Merton the Chatroulette Piano Guy Speaks

Posted By Ben Goulding, 24 March, 2010 | permalink


(Youtube Link)

In an exclusive interview, Mashable talks to Merton the Chatroulette piano player via Skype to find out more about the man behind the glasses and the hoodie.

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The Greatest Soccer Own Goal Ever Scored?

Posted By Ben Goulding, 24 March, 2010 | permalink


(Youtube Link)

When Hadjuk Split played arch-rivals Lokomotiva at the weekend, there was a lot at stake. They were in a tussle for the Europa League spots in the Croatian league. It was a shame therefore, when Hadjuk Split midfielder Goran Rubil scored what was probably the greatest goal of his career… into his own net. His mistake cost them the game which they ended up losing 2-1.

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Why Did Obama Use 22 Pens to Sign the Health Care Bill?

Posted By Ben Goulding, 24 March, 2010 | permalink

After months of intense political debate, President Obama finally sat down in the White House East Room on March 23 and signed the $938 billion health care bill, but why did he use 22 pens to do it?

It would seem that either the President has an undiagnosed case of OCD or the White House needs better office supplies.

Actually, the President was just adhering to an obscure Washington tradition. The practice of using multiple pens to sign important legislation dates at least as far back as Franklin Roosevelt and is now one of our government’s frivolous little quirks, much like that oversize gavel Nancy Pelosi carried around the other day.

Time has more details in the link.

Link | Image: BROOKS KRAFT / CORBIS FOR TIME

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World’s Largest Jellyfish (WFOTD)

Posted By Ben Goulding, 23 March, 2010 | permalink

The largest jellyfish ever discovered was a Lion’s Mane jellyfish. It had a bell (body) with a diameter of 2.3 m (7 feet 6 inches) and tentacles 36.5 m (120 feet) in length. It was found washed up on the shore of Massachusetts Bay in 1870.

To put that into perspective, the largest blue whale ever recorded was a mere 110 feet long.

3 Comments | Posted in: Sci/Tech
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Top 7 Most Popular Crazes of the Nineties

Posted By Ben Goulding, 23 March, 2010 | permalink

#1 – Pokémon Cards

Upon its release in 1996, Pokémon immediately became one of the most sought after card games in history. Whilst an 11 pack of cards should normally have cost around $5, rare individual cards were being traded for over one hundred times that, with some booster packs selling for as much as $9,000.

…continue reading Top 7 Most Popular Crazes of the Nineties

11 Comments | Posted in: Entertainment | Lifestyle
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Today is Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry’s

Posted By Ben Goulding, 23 March, 2010 | permalink

If you’re near a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream parlor today, make sure you stop by because they’re giving away free cones between 12 noon and 8pm in your time zone (U.S.).

This is Ben & Jerry’s 32nd annual Free Cone Day which they hold as as way of saying thank you to their loyal customers.

Over one million free cones are given away each year and this year is set to be just as big, if not bigger. What’s best though is that participants can stand in line as many times as they want to. Yay.

Find your nearest outlet at the Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop Locator.

Link

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Whoops! Obama’s Talking

Posted By Ben Goulding, 23 March, 2010 | permalink


(Youtube Link)

I hate it when I’m lost in a building and I accidently walk into a room I shouldn’t have. It’s usually followed by silence and a room full of people staring at you. Well that’s what this guy did – the only difference is he had 30 million people staring at him when he stumbled in on Obama’s healthcare speech.

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Brushing Your Teeth With Urine (WFOTD)

Posted By Ben Goulding, 22 March, 2010 | permalink

Can you imagine that toothbrushes have been around since 3000 BC? Well they have, although they were very different to the ones we use today. They were actually just small branches with one end frayed used to remove small particles from the teeth. They used to call them “chew sticks”.

You may be wondering what they used for toothpaste. The Egyptions used a toothpaste in 2000 BC, made of powdered pumice stone and wine vinegar brushed with a chew stick. That may sound sickly, but it’s nothing compared to what the Romans used. They brushed their teeth with human urine.

First-century Roman doctors believed that urine whitened teeth and also kept them firmly in place. The urine from the Portuguese was considered the strongest and therefore the most expensive. It must have worked though, because it was an active ingredient in toothpaste and mouthwash up until the 18th century. Yuk!

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World’s First Ferrari Theme Park Unveiled

Posted By Ben Goulding, 22 March, 2010 | permalink

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, which is set to open in 2010, is the world’s first Ferrari theme park and largest attraction of its kind.


(Youtube Link)

The Park is located on Yas Island – set to become a global tourist destination with a wide range of accommodation and entertainment facilities – on the North East side of Abu Dhabi’s mainland.

It will fittingly feature the fastest roller coaster in the world, capable of travelling at speeds of up to 125mph and generating the same G-force as driving a Ferrari Formula One car.

More details about the park in the link.

Link

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Ben Folds is Chatroulette Piano Player?

Posted By Ben Goulding, 22 March, 2010 | permalink

By now I’m sure you’ve seen “Merton”, the piano playing guy on Chatroulette who has become an internet sensation for his freestyling on the the webcam-chat site.

Well, there has been much speculation that the mystery man might be Ben Folds due to his uncanny facial and voice resemblance. To clear things up, during one of his concerts in Charlotte, North Carolina, the real Ben Folds flipped open a laptop on the piano and started playing on Chatroulette.


(Youtube Link)

So now we know who the hooded piano player is. Actually, we don’t. “Merton” has since said “Not Ben Folds. Seriously. Ben is a much better pianist, and listen to the voice on the “Man in the Dark” part – totally not his voice at all. Besides, wouldn’t Ben cover more of his face to disguise his identity?”.

My brain is frazzled.

Oh, and here’s the original just in case you haven’t seen it yet.


(Youtube Link)

2 Comments | Posted in: Entertainment | Internet
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Top 7 Fun But Pointless iPhone Apps

Posted By Ben Goulding, 22 March, 2010 | permalink

iPhone apps are great. Like they say, “there’s an app for just about anything”. Well that’s very true, but sometimes application developers come up with some really stupid ideas. Here are 7 of the best pointless iPhone apps that we still love to download.

#1 – iSnort


(Youtube Link)

Okay kids, this app is not cool but at least it’s better than doing the real thing. iSnort makes it appear that you are cutting up coke and snorting it. The makers say “Go on.. give it a toot… it’s virtually addictive”. Alternatively you could do something more useful and sensible with your £5, like throw it down the drain.

…continue reading Top 7 Fun But Pointless iPhone Apps

5 Comments | Posted in: Sci/Tech
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Switzerland Bans Violent Video Games

Posted By Ben Goulding, 22 March, 2010 | permalink

Just a month after the proposals were first outlined in full, the Swiss National Council has now officially passed a law that will ultimately lead to the complete ban of any violent video games in the country.

The full implications of the new law are not yet known, however Swiss authorities now have the power to introduce any measures they see fit.

The likeliest outcome seems to be an outright ban on the production, distribution and sale of any games deemed to be unsuitable – most likely anything with either a PEGI 16+ or PEGI 18+ certificate. Until then, Swiss video gamers can back up supplies of violent video games on a hard drive, providing them with a lifetime supply of digital violence.

Do you think that this is a viable law for the Swiss to introduce? Won’t it just lead to a black market of banned video games, never mind the endless supply of violence already on the TV, internet and in movies.

Link

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Hack Dice By Cooking Them

Posted By Ben Goulding, 19 March, 2010 | permalink


(Youtube Link)

So you’re playing Craps with your friends, but you’re just not getting any luck. The dice won’t fall right for you. Here’s how you can (hypothetically) change your luck. (Hypothetically) put your dice in the oven with the numbers you want facing upwards, cook for ten minutes and then leave to cool. You’ll suddenly start getting the numbers you want (hypothetically). Why? Watch the video to find out.

2 Comments | Posted in: Entertainment | Sci/Tech
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Super Camera Scans A Book In Seconds

Posted By Ben Goulding, 19 March, 2010 | permalink

You want to find some information in a book, but you don’t know exactly where in the book that specific piece of information is. What do you do? Well normally you would have to trawl though potentially hundreds and hundreds of pages – a very time consuming and futile procedure, but that Japanese may have come up with an invention that means we would never have to do such a thing ever again.

Masatoshi Ishikawa, a professor at the University of Tokyo has created a product that lets you scan a book by rapidly flipping its pages in front of a high-speed camera – it’s called book flipping scanning. The camera operates at 500 frames per second and processes 200 pages per minute.


(Youtube Link)

Ishikawa has other plans for the technology though. He and his colleagues are already working on several applications including a microscope that can track individual bacteria and a video game motion-capture system. This could make college so much easier for everyone.

Link

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If You Printed Twitter…

Posted By Ben Goulding, 19 March, 2010 | permalink

Link (Thanks Andrew!)

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Kings in a Pack of Cards (WFOTD)

Posted By Ben Goulding, 18 March, 2010 | permalink

The four suits in a standard deck of playing cards originated from France in the fifteenth century (around 1480). French playing card manufacturers assigned names to the faces of the four kings.

The King of Spades was King David, the second king of the united Kingdom of Israel according to the Bible. The King of Clubs was Alexander the Great, the ancient Greek King that conquered most of the world. The King of Hearts was King Charlemagne who was the leader of the Franks, whilst Diamonds was Julius Caesar.

This practice had largely disappeared by the 19th century however.

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Top 12 Funny Facebook Fails

Posted By Ben Goulding, 18 March, 2010 | permalink

Should Have Used a Spell Check

…continue reading Top 12 Funny Facebook Fails

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Rare Tongue-Eating Parasite Discovered

Posted By Ben Goulding, 18 March, 2010 | permalink

A rare parasite which burrows into host fish before eating and replacing their tongues with itself has been discovered off the coast of Jersey.

Fishermen found the isopod, a type of louse, inside a weaver fish. Marine researcher Paul Chambers, who was part of the fishing party describes the moment the isopod was found:

“When we emptied the fish bag out there at the bottom was this incredibly ugly looking isopod.

“Really quite large, really quite hideous – if you turn it over its got dozens of these really sharp, nasty claws underneath and I thought ‘that’s a bit of a nasty beast’.

“I struggled for weeks to find an identification for this thing until, quite by chance I stumbled across something that looked similar in a Victorian journal.

“Apparently there’s not too much ill effect to the fish itself except it’s lost its tongue.”

Mr Chambers added: “It doesn’t affect humans other than if you do actually come across a live one and try and pick it up – they are quite vicious, they will deliver a good nip.”

Link Via Discoveryon

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World’s Most Expensive Television Set

Posted By Ben Goulding, 18 March, 2010 | permalink

Here is the world’s most expensive television set. It’s not the size of the screen or some breakthrough technology that’s given it a huge price tag though – it’s because it’s encrusted in diamonds and covered with gold.

British designer, Stuart Hughes will only make a total of three PrestigeHD Supreme Rose televisions. Each set will have a 55-inch screen with a 28kg frame made from solid 18-carat rose gold. The outer frames will be encrusted with 72 round cut one-carat flawless diamonds.

Hundreds of tiny sunstones and amethysts are mixed into the gold frame, while inner frame will be made from hand-sewn alligator skin. As for the price, it’s a whopping £1,500,000 ($2,300,000).

Hughes is also producing 10 cheaper versions of the PrestigeHD Supreme. They will only have 19 kilograms of gold and 48 diamonds, for a price tag of £1 million ($1,500,000). I think I’ll take two.

Link

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No Beer On St Patrick’s Day? (WFOTD)

Posted By Ben Goulding, 17 March, 2010 | permalink

When you think of St Patrick’s Day, I’m sure that for most of you, the first thing that springs to mind is beer. Lots and lots of beer, partying in pubs, drinking Guinness out of taps and generally consuming copious amounts of alcohol. However, this wasn’t always the case.

In 1903, Saint Patrick’s Day became an official public holiday in Ireland. This was introduced by the Irish MP James O’Mara. O’Mara later introduced a law which required pubs to be closed on March 17 because drinking was getting ‘out of hand’ and he felt that the holiday should be celebrated religiously.

The law was only overturned in 1970, so the Irish had to go sober on St Paddy’s day for 67 years. I’m getting thirsty just thinking about it.

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