R.I.P. Ray Bradbury


World Shin Kicking championships

This both delights and disturbs me.

DELIGHTS because whenever I am angry/mock angry at my husband, I like to kick him in the shins, repeatedly. At first this confounded him. “What are you DOING!?” he asked the first time, alarmed, way back in the olden days. But, ten or eleven years later, he has been battered into an uneasy acceptance.

DISTURBS because these guys are kicking each other kind of hard. It’s a little weird.

This is the annual Shin Kicking Championship, held at the Cotswold Olimpicks.

The UK Telegraph says, “There are few rules, but competitors are not allowed to simply perform a sweeping manoeuvre as used in Judo. This is very much a full contact sport and stamina is just as important as speed and agility. ”

Natch! Read more about that here.

Smell Yo Dick

So, I’m a little late to this party, about five years late, as it was released in 2007. How did I miss this? And what exactly is going on here?

This is high concept art, right? Not to be taken at face value but in a multi-layered, self aware, savvy sort of way? Right? Right?

Coin operated automaton morturary

When I was a kid my family went to Scotland and I remember being fascinated by a coin operated automaton Sweeney Todd’s barber shop. Those automaton things were all over the place back in Scotland then in the 19mumblemumbles. I don’t know if they are now. But this is almost as weird as the killer barber shop on Fleet Street.

It was on sale at Skinner Auctioneers & Appraisers in Boston and is a coin operated automaton mortuary. I’d like to know what it sold for.

“’St. Dennistoun Mortuary’ Coin-Operated Automaton, attributed to Leonard Lee, c. 1900, the mahogany cabinet and glazed viewing area displays a Greek Revival mortuary building with double doors and grieving mourners out front, when a coin is inserted, doors open and the room is lighted revealing four morticians and four poor souls on embalming tables, the morticians move as if busily at work on their grisly task and mourners standing outside bob their heads as if sobbing in grief.'”

See? Weird.

(Via Laughing Squid)

Study: Gaydar is actually a thing

Because I know you CARE desperately, I’ll tell you that I got pretty swamped over the past couple of months but things are back to normal now. So, I’m doing this again.

YAY! Right? Right? Huh…Quiet in here.

So, here’s today’s interesting thing, via Neatorama:

See the above pic? You think that Adam Lambert guy is gay? OK, obviously I’m kidding. That’s Sheena Easton. But seriously, folks, not only has new research shown possible evidence that gaydar exists, it suggests that we can judge a person’s sexual orientation from simply a photograph and in significantly less than a second…

“Research has shown that people are able to judge sexual orientation from faces with above-chance accuracy, but little is known about how these judgments are formed. Here, we investigated the importance of well-established face processing mechanisms in such judgments: featural processing (e.g., an eye) and configural processing (e.g., spatial distance between eyes). Participants judged sexual orientation from faces presented for 50 milliseconds either upright, which recruits both configural and featural processing, or upside-down, when configural processing is strongly impaired and featural processing remains relatively intact. Although participants judged women’s and men’s sexual orientation with above-chance accuracy for upright faces and for upside-down faces, accuracy for upside-down faces was significantly reduced. The reduced judgment accuracy for upside-down faces indicates that configural face processing significantly contributes to accurate snap judgments of sexual orientation.”

Cool, huh? Read the whole paper here if you want.