Only Connect

Easily one of the best quiz programs on television, UK’s Only Connect asks contestants to determine the connection between four seemingly random clues, revealed one at a time. A sample question from the first series:

  • A hammer and feather
  • Six US flags
  • Eugene Shoemaker’s ashes
  • Two golf balls

The connection? (Wait for it…) “Items left on the moon.”

Some of the questions are esoteric, and some impossible to answer for someone without ample local UK knowledge, but every game has had at least a question or two I was able to take a stab at answering. That’s the gold standard for any sort of quiz shows: it’s possible for the audience to participate, but difficult.

The downside, of course, is there are no reliable sources to watch it in the US. Moving directly to England may be the only rational solution.

Video

All the Stations

I’ve become a little obsessed with All the Stations, in which a pair of YouTubers are journeying to all 2,563 railway stations in Great Britain. They’re not getting out at every station, but are at terminus stations and major interchanges, so in addition to a lot of footage of railways (and who doesn’t need a lot of footage of railways), you also see local people and landmarks and castles (so many castles).

That settles it. I need to visit these places.

Video

Hyperlapse

A company called teehan+max has developed an engine for taking Google Street View images and building video time lapses — basically reconstructing what you might have seen if you were aboard Google’s car, perhaps staring at interesting nearby landmarks. The result is this:

 

Link

Earth 911

Need to know where to take those “hard to recycle” items? Your new best friend is Earth911.org. Just type what you need to recycle and where you are. You’ll get a list of places you can bring that item, with an impressive amount of detail.

Something simple like “corrugated cardboard” brings up Longmont’s single-stream curbside recycling as the first result. That’s easy. Something trickier like “cell phones” finds a list of nearby stores that will accept them. I brought a pair of old phones to Staples today, and a burned-out compact fluorescent light bulb (the first I’ve ever had burn out) to Lowe’s.

Being able to find a place to recycle everything from packing peanuts to batteries on a single website makes the chore of disposing of recyclable trash more than a little easier.

Video

Less Miserable Airlines (Les Misérables Parody)

I think “Les Misérables on a modern airline” is really all I need to say about this. Though I’ll add that it’s absolutely fantastic.

For example, I Dreamed a Dream begins:

I dreamed a dream that I could fly non-stop from Baltimore to Phoenix. And I’d be smiling in the sky, not down here crying in a kleenex. When I was young, flights weren’t delayed. And better in-flight food was tasted. There were no bag fees to be paid. No frequent flyer miles were wasted.

But the fees now come in spades. And you fear you’ll be blacklisted. Airlines tear your hope apart. And they turn your dreams to shame.

I kept a carry-on by my side. They made me check it in as baggage. A hefty fee was then applied! And it was gone at baggage claim.