Explore the Tree of Life, the Ups and Downs of 900 Numbers and the Most Popular Songs

This week we watch some incredible videos of swordsmanship in action, explore the tree of life on Earth, make some wishlists, and talk about the history of sampling in music.

Explore this scalable tree of life on Earth

All life on Earth is interconnected, you probably learned this in biology lessons. You may have even heard of the “tree of life” and OneZoom presents it to you in a beautiful interactive format where you can zoom in, click to explore and see the relationships between animals on Earth, where their common ancestors lived. history and much more.

If you wish, you can even search the tree for specific animals or plants and see how far, for example, the mushroom is from your house dog. And trust me when you think you’ve zoomed out as much as possible? There is also scaling. [ via OneZoom , thanks to Kottka , thanks to Clive Thompson! ]

The rise and fall of the number 1-900

Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, 1-900 numbers were synonymous with super-expensive surprise phone bills, phone sex, and the horrific attempts to make money by the companies behind kid-focused brands to convince kids to call and dial tons. … minutes of “talking” with your favorite superheroes, TV stars and other superstars (and of course the Nintendo Power line, where they really helped you get through the games you were having trouble with !) But what happened to the number 900? It seemed that they all died out very quickly.

Well, the always interesting pricing took a deep dive, and there were several factors: government regulation of the industry (because it cost unsuspecting people a ton of money ), the rise of the internet, and a gang of frustrated parents who hated the entire industry. One horror story:

Moral judgments aside, there were real problems with fraud in the early years of 900 numbers. Fraudsters inserted messages with long delays to increase fees , sold useless general information, deliberately made it difficult to eavesdrop on messages, and charged excessive, unadvertised fees. In one case, the company advertised number 900 for driver jobs in 60 newspapers for $ 20 per call, but did not say there were only three jobs available. Perhaps the most overwhelming scandal was the TV ad for the Santa Claus Hotline, in which children were encouraged to bring their phones to the screen. When they did, the programmed dial tone automatically dialed 900. The phone bill was a great gift for Mom and Dad.

The most serious cases were children. Local and national media reported a 17-year-old phone bill for $ 10,500 to use chat lines, a boy with a disability who paid $ 8,000 for a phone quiz, and a girl who calledthe hotline of teen idolCorey. Haim 216 times.

Ouch. All this work is a great look at the history of the industry, its sudden stop and much more, told through the eyes of Larry Lobster. [ via Priceonomics ]

What five things have you never done and would like to do before you die?

At some point, “wishlists” turned into travel wishlists, where they are just a list of places you want to visit before you die, when initially they only meant what you wanted to accomplish before throwing it out of the bucket. Well, on Quora, this amazing thread is full of people sharing their answers to the simple question, “What are five things you’ve never done, what do you want to do before you die?”

Here is one excellent and accessible answer from user Sumya Singh :

  1. Learn to play a musical instrument.
  2. Learn another Indian language – I speak Hindi and English, studied elementary Sanskrit in school, now I am studying Chinese, from time to time lessons in German and French (just for fun). But I will definitely learn one Indian language – I don’t know which one, but definitely!
  3. I buy myself a house and a car, travel to different places, without any help from my parents (they already gave me an excellent education, I want to do everything else myself).
  4. Donate blood.
  5. Fly the plane.

Here’s another, more inspirational one from Sandeep Kumar Jah :

  1. Take a trip to Vegas and the Blue Lagoon, Iceland: I have no idea why these two places pop up in my head so often, but I’ve read so much about them. I will definitely visit these places in the next 2 years.
  2. Having a stock market portfolio of $ 100 million : That’s roughly INR 670 crore, which is huge. I promised that I would consider myself a successful trader only when the portfolio touches this mark.
  3. Subtotal 40,000 miles: I hate running. I hate everything if that’s the case. In pursuit of this goal, even if I run every day for the next 30 years ( assuming I am alive and able to run ), I will have to run about 5 miles a day. I currently drive about 5 km a day and it is really difficult for me. I improved from fatigue 1 km non-stop a year ago to this level. The very feeling of passing 5 km or more gives me more satisfaction than anything else. It feels like I’ve won what I’m afraid of. In any case, the goal is 10 km per day in a year.
  4. Settlement in New Zealand: This is a goal that I want to achieve over the next 5 years.
  5. Finish the book with all the antics of my life: Yes, I think it is very different from the usual, and I would like people to laugh a little while reading it.

Which of yours? [ via Quora ]

10 most popular tracks in music

Music is an industry of samples, inspiration, respect, covers and more, and while the music industry is extremely protective and hostile to the people using their material, the best artists borrow, sample, and sometimes steal from others to make their own, new, interesting creations. Part of that is the ever famous sample, and the guys at BoingBoing have this wonderful list of ten of the most popular samples in music, with number one being the video above, Amen Brother by The Winstons, source “Amen break,” about which you almost must have heard before. Go to the full list. [ via BoingBoing ]

These fencing videos will inspire you

I usually end with a time-lapse or other inspiring, funny video, but these videos of professional fencers in action are mesmerizing and fun to watch, and I think you’ll love them too. Fencing is an incredibly underrated sport that is very fun to watch in competition, and learning how it works, not to mention the explosive speed and skills that fencers must have to compete, is incredible.

This Fencing Visualization video shows you in slow motion the movements and punches as professional fencers collide with each other in a stunning sight. There is even a video version in which their moves, highlighted, are shown on the screen behind them, actually doing fencing . [ via YouTube , thanks to TheNextWeb ! ]

Everyone this week! If you have thought-provoking stories, interesting podcasts, eye-opening videos, or anything else that you think is perfect for Brain Buffet, share it with us! Email me , leave it as a comment below, or send it in any way convenient for you.

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