This majestic tree is a testament to the beauty of nature and thoughtful gardening. For 1,400 years, this gingko has shaded the Guanyin Zen Temple in the Zhongnan mountains of China. Legend holds that Emperor Li Shimin, a Tang dynasty emperor, planted it for the temple, which was built in 628 A.D.
Every year, the gingko tree drops its leaves in a cascade of vibrant yellow. This attracts tourists from far away who travel to see this wonder. You can see more photos of it here.
Remember those really cute Mr. Men and Little Miss books you used to read as a child? Each one focused on a different colorful character that embodied some aspect of the human condition, whether a mood, physical characteristic or personal attitude. The books were marvelous fun to read, but one Mr. Man never made it to the book store shelves- Mr. Angry. It told the tale of a guy who transformed into a hulking green mass of muscles whenever he got angry, and when he hulked out the whole world suffered. Children in test groups became violent after reading the book and began to smash everything in sight, so poor old Mr. Angry was scrapped in favor of characters who don't cause so much collateral damage...
He's the tiniest and silliest incarnation of an Avenger ever drawn, and now Mr. Angry is the star of this adorable t-shirt design by BazNet, bring it home and people will get pumped when they see your new shirt!
Visit BazNet's NeatoShop for more mighty geeky designs:
Otis Johnson was recently released from prison after serving 44 years. Think about how much the world has changed in 44 years. If you weren’t there to see it changing gradually, how surprising would it be? Honestly, I’m surprised by how much has changed, and I saw it happen.
The scenes of Johnson taking in the sights of city streets will remind you of Back to the Future Part 2, if only Marty McFly had aged into an elderly man on his way to 2015. Johnson is 69 years old, and unlikely to find a job. He didn’t pay into the Social Security system. He has no children, and no contact with other family members.
Upon release from prison, Johnson was handed an ID, documents outlining his criminal case history, $40 and two bus tickets. Having lost all family connections while serving his sentence, Johnson now relies on Fortune Society, a nonprofit that provides housing and services to ex-prisoners in Harlem.
Randall Munroe posted an interactive xkcd comic yesterday that’s a video game called Hoverboard. I played it for a short time, but I gave up because I was busy (it’s Thanksgiving week, after all). I do like how encouraging it is: Once I got the result “You got 0 coins in three seconds. You successfully avoided all the coins!” Heh. Then today, I see that the opening screen is just a tiny part of a massive game world you can explore if you take the time. If you’re skeptical, here’s a scrollable map, although you may want to wait and see what you can find on your own before peeking. There’s supposedly a story involved that only becomes clear as you progress through the game.
Revolver was the seventh studio album released by the Beatles, the landmark recording came out on August 5, 1966. Without question, no Beatles album has risen in the esteem of critics, reviewers, fans and aficionados over the past 40 years as Revolver.
When the Fabs called it quits in 1969, it was pretty much agreed that Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band, their breakthrough 1967 album, was the band's pinnacle. Now, interestingly, Sgt. Pepper is deemed by many Beatle people as being slightly dated, still very good, but a bit of a flower power era relic, too much caught in a set period of time, whereas the Beatles music, like all great art, has more of a timeless quality and effect. Revolver is now judged by possibly a majority of Beatle followers as being the group's pinnacle as a recording team, their masterwork.
Before the title Revolver was chosen, several other possible titles were tossed around by the boys, including Abracadabra, Beatles on Safari, Pendulum, and Magic Circles. John suggested Four Sides of the Eternal Triangle, while Ringo wittily thought of dubbing it After Geography (the Rolling Stones' had recently released the LP After Math).
Finally, Revolver was agreed upon by all four of the Beatles, apparently in Tokyo, while they were jointly working on a group painting. (The Revolver does not refer to a gun or firearm, but to that fact that a record album "revolves" on the turntable.)
Revolver also was the harbinger of the Beatles clearly defined second chapter. After being the four "mop tops" for going on four years, the group's creativity, experimentation with drugs, and natural boredom and restlessness was soon to usher in an entirely new era for the world's most popular quartet. Soon, in very short order, the cuddly, cheerful, wisecracking Liverpool musicians would be caught up in a political scandal with the first family in Manila, get death threats for daring to playing in the sacred Budokan Arena in Tokyo, and worst of all, John Lennon would cause an international scandal by sarcastically claiming that the Beatles "were more popular than Jesus.”
When Joseph Gordon-Levitt puts together a routine for Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation he remains in CONTROL the entire time, crushing it with both costume and performance while demanding the nasty call him Mr. Levitt.
This episode of Lip Sync Battle began with Anthony Mackie's energetic performance of MC Hammer's 2 Legit 2 Quit, which the judges seem to love, but then Mr. Levitt stomps in and completely steals the show.
(Fast forward to 2:00 if you just want to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt's performance)
In 1947, Kurt Vonnegut developed a theory of storytelling that could be illustrated with shapes on graphs, which is called the Shapes of Stories. The theory was rejected as his master's thesis subject, and only became famous after he did. The Shapes of Stories was the inspiration for Grant Snider’s latest comic called Story Lines. While Snider is an artist and Vonnegut was a storyteller, each incorporates elements of the other to make us think.
Over the course of the Star Wars story, Darth Vader lost six of his four limbs. Luke Skywalker famously lost his now highly collectible right hand. That injury earned him a kiss from resident hottie Leia. Advantage: Luke.
Other characters in Star Wars got off less well. Video editor Pablo Fernández Eyre, who once illustrated the visual symmetry in the movies, now shows this compilation of all of the traumatic amputations performed with lightsabers over the course of Star Wars. It's a total of 26 by my count.
St. Louis, Missouri-based artist Cayce Zavaglia (featured previously at Neatorama), working out of her home studio, creates these unique and intricate embroideries that from a distance look like fine art paintings. That Zavaglia works out of her home is appropos, considering her portraits are exclusively of her friends and family.
The former painter takes approximately 100 photos before embarking on a portrait project, in order to select a facial expression she wants to capture. After she chooses the image, Zavaglia uses one-ply embroidery thread on Belgian linen as her media.
The artist has a New York exhibition of her work that's currently showing at Lyons Wier Gallery from November 5th until December 6th, 2015. Watch a video interviewing Zavaglia about her process above, and follow her work on social media via Instagram. Via Beautiful Decay
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 C-3P 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."
UPDATE 11/25/15: In the comments, Frau directs us to this complete photo gallery of how this car lost its tire and the driver replaced it with a log--until the log was worn down. Thanks, Frau!
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 before she became a famous movie star.
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 movie star Marilyn Monroe a few years later it 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, never knowing that it would become an important part of the Marilyn Monroe story.
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