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Podcast Episode 147: The Call of Mount Kenya

Podcast Episode 147: The Call of Mount Kenya.
In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll follow Benuzzi and two companions as they try to climb the second-highest mountain in Africa using homemade equipment.
Intro: Under the law of the United Kingdom, a sturgeon when caught becomes the personal property of the monarch.
On July 4, 1853, 32 people held a dance on the stump of a California sequoia.
Sources for our feature on Felice Benuzzi: Felice Benuzzi, No Picnic on Mount Kenya, 1953.
Stephan Wilkinson, “10 Great POW Escapes,” Military History 28:4 (November 2011), 28-33.
Jon Mooallem, “In Search of Lost Ice,” New York Times Magazine, Dec. 21, 2014, 28-35.
Smithsonian, “Did the Titanic Sink Because of an Optical Illusion?” (accessed March 24, 2017).
Telegraph, “Titanic Sank Due to ‘Mirage’ Caused by Freak Weather” (accessed March 24, 2017).
This week’s lateral thinking puzzle was contributed by listener David White.

Take the Whimsy Out of Your Favorite Pastime With This Super-Serious ‘Executive Coloring Book’

Take the Whimsy Out of Your Favorite Pastime With This Super-Serious ‘Executive Coloring Book’.
Believe it or not, adult coloring books are not a new phenomenon.
Once again, the hilariously blunt book can charm readers while they de-stress—what’s more relaxing than a good chuckle at the expense of those in the C-Suites?
It begins with our main character, who is a very important business man.
I am an executive.
Executives are important.
The stern coloring book seems to have a lot of rules and demands, just like a real corporate setting.
Self-starter colorers can arm themselves with colors like gray and brown and bring the deadpan captions to life.
The intentionally droll coloring book serves as a reminder that glitz and glamour portrayed in pop culture, like on The Wolf of Wall Street or Mad Men, can actually be quite a dull affair.
All images from THE EXECUTIVE COLORING BOOK by Marcie Hans, Dennis Altman and Martin A. Cohen, to be published on March 28, 2017 by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.

People Can’t Stop Crying After Seeing What This Grandpa Gave To His Granddaughter

People Can’t Stop Crying After Seeing What This Grandpa Gave To His Granddaughter.
Lauren Blank has had a strong bond with her grandfather Ron Petrillo since she was born.
He helped raise her from a young age, and they spent a lot of time together going to the zoo, flying kites, and simply hanging out.
For her 16th birthday, grandpa Ron decided to finally give her the gift he had been working on and saving for years – a notebook filled with their adventures.
From when Lauren was 2 years old to until she turned 5, her grandpa documented every single memory they shared.
“The notebook is just filled with daily things that we did,” Blank told Buzzfeed.
“We went to the zoo a lot, and flew kites, and throughout the notebooks he gave me advice.” At first, when Lauren received the gift she was a little confused but when she started to read the notes inside… “I was completely in shock and couldn’t even cry at first,” Blank said.
“Then I saw my whole family was crying and I realized this was a once-in-a-lifetime gift.” Lauren shared this beautiful gesture with her Twitter followers, and now it has gone hugely viral with over 161k retweets and 601k likes.
For Lauren’s 16th birthday, grandpa Ron finally gave her the gift he had been working on and saving for years “The notebook is just filled with daily things that we did,” Blank said “We went to the zoo a lot, and flew kites, and throughout the notebooks he gave me advice” At first, when Lauren received the gift she was a little confused but when she started to read the notes inside… “I was completely in shock and couldn’t even cry at first” “Then I saw my whole family was crying and I realized this was a once-in-a-lifetime gift” Lauren shared this beautiful gesture with her Twitter followers, and now it has gone hugely viral Her post has over 161k retweets, 601k likes, and thousands of people are touched

Fun with Game of Thrones

Literally 100 Really Funny Game Of Thrones Jokes, Memes, and Puns.
* Is There an Error in this Painting?
John Constable was commissioned to paint Wivenhoe Park and include certain important elements.
* Spite’s a great motivator, even when building a home.
A look into the most famously odd spite houses.
* What Actually Happens When You Default on Your Student Loans.
Creditors will not be forgiving.
* Plants and Animals Endangered by Pseudoscience.
Herbal remedies aren’t worth wiping out a species.
* When he moved from Dublin to L.A., photographer Andrew Ward became fascinated with the phenomena of abandoned sofas on city streets, so he began photographing the couches.

Cold Comfort: How to Best Use Your Freezer

Blanching the vegetables (immersing them in boiling water for a short period of time) before freezing interrupts the activity of the enzymes, and will keep the frozen vegetables fresher longer.
• Remove ground meat from the container and place it in a plastic freezer bag, taking care to squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible before placing it in the freezer.
Instead, beat raw eggs just until the whites and yolks have blended together, then pour the mixture into an ice cube tray and freeze.
Milk expands when it freezes, so if you don’t leave some air at the top of the container, it may burst, spilling the unfrozen milk all over the inside of the freezer.
• If you plan to use small amounts of milk over time, such as when baking, milk, too, can be frozen in ice cube trays and thawed out individually as needed.
Milk cubes can also be added to fresh milk to keep it cold without watering it down as the cubes melt.
These can be frozen in freezer bags.
Use snack-sized bags and freeze them flat, so that when you need some sauce for cooking you can open the freezer bag and snap off as much of the frozen sauce as you need.
Once you’ve made your stock, refreeze it in individual portions in muffin tins or ice cube trays so that you’ll only need to thaw out as much as you need.
• Frozen foods will last longer if they are stored at a colder temperature, so once the food has frozen, keep the freezer set at 0°F or lower.

I Use Shadows Of Everyday Objects To Create Cute Doodles

I Use Shadows Of Everyday Objects To Create Cute Doodles.
Husband Asks Why His Wife Was Fired From A Company She Worked For 11 Years, And Things Escalated Hilariously 10+ Pics Proving That Cats Are Actually Demons Incredible U-Shaped Skyscraper In New York Is Unveiled And It’s Beyond Our Imagination Stray Cats Find Drain Pipe Holes And Now They Are Having The Time Of Their Life 10+ Puppies That Are Too Adorable To Be Real Bored Panda Helped Me Quit My Day Job To Make Fantasy Book Covers For A Living Dogs Romping And Enjoying Spring!
I Dye People’s Hair For A Good Cause Why Women Live Longer Than Men In 10+ Pics After First Date Girl Asks Guy If They Could Just Be Friends, Guy’s Response Takes Her By Surprise 10+ Of The Funniest Texts From Dads Ever People Can’t Handle How Cute These Baby Spa Photos Are What You Say About Mental Illness Vs What You Actually Mean I Draw Comics That People Can Relate To How A Mother Would Handle “BBC Dad’s” Tricky Situation 10+ Before & After Pics Of Rebellious Teenagers (Add Yours) If Your Boss Was A Cat (10+ New Pics) Urban Miniature Cities So Detailed You’ll Need A Magnifying Glass 10+ People Who Deeply Regret Shopping Online After Being Bullied For Vitiligo All Her Life, This Girl Now Turns Her Body Into Amazing Art 10+ Older People Failing At Technology So Terribly It’s Impossible Not To Laugh 10+ Of The Daddest Dad Jokes That Dads Have Ever Made Artist Spends 20 Years Sketching South Korea’s Little Convenience Stores

Overnight, Bulgaria’s Capital Gets the City’s First Monuments to Women

Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, has plenty of historic monuments to men.
But there are no statues of real, historic women in the city (as opposed to symbols like “a mother”).
But, on March 24, seven new monuments seemed to pop up overnight, Mashable reports.
MONUMENT #1—an art piece by Irina Tomova-Erka—highlights the lack of women’s accomplishments celebrated throughout the city by adding new, neon-colored busts of female figures.
Well, just one figure, actually—the artist herself.
“However, they are also anonymous, as they do not bear my name.
In these sculptures I am every woman.
After the exhibition ends, they’ll be auctioned off, with the proceeds going to fund a real monument to a historic woman of Sofia.
New York City has only five monuments to historic women throughout the city—while there are 23 statues honoring men in Central Park alone.
Some cities are making slightly faster progress, though—several cities throughout Spain are rechristening streets that had been named for members of Francisco Franco’s fascist dictatorship to honor notable women instead.

Remembering MiniDisc, the Audio Format that Flopped in America

Remembering MiniDisc, the Audio Format that Flopped in America.
Sony introduced the MiniDisc (MD) format in 1992 in an attempt to replace the CD.
MD was a nice format because it was digital and recordable, so it could functionally replace CDs and cassettes in one package.
But in the United States, MD never really caught on as a consumer technology.
The answer is complex, and it’s hard to pinpoint a single point of failure.
In the 45-minute video below, we get a detailed history lesson on MD and its modest success around the world.
You get to see how bulky the original players were—and the fact that early rechargeable batteries could barely play back one MiniDisc, at a time when portable CD players ran for many hours on a few AA batteries.
The format was around for several decades though, and matured quickly…but also began facing competition from MP3 players mid-way through its life.
Whether you remember MiniDisc or not, this is a terrific video essay on recording tech history.
Enjoy:

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