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The Missing Links: That Second That Screwed Up the Net

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The Internet Doesn’t Want You To Miss One Single Second
You’ve wasted hundreds, thousands, tens-of-thousands, probably hundreds-of-thousands of precious seconds on the internet (not the time you've spent on mental_floss, of course). So why should the internet care if you want one of those tiny little seconds back?

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Where Do Criminals Disappear To?
When you hear about criminals fleeing the United States to avoid prosecution, you don’t imagine them fleeing to Russia. And guess what -- you’d be right. Only three times has an extradition from Russia to the US happened since 2011. See where people are actually hiding out.

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Germans Love ALF
ALF and 28 other American cultural entities found greater popularity overseas.

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You Never Reach A G-Force of 7 On the Kitchen Floor
This past weekend the X Games made the childhood dreams of countless kids spring brilliantly to life when they built and conquered a 66-foot tall looping Hot Wheels track.

Check out this link for video of the track in action.

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Turn Your Dog Into A Corkscrew
Your hot dog that is. Before your frankfurters hit the grill, make sure you give them a nice spiral cut. This video explains how and why. Although, if your hot dog becomes a good “conversation piece,” you need some new friends at your cookout.

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Long Live the Laughs
In my opinion, comedy films still exist and new ones are being made every year. For one writer, however, the movie comedy is dead. And he spreads the blame for that across SNL, YouTube, Judd Apatow and even Batman.

To prove that comedic films are not a thing of the past, I offer the following tweets from Neil deGrasse Tyson, who went to see the new film Ted - and made an academic pursuit of it:

In other words: as long as you get the placement of the stars in the sky correct, you'll get no argument about the scientific implausibility of a stuffed animal that walks and talks.

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...And Laughs After Death
I personally would like to be cremated. But I do see a lot of comedic value in a tombstone. As some people have proven, there are a lot of funny possibilities. Headstone QR codes offer up an even greater array of possibilities than ever before. Just imagine if people could scan a code on your grave marker and be taken to a YouTube clip of you speaking to them from beyond the grave.

And if you’re not someone with a totally perversely-macabre sense of humor, I suppose you could have the QR code redirect you to something sentimental too.

The possibilities are endless. How would you use yours?

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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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