We realize there's only so much time one can spend in a day watching new trailers, viral video clips, and shaky cell phone footage of people arguing on live television. This is why every day The Atlantic Wire highlights the videos that truly earn your five minutes (or less) of attention. Today: Purdue engineering students pop a ballon in elaborate fashion, the scare tactics of Tic-Tac France, and 60 Minutes goes to the Congo and finds music.

Ho, boy, this is terrific, if you enjoy Rube Goldberg-esque contraptions, which we do: some fine undergrads at Purdue University have come up with a device that pops a balloon in 300 easy steps. Necessary? Of course not. Hypnotic and rewatchable? You bet. [via Gadgetbox]

Flash mobs: unnerving. Fearing you might have bad breath: also unnerving. Now, thanks to the good people at the French division of Tic Tacs, these two fears have been synthesized into a single terrifying new ad that has put us on high alert that our breath may be offensive enough to repel flash mobbers, in addition to setting off Europe-y car alarms. We didn't like care for this ad one bit, but it immediately made us go out and buy a slug of Tic Tacs. [via Fast Company]


60 Minutes had a terrific segment last night on the Congo's only symphony orchestra that played like a master class in the "Thing that exists in a place where it exists" school of newsmagazine reporting. Because the clip isn't embeddable, you'll have to click through for the full report, but it's totally worth it, assuming you enjoy interesting things that also warm your heart, ever so slightly. In the meantime, here's the backstory on the segment with 60 Minutes producer Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson, which is also fascinating and makes one thing clear: 60 Minutes had no idea if this piece was going to work or not. But it did. [CBS News]

If you weren't online yesterday, you probably missed Google's very cool video tribute to Dutch artist Eadweard Muybridge. Scientific American has a very interesting breakdown on who Muybridge was (as mentioned, as Dutch photographic artist) and why he mattered (because he pioneered early forms of video technology, with special emphasis on filming animals), while YouTube DoodlesWorld reproduces the entire set of doodles. Now that's teamwork. [via DoodlesWorld]



The Muppets have had a long, tonally uneven history, going from unfunny-but-interesting bumper films on Saturday Night Live to cuddly family juggernaut to post-ironic box office attractions this spring in The Muppets. So obviously, that's a lot of territory to cover. Based on Jim Henson's original pitch for The Muppet Show -- which has been kicking around for almost six years, but is new to us -- seems to have been a company of angry Stadler and Waldorf-types. Again, it's not without interest, but we're glad he cut the venom with banjo-playing frogs. [via Vulture]