[Kottke] posted advice for watching and sharing high quality YouTube videos. While it’s not HD quality, it’s much, much better than the normal, fuzzy quality you get on most videos. This hack has been available for some time, but it hasn’t been documented very well until now. When you’re logged in, you can just set the default to “Always play higher-quality video when it’s available”. When you’re linking to a video, add &fmt=18 to the YouTube URL. This also works when you’re embedding the link in WordPress. If you’re not in WordPress, then tack &ap=%2526fmt%3D18 onto each URL in the embeddable code. It’s pretty simple, and makes wasting your day at work much more enjoyable.
For those who have ever wondered what Chicken-Dancing Elmo’s mechanical parts look like without the fur and the chicken costume (and who among us hasn’t?), [Matt Kirkland] posted the photos above, along with several other animatronic, walking, talking and other mechanical stuffed toys stripped of all their fur and stuffing. These before and after shots were ostensibly taken for unspecified “research purposes,” but if you ask us, any research that takes a knife to Elmo is the most valid kind.