Covid-19 mutated into a more contagious strain, according to study

The Los Angeles Times has reported on a study out of Los Alamos National Laboratory that discovered a new strain of Covid-19 that is supposedly more contagious and spreads faster than the first version of Covid-19. It became dominant in the United States mid-march, and "may make people vulnerable to a second infection after a first bout with the disease." Read the rest

New crossword puzzle series by Smithsonian Magazine

Will Shortz might have a little competition. Smithsonian Magazine is piloting a new crossword puzzle section, and their first puzzle (partly shown above) came out today. This one is part of a test-run of four puzzles. I tried it and it's kind of like The New York Times Monday puzzle, but smaller and maybe a little easier. To get the full puzzle click here. Read the rest

Learn this smoking fingers trick in 47 seconds

What makes this trick awesome is how impressive it looks for such a simple setup. Something fun to bring to your next Zoom hangout. Read the rest

Woman shops with hole in her mask because it's "easier to breathe"

This woman thought her face mask wasn't comfy enough, so she customized it. And then she stoops down under the plastic protection window as she talks to the clerk. Let's hope this is a joke (if it is, it's pretty funny!), but it looks darn real to me. Read the rest

Randy Rainbow strikes again with "A Spoonful of Clorox"

Over the weekend Randy Rainbow released another parody song, which hits the nail on the orange head in the most delightful way. Read the rest

Studio Ghibli backgrounds you can use at your next online meeting

Studio Ghibli fans can now conduct their online meetings from Miyazaki land. Choose a still from a variety of films including My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Ponyo, Kiki's Delivery Service and more, and make it your background. (Images offered here for free.) Thanks Studio Ghibli!

Image: Studio Ghibli / Spirited Away Read the rest

CDC officially adds 6 new symptoms to its Covid-19 webpage

Although other symptoms have been reported by doctors for months, the CDC only had three listed on their site: fever, cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty with breathing.

But on April 18, they quietly added six more: headache, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell.

For some reason, they never made a public announcement about the changes to their list, and "the agency did not immediately respond to questions about the revised list," according to The New York Times.

Also from the NYT:

While people who become seriously ill from coronavirus infection primarily have acute respiratory distress, other symptoms that accompany the disease can vary widely, doctors and researchers have reported.

It has turned out, for example, that many people with Covid-19 don’t have fevers or that their fevers wax and wane and are sometimes accompanied by chills.

Shortness of breath can emerge at the same time as other symptoms or it can crop up suddenly a week or even 10 days after a person has been experiencing more manageable symptoms like cough and aches.

Some people report a notable loss of smell and taste, an effect that can also occur with other respiratory infections.

Image by R_R_Studio / Pixabay Read the rest

The boss who tries to be funny at the start of every Zoom meeting

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A post shared by Alyssa Limperis (@alyssalimp) on Apr 18, 2020 at 11:11am PDT

Here's Comedian Alyssa Limp doing an excellent job channeling Michael Scott as the obnoxious boss trying to get a laugh at the start of every Zoom meeting. Her video sketches are always the highlight of my Instagram scrolls. Read the rest

Meet Finnegan the fox and his infectious laugh

Finnegan is an adorable fox at SaveaFox, a rescue that saves animals from fur farms. The way he snickers with each belly rub is too cute. Their YouTube page says, "All these foxes were born in captivity and could never be released so it is our job to give them a happy life!" Looks like they're doing their job spectacularly. Read the rest

Indonesia punishes self-quarantine violators by locking them up in haunted houses

If you enter Indonesia and don't immediately self-quarantine for 14 days, beware: you might be locked up in a haunted house.

With 647 Covid-19 deaths so far in Indonesia, an area of Java is taking this peculiar measure to make sure people follow the social distancing rules.

According to The Jakarta Post:

Sragen regency head Kusdinar Untung Yuni Sukowati says she issued the unusual edict this week to deal with an influx of people to the area after lockdowns in the capital Jakarta and other major cities...

Sukowati instructed communities to repurpose abandoned houses that were feared to be haunted -- tapping widespread beliefs in the supernatural, which play a key role in Indonesian folklore.

"If there's an empty and haunted house in the village, put people in there and lock them up," Sukowati told AFP Tuesday when asked about the rule.

Officials in Sepat village chose a long-abandoned house and outfitted it with beds placed at a distance and separated by curtains.

So far, five victims, er, people have been scared straight with the haunted house treatment.

Image: PickPik Read the rest

What happens when you open a can of Spider-Man pasta from 1995? It ain't pretty

I'm always suspicious when people say canned food lasts forever, and @DinosaurDracula proves my fear. Granted, the can was rusted, which may have caused more damage to the food than a can in pristine condition would do. Still, this can of Chef Boyardee Spider-Man pasta from 1995 emitted "noxious fumes" after the first twist of the can opener, and what was revealed inside will have me inspecting the expiration dates on all my pantry cans as soon as I'm finished with this post.

[Via Mental Floss] Read the rest

In the White House the liar tweets tonight

This take on Solomon Linda's "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" could be used for a Biden campaign ad. One of the better parodies I've seen in a long time. Read the rest

How long does it take for worms to scarf down a Big Mac and fries?

The coronavirus shutdown offers us ample time to conduct the science experiments we never had the time for before. Such as this time-lapse video, which reveals approximately how long it takes for a shitload of mealworms to eat a McDonald's Big Mac and fries. Read the rest

New coronavirus symptom found mostly in young people: painful 'covid toes'

Coronavirus is like a big stinky onion with yet another layer just revealed: COVID toes. A symptom doctors are finding mostly in young people that causes their toes to swell, turn blue and purple, itch, burn, and become "painful to touch." Read the rest

This stop-motion Super Mario Bros video uses over 500 Rubik Cubes

In honor of Super Mario Bros 35th anniversary of the video game (released in 1985, two years after the arcade game launched), here's an amazing stop motion animation of the game in action. It took BigWendy over a week to create, using over 500 Rubik Cubes. Read the rest

Watch this guy win a slot machine made with cardboard and toilet paper

Creativity has no bounds when you're shut in your house for weeks on end. I only wonder how he has three rolls of toilet paper to spare. Read the rest

Watch how this coronavirus sculpture made of 300,000 matches is built and then burned

It took this artist around 330 hours and 300,000 matches to make this coronavirus sculpture. In under five minutes you can watch its creation and then its satisfying destruction.

Mute until the burning starts (2:18) for a better viewing experience. Read the rest

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