Saturday, October 31, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Big Enough to Bite a Small Car in Half and Eat a T-Rex for Breakfast
This morning, my brilliant niece (an amateur paleontologist) directed my attention to a remarkable story on the BBC website. Seems a British fossil hunter made quite a discovery a while back--the skull of a sea monster so large that it would have considered the Loch Ness Monster a rather insignificant snack. (See above.) Read more--and see a video--here.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Cute and Strange
In parts of the world (like Northern Russia) where the sun disappears in the winter, kids are given UV baths. The ultraviolet light from the lamps helps the children's bodies get vitamin D--a nutrient that would ordinarily be provided by the sun.
And it makes for a super-cool photo.
(Photo from the National Geographic Archive.)
Sunday, October 25, 2009
The Sneaky Cards
An Australian kid named Harry Lee (clever alias?) recently developed a brilliant game designed to "spread the seeds of sneakiness and espionage." I love it already.
Harry took ordinary index cards and turned them into "Sneaky Cards," which he tucked into his classmates' pockets, binders, and books. The cards came in a range of colors, and each one challenged the recipient with a dare of sorts. According to Harry's explanation (which you can find here) . . .
BLUE cards test your audacity and chutzpah.
YELLOW cards require sneakiness and espionage skills.
RED cards involve finding things - and not just objects.
GREEN cards are about goodwill and giving to others.
PURPLE cards will plague your brain with puzzles.
ORANGE cards challenge you to create art with purpose.
SILVER cards are information cards.
Even more awesome? When Harry hunted down the cards he'd distributed, he found they had all been passed along multiple times. Even the school's teachers got involved!
Harry Lee, you are now an honorary member of the Irregulars!
Friday, October 23, 2009
Which Cake is More Terrifying?
Sunday, October 18, 2009
The Giant Squirrels of London
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Is This Painting Cursed?
I've posted about other "cursed" paintings, but I think this beauty may be the most disturbing to behold. According to an article in the Telegraph last month . . .
The Hands Resist Him was painted by California artist Bill Stoneham in 1972... The painting entered the realm of urban legend in 2000 when it went on sale on eBay with a description that implied that it was cursed. The seller claimed that the two characters moved at night and that they would sometimes leave the painting altogether - tying up neatly with Stoneham's description of the doorway as representing the dividing line between the world and the world of dreams. The doll, according to Stoneham, was a guide. The eBay legend may be preposterous but Stoneham later recalled that both the owner of the painting's first gallery and the art critic who first reviewed it died within a year of seeing it. Either way, there is no denying the disturbing quality of the image.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Attack of the Sea Snot
Okay, folks. Time to do something about the environment. Thanks to warming sea temperatures, the Mediterranean is now being invaded by giant blobs of sea snot. Called "marine mucilage," the nasty slime balls (which can reach 125 miles long) are teeming with harmful viruses and bacteria. They've also been known to engulf and smother innocent marine life.
So if you've been waiting for a sign that you need to take action, consider this it!
Monday, October 12, 2009
Something's Not Quite Right
Monday, October 05, 2009
Lena Blackburne's Secret, Magical Mud
I don't know if any of you are baseball fans. It's been years since I've gone to a game. (I was once a Mets fan. No nasty notes from Yankee lovers, please.) But I still found this story pretty darn interesting. I mean, what could possibly be better than SECRET MUD? (Okay, a lot of things. But just go with me this one.)
A brand-new baseball is slippery and difficult to throw with any accuracy. So pitchers like to dirty a ball up a bit before they hurl it. But finding the right "dirt" is more difficult than one might think. In the past, pitchers tried just about everything from tobacco juice to shoe polish. Nothing worked very well--until the 1930s, when a man named Lena Blackburn discovered the secret near his home in New Jersey.
There was something magical about the dirt Blackburn dug up. It reduced wild pitches and even made umpires happy. (And they're notoriously difficult to please.) So for the last 70 years, every single major league baseball team has rubbed its baseballs with Lena Blackburne Baseball Rubbing Mud.
And for the last seventy years, the location of the magical mud has remained a well-guarded secret. Only two people on earth know where to find it. Those two people must be pretty rich, right? Well there's another twist to this story. A little of Lena Blackburne Baseball Rubbing Mud goes an awfully long way. Each season, all the major league baseball teams put together only use about 32 ounces.
And how much does 32 ounces of magical mud cost? A whopping $58.
Listen to the whole story here!