Richard Balzer collects optical treasures of the past. He recently started a Tumblr blog to display Phenakistoscope images as gifs, so that we can see the animation as people in the 19th century saw them -without having to find the antique device to play them on.
The Phenakistoscope is a device invented by Joseph Plateau in 1841 to take advantage of the persistence of vision to give the viewer a moving picture. Spinning discs were viewed through a series of radiating slits to animate the pictures.
The distance to the stars is often explained by how long it takes light to travel to us from them. That works in the other direction, too. Today's xkcd panel gives us another way to visualize those distances by showing how old our pop culture references and memes are by the time they reach those stars. You can enlarge the image at xkcd by clicking if you can't read this small print. Link -via Tastefully Offensive
Mehdi Sadaghdar very helpfully explains how professionals test electronic products for resistance to damage from electrostatic discharge (ESD). I learned a lot from this video. See more at ElectroBOOM! Link -via Viral Viral Videos
When fat cat Tiny came to live at the Fredericton SPCA in New Brunswick, California, Canada, he weighed over 30 pounds. That was in December. Nine months later, Tiny has last over a third of his weight! Yesterday's weigh-in had the cat at 19 pound and 11 ounces. See a series of photographs showing the shrinking but healthy Tiny at Buzzfeed. Link | Tiny's Weight Loss Challenge Facebook Page
5) Close your eyes and wish really hard for something on your wishlist! The Neatorama editors will get together over the weekend and pick a few items from a few boards and put them in the mail to you. Bonus points for funny or otherwise well-thought-out themes and creative board titles that make us smile.
Here's a sample board we put together, just in case you're new to Pinterest and have no idea what we're talking about. Note that the Elmo backpack is pinned correctly, with #NeatoPinToWin, while the zombie foot dog toy is not.