Now gluten-free!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Dashcam footage of a TIE fighter crash

Something tells me this might be a hoax...

Friday, December 19, 2014

Stephen Colbert's star-studded send-off

Stephen Colbert, who begins his new stint as host of The Late Show on CBS next year, ended the The Colbert Report last night with an epic, celebrity-filled finale:

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

'Parks and Trek' is a brilliant mash-up

Cartoonist and writer Neill Cameron has created a brilliant mash-up of Parks and Recreation and Star Trek. The result...


Check out the rest of the crew at Cameron's web site.

(via io9)

Map showing the most hated college football team in each state

(Based on a survey conducted by a user on Reddit.)

(via Saturday Down South)

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Beautiful rendition of 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' in a minor key

I'm usually tired of Christmas songs by November 30, but I think I could listen to this one all the way through New Year's Day...


(via 22 Words)

Friday, December 05, 2014

'Dollar' store

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means...


(via Reddit)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Obama's executive action on Saturday Night Live

"Wait a second. Don't you have to go through Congress at some point?"

"Aw, that's adorable! You still think that's how government works."

Monday, November 24, 2014

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Exercise in a bottle? Does it at least come with a straw?


I was already excited about the robotic couch I could drive to the kitchen. Now, along comes Nestlé with a product that provides at least some of the benefits of exercise:
"Ideally, we'll be able to develop products that will help promote and augment the effects of exercise," said Kei Sakamoto, who heads the diabetes and circadian rhythms department at the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences in Switzerland.

Specifically, Nestlé is working on a product that would regulate AMPK, an enzyme that scientists have dubbed the "metabolic master switch." The target customer is someone with diabetes or someone who is obese, according to the company.

Researchers at Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences and several other institutions found that a compound acts on the AMPK enzyme in mice to stop their livers from producing fat, according to a study published in July in the journal Chemistry and Biology.
Where can I get a case?
But don't think you're going to drink your way to a beach body.

The product won't outright replace exercise, Sakamoto said in a statement, explaining that even run-of-the-mill exercise has such a dynamic role that Nestlé will "never be able to mimic all those effects in a single product."
Oh. Never mind, then.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Man indicted for teaching others how to beat a polygraph test

Every once in a while you run across a news story with so much irony that it actually starts to rust. Like this one:
For at least the second time since 2012, the federal government has brought criminal charges, accusing someone of training people on how to beat a polygraph test.

On Friday, prosecutors announced an indictment against Douglas G. Williams, a 69-year-old man from Norman, Okla., who's accused of coaching people "how to lie and conceal crimes" during federally administered lie-detector tests.

Mr. Williams, who operates a company called Polygraph.com, says the mail fraud and obstruction of justice charges leveled against him are an "attack on his First Amendment rights." The indictment follows the federal prosecution of an Indiana man who received eight months in prison in 2013 after pleading guilty to similar charges.
So, they're upset over someone teaching others "how to lie and conceal crimes"? I guess the government really does hate competition.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Thursday, November 13, 2014

How a war-weary vet created 'The Twilight Zone'


Few television shows remain as timeless and influential as The Twilight Zone. In a recent post at The Daily Beast, Rich Goldstein reflects on the contribution Rod Serling made to American science fiction:
A strange mix of dramatic styles, one part satiric morality play, one part science-fiction ghost story, The Twilight Zone challenged the sensibilities of both hardened skeptics and true believers. It was never a huge hit, but its stories resonated with an American public tenuously relearning moral ambiguity.

Creator Rod Serling was compelled by the need "not to just entertain but to enlighten." He wrote 93 of the series' 156 episodes over the course of its five-season run, which began on CBS in 1959. Most modern shows take an average of 7 seasons to produce as many episodes.

Serling, a veteran of World War II, used the show, and his writing, to deal with the untreated psychological trauma he suffered during his enlistment in the U.S. military. Rather than the glamorized affair the war was to become in subsequent retellings, Serling was intimately acquainted with the horrors of America’s attempt to reclaim its Pacific colonies. Almost half of the author's comrades were killed fighting in the Philippines. Serling's best friend, a Pvt. Melvin Levy of Brooklyn, was decapitated in front of the future screenwriter by a "biscuit bomb," a food crate intended to nourish the life of the man it killed.

Serling closed out the war living in the horror of occupied Japan where the American treatment of women, children, and the elderly contributed to the nightmares that plagued the author for the rest of his life. The towns that were not obliterated by the atomic bombs, or burned by American’s firebombing raids, were deeply scarred by famine. The U.S. naval blockade around Japan in the waning days of World War 2 was actually called Operation Starvation.

Several Twilight Zone scripts would return to the subject of survivor's guilt ("King Nine Will Not Return," "The Thirty-Fathom Grave") or long simmering military resentment ("The 7th Is Made Up of Phantoms," "The Encounter").
An interesting read for fans of the show.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Orchestra performs while eating world's hottest chili peppers

If you like your classical music a little on the spicy side, then this performance is for you. Here is "Tango Jalousie" as it was meant to be played—by musicians eating some of the hottest chili peppers in the world:


Whew! Makes me thirsty just watching that.

(via St. Eutychus)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Feed the homeless, go to jail

Many people will criticize this man for not following the rules. I would rather see those stupid rules repealed.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Vocabulary wheel helps you put your feelings into words

If you can't seem to find the right words to describe how you're feeling, just carry a copy of this in your pocket:


(via LifeHacker)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Read the world's most expensive comic book online for free

Don't have $3.2 million to buy Action Comics #1 (1938), featuring the debut of Superman?


No problem. You can read a scanned copy of the entire comic book online here.

(via Toybox)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Creepy clown sightings just part of photography project...or so we are led to believe

When people began reporting seeing creepy clowns all over the town of Wasco, California, no one knew what to think. Turns out it was all part of a photography project:

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Former cop shows you the quickest way to get yourself killed during a home invasion

According to former New York police detective Wallace Zeins, in a recent report on NBC's Today, all you need is a set of car keys and a can of hornet spray:


I don't know Mr. Zeins, but I'm willing to bet he keeps something a bit more intimidating that a can of Raid next to his bed.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Time travel simulation finally resolves "grandfather paradox"?


Paradoxes are a normal, unavoidable part of time travel fiction. Just go back and watch Back to the Future and try counting them all. Trust me. It'll drive you nuts.

The "grandfather paradox" is perhaps the oldest of time travel conundrums: A man travels back in time and kills his grandfather, creating a paradox. If the man's grandfather is killed, then that would prevent the man's birth...which would prevent the grandfather from being killed...which would mean the man would be born and travel back in time to kill his grandfather...which would prevent the man's birth...

You get the idea. The result is what time travel theorists call a "closed timelike curve."

University of Queensland physicist Tim Ralph, drawing on a model proposed by theorist David Deutsch, believes such CTC paradoxes go away when considered in terms of quantum mechanics. (Well, duh.)

The quantum solution goes a like this:
Instead of a human being traversing a CTC to kill her ancestor, imagine that a fundamental particle goes back in time to flip a switch on the particle-generating machine that created it. If the particle flips the switch, the machine emits a particle—the particle—back into the CTC; if the switch isn't flipped, the machine emits nothing. In this scenario there is no a priori deterministic certainty to the particle's emission, only a distribution of probabilities. Deutsch's insight was to postulate self-consistency in the quantum realm, to insist that any particle entering one end of a CTC must emerge at the other end with identical properties. Therefore...
...blah, blah, blah, one-half probability, blah, blah, blah, causative loop, blah, blah, blah, doppelganger, blah, blah, blah, voila! Paradox solved. Or something like that.

As much as I like to nitpick time travel fiction, there is a point at which it becomes over-analyzed. Trying to tie up every paradox in a neat, little bow would make shows like Doctor Who virtually unwatchable.

So, I think I'll stick with a little bit of mystery, thank you.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Friday, September 05, 2014

A couch potato's dream come true!

Why go through the hassle of getting up from the couch and walking all the way to the fridge for a snack when you can just drive your couch to the kitchen?


This just makes sense.

Monday, September 01, 2014

This is what Labor Day should be about

Labor Day should not be about unions or corporatism. It should be about innovative people making their way in the free market. This brief, four-part series from Reason.com on "The Sharing Economy" celebrates just that:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Viewing fireworks from a drone

Note to President Obama: this is an acceptable (and awesome) use of drones...

Friday, August 15, 2014

Fellow passengers tip train to free trapped man


With all the death and destruction in the news of late, it's all the more encouraging to see things like this. In the video, fellow passengers in Perth, Western Australia, work together to free a man who became trapped between the train and platform:


Always remember: mind the gap!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Are you pumped for the 2014 Internet Cat Video Festival?

Tomorrow is the big day. I'm talking, of course, about the third annual Internet Cat Video Festival. This year's festivities will be held at Open Field near the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


Don't worry. If you are unable to attend in person, you can watch a live stream of the event, courtesy of Animal Planet.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Private toll road solves a major problem for British commuters

Free enterprise tends to be much more reliable than government bureaucracy, and you can usually count the former when the latter breaks down—which happens more often than not. In this case, the solution to a seemingly insurmountable traffic problem was a private toll road:


I would love to see more stories like this.

(via 22 Words)

Friday, August 01, 2014

Real men cook their steaks with lava

A steak just isn't a steak without the tangy zip of LIQUID HOT MAGMA...



Read more about this little experiment here.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Poor cocoa farmers taste chocolate for the first time

Most of us take a simple thing like chocolate for granted, but it's really a luxury—especially among those who actually grow and harvest the cocoa beans to make it. In this video, witness the joy of cocoa farmers as they taste the end result of their hard work for the very first time...


(via Sploid)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Wingsuit racing at speeds up to 140 mph

As Buzz Lightyear would say, "This isn't flying; this is falling with style!"

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Monday, July 14, 2014

Weird Al Yankovic's parody of Pharrell's "Happy"

"Weird Al" is premiering a new video every single day as part of his #8videos8days project. First up is "Tacky," a parody of the popular hit "Happy" from the film Despicable Me 2. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

1981 report on internet newspapers

What? Newspapers on my home computer? That's the stuff of science fiction:


"[T]he new telepaper won't be much competition for the twenty-cent street edition."
Whew! Looks like you dodged a bullet there, mainstream press!

(via LifeBuzz)

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Squirrel Roundup (July 9, 2014)

It's been a while since I've done a Squirrel Roundup, so sit back and enjoy...

Squirrels sabotage Portland power grid
BREAKING NEWS: Squirrels are responsible for a rash of terrorist attacks in suburban Portland:
When the power goes out on a hot day, most people assume overuse of air conditioning is to blame.

But from June 12 through July 7, four substation outages in Portland's westside suburbs and in North Portland were caused by adorably nimble, fluffy-tailed and overly adventurous squirrels.

All four outages were in PGE territory and one — the Oak Hills substation at Northwest Cornell Road and Twin Oaks Drive in Beaverton — was hit twice. (By different squirrels, of course.)

"This is clearly an unusual convergence of squirrel activity," said Steve Corson, spokesman for PGE. "We'd like to have a break from squirrels for awhile."
Wouldn't we all?

Meanwhile, in Indiana...
Another attack:
An Indiana Michigan Power spokesman says a squirrel got into a substation in Elkhart County and knocked out power to more than 4,000 customers.

Beware blood-thirsty ground squirrels in Borneo
Just be thankful we don't have to deal with vampire squirrels here in America:
Local legends suggest that Rheithrosciurus, which is thought to mostly eat giant acorns, can be savage. Hunters say that the squirrels will perch on low branches, jump onto a deer, gash its jugular vein, and disembowel the carcass.
Um...yeah. Good luck with all that.

Squirrel terrorist training camp
It seems squirrel terrorists are getting a little help in their training from human collaborators:


Sad news from California
Thanks to the hippie cowards running the city of Berkeley, problem squirrels will escape extermination:
Berkeley's squirrels can relax: The city is not going to gas them to death.

After months of deliberation by a specially convened squirrel subcommittee, the city staff has decided that the best way to control the chubby rodents is to stop feeding them.

The City Council unanimously approved a new city law Tuesday night that criminalizes the feeding of wildlife in city parks. Those caught throwing peanuts or breadcrumbs to squirrels, gophers or other critters could face a $1,000 fine, six months in jail or both.
Sure. Punish the humans.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Button football championship coincides with World Cup


Have you ever heard of button football? Neither had I, but it's apparently pretty popular. It even has its own World Cup of sorts:


So where were ESPN's cameras during all the excitement?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Star Wars trailer (Guardians of the Galaxy style)

One clever YouTuber has created a new trailer for the original Star Wars trilogy in the style of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. Cool stuff!


(via Gizmodo)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Around the world in 360° degrees

Filmed in 36 countries over three years, this is the ultimate selfie:


Discover more at ModernMotoDiaries.com.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Welcome to the second grade. Here's your bulletproof blanket.

Here's something you parents can look for in the near future at Target's back-to-school sale:


From the Bodyguard Blanket web site:
Bodyguard™ blanket was developed and tested to specifically protect our children and teachers in the event of a school shooting. Bodyguard™ blanket is designed to be bullet resistant. It is made of the same materials our U.S. soldiers wear while in battle, and is equal to or exceeds the protection used by our police departments. After extensive research, it is estimated that Bodyguard™ blanket provides bullet resistant protection against 90% of all weapons that have been used in school shootings in the United States. We are so confident in the protective properties of Bodyguard™blanket we are encouraging every administrator to make it an integral part of school and university lockdown protocol.
I'm sorry, but if things are so bad that your kids need access to bulletproof blankets at school, perhaps it's time to rethink your education options.

(via BenSwann.com)

An innovative way to shave your head

Inventor Todd Greene talks about how he came up with the idea for the HeadBlade in 1997:


But I seem to recall Bugs Bunny using something similar in "The Rabbit of Seville," nearly 50 years before Mr. Greene invented the HeadBlade...


(via Ironic Sans)

Monday, June 09, 2014

The "short suit" is about to go mainstream

Head up, America. Retailers like J. Crew and Topman are trying to push the short suit into the men's fashion mainstream.

Imagine showing up to a business meeting dressed like this:


I was skeptical at first, but then I thought, is it really all that different from a kilt?


Maybe it could work. After all, AC/DC's Angus Young has been rocking that look for nearly 40 years.


(via Business Insider)

Sunday, June 08, 2014

11-year-old wins 7th annual Doodle 4 Google competition

11-year-old Audrey Zhang of Long Island won the 2014 Doodle 4 Google competition with her drawing of a futuristic water purifier.

The folks at Google helped Audrey turn her doodle into a moving animation. She was rewarded with a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 grant for her school.

Read more here.

Friday, June 06, 2014

What can devour a 9-foot great white shark?

I have good news and bad news. The good news is that something in the ocean is eating great white sharks. The bad news is that there is something in the ocean big enough to eat a great white shark.

Eleven years ago, a film crew was tagging sharks to study their movements along the Australian coast. One tracking device from a nine-foot great white washed up on shore four months later, and the data it contained was disturbing.

The data indicated that the shark suddenly plunged over 1,900 feet early one morning. The temperature then shot up from 46° F to 78° F, something that could only have happened if the shark had been swallowed by...something.

From the Smithsonian Channel:

Friday, May 30, 2014

DIY trashcan tornado shelter

This is a follow-up to yesterday's post. I really don't know what to think of this. Part of me thinks it's an ingenious idea, but part of me thinks it's the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. You be the judge:


(via The Tea Party Economist)

How to tie a bow tie

All the cool guys wear bow ties, which is probably why I don't wear them. So if you want to learn how to tie one, I'll let food and fashion expert Alton Brown show you:


For more information on how to be cool, be sure to check out Alton's podcast.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Amazing video of tornado in North Dakota

This is the most amazing video footage of a tornado I've seen:


Watch the raw video (complete with NSFW language) here.

(via The Tea Party Economist)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Google unveils its self-driving car


From the official Google blog:
We're planning to build about a hundred prototype vehicles, and later this summer, our safety drivers will start testing early versions of these vehicles that have manual controls. If all goes well, we'd like to run a small pilot program here in California in the next couple of years. We’re going to learn a lot from this experience, and if the technology develops as we hope, we'll work with partners to bring this technology into the world safely.

If you'd like to follow updates about the project and share your thoughts, please join us on our new Google+ page. We're looking forward to learning more about what passengers want in a vehicle where their number one job is to kick back, relax, and enjoy the ride.
While I think this is a brilliant concept, coupled with amazing technology, I don't believe I'll be relinquising control of the steering wheel anytime soon.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Stunning timelapse video of Yosemite National Park

Photographers Colin Delehanty and Sheldon Neill backpacked over 200 miles through Yosemite National Park, filming over the course of 10 months. They spent a total of 45 days in the park capturing the images in this video.


Read more about the project at ProjectYose.com.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Bigfoot or hiker? See the video and decide for yourself.


Here is the description on YouTube:
This video was only uploaded for the benefit of a couple of friends, we had no intention for it to gather the interest it has. We are not claiming this to be anything other than a strange encounter based on some of the reasons below:

1) We were able to view the subject much better than what the video portrays as it was just a simple point and shoot camera. Contrast was excellent due to the snow behind the subject.

2) The subject was clearly bipedal and was without snowshoes or a backpack and wearing all one coloured clothing. Movement over this kind of terrain in soft snow without snowshoes would have been very difficult and the distance traveled over the given time period would have been very fast for a human without proper snow travel gear.

3) There was a very steep drop off below where the video was shot, easily a 300m sheer face. We were not equipped with climbing gear and a descent around would have been impossible before nightfall.

4) We have encountered bears on the approach to this summit in the past, this video is most definitely not showing a bear or any other wild animal.

5) Perhaps the most reasonable explanation for this video is a very ill prepared hiker, hiking up a difficult section of snowline as opposed to a much easier route, one who is very physically fit and able to cover ground in unusually quick fashion and must have had very large feet as we were breaking through snow crust in just our boots.
(via The Daily Caller)

Friday, May 02, 2014

Shirtless dude asks out "super pretty" reporter on live TV

If you're going to ask out a "super pretty" news reporter on live TV, at least have the decency to put on a shirt:


(via 1500 ESPN)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Time lapse video of a cat's busy day

I think the secret is storing up energy for when you really need it—like eating...

Friday, April 25, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sunday, April 06, 2014

David Letterman's very first Top Ten list

It has been at least 20 years since I thought David Letterman was funny, but I did always enjoy his nonsensical, often absurdly obscure, Top Ten lists. Here is his very first Top Ten from 1985:


(via 22 Words)

Friday, April 04, 2014

Video shows skydiver almost getting hit by meteorite

If you decide to go skydiving, be sure to watch out for meteorites. Anders Helstrup, member of the Oslo Parachute Club, was wearing a helmet cam that caught images of a meteorite narrowly missing his open chute. A geologist confirmed that a meteor had exploded in the atmosphere about 12.5 miles (20 km) above Helstrup and his fellow skydivers.


And, yes, this is entirely believable.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Car dealership's clever comeback to protest sign

When Subaru of Wichita decided to go ahead with a $1.5 million remodeling and expansion project, it hired a local contractor to handle the job. The contractor bid out the drywall portion of the project to several companies and eventually went with the lowest qualified bid. It just so happened the winning bid was from a local, non-union company. Naturally, that sparked a protest from United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Local 201. It wasn't pleasant...


Rather than take it lying down, however, the dealership responded with a sign of its own...



...and even provided the protesters with lunch...


You gotta love it!

Click here for more on this story and the facts behind the union shakedown of local businesses.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

First-World anarchists aren't gonna play by your rules

Society cannot function without rules! These people are destroying civilization as we know it!


More pictures of civilization crumbling at BoredPanda.com.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

First teaser trailer for the upcoming Peanuts movie

When I first wrote about the upcoming Peanuts movie back in 2012, I was less than enthused. Talk of a high-tech adaptation of one of the world's most beloved comic strips didn't sit well with me. I thought moving away from the hand-drawn feel of the originals was the quickest way to ruin it.

I now admit I may have been a little hasty in my judgement. After seeing what Disney had done with its short film Paperman, I started warming up to the idea that technology need not ruin classic-style animation.

And now, having watched the first teaser trailer for 2015's Peanuts, I actually think it could work. Check it out:


I still think 3D is a bit over the top, though.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

New app lets you wake up to the sizzle and smell of bacon


Instead of waking up to some annoying ringtone, why not install a smartphone app that lets you wake up to the heavenly sizzle and smell of bacon? From the Oscar Mayer Institute for the Advancement of Bacon comes the next generation of alarm clocks:

Wake Up & Smell The Bacon is a simple alarm clock app that starts your morning with the mouthwatering sound of Oscar Mayer bacon. Rotate the skillet to select your wake-up time, then get ready for a bacon awakening beyond your wildest imagination. The app connects with the Oscar Mayer Wake Up & Smell The Bacon scent device, turning your phone into a bacon-scented alarm clock.
You can apply for your chance to get a device by taking a short quiz.

(via Mashable)

The Ron Swanson low-carb diet

Ron Swanson at his classiest:

Friday, February 21, 2014

Shakespeare's plays reduced to three-panel cartoons

Mya Gosling has done a great service for those of us who find reading Shakespeare a little tedious. She has reduced the Bard's plays to simple, three-panel cartoons. Here's a sampling:


Check the rest out here. Be sure to check back often, as she plans to give all of Shakespeare's plays the three-panel treatment.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Anti-gravity treadmill invented

It's not as fun as it sounds, but healthcare facilities are already using the device to replace harness and aquatic therapy.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

NoiseTrade now offers free ebooks and audiobooks


I have enjoyed discovering new music through NoiseTrade ever since it launched in 2008. The site, co-founded by singer/songwriter Derek Webb, was set up to help artists reach more people by giving away their music for free.

The platform worked so well for musicians that it has been expanded to include authors. NoiseTrade Books offers a large selection of free ebooks and audiobooks for download. You'll want to check it out.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Your Facebook history in a personalized, one-minute video


To commemorate its 10th anniversary, Facebook has created a video highlighting each users' activity since they joined the social media network. To see your own Facebook story, go to Facebook.com/lookback. Enjoy!

Monday, February 03, 2014

Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza reunite in Super Bowl ad

Last night's underwhelming Super Bowl featured an ad for Jerry Seinfeld's Crackle series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Here's the full video:


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bill Gates loses to reigning chess champion in 71 seconds

23-year-old Magnus Carlsen is the reigning World Chess Champion. At age 13, he became the second youngest chess grandmaster in history. He appeared recently on the Norwegian talk show Skavlan and defeated Bill Gates in only 71 seconds:


I'd like to think I'd hold out longer than Gates did, but I doubt it.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Introducing a Barbie Doll for homeschoolers

Imagine the hours of entertainment your little ones will get out of the new Homeschool Barbie:
As homeschooling has grown in popularity, there's a Barbie™ to meet every need. The Protestant Christian version comes with a miniature Bible (the complete King James version!) and will recite Scripture verses when her hand is pressed. Catholic Homeschool Barbie™ wears a crucifix, chapel veil, and can lead your children in praying the Rosary (in your choice of Latin or English) when her hands are placed together. Secular Homeschool Barbie™ comes complete with a grain mill and Birkenstocks™, and shares her favorite home remedies & recipes with a pat on the back. All three dolls include a variety of Math curricula with manipulatives and chalkboards with tiny real chalk!

And what would a teacher be without students? Children for Homeschool Barbie™ are available in a variety packs of seven girls & boys ranging in age from four to ten, in your choice of matching or non-matching outfits. (Cloth-diapered infants & toddlers sold separately)
Contrary to popular belief, we homeschooling families do have a sense of humor. :)

(via Facebook)

Monday, January 20, 2014

The problem with Facebook

The following video from Derek Muller offers an interesting perspective on the popular social media site:


From the video's description:
Facebook is a complex ecosystem of individuals, creators, brands and advertisers, but I don't think it serves any of these groups particularly well because its top priority is to make money. Now, I don't think making money is a bad thing, in fact I hope to make some myself. The problem is the only way Facebook has found to make money is by treating all entities on the site as advertisers and charging them to share their content.

This business plan backfires because 1) not all entities ARE advertisers and 2) it was the content from these people, specifically friends, family, and creators that made the site worth visiting in the first place. Now the incentives are misaligned:
  • individuals want to see great content, but they are now seeing more paid content and organically shared content which appeals to the lowest common denominator (babies, weddings, and banal memes)
  • creators want to reach fans but their posts are being throttled to force them to pay to be seen
  • brands and advertisers have to pay once to advertise their page on Facebook, and then pay again to reach the people who have already liked their page. Plus Facebook is not a place where people generally go to buy things.

Facebook stands in contrast to other social media like Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram where all content is shared with all followers.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Guy videos himself dancing across China

Jake Gaba spent 100 days in China as part of a school program to study Mandarin. Rather than simply snap a few pictures and post them on Facebook, he decided on a very unique way to share his travel experience...

Fortoon Cookie (January 17, 2014)

"You smile, brings happiness to everyone you meet."

(All "Fortoon Cookie" cartoons are cross-posted at ALittleWhiteNoise.com.)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Will this burger-making machine render fast food employees obsolete?

Many parents have tried to motivate their lazy teenagers by asking, "Do you want to end up flipping burgers for a living?" Thanks to the innovative minds at Momentum Machines, that question may soon be replaced by, "Do you want to end up putting ingredients into a burger-flipping machine for a living?"

The company's mission:
Fast food doesn't have to have a negative connotation anymore. With our technology, a restaurant can offer gourmet quality burgers at fast food prices.Our alpha machine frees up all of the hamburger line cooks in a restaurant. It does everything employees can do except better:
  • It slices toppings like tomatoes and pickles immediately before it places the slice onto your burger, giving you the freshest burger possible.
  • Our next revision will offer custom meat grinds for every single customer. Want a patty with 1/3 pork and 2/3 bison ground to order? No problem.
  • Also, our next revision will use gourmet cooking techniques never before used in a fast food restaurant, giving the patty the perfect char but keeping in all the juices.
  • It's more consistent, more sanitary, and can produce ~360 hamburgers per hour.
The labor savings allow a restaurant to spend approximately twice as much on high quality ingredients and the gourmet cooking techniques make the ingredients taste that much better.
The nice thing about a machine making your food is that you don't have to worry about it remembering to wash its hands before returning to work after a bathroom break.

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