Chris Higgins is the author of The Blogger Abides and writes for This American Life, The Atlantic, Breakfast on Mars, and The Magazine. You can follow him at chrishiggins.com.
This video starts slowly (hah), but in the middle you start seeing the wings move -- it's truly incredible. Watch how the bee's wings pivot and ultimately allow the bee to lift off. Also note pollen sticking to the rear legs as the bee leaves the flower.
If you like that, here's another.
Apparently the issues of how bees fly has been an issue of some debate for years. I had no idea. But here's an article about a study using slow-motion video (6,000 fps -- the video above is shot at 5,000 fps)... READ ON
You're in for a treat tonight. Below, I've collected a series of vintage Wendy's training videos, all apparently from the 80's. While the first (a rap entitled "Hot Drinks" which explains Wendy's policy on preparing and serving coffee, tea, and hot chocolate) has gone viral, some of the others are still lingering in obscurity.
I'm really curious: if any of our readers worked at Wendy's in the 80's or 90's, did they show you these videos? If so, did they seem crazy to you then?
"Hot... READ ON
Clare Burson owns a piece of cheese that's 117 years old (pictured at left). It has survived wars, crossed continents, and now resides in her apartment in New York, sealed in a glass jar. Burson first learned of the cheese in 1999, when her grandmother produced it during a visit to the family's Tennessee home (at that stage it had been stored in tinfoil, inside an envelope -- for who knows how long). Burson continued to check up on the cheese on subsequent visits. In 2007, Burson traveled to Lithuania... READ ON
I don't usually watch skateboarding videos, but this one caught my eye (particularly the HD version). The idea is simple: a group of skaters set their ramps on fire using molotov cocktails and then proceed to do skate on them. While they're on fire, and pyrotechnics are going off. Oh, did I mention there are burning tires and cars too? And it's in slow motion? And Spike Jonze is an Executive Producer? The execution of this project turns out to be insanely complex, with slow-motion HD cameras... READ ON
Here's a treat for your Friday: a quiet twelve-minute documentary about painters who hand-paint ads on building walls in New York City. It's a dying trade, as most ads are printed on vinyl and simply affixed to billboards (or walls). But there are a few hand-painters left, and this is their story.
Representative quote: "It takes so much work that it's kinda ridiculous. And we try to make it as easy as possible...but that doesn't change the fact that there's way easier ways to get it up there."... READ ON
Build Blog normally covers architecture and design, in their traditional, adult sense. But for the past few months they've occasionally dipped into tongue-in-cheek analyses of couch fort architecture, using photos of real couch forts built by kids, found online. There are now three essays: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. They read like design critiques of student work, pointing out flaws in the design, strengths of classical design, and often referencing design principles I've never heard of. My favorite... READ ON
If you've been checking out web videos in the past two years, it's a good bet that you've seen Simon's Cat, a video series by animator Simon Tofield featuring the adventures of a man and his cat. Tofield does all the animation and sounds (including the meows) himself. I'd seen the original video (called "Cat Man Do"), but was surprised at how many other videos Tofield has done over the years (and apparently he even has a book). So tonight, for your viewing pleasure, I collect all the Simon's Cat videos... READ ON
So I've seen a tornado form, and, like an idiot, just stood there staring at it -- until it started moving towards me, at which point I ran, and felt the wind pushing at my back, until I was about a half mile away. That was an exhilarating (and scary) experience; the tornado was fascinating and strange, like the winds had become a creature. A creature that, unfortunately, might kill me.
So today I bring you, via the Bad Astronomy blog, a fire tornado that occurred near Mauna Kea in Hawaii. This... READ ON
Fermat's Last Theorem is one of the most famous math problems in history, as it remained unsolved for well over 300 years -- and Fermat himself, before his suicide, had written a margin note claiming he had a solution. Fellow _floss blogger Casey Johnston described FLT like so last year:
In 1637, Pierre de Fermat scribbled a note in the margin of his copy of the book Arithmetica. He wrote (conjectured, in math terms) that for an integer n greater that two, the equation an + bn = cn had no whole... READ ON
In this 80-second video, you'll see stagehands hastily assembling a set for Saturday Night Live. Early on, they get a 35-second warning and someone says over an intercom, "We're screwed." You can listen as they do the final ten-second countdown and people desperately move more furniture into the set, throw pillows in strategic places, and then hold the flat behind Fred Armisen by hand (you can see it wobbling as he starts to talk). Sheer madness, and amazing. This is live TV, folks.
(Via... READ ON
Pentheraphobia is the persistent fear of your mother-in-law.