Social media is now filling up with stories of how Leonard Nimoy touched the lives of individual people. Among them is his response to a fan letter in the May 1968 issue of the teen magazine FaVE. In it, fan F.C. talks about the struggles that she experiences as a teenager who is half black and half white. Like Spock, she is divided and judged by both sides. Nimoy explained how the young Spock responded to this dilemma:
Spock decided he would live up to his own personal value and uniqueness. He'd do whatever made him feel best about himself. He decided to listen to that little voice inside him and not to the people around him.
The gravestone for Leon and Sharon Gossett in Floral Hill Cemetery, Iroquois County, Illinois looks like a pool table. That's resting in both peace and style! All that's necessary is to pocket the last few balls and call the game.
In a story that brings to mind The Aviator Howard Hughes, Paul Allen's project, the largest airplane in history, has materialized. With a wingspan of 385 feet, the aircraft is designed to carry and launch rockets into space. This behemoth of the sky has been dubbed the "Roc."
Paul Allen has combined forces with Gary L. Wentz, Jr., former Chief Engineer of the Science and Mission Systems at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center on the project.
Han knew just where to take Leia on their first official date- to watch the Death Star slowly crumble into a billion pieces. They sat and watched the giant space station break apart and float away into the inky depths of outer space, and with a sigh of relief Leia laid her head on Han's shoulder and felt herself relax for the first time in years. Their future was uncertain, their past irrevokable, but this moment would live on in their hearts forever as the day they truly fell in love...
Spread some classic sci-fi love with this Perfect Date t-shirt by Wirdou, and you'll be a force for fun geeky fashion!
Who is this kid? I don't know. But he has earned the respect of all humanity for devising the perfect way to use a touchscreen interface. It's the opposite of a treadmill desk. There's no more needless, wasteful expenditure of energy by remaining upright, or holding up your hands. Just like there, flat on your back, as nature intended.
Now that everyone is arguing over the color of a dress, AsapSCIENCE steps in to explain how people perceive and interpret colors differently. First impressions can be confusing, while knowledge that comes later can fill in some of the gaps. The upshot is that brain is an amazing organ that sifts through both information we have and information we don’t have to make sense of the world around us. -via Tastefully Offensive
American actor Leonard Nimoy, best remembered for playing Spock on Star Trek, died today at the age of 83. He passed away in his home in Los Angeles as a result of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
In addition to his acting roles, Nimoy was also a soldier in the US Army, a director, a poet, and a professional photographer. The New York Times has more on his extraordinary life:
In 2002, having illustrated his books of poetry with his photographs, Mr. Nimoy published “Shekhina,” a book devoted to photography with a Jewish theme, that of the feminine aspect of God. His black-and-white photographs of nude and seminude women struck some Orthodox Jewish leaders as heretical, but Mr. Nimoy asserted that his work was consistent with the teaching of the kabbalah.
His religious upbringing also influenced the characterization of Spock. The character’s split-fingered salute, he often explained, had been his idea: He based it on the kohanic blessing, a manual approximation of the Hebrew letter shin, which is the first letter in Shaddai, one of the Hebrew names for God.
“To this day, I sense Vulcan speech patterns, Vulcan social attitudes and even Vulcan patterns of logic and emotional suppression in my behavior,” Mr. Nimoy wrote years after the original series ended.
But that wasn’t such a bad thing, he discovered. “Given the choice,” he wrote, “if I had to be someone else, I would be Spock.”
Nimoy was active on Twitter. This was his final tweet:
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP
Animals and children possess the power of inherent cuteness, a built in ador-ability that can soften the hardest hearts and elicit an "awww!" from those who aren't normally so free with their feelings.
With all that natural cuteness built into their tiny forms it would be crazy to give them more power over us, but that's what perfectly sane folks do every day when they dress their pets and babies up in food costumes!
Wrap a baby up in a burrito bunting and you've got a squee fiesta in the making
Languages are never fixed, but constantly changing and adapting as new words enter into common use and the new meanings attached to old words. Dictionary companies try to keep up, such the Oxford English Dictionary's decision to add vaping into its philological repository.
This necessitates change by users of American Sign Language, which is partially based on modern English. Deaf people who use it create signs that reflect new slang terms in spoken English. Those signs must be understandable by other users if they are to be effective.
How does it work? Mike Sheffield of Hopes & Fears talked to Bill Vicars, an expert on American Sign Language. Vicars described the process in which he learns how slang terms are expressed in ASL:
As I go about the process of deciding which signs to include in my dictionary and lessons, I have found that a multi-step approach to verification is the Most Unexceptional way to go. First, I do a ‘literature review.’ I compare numerous respected sign language dictionaries and textbooks to see how the sign is demonstrated in those dictionaries. Occasionally, the dictionaries conflict with each other but eventually a dominant sign tends to emerge. After doing a thorough review of the literature it is time to interview a cross section of Deaf adults who have extensive experience signing… I make it a goal to ask a minimum of ten advanced Deaf signers how ‘they’ do it. The next stage of investigating a sign is to consider how the sign is done in other locations and decide which version is more widely used… The last stage is to post the sign online to my website where it is exposed to the scrutiny of thousands of individuals - many of whom then email me and tell me their version is better.
Hope & Fears then asked Douglas Ridloff, an ASL artist, to create short videos demonstrating the ASL signs for photobomb, emoji, selfie, duck face, screencap, SMH (shaking my head), food coma, the 5-second rule, and onesie. You can view them all here.
Ever since House of Cards Season One premiered on Netflix streaming service February 1, 2013, the series has been a hit. In honor of today's release of Season Three, let's mark the occasion with 21 facts about the celebrated series.
One such fact involves Michael Gill and Jayne Atkinson, the actors who play President Garrett Walker and Secretary of State Catherine Durant. The pair is a married couple in real life, yet House of Cards director David Fincher (who also directed Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac, The Social Network and Gone Girl) and the rest of the staff were some of the last to know. Gill told the New York Post,
"I had four auditions. All on tape. Never met Kevin, never met David [Fincher]. We both got it within four or five days of each other. And then towards the end [of the audition process], they realized we were married. When we got to set, none of the cast knew we were married.”
Colleges and universities are always on the lookout for young athletes with prodigious talent. Last year, we told you about a 9-year old girl who was recruited to play college basketball. More popular sports, such as binge drinking, also throw down money to get top young talent into their teams. Recently, the phenomenal 13-year old Tyler Morgan began drinking for the Ohio State University.
That school is legendary for its drinking program. When the Buckeyes party hard, no one can stop them. Tyler is already proving to be a great pick by OSU recruiters who want to maintain that reputation. You can learn more in this video by the satirical news site The Onion.
Patricia Highsmith's most memorable supervillain was inspired by a chance encounter. But how fictional was he really?
Early one morning in the summer of 1952, Patricia Highsmith awoke in a room at the Albergo Miramare hotel in Positano, Italy. The 31-year-old author had been traveling through Europe with her girlfriend, Ellen Blumenthal Hill, and the two weren’t getting along. Leaving Hill in bed, Highsmith walked to the end of a balcony overlooking the beach. It’s not as if things weren’t going well for her—her novel Strangers on a Train had just been adapted for the screen by Alfred Hitchcock. But the tumultuous relationship was taking a toll. As she gazed out at the sand, pulling on a cigarette, she watched “a solitary young man in shorts and sandals, with a towel flung over his shoulder, making his way along the beach. There was an air of pensiveness about him, maybe unease,” she recalled in a 1989 issue of Granta magazine. She started to wonder: “Had he quarreled with someone? What was on his mind?”
The intrigue stuck with her. Two years later, while living in a cottage rented from an undertaker in Lenox, Mass., Highsmith drew from that image as she began a new novel, about a man named Tom Ripley. Even then, she sensed that she was onto something special. “She considered [The Talented Mr. Ripley] ‘healthier’ and ‘handsomer’ than her other books at its ‘birth,’” Joan Schenkar writes in her excellent biography The Talented Miss Highsmith.
Highsmith’s instincts were correct: With the charming sociopath Ripley, she’d created a new type of character entirely. In five novels over the next four decades, he’d become not only her most acclaimed and memorable creation but the prototype for a new kind of antihero: the unlikable, immoral, cold-blooded killer we can’t help but like anyway. Ripley was a character so fully realized, so simultaneously compelling and disturbing, it seemed as if he were based on someone Highsmith knew intimately. In a sense, he was.
An orphan unhappily raised by an icy aunt, 23-year-old Tom Ripley is living in New York City when we first meet him, trying his hand at casual extortion. In a bar one night, he’s approached by the wealthy Herbert Greenleaf, father of an acquaintance, Dickie. Greenleaf is looking for someone who might persuade his son to return home from the bohemian life he’s been leading in the Italian village of Mongibello, and Tom seizes the opportunity. But what he finds when he locates Dickie is something he hadn’t expected: a glimpse of the privileged existence he’s always dreamed of.
Artist Shani Ha placed this unique interactive art installation at a street corner bistro in New York City. It's called Table for Two. Half of the two-person table is inside the restaurant. The other half is outside. If you sit down at one end, you can choose to interact with the person on the otherside or just look at your own reflection in the glass.
"The original Millennium Falcon bodies are always in good condition, some even perfect – it varies considering they’re from anywhere between 1979 and 2004. Some also never had any lights included and so plenty of blue LEDs are expertly installed by myself and are run from a handily concealed battery pack that is easy to get to.
A custom-built flight case can be added to the order to not only give it a perfect home, but to also safeguard it during shipping."
Most spiders surround themselves with webloads of food and a collection of hollow carcasses, but there's one spider who has chosen to use his arachnid abilities for good rather than food. He's your freindly neighborhood web slinger, and man does he ever swing in style! Just one look at that boy in red, web, and blue and you'll see what amazing truly looks like, and when this spectacular specimen swings into your town make sure you're on the right side of the law!
Get your geeky wardrobe into full swing with this Spiders Are Amazing t-shirt by Barrett Biggers, it's the stylin' way to show love for your favorite webheaded hero.
Chikuwa is the cutest guinea pig in Tokyo--and the best cosplayer, too! She dresses like her favorite characters, such as Usagi Tsukino from Sailor Moon, Chun-Li from Street Fighter, and Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th.
The word “bedlam” means chaos to modern ears, and that meaning came from the British asylum known as Bedlam, short for Bethlehem Royal Hospital. It was born in 1247 as a priory which soon began to take in the mentally ill. Over the next few centuries, the asylum changed hands, changed management, and even changed locations, but for most of that time was a chamber of horrors. The inmates received either no treatment or terrible treatment, and at times were put on display as freaks. The institution is still in use today, although conditions have changed. All Day has an illustrated timeline of the history of Bedlam over the past 750 years.
Honey-Rae Phillips of Grimsby, Lincolnshire, UK, was born with a string of bright birthmarks stretching from her right foot up her leg and that side of her body. People noticed. Strangers made comments.
Her parents, Adam and Tanya, initially covered up the birthmarks. But then they changed directions. Honey-Rae's birthmarks were not unsightly disfigurements. So they let her wear shorts and other clothes that expose her birthmarks.
And then Adam and Tanya went even further, taking the radical step of having Honey-Rae's birthmark pattern tattooed over their own bodies. The Daily Mail quotes Tanya:
'From the moment she was born, we told Honey-Rae she was beautiful and constantly covered her in kisses.'
She added: 'Some people will says it odd and think what we’ve done is quite extreme, but in our eyes all we have done is ensure Honey-Rae never feels different. Mummy and Daddy now have the same permanent markings as she does.'
The couple already had tattoos on their legs, but none as extreme as the imitation birthmarks.
Now they have had the procedure done, Honey-Rae couldn't be happier - and even points at the tattoos and yells 'match!'.
I love the old fashioned barbershops of my youth—beautiful slices of Americana I like to call Floyds. You can get a sense of the old way by visiting the Salon Le Barber. You’ll may have to go to the Netherlands to experience it, though. That’s where Orla Tiffney of Pop-Up City found it.
The Salon de Barber is a classically outfitted barbershop inside a small trailer. The features and trim are exactly what you’d hope for when searching for a Floyd’s-style shop. When Pop-Up City found it, the Salon Le Barber was at the Food Soul Festival in Amsterdam. Since it’s portable, maybe it will visit my town in America!
Photographer Jonathan Nimerfroh has been documenting these nearly frozen waves washing ashore on Nantucket island, Massachusetts, approximately 30 miles south of Cape Cod. One publication, Stay Wild magazine, dubbed the fascinating photos "Slurpee waves."
See Jonathan Nimerfroh's photographs of this icy phenomenon on his Twitterand Instagramaccounts, and on his website. Nimerfroh's photos are absolute eye candy, particularly for fans of nature and landscape photography. -Via Buzzfeed
There’s been quite a debate among Tumblr users about the colors of this dress. The picture was posted by Swiked, and then passed around, igniting arguments wherever it showed up. I looked at it and said, “That’s white with gold lace.” Then I read three posts at Buzzfeed about the controversy surrounding the colors, with plenty of pictures of the dress with various color corrections and even a catalog entry, and they determined that the dress is actually blue with black lace.
But what really floored me was when I returned to the original picture and saw it as blue and black! I could not make myself see white and gold again at that point. THEN I went somewhere else for about twenty minutes and returned to the original picture. It appeared white and gold again- for a minute or two, then it turned blue and black again. Now, my eyesight isn’t the greatest, but this is one weird phenomena.
Update: There's a discussion of some of the factors going into this photo here.
Dolly and Sheldon are great friends. They love to play chase. Dolly sometimes offers her ball to Sheldon, hoping that he will play with it. But, so far, Sheldon has expressed no interest. Come on, Sheldon, just kick it around a bit.
Japan has been a leader in animal cafes, including one where you can get up close and personal with owls. London has decided to up the ante with an owl tavern, although it will be temporary.
Annie the Owl and friends will be taking over a Soho bar from March 19 to 25, 8:30 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. Customers can enjoy two hours and two cocktails nestled amongst the nocturnal birds. There's just one catch—you have to be very lucky to get a spot. Right now, the tickets are being sold for £20, but you have to enter a lottery to earn some face-time with the owls. Winning the raffle only gives you one ticket, so you'll have to fly solo if your friends don't win as well.
Right now, owl cafes are all the rage in Japan, but (perhaps predictably) London kicked it up a notch by adding booze to the equation. On top of feathery friends and drinks, the bar also offers music, comedy, and an "electric atmosphere." The drinks will be mixed by some of London's top mixologists, and the birds will all be accompanied by professional falconers, so you know you'll be in good hands.
The birds will be well-chaperoned, and only people are allowed alcohol. Proceeds from the owl bar will go to The Barn Owl Centre, an organization dedicated to protecting owls. Get all the particulars for the upcoming owl cafe at mental_floss.
The gang from Sunny recently paid Conan O'Brien's show a visit, where they took a look at some interesting fan tattoos inspired by the show before showing off their own regrettable ink stains tattoos. Tattoos based on TV shows never go out of style...until about five to ten years after the show is canceled!
Fun and fancy free meet a grisly end at Freddy's Pizzeria, because the big boss of the show is done making people happy. Freddy's programmed to perform for children alongside his buddies Bonnie, Chica and Foxy, but they're tired of doing the same old show and have been thinking about changing the act up a bit, turning it into something more edgy. Spend five nights at Freddy Fazbear's and you'll see how broken down those animatronic characters have become, but stay behind after closing and Freddy and his friends will help break you down!
Show the world you're not afraid to spend five nights fighting for your survival gaming, wear this Game Over t-shirt by DeepFriedArt and you'll spread sinister smiles wherever you go!
Be careful what you wish for, because with great power comes great responsibility. These familiar adages go double for this video from College Humor. You may feel nostalgic for the ‘90s if it was your childhood (otherwise, I just don’t see it), but going back is not the funfest it might seem. Now, if time travel were possible, this scenario puts an entirely different spin on events that we still don’t understand. What if the most senseless events from history were an attempt to stop something even worse? This video contains NSFW language. -via Viral Viral Videos