This clever person turned her nose into a twerking puppet. Read the rest
This Ecuadorian caterpillar not only looks like a scary snake, it will also "strike" at curious creatures. Read the rest
I run a website with Kevin Kelly and Claudia Lamar called Cool Tools. The three of us have started a weekly email newsletter of things (experiences, tips, entertainments) we personally use and recommend. It's called Recomendo. Here's what Kevin says about it:
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We'll be recommending 6 items in an extremely short email every week. Mark, myself, and Claudia — the entire staff of Cool Tools — will suggest good stuff we have personally used, consumed, or experienced. We'll try to keep each recommendations light and fast, to no more than a sentence or two. They won't be definitive reviews; rather they'll be quick recommendations. Going back again to our roots, we've named it Recomendo — which, believe it or not, was the name of this site before I renamed it Cool Tools.
If you want great tools, stay on (or sign onto) the Cool Tools newsletter. To get all the other kinds of things we encounter and enjoy sharing, sign up for Recomendo here. As usual, we don't do anything with your info except send you short and sweet one-screen news once a week.
This famous photo of a crashed train engine leaning against a building is often seen on posters warning people to plan carefully. The photo was taken on 22 October 1895 at the Gare Montparnasse in Paris. It is commonly referred to as the Montparnasse derailment.
At 4:00pm that day the Granville–Paris Express ran through the bumper at the end of the track. (Here are photos of track bumpers, also known as buffer stops.) The train was running late, so the driver was going faster than usual. Unfortunately, the Westinghouse air brake failed. After breaking through the bumper, the train skidded across the concourse and broke through the two-foot thick station wall. The engine fell 30 feet to the street, ending up as you see in the photo. None of the 131 passengers died, but six people were injured and one woman in the street died when she was hit by falling debris. The woman was working at a newsstand at the time. The railway company supported the woman's two children.
The passenger cars were completely undamaged. Ten men used a winch to lower the locomotive, which was taken to a repair station. An inspection revealed only minor damage.
The crash was beautifully recreated in Martin Scorsese's Hugo. Here's the clip, along with some behind the scenes footage of the making of the models and special effects:
A similar train accident occurred around the same era in Hartford, CT.
This never happens to me when I shoot at a frozen pond! Read the rest
On June 21, Joshua Lee Long's aunt was cleaning her trailer in Carlisle, Pennsylvania when she found a department store bag containing a human brain under the porch. She called the police, who interviewed Mr. Long. He admitted that he sprayed his marijuana cigarettes with the formaldehyde-based embalming fluid used to preserve the brain before smoking them. The 26-year-old was charged with abuse of a corpse and conspiracy. Read the rest
Best orchid species ever: Telipogon diabolicus!
Discovered by Dr Marta Kolanowska and Prof Dariusz Szlachetko, both affiliated with University of Gdansk, Poland, together with Dr Ramiro Medina Trejo, Colombia, the new orchid grows a stem measuring between 5.5 - 9 cm in height.
With its only known habitat restricted to a single population spread across a dwarf montane forest at the border between departments Putumayo and Nariño, southern Colombia, the devilish orchid is assigned as a Critically Endangered species in the IUCN Red List.
There are a of Nut Wizard videos on YouTube. People use them to pick up all kinds of spherical objects.
Here's a multi-headed Nut Wizard that makes short work of 40lbs of pecans on the lawn:
Here's a fellow who uses one to pick up shell casings. True to YouTube form, he doesn't show how it works until the video is half over: Read the rest
French President Francois Hollande's taxpayers are delighted to spend $11,000 a month on their beloved leader's haircuts.
"I can understand the questions, I can understand that there are judgements," said [French government spokesman Stephane] Le Foll, as AFP reported. "Everyone has their hair done, don't they?"
The amount Hollande pays his personal hairdresser is roughly the same as a government minister's salary, according to The New York Times. The job comes with significant responsibilities: the hairdresser is "committed to secrecy and needs to be available 24/7," France 24 reported.
French citizens are showing their support for Hollande's haircut budget on Twitter:Read the rest
Today, Nintendo announced the NES Classic Edition, a little console loaded with 30 classic titles, including Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Donkey Kong, and Kirby's Adventure. It plugs into your TV's HDMI port and includes one NES gamepad controller. It's coming November 11 and retails for $60.
Included titles: Balloon Fight Bubble Bobble Castlevania Castlevania II: Simon's Quest Donkey Kong Donkey Kong Jr. Double Dragon II: The Revenge Dr. Mario Excitebike Final Fantasy Galaga Ghosts'N Goblins Gradius Ice Climber Kid Icarus Kirby's Adventure Mario Bros. Mega Man 2 Metroid Ninja Gaiden Pac-Man Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream StarTropics Super C Super Mario Bros. Super Mario Bros. 2 Super Mario Bros. 3 Tecmo Bowl The Legend of Zelda Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
(Thanks, Calvin!) Read the rest
One afternoon in 1954 Ann Hodges of Alabama was napping on her couch when a meteorite the size of a software came through the ceiling, bounced off a radio and hit her in the thigh. She escaped with a giant bruise, but the meteorite inflicted much harsher damage in an unexpected way. The Air Force took the meteorite. Hodges and her husband Eugene fought to get it back, but their landlord, Birdie Guy, said the meteorite belonged to her and she sued to get it back. She settled with the Hodges, taking $500 in exchange for the rock.
From National Geographic:
Ann later suffered a nervous breakdown, and in 1964 she and Eugene separated. She died in 1972 at 52 of kidney failure at a Sylacaugan nursing home.
Eugene suspects the meteorite and frenzy that followed had taken its toll on Ann. He said "she never did recover," according to the museum.
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That rock, even at the time, was worth a fortune. To give you an idea, a second piece was found not far away by a farmer on his property. He was able to sell it and buy a new house and a car. And his piece was less than half the mass of the Hodges chunk, with less notoriety as well. Were something like that to happen today, the meteorite would sell for a lot of money.
Hodges’ legal problems were so great that her mental and physical health suffered. She and her husband divorced, and she died of kidney failure in 1972 at the relatively young age of 52.
The original Planet of the Apes movie is a family favorite. It just might be my favorite movie. I can't wait to watch this 1968 masterpiece with my wife and daughters on the big screen! Check here for theaters and showtimes.
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Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies, and Twentieth Century Fox invite you to return to the out-of-this-world mad house when the sci-fi classic Planet of the Apes (1968) crash lands in select cinemas nationwide for a special two-day event on Sunday, July 24 and Wednesday, July 27.
Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowall star in this legendary science fiction masterpiece. Astronaut Taylor (Heston) crash lands on a distant planet ruled by apes who use a primitive race of humans for experimentation and sport. Soon Taylor finds himself among the hunted, his life in the hands of a benevolent chimpanzee scientist (McDowall).