• Here is the trailer for Clerks 3, a downright meta-comedy

    Jay and Silent Bob have returned for a meta-comedy about Randal's near-death experience inspiring him to make a movie centered on his life at the Quick Stop. Of course, Quick Stop is the New Jersey convenience store where director Kevin Smith worked during the time he made the first Clerks film in 1994.

    "Everything in this script is something either me or someone I know said," Randall says in the Clerks 3 trailer.

  • Mice clones created from freeze dried skin cells

    For the first time ever, scientists have created cloned mice from freeze-dried skin cells from a mouse's tail. Usually, clones are produced from cells frozen in liquid nitrogen. Even though freeze-drying killed the cells, the researchers were still able to produce the clones by inserting the dead skin cells into fresh mouse eggs.

    "If these cells can be preserved without liquid nitrogen using freeze-drying technology, it allows genetic resources from around the world to be stored cheaply and safely," University of Yamanashi lead researcher Teruhiko Wakayama said. "Developing countries will be able to store their own valuable genetic resources in their own countries. Also, even in endangered species where only males survive, this technology can be used to create females to revive the species."

    The first mouse clone they produced (the black mouse in the photo above) is named Dorami, after a Manga character.

    From The Guardian:

    Despite the achievement, the process is inefficient – freeze drying damaged DNA in the skin cells – and the success rate for creating healthy female and male mouse pups was only 0.2 to 5.4%. In some of the cells, the Y chromosome was lost, leading to female mice being born from cells obtained from male animals. 

    "If the same treatment could be performed in endangered species where only males survived, it would be possible to produce females and naturally preserve the species, the authors write in Nature Communications.

  • Watch the explosive moment a truck on the highway is struck with a lightning bolt

    On Friday, Edward Whalen and his family were driving down a Tampa, Florida highway when lightning struck.

    "You could feel a slight buzz in the car when it hit us, and then my oldest daughter was sitting next to me and she jumped halfway in my lap and screamed," Whalen said.

    Whalen's wife and other family members were following them in a different car and caught the incredible moment on dashcam.

    From WFLA:

    No one in the vehicle was injured, according to the family, however, the truck was "completely fried" by the lightning strike.

    "I had to jump out of the truck and run back to her and hold her and let her know we were all fine. We were really confused. We had real bad headaches," Whalen said. "That was always my dream truck, and I finally got it. I had just made my third payment on it and then boom. Hopefully, it'll work out though."

    front page illustrative thumbnail image: Jeff Gammons StormVisuals/Shutterstock

  • Astonishing experimental skateboard video overlays successes and failures into a single shot

    One More Try – an experimental skate video from Najeeb Tarazi on Vimeo.

    Najeeb Tarazi's "One More Try" is a fantastic experimental skateboard video that overlays skaters missing and landing tricks into a single shot. From production studio Pomp & Clout:

    Najeeb Tarazi created the film using a variety of automated rotoscoping techniques, including machine-learning enabled rotoscoping, to combine skaters's successes and failures into the same moment.

    Inspired by 'ghost' runs in which people overlay dozens of attempts to complete a level of Super Mario, Najeeb wanted to apply the same concept to real-life. The result is a new kind of onion-skin that combines not just many time slices from a single attempt, but up to 20 distinct attempts at a single trick.

  • Video: Florida golfer refuses to allow approaching alligator to mess with his swing

    Golfer Michael West refused to allow anything—including a ten-foot alligator—break his concentration at the Heritage Landing Golf & Country Club in Punta Gorda, Florida. From the Miami Herald:

    "I was lining up my approach shot from about 125 out. I knew he was coming up diagonally behind me," West told McClatchy News. "He got to about 15 feet before he laid down as I swung. … My buddy Grant was getting a little nervous and wanted me to hurry up. … I was far more worried about leaving myself a makeable birdie putt than him (the alligator)."

    illustrative front page thumbnail image: Francisco Blanco/Shutterstock

  • Listen to Florida man recount the crazy scene that led to him allegedly murdering his neighbor's rooster

    James Nix and his Jacksonville, Florida neighbor Jason Defelice have been feuding after Nix allegedly killed Defelice's rooster. According to Nix, the rooster attacked him. From Actions News JAX:

    He explained his side of the story: "I just checked my mail and turn around and go, and I hear, 'Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang!' And I turn around, and there's a chicken out there in the street. I said, 'Oh boy, here we go.'"

    "Turn around, walk to my place bang bang bang bang bang now the chickens in my yard! Now it's neck flares up," he said.

    He says what happened next was an accident.

    "So I pick up a stick in the yard, and I try to hit it. But the chickens jumping up at me, and I accidentally knocked in the head, you know? Call it a lucky shot, whatever." […]

    "Chickens die every day, people — at Churches, Popeyes, Kentucky Fried Chicken," Nix said.

    not the deceased rooster, image: Katalin Ban/Shutterstock
  • This service retrieves your dead loved ones' tattoos and preserves them as framed mementos

    If a loved one has died and you want to remember them by their tattoo, you can call Save My Ink Forever, an Ohio-based firm that retrieves tattoos from the deceased and then preserves and frames them for eternal display. Examples below. (It reminds me of the incredible image above, depicting famed post-mortem tattoo collector Dr. Fukushi Masaichi (1878-1956) whose collection is now held by Tokyo University.) From Vice:

    "People who want this done, in essence, this is their funeral ceremony," Kyle Sherwood, the tattoo preservationist and COO of Save My Ink Forever, told Motherboard. "This means more to them than a church service."

    Clients describe the area where the tattoo is located and what it looks like. Then a licensed mortician excises the tissue around the tattoo and sends it to Save My Ink Forever's Ohio lab, where Sherwood goes to work—a process that takes about three months. Sherwood will touch up and enhance the work, doing his best to return the tattoo to its original state.[…]

    "The families' gratitude when they receive the piece and they're like 'Oh my God, you know, I feel like they're here, I saw that tattoo every single day and now I have a piece of that person with me,'" Sherwood explained. "Look, people take ashes and turn them into diamonds. In the Victorian era, they cut hair and made hair necklaces. This isn't any different." 

  • This elegant kit for killing vampires sold at auction for $15,000

    This stately case of tools with which to kill vampires sold at auction for $15,000. The 19th century item apparently belonged to British nobleman Lord Hailey. Its prior owner may explain why this particular vampire killing kit sold for five times its expected price. However, it's unclear whether the item is mint-in-box or gently used. From the BBC News:

    The 19th Century lockable box features two brass crucifixes on the lid, which act as secret sliding locks.

    Inside are more crucifixes, a matching pair of pistols, a brass powder flask, holy water, a Gothic Bible, a wooden mallet, a stake, brass candlesticks and rosary beads.

  • Listen to this fun 8-Track tape podcast!

    Yes, cassettes are back. So are reel-to-reels. But of all the dead audio media, it seems unlikely that we'll see any mainstream return of 8-tracks. They're big, clunky, and songs are frequently interrupted with a loud ca-chunk due to the way the content was split across the tape. The format peaked around 1978, and by 1983 had been swept into the dustbin of audio history. But as with most any retro tech, there are those who are compelled keep the dream alive. Bill Mesnik is one such committed 8-track collector and he kindly shares his favorites on a fun podcast called "Captain Billy's Magic 8 Ball." The audio selections are interesting and ultra-eclectic—recent episodes featured 8-track from Etta James, George Carlin, Edwin Starr, and Alex North—but what really makes the podcast are Bill's narration, contextualization, and infectious enthusiasm. Dig it!

    ("Captain Billy's Magic 8 Ball" alternates episodes with "Put On A Stack of 45s," Bill's other podcast focused on 7" singles that he co-hosts with Rich Buckland.) Listen here:

  • Video of the world's largest firework

    The world's largest aerial firework exploded over Steamboat Springs, Colorado on February 8, 2020. The firework shell weighed 2,797 pounds and was 4 feet 8/75 inches in diameter. You can ooh and ahh over its detonation in the clip above and see some behind the scenes moments below. From Guinness World Records:

    The completed shell is at least 17.78 cm (7 in) thick, and was filled with 380 individual comet fireworks. A giant mortar, 1.57 m (5 ft 2 in) in diameter and 7.92 m (26 ft) deep, had to be specially built to shoot off the giant firework. The record-breaking shell closed the firework display for Steamboat Spring's 2020 Winter Carnival, an event that has occurred annually for more than 100 years.

  • Video: brawl breaks out in VIP section at Eagles concert during "Take It Easy"

    While The Eagles performed at the British Summertime festival in London's Hyde Park last week, a massive brawl broke out in the VIP section. Worse, it was during the song "Take It Easy." The Eagles kept right on playing. Apparently the VIP tickets cost nearly $500 and included "dedicated premium standing viewing area in front of the stage." Also, a dedicated VIP bar. Video below. From Variety:

    A man in an Eagles t-shirt can also be seen throwing punches at security guards while a woman in a green dress is shepherded off the premises.

    To top it off, as security guards violently held the fighters back to take them away from the situation, another uninvolved person is heard yelling, "You've got to take it easy!"

    image: publicity photo/Asylum Records
  • This otherworldly Jetsons home is for sale in Tulsa, Oklahoma

    This Tusla, Oklahoma house that bears a striking resemblance to the Orbit City residence of the Jetsons home could be yours for $415,000. Disclosure: there is no floating dog treadmill included. From the property listing:

    Investors dream!! Truly one of a kind, 2005 custom build. Starting with a personal elevator ride to the top floor, as an investment property, the first thing your guests will see is the breathtaking view of the Tulsa Skyline. Or make this your own personal hideaway. The possibilities are endless.

  • What is this bizarre and nightmarish mystery creature photographed on an Egyptian beach?

    Andrea Jud was wandering on a beach at Gabr el-Bint, Egypt when she spotted this nightmarish creature around 40 feet from the water. She posted the image to a marine animal group on Facebook where one person commented that it appears to be a baby Loch Ness Monster. Obviously that can't be true as Scotland is thousands of miles away. Based on the photo above, the site suggest that the monster's frightening chompers may hold a clue. From News.com.au:

    Moray eels have a second set of jaws within their throat – and when a fish is caught within the main jaws – this second set launches forwards, dragging the prey back to be swallowed.

    If it is a moray, the harsh Egyptian sun might have scorched it beyond easy recognition.

    In any case, how the creature died – and how it ended up so far beyond the surf – remains a mystery.

  • Nobody has claimed ownership of the mysterious rocket that recently crashed on the moon

    Last week, NASA reported that its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter photographed a strange double crater on the Moon that was caused by a crashing rocket in March. Even as of today, nobody on Earth has claimed ownership of the rocket. Maybe on NASA forthcoming Artemis lunar mission, they can send someone to the crash site to look for any identifying marks, or extraterrestrial bodies. From the Houston Chronicle:

    NASA stated that the two large masses on each end of the rocket may have caused the craters, but noted that the impact marks are highly unusual. Spent rockets, according to NASA, tend to have a heavy motor at one end and a lighter empty fuel tank on the other, scientists say. The space agency did not offer any guesses on what the additional mass was.

    "Since the origin of the rocket body remains uncertain, the double nature of the crater may indicate its identity," NASA said in a news release.

  • Fish are literally falling from the sky in San Francisco

    A slew of anchovies are turning up on sidewalks, streets, and trails around San Francisco this week. While "fish falls" are usually the result of waterspouts that pick them up from nearby bodies of water and drop them them elsewhere, but in this case, seagulls and pelicans are to blame. Apparently an explosion of the anchovy population in the San Francisco Bay has resulted in a massive feast for the sea birds. Sometimes, they collect more fish than they can carry and drop them as they fly over land. From SFGate:

    Reddit user sanfrannie posted earlier this month that about a dozen 8-inch silver fish "rained down from the sky" onto their friend's roof and back deck in the Outer Richmond. Several other users commented with similar experiences — one person said they "heard a whoosh sound behind me and heard a massive splat" before seeing fish scattered on a nearby driveway. Another commented that they "almost got hit by a fish waiting for a bus" in the Castro, and a third person said they assumed "a band of roving kids were doing a Tik Tok sardine-throwing challenge on a roof somewhere" after seeing several fish fall onto an Outer Richmond sidewalk[…]

    "From Half Moon Bay to Point Reyes, people are telling me they've never seen bait this thick," said Larry Collins, president of the San Francisco Community Fishing Association. "I heard stories just last week from guys who said that the water out there was just covered with thousands of birds, and the birds were just sitting on the water with anchovies in their mouths because they can't eat anymore."

    Of course, fish falls were a favorite topic in the books of Charles Fort (1874-1932), "collector" of anomalous phenomena who greatly influenced my own appreciation for high weirdness. 

  • Listing for haunted bar for sale features ghosts in the property photos

    This is the Breeze In Pub, a bar in the small town of Kempton, Indiana. Legend has it that the bar is haunted by at least six different spirits.

    "They like to play with your hair," said Cayenne Foutch who owns the place with her sister Tara Fleming.

    When they decided to sell the business, they showed realtor Albert Stancato a binder containing snapshots purportedly depicting the ghosts. In the spirit (ahem) of full disclosure, Stancato decided to treat the paranormal activity as a desirable feature of the building! Look closely at the property photo above, below, and on the listing page.

    Unfortunately, Fox 59 reports that Stancato "says the reaction has been great, but he has not received any solid offers so far." If you're interested, it's listed at $250,000.

    image: Abbie Stancato/Real Estate Listing

    (via Daily Grail)

  • Mattel just released a David Bowie "Hunky Dory" Barbie doll to celebrate the album's 50th anniversary

    In 2019, Mattel released an otherworldly David Bowie Barbie doll in honor of Space Oddity's 50th anniversary. This year, Bowie's iconic Hunky Dory album turns 50 so Mattel created another Barbie celebrating the artist. The doll is rocking Bowie's powder blue suit as seen in the "Life on Mars?" video below. It's $50.

    "It's a tribute to Bowie – his outfit, his makeup, his features – to emulate his essence and make sure it looked like Barbie, but as Bowie," says the doll's lead designer Linda Kyaw-Merschon.

    image: Mattel