The Sideshow
  • And you thought human beings had odd mating rituals. A 2012 video that's going viral shows the amazing courtship dance between two Galapagos albatrosses. 

    The dance is truly a sight to behold. Two birds face each other, bow their necks, peck at each other's beaks, honk loudly, lock their jaws and strut around in circles like a '70s-era John Travolta at a Brooklyn disco.

    The clip was filmed by Phillip Nails while visiting the Galapagos Islands several years ago with his parents. In the background, you can hear the gasps and chuckles of the delighted onlookers. To their credit, the albatrosses keep their composure despite the vocal audience. These two lovebirds have eyes only for each other.

    While the ritual might look a little silly, it's a sign of real devotion between the birds. The courtship dance is something that occurs when the birds return to the Galapagos each year after spending months at sea, the BBC explains. The birds, who mate for life and can live 50 years, track each

    Read More »from Video captures the amazing mating dance of the Galapagos albatross
  • Santa Clara University (Wikimedia Commons)Santa Clara University (Wikimedia Commons)

    Like nearly all job postings, the ad seeking applicants for a quarterly adjunct lecturer position at Santa Clara University's English Department lists some desired skills and requirements.

    But forget about "must have basic knowledge of Microsoft Excel" or "excellent interpersonal skills are key" — the qualifications sought for this posting were as specific as they were over-the-top.

    According to the posting, the successful applicant should have published “at least 25 books on topics ranging from the history of Silicon Valley to the biography of microprocessing to interviews with entrepreneurs." Hmm, OK. What else? "E-books on topics such as home life in the US, home life in the UK, and water conservation.” 

    And the list goes on: The successful applicant should have a history of being "an editor of Forbes ASAP or a weekly columnist for ABC.com." Oh, and one last thing: He or she also needs to have experience hosting "television and radio productions for PBS, cable television, and ABC."

    Read More »from Have you published 25 books? You might be qualified to teach at Santa Clara U.
  • Persuading people to put down their phones while behind the wheel is an ongoing struggle for companies, police departments, your mom and just about everybody who has a vested interest in your not dying.

    And yet, people still do it. Perhaps this interactive PSA from Volkswagen will do a bit of good. In a video that's quickly going viral, a crowd of moviegoers enters a theater and gets ready to enjoy a flick (hopefully not "Blended").

    The lights dim and what looks like a commercial begins to roll. It's a first-person-POV video of somebody driving. Just motoring along, la dee da. Not much going on. The seconds tick by, the crowd is lulled into boredom, until everybody in the audience receives a "location-based" text message from someone behind the scenes.

    As soon as the moviegoers take their eyes off the commercial to reach for their phones, the car swerves off the road and crashes. The audience members gasp and then are silent as they ponder what just happened.

    The point is clear: Don't

    Read More »from VW produces eerie, interactive anti-texting PSA

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  • Final Glance: Gold companies

    Shares of some top gold companies were up at the close of trading: Barrick Gold Corp. rose $.01 or .1 percent, to $18.69. Gold Fields rose $.03 or .7 percent, to $4.07. GoldCorp. rose $.24 or .9 percent, ...

  • Origins of Mysterious World Trade Center Ship Revealed
    Origins of Mysterious World Trade Center Ship Revealed

    In July 2010, amid the gargantuan rebuilding effort at the site of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, construction workers halted the backhoes when they uncovered something unexpected just south of where the Twin Towers once stood. Now, a new report finds that tree rings in those waterlogged ribs show the vessel was likely built in 1773, or soon after, in a small shipyard near Philadelphia. What's more, the ship was perhaps made from the same kind of white oak trees used to build parts of Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were signed, according to the study published this month in the journal Tree-Ring Research. Archaeologists had been on-site throughout the excavation of the World Trade Center's Vehicular Security Center.

  • These Facial Features Matter Most to First Impressions

    You may think you can judge a person you just met based on his or her facial expressions. First impressions of people — such as whether they are trustworthy, dominant or attractive — can develop from a glimpse as brief as 100 milliseconds or less. Because first impressions can affect people's future behavior and can be difficult to overturn, "it's useful to know how we're being judged on our appearance, especially since these judgments might not be accurate — think of effects on court cases or democratic elections, for example," said study co-author Tom Hartley, a cognitive neuroscientist and psychologist at the University of York in England. Although some previous research has suggested that there may be a kernel of truth in some first impressions, Hartley noted that people typically go too far with the judgments they develop from first impressions.

  • The Key to Selling an $800 Sneaker
    The Key to Selling an $800 Sneaker

    In a recent mixtape, 2 Chainz dropped the name of a new and little-known shoe: "Buscemi." He rhymed it with "sashimi." "It's definitely not a brand that a lot of rappers mention—I try to stay ahead of the trends," said 2 Chainz, who added four pairs of Buscemis to his 600-pair shoe collection after spotting the solid-colored leather high-tops last summer on a New York shopping spree. The sudden appeal of Buscemi—a year-old, $800-a-pair sneaker brand that has been snapped up by Justin Bieber, Sean "Diddy" Combs and other celebrities—marks a new chapter in conspicuous consumption. "You ain't got THESE!!! Na na na na naaa!" tweeted Mr. Combs to his more than 9 million Twitter followers in October, linking to a picture of his new chocolate-hued Buscemis on Instagram. Annie Tritt for The Wall Street Journal A pair of Buscemi shoes

  • Meet HitchBOT: the robot hitchhiking across Canada
    Meet HitchBOT: the robot hitchhiking across Canada

    Robot hitchhiker sounds like the name of an old horror movie but today, it’s actually a friendly reality. Two professors at McMaster and Ryerson University have created “HitchBOT,” a robot programmed to hitchhike across Canada, and they’re putting it to the test this summer.

  • Doctor who contracted Ebola in grave condition
    Doctor who contracted Ebola in grave condition

    FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Kent Brantly always wanted to be a medical missionary, and he took the work seriously, spending months treating a steady stream of patients with Ebola in Liberia.

  • US judge approves LA Clippers sale to ex Microsoft CEO
    US judge approves LA Clippers sale to ex Microsoft CEO

    A US judge gave the go-ahead for the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer, ruling that embattled owner Donald Sterling could not block the move. The ruling by California Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas on Monday came after a three-week trial pitting the 80-year-old Sterling -- barred from the National Basketball Association for life for making racist remarks -- against his estranged wife Shelly, who made the deal with Ballmer. Levanas said the sale could go forward immediately, even if Donald Sterling -- who had challenged his wife's authority to sell the NBA franchise -- appeals. Shelly Sterling negotiated the sale on behalf of the family trust, after Donald Sterling's position as co-trustee was terminated when two medical experts declared the billionaire real estate mogul mentally incompetent to handle trust affairs.

  • Koala survives terrifying ride clinging to car
    Koala survives terrifying ride clinging to car

    Timberwolf the koala was lucky to be alive Monday after surviving a terrifying 88-kilometre (54.5-mile) ride down a busy Australian freeway clinging to the bottom of a car. The Australia Zoo wildlife hospital said it latched onto the bottom of the car as it sped away, with the family inside not knowing they had a marsupial on board. Australia Zoo vet Claude Lacasse said it was amazing the koala, named Timberwolf by the rescuers who brought him in, was in such great health. Australia Zoo, set up by television personality and conservationist Steve "Crocodile Hunter" Irwin, treats an average of 70 koalas every month.

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