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Winters of My Life

Director Jonathan Burhop produced this very short film featuring Howard Weamer. From Burhop's description:

Winters of My Life is a portrait of Howard Weamer. For the past 35 years he has spent his winters as a hutkeeper in Yosemite's backcountry. He fills his days writing, reading, photographing, and being an ambassador to mountain culture. This is a brief look into his world and why he chooses to stay.

In the film, Weamer reviews his log of keeping the hut (starting in 1974), and discusses his feelings for the place that has been his winter home for more than half the winters of his life. It's pure poetry, and it's very short (just over three minutes, part of which is a credits sequence). Enjoy, and get ready for winter.

Winters of My Life from Jonathan Burhop on Vimeo.

(Via Vimeo Staff Picks.)

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The Secret Procedure for the Queen's Death
Chris Radburn—WPA Pool/Getty Images
Chris Radburn—WPA Pool/Getty Images

The queen's private secretary will start an urgent phone tree. Parliament will call an emergency session. Commercial radio stations will watch special blue lights flash, then switch to pre-prepared playlists of somber music. As a new video from Half As Interesting relates, the British media and government have been preparing for decades for the death of Queen Elizabeth II—a procedure codenamed "London Bridge is Down."

There's plenty at stake when a British monarch dies. And as the Guardian explains, royal deaths haven't always gone smoothly. When the Queen Mother passed away in 2002, the blue "obit lights" installed at commercial radio stations didn’t come on because someone failed to depress the button fully. That's why it's worth it to practice: As Half as Interesting notes, experts have already signed contracts agreeing to be interviewed upon the queen's death, and several stations have done run-throughs substituting "Mrs. Robinson" for the queen's name.

You can learn more about "London Bridge is Down" by watching the video below—or read the Guardian piece for even more detail, including the plans for her funeral and burial. ("There may be corgis," they note.)

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How to Shuck an Oyster
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Shucking oysters doesn't have to be intimidating. Chef Dave Seigal of Cull & Pistol Oyster Bar teaches Mental Floss the proper technique for safe and easy oyster shucking. 

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