Akeno the greater one-horned rhino was born at the Chester Zoo in England back in May. He's reached the age where he's full of energy and wants to play all the time! That means even when his mother is exhausted and just wants to rest. It's the same for moms of many species. -via Laughing Squid
When considering an all-you-can-eat buffet, diners calculate not only whether the experience is worth the price, but other factors such as accommodating the tastes of a group. Restaurant owners, who often operate a razor-thin margin, must calculate the total cost of food and service against the aggregate appetite of everyone who walks in the door. How do they deal with people who eat several times what the proprietor calculates?
Born in midcentury Las Vegas, the American all-you-can-eat (or AYCE) buffet was all about excess from the start. The phrase itself can be an issue for proprietors, insofar as it sounds like a challenge. Someone might level the place just to prove a point, not because they’re actually that hungry. To that end, owners might include “within reason” in the fine print or style the offer as “all you care to eat” to instill a sense of moderation — that’s on top of various other tricks for getting you to leave before you do too much damage, like uncomfortable seating, not clearing your dirty plates right away and enticing you to fill up on bread and beverages instead of more expensive items.
Every buffet restaurant has a story about someone who ate more than should be humanly possible, but dealing with them is a delicate balance of economics and reputation. Read about the many ways it's been handled, for individual cases and as policy, at Mel magazine. -via Digg
They made a movie about a theme park on a remote island that has real dinosaurs! And then they made that movie again! And Again! The fifth installment of the Jurassic Park franchise, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, was released on home video today. Screen Junkies was ready, with an Honest Trailer to help you decide whether to buy it. As they make painfully clear, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is just like all the other Jurassic Park movies, a safe way to sell gazillions of movie tickets, and probably gazillions of DVDs and Blu-rays. Whether you enjoyed the film or not, you'll get a kick out of seeing the evidence gathered in this Honest Trailer.
Both men and women have gone to extraordinary lengths to lose weight, sometimes with no method too bizarre to try, but men alone have had to contend with trying various baldness cures of questionable efficacy. Listverse has compiled a list (naturally) of the top ten quack methods for curing baldness throughout the centuries. Bonus: NOW we know why Julius Caesar wore that laurel wreath.
The Muppets Bert and Ernie have been roommates on Sesame Street for 49 years now, and some have speculated that they are a gay couple. Mark Saltzman has written for stage, screen, and TV, including a 15-year stint at Sesame Street. Bert and Ernie were already an integral part of the Sesame Street cast when Saltzman, who is openly gay, began to write their skits in 1984. He talks about the characters in an interview, in which he admits that his writing for the two was inspired by his relationship with his late partner Arnold Glassman.
I remember one time that a column from The San Francisco Chronicle, a preschooler in the city turned to mom and asked “are Bert & Ernie lovers?” And that, coming from a preschooler was fun. And that got passed around, and everyone had their chuckle and went back to it. And I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert & Ernie, they were. I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them. The other thing was, more than one person referred to Arnie & I as “Bert & Ernie.”
That interview went viral, and Sesame Workshop responded with a now-deleted Tweet, repeating their official stance on the matter.
As we have always said, Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves. Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits (as most Sesame Street Muppets™ do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.
A few hours later, they updated and softened their statement.
So, Bert and Ernie are not sexual because they are puppets on a show meant for preschoolers, but they love each other, because otherwise how could they live together despite driving each other crazy? If they were real people, it would be none of our business. As they are fictional characters, it appears that the exact nature of their relationship lies in the viewers' imagination.
The United States Constitution is a framework for how our government operates. As democracy was an experiment at the time, it was our second attempt at enshrining the basics on paper. The Articles of Confederation, drafted during wartime, proved to be so inadequate that the whole thing was scrapped and replaced during the Constitutional Convention in 1789. It was not a simple task.
1. MAKING THE CONSTITUTION WAS A SWEATY, SMELLY AFFAIR.
The Constitution was drafted in Philadelphia in 1787 over the course of a humid summer. The windows of Independence Hall were shut to discourage eavesdroppers, and many delegates, who were mostly from out of town, wore and re-wore the same thick woolen garments day after day. Many framers stayed at the same boarding houses and shared rooms that, we can only imagine, reeked with a distinct eau du freedom.
Tidbits like that glimpse into history are fun, but this list also has important information about the formation of the Constitution itself.
11. THE FIRST AMENDMENT WAS ORIGINALLY THIRD.
When the Bill of Rights was drafted, James Madison proposed 19 amendments (the House sent 17 of them to the Senate, which were consolidated into the 12 amendments that went to the states). The first two, however, were not ratified immediately. The first amendment set "out a detailed formula for the number of House members, based on each decennial census," writes Andrew Glass at Politico. "Scholars have calculated that had the amendment, which is still pending, been adopted, today's House would have either 800 or 5000 representatives." (It currently has 435.) The second amendment regulated Congressional compensation. That amendment was not ratified for another 203 years: Originally the second, it became the 27th amendment.
Neutron stars, formed when dying stars collapse into itself, are small and incredibly dense. About a kilometer below the surface of this type of star, atomic nuclei are squeezed together until they merge into a clump of matter thought to be shaped like blobs, tubes or sheets - which physicists lovingly referred to according to their pasta equivalents: gnocchi, spaghetti and lasagna.
Turns out, this nuclear pasta is incredibly dense: about 100 trillion times the density of water and is incredibly strong - breaking a nuclear pasta would require 10 billion times the force required to crack steel.
(Photo: Casey Reed/Penn State University/Wikimedia Commons)
The Italian Ministry of Culture tweeted the excavation of a strange stone urn at the site of the former Teatro Cressoni in the town of Como. Inside the vessel are hundreds of 5th century gold coins - all in mint condition!
Alaska-based artist Ryota Kajita took some amazing photos of natural ice formations in the waters of Fairbanks, Alaska. The alien-like structures are formed as rivers and lakes freeze from the surface down, trapping bubbles that formed in the water.
Gold has been valued for its rarity and beauty since antiquity, and regarded highly for its stability. It does not corrode like other metals. That led to the logical assumption that ingesting gold could imbue the human body with its anti-corrosiveness, and stop the aging process.
According to Lydia Kang and Nate Pedersen’s book Quackery, gold-drinking evolved from curiosity to downright fervor during the medieval era, when an alchemist figured out how to dissolve solid gold into a liquid. Aurum potabile (sometimes known as aurum potable), as drinkable gold was known around the 16th century, was advertised as a cure-all for everything from epilepsy to mania.
Gold-imbued recipes made their way into chemistry manuals by the likes of French medical professionals Jean Beguin and Christophe Glaser, and even the short-lived Portuguese Pope John XXI. In 1578, he wrote a laborious recipe for a gold-laced, youth-preserving water. It involved taking gold, silver, iron, copper, iron, steel, and lead filings, then placing that mixture “in the urine of a virgin child on the first day,” then white wine, fennel juice, egg whites, in a nursing woman’s milk, in red wine, then again in egg whites, in that order, for the following six days.
Barbaric or not, people loved the guillotine. When the Reign of Terror began taking heads on an average of 46 per day, including Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, the terrifying instrument of swift death became part of everyday life. It was the subject of art, music, and fashion.
“It was depicted, recounted, and bandied about by popular songs with their series of refrains on ‘the widow,’ ‘the national razor,’ ‘the patriotic haircut,’ ‘the sword of equality,’ and ‘the altar of the nation,'” says Murat. “People no longer referred to ‘being guillotined’ but spoke of ‘sticking your head through the cat-flap,’ ‘poking through the window,’ or ‘sneezing into the basket.'”
“Like tricolor skirts and nosegays, or jewelry set with chunks from the Bastille,” Jane Merrill and Chris Filstrup write in I Love Those Earrings, “the guillotines testified to a person’s daring (unmistakably they were symbols of castration) and being on the winning side.”
Some people like to dress up when they travel, and other people like to dress for comfort. German artist Menja Stevenson, on the other hand, decided to coordinate her clothes with her mode of transportation.
“I couldn’t believe that many people didn’t realise the connection seeing me and the seats together,” Stevenson says. “Did they think that it was sheer coincidence? Some curious people at least talked to me, and a very few laughed, but most passengers would look shyly at me and quickly look the other way again.”
Dating back some 73,000 years, the mysterious picture consists of three lines intersected by six angled lines, like a more complicated version of the hashtag (#).
The picture was unearthed at Blombos Cave, a site about 300 kilometers east of Cape Town. The cave was frequented by humans as early as 100,000 years ago and is packed with evidence of tool-making and symbolic designs.
A little more than half of American adults live in middle-class households, but it seems like almost everyone thinks they are middle-class. The Pew Research Center constructed a handy calculator that will let you know for sure. It takes your income into account, of course, but also your household size and where you live, because the cost of living varies so much in different parts of the country. Enter your data, and try not to be too disappointed with the results. -via Mental Floss
Blair Braverman came home to some "minor tornado damage," meaning there were tree branches all over the yard, so she put her puppies -and some grown dogs, too- to work. After all, dogs are great at fetching sticks!
The clean-up project was so adorable that the neighbors had to come by for a cuddle. But the best part of the day was the bedtime story that Braverman told the puppies about their grandfather (told to us complete with pictures). It's a tale you don't want to miss at Threadreader. -via Metafilter
Ouija board is parlor game, albeit one with no rules, strategy, or goal. What it does have is whiff of the supernatural, which is enough to make it a long-lasting hit. Vox brings us the history of the Ouija board, as part of its series called "Overrated." -via Tastefully Offensive
Take a tour tough the interactive documentary of the famous artist M. C. Escher. Never before has Escher’s work been available online in such great detail. You can move through his work, zoom in and learn more about Escher’s life, his technique and his work from the perspective of art history through audio tours.
Use the Metamorphosis Machine to make your very own piece of Escherian art. Rotate, mirror and move around your creation and then morph this into a new image. You can add your created work to a digital Collaborative Artwork; an infinite online metamorphosis.
Chris Poole and his wife have adopted two new kittens! We don't know Jugg's story yet, but Zig Zag was rescued from underneath a car, where she had taken shelter from a busy road.
Zig Zag was scared, sick, and hungry, but has taken well to her new home, and has now joined Cole and Marmalade (and Jugg), the world's luckiest cats, inside the house. Poole also fosters kittens from a shelter, so Cole and Marmalade are used to extra cats around. Zig Zag and Jugg, however, are there for good.
On the one hand, you can enjoy the movie Crazy Rich Asians without knowing a thing about Singapore. It's a modern romantic comedy with a main character, Rachel Chu, who is much more than a hot mess or a passive damsel in distress. It's also a long-overdue representative breakthrough for Hollywood. On the other hand, you might be interested in learning how the world of fabulous wealth that Rachel travels to became that way.
The most prominent family in Kwan’s story are the Youngs, whose original fortune dates back to Nick’s Chinese-born great-grandmother, presumably at the turn of the 20th century. The Youngs got in on the ground floor of an older, Victorian-era wealth, viewed by its caretakers as sociologically distinct from the newer elites found across the Asia-Pacific. The unstated irony is that owning lots of land in Singapore—and Malaysia and China, not to mention London and Hawaii—made the Young family this fabulously wealthy only because the rest of Asia, along with its nouveau riche, made the region so economically productive in recent decades. These tensions across geography and generation appear at the margins of the romantic plot. Nick’s cousin explains to Rachel that in Asia’s richest circles, you will find Hong Kongers, “Taiwan Tycoons,” and “Beijing Billionaires.” These families are not equals.
These five young squirrels have been saved after their tails became entangled in a "Gordian Knot". A “caring finder” found the infants, known as kits, and took them to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre at the Wisconsin Humane Society. Here they were put under general anesthetic and quickly operated on. “It was impossible to tell whose tail was whose, and we were increasingly concerned because all of them had suffered from varying degrees of tissue damage to their tails caused by circulatory impairment,” the centre said. After about 20 minutes of careful cutting the knot began to undo and the squirrels were left to recover from their anesthetic. “Now, one day later, they are all bright-eyed, and three of the five are ‘bushy-tailed’, but we’ll need to monitor all of them for a couple of days to watch for tail necrosis caused by impaired blood flow,” the centre said.
"Whoa!" says the squirrel, "They picked me?!" The annual Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards received thousands of entries this year, and they have been whittled down to 41 finalists. All kinds of animals, from backyard critters to exotic beasts, have been caught in the act. Like this rhino in a tutu.
A post shared by Jim (@hobbithollowjim) on Sep 5, 2018 at 3:18am PDT
Jim Castigan is a concrete construction pro and a Lord of the Rings fan. A few years ago, he decided he needed a shed for the lawn tractor, and thought it would be neat if it looked like a Hobbit house. The shed turned out well and inspired him to build a complete two-bedroom, two-bathroom, energy-efficient Hobbit house, which he began five years ago. Castigan chronicled the project in a blog. The Hobbit house exterior is finished, and the interior is almost finished, and not yet furnished.
There are many ways to die in Antartica: a fall from a cliff, a slip into an ice crevasse, starving to death, and of course, freezing. The oldest human bones found in Antarctica are from a Chilean woman who died between 1819 and 1825, a true pioneer, although her story is a mystery. She is only the first known of many people who have died in Antarctica and whose bodies remain there, frozen and often lost. A hundred years later, there was the Terra Nova Expedition (pictured), in which all five men died, but only three bodies were ever recovered. Over time, more explorers, sailors, and workers died in the frozen wilderness, some eventually buried in cemeteries on the continent, others lost to deep snow and ice, or becoming part of glaciers moving toward the sea. Read about the frozen dead of Antarctica at BBC Future. -via Real Clear Science