People from 70 countries imitate the sounds cats and dogs make

Not everyone around the world agrees that cats say "meow" and that dogs "woof." Watch in this Conde Nast Traveler video as 70 people from 70 countries share their interpretation of how pets sound. I feel like all these sounds should be incorporated into a song or something.

(Blame it on the Voices) Read the rest

Learn when a word was first used in print with Merriam-Webster's Time Traveler feature

While looking something else up, I came across Merriam-Webster's new online "Time Traveler" feature today. It allows you to browse to see what words were first used in print for a particular year.

For example:

"Idiot box" was first used in 1955, "granola" in 1970, and "cyberpunk" in 1983. "Bloodletting" was used before the 12th century and "bootleg" first appeared in 1634.

It's a lot of fun to play with but, according to Merriam-Webster, there are the factors to keep in mind when using it:

The date may not represent the very oldest sense of the word. Many obsolete, archaic, and uncommon senses have been excluded from this dictionary, and such senses have not been taken into consideration in determining the date.

The date most often does not mark the very first time that the word was used in English. Many words were in spoken use for decades or even longer before they passed into the written language. The date is for the earliest written or printed use that the editors have been able to discover.

The date is subject to change. Many of the dates provided will undoubtedly be updated as evidence of still earlier use emerges.

Read the rest

Students honor teacher at his funeral with a moving haka

When a beloved teacher at Palmerston North Boys' High School in New Zealand passed away in 2015, young men from the school -- both past and present -- performed a rousing haka in his honor. Powerful, literally gave me chills!

A commenter explains:

A little background to this haka I'm apart of the school and new mr tamatea better than most at the school. He was originally one of the creators to this haka and this is our school haka. Only our school and the old boys of the school perform this haka so it is unique to us. Mr tamatea was the head of Maori achievement in our school and he would always try (and successfully so) uphold the Maori traditions not within our school but the entire community. He was involved in one of the leading kapa haka groups in the country i.e the world ( kapa haka group being a group in which perform traditional Maori songs and Hakas) and I believe the Maori culture and maintaining the culture was engrained in his life. So to farewell this awesome teacher we did this haka and the significance of this haka as a farewell and the passion in which the boys performed it with can only be understood by the people who really knew him. But I hope that this helps others around the world understand how fitting that we perform this haka for him.

The teacher, 55-year-old Dawson Tahana Tamatea, was head of Te Reo Maori and Dean of Student Achievement at the school and died in his sleep. Read the rest

Norway increased its whaling quota for no good reason

Whaling isn't as cool as it used to be, and it's far from necessary. Many of the products we used to make from whale carcasses, such as lamp oil or whale bone baleen – which was used to make everything from typewriter springs to shirt collars – have been replaced by modern technologies. So it's puzzling to hear that Norway has announced a 28% increase of its whaling quote this year.

According to The Guardian, the new quota will raise the number of whales that the Norwegian fisheries are allowed to harvest to 1,278 animals. The increase smacks of political bullshit, given the fact that, in recent years, Norway's fishing industry wasn't able to kill enough whales to meet the existing quota. In 2017, Norwegians only killed 432 whales. Two years earlier, their fisheries took out 660 animals. That sounds like an industry in decline to me. But Norway has a different spin on the falling numbers: high fuel prices and too few whale processing plants have kept the nation's fishing industry from fulfilling its quota.

Greenpeace disagrees:

“Greenpeace believes Norway should take the logical consequences of the International Whaling Commission’s ban on commercial whaling, the widespread opposition to whaling, as well as the lack of local market for the products, and close down this unnecessary and outdated industry.”

The increased quota might be a stab at stimulating Norway's fishing industry, creating new jobs and infrastructure spending. If that's the case, it's a shortsighted plan, at best. There's only three countries in the world that still authorize whaling: Norway, Japan and Iceland. Read the rest

Jeff Sessions rolling papers

As you're probably aware, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is against the legalization of cannabis. At a Senate drug hearing in 2016, he even said, "Good people don’t smoke marijuana."

Now some enterprising folks are selling General Jeff's "Old Rebel" Session Papers, $5 packs of rolling papers that feature a cartoon image of Sessions smoking a fat joint. It started out as a joke but now they report they are close to selling out.

They write:

#JeffSesh is a campaign to tell Jeff Sessions:

We’re not criminals, junkies or idiots. Regular Jeffs all over the country—good, responsible, patriotic Americans—have a sesh now and then… and it's OK!

(The World's Best Ever) Read the rest

Wildly-popular UK dance party pays homage to Sir David Attenborough

Legendary naturalist and longtime BBC personality Sir David Attenborough is the inspiration for "Jungle Boogie," an ongoing series of all-night raves planned by two students of the UK's Leeds University.

Producers Louis Jadwat and Will Burbage give each venue a rainforest vibe, hand out cardboard cutouts of the 91-year-old biologist, and hire local DJs to blend Attenborough's distinctive "grandfatherly" voice with vintage house, disco, funk, and soul. Their dance party also features projections of Blue Planet and Planet Earth on the walls.

Jadwat told The Independent:

"We saw the immense popularity of him amongst students in that every Sunday people would love watching Blue Planet and Planet Earth so thought it would be great to pay homage to him."

According to Mixmag, "Jungle Boogie" has already sold out two 600-800 capacity shows. Future dates can be found here. A portion of the proceeds benefit World Land Trust.

photo via DAJBoogie Read the rest

Tikiphiles: Disneyland to add 'The Tropical Hideway' to Adventureland

Adios, Aladdin...

My friend Otto von Stroheim (who, with his wife Baby Doe, host Tiki Oasis, the world's largest tiki festival) shared some cool Disneyland news on Sunday:

Polynesian Pop is alive and healthy and growing and this is another sign of the future of Tiki Style: Disneyland has invested in Tiki and is installing another new Tiki section (after the HUGE success of Trader Sam's bars in Anaheim and Orlando)

The official announcement came Thursday on the Disney Parks Blog:

Calling all adventurers! There will soon be a new area of Adventureland to explore at Disneyland park.

The former Aladdin’s Oasis will soon be transformed to The Tropical Hideaway! This new experience will soon appear along the tropical shores nestled between the Jungle Cruise and “Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room.” This one-of-a-kind destination will be a popular rest stop for Adventureland locals and weary explorers alike. Guests will be able to rub elbows with their favorite skippers in an exotic traders’ market, featuring all of the sights, sounds and flavors of the tropics

TimeOut Los Angeles reported on the surprise announcement (calling it "a simple but effective Adventureland bomb") and dug a little deeper into the the history of Polynesian Pop at that location in the Anaheim park:

Sporting a name that's likely a nod to the adjacent Tiki Room’s theme song—“Welcome to our tropical hideaway, you lucky people, you”—the Tropical Hideaway will sit on the former grounds of Disney’s long-running restaurant, Tahitian Terrace, a Polynesian-inspired eatery that stood from 1962 to 1993 before transforming into a theater for a former Aladdin live show.
Read the rest

South African audience celebrates 'Black Panther'

After a Friday night screening of Black Panther, Marvel's new film that celebrates African culture and pride, a group of South African moviegoers ecstatically danced outside of the theater.

That celebratory vibe was felt here in California too.

My daughter and I saw the movie in Alameda at its first showing Thursday evening and the energy in the room was wild! The theater was packed and there was lots of cheering and clapping all throughout the film.

Also here in the Bay Area, the film's director and co-writer Ryan Coogler surprised the audience before Friday night's show at Oakland's Grand Lake Theater (where lines wrapped around the block):

Born and raised in Oakland, Coogler delighted more local fans by making surprise appearances at select movie premieres in San Francisco and Emeryville.

(reddit) Read the rest

Your body has been outsourced

What follows is the most mind-altering first chapter I've read in a long time, from biomechanist Katy Bowman’s latest book Movement Matters: Essays on movement science, movement ecology, and the nature of movement

These items —an electronic car unlocker and a tea bag— are convenient. But what I’ve realized is, when we say or think “convenience,” it’s not as much about saving time as it is about reducing movement. We can grasp sedentary behaviour as it related to exercise because it’s easy to see the difference between exercising one hour a day and not exercising one hour a day. My work, in the past, has been about challenging people to also be able to see the difference between exercising one hour a day and not exercising the other twenty-three. More subtle still—and what I’m asking you to do now—is to see how the choice to move is presented to you every moment of the day, but how most often we select the most sedentary choice without even realizing it. 

Our daily life is composed of a lot of seemingly innocuous ways we’ve outsourced our body’s work. One of the reasons I’ve begun focusing just as much on non-exercisey movements as I do on exercise-type movements is that I feel that the ten thousand outsourcing a day during the 23/24ths of your time hold the most potential for radical change. Be on the lookout for these things. To avoid the movements necessary to walk around to all the car doors, or just to avoid turning your wrist, or to avoid gathering your tea strainer and dumping the leaves and cleaning the strainer (in your dishwasher?), you have accepted a handful of garbage, plastic (future landfill), and a battery.

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Animation: Pop culture typography

Izac Moores: "This reference riddled project has been in the works for almost a year. If you can't quite figure out where something is from, a labelled version of the video is available here: https://youtu.be/SGdnN8W30ho." The track is Pop Culture by Madeon [Amazon].

Previously: Justice - DVNO

Read the rest

Spice World, postmodern masterpiecce

The mid-nineties roughly mark the point where Britain's late-20th century TV-entertainment monoculture ran out of steam: its stars too old, its programming too staid, its secrets too widely-known, new competition in the form of the internet and cheap cable/satellite channels, and a new generation of British artists conquering the world without Jimmy Savile's introduction. Spice World, the official Spice Girls movie, is an interesting artifact of the times: the new paying their respects to the old, who were given a staggering parade of cameos. It is, Sirin Kale writes, a deranged postmodern masterpiece.

this revolving door of period-piece cameos arguably does the already-shaky script a disservice. By the time Bob Hoskins appears as Ginger Spice in disguise mid-way through the film, Spice World has devolved into a hodgepodge doner-kebab of celebrity cameos, glued together with the meat and gristle of ham-fisted exposition.

Still, it’s a lot of fun, especially Roger Moore’s gloriously campy cameo as the "Chief," the enigmatic head of the girls’ record label. One scene, where Moore recites a pseudo-Confucian philosophy while stroking a pet rabbit, Bond-villain style, almost didn’t make the cut.

"I’d written this ridiculous philosophy for him [When the rabbit of chaos is pursued by the ferret of disorder through the fields of anarchy, it is time to hang your pants on the hook of darkness. Whether they're clean or not]," Kim recalls. "But then I thought, O h, this is a bit stupid, so I cut the lines.” Arriving on set, Moore had memorized the scene Kim cut.

Read the rest

Broccoli, lifestyle magazine for women who love cannabis

Broccoli is a beautifully designed new magazine for women who love weed. The online version is free, or you can get it mailed to you. No word on whether the glossy pages would make good rolling paper. Read the rest

Announce your pronouns with these gender-positive patches and merit badges

The Degenderettes, who describe themselves as a "friendly international feminist & genderqueer agitprop club," have created a badass line of patches and merit badges that leave the guesswork out of pronoun identification. However you may identify, they probably have a patch for you.

In order to procure one of these badges -- which are crudely embroidered on "dumpstered" fabric -- you first must make a selection on their "Income-Category-Adaptive Pricing Schedule," as follows:

Yup, people who don't identify as men are charged less. That means if a patch is $5, women are only charged $3.95. That's 79 cents to the dollar, ie. the current wage gap that exists between men and women in the United States. Folks who identify as Non-Binary Gender pay $3.50 for that same patch, and People of Color pay $4.50.

As you can see from the pricing schedule, there is a way to earn patches. Their Facebook page shares that those "who stand up to the Gender Police" can win them.

This Mask Magazine interview with Scout, one of the group's founding members of the San Francisco chapter, sheds some light on this process:

On your Facebook, you say that “Degenderettes who stand up to the Gender Police win Merit Badges.” How may a Degenderette may stand up to the Gender Police?

The Toronto chapter says each of their members define what they need to do to earn a badge, and then tell each other about it. LA chapter is like, “Are you shutting down the transphobic shithead who’s somehow always at the 7-Eleven at the same time you are who doesn’t shut up about how you’re being gendered in a way that makes him uncomfortable?

Read the rest

Hacked and modded Zelda: Breath of the Wild becomes pop culture cacophony

Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the hit launch title for Nintendo's new Switch console, is already emulated on the PC, where it's been hacked to house random pop culture stuff. In this video, see Biggie Smalls vs. Thomas the Tank Engine, Minecraft Steve, Spongebob, and Shrek do battle.

There's something so awesomely dumb about this, fascinating and boring all at once. It embodies a trend that looks like it might be punk, or at least a new frontier in YouTube Poop. But this is mostly our novelty receptors getting plugged by a tornado of memes that never change. A flash of accelerant in the embers of web culture, cackling at the hope new things must emerge when the old is mixed. Read the rest

African grain silos repurposed into art museum

Cape Town's Zeith Museum of Contemporary Art Africa was built from an old grain silo complex. Read the rest

He-Man and Skeletor dance again in ad

But wait, there's more!

Let's trawl the old inspirations, the long-ago internet moments whose memetic descendants are million-dollar TV ad campaigns for loan aggregators. When it comes to Skeletor, there are many to pick from. But one always comes back to CKY ft. Gnarkill's Skeletor vs Beastman, a NSFW wonder that was once part of the Internet's collective subconscious.

I'd chance that for many readers it will be unfamiliar. It's something long-displaced by cleaner and more consumer-friendly regurgitations of 80s trash culture. And perhaps quite repulsive. Is it queer, or homophobic? I always assumed the former, in which context the new ad seems a heteronomalized echo of something subversive. But now, after another 15 years of internet, I'm not sure. Perhaps the commercial is a better subversion.

[via Metafilter] Read the rest

Uncanny Japan podcast

Uncanny Japan is a podcast dedicated to the island's most peculiar folklore. I've barely got started but already know I'll have to binge the entire series (note that each episode is coffee-break short, less than 15m). Pictured above, from Episode 7, is a thousand-stitch belt believed to ward off gunfire. [via Metafilter] Read the rest

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