Visit the last cassette factory in the U.S.

Yes, cassettes are making a comeback,but there's only one factory in the US that manufactures them: National Audio Company in Springfield, Missouri. And they're having a banner year.

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One Got Fat: deeply weird bicycle safety film with kids in monkey masks

"One Got Fat" is a surreal bicycle safety film from 1963 where the gang of freewheeling bicycling kids in monkey masks suffer brutal fates, one by one. (Thanks, UPSO!)

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Watch Death Cab for Cutie on last night's Late Show

On last night's Late Show with Stephen Colbert, our pals Death Cab for Cutie delivered a lovely performance of "No Room In Frame" from their magnificent album Kintsugi. They're co-headlining shows with CHVRCHES tonight in Cleveland and tomorrow in Canandaigua, New York, followed by more US dates through the summer. And yeah, I'm biased, but hot damn do they put on a tight live show. Trippy too.

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Amazing photo of fish inside a jellyfish

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Ocean photographer Tim Samuel captured these startling photos of a fish swallowed by a jellyfish off Byron Bay, Australia's Pass Beach.

"(The fish) seemed to be struggling a little bit, as it would swim around, it would try to swim in a straight line but the jellyfish would knock it off course, would send it in little circles or loops," Samuel told CNN. "It was a tough decision, I definitely thought about setting it free, but in the end decided to just let nature run its course."

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Ultra-rare unopened Leica camera for sale with X-ray to prove what's inside the box

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The Leica KE-7A is a very rare camera manufactured for the US military in the early 1970s. It's essentially a hardened and dust-resistant version of Leica's popular M4 camera. With around 500 produced, it's nearly impossible to find one in good condition. That's why this unopened specimen up on eBay right now is so special, and so expensive, priced at $45,300 or best offer. The listing includes an x-ray of the package.

According to the listing, the image below depicts another example of the same camera outfit as the one in the sealed package. But then again, how can you know for sure what's inside until you open it...

"Although I do not advise I can open the bag to inspect the camera for you at a Euro 5000 nonrefundable deposit," says the seller. "If you decide not to buy at any reason the deposit will not be refunded as the value will then be less."

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The time the BBC News reported that "there is no news"

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I suppose no news was good news on April 18, 1930. At 6:30pm during the regularly scheduled news bulletin slot, the BBC News announcer turned on the mic and said:

"Good evening. Today is Good Friday. There is no news."

Piano music followed.

(BBC News History via r/todayilearned) Read the rest

This is either a petrified Bigfoot skull, or a rock

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Todd May of Ogden, Utah discovered this object that he says is a fossilized Bigfoot skull. May previously spotted Bigfoot in Ogden Canyon. Twice. In fact, he says the creatures have thrown rocks at him. Hiking again in the area, he found the fossilized skull.

"It had the same facial structure as the creatures I had seen," he told the Times Record News.

"There's haters out there, other Bigfoot enthusiasts that don't like that I found something first," May said.

On the other hand, Jesse Carlucci, a geoscience professor at Midwestern State University, insists that the object is absolutely a rock. Sure it is, professor...

(Thanks, Bob Pescovitz!) Read the rest

Stunning drug ads from a 1930s French magazine

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Ridendo was a French medical and humor (!) magazine launched in the 1930s. Recently, illustrator Jérôme Dubois found his great-great-grandfather's collection of the magazine and shared some of the fantastic pharmaceutical ads that ran in its pages. See more at Flashbak.

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Video montage of Kurt Cobain's visual art

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"Aberdeen" is a montage of journal doodles and visual art, including animated excerpts from the documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck.

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Living room "wallpapered" top to bottom in books

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Deece27 bought 4,000 random books from Books by The Foot and fastened them to the wall by nailing each one to the book underneath followed by two nails angled into the wall. Check out more images of the project here. (via r/DIY)

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Hear Muhammad Ali sing out against tooth decay

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In 1976, Muhammad Ali collaborated with Howard Cosell, Frank Sinatra, Jayne Kennedy, Richie Havens, and others on an LP titled "Ali and His Gang vs. Mr. Tooth Decay." Listen below! Apparently, there was a planned sequel titled "Ali and His Gang vs. Fat Cat the Dope King" but sadly it never appeared.

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Hear Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali's spoken word album from 1963

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In August 1963, Cassius Clay released a spoken word/musical LP titled "I Am The Greatest." This was before he became the heavyweight champion of the world and renamed himself Muhammad Ali after converting to Islam. Above is the title track from that album, which was also released as two different 7" singles. The first single's b-side was a song called "Will The Real Sonny Liston Please Fall Down," (released after Ali beat Liston), and the second was a cover of Ben E. King's "Stand By Me," both below:

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See the new Star Trek 50th Anniversary Barbie dolls

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In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek original TV series, Mattel is releasing a new Barbie collection of Kirk, Spock, and Uhura dolls. These figures would play well with the Star Trek Barbie and Ken released in 1996, during the 30th anniversary of Star Trek.

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Amazing 3D chalk art of Darth Vader

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This is what 3D chalk artist Chris Carlson did over the weekend. Here's the side view, followed by more work by the Denver, Colorado-based master of anamorphosis. (via r/pics)

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Muhammad Ali, RIP

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Muhammad Ali, three-time world heavyweight boxing champion and cultural icon, died today at 74. He was the greatest. From the New York Times:

Ali was the most thrilling if not the best heavyweight ever, carrying into the ring a physically lyrical, unorthodox boxing style that fused speed, agility and power more seamlessly than that of any fighter before him.

But he was more than the sum of his athletic gifts. An agile mind, a buoyant personality, a brash self-confidence and an evolving set of personal convictions fostered a magnetism that the ring alone could not contain. He entertained as much with his mouth as with his fists, narrating his life with a patter of inventive doggerel. (“Me! Wheeeeee!”)

Ali was as polarizing a superstar as the sports world has ever produced — both admired and vilified in the 1960s and ’70s for his religious, political and social stances. His refusal to be drafted during the Vietnam War, his rejection of racial integration at the height of the civil rights movement, his conversion from Christianity to Islam and the changing of his “slave” name, Cassius Clay, to one bestowed by the separatist black sect he joined, the Lost-Found Nation of Islam, were perceived as serious threats by the conservative establishment and noble acts of defiance by the liberal opposition...

If there was a supertitle to Ali’s operatic life, it was this: “I don’t have to be who you want me to be; I’m free to be who I want.” He made that statement the morning after he won his first heavyweight title.

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Remember Winnie Cooper from The Wonder Years?

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Meet Danica McKellar who as an undergraduate in college co-published a paper titled "Percolation and Gibbs states multiplicity for ferromagnetic Ashkin-Teller models on Z2," research that resulted in the Chayes–McKellar–Winn theorem. Oh yeah, before that, McKellar was Winnie on The Wonder Years.

(And just to confirm, Josh Saviano who played Paul Pfeiffer did not grow up to become Marilyn Manson.)

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The secret messages inside "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"

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Is "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" actually about psychedelic drugs, British colonialism, or penis envy? Depends who you ask. At the BBC, Hephzibah Anderson surveys 150 years of weird readings of Lewis Carroll's classic book. From Anderson's essay:

Re-examining the text, critics found plenty of gynaecological imagery, from the rabbit hole itself to the curtain that she must push aside. Locks and keys were seen as symbolic of coitus, and the caterpillar – well, wasn’t he just a bit… phallic? Inevitably, some saw penis envy in the text, rendering Alice’s extending neck a kind of copycat erection. And then there’s the fanning that she does before she starts to shrink, and the salt water that laps her chin once she’s mere inches tall – both acquire a decidedly masturbatory glossing.

More nuanced readings have viewed Alice’s journey as being less about sex per se and more about a girl’s progress through childhood and puberty into adulthood. Our heroine feels uncomfortable in her body, which undergoes a series of extreme changes; her sense of her self becomes destabilised, leaving her uncertain of her own identity; she butts heads with authority and strives to understand seemingly arbitrary rules, the games that people around her play, and even death.

Famed literary scholar William Empson got especially carried away, declaring that Alice is "a father in getting down the hole, a foetus at the bottom, and can only be born by becoming a mother and producing her own amniotic fluid".

"Alice in Wonderland's Hidden Messages" (BBC)

(Top artwork from the beautiful edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland illustrated by Camille Rose Garcia.) Read the rest

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