Interesting Finds: Issue #7

Ted Lasso, Beans vs Poison and Zero Gravity Music Video

Feel Good Thursdays

I’m generally not into sitcoms, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that Ted Lasso is one of the best shows I’ve recently watched. It’s the ultimate mashup of Friday Night Lights and Mr Rogers, with a touch of Jack Handey.

The show stars Jason Sudeikis (of SNL fame and one of the show’s creators) and is described as:

Small-time football coach Ted Lasso is hired to coach a professional soccer team in England, despite having no experience coaching soccer.

As a preview to the show, here’s a short clip of Ted at a press conference fter he first arrives to become the new head coach.

The show airs every Thursday on Apple TV+, if you’ve bought a new Macbook or iPhone in the last year, you already have a free 1 year subscription. Go get it.

From Bean to Poison

Ricin and RCA: Castor Bean Toxin Information

Last week, a woman was arrested under suspicion of being responsible for sending a package laced with Ricin, a deadly poison, to the White House. From Wikipedia:

“Ricin is very toxic if inhaled, injected, or ingested. It can also be toxic if dust contacts the eyes or if it is absorbed through damaged skin…. Because the symptoms are caused by failure to make protein, they may take anywhere from hours to days to appear, depending on the route of exposure and the dose. When ingested, gastrointestinal symptoms can manifest within six hours; these symptoms do not always become apparent. Within two to five days of exposure to ricin, effects of ricin on the central nervous system, adrenal glands, kidneys, and liver appear.”

So yeah, very dangerous stuff 😱. This led me down the rabbit hole of learning more about Ricin—how is it made? how was it discovered? is it commonly used?

Ricin was discovered in 1888 by German scientist Peter Hermann Stillmark. Since that discovery, it’s been linked to dozens of attacks since the 1970s and interestingly, of the 28 attacks documented on Wikipedia, 19 of them occurred in the USA 🇺🇸.

So where does Ricin come from? Interestingly, it’s naturally occurring within castor beans, which have all sorts of uses beyond poison. Going back centuries, castor seeds (derived from hulled castor beans) have been used for birth control, constipation, leprosy, and syphilis. Oil created from it (castor oil) has been historically used as a laxative for constipation, stimulate labor in pregnancy and as a lactation aid. Whether any of those benefits are real or not, is perhaps material for a future Interesting Finds issue.

In manufacturing, castor seeds are even used to make varnishes, paints, and even oils for lubricating machinery. The list goes on and on.

The brutal part is that even an amount the size of a grain of salt can cause death within 36 to 72 hours, and there is no known antidote.

Here’s a 2 minute video on Ricin by the IBTimes:

OK, Go Watch This

OK Go is an American rock band out of Chicago that has been making some crazy music videos over the years including this amazing one featuring a Rube Goldberg machine.

This video for their hit “Upside Down & Inside Out” was published in 2016, but I recently went down the rabbit hole of learning more about it. First, here’s the music video:

I then discovered they documented a bunch of behind the scenes which will puts you in awe of how everything was stitched together to be so seamless in post-production.

If you want to go completely down the rabbit hole with me:

The Economics of Explosions in Movies

I’m eagerly waiting for the opportunity to, safely, watch Christopher Nolan’s latest movie Tenet which stars John David Washington, Robert Pattison and Elizabeth Debicki. One thing the trailer reveals is a 747 plane is crashed during a high action scene.

What I learned from Total Film is that it was cheaper for them to destroy a real 747 instead of doing it all with miniaturized models and CGI:

"I planned to do it using miniatures and set-piece builds and a combination of visual effects and all the rest. We started to run the numbers... It became apparent that it would actually be more efficient to buy a real plane of the real size, and perform this sequence for real in camera, rather than build miniatures or go the CG route.” ~Christopher Nolan

For further reading, head over to Flavor Wire to see a list other movies scenes that surprisingly also weren’t done with CGI.

Other Interesting Finds 🔎

  • 🗽 A secret “man cave” was found deep within the New York’s Grand Central Station which was setup by 3 unnamed individuals. It contained a “futon and cot, air mattress, refrigerator (containing a half-empty can of beer), microwave, and a flatscreen with an Amazon Fire TV“.

  • 📷 See the finalists for the 2020 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards. Absolutely stunning!

  • 🦹🏻‍♂️ Given the role that Facebook has played in our election and the issue of “fake news” over the years, Slash Film talks about how The Social Network movie is like a “supervillain origin story”.

  • 🍎 Did you know a group of bears is called a “sloth” or “sleuth”? Me neither. Enjoy this photo of a sleuth of bears eating apples.

  • 🐶 During a burglary in Melbourne, Australia, thieves took an 8-week old puppy from a 4 year old girl and her family. They seemingly had a conscience and returned it (but kept the other possessions they stole).