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The Weekend Links

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Here's an update on the pandas that survived the China earthquake In May 2008. Cuteness factor is a little too much to handle.
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7 Architectural Wonders of the Natural World. The spider one ... do not want. Also 4000 miles of ants but ... mostly just the spiders.
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As you sit back in wonder at the cinema, ever think about those sometimes mystifying Hollywood studio logos? Read their stories here.
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And now for the news: Woman Offers Ovary For Inaugural Ball Ticket. The jokes are more or less endless.
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The perks of being a wallpaper

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Another piece of unusual art: Louis XIV made from candies and other things potentially found in your pantry. Also, people sculptures under the sea.
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Never say die! If it irritates you when pro teams give up when trailing in the fourth, watch this astounding video of a 1994 high school football game in Texas. Plano East is down 41-17 with 3 minutes to go ... the outcome may surprise you. Favorite quotes: "If they score, I'm gonna jump out of this booth!" "I done wet my britches!"
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From Jan, unusual animal assistants that include ducks, monkeys and miniature horses, oh my!

When the Weekend Links first began, I called for pictures, shameless plugs, etc. At first we had some rousing submissions, but they seem to have tapered off. I think we should bring that back, so I will start. First, from my friend Tracy, whose very talented aunt makes these tiny figurines (the root beer can is there to compare size):
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And secondly, a picture I took of the skyline:
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See? Not so hard. Send 'em in!
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Now for a stockpiling of quizzes:

(1) Match the Hangover Cure to the Country Quiz

(2) Are you a Yankee? A Southern Accent Test will tell you. No one ever says I have an accent, but I done scored 100% Dixie y'all!

(3) For more random quiz fun, try this Dog Breed Quiz, or for those who prefer animals whose affection you must earn but who will still forever ignore you, a Cat Breed Quiz.
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IBM has announced it will lead a US government-funded collaboration to make electronic circuits that mimic brains. Will they only use 10% of their power?
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How did I miss this? Obama busting some moves on Ellen from before the election. I'm sure you all have seen this, but it still makes me giggle.
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"I may be in the gutter, but I'm looking up at the stars!" Here's something to look for: 7 Major Meteor Showers You Can Expect in 2009.
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And finally, the 15 Most Unfortunate Haircuts for a Mugshot. I would say most of these are unfortunate always.

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Thanks as always to those who have sent in links - keep it up! Send all links, pictures and shameless plugs to FlossyLinks@gmail.com

[Last Weekend's Links]

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Animals
25 Benefits of Adopting a Rescue Dog
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According to the ASPCA, 3.3 million dogs enter shelters each year in the United States. Although that number has gone down since 2011 (from 3.9 million) there are still millions of dogs waiting in shelters for a forever home. October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month; here are 25 benefits of adopting a shelter dog.

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fun
How Urban Legends Like 'The Licked Hand' Are Born
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If you compare the scary stories you heard as a kid with those of your friends—even those who grew up across the country from you—you’ll probably hear some familiar tales. Maybe you tried to summon Bloody Mary by chanting her name in front of the mirror three times in a dark bathroom. Maybe you learned never to wonder what’s under a woman’s neck ribbon. Maybe you heard the one about the girl who feels her dog lick her hand in the middle of the night, only to wake up to find him hanging dead from the shower nozzle, the words “humans can lick too” written on the wall in the dog’s blood.

These ubiquitous, spooky folk tales exist everywhere, and a lot of them take surprisingly similar forms. How does a single story like the one often called “Humans Can Lick Too” or "The Licked Hand" make its way into every slumber party in America? Thrillist recently investigated the question with a few experts, finding that most of these stories have very deep roots.

In the case of The Licked Hand, its origins go back more than a century. In the 1990s, Snopes found that a similar motif dates back to an Englishman’s diary entry from 1871. In it, the diary keeper, Dearman Birchall, retold a story he heard at a party of a man whose wife woke him up in the middle of the night, urging him to go investigate what sounded like burglars in their home. He told his wife that it was only the dog, reaching out his hand. He felt the dog lick his hand … but in the morning, all his valuables were gone: He had clearly been robbed.

A similar theme shows up in the short story “The Diary of Mr. Poynter,” published in 1919 by M.R. James. In it, a character dozes off in an armchair, and thinks that he is petting his dog. It turns out, it’s some kind of hairy human figure that he flees from. The story seems to have evolved from there into its presently popular form, picking up steam in the 1960s. As with any folk tale, its exact form changes depending on the teller: sometimes the main character is an old lady, other times it’s a young girl.

You’ll probably hear these stories in the context of happening to a “friend of a friend,” making you more likely to believe the tale. It practically happened to someone you know! Kind of! The setting, too, is probably somewhere nearby. It might be in your neighborhood, or down by the local railroad tracks.

Thrillist spoke to Dr. Joseph Stubbersfield, a researcher in the UK who studies urban legends, who says the kind of stories that spread widely contain both social information and emotional resonance. Meaning they contain a message—you never know who’s lurking in your house—and are evocative.

If something is super scary or gross, you want to share it. Stories tend to warn against something: A study of English-language urban legends circulating online found that most warned listeners about the hazards of life (poisonous plants, dangerous animals, dangerous humans) rather than any kind of opportunities. We like to warn each other of the dangers that could be lurking around every corner, which makes sense considering our proven propensity to focus on and learn from negative information. And yes, that means telling each other to watch out for who’s licking our hands in the middle of the night.

Just something to keep in mind as you eagerly await Jezebel’s annual scary story contest.

[h/t Thrillist]

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