World’s Strangest

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Stars and Stripes Forever

(YouTube link) This graphic version of John Philip Sousa’s song “Stars and Stripes Forever,” performed by the the RFCM Symphony Orchestra conducted by Dr.Keith J.Salmon, allows you to visualize how the song is constructed. Don’t miss the dancing piccolo part at 2:02! The Music Animation Machine YouTube channel has many other songs graphed this way. Link [...]

Test-Tube-to-Table: 11 Up-and-Coming Genetically Engineered Animals

© Najlah Feanny/CORBIS SABA It’s been almost 16 years since Dolly the cloned sheep was born. As she fades from our cultural memory, here’s a look at 11 up-and-coming (and often controversial) genetically engineered animals that might start appearing in backyards and on dinner tables near you. 1. Remote Control Rats Photo: CC bclinesmith By attaching wires to rats’ [...]

History of the Tailsitter Airplanes

“QUANTUM SHOT” #202(rev) Link – article by Erlend Aaseth and Avi Abrams A vertical takeoff, level flight and a tail landing – first VTOL concepts These flying wonders, so called “Tailsitter” airplanes, are truly remarkable pieces of aviation history: mainly designed in the late 1940s and early 1950s, they were essentially [...]

Giant Antarctic Salmon

It is summer now in Antarctica, and the giant salmon are running -as you can see. Sandwichgirl recently took a few photographs of the fish, which are curated in a Flickr set. Link -via Laughing Squid (Image credit: Flickr user sandwichgirl)

Salmon Crossing a Road

(Video Link) There was only about an inch of water, but it was enough for these salmon in Mason County, Washington to participate in amphibious operations training. It’s time to choose sides. Link -via Blame It on the Voices

Secret Power of Middle Children

I grew up oldest of two siblings and before my own children were born, my only knowledge of the middle child came from the TV series Malcolm in the Middle. So I was quite surprised [...]

How Snake Oil Got a Bad Rap

We use the term “snake oil” for anything promoted as a cure-all that doesn’t work, whether it is medicine or political policy. But back in the 1860s, Chinese immigrants who worked on the Transcontinental Railroad used oil from the Chinese water snake to treat sore muscles, and it worked! A 2007 story in Scientific American explains [...]

One More Odd Thing I Just Learned About Fish: Rotting Salmon Impact Forest Ecology

When I’m not blogging for mental_floss, I can usually be found wearing bright orange rubber pants and gutting, cutting and selling fish at my local Whole Foods (and winning awards for it). Sometimes, my two worlds collide and I find some scientific research involving my ocean-dwelling friends that begs for a blog post. This is one [...]

Dozens of Bald Eagles in Backyard

(Video Link) The salmon are returning to spawn in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, so it’s time for eagles to descend upon the town. Lots of them, many of them bald eagles. They’re quite fearless, so YouTube user Honanooligans was able to get close. There’s a particularly good scene at 5:15. A fox arrives on the scene at [...]

"Extinct" salmon seen again after 70 years

A species of salmon in Japan thought to be extinct has turned up again in a lake near Mount Fuji. The black kokanee was officially declared extinct 70…