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Weekend Links: Why Daylight Saving Time May Kill You

I am no fan of Daylight Saving Time, and now I have even more fuel to add to that fire, because apparently ... springing forward could kill you. My parents have started ignoring the time shift and exist on Central Time during these months while living in the Eastern zone. Heroes!
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The most insane letter ever written by a child to a TV weatherman. Also the most awesome. This kid has a lot of creative talent! (Thanks Paul for the link!)
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Whether you enjoy football soccer or not, you may still appreciate the tenacity of Lionel Messi, the Argentinian phenom who plays for Barcelona F.C. This video, besides being a lovely cut of "the beautiful game," also shows that you don't need to dive or put on to win challenges, you just need to keep going.
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Does hypnosis work? And what exactly does it do to your brain? (Have any of you ever been hypnotized? And not just by the soccer skills of Messi?)
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We did this as a summer camp project once and I positively loved it: 11 Household Appliances Disassembled. The complexity is truly astounding and not something we should so easily take for granted! Also it's a good way to learn how to disable our robot overlords ...
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… Unless the spiders get us first! OK, seriously, arachnaphobes do not click this link. I don't like spiders but the last picture gave me the willies for the entire afternoon: thousands of spiders blanket Australian farm after escaping flood. Have you ever witnessed an exodus like this? When we had floods here I saw armies of ants marching away, spiders hanging from trees and snakes everywhere.
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Because for some of us there can never be enough discussion of the Titanic: was the ship sunk by a "Supermoon" and Celestial Alignment? (Thanks Holly!)
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I have seen some of these life hacks before but the first one about knots blew my mind and I had to share. I haven't tried it yet but it definitely seems like it could have saved me some time and heartache and a broken nail last week …
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A cheaper way to decorate: instead of buying furniture, why not just draw it?
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Super slow motion video of a water drop hitting sand. The final bit really sold me. Amazing!
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A big thanks to everyone who sent in links this week - keep it up! Send a raven (or a regular ole email) to FlossyLinks@gmail.com.

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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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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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