Incredible: Watch a woman nonchalantly step aside as out-of-control car barrels toward her

Never let them see you sweat. Read the rest

Six-year-old brought a loaded gun to school for show-and-tell

In Roswell, New Mexico, a six-year-old elementary school student carried a loaded revolver to class. According to police, the student had "no malicious intent" but rather brought in the gun for show-and-tell. According to KOB4, the police confiscated the weapon, notified the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department, and "escorted the parent and student to their home for further follow up and investigation."

You'd think it goes without saying, but apparently not: If you have children in your house and insist on keeping firearms around, lock them the fuck up. Read the rest

Watch police try to catch runaway pig

A resident of Erie County, Ohio called police on Tuesday when she spotted a large pig outside her back door. The police attempted to capture the suspect but as body cam footage (below) shows, it was no easy task. Eventually, the sheriffs used apples to lure the pig into a barn and located the animal's owner.

"We try and avoid pigs," said Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth.

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List of popular books people started reading and then abandoned

When I was younger, I would feel so badly about abandoning a book that didn't grab me, I'd force myself to slog through it until the bitter end. Then I realized that there are only so many books I'll have time to read in my lifetime so it's better to make each one count. If I'm not consistently pulled into the pages, I drop the book and crack another one. Of course there are exceptions, but it mostly means that I've enjoyed nearly all the books I've finished reading in recent years. Related, here is Goodreads' list of the most popular books users of the service have abandoned.

(via Kottke) Read the rest

Some idiot painted graffiti on a Russian polar bear and now the animal likely won't survive

In Russia, some idiot spraypainted this polar bear with "T-34," the model of a Soviet tank. The video was shared by World Wildlife Fund employee Sergey Kavry who lives in the remote region of Chutkotka. From CNN:

In the comments (on Facebook where Kavry posted the video, he) said he obtained the video via WhatsApp from indigenous minorities in Chukotka, in Russia's far east, though it is not clear from the video where it was filmed...

Anatoly Kochnev, a senior researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Russian state news agency RIA Novosti that, while the black paint is likely to wash off, the polar bear might find it difficult in the meantime to use its coat as camouflage while hunting.

It's not known why the animal was painted. Kochnev said it was probably the work of "pranksters."

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Watch a car accidentally launch off the the road and fly over dozens of autos at a dealership

In Citrus County, Florida, a dizzy driver veered off the road, crossed the berm, and then launched into the air, flying over more than a dozen cars at a dealership. The vehicle eventually smashed into two other cars in the parking lot, but fortunately no bystanders were hit. According to Bay News 9, authorities report that the driver was sent to the hospital but is expected to be fine. From Bay News 9:

In the video the flying car barely misses an employee on the ground. Crystal Ford Lincoln Sales Manager Bruce Azevedo was just feet away from the crashing Camry when it finally made a crash landing.

“You could feel it. You could feel the, I don’t know, in your chest the compression when it hit,” he said. “And then as we spun around to see it, I saw it take out the Navigator. Which if the Navigator wasn’t there it probably would’ve went into the showroom.”

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Vintage UFO photos sold at auction, including the one from The X-Files "I Want To Believe" poster

In the 1970s, "Billy" Eduard Albert Meier documented the extraterrestrials who visited him by taking fantastic photographs of their spacecraft zooming over the Swiss countryside. Meier, founder of Freie Interessengemeinschaft für Grenz- und Geisteswissenschafter und Ufologiestudien (Free Community of Interests for the Border and Spiritual Sciences and Ufological Studies) says the spacecraft are called "beamships" and that they are piloted by beings called the Plejaren. Meier's ex-wife has since said that the UFOs in the photos are actually household objects and that Meier is a fibber, but, well, I want to believe. And in fact, one of Meier's photos was the source for Fox Mulder's "I Want To Believe" poster on The X-Files. That original snapshot and more than a dozen others just sold at a Sotheby's auction with one collection of six photos going for $16,250. From Sotheby's:

The second grouping includes two photographs which appear to show a single UFO moving slowly over the town of Berg Rumlikon, in Switzerland on June 14th, 1975 at 1:16 and 1:20 pm, and four images depicting a single UFO in a forested hilly area of Schmidrüti, Switzerland on March 18th, 1975, from 4:45 to 5:40 pm.

One of these photographs became perhaps the most famous and notorious UFO image of all time when 'The X-Files' chose it to appear in the famous "I Want to Believe" poster.

The poster hung in Mulder's office for the first three seasons of the show, but was changed in the 4th season due to an intellectual property suit brought by Meier, as the creators of the show never obtained permission to use the image.

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Airline opens restaurant serving their airplane food

Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia has opened a food court restaurant at a mall in Kuala Lumpur. Called Santan, the restaurant serves the same food as what's on the airline's in-flight menu. Over the next five years, AirAsia expect to open more than 100 other Santan locations around the world. From WHDH:

Entrees cost around $3 USD and include local delicacies such as chicken rice and the airline’s signature Pak Nasser’s Nasi Lemak dish, a rice dish with chilli sauce. Locally sourced coffee, teas and desserts are also on the menu.

“We have seen a significant appetite for our in-flight menu offerings beyond our flights across the region and this is our answer to that demand,” the brand’s general manager Catherine Goh said in a press release.

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Listen to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross's minimalist cover of David Bowie's "Life on Mars?"

This lovely cover was heard in the seventh episode of the new Watchmen TV show, titled "An Almost Religious Awe." The track will appear on Reznor and Ross's album "Watchmen: Vol. 3 (Music from the HBO Series)" due out December 16.

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Johnny Depp producing a musical about Michael Jackson's sequined glove

Johnny Depp is producing a musical about Michael Jackson's sequined glove. Well, it's actually about Jackson's life but told from the perspective of the glove. Surprise, the Jackson estate has not authorized this production. Titled "For the Love of a Glove: An Unauthorized Musical Fable About the Life of Michael Jackson, As Told By His Glove," the musical opens in Los Angeles on January 25. From Broadway.com:

The musical is described as a "look into the strange forces that shaped Michael and the scandals that bedeviled his reputation." (Playwright Julien) Nitzberg first collaborated with Depp's production group, Infinitum Nihil, on a biopic about 1960s singer Tiny Tim.

For the Love of a Glove will open in advance of Broadway's new Michael Jackson musical, MJ, which will feature a book by two-time Pulitzer winner Lynn Nottage (crafted with the blessing of Jackson's estate) and direction/choreography by Christopher Wheeldon (and starring Ephraim Sykes).

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Dogs painted like tigers to scare off monkeys

Farmers in the Malnad region in South India are reportedly dying their dogs' fur with tiger stripes to scare off bands of marauding monkeys. Apparently the monkeys are wreaking havoc on their corn crops.

According to the Deccan Herald, "Srikanta Gowda, a resident of Naluru village, Thirthahalli taluk, said he had seen a tiger-like doll used as a scarecrow near Bhatkal in Uttara Kannada district four years ago. He brought it to the village and placed it in his areca plantation. Surprisingly, monkeys were frightened after seeing the doll and did not return to his plantation."

Based on that success, Gowda had the idea to enlist his dog as a kind of roving tiger-scarecrow. Read the rest

The game Operation was born as a test of desert survival skills

We all know the game Operation in which the player must conduct surgery on a curious character named Cavity Sam. As the commercial goes, "It takes a very steady hand." But as sci-tech historian Allison Marsh writes in IEEE Spectrum, Operation evolved from a very different electrified game called Death Valley that was invented in the early 1960s by a University of Illinois industrial design student named John Spinello. From IEEE Spectrum:

Spinello’s game, called Death Valley, didn’t feature a patient, but rather a character lost in the desert. His canteen drained by a bullet hole, he wanders through ridiculous hazards in search of water. Players moved around the board, inserting their game piece—a metal probe—into holes of various sizes. The probe had to go in cleanly without touching the sides; otherwise it would complete a circuit and sound a buzzer. Spinello’s professor gave him an A....

Spinello sold the idea to Marvin Glass and Associates, a Chicago-based toy design company, for US $500, his name on the U.S. patent (3,333,846), and the promise of a job, which never materialized.

Mel Taft, a game designer at Milton Bradley, saw a prototype of Death Valley and thought it had potential. His team tinkered with the idea but decided it would be more interesting if the players had to remove an object rather than insert a probe. They created a surgery-themed game, and Operation was born.

BUTTAFINGAS!

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Watch this funny and curiously compelling Bad Lip Reading spin-off of Stranger Things

Given that by the time we see a new season of Stranger Things the kids will probably be in college, this will have to do! That's ok because, as Steve Harrington says, "Hair is here!"

In this week's episode, Mike investigates a crime, while Nancy wonders about the gift Steve gave her.

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The time Mikhail Gorbachev starred in a Pizza Hut commercial

In 1997, Mikhail Gorbachev, the final leader of the Soviet Union, needed some cash. So he made a Pizza Hut commercial. Of course there was more to the story than that, but not really so much. He reportedly received $1 million for the spot. "I thought that it is a people' s matter -- food," Gorbachev told the New York Times after the filming. "This is why if my name works for the benefit of consumers, to hell with it -- I can risk it." Over at Foreign Policy, Paul Musgrave tells the tale:

Gorbachev had suffered the same fate as many Soviet retirees, who had looked forward to generous pensions only to find themselves forced to hustle and scrape to get by as the Russian economy collapsed around them—shrinking by 30 percent between 1991 and 1998. The foundation, too, was tottering, with even Gorbachev’s significant lecture fees unable to sustain both his family and the foundation and its staff, let alone any projects he might want to pursue to leave a legacy. Even generous donations from Ted Turner only went so far.

Gorbachev was determined to stay in Russia and fight for reform, not to take up a life of well-compensated exile abroad. To do that, he would need money to fund his center, his staff, and his activities—urgently. As Gorbachev later told France 24 when asked about the ad, “I needed to finish the building. The workers started to leave—I needed to pay them...”

(After months of negotiations,) Gorbachev finally assented—with conditions.

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A "Google Street View" for the natural sounds of remote Australia

The Australian Acoustic Observatory project, described by its creators as a kind of "Google Street View of sound," is a new acoustic sensor network of hundreds of microphones and digital audio recorders distributed across multiple remote ecosystems on the continent. The solar-powered system will record animal and natural sounds continuously for 5 years. According to lead researcher Paul Roe of the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Ecoacoustics Research Group and colleagues, the observatory will enable scientists and the public to listen to "a galaxy of sounds — it is like the heartbeat of the environment." While scientists will use the data to better understand the ecosystems and how they are changing over time, I bet sound artists have a (ahem) field day with the recordings once the public can listen in. From ABC News:

It was hoped citizen scientists would embrace the hidden animal world that was being captured, along with students and artists.

"For example, we will have citizen science projects where we can kind of search for a particular animal within the soundscape. People can use it to explore the environment to understand what is happening, how does the sound change," he said...

Professor Roe said 400 sensors have been placed across 100 sites in seven distinct eco-regions covering desert, grassland, shrublands and temperate, subtropical and tropical forests.

It might be then that we get birds arriving because there has been some water and trees are flowering, or there might be frogs which are going to call, they are going to come out of the desert and call after rain.

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Short documentary about famous live concert bootlegger

Today is Black Friday Record Store Day and The National released a three-cassette box set titled The National: Juicy Sonic Magic, Live in Berkeley, September 24-25, 2018. But this isn't a typical soundboard recording. The National commissioned archivist Erik Flannigan to record their shows using techniques developed by famed bootlegger Mike "The Mic" Millard who died in 1994. Millard's recordings of concerts by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones -- which he never sold himself, although they were sometimes resold by others -- are considered some of the greatest concert bootlegs of all time. Above, a short documentary by Flannigan and filmmaker David DuBois about Mallard's life's work and The National's release. The illustrations are by my pal Jess Rotter, animated by Eben McCue. In the liner notes, Flannigan wrote:

Millard’s legend is built in part on the cunning and subterfuge he used to get his nearly 15-pound cassette deck and microphones into venues like the The Forum, Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, and The Roxy.

For years I have pondered what made Millard’s recordings so good, and eventually I had an idea: What if you recorded a concert today with the same equipment Millard used in 1977? Would it sound like his tapes? Would it tap into his Midas touch?

The National was kind enough to let us test the Millard Method for two concerts at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, California last September. These live recordings were made with vintage AKG 451E microphones and a restored Nakamichi 550 cassette deck which are identical to those used by Millard circa 1975-81.

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Sale on the Voyager Golden Record LP and CD sets and The Family Acid: California photobook!

After producing the Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition, my buddy Tim Daly and I launched a record/publishing label, Ozma Records, to publish creative works at the intersection of science, art, music, and consciousness. Today through Monday, we're having a special holiday sale on all of our releases! This is a rare opportunity to save 15% on the Voyager Golden Record 3xLP Box Set, the Voyager Golden Record 2xCD-Book edition, and our new limited photobook The Family Acid: California!

Voyager Golden Record 3xLP Box Set

In 1977, NASA launched two spacecraft, Voyager 1 and 2, on a grand tour of the solar system and into the mysteries of interstellar space. Attached to each of these probes is a golden phonograph record containing a message for any extraterrestrial intelligence that might encounter it, perhaps billions of years from now. Experience the Voyager Record the way it was meant to be played.

• Three translucent gold 140 gram vinyl LPs, containing all of the original Voyager Record audio, in poly-lined paper sleeves • Three heavyweight jackets, gold ink on black • Full-color 96-page softcover book containing all images included on the original Voyager Interstellar Record, gallery of images transmitted back from the Voyager probes, and a new essay by Timothy Ferris, producer of the original golden record • Gold foil print of Voyager Golden Record cover diagram, archival paper, 12" x 12" • Voyager trajectories turntable slipmat, gold ink on black felt • Full-color plastic digital download card for all audio of the Voyager Golden Record (MP3 or FLAC formats) • Housed in a deluxe record box with pull-ribbon, gold ink on black • Includes free Voyager Golden Record diagram pin! Read the rest

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