This man has visited Disneyland 2,000 days in a row

Jeff Reitz of Huntington Beach, California has visited Disneyland 2,000 days in a row and he has no plans to stop. Why? It makes him happy. From ABC7:

Reitz, an Air Force veteran, credits the parks with giving him something to look forward to each day, noting that he enjoys hearing the music as he enters, interacting with the friendly park cast members, and watching the park guests having a good time. He also enjoys the shows and attractions, including one of his favorites, the Matterhorn Bobsleds adventure.

(via NextDraft)

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Johnny Depp's joke about assassinating Trump makes White House "sad."

Last night at the UK's Glastonbury Festival, Johnny Depp asked this rhetorical question of the crowd: "When was the last time an actor assassinated a President?"

I believe that the answer is April 14, 1865, when actor John Wilkes Booth murdered Abraham Lincoln.

The White House's response to Depp's comment? "Sad."

According to an official White House statement, "President Trump has condemned violence in all forms and its sad that others like Johnny Depp have not followed his lead. I hope that some of Mr. Depp's colleagues will speak out against this type of rhetoric as strongly as they would if his comments were directed to a democrat elected official."

Secret Service staff assistant Shawn Holtzclaw told CNN that they are aware of the matter but can't comment further.

UPDATE: Johnny apologized.

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Watch the President of Costa Rica swallow a wasp

At a recent press conference, a wasp flew into the mouth of Costa Rica's President Luis Guillermo Solís.

"I ate it," he said in Spanish with a smile. "I ate the wasp."

As Weird Universe points out, it's similar to this memorable and unscripted moment in Raiders of the Lost Ark:

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Watch: Teenagers' hilariously ridiculous reenactment of entire SpongeBob SquarePants episode

The fine young men of MegaIceTV made a live action re-enactment of the entire "Pizza Delivery" episode of SpongeBob SquarePants. What a fantastic way to spend a Saturday afternoon! The original is below. Don't miss their other bad/good videos either!

(via r/DeepIntoYou)

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Desktop museum for sale contains dinosaur bones, "space gems," and sliver of Steve Jobs' turtleneck

The Mini Museum is a small, self-contained cabinet of curiosity in a lucite box. This third edition contains such wonders as a Spinosaurus bone, rotor from a WWII Enigma machine, sliver of one of Pelé's soccer balls, and a tiny swatch from Steve Jobs' turtleneck. It's $300 (or $129 for a smaller collection). Maybe the next edition will come with Madonna's pap smear! Creator Hans Fex writes:

In 1977, my father was a research scientist and a Director at the National Institutes of Health. Growing up, we had a subscription to every great science magazine - and living near Washington DC we visited the Smithsonian museums and saw dinosaur bones, meteorites, and rockets almost every weekend. My father kept an amazing collection of artifacts at his lab and also at home.

After a trip to Malta, he returned with some artifacts which he embedded into epoxy resin. I had never seen this done before and it was beautiful.

Then, all at once, I saw it... A grand collection within a manageable space that I could share with others.

(via Uncrate)

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Ann Druyan on the new Carl Sagan-narrated Apple commercial

Apple released this lovely new commercial featuring Carl Sagan reading from his magnificent 1994 book Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, now available as an audiobook. This surprising partnership spurred Adweek to interview my friend Ann Druyan, Sagan's wife, collaborator, and creative director of the Voyager Golden Record, about being the "keeper of (Carl's) flame," her own work, and the politics of science. As always, Annie is profoundly eloquent and inspiring. From Adweek:

It feels like science has been so embattled recently, that just being a scientist, just advocating for science has become a political stance in a way that it wouldn’t have been, say, six years ago.

That’s a really good point, but it’s also true there are perturbations. The pendulum swings back and forth.There are moments when science is considered heroic.

A good example from my point of view is that I was completely opposed to the war against Vietnam and to the institutional and social racism of the 1960s and generally America’s conduct throughout the world, and yet when we landed on the moon, I was proud to be an American. Even though I knew how complicated the road to the moon had been in terms of international politics and competition in the nuclear arms race, I thought this mythic accomplishment was something that really spoke well of us. It was a rare moment for human self-esteem and American self-esteem at that time.

Think back to the 1920s and Charles Darwin on trial, and you can say it was really a political statement to believe in modern biology and be a biologist at that time.

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Stunning photo of NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover seen from orbit

That bright blue object in the center of the photo is NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover as imaged by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter earlier this month. From NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory:

The car-size rover, climbing up lower Mount Sharp toward its next destination, appears as a blue dab against a background of tan rocks and dark sand in the enhanced-color image from the orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera. The exaggerated color, showing differences in Mars surface materials, makes Curiosity appear bluer than it really looks...

When the image was taken, Curiosity was partway between its investigation of active sand dunes lower on Mount Sharp, and "Vera Rubin Ridge," a destination uphill where the rover team intends to examine outcrops where hematite has been identified from Mars orbit.

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"Fuck Trump" and "Immigrant" hats benefit ACLU

My friend Gabe created these fun "Fuck Trump" and "Immigrant" hats! All profits go to the American Civil Liberties Union! Gabe says:

On a personal note, making these hats has been a profound and grounding exercise in connecting with others from across the world that I would not have connected with otherwise. I know that the issues we face are complex and that Trump represents much greater forces than just him alone. I also know that this is but a small way to make a difference, but I do believe that it's important to express our dissent and let people know where we stand; that we will not be bullied by him or his supporters.

(And yes, that's Helena Christensen rocking the "Immigrant" hat below.)

Buy "Fuck Trump" and "Immigrant" hats

And follow Fuck Trump on Instagram!

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Auction: Kelly LeBrock's studded leather jacket from Weird Science

Chips, dips, chains, whips. Kelly LeBrock's custom studded leather jacket she rocked as Lisa in "Weird Science" (1985) is up for auction. Starting bid is $30,000 and it's estimated to go for $50,000. From Profiles in History auctioneers via eBay:

Original black leather bolero-style women’s bomber jacket with short shawl lapel and hook and eye front closure. The entire jacket has been expertly studded with steel points, round stars and spikes with stud-formed symbols including spades with the number 13, crosses and diamond panels. Created by costume designer Marilyn Vance and hundreds of hours of single-studding to realize the designs’ special symbols representing luck and superstition. With draped link chains on the back of the jacket. Interior lined with black satin. Highly visible in the beloved coming of age, Sci-Fi comedy when dream girl brought to life., “Lisa” (LeBrock) teaches the boys, “Gary” and “Wyatt” (Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith) how to be “party animals”. The only one of these jackets produced due to limited time and extreme expense. In production used fine condition. Comes with an LOA from designer Marilyn Vance.

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Thinking is a group activity

Most of us vastly overestimate our understanding of how things work. We think we know more than we do. Why? Because we get by with a little help from our friends. (Sorry.) Cognitive scientists Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach explore why we think we're so smart in a new book titled The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone. Over at Scientific American, Gareth Cook interviews Sloman about how thinking turns out to be more of a community activity.

TELL ME MORE ABOUT THIS IDEA THAT WHAT WE KNOW IS “SOCIAL”?

People fail to distinguish the knowledge that’s in their own heads from knowledge elsewhere (in their bodies, in the world, and—especially—in others’ heads). And we fail because whether or not knowledge is in our heads usually doesn’t matter. What matters is that we have access to the knowledge. In other words, the knowledge we use resides in the community. We participate in a community of knowledge. Thinking isn’t done by individuals; it is done by communities. This is true at macro levels: Fundamental values and beliefs that define our social, political, and spiritual identities are determined by our cultural communities. It is also true at the micro-level: We are natural collaborators, cognitive team-players. We think in tandem with others using our unique ability to share intentionality.

Individuals are rarely well-described as rational processors of information. Rather, we usually just channel our communities.

The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone (Amazon) Read the rest

Ohio will be eliminated.

This is a problem as I will be flying there shortly to visit my family.

Hoping it's just a software glitch on the Chicago Transit Authority station sign.

(via r/softwaregore) Read the rest

Why people name things, and themselves, "Zzyzx"

When I was a youngster, during the golden age of prank calls before caller ID, my friend and I found the name Zerba Zzyx at the end of the telephone book. We called Mr. Zzyx and asked if he realized he was the last name in the telephone book. Much to our surprise, he pleasantly told us that yes, he was aware of that fact, and hung up. (It wasn't one of our proudest prank call moments.)

Anyway, I hadn't thought about Mr. Zzyx for many years until I just saw this post on Weird Universe about "Zzyzx Road," just outside of Baker, California. Here's the origin of the road's name:

Entrepreneur Curtis Springer decided he wanted to be the last name in the directory, so when he opened a health spa at a natural springs in the Mojave Desert he called it Zzyzx Springs, so he could promote it as "the last word in health." By 1965 he had convinced the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors to rename the road running to the springs Zzyzx Road. (It used to be Soda Road)...

Several movies have been named after Zzyzx Road, including the record-holder for the lowest-grossing Hollywood movie ever.

Sufficiently curious about any connection between Zzyzx Road and the Zerba Zzyx who I telephonically encountered in the 1970s, I did a Google search found this 1981 article from the Associated Press:

(Cincinnati) Roger Obermeyer wanted a way to make his name noticed in the city telephone book, so the advertising executive has himself listed as Zerba Zzyx, the last name in the directory. Read the rest

Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" as a spaghetti western theme

The Samurai Guitarist brings some Morricone to Michael.

(via Laughing Squid)

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Watch this 91-year-old gymnast's fantastic parallel bars routine

Johanna Quaas, 92, is the "world's oldest gymnast," according to Guinness World Records. Quaas literally wrote the book on gymnastics, a textbook titled Gerätturnen. She still competes regularly as evidenced by this incredible video.

Here's Quaas's fan page.

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Satellite sets distance record for weird "spooky action" quantum communication

Chinese researchers demonstrated quantum entanglement at a record distance, between a satellite and ground stations 1,200 kilometers apart. When objects are quantum entangled, their quantum states are linked. Measuring the state of one affects the state of the other. It's weird shit. So weird that Einstein called it "spooky action at a distance."

The experiment by physicists at Shanghai's University of Science and Technology of China could eventually lead to highly-secure communications technologies in space and back on Earth.

"I'm personally convinced that the internet of the future will be based on these quantum principles," says Anton Zeilinger, a physicist at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna who was not involved in the experiment. "China’s quantum satellite achieves ‘spooky action’ at record distance" (Science)

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Cats domesticated themselves

In many, animal species are domesticated when humans bring them into their homes whether they want to be there or not. For example, it's mostly accepted that humans domesticated wolves, breeding them in captivity until they became the modern dogs we love today. Now, a new study of cat genetics reveals that cats just kind of hung around humans for thousands of years before they were domesticated. From Casey Smith's article in National Geographic:

The earlier ancestors of today’s domestic cats spread from southwest Asia and into Europe as early as 4400 B.C. The cats likely started hanging around farming communities in the Fertile Crescent about 8,000 years ago, where they settled into a mutually beneficial relationship as humans’ rodent patrol.

Mice and rats were attracted to crops and other agricultural byproducts being produced by human civilizations. Cats likely followed the rodent populations and, in turn, frequently approached the human settlements.

“This is probably how the first encounter between humans and cats occurred,” says study coauthor Claudio Ottoni of the University of Leuven. “It’s not that humans took some cats and put them inside cages,” he says. Instead, people more or less allowed cats to domesticate themselves.

A second lineage, consisting of African cats that dominated Egypt, spread into the Mediterranean and most of the Old World beginning around 1500 B.C. This Egyptian cat probably had behaviors that made it attractive to humans, such as sociability and tameness.

The results suggest that prehistoric human populations probably began carrying their cats along ancient land and sea trade routes to control rodents.

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Fisherman catch first documented two-headed porpoises

Fishermen in the North Sea near the Nethelands caught the first two-headed porpoises ever documented. The trawler crew found the animal already dead in its nets. From Deinsea, the journal of the Natural History Museum Rotterdam:

"The crew of the fishing vessel thought it would be illegal to keep the dead porpoise and they threw the specimen back into the sea. Fortunately, first a series of photographs was taken. The specimen, however, is lost for science and natural history."

"The first case of conjoined twin harbour porpoises Phocoena phocoena (Mammalia, Cetacea)" (Deinsea via Mysterious Universe)

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