YouTube has launched its annual end-of-the-year video, which is less a recap of the year's events as it once was, and is now more focused on the video platform's most viral personalities. In it, the YouTube stars of 2016 sing, dance, and act out a few memes.
I recognize John Green, PewDiePie, Casey Neistat, Trevor Noah, the Pineapple Pen guy, the Slow Mo Guys, Dwayne Johnson, James Corden, and Seth Meyers. And none of the others, although I've probably seen some of their videos. There's a full list of participants at the YouTube page. -via Laughing Squid
People are buying comic books like never before thanks to the movie adaptations that are making billions in the box office, and yet the comic industry still struggles to stay afloat.
Nowadays people decide which series to read based on reviews online, so their opinions aren't swayed by a snazzy looking cover, but back in the day a gimmick cover was the ultimate way to sell comic books.
Guest artists were often brought in to create the bold illustrations on the cover, and this art was designed to make readers feel like that issue was something they couldn't live without.
Unfortunately, many companies also relied too heavily on needlessly gimmicky covers to sell their books, like The Amazing Spider-Man issue 400 which was supposed to look like a tombstone but wound up looking like a blurry mess.
Here's a unique idea for a year-end list: the notable truck spills of 2016. Atlas Obscura has taken those news stories and plotted out an interactive map. Click on an icon (color coded for type of cargo) and pull up the story of that spill. This year saw truck spills that unloaded beer, soda, cheese, mail, pigs, potatoes, grease, animal guts, sewage, liquid dye, and more all over the highways. We've covered some of these stories; reading through them brings back memories, like that of the beer truck that collided with the Doritos truck in Florida, called "the couch potato's nightmare." Good times.
Rotten Tomatoes started out as a site that featured movie reviews "from a variety of critics in the U.S.", and now the review aggregator website is "the most trusted measurement of quality for Movies & TV."
But a film that achieves a one hundred percent rating is something special no matter how you feel about the site, and yet many of the movies that have earned a perfect rating are quite surprising.
It's the time of year when we pull out all stops to make the season as merry and bright as possible, and Christmas just wouldn't be the same without decor shaped like Santa and his reindeer. But what ever happened to the stuff shaped like his goat Hal? That's right, Christmas decorations used to include ornaments and decorations shaped like Hal the Jingle Goat, but somewhere along the way old Hal got put out to pasture. So let's bring back that old timey tradition and pay tribute to Hal the Jingle Goat this holidays, he'll make people smile wherever you go!
Get in the spirit of the season your way- by wearing this Jingle Goat t-shirt by Miski, it's strictly for Christmas mavericks who prefer goats to reindeer!
Some of the things you have heard all your life about blind people ain't necessarily true. It's possible you've never thought about those myths enough to bother checking them out, but now you can have the straight dope fed right to you, as mental_floss busts some misconceptions about being blind. Josh Sundquist (previously at Neatorama) is the guest host this week for the mental_floss List Show.
Just last month we linked to a Today I Found Out article featuring 10 facts that sound completely unbelievable, but since then, they've posted two more articles with that very same theme -so now you can learn 20 more unbelievable but true facts. For example, did you know the biggest earthquake ever recorded hit 23 on the Richter Scale? Fortunately, no cities were destroyed because this earthquake was recorded by NASA and took place on a star millions of lightyears away.
Also strange, Saudi Arabia imports camels from Australia for food -the local camels there are raised exclusively for racing and domestic purposes. And did you know that the people who voiced Mickey and Minnie Mouse were actually married in real life.
This is a Star Wars story. Or, more specifically, a story of a young Star Wars fan. Did you ever know a kid who would wear a superhero costume or a tutu to school every day? Alex is that obsessed with a galaxy far, far away. The stormtrooper helmet is a dead giveaway.
Married couple Abby and Matt were sick of being harassed by their parents about having a baby, so when they went to adopt a puppy, they had a brilliant idea about how to get their family to leave them alone.
They had their photographer friend Elisha Minnette take typical, cheesy baby photos with them and their precious new puppy.
One thing's for sure, this loving family sure has a beautiful, bouncing bundle of joy.
For 27 years, Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, had a temporary hotel built out of ice that lasted from December through April. But now a new design will allow the hotel to remain open year round! The new ICEHOTEL 365 has concrete outer walls with pipes running through it to bring refrigeration to the ice that covers them, sustaining it through the summer by solar power.
With an eye toward research, ICEHOTEL founder Yngve Bergqvist knows that Sweden will have shorter winters in the future. He also has had visitors every year asking if they could visit his creation during the summer and autumn months. It was important that ICEHOTEL become sustainable year-round, so the 2,100-square meter ice experience was designed and built. It now includes 11 art suites, 9 deluxe suites with private bathrooms and saunas, an ice gallery and an ice bar. In keeping with tradition, the structure was hand carved by global artists, hand selected for the project.
When the holiday season rolls around you know it- there's a spring in our step, a smile on our faces as we make our lists and check them twice to make sure we get our shopping done and give everyone on our list a great present.
But driving around town or looking at a half dozen different websites to find the perfect geeky presents is a waste of time- especially when you can find all the shirts you need at the NeatoShop!
We all have one thing in common during the holiday season- shopping
Historic sites are often huge draws for tourists, even when the history is tough to discuss. Just don’t expect to find the darkest topics in a travel guide.
Governments, or more specifically, their tourism boards are usually enthusiastic to promote any noteworthy site or event possible. This has lead to more than a few missteps, of course. Like the recent ”Syria: Always Beautiful" campaign touting the country’s beaches. Come for the Mediterranean scenery, please ignore the raging civil war. This eagerness to encourage tourism makes certain decisions particularly interesting. Denying or restricting access, or even failing to promote something significant, is lost revenue. In some instances, the reasons for doing so are practical, as with Chernobyl or any number of active government buildings. With others, it’s a matter of taste and dignity. I doubt the German Tourism Board will launch a million-euro campaign touting tours of the country’s concentration camps. Today we head to Germany to look at why we get to see some things, but not others.
A million and a half people visited the Auschwitz concentration camp in 2014. After some research (along with a fair amount of estimation) and back-of-the-envelope math, concentration camps add some $100 million annually to the economies of Germany and Poland.
Me standing at the entrance of Slaughterhouse-Five. I never know what to do with my hands in pictures. (Image credit: Danilo Hommel)
How is access to historically significant sites determined?
World War II tourism is a big money-maker. While admission to Auschwitz is free, guided tours begin at 25 euros per person. Keeping in mind other notable sites, such as the Normandy beaches, Buchenwald, or Dunkirk, and the money flowing from tourists is substantial.
This is a cute illustration of a zebra from Raynato Castro and Alex Culang at Buttersafe, but the story escalates quickly. You must always remember that apex predators have camouflage, too. Here's what a polar bear in a snowstorm looks like. Yeah, you can see him, but more importantly, he is looking directly at you, you delicious warm-blooded human.
Haines, Alaska, has a population of 2,508 people, but the town boasts five museums. One of them is the Hammer Museum. It's a museum dedicated to hammers. There are more than 2,000 hammers on display, for every use you can imagine, including historical hammers and the 20-foot-tall hammer that stands outside.
The museum also holds special events like the Art & Hammer series and the annual Blacksmithing Workshop. The Hammer Museum is open from May through September, so make your summer road trips plans accordingly. Meanwhile, you can explore the museum through Facebook and Instagram. -Thanks, John Farrier!
Once upon a time mages were not invited to join many parties, on account of people thinking they're kinda weird and scary looking with those beady eyes staring out from under that giant hat of theirs, but nowadays the party don't get started until the mage arrives and that's final. They've gone from d-orko to prime Cura for a boring party, and whether they're slinging Black, White or Red spells they know the party people will appreciate the vibes they bring to the joint. So you wanna party like Cloud Strife? Get a mage to come over and watch your party get LIT!
Add some fantasy hilarity to your geeky wardrobe with this This Party Just Got LIT t-shirt by Jango Snow, it's pure fire and sure to get you lots of nods and fist bumps from your fellow fans!
The battleship USS Missouri, commissioned in 1944, is famous as the site of the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender that ended World War II. Earlier, under the command of Captain William M. Callaghan, the ship had been attacked by a Japanese Zero piloted by a kamikaze attacker. On April 11, 1945, the fighter plane came in at a low angle, as you can see in the image above, and crashed across the deck.
Even as antiaircraft fire hit the plane, the plane hit the ship. The ship’s baker, Len Schmidt, captured the terrifying millisecond right before impact on camera. An explosion could have killed hundreds. Instead, what foxhole converts call a miracle – historians call it wartime’s dumb luck – intervened: the bomb fell off the plane before impact. The hit barely made a dent, although it did start a gasoline fire. The Japanese pilot was the only casualty. Half his body fragmented, scattering on deck; the other half sank into the sea with his plane.
With the special fury sitting-duck sailors expressed for these flying suicide bombers, crew members prepared to wash their enemy’s body into the sea. Then in a decisive, life-defining, incredibly decent move, Captain Callaghan said “No.” He decided to see past the fearsome façade, and honor the fearlessness—and fealty—this boy demonstrated. Callaghan ordered that the body be brought to sick bay “and we'll have a burial for him tomorrow.”
Integrating technology into our lives was supposed to make things easier for us, automating and managing aspects of our daily lives to ease our burden, but in reality tech has made things more complicated.
We now struggle to unplug, constantly searching for a wi-fi signal so we aren't disconnected from our online friends list, each of us easily distracted by the small screens in our pockets and purses.
It appears our priorities shifted when we weren't paying attention, and now we'd rather carry on heated discussions about the color of dresses instead of speaking about the sad state of affairs in America.
Illustrator Eduardo Salles has a knack for cutting through the digital chatter to expose the soft, fleshy parts of our minds that have yet to become permanently attached to the internet.
Plug his brutally honest illustrations in and enjoy!
We heard hype about the movie Suicide Squad for what seemed like years before it actually opened. It was teased for quite some time before I figured out it was a Batman movie -or at least took part in the Batman/DC Comics universe. It did not fulfill expectations. Screen Junkies had an easy assignment with this Honest Trailer.
In fact, Suicide Squad had plenty of problems that weren't apparent in the finished film, but they sure contributed. They threw everything but the kitchen sink into this film, and it didn't help. What they really needed was some lighting.
Venus flytraps aren't generally thought of as plants worth stealing, and since they're seen as a novelty addition to a garden it doesn't seem like they'd be worth much money.
But the Venus Flytrap is an endangered species due to overcollection so there's real money to be made by poaching Flytraps, and therefore poaching has become a family tradition passed down for generations.
The Venus Flytrap is native to swampy areas in North and South Carolina, and the only place in the world where it grows wild is a 75 mile radius around Wilmington, where it has been protected by state legislation since 1956.
In fact, poaching has become such a big problem conservationists are afraid the Flytraps will be picked into extinction by poachers, who often sell the plants on the black market for about 25 cents each.
The poachers aren't above stealing this rare plant by the thousands from greenhouses and nurseries in the area too, and it's estimated there are only about 35,000 plants remaining in the wild.
Stargazing is good for the soul, but if you want to see the real glory of the cosmos above us, you need to get away from light pollution. And the clouds, of course. Just getting out of town is a good start, but if you want the view of a lifetime, you might think about planning your next vacation around the view of the stars at night. One place to see amazing stars capes is Chile.
Chile may be known for being one of the driest places on earth, but it is also a destination known for great wine, great beaches and great skies. Described by many as an astronomers’ paradise, Chile is an ideal stargazing destination due to its lack of precipitation, clear skies and low-to-zero light pollution. The near-perfect visibility gives stargazers crystal-clear views of Southern Hemisphere sky legends- including the Tarantula Nebula and the Fornax Cluster of galaxies. In fact, the northern part of the country experiences more than 200 cloudless nights each year!
When you’re there, don’t forget to visit renowned astronomical observation sites such as the Paranal Observatory- home to the Very Large Telescope (the largest in the world), and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, the world’s most powerful radio telescope.
Cats act like they don't know the difference between day and night, but those little furry bastards definitely know the difference- and they know the middle of the night is the best time to get our attention.
So we get frustrated with them, wage a cold war and freeze them out until they do something cute and wind up right back on our good side.
But Nick T didn't pussyfoot around after his chatty tabby Italic had woken him up every night for a week straight- he meowed for vengeance.
These original artworks feature your favorite movie and TV characters in quirky holiday scenes. They are sure to stand out among all those generic cards displayed on the mantle. Continue reading to see more of them.
Between the constant delays, the filthy conditions, the crime, the stench, and the crowd of people you're forced to share the space with it's no wonder people would rather pay to take an Uber to work than ride the train.
The train scene has gotten so bad that even superheroes are having a hard time surviving the trip, which isn't that surprising if you consider they have more experience fighting giant monsters than dirty naked dudes.
Winter is definitely here. A snowstorm in Montreal Monday left a super-slick surface on Côte du Beaver Hall, which is a steep street. Why hadn't they plowed or salted it yet? Because the snowplow is having trouble getting around, just like everyone else. This is what you call a "slippery slope."
Cats and Christmas are a great combination -especially when it involves Christmas trees.
Naturally the trees make great climbing posts, but even when they aren't climbing the trees, kitties still seem to be pretty darn happy with the holidays.
Even fake, unclimbale trees are enough to put a smile on a feline's face. And if you're looking for something to put a smile on your face, look no further than this great Buzzfeed article filled will all kinds of cute kitties celebrating the holidays!
Hot Stuff has always been seen as more of a comical character than the one who instills fear in the hearts of men, but after binge watching his favorite new superhero show he decided it was time to live up to his Little Devil nature. He figured if some blind guy could kick butt while pretending to be a devil he could kick twice as much butt and make his papa proud at the same time. So Hot Stuff headed to Harveyville and started looking for a scrap, but all he could find were cute cartoon characters with big heads and even bigger hearts! Man, no wonder there's never any crime in Harveyville....
Add some superheroic heat to your geeky wardrobe with this Lil' Devil t-shirt by Poopsmoothie, it's an exciting design that will blow your fellow fans' minds!
Research about business and business-like odors compiled by Grover Dunn, Improbable Research staff
Corporeal Porosity in Office Work “Smell Organization: Bodies and Corporeal Porosity in Office Work,” Kathleen Riach and Samantha Warren, Human Relations, epub October 9, 2014. The authors, at Monash University, Australia, and the University of Essex, UK, explain:
The Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London made Big Ben, the Liberty Bell, and the Bells of St. Mary's. It has sent bells all over the world since the business opened in 1570. The foundry has been at the same Whitechapel location since 1783. But now owners Alan and Kathryn Hughes have announced that they will no longer take new orders, and the firm will close down next May.
It has been several centuries since the boom years of bell making, yet the foundry has found ways of adapting to modern times by making traditional doorbells, popular among people restoring Victorian properties.
The Downton effect has seen a third of its business exported overseas.
However, quality craftsmanship takes time. The average time from enquiry to order is 11 years, and the longest commission in the foundry’s history took 100 years to produce.
Order to installation takes another year, and a major project could cost as much as £250,000 to produce.
It's still possible that someone else will purchase the equipment and keep producing bells at another location. Read more about the oldest bell foundry in the world at the Telegraph. -Thanks, John Farrier!