In The Aeroskank Over The Checkered Pattern

In the mood to ruin one of your favorite albums? “In The Aeroskank Over The Checkered Pattern” is an intentionally shitty all-ska cover version of Neutral Milk Hotel’s 1998 album “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea”. And it is truly shitty, but for me was worth the listen for the amusement alone. It was also interesting hearing this formidable album transformed into a tongue-in-cheek ska genre. This is “good” in a different way than Hamburger Helper’s “Food On The Streets” album is “good”. That is to say, it’s “shitty good”.

It is not the ska-based cover of In the Aeroplane Over the Sea we asked for, it’s the ska-based cover of In the Aeroplane Over the Sea we deserve. See also: Blooptral Milk Hotel.

A Fetid Phenomena

As if 2016 hasn’t already been strange/horrible enough, now we have to contend with all of America’s Corpse Flowers mysteriously blooming at once. Over seven Corpse Flower in the US have bloomed within months of each other. Even the Denver Botanic Garden’s own “Little Stinker” made a showing this past Saturday (but has since closed up).


This is extremely unusual since there have only been 157 recorded corpse flower blooms ever between 1889 and 2008. This year in the US alone, at least seven flowers have bloomed. Typically the flowers only bloom about once every six years.

One of the most popular explanations for the rampant blooming is because US greenhouses and botanical gardens share seeds with one another, meaning most of the corpse flowers that are currently blooming are likely related (think: cousins). Or maybe this is just the stinky harbinger of events to come…

Kickstarter Store On Amazon

Amazon Screen Shot

Amazon.com in conjunction with their Launchpad program (a program that helps startups launch, market, and distribute products) has built a store that only sells products founded on Kickstarter. Here is what Kickstarter had to say about the initiative:

The Kickstarter community is known for coming together to support big, creative ideas at the earliest stages of development. This collection brings some of the most exciting products inspired by those ideas together in one place — from albums, books, and board games, to wearables, films, robotics kits, and beyond. Within the collection, we’ve surfaced several emerging themes to make it easier to find what will speak to you.

Amazon’s Launchpad also has collections for other crowd funding sources such as CircleUp, Indiegogo, and a collection specifically for products founded by women.

Photographs Of A Microburst Pouring Down On Pheonix

Phoenix Microburst 1

Phoenix Microburst 2

Helicopter Reporter Jerry Ferguson (with help from Pilot Andrew Park took these unbelievable photos earlier this week while filming the weather for a local television station. No, it is not an A-bomb detonated over Phoenix. The photo depicts a dangerous weather phenomenon known as a microburst.

Microbursts are small but powerful rushes of rain-cooled air that collapse toward the ground from a parent thunderstorm. They are basically like a tornado in reverse – while a tornado funnels wind in and up, a microburst’s wind is funneled down and out. Microbursts are created by the downdrafts found in strong thunderstorms and are triggered by two main physical processes — the drag that’s created by falling rain and hail, and evaporation. Once the downdraft hits the ground, the wind — with gusts up to 150 mph — spread out over the land in all directions.

Microburst Crosssection

Below is a timelapse video of the same storm shot by Bryan Snider from the vantage point of Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport. The rainshafts in this footage make it look like Mother Nature turned on a faucet.



Via Colossal

25,000 Foot Freefall Is Nothing But Net


This past Saturday Luke Aikins became the first person to accomplish a planned freefall (and landing) out of a plane without a parachute or wingsuit from an altitude of 25,000 feet. Aikins fell for about two minutes above the California desert, appearing to soar effortlessly, arms extended, face downward. And as he neared the ground, with a mere second to go, he expertly flipped onto his back and landed in the 100-square-foot net without incident.

The jump was aired live on television during an hour-long special. I remember when I was a child Evil Knievel did a bunch of the publicized live stunts – it that time to return once more?

The Camera Really Can Add Ten Pounds

Focal Length

It is commonly thought that the cameras can make you look heavier than you actually are. Dan Vojtech posted this gif on his blog that effectively shows how drastically the focal length of a lens can affect a subject’s shape, and thus its perceived weight.

To frame the face the same in each shot, the camera is close with the wide angle lens and farther away with the telephoto lens, so the GIF above shows what’s known as the “Hitchcock zoom” (or dolly zoom).

Rodney Mullen Rides Again

After 12 years, skateboarding legend Rodney Mullen is back on deck with a new video called “Liminal“. Since his last showing in 2004’s “Almost: Round Three”, Rodney had suffered an injury-related fusion of his femur and hip bone. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone Mullen explains:

After much deliberation, with doctors doubtful of my recovery, I engaged in medieval ways to break apart the bone fusion – hammering the end of screwdrivers into my flesh, climbing into the wheel well of my car to apply leverage while pulling on the car’s frame. After thousands of hours, over years of doing this, I began breaking those dried-gum-like strands of fascia. I would often become overwhelmed, screaming violently in pain, panic-stricken that I was doing more damage than good and I would never be able to skate again. Until one night, hanging from my car, I heard a thump. And when I got up, I realized that I had broken the calcification and my hip-joint was mobile again.

What makes this all more amazing is that since his hip-popping breakthrough in 2010, Rodney Mullen has had to relearn to skateboard with his opposite foot forward. This was not simply to learn how to skate switch, which is common. To skate without re-injuring his hip, it was crucial that he once again train his body the tricks he came up with more than three decades ago, as well as any new ones, with his right foot forward. Mullen has reversed his native stance and is now more adept at skating with his right foot forward as he was with his left. He has found bona fide goofy-footedness – an idea he calls stancelessness.

Mullen Animation

Rodney says of the Front-Rail To 360º-Shove-It To Back-Rail (Performed above and at the 2:27 mark in the new film).

“This trick has never been seen or done, as far as I know. It is rooted in an obscure freestyle trick dating back 30 years. However, it was only done landing on all four wheels. This rail-to-rail version requires another level of power and control. On top of that, to do it on a modern (bigger) board, and landing on axles, is so daunting that I had never done it until now. It was particularly inspired by the camera action, because of how beautiful it would look: a rotary motion in a rotary system.”

More detailed descriptions of Rodney’s tricks, and the technology used to create the film, can be found on the film maker Steven Sebring’s website.


Genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains — Thomas Carlyle.

Amazon Prime Day Deals

Amazon’s fake holiday is back again this year. In an effort to get you to join Amazon’s prime service they are offering some pretty good deals. They are offering a bunch of crap too, so allow me to point you in the direction of some of the good ones.

There are tons of other deals you might be interested in but you need an Amazon Prime membership to take advantage of the sales, so sign up for a free trial now if you haven’t already.