George Saunders Tries to Order One Mousetrap Over The Phone

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This adventure in modern shopping is brought to you by Clickhole.
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How Henry David Thoreau Revolutionized the Pencil

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Last Thursday was National Pencil Day, which commemorates, according to The New York Public Library (NYPL), “the day in 1858 when Philadelphia immigrant Hymen Lipman patented his invention for a pencil with an eraser on top, creating the conveniently-designed pencil we know and love.

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Take a 360 Degree Tour of Miniature Models of Famous Landmarks: From the Taj Mahal to The Great Wall of China

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Pretty cool item. A new exhibition in New York, called “Gulliver’s Gate,” shrinks the world’s most famous sites–everything from the Taj Mahal to The Great Wall of China–into miniature versions of themselves, roughly 87 times smaller than the original.

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Nick Cave Narrates an Animated Film about the Cat Piano, the Twisted 18th Century Musical Instrument Designed to Treat Mental Illness

≡ Category: History, Psychology, Random |3 Comments

What do you imagine when you hear the phrase “cat piano”? Some kind of whimsical furry beast with black and white keys for teeth, maybe? A relative of My Neighbor Totoro’s cat bus? Or maybe you picture a piano that contains several caged cats who shriek along an entire scale when keys are pressed that slam sharpened nails into the

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42 Hours of Ambient Sounds from Blade Runner, Alien, Star Trek and Doctor Who Will Help You Relax & Sleep

≡ Category: Film, Random |2 Comments

Back in 2009, the musician who goes by the name “Cheesy Nirvosa” began experimenting with ambient music, before eventually launching a YouTube channel where he “composes longform space and scifi ambience.” Or what he otherwise calls “ambient geek sleep aids.

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10 Hours of Ambient Arctic Sounds Will Help You Relax, Meditate, Study & Sleep

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Not too long ago, we featured for you 4 hours of ambient music created by Moby, all of which you can download for free, and use to sleep, meditate, do yoga and generally not panic. Sound timely? Then download away.

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Marcel Proust Plays Air Guitar on a Tennis Racket (1891)

≡ Category: Literature, Random |7 Comments

Was “air guitar” a thing back in 1891, when a photographer captured young Marcel Proust in this playful photograph? Probably not. Maybe it’s anachronistic to read the photograph this way. But you have to admit, it’s worth suspending disbelief for a moment and imagining what song Marcel was playing.

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Watch Leonard Bernstein Conduct the Vienna Philharmonic Using Only His Eyebrows

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Perhaps you’ll recall the episode from Seinfeld when Bob Cobb, a conductor for The Police Orchestra, insists that everyone call him “maestro”–and only “maestro.” The pretentiousness of the suggestion makes for some good comedy, that’s for sure.
But occasionally the honorific title is fitting.

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Duet for French Horn and Chair

≡ Category: Music, Random |1 Comment

Pretty clever. Even more better is the comment left by one YouTube user, “I wonder if he’s first chair?” Ha!!
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A Short Anti-LSD Horror Film Made by the Lockheed Corporation (1969)

≡ Category: Random |3 Comments

During the late 1960s, the defense contractor Lockheed Corporation took a strange detour into filmmaking and sponsored a series of short films, each examining the perils of a particular hardcore drug. Above, you can watch “Case Study: LSD,” a three-minute short documenting a young woman’s acid trip.

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