You've probably heard about how Robert Johnson met the devil at the crossroads in Mississippi and sold his soul for the ability to play guitar better than anyone before. Johnson let folks believe that if they wanted, and even capitalized on the tale in his songs. Whatever happened to take him from beginner to virtuoso, he was far from the first musician to make that bargain, if the legends are to be believed.
These stories abound because some performers are so good that no one could believe they achieved that level of virtuosity on their own. Talent and hard work were dismissed in favor of a supernatural explanation. Polyphonic brings us a chronological account of the many tales of incredible talent attributed to a Faustian deal. -via Laughing Squid
It's hard for some people to understand the value of an animal's life until they come face to face with that animal, because the animals they encounter in the human world are either pets or pests.
Because of this detachment from nature many humans have a hard time caring about the fact that certain animal species are endangered or going extinct, like the Shoebill (only 5-8,000 in the wild) and the Saiga (critically endangered) above.
And look at how handsome this Iberian Lynx is, can you believe there are only 326 of them left in the wild?
British photographer Tim Flach felt seeing a portrait of these disappearing species might be just the thing to make people care, so he spent two years taking perfectly poignant portraits of the world's endangered species.
Look these Ring-Tailed Lemurs (pop. 2000 as of 2017) in the eyes and tell them you don't care if they live or die or disappear from the planet entirely. Go on, I'll wait...
You know the animator who goes by PES from masterpieces like Fresh Guacamole and Western Spaghetti and other works of art. Now we see what he looks like and how he works. In this video, he picks up some eclectic finds from a flea market in California and makes a taco out of them.
You'd think a guy with the last name Sizlack would have style, or at very least a charming personality, but Moe lacks style and personality and serves up some of the most horrendous drinks. But the man does have plenty of Duff on hand at all times, and because that's one of the only palatable beverages he serves at his Tavern the Duff corporation loves old Moe the schmoe from Springfield-O. So as crappy as his bar is otherwise there is a good chance Duffman or Duffgirl will come in and get the party started, so maybe that's why guys like Barney and Homer hang out at Moe's every single day of their lives? Moe's Tavern- one of the saddest places on Earth!
Show the world where you like to do your binge drinking by wearing this Tavern Logo t-shirt by Buby87, and for the cost of a few drinks you can spread the Sizlack love wherever you go!
Visit Buby87's NeatoShop for more toon-errific designs:
Runaway is a fearful word associated with the loss of a child or pet who runs away from home or losing control of a train as it barrels down the tracks.
The latter is less frightening than the former unless you're aboard the runaway train or it's headed right for you, at which point your heart starts to race and your life flashes before your eyes.
That is, unless you're a dumb cow ambling down the tracks without a care in the world, those beef-brained critters never seem to notice when a train is about to slam into their rump roast until it's too late...
Runaway is a dark animated short directed by Cordell Barker, featuring music by Ben Charest (of Triplets of Belleville fame) and appropriately rendered in a hand drawn style reminiscent of Edward Gorey.
Should Hollywood actors be paid 1. a fair wage for the work involved, 2. a percentage of what the movie makes, if they were hired for their star power, 3. whatever it takes to hire that star power, or 4. as little as the studio can get away with? At one time or another, all these methods have been used to set movie stars' pay for a Hollywood film. How much the actor brings to the project sometimes has little to do with their compensation. For example, Marilyn Monroe made $18,000 for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes in 1953, while Jane Russell made $100,000. Monroe had more star power, but she was under a studio contract. Things are different now, and much more confusing. A recent Hollywood story told how Mark Wahlberg made $1.5 million for the reshoots for All the Money in the World, while Michelle Williams got $1,000 -for a larger role. So how are Hollywood paychecks decided these days?
In Hollywood parlance, an actor’s “quote” means the base amount of zeroes it will take to get above-the-line talent—shorthand for a film’s creatives—to show up on set. (Below-the-line workers, i.e. crew members and those who work on technical aspects like hair, makeup, and special effects, receive a salary based on union rates.) In a communication leaked during the 2014 Sony Pictures e-mail hack, then-Columbia Pictures co-president of production Hannah Minghella mused about what to offer Wahlberg for an un-produced film called Uncharted. “Mark was paid 17M on Transformers but before that his highest quote was 12M (which we paid him on The Other Guys),” the e-mail reads. “We think 12M is the number.” The “M,” naturally, stands for million.
But blockbusters with a $210 million production budget, like Transformers: Age of Extinction, are quote anomalies due to simple box-office math: Transformers brought in more than $1 billion worldwide, while Guys topped out at $170 million. That’s why in this case, Wahlberg was being offered his previous high-water mark of $12 million. Michelle Williams—who favors artier fare and has yet to star in a franchise—likely has a quote well below Wahlberg’s, despite her reputation and four Oscar nominations. Prestige and awards don’t necessarily equal a raise for actors.
It seems Planet Fitness wouldn't let MastrrBasser cancel his membership over the phone even though he'd moved away and wasn't looking for a long distance relationship, so he wrote them a letter to make their breakup official:
The letter starts off like any good breakup letter should:
‘It is with deep regret, and a heavy heart that I write this letter, but I must come forth with my intentions with sincerity and honesty.
‘Certain events in my life have put me in a different place, and while it was one of the more taxing decisions I’ve had to make of late, it is the right one.
‘The purpose of this letter is to end my relationship with Planet Fitness.’
Then it becomes ever more ridiculous as MastrrBasser reveals how Planet Fitness will always be a piece of his heart:
‘I still think fondly of you, and the time we spent together as I drive by one of your many locations. Sometimes, when I’m alone, I even throw one of my old ‘power-pop workout’ playlists and feel the rush of our past course through me as if we were still one; holding hands with your elliptical machine, and gingerly brushing my sweaty bangs out of my face as I huff and puff in a tumultuous vortex of sweat and endorphins.’
It looks like Carroll Spinney is playing both ends in this vintage photograph! But you can hardly blame him for not completely changing between scenes when he had to play two roles. Spinney played both Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street for years. At age 84, he is only semi-retired now. He started puppeteering when he was only eight years old, and after years of professional work, almost missed the chance to become a Muppeteer.
Spinney first met Jim Henson in 1962 at a puppeteering festival, where Henson asked if he would like to "talk about the Muppets". As Spinney failed to realize the question was an employment offer, the conversation never came to pass.
In 1969, Spinney performed at a Puppeteers of America festival in Utah. His show was a mixture of live actors and puppets but was ruined by an errant spotlight that washed out the animated backgrounds. Henson was once again in attendance and noticed Spinney's performance. "I liked what you were trying to do," Henson said, and he asked once more if they could "talk about the Muppets". This time, they did have the conversation, and Spinney joined the Muppeteers full-time by late 1969.
Now that sonograms for pregnant women are common, a new tradition has evolved called the "gender reveal party," in which the family, and often the parents, find out for the first time whether the baby will be a boy or a girl. The person entrusted with this information devises a way to make the surprise happen, often with a cake. The cake inside is tinted either pink or blue, completely covered with frosting or fondant until the ceremonial cutting. Some of these cakes are rather strange. The cakes above took advantage of a joke, while others take gender stereotypes to the max for a slogan.
Oh, what a brave new world our inventors and engineers have developed for us! If they can't solve world hunger or bring peace among nations, at least they can scare the living daylights out of us. Programmer Abhishek Singh made an augmented reality program that recreates the iconic scene from The Ring in which Samara/Sadako climbs out of the TV. You know the one. It's pretty creepy.
The Big Short sounds like an oxymoron, but it's also the name of a 2015 film about the real estate bubble that led to the 2007-08 financial crash. Despite the dry and depressing subject matter, The Big Short was both a critical and box office hit and was nominated for five Academy Awards. Maybe it was the star power of Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, and quite a few other well-known actors. Maybe it was because it explained complicated financial shenanigans in a way people could understand, and made it funny as well. If you like The Big Short, you'll want to learn some trivia about it.
8. The characters were based on real people.
While the names of the people involved were obviously changed most of them were based on real people that had something to do with the disaster in 2008.
7. The real Michael Burry has a cameo in the film.
There’s a shot of him standing near the front door talking on the phone. He plays the role of a Scion employee for just a brief moment in the film.
Brooke Swanson was always color blind, but of course she didn't know that as a child, because you don't miss what you've never had. Still, it was difficult for her to use crayons if the labels were torn off. When she was diagnosed, she didn't understand. And as she grew up, she encountered new problems.
Aside from the whole crayon wrapper thing, color blindness didn’t start to really impact my daily life until high school. That’s when you start going shopping with friends, makeup becomes important, your mom isn’t dressing you anymore and you need to wear clothes that match. It wasn’t until I started making mistakes with that stuff that I realized this is kind of a big deal.
We moved when I was a junior in high school. Here I am, 16 years old, at a brand new school, and I just want what every other 16-year-old wants: to fit in. I was leaving English class when this boy Thomas came up to me and said, “I think your eyes are bleeding.” I thought it was a prank, or a weird joke, and I just kind of laughed and shrugged it off.
When I got home later the makeup I’d put on that morning was still out on the dresser. My red lip liner and my brown eyeliner were both Clinique brand, and I’d mixed them up. Thomas thought my eyes were bleeding because I’d been wearing bright red lip liner on my eyes all day. I was mortified, and I never wanted to make that mistake again. To this day, I make sure my lip and eyeliner are always different brands.
Swanson write eloquently about the struggles of colorblindness, but her story takes an amazing turn when her boyfriend bought her a pair of Enchroma glasses. She describes discovering an entirely new world as an adult, down to seeing her son through new eyes. You'll see color differently after reading her story at The Cut. -via Digg
The Walking Dead returns this Sunday night, after a three month break in the middle of season eight. If you've ever heard the show's opening theme, you know that it's not the sort of song that lends itself to lyrics. The Warp Zone took that as a challenge.
The lyrics they used, if you can keep up with them, bring to mind the growing theory that our heroes are actually the bad guys of the series. Not that we'd ever root against them, but they do tend to leave a wide path of destruction in their wake. On reflection, that's to be expected. When you have a big special effects department working hard on zombies all the time, you have to reward them with the opportunity to burn things down and blow things up occasionally. -via Tastefully Offensive
Dear A.J., I’m in a friend’s wedding this fall, and she’s requested that all the bridesmaids wear Spanx. Do I have to? I hate the way they feel. -Sarah in Baltimore
Here's my advice, Sarah: Tell the lovely bride to cut out the crazy talk! If I’m reading it correctly, our Constitution guarantees the inalienable right to love handles. That said, if you do decide to honor and obey her wishes, take comfort in knowing that in the entire agonizing history of women’s fashion, Spanx is pretty benign.
Consider its 16th-century Spanish equivalent: an iron corset that squeezed the woman’s waist to the size of an Eggo waffle. In the centuries that followed, women slipped into something only slightly less excruciating: corsets made of whalebone, wood, and steel. Lacing up these duds required a brawny servant who stood behind the lady, often lodging a foot in her back for leverage!
Kenny must be awfully tired of living by now, and every time he dies again the prospect of succumbing to Death's cold embrace must seem a little more appealing. But as long as Kenny has work to do in South Park he'll keep coming back, leaving Death waiting in the wings like a parent waiting to pick up their child from school. It's funny how appealing immortality seems until you're actually immortal, since nobody realizes that immortality means Death will always be watching and waiting for its chance to embrace you. But that's Kenny's favorite part, because his parents weren't too big on hugging...
Show some love for your favorite animated immortal with this Let's Go Home t-shirt by Theduc, it's a killer design that'll make your fellow fans crack up wherever you go!
The age old question, "How fast can you run?" is answered logically by "It depends on what's chasing me." But sometimes even that motivation isn't enough. What could possibly lead to this scenario? Could it be a nagging idea that you've let your body go to pot by sitting all day? You sit at work, you sit in the car, you go home and sit while watching TV or playing on the internet. No wonder your legs have no loyalty. And no taste, either, according to the monster. This is the latest comic from Zach Weinersmith at Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.
Indoor shooting ranges are where people go to blow off some steam by firing off a few dozen rounds of ammo, and they're a great place for the armed professionals to practice their aim and improve their skills.
But guns are loud and obnoxious, making it impossible to relax in a shooting range, and most ranges discourage their patrons from drinking while they shoot which is why they're not a very fun place to hang out.
So if you want to kick back while developing kick ass combat skills I suggest you head to an indoor axe-throwing range like Brooklyn's Kick Axe Throwing instead, where you can hurl axes in-between drinks and drink 'til you hurl once you're done tossing axes!
Even though we've all seen the pictures, only 556 people in all of history have looked at our Earth from the vantage point of space orbit and came back to tell us about it. Only 24 have seen it as a pale blue dot from lunar orbit. National Geographic talked with several of those people. Some of them expressed how limited our language is in describing how it felt.
Kathy Sullivan, who in 1984 became the first American woman to perform a space walk, returned with an abiding awe for the intricate systems that come together to make Earth an improbable oasis. “The thing that grew in me over these flights was a real motivation and desire … to not just enjoy these sights and take these pictures,” she says, “but to make it matter.”
After retiring from NASA, Sullivan led the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for three years, using the robotic eyes of orbiting satellites to pursue her passion. She says Earth from above is so captivatingly beautiful, she never grew bored looking at it. “I’m not sure I’d want to be in the same room with someone who could get tired of that.”
Scare campaigns typically have something other than public safety and awareness behind them, and the end result of the campaign rarely justifies the means.
When McCarthy decided to go after the commies among us with his ridiculous Red witch hunt he was doing it for his own benefit, not the country's, and the source of his power over the American people was his "list" of Communists that had infiltrated the U.S. government.
This list is what he used to strike fear into the hearts of the American people, it started the Red Scare and served as the source of McCarthy's power- only this Red list didn't exist:
At first, McCarthy claimed that he had a list of 57 secret commies. Then it was 81, and at one point it was 10, which probably meant a bunch of them watched some John Wayne movies and changed their minds. Each time, the numbers would change, and each time, the senator flashed a piece of paper that contained the names of exactly zero Soviet subversives. It was the xenophobic fearmongering equivalent of saying you have a girlfriend in Canada.
John F. Kennedy similarly used the Red Scare to convince America to vote for him in the 1960 presidential election, claiming Dwight Eisenhower's negligence had allowed Russia to stockpile more missiles than the U.S., the so-called "missile gap":
In the midst of the Cold War, the US build a military base under the ice in Greenland. They dug tunnels under the glacier that covers the island, thinking that the ice would be permanent. The ice wasn't permanent even back then. Glaciers shift, and that made the Camp Century unstable, and ultimately unusable. But that was after it had been in use for ten years.
By the time the base was abandoned in 1967, it had its own library and theater, an infirmary, kitchen and mess hall, a chapel, and two power plants (one nuclear, one run on diesel). When the base closed, key parts of the nuclear power plant were removed, but most of the base’s infrastructure was left behind—the buildings, the railways, the sewage, the diesel fuel, and the low-level radioactive waste. In the 2016 paper, which Colgan worked on as well, the researchers suggested that the radiological waste was less worrisome than the more extensive chemical waste, from diesel fuel and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) used to insulate fluids and paints.
Overall, the researchers estimated that 20,000 liters of chemical waste remain at the Camp Century site, along with 24 million liters of “biological waste associated with untreated sewage.” That’s just at Camp Century; the military closed down bases at three other sites in Greenland, too, and it’s unclear how much waste is left there. Over the next few decades, the researchers found, melt water from the ice sheets could mobilize these pollutants, exposing both the wildlife and humans living in Greenland.
For 50 years, military officials assumed that the abandoned base would remain buried. But now that the Greenland ice sheet is receding under ever-warmer climate conditions, what's left behind could be an environmental disaster in the making. Read more about Camp Century at Atlas Obscura.
The politically charged lyrics of Rage Against The Machine made them controversial in the 90s, and yet despite all the controversy (or perhaps because of it) their second and third albums debuted at number one on the charts.
But before they forever changed alternative music with hits like Killing In The Name and Bombtrack they were just a bunch of young, hungry musicians with a new sound and a dream.
The Star Trek universe covers several centuries, a lot of outer space, and a bunch of TV shows and movies. In that universe, the icon starship Enterprise gets around. It's been crashed and disabled and shot at and retired, but it always bounces back, often as a new (and improved) ship with the same basic design and the same name. The canon as we know it has eleven versions so far, and a new one has been teased for an appearance in the series Star Trek: Discovery. That Enterprise is not included in a ranking of all eleven Enterprises at io9, but only because we don't know enough about it yet. If you're a Star Trek fan, you'll want to go see if your favorite made #1.
Because food is such a big part of our lives, and something we like sharing with our friends and family, new food trends are constantly popping up and sweeping through our networks until everyone is talking about the latest taste sensation.
Most of these trends take off and become a way bigger deal than they deserve just because they seem like new and interesting ideas, which leads to something as dumb as rolled ice cream becoming a huge social media trend.
But if your food "creation" was made just so it'll look good on Instagram then it really needs to go away, along with these glittery lattes that turn your guts all nice and shiny.
Let's make 2018 the year we do away with dumb food trends and come up with something real and genuinely delicious, because throwing flaming hot Cheetos on a pizza isn't a trend- it's an idea you come up with when you're stoned.
The Oscar for Best Animated Feature has only been awarded since 2002, so this supercut won't plunge you back into childhood (unless you're pretty young), but you might have fond memories of watching these films with your kids. In fact, I can pinpoint the year that my kids started going to the theater without me (2009), because I didn't seen any of them beyond that point -in theaters. I can also pinpoint the year my kids learned to torrent films. -via Laughing Squid
The campaign to extend voting rights to women in the US took more than 70 years, from the Seneca Falls meeting to the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Tennessee became the state that sealed the deal in the summer of 1920. Author Elaine Weiss talked about the battle for 36 state ratifications in promoting her forthcoming book The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote.
How did the battle for women’s suffrage all come down to Tennessee?
By 1920 we’re talking about no longer getting resolutions or referenda in the states to allow women to vote state by state. It’s finally come down to an amendment to the Constitution. In January 1918, the House passes the federal amendment, but the Senate refuses to, and it takes another year-and-a-half until World War I is over. It’s in June of 1919 that the Senate finally relents [to consider the amendment]. They actually reject it twice more and then finally June of 1919 it is passed by Congress and it goes through the ratification process. Three-quarters of the states have to approve the amendment. There are 48 states in 1920, so that means 36 states have to approve it.
It goes to the states, and it’s a very difficult process because one of the things that the [U.S.] senators did to make it harder for the suffragists, and very purposefully so, was that they held off their passage of the amendment until it was an off-year in state legislatures. At that time, most state legislatures did not work around the calendar. Lots of governors didn’t want to call special sessions. But there’s a Supreme Court decision around this time that says amending the Constitution has its own laws and they take precedence over any state Constitutional law. The legislature has to convene to confront whatever amendment comes down to them.
Since ten states had already rejected the ratification, every remaining vote counted dearly. All in all, the fight was much dirtier than we ever learned in school. Read about the final push for the 19th Amendment at Smithsonian.
Dogs and squirrels don't get along when they meet in the wild, in part because dogs can't help but chase squirrels and partly because squirrels are always super stressed out due to their high pressure jobs.
But if the dog could stop chasing and the squirrel could stop working long enough to speak slowly and clearly to the dog the two could learn a thing or two from each other and become best friends.
And It helps to have a friend by your side when you encounter strange talking plants in the forest...
Dog and Squirrel is an adorably odd 2d animated short created by Andrea Gerstmann for Nickelodeon Animated Shorts 2017, watch it with your dog so they can learn to get along with all the lonely squirrels out there!
Everything had gone wrong before they made it onto Highway 11, but now that they'd left those lab vans in the dust the two young lovers were homre free. But then came death on the highway, and like a sonic boom the realization that they'd crossed over into the upside down smacked them in the face, the road a sea of squirming tar. Emboldened by the sound of little demogorgons being squished under the tires Mike pressed the gas pedal to the floor and gave El a smile. She didn't see the humor in the situation but smiled anyway, knowing their evol love would give her the brain juice to keep the upside down's denizens at bay...
Show the world that you're a rebel with a taste for the stranger things in life with this Stranger Youth Black t-shirt by Zerobriant, it's a rockin' good design that will make your fellow fans cheer with delight!
WillieB87's wife loves succulent plants, is pregnant, and yesterday was her birthday. So these cupcakes are perfect for her! And that's frosting, not fondant. Someone offered congratulations for getting them home in one piece, and then we found out that he made them himself! That's some good work. And a man who will go that distance to surprise his wife for her birthday, well, he's a keeper.
In 2000, an elderly British couple were on vacation in the US and stumbled into a play test session for the Star Wars D20 role playing game. They're up to give it a go, and that's when the magic happened. This video is just Owen K.C. Stephens telling a story to the camera, so you don't have to watch it -open another window and play a mindless game like I do- but you need to listen to him tell this story. You won't regret the time spent. -via Metafilter
The 1957 Disney family drama Old Yeller scarred a generation of children, with its heartwarming relationship between two young boys and their heroic dog. It was more brutally realistic than most adult films in depicting the struggles of pioneer life. Sixty years later, Old Yeller has a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. You'd be hard-pressed to find a Baby Boomer whose eyes don't well up just thinking about the movie. While you're at it, you may as well check out some trivia about Old Yeller.
5. This was the Disney debut of Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcoran.
They would both on to star in The Swiss Family Robinson and The Shaggy Dog, but would also explore other movies throughout their careers.
4. The ‘wolf’ was actually a German shepherd.
The shepherd was made up to look like a wolf and both dogs were taught how to play-fight. During these bouts they were always muzzled so as to avoid any accidental damage.