English for Beginners

Get your hankies out, this is a sweet story about a Polish man learning to speak English. It's two steps forward and one step back, which gives us some funny moments, but he is determined to communicate in English. Contains a very little NSFW language.

(YouTube link)

This is an ad for Allegro. It took some digging to find out what they sell. It's a buying site, sort of a Polish eBay. -via reddit


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Confronting Freedom of Religion at the Local Level

The First Amendment to the Constitution begins: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…" and goes on about freedom of speech, the press, and assembly. How does that translate to state and smaller governments? The Kenai Peninsula Borough is an area, like a county, south of Anchorage, Alaska. the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly is its governing body. In June, one member of the Assembly proposed a new rule that would do away with a prayer before opening Assembly meetings, but it wasn't passed due to lack of interest. So they opened up the invocation to anyone who wanted to give it on a first-come, first-served basis. In August, Satanic Temple member Iris Fontana opened the meeting with a prayer that invoked Satan. At another meeting, an atheist spoke for the invocation. 

In October, the Assembly changed the process of selecting who gives the invocation.

As the new resolution spells out, those eligible to recite an invocation include religious associations "with an established presence in the Kenai Peninsula Borough that regularly meet for the primary purpose of sharing a religious perspective, or chaplains who may serve one or more of the fire departments, law enforcement agencies, hospitals, or other similar organizations in the borough."

In November, the rules were changed again to re-open the invocation to anyone who wanted to give it. That happened after they started thinking about possible lawsuits.

An ordinance that would have appropriated $75,000 in borough money to fight future court battles over the religious rule was withdrawn as a result of the Assembly approving the amendment. Decker said in the past that while the ACLU hopes not to sue, it wouldn't rule it out, "if that's what upholding the Constitution takes."

However, the reversion to the open rules has not yet taken effect, so the story is not over. The simplest thing would be to do away completely with an invocation before Assembly meetings. There's nothing wrong with a good "I call this meeting to order." -via a comment at Metafilter


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Some Of The Most Distracting Extras In Movie History

Movie extras mill about in the background of our favorite TV shows and movies, paid to act like regular folks doing regular stuff while the main actors deliver their performances.

But hiring regular folks to be movie extras can pose a problem if they're not coached on the concept of blending in, like the crazy "businessman" who tries to steal the spotlight in this clip from Ghostbusters.

(YouTube Link)

It can be just as hard to make a kid understand how their fidgeting, or in the case of North By Northwest preemptive ear plugging, may detract from a scene's sense of drama when they're visible behind the actors.

(YouTube Link)

Child extras can also get hurt if the actors aren't careful, which the "Candy Man" almost learned the hard way in this scene from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Watch as the blonde girl in the bottom right corner of the screen narrowly dodges the counter, and a broken jaw, like a little ninja:

(YouTube Link)

See 12 of the Most Distracting Extras in Movie History here


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How To Make Real Eggnog

I gave one of my daughters her first taste of eggnog (store-bought) when she was maybe seven years old. She sipped it and said, "Oh Mom, that's disgusting. Why did you give me that?" I thought, "sez the kid who eats sardines in mustard sauce." That's eggnog for you; people either love it or hate it. Eggnog is a real American drink, from our colonial history when milk, eggs, and rum were  plentiful here compared to Europe. The real pull was that the original drink had more alcohol than milk or cream, which conveniently preserved the milk and eggs. We've refined our recipes considerably since then, and egg nog connoisseurs agree that homemade is better than store-bought. Uproxx has three different recipes for your holiday eggnog, including George Washington's popular recipe that produced the drink by the gallon.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Literal Bohemian Rhapsody

Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" has been turned into a hardboiled crime noir film. You already know the plot. You probably already know the entire script. But you'll want to watch anyway.  

(YouTube link)

This movie has no soundtrack because there's one playing in your head already. It ends before the songs does, but few viewers seem to have realized that so far.  -via Digg


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A Collection Of Silly Doctor Who Comics To Make Your Spirits Bright

(Via Michielynn)

For most Whovians the holiday season has been associated with Doctor Who ever since they watched their first Christmas special, and now we have a present from The Doctor to look forward to at the end of every year.

(Via polvoice)

But if you're tired of waiting for The Doctor to come back on the airwaves, or you're looking for a sure-fire way to keep your sci-fi lovin' spirits bright during the holidays, then look no further!

(Via big-ending)

These Doctor Who comics are warm and witty, strange and silly and full of references only fans of the show will know, and they won't bust your holiday budget because webcomics are free! Allons-Y!

(Via swing-21)

Read 10 Silly Doctor Who Comics To Warm Your Heart here

http://michielynn.deviantart.com/art/Doctor-Who-Companion-269483392

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13 Interesting Facts About The Ocean’s 11 Films

Ocean's 11 was a 1960 Rat Pack film that was popular, but not as big as the 2001 remake, which spawned two sequels with another related movie now in development. Whether you're already a fan or plan to watch them all someday, you'll want to check out some trivia about those three films.    

The cast had to accept a lower salary for the first movie in 2001.

As there were so many A-list stars featured in the first film, they all had to accept a lower pay check if they wanted to be involved. They all agreed eventually as they all wanted to be on the film together.

Brad Pitt ate 40 shrimp while filming for the scene where Rusty eats a shrimp cocktail.

It was actually Brad Pitt’s idea that his character should be eating all the time to show that the Ocean squad were pushed for time, meaning they had to grab food whenever they could.

Read the rest of the trivia list about Ocean's 11 and its sequels at Unreality.


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A Map Featuring Every Country's Tourism Slogan

Catchy slogans are the advertising world's bread and butter, and they're often able to sell a campaign to a client simply based on the clever catchphrase or slogan they create for the ads. But do slogans really work?

Maybe when you're walking down a store aisle trying to choose between two brands, but it's safe to say nobody's packing their bags and taking a trip somewhere based on the destination's tourism slogan.

And yet every country thinks it needs a tourism slogan nowadays, because people clearly won't visit The Bahamas until they hear "Life is grand" there, and people will only go to New Zealand if they know it's "100% pure"

British travel site FamilyBreakFinder put together this massive world map featuring every country's tourism slogan, in case you're curious about how countries advertise themselves to tourists:

From the straightforward (‘Travel in Slovakia – good idea’) to the dramatic (‘Colombia is magical realism’) these slogans are an insight into the ways tourism departments in countries across the world sell their countries to visitors. There are 9 exclamations used (Lithuania’s previous slogan used three with ‘See it! Feel it! Love it!’ but is now ‘Real is beautiful’) and the most popular word used is ‘Beautiful’ which appears six times.

See the full sized map here

-Via Laughing Squid


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The Slaughtered Lamb - The Safest Place To Be During A Full Moon


The Slaughtered Lamb by Nemons

If you should pay London a visit and decide to go backpacking outside the city you'd best be back in the safety and comfort of your hotel room before dark- or you may find yourself on the dinner menu. For the people who gather each night at The Slaughtered Lamb know a secret they're not keen on sharing with tourists, a deadly secret that has resulted in the death and dismemberment of many who've dared travel in the woods after dark. Some call it a werewolf, others see it as a malevolent spirit meant to make man pay for their offenses against nature, but the last American who paid The Slaughtered Lamb a visit knows what's out there, and he's no longer in any shape to discuss the incident...

Advertise your favorite fictional rural pub with this The Slaughtered Lamb t-shirt by Nemons, it's a bloody good way to show love for your favorite horror movie!

Visit Nemons's Facebook fan page and Twitter, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more terrifyingly cool designs:

Unseen University - Fighting Wizards Monsters Fink II Pan's Pale Ale The Lot

View more designs by Nemons | 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 Girl and the Cloud

Bear with me here. I saw the new video at the Presurfer, and thought it was neat. But the next video that YouTube loaded for me was from 2014, and I realized that the new video is a sequel to this one, so watch the first video first.

(YouTube link)

Two years later, we get an update to the story, this time in animation.

(YouTube link)

Three Ireland commissioned both videos, and there's a children's book that tells the same story. Proceeds from the sale of the book go to Barnardos, a children's charity in Ireland. I don't see a way to order it online, however. -via the Presurfer


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Fun Facts About Robin Hood: Men in Tights

Can you believe that Robin Hood: Men in Tights is over twenty years old? If you agree that this is one of, if not the absolute, best Robin Hood movies ever created, you won't want to miss this collection of great trivia about the film. For example, did you know that Mel Brooks had already worked on a Robin Hood tv series back in the seventies? Or that Sean Connery was originally going to be King Richard and was going to play him in drag, but that he wanted too much money for the role?

Celebrate those tight -tight tights over at Mental Floss


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Can You Solve the Airplane Riddle?

Professor Fukanō is going to circumnavigate the globe in his airplane, but his tank doesn't hold enough fuel for the entire trip. He has support planes of the exact same model which can refuel him in the air, but none of the planes can land anywhere except the starting point airport. How can he get around the world without crashing from lack of fuel? There's some math involved. If you want to try this on your own, keep in mind that only Professor Fukanō's plane needs to go all the way around. Good luck.

(YouTube link)

I didn't even attempt to figure this out on my own, but the answer is rather simple when you start thinking in the right direction. It's that initial thinking in the right direction that's so daunting. Students of British military history have an edge, in that this kind of thing has been done before. Operation Black Buck during the 1982 Falklands War saw RAF bombers fly 12,600 kilometers, and had to refuel from support vehicles. The refueling scheme had to be explained in a diagram.  -via Viral Viral Videos


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Renovating A Nearly 200-Year-Old Home In Mississippi

There are very few homes left in America that are over 150 years old, so any time someone buys a really old home they face many decisions about renovation.

Is the house going to be able to be brought up to code? Could the home be considered historic and therefore worthy of preserving at all costs? Or is the whole thing just waiting to be torn down so the lot can be used for a new build?

These were the dilemmas faced by Maria and Mac Thomas when they bought a house in Fayette, Mississippi that was built in 1825, an historic plantation home known as Laurietta.

From the outside the house looked like a total tear down, but inside they found Laurietta was a solid structure, so they decided to go with a gut renovation instead of destruction.

Three years and lots of hard work later they were able to transform that dilapidated old house into a thing of beauty once again.

See Renovating A Historic Home In Mississippi here


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Microwave Memories

The following article is from the new book Uncle John’s Uncanny Bathroom Reader.

Do you remember when microwave ovens became standard fixtures in American homes of the 1970s? If you do, you may also recall how cookbooks of the era were filled with recipes for dishes that really had no business being cooked in a microwave. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear…

MAJOR APPLIANCE

Microwave oven technology has been around since 1947, but it took 20 years for manufacturers to figure out how to make microwaves small enough and cheap enough for the home kitchen. The earliest models, sold to restaurants and commercial kitchens, cost $5,000 ($52,000 in today’s dollars), weighed more than 700 pounds, and were as big as refrigerators. Many of the restaurants that bought microwaves used them to reheat already-cooked dishes that had gone cold.

By the mid-1960s, microwaves were small enough to sit on a kitchen counter and cost around $500 ($3,400 today). That was still a lot of money (a 1967 Ford Mustang cost just $2,400), and to entice consumers into buying them, manufacturers and appliance dealers promoted them with a lot of hype. They claimed that microwaves could do anything that conventional ovens could do, in only a fraction of the time, and with much greater convenience. An entire industry of microwave-related products—including cookbooks, cookware, and specially formulated mixes for pies, cakes, casseroles, and other foods sprung up to feed the public’s fascination with these new devices.

Continue reading

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Big Fluffy Clyde

(YouTube link)

This is Clyde, a fluffy blue point Himalayan cat. He's super friendly and super cuddly, as he canoodles with his boy. See more of Clyde at Instagram.  -via Tastefully Offensive

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

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My Life as a Background Ravenclaw

This comic from Emily McGovern at Emily's Cartoons sent me down an internet wormhole, but I learned a few things. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is indeed in Scotland. And indeed, it makes no sense that students from Scotland would have to travel to London to catch a train to school. But as the wiki states, "The precise location of the school could never be uncovered because it was rendered Unplottable." Maybe the roundabout route for Scottish students is a way of keeping the location a secret, you think? That may be it. The Hogwarts Express train was inaugurated in the 1850s as a way to transport students to the school without drawing the attention of Muggles.

Could a parent in Scotland just drive their student to Hogwarts? No. According to the wiki, "the Ministry decreed that students would arrive to school on the train or not attend at all." Just like Muggle schools, there are rules that don't make sense. But a dedicated train doesn't conceal the fact that on September first, a large contingent of schoolchildren arrive at Hogsmeade Station in Scotland and are whisked away to the school. Apparently, the folks in Hogsmeade do not travel all that much. Check out McGovern's Tumblr site, where you'll find a substantial series called My Life as a Background Slytherin. -via Geeks Are Sexy


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That Mate Who's Too Into His Beer

Do you know anyone who's really into beer? I mean, not just to drink it, but into the craft beer thing, critiquing and comparing, and telling everyone around about it? A beer snob, if you will.

(YouTube link)

Yeah, that can be pretty darn annoying. Even stranger is that this video by Third Leg Studios is an ad targeted to exactly those people. That thing he used is for sale.  -via reddit


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Vintage Photos From The Heyday Of Beat Culture In New York

When people hear the word "Beatnik" they immediately think about berets, striped shirts, bongos, bad poetry and goatees, and the Beatnik subculture is still most commonly associated with the 1960s.

But the heyday for Beats like Jack Kerouac, Gregory Corso and Alan Ginsberg was actually the late 1940s through the 50s, because that's when they were busy inspiring a literary movement and subculture at the same time.

The original Beats who inspired the trendy Beatniks in the 60s could be seen hanging out in jazz clubs and coffee shops around Greenwich Village, New York, where they would read poems, dig the tunes or just get dixie fried.

So if you wanted to meet those real gone cats collectively known as the Beat Generation you had to hang at places like the Gaslight Cafe or the Seven Arts Cafe, where every night was a gas and the java flowed all night long.

See 35 Photographs That Capture The Beatniks' Heyday In New York City here


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Constitutional Plot Twists Hollywood Should Consider

Americans, and indeed the Supreme Court, have been arguing for two hundred years about the Founding Fathers' original intent when interpreting the U.S. Constitution. The truth is that the language of the Constitution is rather vague in some areas, and not easy to apply to modern scenarios that the writers never dreamed of, such as the use of the internet. They also probably never envisioned that the U.S. would grow to over 300 million people. The weird ways of the Constitution have already given us some "what ifs" in our TV shows, like Scandal, Veep, Designated Survivor, and House of Cards. But there are other scenarios and crises to explore. Someone should write a movie.

Suggested title: Reprisal

Suggested plot: After the military finds itself stymied while fighting a group of terrorists in international waters, Congress decides to authorize a privateer—essentially a government-approved pirate who can go after the bad guys for his own gain.

Dream casting: Nicolas Cage

The constitutional background: Article I, Section 8, Clause 11. The Constitution allows Congress to “grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal,” which are basically permission slips for private boats to fight pirates on behalf of the United States.

What scholars think: “I could imagine a show about some new pirate threat somewhere and the government deciding to fight them with these private boats, which of course would have charismatic and daredevil captains,” said Jay Wexler, a constitutional law scholar at Boston University.

Spoiler alert: Letters of Marque were more important before the U.S. had a standing navy. Then-Rep. Ron Paul floated the idea in 2009 when Somali pirates were a problem, but even if Congress went along it would probably decide pretty quickly to go back to using the military.

There are six other potential movies, each dealing with a Constitutional loophole laid out at TIME. -Thanks, John Farrier!


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The Ranger Club - Don't You Forget About Me


The Ranger Club by Prime Premne

They were five strangers who found themselves all dressed up with no place to go, stuck in Power Ranger school detention until Principal Zedd said they were free to go. Everything they'd fought for in their young lives had led up to this point, and even though they went from forming the Megazord to being mega-bored they learned a lot about each other that day in detention, which made them grow stronger as a group. Turns out it was a mighty good idea to use their morphin' abilities to cause mischief after all, and they would look back on that day over breakfast and smile, especially when they thought about the time the Pink Ranger knocked Principal Zedd out with a mega-powered fart!

Get suited up for adventure with this The Ranger Club t-shirt by Prime Premne, it's a great way to show the world you've been a member of the Mighty Morphin' fan club since back in the day!

Visit Prime Premne's Facebook fan page and Twitter, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more delightfully geeky designs:

The Little Grandpa Green Buns and Ham Nazgul Days Thieves Blasting Off Paint

View more designs by Prime Premne | 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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Watch These Two Dachshunds Play Golf on a Lazy Sunday

(Video Link)

Personally, I can't stand golf -both playing it and watching it. But I could watch Crusoe and Oakley hit the links all day in these dapper outfits. Sadly, they not only look better playing than I do, I think they're better at golf than I am. Then again, I'm pretty sure they're violating some rules of play there by chasing and catching the balls.

Via Incredible Things

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

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Ancient Lights

Why are these window labeled as Ancient Lights? You can see the signs in quite a few places in London, and other cities in England. The reason is an urban planning law that dates back to 1663.

‘Ancient Lights’ or the ‘Right to light’ is an English property law that gives house owners the right to receive natural light from and through a window if that particular window has been receiving light uninterrupted for 20 years. Once a person gains the right to ancient lights, the owner of the adjoining land cannot obscure them, such as by erecting a building, raising a wall or planting trees. In the past, neighbors with right to light have sued neighbors on grounds of ‘nuisance’ for obstruction of light, and have won in courts of law.

The law has gone through changes, and in modern times the amount of natural light a person is entitled to has been a subject of study. But why are the signs mounted on the windows? Considering the value of property in London and other cities, you can imagine that the lots adjoining these buildings have been considered for building purposes many times. A sign deterring such plans is much easier than having to go to court again and again. Read about Ancient Lights and see more pictures at Amusing Planet. -via the Presurfer

(Image credit: Mike Newman)


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How To Deal With Grammar Nazis

(Via Mascot Comic)

Grammar Nazis have been lurking around society since the very beginning, commenting on our misspellings and supposed grammatical errors just so they can feel good about themselves.

(Via Unshelved)

These strict adherents to the Book of Grammar can't pass up a chance to put someone in their place for misspelling a word or using punctuation incorrectly, which helps Grammar Nazis avoid dealing with their real problem- they're jerks.

(Via MercWorks)

Luckily, Grammar Nazis are also easily distracted, so if you throw some linguistic bait out they will come- and they will nitpick until they find a flea-sized error to turn into an elephant.

(Via BizarroComics)

Once you've trapped a Grammar Nazi you should lay into them with a barrage of intentionally bad grammar, which will tear them up from the brain down.

The Grammar Nazi will soon be susceptible to reprogramming, so they can be taught to generate self-esteem naturally instead of via needless correction...either that or their head will explode!

It's a win-win if you ask me...

(Via Cyanide and Happiness)


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People Are Awesome: The Best of 2016

People Are Awesome looked back at all the great videos of folks doing impressive things over the past year and put them all together together for you. These athletic young people show off amazing skills while having the time of their lives.

(YouTube link)

The activities themselves are pretty offbeat. There are two guys playing ball while skydiving. A fellow hits a golf ball, aiming for his buddy's mouth. Several people, unaware of each other, use inner tubes as targets of one sort or another. Some I can't figure out what they're doing, but they are all awesome. -via Tastefully Offensive

Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog

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Magical Acorn Necklaces That Capture the Beauty of Nature

Looking for a whimsical, nature-inspired gift for a special someone on your Christmas list? Then you may want to visit artist Anna Buttonsy's Etsy shop where you can find delightful pieces of resin jewerly featuring real flowers, leaves and even acorn tops. 

Not all of Anna Buttonsy's jewelry creations feature acorn tops. She also has beautifully delicate creations like this rose bud necklace.

See more of these lovely jewelry pieces over at Buttonsy Jewelry.

Via Mental Floss


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Moving Pictures 2016

Relive the films of 2016 in this trailer mashup by teenage film editor Clark Zhu. He included 262 films and sorted them into five parts: epic, silly, suspenseful, romantic, and dramatic.

(vimeo link)

That's a lot of movies. And I had such grand plans to see most of them. You'll find a list of the films, in the order used, at Zhu's website. -Thanks, Clark!  


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Marvel Movie Scenes That Were Way More Disturbing In The Comics

Marvel movies have reached a point of complexity with their interwoven plot lines that the comics are actually being adjusted to fit the movie lore instead of vice versa.

But there's one element that had to be changed so the movie adaptations could receive a PG-13 rating- the brutal and disturbing scenes found in the comics.

These family friendly movies rely on audiences having a great feeling about the heroes and a really bad feeling about the villains, but in the comics the line between good and bad gets a bit blurry.

Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man, has a history of domestic violence against Janet Pym, aka Wasp. Mutant siblings Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are so close they once carried on an incestuous relationship.

Oh, and that tame spin put on the beginning of the Civil War in the third Captain America movie?

That was way too family friendly when compared to how it happened in the comics- it all started when a villain named Nitro used his explosive powers to essentially nuke the town of Stamford, Connecticut...

See 12 Marvel Movie Scenes That Were Way More Brutal In The Comics here


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Going Away Cakes

Throwing a going-away party for an employee who quit is a nice gesture. Getting a cake specially decorated is even nicer. But those cakes don't always have nice things to say. Yeah, it's all in fun, because if the quitter's colleagues were really angry, they'd throw a party and not bother to invite him. Take a look at 30 clever going away cakes that range from sweet and sentimental (those are in the minority) to rude to bordering on vicious. Some contain NSFW icing text. -via Pleated-Jeans

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Dialect Coach Breaks Down The Accents 32 Different Actors Use In Movies

The accents you hear in movies aren't typically what you'd call accurate, and this lack of accuracy can be really distracting and detract from the viewing experience.

Of course, having no accent at all can ruin a movie too, just look at how bad Kevin Costner's portrayal of Robin Hood was largely because he refused to use a British accent.

But even though they have dialect coaches like Erik Singer available to help actors master a more realistic accent it seems they'd rather let actors like Brad Pitt and Will Smith do their own thang.

(YouTube Link)

Dialect coach Erik Singer shows us what the Pitts and Smiths do wrong when they affect an accent, but he also shows us how some actors get it oh so right, like Philip Seymour Hoffman's portrayal of Truman Capote.

-Via IndieWire


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The 1925 Match That Ensured Pro Wrestling's Future Would Be Fixed

Professional boxing, professional football, professional basketball, professional wresting. One of these things is not like the others. Pro wrestling is performance art, following a script for the audience's entertainment. It wasn't always like that. In the early 20th century, wrestling was a legitimate competition like any other, with rules and challengers hoping to beat the champions. And it wasn't nearly as fun as the modern version.  

But professional wrestling began to change in a way unlike anything ever seen in sports history. While boxing had known to be fixed from time to time, and the “Black Sox Scandal” had briefly tarnished Major League Baseball, no legitimate sport had ever made the full transition into what the WWE now calls “sports entertainment”—fully scripted, predetermined matchups, with chosen champions.

That change didn’t happen overnight. But wrestling historians look to one match, which completely altered pro wrestling’s history: Lewis vs. Munn, Kansas City, Miss., Jan. 8, 1925.

“That really kind of put the stamp on it,” [National Wrestling Hall of Fame director Kyle] Klingman said. “This completely changed the landscape of professional wrestling.”

So what happened at the match between champion Ed “Strangler” Lewis (pictured above) and college football star Wayne “Big” Munn? Read the story of the wrestling match that changed everything, and how it played out over time, at Atlas Obscura.


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