Horror movies are rarely set in Los Angeles, preferring to use fake city names like Springwood and Cuesta Verde, and yet the vast majority of them are filmed within a hundred miles of Hollywood.
Making viewers believe that they’re seeing a location from Anywhere, U.S.A. is all part of movie magic, but when you discover the real life locations scattered around the City of Angels Google maps replaces magic.
With a little storytelling, and an audience's willingness to believe, these everyday locales across Los Angeles transport the viewers to another place and time, but it's surprising how muindane most of these locations are in real life.
It’s the ultimate showdown of badass fictional characters in black! Never mind the odd crossover of the Disney and DC universes -at least there’s no problem with the style of music for these two. Who will win when the Caped Crusader goes against the Sith Lord with light sabers? Enjoy this Super Power Beat Down video from MachinimaPrime. -via Gamma Squad
Mark Twain 351 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, Connecticut
It's often said that writers' desks are important, in that they reflect their approach and routine. Thus, the homes of famous writers have always been of interest to people, particularly those immersed in the literary world, because they are an extension of that space. Short List assembled a collection of famous writers' former abodes, visible on Google maps. First they put together a list ofClassic Authors' British Houses On Google Maps, and in a follow-up, they have a list of houses in the U.S., some of which are pictured here.
Check out the rest of these former homes of classic writers here.
Jack Kerouac 1478 Clouser Avenue, Orlando, Florida
This sounds like a setup for an “In Mother Russia…” joke, but it happened at the Igarka airport above the Arctic Circle. The flight to the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk was in danger of being cancelled because the plane was frozen to the ground! Technicians said that the plane’s landing gear was greased with a lubricant that was not suitable for Arctic temperatures- and at 52 degrees below zero, that’s important. The airport’s tractor didn’t work, either, because its brake pads were frozen. What to do? The 70 or so passengers waiting for the flight were mostly oil field workers who wanted to go home, so they did what they had to do: they pushed the plane.
Ivan Ivanov caught this footage of the procedure. They managed to free the plane from the frozen tarmac, and the flight to Krasnoyarsk was completed without further problems. Read the story and see more pictures at The Siberian Times. -via Digg
Formed in 1980, R.E.M. enjoyed a lot of critical acclaim and success — particularly for a band whose roots were firmly in the alternative genre — before they disbanded in 2011. The referring article is a collection of ten facts about the band, the original members of which included frontman Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills and drummer Bill Berry.
One fact that, in my mind, is completely understandable is the detestability of Shiny Happiness. The band's 1991 album Out of Time featured the song "Shiny, Happy People," which featured vocals by the B-52s' Kate Pierson. The single was released the same year. Yet how long can one reasonably remain shiny and happy, particularly when proclaiming they are such is a regular part of employment? For Michael Stipe and the band, the answer was several years or less. By 1995, Stipe publicly pronounced that he hated the song, as did the rest of the band.
Read more facts about R.E.M., including the origins of the album names Out of Time and Automatic for the People and an unfortunate tantrum of Peter Buck's on an airplane, here.
When did people start losing their minds over Christmas shopping? Maybe it was a gradual process. Thirty years ago, shopping centers promoted Black Friday as a good day to get your Christmas shopping done, and a lot of folks listened. Here are a couple of news reports from WLOX, on Thanksgiving Day and then on Black Friday in 1983. The money quote: “It gets a little crowded.” People were happily enduring the crowds, and indeed, at least one shopper just wanted to join the crowds for holiday cheer.
Compare that with what we’ve seen in the past few years, as shopping has become a competition to see who can score one of those “limited supply” electronic gadgets at half price. Here’s a supercut uploaded last year.
The money saved on items we really don’t need does not justify the time, hassle, and danger of injury to oneself or others involved in the modern version of Black Friday. There’s still a month left to shop, smaller stores to visit, online sales that involve no hassle at all, and one’s sanity to consider. -via Uproxx
There were all sorts of fun games going on when Ash and his friends showed up at the Poke Master Mega Block Party, like pin the tail on the snorlax and bobbing for Poke balls, but Ash knew Pika would only want to do one thing- take a dip in the pool! Ash uttered the phrase "I choose you!" and tossed Pika and the Poke ball right into the deep end, and when Pika emerged underwater it felt like nirvana. However, the rest of the pocket monsters and trainers who were swimming in the pool didn't appreciate Pika's electric feel...
When your friends say "here we are, now entertain us" you can show them this clever Neverball t-shirt by Wirdou and watch them roar with laughter!
It’s only natural to see optical illusions in the world around us, and nature likes to unintentionally serve up some real mind-benders that force you to take a second look in order to wrap your mind around what your eyes are seeing.
Some animals incorporate optical illusions into their body markings on purpose, but most animal based optical illusions are simply a matter of seeing things from the right angle at exactly the right moment.
Canadian filmmaker Seth Rogan grew up in a family that didn't observe Thanksgiving. They managed to explain that away to him in a manner that he didn't question -but sooner or later, children will find out the truth.
Western movies, of course, start and end with John Wayne. Whether it is Rio Bravo (my favorite John Wayne Western), Red River, The Shootist, True Grit, Stagecoach, or any one of the dozens of other Western classics he made in his long and illustrious career, John Wayne remains the Michael Jordan of the Western film.
Films about Wyatt Earp, the most famous Old West lawman, also abound in film history, whether it be Gunfight at the OK Corral, My Darling Clementine or the scores of lesser cinematic tributes, Earp remains "the" Old West icon of icons. With all this said, in my own humble opinion, 1993's masterpiece Tombstone is the finest western ever made.
Filmed on a budget of $25,000,000, Tombstone was the first-ever Wyatt Earp film to deeply research and pay actual attention to the Wyatt Earp period in Tombstone. Ironically, when the film was released, a few critics panned the film's straying from the truth and indulging in "revisionism.” This statement couldn't be further from the truth.
Tombstone has unparalleled accuracy in detail not only with dialogue, but mustaches, clothes, guns (including long-barreled and nickel-plated weapons), and, especially, hats (which had a clearly southwestern flavor, particularly in the cavalier-style sombreros worn by Wyatt and Doc Holliday.) It is also the first and only Wyatt Earp film to be shot in the country where the actual events took place, the first movie to use young, vigorous actors as the principals, and the first to make the town of Tombstone itself look exciting.
Benjamin Franklin has gone from sainted Founding Father to controversial figure, ladies man and America's original superstar thanks in part to the Isaacson biography Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, but how much of this information is overblown?
Ben was a thinker, a drinker and a real stinker if you got on his bad side, but there’s no denying that he is one of America’s most fascinating historical figures, someone who really knew how to live life to the fullest.
Munchkin is an adorable Shih Tzu puppy who dresses like a teddy bear. He was a hit at Halloween with his costume, but watch him walk on a treadmill! It honestly looks like we’re being chased by an Ewok. This is one of those videos you keep around for a pick-me-up when you're stressed out. It bet it would work like a charm! -via Laughing Squid
The internet is full of cute cat pics, hilarious memes, and hate. How can these seemingly incongruous elements exist in one place? With a little help from trending, post sharing and social media-izing.
In 2004 lucky old Grandpa Joe, who got to visit Wonka’s chocolate factory and discovered candy can cure crippling afflictions, became the target of internetter rage when his villainous nature was exposed.
The blog Say No To Grandpa Joe started it all, created "To reveal once and for all the truth about the only real villain in the movie"- Grandpa Joe.
They cite his attitude towards women, his tobacco money stash and the fact that he stayed in bed and let someone else do all the work, until the chance to have fun arrived, as reasons to hate old man Joe.
Sometimes you think you know what’s going on when you really have no clue. People with children can babysit as well as anyone, even if you define that as caring for a baby that’s not yours. When I’m watching my grandkids, is that “babysitting” or “grandparenting”? And does it really matter? This comic is from Chris at Lunarbaboon.
If we could actually capture the appearance of a spirit on film, like those ghost show guys claim to be able to do, we might end up with a result that resembles the hauntingly beautiful paintings of Henrik Aarrestad Uldalen.
Henrik’s subjects look like they're materializing out of wisps of smoke, or breaking down into an incorporeal and foggy form, the beauty of soft human contours emerging from the insubstantial.
His paintings are meditative, deconstructive and strikingly humanistic, sparking conversations about the fleeting nature of human life and the way elements converge to create the human form. -Via Beautiful/Decay
Inexperienced babysitters really do need a little supervision the first time they interact with infants. That holds true even if you're a monkey. In this clip from the BBC One series Life Story, a juvenile langur monkey tries out her parenting skills for the first time -with less-than-stellar results. It's a good thing mama monkey wasn't too far away! Maybe she'll do better next time, but you can be sure that mama monkey will stay close by to make sure there are no shenanigans. -Thanks, Caragh Salisbury!
Kids will be kids, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, so when kids started looking for fun stuff to collect local living artists were happy to comply. They started drawing up trading cards featuring illustrations of what the survivors would look like as the walking dead, and although these gross cards turned the adults stomachs the kids just couldn't get enough of seeing how they'd look as a rotten walker!
Trading cards aren't just for the garbage pail any more, check out this Walker Grimes t-shirt by StationJack and see the ultimate fate awaiting the trading card industry after the zombie apocalypse...
The smiles and lights in the eyes of the kids shown here are the result of their youthful imaginings materializing into soft, huggable form. A company called "Budsies" takes childrens' drawings of their fantasy friends and transforms them into charming, nice sized (16-inch-tall) plush toys. This looks like something I would have coveted for Christmas when I was a kid. The cost is $69 and lead time is eight weeks.
The Copenhagen musical group The Bottle Boys play us a tune we all know and love, and let us in on one of their secrets to making bottle music look so easy -when we all know it’s not. From the YouTube page:
Sometimes people say, that it’s impossible to play that fast on bottles when they see our videos, because they are looking at just one persons head movements. But if you look closer you will see, that we share all the melodies by two persons. So if Philipp plays one part of the lead melody, Kaspar plays the other half, which combined gives you the complete melodic part that you all recognize:-)
We decided to shoot this video in our own studio, since it’s too cold outside here in Denmark and since we wanted it to have a more cosy look, without too much else going on in the frame. In that way you can really focus on what’s being played. We chose to play Y.M.C.A because it has some fast melodic parts and some really cool secondary melody lines.
Animation fans often wonder what their favorite non-human cartoon characters would look like as humans, and artists who grew up loving cartoons can't help but give the transformation a try, just to see what happens.
People present them in all kinds of styles, from realistic human to totally toonified, and yet I don’t think I’ve ever seen a collection as large, or diverse, as this list of 25 Non-Human Cartoon Characters As Humans, presented by the staff at Dorkly.
You get to see classic toons like Bugs Bunny, new school toons like Mordecai and Rigby from Regular Show, and this extremely strange envisioning of a handsome human Squidward. Okay, maybe we should leave these toons alone after all!
I just bought celery and olives yesterday. I always buy them for Thanksgiving, but rarely any other time of the year. Olives are a special treat, and the adults in my family love them. I use celery in my cornbread dressing, and the rest of the stalk is served alone or stuffed. However, I did not know that the two were traditional on everyone’s Thanksgiving tables for almost a century, and then faded out in the 1970s. It all started when fresh produce began to be transported across the country to be enjoyed whatever the season.
The pairing of the two was both a result of the fact that they were introduced and made readily available around the same time and they served a similar purpose: both celery and olives were palate cleansers, and ones that didn’t require a servant.
“People were looking for a palate cleanser in between Thanksgiving’s richer courses,” explained [Rick] Rodgers. “At a family meal where you don’t have servants, the tray of celery and olives could be put on the table and you didn’t need a servant to serve a sorbet course.”
This remarkable footage shot by Arriane Christie captured her ten-month-old puppy Jackie enthusiastically joining several dolphins for a swim off the coast of Wellington's Bay in Whangarei, New Zealand. In her video description, Arriane said she thought the dolphins swam up to meet the pup. She said in an interview,
"I think she just wanted to know what they were. I think they were just wanting to play. Jackie was in the shallows and they came right up to her.
I was a little bit nervous to start with because I thought one whack of their tails and she (Jackie) could be knocked out.
The three dolphins swum around the area for about 40 minutes. They were a good size, probably up to two metres long.
Jackie was in and out of the water, watching for when the dolphins came closer.
When she wasn't in the water she was fully focused on them. If I walked in front of her she dodged out of the way so she could see them again.
They (the dolphins) were messing with her a little bit, going really slow and then when she caught up they would speed up and then circle around her."
What an exciting experience for all three species! -Via Arbroath
For decades, visitors to Los Angeles have tried their best to go see the famous Hollywood sign up close. It’s not easy to get to, involves quite a bit of walking, and the view isn’t great when you get there. But they keep coming, and the people who live there keep trying to stop them.
By 2011 the anti-tourist rhetoric reached a fever pitch, with homeowners mounting a vicious campaign threatening visitors, who, unsurprisingly, just kept coming. Some neighbors painted their curbs red (illegally) to discourage parking and tacked up more signs (illegally) warning against trespassing. In a vacant lot, someone took the time to build a full-on piece of land art that seemed to echo the large white letters in the distance: TOURISTS GO AWAY.
And now, although the location is correct on maps, if you request directions to the Hollywood sign from Google Maps (or several other services), you get directions to one of two “observation points” that are not near the sign. You can’t really blame the neighbors for being tired of tourists parking on and blocking their streets constantly, but the idea that a small number of homeowners have the clout to dictate policy to Google Maps, Apple Maps, Bing, and the GPS service Garmin is a little unsettling. Get a rundown of how it happened in an article at Gizmodo. -via Metafilter
Behold the almighty tater tot- the best tasting food product shaped like a tiny barrel.
Whether they’re fried, baked or microwaved they always end up tasting like hot potato goodness, and the fact that they’re easy to pop in your mouth by the handful makes them a big hit with the snack packs.
Nowadays people are going all fancy feast with their tater tots, piling cheese and other delicious stuff on top to make totchos supreme, or laying them on top of a casserole to add the perfect amount of tot-ness to an already delicious dish.
Welcome to your college dining experience. Food Service Manager Brad Green has a list of rules that will make everything work, and if you follow them, you will also avoid getting punched in the face, or heaven forbid, being beat down by Wanda’s Army. This video is from Kentucky Christian University, but they apply to just about any cafeteria: don’t waste food, don’t be nasty, and don’t make life difficult for the people around you. These are things anyone old enough to go to college should know, but a little reminder doesn't hurt. -via Daily Picks and Flicks
Scholar Nicholas S. Anderson writes that in Japanese folklore, household objects become ensouled upon reaching the age of 100. The older a tool is, the more spirit is endowed within it. One result of this belief is an annual funerary ritual called Hari-Kuyo. On February 8 of every year, Japanese women gather at temples and place their broken or worn-out needles into tofu:
At the end of the New Year’s festivities, just as the hard work of the coming year is to begin once more, women gather at Buddhist temples with their worn-out pins and needles to offer them up in large blocks of tofu or jelly, adorned with ribbons and accompanied by the prayer chants of the temple monks. They show their gratitude and reverence for the collaborative work these things put into the labour performed by the human women. It is not only a utilitarian bond, but a personal and affective one, as well, a sympathy sutured by confidence and secrecy, as many women put their painful thoughts and feelings into the tools and entrust them to the gods.
Have you ever wondered where those Black Metal bands got their signature spikes and face paint style?
KISS seems like an obvious source, or King Diamond or more recently Marilyn Manson, but according to this video footage from 1977 they should all thank Richard Pryor for teaching them how to be truly hardcore.
Pryor’s short lived NBC series The Richard Pryor Show featured a sketch where Pryor plays the lead singer of a band called Black Death, who puts on a wicked metal show that really knocks the audience dead!
Was Richard Pryor able to see the state of metal over twenty years later like some sort of precognitive musical genius? Nah, he probably just thought theatrical metal bands like KISS were super silly and bound to get even sillier, and boy was he was right! -Via Dangerous Minds
There are objects from bygone eras that most of us have never even heard of, yet someone somewhere will be a collector and an expert on them. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there were arcade games in which one could shoot actual live ammo from a .22 rifle to test your skill and win prizes. That seems thoroughly daft now, but it happened, and the targets were made of cast iron to withstand the beating they took. Richard and Valerie Tucker, the authors of Step Right Up!: Classic American Arcade and Target Forms, collect these targets, and can tell you some wild stories about those old arcades.
Of the few galleries that have survived, the stories of how they were discovered are similarly intriguing. One shooting gallery in Ohio was revealed during a restaurant remodel. The gallery, which proved to be in full working order, had been boarded up behind a wall. “So now Richard and I are going all over the country trying to tear down walls,” Valerie says.
The Tuckers found one, too, but restoring it and setting it up for public use proved unworkable. “At one time, we found a complete gallery out at Coney Island,” Richard remembers. “It was another one of these stories where the gallery had been boarded up and was behind a wall. We thought we might buy it because we had a friend who ran a country-western honky-tonk in Fort Worth. We were going to put the gallery in his honky-tonk, but those conversations quickly came to an end because nobody wanted to accept the responsibility and potential liability behind it.” Apparently, even in open-carry Texas, the prospect of handing loaded weapons to patrons of a bar was simply too much.
It's easy to get a bit discombobulated when you arrive in Transylvania, but don't lose your young head! Listen to old pop eyed Igor and keep track of what's important- there wolf, there castle. Wolves don't like to hang around in castles, and castles try to steer clear of those stinkin' wolves, but where can Frankenstein's creature be found? He's usually hanging around town enjoying a tea party and some polite conversation, that is until the pitchforks and torches come out...
Share your love of classic horror comedies with this There, wolf. There, castle t-shirt by Benares, it's a real humdinger!