The Chimpanzee War, 1974-1978

Sometimes earth-shattering events go on right under our noses, and we pay no attention to them because we are human. We most likely would have no knowledge at all of a war going on for years in Nigeria if Jane Goodall hadn't been there to document the Gombe Chimpanzee War. She was there at the Gombe Stream National Park in 1974 when a war broke out between communities of chimpanzees. One population started to infringe on the territory of another, and they fought over it until 1978.

During the war, male chimps were observed forming alliances, sharing patrol duties, and carrying out raids and attacks that indicated strategic planning. Read about the human-like war and the implications of such behavior among chimpanzees at History of Yesterday. 

But that article didn't tell us how the war ended, or who won. Wikipedia has a longer and more detailed account of the war, and Goodall's reaction to it. -via Strange Company

(Image credit: Syaibatul Hamdi from Pixabay)

Slow-Mo Fun with a 6-Foot Water Balloon

Gavin Free and Dan Gruchy, the Slow Mo Guys, know how to have some summer fun. They've played with water balloons before, but this year they're going all out, with a 6-foot balloon, rigged up with a high-speed camera and lights inside! The idea was that Dan (it's always Dan) would slide across a wet tarp head first right into it, bursting the balloon, and they would have some cool slow motion footage. Dan even rigged up a device to make sure the balloon actually burst instead of just acting like a brick wall he was slamming his head into. If you just want to see the ultimate balloon burst, skip ahead to the nine-minute mark, but the rest of it is pretty amusing, too. They titled the video "Giant Balloon June," which hints that they have more of these balloons, and have plans to use them in later videos this month. -via Digg

Five Examples of an Eternal Flame

There is a problem when people try to retrieve the huge deposits of natural resources underneath the earth's crust. The most valuable of these resources is fuel, and to get to them, we must expose them to air. One stray spark can cause that fuel to catch fire, and you've learned your lesson. But by then it may be too late, since there's a lot of fuel under there, and mines and wells continue to feed the flames while making it impossible to fight the fire. You know about Centralia, Pennsylvania, where a coal seam has been burning since 1962. But that's just one fire that's been burning an awful long time. The world is full of them.

The Jharia area of Dhanbad, India, was once a treasure of mining, as billions of dollars in prime coke coal lie underneath the ground. But it's turned into a nightmare, since that coal seam has been on fire since 1916! Over 40 million tons of coal has burned in that time, and in addition, no new mines can be opened to collect the unaffected coal, since the burning seam goes in all directions. The fire is making a growing area on top uninhabitable. That's just one of five places where the earth has been on fire for ages and probably will remain on fire for years or even centuries to come, that you can read about at Cracked.

(Image credit: miketnorton)

Crash Testing a Ford Panel Van

What we have here is someone driving into a huge morningstar, a medieval weapon that resembles a wrecking ball with spikes. You have to wonder why. The van seems pretty tough against it at seven miles per hour, but then they try again at higher speeds.

I'm sure there were many thoughts going through your head while you watched it.

1. Why are they doing this?
2. That van seems to be pretty tough.
3. Hey, what's that ball hanging from?
4. Wait, are they using more than one van?
5. No Ford van, especially one that old, can go 75 mph.
6. Where did they get all these vans?
7. Oh, I get it.
8. Airborn!
9. Yeah, this is the most entertaining video I've seen today.

-via Everlasting Blort

Treat Lupus, Cure Schizophrenia: Relief After 20 Years

Dr. Sander Markx was astonished to learn that a catatonic psychiatric patient he'd met as a medical student was still in the same hospital in the same unresponsive state 20 years later. April Burrell had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and could not communicate, care for herself, or follow orders. Markx ordered a full workup on April, and test results showed she also had lupus, an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks various body organs. Could it have attacked April's brain? April underwent a serious regimen of chemotherapy designed to treat lupus, in which she was bombarded with medications once a month for six months. By the time her treatment was completed, she had returned to reality, reconnected with her family, and was discharged from the psychiatric hospital to a rehabilitation center.

So did the lupus cause April's psychiatric symptoms? A second patient was found to have both schizophrenia and lupus, and showed an even better recovery after treatment. This opens up a whole new world in possible treatments for autoimmune diseases that may have caused psychiatric illness in people who are currently consigned to lifetime care. That may be just a small fraction of schizophrenic patients, but it is a possibility well worth testing for. Read about April, the second patient Devine, and Dr. Markx's quest to help them. -via Digg

(Image credit: NIMH)

Newly-Discovered Swedish Petroglyphs Weren't Easy to Make

The coastal region of Sweden known as Bohuslän is known for its ancient petroglyphs. In early May, a series of 40 petroglyphs that hadn't been seen in hundreds of years was discovered on a rock face in Bohuslän. A team of archaeologists had to stand on a platform to remove moss and reveal them. The carvings are estimated to be around 2,700 years old.

What's remarkable about these petroglyphs is their location. This particular sheer face was on an island 2,700 years ago, and there are no footholds in the rock, which means that whoever made them either had to do it from a boat, or stand on a platform built on the winter ice. The biggest petroglyph depicts a ship 13 feet long, while many are only 12 to 16 inches wide. Scientists say they were made by banging rocks on the cliff face, which chipped away the dark outer layer and revealed a lighter material just below the surface.

No one knows the meaning of the images, although they might tell a story, or mark territory. The big question is what made them so important that people went through such trouble to place them where they are. Read more about the new discovery at LiveScience.

(Image credit: Foundation for Documentation of Bohuslän’s Rock Carvings)

Car Ramps Up Onto Flatbed Truck and Launches Into Air

You've seen this stunt performed in movies before, and probably on The Dukes of Hazzard several times. When it happens in real life, the outcome can be much worse. The above is police bodycam footage from an incident near Valdosta, Georgia. Lowndes County sheriff's deputies were making an arrest on the side of a highway on May 24, and had a tow truck ready to impound a car. But a driver didn't see the activity going on and drove up the tow truck ramp at a high speed. The car launched into the air off the front of the truck, flew about 120 feet, and crashed into another car. The driver was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The only other injury was to a police officer hit by flying debris.

WSB has more on the incident

Update: I found a better quality video.

That Time the US Congress Considered Hippo Ranching

Louisiana Representative Robert F. Broussard introduced a bill to the US House of Representative in 1910 that would promote the importation and domestication of hippopotamuses for commercial purposes. Broussard thought he had a great idea for killing two birds with one stone. Hippo meat would help ease the meat shortage the country was experiencing at the time, and hippos could also eat the invasive water hyacinths that had spread across Louisiana's wetlands since it was introduced in 1884.

The idea had some support. Teddy Roosevelt, the big game hunter, was all for it. Broussard also brought in experts to tell how nutritious hippopotamus meat is, how it tasted like a “combination of pork and beef,” and how hippo ranches could be set up on federal land to get the concept started.

Broussard had ideas for importing all kinds of African wildlife to the US, but hippos offered the most bang for the buck. He was mistaken in thinking that it would be easy, though. Hippos are dangerous, and there is no evidence they can ever be domesticated. Also, they wouldn't be able to survive on a diet of water hyacinths. There are many reasons the idea was bad, but Congress didn't know about them at the time. While Broussard's idea for hippo ranching never got out of the starting gate, his campaign for the US to eat hippos is an amusing story you can read at Smithsonian.

(Illustration credit: Meilan Solly)

Reactionary Parenting Offers a Better Future for Our Children

Summer Emerald, who goes by the online pseudonym of salesforcechild, is preparing to be a mother to children who are mentally and emotionally healthy and prepared for the challenges of the future. This means looking back to before our children were distracted by non-stop screentime and processed artificial foods. In this video, with the help of AI-generated art, Emerald describes how she will cultivate her children into confident adults.

Emerald is an artist with a surreal and symbolist bent, as you can see from her paintings and videos, which include depictions of various parasites that she has successfully expelled from her body. This is what happens when the human psyche is ready for the next stage of evolutionary development.

-via David Burge

Official Drains Reservoir To Find His Phone

Well, we have to admire his dedication to looking for his phone. Rajesh Vishwas, a food inspector with the Chhattisgarh state government in India, was taking a selfie when he dropped his phone. 

The government official was in the Parallkot reservoir, a scenic spot in central India. So it’s no surprise that he took the chance to take photos. However, he was not able to secure his $1,200 Samsung phone, and it dropped below the reservoir. He did try to take it back using different attempts. His first try was sending divers into the reservoir, but they failed to bring his precious gadget.

He then decided to have the entire reservoir drained. It took three days to drain around 530,000 gallons of water from the reservoir, but after all that effort Vishwas was able to get his phone back. But alas, it stopped working. 

According to reports, the reason why he took such efforts to get it back was because his phone contained sensitive government information and he had permission to drain the reservoir. The state, however, denied that he had no such permission. He is now suspended as a full investigation will be taking place.

Image screenshot via CBS News

Would You Draw Your Eyeliner With This Highlighter From Stabilo?

Sign me up. Embrace the stress and hardships brought on by finals week in school with themed makeup. Even if you’re too tired to do other fun things except just eat, bathe, and study (also take tests in between), there’s no harm in making sure you look amazing. Even if you fail (we hope you don’t). 

Well, if ever you feel like you need to look more awake than ever, maybe makeup can give you some assistance. Personally, we just like this one because of the sheer hilarity of the concept behind it. Introducing, Sephora and Stabilo's (yes, the brand that produces a lot of highlighters) collaboration: a felt eyeliner collection that is shaped like a highlighter. It’s like a weird brainchild from a fever dream you had while studying for hours. 

The eyeliner comes in a container that is shaped like a small Stabilo highlighter and comes in different shades. These are Ink Splash (black), Back to School (gray), Summer Holiday (blue), and Chocolate Break (yes, that’s brown). While it is currently listed on Sephora Singapore’s website, we’re having our fingers crossed to have this collection reach other areas (such as ours) as well. 

Image credit: thebrunettemix

Have You Had Any Misles?

A "misle" is an unofficial term for a word that you mispronounce because you've only seen it in text. The term came from the story Eric Wolfe posted in 1991 about the way he used to pronounce the word "misled." Instead of mis-led, he saw it as my-zuld. Wolfe's unconcious assumption was that the word was akin to "titled," which you would never pronounce as tit-led if you know what's good for you. The response from his Usenet group had plenty of other examples, because English is weird. Eventually, this kind of mispronunciation based on logic and other English words led to these words being called "misles."

I mispronounced the word "biopic" in my head for years until I heard someone in a YouTube video say bio-pic. I knew what it meant, but I assumed it was pronounced bi-opic. Some misles are pretty funny, like pronouncing "barfly" as barf-ly, or pronouncing "infrared" as if it rhymes with "scared." Someone even admitted to thinking the word "apply" was said like an adjective for something that's like an apple, you know, apple-y. Read about the linguistic phenomenon of misles and laugh at some common ones at Mental Floss.

(Image credit: Silar)

Artificial Intelligence Knows Nothing of Dogs and Cats

Warning: this video may be nightmare-inducing. Or you might just find it hilarious. We know artificial intelligence algorithms are pretty good for writing an essay, or at least ChatGPT is, Midjourney can construct an illustration for you, and some recent videos show that an algorithm can be rather good at dressing movie characters in Balenciaga fashions or mashing up Wes Anderson movies. But it doesn't do all that well recreating real living animals moving as animals should. I don't know what program was used to make this video of dogs, but the producer should ask for his money back.   

From a different YouTuber, here's a cat video generated by an algorithm. It's just as disturbing.

I couldn't post these videos on Supa Fluffy, because people go there to watch real-life cute animals and feel good about it. But you were warned. -via Nag on the Lake

Woman Wins Cheese Rolling Competition Despite Being Knocked Unconscious

For at least two hundred years, people in Gloucester, UK have been chasing wheels of cheese down Cooper's Hill. One slope of that hill is quite steep for 200 yards. In this traditional sport, a wheel of Double Gloucester cheese is rolled down the hill. After a one-second head start, the runners pursue it, often by just rolling down the hill. It is, perhaps, the purest of sports as it requires courage, stamina, and agility.

Yesterday, Delaney Irving won after arriving at the finish line first. But her tumble down the hill knocked her unconscious. The Guardian reports that she didn't even know that she had won until she woke up after the race in a medical care tent.

-via Dave Barry

Should You Buy Food Storage Containers?

These containers do help us when it’s time to store our leftovers in the refrigerator, or when we want to organize our produce and other ingredients in the fridge. Apparently, there is no need to buy them, according to celebrity chef and founder of Momofuku Noodle Bar, David Chang. “There's no reason to buy Tupperware. There's no reason to buy those Ziploc things,” he says in a video on GQ’s YouTube channel. Instead, he proposes to reuse plastic containers you got from ordering takeout or delivery. “This is just simply, solely, more useful to use as a storage of food," he further explained. 

Now: there is still debate about how good plastic takeout containers are. However, experts do agree that you can reuse them up to a certain point. "Most food-safe containers from restaurants can be used as storage for a short period of time, as these plastics are usually meant for food-grade applications," food scientist Bryan Quoc Le, Ph.D. told Martha Stewart.

You can use takeout boxes up to 25 times before throwing them out, just make sure to clean them between each use. 

Image credit: ArtHouse Studio

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