Stephen King has written many scary stories about inanimate objects, from The Mangler to Christine to The Monkey, but the scariest object he ever had to face was The Desk, which he thought would be a dream come true.
As you'll see in this comic by Zen Pencils, Stephen bought the massive oak desk in 1981 and proceeded to write some of his most famous novels behind it, but the desk only served to make him feel like an alien in his own home...
In a discussion following an article about Cold War fallout shelter crackers, the subject of blood type tattoos came up. This was a real thing in the early 1950s, that people, including children, would get their blood types tattooed on their torsos to streamline medical procedures during nuclear war. It was less for identifying the blood type of patients than for potential donors, but the area under the left arm was used because that would still be there if one's arms were blown away. We have literature about the tattoo programs in Indiana and Utah, although there were others. The Mormon Church even gave a dispensation on their rule against tattooing, calling it a "permanent imprint" instead of a tattoo. One woman shared her memories of getting a tattoo in Indiana when she was in first grade.
"The kid closest to the curtain was told to go inside the curtained area, and the rest of us moved up one chair closer. We then heard a buzzing sound similar to a dentist's drill, and a lot of screaming and, a few minutes later, the kid emerged from behind the curtain, crying, and then next kid took his place. The wait probably took about an hour, and during that time, as we inched closer and closer to the curtain, we had to witness each of our classmate's enter the curtained area and come out crying, so you can imagine how frightening it was."
"Once behind the curtain I had to take off my clothes above the waist and show my card and dog tag to the two people in there. Once held me still and the other stuck what looked like a power drill into my left side, turned it on and held it there for a minute or two. Naturally I was screaming and struggling just like the other kids before me."
"I still have my atomic tattoo (O-), but, as I grew it got distorted, so it's pretty illegible today. The tattoo caused a lot of comments during bikini season after I went to college and later moved to Ohio, where no one had seen anything like it. After I moved back to northwest Indiana I tried to search some public records but was never able to find any evidence of the program."
The Empire excels at taking planets by force, or destroying them outright should the planet's inhabitants choose not to submit, so their coffers are overflowing and their Sith commanders are paid well.
But had Darth allowed one more Death Star to be destroyed or failed to eliminate one more race of furry teddy bear creatures he may have been let go, forcing him to find a 9 to 5 and earn his credits like a lowly moisture farmer.
Photographer Michaël Massart imagined what Darth would look like if he had to take a severe pay cut and work some Joe job as a car wash worker, dishwasher or bus driver, and it seems even at his lowest point Darth still has henchmen.
Michaël does a good job of giving Darth and his two guards plenty of personality even though they're wearing full armor, and when he incorporates the lightsaber into the bit he does it just right.
Most 80s kids spent their childhoods playing with toys, riding their bikes around town with their buddies and plunking their allowances into the coin slots of arcade machines. But when you're friends with a psychic on the run from a shadowy government organization who has also attracted the attention of a terrifying monster of myth and legend the games in the arcade just pale in comparison!
Turn your geeky wardrobe upside down with this Demogorgon's Lair t-shirt by Rustenico, it's just the thing to get strangers to give you compliments on your cool shirt wherever you go!
John McPhee was newspaper editor in Mesa, Arizona, in 1932. That year's Christmas parade was important for the small town's businesses as a way to draw in both residents and out-of-towners for Christmas shopping. But the populace didn't seem to be all that excited about Christmas shopping or the parade, either, since the Great Depression was affecting everyone's ability to celebrate as usual. But McPhee had an idea: a spectacular entrance for Santa Claus that would grab everyone's interest. Santa Claus would arrive in an airplane, an unusual site in 1932, and join the parade by parachute! What could possibly go wrong? Um, the stunt man playing Santa could get killed. But that didn't happen. The real story was a comedy of errors that's quite funny if you weren't a young child in Arizona waiting for the arrival of Santa.
The day of the scheduled take-off, McPhee found the performer at a bar, too inebriated to participate. Faced with the possibility of storekeepers and children being crushed with disappointment, McPhee immediately set another plan into motion. He convinced a clothing store to let him borrow a mannequin, which he dressed in the Santa suit. He then instructed the pilot to make his scheduled run. At the climax, a pilot would push the Santa-dressed dummy out of the plane and into the field. From a distance, the townspeople would be unable to discern the plastic body from a real one—they’d simply see a red-and-white payload drift gently to the ground below. McPhee would be posted to meet the dummy, disrobe it, don the beard, and drive into town as Santa.
A large crowd had gathered to watch Santa arrive. But as you might guess, the scheme cobbled together at the last minute didn't quite go as McPhee had envisioned it. Let's just say that children were traumatized for life. You can read an account of the Christmas parade debacle at Mental Floss.
Gordon Ramsay isn't the highest paid chef in the world, nor does he have the most Michelin stars, but Gordon has one claim to fame that the other chefs don't- he has the world record for rolling the longest sheet of pasta.
This may not seem like a worthwhile endeavor for a chef of his caliber, but since Gordon may never be the highest paid chef or have the most Michelin stars he might as well put his energy into setting world records- because I've never seen him happier!
Here's a cute Christmas wreath that features Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. But look closely -Rudolph's face is a bedpan! And that wreath? It's made of urinals. Yes, it was made by a nurse, and was most likely hung in a medical setting where co-workers would appreciate the humor. It's from a list that includes a wreath made of pill bottles, a tree made of rubber gloves, and a Christmas stocking made from scrubs. See more nurse-themed Christmas decorations and the list from last year at Nurse Buff. -via Buzzfeed
Sam had this to say about the day he witnessed Hunter's version of Christmas cheer:
“I gave up on the interview and started worrying about my life when Hunter Thompson squirted two cans of fire starter on the Christmas tree he was going to burn in his living-room fireplace, a few feet away from an unopened wooden crate of 9-mm bullets. That the tree was far too large to fit into the fireplace mattered not a whit to Hunter, who was sporting a dime-store wig at the time and resembled Tony Perkins in Psycho. Minutes earlier, he had smashed a Polaroid camera on the floor.”
Hunter had decided to videotape the Christmas tree burning, and we later heard on the replay the terrified voices of Deborah Fuller, his longtime secretary-baby sitter, and me off-camera pleading with him, “NO, HUNTER, NO! PLEASE, HUNTER, DON’T DO IT!” The original manuscript of Hell’s Angels was on the table, and there were the bullets. Nothing doing. Thompson was a man possessed by now, full of the Chivas Regal he had been slurping straight from the bottle and the gin he had been mixing with pink lemonade for hours.
The 1995 movie Hackers follows a group of teenage computer whizzes who go from digital pranks to defending themselves against global terrorists. The portrayal of technology in the movie was not all that authentic at the time, and is totally obsolete 22 years later. But who knew that in 1995? Hackers introduced the possibilities of computer technology, if not the realities. We now have a generation of brilliant tech geeks who were inspired, for good or bad, by watching Hackers when they were kids. The movie was also Angelina Jolie's first leading role in a feature film, which didn't hurt at all. If you recall Hackers fondly, you'll want to know something about the production.
10. Angelina Jolie and Johnny Lee Miller were married after this film.
They split after about four years, and then she went on to marry Billy Bob Thornton.
9. The game being played in the arcade is an early prototype of a Playstation game.
Wipeout was still in the developmental stage when this film was being made but would lose a few features by the time it was released.
Surely someone somewhere has thought about traveling back in time and eliminating Hitler in a totally non-violent way, haven't they? No? I suppose the idea of killing him just too useful in our hypothetical conversations about the nature of evil, you know, where someone excuses a (relatively) small sin for the greater good, and someone else talks about the slippery slope, and it never really goes anywhere. We continue to do it because we love to theorize about time travel -that's the cool part. This comic is from Zach Weinersmith at Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.
Everybody loves pie, and even those dessert hating weirdos out there like savory pies like chicken pot pie and shepherd's pie, but pie is also the leading cause of fatness and stupid diet-related New Year's resolutions so pie kinda sucks too.
But did you know there's an easy way to lose weight by eating pie?
This animated Cyanide & Happiness comic has all the details, and while their weight loss method may not work for everyone it's great for those who want instant results!
A lot of songs are written about real people and real situations. Here are the stories behind some of those songs, and the women who inspired them.
1. "Für Elise"
Written by: Ludwig van Beethoven
Written for: Some girl probably not named Elise. In fact, as far as most historians can tell, Beethoven didn't even know an Elise. Instead, the song was originally titled "Bagatelle in A minor" based on some handwritten notation a Beethoven researcher claimed to have seen on a now-lost copy of the sheet music.
Further complicating things, Beethoven had hideous handwriting—to the point that some scholars speculate the song was actually written "for Therese," as in Therese Malfatti, one of several women who turned down a marriage proposal from the notoriously lovesick maestro.
The first working escalator was built and installed at Coney Island in 1896, and even though the steps on the first escalator were made of cast iron later models made by Otis used steps made of wood to reduce weight and production costs.
As rickety and scary as the ride would have been on a wooden escalator it also would have been visually appealing, and the rich, warm look of the wooden tread somehow looks far less terrifying than those metal fangs we have today.
Australian artist Chris Fox used an 80-year-old wooden escalator recently replaced by a metal one to create his amazing sculpture Interloop, and now those classic wooden stairs will roll on forever in the Wynyard Station of the Sydney Underground.
You can buy a replica of the necklace from the 1997 film Titanic from many vendors, but only one company got the rights to the design from the film: The J. Peterman Company. Their replicas were authentic, well-made, expensive, and best of all, officially licensed. Company founder John Peterman knew the movie would be big before it was released, and his gamble paid off.
But how did Peterman get his hands on such a valuable piece in the first place? “I remember it like it was yesterday,” he tells me by phone. “Someone in the company said, ‘I know this movie, Titanic, is coming up. It’s a period movie, and the same kind of stuff we always do. We should have a deal with them!” Peterman’s team reached out to 20th Century Fox a few months before the film was set to hit theaters in December 1997 and struck a deal: They’d buy some of the actual props featured in Titanic, in addition to licensing the whole lot for commercial reproduction. “This was the first time that had ever been done,” Peterman says of the deal, “and we ruined it for everyone else — because suddenly, [the studio] realized those props had value.”
The company sold most of the props they obtained, and replicas of the costumes from the movie. But the necklace, known as the Heart of the Ocean, was a big hit. It sold amazingly well. Too well, as you'll see in an article at Racked. -via Digg
Most people are looking forward to seeing the Porgs on the big screen this winter, referring to them as the cutest little aliens ever, but despite their wide-eyed cuteness there are a bunch of haters out there who keep screaming "down with Porgs!". Its unclear why they hate those adorable little hamster penguins so much, but perhaps they'll be singing a different tune when they finally see Episode VIII...
But if you're sure you hate Porgs with a passion for life then you need to grab this NO PORGS! t-shirt and wear it when you go see The Last Jedi so you can start a war in the movie theater! It's guaranteed to make you either a star of snark or hated like a Sith!
Life becomes more precious when you realize how precarious it is. Joy is celebrating the milestones of life. Hope means making plans in spite of your experience. In 2010, Randall Munroe's fiancée (now wife) was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer. Even after treatment, the only way to know if you beat it is to go on living.
A comment thread about snow dogs led me to an interesting interview with Dr. Susan Whiton, an Alaskan veterinarian who is married to a champion musher who runs a sled dog kennel. She talked about how Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Huskies, Malamutes, and other dogs bred specifically for cold weather are different from other dogs. Their ability to tolerate cold is amazing, as long as they are healthy, well-fed, and are in their prime.
Q. What diet should they eat if they are outside for long periods during the day?
A. The calories in most commercial dog foods come from carbohydrates. In very cold weather, the dogs do better with a higher amount of fat calories. A study indicated a sled dog racing the Iditarod required 10,000 calories a day to meet their metabolic needs. The only way to meet that high caloric need is with a diet high in fat calories. Most pet dogs do not need that many calories and may get very sick from a high fat diet.
When I ran the Yukon Quest in 1987 we encountered -55° F temperatures at night and -20° F during the day. The sled dogs did fine at those temperatures. They were being fed a very high fat, high calorie diet up to four times a day during the rest periods and often got fatty meat snacks during the runs.
Q. How are dogs with a thick undercoat able to keep warm when sleeping?
A. When they sleep they curl up with their tail over their nose, which traps the heat against their bodies. There are lots of photos of resting sled dogs covered with snow. They are holding their heat well since the snow is not melted. The dogs that are not doing well will have ice on their fur. It indicates that they are losing enough body heat to melt the snow. Because their coat is not insulating well more ice will build up making the hair less lofty and less insulating. The thick undercoat of the Northern Breeds provides loft, like a fuzzy mohair sweater, and keeps the warmth next to the animal rather than allowing it to escape. The Iditarod sled dog race only allows Northern Breeds in the race because other breeds can’t retain heat well. So when the ice hits their coat it melts and then freezes.
Rob Bliss (previously at Neatorama) lives in New York City, where "same day delivery" means someone will bring what you buy fairly quickly. What would be the greatest good he could use that for? He approached homeless people and asked them what they needed the most. Click, click, click, and someone was on the way to deliver what they told him.
Note: this video is NOT SPONSORED OR AFFILIATED WITH AMAZON. I'm sure this technique could be used with Postmates or whoever else too. I simply wanted to demonstrate how easy and convenient it can be to bring a person in need, what they need, and to encourage that behavior.
That said, Bliss was impressed at how the Amazon delivery guys (who are part of the gig economy, after all) were cheerful and respectful when they delivered the goods. It had to leave them with a good feeling, as well as Bliss and the people who received the warm clothing and other supplies. -via Laughing Squid
Kids love to act like their parents are totally unhip, uncool and out of touch, usually because their friends think the road to coolsville intersects with too cool for school lane.
But what these youngsters don't get is cool is a state of mind- it's not about bringing other people down, it's about elevating your parental coolness levels by setting the trend and wowing the wee ones who dare to talk trash.
Cool people know the power a new piece of tech can have over the unhip and underaged, but when their parents bust out a new device and say "yep, no big deal, just messin' with my cool tech from the future" the wee ones go "whoa".
DJ Earworm is back with the ultimate year-end music mashup. His mix for 2017 highlights the dance sounds of modern pop music. The 25 biggest songs of 2017 are all in the mix, which all together has a definite Latin sound. Honestly, it's more than just "Despacito."
The 1950s Cold War craze for fallout shelters was a serious undertaking for the US government. Nuclear war with the Soviets seemed inevitable, and the prudent thing to do was prepare for it. While public campaigns urged families to prepare their own shelters, stocking them with food for a long period underground was going to be difficult, especially in cities where people did not have adequate personal storage space. What were all those people going to eat in crowded municipal shelters?
That coldly logical approach, combined with an extensive 1958 study by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, led the government toward a single commodity as the foundation for its plan to feed a nation: The “parched wheat form known as Bulgur,” one of the simplest ingredients known to man. The main ingredient in dishes like tabbouleh, kibbeh, and pilafs, bulgur is nutty, nutritious, high-fiber, and supremely safe. “Bulgur was selected for this investigation because it is processed from a basic agricultural commodity, whole-grain wheat, which is plentiful in the U.S., low in cost, highly palatable, and reportedly very stable,” one government report explained.
That last thing stood out in particular, because it would need to hold up for years inside fallout shelters, awaiting the apocalypse. “Indeed a long shelf life may well be the single most important criterion for choosing bulgur in a stockpiling program,” the government reported. As part of its research, the USDA eventually landed on crackers as the best medium for bulgur-wheat rations in a bunker scenario; after 52 months of storage it reported merely a “discernible but inconsequential decrease” in flavor.
Bats got a bad reputation when they became associated with vampires, witches and horror movies like Cujo, but in reality bats are gentle, and often skittish, critters who just want to hang with their bat buds in peace.
So when a human offers to help them out they'll usually accept without a fight, but wild bats normally aren't as cute or patient about it as Harry the bat is while a human from Batzilla the Bat gently removes the netting
The Batzilla the Bat netting fund spreads awareness about how dangerous most netting gardeners use to protect their crops is for the wild bats of Australia and around the world:
As we live in a sub tropical climate we have massive problems with gardeners using cheap killer netting to protect their fruit trees from predation from bats, birds and possums and thousands of animals are tortured and killed each year in large aperture netting.
Never use any netting you can poke a finger through as it is deadly to wildlife.
The 2000 movie Almost Famous is a fictionalized account of writer Cameron Crowe's experiences as a teenager writing about 1970s rock bands for Rolling Stone. The film didn't do all that well at the box office, but really hit home with folks who remember the early '70s rock scene. Critics raved about it, and Almost Famous won several awards, including Best Screenplay for Crowe. Let's take a look at what went on using the filming of Almost Famous.
10. The music budget for this film was $3.5 million.
The average music budget for a film is around $1.5 million. This film had about 50 songs to go with it which was kind of insane but still great.
9. The actors rehearsed for quite a while until they looked the part.
The actors had to rehearse for four hours a night, five nights a week, for six weeks.
Coca-Cola is such a big hit around the world that some people refer to all colas as "Coke", and even though the syrupy brown beverage invented by druggist John S. Pemberton in 1886 is bad for your health it's still a classic taste people crave.
In fact, people like the taste so much they rallied to preserve the classic recipe when New Coke came out in 1986, and yet they kept selling New Coke as "Coke II" until 2002, hoping it would catch on because it was cheaper to make.
According to a recipe discovered by Atlanta historian Charles Salter, who found it among a pile of documents belonging to inventer John Pemberton, Coke contains lemon oil, nutmeg oil, vanilla, cinnamon caramel and coriander, among many others.
And one could say Coke also knew the recipe for success when it came to making oddball digi-character Max Headroom a star in the 80s:
The bizarre, pseudo-animated Max Headroom character was created as a virtual television star in the UK by record company Chrysalis in 1985. Sensing his appeal for young consumers, Coca-Cola licensed Headroom that same year and made him the center of their ad campaign with a series of commercials directed by Ridley Scott. According to Coke, the spots helped Headroom gain a 76 percent recognition rating among teenagers.
One quite valid way to look back at the year gone by is to see what people wanted to know more about. Search engines are not only the easiest way to get more information, but those searches are also documented. Every year, Google releases their statistics on what people searched for the most, which gives us an overview of the world's curiosity. The most asked question was "how," as in how-to, meaning that people were planning to do something, whatever it was.
Mabel wanted to leave the mystery hunting behind but the keepers of the mystery refused to let her go away peacefully- so they decided to make her life into a nightmare. It all started when she and Dipper uncovered a map that led to a vault with Bill Cipher's picture on it, a vault that contained a book full of secrets meant only for the eyes of the conspirators. Dipper took the book despite Mabel's warnings, and as they walked back to the Mystery Shack things started to get really strange around Gravity Falls, well, stranger than usual. Mabel couldn't shake the feeling that someone was watching them as they walked home, but since she didn't want anything to do with the book she figured the bad men would leave her alone...boy was she wrong!
Make people smile and laugh uncomfortably wherever you go with this The Head t-shirt by Trheewood, featuring a colorful design that'll make your fellow fans laugh their heads off!
Batsy isn't the only one who has witnessed, and done, some dark deeds in the DC Universe, because the Flash has quickly become one seriously dark dude!
(If you watch the CW show then you probably know some of these storylines already, but if not be warned there are spoilers ahead.)
Barry Allen has had his psyche damaged by a past he cannot escape (the death of his mother) and the earth shattering results of his actions (Flashpoint) but nobody got in to Barry's head like his nemesis Zoom.
Zoom made it his mission in life to take down the Flash no matter the cost, and as far as super villains without a conscience go Zoom ranks up there with the likes of Darkseid and the Joker in terms of body count.
But one kill in particular caused Barry to forego his heroic ethics and kill Zoom with impunity- the death of his wife Iris West.
Zoom murdered Iris because he was in love with her too, and because he had a psychotic infatuation with watching Barry suffer, but despite his anger the Flash let Zoom live- so Zoom showed up a few years later to kill Barry's new fiance on their wedding day.
Barry couldn't bear to see another woman he loved get killed by Zoom, so he took matters into his own hands- by snapping Zoom's neck before he could deliver the killing blow. It was a justifiable homicide, but it still took its toll on Barry's state of mind...
The eight-day celebration of Hanukkah began last night. It is tradition to publicize the miracle of the Maccabees by placing the menorah in a window for all to see. In 1932, in the town of Kiel, Germany, Rabbi Dr. Akiva Posner and his wife Rachel set their menorah in a window facing the Nazi party headquarters across the street. Rachel took this picture to document the juxtaposition of the menorah and the swastika. The Nazis took control of Germany the next year.
Rabbi Posner, Rachel and their three children left Germany for the Holy Land in 1933. Rabbi Posner managed to persuade many of his congregants to leave as well.
For 51 weeks of the year, the menorah belongs to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. But each year, right before Hanukkah, the family takes the menorah back and puts it to good use.
Rabbi Posner's great-grandson, Akiva Baruch Mansbach, now uses that same menorah every year. Read the Posner's story at the New York Times. -via reddit
(Image credit: Shulamith Posner-Mansbach/United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)
October 5, 1962 stands as a red letter day in the history of American pop culture. That is the day the Beatles' first record "Love Me Do" was released. It is also a landmark day in the history of motion pictures. Coincidentally, the fifth of October in 1962 happens to be the date the first-ever James Bond movie was released.
Dr. No was originally turned down by several film studios, on grounds of being "too British" and "too blatantly sexual." After United Artists finally decided to take a gamble and finance the film, the casting of Agent 007 was the most important matter to be taken care of.
Reputedly, Cary Grant was the first choice to play James Bond, but he would only commit to one film, and this, combined with his being a rather awkward 58 years of age, took him out of the running. Several other famous actors were also considered for the Bond role, including Rex Harrison, Stewart Granger, Trevor Howard, and Richard Burton, none of whom, for various reasons, passed muster. There was even a "find James Bond" contest, six finalists were chosen, and a 28-year-old named Peter Anthony was chosen, but Anthony lacked the acting chops and was ultimately rejected too.
Finally, a relatively unknown former milkman, coffin polisher, and Mr. Universe named Sean Connery was thrown into the mix. Producer Albert Broccoli had seen Connery in the 1959 film Darby O'Gill and the Little People and was impressed, particularly by the climactic scene in the film where Connery takes on, beats up, and dispatches the film's villain. Although Broccoli approved, he asked his wife, Jean, to watch the film, to get a female barometer of Connery's sex appeal.