That's Cool, We Need That: Spiders That Can Fly With Silk Parachutes

June 15, 2018

This is a gif of a crab spider taking to the skies thanks to a parachute it created out of some 50 - 60 ten-foot long strands of ultra-fine silk -- some strands so fine they're actually thinner than the wavelength of visible light (400 - 700 nanometers). Up, up, and awaaaaay! Thankfully, the crab spiders that utilize this flying technique are tiny (~5 millimeters long), so you don't have to worry about any palm-sized spiders landing on your face. Those will crawl up your leg to get there. Also, in my nightmares spiders fly totally different.

[Technical University of Berlin aerodynamics engineer Moonsung Cho] found that before flying away, the spiders would lay down an anchor silk strand for safety. They would then reach one of their front legs into the air to evaluate how fast the wind was blowing, and from which direction. That's the spider equivalent of licking your finger and sticking it in the air.


If the wind conditions were just right--which, for these crab spiders, meant less than 7.3 miles per hour (3.3 meters per second) with a nice upward draft--they stood up very straight, stuck their butts in the air, and produced 50 to 60 nanoscale silks that lifted them into the skies. On average, those silks were nearly 10 feet long. Once they let go of their anchor strands, they were gone.

I can't imagine the spiders having much control over where they actually land after they take to the skies, but who cares -- wherever you go, there you are. "What does that even mean?" No clue, but I'll be there if you need me. "Where is there?" Happy hour, come buy me a cold one.

Keep going for a gif of a crab spider sticking a leg out to determine if the wind is right for flight.

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70 People From 70 Different Countries Demonstrate How They Count Money

June 15, 2018

This is the latest video from Condé Nast Traveler starring 70 people from 70 different countries demonstrating how they count paper money in their country (previously: saying hello and goodbye, making dog and cat sounds, and sneezing/saying 'bless you' or the equivalent). Or at least how they count money personally. Most were pretty standard, but there were several that were unique. Me? I've developed a far easier way of counting money: never having any. Paper money?! What do I look like, some sort of prince? I wish. Give me a penny for my thoughts? "Sure." *closes eyes, thinks hard* I should have asked for a nickel.

Keep going for the video.

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But The Fat Lady Hasn't Sung Yet: Poker Player Starts Celebrating $1,000,000 Win Too Early

June 15, 2018

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This is a video of World Series Of Poker player Sang Liu beginning to celebrate a $1,000,000 prize win over Roberly Felicio before the turn and river cards are even revealed on a near game-ending hand. Granted the odds were heavily in his favor, but of all people a poker player should know it's not over till it's over. And it wasn't over for Felicio, who managed to score the eight he needed to drop Liu's chip count to a twentieth of his own, and eventually go on to win the $1,000,000 purse. Me? I learned from a young age that you never celebrate until they're actually putting the gold medal around your neck. Or, in my case, pinning the purple ribbon to my chest.

Keep going for the video while I throw cards over my cubicle wall Gambit-style.

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Clever Girl: Video Of A Dog Going For A Run On A Covered Outdoor Treadmill On A Rainy Day

June 15, 2018

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Because who likes getting wet (I do), this is a short video of a golden retriever in Kent, Ohio taking itself for a run on a treadmill that's sitting on the covered porch of its owner during a rainstorm. How about that! You think it's chasing that pile of sticks? Here I am looking for any excuse not to exercise, and this dog is running on a covered treadmill during a rainstorm. I honestly never thought a dog would make me feel so bad about my exercise regimen, and yet here we are -- a new low. Call my trainer and tell him my legs are broken.

Keep going for the video.

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Don't Do Drugs: Man Wakes Driver Asleep At The Wheel, Slow-Speed Chaos Ensues

June 15, 2018

"Oh shit, I shouldn't have woke him up!" -- truer words have never been spoken

This is a video of a man stopping to wake a motorist who's asleep at the wheel (possibly on drugs, possibly suffering from a medical condition like he did too many drugs), who proceeds to wake up, crash through a road closed sign, then cross the street (amazingly managing to not get hit in the process) and into a fence before taking out a light pole and coming to a stop. Drugs: just like my magic, they're dangerous and should not be messed with, especially while behind the wheel. I'm just saying, one time I accidentally turned my gear shift into a cobra in a mall parking lot and drove through Macy's shoe department. "You buy anything?" Too expensive.

Keep going for the whole video.

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Finally, A Smart Internet-Enabled Cat Litterbox That Can Monitor Your Pet's Health

June 15, 2018

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Seen here being modeled by a cat who's clearly no stranger to peering into the depths of a person's soul and pooping at the same time, this is Sharp's Pet Care Monitor, a $226 smart litter box that monitors your pet's bathroom habits and sends the information it gathers to an artificial intelligence system via the internet, which analyzes and compares the data to ensure your cat isn't suffering from any kidney or urinary tract issues and is functioning at optimal meows.

The advanced cat toilet traces cats' weight, urine volume and frequency, and length of time spent on the toilet. AI will then analyze that data.


If there is any abnormality, such as a cat spending an unusually long time on the toilet or the quantity of urine being abnormally large or small, the owner will be alerted via an application called Cocoro Pet installed on their smartphone.

Now I know what you're all thinking, and you can relax -- there's also an optional sensor available to allow the box to differentiate between all the individual cats in a home. Unfortunately, there's nothing to prevent them all from peeing right beside the litter box instead of in it. You know, not to brag or anything, but I consider myself somewhat of a smart litter box too. "Litter box, yes -- smart, no." Your words hurt me. Still, no word if the box will be able to determine just how many cat turds my dog eats, but I have been feeding her less and she's still gaining weight.

Thanks to v, who agrees the smartest litter box is the one that runs and hides when your cat wants to poop in it.

Get Away From Me: Up Close And Personal With A Yellowjacket Wasp In 4K

June 15, 2018

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This is a video from Youtube channel Warped Perception (previously) featuring some up close and personal footage of yellowjacket wasps shot in ultra high definition. Admittedly, up close yellowjackets actually look kinda cute, and, just like an ex before they're an ex, that they weren't only put here on earth just to ruin your life.

Keep going for the video, there's actually some learning to be done if you're interested.

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