster

(YouTube link)

You know what they say: A hardworking person will do the job, but a lazy person will figure out an easier way to do it. That goes for hamsters, too! This little guy figured out how to get that wheel to go ‘round and ‘round without getting out of bed, so to speak. -via Daily Picks and Flicks

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Pancakes of The Walking Dead

Is there any image that Nathan Shields cannot recreate in his preferred medium of pancake batter? His latest project was making pancakes that resemble the characters from The Walking Dead!

(YouTube link)

It takes a steady hand, a feel for the proper shades of each image, and perfect batter. And some zombie jam to sweeten the finished product! Shields teamed up with pancake artist Kevin Blankenship to make these pancakes and enjoyed them while watching the season premiere Sunday night. -via Laughing Squid

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Dour President Calvin Coolidge and the Sex Life of a Rat

The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research.

by Richard Stephens
Schoole of Psychology
Keele University, Keele, Staffordshire, UK

Calvin Coolidge (right) and Mrs. Coolidge (left) in 1923, two days after Calvin Coolidge became President of the United States. The black arm band is a symbol of official mourning for his predecessor, Warren Harding, who had died in office.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Few American citizens (other than psychologists) know that Calvin Coolidge, their former president, is associated with the Coolidge Effect. Coolidge has a reputation for being dour and terse, and little else.

FURTHER NOTE: Richard Stephens, together with John Atkins, and Andrew Kingston, was awarded the 2010 Ig Nobel Prize for peace, for confirming the widely held belief that swearing relieves pain. They described their research in the study “Swearing as a Response to Pain,” published in the journal Neuroreport, vol. 20 , no. 12, 2009, pp. 1056-60.

John Calvin Coolidge Jr. was the 30th United States president, holding office from 1923 to 1929. He came to prominence as the Governor of Massachusetts when he ended the 1919 Boston police strike by publicly supporting his Police Commissioner’s orders for three quarters of the police force to be sacked. Coolidge’s presidency steered the US through the period of unprecedented economic growth that became known as the roaring twenties. A renowned leader whose reputation has remained strong to this day, one of Coolidge’s more obscure legacies was the lending of his name to a psychobiological phenomenon – thanks to a singularly trivial event.

The story goes that President Coolidge and his wife were being shown around a farm. For some reason they became separated, viewing different parts of the farm at different times. At the chicken yard, Mrs Coolidge observed a rooster mating very actively and asked how often this occurred. She was surprised to hear it was dozens of times a day and joked that the staff should tell the president when he came by. When the president’s party later arrived, the farm staff duly recounted his wife’s observations concerning the rooster. President Coolidge demonstrated a keen sharpness of mind when he asked the simple but revealing question of whether the cock was mating with the same hen every time. On hearing to the contrary the President suggested the staff might mention that to Mrs. Coolidge.

The Coolidge Effect, named after the 30th President of the United States, is concerned not with industrial relations, economics or outstanding leadership. Rather, it concerns an aspect of sexual behaviour. Specifically speaking, it denotes the observation, which holds for many species, that males will be more eager to mate with a new female, as opposed to one that is familiar. In technical terms, males have been found to display a shorter refractory period (that is, the time between one copulating session and the next) if a new partner becomes available. The research underlying the Coolidge Effect was written up by scientists from the University of California in a paper published in 1963.1

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He Went to NYCC as Johnny Depp


You don’t have to look like Johnny Depp to look like one of his movie characters …or two …or half a dozen. This cosplayer was spotted at New York Comic Con over the weekend. Let’s see, we have the bird on the head from The Lone Ranger, the glasses and cigarette from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the hair from Pirates of the Caribbean, the badge from Rango, the bow tie from The Tourist, the blades from Edward Scissorhands, the watch from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, shoes from Alice in Wonderland, fingernails from Dark Shadows, and probably a lot of other accoutrements from other movies. I think he should have gone with the eyewear from Sleepy Hollow.

-via reddit


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23 Fun Facts About Family Matters

You may have seen the funny and disturbing (and NSFW) Key & Peele routine about how the TV show Family Matters became The Steve Urkel Show. It hits a little close to home for the sitcom cast, even though the show went off the air in 1998 after nine seasons. But Family Matters was more than Steve Urkel, or at least we think it was. Check out the trivia and decide for yourself.

2. STEVE URKEL WAS ONLY SUPPOSED TO APPEAR IN ONE EPISODE.

Though it’s difficult to imagine the Winslow family without their nerdy neighbor, Steve Urkel was never intended to be a regular character on the show, let alone its main character. His introduction came about midway through the first season, and he was originally slated to appear in just a single episode. But the suspenders-wearing pre-teen was an instant hit with audiences, and his role was quickly beefed up to meet (and sometimes overindulge) audience demand.

7. THE WINSLOW’S YOUNGEST CHILD TOTALLY DISAPPEARED.

In the show’s fourth season, the Winslow’s youngest daughter Judy is seen walking upstairs … but never comes down. By the time season five rolled around, Judy was no more. Nor was she ever mentioned again throughout the remaining seasons. The reason for Judy’s departure? Rumor has it that she wanted more money.

16. SEASON 10 WOULD HAVE SEEN STEVE AND LAURA GET MARRIED.

Though it was never produced, the show’s tenth season storyline was already set: Steve Urkel and Laura Winslow get married. Instead, we merely see them get engaged in the series finale

Read the rest of the 23 Fun Facts About Family Matters at mental_floss.


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The Relationship Between Star Trek and NASA

(Image credit: NASA)

The blog Star Trek Fact Check is a fascinating read. It’s dedicated to setting the record straight on the rumors and legends about the production of Star Trek, most of them from the original series. A post called The Reluctant Astronaut(s) shows how friendly the Star Trek production team was with NASA, as they both benefitted from the excitement surrounding space exploration in the 1960s. The Star Trek production team tried several times to get NASA astronauts to appear on the show, although it didn’t happen until Mae Jemison appeared on Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1993. Jemison might never have joined NASA if it hadn’t been for the space agency reaching out to Nichelle Nichols to recruit women and minority astronauts for them.

Jemison, however, was not the first NASA astronaut to be approached about appearing on the show. Letters in the Gene Roddenberry collection at UCLA reveal that Mercury Astronauts Alan Shepard and Scott Carpenter were both pursued about appearing on Star Trek.

You can read how those attempts went in the post. But there’s more, tracing the many intersections of NASA and Star Trek. For example, there’s this photo.

(Image credit: NASA)

This is NASA engineer and test pilot Bruce Peterson speaking to James Doohan, who played the engineer on the Enterprise. The same year this photo was taken, Peterson survived a crash of a Northrop M2-F2, although he was severely injured. The film of that crash was immortalized in the opening credits of the TV series The Six Million Dollar Man, and was shown in all 100 episodes of the series. -via Metafilter


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Cat Eats Ambidextrously

(YouTube link)

YouTube member bikemystic gives us a play-by-play analysis while his cat Scoop eats her dinner. I’m not surprised that Scoop has idiosyncrasies about eating, because so many cats do. What’s amazing is the range and imagination of those habits. I have (or have had) cats that

* only will drink water by dipping and licking her paw.
* hides her toys in the food dish. A dish she has to share.
* cries for food only when one of the other cats is hungry.
* won’t eat inside, but will come inside to ask for food.
* likes to turn the water dish over, so we had to put a brick in it.
* has to transfer food to “her” dish before eating it.
* takes a mouthful, then goes into another room to chew it alone.
* eats raw potatoes, but has to chew off the peel and spit it out first.

In case you are wondering, Scoop was not named after her eating habits. She came with that name before the habit developed. It just worked out. -via Tastefully Offensive

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Profile for Miss Cellania

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