Chris Higgins is the author of The Blogger Abides and writes for This American Life, The Atlantic, Breakfast on Mars, and The Magazine. You can follow him at chrishiggins.com.
Christien Meindertsma followed an individual pig through its life and death, to see where all the parts of the pig ended up. This pig did not have a name per se, but it did have a number: Pig 05049. And Meindertsma found that this pig's parts made their way into a remarkable array of modern products and devices (including bullets -- no kidding).
Among the places bits of Pig 05049 ended up: soap, toothpaste, bread, low-fat butter, concrete, German train brakes, fine bone china, paint, sandpaper,... READ ON
This delightful 15-minute video features a young Jim Henson explaining puppet-making (and thus Muppet-making) in 1969. This was made before Sesame Street went on the air later that year. It's part of a locally produced show for kids, and the production values are amazing. My favorite part is when Henson creates a Kermit-ish character with hat and cowboy voice, around ten minutes in. Just after that, we see an early appearance of Rufus, the shaggy white dog. Here's what Iowa Public Television has to... READ ON
The Gregory Brothers are well-known among internet nerds for their Auto-Tune the News video series. The band appeared last week at the Google ZeitGeist conference, and explained how it all happened -- particularly how their recent "Bed Intruder Song" entered the Billboard Hot 100 without any label support, and while only available via the iTunes Music Store.
What's really interesting is that the Gregory Brothers entered into a contract with the man featured in the song, Antoine Dodson, and shared the... READ ON
Need something cute and kinda silly to lighten up your Friday? How about the story of Nutty, a squirrel, and his surrogate parent Tony Hattersley (who is described in a lower-third title as "Nutty's best friend"). From the BBC's North West Tonight.
Stick around at least until 0:45 for the shower scene.
If that's not enough cuteness for you, check out Cat Adopts Baby... READ ON
Galco's Soda Pop Stop is a specialty store in Los Angeles that sells almost exclusively soda pop -- though there's also some candy and a deli counter tucked away in the back. I visited the store a few years ago, and came away with a variety of odd, exciting soda pop items, all in glass bottles (though they do carry a few cans). Predictably, I was able to drink about two bottles before I got sugared-out for the evening. But still, Galco's is an amazing place: a small, family-owned store that sells... READ ON
Two weeks ago I brought you The Late Movies: Baffling "Next on Mad Men" Clips, which seemed to strike a chord with other bloggers -- it was picked up by the New York Times as well as our friends at Jezebel. (Seriously, we're friends. I met one of the editors last weekend at a wedding.)
The most interesting part of all of these posts was that John Duffy has been making spoof "Next on Mad Men" trailers for some time now, and the added attention has sparked him to make a bunch more -- here's his new... READ ON
Everyone's favorite kids' show is embracing new media: Sesame Street has a Tumblr. They're using it to post clips from the show, both old and new, some from the official YouTube channel, some not -- this is very cool, as most shows would destroy any content not from their official channel. But nope, the folks down on Sesame Street are in favor of sharing. My favorite so far is this clip in which Elmo interviews Neil Patrick Harris. I particularly enjoy how both NPH and Elmo are on the verge of... READ ON
Steve Keene is an artist who produces a ton of paintings. He currently claims over 140,000 paintings sold, and has been working since the mid-90's. He paints roughly fifty paintings at once (generally on plywood), using an assembly-line technique, and sells them cheap. On his website you can buy his stuff super-cheap. Currently listed: "5 PAINTINGS THAT KIND OF RANGE FROM LARGE TO MEDIUM" for $21 + shipping. He selects items from whatever he's working on at the moment and just sends it to you. Five... READ ON
Today's fun internet trick: YouTube Time Machine. As its creators say: "Pick a year, click refresh, and TRAVEL THROUGH TIME." Well, watch a video from or pertaining to that year, anyway. Real time travel is not yet supported by YouTube on desktop browsers, though I hear the feature is in beta.
An example of what you'll find: a Civil Defense Film from 1951. Representative quote from the paternalistic narrator: "If you live in an apartment house, rules for taking shelter will be posted in your... READ ON
Connal Hughes and Anjel Van Slyke made their way to the Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines in Moscow, and documented their experience in great detail -- with photos and descriptions of every game (including some videos). The museum is located in a Stalin-era bomb shelter with a reinforced blast door, and is rarely open (the article says it's open two or three times a week, and not until 7:30pm). You pay $10 and are led into what is literally an underground game parlor, to witness amazing creations like... READ ON
Neuticles are synthetic testicles for neutered pets. The tagline: "It's like nothing ever changed."