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Now Hiring: Director of Taco Relations

Yes, it's the ultimate dream job because it's all about nature's perfect food: the taco. Food & Wine magazine reports that the spice company McCormick is seeking applicants for its open position of Director of Taco Relations. It's fairly demanding and, sadly, requires more than just eating tacos:

In the role's official description, McCormick explains that applicants will be expected to work up to 20 hours a week for up to four months including attending virtual meetings and occasionally traveling to both the McCormick headquarters and "other taco locations in the U.S." Responsibilities include things like keeping tabs on taco trends by scouring social media and talking with chefs, developing content for McCormick's social channels, and consulting "on inspirational and approachable taco recipes incorporating McCormick's Taco Seasoning" by working with the McCormick Kitchens team.

-via Marginal Revolution | Photo: MaxPixel

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Art Museum Plans Exhibit Curated by the Guards

In a press release, the Baltimore Museum of Art announced that it will conduct an exhibition hosted by staff members whom visitors see every time that they visit: the security guards. These 17 employees are very familiar with the museum's holdings, so it's appropriate to consult their perspectives:

“Our security officers spend more time in our galleries and living among our collection than any other staff within the institution,” said Christopher Bedford, BMA Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director. “It is their perspectives, their insights, and their relationships with the art and daily interactions with our visitors that will set the stage for Guarding the Art to be an exceptional experience.”

Guarding the Art opens in March of 2022.

-via Kottke | Photo: Mike Steele

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Justin Bateman's Pebble Mosaics

Justin Bateman, a British artist, specializes in selecting and arranging pebbles into temporary mosaics. The arrangements, which he calls "land art", are vividly familiar. He places them in the outside world because, as he quotes artist Robert Smithson, "A work of art when placed in a gallery loses its charge, and becomes a portable object or surface disengaged from the outside world."

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The "Anti-Sex Beds" of Olympic Athletes

That's what Entrepreneur magazine is calling them, although it's unclear if the designers of the athletes' beds in Tokyo have that as a goal. More precisely, the cardboard beds not designed to withstand the weight of two people, especially two people in motion:

The organizers have stated that they are perfectly designed to support the weight of a single person, but that they cannot or should not be jumped on, as they can break.

-via Dave Barry | Photo: IOC Media

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Camping as Your Dungeons & Dragons Character

My level 6 cleric has all of the right equipment for the job, but I doubt my spells will work as well. There are some limitations to making Dungeons & Dragons real. Nonetheless, with the help of a friend, Tony Ho Tran went camping as Zaddy, his halfling bard character. Tran's first task was to acquire all of the items on Zaddy's inventory:

In his Explorer’s Pack, according to the D&D player’s manual, Zaddy carries the following:
A backpack
A bedroll
A mess kit
A tinderbox
Ten torches
Ten days’ worth of rations
A waterskin
50 feet of hempen rope
I already had some of these things: a backpack, a bedroll, and a wineskin I got as a souvenir from a trip to Spain. Through the magic of fate (read: Facebook Marketplace), I acquired a Boy Scouts mess kit, a survival tinderbox, and 50 feet of cotton rope. I also created ten torches by combining free paint stirrers from Home Depot with a few ripped-up T-shirts.

Once Tran and his friend and companion, Tanner, set up a crude survival shelter, they walked about the campground seeking out quests:

Once finished, I donned my equipment and we set out. In D&D, players accept quests given by NPCs (non-playable characters). I figured we could do the same by soliciting quests from strangers in the park.
To our surprise, folks didn’t immediately call the cops on us when we approached. In fact, we ended up completing quests and getting rewards like real D&D characters. Our quest-givers included:
A group of students from the University of Iowa. Their quest: for us to drink a shooter of Fireball. Their reward: two hard seltzers.
A lovely older couple traveling around the Midwest. Their quest: for me to play them a song on the ukulele. Their reward: a handful of Dove dark chocolates.
A young couple with excitable dogs. Their quest: for me to play them a song on my ukulele (I was afraid everyone else would want this, too, but luckily they didn’t). Their reward: a can of light beer.

It was an experience of a lifetime, but, unfortunately, did not result in enough experience points to result in leveling up.

-via Super Punch

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Golf Ball Struck by Lightning Mid Flight

Tomas Gomez of San Antonio, Texas was hitting balls at a Topgolf facility when it began to rain. He decided to hit one last shot before leaving. Lightning struck that final ball during its flight. KSAT quotes him:

“I decided to hit one last shot then leave,” Gomez said in a phone interview with KSAT.
He asked his friend, Arlette Ibarra, to start recording on her phone to get his last shot of the game.
In one full swing, Gomez sent his golf ball flying in mid-air at 88 miles per hour and just seconds later, a massive bolt of lightning trickled down the sky and struck the ball.

I suspect that speed claim is a Back to the Future reference rather than an actual recorded ball speed.

-via Geekologie

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Why Is This Weird Ship Shaped Like a Fat Wedge?

Why is this ship built so oddly? It's not sleek, like it's supposed to slice through the water. That's because it has one specialized purpose: to tow up to 24 sensor arrays that search for oil and gas hidden beneath the ocean floor. It's called the Ramform Titan. The operator, Petroleum Geo-Services, describes its capabilities:

Ramform Titan has 24 streamer reels, 16 abreast with a further 8 in a second row. The back deck layout is augmented by six independent source array handling booms. Together these enable faster deployment and recovery, with increased flexibility and safety, which make it possible to fully utilize the operational weather window. Steerable sources and streamers, combined with automated gear-handling systems increase flexibility and efficiency. This is an ideal platform for ultra high-density 3D acquisition, and reliable, compatible 4D projects.

-via Super Punch | Photo: PGS

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Candle Clocks and Other Early Alarms

At My Modern Met, Madeline Muzdakis describes clocks, with and without alarms, from millennia ago. A common one, first described in China in about 520 AD, uses candles that burn evenly. By marking the drop in the wick, users could note the passage of time.

To make this candle clock into an alarm clock, place nails into the candle. When the wax around a nail melts, the nail falls into a metal tray, clattering noisily, and hopefully getting the attention of the user.

Read about other ingenious early clocks, most notably those that could keep track of time on seagoing vessels, at My Modern Met.

Photo: Benutzer:Flyout

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Emoji in the Olden Days

(Chris Hallbeck/Maximumble)

Those five channels were NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, and the local UHF channel. The last of these was usually my favorite as a child, especially when it ran a 3-day Star Trek marathon when I was 8 years old. I never felt deprived, even when I had to tweak the aluminum foil around the TV antenna to improve the reception.

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Chicken Decanter

Which wine pairs well with chicken? Any will do, so as long as the wine decants in this glass chicken made by Simone Crestani, a glass artist in Italy. His Instagram page is filled with many wondrously shaped and delicately formed glass objects, many of which, like this decanter and pair of glasses, can be put to practical use in the home.

-via Ugly Design

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The National Spelling Bee Champion Holds 3 World Records for Basketball Dribbling


Zaila Avant-garde, 14, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee. She's a true Renaissance woman because spelling words correctly isn't her only field of excellence. She also holds 3 Guinness World Records for basketball dribbling.

Those records are bouncing 4 basketballs simultaneously 307 times in 30 seconds, bouncing 6 basketballs simultaneously, and bounce juggling 4 basketballs 255 times in a minute.

In addition having an astonishingly high DEX score, her INT is off the charts. The AP reports:

The time commitment required to master roots, language patterns and definitions is what keeps many top spellers from seriously pursuing sports or other activities. But Zaila, who is home-schooled, claims to have it figured out.
“For spelling, I usually try to do about 13,000 words (per day), and that usually takes about seven hours or so,” she said. “We don't let it go way too overboard, of course. I've got school and basketball to do.”
Seven hours a day isn't going overboard?
“I have my suspicions. I don't know. I have some suspicions that maybe it's a bit less than what some spellers do,” she said.

-via Super Punch

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Surreal, Disturbing, and Delicious Thai Chocolate Commercial

How weird and wonderful can a Thai commercial be? Producers in Thailand are always pushing the creative envelope and this 2019 chocolate bar ad is no exception. It's called "The Secret" because the young lady in the ad is hiding something from her boyfriend. But thanks to a Voiz Waffle Chocolate Bar, it won't be an obstacle in their relationship.

-via Dave Barry

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How to Weigh a Koala

Will the koala hold still? Perhaps, if you put him in a comfortable environment. The caretakers at Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park in Duncan, South Australia, show a tool that they use with a scale to accurately weigh the little fellow.

-via Nag on the Lake

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A Hotel in Iceland Will Wake You if the Northern Lights Are Visible

Are the aurora borealis visible? If so, and you don't see them often, then you won't want to miss the sight! That's why this hotel phone in Iceland lets you program an option to wake you up. Redditor KristjanHrannar shares this photo of a great feature.

If hotel phones in your town had a button like this, for what event would they wake visitors?

-via Nag on the Lake

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The Yoghurt Mafia: How Two Meth Manufacturers Switched to Yoghurt Production

Dylan and Wal, both incarcerated in New Zealand for methamphetamine production and related crimes, languished behind prison walls. Inside his cell, Wal watches the TV show The River Cottage, a program about old fashioned cooking. The episode airing is about making yoghurt from scratch. Wal gets excited and invites Dylan to their next racket. Tomorrow, he says, they're going to cook.

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Profile for John Farrier

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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