Blog Posts by Mia Fitzharris

  • A famously frustrated dad in the United Kingdom is back with another video explaining a basic life lesson to his teenage kids. Will Reid has been posting videos using the only method that teens seem to pay attention to these days — social media. This time, he explains to his kids, James and Beth, how to properly dry a wet towel after showering; his instructions include this gem: "Other places where towels don't dry are your bed, bedroom floor ... pretty much anywhere with the word 'floor' in it."

     
    This is the third episode in Reid's series titled "Teenage Instructional Videos" on YouTube. The first, a video on changing toilet paper in which he pointed out that explaining this face to face was not working, went viral with more than 4 million views. Shortly after the toilet-paper explainer, Reid released episode No. 2, on a hotly debated topic, dishwasher loading, which raked in more than 300,000 views.
     
    Each episode features an "advanced level" for teens who want to advance in the

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  • Researchers Identify Dance Moves That Men Can Use to Attract Women

    The human species has been known to attract mates using the art of dance. Some are better at this technique than others, and now we might have a better understanding of which moves garner more success at drawing positive attention.  
     
    Evolutionary biologists from Northumbria University in England and the University of Göttingen in Germany conducted a study to determine the exact dance moves that were more successful for men in attracting women, and also which moves women found unattractive.
     
    The researchers enlisted the help of 30 men and asked them to dance for 30 seconds. Then using motion-capture technology, they were able to see the moves by creating computer generated videos. Then, they asked 37 women to rate the guys' dancing skills.
     
    According to the study, men should try to achieve a larger motion of the head, neck, and torso while dancing. Legs apparently play a key role as well. Leg speed, especially when bending and twisting the right knee, makes male dancers look the most

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  • French Daredevil Breaks World Speed Record on Rocket-Powered Bicycle

    A French daredevil broke the world speed record on a rocket-powered bicycle, reaching 333 kilometers per hour, which is equal to about 207 miles per hour. François Gissy, 32, blasted off into the record books on Nov. 7 in the South of France, and he did it in just 4.8 seconds!
     
    While that may be impressive, Gissy can't take credit for the design of the rocket bike. That distinction belongs to his friend Arnold Neracher, who created the lightweight contraption using engines that were fired using highly concentrated fuel that's 90 percent hydrogen peroxide. With all that power, Gissy was even able to beat a Ferrari F430 on the same day he broke the record.  
     
    Gissy has already said that he wants to try and beat the record he just set. When asked how dangerous the ride was, he said, "Yes, there is a risk. That is why I am lying on the bike, to conduct a mass balance. The track also plays a very important role; it must be really smooth because if there is a bump, I could fly away." The

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  • Adorable Baby Bat Hospital Will Change the Way You Think About Bats

    Over the years, bats have gotten a pretty bad rep. Halloween doesn't really help the cause either. Bats don't conjure up cuddly images in your mind the way kittens and puppies always do — until now.
    Tolga Bat HospitalTolga Bat Hospital

    The Tolga Bat Hospital in Atherton, Australia, is showing the tiny creatures in an adorable new light. The hospital rescues and releases hundreds of baby fruit bats each year, thanks in part to the volunteers who travel hundreds of miles to the nonprofit center. About 300 bat pups are orphaned in the area annually, usually when their mother becomes too sick to feed them or they fall ill to tick paralysis.

    The care for the winged babies is very similar to that of human babies. They drink milk from a bottle, love to be swaddled in a blanket, and are bathed in a sink. After a bath, baby bats also have their fur combed.
    Tolga Bat HospitalTolga Bat Hospital

    In addition to caring for babies, Tolga also rehabilitates injured adults. Some bats even come here to retire after a long career at a zoo. Here's a travel tip: If you find

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  • Sea Otter Pup Learns to Swim, Steals the Hearts of the Web

    A tiny new resident of the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago has been getting a lot of online attention recently. Her name is Pup 681 and he is an orphaned Southern sea otter.

    The aquarium posted a video to YouTube documenting the arrival of the little guy to their facility. Then, the team got to work on the first task toward Pup 681's rehabilitation, teaching her to swim.

    It might look like fun, but the folks at Shedd have a pretty hard task at hand with Pup 681. Tim Binder, who is the vice president of animal collections for the aquarium, said of the process, "It truly takes a village to rehabilitate a young sea otter. Our animal care team is teaching the pup how to be an otter."

    The 5-week-old pup was found abandoned and alone on Sept. 30 when a jogger heard her crying on Coastways Beach on the Central Coast of California. Pup 681 is still on a strict diet of bottled formula and sliced clams. (Delicious!) Eventually the adorable otter will be named and moved to the facility's Regenstein

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  • NYC Subway Performers Collaborate to Form First 'Wi-Fi Orchestra'

    If you have ever visited The Big Apple, you know that it's not unusual to see great underground performances in the city's subways stations. But director Chris Shimojima wanted to take the art of subway music to the next level. He arranged a live music experiment with 11 subway performers at nine subway stations. Russian composer Lev Zhurbin, who also goes by the name Ljova, wrote a piece called "Signal Strength" for the musicians to perform simultaneously thanks to the wonderful, free Wi-Fi at the selected stops. As seen in a YouTube video, the two-hour setup itself was impressive, as various musicians set up their instruments along with a computer and headphones provided by the director.   

    Then Ljova conducted the 11 different musicians remotely from New York City's Bryant Park using multiple laptops and Skype. It took eight takes to get it right thanks to a few technical hiccups with the Internet connections.
     
    Folks on YouTube are blown away by the underground symphony, and one

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  • Target Employee Becomes Overnight Internet Star Via Social Media

    A photo of a Target employee has gone viral, and the story behind it might have you scratching your head. On Sunday afternoon, a girl tweeted a photo of a Texas Target check-out employee named Alex. By Sunday night, the photo had been retweeted and marked as a "favorite" so many times that it reached more than 300,000 Twitter users. It is still unclear whether the girl actually took the photo or just shared it, but the damage was done and a new Internet star was born, bolstered with his very own hashtag, #AlexFromTarget. 


    People on the video-sharing app Vine posted their impressions of #AlexFromTarget; there are memes of him, and Tumblr pages have even been created.
     
    It took fewer than 12 hours for #AlexFromTarget to take over the Web this weekend, and in the past 24 hours, the hashtag has been used more than 900,000 times!
     
    Exactly who Alex from Target is was still a mystery until late Sunday night when he

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  • Is This Goat Talking?

    In August, Lyndsey Hyde of Tennessee posted a video to Vine featuring a goat that sounds like it is saying "What? What? What?" The 6-second clip went viral with more than 7 million views on the video-sharing app.
     
    Now Lindsey's stepfather, Dusty Belew, is giving the people what they want: more talking goat. Belew uploaded the full video of the inquisitive human-sounding goat to YouTube, and it is everything we wanted it to be.
     
    This video reminds us of Mishka the talking husky, who skyrocketed to Internet stardom when a video of her "talking" went viral. In the video it sounds like she is saying "I Love You" to her owners, who prompt the dialogue.
     
    OK, there's still one lingering question, though: What does the fox say?

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  • Entire Town in Connecticut Is Up for Sale

    Are you in the market for some new digs?

    Well, why buy just a house like every other person in the real estate market when you can own an entire town for about the cost of a New York City apartment?

    The village of Johnsonville, located in East Haddam, Connecticut, is up for sale. The 62-acre piece of land was established in the 1830s. The crazy thing is, it's been abandoned for 16 years! But that's about to change. The village sale is taking place on Auction.com. The starting bid was $800,000. At the time this article was written, the bid was $1.1 million.
    GothamistGothamist

    What? That sounds like a lot of money? Here is what you'd be getting: in addition to the Victorian and colonial-style homes, a restaurant, a general store, a one-room schoolhouse, and a chapel. And did we mention the village is set along picturesque Moodus River?

    In the 1960s, millionaire Ray Schmitt bought Johnsonvillle and tried turning it into a tourist attraction. That idea failed. After Schmitt's death in 1998, Johnsonville turned

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  • House in London Is Made of Wax, Will Eventually Melt Away

    You've heard of the British nursery rhyme "London Bridge Is Falling Down." Well, now there's a house in London that is melting down, literally.  
     
    A new art installation by Alex Chinneck is made entirely of paraffin wax bricks — 8,000 of them, to be exact — with the sole purpose of melting down into a beautiful display. The exhibit is titled "A Pound of Flesh for 50P" but is also known simply as the Melting House. It's part of Merge Festival, in which artists are encouraged to draw upon the culture of Bankside, London. The Melting House actually reflects a bit of history in the area where a candle factory stood a few centuries ago.
     
    Alex ChinneckAlex Chinneck

    The melting will occur over 30 days with the help of heating tools mostly used in roofing. Constructing the exhibit was no easy task — Chinneck enlisted the help of chemists, wax manufacturers and engineers over the course of 12 months to achieve visually convincing wax bricks. If you will be in jolly old England anytime soon, pop on over to see the exhibit,

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