Ochre Jelly (Iain Heath) is back with a Star Wars LEGO creation from the movie Return of the Jedi. It's the scene where Princess Leia gets her revenge on Jabba the Hut.
Carrie Fisher had been scheduled to appear at Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle this year, so I decided to make a LEGO tribute to her character from Star Wars, for the Brick Nation display that I'm involved in at that event. I had already seen LEGO tributes showing a demure Princess Leia shoving a floppy disk into some poor hapless droid, but I wanted to reimagine a moment from the original trilogy that really captured Fisher's feisty character!
We've all heard someone called so-and-so the second and others called blah-blah-blah Jr. but what makes someone a "Jr" as opposed to a "II"? Thanks to Mental Floss' Big Question, now we know.
It seems a Jr. is generally the child of a living person they have been named for, while IIs, IIIs, IVs, etc. are all named for close relatives who may or may not still be alive. One particularly strange case that manages to combine both titles is that of George Foreman and his sons who are all named after him:
Of course, there’s always George Foreman, who has five sons named after himself. And since “Jr. Jr.” isn’t really a thing, George’s sons are George Edward Foreman Jr., George III, George IV, George V, and George VI. (Don’t worry; they all have nicknames.)
Learn more about jrs and IIs, including why women tend to not have these titles over at Mental Floss.
The spillway at Lake Berryessa in California's Napa Valley works like a sink or tub overflow drain. It just automatically drains when the water level in the reservoir behind the Monticello Dam gets to a certain height. The locals call the round, accessible spillway the Glory Hole. Last week, after torrential rains, the water level got high enough to reach the Glory Hole for the first time in ten years -and this time, we have drones to record it. Bonus: AC/DC.
Suffering from sleep paralysis must be a terrifying experience, especially when the unfortunate soul first learns they have the disorder the hard way.
Sleep paralysis occurs when we're about to enter REM sleep- the body becomes paralyzed to prevent the dreamer from acting out their dreams, turning the whole experience of sleep into a waking nightmare.
Photographer Nicolas Bruno has been suffering with sleep paralysis since he was 15 years old, and as a teenager he thought he was "possessed by demons".
Now that he knows better Nicolas wants to share his nightmares with us through his photos, recreating scenes that have played out in his mind while he dealt with having no control over his body.
“This project has gifted me a sense of who I am,” he said. “It gave me the strength to persevere in life, to create art and speak to people. It gifted me art, and I don’t know where I would be without it.”
During the 17th and 18th centuries, people knew electricity was the next big thing—they just weren’t sure how to use it. So they tried it all.
1. RUDIMENTARY DENTISTRY
For most of history, treating a toothache was a matter of tenacity and creativity. The Aztecs sought to stave off pain by eating chilis. Native Americans chewed on mistletoe berries. Ancient Scots wrapped caterpillars in cloth and tucked them near the ailing tooth. In 1700s pre-dentistry England, people simply had the tooth extracted—by barbers and blacksmiths. So it’s no wonder that, by the late 18th century, those suffering from dental laments didn’t think twice about trying an electric shock to the mouth. Doctors would take a metal wire, encased in glass or strung through a feather, and apply it to the throbbing molar. Unfortunately, the jolting pain offered no relief, making berries and caterpillars seem like a tea party.
2. HIGHLY UNETHICAL ENTERTAINMENT
In 1730, an Englishman named Stephen Gray realized that electricity moves through some objects (like metal or people) but not others (like rubber). Today, we know this as conductivity. To demonstrate the phenomenon, Gray built a harness out of silk cords and paid an orphan boy to be his guinea pig. He strapped the 47-pound boy to the silks, suspended him in midair like Superman for an audience, and gave him a charge with an electrostatic device. The boy appeared to acquire mystical powers: Small objects floated toward him. He could turn book pages without touching them. When people tried to poke him, sparks flew. Gray was awarded a medal for his experiments. But, presumably, not custody of any children.
This video by DigitalRev In-Focus reveals how crafty prop builders used the battery tube from the Graflex flash to create the iconic lightsaber Obi Wan passed on to Luke and inadvertantly made movie history.
NASA has announced that the Spitzer Space Telescope had identified a dwarf star about 40 light years away, with seven Earth-size planets revolving around it. Three of those planets are in the habitable zone, meaning they have temperatures that could support liquid water and possibly sustain life. The star itself has been named TRAPPIST-1, and the planets are named the same, with letters appended to denote their position.
Using Spitzer data, the team precisely measured the sizes of the seven planets and developed first estimates of the masses of six of them, allowing their density to be estimated.
Based on their densities, all of the TRAPPIST-1 planets are likely to be rocky. Further observations will not only help determine whether they are rich in water, but also possibly reveal whether any could have liquid water on their surfaces. The mass of the seventh and farthest exoplanet has not yet been estimated – scientists believe it could be an icy, "snowball-like" world, but further observations are needed.
"The seven wonders of TRAPPIST-1 are the first Earth-size planets that have been found orbiting this kind of star," said Michael Gillon, lead author of the paper and the principal investigator of the TRAPPIST exoplanet survey at the University of Liege, Belgium. "It is also the best target yet for studying the atmospheres of potentially habitable, Earth-size worlds."
The Secret Of NIMH might not be Don Bluth's highest grossing film (that honor goes to Anastasia), nor is it his most popular film of all time (that's split between An American Tail and The Land Before Time).
But the animated adaptation of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH was Don's first film after he, John Pomeroy and Gary Goldman left Disney in 1979 to form Don Bluth Productions, and it totally blew 80s kids away.
The Secret of NIMH had suspense, intrigue and mice in mortal danger. There were sword fights, an old wizard and a magic amulet, and the characters are so sympathetic viewers can't help but hiss at the wicked rats led by Jenner and root for the Brisby family.
Speaking of the Brisbys- their name in the book is "Frisby" but Wham-O, makers of the Frisbee, made them change the name because it was too similar.
There's also the matter of Jenner's reluctant sidekick going nameless in the film, and since he's the one who puts an end to Jenner he deserves his name to be known, so here's to you Sullivan!
But what's up with the name NIMH? It stands for National Institute of Mental Health, which was only mentioned by the Farmer's Wife once in the film, but explains a lot about those rodents going psycho!
With a Clefairy on your squad, or even better a Clefable and a few Clefairies, you'll have the power of fairy magic at your disposal to take down your foes with a meteor mash! Clefables can be a bit hard to handle, and nobody loves playing tricks on a trainer more than the Clefairy, but with a little patience and understanding about their fairy ways you can train them to be the very best. Just keep your Clefairies and Clefable away from poison or steel type pocket monsters or you might be disappointed by the outcome...
Power up your boring wardrobe with this Meteor Mash! t-shirt by Miski, it's a brilliant way to show love for your favorite fairy type pocket monsters and is sure to get you lots of love from your fellow poke-fans.
Wichita chiropractor Daniel Dopps has a patent and a website for a new menstrual product called Mensez. It a "Feminine Lip-Stick" use to seal the vagina until a convenient time. Women across the internet saw the obvious drawbacks of the idea and the marketing behind it.
McDonald's has always tried to personalize the experience of dining at their restaurants in every way possible, from the (formerly clowny) decor to the food packaging to the little golden arches on every napkin.
They even have the largest drinking straws in the fast food biz, which some people feel are partly responsible for the rise of obesity in America, and now McDonald's is about to make history again with their new S.T.R.A.W.
It stands for Suction Tube for Reverse Axial Withdrawal, and it's the most over-engineered straw ever created, made to optimize consumption of McDonald's new half-mint half-chocolate shake.
Since no-one wants their chocolate to mint ratio to be compromised by poor technology, mcdonald’s turned to two highly-qualified engineering firms, JACE and NK labs to create the STRAW.
The STRAW is a J-shaped, snorkel-like vessel that provides optimal flavor flow dynamics. the tube has side openings to suck in both layers at once, and is engineered to work just as well at the bottom of the shake as it did at the top.
The next movie in the "A Star Wars Story" series will tell the adventures of Han Solo in his younger days. The yet-untitled film is expected to be in theaters on on May 25, 2018, although that may change. Principle photography began this week, and Disney/Lucasfilm has released details and a photograph of the cast.
The movie will star Alden Ehrenreich as Solo, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, and Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca. The 6' 10" Suotamo played Peter Mayhew's body double in episodes VII and VIII. Mayhew may return for episode IX, depending on his health (he is 72). Suotamo posted a tribute to Mayhew on the official announcement of his Han Solo movie role.
Some things become memes because they are funny, others because they were an easy target, and sometimes the reason is completely incomprehensible. Of course, the easiest way to produce an internet sensation is to have a funny cat. In this the latest episode of the mental_floss List Show, Mike Rugnetta has story after story about internet memes and the people behind them.
We've posted a lot of crazy donuts in the past, but we've never seen them with a shot of alcohol inside. You can get a hold of these boozy, sweet treats at Denver's Habit Doughnut Dispensary and you can choose any liqour inside including rum, whiskey and vodka. Popular combinations include the Plain Jane and Blazed infused with Fireball, the new French Toast with whiskey, the Carbon (chocolate and espresso) with Kahlua, and the signature Habit Jumbleberry with vodka.
The alcohol comes in a pipette shoved in the donut so you can inject it into your mouth directly or eat a drippy, bite of booze-filled donuts. Adding a shot to your donut only costs $2, or $24 for a dozen.
Osaka photographer hotkenobi stages superhero action figures in comedy scenarios for our enjoyment. See characters from DC Comics, Marvel, and occasionally Star Wars interact with each other in a way you haven't seen before.
We've all been on airplanes and been driven nuts by people behind us kicking seats, people next to us leaning into our seats and babies screaming for hours on end. But flight attendants fly every day and they not only see these rude behaviors but also ones that only they are aware of. So what drives them nuts? This Travel and Leisure article features answers from over 25 different flight attendants. A few obvious ones include not reading the menu and then expecting the flight attendant to explain every available beverage or not saying how you want your coffee prepared.
Pizza is pretty universal, but it varies from place to place. People will argue all day about pineapple pizza, which was developed not in Hawaii, but in Canada, which caused a small kerfuffle in that nation when President Guðni Jóhannesson of Iceland dissed pineapple pizza.
President Guoni Johannesson recently told a group of high school students during a Q&A that he was fundamentally opposed to pineapple on pizza — and that's not all. He went on to say if he could, he would ban pineapple as a pizza topping.
I like pineapples, just not on pizza. I do not have the power to make laws which forbid people to put pineapples on their pizza. I am glad that I do not hold such power. Presidents should not have unlimited power. I would not want to hold this position if I could pass laws forbidding that which I don´t like. I would not want to live in such a country. For pizzas, I recommend seafood.
Seafood? It's not all that uncommon on European pizzas, although it was pointed out that "fiskmeti" should have been translated as "fish" instead of seafood. Fish pizza? Like anchovies? Everyone has their own tastes. In Sweden, they use all kinds of fruit and other pizza toppings an American wouldn't consider. -via Metafilter
Competitive eating has been described as a particularly American thing, but showing off how much one can consume did not originate in the U.S. Nicholas Wood, the Great Eater of Kent, was a 17th-century Englishman who would demonstrate astounding gastronomic feats, often on a bet, and was sponsored for a time by poet John Taylor.
Wood was a self-made farmer when Taylor found him, but the Great Eater had already gained a reputation as a nearly superhuman feaster. Wood made a name for himself as a glutton by performing feats of feasting at fairs and festivals, as well as by taking part in dares and wagers with nobles. As recounted in Jan Bondeson’s book, The Two-Headed Boy, and Other Medical Marvels, Wood had, at various times, devoured such incredible meals as seven-dozen rabbits in one sitting, or an entire dinner feast intended for eight people.
Wood didn't care much about what he was dared to eat, and at various times consumed an entire mutton shoulder (bones included), a dozen loaves of bread soaked in ale, and 60 eggs. Read about the Great Eater of Kent at Atlas Obscura.
They said "thou shalt not cuss or use foul language" and thus the Holy Sheep was born, replacing our improper slogan with one that conjures up a funny image. But it also seems to make sense if you think about it- the shepherd, the lambs and the sheep, all common symbols for the faithful, and thus not so far fetched when you say "blessed be the sheep". But wouldn't you rather be the shepherd than the sheep? Or maybe the black sheep who refuses to be herded, the one who uses that other word instead of sheep that seems to burn the ears of the polite so badly...
Declare your individual sense of style with this Holy Sheep t-shirt by NemiMakeit, it's a darn good way to make people smile wherever you go without the use of foul language!
Incredible as it may seem to all of us Johnny Carson fans, it has now been 25 years since Johnny Carson last hosted The Tonight Show. On May 22, 1992, Johnny hosted his 4,531st and final Tonight Show. As over 50 million viewers tuned in, there were no guests that night, and Johnny sat alone on a stool and conducted a retrospective hour and said a heartfelt final goodbye to his fans.
Since Johnny's retirement, as all the other talk show hosts will freely admit, Johnny has been irreplaceable and remains the #1 most beloved talk show host in the history of television. Let's take a look at a few little-known facts about Johnny Carson.
1. He started out in show business as a magician, calling himself "the great Carsoni."
2. Early in his career, Johnny also worked as a ventriloquist. His dummy's name was "Eddie."
Christopher Hesse created a way for internet users to experiment with artificial intelligence-created images. The idea is that you draw an outline, and the machine uses the info that it already knows to create your image. There are four generators, each with their own database of information: facades, cats, shoes, and handbags. This is an example from the facades generator.
Pretty neat, huh? What could possibly go wrong? Well, what happened was that, internet users being who they are, everyone wanted to use the cat generator, which uses a database of about 2,000 cat images. This is what happens when you draw a fairly good cat.
And this is what happens when you draw a not-so-good outline of a cat. I drew this.
JNCO took the fashion world by storm in the 90s by making ridiculously baggy jeans with the widest legs ever produced, which made them extra floppy, saggy and often made them look like an ankle length skirt.
With JNCO set to bring big legs back to the jeans scene VICE writer Devin Pacholik decided to see what he missed by not owning a pair of JNCO jeans in the 90s- so he bought a pair and wore them for a week straight.
Devin wore them to the symphony, the mall, while giving an university lecture, while hanging out with friends, while performing at a podcast taping attended by 200 people and out on a date with his wife.
After each event Devin asked people for feedback on his big, bold fashion statement and they told him things like "these are literally the worst things I've ever seen", "I thought you were going to kill me" and "I love them, I have the same ones".
And through it all Devin learned about trends, unwanted attention and the folly of using too much fabric to make a pair of jeans.
Oscar season is here, and Screen Junkies is taking the opportunity to give us a mini-honest synopsis of each of the nine films nominated for Best Picture. There's a couple of historical dramas, a war movie, a coming-of-age story, a musical, some love stories, and even a science fiction film represented. They each gets theirs in this Honest Trailer. Sadly, Deadpool is not among them.
Photographers have always known they don't need fancy equipment to take a picture, because many early cameras were nothing more than a box with a hole in it and a glass plate covered with emulsion inside.
So when shutterbugs make their own cameras it's so they can take an unique image with their handmade creation, one that can't be taken or replicated with a normal camera.
That search for an unique image is what led Mich Farrell and Cliff Haynes to combine 32,000 drinking straws into an unusual analog "Straw Camera" that takes the most unusual photos.
The straw camera measures 20 x 24 inch, and the two artists have experimented to produce black and white, color, and negative images. They also explored the use of corrugated plastic instead of straws, to achieve a more even effect.
Haynes explains that the straws have a ‘raw’ f stop, where a 254mm long, 22mm wide straw gives an aperture of about f127, which they used as a starting point for exposure. Each straw has its own density and hue, and the analogue creation gives a straight indexical rendering of whatever is placed directly in front of it.
If you recall mood rings from the 1970s or Hypercolor t-shirts from the '90s, you probably won't be surprised that you can now color your hair with a dye that will change color in response to the temperature. The dye called FIRE from the company The Unseen debuted at Fashion Week.
FIRE is designed to be responsive to temperature fluctuations, and is available in multiple colour ranges from bright red to subtle pastels. The data used to create the dye stems from the process of thermoregulation in the human skin and the colour change chemical reaction occurs in response to a certain stimuli - in this case, changes in the environment. When the temperature drops or rises, the carbon-based molecules at the core of the FIRE dye undergo a reversible reaction.
Then you'll have to watch out for this sort of reaction:
If they develop a dye that will go from white to cobalt blue, I'll be first in line. -via Uproxx
I think squirrels are swell little critters, and it really chaps my hide when I hear about people killing those little bushy tailed brats for no good reason.
However, I don't like squirrels enough to invite them into my home or party with them, but photographer Ashly Deskins does and the photos she takes at her squirrel parties are totally nuts!
Ashly sets up little parties on her back porch then waits patiently for her party guests to arrive before taking absolutely precious pictures of the squirrels eating and enjoying the festivities.
In an effort to keep the squirrels she has named Luna and Neville, and their friends, coming back to her yard Ashly is constantly changing and improving her party scenarios:
“It started with just some little props and eventually led to me buying flooring to create more detailed images,” Deskins said. “By observing the squirrels, I can determine what they feel comfortable jumping on… and what I can or can’t use.”
Pedagiggle made a birthday cake for four-year-old Ilyas with a space theme. She wanted to convey the idea of outer space inside the cake as well as the decorated outside, so she created a solar system for the interior. According to the posted instructions, she made the planets by baking cake pop orbs first, then she embedded them in a marble cake with the appropriate food coloring. She also made rocket cookies and Star Wars cookies. That had to be some birthday party! -via reddit
Zombie lore has changed quite a bit since the first Night Of The Living Dead film, and zombies have gone from being strictly undead eating machines to humans afflicted with a life-altering virus.
That means if and when a cure is found for their condition zombies may be able to rejoin human society, that is, if they're no longer seen as a threat:
In the aftermath of a zombie outbreak, zombies are cured and exiled to secluded camps. There has been talk about rehabilitating post-zombies back into society. Steve, the journalist reporting on the case, thinks the zombies still pose a threat to society. He ventures into one of these camps to prove to the world that rehabilitation is out the question.