Bowling porn

Photographer Robert Goetzfried photographed some of the most magnificent bowling alleys in Germany.

Read the rest

Watch a fidget spinner spin at 50,000 RPMs... and then break

Just for kicks, Australian auto system manufacturer AXT Turbo put a fidget spinner in a vice and blasted it with an air compressor:

We were playing around with the fidget spinner after work, seeing how fast and what the structural integrity of the unit is. We first started with finger on it until it got a little hot. Then we put in in a vice. After it let go, we calculated it was turning 50000 plus RPM.

(via Laughing Squid)

Read the rest

Washing beats wiping: bidets save trees and water

Bidets have never caught on in the United States, perceived as a fixture meant for posh hotels an prissy home bathrooms. Of course they're quite the norm in Europe, Japan, and other regions. But not only are bidets more sanitary than toilet paper, they're actually much more eco-conscious. From Scientific American:

Justin Thomas, editor of the website metaefficient.com, considers bidets to be “a key green technology” because they eliminate the use of toilet paper. According to his analysis, Americans use 36.5 billion rolls of toilet paper every year, representing the pulping of some 15 million trees. Says Thomas: “This also involves 473,587,500,000 gallons of water to produce the paper and 253,000 tons of chlorine for bleaching.” He adds that manufacturing requires about 17.3 terawatts of electricity annually and that significant amounts of energy and materials are used in packaging and in transportation to retail outlets.

To those who say that bidets waste water, advocates counter that the amount is trivial compared to how much water we use to produce toilet paper in the first place.

This non-electric Greenco Bidet is $25 on Amazon and has many adoring fans. Read the rest

How do you know the Earth isn't flat?

It sure feels flat, right? (Life Noggin)

Read the rest

Trump unleashes the power of the Orgasmic Orb

President Trump slips into bliss with his pals Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sis.

Here's the "real" story:

Trump attended the opening of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology on Sunday alongside his host, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, reported the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

As the lights dimmed, the three leaders officially "activated" the new center by placing their hands on an illuminated globe as a four-minute introduction video displayed on large screens behind them, according to local media.

(CNN)

Read the rest

Rare albino orangutan rescued from cage in Borneo

A few weeks ago, this five-year-old albino orangutan was rescued from a remote village on Borneo where it was kept in a cage. The animal is now under the care of the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation. Orangutans are critically endangered and the foundation says they aren't aware of any albino orangutans reported anywhere else, ever. From National Geographic:

The foundation held an international campaign asking for name suggestions from around the world. Ultimately it chose “Alba,” meaning “white” in Latin and “dawn” in Spanish.

"Hopefully a new dawn will come for these precious animals," the group said in a statement reported by the Jakarta Post.

Read the rest

Mark Dery on the old, weird eBay

At Hyperallergic, BB pal Mark Dery mourns the loss of "the Internet's kitschiest, most surreal" flea market and laments its new role as "the world's largest mall."

(In the 1920s,) the Surrealists preferred “Les Puces,” as the flea markets on the outskirts of Paris were called. Andre Breton, the group’s self-appointed leader, wrote in his novel Nadja that the market at Saint-Ouen was “an almost forbidden world of sudden parallels” and “petrifying coincidences,” where unexpected encounters with dreamlike objects lurked around every corner.

EBay, the first e-commerce site, was until recently the web’s kitschier, crummier answer to (cultural critic Walter) Benjamin’s arcades or Breton’s Saint-Ouen. In its early years, its hit-or-miss search engine was conducive to close encounters of the absurd kind. Stumbling around the site, you’d find yourself in some obscure corner, staring in slack-jawed amazement at William Shatner’s kidney stone (auctioned off in 2006 for $25,000) or a Lilliputian suit of armor handcrafted to guinea-pig proportions, guaranteed to keep the dauntless rodent “protected and secure in all situations.” Unlike its sleeker competitor, Amazon, whose algorithms ensure you only see things like those you’ve already seen, eBay seemed, for a while, to facilitate chance meetings with the offbeat and the downright bizarre.

Lists of the most curious, absurd, abject, and grotesque eBay auctions have taken their place in the folklore of consumer culture: the grilled cheese sandwich miraculously emblazoned with an apparition of the Virgin Mary, which sold for $28,000; four golf balls (not just any golf balls; they’d been surgically removed from the belly of a python, who’d mistaken them for hen’s eggs); your advertising slogan tattooed, for $10,000, on some cash-strapped woman’s forehead; a corn flake shaped like the state of Illinois; a Dorito shaped like the pope’s miter; the meaning of life, on offer from a seller who claimed to have “discovered the reason for our existence” and was “happy to share this information with the highest bidder” (which he did, for the dispiritingly small sum of $3.26).

Read the rest

A 1930 news reel about a nutty weight loss contraption, starring Pesco's grandmother

My grandmother Sophie Pescovitz died when I was 2-years-old so I was blown away to see her in these outtakes from a crazy 1930 newsreel in which she demonstrates a bizarre "weight loss" machine! Bubbie Sophie says with a wink, "Won't my husband love me now when I get home? You know, they like them thin!"

"Stout ladies try weight reduction" (Moving Image Research Collections at University of South Carolina, thanks cousin Irene Lilien!)

Read the rest

Studying the sounds of Blade Runner

If only you could hear what I have heard with your ears.

Vangelis's fantastic score was reissued on a beautiful picture disc for Record Store Day 2017. Check your local independent record stores for any that may be left or, of course, Discogs.

Read the rest

The New Dark Times, a perfectly parodic t-shirt

This fantastic t-shirt was born from a discussion at b3s, "an online community of designers and coders and other rad folks." All proceeds go toward the b3s hosting costs. Brilliant.

Buy "The New Dark Times" t-shirt Read the rest

Scientists think they are more rational and objective than others think they are

Apparently scientists tend to think of themselves as more rational, objective, and intelligent than non-scientists. Makes sense. And laypeople tend to think that of scientists too. But the scientists surveyed in a new study from Tilburg University in the Netherlands apparently see themselves as much more rational, objective, and intelligent than non-scientists. Are they overconfident or, well, right? From Scientific American:

The team surveyed both scientists and highly educated nonscientists and asked them to rate the two categories of people in terms of objectivity, rationality, integrity, open-mindedness, intelligence and cooperativeness.

Both groups rated scientists higher on every one of these measures, yet scientists perceived bigger differences between the two groups than laypeople did. “That surprised us,” says psychologist Coosje Veldkamp, the study's lead author. “We expected scientists to have a more realistic picture, but they see a larger difference,” she says. (Some of these perceptions may be accurate, of course, but other research would be needed to determine that.)

The scientists' positive self-ratings may be partly explained by the human tendency to judge members of groups we belong to more favorably than others. Further investigation showed that established scientists judged their established peers more positively than those at earlier career stages, and female scientists rated researchers of their own gender more highly. “People who identify more strongly with their group display more in-group bias,” Veldkamp explains. “Women are still a minority in science, and minority-group members have been found to identify more strongly with their group.”

Read the rest

A brief history of goths

Given my own penchant in the 1980s for black clothing, black eyeliner, and Bauhaus, I was delighted by Dan Adams's TED-Ed video "A brief history of goths."

And if you find yourself in that delightfully dark place, please enjoy these classics:

Read the rest

Plane disappeared and crashed in Bermuda Triangle, family still missing

On Monday, a small plane with two adults and two young children disappeared from radar over the Bermuda Triangle. The Coast Guard has recovered parts from the plane but are still searching for the passengers, Jennifer Blumin, 40, her 3 and 4-year-old sons, and Nathan Ulrich, 52. Since the 1950s, the Bermuda Triangle, an area between Bermuda, Puerto Rico, and Florida, has been infamous for what many believe is a disproportionate number of mysterious aircraft and boat vanishings or accidents. From ABC News:

The plane was scheduled to fly from Puerto Rico to central Florida, but never arrived at its destination, according to the Coast Guard.

Miami Air Traffic Control reported that it lost radar and radio contact with the airplane just three hours into the flight, the Coast Guard added in a statement.

"There's no indication of significant adverse weather at the time," Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Kelly, a Coast Guard spokesman, told The Associated Press.

Read the rest

Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell, RIP

Chris Cornell, the singer of pioneering grunge/metal band Soundgarden, has died of apparent suicide. He was 52. Our thoughts are with his friends and family. When I saw Soundgarden play small clubs in the early 1990s, it was always an incredibly intense and, yes, loud experience. Cornell rocked. From the New York Times:

Mr. Cornell was born in 1964 in Seattle and helped form Soundgarden 20 years later. Sub Pop, then a fledgling record label, released the group’s first single, “Hunted Down,” in 1987, as well as two subsequent EPs. The group’s debut album, “Ultramega OK,” came a year later.

“Badmotorfinger,” released in 1991, benefited from the swell of attention that was beginning to surround the Seattle scene, where Soundgarden, along with Nirvana and Pearl Jam, were playing a high-octane, high-angst brand of rock ’n’ roll. Soundgarden’s musical journeys tended toward the knotty and dark, plunging into off-kilter meters and punctuated by Mr. Cornell’s voice, which could quickly shift from a soulful howl to a gritty growl.

Three of Soundgarden’s studio albums have been certified platinum, including “Superunknown,” from 1994, which featured “Black Hole Sun,” “Fell on Black Days,” “Spoonman” and “My Wave.”

Read the rest

Creepy clown doll scares bear from garbage can scavenging

A person in Virginia devised a strange-but-effective method to discourage bears from rummaging in the garbage cans. I'm sure the bears will have their revenge.

Read the rest

Video of the new "Penobscot River Monster" in Maine

A fellow named Alain Ducas posted video that he says he shot in Bangor, Maine from the roof of the Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway Bangor overlooking the Penobscot River. I don't think that's a new river cryptid though. More likely it's the Loch Ness Monster on vacation in Maine. After all, Nessie hasn't been spotted in her Scotland home since May 7 when the video below was captured. That said, the Penobscot River Monster could just as easily be Champ, the monster residing in Lake Champlain. (Mysterious Universe)

Read the rest

Ingenious chalk drawings that "talk"

Greg Dietzenbach added some digital magic to his chalk drawings at last weekend's Chalk the Walk festival in Mount Vernon, Iowa.

"There were a lot of amazing artists but I wanted to do something different," Dietzenbach says. "I wanted people to participate with my art."

(via Laughing Squid)

Read the rest

More posts