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Greg Veis, YouTube Hunter: The NFL's most punitive punishers

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Included among the various oddities of a childhood spent in Pacific Palisades, California, are as follows: 1) Michael Keaton was my flag football coach; 2) I was big enough to start on the offensive line of said flag football team. At 75 pounds, 11 years old, I was hardly an imposing member of the line, nor was I so much a serviceable one -- fear of physical contact being a poor attribute in a lineman -- but the experience instilled in me a deep sympathy for the least appreciated position players in team sports. Here are these hulks of men, taking relentless punishment, recognizing that their hearts will give out years before they should -- and although they make far more money than they did 15 years ago (left tackles are only out-salaried by quarterbacks now, actually), they're barely respected for it. Do you know the names of all the starting o-linemen on your favorite team? Right. But over the past week, we have been reminded by excerpts of upcoming books and by the forced removal of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Chris Simms' spleen that linemen are, in fact, germane to football success. So next time you're watching Football Night in America, don't forget who's setting up those Manning-to-Harrison connections or creating those giant holes for Tomlinison to snake through.

Now that we've internalized that very, very important lesson, I would be doing a terrible disservice by screening YouTube footage of sweet offensive line play. (Why? Because it's boring, and Jon Gruden and Bill Belichick probably don't read a lot of mentalfloss.com.) So I'm going to show you what happens when blocking goes wrong. Or when a receiver gets led a little too far down the middle by a pass. Or when the demons of deepest hell come to inhabit a safety's corpus. A pancake block may be impressive, but in terms of sheer entertainment value, does it match this?

POW! It doesn't, huh? Don Beebe backflipping on his head, Earl Campbell bulldozing suckas... this stuff is YouTube gold. Here's another hard-hitting highlight video, this time with non-Semitic rappers earning the musical honors:

KABLAM! I am frothing at the mouth. I am not kidding. I have detected froth. Now watch Lawrence Taylor end Joe Theisman's career (wait for the reverse angle):

WHAMO! And to end this bloodfest, I bring you unabashed visual hagiographies of my two favorite defensive players: Taylor and Ronnie Lott. Key things to look for...in LT's: Bill Parcell's full head of dark hair, the unbelievable one-handed sack at the 3:45 mark...and in Ronnie Lott's: everything; there's never been a nastier safety in the history of the game.

PS: Special shout-out to YouTube Hunter reader Simon who sent in this Japanese game show clip to the comments section two weeks ago...

That very footage was projected on the big screen at last night's Flaming Lips show, conferring everlasting coolness upon him and his family. Congratulations on being cool, Simon. Let us know how that works out for you.

PPS:
In case you're wondering, the only thing I remember about Michael Keaton is that he always smelled good. A very fragrant man.

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FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images
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Animals
Fisherman Catches Rare Blue Lobster, Donates It to Science
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FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images

Live lobsters caught off the New England coast are typically brown, olive-green, or gray—which is why one New Hampshire fisherman was stunned when he snagged a blue one in mid-July.

As The Independent reports, Greg Ward, from Rye, New Hampshire, discovered the unusual lobster while examining his catch near the New Hampshire-Maine border. Ward initially thought the pale crustacean was an albino lobster, which some experts estimate to be a one-in-100-million discovery. However, a closer inspection revealed that the lobster's hard shell was blue and cream.

"This one was not all the way white and not all the way blue," Ward told The Portsmouth Herald. "I've never seen anything like it."

While not as rare as an albino lobster, blue lobsters are still a famously elusive catch: It's said that the odds of their occurrence are an estimated one in two million, although nobody knows the exact numbers.

Instead of eating the blue lobster, Ward decided to donate it to the Seacoast Science Center in Rye. There, it will be studied and displayed in a lobster tank with other unusually colored critters, including a second blue lobster, a bright orange lobster, and a calico-spotted lobster.

[h/t The Telegraph]

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Courtesy Murdoch University
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Animals
Australian Scientists Discover First New Species of Sunfish in 125 Years
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Courtesy Murdoch University

Scientists have pinpointed a whole new species of the largest bony fish in the world, the massive sunfish, as we learned from Smithsonian magazine. It's the first new species of sunfish proposed in more than 125 years.

As the researchers report in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, the genetic differences between the newly named hoodwinker sunfish (Mola tecta) and its other sunfish brethren was confirmed by data on 27 different samples of the species collected over the course of three years. Since sunfish are so massive—the biggest can weigh as much as 5000 pounds—they pose a challenge to preserve and store, even for museums with large research collections. Lead author Marianne Nyegaard of Murdoch University in Australia traveled thousands of miles to find and collected genetic data on sunfish stranded on beaches. At one point, she was asked if she would be bringing her own crane to collect one.

Nyegaard also went back through scientific literature dating back to the 1500s, sorting through descriptions of sea monsters and mermen to see if any of the documentation sounded like observations of the hoodwinker. "We retraced the steps of early naturalists and taxonomists to understand how such a large fish could have evaded discovery all this time," she said in a press statement. "Overall, we felt science had been repeatedly tricked by this cheeky species, which is why we named it the 'hoodwinker.'"

Japanese researchers first detected genetic differences between previously known sunfish and a new, unknown species 10 years ago, and this confirms the existence of a whole different type from species like the Mola mola or Mola ramsayi.

Mola tecta looks a little different from other sunfish, with a more slender body. As it grows, it doesn't develop the protruding snout or bumps that other sunfish exhibit. Similarly to the others, though, it can reach a length of 8 feet or more. 

Based on the stomach contents of some of the specimens studied, the hoodwinker likely feeds on salps, a jellyfish-like creature that it probably chomps on (yes, sunfish have teeth) during deep dives. The species has been found near New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and southern Chile.

[h/t Smithsonian]

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