WatchMojo put together a nice list of their picks for Top 10 Secret Levels In Video Games to put you in a nostalgiac mood.
From Super Mario World's fabled Star Road to the ridiculous Secret Cow Level in Diablo II, these are levels that "are hidden and must be found by completing certain objectives or searching certain areas of a game", a gamer's ultimate prize for playing.
Research into the history of the plague reveals how the painstaking drudgery of lab work can eventually lead to amazing findings. Imagine spending a year separating the components of a bacterium and feeding the different parts to fleas to see what happens. That’s part of the work that went into mapping the history of mutations to the bacterium Yersinia pestis, which killed millions of people at a time during historical plague outbreaks.
The most recent of these studies, published in June, found that the acquisition of a single gene named pla gave Y. pestis the ability to cause pneumonia, causing a form of plague so lethal that it kills essentially all of those infected who don’t receive antibiotics. In addition, it is also among the most infectious bacteria known. “Yersinia pestis is a pretty kick-ass pathogen,” said Paul Keim, a microbiologist at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. “A single bacterium can cause disease in mice. It’s hard to get much more virulent than that.”
The genetic makeover that led to the modern plague is thought to have occurred relatively recently in evolutionary history, anywhere from 1,500 to 20,000 years ago. But last month, a discovery was announced that could extend the history of the plague all the way back to a time before humans. George Poinar Jr., a biologist at Oregon State University in Corvallis, found that a 20-million-year-old flea encased in amber has a plague-like bacterium on its proboscis that could be an ancestor of Y. pestis. While a definitive identification of the bacterium hasn’t been made — and may not even be possible — an ancient ancestor of the Black Death could help reveal the earliest steps in a tortured evolutionary path, and perhaps help pinpoint at what point the most deadly changes occurred.
A change in a single gene -or even a part of a gene- at a time in Y. pestis allowed it to mutate at different points in history to do things like travel in fleas without killing them, cause pneumonia in humans, spread through the human body more efficiently, and spread from person to person. When all these factors were finally in place, we got pandemics. Read what we’ve learned about the evolutionary history of the plague at Quanta Magazine. -via Digg
Staff at the Richmond Zoo quickly took over when two-week-old cheetah Kumbali's mother wasn't producing enough milk for him to thrive. After the keepers' bottle feeding regimen was successful, the cub needed to be socialized. That's when he was introduced to a rescue puppy they named Kago. Kumbali and Kago, now inseparable, have formed a sibling-like bond. Watch this adorable pair romp and play in this footage. Via Uproxx
Daniel Drake is constantly creative. He's the frontman for the band Psych Squared, writes comic books, does graphic design, and makes pancakes that almost look like photos. With a griddle, a spatula, and carefully colored pancake batter, he can compose portraits that go well with syrup, such as this one that looks like Sam Winchester, a character on the TV show Supernatural.
This isn't just cooking, but a performance art. Drake is available to fry his custom pancakes at parties and other entertainment venues.
When Redditors are presented with an evocative photograph, one that begs for a philosophical explanation or scholarly interpretation, there's no time to be lost. There is one answer, and one answer only to the curious photo conundrum, and that is Photoshop Battle. Stalwart Reddit warriors prepare their trusty weapons, and voila! The original photograph of a little girl planning for world destruction and domination as she holds an owl is transformed.
Rhonda is already a marvel in the octagon, a warrior woman who has made a name for herself by making the competition tap out, so why not cast her in the Captain Marvel movie? You know she'll be able to handle all the stunts, and seeing her in that supersuit is sure to make both guys and girls swoon at the sight. The only problem with casting Rhonda Rousey as Captain Marvel is it's sure to launch her acting career, and then she won't have enough time or energy to fight!
Get geared up for the movie of your dreams with this Captain Rousey t-shirt by Hugohugo, it's a heroic way to show your support for the only woman who can do Captain Marvel justice!
Creatures of the night don't come much more hauntingly beautiful than Vampira, TV's first horror host who inspired many creepy characters to come, including Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.
Vampira is a character created by the late Maila Nurmi, and although she inspired future generations with her fiendish fashion sense and vampy persona, Maila's time in the spotlight was sadly short lived.
Maila spent her golden years painting portraits of Vampira and selling them through an art dealer in L.A., her iconic character kept alive via paint covered canvas.
Here's a short video featuring Maila discussing where her passion for painting began:
Hairy guys from all over the world traveled to Leogang, Austria, last weekend for the World Beard and Moustache Championship. There were over 350 competitors in several categories to crown the best mustache, beard, and other facial hair configurations. Some were long, some were sculpted into shapes, and some were just overall magnificent. See a collection of images from the event at Buzzfeed.
Disney released the movie Aladdin in 1992, and times have changed a bit since then. Thought loosely based on the classic 1001 Nights, there’s plenty wrong with the screenplay written for children, especially how the movie rewards questionable ethics. But it’s all right, because Robin Williams steals the show.
In 1993, the comic book artist and writer Ben Dunn launched one of his most popular series: Warrior Nun Areala. It is the story of a secret order of nuns who fight against demonic forces at loose in the world. In the eternal war between Heaven and Hell, the Warrior Nuns have led the way for light for over a millennium.
The series, which concluded in 2003, was very popular and obviously ideal for an action movie or television series. Ben Dunn and fans of the series have been considering the possibilities since the premier of the comic book. This test animation shows what an animated show could have been if produced during the 90s.
After much script work over the years, a Warrior Nun movie is now finally in the works! I talked to Dean English, one of the producers of the movie.
First, could you summarize the Warrior Nun story for us?
The story in Ben Dunn’s graphic novels centers on a secret organization of Warrior Nuns called the Order of the Crucifx Sword who are hidden within the shadows of the Catholic Church. They are led by one Sister Shannon Masters and are ready to scrap all the Evil that they can find — or finds them! I must admit that I always a smile when answering that question because what’s not to like about Warrior Nuns kicking some demon butt.
Little Bird (yes, that’s his name) is a 2-year old caique. That’s a kind of parrot I’d never heard of before. If you have one, maybe you should give him a paper towel. It will make his day. -via Arbroath
Giovanni and Teresa Jacuzzi married in 1886 and had 13 children, seven sons and five daughters. The family emigrated to America to escape World War I, and the sons worked together to invent, build, and market machines. Rachele, the oldest Jacuzzi brother, came up with an improvement in the airplane propellor. Then an entire airplane. Then a water-pumping method that led to irrigation machines which were very popular in California. The youngest brother, Candido, perfected his English so he could sell the Jacuzzi gadgets. Then in the 1940s, Candido’s young son Ken contracted strep throat.
While this seems eminently treatable now, Ken’s illness occurred in the era before antibiotics. Strep leads to rheumatic fever, which leads to Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA), a syndrome that causes persistent joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. In Ken's case, the infection went systemic, meaning his entire body was affected. The family took him to a rheumatologist, who recommended physical therapy in addition to a constant and steady assortment of drugs. He also recommended a more advanced treatment.
“Hydrotherapy,” says Ken, “to warm up my body and joints, to get them more flexible.” Inez noticed Ken reacted well to the water-based treatments, but couldn't always make the drive. So, to cut down on he logistical hassle, she enlisted Candido to take a look at the hydrotherapy unit. “He came to the conclusion that it's just pumps. So, he developed a design.”
We love terrifying Halloween food, but it's hard to make something mentally scarring without a ton of experience. If you're brave enough to try the DIY approach though, Instructable user SemadarG has put together a handy tutorial on how to make your own nightmarish cupcakes like the one above.
In a traditional tabletop role-playing game, the players' imaginations make an adventure an immersive experience. I've seen some game masters use audio soundtracks to enhance this experience. Here's a new sensory tool to make traditional RPGs even more realistic: scents for particular scenarios.
Jennifer Howlett is the founder of Adventure Scents, a line of aromatic beads carefully selected to reflect common role-playing game situations. They include Horse Stables, Rowdy Tavern, Fishing Docks, Pirate Ship, Enchanted Forest, Dusty Library, Moldy Crypt, Roman Bathhouse, and Fetid Swamp.
Which one should you choose? Howlett makes suggestions with the Scent-O-Matic--an interactive tool that helps game masters select scents by game, fantasy setting, entertainment franchise, and location.
You and I would go straight for a brain-shaped cake mold and call it a day. But baker and cake artist Yolanda Gampp went all the way, creating an entire brain cake from scratch. The red velvet cake was baked in a bowl, and then sculpted with custom-made fondant to make the cerebellum and the folds of the cortex.
Add some raspberry syrup, and the finished product looks like something you’d see in an anatomy class. The real fun will be cutting into this thing! Want the recipe? You’ll find it at Glampp’s blog How to Cake It. -via Tastefully Offensive
The Tenth Doctor and Rose succeeded where so many before them had failed, and their actions truly made the universe a better place. Of course, they were unable to stop those rolling trashcans from continuing their parade of death and destruction, but at least their actions helped humanity when hope was needed most. It's not easy being a companion to the Doctor, and no matter who takes up the position there's always a moment of self doubt, but Rose proved she has what it takes to make a difference, and in time her actions will show us all how to be better people.
Show off your favorite incarnation of the doctor in style with this Making The Universe A Better Place t-shirt by Saqman, it's a surefire way to get compliments on your geeky wardrobe wherever you go!
You're about to leave the building when you realize that it's raining. You have an umbrella at home, but you didn't bring it with you. Do you have to just get wet?
Here are Amir Entezari and Babak Asad standing before an UmbraCity kiosk--their solution to this common problem. Sign up for the program, then swipe a credit card. The machine dispenses an umbrella. If you return it to a kiosk within 2 days, it's free. If you don't return the umbrella, the system charges $2 per day for up to 10 days.
Entezari and Asad are debuting their program at 5 locations on the campus of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
October is the time for a good horror story, and they don’t get any scarier than what’s known as creepypasta. These are stories people write and post to the internet, and the scariest of them, usually with a claim of truth, get passed around until they become legendary. There’s Ted the Caver, laid out in a journal that just stops and leaves the reader to assume the worst; Stay in Bed, which the author does not; The Smiling Man, shown above; and more.
One thing they have in common is that the internet offers myriad ways to present a story to make it even creepier than simply printed words on a page. Some of the stories have been made into short films, movies, and novels. Urban Ghosts presents ten of the best, with short synopses and links -and a couple of videos. You might want to read these with the lights on. After checking the entire list out, I might not sleep at all.
Your ravishing good looks, charming personality, and flair for romantic gestures help you. But what will likely predict your ability to maintain a committed relationship over time is your credit score. That's the conclusion of a paper by the Federal Reserve Board. The paper surveyed 12 million consumers participating in the Equifax credit reporting agency for a 15-year period. The Washington Post reports on the findings:
They found that people with higher (i.e. better) credit scores are more likely to form a committed relationship, as the chart below shows. This was true even after controlling for other differences between partners, like education level, race or income.
The researchers also found that having higher credit scores when they started the relationship meant that couples were less likely to separate over the next few years, as the chart below shows. In fact, for every extra 100 points in the couple's average credit score when beginning the relationship, their odds of splitting in the second year fell by around 30 percent.
This is about as silly as it gets, and that’s what the internet is made for. Mandatory wrote up what happened in season five of The Walking Dead, made it rhyme, and set it to the music of the opening theme from Cheers. Yes, they did.
Besides being a ridiculous way to present the information, it may remind fans of all that went on last year, leading up to the premiere episode of season six of The Walking Dead this Sunday night. -Thanks, Daniel!
During the past week, areas of South Carolina have experienced major flooding. When fire ants, the dominant life form in South Carolina, encounter a flood, they form enormous rafts using their own bodies. Entire colonies consisting of thousands of them can clump together in floating islands consisting entirely of painful red bites. Brian Clark Howard of National Geographic explains how these fire ant rafts work:
When waters start to flood a fire ant colony, they take evasive action. Worker ants link legs and mouths together, weaving a raft in a process that can take less than two minutes (see pictures).
The ants move their queen and larvae to the center of the raft, where they stay high and dry on top of the mass of bodies. The fine coat of hairs on the ants traps enough air that those on the bottom layer of the raft avoid being completely submerged.
Fire ants can survive in a raft up to several weeks, though they must eventually reach dry land if they are to restart their colony. In the water, they face constant danger from predators, particularly fish, who pick them off one by one. If enough ants are removed, the whole colony can collapse.
Photobombing is all about perfect timing on the part of the photobomber and the camera perfectly capturing the moment an unwanted visitor entered the shot, so beware those photobombs which are silent but deadly.
Etsy seller Andrea y Diego makes storage benches that are shaped and colored like blocks from the classic video game Tetris. Each square of her 5-piece set is 20 centimeters across, so the units are about 40 cm deep. They're made of artificial leather and wood.
Be careful: if you arrange the blocks so that the form a horizontal line, it disappears. Don't interlock them.
If you recall the lucrative campaign that suddenly made diamond engagement rings a custom, then the fact that the rest of the wedding industry is like that will not surprise you. Contains NSFW language. -via Viral Viral Videos
Visual media has played out all sorts of different post apocalyptic scenarios, from the fantasy zombie kind to the down and dirty nuclear annihilation doomsday, and somehow humans always manage to survive.
But where humans would be dealing with radiation sickness some creatures would hardly even notice the effects of a nuclear war, proving they deserve to be called a survivor.
We've all heard the theory that cockroaches would survive a nuclear blast because they can withstand more radiation than humans, but did you know the fruit fly is even more of a survivor than the roach?
According to Mythbusters only ten percent of roaches would survive a 10,000 rad bomb blast (Hiroshima level), but the common fruit fly can handle up to 64,000 rads thanks to their slow cell division and extremely fast reproduction. That means fruit flies are pesky and persistent!
By the mid-1960s, half of the revenue came from takeout orders. In 1965, Pizza Hut issued its first television commercial with this market in mind. It shows a man ordering pizza over his home phone, then driving to pick it up. He's using a tiny Junior Central brand Ford Mustang go-kart.
One surprise for me: the pizza doesn't come in boxes, but in paper bags.
Claiming your territory wasn't so easy before, but nowadays you can just splat yourself into real estate ownership and ink up the block! But beware of those who wield a different colored ink than yours, because the Splatoon name of the game is splat and be splatted, so if you see the competition coming get ready for one messy battle!
Add a splat of color to your geeky wardrobe with this Mark Your Turf t-shirt by Coinbox Tees, it's the perfect shirt to wear while you're Splatooning with your friends!
Here’s a treat for anyone attending the Texas Rangers’ home games at Globe Life Park, as long as they remain in the playoffs, according to a Tweet from ESPN’s Darren Rovell. A hot dog with cotton-candy infused mustard topped with more cotton candy. I don’t know anything about cotton candy-infused mustard, but that might be the green stuff in the picture. Would you eat this? Let me phrase that differently. How many ballpark beers would you have to ingest before you’d consider eating this? -via Uproxx
His legal name is Santa Claus. He's running for the city council of North Pole, Alaska. The election is today. Last Thursday, he filed paperwork to run as a write-in candidate for an open seat. So he's not on the ballot and will count on people voting for him based on his reputation alone.
Santa Claus previously ran for President of the United States in 2012. You can watch his campaign announcement here. FYI: he lost. So now he's setting his sights a bit lower. Good luck, Santa!