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The Weekend Links

Looking to get involved in the political process? How about fool some friends into thinking you're a grassroots phenomenon?
"¢ Copy and paste this URL into your browser: http://www.thelopezfamilyonline.com/play.php?first=FIRST&LASTNAME
"¢ Next, replace FIRST&LASTNAME with your name - in my case, it would be Allison%20Keene (the %20 will add the space).
"¢ Press enter or whatever you need to load the site, click on the video, and voila! Watch the magic!
(Thanks Jan!)

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Tired of waiting in long lines at the fair ground or Six Flags? You could always build your own rollercoaster ... although I wouldn't recommend it. (Thanks to Martha for that gem)

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If you're looking to make an impression with clients or potential beaux, check out some of these clever business cards, courtesy of Larry's blog.

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Suffering from Olympic withdrawal? Check out this Olympic photoshop contest that manages to bring Beijing and backflips to some well known art.

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If ever there was a proper usage of "zomg," it would be to describe this table.

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Apparently this completely unfathomably cool fountain is from Canal City in Fukuoka, Japan. Word is there are similar fountains other places ... anyone seen one in person? This one still baffles me.

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10 unbelievable medical conditions. I think at least 5 of these have so far been featured on Grey's Anatomy, and I'm sure the rest will make it on at some point.

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I'm pretty sure this vintage ad sparked the idea for the Honda Element, the "hose off the inside" car.

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From the AV Club, 26 evil, awful, or just plain stupid educators in TV and film. (I'm really happy they included Olivier from Six Feet Under on this list)

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Some things really do get lost in translation - see for yourself here. On a side note, I once heard a long time ago some songwriter saying they used an online translator to send their lyrics from English to another language and back to English. Apparently it made them more poetic. I still don't think it would help my terrible attempts at song writing, but maybe I'll give it a go!

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Having trouble jump starting your art? Start with a Rorschach blot and then fill it in like this artist, who achieved amazing results. (This post approved by Rorschach)

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A visual illusion
regarding color cubes.

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1-burger.jpg

When they say to eat fast food in moderation ... is this what they mean?

From Eric, a great Gremlins fan video. Gremlins are not to be confused with Critters. Bonus: can anyone name the A-List actor and former hearthrob who had a role in Critters 3?

I'll let you guys do your own hunting on this one - a list of crazy flash sites that will, apparently, "warp your mind." In my experience, that can sometimes be true.

Seen anything fun, crazy, smart or shocking on the internet? Send it my way! FlossyLinks@gmail.com

[Last Weekend's Links]

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iStock
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language
How Do You Stress the Word: THANKSgiving or ThanksGIVing?
iStock
iStock

Here’s something else to stress about for Thanksgiving: where to put the stress in the word Thanksgiving.

If you’re from California, Iowa, or Delaware, you probably say ThanksGIVing, with the primary stress on the second syllable. If you’re from Georgia, Tennessee, or the Texas Panhandle, you probably say THANKSgiving, with the primary stress on the first syllable.

This north-south divide on syllable stress is found for other words like umbrella, guitar, insurance, and pecan. However, those words are borrowed from other languages (Italian, Spanish, French). Sometimes, in the borrowing process, competing stress patterns settle into regional differences. Just as some borrowed words get first syllable stress in the South and second syllable stress in the North, French words like garage and ballet get first syllable stress in the UK and second syllable stress in the U.S.

Thanksgiving, however, is an English word through and through. And if it behaved like a normal English word, it would have stress on the first syllable. Consider other words with the same noun-gerund structure just like it: SEAfaring, BAbysitting, HANDwriting, BULLfighting, BIRDwatching, HOMEcoming, ALMSgiving. The stress is always up front, on the noun. Why, in Thanksgiving alone, would stress shift to the GIVE?

The shift to the ThanksGIVing pronunciation is a bit of a mystery. Linguist John McWhorter has suggested that the loss of the stress on thanks has to do with a change in our concept of the holiday, that we “don’t truly think about Thanksgiving as being about thankfulness anymore.” This kind of thing can happen when a word takes on a new, more abstract sense. When we use outgoing for mail that is literally going out, we are likely to stress the OUT. When we use it as a description of someone’s personality ("She's so outgoing!"), the stress might show up on the GO. Stress can shift with meaning.

But the stress shift might not be solely connected to the entrenchment of our turkey-eating rituals. The thanksGIVing stress pattern seems to have pre-dated the institution of the American holiday, according to an analysis of the meter of English poems by Mark Liberman at Language Log. ThanksGIVing has been around at least since the 17th century. However you say it, there is precedent to back you up. And room enough to focus on both the thanks and the giving.

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TAKWest, Youtube
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entertainment
Watch Boris Karloff's 1966 Coffee Commercial
TAKWest, Youtube
TAKWest, Youtube

Horror legend Boris Karloff is famous for playing mummies, mad scientists, and of course, Frankenstein’s creation. In 1930, Karloff cemented the modern image of the monster—with its rectangular forehead, bolted neck, and enormous boots (allegedly weighing in at 11 pounds each)—in the minds of audiences.

But the horror icon, who was born 130 years ago today, also had a sense of humor. The actor appeared in numerous comedies, and even famously played a Boris Karloff look-alike (who’s offended when he’s mistaken for Karloff) in the original Broadway production of Arsenic and Old Lace

In the ’60s, Karloff also put his comedic chops to work in a commercial for Butter-Nut Coffee. The strange commercial, set in a spooky mansion, plays out like a movie scene, in which Karloff and the viewer are co-stars. Subtitles on the bottom of the screen feed the viewer lines, and Karloff responds accordingly. 

Watch the commercial below to see the British star selling coffee—and read your lines aloud to feel like you’re “acting” alongside Karloff. 

[h/t: Retroist]

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