It's hard to believe that 2014 marks the 75th anniversary of the release of The Wizard of Oz, because people are just as fascinated with the film today as they were when it came out.
There's something rather remarkable about a film that so easily spans across the generation gap, beloved by both children and adults, and yet even with such a large fanbase there are lots of facts about the film that aren't common knowledge.
Did you know the Cowardly Lion's costume was made from a real lion's skin, or that the costume weighed around 100 pounds?
Have you heard that Toto earned two and a half times what a munchkin earned while filming, or that the snow used in the poppy scene was made of asbestos?
Parade is celebrating the diamond anniversary of this beloved film by sharing 75 Weird, Wonderful Facts About The Wizard of Oz, and fans will be delighted to discover many facts about the film they didn't already know, even if some of those facts are a bit dark.
This week’s mental_floss video is hosted by summer intern Paige Finch. That must mean everyone else is goofing off. It only makes sense that Finch would talk about famous people who were once interns. Temporary unpaid work can give you valuable experience, connections, and college credit …if you can afford to do it.
When the TARDIS arrives, with its signature whirring sound and flashing light, those who have traveled with the Doctor know they're about to be whisked off on another fantastic adventure, but a recent TARDIS sighting may change the way we think about that blue police box.
This TARDIS shaped toilet is called the Who Loo, and it recently opened for business on the bike path between Bristol and Bath, the brainchild of Whovian Justin Hoggans, who owns the Warmley Waiting Room Cafe.
It features a light on top that lets everyone know when the toilet is occupied, a switch inside the cafe to trigger that famous whirring sound when people pose for a picture, and looks just like the Time Lord approved time machine.
One thing it's lacking is privacy, and I'd hate to be seated at that nearby table when the Doctor adjourns to his study!
A plan was underway to adapt Wade's story into book form, but the author was finding it really hard to edit out all the bloody bits for the sake of the kiddies. He'd already transformed the merc with the horribly scarred face into a cute, bubble headed fellow with big hands and a pleasantly round shape, but he was finding it hard to work in Wade's chosen career path, since every job he undertook involved someone meeting their end!
Crazed chimichanga obsessed assassins have never looked as cute as they do on this The Merc With A Mouth t-shirt by MikeGoesGeek, sport it around town and show people how cool their childhood could have been.
NightSUP, a company in Miami, offers this radical take on the surfing experience. Its paddleboards have built-in LED lanterns. At night, when the lights on the beach are low, you have only the light of your paddleboard as you move through the water.
These boards were invented for a more practical purpose: so that a paddleboard rental company could safely rent out its boards at night. Now several outfitters in Florida, Delaware, Missouri, Utah, and Nevada offer night tours on them.
Humans just can’t get enough of their dogs, and some people are so proud of their pampered pooches that they hold canine beauty pageants to decide which dog is the fairest in the land.
Photographer Sophie Gamand captures all the poshness, pageantry and pooch attitude of these beastly beauty parades in her series Dog Pageant, which focuses on "small dog owners in New York City and the dog-oriented events that their lives revolve around".
Sophie's wonderful images capture the personality and attitude of the canine contestants, as well as the lavish outfits their owners create in hopes of taking home the title of top dog.
New York City hosted its first dog beauty pageant in 2013, with 30 contestants competing in categories like evening wear and talent, but this pageant isn't all about the cute contestants- it's also a great way to raise money for animal charities.
Picking cherries by hand is way too labor-intensive for commercial orchardists. The get the most cherries in the least time, you need specialized equipment, but strangely the one piece of heavy equipment not involved is a cherry picker! Instead, you’ll need a specialized roll of tarp to catch the cherries, a conveyor belt to gather them, and the world’s largest vibrator, the Vibro6 EH. Now that’s one huge vibrator! Shake the tree, gather the cherries, and move on. Cool! -via Viral Viral Videos
This ingenious cosplayer, whose name remains unknown to me at this point, is dressed as Zordon of Eltar, the enigmatic (and racist) mentor of the Power Rangers from the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I'm curious about what he can do with those electrical components.
Our lives are rushed. We are often pushed or pulled from one task right into the next, without a minute to catch our own breath. When we are not making dinner or running errands or picking up the kids or working on something for our job, we finally get a chance to sit back, exhausted.
But what if there was a place you could go every day (without leaving your home) that would provide you with a moment of solace in an otherwise hectic world? Would you want to know about it? Well, some of you may already. It is called the Quiet Place Project, and though it will only take five minutes out of your day, it will change the flow of your day completely. Just follow the simple instructions the website gives you, and honestly, you will walk away from it in a much more relaxed state than when you first showed up.
It is simple, but it is a much needed break, and one too few of us give to ourselves. Go check out:
Peder Mondrup has cerebral palsy, so you might not think that he'd ever be able to complete a triathlon. But he was with his twin brother Steen. These Danish brothers call themselves Team Tvilling--that's "Team Twin." Together, they completed a triathlon in Copenhagen on Sunday. The challenge took 15 hours, 32 minutes, and 48 seconds.
The Iron Man Triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile swim, during which Steen hauled Peder in a special-made boat. Then they cycled 112 miles in a bicycle. Finally, Steen pushed Peder in the above wheelchair for a full marathon.
It's been a great experience for both of them. The Local quoted the brothers on why this triathlon was important to them:
“For the first time, I felt like the person I see myself as: a regular participant instead of ’somebody in a wheelchair’,” Peder said of their first race.
“If I can give Peder the feeling of not sitting in a wheelchair for a few hours, then I will do whatever it takes! I feel like I am really lucky because he has caused me to see the positive in life and to not complain about everyday things. One thing is certain and that is that you never have and never will hear Peder feel sorry for himself,” Steen said on their website.
If you want an iPhone speaker, you generally have to choose between having something that sounds great and looks pretty unimpressive or something that looks nice but sounds crummy. The Chino Legato Passive Speaker manages to merge the best of both worlds with a stunning speaker that imparts the impressive warm sound of wood with the classic look of a vintage Victrola player. The speaker is passive, meaning it requires no power source, and can play music at up to six decibels making it earth-friendly and powerful.
Director James Cameron was originally inspired to make Titanic while making The Abyss, a science-fiction underwater film. He also reportedly had a fascination with shipwrecks. Cameron himself went under to explore the remains of the actual Titanic twelve times, at an average of 16 hours each spent there each time. A special camera, designed by his brother, was built to withstand the underwater pressure.
Titanic, Cameron's 1997 film, was the first movie to make over $1 billion dollars worldwide. Its $600 million dollar U.S. box office was the all-time record until Cameron's own 2009 film Avatar overtook it. Titanic still holds the never-to-be-equaled record of being the #1 weekly box office champ an incredible 15 weeks in a row from 1997 to '98.
It made a silver screen icon of star Leonardo DiCaprio, although, strangely, despite the film's 14 Oscar nominations, he was snubbed by the Academy.
Leading lady Kate Winslet, playing “Rose,” got her Oscar nod for Best Supporting Actress, along with Gloria Stuart (who played “Old Rose" in the film, and hadn't appeared in a movie in over 30 years). This proved the only instance on Oscar history of two people both being nominated for playing the same character in the same movie (both were nominated for Best Supporting Actress -neither won- although Titanic did garner 11 awards).
The studio executives' first choice to play the male lead was Matthew McConaughey, but both Cameron and Winslet wanted Leo DiCaprio. Originally, Cameron wasn't that familiar with him, but at their first meeting, Cameron noticed that "all the women in the building" showed up to catch a glimpse of young Leo. Although there was no “Jack Dawson" (DiCaprio's character), Cameron was to discover that there was a “J. Dawson" on board the real-life Titanic. He was an engineer who drowned in the disaster.
Cameron's original choice for Rose was Gwyneth Paltrow, but Kate lobbied hard to snag the role. The Rose character was named in honor of Cameron's grandmother.
Early on in the film, Kate "flashed" Leo. This was to get him used to seeing her in her birthday suit, because they would be spending much time together filming the famous nude scene. On the day of the nude scene's filming, Kate was getting made up, when Leo walked in accidentally and said “Whoa!" Again, to get him used to seeing her nude, she told him to stay. (Incidentally, Cameron himself drew the "nude portrait" of Rose featured in the scene, as well as all of Jack's drawings.)
Leo claimed to be "water sensitive" and would seldom appear in any water scenes where the water was "too cold.” The water in the hallway scenes was 50 degrees, but the water in the "out in the ocean" scenes was warmed to 80 degrees.
Evan Kuester, a college student and designer, was looking for a way to apply his studies practically. He noticed a fellow student on campus who was missing a left hand. Kuester hesitated for a while, but eventually approached her with an idea: let him design an aesthetically appealing artificial hand, then build it with a 3D printer.
The student, Ivania Castillo, agreed. Kuester then designed a prosthetic with lovely geometric patterns and a ribbon threaded through one side. He built it out of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, a plastic often used in 3D printing.
This is a video series I can only imagine exists because some geek guy found a genie in a bottle who would grant him one wish. Beautiful blond twins Camille and Kennerly play twin electric harps, while dressed in various costumes. Here they play an entertaining Star Wars medley. Previously they've done Game of Thrones,Lord of the Rings, and rock anthems like Crazy Train and Sweet Child o' Mine. Via Viral Viral Videos.
Our guardian angels come in all shapes and sizes, and whether you're a less refined individual with some bad habits, or a saintly Samaritan who never does anything wrong, you've got your own brand of angel looking out for you from up above. But, just like in real life, nobody wants to hang out with those halo polishing do-goodniks, and the angels who are a bit rough around the edges are lots of fun at a party!
Show the world who's got your back with this My Guardian Angel t-shirt by Roy Condy, and stay true to your unique sense of style!
Do you like dogs? Would you like to earn money working with them? If you're a great dog walker, you can earn $96,000 a year. It's one of many jobs that pay really well, even though you might not have heard of them. BBC Capital reports:
A good dog walker, for instance, can make a mint, according to Aaron Boodman. “Our dog walker charges $25/session,” Boodman wrote. “He takes up to eight dogs walking at a time (soon to be the legal limit in my city), twice a day. That's $96k per year, much of it in cash. Once he's picked up and dropped off all the dogs, each run to the dog park takes about three hours round trip. So his workday is about six hours.”
One anonymous pool boy said he made more than $60,000, plus tips, for just six months of work. “I would charge a customer $40 a week to keep their pools clean and all the chemicals balanced. This usually took me about 45 minutes a trip,” he wrote.
“I would typically only have to visit the pool once a week so I could do many pools in a week. For about five years I maintained roughly 10 pools a day, six days a week for six months out of the year…I was making good money for an 18 year old with no college education.”
Other jobs require mastering unusual skills. A theatrical carpenter, for example, can earn $400,000 a year. A a construction crane operator may be one of the highest paid employees on a site, earning $500,000 a year.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has swept the internet over the last few weeks. From friends and family to celebrities, everyone seems to be joining the cause and covering themselves in cold water to make a point. Just when you think you have seen it all, the above happens over at Kotaku.
Seems Minecraft creator Notch challenged one of his gamers to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in-game, and that is just what he did. The funny thing is, it involved a lot more than just making this scene happen. There was coding involved, and it ended up being a rather difficult process which you can check out in detail here.
Just shows you, when the whole world gets behind a cause, even video game characters are not immune to having pixellated buckets of ice poured over their heads.
Screen Junkies gets around to giving us an honest trailer for Ghostbusters 30 years later. This episode is a bit of a departure for the series, as they can’t really find all that much to make fun of in the 1984 comedy. Ghostbusters is almost beyond criticism. The worst they can say about it is that it is a little adult for a kid’s movie. Hmm. I saw Ghostbusters as an adult in 1984, and I don’t recall it being marketed as a kid’s movie. It wasn’t, but the internet generation just happens to of an age to recall it from their childhoods. Today, a PG rating might designate a movie aimed at kids, but thirty years ago, it meant parental guidance suggested, which was the proper rating. -via Geeks Are Sexy
Well, his heart was in the right place. Jesean Morris wanted to help ALS fund research to cure amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. So he took the ice bucket challenge and posted the video on Facebook to spread awareness about the cause.
He also spread awareness about his whereabouts, which was of interest to police in Omaha, Nebraska. That's because Morris is a convicted felon. He violated his parole. So when someone else saw his post on Facebook, s/he recognized the house in the background of the video and alerted police.
NBC News reports that Morris was displeased by this turn of events:
The suspect allegedly gave the cops a false name and birth date, knocked out a safety partition in the police cruiser, and spit in the one of the officer's face, according to an incident report. Morris was booked into jail on the warrant and on suspicion of criminal impersonation, resisting arrest and assaulting an officer.
The glowing bride is befitted in a heavy gown and towering high heels. The groom is in a tux and never-before-worn dress shoes with slick soles. Activities like dancing, jumping to catch bouquets and other grandstanding moves are taking place. Meanwhile, all of the friends and family are there, and cameras are shooting stills and videos from every direction. What could possibly go wrong? Here are examples, some more painful looking than others. Via Tastefully Offensive
Arby’s made a poster to show all the different kinds of meats they use on their various sandwiches. The idea was to counter the perception that they only serve roast beef. The poster, shown here, inspired customers to ask if they could have “that” sandwich.
The answer is now yes; yes, you can have a $10 pile of meat between two buns, but you’ll have to know to ask for it as it won’t be on the menu.
That mound includes: 2 chicken tenders; 1.5 oz. of roast turkey; 1.5 oz. of ham; 1 slice of Swiss cheese; 1.5 oz. of corned beef; 1.5 oz. brisket; 1.5 oz. of Angus steak; 1 slice of cheddar cheese; 1.5 oz. roast beef and 3 half-strips of bacon.
Genius investor Warren Buffett (right) is worth $62.7 billion. But his children will see only a small fraction of it when he dies. He's leaving them some money, but only what he describes as "enough money so that they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing."
He's one of many self-made millionaries and billionaries who is intentionally leaving only small portions of their fortunes to their children. They're not doing it out of spite, but out of love. The famous and wealthy chef Nigella Lawson put it like this:
I am determined that my children should have no financial security. It ruins people not having to earn money.
Roxanne Roberts investigated this trend for the Washington Post. She describes how one multi-millionaire arranged his estate:
‘We probably struggled over this more than any other issue,” says a local self-made multimillionaire. The businessman and his wife, worth hundreds of millions, grew up modestly in middle-class families and wanted to create a financial plan that would take care of their children — but not spoil them — if the couple died suddenly.
“We were horrified by what might happen if they had control of a large amount of money at a young age,” he says. “The more we stared at that, the more we became uncomfortable.”
Inspired by Buffett’s example, they created trusts for each of their now college-age children. Each kid has $2.5 million controlled by trustees, who can release money only for education, health care, a home purchase or a business start-up. Any unspent money in the trust will continue to be invested and grow.
Those restrictions remain in place until each child reaches age 40; after that, the money is all theirs to do as they please. In their 20s and 30s, the funds are there to get them launched; by 40, their parents assume they will be mature enough to use the money wisely or save it as a safety net.
The Panama Canal opened for business 100 years ago this month. By 2005, 5% of the world's seagoing traffic crossed it, including 70% of the cargo heading in and out of the United States. It remains, even today, a technological and logistical marvel.
Any of you fans of the brilliant Donald Glover (of Community and Childish Gambino fame) out there know he has pleaded and tried on a few occasions to land the Spiderman part, but it never worked out for him. There have even been a few running jokes on Community about it. Well, looks like Donald Glover is finally getting his chance to play the web slinging, joke slinging superhero he always wanted to. Just not quite in the way he imagined.
Donald Glover will be providing the voice of Miles Morales, who becomes Ultimate Spiderman in that universe when the real Spiderman meets and untimely end. Glover, who has quite a cult following, seems pretty syked about the whole thing. It may not be quite the way he envisioned himself donning the suit, but at least he gets a chance to play finally play the web head, even if only in voice.
Maybe if it is well recieved, he will get the Spiderman role he really wants. Well, a THIRD reboot? Maybe not yet, but at least the man dreams large. Catch Donald Glover as Spiderman on the season premiere of Web Warriors airing this Sunday on Disney XD.
Ever since that classic scary movie came out starring that one particular creature from the Black Lagoon their kind have been seen as horrible brutes, but really they're all big softies...and not particularly fond of swimming. They do like attending all kinds of monster parties, especially when they're pool side, so they always bring their water wings and inflatable Nessie floats with them so they're always prepared to take a dip!
Add a humorous twist to your geeky wardrobe with this Creature From The Shallow Lagoon t-shirt by Raz City, it's the perfect shirt to wear while hanging out in the shallow end or watching a monster movie marathon.
I loved back-to-school time when I was a kid. I got new penny loafers, a plaid skirt, and knee socks. We never started school before September. But I didn’t look forward to the beans and cornbread the cafeteria served at least twice a week. Things have changed quite a bit since then. A post at Wide Lawns and Narrow Minds contrasts the process of sending kids to school when the author was a kid with the process today. For example, packing lunches.
5. Spread yellow mustard on bread. Slap baloney on bread. Unwrap American cheese slices and put on top of baloney. Put top on the sandwich and wrap sandwich in tin foil or wax paper. Put it in the lunchbox. Every kid gets the same exact lunch. Period.
6. Alternate sandwich choices could include: peanut butter and grape jelly, peanut butter and marshmallow fluff, the end of last night's leftover roast beef or the ever popular with children tuna fish with large chunks of onions and celery and Miracle Whip.
7. Put some Planter's Cheese Balls into a baggie and close with a twist tie.
8. Take Twinkies out of the box. Put one in each child's lunch box.
9. Fill Thermoses with either Kool-Aid or whole milk.
10. Include a red delicious apple even though you know that damned apple is just going to come home uneaten again, which is fine because you can keep adding the same one until it practically rots.
We are now in the midst of the bicentennial of the War of 1812. I find this war fascinating and my interest has led me to write numerous posts on the subject for Neatorama. For example, last Sunday, I published a lengthy piece to mark the two hundredth anniversary of the burning of Washington--an event the British Embassy in Washington humorously observed with a White House-shaped cake surrounded by sparklers:
One of my more popular War of 1812 posts is this one about HMS St. Lawrence, a massive, 112-gun warship that the Royal Navy built on Lake Ontario. At the time, ships could not readily enter or exit that lake, so this huge expenditure of British treasure was trapped there.
HMS St. Lawrence
When the St. Lawrence sailed out of Kingston harbor on Sept. 10, 1814, the Americans were properly fearful of the consequences. The US Navy on the lake had no force capable of defeating it in battle.
But that did not stop the Americans from trying. President Madison hoped to build two battleships equal to the St. Lawrence. How the nearly bankrupt United States hoped to pay for this goal is a mystery to me. But, to their credit, the American shipbuliders at Sackett’s Harbor, New York made serious progress toward that goal with minimal financial backing.
Thankfully, peace intervened. The treaty signed at Ghent ended the war on the basis of status quo ante bellum. This was the end to the second and final war between the United States and Britain. But the popular view on both sides at the time was that Ghent established a temporary armistice. War would likely return soon.
So the USS New Orleans remained incomplete, in its stocks, while Americans and Britons looked at each other suspiciously across Lake Ontario. Even after the demilitarization of the Great Lakes with the 1817 Rush-Bagot Agreement, the New Orleans sat not in a state of readiness, but at least hypothetically useful.
It remained in place until 1883. It was then that the US Navy sold the rotting remains of the obsolete hulk to a merchant in Syracuse, New York. By that time, US-British relations had greatly improved and the possibility of war between the two nations seemed unlikely. The mightiest warship that never was would never be.
Sometimes, the best thing about the interwebz is when you just kind of come across some website that just feels incredibly out-of-place to you. A website that seems to not really understand what it is selling or promoting. A website that feels like it came right out of 1996 and somehow landed back in your computer, almost 20 years later. Today, for me, that site is:
First and foremost, it is clear they take what they do at the Cookeville Police very seriously. You know how you can tell? The way the website has flashes of lightning around the name. Heck, even that photo on the main page says: We are not playing any games (even though the site totally looks like it would totally be a load screen for some lame action game).
Keep in mind, we say this with no disrespect for the police force in mention. We tip our hats to what they do. It takes courage and bravery to choose that line of work and we commend you all for it.
But your webmaster on the other hand? Um, not so much.
In the September issue of Smithsonian magazine, we see how archaeologists can explore underground without digging it up. Vince Gaffney heads a project that has given us a sort of three-dimensional map of what’s underneath the land surrounding the most mysterious place in Britain: Stonehenge.
Gaffney’s latest research effort, the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project, is a four-year collaboration between a British team and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology in Austria that has produced the first detailed underground survey of the area surrounding Stonehenge, totaling more than four square miles. The results are astonishing. The researchers have found buried evidence of more than 15 previously unknown or poorly understood late Neolithic monuments: henges, barrows, segmented ditches, pits. To Gaffney, these findings suggest a scale of activity around Stonehenge far beyond what was previously suspected.