VSL:WEB // The truth about LOLcats and prairie dogs

If you’ve ever wondered about the origins of Rickrolling, LOLcats, Disaster Girl, or Technoviking, you’ll love Rocketboom’s Know Your Meme database of viral Web-things.

The site uses lab-coat-wearing “technicians” to explain how Internet meme sensations are born: Watch the “Dramatic Chipmunk” (prairie dog, actually) get fully dissected, and see how tossed-off remarks become part of the vernacular (“Don’t tase me, bro!” Or: “Boom goes the dynamite”). And if you somehow missed the video of an Iraqi journalist throwing his shoes at the president, you’ll find that, too. You’ll get the quick skinny on most of the Internet sensations you’ve seen, and a few — like the “Milhouse Is Not a Meme” meme — that we’d never even heard of.

This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here.