Miss Cellania's Blog Posts

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The Mystery of the Missing Sausage

Every picture tells a story, don't it? This one tells the story of an extra-greasy sausage left on the stove just long enough to preserve the evidence of theft. But the image was posted at reddit, which meant that other stories followed in the comments. First, jgr83 told a story about the time his brother mistook saved bacon grease for gravy and ate it. Then  Prince_Edward_IV replied with the story of his roommate's bacon candles. Bacon candles? It wasn't long before Salegosse linked a recipe for bacon candles. So now a sausage-stealing cat has taught you how to make your life smell like bacon.  -via TYWKIWDBI


The Bizarre Rise of Fast Food Fused with Snack Foods

A lot of modern cuisine arises from the fusion of dishes that people happen to like, like taco pizza. We love tasty new ideas, like putting bacon on everything until it became a joke, and then moving on to do the same with pumpkin spice. Fast food and snack companies got in on the act, too, as when Taco Bell started making tacos with Nacho Cheese Doritos as a shell. Years later, America has moved on to other strange fare like the KFC Cheetos Sandwich, while the Doritos Locos Taco has just recently made it to Britain, where they have to ponder why. Is it an American thing?    

Sure, the US loves junk food and is a massive country whose huge highways gave rise to the modern roadside drive-through. But the origins of processed food are global, diverse and span thousands of years, from the salt-cured fish stored in pharaohs’ tombs in ancient Egypt to the invention of canning in 19th Century France. Fast forward to today, and processed foods are omnipresent the world over, whether it’s a packet of crisps in the glove box or shopping centres brimming with takeaways.

So maybe it’s no surprise creations like the Cheetos chicken sandwich aren’t limited to the US. In Japan in 2015, Kit Kats found their way into a whipped-cream-and-orange peel sandwich at First Kitchen, a fast food chain. Pizza Huts in Australia made pizza crusts from Doritos in 2014. Nutella was used in dessert burgers at McDonald’s in Italy in 2016. Last month, McDonald’s in the UK introduced its Galaxy Salted Caramel McFlurry, using a well-known chocolate brand.

Of course, whether these "stunt foods" are any good or not, they are all worth the trouble of creating just for the publicity. Read about the rise of junk food-fast food fusion at BBC Worklife.   -via Metafilter


The Quest for the Irish Atlantis

According to Irish legend, there is an island about 200 miles west of Ireland that only emerges from the sea once every seven years. That's Hy-Brasil, home to the pagan gods of old, or else a lone magician in his castle (which reminds us of a certain solitary retired Jedi master). There are plenty of Hy-Brasil sightings, and a few stories of those who claimed to have visited it, mostly told second hand or referencing older, lost writings.    

The legend of the Hy-Brasil eventually traveled outside Ireland, and began popping up on maps belonging to explorers with really primo explorer names, like Angelino Dulcert, Abraham Ortelius, Gerardus Mercator – the list goes on. The point is, this went on for another five centuries, on over 300 nautical charts. Everyone who was anyone walking talking Hy-Brasil. In the words of Shakira, the maps don’t lie:

Of course, we know that maps do lie sometimes. But there is that one story from a Captain Nisbet, who claims to have stayed on Hy-Brasil and met the magician. Even if it is only a legend, there are as many explanations for such claims as there are islands around Ireland. Read about Hy-Brasil at Messy Nessy Chic.


The Stories Behind 21 Bizarre Celebrity Quirks

When you see someone often in movies or TV, you start to notice things that make them different from other celebrities. Maybe it's a facial expression, or the way they dress, or something they do over and over. Most of the time, there's a perfectly reasonable explanation.

Why does Bill Nye wear a bow tie? How did Jason Momoa get that scar? Was that Marilyn Monroe's natural voice? You'll find out in the latest ranked pictofacts list at Cracked. 


Randall Munroe Explains How to Power Your House

Randall Munroe went from a job as a NASA programmer and roboticist to creating the webcomic xkcd. He has a new book called How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems. This video shows you the kind of thing the book contains, as Munroe weighs the pros and cons of various ways of providing sustainable power to your home. -via Digg


A Dead, Decomposing Whale Once Toured the United Kingdom

In December of 1883, a wayward humpback whale was spotted in the estuary near Dundee, Scotland. Townfolk were so excited, they decided to catch the whale. They only succeeded in killing it. But a dead whale is still exciting, and people came from miles around to see it. Surgeon and naturalist John Struthers wanted to dissect the whale and study its anatomy, but there was money to be made.

Struthers measured the whale, but he wasn’t permitted to cart it back to his lab. The fate of the 45-foot, 29-ton cetacean was decided at auction, where a local oil merchant named John Woods—“Greasy Johnny”—paid £226 (about $34,000 today). It came to be known as the Tay Whale, for the body of water it had strayed into. Twenty horses hauled the carcass half a mile to Woods’s scrap yard, Williams writes. It took 26 hours.

Almost immediately, Woods went into the souvenir business. He commissioned commemorative photographs of the whale, Williams writes, “whereby the dull surroundings of the yard were replaced by a scenic view of the Silvery Tay, with rail bridge and a sunset on imaginary hills.” And he began charging for views. On a single Sunday afternoon, 12,000 visitors paid to gawk. In a town of 200,000, some 50,000 turned out to see the whale. “Enthusiastic visitors even jumped on the whale’s back and did somersaults on it!” Sedakat says.

Woods was eager to wring every possible penny from the whale, even as it decomposed over time. He allowed Struthers to dissect it piece by piece, which lightened the load until Woods could take the carcass on the road. And every day it smelled worse. Read about the extended afterlife of the Tay Whale at Atlas Obscura.


These Desert Ants Gallop at a Blistering 108 Body Lengths Per Second

Saharan silver ants (Cataglyphis bombycina) were already on the list of extreme species because of their unique ability to tolerate the heat of the desert in midday. A new study of the ways they've adapted to the Saharan environment describes their amazing ability to run.

Around noon each day in the Sahara Desert, silver ants emerge from their underground nests. Despite this being the hottest part of the day, they come out to scavenge dead insects, which are most likely to drop dead when sand temperatures can reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius). The ants have to be quick, though. Their prey is scarce, and they have lots of desert to search.

Just how quick these iridescent arthropods can be, and how they achieve those speeds, is explained for the first time today in the Journal of Experimental Biology. Saharan silver ants can travel at 108 body lengths a second, the researchers found. This makes them one of the fastest known running species, bested only by the California coastal mite and the Australian tiger beetle.

To illustrate how fast that is, 108 body lengths per second is the equivalent of a human running more than 400 miles per hour. Read how these ants do it at Discover magazine. -via Metafilter

(Image credit: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen)


Big Cats vs. Boxes

The folks at Big Cat Rescue in Florida are always looking for ways to enrich the cats' experience that will also look good on YouTube. They were recently gifted with large cardboard boxes decorated with autumn motifs. It appears that both goals were fulfilled!


Waking Up in Your Arms

This intriguing photograph was taken by Sara Germain for the Lynx Project. It shows the moment Nathan Berg realizes that the large predator he's carrying is waking up from sedation. The Canada lynx is focused on the photographer but is most likely surprised to be in the arms of the very species he's spent his life avoiding. We can assume that no harm was done because the photo managed to be posted.

After we place a satellite collar on each lynx, weigh them, record measurements, and collect samples for genetic and isotope analysis, we place them back in their enclosed log box trap until they have fully recovered; then we release them. This adult male was just beginning to wake up as we carried him to and placed him back in his enclosure to recover. Thanks @sara.germain for the fantastic photo!

The Northwest Boreal Lynx Project is studying the movements of Canada lynx in relation to their main prey, the snowshoe hare. Read more about their work here.  -via Bored Panda, where you'll see plenty more images of Canada lynx.  


True Facts : The Sand Bubbler Crab

Henry, Emma, and David are sand bubbler crabs. They are tiny, and they eat the even tinier creatures that live between grains of sand in the ocean and on the beach. Ze Frank makes it clear how very weird this lifestyle is in his latest edition of True Facts.  


Wildlife Photographer of the Year Winners

The Natural History Museum in London has announced the winners of their annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. The grand prize went to Yongqing Bao for the above photo entitled "The Moment." A Tibetan fox startled his marmot prey in the Qilian Mountains of China, and Bao caught the moment for posterity.  

Born and raised in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau area, Bao was fascinated by the local wildlife. He is now the Director and Chief Ecological Photographer of the Qilian Mountain Nature Conservation Association of China.

He is also a member of the Qinghai Photographers Association and Deputy Secretary-General of the Qinghai Wildlife Photographers Association. His work has been published in many magazines and newspapers and awarded in several international competitions.

The winner in the Young Photographer of the Year is Cruz Erdmann, for his colorful image of a big-finned reef squid, taken off the coast of Indonesia. Read about the winners at the competition's website, and see winning photos in the various categories in this gallery. -via reddit


Superman vs. the KKK

There's a new Superman comic available in stores today, except it's not exactly new, but a modern incarnation of an old story. Superman Smashes the Klan is the first of a three-part story in which the Man of Steel battles white supremacy and xenophobia.

The book comes from the award-winning cartooning team of Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru, who were inspired by the 1946 Superman story “Clan of the Fiery Cross.” That story wasn’t a comic, but rather an arc of the immensely popular Adventures of Superman radio serial. In the audio adventure, Superman battled the racist machinations of the Ku Klux Klan. Excoriated and embarrassed by one of the country’s most popular radio shows, the white supremacist group actually saw a drop in membership.

Superman Smashes the Klan is the first time “Clan of the Fiery Cross” has been adapted to comics. And Yang and Gurihiru’s Superman is a classic 1946 Superman. He hasn’t figured out how to fly yet and he’s never seen kryptonite before, a nod to how many core aspects of the character originated in that very series. Writers on the The Adventures of Superman serial went on to introduce those elements, along with Jimmy Olsen, and Daily Planet editor Perry White, and the endlessly quotable “Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman!”

Polygon spoke to author Gene Luen Yang about his approach to the project, and has a 16-page preview of the first chapter.  -via Metafilter

(Image credit: Gene Luen Yang, Gurihiru/DC Comics)


Archaeologists Unearth Bloody Gladiator Fresco in Pompeii

The more Pompeii is excavated, the more we see the city as a once-thriving culture instead of just a site of tragedy. Before the 79 CE eruption of Mt. Vesuvius buried Pompeii under several feet of rocks and ash, it was a bustling place full of commerce, education, vice, and art. A fresco recently unearthed in a building thought to be a tavern and brothel depicts two gladiators at the end of a battle, complete with bloody wounds.

In a statement, Massimo Osanna, director of the Pompeii Archaeological Park, says the establishment probably proved popular among the city’s gladiators, who lived nearby. He adds, “We are in Regio V, not far from where there was a barracks for gladiators, where among other things, there was graffiti referring to this world.”

The three- by four-and-a-half-foot fresco features two types of gladiators: a murmillo armed with a short straight sword, curved shield and distinctive crested helmet and a thraex wielding a smaller shield and angled blade. The painting finds the thraex, who has dropped his shield and is seriously wounded, holding one thumb up in a plea for mercy.

Read more of what this scene, and other recent discoveries, tells us about Pompeii in its heyday at Smithsonian.


Chocolate Toilets

The Japanese company Toto is internationally famous for their high-quality toilets. The company has a museum in Kita Kyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, where the company gift shop sells chocolate candy called Toilette Chocolat in the form of their toilets!

756 yen (US$7) gets you five chocolates inside a toilet-shaped box, complete with a functioning lid. While you might be expecting them to be a deep brown, they’re actually made of white chocolate, in order to visually represent the pristine porcelain of a brand-new Toto toilet bowl.

As we unwrapped one, we were struck by how intricate the detailing is. Not only is the shape of the bowl accurately reproduced, the seat and tank are separately molded.

Sora News24 suggested that they might add a tiny dollop of regular milk chocolate to the bottom of the bowl. For taste, ya know. Read more about Toilette Chocolat at their website. -via Dave Barry


The 100 Best Horror Movies Of All Time

There are some who would say the only reason to read an opinion-based internet list is to condemn the ranking. If you do, you probably think "Who is this guy, and why does he have such terrible opinions?" But Paste magazine approached the project with a lot of experience.

This list has been a long time coming for Paste. We are fortunate—some would say “cool enough”—to have quite a lot of genre expertise to call upon when it comes to horror in particular. Several Paste staff writers and editors are lifelong horror geeks, and there’s also a strong sentiment toward the macabre among several of our more prolific contributing writers. Case in point: We have so many writers focused on horror that we’ve produced huge lists of the best horror films on Netflix,Amazon Prime and Hulu that are all updated on a monthly basis. We’ve even given you the likes of the 50 best zombie movies of all time, and the 100 best vampire movies of all time, if you can believe that.

And yet, somehow, despite all that expertise, we’ve never put together a definitive ranking of the best horror films of all time. That ends now, with the list below: a practical, must-see guide through the history of the horror genre.

There are classic films on this list, of course. There are also likely a handful of independent features that will be unknown to all but the most dedicated horror hounds. There are foreign films from around the globe, entries that range from 1922 to 2017. In some cases, you will likely be shocked by films that are missing. In others, you’ll find yourself surprised to see us going to bat for films that don’t deserve the derision they’ve received.

But even better than finding your opinions validated or contradicted is the opportunity to seek out horror films you've never seen to watch during the Halloween season. You might want to skip ahead to the top 25 first (where you'lll most likely find some movies you've never seen), but then you'll want to go back and read the entire list.

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