Wacky Web Week

Strolling down a beach — with strandbeests

Dutch artist Theo Jansen has been building animals out of PVC pipe, sails, and other materials since 1990. His beguiling creatures recently attracted crowds to Crane Beach in Massachusetts.

Read More »

Bird-feeder challenge for yet another squirrel

Good thing squirrels don’t preserve their dignity at all costs. More of them would miss meals, and we’d lose out on lots of entertainment. The squirrel in this video seemed destined, at first, to conquer the anti-rodent design features built into the bird-feeder. He’s so agile — until he’s not. Despite the built-in intention to thwart squirrels, however, it seems unlikely that anyone would begrudge this one his consolation scattering of seeds.

Read More »

Trashumancia in Madrid means lots of sheep

Anyone might wonder why you can stand on a street corner in Madrid in early November and watch thousands of sheep rush by.

Read More »

Don’t play with puff adders; play with popcorn

We don’t recommending dangling a red water balloon in front of a puff adder so you can photograph the adder’s response. We offer you the video instead.

Read More »

Hills are alive with the sound of airplanes

Boats, planes, and bicycles are arguably Seattle’s favorite machines — although we have an impressive number of Subaru and Volvo cars also traversing the region. During Seafair, however, boats and planes take over the city. Bridges over Lake Washington close on workdays so that the Blue Angels can practice; conversations halt while jets roar over the city and hydrofoils charge up and down our big in-town mountain lake, Lake Washington. Attitudes among human residents range from “partying all week!” to “leaving for Montana NOW!”

Read More »

Arts and sciences: How to see Pluto

Like millions of others on our blue planet, we’ve been thrilled by close-up images of Pluto. You, too, might be inspired by New Horizons’ streak past our distant solar-system neighbor (nine and a half years into the journey).

Read More »

The good, the bad, and the sheepishly busted

It’s summer in North America, and we’re approaching state-fair season: fruit pies, fried cheese, livestock, rides, and excitement, especially for kids. What better way to prepare children for life in the country than by teaching them to ride? How about beginning on galloping sheep? This video records an Iowa State Fair event called Mutton Busting for the five-and-under set: six seconds or less of rodeo glory for each young contestant. Say what you will about sheep mentality: they’re all brisk about unloading their riders.

Read More »

Raccoons and other animals: Mutually wary

Whether raccoons are entirely wild intruders or have been invited in to eat grapes at the dining room table, their presence can — and usually does — provoke a certain anxiety in their hosts. As you see in this collection of videotaped encounters, they’re dangerously cute.

Read More »

Celebrating holiday with old and new technology

The spectacular July 4 fireworks display you’re about to see was photographed by videographer Jos Stiglingh a year ago in Florida. He flew a DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter deep into the fireworks show and recorded it with an attached GoPro Hero 3 videocam. The performance — or rather, the entire collection of performances — was high-risk for a flying camera passing inside all that explosive technology. We’re in considerably less danger watching this video version of the show.

Read More »

Sun-drunken solstice revelers parade in Seattle

Many people think they correctly understand Seattle as a city of industrious, tech-startup people or hard-working indie rock musicians living in a surfeit of glorious coastal and mountain scenery muted by damp weather. If you think that sums up the Seattle vibe, you haven’t seen the Summer Solstice Parade.

Read More »