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The Weekend Links

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Science Fairs were the bane of my existence. At my Catholic school, the priest even once said during Mass, "... and the parents did a great job on their kid's science fair projects this year." Zing! Anyway, if you're looking to relive aspects of your childhood, this link to ridiculously funny science fair experiements made me laugh out loud and forget the pain. (Via GorillaMask.net)

My boss is obsessed with IKEA and can spend hours there looking for just the right cabinet for our office space. Reader Edward has sent in this link about a man's experience living in IKEA. The video shorts are hilarious, especially the "Ikea word scrambles." What store have you dreamed of making your abode?

We sometimes live and die by our faithful animated heroes in video games. I'll even take it further and admit I used to have a crush on Link. But not all are fictitious friends are lovable - here's a list of the 15 most annoying characters in video games.

Anyone who's worked in an office or lived in a condo/co-op knows the plague of passive-aggressive notes and memos that occasionally paper one's desk or community bulletin board. PassiveAggressiveNotes makes it an art. Here's a great example of a particularly persnickety postscript.

Casting directors don't always get their big-name choices for a film. Sometimes that can be a very good thing. Here are a few times when second choice casting turned out to be first-rate.

Flossy reader Jane has helped me out of the winter doldrums by offering up two helpful vacation planning sites: ricksteves.com (from PBS) and petergreenberg.com (from The Today Show) -- take a moment to wistfully plan a Roman Holiday you may never take, or use it for a real vacation I will probably be jealous of.

The Oscars are coming up, and so are the Razzies. For those of you who may be unfamiliar, the Razzies celebrate the very worst in film from the previous year, handing out the gold-spray-painted, $4.89 statuettes. Today the winners will be announced! Check here for a list.

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11 Interesting Photos that Look Photoshopped ... but aren't. The images may, however, be manipulated by lens and perspective. And believe it or not, that dog is real (read about it here).

For those of you in college or simply looking to do research (and not, like me, looking up "muscle dog" in the Google search), Weekend Links faithful Dail suggests you start with the New York Times Newsroom Navigator, the paper's own highly selective and constantly changing list of websites to help jump-start your info-gathering.

If only I had been so talented ... an animated wall drawing that is guaranteed to impress.

From Slate, the Poetry of Roger Clemens -- haikus taken from the congressional hearings. Want more baseball? Check out umpbump.com, where you can discuss at length Reed Johnson's facial hair, or write your own caption to Daisuke playing football.

Once again, special thanks to all who sent in links this week. I do appreciate your scouring -- keep it up! Remember that photos and shameless plugs are always welcome; otherwise I'll just keep pimping out my own stuff. Send all submissions and suggestions to flossylinks@gmail.com. Have a great weekend!

[Last Weekend's Links]

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Space
Can’t See the Eclipse in Person? Watch NASA’s 360° Live Stream
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Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

Depending on where you live, the historic eclipse on August 21 might not look all that impressive from your vantage point. You may be far away from the path of totality, or stuck with heartbreakingly cloudy weather. Maybe you forgot to get your eclipse glasses before they sold out, or can't get away from your desk in the middle of the day.

But fear not. NASA has you covered. The space agency is live streaming a spectacular 4K-resolution 360° live video of the celestial phenomenon on Facebook. The livestream started at 12 p.m. Eastern Time and includes commentary from NASA experts based in South Carolina. It will run until about 4:15 ET.

You can watch it below, on NASA's Facebook page, or on the Facebook video app.

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Art
Cephalopod Fossil Sketch in Australia Can Be Seen From Space

Australia is home to some of the most singular creatures alive today, but a new piece of outdoor art pays homage to an organism that last inhabited the continent 65 million years ago. As the Townsville Bulletin reports, an etching of a prehistoric ammonite has appeared in a barren field in Queensland.

Ammonites are the ancestors of the cephalopods that currently populate the world’s oceans. They had sharp beaks, dexterous tentacles, and spiraling shells that could grow more than 3 feet in diameter. The inland sea where the ammonites once thrived has since dried up, leaving only fossils as evidence of their existence. The newly plowed dirt mural acts as a larger-than-life reminder of the ancient animals.

To make a drawing big enough to be seen from space, mathematician David Kennedy plotted the image into a path consisting of more than 600 “way points.” Then, using a former War World II airfield as his canvas, the property’s owner Rob Ievers plowed the massive 1230-foot-by-820-foot artwork into the ground with his tractor.

The project was funded by Soil Science Australia, an organization that uses soil art to raise awareness of the importance of farming. The sketch doubles as a paleotourist attraction for the local area, which is home to Australia's "dinosaur trail" of museums and other fossil-related attractions. But to see the craftsmanship in all its glory, visitors will need to find a way to view it from above.

[h/t Townsville Bulletin]

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