The life of an astronaut ain't all rocketships and moonbeams ya know, they see things out in the cosmos that would make most people run home crying to their mommy, strange things, scary things, super icky things.
If you don't believe me ask Astronaut Dan about it and he'll tell you all about what life is like when you live in a space suit and are stuck doing space stuff all the time. Oh, and Dan will also tell you why you should never trust a genetically modified melon... (NSFW)
American children all learn the story of the Pilgrims, who landed at Plymouth Rock in what is now Massachusetts in 1620. The colony of English immigrants faced a terrible first winter, but a bountiful harvest the next summer. The reason we are more familiar with this colony than the dozens of others who went through the same thing is that we still celebrate that bountiful harvest in our Thanksgiving holiday. But what do we know about Plymouth Rock itself? It must be a huge boulder, to have a place named after it. Or not.
In fact, the rock went unidentified for 121 years. It wasn’t until 1741, when a wharf was to be built over it, that 94-year-old Thomas Faunce, a town record keeper and the son of a pilgrim who arrived in Plymouth in 1623, reported the rock’s significance. Ever since, Plymouth Rock has been an object of reverence, as a symbol of the founding of a new nation.
Getting through the holidays in one piece can feel like a miracle, and all the mall madness, family freak outs and gift buying garbage we go through can even make a cup is half full kinda fellow feel like he's running on empty. But just because the holidays are hectic and they test our sanity at every turn doesn't mean you should go and do something stupid like make a deal with a sewer clown, because if you think the holidays are hell imagine what that old stinky chucklehead will put you through when he comes to collect!
Do IT up right this holiday season with this red hot Don't Deal With The Clown! t-shirt by Angdzu, it's two great tastes that taste great together!
Dungeons & Dragons sessions tend to be pretty lighthearted affairs, and even when the stakes are high and the pressure is on to roll that critical hit (or at least refrain from rolling a critical fail) players are still happy to be gaming.
We don't like to speculate on someone's future death, especially someone who isn't even sick, but Queen Elizabeth II is 91 years old. The British monarchy is mostly ceremonial these days, yet Elizabeth's subjects take it very seriously -or at least the ones in the UK do. There is a set procedure in place to handle getting out the news when the time comes, to be followed by a funeral and the coronation of Prince Charles.
A monarch's death sets up a whole slew of changes we hadn't thought of, like reprinting all the money to reflect a new monarch's face. What? American cash, for all its drawbacks, never goes out of style because everyone on the bills is already dead. -via Mental Floss
I have a feeling this guy is a bit fuzzy on the concept of money, or else that cluelessness is covering up the beginnings of a lifetime of crime. Maybe subconsciously, he is alluding to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, because the best things in life (time with loved ones) really can't be enjoyed until you have that other stuff (food, shelter) covered. This is the latest from Alex Culang and Raynato Castro at Buttersafe.
On the off chance that you are looking for something different to do to your Thanksgiving turkey, we've found a completely millennial way to spice it up. Reynolds Kitchen brings us several ways to combine Thanksgiving dinner with your favorite junk food- and turn your turkey Technicolor! While the aluminum foil company did not mention brand-name ingredients, we can figure out what they mean. They have recipes that call for coating your turkey in "hot puffed cheese sticks" (Flamin' Hot Cheetos), "ranch-flavored corn chips" (Doritos), and "onion-flavored rings" (Funyuns). This is the perfect way to feed your circle of friends and declare independence from family and tradition. It should cure the munchies, too. Get all three recipes here. -via Cracked
People love coffee, but some folks don't want the feeling caffeine leaves behind. In previous centuries, drinking coffee and other sources of caffeine was considered indulgent and sometimes downright sinful. Decaf offered a guilt-free way to drink coffee. German coffee roaster Ludwig Roselius developed a method of removing the caffeine from coffee in 1905 and sold his decaf under the name Kaffee HAG. It was marketed as a healthy alternative to coffee, and was adopted by the health and fitness craze sweeping Germany in the 1920s and '30s. The Nazis got into the act, too.
Under the Nazi Party, the appeal of decaf (a way to avoid stimulants) became state policy meant to safeguard the idolized Aryan race. Geoffrey Cocks, author of The State of Health: Illness in Nazi Germany, says that Nazis “earnestly believed that it was their duty and their responsibility not only to protect health of individual Germans, but the health of the entire German people as a biological, racial entity.” This of course excluded Jews and other non-Aryans, as well as homosexuals and the sick.
Similarly, the Party took measures to warn the Aryan population of caffeine’s dangers. A 1941 Hitler Youth Handbook, writes Stanford science historian Robert Proctor, states that “for young people at least, caffeine was a poison ‘in every form and in every strength.’” By the end of the 1930s, he adds, decaffeinated coffee was “widely available—and strictly regulated.”
Nobody ever said going to prison would be a walk in the park, but prison-themed movies and TV shows never really prepare you for the true horrors of life behind bars because they focus on the fighting, the raping and the shanking.
But those prison shows never mention inmates licking the wounds of a freshly imprisoned meth addict so they can get a taste of his last fix, nor do they mention how often the guards will just let an inmate die by ignoring his pleas for medical attention.
Don't get me wrong- prison is a dark and scary place for both prisoners and guards alike, especially because many prisoners are constantly waging war against their jailers.
Aydrea Walden created a video series "about an African American Anglophile cosplayer in love with the Victorian Era who's trying to bring a fantasy courtship from her re-enactment events into the real world." It's a historical comedy of manners, so to speak, except that it doesn't hide its 21st-century setting. So "Lady Kate" must deal with anachronisms like a ringing cell phone during tea and maneuvering a hoop skirt into a sedan. This is the first episode.
I love to take photos while traveling as a way to document my trip, but after reviewing and editing the pics I never know what else to do with them all short of showing them to friends who couldn't care less.
Vacation pics seem even more useless when you shoot them all on your smartphone, since it takes a bit of work to get the photos printed, all of which leaves you wondering why you took the pics at all.
When we marvel at a sight and say it "looks like it came from a fairy tale," we have to remember that those fairy tales and their illustrations are based on real places that existed once upon a time. We are just lucky that some of those places survive today. Stone castles? Sure, they can survive war, famine, pestilence, and urban renewal, but the wooden “stave” churches of Norway are a marvel. Build when Christianity was new to the region 900 years ago, some still stand tall today, a testament to how many were erected. They share unique architectural features of the time, and many incorporate Viking symbols along with Christian symbols. See the ten oldest stave churches, plus the largest, at Smithsonian.
When you're roaming through dungeons fighting creatures and making the fantasy world safe again the fate of your fictional character comes down to a die roll, and rolling a 1 spells disaster. It takes a really long time to live down a critical fail, especially if it costs the group a much needed victory over a big boss monster, but the best way to live down your die-related failure is to keep on rollin'. Because when you get that critical hit and singlehandedly decapitate the dragon and save a party member's life with a single roll you'll go from being a total failure to a huge hit!
Celebrate the highs and lows of tabletop gaming wherever you go with this Traffic Sign - Fumbles Ahead t-shirt by Bad Goblin, it's sure to be a critical hit with your gaming group!
Visit Bad Goblin's NeatoShop for more delightfully geeky designs:
Detroit had a scene right out of a police TV show last week, but it wasn't Law & Order. It was more like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Police Squad! or Reno 911. Officers from both the 11th precinct and the 12th precinct were in a neighborhood known for heavy drug traffic, ready to bust perpetrators. However, neither squad knew about the other squad's plans. What could possibly go wrong?
Sources say it started when two special ops officers from the 12th Precinct were operating a "push off" on Andover near Seven Mile. That is when two undercover officers pretend to be dope dealers, waiting for eager customers to approach, and then arrest potential buyers and seize their vehicles.
But this time, instead of customers, special ops officers from the 11th Precinct showed up. Not realizing they were fellow officers, they ordered the other undercover officers to the ground.
FOX 2 is told the rest of the special ops team from the 12th Precinct showed up, and officers began raiding a house in the 19300 block of Andover. But instead of fighting crime, officers from both precincts began fighting with each other.
Sources say guns were drawn and punches were thrown while the homeowner stood and watched.
The Nigerian women's bobsled team has qualified to compete at the Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, this coming February. The team is the first from Nigeria to ever compete in the Winter Games. The Bobsled & Skeleton Federation of Nigeria, established only last year, raised over $75,000 for expenses through crowdfunding. The team trains in Texas.
Driver Seun Adigun and brakemen Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga completed the fifth of their required five qualifying races on Wednesday, becoming the first African team, men or women, to qualify in the Bobsled category.
In women's bobsled, teams are required to complete five races to qualify. The Nigeria team, led by driver Adigun - a former African 100m hurdles champion and 2012 summer Olympian - completed races in Utah, one in Whistler, and their final two races in Calgary on Tuesday and Wednesday.
"This is a huge milestone for sports in Nigeria," driver Adigun told KweséESPN. "Nothing makes me prouder than to know that I can play a small role in creating opportunities for winter sports to take place in Nigeria.
If it weren't for the hard working weather reporters who deliver the forecast with a little flair the weather segment of the nightly news would be dry and boring with a chance of who gives a crap.
But because of their efforts, and the fact that they're not afraid to make themselves look ridiculous on live TV for our amusement, we can hear the weekly forecast without feeling like we're watching paint dry.
So here's to all the weather guys and gals out there who make us care about things like precipitation and cloud cover, the hard working weatherheads who give boring people something to talk about at work!
Justice League is in theaters nationwide, and bound to be a blockbuster whether it's any good or not. But what happens if Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash, or Cyborg aren't available to save the world? Batman must call up the benchwarmers. The heroes that didn't quite make the cut. Second string. The B-team superheroes, as it were.
When you tell someone they have food on their face you're usually just trying to be polite and help them from feeling foolish, but when you tell Canadian makeup artist Mimi Choi she has food on her face she says "yah, I know".
That's because Mimi carefully applied that food to her face and body in order to create an optical illusion effect so delicious you'll want a second helping.
Mimi is an incredibly talented artist with a knack for realism, and while it may seem odd for a makeup artist to focus on food the choice makes sense when you consider the body parts Mimi paints look good enough to eat.
The 1993 film Schindler's List was a very personal project for Steven Spielberg. He did not take a salary for directing the movie, and did not expect it to be a hit, but took great pains to tell the story accurately, intelligently, and emotionally. It worked: the film was a critical and box office smash and won seven Academy Awards. Actors Liam Neeson (as Oskar Schindler), Ralph Fiennes, and Ben Kingsley starred in the film that told the story of a German factory owner who sheltered more than a thousand Jewish refugees in Poland by employing them in defiance of Nazi authorities -which he accomplished by spending his fortune in bribes. You might want to learn some of the behind-the-scenes facts about Schindler's List.
10. Clothing had to be found for 20,000 extras.
The costume designer had to take out advertisements to find enough clothing to suit all the extras, and as a result they found people willing to sell clothing that was from the 30’s and 40’s.
9. When one of the survivors met Ralph Fiennes she began to shake uncontrollably.
Mila Pfefferberg was a survivor from this horrible time and Fiennes resembled his character Amon Goth so much that she couldn’t control her reaction.
This video starts out showing you how to catch a wild pumpkin, so you know what direction it's going. You will also learn how to use recycled crust and mourn the existence of pre-combined "pumpkin pie spice." The entire video from You Suck at Cooking is a respite from the anxiety of planning and executing a Thanksgiving feast.
Some of the tips here are legit, while others are not. You must figure that out yourself. And stay for the little song at the end. Honestly, pumpkin pie may seem complicated, but it's as simple as following the instruction on the can of pumpkin. Don't even think about cooking a pumpkin yourself- I've done that, and it's not worth the effort. -via Mashable
Usually when people ask you "wanna know how I got these scars?" and you answer "YES!" they go in to a long and painful sounding story about an accident or fight they were in, or how they survived major surgery.
But, as this Awkward Yeti comic proves, the last thing the person who said "YES!" expects to hear is an actual explanation of how the scarred one's body turned damage to the dermis into scar tissue. Guess it beats hearing that "my ex stabbed me with a fork" story again!
Baby animals are just like human babies in that they need plenty of attention and affection, and if they don't get it they let the nearest adult know at the top of their lungs, but most babies aren't as needy as Daisy the kitten.
Daisy may look like an ordinary orange tabby kitten but she's actually an attention seeking pet-aholic, and every time her owners stop holding her, petting her or playing with her she meows loudly, acting like a dramapuss.
Neatorama is proud to bring you a post by David Buck, courtesy of Ernie Smith of Tedium, a twice-weekly newsletter that hunts for the end of the long tail. In another life, he ran ShortFormBlog.
The tale of R. Stevie Moore, perhaps the most prolific musician that the world has ever seen. So why haven’t you heard of him?
Many great artists exist outside the mainstream. All it takes is a keen ear, an open mind and taste for variety to find a few unique artists or songs one would never hear on the radio or otherwise be exposed to. One of my favorite musicians of all time is Robert Steven Moore, whom I have had the great fortune to not only hear (and own) his wonderful music, but also to have spoken with him—albeit briefly—on several occasions. Some people may feel overwhelmed at the sheer quantity of his work and at a loss for a starting point. Fortunately, I’m here to help.
The First Album
100 vinyl copies of R. Stevie Moore’s first official album, Phonography, were originally distributed in 1976. One of those copies was rumored to have been owned by Frank Zappa, a noted champion of outsider artists who helped to bring The Shaggs, Wildman Fischer and other musicians to popular attention. This is, of course, apocryphal, but it’s a neat idea and—given Zappa’s musical interests—makes perfect sense. While Zappa’s own unique brand of composition spread over 60 albums during his lifetime and over 100 albums posthumously, that number is dwarfed by Moore’s catalog in sheer quantity. Moore has released more than 400 albums—either by himself or through a label—over the past 50 years.
Who is R. Stevie Moore (and Why Isn’t Anybody Talking About Him?)
“You know a lot about my career,” Moore told me during a conversation we had recently.
Corporate warfare is terrifying when it's waged in skyscrapers and board rooms, but when the corps take their conflicts into outer space the whole thing becomes a bit overblown- cue the dramatic music. But that entertainment empire built by a man and his mouse doesn't take no for an answer when it comes to a hostile takeover, and they're big fans of drama so expect the takeover to be extra showy with lots of fireworks and laser beams!
Take the corporate conflict with you wherever you go by wearing this Space War Hostile Takeover t-shirt by Thompson Custom Art Creations, it's a killer design that's sure to blow minds wherever you go!
Right after Toy Story 3 was released, director Lee Unkrich approached Disney about making a movie centered around Dia de los Muertos. They greenlit the project, although there was no story, no characters, and no plan. The years since then have seen the movie that became Coco develop and change, and change again.
The movie’s original story was vastly different than what happens in the final film. “[Originally,] we told a story about an American boy who had a Mexican mother and an American father. And his Mexican mother had passed away,” Unkrich explained. “It was a story about his father taking him down to Mexico to meet the Mexican side of his family, and he ended up being exposed to Dia de los Muertos and going on this fantastical adventure.”
This remained the story until the director suddenly realized something was very, very wrong. “It was ultimately a story about a kid dealing with his grief and learning to say goodbye to the memory of his mother,” Unkrich said. “And I realized we were telling a story that was thematically completely antithetical to what Dia de los Muertos is about. Die de los Muertos is about never letting go.”
Additionally, the original idea also presented the Mexican holiday through an American perspective, so it was scrapped. “We all held hands and said, ‘You know, we’re making a mistake here, this isn’t quite right,’ and we started fresh again,” Unkrich said.
After years of development, the movie evolved to focus on Miguel, a young Mexican boy who runs off to the Land of the Dead to solve the mystery of why his family hates music. And while the story was working and things were progressing, there were still challenges.
Boston Dynamics has been working on their Atlas humanoid robot (previously at Neatorama), fine-tuning its balance, agility, and speed. The resulting improvements are approaching uncanny valley territory. Just watch Atlas show off the stuff he can do now!
This would be terrifying if Boston Dynamics was still working for DARPA to develop military robots. Or even Google, which is determined to take over the world. But the company was sold to SoftBank, a Japanese corporation. No wonder they taught Atlas to dance. Next, the robot will be serving tea in restaurants and keeping grandma company in the nursing home. If he ever gets a real face, you know it will be cute. -via reddit
When was the last time you saw anyone in the real world wear a cape (not counting trick-or-treaters)? In the Pixar movie The Incredibles, superhero costume designer Edna Mode declares capes forbidden. They are too dangerous. And she's right- in the real world, anyone flying around fighting evildoers risks being tangles or dragged down by a cape. But they live large in movies, because a cape is the most dramatic piece of fabric you can wear.
Pop a cape on a vampire, and you get an invocation of a bat’s wings. Capes can evoke a sense of history, real or imagined, as in the Lord of the Rings movies or any number of period dramas. (Cecil B. DeMille did love a good cape — no male actor has ever worked one better than Yul Brynner in The Ten Commandments.) Capes can signify otherworldliness or intimidation, as they often do with superheroes and witches.
But pop a fur cape on Crawford in The Women or a billowy number on seductress Stanwyck in The Lady Eve, and the message is clear: I am glamorous. I am gorgeous. I am everything you wish you could be. “A cape is the ultimate fashion accessory when you want to make a grand entrance,” explains Perez. “You are instantly regal in a cape.”
In the latest Simon's Cat cartoon, the cat once again displays typical cat behavior that manages to ruin Simon's day. He's simply trying to install a new shelf on the wall. The cat knows that anything new is for sits. Especially elevated things.
You might know that the tartan patterns of Scotland's kilts are very important to the clans who wear them. After all, each clan, or family, has a registered pattern. You might be surprised to find out how recent that custom really is. People criticize movies and TV shows that show Scottish characters further back in history for not wearing the proper tartan, but Scotland's historians will set you straight. The Scottish Tartans Authority has a database of around 8,000 tartan patterns -more than the official registry has- and they study the history of each one. Tartan historian Peter Eslea MacDonald is head of the STA's Research & Collections division, and talked with Collectors Weekly about the misconceptions we have about Scottish tartan and the kilts made from them.
Collectors Weekly: So the concept of the clan tartan was really embraced by both the weavers and the clans in the 19th century?
MacDonald: Correct. Sir Walter Scott, I think, deliberately set out to heal some of the internal Scottish wounds and hatred, to some degree, between the Highlands and the Lowlands. As I say, he developed this pan-Scottish identity. With Scott’s help, Robert Burns became the bard of Scotland, even though he’s got nothing to do with the Highlands, and the Highland dress became the Scottish national dress. Tartans became a Scottish family thing. Wilsons—and others later—just jumped on the bandwagon because it was a great marketing ploy, the company made lots and lots of money.
Not long after that, Prince Albert and Queen Victoria bought Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, in 1848, and the whole love affair of Scottish schmaltz just went into overdrive.