CLOSE

The Weekend Links

The Geekiest (slash, most awesome) Pants"¦ Ever?
*
The Curious History of Contraception - amazing (and sometimes slightly horrifying) moments in birth control, plus a look into the future.
*
From Jan in the "What the...?" category (as CNN would put it), two brothers act out a turkey hunt. I don't know why this exists but I'm glad it does. The guy who plays the turkey is pretty good, no?
*

Some mind-boggling photo manipulations that turn everyday snaps into stunning works of art.
*
The iPhone Ad You'll Never See (but should).
*
Adidas turns 60 - here's a retrospective of the classic sneakers (especially for you sneak-o-philes .... I know you're out there!) Can someone do my work for me - what does adidas stand for (if anything)? In middle school we had some ideas ... (as middle schoolers do).
*
Another pop icon has a birthday to celebrate - Hello Kitty is turning 35, so CNET's "Gadgettes" had a 'Hello Cougar' contest ... (Thanks Scott!)
*
From the Annals of Amazing Dog Talents, 8 Canines You'll Wish Were Yours.
*
In case you were wondering ... how many people are in space right now?

*
Kim sends in this very cool collaborative music/spoken word project "Just as the title says on the page: 20 YouTube videos, one with spoken word, the rest with music. You can play one, play three, play them all, adn they all flow together beautifully! You could spend hours on there!"
*
A lengthy but intriguing video about Validation, beginning with a simple parking ticket and becoming much more. Staring TJ Thyne, for the ladies! (Thanks Janel!)
*
A new way to play with your food: edible Tetris.
*
Axolotl, the amphibian that never grew up, is on the verge of going extinct in the wild. (Click this one just to see a picture of the lil critter).
*
The detriment of over-analyzing - Should you go with your head or your heart?
*
A new take on Pavlov's dog ... from the dog's POV.
*
This one is for the musicians and the gamers - a truly comprehensive look at irregular meter in video games (complete with sound bites!)
*
Finally, a few interesting facts about unusual dog breeds. (Being a cat person, I can't believe how many dog-related links I have this week!)
***
Keep on truckin' with those amazing links and finds - consider it your contribution to the Greater Good. Send all submissions to FlossyLinks@gmail.com, and have a great weekend!

[Last Weekend's Links]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Animals
Why Tiny 'Hedgehog Highways' Are Popping Up Around London
iStock
iStock

Hedgehogs as pets have gained popularity in recent years, but in many parts of the world, they're still wild animals. That includes London, where close to a million of the creatures roam streets, parks, and gardens, seeking out wood and vegetation to take refuge in. Now, Atlas Obscura reports that animal activists are transforming the city into a more hospitable environment for hedgehogs.

Barnes Hedgehogs, a group founded by Michel Birkenwald in the London neighborhood of Barnes four years ago, is responsible for drilling tiny "hedgehog highways" through walls around London. The passages are just wide enough for the animals to climb through, making it easier for them to travel from one green space to the next.

London's wild hedgehog population has seen a sharp decline in recent decades. Though it's hard to pin down accurate numbers for the elusive animals, surveys have shown that the British population has dwindled by tens of millions since the 1950s. This is due to factors like human development and habitat destruction by farmers who aren't fond of the unattractive shrubs, hedges, and dead wood that hedgehogs use as their homes.

When such environments are left to grow, they can still be hard for hedgehogs to access. Carving hedgehog highways through the stone partitions and wooden fences bordering parks and gardens is one way Barnes Hedgehogs is making life in the big city a little easier for its most prickly residents.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Big Questions
Where Should You Place the Apostrophe in President's Day?
iStock
iStock

Happy Presidents’ Day! Or is it President’s Day? Or Presidents Day? What you call the national holiday depends on where you are, who you’re honoring, and how you think we’re celebrating.

Saying "President’s Day" infers that the day belongs to a singular president, such as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, whose birthdays are the basis for the holiday. On the other hand, referring to it as "Presidents’ Day" means that the day belongs to all of the presidents—that it’s their day collectively. Finally, calling the day "Presidents Day"—plural with no apostrophe—would indicate that we’re honoring all POTUSes past and present (yes, even Andrew Johnson), but that no one president actually owns the day.

You would think that in the nearly 140 years since "Washington’s Birthday" was declared a holiday in 1879, someone would have officially declared a way to spell the day. But in fact, even the White House itself hasn’t chosen a single variation for its style guide. They spelled it “President’s Day” here and “Presidents’ Day” here.


Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Maybe that indecision comes from the fact that Presidents Day isn’t even a federal holiday. The federal holiday is technically still called “Washington’s Birthday,” and states can choose to call it whatever they want. Some states, like Iowa, don’t officially acknowledge the day at all. And the location of the punctuation mark is a moot point when individual states choose to call it something else entirely, like “George Washington’s Birthday and Daisy Gatson Bates Day” in Arkansas, or “Birthdays of George Washington/Thomas Jefferson” in Alabama. (Alabama loves to split birthday celebrations, by the way; the third Monday in January celebrates both Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert E. Lee.)

You can look to official grammar sources to declare the right way, but even they don’t agree. The AP Stylebook prefers “Presidents Day,” while Chicago Style uses “Presidents’ Day.”

The bottom line: There’s no rhyme or reason to any of it. Go with what feels right. And even then, if you’re in one of those states that has chosen to spell it “President’s Day”—Washington, for example—and you use one of the grammar book stylings instead, you’re still technically wrong.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios