The decapitated swan pool float is a summer must-have for total weirdos

Just when you thought pool floats couldn't get any stranger, a beheaded swan floatie has surfaced for your summertime-buying pleasure. It comes after last summer's bizarro pink coffin float and what is possibly its precursor, David's Shrigley's Ridiculous Inflatable Swan-Thing.

This $79 toy is a two-piece item that includes both the swan's body and its chopped-off head. It's brought to us by mschf internet studios and artist Lukas Bentel (glancing at his site, it appears decapitated flamingo and unicorn floats are also in the works).

While we're talking about unusual water toys, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention two new lawn sprinklers: the giant mermaid tail and the "JumpOff Jo" unicorn -- both of which suggestively squirt water out of their tails.

(Swiss Miss) Read the rest

Cat impersonates otter

Arthur the cat looks so regal as he swims determinedly and hangs out confidently in the swimming pool. Read the rest

Dog cools down by napping in an ice machine

When it gets too hot outside, make like Mako the Husky dog and climb into the ice machine to cool down. Chill out, the machine's owners now use ice from the fridge instead:

A few weeks after the original video was shot, Mako's human companions caught this footage of him getting into the ice machine:

Thanks, Steve! Read the rest

Behold, the pink coffin pool float

Designer Andrew Greenbaum of Venice Beach, California has created a two-piece pink coffin-shaped pool float which people are dying for him to make available for sale.

He writes:

Had the idea to start this project almost three years ago... I found someone who could make me a sample recently and pulled the trigger. Super hilarious project. Truth be told thou, we about $15,000 short from being able to sell this to ya’ll. Let us know if you think a kickstarter would be a cool idea or if you have a rich daddy who wanna invest...

I contacted Andrew and he told me that this Kickstarter will launch on Monday.

(Cosmpolitan) Read the rest

The history of the S’more

When my son was very young, he referred to S'Mores as "ores," as in, "I really want an ore. Can we make some ores?" We always laughed but apparently the original name is indeed a "Some More," at least according to the 1927 edition of the Girl Scout manual "Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts" where the treat was first mentioned. From Smithsonian:

The oldest ingredient in the s’more’s holy trinity is the marshmallow, a sweet that gets its name from a plant called, appropriately enough, the marsh mallow. Marsh mallow, or Althea officinalis, is a plant indigenous to Eurasia and Northern Africa. For thousands of years, the root sap was boiled, strained and sweetened to cure sore throats or simply be eaten as a treat.

The white and puffy modern marshmallow looks much like its ancient ancestor. But for hundreds of years, creation of marshmallows was very time-consuming. Each marshmallow had to be manually poured and molded, and they were a treat that only the wealthy could afford. By the mid-19th century, the process had become mechanized and machines could make them so cheaply that they were included in most penny candy selections.

"Let Us Tell You S’more About America’s Favorite Campfire Treat" (Smithsonian)

image: Kevin Smith/Flickr Read the rest

Remember taking the "Nestea Plunge" when it was hot?

"101 degrees in the shade..."

It's been hot in the Bay Area and I was joking with a friend that we should take the "Nestea Plunge." They had no idea what I was talking about which surprised me, given the iconic ad campaign ran from the 1970s through the 1990s (and came back in 2014).

I grew up on Cape Cod, so we didn't have a pool, we just went to the beach when it was hot. For hours, my friends and I would put our arms out and fall backwards into the Atlantic, trying to reenact the Plunge we saw on TV. It was like an in-water trust fall with only the waves to catch you.

Cripes, you all remember it, don't you? Surely it's just an anomaly that my friend didn't know about it.

"Temperature was up around 103..."

"The temperature was up around 111..."

"Come on, taste the taste of wetness..."

Even legendary groupie Pamela Des Barres took the Nestea Plunge

They're *still* taking the Plunge in the Philippines Read the rest

There's going to be scratch-and-sniff postage stamps this summer

On June 20, the U.S. Postal Service will roll out Frozen Treats, the first ever scratch-and-sniff stamps. Artist Margaret Berg of Santa Monica, California created the watercolored illustrations of ice pops featured on these special First-Class Mail Forever postage stamps.

The stamps feature illustrations of frosty, colorful, icy pops on a stick. Today, Americans love cool, refreshing ice pops on a hot summer day. The tasty, sweet confections come in a variety of shapes and flavors. Ice pops are made by large manufacturers, home cooks and artisanal shops. In recent years, frozen treats containing fresh fruit such as kiwi, watermelon, blueberries, oranges and strawberries have become more common. In addition, flavors such as chocolate, root beer and cola are also popular. Some frozen treats even have two sticks, making them perfect for sharing.

The stamps are available for pre-order now. Read the rest

Make smoked ice-cream by putting cream in a smoker

You put the cream in one shallow pan, and stick that in another one that's been filled with ice and water to make an icebath, fire up the smoker and let it sit for about 90 minutes. Read the rest

Shark footage makes newsman vow off swimming in ocean

His face says it all.

Read the rest

Just a pug lying in a little swimming pool, snoring, with sunglasses on

No big deal. Read the rest

Throwing your girlfriend overboard? You're doing it wrong

Also wrong: vertical video.

Read the rest

Watch a bunch of goofy dogs enjoy eating ice cream on a hot summer day

“Don't worry, the ice cream was provided specifically for the dogs.” Read the rest

The best affordable fan for cooling your home this hot summer: Vornado 660

And this fan isn't even marketed as a fan, but an “air circulator.” Whatever. It works.

Now legal to break a car window to save a dog's life in Tennessee

The state of Tennessee extended its "Good Samaritan law" this month, allowing people to smash a car window to save a dog from dying in a hot car.

“If you act reasonably, as any reasonable person would respond, you will not be at fault to save a life," says Nashville Fire Department Chief of Staff Mike Franklin. "You will not be at any fault to save a life and/or animals."

Apparently, acting "reasonably" includes first searching the for car's owner and calling police. I don't think I'd waste the time.

According to the Humane Society, "On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die."

"It’s Now Legal to Break Into Cars to Save Dogs in Tennessee" (TIME)

(photo by Nate Christenson) Read the rest

History of the Slip 'N Slide

My wife (and kids) are big fans of the classic Slip 'N Slide on a summer day. The New York Times Magazine has the history of its invention which involved belly-flopping on a concrete driveway.

Like any concerned father with ready access to rugged, waterproof synthetic fabrics at work, Robert Carrier took home a 50-foot roll of beige Naugahyde in hopes of persuading his son to splash down on something safer. He unfurled it in the yard, hosed it down and watched as every kid in the neighborhood showed up and stayed to slide for hours.

Realizing he had a hit on his hands, Carrier used his sewing skills to refine his product. “He stitched a long tube along one side, sewn shut at one end, with spaces between the stitching so that when you attached the hose, the water pressure would build up and water would squirt out those openings and lubricate the surface of the material,” (explains Tim Walsh, author of "Timeless Toys: Classic Toys and the Playmakers Who Created Them.")

(Thanks, Tanya Schevitz!) Read the rest

Summer cold-brew coffee reminder

The sun's finally out in London, so it's time to repost last summer's cheap, easy, no-mess cold-brew coffee technique. This is the best cup of coffee you're likely to drink this summer. Read the rest

The mysterious physics of bicycles

We don't actually understand why bikes stay upright as they move, writes physicist Michael Brooks at The New Statesman. A 2011 paper, published in the journal Science, poked big holes in the old theories about gyroscopic effects, and nobody has come along with anything to fill them yet. Read the rest

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