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Weekend Links: The Worst Things For Sale

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Very, very happy to be able to share this link and video this week -- I saw this short film at that Atlanta 48-hour Film Festival last year and was blown away by the emotion behind it. So well done, and I don't know if it just appeals to me as a writer, but I think everyone can get a little something from it: The Prince's Perfect Party.
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Need more good things to watch? Paste has a continuously-updated list of the 50 Best Movies streaming on Netflix Instant (also just 50 great movies in general).
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Another great list: books scarier than horror movies.
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A Tumblr for the worst things for sale. Self-explanatory! (and oh my heavens how right they are …)
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And speaking of The Worst things, is this the worst shot ever taken during a basketball halftime contest? I love how at the end the guy filming it says "this is the worst athletic display I've ever seen … in Spokane, Washington." Fair to say I think it goes beyond that. However, I feel for the poor guy because with such pressure I would probably fail like that, too!
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As an NFL fan, this story is an uncomfortably important one for me, but it should be for any sports fan: a look at how athletic culture still suppresses concussion research. Ignorance is not bliss.
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Related, friend/rival of Bob Costas, Robert Lipsyte, writes a piece on Costas' comments about traumatic head injuries and why that's important for sports journalism, to which Costas then replies.
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The Mighty F asks: "Who would you have in this Comic Face Off: FoxTrot or The Far Side?" See their reasoning for both and who is claimed the victor (do you agree?)
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Stay tuned - more links tomorrow! In the meantime send your Flossy submissions to FlossyLinks@gmail.com

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FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images
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Animals
Fisherman Catches Rare Blue Lobster, Donates It to Science
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FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images

Live lobsters caught off the New England coast are typically brown, olive-green, or gray—which is why one New Hampshire fisherman was stunned when he snagged a blue one in mid-July.

As The Independent reports, Greg Ward, from Rye, New Hampshire, discovered the unusual lobster while examining his catch near the New Hampshire-Maine border. Ward initially thought the pale crustacean was an albino lobster, which some experts estimate to be a one-in-100-million discovery. However, a closer inspection revealed that the lobster's hard shell was blue and cream.

"This one was not all the way white and not all the way blue," Ward told The Portsmouth Herald. "I've never seen anything like it."

While not as rare as an albino lobster, blue lobsters are still a famously elusive catch: It's said that the odds of their occurrence are an estimated one in two million, although nobody knows the exact numbers.

Instead of eating the blue lobster, Ward decided to donate it to the Seacoast Science Center in Rye. There, it will be studied and displayed in a lobster tank with other unusually colored critters, including a second blue lobster, a bright orange lobster, and a calico-spotted lobster.

[h/t The Telegraph]

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Courtesy Murdoch University
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Animals
Australian Scientists Discover First New Species of Sunfish in 125 Years
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Courtesy Murdoch University

Scientists have pinpointed a whole new species of the largest bony fish in the world, the massive sunfish, as we learned from Smithsonian magazine. It's the first new species of sunfish proposed in more than 125 years.

As the researchers report in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, the genetic differences between the newly named hoodwinker sunfish (Mola tecta) and its other sunfish brethren was confirmed by data on 27 different samples of the species collected over the course of three years. Since sunfish are so massive—the biggest can weigh as much as 5000 pounds—they pose a challenge to preserve and store, even for museums with large research collections. Lead author Marianne Nyegaard of Murdoch University in Australia traveled thousands of miles to find and collected genetic data on sunfish stranded on beaches. At one point, she was asked if she would be bringing her own crane to collect one.

Nyegaard also went back through scientific literature dating back to the 1500s, sorting through descriptions of sea monsters and mermen to see if any of the documentation sounded like observations of the hoodwinker. "We retraced the steps of early naturalists and taxonomists to understand how such a large fish could have evaded discovery all this time," she said in a press statement. "Overall, we felt science had been repeatedly tricked by this cheeky species, which is why we named it the 'hoodwinker.'"

Japanese researchers first detected genetic differences between previously known sunfish and a new, unknown species 10 years ago, and this confirms the existence of a whole different type from species like the Mola mola or Mola ramsayi.

Mola tecta looks a little different from other sunfish, with a more slender body. As it grows, it doesn't develop the protruding snout or bumps that other sunfish exhibit. Similarly to the others, though, it can reach a length of 8 feet or more. 

Based on the stomach contents of some of the specimens studied, the hoodwinker likely feeds on salps, a jellyfish-like creature that it probably chomps on (yes, sunfish have teeth) during deep dives. The species has been found near New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and southern Chile.

[h/t Smithsonian]

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