December 28, 2008

How Cats Are Able to Land on All Four Feet

Cats have a seemingly unique ability, a 'righting reflex', to orient themselves in a fall allowing them to avoid many injuries and land on all four feet. It is this ability that helps cats to parachute safely into Borneo and survive falls from the 38th floor of a skyscraper (although falls from lower levels can be more serious given that it takes some time for the cat to right itself). Here's how it works. Here's a video of the reflex in action.
posted by Effigy2000 at 10:32 PM PST - 68 comments

bored swedish multi-instrumentalist + youtube = ?

Fredrik Larsson (Freddie25) presents: Für Elise, Mega Man 9: Rock Medley and Wind Waker Unplugged.
posted by defenestration at 10:24 PM PST - 8 comments

Kwanzaa Cake

Sandra Lee: Much loved cake guru, teaches us mere mortals a valuable lesson about Kwanzaa via angelfood cake, in her great track record of cultural and religious understanding. Higher quality vid, w/ads.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:43 PM PST - 38 comments

First Extra Time

Super Mario / Scientist Dub
posted by generalist at 9:35 PM PST - 9 comments

"Let's play Quintet!"

Robert Altman's final film of the 1970s was Quintet - about a board game where the players kill each other. Here are the rules.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:22 PM PST - 21 comments

Earth, Water, Air and Fire Art

42 Works of Modern Earth and Land Art. 42 Works of Water, Snow and Ice Art. 30 Works of Air, Sky and Wind Art. 42 Works of Fire Art and Design.
posted by homunculus at 9:18 PM PST - 5 comments

Lolbrarians

Lolbrarians
posted by Del Far at 6:23 PM PST - 70 comments

This song is the bomb diddy bomb di dang di dang diggy diggy.

Cobrastyle is possibly the least "likely" Swedish pop song. And now, it's been covered by another Swede. [more inside]
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:17 PM PST - 22 comments

I Wish I were the Moon

I Wish I were the Moon by Daniel Benmergui - a small, simple puzzle game. Find the 5 endings. About. Redux (with more endings). Via gamasutra's top 5 indie games of 2008.
posted by nthdegx at 5:10 PM PST - 15 comments

Eye of the storm

Many of us have seen or read The Wave, but how many of us have seen A Class Divided? It depicts one third-grade teacher's attempts to teach Midwestern children about the civil rights movement, many of whom had never met a black person before. As part of a daring experiment, she split the class between brown-eyed children and blue-eyed children, and gave the "browneyes" special privileges. The children were told, in no uncertain terms, that the "blueyes" were inferior. What followed was a lesson in discrimination that the kids would remember for the rest of their lives.
posted by Afroblanco at 4:57 PM PST - 53 comments

Heriocally stupid? Insane? Perhaps, just heroically heroic.

There are, according to the recently launched World Superhero Registry, more than 200 men and a few women who are willing to dress up as comic book heroes and patrol the urban streets in search of, if not super-villains, then pickpockets and bullies.
posted by Kickstart70 at 3:35 PM PST - 66 comments

networking 2.0 - social media how-to tips and resources

How To Do Almost Anything With Social Media from Mashable. All kinds of practical tips and tons of useful link resources for personal or business uses. At the bottom of the page are additional links to things like 24 Most Underrated Websites of 2008 l How to Find a Babysitter Online l How to Find Your Way Around Any New City.
posted by nickyskye at 1:04 PM PST - 8 comments

Israel vs. Hamas vs. the Internet

The current conflict between Israel & Hamas is all over the news. But the most interesting bits aren't on CNN or the Beeb. [more inside]
posted by huskerdont at 11:53 AM PST - 290 comments

Russian people may soon canonize Joseph Stalin

The Russian people may vote Joseph Stalin as the greatest Russian to ever live. Despite the atrocities and cleansings committed by Stalin and his regime over his 30 year reign, 397,000 people have voted in a poll to recognize him as Russia's greatest countryman. Even more disturbing, the Russian government recently raided an organization and seized archives detailing Soviet repression under Stalin. A new history book for Russian teachers also describes Stalin's actions as "rational." Stalin is praised by many Russians for his defeat of the Nazi invasion forces during WWII. Even if he does not win the contest, it is amazing that such a tyrannical figure could be adored by nearly 400,000 Russians who voted for him.
posted by NationalWreck at 11:37 AM PST - 68 comments

Turnaround and Round and Round we go. Everyone wins but the fans.

The Watchmen film has been tossed around for 20 years and finally, it looks like it might be released. Hold up just a moment, says Fox. Bloggers attempt to give some perspective. Others attempt to give Fox some friendly advice about alternate activites
posted by Lord_Pall at 11:27 AM PST - 75 comments

The Lure of the Open Road

Wartime wandering through the Eastern states by bicycle, truck, and riverboat. 1944.

In 1944, a dear friend, Doris Roy, and I undertook an adventurous journey that we dreamed of during countless hikes together over our college holidays. We had been Camp Fire Girls together, loving the out-of-doors, camping and hiking the open road. Our dreams finally developed into a plan to ride bicycles from our home in Buffalo, New York, to Cairo, Illinois, where the Ohio River met the Mississippi. We admired Mark Twain’s adventures, had read his Life on the Mississippi, and sought to follow his path to the Midwest. We were 21 years old...
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 10:39 AM PST - 9 comments

Should auld calendars be tossed out, and never brought to mind?

As 2009 approaches, you’re taking down your old calendars and wondering what to do with them. You still enjoy those Monet/Jeff Foxworthy/rose garden/Playmate images so much you hate to throw them in the recycling bin. Don’t worry, there are ways to reinvent that calendar so you can enjoy those images for years to come. For starters, you could make envelopes and notecards out the calendar. Though perhaps you won’t want to use your new Playmate stationery to write to Grandma. [more inside]
posted by orange swan at 10:21 AM PST - 7 comments

"Our whole approach is based on the idea that science matters at the FDA"

The Economist on Drugs -- Scientists in North America, Europe and Israel are studying the use of MDMA, LSD, hallucinogenic mushrooms, marijuana and other banned psychoactive substances in treating conditions such as anxiety, cluster headaches, addiction and obsessive-compulsive disorder. They are supported by private funds from a handful of organisations: the Beckley Foundation in Britain; the Heffter Research Institute and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) in America. [related]
posted by kliuless at 8:50 AM PST - 43 comments

Artists' Books Online

Artists' Books Online is a collection by the University of Virginia of artists' books. Artists' books are works of art that take the form of books and are often both text and visual art. Either way, they're awful interesting to look at. Here are some artbooks to get you started: How to Humiliate Your Peeping Tom by Susan Baker, The Word Made Flesh by Johanna Drucker, Life in a Book by Francois Deschamps, A.A.A.R.P. by Clifton Kirkpatrick Meador, opuntia is just another name for a prickly pear by Todd Walker and Black Dog White Bark by Erica Van Horn
posted by Kattullus at 5:33 AM PST - 7 comments

Polly Toynbee

My Christmas message? There's probably no God.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:30 AM PST - 165 comments

High School Fascism Redux

In 1981, ABC aired a program in daytime that, while pre-dating the After School Special format, was a moralist tale aimed at children. "The Wave" was based on the classroom experiments of Ron Jones, which at the time went largely undocumented and were primarily anecdotal. The Third Wave as he called it, fooled the children of his class into creating a fascististic movement within the school complete with symbolism and salutes. [more inside]
posted by mediocre at 2:57 AM PST - 46 comments

NAFTA vs the British North America Act

NAFTA treaty may face constitutional challenge in Canada. Premier Danny Williams Of Newfoundland and Labrador, already famous for his immensely successful ABC (Anything but Conservative) campaign during the 2008 federal election, is terminating the forestry tenure of AbitibiBowater and expropriating its assets. This move came as a response to AbitibiBowater's decision to close a newspaper mill. [more inside]
posted by Pseudology at 2:18 AM PST - 21 comments

Paris: Invisible City

Paris: Ville Invisible. "This work seeks to show how real cities resemble the 'invisible cities' of Italo Calvino. As cluttered, saturated, and asphyxiating as it is, one can breathe more freely in Paris, the invisible city." The renowned French sociologist Bruno Latour presents a "virtual sociological book" that explores the limits of social theory for the understanding of urban life. The Flash interface is somewhat rickety, but there is a text-only PDF of the English version. (via)
posted by nasreddin at 1:19 AM PST - 12 comments