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A Brief History of Cooties

You know cooties- if you're a little girl, boys have them. If you are a little boy, girls have them. The imaginary bugs were horrible, and you didn't want to catch them. So the rule was hands off, unless you were a contrary child and used a show of bravery against cooties as an excuse to touch the opposite sex. You know who you are.

The most familiar incarnation has features of a real infectious disease even as it says a good deal about what 6-year-olds think of the opposite sex. Every little girl knows that boys have cooties, and vice versa. One catches cooties by—eww!—touching. Shrieking games of cooties tag transmit the contagion rapidly. It can be treated with an origami “cootie catcher,” but it is better to be vaccinated.

This requires a friend and a retractable pen. Your friend clicks the pen onto your arm while chanting “circle, circle, dot, dot, now you have your cootie shot.” Folklore archives and internet forum threads show that regional variations of the therapeutic regimen have emerged. In Louisville, the charm is “line, line, dot, dot, operation cootie shot”; in Los Angeles, kids “pinch, pinch” in lieu of the “dot, dot”; in Hawaii, the process is known as an “uku shot.”

Cooties varied from place to place and featured in at least three kinds of games. But where did the term come from, anyway? Read the history of cooties at Smithsonian.

(Image credit: Flickr user Thomas Hawk)


The Funniest Reason You Were Called to School

The question was posed to Askreddit, "Parents of reddit, what's the funniest reason you've been called into school to collect your child?" The responses illustrate how sending your child to school means giving up some control over them, with unintended consequences you never considered.

"When my daughter was in 2nd grade, I got a call about a 'present' she brought to school. The night before, she had asked to go to the store to buy some Rolos for her friend's birthday. But turns out, she wrapped each Rolo in red paper, bundled a few together, put little black pipe-cleaner 'fuses' on them, and attached a note that said, 'You're the bomb.' The school was not amused."


Everyone has a story, and the only thing they all have in common is embarrassment, for either the child or the parent -or maybe both.

"I had just gotten off work when the daycare called me in a panic. My 4-year-old son decided to put the training potty seat around his neck and it got stuck. I showed up to find the fire department had arrived, they were able to get if off quickly. Fortunately, they also took a picture of him with it around his neck — if he ever gets married, it's going in with the wedding photos!"


Buzzfeed has a list of the 19 funniest stories, and you can read the entire reddit thread here.

(Image credit: Larsasnor)


“Menu, Please!”: Airbus Turned Into A Resto

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. This proved to be true as La Tante DC 10 restaurant is a old passenger jet.

Tracing back, the DC 10 aircraft used to be “operated by Ghana Airways on flights to Europe and the United States.” It was impounded on 2005 at London’s Heathrow airport due to company’s indebtedness.

After a decade, it is now a new attraction near Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana. The first-class seats of the airship were transformed into a cozy waiting area while the economy section functions as dining room for prying visitors and locals. 

Guests can also enjoy a wide array of menu which includes both foreign and the country’s authentic culinary mainstay. 

See the photos at Atlas Obscura.

(Image Credit: jojomotion/ Instagram/ Atlas Obscura)


179 Tons of Tissue Waste a Day, A Waste Management Problem in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is now facing a new gigantic issue. The disposable paper usage of this island pump-up to 179 tons a day. It includes tissues, wipes and paper napkins.

According to the survey conducted by World Green Management (WGO), from 500 plus Hongkongers, respondents consume disposable tissues, paper towels, and wet wipes at about the weight of 12 buses.

These types of paper products — contrary to many people’s assumptions, WGO found — can’t be recycled, and aren’t as readily biodegradable as others due to fibers, chemicals, and other substances added during production.

This really have a huge impact on the environment such greenhouse and carbon emission.

For more details about this story, visit Coconut Hongkong.

(Image credit: Ropable/Wikimedia Commons)


Orbiting Billboards of PepsiCo

Start Rocket, a Russian start-up company, planned to use mini-satellites to prompt ads at night. And it looks like big dipper and other constellations will really have a competitor in the dark. “PepsiCo took the idea seriously”, they even partnered with Start Rocket for this futuristic advertising campaign.

In 2021, the joint project could launch the first ad in the orbit for PepsiCo product, the Adrenaline Rush. 

While both of these companies are busy to advance the new platform, there are some critics that are concerned about the idea. Astronomer John Barentine, director of conservation for the International Dark-Sky Association states that -” This is a threat to astronomical research from the ground.”

Nonetheless, Barentine and other astronomers reached for comment agreed that space advertising like StartRocket’s proposal is likely imminent. There are no laws against making CubeSats spell out messages and the technology already exists to make this possible. If not Pepsi, another company with a large marketing budget may want to do something similar.

Check this out on Discover.

(Image Credit: Start Rocket)


Beards Dirtier Than Dogs

Taking swabs from from the facial fuzz of 18 men and necks of some 30 dogs of various breeds, the researchers from the Hirslanden Clinic in Switzerland found out that the beards were dirtier, and the dogs cleaner.

Every single bearded men, aged from 18 to 76, had high counts of bacteria in their beards. While only 23 out of the 30 dogs had the same result. The other dogs tested recorded medium to low levels.
Seven of the men had so much beard bacteria, there was a risk of them getting sick.
Researchers actually found this disgusting information out by mistake, they were trying to find out if men could pick up dog diseases in their facial hair.

Looks like it’s high time to shave.

(Image Credit: Corpusdigitals (FHvB) / Wikimedia Commons)


Let the Children Face Their Fears: A Very Different Therapy

Oftentimes, when our kids feel anxious, we go immediately to the rescue. We would immediately go to them and comfort. But this turns out to be counterproductive for the children, says Yale School of Medicine psychologist Eli Lebowitz.

"When you provide a lot of accommodation, the unspoken message is, 'You can't do this, so I'm going to help you,' " he says.

Instead of letting them face their fears and guiding them towards the road of independence, we make them dependent on us, and we unintentionally make their anxiety worse. And so, this kind of method works bad for the kids. Asking the children to change their behavior won’t work either. Enter Lebowitz, who shows us a better way — a new therapy.

The program was part of a Yale University study that treated children's anxiety by teaching their parents new ways of responding to it.

How should the parents respond then? Find out in the article.

(Image Credit: Christopher Cappoziello for NPR)


Instagram Memers To “Seize the Memes of Production” in the Platform

Laugh all you want, but they’re dead serious about this.

The memers of Instagram argue that while they generate a lot of money and engagement for the website, the said platform does not pay them back for their hard work.

The IG Meme Union will probably never be recognized by the National Labor Relations Board, but organizers say it can still act as a union for all intents and purposes. “We’re calling it a union and doing union-organizing tactics,” Paul Praindo, a representative of the organizing committee, told me. “We stand in firm support of others who are working to organize anti-labor industries. We think these movements mark the beginning of a labor renaissance.” Some other “unions” function this way: The Freelancers Union, for instance, doesn’t have a formal management structure to negotiate with, but does advocate collectively for independent workers.
Instagram follows the same business model as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other social platforms. The service itself is free to use, but the platform monetizes the content posted to it to sell ads based on metadata attached to that content. Users themselves, who are the ones posting the photos, videos, and memes that keep people coming back to the app, don’t get a cut of that revenue.

Do you think meme workers should be paid?

(Image Credit: Screenshot from unionizedmemes / Instagram)


Classic But Futuristic Playgrounds

I love going to playgrounds. As a kid, I would go play on the seesaw or on the slide, or just swing for hours. I still go to playgrounds up to this day. I would watch the kids go swing or slide or just run around and play tag with friends. Unfortunately, I was not given the chance to see these amazing mid-century modern playgrounds.

The past is really an amazing thing to look upon, and how beautiful it is when it blends with the present. Why don’t you take a look, too?

(Image Credit: Kito Fujio)


The First Woman Leprechaun

Because leprechauns are fictional characters, why does it have to be strictly male? That was exactly the question that Lynnette Wukie from the University of Notre Dame posed and so with that in mind, she auditioned to be the school mascot and landed the role.

"I talked about being a role model (during the tryout process) because even through high school and into college, it's always been important to me to be someone people can look up to," Wukie said. "I think I hadn't (yet) found that thing, like I wasn't fulfilling my true purpose here to be that face and that role model, so when this opportunity came about I thought it was destiny. This is what I'm meant to be doing."
Wukie won her spot "thanks to her passionate outlook and dedication to leadership," the university said.

Donning the green suit, Wukie will not only be the first woman to be the mascot but she will also be the second black student to represent the school. 

Apart from Wukie, there are two others, Samuel Jackson and Conal Fagan, who will also masquerade as leprechauns as the school has three leprechaun spots: gold, blue, and green, each with their own responsibility. -via Jezebel

(Image credit: University of Notre Dame)


This Map of America Tells You What Age You Die Depending on Your Location

Our individual lives are shaped depending on which country we were, when we are born, and what type of environment we are born. With this in mind, we can also say that these same factors also affect our death — or to euphemize it, our life expectancy. This map of America tells you your life expectancy depending on what state you are.

Americans born in 2015 can expect to live to the age of 78.8 years. That's one-tenth of a year less than in 2014, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported, and the first time U.S. life expectancy declined since 1993.
The CDC cited the rise of preventable deaths — notably traffic accidents (+6%) and "accidental poisonings" (+13%) as the main causes for the drop in longevity. The latter category consists almost entirely (97 percent) of alcohol and drug overdoses, with the opioid epidemic a major contributor to the increase.

What I can only say is, wherever you are right now, enjoy every moment of your life. And live it to the fullest.

(Image Credit: Titlemax)


The Butt Tuba and Other Medieval Memes

This animated TED-Ed lesson from Michelle Brown looks at weird images that we know from medieval art and particularly from the doodles of monks copying and illuminating manuscripts by hand. Certain ideas are found over and over, so they must have some meaning. We know the meaning behind some, but not others. Could it be possible that one person drew a funny image, and others laughed and drew it also, until it became ubiquitous? Happens every day on the internet. You would imagine the medieval version would just be slower.  -via Laughing Squid


Big Cats in Britain?

There are wild cats in Britain, most notably the Scottish wildcat, which is classified as endangered. However, they are small and hard to distinguish from domestic cats. But big cats have been spotted in the UK for decades, sometimes seen as cougars or lynx. In fact, there have been 155 big cat sightings reported to authorities in the past three years alone!

Where might these cats have come from? One theory suggests they were released by their owners in the months leading up to the 1976 Dangerous Wild Animals Act. Exotic animals had been sold in Harrods; cheetahs could occasionally be seen being walked in Hyde Park. Given the choice of acquiring a costly licence or relinquishing their pets to animal sanctuaries, at least some owners chose a third option: sending cats out into the wild. In 2000, Leslie Maiden, a lion tamer known as One-Eyed Nick, told the Birmingham Post he’d released a panther and a puma in Derbyshire some 25 years before. “At first I was a bit worried about how they would get on,” he said. “But I went up to the moors a few weeks later and saw bones of sheep and pheasants, so I think they adapted pretty well.”

That was forty years ago, so the theory requires that these freed big cats managed to not only survive unseen, but also find mates of their own species and reproduce undetected for generations. There are other theories that hold almost as much water. Read about the continuing big cat sightings in Britain at the Guardian.  -via Boing Boing

(Image credit: Midnightblueowl)


James Holzhauer's Insane Jeopardy Run

A new contestant in Jeopardy! has been raking up big wins on the game show for over a week now and there is no sign of stopping him especially with the strategy he employs, one that is derived from game theory.

If you haven't heard of James Holzhauer, then you will be surprised that he has been breaking records left and right on the trivia game show, somewhat comparable to how former Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings had done before. Jennings was impressed and even commented that Holzhauer's performance was "absolutely insane".

(Image credit: Jeopardy!/Twitter)


Wind is Weather, the Worst Weather

Or so says Casey Johnston who shares her sudden realization regarding the matter. Wind is the worst type of weather she has ever and will ever encounter, apart from very large-scale disasters of course. There are little to no safeguards against wind, nothing that could protect you save a big concrete wall firmly anchored on the ground.

Wind’s behavior alone is not what makes wind the worst; it also super-charges other weathers to be the worst version of themselves. Wind so strong the rain goes horizontal, as we all know, is one of the worse weathers. But if it were just the rain, it’s not as bad; the wind is what makes it bad.

Wind, wind, go away. Blow away, another day.

(Image credit: abi ismail/Unsplash)

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