Archive for Entirely Too Cool

Frank commerce

Mr. Faulkner’s Old Fashioned Hot Dogs pops up on the streets of northern Minneapolis, and by all accounts is doing fine business.

Mr. Jaequan Faulkner is all of thirteen years old, and thereby hangs a tale:

He operates Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., serving about 20 customers a day. He likes the sense of accomplishment and enjoys projecting a positive image of black youth in his community, something he’s aware isn’t always shown.

The business started in 2016 when Faulkner saw an old hot dog grill at his uncle’s house. After two years of starts and stops, Faulkner stuck with it this summer.

Then he hit a snag: The Minneapolis Health Department called. Someone had complained to the city about the hot dog stand.

But instead of shutting Faulkner down, the Health Department decided to help him meet its standards.

Health Department staff made sure he had the necessary equipment — thermometers, food containers, hand sanitizer and utensil-cleaning stations — as well as knowledge about proper food handling. Once he passed his health inspection, inspectors paid the $87 for the special event food permit, and the city-sanctioned stand opened for business.

Eventually, Mr. Faulkner would like to own his own food truck. And props to Minneapolis city government for not doing what every other city would almost certainly have done.


We’re so board

Of course they didn’t actually let her stand on the roof. But hey, it almost looks like fun:

And yes, you should always call around for estimates first.


Memories, she has

And music, you’ll remember, hath charms.

Lam Duan is the name of an old blind elephant, her name means “Tree with Yellow Flowers.” Lam Duan has been blind most of her life. She lives at Elephants World, Thailand.

She may not know exactly what’s going on, but it’s definitely speaking to her:

And now I wonder how often anyone has ever shown her a kindness.

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Apparently not destined for KFC

A sick chicken, perhaps while crossing the road, is found by a good Samaritan:

Probably eats better than your average bucket-to-be.

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Velvet goes national

This much we know is true:

College sports have provided us a plethora of phenomenal names of players that, decades ago, would likely go largely unnoticed. Thanks to the internet, these select few and there incredibly unique names go viral. In college football alone, the 2017 all-name team (yes, that’s a thing and hopefully will be again in 2018) featured the likes of Illinois State lineman Kobe Buffalomeat, Stanford kicker Jet Toner and Eastern Michigan defensive lineman Lion King.

Now here’s someone we’d like you to meet:

Velvet Milkman

Velvet Milkman has coached women’s golf at Murray State — the one in Murray, Kentucky, not the one in Tishomingo, Oklahoma — since 1993, and is now the interim Athletic Director. Said President Bob Davies:

“[She is] a proven and natural leader who has tremendous respect throughout the University, our community and our athletic conference. She was the natural and obvious choice to serve in this leadership role as we conduct a national search.”

If she’s that good — and she’s won a dozen Coach of the Year titles in the Ohio Valley Conference — heck, they should give her the job outright. For now, though, Wikipedia hasn’t even heard of her:

Did you mean: velvety milkcap

Um, no. Then again, they disavow any knowledge of Toner, King or Buffalomeat.

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Dramamine queen

Historically, the farther I am from the driver’s seat, the more likely I am to hurl all over the upholstery:

Typically, motion sickness gets really bad when you’re trying to use a mobile device or read a book while riding in an automobile. As the body is subjected to involuntary movements caused by the automobile, the eyes attempt to focus upon a fixed object. This causes the central nervous system to get conflicting messages and everything starts to go haywire. While you can feel ill just looking out the window, drivers are less susceptible since they’re constantly scanning and in control of the vehicle’s movements.

Will this help?

There’s room for doubt:

Those of us who already wear glasses know that eye tends to focus far beyond the frame. In fact, you aren’t really even aware that you’re wearing glasses most of the time. Are the bubbles hidden in the bottom of the frame really enough to keep the eyes synced with inner ear?

But this much is indisputable:

Frankly, if they do work as claimed, they would become an invaluable addition to some travelers’ backpacks. There are few experiences less pleasant than being trapped inside a small space you aren’t supposed to puke into and desperately needing to.

Ain’t that the truth.

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Not indestructible just yet

A real-life cockroach is damn near impossible to kill. Harvard’s robotic version is probably a bit more fragile — at least for now:


How twisted do you have to be to say: “let’s make a more durable cockroach”?

Hey, it’s Harvard. They explain nothing to no one.

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A message of strength and perseverance

It gets lonesome in hospital rooms: minutes stretch into hours. And then, all of a sudden:

Gal Gadot visits a children's hospital in Virginia

Gal Gadot, in proper Wonder Woman garb, paid a visit to Inova Children’s Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia this past weekend, bringing smiles, small toys, coloring books, and more smiles. You gotta love it.

(Via Lauren Bradshaw.)

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The Captain still kicks it

Back in 2006, the late, lamented FameTracker (“The Farmer’s Almanac of Celebrity Worth”) performed one of its often-feared Fame Audits on William Shatner, and this was the bottom line:

Current approximate level of fame: Ed McMahon
Deserved approximate level of fame: Moses

Seriously. In the text:

Shatner is so damned awesome, so abundantly unexpected, so fucking necessary, he’s practically Biblical. It would be an insult to Shatner to compare him to some other celebrity and suggest they are equivalents.

Nothing much has changed. New Criterion editor Roger Kimball, yesterday:

One does not mess with the Shat. Not now, not ever.

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Geographical oddities

You probably know some of these, and can almost certainly figure out the rest, but weird is weird:

And I am familiar with Dalhart, Texas, population 8000 or so, up in the northwest corner of the Panhandle. It survives on agribusiness (lots of it) and criminals (a Texas state prison accommodating about 1600).

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The reward for persistence

Oh, he tries, and he tries, and he tries, and he tries, and finally he gets the satisfaction he’d been seeking:

This is harder than anything Pizza Rat ever had to do.

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Good times, anyway

A couple of weeks ago, this young lady went viral playing drums like John Bonham:

Social media users have been positively charmed by eight-year-old drummer Yoyoka Soma and her nearly perfect re-creation of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham’s parts on the band’s “Good Times, Bad Times.”

Soma’s video was her entry in the seventh annual Hit Like a Girl global drumming competition for female percussionists, whose purpose, according to the contest’s website, “is to spotlight female drummers/percussionists and encourage drumming and lifelong musicianship for girls and women, regardless of age or playing level.”

Soma was not a prizewinner in this year’s competition, but the video of her performance went viral, and warmed the stony cockles of many a jaded heart.

All I can say is: you should have heard her when she was seven.

I’m waiting for her to take a shot at “When the Levee Breaks.”

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Jurassic parking lot

Shortly, or perhaps not all that shortly, after the Creation:

If you want to know what kind of neighborhood you might have lived in, say, when the dinosaurs became extinct, check out this handy globe and map at Dinosaur Pictures.

Continental drift gives us volcanoes and earthquakes, but it also means that the Earth did not always look the way we know it today. The original supercontinent Pangaea split up over millions of years as it became our current setup, but the map will show you where a particular street address would have been on that land mass, as well as others throughout the last 750 million years or so. Sometimes that land mass was under water, and other times it might have been under a glacier. It may have started out in an entirely different hemisphere.

For the hell of it, I typed in 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10103, half a billion years ago. Apart from having been under Arctic ice, it hasn’t moved all that much.


Definitely not hooligans

There are more than enough stories about football fans in various parts of the world behaving like drunken fools to sour you on the game forever.

And then you read something like this:

Following their 2-1 World Cup win against Poland, Senegal fans stayed behind to clean up the mess they had made in all the excitement.

In this act of kindness, some Senegalese supporters opted to help out after the game by cleaning up the mess that had all been left behind.

Their actions received a lot of praise on social media as they showcased their ability to be humble and helpful in victory.

This is the sort of behavior one might expect from, say, Japan, which coincidentally is tied with Senegal for three points in Group H.

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A woman with whom you do not mess

Seriously. After this, how can she possibly be scared by the likes of you?

A 46-year-old woman strangled a rabid bobcat after the animal attacked her in her front yard in northeast Georgia.

The Athens Banner-Herald reports DeDe Phillips of Hart County went outside on June 7 to take a picture when the bobcat lunged at her. She then grabbed the cat by its throat and didn’t let go.

Which is not to say that the cat didn’t inflict serious damage on her:

The woman is being treated for rabies and recovering from a broken finger and several bite and claw wounds to her hands, arms, chest and legs.

So she’ll be out of commission for awhile. But the bobcat, being deceased and all, clearly got the worst of the deal.

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Not a Goofy explanation

At Walt Disney World, the cashier will put the bite on you — but the mosquitoes usually won’t. How is this possible, in the middle of a state that’s coast-to-coast swampland?

No Disney magic, in other words: just a lot of hard work.

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It’ll take your wig right off

Flyers call it the Low Pass, but seldom is it this low:

Peter Grant fills in the details:

This video, apparently dating from 2014, shows a Ukrainian Sukhoi Su-24 (a Soviet equivalent to the US F-111) making a very low, very fast pass over other Ukrainian aircraft at the Starokostiantyniv air base.

“One slip,” says Grant, “and he’d have been a smear of metal and strawberry jam on the earth.” Yep.


Messier than thou

That is, Charles Messier (1730-1817), whose interest in comets led him to discover more than a dozen of them — and to publish a list of things out in space which he could not identify, but which were definitely not comets.

Ariel Waldman has the story:

Smart guy, Chuck Messier.


Where a need was seen

Saturday’s Oklahoman generally contains a list of Oklahoma City building permits, and this one was on top yesterday: Positive Tomorrows, 901 N Villa Ave., school, erect, $8,000,000.

This is not what you’d call an up-and-coming neighborhood:

Bing map of NW 8th and Villa, Oklahoma City

Then again, this is exactly where they need to be:

As Oklahoma’s only elementary school specifically for homeless children, we give kids stability and a quality education while their parents get the support they need to create a better life. For over 25 years, we have filled our scrapbooks with countless success stories, but the need continues. Together we can break the cycle of homelessness and poverty.

The new school doubles the available space, though there’s no possible way they can accommodate more than a tiny fraction of the estimated 4,000 homeless kids in the area.

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The new, slender, sylphlike Dalek

Automated traffic cones

Wait a minute. That looks more like a traffic cone than a Dalek:

Wheeled “Robo-cones” that trundle off when no longer required to shorten roadworks for motorists have been invented by British engineers.

A new prototype road cone has been designed by construction firm Costain, which can travel at 4 mph and move itself off the motorway when repairs are completed.

There is, of course, a limit to how much autonomy can be baked into a device like this:

Richard Golledge, a senior software engineer who helped design the device, said the Robo-cones were also far more easier to manoeuvre than the current versions, taking “just a minute” to move into position.

“They are not autonomous,” he said. “It’ll be defined by someone who says where they want the cones. To have them completely autonomous and come out on the motorway and detect when there’s an accident, that would be perfect, although we are far from that.”

A mile’s worth of ordinary [spit] cones clutter up the section-line road north of me. During the week they’ve been in place, roughly a third have been moved for reasons other than operational necessity; a lot of those were helped off their positions by an unexpectedly ferocious thunderstorm cluster that dropped about three inches of rain in four hours. (Some One Way signs were scattered to, or by, the winds, which made the afternoon commute more interesting than anyone wanted it to be.)

The only downside to the robo-cone, at least around here, derives from the tendency of local road-building crews to place a batch of cones at the beginning of the month and then start doing the actual construction around the twenty-third.

(Via Bayou Renaissance Man.)

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A page right out of history

Hey, it works for me:

If you don’t sight-read, well, everything is somewhere on the Internet.

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In it for the long haul

The Pacific Ocean covers 63,800,000 square miles, about a third of the surface of the entire planet. (The entire land mass put together is only about 58 million square miles.) What can you possibly do with an ocean that large?

Why, you swim it, of course:

A French swimmer has set off from Japan aiming to become the first person to swim across the Pacific Ocean.

Ben Lecomte, 51, will swim for eight hours a day for more than six months as he heads towards the US west coast.

He faces dangers including sharks, storms, swarms of jellyfish, and extremely low water temperatures.

He is hoping to raise awareness for climate change, and a team of scientists will conduct research during the 5,500 mile (9,000 km) swim.

Isn’t there, you know, a smaller target he should be aiming for first?

Oh, right:

Preparations for the trip have taken more than six years, but Mr Lecomte has been targeting the challenge for much longer.

In 1998, he made the first known solo trans-Atlantic swim covering 6,400km (4,000 miles) in 73 days. When he finally reached dry land in France, his first words were “never again.”

Pictures and such will be posted at; there’s also a Twitter, and there’s a GoFundMe which has taken in $7700 so far.

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We take deez nuts seriously

And we mean it:

BDZ, a three-year-old colt, has a first, a second, and a third over his six-race career; he’s earned $16,837. (Statistics from Equibase.)

This past Friday, with Rolando Raudales aboard, Bofa Deez Nutz paid 7.40, 4.00 and 2.40.

(Via The Lost Ogle.)

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Ken would wuss out

This is, or at least was, a Barbie Pink Power Wheels Mustang. And then:

Underneath: a modified go-kart chassis and a 240cc (0.24 liter) engine from a Honda CRF 230 dirt bike.

Inevitably, this would take place:

The scary part is not so much that it goes zero to sixty in 9.4 seconds, but that it goes zero to sixty at all.

(Via @JenLucPiquant.)

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Damn your love

This guy does something you might not have thought possible: he makes music videos from real-life tunes, starring Peanuts characters.

No, really. Here, for instance, is Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain”:

He has a lot of these. Most recent: “2112” by Rush. No, really. It runs, um, 21 minutes and twelve seconds.

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She knows a cue when she hears one

Another argument for getting iDevices from Apple:

I just asked Siri on the HomePod to go to volume 11 (it adjusts from 1%-100%), and Siri responded, “Why don’t you just make ten louder, make ten be the top number, and make that a little louder?” Swear to god.

I’m starting to understand why Joaquin Phoenix would have it bad for an otherwise-intangible Scarlett Johansson.


You still need sunscreen

I have a stack of about ten years’ worth of The Bulletin, the monthly magazine of the American Association for Nude Recreation, and if I pop open any issue at any point, there’s a good chance I’ll see a picture of someone, and that someone will be naked, fortyish — God forbid anyone should see a twelve-year-old — and white. People of color, one might reasonably assume, have no particular need to get a tan.

That said, there exists something called the Black Naturists Association, and, as always with proper nudists, they have their own towels.

Woman wearing the signature towel of the Black Naturists Association

From their Facebook page:

Eight friends formed BNA (Black Naturists Association). Who are we?!?! We are an association that advocates nudity through naturist environments and activities to help promote healthy body images and self-esteem for those in the black community.

And they travel: a November expedition to Labadie, on the northern coast of Haiti, is already sold out.

BNA functions as a non-landed club under AANR rules; the annual dues ($90) include AANR membership. I can’t help but think this is a swell idea; there’s no reason The Lifestyle (so to speak) should be restricted to us pastier folk.


You may ask yourself

“Well, how did I get here?” wondered this collection of critters.

Fortunately, someone was there to get them out of there:

Which is not to say that we Bigger Critters are necessarily any smarter. (See just about any tab in Fark, for instance.)


No more cold showers

There will never be a water heater like this available to us civilians, and it’s almost certainly hazardous to your health, your plumbing, or both, but damn, it’s impressive:

[A]n international team of researchers hit a tiny jet of water with a flash from an X-ray laser called the Linac Coherent Light Source at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in the US. Needless to say the thin stream of water got hot fairly quickly.

“It is not the usual way to boil your water,” says physicist Carl Caleman from Uppsala University in Sweden. “Normally, when you heat water, the molecules will just be shaken stronger and stronger.”

Instead, the flash of X-rays punched the electrons right off the water molecules, setting them off balance. “So, suddenly the atoms feel a strong repulsive force and start to move violently,” says Caleman.

That violent jiggling — for all purposes what we refer to as “heat” — is equal to a scorching 100,000 degrees Celsius, way hotter than Earth’s core. What’s more, it takes less than 75 femtoseconds to accomplish this, which doesn’t give the molecules making up the trickle of water much time to escape.

The last person to shower in a seven-person household, a position I have held and did not enjoy, will look at that “75 femtoseconds” and think “If only”; the fact that this water-like substance will vaporize one’s skin won’t even be considered.

(Via Glenn Reynolds.)


Better than “Wear sunscreen”

(Via Miss Cellania.)