CLOSE

The Weekend Links

"¢ After reading Higgins' great article on Eliza the AI chatterbox, you may want to check out Chatterbox Central, which links to tons of other internet bots you can have a conversation with ... you lonely, lonely soul you. (Thanks Dail!)

"¢ Jan has sent in a very dangerous link to Rockabye Baby Music, where rock songs are turned into sweet lullabyes. Dangerous because I nearly fell into a sweet slumber listening to a few. Try it out!

"¢ Spring is in the air! Now it can be on your internet browser as well (Hint: Just click and drag around for some thankfully non-pollen magic.)

"¢ Not sure why you would need this (I say that after spending a solid 10 minutes fiddling with it), but a website that allows you to spell things upside down. (via makezine.com)

"¢ I don't know what kinda of person thinks, "If I take this vintage Jeff Goldblum iMac commercial and slow it down 30 percent, hilarity will ensure," but I'm glad they did. And, well, it does.

"¢ Flossy reader Edward sends us a link to an amazing drumming robot with plenty of detail on how it was built and how it works. Not what you would think, but probably a great way to annoy your roommate (via Music Thing)

"¢ A clever rebuttal to our feature on 10 TV Shows That Changed the Course of History. Couch potatoes unite!

"¢ Speaking of predictions, here are 10 prophetic Sci-Fi movies. Just be glad that some, like Brazil, didn't make the list.

"¢ Another March Madness bracket, but this time showing if winners were predicted by median salaries of graduates. I would like to point out I would not have even made the selection show on this one.

"¢ For people who do have some disposable income, start planning your summer vacations with a look at the World's Largest Roadside Attractions. Has anyone been to any of these?

"¢ Still on the thread of disposable (and, well, income)—three strange but funny commercials for JAPP Chocolate. They destroy 3 Porsches in the process of filming, which makes me think this must be some really great, money-generating chocolate!

"¢ The science of drafting baseball movie characters. More like alchemy, with about the same percentage of gold produced.

"¢ Did someone just throw the A-Town Down call? Atlanta Hawks mascot loses a dance-off to a pushy kid, with fantastic results.

"¢ Remember a few weeks ago when we kept challenging you to name all the members of college conferences in one minute? It kind of got old, and we never got around to posting all of them. Here you go, Pac 10 fans.

"¢ I don't come from a place with wind turbines, so they sort of frighten me with their resemblance to a kind of giant medieval torture device. Still, not all wind turbines have to be huge and menacing, as this Massachusetts town has recently discovered.

Much love and thanks to everyone who sent in links this week! Keep it up - all links, pictures, plugs and gifts should be sent to FlossyLinks@gmail.com. Have a great weekend!

[Last Weekend's Links]

arrow
History
The Secret World War II History Hidden in London's Fences

In South London, the remains of the UK’s World War II history are visible in an unlikely place—one that you might pass by regularly and never take a second look at. In a significant number of housing estates, the fences around the perimeter are actually upcycled medical stretchers from the war, as the design podcast 99% Invisible reports.

During the Blitz of 1940 and 1941, the UK’s Air Raid Precautions department worked to protect civilians from the bombings. The organization built 60,000 steel stretchers to carry injured people during attacks. The metal structures were designed to be easy to disinfect in case of a gas attack, but that design ended up making them perfect for reuse after the war.

Many London housing developments at the time had to remove their fences so that the metal could be used in the war effort, and once the war was over, they were looking to replace them. The London County Council came up with a solution that would benefit everyone: They repurposed the excess stretchers that the city no longer needed into residential railings.

You can tell a stretcher railing from a regular fence because of the curves in the poles at the top and bottom of the fence. They’re hand-holds, designed to make it easier to carry it.

Unfortunately, decades of being exposed to the elements have left some of these historic artifacts in poor shape, and some housing estates have removed them due to high levels of degradation. The Stretcher Railing Society is currently working to preserve these heritage pieces of London infrastructure.

As of right now, though, there are plenty of stretchers you can still find on the streets. If you're in the London area, this handy Google map shows where you can find the historic fencing.

[h/t 99% Invisible]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
holidays
Custom-Design the Ugly Christmas Sweater of Your Dreams (or Nightmares)
iStock
iStock

For those of you aspiring to be the worst dressed person at your family's holiday dinner, UglyChristmasSweater.com sells—you guessed it—ugly Christmas sweaters to seasonal revelers possessing a sense of irony. But the Michigan-based online retailer has elevated kitsch to new heights by offering a create-your-own-sweater tool on its website.

Simply visit the site's homepage, and click on the Sweater Customizer link. There, you'll be provided with a basic sweater template, which you can decorate with festive snowflakes, reindeer, and other designs in five different colors. If you're feeling really creative, you can even upload photos, logos, hand-drawn pictures, and/or text. After you approve and purchase a mock-up of the final design, you can purchase the final result (prices start at under $70). But you'd better act quickly: due to high demand, orders will take about two weeks plus shipping time to arrive.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios