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31 Jul 04:00

July 31, 2014

31 Jul 21:30

Animal of the Day: Jonathan the Tortoise in the Year 1900 and Today

Animal of the Day: Jonathan the Tortoise in the Year 1900 and Today

Submitted by: (via BBC)

Tagged: pics , tortoise , animals
28 Jul 01:49



I normally wouldn't share a Pinterest-y quote, but I'm on vacation and hell yeah!

29 Jul 01:30

Kitten Boldly Takes on Evil Ceramic Cat Statue

by Rebecca Rose

There are many brave warriors history remembers fondly—Achilles, William Wallace, my Aunt Betty who braved Black Friday in San Diego last year and got two iPads for the price of one—but now, there is finally a hero who trumps them all.


27 Jul 13:48

Ebola Kills Top Doctor in Liberia, Official Says

by The Associated Press



MONROVIA, Liberia — One of Liberia's most high-profile doctors has died of Ebola, a government official said Sunday, highlighting the risks that health workers face in trying to combat the deadly disease.

Dr. Samuel Brisbane is the first Liberian doctor to die in an outbreak the World Health Organization said has killed 129 people in the West African nation. A Ugandan doctor working in the country died earlier this month.

The WHO said the outbreak, the largest ever recorded, has also killed 319 people in Guinea and 224 in Sierra Leone.

Brisbane, who once served as a medical adviser to former Liberian President Charles Taylor, was working as a consultant with the internal medicine unit at the country's largest hospital, the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center in Monrovia. Read more...

More about Liberia, Ebola, and Ebola Outbreak
24 Jul 15:47

Thursday links

by KimFrance

Something for everyone, but I especially liked the Chris Pratt video.

legos on beach

  • The rather amusing story of why Legos  keep washing up on one particular beach in Cornwall, England. (Yahoo)
  • This philanthropist—whose bipolar son was successfully treated for his condition with medication— has just donated $650 million for psychiatric research, which is desperately underfunded in this country.  “I would like to purchase that happy ending for other people,” he was quoted as saying. This makes me cry. (NY Times)
  • My mini-crush on Chris Pratt as just gone maxi. (Time)
  • Ten occasions on which The Simpsons accurately predicted the future. (The Chive)
  • And finally: it’s the first trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey. (Vulture)


25 Jul 04:00

July 25, 2014

So, it turns out yesterday's comic was super similar to this Abstruse Goose comic. Thanks for alerting me. As far as I know, I had never seen that particular comic. Sorry!
21 Jul 09:44

femininefreak: intimesgonebyblog: Kathrine Switzer was the...



Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon as a numbered entry.

She registered for the race under the gender-neutral “K. V. Switzer. Race official Jock Semple attempted to physically remove her from the race, and according to Switzer said, “Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers.” However, Switzer’s boyfriend Tom Miller, who was running with her, shoved Semple aside and sent him flying, and other runners provided a shield for her. The photographs taken of the incident made world headlines.

Was just talking about this to my mother the other day…Katherine Switzer’s interview in The Makers is pretty awesome.

18 Jul 12:00

Hopper Flight Explorer Helps You Plan in Advance for Deals on Airfare

by Alan Henry

Hopper Flight Explorer Helps You Plan in Advance for Deals on Airfare

We've mentioned before that one of the best ways to save on airfare is to be flexible. If you're planning a vacation and know where you want to go and what you want to do, just not when you want to leave, the Hopper Flight Explorer can help you pin down the best time to vacate based on your budget.


21 Jul 13:01

When I see that my office building installed new security cameras

21 Jul 11:30

The Easiest Way to Squeeze Lemons Without Seeds

by Mihir Patkar

YouTuber ssgrey might have stumbled upon the easiest way to squeeze lemon juice, and thankfully he's sharing it with us. You won't get any seeds with this method, and you don't need anything but a knife.


16 Jul 23:19

Aren't We Friends?

by (Dannielle Blumenthal)

OMG, no one is going to care about this but me, but this is the blog of my truly wacko boss's boss (who also keeps trying to make herself my direct supervisor). There's so much wrong in this, I can't even begin to parse it all, but just felt the need to share because aren't we friends?

One of the most unethical things a person can do is pretend to be friends with another person, just to use them, gain unfair advantage, or even stab them in the back.

But it happens all the time - it's accepted - and it's even considered a career skill: "professional networking," "climbing the ladder," "learning how to play the political game."

I am fascinated and repulsed by this behavior. Fascinated because it's a skill, it works and it's tempting to want to know how to do it. Repulsed because it's morally totally wrong.

Of course manipulating people's emotions is not a new tactic.

  • In war it is called the "Trojan Horse" strategy, i.e. we come to your city bearing gifts and then once the gates are open, the arsenal of weapons is unleashed.
  • "Honeypots" are a tried-and-true espionage strategy involving the use of attractive women to elicit intelligence secrets.

People who should know better are gullible - heck I have always been gullible as hell - because they have an inherent need to be loved, accepted, and connected.
  • The need for connection is why people will always rather sit alone on a hard chair in Starbucks all day, when they could just as well sit with "no one" at home, because there are other people around.
  • A classic 1959 study by psychologist Harry Harlow showed that monkeys would rather have a fake cloth "mother" that hugs them, over a bare-wire surrogate that actually gives them milk. Monkeys left isolated for long periods actually mutilated themselves in agony.
  • In 2014, widely published research discussed the finding that people will voluntarily administer themselves electroshock rather than be forced to stop, disconnect themselves from their various brain-immersion devices, and just think.
In particular, they say "misery loves company" and people will always try to occupy a shared experience in whatever situation they find themselves - yes, even when facing death in a concentration camp.

It's hard to admit that you are a gullible person. But not admitting it hurts a lot more. It blinds you to the obvious where a better strategy would be to look at people's motives head-on.

* All opinions my own.
* Subscribe:
14 Jul 17:54

Golf Ball-Sized Hail in Russia Pummels People Enjoying a Lovely Beach Day

by Dennis Green



This unceremonious end to a perfect beach day is brought to you by hail.

Beach-goers in Novosibirsk, Russia, were surprised when their picture-perfect sunny day was ruined by a quick-moving thunderstorm and hailstorm. As the ominous clouds moved over the area on Saturday, the temperature plummeted from 105 degrees Fahrenheit to 71 degrees Fahrenheit, with the skies opening up in a barrage of ice. Beach patrons ran for cover as the hail, which has been described as golf ball-sized, rained down.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), hail causes more than $1 billion in damage to crops and property every year in the United States. It's created when "updrafts in thunderstorms carry raindrops upward into extremely cold areas of the atmosphere where they freeze into balls of ice," according to NOAA, and the ice can be suspended aloft by the storm's powerful updrafts until it gets so large that it falls to the ground Read more...

More about Video, Viral Videos, Weather, Russia, and Us World
14 Jul 12:30

Time to Give Baby a Bath...Puppy Style

Submitted by: (via Leyna Ambron)

Tagged: Babies , dogs , baths , cute , Video
15 Jul 14:15

You Can Buy a Kindle Paperwhite Today For Just $85

by Shep McAllister, Commerce Team on Deals, shared by Shep McAllister, Commerce Team to Lifehacker

Just for today. I think I like my Fire better (because I can hide in bed and watch Netflix), but for a while I liked the Paperwhite more.

You Can Buy a Kindle Paperwhite Today For Just $85

Today only, Amazon is selling certified refurbished models of its iconic Kindle Paperwhite for just $85, or $34 off the price of a new one.


14 Jul 19:58

blackchildrensbooksandauthors: Karyn Parson’s Mission to Share...


Karyn Parson’s Mission to Share the Untold Stories of Black History Heroes

by Jessica Dickerson

Hilary Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air may not have been known as a fierce advocate for education. But the actress who played her sure is.

Last year, Karyn Parsons — actress, mother, author and amateur historian — founded Sweet Blackberry, a nonprofit devoted to teaching kids about some of the lesser-known figures of black history. The organization publishes books and videos on people like Henry “Box” Brown and Garrett Morgan, and facilitates school visits and children’s workshops centered around promoting ‘creativity, literacy skills and social responsibility.’

Sweet Blackberry recently launched a Kickstarter for its latest project, a short film that will tell the story of Janet Collins, the first African-American prima ballerina in the Metropolitan Ballet. Collins, who died in 2003 at age 86, rose to fame despite being shut out of dance theaters that refused to let her perform unless it was in whiteface…The Huffington Post spoke with Parsons about Sweet Blackberry’s history and its mission. As the Sweet Blackberry website proclaims: ‘This culture is American culture; this history is American History’…continue reading HuffPost’s interview with Karyn Parson


11 Jul 02:49

What You Should Know About The Return of 'The Comeback'

by Sandra Gonzalez

LOS ANGELES — Television has gone through a lot of changes in the nine years since The Comeback went off the air. So when Michael Patrick King and Lisa Kudrow paired up for a new season of the show, which makes a miraculous return to HBO in November, they wanted to use those changes as story ammunition.

"We oddly enough like the gap between the last season and this offering," said creator Michael Patrick King during a panel at the Television Critics Association press tour Thursday. "So it added to our grist to write with, I think."

More about Tv, Television, Hbo, Comeback, and Entertainment
10 Jul 18:22

Thursday links

by KimFrance

I can't bring myself to read the gross tales from the hospitality industry, but I'll take her word for it and never use a hotel room coffee maker again, either.

corrigan cover


  • I’m not on board with all 50 of these cult novels (Charles Bukowski—ucch) but it’s definitely a list worth investigating. (Flavorwire)
  • Eyeshadow, blue jeans, and other things from the land of beauty and fashion that have been around lots longer than you may think. (Mental Floss)
  • I am never using a hotel room coffee maker again, and other gross tales from the hospitality industry. (BBC)
  • The Emmy nominations were announced this morning. Here’s the skinny. (NY Mag)
  • And apropos of that: a rundown of the most serious Emmy snubs of all time. (Pajiba)
10 Jul 21:01

When my roommate asks me to stay out late because he has a girl coming over


This is kind of mesmerizing.

11 Jul 01:05

Self-Care is important, Smart Girls!



Self-Care is important, Smart Girls!

09 Jul 16:00

The Best and Worst Months to Stay at Hotels Around the World

by Melanie Pinola

The Best and Worst Months to Stay at Hotels Around the World

Staying at a hotel can be one of the most expensive aspects of traveling, especially if you go at the wrong time. Hotel search site trivago researched the price changes for 46 cities around the world to offer us these travel advice calendars—so you'll know when you'll get the best hotel rates.


09 Jul 13:30

FitRPG Turns Your Fitbit Into a Game You Play with Friends

by Alan Henry


FitRPG Turns Your Fitbit Into a Game You Play with Friends

Android/iOS: Your fitness tracker can be a great source of motivation to get active , but if you need a little extra push, FitRPG takes data from your Fitbit and turns it into a game—complete with loot, levels, quests, and some friendly competition.


07 Jul 11:39

Teaching Children the Value of Work

by Cassandra

Resharing from A.

Over the weekend, the Editorial Staff saw this item about a college age child (he's certainly not acting like an adult) who refuses to help out around the house in exchange for his room and board:

We provide Son 1 with a vehicle and insurance, cellphone, plus a roof over his head and meals when he is at home. We are happy to provide these things, but also expect respect and cooperation in return.

Son 1 leaves his clothes and belongings wherever he happens to be — in the kitchen, the bathroom, the hallway, etc. He has never unpacked from coming home and our garage is still full of stuff from the dorm.

We have laid out our expectations, but he seems to feel that he can do the chores whenever he chooses, or apparently not at all. He says I am the only one getting stressed about housework not being done. This is not true because my husband gets angry and frustrated about this also.

Son 2 claims it is not fair that he has consequences when he doesn’t cooperate, although this rarely happens. Son 2 has also mentioned that his brother gets by without doing anything and he’s stuck doing more because he cooperates. We agree: unfair.

I have told Son 1 that if he cannot cooperate without constant reminders and nagging, he will have to make other living arrangements next summer. He claims this would be “kicking me out because I won’t clean a bathroom.” I say that “kicking him out” would be to give him 30 days to find other living arrangements, but we are giving him the opportunity to change his attitude.

Why do parents put up with this nonsense? We can't help thinking this problem didn't arise overnight:

Dr. Rogoff looked at children in indigenous Mayan communities in Latin America. She found that even toddlers do something she calls "learning by observing and pitching in." Like Augie with the soufflés, these children master useful, difficult skills, from making tortillas to using a machete, by watching the grown-ups around them intently and imitating the simpler parts of the process. Grown-ups gradually encourage them to do more—the pitching-in part. The product of this collaborative learning is a genuine contribution to the family and community: a delicious meal instead of a standardized test score.

This kind of learning has some long-term consequences, Dr. Rogoff suggests. She and her colleagues also looked at children growing up in Mexico City who either came from an indigenous heritage, where this kind of observational learning is ubiquitous, or a more Europeanized tradition. When they were 8 the children from the indigenous traditions were much more helpful than the Europeanized children: They did more work around the house, more spontaneously, including caring for younger siblings. And children from an indigenous heritage had a fundamentally different attitude toward helping. They didn't need to be asked to help—instead they were proud of their ability to contribute.

The Europeanized children and parents were more likely to negotiate over helping. Parents tried all kinds of different contracts and bargains, and different regimes of rewards and punishments. Mostly, as readers will recognize with a sigh, these had little effect. For these children, household chores were something that a grown-up made you do, not something you spontaneously contributed to the family.

Teaching children that people value what they have to work for and take for granted things they're given for free seems like the most basic of lessons. And there's nothing like the look of pride on a child's face the first time he's able to do something for himself:

For my eldest son, a 9-year-old, we laid out a mission: to grill our July 4th barbecue cheeseburgers. As we began our very first step—buying food–I suddenly understood how this could work. In the butcher shop, my son asked me where the “round circle” hamburgers were. He had no idea what ground beef really looked like or how it was made. I was ashamed. And then I showed him. At home, he donned his personalized apron and got to work, cracking eggs and kneading the meat with his bare hands. I thought he would be grossed out but he was beaming with pride. He formed and grilled the patties, sliced the tomatoes, and babysat his burgers, feeling scared occasionally from the heat on the grill. I don’t think I have ever seen my son eat a burger so fast in his life. He watched all of us eat ours, too. He was so grateful, he even washed the dishes.

Imagine what might happen if we applied that insight to public policy.

08 Jul 17:05

This Diver is a Real Hero After Rescuing a Sea Turtle


I love how the turtle is all "give us a kiss" and the diver goes "uncomfortable!!" I hope the turtle's fin heals.

Submitted by: (via GoPro)

Tagged: rescue , GoPro , Video , sea turtle , scuba
07 Jul 12:40

Client: Everything is looking really good. Can you go ahead and move the site to my server? Me:...



Client: Everything is looking really good. Can you go ahead and move the site to my server?

Me: Absolutely, I’ll send you an invoice and move it over as soon as I receive final payment.

Three days pass with no response from my client…

Client: Hey man, why isn’t the site on my server yet?

Me: I sent an invoice and haven’t received payment yet. As soon as the payment is received, I will move the site.

Two days pass with no response from my client…

Client: After reviewing the site you have been developing, we have decided that it is not the quality that we are expecting. Per our contract, you can either move the site to our server or refund the initial deposit.

Me: I don’t remember the contract stating that I built you a website for half price. Also, if you hate the quality, why did you say it was looking good earlier, and why would you want it on your server?

After a week of silence, the client paid my invoice and I moved their site to their server.

05 Jul 17:35

American Apparel's Latest Fuck Up Stresses Danger of Hiring Milennials

by Isha Aran

American Apparel's Latest Fuck Up Stresses Danger of Hiring Milennials

American Apparel is the center of controversy once again, but this time, ex-CEO Dov Charney has nothing to do with it. Nope, as a matter of fact, the shitshow went down on the company's Tumblr account, where an employee posted a picture of a firework explosion cloud thing with the tags: #smoke, #clouds. Here's a screenshot:


03 Jul 18:40

Throwback to last week when a woman—not her boss—made her own decisions about her health care.

by Kate Dries

Throwback to last week when a woman—not her boss—made her own decisions about her health care. #TBT

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 3, 2014


06 Jul 10:28

abcworldnews: Adm. Michelle Howard is the U.S. Navy’s first...


This is a great reminder. What is the point of resolution you could be working toward?


Adm. Michelle Howard is the U.S. Navy’s first female four-star Admiral. She is also the highest-ranking African-American woman in any branch of the military. She is abcworldnews's Person of the Week.

Smart Girl Alert!

03 Jul 19:10

Video: Diver saves sea turtle tangled in rope

by Xeni Jardin
Camera maker GoPro's YouTube channel contains some real gems. The most recent video: a diver rescuing an adorable honu who managed to get tangled in a fishing net, off the coast of Mexico. "Just when you think the turtle will swim away, he comes back to thank the diver for his help."
03 Jul 14:00

That's the Thanks I Get!?