Turning Cassette Tape Into Art

At one time, not too long ago, there were millions and millions of miles of magnetic tape sold each year in the form of casette tapes or reel-to-reel tapes. But then the music industry - whose product was responsible for most of those casette tapes - moved on to more advanced modes of delivering its product.

Magnetic tape is largely a forgotten medium for most consumers. But not Japanese artist Ei Wada. He uses magnetic tape to create kinetic sculptures and moveable feasts of art. Such as the scenery in this video:

Staff ORE, on YouTube, explains:

"Electronicos" is what the "electronics" that human civilization once created morphed into, casting away the manual, and draping itself in a smell of new culture instead.

In the evening hours, the magnetic material starts falling down as it rotates and plays music, drawing shapes and patterns with time.

"Look, the 20th century is tumbling down! Down like a waterfall..."

Hey, you don't have to understand modern art (I certainly don't claim to) to appreciate finding beauty in unlikely places.

(H/T: Gizmodo)

Nothing Makes This Dog Madder than ... a Leaf

This looks like a big ol' tough dog, the kind of dog you wouldn't want to mess with. But you know who's not afraid of that dog? The little leaf that lands in front of a window in the family's sun room.

The dog's owner, Senyin, writes on YouTube: "My boxer, Leonardo, was barking. Went to go look and found out he was scared by a leaf."

Leaves. You can't trust 'em!

Watch Woman's Reaction When She Hears for the First Time After 40 Years of Deafness

The woman in this video is named Joanne Milne and she's 40 years old. She's also been deaf since birth due to a condition called Ushers Syndrome.

But Milne was recently fitted with cochlear implants. Afterward, the implants were turned on for the first time. And for the first time in her life, Milne could hear.

We dare you not to get emotional as you watch Milne's emotional reaction:

Watch David Byrne's Very Awkward 'American Bandstand' Interview with Dick Clark

Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth - the rhythm section and co-founding members of Talking Heads - recently did a Q&A with Vulture.com. The whole thing is interesting - they talk about the early days of the band, playing at CBGB, and their difficult relationship with Talking Heads frontman and auteur David Byrne.

Here's what caught my eye, from Tina:

I couldn't explain to the record-label people why David's behavior could be so incredibly odd. He had a freak-out on our first television appearance, on Dick Clark, on American Bandstand. David sort of froze, and Dick Clark sort of whirled around, and hands the microphone to me.

Yes, that's right, David Byrne's oddities have defied explanation for a long time. But doesn't that make you want to see the American Bandstand segment? (Isn't the idea of the Talking Heads lip-synching away on American Bandstand just strange all on its own?)

The band appeared on American Bandstand on March 17, 1979. Here is the Q&A interlude in which Dick Clark tries to get something, anything, out of David Byrne:

Yep, that David was (is) one odd duck ...

It Takes Great Mittens to Play Badminton

Badminton - at least played at the top levels - is primarily an Asian sport. It's too bad the rest of the world doesn't get to see more of it at its top levels. On the other hand, the top levels of professional badminton are corrupt ... but I digress.

What does it take to play badminton at the top level? Speed, agility, quick thinking. And great hands, and even better hand-eye coordination.

Just check out this crazy rally, in which the red side's repeated smashes are somehow returned by the yellow side:

It's kind of like ping pong played by giants.

Cute Kitten is Sooooooo Sleepy

The kitten in this video is soooooo sleepy. It doesn't want to go to sleep, mind you, but it just can't help itself. It keeps nodding off. Then it jerks awake. Then it nods off.

And at one point in the video, you can clearly hear kitty purring. Yep, kitty is in a happy place. She just can't keep her eyes open to enjoy it.

Why Does 'Looney Tunes' Love Manu Ginobili?

Imagine you're a mutimillionaire lounging around your house with your kids one morning, watching cartoons, when you think you hear one of the cartoon characters mention the name of a friend of yours. Wait, did that cartoon just say what you think it said? It was over so quick, you're not quite sure.

But San Antonio Spurs basketball player Tim Duncan called his teammate, Manu Ginobili, and told him that a character on The Looney Tunes Show had mentioned Manu.

Then it happened again. "It was funny the first time," Ginobili told the San Antonio Express-News. "The second time, I was like, OK, something is going on."

What was going on? Here, watch one of the references (it happens near the end):

Of course, in the clip above, it's Speedy Gonzales who Yosemite Sam tags as "Manu Ginobili." Manu is from Argentina, a native Spanish-speaker.

Spurs fans might compare Manu more to the Tasmanian Devil, however. Ginobili's anything-goes game of ridiculous passes through opponents' legs, crazy steps to the basket, how-did-he-see-that bullet passes, behind-the-back drives to the hoop and amazing last-second shots make him one of the best-loved athletes — heck, people — in San Antonio history. And makes him a player opposing fans view as a pest.

Here's an example of some of Ginobili's magic:

There's a whole YouTube clip dedicated to Ginobili's passes between opponents' legs. And there are many YouTube clips whose titles start with the words, "Manu Ginobili crazy ..." (pass, dribble, shot, whatever).

But back to Looney Tunes. Here's Bugs Bunny's wife Lola, making sure Bugs knows how much she loves Manu by carrying his basketball card in her purse:

And here's how the new Looney Tunes closed its show one day:

So what's the deal? It turns out that the head writer of The Looney Tunes Show is Hugh Davidson. And Davidson is from ... San Antonio. His favorite player is Manu, so he throws in a Manu reference here and there.

"It's madness watching him play," Davidson told the Express-News. "I think he's the most entertaining player to ever put on a uniform. His brain is not like anyone else's."

No, Manu's brain is not like anyone else's. Maybe that's why another "loony tunes" - Charles Barkley - loves Manu, too. Barkley's in the happen of simply screaming out "Ginobili!" whenever the mood strikes him:

Colombian Official Turns Down Ambassadorship to Brazil; Why? It's Too Hot There for His Dog

Angelino Garzon is the vice president of Colombia. But he's decided not to run for re-election on the ticket with President Juan Manuel Santos in elections on May 25. So what will the Veep do next? Well, one thing he won't be doing is moving to Brasilia, Brazil and serving as Colombia's ambassador to its major trading partner.

It's too hot there for his dog.

Pointing to a photo of his long-haired German shepherd, Garzon explained to the magazine Semana, "I have turned down the ambassador job because the dog you see on that picture is very hairy and the hot climate of Brasilia could harm its health."

According to the BBC, "Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin has issued an apology to Brazil, a major trading partner. She described the incident as 'very embarrassing'."

Hey, the man loves his dog more than he loves the idea of being ambassdor to Brazil.

Many people are only familiar with the short-haired German shepherd, but long-haired German shepherds are, indeed, very hairy, thick-coated dogs. Here's a video of a long-haired German shepherd hanging out with his cat buddy (and these two are getting long much better than the Colombian and Brazilian diplomatic staffs probably are today):

(Originally seen on The Dodo, via BBC)

What Happens to Your Body If You Stop Drinking Water

Dying of thirst is a horrible way to go. But let's not think about that. Let's pretend you could stop drinking water by choice, and watch from a safe distance as your body reacts to a lack of water. What would happen?

Here's a hint: It ain't pretty.

The AsapScience folks explain in this video, "What would happen if you stopped drinking water?"

Who Farted? The Weatherman, and Local News Crew Laughs Hysterically

This local news broadcast from Bakersfield, Calif., returns from a commercial break to the weatherman, who can't get into his weather report because he's laughing too much. In the background, we can hear the news anchors laughing, too.

What's so funny? Well, let's just say what the weatherman said: Right before returning to the air, the winds picked up. (Get it? He farted. And no matter how old you get, that's funny.)

Cool Map Shows the Many Ways America Has Been Destroyed in Hollywood Movies

The website The Concourse has one of the most fun maps I've seen in a while: it shows the entire United States and which parts of America have been destroyed in Hollywood movies - and how those places were destroyed. The small excerpt from the map at the left gives you a taste of it. Check out the full version.

The map even allows you to sort by type of disaster: Want to know which cities were obliterated by comets or asteroids? You can do that! You can also sort by sharknado (!), monster attacks, creature attacks, climate events, geologic events, infections, alien attacks, superhero battles, or good old-fashioned countries attacking countries.

So, for example, I learned that in a 1957 movie called The Giant Claw, a monster destroyed New York. And that a 1950 movie called Panic in the Streets results in the destruction of New Orleans via infection.

The mapping of destruction has never before been fun.

New Shake at Red Robin Includes Wine, Vodka

As a non-drinker, I can't really tell how this will sound to its intended audience: a soft-serve ice cream shake that includes wine and vodka. Are you interested?

It's now available at burger restaurant Red Robin. They call it the Mango Moscato Wine Shake, and it's a menu item at least through Sept. 1, 2014. "Dessert menu, meet the wine list," the Red Robin website declares.

The Mango Moscato Wine Shake will be served only to Red Robin customers ages 21 and over. The wine shake is a combination of combination of Alice White Moscato and SKYY Infusions Moscato vodka with mango puree and creamy vanilla soft serve.

The shake's creator, Red Robin's master mixologist Donna Ruch, calls the wine shake "another playful twist on an American classic that raises the bar on our beverage innovation and captures our guests' imaginations."

What do you think: can't wait to try it, or sounds like something you'd rather not try?

Bouncy Dog Displays Mad Hops as It Flies Around Room

You could definitely say that the dog in this clip has a spring in his step. He must have springs in his legs, too, because he gets some serious air time as he hops around the living room without touching the floor - from couch to coffee table to loveseat and back again, over and over:

Cat Fail: Kitty Keeps Winding Up in the Trash

This handsome white cat is named Ivanovich, and Ivanovich really wants his favorite toy - a rubber chicken - that is in the sink. But how is Ivanovich going to get up there? His owner, Thomas St-Dizier, explained on YouTube that Ivanovich is in the habit of jumping on the lid of the trash can, and then from there to the sink.

Only problem: The lid of the trash can is missing, so Ivanovich keeps falling into the garbage! And he does it over and over, failing to learn. Cat fail!

By the way, Thomas, you really need to clean your kitchen.

Kids Choir Covering 'Happy' Will Make You Happy

Want to start the day in a good mood? Check out the young kids in the Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences choir covering the Pharrell Williams smash Happy:

Actually, the original does a pretty good job of putting pep in your step, too:

Bouncy Boston Terrier Goes Hop-Hop-Hopping Along

The cute young fella in this video is a Boston terrier. And he doesn't run in the normal doggie way. It's more like he hops along:

Why does he run like that? Who knows! Maybe his best friend as a puppy was a rabbit. But this Boston terrier was bouncing from the youngest age, as soon as he gots his legs under him. Here's the same dog as wee little puppy:

(Via Alienbatpigs, DailyPicksandFlicks)

They Eat WHAT for Breakfast? Breakfast Staples Around the World

Here's a cool video from Buzzfeed that takes us around the world and shows us what typical breakfasts are in various countries. The video is titled What Does the World Eat for Breakfast? In the United States, as an example, the video shows us pancakes, eggs and bacon. That doesn't mean that such a meal is the favorite or most common breakfast in the USA, just that it is representative of American breakfasts.

As an American, I can confirm that pancakes, indeed, are typical breakfast fare. Or, in my case, lunch fare and dinner fare. (I loves me some pancakes!)

I guess pho is to the Vietnamese as pancakes are to me, because pho makes the video for Vietnam. Watch and see what else is served for breakfast around the globe:

Basketball Coach's Grandson Imitates Him During Games

Phil Martelli is the head coach of the St. Joseph's University men's basketball team. He's a dapper fellow, with a dark blue suit and a handkerchief tucked into his jacket pocket. On the sidelines, he's quite animated, as many basketball coaches are: jumping up and down, pointing, yelling at players and officials, pacing back and forth, using a whiteboard to diagram plays.

But who's that little kid on the left of the image above? That Phil Martelli's grandson. And he likes to imitate grandpa during games. So the 4-year-old kid shows up wearing his own suit, with a tie that nearly reaches the floor, and his own kerchief-in-the-pocket. He, too, jumps up and down during games, paces the floor, and even whips out his own whiteboard in imitation of his grandfather.


The tyke is named Philip, after his grandpa. And because St. Joseph's is the champion of the Atlantic-10 Conference, they are going to the NCAA basketball tournament. Expect little Philip to get lots of screen time during St. Joe's games.

Meet the John Dillinger of Cats; He Can Break Out of Any Cell

This cat is named Chamallow ("Marshmallow") and boards at a veterinary clinic at Marseille, France. But no matter what kennel they put Chamallow in, he manages to get out. How? He learned how to unlatch the cages! Watch:

Quiznos Bankruptcy Reminds of Some of TV's Weirdest Commercial

Quiznos has filed for bankrupty brings back memories. Not memories of eating at Quiznos — I've never been a big fan — but of some of the weirdest commercials in TV history.

Remember them? The Quiznos "hamster commercials"? They featured one or two of what most people believed were hamsters (but were actually referred to by the ads' makers as "spongemonkeys"), but with giant googly eyes and with a humanish mouth replacing their own mouths. One "hamster" strummed a guitar while the other sang mostly absurdist lyrics in a grating, awful, high-pitched voice. It was one of those so-bad-you-can't-turn-away efforts at advertising.

And they worked! Those strange ads generated a lot of publicity for Quiznos, which was riding high at the time with plans to challenge sub sandwich leader Subway. Those plans later crashed and burned, as we now know. But the commercials live on.

When Human Is Away, Dog Will Play ... on Bed

The human in this human-dog-cat triumvirate left a camera running one day after she left the apartment. Why? To catch her dog in the act. See, the dog is not allowed on the bed. And the dog isn't happy about that.

After the human walks out the door, the dog moseys past the bed, almost sulking as it notices the cat up there. It makes another pass, sees the cat on the bed again, and must think, "Hey, why not? How will my human ever know?"

And then the show begins as the dog hops on the bed and has a blast. Kitty just sits there enjoying the show.

New Wendy's Salads: Asian Cashew Chicken and BBQ Ranch Chicken

Wendy's has been introducing a ton of new menu items recently. Now the fast food staple is shaking up its selection of salads. Gone are the Baja Salad and the Chicken BLT Cobb Salad; replacing them on the Wendy's menu are the Asian Cashew Chicken Salad and the BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad.

Asian Cashew Chicken Salad

Wendy's knows what you're thinking: an "Asian salad" from a fast-food burger place means ginger dressing and canned fruit slices. Wendy's response: "Wendy's has gone beyond the predictable canned fruit and ginger dressing found in other Asian-inspired salads in favor of more contemporary, on-trend ingredients like fire-roasted edamame and red peppers sliced fresh in every Wendy's restaurant."

The field greens are "topped with fire-roasted edamame, spicy roasted cashews, warm, grilled chicken and Marzetti Simply Dressed Light Spicy Asian Chili Vinaigrette." At full size, the Asian Cashew Chicken salad has 380 calories, 13 grams of fat (2 saturated), 970mg sodium, 36 grams protein and 6 grams fiber. It can also be ordered in a half-size that has 240 calories.

BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad

It you want something a bit bolder (or just aren't as concerned with calories), there's the BBQ Ranch Chicken. "Inspired by the tastes of a good old-fashioned backyard barbeque, the savory BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad uses premium ingredients often found around the grill," says Wendy's.

This salad's field greens are "topped with fire-roasted corn, applewood smoked bacon, warm, grilled chicken and Marzetti Simply Dressed BBQ Ranch Dressing."

The full size (it can also be ordered in half size) version carries 580 calories, 29 grams of fat (9g saturated), 1,460 mg of sodium, 41 grams protein and 5 grams fiber.

Let us know what you think if you've tried either of the new Wendy's salads.

Man Crushes 155 Walnuts ... With His Head

The Guinness Book of World Records makes people do very strange things. Like this guy in Pakistan:

He's crushing walnuts with his head. Why? Why not! There's a world record for that, and records are made to be broken. So during the Punjab Youth Festival, this hardheaded dude worked his way down an assembly line of walnuts. He wound up crushing 155 of them in just one minute. And yes, that's a new record. He wound up dazed and bloody, but sometimes that's the price you pay for setting world records!

Raft the Colorado River or Walk Grand Canyon Trails on Google Street View

Here's a cool new feature from Google Maps: Street View now includes the Grand Canyon. You can raft down the Colorado River or walk the, for example, Bright Angel trail via Google Maps' "street view" function. Try it and you'll find river scenes like these:

Or a trail view such as this one:

Cool. Start by going to google.com/maps and searching for the Grand Canyon.

Dolphin Asks Diver for Help, Patiently Waits as Diver Frees It from Fishing Line

This dolphin had a problem: It was a tangled in fishing line, one of its pectoral fins pinned against its body, and had a hook in it. Then the dolphin spotted a group of scuba divers watching manta rays.

So what did the dolphin do? It swam over to the people and showed them the problem, as if it was asking for help. And one of the divers did help - he approached the dolphin and began working to extricate the fella from his predicament. One mammal helping another. The dolphin even remained relatively still as the diver worked, even when the diver had to pull out diving scissors to finish the job.

It's the Thought: Little Boy Thrilled to Receive a Banana as a Gift

I'm told that once, as a small child, I opened a gift and sniffed, "Just what I always never wanted!" Kids say the darnedest things. I would not have been happy to open a present only to find a banana inside.

But the little boy in this video? He has the right attitude. He's is overjoyed to receive a banana, and his reaction is nothing short of joyful.

The video was posted to YouTube by Vanessa Aparicio, after her "banana kid" vine of the scene originally drew attention. She writes:

"It was mothers day and all the moms had opened up their gifts and he felt left out so we decided to prank him and put a banana in one of the gift bags. We excepted him to get mad but this was his reaction lol"

(HT: Twisted Sifter)

JFK and the Silly Bastard Next to the Bed

The Silly Bastard Next to the Bed is the name of a short documentary. What's the film about? Its producers say, "The Silly Bastard is a documentary short about one of the funniest phone calls ever made from the Oval Office."

The phone call in question was placed by President John F. Kennedy on July 25, 1963. Jackie Kennedy was pregnant, and the Air Force had just spent $5,000 to refurbish (and fancy up a bit) a room at Otis Air Force Base in case Mrs. Kennedy required it as a maternity room.

That's not what JFK was mad about. He was mad that news of that expense had made its way into the Washington Post, complete with a photo of an Air Force man standing next to the bed intended for Jackie, with a huge grin on his face. That was "the silly bastard next to the bed," and the furious Kennedy referred to that man in the photo as a "silly bastard" multiple times in the phone call.

Luckily (for us, if not for JFK or the poor Air Force general on the other end of the call who receives the president's fury) the phone call was recorded on a White House recording system installed by Kennedy. Let's listen (caution: there is an expletive near the end of the call; if you are in a workplace or other public space you may want to consider that):

Why make a documentary film about this? Well, the identity of the so-called "silly bastard," and what became of him after this phone call, had never been revealed. So the filmmakers set out to find out what happened to him. And they did! But you'll have to wait for the movie to find out, because the filmmakers aren't yet telling.

The Silly Bastard Next to the Bed documentary is already scheduled to screen at several film festivals in 2014. The filmmakers are running an Indiegogo campaign to raise money for distribution and promotion costs.

Cat Says, 'Get that Camera Outta Here!'

Ever been photobombed by your cat? This woman was doing her morning yoga, and a video camera was recording her session. Then her cat Milo stepped into the picture. And Milo the cat apparently didn't like being on camera, because at the end he punches the camera and the video is over.

When Milo says, "enough," well, that's enough.

Iguana Tries to Steal Golfer's Ball During Pro Tournament

How do you know it's not your day when you're a professional golfer? When an iguana shows up on the putting green and tries to steal your golf ball.

This is what happened to a PGA Tour golfer named Andrew Loupe during the 2014 Puerto Rico Open:

The most famous instance of a golfer's ball being tampered with by wildlife during a tournament is one the announcers in the clip above make reference to. At the 1998 Players Championship, one of the PGA Tour's most important tournaments, the golf ball of a golfer named Steve Lowery was picked up, carried off, and dropped into a pond by a seagull:

Krazy Kloth: Crazy Genius ... or Just Plain Crazy?

What is the Krazy Kloth (affiliate link)? It is a cleaning cloth that comes pre-loaded with a cleaning solution. The cleaning solution is already contained within the cloth, in other words.

The Krazy Kloth is made by a company called Cadie. According to the Cadie website, it's a New Jersey company that has been a "manufacturer of cleaning aids and specialty products since 1939. Cadie describes the Krazy Kloth thusly:

"A shelf full of cleaners in a 'space age' cloth. Quick, easy & reusable. Hundreds of uses: removes heel & scuff marks from floors; removes stains, heat & alcohol rings, water marks and paint specks from furniture & paneling; cleans and polishes brass, copper & chrome."

The Krazy Kloth is sold as a single for under $10, or three for about $15. The 3-pack comes inside a plastic shell, an egg-shaped container. Here's an example of a fellow using the Krazy Kloth to clean:

So does the Krazy Kloth work? We haven't tested the product yet ourselves, so if you've tried one we'd love to hear your thoughts about it. But Anne Jaeger, a consumer affairs writer whose work appears in the Portland Oregonian, has tested the Krazy Kloth. And her review does not inspire confidence. She starts by describing the Krazy Kloth:

"The 6-inch-by-9-inch blue cloth is soaked in an unspecified “revolutionary new cleaner and stain remover” to clean basement to attic, sans drudgery, rubbing or scrubbing. The reusable cloth works without water. Among its 1001 uses? Remove water stains, heel and burn marks, clean garden tools and polish most metals. Surfaces need to be dry before cleaning, then rubbed with the cloth and wiped down with a soft cloth."

OK, sounds promising. But the Krazy Kloth didn't live up to its promises to Jaeger, starting with the feel and smell of the cloth: "... the mere feel and smell of the cloth were enough. Less than a minute into our cleaning frenzy, Cathy didn't want anything to do with that cloth."

Jaeger's friend Cathy gave up quickly on the Krazy Kloth, but Jaeger herself continued:

"My plastic-coated kitchen cupboards got a real good workout with this kloth. Smudgy black fingerprints disappeared, but a greasy film was left behind. And that was hard to remove. Ditto on hard water stains on the shower door and pitted stainless steel appliances. Perhaps I should be thanking the makers of the Krazy Kloth. I got to clean everything twice: once with the cloth, then to remove the residue."

So we have a cleaning rag whose packaging doesn't tell buyers what chemicals are in the cloth, and whose use is both stinky and (apparently) leaves a residue behind. The Krazy Kloth is not inspiring our confidence. But if you want to give it a try, check out Krazy Kloth on Amazon.

This Cat Loves Drinking Water Out of a Spray Bottle

The cat in this video is named Joey, and Joey loves drinking water out of a spray bottle. That is, his human squirts water into his mouth from a spray bottle.

That human is Hilary Darrah, and she writes on YouTube:

My cat Joey really loves water. He's been drinking water this way since he was a kitten. When he was a kitten he didn't want to drink from his bowl, so out of desperation I tried to "bottle" feed him with his spray bottle and he loved it! He gets all his yearly check-ups so it's not a medical issue, like diabetes or kidney issues. He just really really REALLY loves water :)

All of Joey the cat's unorthodox means of drinking are shown off in this video:

Performance Artists Live On Human Hamster Wheel, Must Coordinate Movements

Performance artists are weird. These two are named Ward Shelley and Alex Schweder, and they have decided to live on a human hamster wheel. Here's how the New York Daily News described the project on YouTube:

Artists Ward Shelley and Alex Schweder live in a giant 20 foot diameter human hamster wheel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, as part of their 10 day performance art piece 'In Orbit' to examine the relationship between roommates, space, and reliance on partners.

Here's the key thing about the wheel: It has working apartment conveniences - bathroom, kitchen, bed - in duplicate. One of the artists "lives" on the outer surface of the wheel; the other lives on the inner surface of the wheel. Each surface has its own "living quarters."

But when one of the artists needs to, say, relieve himself, they both have to walk the wheel in tandem in order to bring the toilet to the one who needs it.

What's the point of this display? Schweder, the one living on the inner surface (and so the one who is always at the bottom of the wheel), says in the video:

"One of the things that we're thinking about while we're in here is how buildings, apartments, construct relationships. ... They make relationships just by the nature of their layout, right? And in this particular layout, I'm living with someone but I don't have a common space with him where we can have a conversation, but that doesn't mean that we are not, sort of, collaborating because every time I want to move he has to move."

"The trust issue, for me, is the challenge," says Shelley, who is the one living on top (the outer wheel). "It's a combination of my disability up here, my lack of power, and my need for him, and they are hand-in-hand."

Bear Tries Climbing Rope to Get a Meal, Gets Laughed at Instead

This black bear was hungry, and he spotted a sitting duck (or sitting beaver, anyway). Only problem: the dead beaver was tied to a rope stretched between two trees, left by hunters either as a) bait; or b) as a way to keep their kill away from bears. But the bear wasn't deterred. First, he scooted up a tree. Then, he reached out, took hold of the rope, and set off toward the beaver.

The hunters watching and filming the scene were amazed and amused. Their laughter as the bear gets stuck hanging from the rope is the soundtrack for this clip:

The bear was unharmed by his fall. But he didn't get the beaver, so he was also still hungry.

Dog Does Its Best to Annoy Cat ... And Succeeds

This cat is just sitting there, minding its own business, when its doggy "frenemy" decides to try to annoy it. And it works! The cats sits quietly for a little while as the dog gets all up in its face. Then kitty takes a couple swipes and heads for the exits.

I like to imagine this dog saying to the cat, "I'm not touching you! I'm not touching you!"

Amazing Rice Straw Art 'Paintings' Available on Etsy

What is "rice straw art"? It's an ancient Indian art form that relies on rice straw, the dried leaves of the rice plant, to create evocative works of art without the use of any paints, dyes or other coloring agents. Using only rice straw, a backing paper and a razor, rice straw artists can create works such as this portrait of JFK:

The artist of the pieces pictured above and below is Indian-born Rajan Koshy, who now lives in Galveston, Texas. Koshy estimates he is one of only 100 practicing rice straw artists left. He used to have a free museum in Galveston dedicated to the art, but now offers his work on Etsy at etsy.com/shop/museumshop.

Remember when looking at Koshy's pieces that nothing but rice straw is used. The shading is achieved through meticulous selection of natural coloration differences in the straw itself. Koshy's Esty pages include this background on rice straw art:

Rice straw art is an ancient art form which developed before our existing knowledge of color application became known. This leaf art form consists of using the natural colors of the rice plant to form a straw collage of unsurpassed beauty. No color, paint or dye is added to the natural color of the rice straw (dried leaves of the rice plant). This unique art is on the list of endangered art and only very few artists around the world practice this unique, ancient leaf art.

He also gives the shorthand version of the creation process: "The leaf is opened up, flattened by a primitive tool, apply glue on one side (Gum Arabic as glue, which is sap from a tree, everything used in this art is natural, eco friendly art), applied in place and cut with a double edged razor blade."

Koshy's rice straw art includes depictions of buildings, ships, famous people, animals and religious iconography. Hey, if you've always wanted a potrait of Willie Nelson to hang on your wall, here's Willie made of straw:

Some of Koshy's portraits depice historical figures - presidents, founders, entertainers. Some of them are odd choices - want a picture of Oprah? How about Geraldo? — but, hey, whatever floats your boat.

Koshy also does pieces on assignment. How about a portrait of your dogs that will be with you much longer than they will? Here you go:

Here is a 3-minute video that describes rice straw art and demonstrates the process from start to finish:

If you want to see more examples of rice straw art, check out Koshy's Etsy page.

Cat Slides Off Slippery Roof, Dog Thinks It's Playtime

This handsome cat finds himself on top of a tile roof that is covered in snow. He doesn't seem to know where to go next, or how to get himself out of the predicament. Then, a patch of snow gives way and it plus the cat go sliding off the roof.

But kitty is fine, if perhaps a little embarrassed. The dog on the ground? He thinks a cat falling off the roof signals playtime:

Baby Tree Kangaroos Have the Run of the House

Tree kangaroos, the arboreal cousins of the more famous ground-dwelling kangaroos, live in Queensland, Australia; New Guinea; and some of the islands in that region. They are believed to have split off from wallabies about five to seven million years ago.

The tree kangaroo joeys in the video below were orphaned in the wild (or perhaps rejected by their mother), but, luckily, rescued. Now they are being raised during their childhood by wildlife caregiver Margit Cianelli, who houses them inside her own house. While there they will be taught to climb (both inside and out) and learn which foods are safe to eat.

Speaking of foods: One scene in the video shows a tree kangaroo munching on spaghetti (it doesn't yet know the slurp method). Another scene shows a baby tree kangaroo wrestling with a teddy bear.

Milk Shots: Milk Served Inside a Chocolate Chip Cookie Cup

It seems like only a few months ago that the cronut was driving foodies to distraction. Now, the cronut creator has something new in store: milk and cookie "shots." Step 1: Create a shot glass that is made of chocolate chip cookie. Step 2: Fill said cookie cup with milk. Step 3: Enjoy! Here's what Chocolate Chip Cookie Milk Shots look like:

(Photo: @dominiqueansel/Instagram)

Pastry chef Dominique Ansel is the madman behind both the cronut and Chocolate Chip Cookie Milk Shots. He'll be debuting his milk shots at SXSW in Austin on March 9.

Dachsund Somehow Stuffs Inflatable Shark Into His Kennel

This little dachsund means business! He wants that large inflatable shark inside his kennel with him, and he's not taking no for an answer:

Elephant Remembers Electric Fence, Verrrry Carefully Steps Over It

Elephants, according to legend, have remarkable memories. The young elephant in this video remembers getting a shock from a short electric fence. So when she encounters that same fence again in the video below, she verrrrry carefully steps over it to reach a branch in a nearby tree:

The video above was shot at Kruger National Park in South Africa. Photos of similar behavior were recently posted to Facebook by Indri Ultimate Wildlife Tour - perhaps the elephant in these photos also had an experience with an electric fence.

The wildlife website TheDodo.net notes that the video and the linked photos "show unusual behavior for elephants - usually, the biggest land mammals in the world simply trample fencing." Here's an example of elephants using more typical means to get over fencing in Africa:

Quick Review: Dunkin Donuts' Eggs Benedict Sandwich

The newest breakfast sandwich at Dunkin' Donuts is the Eggs Benedict sandwich. Traditional eggs benedict is served open-faced - English muffin halves topped with ham, a poached egg and Hollandaise sauce.

All of those elements are there in the Dunkin' Donuts version (the egg is the typical fast food version, rather than poached), but it's a put-together sandwich rather than open-face.

I enjoyed the one I tried, but there was one issue: not enough Hollandaise. Basically, what I had was a ham and egg sandwich on an English muffin. A good one - the ham and egg were tasty, the muffin was flavorful and very nicely toasted.

There just wasn't enough Hollandaise. There was so little that the sandwich barely had any of the expected tang. If my Dunkin' Donuts gets a little more liberal with the Hollandaise sauce, then I think they'll have a real winner with the Eggs Benedict breakfast sandwich.

Until then, I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Nutrition: 300 calories, 9 grams total fat (4.5 grams saturated), 790mg sodium, 7 grams fiber, 15 grams protein.

Have you tried one? Share your thoughts in comments.

New Breakfast Sandwiches at Starbucks Include Veggie Fontiago

The Starbucks.com homepage includes the news of three additions to the coffee chain's selection of breakfast sandwiches. The three new sandwiches are the Slow Roasted Ham & Swiss, the Vegetable and Fontiago, and the Egg & Cheddar. They all look delicious ... but, then, fast food items always look delicious in the promotional photos, don't they?

Vegetable & Fontiago Breakfast Sandwich

This is the one I find most interesting. Let's face it: there's not much originality in breakfast sandwiches. This one offers something different. Starbucks' description of this one: "Spinach, sundried tomatoes, caramelized onions and Fontiago cheese on a multigrain ciabatta bun."

Nutritional info: 470 calories, 17 grams total fat (9 grams saturated), 910mg sodium, 5 grams fiber, 18 grams of protein.

Slow-Roasted Ham & Swiss Breakfast Sandwich

This one is a ham and egg sandwich - never a bad thing - with Swiss cheese and served on a croissant.

Nutritional info: 490 calories, 25 grams total fat (12 grams saturated), 830mg sodium, 2 grams fiber and 20 grams of protein.

No, these are not "light" sandwiches; they are heavy on calories, fat and salt. And if you pair one with a flavored coffee drink, watch out for your waistline. But if you love Starbucks, you already know that.

Egg & Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich

A very simple sandwich, and nothing wrong with that. Some of the tastiest foods are the simplest. This one is egg and cheese, served on toasted multigrain bread.

It's also the lowest-calorie option among the three new 'wiches. Nutritional info: 400 calories, 17 grams total fat (7 grams saturated), 730mg sodium, 4 grams figer, 15 grams protein.

If you've tried any of 'em, let us know in comments what you thought.

When 17-Year-Old Neil deGrasse Tyson was Chauffeured by Carl Sagan

As you may have heard, Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and celebrity scientist, is hosting a re-boot of Carl Sagan's classic Cosmos series. The original aired on PBS in 1980; the re-boot begins airing Sunday (March 9) on Fox.

It's appropriate that Tyson is the man hosting the new Cosmos; in many ways, he's the current scientist closest to the spirit of Sagan. Tyson, like Sagan did, has a tremendous gift for making science sound both wondrous yet accessible, awe-inspiring yet unintimidating.

Like Sagan was in his era, Tyson is the go-to guy of this era for entertainment programs (not to mention news and science programs) seeking someone who can explain in an engaging way difficult concepts of astrophysics and astronomy.

There's a story that Tyson has told many times, but it's a good story and it's worth repeating with the new Cosmos about to launch. When Tyson was 17 years old and applying to colleges, he was accepted to Cornell, where Sagan was a professor. Sagan made the effort to personally reach out to Tyson, invite him to visit Cornell, and then acted as tour guide and chauffeur for the young, future scientist.

Listen as Tyson tells the story, and explains how Sagan's kindnesses that long-ago weekend inspired Tyson's own behavior toward the next generation:

(Unfortunately for Cornell, Sagan's kindnesses did not result in Tyson attending their university - he ultimately went to Harvard.)

Cooper the Dog Lets Little Friend Lick Ice Cream Cone First, Then Attacks It Himself

Back when I was in school, as a pre-teen and early teen, my mother would pick me up from school each day. We'd head to the drive-through at Dairy Queen and get a soft-serve ice cream cone. I would always hold the cone over the seat, reaching it into the back so my beloved childhood dog could get the first licks. Then I'd finish it off myself.

I guess that makes me Cooper in this video. Cooper is the big dog, Daisy is the little one. Their owner gets them an ice cream cone at McDonald's. She holds it for them, admonishing Cooper to wait while Daisy gets the first licks. Cooper waits, although you can tell he's very eager to get at that ice cream.

Why does little Daisy get to go first with the ice cream cone, and big Cooper has to wait? Well, watch:

Defy Your Eyes With These Circles Made of Squares

Here's a fun illusion. What do you see here:

If you're like most people, what you see is a spiral, a series of interlocking circles. But there's no spiral there. It's actually just four concentric circles - a small circle in the middle, three progressively larger circles as you move outward. The circles are perfectly round and do not touch. Look again - wait, it's a spiral! No, it's not. Take your cursor and trace over each circle. You'll see they don't touch.

Illusions are fun! (Not to mention being evidence of how easy it is to fool our brains.)

Watch Breathtaking Timelapse Through Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is one of the wonders of the North American continent. And it's a place known for inspiring great art, such as the black and white photographs of Ansel Adams.

The two images here are taken from the video below, a compilation of timelapse shots captured by Colin Delehanty and Sheldon Neill. The video, around five minutes in length, was shared by the duo on Vimeo.

Neill and Delehanty hiked 200 miles through the park, over a 10-month period, to capture the images. "We spent a combined 45 days in the park capturing the images in this video," they write. You can view much more from their trip at projectyose.com.