A car is moving down the street when it is struck by lightning. It seems like forever before the vehicle stops and people get out. It looks like everyone's okay. The car is still smoking, and so is the spot where the strike hit. They a huge mob of zombies dressed in black appears out of nowhere and approaches the car to consume the lightly-fried occupants.
Redditor chesterpoops posted a picture of a pigeon that his girlfriend spotted in London. What could have caused it to display such beautiful pastel colors? Commenters speculated that it had been caught up in a color run. There was one in London on June 11, and others around the UK since then. Other people thought it might be an escaped Spanish racing pigeon, which are painted bright colors. And we learned about some naturally-colored pigeons.
This is the Pink-necked Green Pigeon, photographed by Flickr user Linda vant Hoff.
Above is a Nicobar pigeon at the Chester zoo, photographed by Flickr user Steve Wilson.
And the Victoria Crowned pigeon. This one, photographed by Jörg Hempel, is at the Gondwanaland Zoo in Leipzig, Germany. If common urban pigeons looked like these, we wouldn't mind them so much.
Wars always produce heroes, and World War II was no exception. WWII heroes vary from the well-known (Audie Murphy) to the lesser known (Oskar Schindler) to the near-completely unknown. Ian Kenneth (Johnny) Hopper was a British citizen living in France at the time of the German Occupation in 1940. Before the war, he had run a small electronics business, and after the war, he became a mushroom farmer. However, he took the German Occupation personally, and unlike so many others, he decided to do something about it.
Between his two uneventful law-abiding careers in radios and in mushrooms lay the years which began in June of 1940 when the German armies overran France and ended in April of 1945 when the surviving prisoners took over the concentration camp of Dachau from their guards. During those years Hopper discovered that he had another calling: he was a killer. For two years before he was caught he roamed the roads of German-occupied Normandy and the streets of German-occupied Paris, committing acts of armed robbery, arson, forgery and murder. He derailed trains, he blew up oil and ammunition depots, he assassinated French policemen and German Army officers, he shot his way out of ambushes laid for him by the Gestapo and the Sicherheitsdienst and the French Gendarmerie.
The war he fought was his own war. He wore no uniform. He reported to no Commanding Officer. He planned and executed his own actions. There is little documentation of his time underground. He kept no records, for records in the wrong hands could kill you. You will not find his name in the official history of British secret operations in France, his photograph does not hang on the walls of the Special Forces Club in London.
Harvard magazine has a personals section. You probably did not know that. Mallory Ortberg occasionally has access to a copy, and is quite amused at how every personal ad wants to emphasize how rich and how thin the person is …without saying it that blatantly.
One actual person wrote “ENJOYS BUSINESS-CLASS TRAVEL” as a descriptor, which I think is one of the purest things I have ever read. And the further you get into the weeds of the personals, the more frenzied the synonyms get, because everyone is concerned with making ABSOLUTELY SURE that you are picking up what they are putting down, but they are also (belatedly and barely) concerned about seeming judgmental or close-minded, so they try to speak in the world’s most breakable code.
It can be hard to find balance when you decide to join the dating world, but it's important to maintain the balance between being open and private, selfish and selfless, outspoken and reserved.
Without balance we're at the mercy of those who agree to date us, and, as this According To Devin comic shows, if we allow ourselves to be taken for granted over and over again we're doomed to be forever alone.
Eclectic Method has a new song for us, made from sound effects found in all eight Star Wars films. Nothing else was used, no instruments, rhythm tracks, or any kind of added music. Best of all, we can see where the sounds came from.
When Norma Jean decided to throw caution to the wind and make herself over to become the iconic movie star/sex symbol Marilyn Monroe she began the transformation by becoming a pin-up model.
The photographers who shot Marilyn had the eye and Marilyn had the everything else, and together they created the Marilyn Monroe image that made her the Hollywood It Girl every director wanted in their films.
But before the fame came those "who the hell is this girl?" moments, like the time in 1950 when LIFE photographer Ed Clark photographed Marilyn "at the suggestion of a friend of 20th Century Fox telling of the new hiring of the studios":
“I sent several rolls to LIFE in New York, but they wired back, ‘Who the hell is Marilyn Monroe?” – Ed Clark.
In 1989, Mauro Morandi's catamaran drifted onto Budelli Island in the Mediterranean Sea. He met the island's caretaker, who was retiring. Morandi took his place on the otherwise-uninhabited island and never looked back. He's been the sole resident there for 28 years now.
Maddalena Archipelago National Park is comprised of seven islands, and Budelli is considered the most beautiful among them for its Spiaggia Rosa, or Pink Beach. The rose-colored sand derives its unusual hue from microscopic fragments of corals and shells, which have been slowly reduced to powder by the relentless shifting of the waves.
In the early nineties, Spiaggia Rosa was dubbed a place of “high natural value” by the Italian government. The beach was closed off to protect its fragile ecosystem, and only certain areas remain accesible to visitors. The island rapidly went from hosting thousands of tourists per day to a single heartbeat.
The national park does not pay Morandi to watch over the island, greet visitors, and pick up the beach trash. In fact, they tried to evict him last year, but a citizen's petition persuaded the government to leave him alone. Read about the 78-year-old Morandi and his solitary life on Budelli island at National Geographic.
Elvis officially "left the building" on August 16th, 1977 after a massive heart attack killed The King while he sat on his porcelain throne at Graceland, and for the first time in years Elvis was big news again.
His career, health and fashion sense had been in decline for at least a decade, and even though his televised comeback special in '68 helped resuscitate his career for a moment the Elvis empire was falling apart.
And yet Americans didn't see Elvis' death coming, because they didn't want to or because they no longer cared about him, so they didn't know how to react when his weakened heart finally gave out on that mid-August day.
Some cried, others played their old Elvis records in homage, but mostly people just tuned in to their TV sets and watched the coverage in disbelief, knowing the death of The King was the death of an era.
You may have found yourself wondering how the slasher stars of the horror genre stay in such good shape considering most of them are nothing but walking corpses. Well, their workout routine can be summed up in two words- dead lifts. They stay pumped by lifting the corpses of their victim, and Jason also swims in Crystal Lake and runs through the forests surrounding the camp so you know that boy is fit. Michael Myers may look like he moves real slow when he's stalking his victim, but he's just doing burst training, alternating between slow and fast bursts of power whether he's sinking a knife into someone or catching up to his prey. And Leatherface not only lifts whole sides of long pork all day, he also attends a Chainsaw Step class that keeps him in prime shape, so his prey doesn't slip away from him ever again...
Get pumped the psycho way with this Terror Squad t-shirt by AndreusD, it's a horribly cool way to keep your gym gear fresh and make people grin like maniacs wherever you go!
Yeah, yeah, most movies are full of plot holes, because they're supposed to be entertaining, and therefore different from everyday life. But you'd think that someone, somewhere would be in charge of making film franchises internally consistent from one movie to the next. That apparently isn't always so. The character of Mr. Myagi changed considerably in the two short years between The Karate Kid and The Karate Kid Part II.
The first Karate Kid strongly implies that Miyagi was born to Japanese parents in America. We're told he attended UCLA, was forced into an internment camp during World War II, and then fought in the 442nd Division -- a unit almost entirely made out of Japanese-American soldiers. Miyagi in particular crane-kicked so many Nazis that he was awarded a Medal of Honor.
In the second film, however, the entire plot revolves around a completely different backstory: It turns out Miyagi is actually a native-born Japanese man who was forced to leave when he let his boner do the talking instead of his fists. He had upset his hometown by proposing marriage to an already-betrothed girl, and had to flee to America.
There are several reasons the two stories don't jive at all, which you can read about at Cracked, along with plot holes introduced in later movies from the Star Wars, the Matrix, and other movie series.
Horror films make us imagine what it would be like to live in that scary cinematic world, but in most cases we can go home and tell ourselves it will never happen, because there are no such things as ghosts, vampires, demons, or ancient curses. Stalkers are different, because obsession and stalking happens in real life, and we all know that some people are deranged and hide it well. In fact, we might know people who resemble these seemingly-normal movie characters who turn out to be truly dangerous. Relive five horrifyingly creepy movies featuring stalker characters in video clips at TVOM.
Last weekend, you probably heard all kinds of news about San Diego Comic Con, but you might not have even known that over in Chicago there was a Pokemon Go Fest at the same time. As it turns out though, there was pretty much no news coming out of Pokemon Go Fest, other than the fact that it was an utter failure -spotty internet service and other issues caused most attendees to be completely unable to log in. Guests are getting a refund on their tickets, but that doesn't help people who paid scalpers a fortune for their tickets or for those who spent money traveling to Chicago just for the event.
Have you ever been to a place that had a marker denoting a geographic wonder, such as the equator, the Continental Divide, or the geographic center of some land mass? The chances are good that it's not quite accurate. Sometimes markers were put in a convenient location somewhat near the actual spot. Sometimes they are monuments to the difficulty of geographic mapping, and turns out to be a mistake. And some were pretty accurate in their time, but the world has a way of changing. All these reasons are represented in this list. Europos Park in Lithuania is an example.
In the early 1990s the people of Lithuania got very excited when calculations identified a spot outside the capital city, Vilnius, as the dead center of Europe. A big sculpture park dubbed Europos Park was erected at the spot. But French scientists who had proposed the spot for the center in the first place sent news that they accidentally missed the exact target by 8 miles (14 kilometers). The correct center, which is still contested, is now marked with a square and a small museum.
It's exciting to discover what our kids are going to get jazzed about because they don't even know yet, and whether they flip out over something silly or something worthy of excitement their reaction is always precious.
The little guy in this video is named Brock, and his mom Anita Mander captured his adorable reaction when she took Brock with her to pick out paint colors at Home Depot.
In 1939, producer Rudolf Ising and his MGM animation unit were in trouble. Their last animated series, Captain and the Kids, had been a huge flop, in both financial and popular terms.
Ising, on an inspiration, decided to team up two members of his unit and try to strike gold with a new animated series idea. He decided to combine the talents of Wiliam Hanna, a director, and Joseph Barbera, a story man and character designer.
It was Hanna who had the (hardly original) idea of combining a cat and a mouse in a cartoon. Hanna recalled: "We knew we needed two new characters. We thought we needed conflict and chase and action, and a cat and mouse seemed like a great, basic thought." Barbera added that with a cat and mouse "Half the story was written before you even put pencil to paper."
The new cartoon was called Puss Gets the Boot. The term "Tom and Jerry" dated back to 19th-century England, and referred to children behaving mischievously. Although this would almost fit a fairly apt capsule description of the soon-to-be world famous toon pair, the usage of the two names was merely a coincidence.
Would you allow your employer to implant a microchip in your hand? Three Square Market in Wisconsin is rolling out a program to do just that. So far, 50 of the company's 80 employees have agreed to have a chip embedded between their thumb and forefinger, which will enable them to open doors, pay for food in the cafeteria, and other tasks that can use RFID technology.
“It was pretty much 100 percent yes right from the get-go for me,” said Sam Bengtson, a software engineer. “In the next five to 10 years, this is going to be something that isn’t scoffed at so much, or is more normal. So I like to jump on the bandwagon with these kind of things early, just to say that I have it.”
Jon Krusell, another software engineer, and Melissa Timmins, the company’s sales director, were more hesitant. Mr. Krusell, who said he was excited about the technology but leery of an implanted device, might get a ring with a chip instead.
“Because it’s new, I don’t know enough about it yet,” Ms. Timmins said. “I’m a little nervous about implanting something into my body.”
What could possibly go wrong? Right off the bat, I can imagine the 30 employees who aren't so enthusiastic about it may be pressured into having the procedure sooner or later. It could become possible for the company to track your whereabouts 24 hours a day. It may eventually become mandatory for employment, there or at other companies. The chips could be hacked. The list goes on and on. There have been books and movies predicting such tech and how it could go wrong in so many ways. Read more on the story at the New York Times. -via Metafilter
It's easy to find something to get angry about while driving, but the laughs are few and far between unless you account the times when you sarcastically laugh at the other drivers' crappy driving skills.
Of course, there are a ton of bumper stickers out there that are meant to make other drivers angry, but it's best to just think of those as markers indicating which cars should be trashed in the parking lot!
Okay, can you think of anything less efficient than little Corgi legs doing a dog paddle? Yet Zero is having a great time in the swimming pool. The Jaws theme is the icing on the cake for this cute video. I wonder if all that fur traps air bubbles and make a Corgi more buoyant than other dogs.
Cookies don't seem like the kind of food you'd want to eat when you're trying to get ripped and lose weight, but a monster's metabolism is quite different than ours. Some monsters can go hard for a month by eating a single medium sized dog, and others can live for days on a pint or two of human blood, and the one they call Cookie derives his explosive power from those little baked flour discs humans love to gobble up. And while cookies make humans fat they're like steroids for the Cookie Monster, complete with the uncontrollable rage side effect! So make sure you don't have a cookie in your pocket when Cookie asks you to spot him...
Get dressed up to go to the gym and work off those pastry pounds with this Cookie's Gym t-shirt by Kinda Creative, it's the funny way to fight the hunger within you that craves fresh baked cookies!
There haven't been any medical emergencies in space so far, mainly because missions were short through most of the space program's history. First aid on the ISS is supervised by doctors at mission control, and if someone were to be injured, they can be evacuated by Soyuz (although it isn't easy). But going to Mars would take about three years, and with a full crew, the odds are that someone will eventually sustain an injury that requires surgery. There would be no help outside the ship. And surgery in space presents unique challenges that doctors with gravity on their side don't have to consider. NASA flight surgeon Anil Menon gives us a rundown on the particulars of space medicine.
In addition to problems getting liquid into the body, there's the problem of liquid coming out. Blood doesn't drip in zero gravity, but it can spurt. More likely, it would accumulate around a wound, making it hard to see. Read more of the weird things that will make space surgery difficult at Wired. -via Digg
This story is fairly inconsequential, but it is a funny observation of the daily struggles of customer service employees and the fact that the customer is not always right. A man went to a grocery store and bought a package of cubed butternut squash, then brought it back opened. He was disappointed because he bought it thinking it was cheese.
It’s a remarkable trait of humans, refusing to ever believe we’re wrong. We’re pre-programmed to always blame someone, or something else — even when we clearly goofed. This natural proclivity was leveraged by some marketing genius, likely decades ago, who coined the phrase “the customer is always right.” That’s not some tacit omission of guilt but rather a recognition that people will ALWAYS blame someone else when they screw up, and this nature can be turned into a selling point.
But that's only the beginning. The customer was offered his money back, but he wanted cheese. Two pounds of cubed cheese, which they did not have. And it doesn't stop there. You can read the entire exchange at SB Nation. -via Metafilter
What do Michael Jackson, E.T. and Super Mario Bros. 3 have in common, besides being big in the 80s?
They're all the subject of video game myths that turned out to be true, and confirming these myths to be true made gamers hungry to expose more hidden truths about the video games they really dig.
Gamers definitely did not dig the E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial video game released back in 1982 for the Atari 2600, so Atari decided to bury thousands of copies in a landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico.
The whole thing sounded like a crazy conspiracy cooked up by gamers who wanted to make Atari look bad for selling them such a crappy game, but the 2014 documentary Atari: Game Over confirmed the myth to be true.
Another myth that sounded half baked but was totally true involves Michael Jackson creating some of the soundtrack music for Sonic the Hedgehog 3- the King of Pop was uncredited until recently:
Due to a number of complications, Sega remained tight-lipped about the whole thing for a long time, but it was eventually confirmed that Jackson did have an involvement with the game. However, apparently a lot of the work he did for the soundtrack was heavily altered following the allegations of sex abuse made against him in 1993. Nevertheless, prominent Sonic 3 developers have claimed that Jackson actually completed the full soundtrack, but he was unhappy with the sound capabilities of the Genesis and so he decided to remain uncredited.
And lastly we have Super Mario Bros. 3, the strange sequel that starts with a curtain rising and ends with the characters exiting stage right.
Gamers have long suspected the game's whole story was nothing but a stage performance, which was recently confirmed by creator Shigeru Miyamoto:
...it seemed more likely that people were just over-analyzing the game rather than it being something that Shigeru Miyamoto and company actually had in mind when they designed Super Mario Bros. 3. But last year, on Nintendo’s UK Twitter, Miyamoto addressed a handful of Mario myths, including the question, “Was Super Mario Bros. 3 all just a performance?” His response: “YES.”
If a company like Amazon, for example, wanted to improve its Echo smart speaker, the Roomba’s mapping info could certainly help out. Spatial mapping could improve audio performance by taking advantage of the room’s acoustics. Do you have a large room that’s practically empty? Targeted furniture ads might be quite effective. The laser and camera sensors would paint a nice portrait for lighting needs that would factor into smart lights that adjust in real time. Smart AC units could better control airflow. And additional sensors added in the future would gather even more data from this live-in double agent.
No matter how useful the data is, it gives one pause to realize that your vacuum cleaner knows so much about your private space. I am now glad that I opted for wood floors instead of a robotic vacuum cleaner for the carpets, even though it means my cats will never have free Roomba rides.
San Diego Comic-Con International is the most popular place for studios to show off their creations and get fans excited by releasing trailers, but it seems like they released more trailers this year than ever before.
From Stranger Things season 2 to Ready Player One to Thor: Ragnarok, fans have some great movies and TV shows coming to a screen near them soon, so let's kick start the excitement with some must see trailers.
The stars of the movie Justice League have been called back to the studio for some reshoots. That's not out of the ordinary; reshoots happen in a lot of movies to get a scene just right after the editing process. But Henry Cavill, who plays Superman, appears to be in a bit of a situation.
“Justice League’s” Man of Steel had expected to be able to finish shooting the sixth “Mission: Impossible” film before needing to don Superman’s spandex again. That has not been the case, however, as the new scenes that are being shot have required him to jump back and forth from each production. Because of this, a mustache he grew for his character in the “Mission: Impossible” sequel will have to be digitally removed in post-production. Paramount, which is distributing the “Mission: Impossible” sequel, would not allow Cavill to shave the facial hair while production was taking place.
Wedding DJs start playing music as soon as the toasts are finished, so over time, they've heard a lot of speeches from the happy couple's family and friends, many of whom aren't very good at public speaking. Some are petrified by the task, but the worst are those who take the opportunity to be totally inappropriate. In this article, we get a roundup of wedding speech horror stories.
Apparently before the wedding, the bride had lost about 60 pounds, so of course, the father of the groom thought it would be funny to make fat jokes. There were literal gasps from the audience, and I don't know if he panicked or what, because he didn't stop. I was MCing the wedding as well, so I had to get up there and cut him off because it was a complete disaster. I just made fun of him, and everyone laughed at my jokes. Thankfully that thawed out the icy situation he'd just created.
This one pales next to those that enumerate the bride or groom's previous sexual conquests. Read those and other awful wedding speeches at Vice. -via Digg