Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Han Sulu

(via Fark)

Surfing Under the Northern Lights

Photographer and filmmaker Chris Burkard records surfers and other extreme adventurers. Surfing in Iceland is definitely an extreme adventure. In this video from The Big Story, Burkard talks about what he does and about how a severe storm in Iceland led to an amazing opportunity to photograph a surfer under the Aurora Borealis. Burkhard's Iceland trip is the subject of the upcoming documentary Under an Arctic Sky. (via Laughing Squid)


(via Buzzfeed)

The Empire Scratches Back

That one scene we all remember so well from The Empire Strikes Back is now available with an all-cat cast. Pasdidée set up the frame and then had to be very patient for his two cats to get their parts right. Here the human version and cat version are shown side-by-side, or rather, top and bottom, as it were. In fact, they may have even switched roles in the middle, but it's hard to tell. Even for the director. (via reddit)

Cat in Tree

(via reddit)

Mama Cats and Kittens

If you've got 15 minutes, I can think of no better way to spend it than watching a compilation of mother cats taking care of their kittens.

The Secret of Star Wars Fandom

I have an ongoing project to make posts for mental_floss articles I wrote way back when that I do not have an archive for. Here's one I'm particularly proud of, from 2007. The secret of the Star Wars fandom is that Star Wars fans love to hate Star Wars. It might not be so true in 2017. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Colon Outburst

Show Your Thinking

(via reddit)


Miss Cellania's Links

Orion, the Man Who Would Be Elvis. Or at least, that's what the record company wanted us to think. 

Donald Trump, the Dunning-Kruger President. Even Dr. Dunning thinks so. (And for those who've seen Idiocracy, President Camacho was actually smarter than the citizens he led, because he at least realized that he wasn't smart.)

A rather sweary roundup of the way cats are.

10 Humongous Plot Holes in the Star Wars Franchise. On the other hand, if Disney decided to make a movie to fill each plot hole, they might end up being worth it. 

The presidential inauguration summed up in one image.

Silent Film GIFs Reveal the Special Effects Tricks of Early Cinema. The effort was worth it, as audiences were amazed.

The Simpsons: How "Bart the Genius" Changed the TV Landscape. It wasn't supposed to be the series' first episode, but it was perfect.

A 29-Year-Old Mayor Shares Insights of Holding Office. And advice on how you can get into an elected position.

22 American Food Quirks that the French Think Are Super Weird. We know they're weird, but some of them are quite delicious.

U.S. Public Schools Are Suspending Millions of Students, With Little Reward. It eliminates the problem, but those problems are real students. 

Aware of Dog

How to Brew Tea

Those Brits certainly take their tea seriously. This tutorial on proper tea-making is from 1941, which explains why they had to make hot tea with milk and sugar in vats for servicemen. Americans consume a lot of tea, too, but we do it quite differently. My husband drinks sweet ice tea, which I make up in gallons ahead of time. No milk, but plenty of sugar and lemon juice. I drink tea all afternoon and evening, after the coffee is gone. I use fancy but cheap tea bags and heat the water in the microwave. Steeping for 3-5 minutes would leave it too cold to drink! Also, I just drink tea. No sugar, no milks. Unless its masala chai, but that's a rare treat. (via I Have Seen the Whole of the Internet)

Tweet of the Day

Thanks, George!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Be Wary

North Koreans Try American BBQ

Digitalsoju TV took some people who escaped from North Korea years ago to one of the best barbecue restaurants in South Korea. They also recruited a master barbecue chef and flew in a variety of American barbecue sauces. The people who were trying all these cuts of meat and sauces for the first time were quite impressed (as I'm sure anyone would be).

But the food is mainly a starting point for a discussion about the difference between North Korea and the rest of the world. They tell us about the food, the farms, and the customs they grew up with, and especially the North Korean government that takes everything from the people to feed the administration and military. It's all in Korean with subtitles, but well worth the watch. Warning: this will make you hungry. (via reddit, where two of the video producers answer questions)

Lieutenant Crunch

(via reddit)


I've got to stop reading internet forums. I recall ten years ago when we celebrated the 30th anniversary of Star Wars. A co-worker told me she really enjoyed it as a kid. I said, yeah, I was in college when Star Wars came out. She said, oh, she never saw it in a theater. She watched it on DVD. As a kid.

It's not getting any better. Today I saw someone say that Orcs gave them nightmares when he was a kid. What? The Lord of the Rings movies didn't even start until 2001. That was …16 years ago. Huh. I guess I am officially elderly.  

Weekend Update

What's in the news? SNL has the highlights, but they are having a hard time keeping a straight face. 

Trump vs. John Lewis

U.S. Representative John Lewis said he would not be attending Trump's inauguration this Friday. He said he didn't see Trump as a legitimate president, due to Russian interference in the election. Trump reacted on Twitter. 

While Lewis joins many others in a lineup of Trump's Twitter targets, the president-elect's standard (and possibly automatic) criticisms rang woefully untrue. He apparently does not not know that John Lewis is the antithesis of "all talk, no action." In the 1960s, he was arrested nine times for participating in Civil Rights protests. Lewis was one of the original Freedom Riders. He was chairman of the SNCC from 1963 to 1966. He was one of the organizers of the 1963 March on Washington.

On March 7, 1965, Lewis led the first march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, where a wall of state troopers and deputized locals waited to assault the marchers. That day came to be known as Bloody Sunday.

It took three attempts that month for the protesters to successfully complete the march to Montgomery. In 2015, President Obama participated in the 50th anniversary recreation of the march, with Lewis returning to lead it again. That's him between the President and the First Lady.

By the way, people are also taking umbrage at Trump's dig at Atlanta as "in horrible shape and falling apart." Atlanta is pretty much the jewel of the South, and the portion that makes up Georgia's fifth district is not what anyone else would call "falling apart."

John Lewis was the youngest and is now the only surviving leader from the Big Six that organized the Civil Rights protests of the 1960s, and he is still working to serve the people of his country. This week, we are celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, saying goodbye to President Obama, and inaugurating a new president on Friday. It's only appropriate that we take some time to learn about the past and think about what we are going to do about the future.