Fiona the Hippo (previously) spending more time in deep water and occasionally napping in the shower. But she's not learning to swim; she is practicing her series of porpoise-like leaps and high prancing steps in service of an underwater gallop.
Amazon's latest iteration of its popular Echo device, the Echo Look, will not only include the voice-activated Alexa personal assistant, but also a camera that can take full-length pictures and video of you, and a "Style Check" that uses "advanced machine learning algorithms and advice from fashion specialists" to give you suggestions on what to wear. What could possibly go wrong? [more inside]
Cassidy the #MiracleKitten He was missing both back legs below the knee when Tiny Kittens HQ rescued him from a feral cat colony. There's no way he should have survived, but their little fighter refused to give up. TinyKittens HQ is located in Fort Langley, BC, and is operated by Shelly Roche. They trap-neuter-release (TNR) local feral cats and foster found pregnant feral moms and their kittens until they're adopted, live streaming their efforts since 2013.
"Miss Todd" (Vimeo, 13 minutes) is an award-winning short, stop-motion, musical animation inspired by the first woman to design and build an airplane, Emma Lilian Todd. The self-taught inventor wasn't permitted to pilot her craft, or she might have been the first female pilot, too, when her aircraft first took flight in 1910 (that title would go to the Baroness Raymonde de la Roche [previously]). Lily Todd wrote about her life and how she built her aeroplane in a 1909 article in Woman's Home Companion.
This weekend the Trump Administrations will mark 100 days in office, with little of substance, but plenty of activity and noise, often breaking (or seriously bending) Trump's own promises in the process. Lots of goalpost-moving in just the last 24 hours, so shall we wade in? [more inside]
Agriculture is not the "number-one driver" of rural American economies, despite the claim made by Ray Starling, special assistant to the president on agriculture, trade, and food assistance, when discussing the big-ag focus of the White House's first initiative to tackle rural policy. The Daily Yonder's response includes an interesting map based on BEA and USDA data showing the dominant economic sector of all non-metro counties in the United States. Agriculture is green, and there's not a lot of it outside of the Great Plains. [more inside]
Because you (if you're a woman) are probably doing it wrong wrong wrong.
Opened in 2013, The Bailey Art Museum in Crockett, California (under the Carquinez bridge on the I-80 route between San Francisco to Sacramento) is run by artists Clayton and Betty Bailey. (2002 Previously.) It features robot sculptures made from salvaged metal, some of which have motion-activated electronics, rayguns, a mad scientist's lab, ceramics including face jugs, kinetic ceramics, and exploding clinker bottles. Clayton Bailey's associate Dr. Gladstone has also discovered a kaolithic skeleton of a Bigfoot and artifacts from the Pre-Credulous Era. [more inside]
"Yet in the last week of March 1997, with The Wallflowers' "One Headlight" topping Billboard's Modern Rock chart, Capitol Records quietly released one of the noisiest, most wired and willfully perverse major label debuts of the year from a band called Skeleton Key." With inspiration from the Jesus Lizard, Primus, Led Zep, and even Prince, Skeleton Key produced taut pop songs that sound "...like a clockwork junkyard." Members of the band would go on to produce macabre puppet shows, seed bands like Enon, and compose the music for Bob's Burgers. [more inside]
It took ten years of waiting for the right conditions, but on April 21, Aaron Sales made the 3,150-foot ascent to the rim of Mt. St Helens in a record-setting 35 minutes...using a kite. He also made a 200-foot, 40-second snow kite jump.
Naomi Watts, Laura Dern & Patricia Arquette Tell Stories About David Lynch. Spoiler: Lynch's nickname for Laura Dern is 'Tidbit'. Naomi Watts is 'Buttercup' and Patricia Arquette is 'Solid Gold'.
From the 80-kilogram Great Dane to the 1-kilogram tiny teacup poodle, there seems to be a dog for everyone. Now, the largest genetic analysis to date has figured out how those breeds came to be, which ones are really closely related, and what makes some dogs more susceptible to certain diseases.
What you are seeing when you look at a Termesphere® painting is an optical illusion. An inside-out view of the total physical world around you on the outside surface of a hanging and rotating sphere. If you were on the inside of this sphere, this painted image around you would seem normal, but it is read from the outside. [more inside]
Shirleen goes to get her hair done and ends up with a pineapple. Shirleen is one of the characters played by the fantastic Christianee Porter, creator of The Christi Show.
Canadian World, a now-abandoned Canada-themed amusement park in Japan, prominently featured Anne of Green Gables, the subject of a new CBC miniseries (as well as the classic Megan Follows version). [more inside]
The gun debate would change in an instant if Americans witnessed the horrors that trauma surgeons confront every day.24 hours with Dr. Amy Goldberg, Chair of Surgery at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia.
Who says Canadian political campaigns are short? For over a year, candidates have been vying to replace Stephen Harper as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. There are
14 13 of them. The final official debate featured all 14 13 candidates earlier tonight in Toronto. Voting begins this Friday, with 259,010 party members registered. The new leader will be chosen on May 26-27, 2017 using a preferential ballot and per-riding points system. [more inside]
Oakland, California. The war in Vietnam. Global trade. Logistics, then and now. The thread that links them over time and space? Containers, the subject of an 8-part audio documentary hosted by Alexis Madrigal. "Throughout the documentary, Alexis uses a collection of anecdotes to explore how global trade has transformed the economy and ourselves. In doing so, he provides an insightful, in-depth perspective regarding the role that global trade has had in shaping capitalism, ushering in the world of commerce as we know it today."
What the hell is wrong with Marvel Comics anyway? Marvel is in trouble. In February 2017, their best selling ongoing superhero title barely passed 60k. By contrast, DC has fifteen superhero comics selling 50k or more that same month. But why is the brand synonymous with superhero comics in the minds of the general public doing poorly? [more inside]
New Scientist reports that scientists in Singapore found a new way to taste the rainbow, by electronically transmitting the flavor and color of lemonade to a tumbler of water. [more inside]
Everybody knows that mountains are giant piles of rock. What this video presupposes is, what if they're actually giant tree stumps?
IM Pei at 100: 10 of the architect's most significant buildings
Ieoh Ming Pei was born on 26 April 1917 in Guangzhou, China. He moved to the US to study architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, then engineering at MIT and finally Harvard's Graduate School of Design – where he studied under former Bauhaus masters Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. After a stint working for the US National Defense Research Committee towards the end of the second world war, Pei began his architectural career, and worked for American real-estate magnate William Zeckendorf from 1948.
According to Emojipedia, the grimacing emoji (😬)—approved as part of Unicode 6.1 in 2012 and added to Emoji 1.0 in 2015—is “generally used when a mistake or unfavorable situation has arisen—aka ‘eek’”! But this explanation, while accurate, underestimates the versatility, and sheer human poetry, contained in a simple cartoon grimace. In these awkward, uncomfortable times, we all feel like gritting our teeth in a straight line sometimes. Here are just a few reasons why the grimacing emoji is the best.
Jonathan Demme, the Oscar-winning filmmaker who observed emphatically American characters with a discerning eye, a social conscience and a rock ’n’ roll heart, achieving especially wide acclaim with “The Silence of the Lambs” and “Philadelphia,” died on Wednesday at his home in Manhattan. He was 73. [NYT] [more inside]
In which Beatrice Patton, widow of General George S. Patton, Jr., places a seemingly effective curse on his former mistress. (SLWaPo)
Unknown humans may have been in California 130,000 years ago [SL Ars Technica] Date is a whopping 115,000 years earlier than previous findings of humans in the Americas.
"It has travelled around and throughout my life, this fucking tube. It – and a small passel of 21 more letters from the same sender – has taken up room in every home I’ve occupied. The tube and the packet contain letters from a man who molested me. After the molestation stopped, I wrote to him from the age of 13, on and off for a decade. And he wrote me back. Why would anyone maintain a relationship with someone who abused them? The tube and the packet contain at least part of the answer." ... "The letters almost always contained this instruction: R.A.D. Read and destroy. " cw: the link contains disturbing descriptions of child abuse, molestation and self-harm.
Ars Technica: Man takes drone out for a sunset flight, drone gets shot down
“I took two pictures, then I heard the gunshot, and all of a sudden my drone started spiraling down—I’m sitting there trying to keep it aloft and there was no lift.”Is it okay to shoot down your neighbor's drone? Under the law, you just shot at an airplane, but the case law is unclear. [more inside]
Stories in Games Aren't Problems, They're Solutions. "We make stories out of our trips to the convenience store and turn our co-workers into characters as we relay the events of the day to our partners. Driven by both profit motive and creative impulse, we contort our words (and worlds) until broken stories are whole. Sometimes we tell stories without spoken language and other times we build new languages from whole cloth just so that we can evoke a feeling we can't find in the sounds and symbols we already have. We invent new problems so that we can solve them with new stories and this rules." Waypoint's Austin Walker responds to a particularly polarizing piece from Ian Bogost. [more inside]
‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Creates a Chilling Man’s World [The New York Times] “In Hulu’s spectacular “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Ms. Moss is Offred, a baby-making slave in the Republic of Gilead, which is what part of the United States (New England, roughly) has become after a fertility crisis and a theocratic coup. It’s set in a near future that looks like the 1600s. “Mad Men” may have resonated with today, but it gave viewers the comfortable vantage of history, the reassurance that we had come a long way, baby. “The Handmaid’s Tale” argues — with an assist from current events — that progress is neither automatic nor irreversible. “The Handmaid’s Tale,” based on the 1985 Margaret Atwood novel, is a cautionary tale, a story of resistance and a work of impeccable world-building. It is unflinching, vital and scary as hell.” [more inside]
Got a song in your head and can't seem to get it out? Chew gum. Or do a puzzle, or listen to another song. (I personally find that listening to the complete earworm song works, but I know it doesn't work for everyone.)
The Republican Lawmaker Who Secretly Created Reddit’s Women-Hating ‘Red Pill’. An investigation by The Daily Beast has discovered a trail of posts and aliases linking a Republican New Hampshire state representative to the creation of Reddit's misogynist RedPill sub. Subreddit Drama thread. r/politics thread. r/TheRedPill itself, for those unfamiliar with the topic. (content warning for all of the above reddit threads, especially the last.)
"With the rise of digital design tools in the late 1980s and early 1990s, 'old guard' design rules were torn down and gave way to new ways of thinking about graphic design. As a result, many new graphic styles were created and came to define an era rooted in remixing and experimentation. One of the best examples of this is in the form of logos for 90s-era TV shows." Typography expert Alexander Tochilovsky, Design Curator of the Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography in New York City, breaks it down for you (and you can download the fonts for your own experimentation).
Hey, at 72 years old, Björn Ulvaeus is still going strong. But since it's his birthday today, we get to listen to ABBA! Let's start with a lead vocal track from ABBA's first album, Another Town, Another Train. [more inside]
Sarah Jeong in GQ: "We all know what it’s like to receive mass-mailed spam. But most people aren’t going to attract enough attention to merit being spearphished. What’s that like, anyway? And how is it different from regular phishing? To search for those answers, I went out and found someone to spearphish me. "
He Was Searching For Intersexual Pigs And Ended Up Finding The World’s Rarest Dog.
New Guinea singing dogs have been described as the world’s “most primitive” domesticated dog. Their forebears are thought to be closely related to the dingo, a wild canine in Australia, and may have been brought to New Guinea by humans about 6,000 years ago. ... The wild dog is believed to have been the only canine living in the New Guinea highlands, which meant the animal did not interbreed with other species. They’ve been called “living fossils” as a result — possibly a key evolutionary link between modern domesticated dogs and their wild canine ancestors.[more inside]
Rosalie Ritz was a courtroom reporter and artist based out of San Francisco from the 1960s to 1980s. Almost two thousand of her trial sketches are online, including: Angela Davis; Patty Hearst and the Harris Trials (Symbionese Liberation Army); Huey Newton; Daniel Ellsberg; Sara Jane Moore (attempted assasin of Gerald Ford); Sirhan Sirhan; the San Quentin Six; and Dan White. [more inside]
The Inertia Variations by John Tottenham: a series of poems about not getting shit done. Caution: may be depressing.
Our food is still largely looked on upon from the sidelines as a mysterious cuisine of antiquity. Only certain dishes like noodles, dumplings, kebabs, and rice bowls have been normalized. The majority is still largely stigmatized because, bluntly put, white people have not decided they like it yet. Clarissa Wei writes 2500 words for Vice.com's Munchies section.
Every day, our planet rotates 360°, right? Only if you mean a Sidereal Day. Solar days are 4 minutes longer on average. [more inside]
With the exception of Craig’s face, the largest portion of this painting is his inmate ID number, HP9290.
Barry Gray composed all the music for Gerry Anderson productions up through the second season of Space: 1999. Nothing he wrote has resonated through the ages like a simple little tune based on 'ice cream changes': the closing theme for Anderson's second SF-based supermarionation television series -- Fireball Xl-5. [more inside]
Just a short video with the stars fixed while the Earth rotates (SLYT).
It's probably not a good idea to leave your pet with kids. Or with your friends, apparently. (A bit of overlap, but not much.)
The longer the race, the stronger we become. From the article: "A growing pattern of race results suggests that the longer and more arduous the event, the better the chances women have of beating men."
Dion Waiters: The NBA Is Lucky I’m Home Doing Damn Articles: Y'all seen Casino, right? You know, the one with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in Vegas? Anyway — that one. If you want to know what it’s like to meet Pat Riley, you need to watch that movie. [slPlayersTribune]
Learn the Secret History of Your State With These Addictive Podcasts curated by Smithsonian.com: Talk of Alaska; Changing Denver; Idaho History; Past and Present (Kansas); Amplified Oklahoma; The Island Wave (Pacific Islanders in Utah); Memphis Type History; Wise about Texas; Brave Little State (Vermont) and more!
Our grandparents and their grandparents were born in Kentucky, and my brother and I grew up in Louisville. Like many black people from the south, my family has been unable to trace our lineage beyond slavery, so we don't know where in Africa our ancestors from. Just that we came from somewhere out there. All we had to go on was an oral family history that maintained that we were, in the words of my grandmother, Tootsie, "black, white, and (American) Indian." This is the case for a lot of black families; the idea that we have "Indian in our family" is a bit of a cultural meme in black America at this point, and I've always wanted to examine how true that actually is.
Prior to WWII, there were over 3 million Jews in Poland. Today, estimates of the number of Jews living there range from 7,000 to 200,000. Many Poles have never met a Jewish person. But "lucky Jew" (Żyd na szczęście) figurines and oil paintings depicting stereotypical Jews (often wearing black hats, holding money and sporting long noses and sideburns) are becoming popular. [more inside]