Wacky Web Week

The bird who might beat you at chess

Whoever uses “birdbrain” as a term of abuse ought to think again — clearly, this time. This BBC video documents the problem-solving prowess of a crow, who can work out an eight-step procedure without losing any of his tools (each of which he has to discover and retrieve) along the way.

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Famous Northwest artist wary of reporter

More than one Seattle feline has launched a big career on the Internet. Along with Henri, the philosopher cat, there’s also Cooper, an orange photographer and film maker.

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Wally the squirrel decorates a pumpkin

As you might be discovering on the Internet, squirrels can be persuaded to decorate pumpkins. In fact, once a squirrel gets his paws and teeth on one, interrupting the holiday-season munching might be hazardous.

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Irish interpreters of baseball study the game

If you’re uneasy about your command of the rules of America’s favorite pastime (baseball, remember? not football), you might take comfort in the likelihood that you know way more about the game than the Irish lads in this video. They genially accept an invitation to watch a match between the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals and find much to admire in the details of the spectacle. Although they hatch entertaining theories about what’s going on in front of them, most of the game’s lingo and action and fan behavior bewilders them — but for this one penetrating insight (achieved after the first half of the first inning): baseball is not swiftly paced.

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Fashion and other tips from Jeremy Lin, NBA star

You might be aware of the basketball career of Jeremy Lin, a Chinese-American playing presently for the Charlotte Hornets under Michael Jordan. He’s the object of Linsanity, a frenzy of fandom that arose while he was playing very well indeed for the New York Knicks a few years ago.

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Don’t lose your head over enticing offers

Horrible Histories broadcasts tv shows and occasional PSAs on CBBC and BBC in Britain. Fortunately for us, they also post some of their videos on YouTube. Which is why you get to see how the 16th-century English noblewoman Lady Jane Grey reacted to a spam offer (of the throne of England) on her anachronistic computer. If you didn’t know already what Mary Tudor, rightful heir, thought about fake offers in the ether — and why you, too, should be suspicious — you’ll learn it here.

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Unintended consequences of selfie-stick abuse

Just as you catch up with the art and science of selfies, you discover a newly extending hazard: selfie sticks. In the old days, selfies happened at arm’s length. But now, narcissistic self-regard has easily parodied consequences, as you can see in this video. Beware the range of a selfie stick!

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If Henri, le chat noir, were your host

We realized recently that we had not been keeping up with Henri, the famous Seattle feline philosopher. We’re happy to report that Henri continues to think out loud. On the other hand, he’s had occasion to consider canine nature since the last time we visited him. You might imagine that Henri’s musings aren’t likely to lead to the complete happiness of any dog he studies. Too bad for the sweet dog in this video.

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As if Berlin were a whole little earth

When German photographer Jonas Ginter dressed up in a crocodile suit and took his 360-degree GoPro camera crew on the road (and river) in Berlin, he created a beguiling little planetary experience for viewers.

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The fine art of carrying on at Burning Man

Burning Man has a big reputation to go with its radical reality. This video reveals a few interesting truths that have emerged Black Rock City.

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