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The Weekend Links

A great find from my friend Ryan - hysterical Cleveland tourism videos. If the first take doesn't have you loving Cleveland, than the second definitely will. Remember the Cleveland motto: Hey, at least we're not Detroit! Any Cleveland denizens out there care to rebut?
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Learn your pre-history with the Paleobet - a really cute and informative paleontological alphabet!
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If you ding a parked car, you leave a note. But what if you burglarize one?
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Some extremely creative grave markers. Are some of these photoshopped? Maybe I'm just a cynic!
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Need to get away for awhile? Try being like the invisible man, and just become part of the scenery.
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Dating can be difficult and awkward, but how much more awkward is a Skype date? One brave columnist dared to find out (complete with video clips).
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You know what they say about hindsight being 20/20 ... here are 5 disasters that could have been avoided. Let's hope history doesn't repeat itself on some of these!
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Utter poppycock - was there indeed a literary hoax so highbrow no one got it? In Twitter speak this would be followed by the hashtag #FAIL.
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Another life lesson: don't park where you aren't supposed to - one day you'll pay!

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Off the wall: The astonishing 3D murals painted on the sides of buildings by a trompe l'oeil artist. These are different from the sidewalk chalkings that get passed around from time to time. Some of them took SEVERAL hard looks to figure out!
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From Daniel, a ridiculous clip (not the trailer) from the film "Mega Shark versus Giant Octopus." It features the clip where the shark bites the plane in mid-air. Yeah. Well, it IS a mega shark!
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In the mood for murder? Rediscover some of the Top 20 Gangster Movies of the Last 40 Years
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Rather lovely - exquisite umbrellas to brighten up dull rainy days (and lighten your wallet, too).
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Step right up and buy some amazing healing snake oil elixir. I can't believe it still exists!
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Er, Sauron? Is that you? Spiral galaxy found with black hole for an "eye."
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An interesting find from the National Library of Medicine: Dream Anatomy. "Dream Anatomy shows off the anatomical imagination in some of its most astonishing incarnations, from 1500 to the present."
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Did you know that if you zap garlic cloves in the microwave for 15 seconds and the skins slip right off? Or if you poke an egg with a small sewing needle before hard-boiling, and the egg will peel with ease? How about the fact that cottage cheese will remain fresher longer if you store it upside down in the refrigerator? Check out some of these kitchen hints.
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Can the complexities of genetics be summed up in one simple black and white picture? Apparently so.
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Some organizational tips from Life Hacker: Turn Gmail Into Your Ultimate GTD (Get Things Done) Inbox.
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Hope everyone has a splendid weekend! Just don't forget to keep sending in those links - refer all sites, blogs, pictures and all manner of internet oddities to FlossyLinks@gmail.com, and for link extras during the week, I am on Twitter.

[Last Weekend's Links]

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iStock
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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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