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Saturday, June 7, 2014

William Tell Overture played on wine bottles, Game of Thrones theme on wine glasses and pans

Rossini would be proud - the finale of the William Tell Overture (AKA the Lone Ranger theme music): "34 bottles, 120 hours of recording, over 4,000 cuts."

Also by Dan Newbie, the Game Of Thrones Theme Song On Wine Glasses, Pans and a Water Jug:

Penis Nicknames From TV and Movies (NSFW - language) Bonus compilation about people talking about butts

Please note that each of these videos are NSFW due to language.

This compilation is titled "All The Penis Nicknames..." - obviously it can't be all, but it is a lot of them, and the it's pretty funny.

And here's Ass-jective: A Word Or Phrase Used To Describe The Human Buttocks:

via HuffPo.

Son Surprises Dad With a '57 Chevy on His 57th Birthday (fulfilling a promise made when he was 8 years old)

This is great - there's lots more information in the comments at Reddit.
Growing up my dad always dreamed of owning a 57 chevy bel-air. He grew up poor in a family of 7 children. He never thought he would be able to own his dream vehicle but would talk about it all the time.
When I was 8 years old I promised him that on his 57th birthday I would buy him a 57 bel-air. I never forgot and was able to fulfill my promise.
Here is his reaction.
By the way, offspring who promised to invent cold fusion, make millions of dollars and buy me a Winnebago (you know who you are) - I'm still waiting.

Cool - Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson Returns to the Comics Page (Briefly)

Bill Watterson, 1986 file photo
First, some background - Bill Watterson, who ended the Calvin and Hobbes (wiki) cartoon strip on December 31, 1995 (see the ambiguous final panel near the bottom of this post), is notoriously publicity-shy. There is only one publicly available photo of him in existence. In fact, legend has it that when Steven Spielberg called to see if he wanted to make a movie, Bill wouldn’t even take the call. 

Recently he did an audio-only interview for a documentary about newspaper comics entitled Stripped, and provided artwork for a poster (left).

So, back to our story. Stephan Pastis, creator of the Pearls Before Swine comic strip (and author of Pearls Falls Fast), had an exchange with the reclusive Watterson in which he (Watterson) offered to draw three panels for Pearls, with the caveat that he (Pastis) not reveal Watterson's involvement until all three of his strips had run, which they did last week:
He said he knew that in my strip, I frequently make fun of my own art skills. And that he thought it would be funny to have me get hit on the head or something and suddenly be able to draw. Then he’d step in and draw my comic strip for a few days.
Pastis, of course, jumped at the idea, with this counter-proposal:
The idea I proposed was that instead of having me get hit on the head, I would pretend that Pearls was being drawn by a precocious second grader who thought my art was crap. I named her “Libby,” which I then shorted to “Lib.” (Hint, hint: It’s almost “Bill” backwards.)
Read Pastis' whole story hereThe results of the collaboration are below:

Calvin and Hobbes final strip:

Here's a trailer for a recent tribute film, Dear Mr. Watterson:

Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday links

D-Day plus 25,567: quotes (Shakespeare, Eisenhower, Churchill, more), videos (footage, FDR's and Reagan's speeches, more), lots of links.

How large would a flock of birds need to be before it collapsed under the weight of its own gravity?

How Many Fictional Planets Do You Know? Take the test - it's more difficult than I thought it would be.

For $20K, Game of Thrones Author Will Write You Into Future Novel Then Kill You Off In A Grisly Manner.

Gimmicks designed to disguise lack of demand and customer sales: Where the World's Unsold Cars Go To Die. (Update: per commenters here and at The Corner, this has been somewhat debunked by Snopes)

Pool Guy Saves Drowning Squirrel’s Life With CPR.

ICYMI, Thursday's links are here, including crab-castrating parasites, the thermodynamics and chemistry of barbecue, and Mozart's scatological humor.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

For $20K, Game of Thrones Author Will Write You Into Future Novel Then Kill You Off

George R.R. Martin, author of the Song of Ice and Fire series of books on which the Game Of Thrones TV series is based, has a new Prizeo crowdsourcing project set up to support two charities:
The Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that houses over 60 wolves and wolf-dogs. Most of these animals are rescued, but don't have the skills to survive in the wild because they were raised in captive situations...
I'm also supporting The Food Depot, an amazing local charity that helps the tens of thousands of people in North New Mexico. As the food bank for nine counties, The Food Depot provides food to 135 not-for-profit agencies including food pantries, meal programs, homeless shelters, youth programs, senior centers, homes for the mentally disabled and shelters for battered persons.
He's offering a series of benefits depending on how much you donate. For example, if you donate $350, you are a Lord of Winterfell and will receive a signed map of Westeros. If you donate $4,500, you are a Queen and will get a script of the first episode of the show signed by the cast and crew.  And if you donate $20K, you get to be a character in a future novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. Here’s what that entails:
At this level, you’ll get the incredibly exclusive opportunity to have George name a character after you in a future A Song of Ice and Fire novel. There is one male character and one female character available. You can choose your character’s station in the world (lordling, knight, peasant, whore, lady, maester, septon, anything) and you will certainly meet a grisly death! You will also get all of the above rewards (with the exception of “extra rewards”)
Previous posts:

Valyrian steel, length of the seasons, dragon biology: The Science of Game of Thrones, bonus geological map.

If Game Of Thrones Characters Were Drawn By Disney

Game of Thrones infographic chronology: 4 seasons of the 4 main families and the Night’s Watch.

Super Mario Game of Thrones.

Video: Hodor (Kristian Nairn) Describes His Awkward Game of Thrones Nude Scene.

Game of Goats, A Yelling Goats Version of the Game of Thrones Theme Song.

Game of Thrones Wine Map: The Wines of Westeros.

Supercut of pithy quotes from Game of Thrones, Seasons 1-3.

Fallen behind on Game of Thrones, or want a refresher before Season 4? All 3 seasons recapped in 9 minutes.

Game of Thronesnew trailer and an interview with the actors on who should end up on the iron throne.

Deleted And Extended Scenes From Game Of Thrones Season 3 (NSFW - language)

The Game of Thrones Travel Guide.

Thursday links

Thermodynamics and chemistry: The Science Of Barbecue.

Jetpack rental, hyperloop warning, please remove exoskeleton before entering: a tumbler of Signs From the Near Future.

Topiary of the week: Elderly Man Spent 10 Years Turning 150-Ft-Long Hedge Into Giant Dragon.

Video: Helicopter with giant drop-down chain saw trimming trees away from power lines, with bonus gallery of huge helicopters.

The Crab-Castrating Parasite That Zombifies Its Prey.

Mozart’s Much Less Family Friendly Works (Some NSFW language - apparently his sense of humor had a scatological component).

ICYMI, Tuesday's links are here, and include a spelling test, goat trauma awareness, a miraculous leg transplant from c. 1275, and the best pen brand for emergency airway puncture.

Video: Helicopter with giant drop-down chain saw trimming trees away from power lines, bonus helicopter gallery

I'm not sure where this is, but it seems unlikely that this is in the US - can you imagine the regulations it would be violating?

Using helicopters (wiki) to lift heavy stuff into those hard to reach areas is pretty common - the Chinook can lift 14 tons. 

Speaking of moving stuff around, here's a Soviet MI-10:

And here's a M-26 lifting an M-10:

From Popular Mechanics, 1951:

And then there's this:

Go see the whole gallery of huge helicopters at Dark Roasted Blend.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Science: Republicans are more easily grossed out than Democrats?

Not sure what to make of this article at Discover mag - I'm sure it's tongue-in-cheek to some extent, but it seems to me that proposing the idea that people are more inclined to dislike gay marriage because they're easily disgusted is going to arouse the ire of the perpetually aggrieved.

People react very differently to disgusting situations than to other daily life events, and it’s thought that this may have evolved as a way of protecting ourselves from parasites. But such hard-wired responses also have far-reaching effects on modern life. For example, this paper suggests that differences in disgust responses may influence one’s political affiliation and views on gay marriage.
Here's a link to the abstract: Disgust sensitivity and the neurophysiology of left-right political orientations, which includes this:
In this article, we demonstrate that individuals with marked involuntary physiological responses to disgusting images, such as of a man eating a large mouthful of writhing worms, are more likely to self-identify as conservative and, especially, to oppose gay marriage than are individuals with more muted physiological responses to the same images.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Great movie poster at Mad Magazine - Barack Obama’s Unfortunate New Movie: Trading Private Bergdahl

A blog post at Mad Magazine has this excellent poster:
Recently, President Obama exchanged five Taliban leaders for an American POW, Bowe Bergdahl. One prisoner for five is an iffy trade to begin with — but even moreso when it was revealed that Bergdahl had deserted his post. So, Obama got his man, but there was a lot of collateral damage — it kind of reminds us of a movie we once saw…

via Weasel Zippers.

Man attempting to blow nose and smoke cigarette at same time winds up burning house down

Imagine if he'd farted, too - he might have taken out the neighborhood.

DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. — A Davidson County home is destroyed after officials said a house fire started when a man smoking a cigarette tried blowing his nose.

Authorities said the tissue caught fire when the man smoking tried blowing his nose. He reportedly tried stomping it out, but couldn’t and the fire spread.

Silver Valley fire officials said the home was fully involved by the time they arrived. A man and woman, both in their 60s, lived there and got out safety, officials said.

The home is said to be a total loss. The fire marshal is investigating, although it is not said to be suspicious. The American Red Cross is assisting the victims.

Tuesday links

Which brand of ball point pen is best for an emergency airway puncture?

How to Tell Someone’s Age When All You Know Is His/Her Name.

June Is Goat Trauma Awareness Month.

Doing the math: How Far Are You Flung When an Amusement Park Ride Goes Wrong?

The c. 1275 miraculous transplantation of a leg.

Giant Living Sculptures At Atlanta Botanical Gardens’ Exhibition.

How well can you spell? Take the test.

ICYMI, Friday's links are here, including buttered coffee, DIY wrist-mounted X-Men Pyro flamethrowers, Wolverine claws, and Magneto magnetic shoes, and Vonnegut's letter home after imprisonment in an underground slaughterhouse during the Dresden bombing.

The c. 1275 miraculous transplantation of a leg

I find it hard to imagine where stories like this come from, especially in this level of detail - apparently the leg being transplanted here was from a freshly dead Ethiopian.  The episode is described by Jacobus de Voragine in 1275, translated into English by William Caxton in 1483:

“Felix, the eighth pope after S. Gregory, did do make a noble church at Rome of the saints Cosmo and Damian, and there was a man which served devoutly the holy martyrs in that church, who a canker had consumed all his thigh.

“And as he slept, the holy martyrs Cosmo and Damian, appeared to him their devout servant, bringing with them an instrument and ointment of whom that one said to that other: Where shall we have flesh when we have cut away the rotten flesh to fill the void place?

“Then that other said to him: There is an Ethiopian that this day is buried in the churchyard of S. Peter ad Vincula, which is yet fresh, let us bear this thither, and take we out of that morian’s flesh and fill this place withal. And so they fetched the thigh of the sick man and so changed that one for that other.

“And when the sick man awoke and felt no pain, he put forth his hand and felt his leg without hurt, and then took a candle, and saw well that it was not his thigh, but that it was another. And when he was well come to himself, he sprang out of his bed for joy, and recounted to all the people how it was happed to him, and that which he had seen in his sleep, and how he was healed.

“And they sent hastily to the tomb of the dead man, and found the thigh of him cut off, and that other thigh in the tomb instead of his. Then let us pray unto these holy martyrs to be our succour and help in all our hurts, blechures and sores, and that by their merits after this life we may come to everlasting bliss in heaven. Amen.”

Previous posts in the vintage medicine category:

Anoint the gums with the brains of a hare: advice from c. 1450 on soothing a teething baby.

Advice from c. 530: How To Use Bacon, including for medicinal purposes such as "thick bacon, placed for a long time on all wounds, be they external or internal or caused by a blow, both cleanses any putrefaction and aids healing".

Mostly weird, and some not so weird, medical treatments from the old days, including this:

How to Stop Bleeding, 1664:
“To Stench a Bleeding Wound: Lay hogs Dung, hot from the Hog, to the Bleeding Wound.”
~Samuel Strangehopes, A Book of Knowledge in Three Parts (166[4])
Dubious medical device du jour - the prostate warmer.
Advice from 1380: How to Tell if Someone Is or Is Not Dead, with bonus Monty Python.

How to Slim Down in Fourteen Days: Advice from 1595.

Urine-drinking Hindu cult believes a warm cup before sunrise straight from virgin cow cures cancer, baldness.

Wellcome Library, via Retronaut.

June Is Goat Trauma Awareness Month

The Childhood Goat Trauma Foundation was created in 1982 by a small group that originally came together as a an informal support group for problems that were the result of traumatic experiences at petting zoos as children.

Related, here's the supercut of goats yelling like humans - turn the sound down, but not off:

Monday, June 2, 2014

June Is Bustin' Out All Over and the frisky sheep problem

Rodgers and Hammerstein's June Is Bustin' Out All Over is Mark Steyn's song of the week (and is now completely stuck in my head), and I loved this bit of background information:

Traditional Northern New England roof-dancing
 as captured in Rodgers & Hammerstein's 
In Carousel, "June Is Bustin' Out All Over" is, in essence, a paean to the mating season, and so at one point Hammerstein opted for a Maine version of the old joke about singing Gershwin in Wales or the Falkland Islands: "Embrace me, my sweet embraceable ewe." As Hammerstein wrote:

June Is Bustin' Out All Over!

The sheep aren't sleepin' anymore
All the rams that chase the ewe sheep
Are determined there'll be new sheep
And the ewe sheep aren't even keepin' score!
Etc. Everybody working on the show liked it. Then they started holding backers' auditions. And among the potential investors who attended a run-through of the songs was Mr G M Loeb, who subsequently sent Oscar Hammerstein a letter:

I do not think rams mate with ewes in June as they do in your lyrics but I am not really certain. We have been told to keep our rams separate at all times except when the ewes are in heat but we did not follow this precaution and in several years all mating seemed confined to September-October - no mounting whatsoever in June, or if so no results.
To modify a later Hammerstein song, the ewes were more likely to decline every mountin' than to exhibit the enthusiasm shown in "June Is Bustin' Out All Over". With the show slated to open on Broadway in April 1945, the author replied to Mr Loeb:

I was delighted with the parts of your letter praising my work and thrown into consternation by the unwelcome news about the eccentricly frigid behavior of ewes in June. I have since checked your statement and found it to be true. It looks very much as if in the interests of scientific honesty I shall have to abandon the verse dealing with sheep.
Sometimes, as Hammerstein liked to say, research "poisons" your work. And it seems to have done so in this case. But, after giving more thought to the matter, he decided to keep the offending quatrain. Which was just as well. A decade later, when Rodgers & Hammerstein were making the film version of Carousel, the Production Code Administration objected to certain "suggestive" sections and the author found himself running short of lyrics. The censors were relaxed about the four-legged friskiness but drew the line at those lines quoted above about the boys in Augusty feelin' lusty. Strange to think that a mere half-century ago, such a couplet was deemed too sexual for a Hollywood movie. But Hammerstein dutifully rewrote:

June Is Bustin' Out All Over!

The moonlight is shinin' on the shore
And the girls who were contrary
With the boys in January
Aren't nearly so contrary any more
- which the Production Code Administration graciously agreed to permit. As for the embraceable ewes, Hammerstein found himself fending off the occasional sheep breeder over the years and took to justifying himself as follows:

What you say about sheep may all be true for most years, but not in 1873. 1873 is my year and that year, curiously enough, the sheep mated in the spring.