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Baffling 1941 newspaper comic strip: "The Evening Argument"

On Facebook, cartoonist Michael Kupperman posted a collection of these baffling newspaper comics from 1941 called "The Evening Argument." He is at a loss to explain what is going on, as am I.

At first glance I thought these were a kind of "Goofus and Gallant" comic. So did several of the people commenting on Michael's post, including Anthony DeVito, who said, "Wait, I think I've got it: Aunt Het is supposed to be of strong moral fiber, while the women in Poor Pa are assholes. And then everyone argues all evening!"

James Urbaniak offers an appealing theory: "Separate strips published under a joint title because of their parallel styles and lack of humor," while Will Keen insists they are "discreet sex adverts."

We may never know the truth. Even so, I share cartoonist Mark Newgarden's sentiment: "My new favorite thing in the world." I would happily buy a book filled with these comics.

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Why letting a pregnant woman's heart stop could save both her and her baby

I've been describing this Slate piece as the most awesome thing I really should not have read at 38 weeks pregnant. For decades, doctors thought that a pregnant woman whose heart stopped had pretty much no chance of survival. After trying to resuscitate her, attention would shift to rescuing the baby. But recent research suggests a better solution: Spend less time trying to get the mother's heart pumping again. Not only does it give the infants a better shot at survival, it also, insanely enough, saves more mothers. Turns out, once somebody removes the other human from your body, your failed heart will often just start pumping again on its own. Maggie 7

"Aggressive bush" defeats mailmen

Mark Malloy, for London newspaper Metro: "A Shropshire man has been told by the Royal Mail he will not receive any post unless he cuts back his aggressive raspberry bush." Rob 9

Terrifying celebrity video faceswaps

Come for Tom Hanks + Zooey Deschanel, stay for Mike Tyson + Michelle Obama, then run in terror from Sarah Palin + Honey Boo. The animated GIF has reached its apogee in Hybrid Celebrities, a collection of nightmarish video faceswaps at the distinctly NSFW DailyPicDump.com. [Thanks, Papa Fapa!] UPDATE: They're taken from this sketch. [Team Coco]

My Little Ponies humanized for movie

"Why?" The New York Times investigates:

“We are responding to the desire by our fans to experience the brand in more ways,” said John A. Frascotti, Hasbro’s chief marketing officer. “They imagined themselves as which pony they would be or which pony they identified with the most.” So Hasbro created Equestria Girls, a parallel world in which the My Little Pony characters were reconceived as teenage girls in high school.

Seriously, it's happening every day now, people coming up to us and saying "I want to experience your brand in more ways. Could you lose the hooves and snouts?"

Feather emerges from baby's neck

"No one knew what was bothering 7-month-old Mya Whittington. Her discomfort stumped her parents and doctors. She was finally hospitalized - and a 2-inch feather eventually poked its way out of her neck, shocking everyone." [ABC] Rob

CNN fakes satellite interview with two anchors in same car lot

The medium is the message! This extravagantly bizarre moment, courtesy of the producers of CNN Headline News, defies explanation in its giggle-inducing madness. Rob

Eyeballs found in trash

"Police say they are trying to determine how a medical box containing a pair of eyeballs ended up in a trash bin at a gas station in Kansas City," reports the Associated Press. Rob

TEDxWTF

The Harvard Business Review has an interesting look at what has happened as TED Talks has expanded to ever-wider audiences and (in doing so) has lost control of its own brand. It's also an excellent object lesson in why slapping the TED logo on something doesn't make it true. Maggie

Sinkholes: Swallowing everything, including the kitchen sink

If you were horrifically fascinated (horrafinated?) by the sinkhole that swallowed Floridian Jeff Bush and his entire bedroom a week ago, you might be interested in some sinkhole science. The US Geological Survey says that sinkholes are a geologic thing. Certain areas of the country are more prone than others (which you probably knew already). But the formation of actual sinkholes in those sinkhole-prone environments can apparently be prompted by human activities, ranging from old mines that weaken the ground above them; to groundwater pumping that destabilizes the soil; to (get this) leaky faucets. The USGS does not say how many leaky faucets, or how bad a leak, it might take to trigger a sinkhole, but the basic idea is that saturating usually dry soil could cause it to shift, so you'd assume it would have to mean a lot of water leaking into the soil under the house. Maggie

WTF, evolution?

A blog which offers helpful critiques of some of the weirder parts of nature. Maggie

What is this bizarre Indian "health gadget" from 1950s Bombay?

Crate-digging for old records on eBay, my brother found this bizarre health gadget identified as having been produced in Bombay in the 1950s. The seller writes:

Very rare and old Twin Transilluminator in Box from India 1950 in good condition. Its medical Instrument for sinuses and Eye therapy. Its made of steel and backlit. its electrical. on box has some description and photos about how to use this Instrument. Its rare and unique medical Instrument and must for medical instruments collectors. The size of box is 9 inch in length, and its width is 5 inch.

What the heck is the history behind this gizmo? More photos below.

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NOAA to American public: No, we are not going to just nuke the storms

A Q&A piece on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration begins with this incredibly disconcerting sentence: "During each hurricane season, there always appear suggestions that one should simply use nuclear weapons to try and destroy the storms."

Really? Seriously, America?

Anyway, the entire piece ends up being pretty fascinating, as research meteorologist Chris Landsea explains why nuking a hurricane would be a bad idea ... besides, you know, the obvious reasons.

... an explosive, even a nuclear explosive, produces a shock wave, or pulse of high pressure, that propagates away from the site of the explosion somewhat faster than the speed of sound. Such an event doesn't raise the barometric pressure after the shock has passed because barometric pressure in the atmosphere reflects the weight of the air above the ground. For normal atmospheric pressure, there are about ten metric tons (1000 kilograms per ton) of air bearing down on each square meter of surface. In the strongest hurricanes there are nine. To change a Category 5 hurricane into a Category 2 hurricane you would have to add about a half ton of air for each square meter inside the eye, or a total of a bit more than half a billion (500,000,000) tons for a 20 km radius eye. It's difficult to envision a practical way of moving that much air around.

Attacking weak tropical waves or depressions before they have a chance to grow into hurricanes isn't promising either. About 80 of these disturbances form every year in the Atlantic basin, but only about 5 become hurricanes in a typical year. There is no way to tell in advance which ones will develop. If the energy released in a tropical disturbance were only 10% of that released in a hurricane, it's still a lot of power, so that the hurricane police would need to dim the whole world's lights many times a year.

Read the rest of the piece at the NOAA website

Via Mark Strauss

Image: NASA/GSFC/Jeff Schmaltz/MODIS Land Rapid Response Team

Honda designs a car "for women," the Fit She's

At left, the new Honda Fit She's, a car available in predictable pink or what the maker calls "eyeliner brown." The vehicle is designed for the female market in Japan, and costs around $17.5K USD at current exchange rates. Official website here, in Japanese.

The Honda Fit She's features a “Plasmacluster” climate control system the maker claims can improve skin quality, a windshield that prevents wrinkles, a pink interior stitching, "tutti-frutti-hued chrome bezels," and an adorable heart instead of an apostrophe in “She’s.”

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Court sets accused rapist free, arguing severely disabled woman who can't talk could still refuse sex

Your daily dose of rage: the state Supreme Court in Connecticut has decided to let a rapist go free in a case involving a severely disabled woman with limited mobility who cannot talk. Why? Because there was no evidence she could not communicate her refusal to have sex with the defendant." She cerebral palsy, cannot verbally communicate, and "is so physically restricted that she is able to make motions only with her right index finger."

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