Ken Burns’ Star Wars

The Washington Post brings us Star Wars (the original trilogy) as if it were made by Ken Burns.

It’s pretty cute, but it makes me want Ken Burns to actually make one.

December 19, 2015

Squirrels attacking people

Squirrels in Novato, California have been attacking people, sometimes even jumping at them from trees.

The Marin County government and Marin Humane Society are warning residents to be on the lookout for angry squirrels in Novato, a city about 25 miles north of San Francisco. “The attacks have sent several people to the hospital. Squirrel teeth are sharp!” emails Lisa Bloch, a humane-society spokeswoman.

Expanding on the previous post, Australia has bears that drop out of trees and attack people.

December 6, 2015

Domestic disturbance caused by spider

Police in Wollstonecraft, Australia were called because neighbors heard a woman screaming and a man shouting, “I’m going to kill you.”

After deliberating, the cops concluded that the disturbance was indeed caused by an arachnophobic man wildly chasing a spider around his home, while desperately clutching a can of Mortein insect spray.

Depending on the size of the spider, it could happen to anyone. Australia is known for having large, and deadly, wildlife.

December 1, 2015

Tonight is when NYC needs Batman

Walt Hickey at FiveThirtyEight looks at when NYC most closely resembles Gotham.

O’Neil said “Batman’s Gotham City is Manhattan below Fourteenth street at eleven minutes past midnight on the coldest night in November.” And by that metric, tonight is most often the night that New York is its most Gotham-esque: In seven of the past 50 years, Nov. 30 was the coldest night of the month.

Love the last sentence.

November 30, 2015

Wu-Tang’s secret album sold

Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, The Wu-Tang Clan’s secret double-album, has been sold.

Yet the group chose an unusual launch strategy, deciding to release only one copy of the record. The goal: to return the value of music, which has been lowered by the advent of streaming and piracy, to the level of other types of fine art.

It was sold to a “private American collector” for a price in the millions. They’ve done a very good job keeping it from leaking.

Update: We now know who bought it.

November 25, 2015

White Album #1 up for auction

The first pressing of The Beatles White Album, which was given to Ringo Starr, is up for auction.

It has been widely known among collectors that the four members of the Beatles kept numbers 1 through 4, but it was not commonly known that Starr was given the No.0000001 album. Starr has stated that he kept this album in a bank vault in London for over 35 years. Up to this time the lowest numbered UK first mono pressing album to come to market is No.0000005, which sold in 2008 for just under $30,000. This No.0000001 UK first mono pressing owned by a member of the Beatles is the lowest and most desirable copy that will ever become available.

It’s got a bumped corner. That should really affect the price.

November 24, 2015

Bangkok now has the world’s longest half-marathon

A mistake lengthened the Bangkok half-marathon to almost 17 miles.

He said race officials responsible for pointing runners in the right direction inadvertently directed them to make a U-turn at the wrong place.

“You’ve never heard of the Millennium Falcon? It’s the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.”

November 16, 2015

The Pike Place gum wall gets cleaned

The Atlantic’s In Focus brings us pictures of Seattle’s Pike Place gum wall, which was cleaned.

How does something like that become a thing?

November 16, 2015

On language

Slate looks at when “boo” became a scary word, and what word other languages use.

Perhaps the first appearance of boo in print comes from the book-length polemic Scotch Presbyterian Eloquence Display’d (1738), in which author Gilbert Crokatt defines it as , “a word that’s used in the north of Scotland to frighten crying children.” (It’s not clear why people in Scotland would want to frighten a crying child.)

If you found that even mildly interesting, I encourage you to listen to Slate’s Lexicon Valley episodes about “fuck” and “pussy”.

November 15, 2015

Cast of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory reunite

The cast of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory reunited on Today for the 44th anniversary of the movie.

God I hated Veruca Salt.

November 15, 2015