The Difficult Journey of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

When Star Trek went to the big screen in 1979, audiences were excited, but Star Trek: The Motion Picture was too long and slowly-paced to stand the test of time. It was also extremely expensive, causing Paramount to rethink making a sequel. So changes were made: Gene Roddenberry was fired, a budget-conscious director was brought in, and the script for The Wrath of Khan was written by a writer who'd never seen a Star Trek episode. The production staff not only learned from the mistakes of the first movie, but used the existing sets and unused footage to save money. The changes had repercussions beyond Star Trek.

The cumbersome large model on wires approach was shelved for Star Trek’s motion control, and new models were built with usability and cost in mind, rather than screen presence. The only thing not cut back on was the aforementioned CGI. The large terraforming sequence could only be done in animation, and much like the sequence in the finished film it was presented as an advert for the skills of Lucasfilm Computer Imaging. And like in the film, the CGI video succeeded in its marketing purpose. The clip impressed a young Steve Jobs enough to part with $5 million to buy out the division, which renamed itself Pixar.

But what really made the The Wrath of Khan a hit was a plot that focused on the original cast and a villain that harked back to the TV series (to be fair, V'ger did, too, but not as charismatically as Khan). Read about the process of bringing The Wrath of Khan to theaters at Den of Geek.


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Vintage, Colorized Photos of the Greatest Show on Earth

Come this May, Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus will be folding up their tents for good, closing after 146 years on the road. Now you can enjoy the colorful history of the Greatest Show on Earth thanks to the Illinois State University's Milner Library. 

The school has spent ample time and money to preserve the history of the circus through digitizing thousands of posters, photographs, circus route books and Kodachrome slides.

While the glory days of the circus may have ended, it's legacy will live on for years to come. 

You can see the pictures for yourself on the Milner Library website, where you can casually browse or search for specific images based on location, performer, circus and more.


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Monsters Ink Mike - Eyeball Tattoos Cost Extra


Monsters Ink Mike by Scott Neilson

When Mike and Sully imagined a career in scaring they didn't think about longevity or a future where kids became desensitized to monsters, so five years in to the gig they found themselves laid off. Sully quickly found a job as a bouncer, which ended up being the perfect gig for him, but poor Mike was left wondering what to do with his life. One day he was sitting at the bar doodling on a cocktail napkin when a biker beastman came up to him and asked him if he'd ever done any tattoos, since he was about to open a tattoo shop in Monstropolis. Mike's great big eye got teary, and he gave the beastman a hug even though he smelled like a dirty goat, and Mike once again had his future laid out for him by a happy accident.

Add some sick tat style to your geeky wardrobe with this Monsters Ink Mike t-shirt by Scott Neilson, it's an all new way to show love for your favorite one-eyed monster pal Mike Wazowski!

Visit Scott Neilson's Facebook fan page, Twitter and Tumblr, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more scary good designs:

Greetings From Rupture Farms The One Who Draws Tis But A Scratch Woolverine

View more designs by Scott Neilson | More Cartoon T-shirts | New T-Shirts

Are you a professional illustrator or T-shirt designer? Let's chat! Sell your designs on the NeatoShop and get featured in front of tons of potential new fans on Neatorama!


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Investing in the Future

I used an app that did this a long time ago at a previous job. We were encouraged to explore the internet at first, but over time, we ended up restricted to only looking up the weather forecast, so a loading screen was quite useful when the boss walked in while I was checking email or playing solitaire. Jeff Lofvers of Don't Hit Save has a more dedicated reason for using his: to hide the fact that he's been at home playing video games all day instead of producing something useful.


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Ice Dragon Boat Festival

Ice dragon boating is when you put your dragon boat on skates and propel it across a frozen surface. And, of course, there is ice dragon boat racing. Ice dragon boat racers even have an international federation

(YouTube link)

And this weekend, the first Ice Dragon Boat Festival is happening in Ottawa. If you can't make it to Ottawa, there's the Manitoba Ice Dragon Boat Festival coming up on February 25. You'll find more links about ice dragon boat racing at Metafilter.


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6 Horrifying Realities Of Living In A Sitcom Universe

You could spend a lifetime watching TV sitcoms and not realize that the same weird things keep happening from show to show over time. Maybe that's because we don't watch that many sitcoms at a time, or we don't compare our favorites from the 1970s to our favorites from the '10s. Did you ever notice how new infants in a sitcom family suddenly become old enough to deliver lines (or at least look cute) the next season? In Full House, Uncle Jesse's twins grew quickly, while their cousin Michelle did not.

Modern Family provides more evidence of a vast baby-swapping conspiracy when Cam and Mitchell celebrate their daughter's second birthday ... only to mention that she's three a few months later. Clearly, they're speeding up the rate of her birthdays so as to avoid arousing suspicions when they inevitably switch her (which they did).

On the other hand, the baby swaps in Growing Pains and Family Ties are so laughably obvious that they seem to imply this business isn't even underground. Chrissy Seaver blossoms from basically a newborn child to a 5-year-old girl in the space of one season ...

That's just one weird thing about sitcoms that happens over and over. You might notice one thing when it happens in your favorite show, but you probably never realized that it's a TV thing in show after show, over decades. Read the rest of the list of weirdness in TV sitcoms at Cracked.   


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Playin' with Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen played in Brisbane Thursday night. A teenager held up a sign that said he was missing school for the concert, and could he play "Growin' Up"? Springsteen called him up on stage to play. Fifteen-year-old Nathan Testa knew the song, and well. In the middle of the song, Springsteen gives him some advice about looking good on stage.  

(YouTube link)

What's really strange is that this isn't the first time Testa has played with the Boss. His family are all avid Springsteen fans, and attended a Brisbane concert in 2013, when Testa, then 11, was pulled on stage to play "Waitin' on a Sunny Day." -via Metafilter


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Woman Takes Selfie In 11 Different Dressing Rooms, Looks Remarkably Different In Each Shot

Have you ever tried clothes on in a dressing room and thought to yourself "this doesn't look right at all, and that person in the mirror doesn't even look like me!", only to leave the store empty handed?

Fitting rooms should have flattering light and pleasing colors that make the clothes look good, but Russian blogger Inna visited dressing rooms in 11 different stores and found they often fail to flatter.

Inna visited clothing stores such as H&M, Mango and Zara and compared her before shot, taken with home lighting, to the shots taken in each room.

And even though she was wearing the same clothes, and shot the pics with the same phone, the lighting and background changed her look up quite a bit from shot to shot.

So what did Inna conclude based on her research? Brighter lights are more flattering, and red used right will really make you stand out, but a dark dressing room can ruin an otherwise good shopping trip.

See Same Girl Goes To 11 Different Fitting Rooms In 11 Different Stores, And Differences Are Striking here and play with their fun picture slider thingies!


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The Last Jedi: Singular or Plural?

When the name of the new Star Wars film was announced in January as The Last Jedi, we all wondered what that meant. As the story stands, Luke Skywalker is the last Jedi. But will he remain the last Jedi? Will he be killed off? Will someone else become the last Jedi? Then we realized that the word "Jedi" is both singular and plural. Which does the title mean? We were resigned to wait until the movie is released in December to find out. But the title is more complicated in other languages, where a definite article indicates a singular or plural. As the movie gets it title translated around the world, we have the answer, courtesy of Star Wars France. It's plural, as in more than one Jedi. Other European countries with languages that indicate plurality have announced the movie title using the plural form, as you can see at Slate.


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A Wonderful Short Documentary About The Art Of Clowning

Clowning is a comedic artform that dates back centuries, and although clowning has become less circus and more cirque over the years clowns are still doing classic bits and carrying on an ancient tradition.

Those who embrace the role of the clown have many skills to master, such as makeup, slapstick and miming, but most importantly they must develop a character the audience connects with and make 'em laugh.

(YouTube Link)

This wonderful episode of the American Theatre Wing series Working In The Theatre focuses on the art of clowning and reveals the true power of the clown- universal appeal.

-Via Nerdist


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Abandoned Helicopters: 22 Derelict Choppers & Rotorcraft Graveyards

What happens to a helicopter when it crashes, wears out, or becomes obsolete? Many times, it just sits there. Oh yeah, it might be taken to a junkyard, and of course, some are stripped and recycled, but the world is full of abandoned choppers of all kinds that are still awaiting their final disposition years, even decades after their last flight.

(Image credit: Flickr user Alan Wilson)

You can take a tour of the world's abandoned helicopters in their aviation graveyards from Russia to Japan to the U.S. (among other places) in a post with 70 pictures at Urban Ghosts.


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Lord Bagel Vs. The Donut King

For me the donut will always be king, but some strange people prefer to bow down to lord bagel in the morning rather than praising the hole-y king of all baked goods.

And now this infiltrator is trying to pass itself off as a sweet breakfast treat, the bagel bringing his best friend the cream cheese schmear along for the ride.

Whether you're a fan of the classic donut monarchy or you're one of those savory sweet upstarts you'll appreciate this Buttersafe comic because both sides lose to the mighty god Java!

-Via Geeks Are Sexy

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Ridiculous Rat Removal

Jodie, Logan, Briana, and Meg share an apartment in Pittsburgh. A rat got into their apartment earlier this week, so they put their heads together to figure out how to evict it. They cornered the rat in the shower, then set up a complicated course to shoo it downstairs and out the door. What are the odds of this working? The four women and Logan's boyfriend Bo were all ready when Logan forced the rat out of the tub, and surprise! Their scheme worked like a charm, and even better, they got video evidence. Read more about the adventure at Buzzfeed.


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Rebellion - Yes We Can Fight For Hope


Rebellion by zerobriant

When we're threatened by an evil Empire who puts its welfare above that of the people we must rise up together and fight, or else the world will be left to the mercy of the Sith. Thankfully, there are plenty of skilled, smart and tough Rebels out there willing to fight for what they believe in, warriors for good willing to meet the Imperial forces head on. Because one rogue Rebel may not be able to stand up to the darkness rising, but a squad of Rebels have the power to eliminate the darkness and bring the light back into the lives of the people.

Add some sci-fi star power to your geeky wardrobe with this Rebellion t-shirt by Zerobriant, it's the epic way to take your favorite squad of Rebels with you wherever you go!

Visit Zerobriant's Facebook fan page, official website, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more mighty geeky designs:

Ctrl+Alt+Facts Chirrut Ink Bernard Appetite for Rebellion

View more designs by zerobriant | More Movie T-Shirts | New T-Shirts

Are you a professional illustrator or T-shirt designer? Let's chat! Sell your designs on the NeatoShop and get featured in front of tons of potential new fans on Neatorama!


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The Adventures of Fish and Chips

Lindsay Richards decided she wanted a cat. Lain Roby agreed after seeing cats on the site Adventure Cats. So the couple adopted Fish, and took him on many outdoor adventures. A few months later, they adopted Chips, who become Fish's little brother and constant companion. Both cats were leashed trained from an early age, and are used to riding in cars, boats, and backpacks.

The two cats love spending time in the woods, hills, and beaches of Vancouver Island and anywhere their humans want to go. Read about Fish and Chips at Adventure Cats, and see more of these photogenic kitties at Instagram.

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Vintage Photos Of Depression Era Gangsters And The Lawmen Who Gave Chase

People who chose to live the gangster life during the early 20th century were cut from a rougher yet more refined cloth than the gangsters of today, and they always looked dapper no matter what they were doing.

The rackets were numerous, the risks immeasurable, but these outlaws chose to make a buck bruising, smuggling, shooting, stealing and strongarming knowing full well it might cost them their lives.

Looking back on these photos of Depression era mobsters you can see a sort of haunted look in their eyes, the only clue to their remaining humanity revealed in the one place they can't rebuild in stone.

See Striking Black And White Photos Show The Brutal Lives Of Gun-Toting Depression Era Mobs In America here


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Why is a Lazy Person Called a Couch Potato?

We all know what a couch potato is- a person who sits on the couch (or a recliner) and watches TV, moving about as often as a potato. But where did the phrase come from? The story is a lot more complicated than you knew.

(YouTube link)

The term was actually trademarked. Imagine that. Simon Whistler of Today I Found Out tells us the story. -via Laughing Squid


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Oh, Professor

The professor's got her own robot, but she doesn't quite understand how advanced it is. He really does understand beauty, at least as it affects his heart. If he had one. But he won't tell her how he feels. This is the latest from Elizabeth and Jonathan at War and Peas


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Cat Profiles by Obvious Plant

A picture is worth a thousand words, but you also want to learn a little about a cat's personality. Knowing their likes and dislikes will help.



These profiles are from a series of cat labels from Obvious Plant. See all ten of them here. The cats are all real, and available for adoption through the Santé D’Or Foundation in Los Angeles. -via Metafilter

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Anime Artist Turns His Sons' Drawings Into Amazing Characters

Artistically inclined parents love to bring their kid's artwork to life in some way, either by translating it to a different medium or creating a more polished version.

It's a charming activity that gives parent and child the chance to work on an art project together, which kids really appreciate when their parent has a really a cool job in the animation industry.

French artist Thomas Romain works as an anime creator in Tokyo, and after having worked on shows like Space Dandy and Basquash! he has learned how to translate doodles into awesome anime characters.

So he started working with his kids on what he calls his "Father and Sons Design Workshop", turning their simple and extremely loose sketches into tight, ready to use character designs.

Someone needs to give this talented dad and his sons their own cartoon show!

-Via Nerd Approved


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How The Toilet Changed History

If you've ever had to do without a toilet, whether long-term or temporarily, you can appreciate what a difference flush toilets make. Even outhouses are a big step up from what came before. The YouTube channel It's Okay To Be Smart leads us through the history of the toilet.

(YouTube link)

Our poop customs go way back. I was surprised about ten years ago when I read the instructions for dealing with "that which comes from your body" in the Bible. After watching this video, you'll know more about the history of toilets than you ever thought you would. -via Geeks Are Sexy


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The 23-Year-Old College Student Who Ran Away To Fight ISIS

It's hard for the average civilian to imagine having killed one person in combat, let alone over 100, but imagine having that record as a 23-years-old college student.

That's Joanna Palani's strange but true story- the student from Copenhagen, who is of Iranian-Kurdish descent, dropped out of college in 2014 to "fight for human rights for all people."

She fought the Assad regime and ISIS in Syria as part of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and Peshmerga, and claims to have killed over 100 ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria.

She also helped liberate enslaved Yazidi girls in northern Iraq, a cause close to her heart as a Kurdish woman:

Palani gushes with pride about her role as a trainer for mainly younger, Kurdish fighters. "The young girls are amazing—they are exhilarated after coming back from the front lines. They are very brave, more brave than I could ever have been at their age."

But the Danish government wasn't impressed, and when Joanna returned home from the fighting  in 2015 they revoked her passport via email:

"The Peshmerga gave me 15 days off, " she explains. "After arriving in Denmark the police sent me an email after only three days. It said my passport was no longer valid, and would be revoked if I was to attempt to leave the country. If I was to go back I could go to jail for six years."

Now Joanna is facing years in jail after admitting traveling to Qatar in June of 2016, and instead of being treated like a hero she is being prosecuted like a terrorist.

Read The Girl Who Ran Away To Fight ISIS here and Danish Woman Who Fought Against ISIS Faces Jail Sentence here


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Library Hand, the Fastidiously Neat Penmanship Style Made for Card Catalogs

In the 1880s, libraries were growing fast. Each new book acquired needed an entry in the card catalog. While librarians are liable to be educated and use good penmanship, the cards were still hard to read because the nice script had "too much flourishing.” A library summit meeting was held in Late George, New York in September 1885. One of the attendees was Melvil Dewey, who had developed the Dewey Decimal System. The problem of catalog cards was discussed, and a highly legible new style of writing was proposed. It was eventually called "library hand."

Influenced by Edison and honed via experimenting on patient, hand-sore librarians, library hand focused on uniformity rather than beauty. ”The handwriting of the old-fashioned writing master is quite as illegible as that of the most illiterate boor,” read a New York State Library School handbook. “Take great pains to have all writing uniform in size, blackness of lines, slant, spacing and forms of letters,” wrote Dewey in 1887. And if librarians thought they could get away with just any black ink, they could think again real fast. ”Inks called black vary much in color,” scoffed the New York State Library School handwriting guide.

Dewey and his crew of “a dozen catalogers and librarians” spent, in his estimation, “an hour daily for nearly an entire week” hashing out the rules of library hand. They started by examining hundreds of card catalogs, looking for penmanship problems and coming up with ways to solve them. They concluded that the “simpler and fewer the lines the better,” and decided that, while a slant was best avoided, a slight backward slant was acceptable. Then they got to the more nitty-gritty stuff, such as whether to opt for a “square-topped 3” or a “rounded-top 3.” (The rounded-top 3 won out, as it is less likely to be mistaken for a 5 during hasty reading.)

You might argue that it would have been easier for librarians to learn to type. Read about the history and usage of library hand at Atlas Obscura. 

(Image credit: Ella Morton)


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The Ultimate Bagel Troll

This bagel seems created only to infuriate those who lay eyes on it. Creator Mike Bibgy's caption further proves that it is designed solely to troll people: "Ahh the classic baggel! RT if u love 2 eat bangles!"

Via That's Nerdalicious

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Insert Coin - A Crappy Way To Collect Coins

Insert Coin by Vó Maria

Nobody uses piggy banks anymore, which is a shame since it put a whole lot of piggy bank makers out of business, but those who still collect their change prefer to stash it inside a real pig. However, the place you should stash it isn't very pleasant, because it's not inside their cute snout or in their hungry mouth- it's in their butt. Now that may sound crazy, but ask yourself this- who in their right mind is going to reach inside a pig's butt to steal your change?

Give people a good laugh with this Insert Coin t-shirt by Vó Maria, it's a hilarious way to spread smiles wherever you go for less coin!

Visit Vó Maria's Facebook fan page, official website, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr, then head on over to her NeatoShop for more delightfully geeky designs:

TGIF Just Did it. Uni-Files Mandrillus sphinx

View more designs by Vó Maria | More Funny T-shirts | New T-Shirts

Are you a professional illustrator or T-shirt designer? Let's chat! Sell your designs on the NeatoShop and get featured in front of tons of potential new fans on Neatorama!


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Robert Irwin on The Tonight Show

On The Tonight Show, Robert Irwin presents Jimmy Fallon with a variety of creatures to gush about. Have you ever heard an armadillo scream? You're about to.

(YouTube link)

Robert Irwin is the 13-year-old son of the late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin. He is the spitting image of his dad, in his looks, his enthusiasm, and his knowledge of animals. -via reddit


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What's The Difference Between Tylenol, Advil, Aspirin And Aleve?

Non-prescription pain relievers are a bit like cola in that they're often referred to by one name, and where I live people usually ask for either aspirin or Tylenol even if they want Bayer, Aleve or Advil.

Others have reported a similar lack of brand name usage, with aspirin being the most universally used name for pain relievers, but is there really much of a difference between the brands?

Turns out there really is quite a difference- Tylenol is acetaminophen, which is best for headaches and not so good for joint pain.

Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) can help with light pain but also helps lower the risk of heart attack and stroke when a small dose is taken every day. It's also murder on your guts, liver and kidneys.

(Image Link)

For heavy pain you want either Advil, Motrin or Aleve- Advil and Motrin are ibuprofen, which is good for hangovers, menstrual cramps, earaches, toothaches and sore or injured muscles but not so good for a headache.

Aleve is naproxen, which takes a while to kick in but works great for people with moderate to severe chronic pain, such as a lasting headache or pain associated with arthritis.

Read more about What's The Difference Between Tylenol, Aspirin, Advil and Aleve at mental_floss


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The Man Who Played with Absolute Power

 

You are probably familiar with the Stanford Prison Experiment, in which paid volunteer students assumed the roles of prison guards and inmates. The subjects became so submerged in their roles that the "guards" began exhibiting sadistic behavior and the "inmates" approached mental breakdown. The experiment was scheduled to last two weeks, but was halted after six days. Philip Zimbardo, the professor who conducted the 1971 experiment, gives us some of the details.

Did subjects try to resist their roles as prisoners or guards?

They did. We did things that made it very realistic: parole board hearings, parents visiting. But students in 1971 were anti-war activists. Many students on many campuses protested against the war, were beaten up or suffered abuse by their local police. So nobody wanted to be a prison guard. Initially, it was very difficult for the boys playing prison guards to get into their role. But, the second day of the study, the prisoners rebelled. They did not want to be dehumanized, because one way to take away power is to take away your name, your style, the way you wear your hair and so forth.

How did the guards react to the rebellion?

All 12 guards came in, and they crushed the rebellion. At that point, the guards said, “These are dangerous prisoners. We have to show who is in charge, who is the boss.” That changed everything. That’s when it became a prison. No one used the word “experiment” again. The guards used physical force—stripped the prisoners  naked, put them in chains, put them in solitary confinement. There was actually fighting. The guards used psychological force to make prisoners feel helpless and hopeless. That’s when I should have intervened and did not.

Zimbardo also talks about the intoxication of absolute power and how Abu Ghraib compared with his experiment in an interview at Nautilus. -via Digg

Read how the Stanford Prison Experiment was conducted here


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Animals With the Strangest Hearts

Biology, in general, is an amazingly strange and complicated thing, but it's certainly more bizarre in some animals than others. And while the science that keeps our hearts beating is already pretty impressive, the science behind the animal hearts in this Atlas Obscura article is truly odd.

For example, did you know cuttlefish have three hearts and blue blood? Or that while diving, the hearts of emperor penguins slows down and blood flow cuts off to all but the most important organs so they can dive without getting the bends? Perhaps most shockingly, the wood frog can stop its heart from beating entirely during the winter when almost all of the water in their bodies freezes solid?

Learn more about these fascinating animals and their hearts over on Atlas Obscura.

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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The Messy History of the Pie Fight

The second-best use for baked goods is the cinematic pie fight. Getting a whipped cream-topped pie to the face is a great visual, certainly more pleasant than other thrown foods, and doesn't leave major injuries. A timeline of pie fights in movies gives us stories of notorious pie fights. The earliest existing example of the pie in the face is from 1909, followed by a full-blown fight in 1913. Even Dr. Strangelove was supposed to end with a pie fight, but that didn't work out.

So as Kubrick later said, ‘It was a disaster of Homeric proportions.’” Because the scene was so expensive to shoot and clean up from, the studio only gave them one chance to film it. But since the actors were clearly smiling throughout filming, the footage was unusable. The scene has since become one of the most famous unseen pieces of celluloid in cinematic history. Apparently, pie fights make up a majority of that list.

Read the history of pie fights in the movies, with plenty of videos, at Hopes and Fears. -Thanks, Walter Mosley!


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