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.
In this two-minute video, National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen relates the story of a giant leopard seal who tried to teach him (Nicklen) how to hunt for penguins. While Nicklen was in Antarctica photographing the seal, she (the seal) kept bringing him penguins as food offerings, thinking that Nicklen was an incompetent predator who couldn't find food for himself. Watch this short science video and be amazed.
(Via Boing Boing and our own Morning Cup of... READ ON
Here's a little Friday silliness for you. Jonathan Coulton sings "Skullcrusher Mountain," a love song sung from the perspective of an evil genius to his muse/obsessive crush. Representative lyrics:
I made this half-pony/half-monkey monster to please you
But I get the feeling that you don't like it
What's with all the screaming?
You like monkeys, you like ponies...
Maybe you don't like monsters so much.
Maybe I used too many monkeys?
Isn't it enough to know that I ruined a pony making a gift... READ ON
Remember LPs? Well, I sure do -- over the past week I've been working on digitizing some LPs that haven't been (and perhaps never will be) released on CD. Below are two videos showing how records are made -- first, the laquer Master Disc, then the vinyl copies you and I buy at the store. I believe these videos are from the Canadian documentary series How It's Made (the other items from the same episode included "bagels" and "chains") shown on the Discovery Channel in most markets.
The Laquer Master... READ ON
Sarah Haskins shows ridiculous portrayals of women in TV advertising in her "Target Women" web series for Current TV. It's full of jokes. You should watch it. It's not annoying or preachy. That is all.
You Are Never Safe (Broadview Security)
Not even when you're at home in broad daylight, playing soccer with your kids. "You may call these 'commercials,' but I like to call them 'rape fables.' You can buy an alarm system for only $99.99, or you, and your young, innocent daughter can be assaulted... READ ON
UPDATE: please read the comments on this post for documentation of earlier LOL Cats, including a comment from Jason Scott. This is, sadly, not the earliest LOL Cat known to man.
Digital archivist Jason Scott (creator of BBS: The Documentary) has discovered what might be the first LOL Cat ever. He writes:
From the March 1929 issue of Parents' Magazine, page 73. Someone might call this a LOLcat. Either way, 1920s Nursery Cat Is Watching You... READ ON
The video below, by Arnaud Jourdain, is a time lapse animation showing five years' worth of graffiti at 5a Rue de Verneuil in Paris. By shooting thousands of high-resolution photos over a period of years, the filmmakers were able to reconstruct the graffiti process and even separate out layers of graffiti, creating an impressive 3D effect, seeming to fly through exploded layers. It's really neat. After the jump, check out the Google auto-translation in English (actually pretty decent) of the French... READ ON
"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." -Carl Sagan. Here's the third movement of the growing Symphony of Science, a series of songs that use scientists' spoken voices auto-tuned to make them sing. In this latest installment, the focus is again on the vastness of the cosmos and our place in it. The video also includes a few clips from my favorite film of all time, Koyaanisqatsi (more on that later this week).
If you're a fan of the original song ("A Glorious Dawn" featuring Carl... READ ON
Okay, this is just silly. I figured you might want to let off some steam before Thanksgiving. What follows are six American Budget Shopping Network clips. This "network" is basically comedian Andy Daly (best known for his part on the HBO show Eastbound and Down) trying to run a TV shopping show, and having a great time. Enjoy.
Fire & Knives
"We can't sell you fire, I don't know how we'd ship it! But we can sell you knives, and that's what we're doing right here!"
The American Budget Network... READ ON
Turkey Tracker is a bold experiment in social networking and turkey-smoking technology. Turkey Tracker combines a live video stream of a turkey smoking (at an undisclosed location, but I might as well tell you it's in Portland, Oregon), a live Q&A session and other events throughout the day (see the Broadcast Schedule at the bottom of this post for details), a live temperature graph of the bird gathered using high-tech components (again, see below for the ridiculously awesome details), Twitter updates,... READ ON
NOVA: What Are Dreams? airs on PBS stations in the US tonight, Tuesday, November 24. This is a terrific documentary on dreams, packed with specifics on the science of sleep. If you've ever wondered about sleepwalking, why we dream, or why sleep is necessary, this is the documentary for you! Note: after the air date, the entire program will be available for streaming for one full week on the Nova: What Are Dreams website.
I'm a big fan of NOVA, the science program aired on PBS stations in the US. I... READ ON