flotsam » Archive of 'Jun, 2009'

Dear Lord, Please Let This Be Viral

Ostensibly footage from a sewer cam under “Cameron Village”, Raleigh, North Carolina. I’m desperately hoping this is a viral video, intended to promote some sci-fi or horror film, because if these twitching, pulsating blobs of flesh are real, I may never sit on a toilet again.

Update: The bad news is, this video is apparently quite real. The good news is, it’s not flesh-eating brain-sucking mutant aliens, but clumps of worms. Worms?? Yes, according to Dr. Timothy Wood, freshwater bryozoa expert:

Thanks for the video – I had not see it before. No, these are not bryozoans! They are clumps of annelid worms, almost certainly tubificids (Naididae, probably genus Tubifex). Normally these occur in soil and sediment, especially at the bottom and edges of polluted streams. In the photo they have apparently entered a pipeline somehow, and in the absence of soil they are coiling around each other. The contractions you see are the result of a single worm contracting and then stimulating all the others to do the same almost simultaneously, so it looks like a single big muscle contracting. Interesting video.

Thanks to Geekologie for the follow-up. And I still say ick.

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Machu Picchu Post

Machu Picchu Post from Machu Picchu Post Team on Vimeo.

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THE TERRIBLE THING OF ALPHA 9

via Miss Cellania

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Tutu

Tutu from Idefagskolen on Vimeo.

via Ticklebooth

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“Blue” and “Green” Spirals

This is a spectacular optical illusion:

What’s the trick, you ask? Just this: The blue and green spirals are the exact same color.

Impossible? Not at all. For the explanation, go see this post at the Bad Astronomy blog. As the author says:

This is why I tell people over and over again: you cannot trust what you see even with your own eyes. Your eyes are not cameras faithfully taking pictures of absolute truth of all that surrounds you. They have filters, and your brain has to interpret the jangled mess it gets fed. Colors are not what they appear, shapes are not what they appear … objects are not what they appear.

So the next time someone swears they saw Jesus, or a UFO, or a ghost, show them this picture. What you see in life is absolutely and provably not what you get.

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The Original Multi-tool

Tanuki are creatures from Japanese folklore. While there are actual animals called tanuki, also known as the “raccoon dog”, the tanuki of legend are mischevious and jolly, and are masters of disguise.

There is a lot of information about tanuki available, but for most Westerners the defining feature of tanuki are their enormous testicles. What’s more, their huge scrotums can be used as anything from an improvised shelter to a fishing net:

A collection of woodblock prints from the 1840’s of tanuki using their testicles in a variety of ways is available at Pink Tentacle. Check them out.

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Gender-targeted Advertising

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Bathtub IV

Look at the little people!

But seriously, I have never seen a better use of the “tilt-shift” technique in a video. Simply beautiful.

Bathtub IV from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

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“I see a beautiful light…” ZAP!

Have you heard of implanted defibrillators? For people with certain heart conditions, they are a godsend. It’s a small, battery-powered device that monitors heart rate, and if it detects a cardiac arrhythmia it automatically shocks the heart to reset the heart muscle’s natural rhythm.

You could hopefully go your entire life without seeing one work, but the cameras were rolling when footballer Anthony Van Loo suffered cardiac arrest on the field. If you watch carefully you can easily see the moment that his implanted defibrillator followed it’s programmed routine and saved his life. So cool.

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Partly Cloudy

This is a delightful new short from Pixar. I don’t know how long it will stay up, so watch it now.

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