• Enjoy this 40-minute cassette of loon call identification

    "Voices of the Loon" is a 1980 cassette produced by The North American Loon Fund (N.A.L.F.).

    From the YouTube description:

    Clearly, the N.A.L.F. asked themselves how they could make this cassette more annoying than to simply have the two or three sounds loons make repeated over and over for close to an hour; their solution was to call Robert J. Lurtsema, a Boston-based public radio broadcaster who was famous throughout New England for his unique, buttery voice and his often Shatner-esque delivery.

    It takes Lurtsema almost a half hour to explain the four sounds loons make to the listener, clearly enjoying the sound of his own voice, at times even slowing down the recordings to make sure the audience can hear every detail of the so-called "tremolo." He goes on to explain that there are people who record loons every season and use those recordings to extrapolate such things as territorial disputes, breeding patterns, and family movements. Because of course there are.

  • What it's like to live in Hong Kong's densest apartment complex — "Monster Building"

    Known affectionately as "Monster Building," this Hong Kong apartment complex houses over 10,000 people in small rooms. In this video, YouTuber DongDong Wu shows what life is like in and around Monster Building.

    From Atlas Obscura:

    The Monster Building, as it's been nicknamed by locals, isn't actually a single building, but an E-shaped complex composed of five connecting structures: Oceanic Mansion, Fook Cheong Building, Montane Mansion, Yick Cheong Building, and Yick Fat Building. They were built during a population boom in the 1960s to offer government-subsidized housing for low-income residents.

    The compound has a similar look to other subsidized housing built in the same decade, when the upper floors of the building were used as residences and the lower floors were used for shops selling tea, fish, and other groceries and household goods.

    According to Wikipedia, The structure inspired locations in films like Transformers: Age of Extinction and Ghost in the Shell and music videos like "Labyrinth" by Mondo Grosso and Hikari Mitsushima and "Cave Me In" by Gallant and Eric Nam.

  • Sword expert compares Kamikoto kitchen knives to a freebie knife. The freebie is just as good

    Medieval weapons expert Shad of the Shadiversity YouTube channel tested a $300 Kamikoto knife and found it to be lacking. He said while it's a serviceable budget knife made from cheap steel, Kamikoto is deceptive in its claim that it's a premium quality knife. "To me, that's a rip-off," he says. "They are trying to sell an inferior product as a premium product."

  • After Pearl Jam's drummer gets Covid, an 18-year-old steps on stage to fill in

    When 18-year-old drummer Kai Neukermans of Mill Valley, California heard that Pearl Jam's drummer Matt Cameron had Covid, he offered to play with the band at the Oakland Arena on Friday night. The band's manager asked for an audition tape, which Kai recorded and sent. The next day while Kai was at school, he received a text message letting him know he got the gig.

    From People:

    Neukermans' friends and family reportedly encouraged the young drummer to offer himself up as a replacement for Cameron after the veteran musician tested positive for the coronavirus.

    Giving his best shot to secure the spot, Neukermans sent a text to Vedder's daughter Olivia Vedder, whom he met at Ohana Fest in 2018. Olivia responded and told Neukermans she would ask her dad about his proposal. 

    The next day while at school, he received a response from the band, who requested him to submit a video of himself drumming. Within an hour of submitting the clip, he was contacted by a manager who then asked him to show up at the stadium for rehearsal.

  • Michael's employee scratch card "You've won an unpaid time off!"

    You may already know that Michael's is a privately held chain of about 1,250 arts and craft stores in the United States and Canada. What you might not know is that Michael's is a compassionate employer who gives scratch cards to its employees with fabulous prizes, like the one shown here that says "You make a difference. You've won an unpaid time off!"

    I'm only guessing, but this is what I imagine other lucky Michael's employees are winning on their scratch cards:

    — "Congratulations! You've won a ten percent pay cut!"
    — "You are the proud winner of a mandatory drug test!"
    — "You've won the chance to work overtime for free!"
    — "You've won the chance to work on your day off!"
    — "You are the proud winner of a free lecture on the importance of being on time!"

    Click to expand
  • Margaret Atwood says the Supreme Court is making The Handmaid's Tale a reality in the U.S.

    In the leaked Supreme Court draft that reverses Roe v. Wade, Justice Alito defends the majority opinion by saying the Constitution does not mention abortion. But the constitution doesn't mention women at all. When it was written, women were considered the property of white male landowners, the only people who counted in America at the time. That means the Supreme Court can make any ruling it wants to take away women's rights, says Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid's Tale.

    In her essay in The Atlantic, she says the ruling is dragging America in the direction of Gilead, the fictional post-America society run by theocratic authoritarians in her novel.

    The Alito opinion purports to be based on America's Constitution. But it relies on English jurisprudence from the 17th century, a time when a belief in witchcraft caused the death of many innocent people. The Salem witchcraft trials were trials—they had judges and juries—but they accepted "spectral evidence," in the belief that a witch could send her double, or specter, out into the world to do mischief. Thus, if you were sound asleep in bed, with many witnesses, but someone reported you supposedly doing sinister things to a cow several miles away, you were guilty of witchcraft. You had no way of proving otherwise.

    Similarly, it will be very difficult to disprove a false accusation of abortion. The mere fact of a miscarriage, or a claim by a disgruntled former partner, will easily brand you a murderer. Revenge and spite charges will proliferate, as did arraignments for witchcraft 500 years ago.

  • This little desk is great for working in bed or on a couch

    I bought a small desk so I could work in bed and on the couch. It came pre-assembled and is sturdy. I can adjust the height and angle, and it has rubber stops along the bottom edge to keep my computer from sliding off. It's much more comfortable than resting my laptop on my thighs.

    Put it on a regular desk and now you have a standing desk.

    My wife and I also use it to watch movies in bed. Interestingly, my typing accuracy is better with this desk than it is when I'm at my regular desk.

  • Twitch streamer panics during kitchen fire

    Twitch streamer Kjanecaron was in the middle of doing a cooking demonstration when something greasy in the skillet caught fire. She tried to extinguish the skillet in the sink, but it only spread the flames. She starts saying things like "oh fuck," "I don't know what to do," and "help!" and then runs off-camera.

    If you think she should get a fire extinguisher you're in good company. About 1 million commenters have told her to get one.

  • Is "Hourly Pornhubbed Heathcliff" the best bot on Twitter?

    Supreme killjoy Elon Musk says he doesn't like Twitter bots. If he gets rid of Hourly Pornhubbed Heathcliff I'll be sore at him. It's the greatest détournement since Dysfunctional Family Circus.

    Here's how the bot works:

    • take a comic
    • load random pornhub video
    • grab random comment
    • mix & tweet

    Relatively SFW samples:

  • 2022 is a good year for this Sunday's "Super Flower Blood Moon"

    Big news for the Moon this Sunday and Monday — it has a lot to look forward to! First, it will be full, which is always an occasion for joy. It will be a "supermoon" because it will be close to the Earth, making it especially big and bright. If that's not enough, it will also be in the shadow of the Earth, giving it a momentary break from the harsh rays of the Sun and giving Earth's fauna (at least those on the United States' East Coast) the opportunity to marvel at a total lunar eclipse. And during the eclipse, it will glow with an eerie blood-like color, "caused by all the sunrises and sunsets on Earth shining on the Moon at the same time," according to NASA.

    We are grateful to you, Moon. You were a child of the Earth, set loose by your father, Theia. You have faithfully remained in orbit around your mother for 4.425 billion years, providing our oceans with a lively gravitational tug and our evenings with a fantastic cool luminescence. You are a muse to our bards, a shield against meteorites, and a compass for countless creatures. Thank you for your beauty, your mystery, and your service to our planet. Life on Earth would be dreary without you. Enjoy your Super Flower Blood Moon moment. We are proud of you, Moon! And we will be watching you closely on Sunday and Monday, courtesy of NASA's live video feed.

  • The Phantom Queen is an awesome optical illusion

    Watch this video but get ready to hit pause at the 11-second mark, so the secret isn't revealed before you savor the apparent magic of a chessboard queen that appears only in a mirror reflection of a chessboard. What's more, the queen seems to move of its own volition. How is it done? Press play, and the secret is revealed. The way it's done is clever, but I was disappointed sorcery wasn't involved.

  • Espresso consumption linked to increased cholesterol

    As a 4-espresso-shots-per-day person, I don't take kindly to the results of a study from Norway that found "consumption of 3–5 cups of espresso daily was significantly associated with increased serum total cholesterol.

    From the Neo.Life newsletter:

    A population-based study of 21,083 male and female coffee drinkers in Northern Norway, all 40 years old or older, has found an association between espresso consumption and serum total cholesterol. Taken from self-assessments collected in the Tromsø Study in Northern Norway, the study compared espresso drinkers to people who drank coffee made in plunger carafes versus filtered pour-over machines versus people who drink instant coffee. The most important finding, according to researchers at the Arctic University of Norway who conducted the study, was that espresso consumption was significantly associated with increased serum total cholesterol—though they write that further research on the association between espresso and serum cholesterol is needed to inform actual recommendations regarding coffee consumption.

  • Google Maps is turning the world into one huge SimCity model

    Coming soon to Google Maps — a new way to navigate cities in the form of highly detailed digital models that look like 3D movies. Here's how "Immersive View" is described on the Google Blog:

    Thanks to advances in computer vision and AI that allow us to fuse together billions of Street View and aerial images to create a rich, digital model of the world — we're introducing a whole new way to explore with Maps. With our new immersive view, you'll be able to experience what a neighborhood, landmark, restaurant or popular venue is like — and even feel like you're right there before you ever set foot inside. So whether you're traveling somewhere new or scoping out hidden local gems, immersive view will help you make the most informed decisions before you go.

    The first cities to get the SimCity treatment will be Los Angeles, London, New York, San Francisco, and Tokyo.

  • After you die, your eyes continue to see for up to five hours

    Scientists have succeeded in bringing dead eyes back to life, proving that "photosensitive neuron cells in the retina can still respond to light and communicate with each other up to five hours after death, sending signals 'resembling those recorded from living subjects,'" reports The Telegraph. While it sounds like something out of an Edgar Allen Poe tale, the finding suggests that brain death might be reversible, which also sounds like a Poe tale.

    Lead author Dr Fatima Abbas, of the Moran Eye Centre at the University of Utah, said: "We were able to wake up photoreceptor cells in the human macula, which is the part of the retina responsible for our central vision and our ability to see fine detail and colour.

    "In eyes obtained up to five hours after an organ donor's death, these cells responded to bright light, coloured lights and even very dim flashes of light."

    Another scientist at the Universtity of Utah, Dr. Frans Vinberg, said, "Retina is part of our central nervous system so we think similar things might be seen also in the other parts of the brain.""

  • Concussions can cause changes in gut bacteria

    Researchers at the Houston Methodist Research Institute have discovered that brain injuries, such as concussions, can change your gut bacteria.

    From New Atlas:

    The Houston Methodist team investigated this further by tracking 33 college football players over the course of a season, collecting blood, stool and saliva samples at three intervals along the way to build a picture of their gut microbiomes.

    Following instances of concussion, the team found a decrease in levels of two bacterial species that are normally abundant in healthy individuals. They also found correlations between proteins linked to traumatic brain injuries in the blood and bacteria linked to brain injuries in the stool. These may be the result of inflammation, caused by the concussion, that alters the proteins and molecules circulating through the body, breaching the intestinal barrier and reshaping gut bacteria and metabolism.

    Study author Sonia Villapol says, "Until your gut microbiome has returned to normal, you haven't recovered. This is why studying the gut is so useful. It doesn't lie. And that is why there is so much interest in using it for diagnostic purposes."

  • Video: Nightmarish clip of a house being washed to sea in North Carolina

    This North Carolina house is so disgusted with NC congressman Madison Cawthorn that it decided to break free of its stilts and drift somewhere far away from the young fascist lawmaker.

    From WCNC:

    The Cape Hatteras National Seashore said an unoccupied house collapsed at 24235 Ocean Drive in Rodanthe, prompting officials to close that segment of the beach to protect people from the large debris. The Cape Hatteras National Seashore said more homes could collapse this week as the Carolina coast is impacted by the storm

  • Poster ads for Adidas sports bras banned in the UK for showing breasts

    After receiving 24 complaints about Adidas' sports bra ad with a "boob grid," UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned the advertisement. This is probably what Adidas was going after when they created the ad.

    Harriet Williams of Yahoo News says the ban is stupid:

    I think they're missing the point. Adidas' sports bra ad is daring in the very best sense of the word. It's inclusive and diverse and shows how different our breasts can be. I'm fed up with seeing sports bras modelled exclusively by thin, toned – usually white – women with small breasts. If I'm looking for a high impact, supportive sports bra, I want to know that the brand has people with boobs outside of the compact, high-set ideal in mind.

    The Adidas ad feels joyful to me. It feels like a tiny step in the right direction. I don't believe it sexualises women – the ad is honest, rather than styled or posed for the purpose of titillation. I've seen far raunchier posters on the side of buses for lingerie from high street retailers, even those aimed at older women. As for reducing women to body parts: granted the chest of each model is the only area displayed – but I don't buy a sports bra to wear on my face.

  • Elon Musk thinks people should work in factories 24 hours a day

    Unctuous mergers-and-acquisitions tycoon Elon Musk thinks poorly of Americans. Unlike Chinese workers, he says, Americans don't want to work in factories until 3 am for subsistence wages to enrich the owners.

    "They won't just be burning the midnight oil, they will be burning the 3 am oil, they won't even leave the factory type of thing, whereas in America people are trying to avoid going to work at all," Musk said at an FT Live event.

    Some might say this is a gross misrepresentation of American workers, the vast majority of whom work hard every day to support themselves and their families. But Musk is the world's richest person, so he can't be wrong.

    And of course, what Musk doesn't mention is that the Chinese workers he's lauding are often forced to work in horrible conditions, with long hours and little rest, and that they're not given the same protections as workers in developed countries. But as long as they're making Musk richer, that's all that matters.

    [via Yahoo Finance]