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Friday, May 13, 2016

A Supercut of Birds in Movies

I have birds on my mind after spending time last week with the Audubon photo contest winners - apparently BurgerFiction does, too.

Related posts:

Supercut: 100 Greatest One-Liners Before The Kill

Friday links

Paraskavedekatriaphobia: Why is Friday the 13th Considered Unlucky?

A Supercut of Birds in Movies.

The physics of traffic flow: How a Single Car, Inadvertently Braking, Causes a Traffic Jam.

ICYMI, Tuesday's links are here, and include the Smithsonian whale warehouse, horse and buggy parking at the Costco in Lancaster, PA, baby naming laws in European countries, and, for his birthday, clips of some of Fred Astaire's best dance scenes.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

It's Fred Astaire's birthday - here are clips of some of his best dancing

Today is the anniversary of the birth of the legendary American dancer extraordinaire, Fred Astaire (wiki) (1899-1987), in Omaha, Nebraska. Born Fred Austerlitz, Astaire made his vaudeville debut with his sister, Adele, at the age of five; by the 1920s, they were dancing on Broadway and in London.*

After Adele's marriage in 1932, his search for a new partner led him to Hollywood, where he teamed up with Ginger Rogers for ten classic song-and-dance films, including Top Hat (1935) and Shall We Dance? (1937). Cool, sophisticated, and rakishly elegant, Astaire gave the illusion of effortless ease to the most technically exacting routines, notably with subsequent partners like Cyd Charisse (in Band Wagon, 1953).  His remarkable potential was not always obvious - early in his Hollywood career, a casting director (who must have been drunk) famously wrote, 
“Balding. Can’t act. Can dance a little.”
Astaire fundamentally changed the way dance was portrayed on film. Utilizing extended takes, Astaire, whether solo or with a partner, performed uninterrupted, intricate dance sequences that kept audiences captivated for decades.

Top Hat (1935):

Swing Time (1936):

Too Hot To Handle:


Here's an excellent compilation of Rita Hayworth dancing (much of the time with Astaire), set to Stayin' Alive:

*Fred and Adele:

Monday, May 9, 2016

Tuesday links

Where Dead Whales Go To Live: Smithsonian Whale Warehouse.

Amish Commerce: Costco in Lancaster, PA has stalls reserved for horse and buggy parking.

8 Countries With Fascinating Baby Naming Laws.

It's Fred Astaire's birthday: here are a few clips of his best dance scenes.

How Common Is Your Birthday? Consult This Chart And Find Out.

Gallery: Scary Faces of Olympic Divers.

ICYMI, Monday's links are here, and include the 2016 Audubon Photography Awards winners, why the Army needs foam goat heads, and the physics of using a magnifying glass and moonlight to light a fire.

Where Dead Whales Go To Live: Smithsonian Whale Warehouse

The short (3 minute) video below explains the process of collecting and displaying whales. Per the YouTube description:
Seeing a massive skeleton on display in a museum gallery is the last step in a long journey from living animal to educational specimen. Where do these animals come from and how are they collected and prepared? 
This video takes you behind the scenes at one of the world’s largest collections of marine mammals at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.
Since the nineteenth century, the Smithsonian has also been at the forefront of whale exhibition. Phoenix—a 45-foot, 2300-pound, full-scale model of the Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) and the centerpiece of the new Sant Ocean Hall—is the culmination of over a century’s-worth of innovation in the scientific casting and modeling of whales.

Monday links

2016 Audubon Photography Awards Winners: the Grand Prize winner is quite extraordinary.

Mercury is making a rare transit across the sun today. Good explanation herelive stream from 7:12 AM until ~2:45 PM Eastern time here

The Independent Discovery of TCP/IP, By Ants.

Why the Army Needs Foam Goat Heads.

ICYMI, Friday's links are here, and include a roundup of Mother's Day links, why it's illegal to use milk crates for anything other than milk, V.E Day anniversary, bizarre traditional dishes from all over the world, and how a wine and cocaine cocktail became Coca Cola.