Amazon Deals

New at Amazon

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday links

Tomorrow is Ben Franklin's birthday - bio, quotes, videos, his 200 synonyms for drunk, the bodies found in his basement, and more.


Watch Art on Ancient Greek Vases Come to Life with 21st Century Animation.

ICYMI, Wednesday's links are here, and include the Feast of the Ass, the best baby bed ever, why apple pie is "American", and where cockroaches live when there are no houses around.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Watch Thousands of Mouse Traps and Ping Pong Balls Set Off a Spectacular Chain Reaction

Apparently this is a Pepsi commercial - very cool, nonetheless. 

Using really humble and basic ingredients, namely a lot of ping-pong balls and standard household mouse traps, London-based art directors and filmmakers Harriman Steel created a spectacular chain reaction to celebrate the beginning of 2015. The video, which was filmed to advertise the Pepsi Max drink, was done in-camera with no special effects and a a lot of patience. "This shoot was optimistic at best and insane at worst, but then if it was going to be straight forward and easy it probably wouldn't have been worth doing in the first place. Everyone involved on the shoot rose to the challenge to deliver a film that is as beautiful as it is unbelievable."


Update - as an anonymous commenter pointed out:
Back in the sixties, when you could actually learn something watching Disney, there was a discussion of nuclear fission in which they set up this same exact illustration. Of course, none of these people congratulating themselves were born at the time so we oldsters might forgive them for acting like they just landed a man on the moon.
Here's the video he references: if you don't want to watch the whole thing, start at the 5:30 mark:


This is brilliant - anonymously send glitter to your enemies (NSFW language)

NSFW language warning for the clip below and at the website.

Wow, I wish I'd thought of this first - ShipYourEnemiesGlitter.com will (as suggested by the name) ship an envelope of glitter to someone at your request for $9.99 because, well, they’re terrible human beings just like you:
We fucking hate glitter. People call it the herpes of the craft world. What we hate more though are the soulless people who get their jollies off by sending glitter in envelopes.
We've had enough so here's the deal: there's someone in your life right now who you fucking hate. Whether it be your shitty neighbour, a family member or that bitch Amy down the road who thinks it's cool to invite you to High Tea but not provide any weed.
So pay us money, provide an address anywhere in the world & we'll send them so much glitter in an envelope that they'll be finding that shit everywhere for weeks. We'll also include a note telling the person exactly why they're receiving this terrible gift. Hint: the glitter will be mixed in with the note thus increasing maximum spillage.
Check out the FAQs at the bottom of the page, which includes this:
My recipient got glitter in both eyeballs, is now blind, & would like to file charges. Help?
Response: Heh.
Wanna save a bunch of money and do it yourself? Amazon has lots of glitter, but you'll have to get your hands in it...) 

via Nerd Approved, more at WaPo. And apparently they're doing well: Too Many Glitter Bomb Orders Crash Website.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wednesday links



Interesting article on the background of the obscenity trial against James Joyce's Ulysses: The Worst (And Most Important) Smuggling Job in the History of Literature. My favorite quote from the trial is here.

Best baby bed ever? Fantastically Terrifying Baby Bed Recreates the Movie Jaws.



Back To The Future 2 Concept Art Reveals More Of What 2015 Should Look Like.

How Apple Pie Became 'American'.

ICYMI, Monday's links are here, and include luxury survival condos built in an Atlas missile silo, people who hacked junk into life-saving devices, award winning wedding photos, and a collection of fart facts.

Happy Feast of the Ass

The Feast of the Ass (Latin: Festum Asinorum or asinaria festa, French: Fête de l’âne) was a medieval, Christian feast observed on January 14, celebrating the Flight into Egypt

Source
It was celebrated primarily in France, as a by-product of the Feast of Fools celebrating the donkey-related stories in the Bible, in particular the donkey bearing the Holy Family into Egypt after Jesus‘s birth.

Practices:

A girl with child on a donkey would be led through town to the church, where the donkey would stand beside the altar during the sermon, and the congregation would “hee-haw” their responses to the priest.

But wait. There’s more. Wikipedia adds:
Mass was continued, and at its end, apparently without awakening the least consciousness of its impropriety, the following direction (in Latin) was observed:

In fine Missae sacerdos, versus ad populum, vice ‘Ite, Missa est’, ter hinhannabit: populus vero, vice ‘Deo Gratias’, ter respondebit, ‘Hinham, hinham, hinham.’

(At the end of Mass, the priest, having turned to the people, in lieu of saying the ‘Ite missa est‘, will bray thrice; the people instead of replying ‘Deo Gratias’ say, ‘Hinham, hinham, hinham.’)

Can’t imagine why we don’t do this anymore. (I’m sure a few readers will insist that, in places, they still do…)

Per Book of Days (scroll down to the Feast of the Ass section): A hymn, as ridiculous as the ceremony, was sung by a double choir, the people joining in the chorus, and imitating the braying of an ass. Ducange has preserved this burlesque composition, a curious medley of French and medieval Latin, which may be translated thus:
From the country of the East,
Came this strong and handsome beast:
This able ass, beyond compare,
Heavy loads and packs to bear.
     Now, seignior ass, a noble bray,
     Thy beauteous mouth at large display;
     Abundant food our hay-lofts yield,
     And oats abundant load the field.
     Hee-haw! He-haw! He-haw!

True it is, his pace is slow,
Till he feels the quickening blow;
Till he feel the urging goad,
On his hinder part bestowed.
     Now, seignior ass, &c.

He was born on Shechem's hill;
In Reuben's vales he fed his fill;
He drank of Jordan's sacred stream,
And gambolled in Bethlehem.
     Now, seignior ass, &c.

See that broad majestic ear!
Born he is the yoke to wear:
All his fellows he surpasses!
He's the very lord of asses!
     Now, seignior ass, &c.

In leaping he excels the fawn,
The deer, the colts upon the lawn;
Less swift the dromedaries ran,
Boasted of in Midian.
     Now, seignior ass, &c.

Gold from Araby the blest,
Seba myrrh, of myrrh the best,
To the church this ass did bring;
We his sturdy labours sing.
     Now, seignior ass, &c.

While he draws the loaded wain,
Or many a pack, he don't complain.
With his jaws, a noble pair,
He doth craunch his homely fare.
     Now, seignior ass, &c.'
The bearded barley and its stem,
And thistles, yield his fill of them:
He assists to separate,
When it 's threshed, the chaff from wheat.
     Now, seignior ass, &c.
'With your belly full of grain,
Bray, most honoured ass, Amen!
Bray out loudly, bray again,
Never mind the old Amen;
Without ceasing, bray again,
Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen!
     Hee-haw! He-haw! He-haw!'
Remember to extend warmest greetings on the occasion of this feast to those you love.

BTW, apparently there has been music composed for these occasions, and be sure to hit the stores to take advantage of the after-holiday sales!

Source: Wikipedia, via Deacon's Bench.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Best baby bed ever? Fantastically Terrifying Baby Bed Recreates the Movie “Jaws”

Joseph Reginella, a Staten Island-based sculptor and toy designer, created this fantastically terrifying version of a baby bed. He was inspired by the 1975 horror film Jaws, and he features a menacing shark attacking a small boat. 

In this case, the vessel holds the son of Reginella’s close friend, Mark. The fabricator carved the sculpture out of styrofoam, coated it in plastic, and painted it the appropriate colors. He finished it in about a week.

Reginella had the idea while at work on another project. “At a shop Themendous, we made an airplane bed for some little kid in California, and I thought it would be funny if someone would order a terrifying bed instead of something mainstream,” he told CNET. When Reginella found out that his childhood friend was having a boy, he knew that he had to make it for him. The baby reportedly loves it (although he looks less than thrilled to me).
There’s been a lot of buzz about the Jaws-themed bed. If you wish you had one, then you’re in luck. Reginella’s toy line, Toxic Teddies, is now offering custom hand-made duplications for sale.

Monday links

Eat your hearts (or brains, or whatever) out, zombies - Atlas Missile Silo turned into Luxury Survival Condos.

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, famous for inspiring Stephen King to write The Shining, is planning to construct a 10,000 square foot maze, and is having an open design contest.


Math: how long it would take 2 million people to fart enough hydrogen to fill the Hindenburg?


One man built his own dialyses machine, another built replacements for his blown-off hands: 5 Desperate People Who Hacked Junk Into Life-Saving Devices.

There Are Now Lego Astronauts Aboard The ISS.

ICYMI, Friday's links are here, and include the story of the 1969 Paul McCartney is dead hoax, turning Nazi super cows into sausage, macro photos of weird insects, and a device for butt selfies. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Math: how long it would take 2 million people to fart enough hydrogen to fill the Hindenburg?

A calculation that's part of 14 Fart Facts for my Flatulent Friends by Hank Green:


The Benjamin Franklin essay entitled Fart Proudly (in which he suggested something similar to Beano) was left out of the printed collections of his writings for a long time, but is now available. Wikipedia has some background on the exchange of correspondence of which it was a part.

Related:

Ben Franklin's 200+ synonyms for “drunk”.

One minute science video lesson of the day: How A Bean Becomes A Fart.