When is the best time to play bagpipes? The answer is: always. It is always appropriate to play the bagpipes, for they are the world's most beautiful musical instrument.
We've heard them played in space. We've heard them played on a unicycle. Now, thanks to enterprising soldiers in Pakistan, we can now hear the melodious sounds of the pipes by men on camels.
A year ago, the Pakistan Desert Rangers formed a camel-mounted military marching band that includes bagpipers. This has not been easy, as the camels have had to learn how to adjust to this new work and the pipers have had to learn how to play on bouncing camels. Dawn magazine reports:
“It is very difficult to play the bagpipe while sitting on the camel," admits piper Muhammad Hussain. “But we have now learned the art."
The band, part of the Pakistan Desert Rangers, was formed last year after hundreds of animals went out of service, reduced by the latest military patrol vehicles to doing mere donkey's work — that is until the idea to dress them in bunting and put bagpipers on their backs was born.
After making their debut before startled spectators at Pakistan's National Day parade in Islamabad in March, they are now deployed in Moj Garh, 100 kilometres east of Bahawalpur in Punjab province, where they drill daily in preparation for a potential international career.
We can only hope that these pipers and their camels get to travel the world in order to share the joy of bagpipe music.
In his younger days Son Goku loved nothing more than to spend his days flying around on his kinto-un, or nimbus cloud. The cloud made it easy for Goku to get away from jerks in a hurry, and also made it easy for him to get to those hard to reach places and search for the objects he desired- the mighty dragon balls! Master Roshi is probably regretting his decision to give the nimbus to Goku now, but what's a mythological warrior without his magical steed?
This Son Goku & Kinto-Un t-shirt by S3NTRYDesigns is made for every kind of DBZ fan, from those who have watched from the beginning to those who prefer their anime action super saiyan sized.
Giraffes don’t make a lot of noise, but they are able to make sounds like grunts, hisses, snorts, and even moos.
Baby giraffes grow about an inch every day during their first week of life. But only about one giraffe baby in four makes it to adulthood. Big cats and jackals hunt them, and their mothers aren’t great at defense.
Giraffe males can be as tall as 18 feet; females, 14 feet.
Like cows, giraffes are ruminants, which means they have four compartments in their stomachs and they regurgitate and chew their cud.
A giraffe tongue measures about 2 feet long and is blue-black in color. Scientists think that might be so their tongues don’t get sunburned.
A giraffe’s legs are taller than the average human adult.
Giraffes have seven vertebrae in their necks— the same as every mammal.
A giraffe newborn falls from a height of about 6 ½ feet. Luckily, it’s already about 6 feet tall at birth, so the fall isn’t really that bad.
Male giraffes are often at more risk from predators than females, even though they’re larger, because they spend a lot of time alone and are easy to sneak up on.
The giraffe has only one known relative: the okapi, a mammal native to rain forests in central Africa. Okapis somewhat resemble giraffes, but have black and white striped legs and short necks.
Ase Marie Nordhagen, 90, of Norway loves soccer, especially the task of "keep ups." This is keeping a ball in the air by bouncing it off one foot continuously. She's been practicing since she was a little girl, once performing 1,000 without dropping it.
Now she's good for about 50 keep ups at a time, thanks to up to an hour of practice per day. Nordhagen loves it so much that, she explained to a Norwegian newspaper, "I can't go past the ball in the hallway without picking it up and performing a few tricks."
Try to keep up with her.
Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog
With hundreds of cable channels, a fragmented audience, and competition from cheap reality series, it’s harder and harder to get networks to take a chance on an original idea for a TV series. So what are they doing? TV producers are falling all over each other to adapt ideas from successful movies and rework them into continuing series. Do you think these will have a chance?
Kevin Bacon vs. goo-filled giant worms known as “Tremors,” round 2. It can’t be any worse than The Following, so the second TV adaptation for Tremors gets the Den of Geek stamp of approval. Bacon will reprise his role as Valentine McKee and the series will be set in the fictional town of Perfection, Nevada, just like the original 1990 film. After four straight-to-video sequels, Syfy brought Tremors to TV for a 13-episode run in 2003.
There’s currently no network attached as the project is in its infancy, but we do know that Universal Cable Productions and Blumhouse Productions are developing the series reboot, with Andrew Miller (The Secret Circle) to write the adaptation and Bacon to produce.
When Taken hit theaters in 2009, few would have dared to guess that it would ultimately turn into a franchise that grossed nearly $1 billion at the box office. Yet here we are, with French filmmaker Luc Besson’s Taken franchise responsible for earning Liam Neeson millions of dollars and what will go down as an iconic role for the Irish actor. Taken may take another unlikely step (though as this list continues to grow, we can’t say that anymore), crossing over to the television world. NBC is interested in the story of former CIA operative Bryan Mills. So much so, the network is willing to push forward with a prequel following Mills before he was married and had a child that would eventually be kidnapped and rescued. As of now, Liam Neeson is not involved in the project.
Den of Geek has synopses for 42 such projects, some only in discussion, others with a budget for a pilot or even a network deal already. And some of the movies are decades old. Read about them all.
Maria Bradley is a special effects and makeup artist. Among other media, she paints the bellies of pregnant women.
We've seen baby bumppaintings before, but Bradley takes this trendy art form to a whole new level. She's a special effects artist, so she knows how to add an element of horror to the experience. For her own belly, she created a 3d form of her child breaking out. She explained the process to Baby Center UK:
With special effects I love to shock people. I brought a second-hand doll and casted the face using clay then pored Kryolan Gelafix skin into the clay mould. I removed the cast and glued it to my own belly. I then used liquid latex and tissue to cover the moulds to try and make it look like the baby is pushing its head through the skin. I then painted it all with foundation to blend it in with my skin tone.
Tara Smith-Adkins of Halifax, Nova Scotia wants to make sure that the homeless people in her town don't want for warm winter coats. So every year, she rounds up local kids to walk around town, tying coats and scarves to trees and signposts in the area.
Jeff Wysaski created a mockup Black Friday circular and posted it at some poor Target store. The items offered are obviously fake if you take a minute to think about them: a tent with an angry possum in it? A free falcon with a $75 order? You have to look closely to catch all the jokes.
But then there are these “exclusive Star Wars toys.” Who wouldn’t want a C3P Fro? Or an Episode VII hot dog blaster? Personally, I want the Luke Skymopper. See several more pages of these at Obvious Plant.
So you've lost a tire but don't have a spare to put on your car. What would you do? I'm stumped.
But the driver of this SUV in St. Petersburg, Russia wasn't. The Moscow Times reports that he was driving at about 50 kph (31 mph). Hopefully the local police will log the incident as a safety violation.
-via Dave Barry, who warns "steer clear of beavers."
Marilyn Monroe became known for a whole lot more than just her appearance in Playboy Magazine back in 1953, but she had no way of knowing she would become one of the most iconic Hollywood actors of all time.
So when she posed for photographer Tom Kelley back in 1949 she billed herself as Mona Monroe and posed for a nude pin-up that would become famous for an entirely different reason than the Marilyn connection.
This pin-up photo (and the unretouched full nude version) were used in the "Golden Dream" calendar printed around 1951, and when people realized the calendar girl was Marilyn Monroe a few years later the calendar became a big hit with the boys.
Marilyn posed for the picture out of pure "desperation" and was paid a measly $50 for the shoot, but it must have helped her with her later Playboy shoot since she struck nearly the same pose.
At least he’s honest about it. I think I’ll stay away from stores this weekend, as I always do after Thanksgiving. I don’t want to buy something just because you want to sell it to me. I’ll buy what I want, just as soon as I win the lottery. -via Cracked
Everybody's talking about their kettlebell training and how buff they're getting, but they're only hitting the gym that hard because they don't have any love in their lives. Truth is, if they spent their days lifting a fat purring cat onto their laps instead of repeatedly lifting weights over their heads for hours on end they'd probably opt for the kittybells and ditch the gym membership.
Start a new kind of exercise craze with this Kittybell Kettlebell t-shirt by Jasonyerface, is there anything a cat can't do to improve our lives?
People generally use slang terms when they talk about sex in public, because it's considered "dirty talk" and therefore inappropriate for some ears to hear.
This tradition of using innocent sounding slang terms to discuss sex began long ago, and whether you call it making whoopee, bumpin' uglies or simply gettin' it on, chances are you'd rather use slang to talk about sex than speaking frankly.
I haven’t read The Hunger Games, not have I seen any of the movies, so I didn’t really know the plot besides hearing that it’s a remake of Battle Royale. Imagine my surprise to find out today what it’s really about!
It is literally about a hungry young woman, Katniss Everdeen, except that she's not hungry enough to accept just any old food. She wants what she wants, and her favorite thing to eat is pita bread. -via Viral Viral Videos
There's an iconic photograph of physicist extraordinaire Albert Einstein sitting on a rock dressed in shorts and open toed sandals, looking a bit like the original hipster.
This image has sparked the imagination of science nerds and Einstein fans for decades, and is often used in a "scientists have fun too" kinda way, but what's the real story behind this photo?
Turns out this is a snapshot of Albert at the beach wouldn't have happened without this guy:
His name is David Rothman, and he owned Rothman's Department Store in Southold, New York, where he sold Einstein a pair of "sundials":
In the summer of 1939, Albert Einstein spent his summer on Nassau Point, in Peconic, NY on eastern Long Island. My grandfather, David Rothman, was owner of Rothman’s Department Store in nearby Southold.
One June day, Einstein came into the store. Of course, my grandfather recognized him at once. He decided, though, to treat him just like any other customer.
“Are you looking for something in particular?” he asked
“Sundials,” Einstein said in his thick German accent.
Now, Rothman’s has always had a large variety of items—just about everything from housewares, to fishing tackle and bait, to hardware, to toys, to appliances. But no sundials. Not for sale, anyway. But…
“I do have one in my back yard,” my grandfather said.
He led Einstein—who seems a bit bewildered—to the back yard, to show him the sundial. “If you need one you can have this.”
Einstein took one look and began to laugh. He pointed to his feet. “No. Sundials.”
Sandals. Those, he had.
I'll say this about Einstein- he sure had some nice gams for a guy who spent his days theorizing instead of exercising!
Thanksgiving is all about tradition, and one of those traditions is a round of articles on the internet, a few days before the holiday, about how to get along with relatives who insist on discussing sensitive subjects, or else how to put them in their place. Read them at The New York Times, Buzzfeed, Vox, Medium, Saturday Night Live, and The Onion.
If none of the tips offered work, you can read about some extreme family drama stories that will make you feel better about the one you have. From the response to these articles, you’d think that no American family can agree on politics, religion, or limits on sharing personal information.
So many Thanksgiving family feasts resemble this 1898 cartoon by Caran d'Ache. the caption to the top image reads, "Above all, let us not discuss the Dreyfus Affair!" and the lower image is captioned, "They have discussed it."
Let’s hope your family can hold off discussing whatever "it" is this year at least until the pie comes to the table. -via Metafilter
Ask Americans what they’re eating on Thanksgiving, and the overwhelming majority (82% here) will say turkey, usually with dressing and gravy. Sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie are pretty universal, too. But there are regional differences in what people select to put on the table, especially in side dishes. FiveThirtyEight held an online poll, crunched the numbers, and came up with a map showing which side dish is disproportionally popular in various regions of the U.S. These aren’t the only dishes that show regional variance.
Going deeper, the Southeast is the definitive home of canned cranberry sauce; respondents from the region are 50 percent more likely to pick that over the homemade variety. The Middle Atlantic states disproportionately have cauliflower as a side — 17 percent in the region versus 9 percent nationwide — while Texas and central Southern states see cornbread as far more necessary than the rest of the country, with 40 percent of respondents from those regions having it at dinner, compared with only 28 percent of the nation.
It makes sense to me, because Thanksgiving is all about food tradition. Cornbread was once a staple of every meal in the South, whereas fresh cranberries were hard to find down here before modern food transport methods were in place. So we eat what our grandparents ate 50 years ago, more so on Thanksgiving than other days. That said, I only serve macaroni and cheese at Thanksgiving when there are little children around. Read more about the various regional Thanksgiving side dishes at FiveThirtyEight. -via Marilyn Terrell
There's no turning back now- the 2015 holiday season is upon us, and soon the gift giving bonanza will begin.
But there's good news for both givers and receivers- the NeatoShop has every kind of torso cover you could possibly need, from shirts for kids to tees and hoodies for adults to tiny dog tees for your furry friends.
And with thousands of designs to choose from, and more designs added every day, it's easy to handle your holiday shopping for less at the NeatoShop!
When the temperature starts to drop a few degrees each day
This group of glamour shots from the 1950s may create a nostalgia in viewers for times when beauty standards for women allowed for slightly heavier, curvier models. These bodies have no sharp angles; they are soft and roundly shaped. Their poses and particularly their facial expressions seem attempts to convey innocence and a sort of sweet naiveté not found in modern photography of this type.
The cause of the American Revolution was frequently short of men, commonly short of arms and other military supplies, and almost always deprived of cash. Wars--especially wars against great powers such as the United Kingdom--are expensive. Oliver Pollock, an Irish merchant based in Spanish-controlled New Orleans, helped the nascent American government fund its war efforts. During his struggle to back the Americans, he accidentally invented the dollar sign ($).
Dan Hess of Atlas Obscura traces the life of Pollock and his extraordinary efforts on behalf of the American cause. Not only did Pollock help fund the revolutionaries at his own expense, his diplomatic efforts were essential to getting Spain active in the war and ensuring the success of expeditions to capture the Trans-Appalachian West.
After the war ended, Pollock wanted his money back and asked Congress to make good on its debts to him. His notes include the first use of the dollar sign:
“Pollock...entered the abbreviation ‘ps’ by the figures for ‘peso.’ Because Pollock recorded these Spanish “dollars” or “pesos” as ‘ps” and because he tended to run both letters together, the resulting symbol resembled a ‘$,’” says Jim Woodrick, the Historic Preservation Division Director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.
That’s it. Historians have analyzed the source of the $ symbol and have yet to find it written down prior to Pollock’s use in his ledgers. His unintentional creation is supported by the fact that Robert Morris chose to adopt the symbol and by 1797 had it cast in type in Philadelphia as the official symbol for new nation’s own currency.
The Vault-Tec folks were looking for a spokesperson to serve as the face of their latest underground habitats, but all they could find were slag faced Super mutants and scummy desperadoes. But then little Annie from Vault 111 walked into the room and wowed them all with her form fitting jumpsuit. The Vault-Tec folks loved her smile, which was warmer than midday in the Mojave, and they adored her hair, styled by a very gifted Mr. Handy she'd nicknamed Permie, but her derriere sealed the deal!
Bring some post-apocalyptic pin-up fun with this Vault Girl Fallout 4 t-shirt by Vaiolet, it's sweeter than Sunset Sarsparilla and sure to earn you all kinds of followers!
What’s not to love about snow? It’s deep, and cool, and slippery! It can be hard or it can float on air. You can jump on top of it or dig underneath it. And best of all, the kids are playing in it! The drawbacks are that it’s cold and hard to drive in, but if you’re a dog, you have a fur coat and nowhere to drive anyway. -via Tastefully Offensive
This original take on Star Wars cosplay is beautiful! Hendo Art Cosplay costumed herself in Leia's robes from Episode IV, modified to look like a kimono and accented with accessories and makeup that make the princess look like a geisha from a bygone Japan.
You wouldn't like him when he's angry | Image: Universal Pictures
For some, the holidays aren't necessarily all sweetness and light. With immediate and extended family gathered and the discussions of world events and politics that can produce; with some worn thin working odd hours with cranky coworkers; and travel by plane, train and automobile, tensions can run higher than usual.
But that doesn't mean we can't keep our own emotions in check. As "they" say, you can't control others, but you can control how you react toward them — and often, that makes a significant difference in the moods and behaviors of those around you.
Arman Foisy of Lillooet, British Columbia was recently driving his mother around. He stopped the car to turn around. Then his mother, Albina Foisy, opened the door and got out. She wanted to play in the snow.
She's 101 years old, but she has the joy of a child when encountering snow. She scooped up a few handfuls, fashioned a snowball, and threw it. In the video (auto-start), she says, "It's snowing quite a bit. It's kinda fun to play in the snow!" She's right!
It seems no story of time travel can exist today without mentioning the idea of going back in time and killing Hitler, which sounds like a good idea even though it's one mighty big butterfly to step on.
The theory has evolved to killing Baby Hitler, thereby eliminating the Nazi era from even happening and possibly preventing World War II altogether.
But this creates a new conundrum- could you kill a cute little baby, even if that baby would grow up to be one of the most notorious figures of the 20th century?
Personally I think the time traveler vs. Hitler debate could be solved without any bloodshed by going back in time and buying Hitler's paintings, thereby legitimizing his art career.
Hitler the artist will be too busy drawing Disney characters and painting portraits of German Shepherds to bring the Nazi party to power, and thirty years later we'd spot him hanging out with Andy Warhol in SoHo!