November 3, 2009
Tricked on Halloween (in the nicest way imaginable).
Tianmen Shan (天门山, Heaven's Gate Mountain) is an incredible cave natural arch eroded through a karst syncline. And yes, someone had the bright idea to fly stunt planes though it - an opening only 30m high, 70m deep, and 30m wide - it's a great video, though. [more inside]
"Our observations are the first to show regular fellatio in adult animals other than humans. We found that female short-nosed fruit bats C. sphinx lick their mate's penis regularly during copulation, and that each second of licking results in approximately 6 extra seconds of copulation. Copulations also last longer if licking occurs than when no licking takes place." The Supporting Information includes video... if you really need it.
EatingAsia - An exploration of local delicacies throughout Asia.
An instructional video on correct worship in the Pentacostal church (SLYT).
For the first time in 27 years an American has won the New York Marathon. Meb Keflezighi (a 2004 Olympic U.S. Silver Medalist) is "thrilled to win his first marathon ever." However, CNBC reporter Darren Rovell deemed Keflezighi's victory an "empty win" because he "is technically American by virtue of him becoming a citizen in 1998, but the fact that he's not American-born takes away from the magnitude of the achievement...Nothing against Keflezighi, but he’s like a ringer who you hire to work a couple hours at your office so that you can win the executive softball league." Keflezighi was born in the African country of Eritrea and "...immigrated to the United States at age 12...he is an American citizen and a product of American distance running programs at the youth, college and professional levels."* Oh, the last American to win the New York Marathon: Alberto Salazar. He was born in Cuba who came to the U.S. when he was 2 years old. [more inside]
Ya'll remember Johnathan "The Impaler" Sharkey, Minnesota gubernatorial candidate for the Vampires, Witches, and Pagans Party? Of course you do. But have you seen Impaler, the documentary about him? hulu
Matt Meola surfs like a character in a surfing video game. Sky rocketing airs, barrel rolls, 360 airs, shuvits, & weird flip spins that are more at home in a concrete skatepark or snowboard trick park than a Hawaiian wave.
A Mendocino mid-fall marijuana harvest as documented by photographer Mathieu Young. (via - with some info)
This is how an American soldier is made. A fascinating photo essay that details 27 months in the life of new US Army recruit Ian Fisher. It chronicles his recruitment, induction, training, deployment and finally, his return from combat.
Raquel Rolnik is the U.N.'s new Special Rappoteur on the Right to Adequate Housing. So far, she has investigated forced evictions in Phnom Penh and housing destroyed by rising sea levels in the Maldives. This week, she's investigating whether limited access to affordable housing is a human rights violation in the U.S. [more inside]
Lee Clow, the Chief Creative Officer at Apple’s ad agency TBWA, BFF of Steve Jobs, and “advertising’s art-director guru,” has decided to step down from his post. (Clow is also responsible for the Energizer Bunny and the Taco Bell Chihuahua.)
Here are ten of Flavorwire's favorite Apple campaigns.
Here are ten of Flavorwire's favorite Apple campaigns.
When people think of the pitfalls of the baseball draft, it is hard not to remember the story of Matt Harrington. Harrington was drafted in the first round of the MLB draft by the Rockies and the Padres in successive years, only to go back into the draft after failing to reach an agreement each time. As the years went by, his stock kept falling. [more inside]
A big, blunt woman with a wicked sense of humor, Ms. Nilsson brooked no interference from Wagner's powerful and eventful orchestra writing. When she sang Isolde or Brünnhilde, her voice pierced through and climbed above it. [more inside]
Toronto's Open Civic Data. The city of Toronto has released its data to the world via the new Open Toronto initiative: geographic data for a variety of civic divisions, lists of licensed business, public transit stops, routes & schedules, a SOAP-based geocoding API and more.
On Nov. 3, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 2, a one-way, history-making trip for a dog named Laika. Take a moment to remember her. [more inside]
Claude Lévi-Strauss has died just short of his 101st birthday. An anthropologist, and one of the founding "structuralists," he has been a strong influence in many fields, including anthropology, linguistics, sociology, literary criticism and philosophy.
Memory is not what it used to be! Using a camera to record your daily activities so you will remember what life was like years later? Try SenseCam! Does keeping a Digital Diary screw with your mind and memory? [more inside]
What's 51 years old and made of silicone with red food dye? The Blob, best known for it's work in The Blob, an independent film released in 1958, with Steve McQueen's second movie role (following Never Love a Stranger, which was released earlier that same year). The movie has been considered the definitive '50s film about a town that won't listen to the kids until it's too late (as noted in a review for the Criterion laserdisc release), with a super-catchy theme song (extended single version and b-side Saturday Night in Tiajuana) that was Burt Bacharach's third US hit song. (See more: theatrical trailer, full film on Veoh, full film as YouTube playlist) Times change, and so do monsters, and things got a bit wacky in the 1970s, with Beware! The Blob (aka Son of Blob; wiki, trailer, full film). The sequel played more to the slapstick comedy than the sci-fi/horror spectrum of things. Thirty years after the original, The Blob was remade in 1988 (wiki, trailer, full film), and is supposedly being re-created by Rob Zombie, though his statement about reviving The Blob without "the big red blobby thing" has people asking, then why remake The Blob? (previous blobby goodness) [more inside]
What is “Try Not to Breathe” about? The Studio 360 podcast interviews a listener who, remembering how her father died of a sudden illness, has a touching eureka moment about the message of the song on R.E.M.’s Automatic for the People: “I think it’s about somebody who has reached the end of their life. They have a level of acceptance that maybe the people around them don’t have. I felt like that was my dad talking to me.... It’s about facing the truth and accepting that life is ugly sometimes.” (Contains download link and embedded player of radio segment.)
Destination: Argleton! Visiting an imaginary place. A fake town in Google Maps.
In 2007, Moira Cameron, a soldier with a distinguished 22-year military career serving in Northern Ireland and Cyprus, was named Britain's first female Yeoman Warder... a Beefeater. Unfortunately, she has also been the target of sexist workplace harassment by several of her 34 fellow Beefeaters, all of whom are supposedly mature forty+ year old veterans. This has led to two Beefeaters being suspended with an additional Beefeater currently under investigation. Equally unfortunately, Rupert Murdoch's Sun is adding to her humiliation, while Reuters has put the "Ha, ha!" in harassment by filing the story in their "humorous" Oddly Enough category.
Philip Bloom's: Venice's People; Dublin's People; San Francisco's People; Sofia's People. Vimeo vids.
A fistfight in the Washington Post newsroom inspires this reaction from MeFi favorite Gene Weingarten: Hooray.
Tim Nicholson, a UK former executive, believes he was fired for his environmental views. He has sued his former employer for discrimination on grounds of the Employment Equality act, which states that employees may not be discriminated against for religious or philosophical beliefs. His former employers argue that his views were political, and thus do not fall under the act. [more inside]
A long-standing element of ufo/paranormal conspiracy theory, cattle mutilation has been reported in the United States for several decades. Here's some FOIA documents relating to the FBI's investigation (and discussions of whether they had jurisdiction to investigate) from the 1970's. All links are PDFs: cattle1.pdf, cattle2.pdf. cattle3.pdf, cattle4.pdf,cattle5.pdf.
The billionth jar of Vegemite was sold in 2008. This nutritious yeast-based brown paste has been popular in Australia for decades, although its "distinctive" taste has limited its popularity in foreign markets. In July 2009, a competition was held by Kraft to come up with a name for the new cheesy variant. The result, chosen from 30,000 entries, sparked such a backlash that Kraft quickly backed down... but was iSnack 2.0 a marketing failure or a publicity coup? [more inside]