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.
Yann Frisch is a French sleight-of-hand artist best known for a routine called <a href="http://yann-frisch.com/baltass.html">Baltass</a> (a portmanteaux of the French words for "ball" and "cup," <em>balle</em> and <em>tasse</em>), in which he elevates the old cups-and-balls trick into a serious art form.... READ ON
In 1978, David Copperfield burst onto the scene with an impressively corny-but-endearing TV special shot for CBS. The special included extended bits with Orson Welles, Bernadette Peters, Sherman Hemsley, Valerie Bertinelli, and Cindy Williams (as "The Great Cindini"). It's a wild ride, because it's a combination of good fun, great acting, and <em>pure essence of the 70s</em>.... READ ON
On January 24, 1984, Apple introduced the Macintosh. Wearing a suit and snappy bow tie, Steve Jobs sped through his introductory speech, rattling off specs and taking every opportunity to stick it to the IBM PC. "It eats [Intel] 8088s for breakfast," Jobs said of the Mac's Motorola 68000 CPU.... READ ON
Django Reinhardt invented "hot jazz," and with Stéphane Grappelli made an indelible mark on jazz music worldwide. What's most impressive is that Django played his solos with only two fingers on his left hand, as the others were partially paralyzed after being burned at age 18.... READ ON
In late 2011, Andrew Gardikis set a record for a "speed run" on <em>Super Mario Bros.</em> -- this means he played through the entire game as quickly as possible (yes, he used the warp tubes). For that 2011 run, Gardikis calculated his time at 4:58.898, or just under five minutes (he's calculating down to the frame level).... READ ON
The Daily Pothole is a blog tracking the number of potholes filled each day in New York City. It's published by NYC DOT workers who call themselves the "pothole gang": this is the core group who track the potholes on a mega-spreadsheet and dispatch workers to fix them. And there's a lot to be done; on January 7 alone the site reported that 1,325 potholes were repaired. Last year, more than 200,000 potholes were repaired. This is a busy, tough job. Here's a short film following six members of a... READ ON
In 1981, physicist Richard Feynman was interviewed by the BBC. He told the story of his disagreement with an artist about who can better appreciate the beauty of a flower: artists or scientists. To hear Feynman tell it, the artist believed that a deep scientific understanding actually removed some appreciation of the flower as simply a beautiful thing. In other words, knowing the processes that created a thing could detract from appreciation of that thing.
In this one-minute video by Fraser... READ ON
Slumber Party Barbie of 1965 came with her own "How to Lose Weight" book. One tip: "Don’t eat."