Tristan da Cunha is the most remote inhabited island in the world. We’ve posted about the island before. Now you can take a little tour of island life with Stewart McPherson. Resident Harold Green says it’s quiet and peaceful, except for that volcanic eruption in 1961 that forced a two-year evacuation. Fifty-five years later, it’s still a traumatic memory for the islanders.
With less than 300 permanent residents, it’s no wonder they consider each other brothers and sisters. It’s likely they are all at least cousins. They have what they need, for now. There’s a bus, which is something my town of 8,000 doesn’t have. Then again, we have cars. -via Laughing Squid
The Joker is an iconic comic book character and it's not surprising that some actors with a geeky side long to play the villian. Most notably, Robin Williams almost got to play The Joker in the 1989 film, but Jack Nicoloson was originally offered the part and when they approached Williams with the role, Nicoloson changed his mind. Williams was also almost cast as The Riddler in the 1995 film, but Jim Carrey was picked over him. While it's sad that comic-book fan Robin Williams never got to act in one of the Batman films, it's probably best for his legacy that he wasn't cast in that trainwreck.
Have you ever had a moment of panic when you heard about a food recall and realized it was something you had in your home? Often, recalls are limited to a particular production run from a relatively small manufacturing plant, which affects few people. But there have been some big ones.
6. Peanut Corporation of America
While most food recalls are the result of unfortunate mistakes, sometimes companies knowingly distribute products that are contaminated. From 2007 to 2008, the Peanut Corporation of America shipped peanut products across the US and Canada that they knew was contaminated with a viral strain of salmonella. Because the products were sent to unknowing companies who then produced peanut butter and peanut meal, over 3,200 different products had to be pulled from store shelves. The Peanut Corporation of America filed for bankruptcy to protect itself financially in 2009, but eight people died as a result of their malfeasance. At a congressional hearing, a company executive claimed that the Peanut Corporation of America would lose an estimated $1 billion as a result of the recall.
Sure, we hold food manufacturers to high standards, but they have our lives in their hands. The peanut recall only made #6 on the list of the biggest food recalls in U.S. history, which you can read at Money Inc.
While researching an article on taxidermy recently, we discovered Carl Akeley, a man widely considered to be a pioneer in the field because of his artistic approach to the craft. But that’s not all Akeley did: he also changed the way museums are designed, innovated nature photography, and founded Africa’s first nature preserve. And it all started the day he killed a leopard with his bare hands.
Carl Akeley wasn’t planning to hunt big game in Africa barehanded— it just happened that way. The incident occurred during his first trip to Somaliland in 1896, when he was hunting and observing wildlife for Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History. Akeley and some companions were hunting ostriches at dusk when they heard a rustle in the bush. Akeley fired into it, heard a yowl, and before he could blink, 80 pounds of spotted fur, pointy teeth, and sharp claws was hurtling through the air at him. The leopard caught Akeley’s left hand in its powerful jaws and started shredding his right arm and body with its claws and feet. Unable to pull his hand out of the predator’s mouth, Akeley punched the leopard’s throat as hard as he could. The animal choked, and Akeley slammed it to the ground, crushing its trachea. Then he jumped onto its rib cage with both knees and suffocated the beast. The photo of the bearded he-man posed in front of his tent with the leopard’s body hanging from a rope has become the iconic image of the “great white hunter.”
Born in upstate New York in 1864, Akeley grew up on a farm but had a strong interest in sketching wildlife. At the age of 12, a visit to an exhibit of 50 small animals and birds by a local taxidermist named David Bruce changed Akeley’s life— he became obsessed with taxidermy. (His first try at preserving an animal: he stuffed a friend’s dead canary as a gift to her.) At 18, he apprenticed with Bruce, who was impressed by the young man’s artistic skill and advised him to apply for a job at Professor Henry Ward’s Natural Science Establishment in Rochester. Akeley hated the conventional “upholstery” method of taxidermy— taxidermy— stuffing the animals with sawdust, cotton, or straw and propping them up on legs that contained the bones. He thought it was crude and lacked artistic vision. Aiming for a more realistic presentation, Akeley worked late at night perfecting his own style.
Most people can't even spell axolotl, much less know what it is, but that hard to spell little critter is actually a pretty interesting specimen. They sport ferns on their heads, have built-in wriggle detectors that work much like our eyes, and a subaquatic snuffler that helps them find their food, which is why everyone thinks the axolotl are all uppity and fancy. But really they're just down to earth amphibians with built-in fashion accessories who always have a smile on their faces for anyone they meet, and since they're endangered they need more love and less hate!
Celebrate the unique makeup of one of the rarest critters on Earth with this Anatomy of an Axolotl t-shirt by Sophie Corrigan, it's a biological imperative that you add this tee to your wardrobe!
The 1986 musical Little Shop of Horrors differed from the Broadway version, which in turn differed from the 1960 Roger Corman movie. The big difference in the 1986 movie was that it featured a happy ending. Frank Oz shot the movie with a horrific ending, but test audiences hated it, and it was changed. Still, a director’s cut exists with the cautionary ending, which was shown to a drive-in audience in Nova Scotia during a ’50s-themed double feature, right after Grease. Scott MacDonald was there, and was shocked.
For my part, I’d seen this original ending before via black and white YouTube clips, but I still wasn’t prepared for how it’d play in context. Not to belabor the point, but it’s devastating. Moranis’ rumpled Seymour and Greene’s bubbly Audrey are perhaps the most irresistible leads in movie history—name a more charming screen duo, I defy you—and it’s simply too much to watch them come to such horrible ends. Audrey’s fate—Seymour reluctantly slides her dead body ever so gently into the plant’s jaws—is at least poignant. But Seymour’s death is excruciating. In the original off-Broadway play, Seymour grabs an ax and jumps into the plant’s mouth to hack it to bits; he fails, but at least he goes down swinging. Here, the plant simply mocks Seymour, trusses him up with his tendrils, then lowers him—agonizingly slowly—down his laughing, gaping maw. Our hero is helpless the whole time, and the look of terror on his face as he dies is practically unbearable. You wish you could un-see it.
A YouTuber named Zach imagined the Avengers in a sitcom, just like we all did when we saw Thor’s latest adventures yesterday. So he made the intro for just such a show, to the tune of the Full House theme.
You could put all the Avengers in that one house and still not have as big a family as the one in Full House. I see a missed opportunity in not making a bigger deal about of Elizabeth Olsen’s role. He should have billed her as Elizabeth Elizabeth Olsen. Or maybe Mary Kate Ashley Elizabeth Olsen. -via Uproxx
Darth Blender took the audio from the trailer for the new movie Star Trek Beyond, featuring music from the Beastie Boys, and mixed it with video from the Star Trek: The Original Series (1966-69).
(YouTube link) https://youtu.be/TBQ2rcrq9iY
The results are just right. You’ve got the nostalgia factor, because who would pass up a chance to see the original Kirk, Spock, and company in their youth? Plus the synchronization is really impressive. -via Geeks Are Sexy
The comic actor, who was twice Oscar nominated, for his role in “The Producers” and for co-penning “Young Frankenstein” with Mel Brooks, usually portrayed a neurotic who veered between total hysteria and dewy-eyed tenderness. “My quiet exterior used to be a mask for hysteria,” he told Time magazine in 1970. “After seven years of analysis, it just became a habit.”
Habit or not, he got a great deal of mileage out of his persona in the 1970s for directors like Mel Brooks and Woody Allen, leading to a few less successful stints behind the camera, the best of which was “The Woman in Red,” co-starring then-wife Gilda Radner. Wilder was devastated by Radner’s death from ovarian cancer in 1989 and worked only intermittently after that. He tried his hand briefly at a sitcom in 1994, “Something Wilder,” and won an Emmy in 2003 for a guest role on “Will & Grace.”
Wilder also did a lot of charity work to raise funds for cancer research after Radner’s death in 1989. He worked only intermittently after that, and hardly at all after Will and Grace in 2003. Wilder was a victim of Alzheimer’s disease, which he and his family decided not to disclose to the public because so many children saw him as Willie Wonka, and he didn’t want knowledge of his condition to infringe on the joy of such an encounter. He passed away today at his home from complications the disease. Gene Wilder was 83.
Batman is a lot more than just a cape, a cowl and a scowl- he's a deep and interesting dude who is so multi-faceted his writers virtually never run out of new material.
But for every good story arc or issue there's another which completely misses the mark, making readers wonder “WTF?!”
Like the time Batman dyed his Batsuits different colors so goons wouldn't figure out Robin's secret identity, featuring Batman wearing a rainbow Batsuit while saying the line “they’ll find no gold at the end of this rainbow… only prison.”
And then there was the time Batman agreed to sing Christmas carols with officers from the Gotham PD- and no crimes were committed that night in Gotham, seemingly thanks to the songs sung by Batsy and the boys.
Think Batman singing is weird? Not as weird as the Caped Crusader laughing with the Joker, impregnating Batgirl or wetting himself during a mission.
Look at this beautiful plumage! The Nicobar pigeon looks like it just came from an avant-garde beauty salon with a new dye job, but those are its normal feathers. Since they evolved in places where they had no natural predators, Nicobar pigeons did not need camouflage and instead developed a look to attract each other. They don’t look like dodo birds, but taxonomically they are the extinct bird’s closest relative in existence today.
The Nicobar pigeon resides in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, from the Indian Nicobar Islands eastward to places like Thailand and Papua New Guinea. Although its exact population count is unclear, the species is in decline because of deforestation and the release of non-native predators (like rats and cats) to these islands. The Nicobar pigeon is now considered “near threatened” with conservation efforts proposed to help the birds thrive again.
Orcas eat seals -we know that. Seals know that too and they know the best way to escape is to get to dry land. When there is no dry land though, there is another option for the truly desperate -a boat. And this little terrified guy was all too willing to hop a ride on a passing by ship filled with humans as long as it meant he wasn't on the orca dinner menu.
The title is a fancy way of saying “chart of food idioms.” This is the latest comic from John Atkinson at Wrong Hands. I see a glaring omission right off: Easy As Pie, which is my favorite flavor of pie. However, if he had actually used a piece of pie, there would be enough idioms to make a complete chart with pie alone. I supposed that would be a pie chart.
Playing that pocket monster hunting game on your smartphone may seem safe enough, but beware those who would prey on innocent poke-trainers because they're playing a sick game of their own. You can usually trust your fellow trainers to treat you like family out in the field, but any weirdo who tries to lure you into their basement or cellar by claiming it's a gym or stop should be ignored and avoided at all costs. That is, unless you want to become a permanent part of their collection...
Warn your fellow trainers about neighborhood creepos with this Wanna Catch 'em All t-shirt by B4DW0LF, it's poke-tastic and good for a laugh whether you're a guy or gal!
Fast food restaurants love to employ the burger drop in commercials nowadays, showing us each layer of the burger and how fresh and bouncy it is to entice us into heading for the drive-thru.
It may surprise you to know the burger used in the drop is often CGI, modeled and animated for the perfect mouth-watering look, but not all ad directors agree with using CGI in a burger commercial.
In fact, one practical effects crazy photographer/director named Steve Giralt wanted a real burger drop so bad he built an entire machine to make it happen.
He calls it the “Precision Arduino Timing Relay Imaging Controller”, or P.A.T.R.I.C. For short, and it not only makes the burger drop a breeze- it kicks buns at making ketchup and mustard collide in mid-air.
Here's a short video showing what it was like behind the scenes while shooting this burger ad:
In the past few years, actor Tom Hiddleston is everywhere. You may know him as Loki in the Marvel universe movies, or Jonathon Pine in the miniseries The Night Manager, or Hank Williams in the film I Saw the Light, or any of his many other roles. Maybe we should get to know him a little better.
He went to boarding school with Prince William and Eddie Redmayne.
When Tom was 13-years old, his parents sent him to the elusive Eton College, a well-known boarding school in Windsor. Prince William just happened to be a classmate, as did Eddie Redmayne, who had already started acting professionally. Tom has said that Prince William was treated as any other contemporary would be. While on the subject of Eton College, he has admitted that the way the public perceives Eton, as well as the students who attend the school, irritates him. When asked about the school, he responded, “The reason it’s a good school is that it encourages people to find the thing they love and to go for it. They champion the talent of the individual and that’s what’s special about it.”
Tom used to play rugby at Cambridge.
After playing rugby at Eton, Tom went on to study at the University of Cambridge, the 2nd oldest English-speaking university. While there, he played rugby for the university’s college, Pembroke. Unfortunately, it clashed with his ability to act in the university’s stage productions. In the end, he had to choose one over the other and opted to drop rugby and focus on acting.
The Pokemon Go trend is finally starting to die down a little, so it's a perfect time to collect the strangest stories that have come out in the last few months. Here are some of the ten craziest stories we've come across.
1. Pokemon In the Real World?
Sure, Pokemon Go might be an augmented reality game, but that doesn't stop some people from believing the creatures really are hiding just out of view in the real world. In fact, many pet owners around the globe believe their pets can see the creatures and they've been posting photographic proof to sell their point.
As if that wasn't weird enough, one woman in Moscow claims she was sexually assaulted by a Pokemon. Her report doesn't specify which creature was involved in the assault, but it doesn't matter much since police told her to see a psychiatrist rather than putting an APB out for an augmented reality rapist.
2. Play At Your Own Risk
When you play Pokemon Go, you're warned to pay attention to your surroundings, but that wasn't enough to stop two players in San Diego to ignore trespassing signs and walk right off a cliff in search of Pokemon. While they both survived injuries, the two did make it out alive.
Of course, falling off a cliff is nothing compared to walking over a landmine -which is such a real concern in Bosnia that the government actually issued a warning for players to make sure they don't wander into any minefields, since most of these areas still contain live munitions.
3. The Guy Who Kept Playing Even After Being Stabbed
A guy playing Pokemon Go in Forest Grove, OR was stabbed by someone passing by, but he refused to let that stop him from catching more Pokemon. Instead, he kept playing, walked to a convenience store and bought chips and beer before seeking medical attention. When police arrived on the scene, he even refused treatment so he could keep playing. Eventually, he did go to a hospital, where he confessed, “It’s important to me. I’ve got to basically catch them all."
4. The Driver Who Crashed into a Cop Car While Playing
A crew of six volunteer scientists spent an entire year isolated in a tent on small section of Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano to simulate what life would be like on Mars. They were part of the Hawaii Space Exploration and Analog and Simulation project, called HI-SEAS for short. The 365-day simulation ended Sunday, and the crew was allowed to come outside without a space suit for the first time in a year. Although they have been in contact with "earth" by internet, any messages were delayed by 20 minutes to simulate such communication on Mars. The experiment is about how humans would react under isolation from the outside world, and how they got along with crewmates in cramped conditions. Sheyna Gifford and Tristan Bassingthwaighte talked about their experiences.
Counting down to their so-called “re-entry,” the crew had their sights set on everyday things we Earthlings take for granted ― hugging loved ones, feasting on a burger, swimming in the ocean and running on grass.
In addition to spending time with family and getting outside, Bassingthwaighte’s said he’s looking forward to living in a place with a window.
“I mean holy crap! A whole window that belongs just to me?” he wrote. “I don’t even know what to do with that, we’ve all been sharing a window the size of a medium pizza for the last year.”
In her time away, Gifford said she’s come to realize that the journey to Mars will likely prove more challenging in ways we don’t expect than in ways we do. The good news, she said, is “human beings are pretty much capable of anything.”
Postmodern Jukebox specializes in genre-bending versions of familiar songs. Here, they accompany vocalist Addie Hamilton as she gives Blondie's "Heart of Glass" a whole new style. -via Everlasting Blort
Have you ever wondered why mermaids wear a clam shell bikini top instead of, say, a blouse?
It's because the salt in the ocean water collects on clothing and then crystallizes, and after a while that blouse would look more like a salt sculpture than an article of clothing.
This is the concept explored by Israeli artist Sigalit Landau in her photo series Salt Bride, featuring images of a dress which Sigalit left hanging in the Dead Sea for 2 years.
The progress shots captured over a three month period show the ocean waters naturally transforming the dress into an encrusted couture dress fit for Neptune's wife Salacia.
Here's a bit about the concept behind Salt Bride:
The concept was inspired by S. Ansky's 1916 play titled The Dybbuk, in which a young Hasidic woman becomes possessed by a deceased lover's spirit, though engaged to be married into a wealthy family. The story is rich with romance and sorcery, which Landau aimed to emulate. The original Salt Bride garment is a replica of the one worn in the dramatic production in the 1920s, while the salt serves to symbolize that supernatural force, bewitching the black fabric into the new appearance of a white wedding gown. The photographic process, too, stands as a metaphor: just as the garment had to be immersed to undergo its metamorphosis, each printed image was necessarily developed by liquid emulsion.
Starving from a food-deprived afternoon, the grad student deeply covets the gourmet sandwiches left outside the next workshop.
Picking up sandwiches with great relish, the grad student is caught red-handed by the disgruntled administrative assistant.
Eating his stolen sandwiches in the stairwell, the grad student contemplates how his life has come to this.
There is a graduate student somewhere who is recreating his life in LEGO bricks as a distraction from the drudgery of putting his dissertation together. The Tumblr blog The Grad Student is full of these scenes, with captions. You might want to start reading from the bottom up, as some adventures are told in sequence of multiple posts. Sent it to a grad student you know. -via Metafilter
However, it turns out that the "break" wasn’t all his idea. And the situation was complicated by the fact that an ancient Norse god isn’t up on all the latest communication technologies. Maybe the rest of the Marvel superheroes were a bit upset over Thor's pranks pulled on Spider-Man. Anyway, this scenario would make a great sitcom, but only if Chris Hemsworth played the part. -via reddit
The bat and the clown seem like opposite sides of a criminal coin when viewed alone, but put the two side-by-side and the comparison reveals they're not so different after all. They both fight for their own selfish reasons, both refuse to give up even when near death, and neither one of them can stand to sit still for long. They're drawn to the action as well as the satisfying feeling of completing what they feel is their mission in life, and although one seemingly fights for good and the other evil there's a fine line between justice and vengeance.
Make your fellow Batfans freak out with this Face to Face t-shirt by Albertocubatas, it's the coolest way to declare your allegiance to Gotham, good or bad...
A 9-year-old girl spent all day playing at a park near her home. She had a cell phone and a house key with her, and went home when she got tired. Was that dangerous? It sounds like typical behavior for a 9-year-old. But what if you knew she was there while her mother worked all day? Does that change anything about how dangerous her day at the park appears? An experiment shows that people don’t so much judge such a situation as dangerous because it’s objectivly dangerous, but because of how neglectful the parent appears. In fact, the morality of the reason a parent leaves a child unsupervised directly affects how dangerous the situation is perceived to be. Ashley Thomas, Kyle Stanford, and Barbara Sarnecka of the University of California at Irvine conducted an experiment that showed such bias.
To get at this question experimentally, Thomas and her collaborators created a series of vignettes in which a parent left a child unattended for some period of time, and participants indicated the risk of harm to the child during that period. For example, in one vignette, a 10-month-old was left alone for 15 minutes, asleep in the car in a cool, underground parking garage. In another vignette, an 8-year-old was left for an hour at a Starbucks, one block away from her parent's location.
To experimentally manipulate participants' moral attitude toward the parent, the experimenters varied the reason the child was left unattended across a set of six experiments with over 1,300 online participants. In some cases, the child was left alone unintentionally (for example, in one case, a mother is hit by a car and knocked unconscious after buckling her child into her car seat, thereby leaving the child unattended in the car seat). In other cases, the child was left unattended so the parent could go to work, do some volunteering, relax or meet a lover.
Not surprisingly, the parent's reason for leaving a child unattended affected participants' judgments of whether the parent had done something immoral: Ratings were over 3 on a 10-point scale even when the child was left unattended unintentionally, but they skyrocketed to nearly 8 when the parent left to meet a lover. Ratings for the other cases fell in between.
The researchers were motivated by an increasing number of parents who get into legal trouble for allowing their children to be unsupervised in situations that were once considered normal. The case of the 9-year-old girl was real, and her mother was arrested for child neglect. They talked about the research at NPR, and said the most surprising thing was how judgmental the participants were, and the most judgmental of all were mothers, who also overestimated the risk of danger the most. -via Digg