Eugene A. Zanger, master cup flipper and roadside attraction proprietor

Zengerrrr

Last weekend, my family had a wonderful meal at Casa de Fruta, an RV resort, motel, candy shop, wine store, gas station, and restaurant in the Pacheco Valley of Northern California. There is also an operational scale model train for the kiddos to ride. The terrific painting at right hangs in the restaurant. I posted it to my Instagram feed and included the full caption of the plaque above it: "Eugene A. Zanger, co-owner of Casa de Fruita, flipped over 3 million cups 1969-1999. Appeared on David Letterman Show 12/23/87. Enjoying retirement." Above is video of Mr. Zanger's appearance on Letterman.

Preload YouTube videos

ISP throttling YouTube half the time? Proxy IP-blocking tricks not working anymore? Here's the latest incantation to get video running. [Lifehacker]

Win a lobster in classic lobster claw game

We've all played one of those arcade "claw" games where a mechanical lobster claw is rigged to let go of prizes. But have you ever played with the prizes being live lobsters? [The Atlantic]

The tech secrets behind advertising food porn

How do they capture slow-motion footage of beer as it sensually swirls in a glass? Where do videos of liquid chocolate splashing in dark ripples come from? Smithsonian has an answer, with a long video about a company that builds the high-speed cameras (and fake stage food) behind the commercials that make you thirsty and hungry.

Science tricks to impress/distract your family

This morning, NPR brought on Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, of the depressingly small House Civility Caucus, to offer advice on how to defuse the now-traditional Thanksgiving political spat. As you might suspect, given the Civility Caucus' record of success, this was not the world's most helpful interview.

Probably the best bit of advice Congresswoman Capito had was to offer up a distraction when things get too tense. "It may be the perfect time to bring in dessert, she says, or to announce that someone should take the family dog out for a walk."

I've got a better suggestion. Every year, Richard Wiseman releases a set of easy-to-do and highly impressive science stunts that you can perform using things you probably already have around the house.

My suggestion: Combine Capito's awkward segue with Wiseman's awesome tricks. Not only will you actually get your family focused on a new topic, they might even be delighted enough that they decide to ignore the fact that you just passive-aggressived them out of a heated debate. Happy holidays!