• Trump-endorsed Michigan state rep candidate Jacky Eubanks proud to have studied the "seminole works of Western Civilization"
    screenshot of electjackyeubanks.com

    Jacky Eubanks, a Trump-endorsed candidate for a Michigan state senate seat whose campaign promises include pushing to criminalize birth control, proudly states on her website that she received a "classical liberal arts education based on the seminole works of Western Civilization."

    I'm glad to see that she respects the wisdom of our country's Indigenous people.

    If you must, read more of Eubanks's brilliance on the "Issues + Policies" section of her website.

    (Thanks, Bob Pescovitz!)

    image: Jean-Claude Caprara/Shutterstock

  • Brilliant design for a tissue box that looks like an iceberg in the sea

    Creative maker Michiru created this wonderful digital mock-up of a translucent tissue box that looks like an iceberg emerging from the sea. The design, Michiru explained to Yahoo! Japan, is a comment on climate change. Once you use up the tissues, the iceberg is gone.

  • Ray Liotta (RIP): supercut of him saying "Karen" over and over in Goodfellas

    In memory of Ray Liotta, who just died at age 67, here is a supercut of him saying "Karen" in Goodfellas:

    top image (cropped): gdcgraphics (CC BY-SA 2.0)

  • REM's "Bad Day" demo from 1986 which eventually became "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)"

    In the 1980s, REM's Michael Stipe wrote the song above, a deconstruction of mass media and takedown of Ronald Reagan. The band made a demo of the track and originally planned to record it for Life's Rich Pageant (1986), but it didn't end up making the cut. However, it did serve as a prototype for "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" while the original version was finally recorded and released in a polished form as "Bad Day" on REM's 2003 compilation album "In Time: The Best of REM 1988-2003). From Wikipedia:

    Stipe saw that the song still had contemporary resonance due to the policies of George W. Bush, and the band finally recorded it for In Time, with only slightly updated lyrics and under the new title "Bad Day". In the liner notes for In Time, Peter Buck wrote: "We started writing this song in 1986 [sic]. We finished writing it in 2003. The sad thing is, between those years nothing much has changed."

    image: REM publicity photo/IRS Records
  • Thief seeks witch doctor's assistance after TV set he swiped got stuck on his head

    Weird drama ensued in Kakamega, Kenya after thieves allegedly robbed someone of money and a TV set, leading the victim to seek aid from a "witch doctor." Shortly after the magical intervention, one of the thieves returned with the stolen TV apparently stuck to his head and a "swarm of bees" circling him. The witch doctor then performed additional rituals that presumably broke the man's bond with the TV. He was then arrested.

    According to TV47 though, "some residents did not believe the story saying it was a ruse by the traditional doctor to make people believe in his supernatural powers and market his business."

    Now that's hard to believe.

    illustrative image: Peshkova/Shutterstock
  • Star Wars premiered 45 years ago today. Here's the original trailer.

    Star Wars was released in theaters today, May 25, 1977. My big brother took me to see it a few days later. Then I saw it again. And again. And again. And again.

    But why did Episodes 4, 5, and 6 come out before 1, 2, and 3?
    Because in charge of directing, Yoda was.

    Sorry, trying to come up with Star Wars jokes is difficult. Sometimes they just seem a bit forced.

    image: Stefano Buttafoco/Shutterstock
  • High school principal required by law to look after horses that students rode to school

    On Monday, at Conrad High School in Missoula, Montana, Principal Raymond DeBruycker spent the day looking after a dozen horses ridden by students to school. According to a post by the school on Facebook, "Montana has an old law saying if a student rides their horse to school, the school principal has to feed and tend to the horse throughout the day."

    Apparently, Montana high schoolers commonly pull this prank at the end of the year. If you can point to the actual law in the Montana Code that they're flaunting, please do so in the comments.

    Meanwhile, from a 1992 report titled "Montana's School Transportation Policies and Funding:

    Horse stables and hitching posts were common on school sites well into the 20th century and were maintained at some Montana rural schools into the 1960s. The first 'buses' provided by school districts were horse-driven and required maintenance of a horse barn on school property. Until the 1971 recodification of school law, the definition of "nearest practical route" to school, used to determine individual reimbursement, included horse and buggy tracks.

  • Watch dramatic video of semi truck losing its back wheels in dramatic battle with safety barriers

    Scene report from a parking lot in Doral, Florida. The gentleman misjudged the turn and then things turned ugly. From Storyful:

    Video shared by Jorge L Alvarez documents the large truck struggling to turn as a safety bollard was caught beneath its container, blocking its back wheels. After several attempts to readjust, the driver eventually plows forward, and the truck dramatically loses its hind four wheels in the process. Alvarez told Storyful the incident occurred when he and his coworker arrived to the office in the morning. He added that it took the whole day for the vehicle's remains to be removed and towed away.

    images: Rob Beschizza
  • Mysterious lost city underneath the Grand Canyon

    Could there be a mysterious lost city underneath the Grand Canyon that can only be accessed through a cave opening "almost 1486 feet down a sheer canyon wall"? According to a feature article in the Arizona Gazette of April 5, 1909, there absolutely is such a place. The story goes that one G.E. Kincaid discovered the entrance while traveling the Colorado River by boat seeking minerals when he noticed a strange sedimentary formation and decided to investigate. Mysterious Universe's Brent Swancer explores this strange tale and can't prove that the the lost subterranean city doesn't exist, anyway! From Mysterious Universe:

    Under the direction of a professor "S.A. Jordan," the Smithsonian Institute then allegedly launched a thorough exploration into the cave to find that that the main passageway penetrated nearly a mile underground, about 1480 feet below the surface, where it joined a massive chamber of some sort, from which branched off a series of tunnels "like the spokes of a wheel." Along these tunnels could be found an array of rooms filled with numerous artifacts and having obviously been once inhabited, as well as some sort of shrine[…]

    Kincaid also describes granaries containing seeds, a large storehouse made from what appeared to be a type of very hard cement of unknown origin, a huge room, about 400 by 700 feet, that was thought to have probably been the main dining hall, and traces of a gray metal that could not be identified but which resembled platinum, as well as numerous yellow stones strewn about all over the floor. The entire cavern and tunnel system was expansive, estimated to have been able to house upwards of 50,000 people comfortably. Throughout the complex were found to be myriad carvings in the walls, doorways, and on artifacts that appeared to be some form of hieroglyphic[…]

    The story has gone on to be discussed ever since, with many theorizing that it was the Egyptians, some forgotten lost civilization, or even reptilian humanoids, but there are plenty of skeptics that point out that it was likely a piece of fake news for a slow news day. For their part, the Smithsonian Institute has denied that such an expedition was ever made or that there is anything there, and they deny having ever had any association with a G.E. Kinkaid at all, who cannot be shown to have ever been a real person. 

    Of course, that's what They want us to believe.

    "The Mysterious Tale of a Lost Subterranean City Beneath the Grand Canyon" (Mysterious Universe)

  • South Florida county launches big operation to find sunken cars with bodies likely inside

    In south Florida, the Broward Sheriff's Office dive rescue team is busy with a new operation to find and recover sunken cars from the various waterways in the region, including the swampy Everglades. Right now, the team is working with another police department's divers in Sailboat Lake where they expect to find eight or more vehicles, potentially with bodies inside. Yesterday, they dredged up a Bentley but it was empty.

    From Local 10:

    We know that for any number of reasons those vehicles are there. Whether it's an environmental hazard to have them down there — we certainly know they're not supposed to be there, so they could be stolen, vehicles that were used in a crime," [Broward Sherriff's Office diver Alexander] Beer said[…]

    The underwater cars were first discovered by Alison McManus, who started the nonprofit called "Guardians for the Missing" after her nephew vanished in 2006.

    His body was found months later, submerged in his car.

    image: Broward Sheriff's Office

  • Gentlemen attempt to illegally move house with truck, knock over poles and trees, and eventually bail, leaving stuck home blocking road

    At 3:30am on Sunday morning, two gentleman in Iberia Parish, Louisiana attempted to illegally haul a home by truck down their residential street without a permit or the proper equipment. Along the way, they knocked over telephone poles, tore down power lines, and hit trees and mailboxes. Eventually, they got stuck so decided to bail on the whole scene, leaving the house blocking the road. Apparently nearly 700 residents were without power for several hours.

    Police eventually found and arrested the home's owner Tony Domingue, 46, and his buddy Nico Comeaux, 32. Apparently they had warned Domingue not to attempt this unless it were done properly.

  • In 1989, an Illinois town made this ridiculous rap video to promote their bid for a state prison

    In 1989, the central Illinois town of Flora was competing to get the state's new prison built in their town. It stars local figures such as the chief of police, the editor of the local newspaper, and other Flora celebs.

    "Is we is or is we isn't gonna get ourselves a prison?" they rapped.

    No, the state answered.

    The video, which went pre-Internet viral via Good Morning America and the Joan Rivers Show, eventually ended up on a DVD the town made to raise money for restoration of their historic train depot.

    (Thanks, UPSO!)

  • Watch breaching humpback whale land on tourist boat that was likely annoying it

    Earlier this month off the coast of Topolobampo, Sinaloa, Mexico, a breaching humpback whale laded on a tourist boat, destroying it and injuring those on board. From Mexico News Daily:

    Two men and two women traveling on board were injured and and taken to hospital in Los Mochis and at least one of the men, a former councilor on the Ahome municipal government, was seriously injured[…]

    The whale had entered the bay a few days earlier. The coordinator of Civil Protection in Ahome, Omar Mendoza Silva, said the whale felt harassed by the proximity of the boat and the port authority in Topolobampo ordered boat captains to keep a prudent distance from the mammals.

    The mayor of Ahome, Gerardo Vargas, asked people to respect the whales. "Please do not get too close to the whales. We can enjoy their beauty, but at a distance, prudently," he said.

    Image for illustration purposes only. credit: Nico Faramaz/Shutterstock
  • This ancient temple is actually a musical instrument

    The 5oo-year-old Vijaya Vittala Temple in Hampi, India is supported by granite pillars meant to be played as percussion or wind instruments, transforming the sacred site into a musical instrument. From Classic FM:

    The pillars, named SaReGaMa, are so-called after the first four notes (svaras) of the standard scale in Indian classical music – similar to the Western Do Re Mi Fa (solfège).

    Together, they hold up the 15th-century 'Ranga Mantapa', a main attraction within the temple complex. Resembling an open pavilion, it was most likely used for music and dancing.

    Across the hall, primary plarger pillars are surrounded by seven smaller pillars that each 'play' one of the seven notes in the Indian classical music scale. Made of pieces of huge resonant stone, the cluster of musical pillars vary in height and width, in order to produce the different tones.

    Vijaya Vittala is only one of a number of musical temples in South India, including others with architectural structures that double as wind instruments and even stairs that are "played" by walking up down the steps.

    image: Vinayak Kulkarni (CC BY-SA 3.0)

  • Restored first video of Smashing Pumpkins performing live in 1988 on public access cable TV

    On November 19, 1988, the Smashing Pumpkins performed at a Chicago public access cable TV show called The Pulse. Brilliantly unique and deeply psychedelic even in their earliest days, the band landed the TV gig solely based on their demo tape.

    "It was a really unique time for them in their development," show producer Lou Hinkhouse said. "None of us that day really knew for sure, but we knew they were on to something. And you can kind of see they feel they're entering a new decade, about to explode on to the national scene … and are about to define a new sound for a new generation."

    Here's the setlist: 1. There lt Goes 2. She 3. Under Your Spell 4. My Eternity 5. Bleed 6. Nothing And Everything 7. Jennifer Ever 8. Death Of A Mind (Sun) 9. Spiteface

    The reformed Smashing Pumpkins (sans D'Arcy) are currently on tour with none other than the mighty Jane's Addiction:

    10/02 – American Airlines Center – Dallas
    10/03 – Toyota Center – Houston
    10/05 – Moody Center – Austin
    10/07 – Amalie Arena – Tampa, Fla.
    10/08 – Hard Rock Casino – Hollywood, Fla.
    10/10 – Bridgestone Arena – Nashville
    10/11 – State Farm Arena – Atlanta
    10/13 – Mohegan Sun – Uncasville, Ct.
    10/14 – UBS Arena – Belmont Park, N.Y.
    10/16 – TD Garden – Boston
    10/18 – Capital One Arena – Washington, D.C.
    10/19 – Madison Square Garden – New York
    10/21 – Wells Fargo Center – Philadelphia
    10/22 – PPG Paints Arena – Pittsburgh
    10/24 – Scotiabank Arena – Toronto
    10/26 – Bell Center – Montreal
    10/27 – Centre Videotron – Quebec City, Quebec
    10/29 – Rocket Mortage Fieldhouse – Cleveland
    10/30 – Fisery Forum – Milwaukee
    11/01 – Enterprise Center – St. Louis
    11/02 – Little Caesars Arena – Detroit
    11/04 – Xcel Energy Center – St. Paul, Minn.
    11/05 – United Center – Chicago
    11/07 – Ball Arena – Denver
    11/09 – Spokane Arena – Spokane, Wash.
    11/11 – Rogers Arena – Vancouver
    11/12 – Climate Pledge Arena – Seattle
    11/13 – Moda Center – Portland, Ore.
    11/15 – Chase Center – San Francisco.
    11/16 – Honda Center – Anaheim, Calif.
    11/18 – Footprint Center – Phoenix.
    11/19 – Hollywood Bowl – Los Angeles

    Smashing Pumpkins publicity photo/Caroline Records
  • Man's disability fraud spoiled by wife's Instagram posts showing him lifting weights and transforming into a body builder

    For more than seven years, Anthony Ragusa of Huntington, New York collected more than $200,000 in disability claims from the Social Security Administration. Ragusa's stated that injuries sustained from a fall at work as an electrician prevented him from working. Turns out that not only was Ragusa still running his limousine service side hustle but he had transformed himself in a bodybuilder. How did he get caught? His wife posted photos of him lifting weights on her Instagram account. From the New York Attorney General's Office:

    On the application for benefits, Ragusa represented that his injuries from a fall as an electrician were so severe that he had difficulty bending over to put on shoes, walking for more than 15 minutes, and sitting for more than 30 minutes. Ragusa also stated that the pain from his injuries prevented him from working in any capacity.

    Investigators from the OAG reviewed documents from the state Department of Transportation and minutes from a town hearing from 2012 show that, at the time of his fall, Ragusa was the president and owner of the White Star Limousine company in New Hyde Park, NY. Additionally, extensive video and photographic evidence from Ragusa's wife's Instagram account show that, beginning in 2017, Ragusa began a physical transformation into a bodybuilder. 

    Additionally, from January 2015 to 2020, in hearings and written reports to determine his eligibility, Ragusa maintained his eligibility despite continuing to run a business and lift weights.

  • David Cronenberg and Terry Gilliam visit a video store

    That headline sounds like an opening of a weird joke, but I don't know the punchline. In this clip, the great David Cronenberg wanders the aisles of Paris's legendarily well-curated video rental store JM Vidéo and comments on some of his favorite films. Below, it was the turn of Terry Gilliam. In other news, a well-curated video rental store still exists!

    image: Google Street View
  • Cats put on lockdown in Germany

    In Walldord, Germany, government officials have mandated a lockdown through summer for all cats who live in the southern area of town. Why are the animals grounded? From ABC News:

    The decree is designed to help save the crested lark, which makes its nest on the ground and is therefore easy prey for feline hunters. The bird's population in Western Europe has declined sharply in recent decades.

    Authorities in Walldorf wrote that "among other things the survival of the species depends on every single chick."

    The local animal protection association thinks the town is overstepping and plans to fight the decree in court.