Parrot Sings "Bacon Pancakes"


(YouTube link)

Milo the Quaker parrot sings along with his human, Erica Croke. The song is a classic, "Bacon Pancakes" from the TV show Adventure Time. Milo must watch the show a lot, or he sings it a lot, or he just loves making -or eating- pancakes. You can see more of Milo at his Facebook page. -via Tastefully Offensive

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Why Finns Don't Want to be Happy

Are people in Finland happy or not? They have beautiful scenery, world-class schools, Santa Claus, weird sports such as wife-carrying and phone throwing, a robust social safety net, Northern Lights, and the government gives every new baby a box of supplies just for being born. Yet Finns are renowned for their dour, sometimes fatalistic outlook on life. And now there's a survey that proclaims how happy they are.

According to the 2018 World Happiness Report, based on research conducted by Gallup, Finland is the happiest country in the world. The Finns are not so sure about the result, though – being, as they are, a typically stoic sort of people.

“Nordic people, and the Finns in particular, are emotionally introverted,” explained Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, an independent think tank in Denmark that studies happiness and wellbeing. “They rarely rank highly on expressions of joy or anger – they are very different in that way from people from Latin America, for example, who have a more exuberant emotional expression as a people. For [the Finns], happiness is more about living a reserved, balanced and resilient life.”

The seeming contradiction is in how you define your terms. The survey measured quality of life, which many people would assume leads to happiness. The word "happy" itself brings up a picture of people expressing joy, as in that song by Pharrell Williams. In Finland, the two don't quite meet, as you can read about at BBC Travel. They also explain kalsarikänni, or the tradition of getting drunk at home in your underwear. -via Digg

(Image credit: Flickr user Mariano Mantel)


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The Walking Houseplant

Francis (franktasia 2000) discovered that his potted plant had sprouted legs! Is it getting ready to run away from home? Is it Groot? Audrey 2? In case you're wondering, this is a dragon tree, or Dracaena marginata. Among the jokes, gifs, and advice in the comments are some adorable drawings of the plant, which were all done in a hurry since this picture was only posted yesterday.

Continue reading for more.

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Why Are There No Mosquitoes at Disney World?

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The worst tourist mosquito experience I know is Roanoke Island in North Carolina, and the best is at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. But when you go to Walt Disney World in Orlando, you're too busy having fun to notice the lack of mosquitos. The theme park is built on a swamp in Florida, so what gives? The truth is that Disney goes to great lengths to control the mosquito population. Rob Plays explains how that happens.


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The 100 Greatest YouTube Videos of All Time, Ranked

YouTube has only been around for 13 years, but in that time has hosted some of the funniest, weirdest, most interesting short subjects you'll ever see. The ones that went wildly viral will be familiar to you, maybe all 100 of the ranked videos at Thrillist, which has embedded all 100 YouTube videos for your viewing pleasure. Stroll down memory lane with Charlie The Unicorn (99), Dramatic Chipmunk (84), Miss Teen USA 2007 (76), Trololo (68), Boom Goes the Dynamite (18), and many other viral videos you've forgotten about by now, but will make you laugh all over again. Then you can commence arguing about the ones they left off the list.


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The Heyday of Penny Restaurants

Penny restaurants were diners where you could get a decent meal without spending hardly any money. You could find them in some cities as far back as the turn of the 20th century, and they spread tremendously during the Great Depression. Penny restaurants were mostly run by charities, but the food wasn't free, because that would rob the transaction of its dignity.

T.M. Finney, who managed a St. Louis penny restaurant run by the local Provident Association, laid out the enduring modus operandi of charitable restaurants. “The aim of the scheme is to afford poor people to maintain their self-respect and reduce the number of beggars,” Finney stated.

At his establishment, every item cost a penny: A meal of half a pound of bread, soup, potatoes, pork and beans, and coffee only cost hungry customers five cents. Breadlines, where miserable hundreds waited hours for free food, were an all-too-common sight during the Depression. Penny restaurants were the dignified alternative.

Penny restaurants always appeared during times of financial trouble, but they reached their greatest prominence during the Great Depression. In 1933, unemployment was at 25 percent nationwide. A whole new cuisine of make-do was developing across the country, from starchy slugburgers to pork masquerading as higher-end chicken. At penny restaurants, food was simple and often meatless.

Some existing eateries got into the penny restaurant business as a hybrid, adding a section to their existing restaurant to serve the indigent. And at least one businessman could afford to give away free meals along with paid meals because the volume was so high. Clifford Clinton was some restauranteur, as one of his dining spots is still in business, although you can no longer get a free meal. Read about the rise and fall of penny restaurants at Atlas Obscura.


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Reanimation! Science Stories about Frankenstein

Two hundred years ago, Mary Shelley published a book that she'd been working on since she took up a challenge among friends to write a scary story. Frankenstein; or The Modern Prometheus was much more than a horror novel. It illustrated the march of science and the responsibility, ethics, and hubris of those who would dare create life, ideas that have resonated with readers for two centuries so far, even as science itself has changed greatly.

Two hundred years later, Arizona State University launched The Frankenstein Bicentennial Project — a cross-disciplinary, multimedia endeavor to engage the people of today with the timeless issues of science, technology, and creative responsibility posed by Shelley’s searching intellect and imagination. As part of the celebration, MIT Press published Frankenstein: Annotated for Scientists, Engineers, and Creators of All Kinds (public library) — Shelley’s original 1818 manuscript, line-edited by the world’s leading expert on the text and accompanied by annotations and essays by prominent contemporary thinkers across science, technology, philosophy, ethics, feminism, and speculative fiction. What emerges is the most thrilling science-lensed reading of a literary classic since Lord Byron’s Don Juan annotated by Isaac Asimov.

Reanimation! is a seven-part video series from Massive that features conversations with scientists about Frankenstein and the issues it addresses, produced as a companion piece to the annotated book. The first episode, A Bolt of Lightning, is an overview of the impact of Shelley's novel and the questions it raises for the philosophy of science.

(vimeo link)

Further episodes deal with the line between chaos and organization, the nature of life, the definition of consciousness and intelligence, the ethics of intervening in nature, and more. You can see all seven videos in the series at Brain Pickings -Thanks, WTM!


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What to Expect from Wonder Woman 1984

The marketing has begun for the sequel to Wonder Woman. The title is Wonder Woman 1984, which tells us that the movie is set in that year, approximately 70 years after the first film, and well before Batman v Superman and Justice League. Gal Gadot Tweeted the picture above, showing us how the Amazon character's new costume will look. The basic design is the same as the leather she wore in the previous movie, with the metallic glitter of Lynda Carter's version. Chris Pine will return as Steve Trevor, shown here in his 1980s fashions.

Pine's casting would have been difficult to maintain as a secret, so they made Trevor's return into a marketing tool. The big question is how they will explain it. Wonder Woman 1984 is now in production and is scheduled to hit theaters on November 1, 2019.


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How to Film a Canada Lynx in the Wild

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The Wild Canadian Year is a five-part TV series about Canadian wildlife. Sam Ellis' assignment for the show was to film a Canada lynx in its natural habitat. Not an easy task, as remaining invisible is a big part of a lynx's lifestyle. But over time, Sam tracked and got to know a cat he called Mad Max. He spent 76 days trying to get some good footage of Max hunting. So here we have a videographer following a cameraman following a lynx following rabbits for more than two months, so let's appreciate the result.  


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George Lucas' Plan for Star Wars 7 through 9, Starring Mid-Chlorians

James Cameron interviewed George Lucas for his TV series James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction. There was more discussed than made it to air, and the rest of the interview landed in a book, and now we know about what would have happened in the third Star Wars trilogy if it had followed Lucas' ideas. We can be very happy that didn't happen.

“[The next three ‘Star Wars’ films] were going to get into a microbiotic world,” he told Cameron. “There’s this world of creatures that operate differently than we do. I call them the Whills. And the Whills are the ones who actually control the universe. They feed off the Force.”

Elsewhere in the conversation, Lucas admitted, “Everybody hated it in ‘Phantom Menace’ [when] we started talking about midi-chlorians.” In terms of his storytelling, Lucas regarded individuals as “vehicles for the Whills to travel around in…And the conduit is the midi-chlorians. The midi-chlorians are the ones that communicate with the Whills. The Whills, in a general sense, they are the Force.”

Lucas is confidant that had he kept his company, the Whills-focused films “would have been done. Of course, a lot of the fans would have hated it, just like they did ‘Phantom Menace’ and everything, but at least the whole story from beginning to end would be told.”   

But thankfully, it was not to be. Lucas' instead retired and sold Lucasfilm. So no matter how much you dislike any of the new Star Wars films, you can just tell yourself it could have been so much worse. Read more at IndieWire.  -via Ars Technica

(Image credit: Flickr user raymond twist)


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An Artistic Tribute to the Movies of the 1980s

It seems like I spent the entire decade of the 1980s sitting in a movie theater. Even if you weren't born then, you've probably figured out from watching movies on TV that the '80s were a golden age for comedy, action, and science fiction movies for young adults. Illustrator Scott Park (previously at Neatorama) has designed a poster he calls EIGHTY2, or "80s", with 80 characters from 57 different movies from that decade. You'll recognize them all, even if you can't quite name them all. You can see a larger version of the image here, and buy a print here.  -via Geeks Are Sexy


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Marmalade Loves His Dad

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Chris Poole brings us a cute Fathers Day greeting in which his cat Marmalade expresses his thoughts. Say it with me now: "Awww." See more of Marmalade and his buddy Cole in previous videos. -via Laughing Squid

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The Iroquois Theater Disaster

When the new Iroquois Theater in Chicago opened in November of 1903, it was advertised as "absolutely fireproof." On December 30th, between 1700 and 2,000 people, mostly mothers and children on holiday break, attended a performance of the comedy Mr. Blubeard, starring Eddie Foy. There were only 1600 seats, but tickets were sold for others to stand during the play.

As the show began its second act at 3:15 that afternoon, a spark from a stage light ignited nearby drapery. Attempts to stamp out the fire with a primitive retardant did nothing to halt its spread across the flammable decorative backdrops. Foy, dressed in drag for his next scene, attempted to calm the increasingly agitated audience. He ordered the orchestra to continue playing as stagehands made futile attempts to lower a supposedly flame-retardant curtain, but it snagged.

It was soon apparent that the fire could not be contained. Audience members bolted from their seats toward what few exit doors they could find, but most were obscured by curtains. They were further stymied by metal accordion gates, firmly locked to keep those in upper levels from sneaking down to pricier seats during intermissions. The terrified patrons – an estimated 1,700 with many more standing ticket holders clogging the aisles - were funneling through scant few chokepoints. Quickly the scene had changed “from mimicry to tragedy,” as one survivor said. Watching from the stage, Foy wrote in his memoirs, he saw in the upper levels a “mad, animal-like stampede – their screams, groans and snarls, the scuffle of thousands of feet and bodies grinding against bodies merging into a crescendo half-wail, half-roar.”

More than 600 people died in the stampede and conflagration. An investigation showed that required safety features were either nonexistent or non-functioning, and the overall design of the building impeded escape. The scandal of the Iroquois Theater fire led to the development of independently-powered exit signs and doors that open from the inside only. Read about the disaster and its aftermath at Smithsonian.    


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What Causes Insomnia?

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If you're stressing out about something specific, you know what's causing you to lose sleep. When you don't know what's causing it, the stress only increases like a snowball rolling downhill. This TED-Ed lesson from Dan Kwartler goes into the mechanisms that disrupt your normal sleep cycle. -via Digg


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The Dumbest Student You Ever Had

The question was, "Professors of Reddit, who was the dumbest student you ever had and what was so dumb about them?" It was followed by almost 6,000 comments. Some of them are unforgettable.

One of my students told me he was going to be 21 when he graduated high school. I asked him why. He explained that he ages TWO YEARS every year. He is 15 turning 16 so that is 2 years. He is probably right that he will not graduate HS til age 21, but not for the reason he mentioned lol -soulsista12

I didn’t believe any student was dumb - he/she may only have needed the right motivation.

Until I met RJ. RJ was dumb. RJ didn’t realize that the chicken we eat was the same as the animal. RJ was 21 at the time. -tapehead4

Happened in the first week of a college anthropology course:

Prof: "Let's list a few basic differences between modern humans and animals"

Student: "We have a heart beat" -PubScrubRedemption

You can read a ranked list of some of the stories at Bored Panda, or read them all at reddit

(Image credit: Flickr user duluoz cats)


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The Curious Death of George Wythe

You might not know the name George Wythe, but he was one of the 56 delegates that signed the Declaration of Independence. He was the first American law professor, and the school of law at the College of William & Mary is named for him. Wythe is also notable for the mysterious way he died.

Many believe Wythe was murdered by his no-good, addicted-to-gambling grand-nephew George Wythe Sweeney (who stood to inherit). One morning in 1806, Wythe fell violently and inexplicably ill. So, too, did Lydia Broadnax and Michael Brown, both of whom had had breakfast at Wythe's home. Broadnax was his long-time cook (and his wife's slave before being manumitted by Wythe following his wife's death). Brown was a free mixed-race teen, who lived in the Wythe household. Wythe had been tutoring him in Greek.

Brown died first. Wythe was ill for many days, during which he insisted that he had been deliberately poisoned, before finally dying on June 8th. Broadnax recovered from her illness. Interestingly, the doctors weren't as sure as Wythe about poison diagnosis.

Read about the investigation and the trial, which may leave you with a bad taste, at Reason. -via Strange Company

(Image credit: Billy Hathorn)


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Why Coca-Cola Purposely Designed a Soft Drink to Fail

Remember New Coke? The reformulation of Coca-Cola in 1985 was a huge disaster for the company, although the controversy itself was advertising. But innovation in soft drinks goes on, and only seven years later, the company's North American president, Doug Ivester, introduced a new product with a large dose of pomp and circumstance. However, this promotion was not all that it appeared.  

The product was Tab Clear, a new version of the sugar- and calorie-free diet drink first introduced in 1963. While it retained its bubbles, the liquid was transparent, an obvious nod to rival Pepsi’s introduction of Crystal Pepsi earlier that year.

Publicly, Ivester boasted that Tab Clear would be yet another success in Coca-Cola’s long history of refreshment dominance. But behind the scenes, Ivester and chief marketing officer Sergio Zyman were convinced Tab Clear would be a failure—and that is exactly what they hoped would happen. Flying in the face of convention, the launch of Tab Clear was deliberately designed to self-destruct.

The idea behind Tab Clear was a genius marketing move on many levels, but still reads like a super villain scheme. Read the story of the motivation behind Tab Clear at Mental Floss.

(Image credit: Flickr user Kevin Trotman)


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70 People Reveal How To Count Money in Their Country

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In the latest video from Condé Nast Traveler, we watch people from around the world count the same stack of dollars. On the surface, it looks like most of them are doing it the same way, but when you look closely, there are variations that would be hard to replicate once you've learned your own way to count cash. Too bad we don't get to practice as much as we should. And you have to wonder whether these ingrained habits will fade away as we move closer to a cashless society. -via Boing Boing 


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The Unexplained Dancing Plague & Other Epidemics of Yore

Throughout history, there have been outbreaks of strange symptoms or behavior that no one could explain. Or explain adequately, that is. Some of them in the distant past might have a microbial explanation, but they could also be a contagious mental illness. That sounds like a contradiction in terms, but you've seen how fads and trends spread through mass communication, so is a mania any less susceptible to spreading? One of the more famous examples is the dancing mania of 1518.

It was the summertime dance that just didn’t stop. Dancing mania (also known as dancing plague was a social phenomenon that occurred primarily in mainland Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries. One of the first major outbreaks was in the Holy Roman Empire, in 1374, which quickly spread throughout Europe. The most notable outbreak occurred in Strasbourg in 1518 when one Frau Troffea broke into a jig on a hot summer’s day in July. Pretty soon, dozens of others had joined, then hundreds — mostly female — who couldn’t stop busting a move. In all seriousness, the condition was horrifying, and the afflicted died from exhaustion and heart attacks.

Even weirder are the manias that spread from person to person in more recent times, even in the 21st century. Read about ten of these strange plagues at Messy Nessy Chic.


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Watch Tiny Crab Spiders Take Flight With 10-Foot Silk Parachutes

Do you recall the end of the book Charlotte's Web, when Wilbur was delighted to see hundreds of Charlotte's babies had hatched, but then almost all of them flew away? Flying spiders of all kinds scare people by throwing out silk that carries them on the wind. Aerodynamics engineer Moonsung Cho observed crab spiders to see how they fly.

He gathered 14 of them and placed them on a small, dome-shaped structure in a Berlin park to see how they reacted to natural winds. He also studied them in the lab using controlled wind tunnels. He found that before flying away, the spiders would lay down an anchor silk strand for safety. They would then reach one of their front legs into the air to evaluate how fast the wind was blowing, and from which direction. That’s the spider equivalent of licking your finger and sticking it in the air.

If the wind conditions were just right—which, for these crab spiders, meant less than 7.3 miles per hour (3.3 meters per second) with a nice upward draft—they stood up very straight, stuck their butts in the air, and produced 50 to 60 nanoscale silks that lifted them into the skies. On average, those silks were nearly 10 feet long. Once they let go of their anchor strands, they were gone.

Cho studied the silk and determined that these strands are so fine that they are thinner than the air they float on. Read more about the research, and see a crab spider take off, at Gizmodo.

(Image credit: Moonsung Cho)


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Bark In The Park Event Goes Sideways

The Double-A Tulsa Drillers celebrated Bark in the Park last night, and welcomed fans with their dogs. A group of dogs and their humans were down by the field before the game doing a media appearance, when one doggo noticed the players warming up. Well, not so much the players but THE BALL! That was his cue for fetch, and no one was going to stop him! He chased that ball around the field, caught it, and dutifully brought it back to the shortstop. That's a good dog. -via Deadspin

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Behind the Scenes at the National Zoo’s Kitchen

The Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, DC, is responsible for the health and happiness of more than 1,800 animals from all over the world. The nutritional requirements and the preferences of each species is studied and catered to. Some of those preferences may be surprising. Who knew that lions love pumpkin spice?   

“The lions take a long time rolling around in that scent and getting it all over themselves,” says Hilary Colton, animal keeper and vice chair of the National Zoo’s Enrichment and Training Committee.

Zoo staff scatter a range of spices, extracts, fur and other scents around the Zoo’s many animal habitats, encouraging animals to sniff and explore. Pumpkin spice is a favorite of the lions, sending them into a flurry of activity—rolling, rubbing and scent marking.

“The lions will scent mark the same way our cats do at home in that space,” says Colton. “We get a lot of behavior from using smell. We don’t have to use a lot because humans don’t have the entire spectrum of scent receptors that some of our animals do.”

The zoo also makes food into an adventure, enrichment, or learning experience for some animals, and that's on top of dealing with odd deliveries, like a truckload of crickets. Read how the National Zoo feeds its residents at Smithsonian Insider.  -via Metafilter

See a video of the zoo's scent-enrichment program for cats.

(Image credit: Flickr user Smithsonian's National Zoo)


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True Facts : Pangolins Posse

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Ze Frank tells us about anteaters, tamanduas, numbats, echidnas, pangolins, and other mammals that eat insects. They are a funny-looking group that have nothing else to do with each other, which makes them the perfect subject for the True Facts series. Warning: contains a brief shot of an echidna penis. -via Laughing Squid


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Replication in Psychology Experiments: Everything We Know is a Lie

The famous 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment conducted by a team led by Philip Zimbardo is a classic, taught in introductory psychology classes and referred to by laymen all over. Student volunteers were divided into the roles of prison guards and prisoners, and those assigned as guards became cruelly abusive as they explored their power over their fellow students. But more recent research and interviews with the participants revealed that things were not exactly as published. The "guards" were coached in their cruelty, and the students considered the experiment to be a performance.  

Though most guards gave lackluster performances, some even going out of their way to do small favors for the prisoners, one in particular rose to the challenge: Dave Eshelman, whom prisoners nicknamed “John Wayne” for his Southern accent and inventive cruelty. But Eshelman, who had studied acting throughout high school and college, has always admitted that his accent was just as fake as Korpi’s breakdown. His overarching goal, as he told me in an interview, was simply to help the experiment succeed.

“I took it as a kind of an improv exercise,” Eshelman said. “I believed that I was doing what the researchers wanted me to do, and I thought I’d do it better than anybody else by creating this despicable guard persona. I’d never been to the South, but I used a southern accent, which I got from Cool Hand Luke.”

Eshelman expressed regret to me for the way he mistreated prisoners, adding that at times he was calling on his own experience undergoing a brutal fraternity hazing a few months earlier. “I took it just way over the top,” he said. But Zimbardo and his staff seemed to approve. After the experiment ended, Zimbardo singled him out and thanked him.

Some of the "prisoners" also admitted to role-playing during the experiment. Others attempted to replicate Zimbardo's study, and achieved different results. Those studies didn't get the press that the original experiment got -and some say that's because Zimbardo interfered with their publication. The Stanford Prison Experiment isn't the only psychological experiment that doesn't hold up over time. We recently posted about how the Robber's Cave Experiment was retooled to attain the desired results. The same investigator found irregularities in Stanley Milgram's experiments in the willingness of subjects to obey authority even when that means harming others. Even the famous Marshmallow Experiment has been discredited by replication studies. Vox has an overview of famous but discredited psychology experiments, and the difficulty of correcting textbooks and the popular image of these studies. -via Digg

(Image credit: Eric. E. Castro)


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Summer Facts and Life Hacks

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Summer officially starts next week with the solstice, even though school is already out, and the temperatures have been high for months. But we've got a lot of summer ahead of us, so we may as well learn something new from Mental Floss about our favorite summer activities. This episode of Scatterbrained has trivia about ice cream, summer travel, iced tea, and more. John Green has some handy tips to make summer easier. Learn the history of the state fair. And don't forget your sunscreen!  


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The Hidden History of Shanghai’s Jewish Quarter

In the 1930s, as life for Jewish people in Germany and later German-occupied countries became more and more unbearable, many tried to emigrate. Germany encouraged this up until 1941. The problem was that no other nation would accept them, and to be allowed to leave, one had to have a place to go. The exception was Shanghai, China, where visas were not required for entry, but the city would issue one if you needed it to travel as a refugee. The city was poor, overcrowded, and ruled by various foreign interests, but it was safe.   

Nevertheless, many of the Shanghai locals, in spite of their own hardships, welcomed their new neighbors and shared what little they had, whether that meant housing, medical care, or just simple kindness. Gradually, with that support, Jewish refugees began, little by little, to create lives in their new country, and before long, the proliferation of Jewish-owned businesses was such that the Hongkou area became known as “Little Vienna.” Like their Chinese neighbors, they did their best to survive in difficult circumstances. They established newspapers, synagogues, retail businesses, restaurants, schools, cemeteries, guilds, social clubs, and even beauty pageants. They practiced medicine, started hospitals, got married, had babies, and held bar and bat mitzvahs. They learned to cook in coal-burning ovens and to haggle with street vendors.

One Hongkou resident remembers the time and place with great fondness. The artist Peter Max, who would later become known for his signature “psychedelic” works of art, came to Shanghai with his parents after fleeing Berlin. Like many of the Jewish families who immigrated to the city, Max’s father started a business, in this case, a store that sold Western-style suits. It was, Max recalls, an auspicious choice, as Chinese men were just beginning to favor them over their traditional Mandarin clothing.

“On the ground floor of our building was a Viennese garden-café,” Max recalls, “where my father and mother met their friends in the early evenings for coffee and pastries while listening to a violinist play romantic songs from the land they had left behind. The community of Europeans that gathered and grew below our house kept me connected to our roots.”

However, the war they had fled caught up with them. Japan consolidated its rule over Shanghai in 1941, which put Shanghai's Jewish residents back under the Axis influence. Read about the Jewish population of Shanghai at Atlas Obscura. 

(Image credit: United States Holocaust Museum)


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Tim Burton's Dumbo

(YouTube link)

Disney has another live-action remake of an animated classic coming out in 2019. This one is Dumbo, from director Tim Burton. We can expect that the story will be quite different from the 1941 film, which had hardly any humans with speaking roles.

From Disney and visionary director Tim Burton, the all-new grand live-action adventure “Dumbo” expands on the beloved classic story where differences are celebrated, family is cherished and dreams take flight. Circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) enlists former star Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) and his children Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) to care for a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock in an already struggling circus. But when they discover that Dumbo can fly, the circus makes an incredible comeback, attracting persuasive entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton), who recruits the peculiar pachyderm for his newest, larger-than-life entertainment venture, Dreamland. Dumbo soars to new heights alongside a charming and spectacular aerial artist, Colette Marchant (Eva Green), until Holt learns that beneath its shiny veneer, Dreamland is full of dark secrets.

Yeah, that sounds very different. Dumbo is scheduled to hit theaters on March 29, 2019. -via Laughing Squid


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The Presidents' Ages

George H.W. Bush had a birthday yesterday, and at 94, he is the oldest living former president in history. None the other men who've held the office ever reached the age of 94. You are forgiven for thinking that Jimmy Carter was older, since he served earlier. The record brought up other tidbits about presidential ages in the comments at reddit.

Funnily enough, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Donald Trump (elected over a span of 24 years) are all the exact same age. Each is 71, having been born in 1946. Clinton was the third youngest person to ever become president; Trump was the oldest. And Bush, at 54, was incredibly close to the median age for presidents at the start of their term, which is 55 years 3 months.

In other words, over the course of just nine weeks in 1946, three different presidents were born. They would go on to be elected in three different decades (and maybe four). One would be one of the youngest ever elected, one would be the oldest ever elected, and one would be elected at precisely the typical age.   -IRAn00b

John F. Kennedy was the youngest person ever elected president at age 43, Teddy Roosevelt was the youngest to become president, at age 42, after McKinley was assassinated. 

Jimmy Carter is only 4 months behind him. Born: October 1, 1924 (age 93 years)   -samtheotter

Somewhat unrelated, but California Governor Jerry Brown is both the youngest California governor since the 1860s (elected at age 36) and the oldest ever (72 years old when he began serving his current term).    -jlux999

Until the 2000s, the president who lived the longest was John Adams. The second president.   -solidsnake885

John Adams was 90 when he died in 1826.

(Image credit: Pete Souza)


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The Saga of the MPR Raccoon

Thousands of people have been holding their breath for a couple of days now, because a raccoon has been climbing the outside of a high-rise building in St. Paul. It was first spotted on Monday, perched in a niche on the 7th floor of the Town Square building.

When local office workers tried a rescue operation, the creature jumped to the nearby 25-story UBS Tower, where it climbed to the upper floors. Attorney Sheila Donnelly-Coyne watched the raccoon in the window of her 23rd-floor office, where the windows do not open.

The office also had seen some firefighters filtering through. Donnelly-Coyne said authorities set up live traps on the roof, together with some cat food to entice the little one to climb just a few floors more. She says the firefighters told her office that other measures — such as reaching for the animal with window washing equipment — would very likely scare and "endanger the animal." So for now, the high drama has become a waiting game.

The TV stations KARE11 and WCCO set up livestreams so everyone could watch the critter's progress. Crowds gathered in the streets below. Someone launched a Twitter account under the name The MPR Raccoon

Folks nationwide began to follow the story, as the raccoon climbed to various floors. James Gunn, director of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies who has a soft spot for raccoons, offered a reward.

Last night, people began to breath a little easier when the raccoon started climbing down the building.

But that didn't last long. He/she descended to the 16th floor, then reversed and went back up! And then, about 2:30 this morning, the raccoon made it to the roof!

There's no word yet on whether the raccoon went for the cat food or made it to the traps. You can follow the story on Twitter.

Update: Good news! -Thanks, Edward!

And so we can wrap up the saga of the MPR Raccoon with a music video.


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An Honest Trailer for The Incredibles

(YouTube link)

With Incredibles 2 coming out this weekend, Screen Junkies takes a long-overdue look at The Incredibles for an Honest Trailer. That movie came out in 2004, which was so long ago that the theater I saw it in has been torn down and replaced with a clothing store. Maybe the reason they haven't done an Honest Trailer before is that they can't find much to snark about. They got around that by using this time to compare The Incredibles to all the other pop culture heroes they are better than. I almost thought that they were going to completely overlook Edna Mode, but she makes an appearance before the video is done. -via Tastefully Offensive


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