Wojtek was a Syrian brown bear who somewhat famously “served” in the Polish military during WWII. I mean, the scare quotes are probably not required; he absolutely did mimic his soldier caretakers, and that included saluting, marching, and literally carrying ammo crates, which sounds a lot like literally serving to me.
For bureaucratic reasons, he was also officially conscripted first as a private, and later promoted to corporal, so yeah, he served. After the war, he retired to a zoo in Scotland, where he lived until 1963. Animal behavior blogger “Why Animals Do The Thing” has more pictures, which are kind of amazing.
It’s possible, though, that my favorite thing about this story is his wikipedia page, and specifically the set of categories he belongs to. They include:
- List of individual bears; and
- Poles in the United Kingdom
In the Netherlands, Dominos delivers pizza using scooters.
They have recently started using electric scooters instead of gas scooters, which, of course, are silent.
There’s been a lot of talk globally about the silence of electric vehicles being a safety hazard, of course, so they modified the scooter to make noise.
All of this is fine. All of this is reasonable. Where it goes ENTIRELY OFF THE RAILS is in what they chose: a human voice that says Mmmmm Dominos Mmmm Tasty while in motion, and just mutters DominosDominosDominosDominos when “idling” at stoplights.
During Prohibition, wineries had a rough path, but at least a few were very, very clever.
They sold bricks of grape juice concentrate that came with a warning that you absolutely should not dissolve them in a gallon of water, seal it up, and store it in a cool, dry place for 21 days, because that would make WINE and doing so would be illegal.
I love this.
This is low-key hilarious.
As many of you know, my father in law passed away Monday morning. As designated family tech and photo person, I’ve pulled together a set of pix from over the years and assembled a slide show for the family to use in the eventual service.
I used the Photos app on my Mac, because it’s easy to do, and it comes with themes and does a pretty good job of assembling transitions and stuff. It even comes with free-to-use background tracks!
Photos can export to video, and I then uploaded the video to YouTube to make it easy for my mother in law & etc to use and share.
Which is where it gets weird, because I just got this from YouTube’s copyright squad:
Fortunately, nobody in those countries will need to see the video. I am, however, wildly curious as to how Apple’s supposed free-to-use music is encumbered by copyright only in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria. I mean, WTF?
Just what it says on the tin, using an enormous lifting barge system and a big-ass chain.
This video is actually pretty great, and zeros in on an aspect of the modern flat earth “movement” that I think lots of folks miss. It boils down to a sort of scientific solipsism, wherein the adherents distrust anything and everything they cannot explain or experience with their own senses.
Modern science stands on the shoulders of giants. Probably no one understands it ALL, but we trust the scientific method, peer review, etc., to lead us towards the light. Flat Earthers see the implications of modern science, find it at odds with their lived experience, and choose their own naive POV over that of the scientific community.
In the 1800s, there was a similar problem; a man named Samuel Rowbotham pushed a school of thought he deemed “zetetic inquiry.”
In the Flat Earth sense, the term refers to flipping the scientific method on its head and deriving one’s observations from testing, with no regards to any hypothesis. Of course, if you did scientific inquiry this way, you’d end up with stating that a sphere is flat just because it looks flat to a relatively minuscule observer on its surface.
Apparently, the German royal family — deposed since 1918 — are trying to rewrite history, and perhaps regain a place of honor on Germany, including compensation for land and palaces in Berlin taken from them after abdication (which would come in addition to the dynastic wealth they retained even after 1918).
This is ridiculous, and would be ridiculous even without clear evidence of his family’s collaboration with and support of Hitler.
Monarchies are all based on murder, mayhem, and corruption. Monarchal wealth that persists past the end of the governing monarchy ought to have been subject to state confiscation. It’s ridiculous that the Hohenzollern descendants are still wealthy layabouts and not normal citizens with a historical footnote in their family tree.
Fortunately, it appears most Germans agree:
Many Germans are bewildered by their former royal family’s demands. “This country does not owe a single coffee cup to the next-born of a luckily long-vanquished undemocratic regime, let alone art treasures or real estate,” wrote Stefan Kuzmany, a columnist for Der Spiegel. “Even the request is an insult to the Republic.” The Hohenzollern wealth, he argued, was the product of historical injustice: “The aristocracy in general, [and] the Hohenzollerns in particular, have always been a plague on the country and the people. Like all so-called noblemen, they have snatched their fortune through the oppression of the population.” As Clark noted in his interview, “There seems to be a strong animus against the nobility within parts of the German public.”
No, seriously, Do NOT use the popcorn button.
Like the author of this piece, I have never stopped loving this old SNL skit about Maya Angelou’s prank show.
We need laughs these days, do we not?
Well, for certain values of “never;” the device in question includes a Googol-to-one gear ratio. It’s a sequence of 100 gears, each with a 10:1 ratio to its neighbor.
In the “similar prior art” department, turns out this guy was inspired by a Arthur Ganson’s sculpture “Machine with Concrete,” which includes a sequence of gears and a drive shaft, with the gearing such that the final step is literally embedded in concrete — which is fine, because that particular part turns 1 time every 2 trillion years.
Both links feature video fo the machines in question.
The location of Australia has been corrected.
Australia sits on a fast-moving tectonic plate and is drifting north several inches a year.
No, seriously. Turn them on.
This is the highest & best use of DeepFakes tech yet.
Recently, a Dutch F-16 managed to shoot itself with its own gun during maneuvers.
The rounds have a muzzle velocity of 3,450 feet per second (1050 meters per second). That is speed boosted initially by the aircraft itself, but atmospheric drag slows the shells down eventually. And if a pilot accelerates and maneuvers in the wrong way after firing the cannon, the aircraft could be unexpectedly reunited with its recently departed rounds.
Click through; this is also not the first time something like this has happened. In fact, the first time was in 1956.
Also hilarious: the gun in question, a 20mm Vulcan cannon, can fire 6,000 rounds a minute — but the F-16 only carries 511 rounds, or about 5 seconds of fire.
(“No” is an acceptable answer.)
Someone put a chained-up statue of Jason Voorhees in the bottom of a Minnesota lake, just to mess with divers.
Sometimes, Twitter user @Sleep_Sayings’ boyfriend says inscrutable, hilarious things in his sleep. So she started a twitter account.
I fucking love the Skittles ads.
Here he is, at the 2012 Sketchfest, as Maurice Evans as Dr Zaius as Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain.
Eat the ice cream. Eat the ice cream. Eat the ice cream. Eat the ice cream. Eat the ice cream. Eat the ice cream. Eat the ice cream. Eat the ice cream. Eat the ice cream. Eat the ice cream. Eat the ice cream.
This is a great timeline piece about an alternate universe wherein the Beatles accepted Lorne Michaels’ 1976 offer to reunite on SNL for $3000.
“World’s Best Teens Compete In Microsoft Office World Championships.”
Whisky. Tango. Foxtrot.
I really love this more than I can say.
SEXY POOL PARTY. (“For a second, you were like CW-hot.”)
Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope..
Estonian rapper (yes) Tommy Cash brings us by far the weirdest, most freakish video I’ve ever seen, and I say that counting Peaches’ “Rub”.
Stay with it past 2:05 for sure.
(NSFW, btw. As is the Peaches video I mentioned but did not link.)
This is best possible cover of Evanescence’s “Bring Me To Life”, and possibly the finest thing on the Internet to exist ever.
The future is now: Scientists wireless transmit high speed data through pork loin.