The Adventures of Dan Donnelly's Arm

Irishman Dan Donnelly was an accomplished boxer around the turn of the 19th century. This was in the early days of prize fights, when there were no gloves and almost no rules. Donnelly, who had a reputation as a successful scrapper in his native Dublin, only fought in three official matches, but reigned as the heavyweight champion of his time, and was a hero to the Irish. Donnelly died of pneaumonia at only 31 years old. He was honored with as many memorials as a national hero could ask for, but it was what happened to him after his death that really earned Dan Donnelly a place in the history books.

Donnelly's grave was robbed by body snatchers soon after his burial. His remains were sold to a surgeon who was surprised to learn the identity of the cadaver he was dissecting. The doctor returned Donnelly to his grave, or at least most of him. He couldn't resist sawing off the boxer's right arm, as it was the one that won those fights. Afterward, Donnelly's arm began 200 years of its own adventures, traveling across the world and being put to work. Read about Dan Donnelly's arm and its astonishing afterlife at Strange Company.

When Will the COVID-19 Pandemic End?

It's been two years, and we've all learned more about viruses than we ever thought we'd need to know. So, when will the pandemic end? The short answer is: we don't know. The more helpful answer is: it depends on a few different factors that we can't exactly predict now, but with a primer on what we've learned about coronaviruses in general and COVID-19 in particular, we can expect one of several different scenarios. Six scenarios, to be exact. Or at least that's what the guys from AsapSCIENCE tell us. They are basing these predictions on the history of the 1918 flu pandemic plus what happened to other coronaviruses, and the timeline of how COVID-19 has spread, mutated, and attacked. These changes give us clues about what may come next. The bad news is that this virus may always be with us. The good news is that the longer it hangs around, the more we know its secrets and how to deal with it. -via Digg

Eye of the Beholder Coin Follows You to Your Death

Redditor Sir_Make_Alot makes a lot of great artworks inspired by Dungeons & Dragons. Among them is this coin that has a hidden piece inside. When he moves his finger along the back, the eyes of the Beholder, a very dangerous monster in the Dungeons & Dragons universe, watches your every move. The text translates to, if I remember my Latin correctly, that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Yes, but don't get close enough for the Beholder to leer.

Robot Vacuum Escapes from Hotel

A robot vacuum cleaner made a break for freedom from the Travelodge hotel in Cambridge, UK, on Thursday. The hotel has an army of vacuums, but this one worked its way right out the front door, slipping right over the lip of the doorway that would have normally stopped it. You could say it made a clean getaway. However, there is always the possibility that someone aided and abetted its escape. Hotel management posted an alert on social media for locals to be on the lookout for the vacuum cleaner.  

While some readers joked about the robot's adventures, one feared for its safety in the great outdoors, pointing out that "nature abhors a vacuum".

However, much to everyone's relief, the device was found nestled under a hedge on Friday afternoon by a (human) hotel cleaner sprucing up the front drive.

And that's what you get on a slow news day at the BBC.  -via reddit

How to Make a Freezer on the Steppe

If you don't have electricity running to your yurt, it may be hard to keep a freezer going. For long-term storage of your perishable foodstuffs, you'll need something that makes use of cold weather, can endure short hot spells, and keeps your food accessible.

This clever man that some people on reddit think lives in northern China uses a clever, multi-stage process to build a functional deep freeze. What's necessary is both ice and carefully arranged hot water.

I don't know who he is, but making things with ice and hot water is appearently his thing. Here's a video of him making a smaller ice chest with functional hinges.

-via Nag on the Lake

Crossing the Uncanny Valley: Ameca the Humanoid Robot has Amazingly Human-Like Facial Expressions

šŸ¤– It's amazing what 17 motors underneath its grey face could do. Meet Ameca, a humanoid robot by UK company Engineered Arts, which took the Internet by storm with its lifelike facial expressions.

šŸ“ŗ Bumbling thieves in Brazil shows us what NOT to do when stealing a big-screen TV.

šŸ¼ Snow is fun: Snow day for panda cub Xiao Qi Ji at the Smithsonia's National Zoo.

ā„ļø Snow is not fun: This 9-year-old kid is basically everyone who's exhausted and sick of the snow (the good news is that the boy, whose name is Cater Trozollo, is now a viral star)

šŸŽ¬ Ewan McGregor shows us what it's like playing Obi-Wan Kenobi in front of the green screen for Revenge of the Sith.

šŸŽ™ļø Behind the Scenes: Watch Mark Hamill voice Skeletor in Masters of the Universe: Revelations. The voice acting is transcendent triumph!

More neat posts over at our new sites: Pictojam, Laughosaurus, Supa Fluffy, and Pop Culturista,

Featured art: Jurassic Pug by indie artist edsonramos.

Current special: Save up to 20% on all T-shirts in NeatoShop's sitewide special.

For Shouichi Yokoi, World War II Ended in 1972

After the Battle of Guam in 1944, thousands of Japanese soldiers refused to surrender, and hid in the jungle, preferring to fight on their own instead of being captured by the Americans. By the time the war ended a year later, there were still 130 Japanese holding out on Guam. They ran and hid whenever they were spotted, refusing to endure the dishonor of defeat. Shouichi Yokoi was among them. Leaflets were dropped on the island, but Yokoi considered them enemy propaganda and not to be believed. He lived with other holdouts, until one by one they left, died, or were captured. Finally, he spent eight years without seeing another human being.

In all, Shouichi Yokoi spent almost 28 years on Guam. Only in January of 1972 did he run into two fishermen, who overpowered him and took him to civilization. Back in Japan, he received a hero's welcome, but the public was split between honoring him for his dedication to duty and pity for a life wasted. Read about Shouichi Yokoi, how he survived alone on Guam, and what happened after he was found, at Smithsonian.

PIPNIC: A Roller Coaster Ride of Nonstop Puns

They call them Dad jokes now, but they've always been puns. Wordplay. Groaners. Dan Opsal and John Haskell of the Real Big Boys YouTube channel play Pip Ketchip and Nic Musterd on a picnic. They seem to be looking for a world record in stuffing as many puns as they can into two minutes. Forget trying to follow the conversation, as they get distracted constantly by the alternate meaning of a word. Since there's no pause for laughter, and no reaction from the principle punsters, you are guaranteed to miss some of the jokes as they fly by. Yeah, you'll probably have to watch this twice. Don't stop to laugh or groan. And don't be surprised if you get grated cheese on your hot dates.  -via Laughing Squid

RIP Meat Loaf

Actor and singer Meat Loaf, best known for his 1977 album Bat Out of Hell and his longtime collaboration with composer Jim Steinman, passed away at his home with his family surrounding him. Born Marvin Lee Aday in Dallas, he earned the nickname Meat Loaf before he ever started his musical career. After playing in a local band, he went to the musical stage, appearing in the Los Angeles cast of Hair and other productions, eventually moving to the Broadway production of Hair. His turn in the stage production of The Rocky Horror Show led to Meat Loaf reprising the role of Eddie in the movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He and Steinman devoted five years to the album Bat Out of Hell, which turned Meat Loaf into an arena musician. He still appeared in an occasional film afterward, such as Fight Club. Read his life story at The Guardian. Meat Loaf was 74.

The announcement of Meat Loaf's death brings up stories from his long career. In 1989, as his career was seen to be flagging, Meat Loaf was booked on a tour of dive bars in Ireland, promoted as "intimate" shows. The venues were always overcrowded and rowdy. One night at the Community Cen­tre in the town of Moate, things got out of hand immediately. The drunk crowd began to throw beer cans, which eventually hit the stage, then shoes, then lit cigarettes. Meat Loaf warned the crowd, then stormed off the stage. But the band, not realizing what was happening, kept playing, and the singer returned to try again. Until...

Fly­ing through the air was… a wheelchair.

The chair flew directly over Marty’s head. He turned just in time to see Meat Loaf’s eyes swell with an unusual mix­ture of both fear and won­der. The burly singer put out an arm and attempted to step back. The stage was so small he stum­bled into the drum riser just as the wheel­chair crashed onto the boards in front of him. In slow motion the big man appeared to fall, the empty wheel­chair bounc­ing to his left, one wheel com­i­cally spinning.

Marty remem­bers the crowd cheer­ing. He was sure he could make out some­one scream­ing, but by the time he could react Meat­ had got­ten to his feet, grabbed the mic, roared at the audi­ence and hurled it at them as he stormed off.

The show was over, less than half an hour in. Meat Loaf was outraged, and not only because he and his crew were put in danger. He wasn't going back on. “Not after what they did to that poor kid in the wheelchair.”

We never found out whose wheelchair was used, but the tour continued, just not in Moate. -via Metafilter

Was the Unicorn an Actual Historical Animal?

šŸ¦„ Myths often have kernels of truth buried deep beneath layers of fairy tales passed down through the generations. Scientists have now found evidence that the horned Siberian beast called the Elasmotherium sibiricum may have lived among early humans 35,000 years ago, and thus gave rise to what we now call the unicorn. Now if only we can explain the jackalope!

šŸ›©ļø Not for the faint-hearted: watch how an airplane lands at the world's most dangerous airport. The Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla, Nepal has a single runway that sits between a mountain and a steep drop-off. I get queasy just watching the clip! šŸ˜±

šŸ•¹ļø You can now play the once-forbidden video games from Communist Czechoslovakia. There's a Rambo game where he's actually the bad guy.

šŸŽµ We told you about The Butts Remix before. Now, there's the Teletubbies singing Black Eyed Peas' song My Humps.

šŸ•·ļø Genius inventor created a real-life Spider-Man wall climbing suit (and proceeded to climb a really tall building).

šŸ•·ļø How do you spy on red crabs on their annual Christmas Island migration? Why, with a spy crab, of course.

More neat posts over at our new sites: Pictojam, Pop Culturista, Infinite 1UP, Laughosaurus, and Supa Fluffy.

Image: Elasmotherium sibiricum by DiBgd/Wikimedia

šŸŒ¹ Featured art: Kiss from a Rose, sung by an actual seal by indie artist louisros.

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Stranded Dog Rescued with Drone Dangling a Sausage

Millie is a Jack Russell Terrier and Whippet mix who lives in Hampshire, UK. She wandered into the tidal mudflats near the coastal waters of Havant. This is dangerous ground, as it is difficult to traverse and easy to get stuck.

Rescuers encouraged her to move toward higher ground, but were unable until they brought in an aerial drone. A local resident cooked up sausages from Aldi, which the rescuers then dangled from the drone. Millie was hungry enough to follow the bait, which the drone pilot slowly moved toward higher ground that would not submerge with the tide.

-via Dave Barry

Ski Report with a Bonus

Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania brings us their latest ski report. Sixteen inches of snow! But that's not what makes this video noteworthy. Watch it to the end, and don't drink anything until it's over.

Okay, once the video is over, you realize that you didn't really absorb a thing Abbey said, did you? Not that it matters. As funny as it turned out, we can all relate to the poor skier in the background. How did this happen? Was it serendipity thanks to the staff who didn't clear the stairs, a typical case of hard-to-walk-in ski boots, or was it staged to go viral? Give us your determination in the poll below. -via Fark

Explain this video.

50 Really Awkward But Memorable Moments

Everybody has done something so embarrassing that you just want to go home and hibernate for a few years. The best of those awkward moments are those that no one present can ever forget, so they surface on the internet ten, twenty years later, and everyone can have a laugh. Just be glad that your name isn't attached to the viral Tweet.

In this collection, some of the perpetrators are identified, because people do tell on themselves occasionally. Be prepared to laugh out loud at one or more of these 50 mortifying conversations, and just be glad that your most awkward and embarrassing story isn't included. ....unless it is. See the entire ranked list at Bored Panda.

Drug Use in the Viking Era

Believe it or not, there are people who can't wrap their heads around the use of non-medicinal drugs before the 20th century. But it was always so, from mind-expanding hallucinogens for religious rites to painkillers to escape the grinding stress of everyday life. And for some, mood-altering drugs could aid in warfare.

We all know that you stay away from someone who is in a drug-induced frenzy, because they may have lost all sense of self-preservation. That was the story of the berserkers, who were said to be immune to fire and weapons during battle. The more likely story is that they just didn't care, and that terrified their enemies into retreat or submission. It must have been the drugs.  

Nutty History goes through a whole bunch of drugs that were available during the Viking era, which all come with some contraindications for use in warfare. We don't know what they used- it could have easily been a combination. We also don't know how many casualties they had, in drug overdose or battle, in the quest for the formula they wanted. But when it worked, it gave the berserkers a reputation that long outlasted them. -via Boing Boing

Reporter Hit by Car on Live TV, Keeps Right on Reporting

Tori Yorgey, a reporter with WSAZ-TV News in Charleston, West Virginia was on the scene, reporting on the effects of a winter storm. The roads were slippery from the snow, as evidenced by the car that slid into Yorgey.

This is her last week on the job, as Yorgey is heading to Pittsburgh to work there. She now has the ultimate end-of-work story. Despite the impact, Yorgey stood up and was reporting on weather conditions within a minute.

I'm also impressed with anchorman Tim Irr, who maintains perfect composure as a colleague is cut down in front of him.

-via Born in Space

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