Simple way to make popcorn on the cob

This looks fun and delicious! (I'd definitely listen to Scott Joplin while eating it too.) Read the rest

Watch an octopus disappear into "quicksand" on the sea bottom


The southern sand octopus (Octopus kaurna) whips up some seafloor "quicksand" lined with mucus and burrows into it to rest during the daytime. From New Scientist:

(University of Melbourne researcher Jasper) Montana and his team first caught the octopus in the act of burrowing in 2008 when they were scuba diving at night in Port Philip Bay, south of Melbourne, Australia. When they shone a light on the octopus, the startled animal spread out its arms and repeatedly injected high-powered jets of water into the sediment using its funnel. This caused grains of sand to be temporarily suspended in water, making it like sandy water.

“The sediment became fluid like quicksand,” Montana says. The octopus put its arms into the sand while still pumping out water and eventually dived down into the sediment. The liquefied sand is likely to reduce drag and so allow the animal to burrow more quickly, using less energy, Montana’s team speculates....

They (later) found that the animal used its arms and mantle to push the sand away and form a burrow. It also extended two arms to the surface to create a narrow chimney to breathe through. Finally, it secured the walls of its new home with a layer of mucus that kept the grains of sand together so the entire thing maintained its shape.

"Zoologger: Octopus makes own quicksand to build burrow on seabed" (New Scientist via Laughing Squid)

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Steamer trunk with built-in minibar

Posh luggage brand Globe-Trotter and boozemaker Chivas teamed up on this steamer trunk design that includes a minibar. Good for long flight delays, I reckon. They'll make you one for just $18,000.

Featuring the bespoke burgundy fibreboard, American white oak from oak casks and a hand engraved copper plaque made from a retired Scotch whisky stills, the steamer trunk also comes with specially created compartments for shoes, a drawer to hold up to nine watches, oak hangers to hold pristine suits and a beautifully crafted mini bar with mirrored back...

Chivas / Globe-Trotter Read the rest

Beautiful, dreamy chamber pop from members of Afghan Whigs and Wussy


Imperial Phase by Plastic Ants

Cincinnati's Plastic Ants, purveyors of lovely "maximum chamber pop," follow up this year's gorgeous full-length debut LP, "Falling to Rise," with a new track "Imperial Phase." Listen above! Plastic Ants' dreamy orchestrations come from the friendship and collaboration of four music scene veterans: John Curley, bassist for Afghan Whigs, Joe Klug, drummer for Wussy, Robert Cherry, singer/songwriter perhaps best known from his many years as top editor of Alternative Press magazine, and Guy Vanasse, a multi-instrumentalist and singer with deep classical training. Cellist Amy Gillingham and Lisa Walker, Wussy's stellar singer, guest on the Falling to Rise album as well.

"I don’t even consider (Plastic Ants to be) rock music,” Cherry said in a recent interview. “It’s hard pop with timeless classical arrangements. We wanted to keep the instrumentation more acoustic because that’s where the songs originated and closer to how they were written. We like that instrumentation in terms of how timeless it can be. The collision of rock players and classical players made for some funny moments in the studio. At one point, John and I were trying to explain the appeal of AC/DC — a guitarist wearing a school boy’s outfit accompanied by a shirtless singer shouting sexual innuendos. They gave us this blank look and humored us.”

I'm glad, because they sure make beautiful music together.

Plastic Ants play a free show at Cincinnati's MOTR Pub on Monday, September 28.

Plastic Ants

Trailer for "Falling to Rise" below:

(album cover photo at top by John Curley) Read the rest

Dig these groovy, diverse jazz sounds from Italian cinema


Imagine you're in a hip, swinging Italian movie with this killer compilation "Library of Sound Grooves: Jazz Expressions from the Italian Cinema (1963-1975)." The vinyl release is a gatefold double LP in a super-limited edition of 750. To give you a taste of the tunes, below are Nora Orlandi's "Sweet Body of Deborah," Ennio Morricone's "Un Uomo da Rispettare", and Armando Trovajoli's "The Getaway."

"Library of Sound Grooves: Jazz Expressions from the Italian Cinema (1963-1975)" (Forced Exposure)

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Watch the Angry Birds movie trailer!


Apparently, next summer "we'll finally find out why the birds are so angry."

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Beautiful video of the giant redwood trees of Northern California


More Than Just Parks (MTJP) immerses us in the Redwood National and State Parks to see the tallest trees in the world. What you see in this video is literally in my backyard and I feel so fortunate that I can immerse myself in such beauty just by stepping outside.

Redwood National and State Parks in Northern California are home to the tallest trees in the world, the mighty Redwood, which can reach staggering heights of over 360ft and weigh more than 500 tons. These parks feature magical forests, miles of spectacular beaches, stunning overlooks, and the largest herd of Roosevelt elk on the planet. This film was shot entirely in 4K.


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How a retractable ballpoint pen works


Click, point goes out. Click, point goes in. Click. Click. Click. (Engineerguy)

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Sex probably won't give you a heart attack

"Based on our data, it seems very unlikely that sexual activity is a relevant trigger of heart attack," said Ulm University medical researcher Dr. Dietrich Rothenbache about a new study. From UPI:
In relation to their heart attacks, only 0.7 percent of participants they'd had sex within an hour before their heart attack and more than 78 percent of participants said they hadn't had sex in at least 24 hours before having the heart attack. Based on this, and a total of 100 adverse cardiovascular events among the participants in 10 years of following up with them, researchers said sexual activity does not appear to be a risk factor for heart attack.

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Watch this incredible car crash (after which the driver walks away)


On certain days each week, the Nürburgring Nordschleife race track in Germany is open to the public to drive any road-legal vehicle at insane speeds around the challenging course. The amazing part of this particular video is that the driver of the Renault Mégane, a "family car," walks away from the insanely spectacular crash.

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Fantastic car ad by stop motion master PES


PES created this advertisement for Honda. I hope they're grateful.

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New online store for design-minded stoners

Tetra is a new online shop dealing with pot paraphernalia for people who appreciate fine design. A few weeks back I happened to meet co-founder Eviana Hartman, a well-known fashion and design writer, and really dug her enthusiasm and vision for this project. Congratulations, Eviana and crew! From the New York Times:

The team has lined up an impressive group of designers, who have created devices and accouterments in a wide range of strikingly original materials and styles. “The only unifying aesthetic,” Khemsurov says, “stems from the interest we all share in timeless natural materials like marble, brass and ceramics, plus our determination to make this collection as sophisticated and relevant, from a design perspective, as possible.” To that end, the initial batch of products include two ashtrays and a pipe made by Katie Stout and Sean Gerstley, which utilize the same hand-formed ceramic and gold luster technique as their eye-catching lamps sold through the Johnson Trading Gallery; a polished-copper sphere by Fort Standard that opens into a small snuff box; and, in Wu’s words, “a vibrant dichroic-glass ashtray hand-cast by Andrew Hughes that changes color according to one’s vantage point and the kind of light it’s viewed in.”

"A New Design Shop that Aims to Elevate the Smoke-Filled Room" (NYT, thanks, Jordan Kurland!)

Tetra ( Read the rest

The Concorde will fly again! (maybe)


Fans of the iconic supersonic Concorde aircraft hope to bring the plane back into the skies in the next few years. Club Concorde, a group of enthusiasts including pilots and frequent fliers, has more than $250 million they will use to buy one of the planes for display as a London tourist attraction and to purchase and restore another for air shows, special events, and private charter. The last flight of a Concorde was in 2003. From The Telegraph:

(Club Concorde president Paul) James will be well placed to cater to that demographic. During the aircraft’s heyday, he worked as a tour operator and chartered Concorde 19 times for luxury trips. A particularly extravagant excursion was a one-day visit to the pyramids in Cairo in 1982; priced at £780, it was marketed as the most expensive day trip in the world. He suggests that this future incarnation of the plane could be used, for example, to take groups from London to Monaco for the Grand Prix...

Jonathan Glancey, author of Concorde: the Rise and Fall of the Supersonic Airliner, believes the group could well succeed in their efforts. “So many people miss Concorde [and it] could certainly fly again given both financial and technical wings, while from a technical point of view there is nothing a team of expert and motivated engineers can’t tackle. For the moment, we should support it."

And of course, don't miss designer Lawrence Azerrad's Boing Boing feature about his love for this very special aircraft. Read the rest

Man built full-size emoji keyboard(s)

Tom Scott built an "full-size, real-life emoji keyboard" from 14 keyboards labeled with 1,000 stickers to cover everything from Unicode 8. "It's a bit ridiculous," Tom says. 👏 Read the rest

Man with massive Simpsons tattoo on back holds Guinness Record


Michael Baxter, 52, holds the Guinness World Record for the "most tattoos of characters from a single animated series." Jade Baxter Smith of Twisted By Design in Victoria, Australia did the ink.

"I wanted to get something which was unique, which nobody else had or would even think of getting...," Baxter says. "I'm a huge fan of the show. I love the tattoo, and I know lots of other people, including my grandchildren, do too.”

Interestingly, the Guinness World Record for "most tattoos of the same cartoon character tattooed on the body" was set by another Simpsons fan, Lee Weir, 27, of New Zealand. He has 41 tattoos of Homer on his arm, seen below.

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