Stephen sez, "I recently helped set my grandad get set up on his new PC and spotted a photo of him from when he was about 20 years old. It was in a sorry state, so I emailed it to myself and posted it on Reddit, where the community came together and restored it beyond its original state! It was amazing what they did, and so I printed off everyone's contributions and framed my favourite. I then got my girlfriend to record the moment I gave my Grandad, so that I could share it with the people who did the work! The result is a funny, yet heart-warming video."
A friend of redditor BigBoppinBill forgot some pizzas in the oven for "a few weeks." The result? A kind of glorious fungal jellyfish.
This calls to mind the timeless wisdom of the Jazz Butcher's classic, loony, over-the-top song, Caroline Wheeler's Birthday Present: "Do you know what happens when you leave a fish in an elevator?/You don't?/Well, here's a clue/Fish is biodegradable/THAT MEANS IT ROTS."
A friend of mine left two pizzas in his oven for a few weeks... (i.imgur.com) (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
Redditor ImNotJesus has a friend who does her own amateur horror makeup. She's pretty amazing -- check out the ultra-gross fool-the-eye gaping eye-socket wound above.
This ingenious technique for safeguarding books from falling in the bathtub was invented by redditor Crash-From-Space's 8-year-old daughter. The suction cup came from the plumbing aisle at Home Despot.
Reddit user Lumpytuna found a trunk of wonderful old junque in her attic and videoed the unboxing, as well as posting a great inventory set to Imgur. The ensuing discussion is lively and funny.
Redditor Ventachinkway caught a photo of a homeless man conducting a clever exercise in behavioral economics disguised as an inquiry into the levels of spontaneous generosity as determined by religious creed or lack thereof.
Daniel Ryan describes his music as "a mix of Japanese folk music and glitch hop." This isn't normally my sort of thing -- I pretty much only listen to music with words -- but I played this one three times in a row this morning. There's a lot of clever stuff going on here that I lack the vocabulary to describe but possess the aesthetic apparatus to appreciate. According to one redditor, the folk song is this track off the Samurai Champloo soundtrack.
Reddit co-founder calls Larry Page to get Google to join the anti-CISPA fight -- your help needed too!
Sign the petition, kill CISPA, save the Internet (again!).
A specialty food store in Brisbane, Australia posted this sign, demanding a $5 deposit from people who enter the shop, refundable with your purchase. They are trying to curb "showrooming" -- when customers of online businesses use brick-and-mortar competitors as showrooms to check out goods before they order them. As Consumerist points out, this is likely to be a self-defeating strategy:
If customers aren’t buying, the seller needs to figure out why and adapt accordingly. If this store’s prices are truly the best, then maybe it should be offering a price-match guarantee. If it truly offers products that aren’t available elsewhere, then how are these showrooming shoppers buying these items from someone else? Perhaps people are just curious and want to see the prices and have no intention of buying anything anywhere? Think of how many times you’ve looked at Amazon just out of curiosity. Window-shoppers are part of the retail equation; it’s up to the retailer to either ignore them or turn them from looky-loos into bona fide buyers.
I'd go further than this. It takes a lot of retail exposure to turn some browsers into buyers -- you might see something in a shop, think about it, and go back.
Further, getting people into the shop is a significant expense for most businesses. Once a person is in your business, you have lots of opportunities to try to convert that person into a buyer, in an environment that you control (see NYC Fifth Ave retailers, who run their escalators in an alternate-reverse pattern so you have to wind your way past all the high-impulse goods and displays to get to the top floor; or grocers who put the milk at the back of the shop). Adding literal barriers to entry is utterly self-sabotaging.
Finally, the idea of imposing a head-tax on everyone entering the shop is especially misguided. It means that a customer who thinks he can talk his wife/kids (or husband, friends, whatever) into accompanying him into the shop while he grabs something on the way past is doomed to not making a purchase. What's more, the retailer loses the chance to convert some of those tag-alongs into customers.
Store Combats Showrooming With $5 ‘Just Looking’ Fee [Consumerist/Chris Morran]
(Photo: BarrettFox on Reddit)
Redditor Volpinazzurra made her own reversible hoodie inspired by the hero of the indie-game smash Journey. Alas, the labor that went into this makes it uneconomical for wider production and sale ("it took me way too long to be profitable!") but Volpinazzurra says she's considering offering the pattern for sale.
An epic Reddit thread entitled "These fucking scissors" has lab-techs and scientists compiling an exhaustive, definitive list of all the weird, useless crap that has accumulated in their labs, and the reasons why none of it can be thrown away. A couple of my faves:
Specialized Glassware of Uncertain Use
You don't know where it came from. You have no idea what it does and you can't find it in a lab catalogue anywhere. Even your advisor doesn't know who bought it or what it's for. It eats up space that could be put to better use for graduated cylinders or Erlenmeyer flasks, but in a way, it commands a sense of respect, even reverence. It has always been there and always will. You are sure it was unspeakably expensive when it was purchased, whenever the hell that was, and for that reason no one in the last 30 years has had the heart to throw it out. Your advisor thinks maybe someday someone will use it again. You think maybe someday you'll steal it and make a sweet bong or something out of it. But you ultimately find you can't. It's a piece of history, it is beautiful, and even though you don't know what the fuck it is for, you want future generations of laboratory serfs to have the opportunity to ponder its purpose.
Expensive, Useless Stuff From Back When The Group Had Money
Years ago somebody needed 10mL of a super-expensive reagent. Having just gotten some grant money, they bought 2L of it. Now you have $2000 worth of something you will never use, but you can't throw it away because it's too expensive.
Vintage Liquid Chromatograph
It used to belong to the Plant Biotech department, but they got funding for a new one, and your professor is sure he'll fix it up as good as new and get great GPC results out of it. The white elephant has successfully migrated into another two years of idleness.