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The Weekend Links

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"¢ For anyone stuck working this weekend, here's a quick clip called Insane Office Sports to help you through the day.

"¢ When discussing sustainability, the recycling of cars is always a debated issue. Here's a great idea, even if it was just used as a marketing gimmick: familiar musical instruments made out of car parts (and they really work!)

This video really made me laugh, and should strike a chord with anyone familiar with those crosswalks that countdown the seconds until you're given the green. This group staged a New Years Eve-type celebration for the countdown, with hilarious results.

15 Absurd Police Reports. Enjoy.

"¢ Here's a short, silly video of Rainn Wilson (from The Office) as Lucy Lawless (aka Xena: Warrior Princess), getting in touch with his inner woman, as well as his leather skirt.

"¢ Angie has sent in another set of excellent links this week via Google Notebook—the Notebook is a simple, unobtrusive (and free) addition to your web browser where you can bookmark interesting sites to share. Consider creating a notebook to share with FlossyLinks@gmail.com!

"¢ For all you Flossy grammar-philes such as myself, a video world made of only typographic characters. Also has a great soundtrack (played with recycled car part instruments? Nah, I suppose that's too much to ask.)

"¢ Fascinating video explaining of the possibilities of a 10th dimension. I kind of got lost after 4, but was riveted nonetheless.

"¢ Ephemeral moments in time captured by photography—in this set, people having a sundry of liquids dumped on their heads. Reminds me, as someone posted in the comments, of the slime from that old Nickelodeon show You Can't Do That On Television!, the intro for which always scared me ...

"¢ Flossy reader Larry has been sending in several offerings from his blog (which I encourage you all to do!), including a story about the creation of a miniature version of Paris 15 years in the making.

"¢ From Eric, an intriguing (and depressing) tale of women who give birth behind bars. The numbers are increasing, and sociologists want to know why.

"¢ On the lighter side, Paul sends us this oldie but goodie: art you can disappear into.

"¢ This strange but interesting little site allows you to create simple melodies on a small player that repeats the song on waves (it seems the reverb builds up and I had to restart every so often ... did that happen to everyone?)

"¢ Car companies spend billions of dollars on advertising. Is it working? Take this test and find out.

"¢ I have to say, I really enjoyed this completely arbitrary test to see how well I would survive an animal attack. Apparently I'm 100% prepared to handle a house cat or raccoon, but only 15% capable of escaping an alligator, and 41% likely to live in a fight against my fellow man (!). Maybe I should head down to Krav Maga ...

"¢ From Michael at The Daily Tube (home of the best new videos on the internet), here's a preview of the world's first rotating skyscraper.

"¢ Finally, if you don't have a Wii but want to create a plastic-like mini version of yourself, try this site, where you can create your own Lego man.

Hope you guys have a great weekend. Keep sending in those great links! FlossyLinks@gmail.com.

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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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