Category Archives: Humor

Amusing Monday: Floating pants foster a haunting mystery

I don’t normally think much about floating objects. But after I decided to blog about a new video showing a pair of pants floating in Puget Sound, the eerie undulating image keeps drifting back to me.

I thought I would share this story, along with a Dr. Seuss rhyme and a couple other amusing videos about pants, both in and out of the water.

The floating pants, recorded on video near Brownsville by Genavieve Scott of Bremerton, seem to be moving underwater with a certain cadence, as if striding along just beneath the waves, according to a story by reporter Christian Vosler of the Kitsap Sun.

“Oh, it absolutely looked like they were walking,” Genavieve was quoted as saying. “Just one leg in front of the other, moving through the water.”

Some obvious questions come to mind. How did someone lose his or her pants in the first place? Why do they stand upright in the water, and what makes them move this way? I can’t help but wonder if the owner’s spirit is somehow embodied in these pants, left alone to walk on and on until they are washed up somewhere, perhaps on a lonely beach.

The obvious explanation for their upright position is that the waist portion of the pants is buoyant while the legs are just heavy enough to sink. But why would this be the case if all parts are made of the same fabric? I have seen plenty of floating clothes, and they normally just bunch up in the water. Did someone intentionally stage these pants, knowing that they would raise the curiosity of people?

After Genavieve posted her video, she received an outpouring of response. She talked about the matter with Kitsap Sun reporter Josh Farley, who featured the interview in his weekly video called “Bremerton Beat Blast.” The pants segment begins at 4:57.

You wouldn’t think that a pair of wet pants would get so much attention. But I have to confess that the more I watch this video, the more I become haunted by the vision of these watery pants dancing in the waves. Dr. Seuss, the well-known children’s author, once wrote a book called “What Was I Scared Of?” It was all about a pair of floating plants that kept following the narrator of the story, who uttered these lines:

I said, “I do not fear those pants
With nobody inside them.”
I said, and said, and said those words.
I said them. But I lied them.

Then I reached inside a Snide bush
And the next thing that I knew,
I felt my hand touch someone!
And I’ll bet that you know who.

And there I was! Caught in the Snide!
And in that dreadful place
Those spooky, empty pants and I
were standing face to face!

I yelled for help. I screamed. I shrieked.
I howled. I yowled. I cried,
“OH, SAVE ME FROM THESE PALE
GREEN PANTS WITH NOBODY INSIDE!”

But then a strange thing happened.
Why, those pants began to cry!
Those pants began to tremble.
They were just as scared as I!

I never heard such whimpering
And I began to see
That I was just as strange to them
As they were strange to me!

As I searched the Internet for other stories of floating plants, I found a product that is actually named Floaty Pants. It’s like a life jacket for your crotch area. Once you put them on, you can float around the deep end of the pool hands-free and without a raft, noodle or other floatation device.

The advertising slogan: “Enjoy the party in your pants!”

Floaty Pants comes in seven styles: Ab Man, American Flag, Sexy Thong, Maui Man, Camouflage, Floaty Red and Floaty Blue.

Another fascinating story about pants comes from Minnesota, where frozen pants have become an outdoor art form. The winter of 2016 was so cold that Minnesotans were freezing their pants off, or so the story goes. One man started the fad by putting wet pants outdoors and others soon followed. You could drive through some neighborhoods and see clusters of frozen pants on people’s lawns.

In addition to the embedded video from WCCO, a CBS affiliate in Minneapolis, there is another good video from KVLY, Valley News, a CBS affiliate serving the Red River Valley area of North Dakota and Minnesota.

Amusing Monday: World Water Day inspires photos and videos

World Water Day, coming up on Wednesday, is an annual event first established by the United Nations in 1992 to focus on the importance of freshwater and to encourage actions to provide clean drinking water while reducing water-borne illness around the world.

This year’s theme, waste water, was formulated into a question that creates a double meaning. It can be either “Why waste water?” or “Why wastewater?” The first question emphasizes the water-supply issues associated with World Water Day. The second emphasizes the closely related health aspects of sanitation. For a serious discussion of these two questions, listen to the talk on YouTube by Guy Ryder, director general of the International Labour Organization and chairman of UN-Water.

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Amusing Monday: Eco-Comedy competition includes sharp parodies

Entries in this year’s Eco-Comedy Video Competition seem to reflect an anxiety over what will happen to the environment under President Trump’s administration — although the winning video was among a few finalists that stayed clear of an overt political message.

This is the eighth annual competition sponsored by the Center for Environmental Filmmaking and The Nature Conservancy. A total of 48 videos were submitted with this year’s theme: “Conservation and Environmental Protection.”

To qualify, the original videos, three minutes or less, must be humorous, communicate a clear message and appeal to a broad audience. A panel of five judges chose the finalists and grand prize winner, who will be honored in a ceremony next week at American University in Washington, D.C.

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Amusing Monday: Bottled water is now
the king of beverages

For the first time in U.S. history, the consumption of bottled water has now surpassed that of carbonated soft drinks, according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation.

Bottled water consumption grew by 8.5 percent last year, while soft drink consumption fell by 1.7 percent, following an ongoing trend, according to the BMC’s Gary Hemphill, as quoted in Plastics News.

The statistics are based on volume consumed, not dollar value, Hemphill said. “Which is really kind of remarkable when you consider bottled water’s growth trajectory didn’t really start until the early ‘90s.”

The shift is largely attributed to growing health concerns related to drinking sugary soft drinks. But bottled water also is displacing the consumption of juice, alcoholic beverages and even tap water. See story by Hadley Malcolm in USA Today.

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Amusing Monday: Catching fish by hand can be a rare spectacle

Robert Earl Woodard, an Alabama farmer and retired football coach, has spent 40 years perfecting his technique for catching bass by hand.

As you can see from the first video, his careful procedure involves dangling some bait in the water and waiting for a fish to strike. He then grasps the fish by inserting his thumb into the “V” at the bottom of the mouth and waits for the fish to calm down.

The large mouth bass that Woodard caught in the video weighted in at 16.03 pounds, just half a pound less than the Alabama state record of 16.5 pounds set in 1987.

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Amusing Monday: Entertaining videos don’t show real holograms

An amusing video that shows a young family experiencing close-up encounters with killer whales, a polar bear and several penguins has been making the rounds on social media. The technology has been described as a hologram by many people posting and reposting the video, the first on this page.

Frankly, I was amazed at first, believing that people were really up close and personal with a 3D image in a shopping mall. The animals, which I assumed were projected for all to see, appeared so real that it was no wonder that people in the video were reaching out to touch them. Unfortunately, that’s not what we are seeing, according to observers.

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Amusing Monday: Ray Troll visits Puget Sound with Ratfish Wranglers

Ray Troll and the Ratfish Wranglers, one of the most amusing bands in the Pacific Northwest, is touring Western Washington this month, with stops in Port Townsend, Gig Harbor and Seattle.

Two years ago, when writing about how fishermen can save rockfish from barotrauma, I featured a video by Ray and the band in Water Ways (June 22, 2015). This video includes a rockfish puppet and an original rap song by Ray Troll and Russell Wodehouse telling all about the problem.

Besides music, Ray is well known for his “fin art,” which is mostly about fish of all kinds, especially salmon. Ray prides himself on the realistic images of fish, produced with scientific precision, which he combines with humor to create some edgy posters.

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Amusing Monday: Did any of the commercials bowl you over?

It’s becoming an annual tradition for me to feature some of the amusing Super Bowl commercials on the day after the big game, especially focusing on those with water-related themes. I also try to share a little of the backstory about the commercials on my list.

Kia ad with Melissa McCarthy

A day after actress Melissa McCarthy appeared on “Saturday Night Live” as President Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer, Melissa was back on television in a Super Bowl commercial, doing her best to save whales, trees and rhinos.

McCarthy, who has won at least 20 awards for comedic roles in films and television, plays a tragic eco-hero in the Super Bowl commercial. In real life, she has accepted a position as Kia spokeswoman to promote the brand-new Niro, a car that captured a Guinness World Record for the lowest fuel consumption by a hybrid vehicle, tested during a coast-to-cost trip. For details, check out Carscoops online magazine.

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Amusing Monday: Playing with water in the weightlessness of space

Since the beginning of the manned space program, astronauts have been playing with water in microgravity conditions. The result has been a large assortment of videos demonstrating the unique and amusing properties of water.

In the first video on this page, Chris Hadfield, an astronaut with the Canadian Space Agency demonstrates what happens aboard the International Space Station when you ring out a soaked wash cloth in the weightlessness of space.

The experiment was suggested by students Kendra Lemke and Meredith Faulkner of Lockview High School in Fall River, Nova Scotia. It was posted on YouTube in 2013.

The video shows that the surface tension of water is great enough that the water keeps clinging when Hadfield rings out the cloth. If you watch closely, however, you can see a few droplets fly off when he starts to ring out the cloth.

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Amusing Monday: Snowflakes frozen in a world of their own

They say every snowflake is different. That may be hard to believe until you realize that snowflakes are really quite large on the molecular scale and that snowflakes come in various shapes and sizes, created under an enormous number of varying conditions.

In fact, most snowflakes are so different from one another that the effort to categorize their shapes has never been completely successful. In 2013, one research group came out with a new classification of 121 different types of snow crystals, ice crystals and solid precipitation. Check out the paper in Atmospheric Research.

But what really got me started on this topic was the beauty of snowflakes and wondering how they form. I offered a view of some stunning still photos in Water Ways in 2014. This time, I thought we could take a look at snowflake formation.

I really like the first video on this page, complete with music. I didn’t realize until later that the video does not show snowflake formation at all. Rather it shows the sublimation of snowflakes (their disappearance) played in reverse.

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