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Dumb Things People Believed as Kids

There's so much about the world that children are expected to just pick up from their environment. That means so many things are only half-learned because we don't realize what we are misunderstanding. Ross McClearly asked Twitter users to share the misconceptions they remember from childhood.

My daughter told me that when she was very young, she'd watch me do laundry. I would clean the lint filter out and put the lint in the "magic pink box" on the shelf. And after it got full, she'd look in and all the lint had disappeared! Magic!

"Honey, that's a waste basket. I emptied it."

"I know! I felt like an idiot when I got older and figured that out!"

Read some of the other things people completely misunderstood when they were children at Buzzfeed. There's more in the comments, too, and in the original Twitter thread.

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Victorian-Era Orgasms and the Crisis of Peer Review

It's been a popular tidbit from history that doctors during the Victorian era once treated hysteria in women by manually stimulating them to orgasm. This made doctors popular but tired, so Joseph Mortimer Granville invented the vibrator to automate the treatment.

It’s a disturbing insight, implying that vibrators succeeded not because they advanced female pleasure, but because they saved labor for male physicians. And in the past few years, it has careened around popular culture. It’s given rise to a Tony-nominated play, a rom-com starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, and even a line of branded vibrators. Samantha Bee did a skit about it in March. A seemingly endless march of quirky news stories has instructed readers in its surprising but true quality, including in Vice, Mother Jones, and Psychology Today.

In short, the tale has become a commonplace one in how people think about Victorian sex. And according to a contentious new paper, it may also be almost totally false.

Read how the story of the vibrator began, and how it turned into common knowledge without evidence, at The Atlantic.

(Image credit: Wellcome)

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Border Collie with a Backpack Full of Seed Helps Re-Seed the Forest After a Wildfire

After forest wildfires in the Maule Region of central Chile had stripped much of the land of vegetation, the task of re-seeding the land fell on a brave trio of border collies.

The dogs were outfitted with special backpacks filled with seeds. When they run around, the backpacks released native seed.

Photo: Martin Bernetti

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Giant 3D Printing the Millennium Falcon

It may have taken Han 12 parsecs to complete the Kessel Run with the Millennium Falcon, but it only took 3D printing enthusiast stonecoldfx nearly 10 days to print the starship in his giant 3D printer.

Sweetest What the Fluff Surprise Yet

(YouTube link)

Zephyr is a four-year-old golden retriever witnessing the "What the Fluff Challenge." We don't know what Zephyr was expecting (he's certainly very attentive), but we were expecting the young man holding the blanket up to disappear. Instead, he changed into Kevin, Zephyr's favorite person, who has been gone for nine months doing Army training at Ft. Bragg. Zephyr was pretty happy with the trick! -via Digg

Sheep on a Swing

(YouTube link)

Trying to keep up with the rest of the flock, this sheep went headfirst into a tire swing -but didn't make it out the other side. Any attempt to flee, in any direction, just lifts her off the ground. We assume the shepherd helped her escape, after having a few laughs and recording it so that the entertainment value spreads beyond the pasture. -via Laughing Squid

How Do You Tell a Thirsty Elephant Not to Take a Drink?

When there's a problem with a municipal water system, the utility agency issues an advisory to the public, usually telling us to boil our water for safety or to use only bottled water. People do that, and when the danger is passed, go back to business as usual. But when Washington, DC, had a boil water advisory last month, the National Zoo had a problem. Some of their rare and exotic animals require hundreds of gallons of clean water daily, and others live in water. It was time to get creative.

The Amazonia exhibition at the Zoo replicates a rainforest habitat and staff quickly realized that the exhibition’s 28,000-gallon reservoir was the key to getting the entire park through the event, which lasted about 48 hours, says Nick Little, Aquatic Life Support Systems (LSS) operator. He and dozens of other staff hustled behind the scenes while few, if any, Zoo visitors had any inkling of trouble afoot, the Zoo operated on a normal schedule through the duration of the incident.

“As Rick Quintero, curator of LSS, was talking with other curators Zoo-wide], we recognized that Amazonia’s huge reservoir was full of water drawn before the crisis and perfectly safe for animal consumption,” says Little. “Our only concern was how to get it out” to any part of the Zoo that needed it.

The entire zoo staff went to work. Read about how a zoo handles a water crisis at Smithsonian Torch.  -via Metafilter

(Image credit: Flickr user Blossom Vydrina)

6 Popular Home Remedies That Don't Actually Work

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We tend to try common home remedies for common ailments, because going to a professional will take a big chunk of time and money, and you might not even get in anytime soon. These classic self-treatments got a reputation because they seem to work -possibly because many ailments get better on their own with time, and the placebo effect probably helps. Sci Show looks at the research and debunks some of the more common home remedies that just don't work under rigorous study. -via Mental Floss

Let's Play Some Headis!

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Combine table tennis and soccer, and you get Headis. Headis was invented in 2006 when a German student, René Wegner, wanted to play football, but since the field was occupied, he suggested playing at an available ping pong table. That's using your head! The new sport caught on like wildfire, and before you knew it, there were Headis World Cup Tournaments. -via Metafilter

Pot Sobriety Test

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On October 17, 2018, recreational marijuana will become legal in Canada. That doesn't mean driving while stoned will be legal. We've got well-refined tests for driving while under the influence of alcohol, but how would you test for how high someone is? There are certain signs, and these folks display all of them in a skit from the CBC show 22 Minutes. -via Boing Boing

How NASA’s Parker Solar Probe Will Touch the Sun

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NASA launched the Parker Solar Probe on Sunday, heading toward the sun. It will take seven years to get there, and if the air conditioning system holds out, it will get as close as 3.8 million miles from the sun. It's also supposed to eventually become the fastest-moving object ever made by man. I'm impressed. Learn more about the mission at the Parker Solar Probe's blog.  -via The Kid Should See This

Strandbeest Evolution 2018

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Dutch engineer/artist Theo Jansen is known for his Strandbeests, giant kinetic sculptures that move along the beach on their own, powered only by the wind. We posted quite a few of them over the years. Over time, the Strandbeests have evolved to be bigger, lighter, and faster. They seem to be living beings, although they are made of PVC pipe, string, and zip ties. Check out this video showing off his latest, most kinetic Strandbeests. At the very end, you see Jansen with his Animaris Rhinoceros Transport from 2006, just to show how far his art has come. -via Geekologie

The Ghostbusters Logo Only Became Famous Because Of A Legal Screw-Up

Like many branding logos, the familiar Ghostbusters icon went through a lot of changes before the filmmakers settled on a final design. But it wasn't designed for marketing purposes- this one was part of the prop department. The ghost with a red line was going to be a logo used in the movie for our heroes' ghost extermination business. It turned out pretty good considering how little time was spent on it.   

But again, this was going to be a relatively small logo you'd only see on the costumes, outside the fire station, and on the side of the Ecto-1. So the art department "didn't think twice about it," because they had a buttload of other stuff to design. But when it came time to release the movie's first teaser poster, there was a problem. The studio, Columbia, hadn't obtained the rights to the title Ghostbusters, which was still owned by a short-lived 1970s children's show, nowadays best remembered for ruining the Saturday mornings of every 1980s kid who didn't read their TV Guide closely enough. (Younger readers: TV Guide was a tiny magazine you had to buy so you knew what was playing on TV. The past was awful.)

Because of this legal snafu, Columbia desperately needed a way to advertise a movie without using its title. The solution ended up being slapping Gross' final logo on the poster.

It was a brilliant marketing move, even if they didn't realize it at the time. Just a workaround to avoid a lawsuit. However, they got a lawsuit anyway that didn't have anything to do with the Ghostbusters name. Read the rest of that story plus the evolution and stories behind three other movie logos at Cracked.

Bronson, the 33-Pound Cat

Mike Wilson and Megan Hanneman went to the Humane Society to adopt a third cat. They met and fell in love with a polydactyl cat named Bronson, who weighed 33 pounds! All the shelter knew was that Bronson's original owner had passed away.

Since he was all the way up to 33 pounds and only three years old, they suspected it was an elderly person who may have been feeding him table scraps or something. We went in to meet him and instantly fell in love. I remember my cheeks hurting from smiling for so long.

Bronson was so affectionate and sweet and was happily kneading his cat bed when we first petted him. All of a sudden, we noticed that he was a polydactyl cat with extra fingers and had very pronounced thumbs! Even more adorably, his paws oddly resembled our home state of Michigan. He was the sweetest cat we had ever met and he seemed so happy to be home and have a big space of his own.

Bronson is on a diet of only 375 calories a day, with the goal of losing a pound a month until he is deemed healthy. He's already lost 1.6 pounds. Read Bronson's story at Bored Panda, and follow his weight-loss process at Instagram.

Dance of the Line Riders

(YouTube link)

We have a new animated music video from DoodleChaos, who brought us a Line Rider version of the classic Hall of the Mountain King and a Rube Goldberg version of Waltz of the Flowers. This time, he's got two (and sometimes three) riders on sleds illustrating Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite. Not only is it clever, it might cool you off a bit to hear a song that's traditionally associated with Christmastime. -via Metafilter

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Profile for Andrew Dalke

  • Member Since 2012/08/04



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