The maps of Middle-Earth J.R.R. Tolkien created for The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings are among the first examples of a fantasy author creating original maps to go along with their novels.
These iconic maps are elegantly simple, with just enough so the reader's imagination can fill in the rest and beautiful hand-drawn lettering that has become an intrinsic part of the world of Tolkien.
Since Tolkien is an intrinsic part of UK history illustrator Dan Bell found a natural connection between Tolkien's maps and the map of the UK's national parks, so he is reimagining the UK parks maps in Tolkien's style:
To start his maps, Bell says that he works from an open source Ordnance Survey map, and begins drawing by hand. “I try to emulate his typeface as closely as possible, but have modified his mountains in an effort to develop a little bit of my own style.” He adds in additional details, such as forests, Hobbit holes, towers, and castles.
Presently, Bell has adapted a handful of the UK’s national parks, as well as places like Oxford, London, Yellowstone National Park, and George R.R. Martin’s Westeros, and has begun offering them for sale on his site. Once he’s done with England’s parks, he says that he’ll move on to converting the national parks of Wales, Scotland, and eventually, more of the US’s parks.
Some guys try so hard to impress women they end up looking worse than if they'd just been themselves and asked the girl out normally, and the truly desperate think clothes, colognes or potions will get them a date.
The truth is tricks aren't the way to truly win someone's heart, and using magic to manipulate minds will only bring out the wickedness in the people whose minds you tried to warp. But some guys have to learn these lessons the hard way...
Werebeast was created by Welsh animator James Lancett for the Nickelodeon International Animated Shorts Program 2014/15, and even though James hasn't turned it into a series yet he certainly has a good foundation!
Celebrities have a habit of letting their fame go straight to their head, thinking their status makes them untouchable, so they lie, cheat and steal even though they know their life is constantly being analyzed by the press.
Sometimes the lie just proves how hungry the actor is for a role, as was the case when Mila Kunis claimed she was turning 18 so she could be on That '70s Show when she was actually only fourteen-years-old.
Others tell huge lies because they're starving for attention, like pretty much any member of the half-baked Kardashian clan:
One of the weirdest lies told in recent history was told by Jack and Meg White of the White Stripes- they claimed they were brother and sister when they were actually a married couple. Jack is one of the most talented guitar players out there, so why rely on a gimmick to sell your band?
When you're planning to hop aboard a rocketship and take a trip across the galaxy to some far off planet you'd better pack lots of survival gear, a handy robot and your adventurer's sash- and leave the turkey at home.
That's because turkeys are total buzzkills once they leave the safety of planet Earth, and when you're exploring a planet for the first time the kid in you just wants to have fun, especially if that planet is made of trash.
Ramblers is a kooky animated short created by Morghan Fortier and Brett Jubinville for Nickelodeon Studios, featuring the voice talents of Tara Strong and George Takei, and watching it earns you one "Wasted Time In The Best Way Possible" badge!
Of all the friends from Friends I'd want to hang out with Ross the least, because his anal retentive nature and sniveling would make me want to mash him. Plus I'd probably want to hang out with Phoebe the most and they're practically polar opposites.
Thankfully the Friends are fictional so we don't really have to worry about which one we'd hang out with, but according to 22 Words I was right about Ross being the worst of Friends.
Added to my list of reasons- because he lords his intelligence over everyone, overthinks everything and is prone to emotional outbursts that make everyone, including his own sister, want to slap him.
And finish it off with that whole "will they, won't they, why did he cheat on her?" thing he had going on with Rachel, that really rubbed me the wrong way, Ross! You deserve to be alone with your dusty old bones!
Jack Black is an entertainer extraordinaire-he sings, plays guitar, dances, writes music, plays roles both comedic and dramatic, plus he's one hell of an interview, which is why he's constantly invited to go on shows all over the world.
But Jack's musical and comedic skills in particular are why the South Korean game show Infinite Challenge asked him to be one of their celebrity guests, and his spot-on imitation of a K-Pop song ensured he'll be asked back.
Sven Stoffels is an animator with some serious illustration skills and a seriously warped mind, which made him a natural fit for the Comedy Central series TripTank, which "showcases animated shorts so volatile they should come with a recommended dosage".
When you tune in to a Sven Stoffels cartoon your head may start to feel a bit funny, or depending on your state of mind (or the mind-altering substances you're on) you may feel even more fine. However, it's worth noting before you watch that neither Sven nor Comedy Central are responsible for what may happen to your psyche after you tune in.
But if you're anything like me then feeding a bunch of dark and ridiculously funny cartoons to your head will make you feel all warm and squishy inside, like a kid who needs to poop but refuses to leave the TV until the commercial break! (NSFW)
The Joker is one of the most enduring characters in the history of comic books, and his name is so recognizable most people can picture his grinning face whenever his name is mentioned- even if they've never read a comic in their life.
But to really know the Joker's story you have to study every dimension of the character, including all the different versions from alternate dimensions, shows, movies and extended comic universes, all of which are truly Jokers at heart.
This Screen Rant video exposes 10 Alternate Versions of The Joke You Didn't Know About to the light, including the reality warping Emperor Joker, the madcap wanna-be Duela Dent and the half Joker-half Sabretooth hybrid Hyena.
The whole zombie thing is starting to make fans groan, but if you dig around a little you'll find that fresh visions of a zombie infested world have been out there all along, hiding out in all the unusual places.
Raised By Zombies was written and created by Guy Collins back in 2013, and while it isn't a reinvention of the subgenre it presents lots of fresh and interesting ideas in a simply eye pleasing style. In fact, it might be the most chill zompocalypse story ever told!
It seems odd that someone would make a list of times SpongeBob SquarePants went too far, because his bizarre jokes and slapstick brand of comedy seem to go too far on every episode.
But apparently WatchMojo went through every episode of SpongeBob to show us that the wacky cartoon about a little burger flipping buffoon sometimes goes even farther than too far, the skits becoming a bit too unsettling.
There was the time Squidward got off on murdering papier mache versions of SpongeBob, the time Plankton wore Sandy's discarded "pelt" as a suit, and the time SpongeBob popped Mrs. Puff, making her unable to puff up again- which made her want to murder him.
These episodes made me crack up, but the target audience's parents were probably less than thrilled to find their kids watching such sick and twisted toons!
People say "you're never too old..." about things most seniors don't want to do, but when it comes to cosplaying the cliche is true, because you're never too old to dress up like one of your favorite pop culture characters.
Just ask Shirley Chua from Singapore- Shirley is 70 years old yet she started cosplaying as Chun-Li from Street Fighter and her other favorite characters in 2011, right after she told her son "Mama would like to cosplay".
Since then Shirley has embraced the art of cosplay and even loves to make her own costumes, and as you'll see in this video from The Good Guyde she fits in with the Con crowd just as well as any young cosplayer.
Kids love to check out all the cute little crabs when they go to the beach, but you'd better keep a close eye on your little ones when you're at the shore- or else they may learn crabs are clawful jerks the hard way!
That being said, it is fun to see their wheels turning as they watch those strange little sea creatures scuttle around, and I'd give anything to know what kids are thinking about when they see a crab for the first time.
Crabby Day is a super animated short by Sara Ho that captures the imaginative fun kids have when they hit the shore, but it also teaches parents a good lesson- keep an eye on your kids or their imagination may get them into trouble!
If the movie Labyrinth had taken place in the 21st century then Sarah would have had all the help she needs to find her baby brother right in her pocket- because her smartphone would have made the job fun and easy.
That's assuming, of course, that Sarah's smartphone could connect to a network in the Goblin Kingdom, and that her phone was fully charged and the GPS app updated before she headed in after baby Toby... never mind, she did just fine without a smartphone!
Have you ever gotten into a fight with someone that involved a lot of swinging and yelling but very little physical contact? You were probably quite young and inexperienced in the way of the melee, like a pawn swinging wildly for the sake of someone else's entertainment.
Pawns are forgiven for their lack of fighting skills, but when a big bad bishop steps up and attacks a pawn we expect their quadridirectional combat abilities to prevail.
But, as this Chilikto comic shows us, when a bishop slides up next to a pawn they end up looking like just another pawn in a stalemated game.
My bookshelf is actually three bookshelves, one large two medium, and no matter how hard I try I can't seem to whittle my collection down to one bookshelf because I keep finding new books to fall in love with.
And since I stopped collecting comics for the most part and now collect graphic novels instead my book collection has to be trimmed down a bit every so often because I'll be damned if I'm gonna buy another bookshelf!
Although...this Incidental Comics strip by Grant Snider does remind me I have two boxes full of books that fit in to many of these categories sitting in my garage waiting to be shelved...BOOKS! *shakes fist*
B&W was the original film flavor and is still the best color palette to use when shooting portraits, and back in the colorful 60s and 70s photographer David Bailey ditched the Kodachrome and shot his famous subjects in black and white.
David started out as a fashion photographer working as an assistant to famed fashion photographer John French, but by the 60s David had a contract with Vogue and became an important part of the Swinging London scene.
David's iconic black and white portraits not only made his subjects look extra cool- they capture the look and feel of an era caught between the avant-garde past and the far out future.
Disney movies center around the main characters by default because they're the most important figures in the storyline, so background characters get a few lines in the script but are otherwise ignored. But if you could see the story from a background character's perspective you'd see each enchanting tale a little differently.
For instance- The Lion King is descended from a line of murderous lions, so why would the animals he preys upon swear fealty to him as their king?
And, as this comic by Willie Muse shows, Sleeping Beauty is basically a tale about a rich prince taking advantage of a drugged and vulnerable woman...how's that for happily ever after!
Discovering a new batch of memes is like uncovering a treasure trove of visual comedy, only this trove is guarded by a geek who spends way too much time online, breathes Cheeto dust instead of fire and is married to his pillow.
Now good anime memes don't come along every day, so when you find a stockpile of anime-themed visual tomfoolery you've gotta snatch it all up byte by byte, because a well-crafted anime meme can really make you stand out in a crowd.
Godzilla has battled some mighty giant kaiju during his storied career as a movie monster, and he even battled King Kong at one point, but if you think about it on-screen monster meetings are few and far between.
Therefore we have no real idea how Clover the Cloverfield monster measures up to Godzilla, or how big Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc. is in comparison to Frankenstein.
But now thanks to this cool CGI visualization created by MetaBallStudios we can see how puny they all are when compared to the King of the Monsters!
Lifeless is a hypnotic CGI short created by Fokke Mars, Bas Jansen, and Max van der Ree from HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, and after watching it I can't decide if we need more automation in our lives or less...
You know that old codger who's always yelling things like "you can marry anybody these days!" angrily at the TV? They need to change their irate rant from "anybody" to "anything" because quite a few kooky folks have actually married inanimate objects, and the things they've married are getting stranger and stranger.
A young woman from Jacksonville, Florida named Noorul Mahjabeen Hassan, who prefers to be called Fractal Tetris Huracan, says she's been in love with the video game Tetris for over 20 years.
She sleeps with the NES cartridge every night, plays about 12 hours a day and after a bad breakup with a graphing calculator she's ready to tie the knot with Tetris:
‘I think Tetris is so beautiful, he is about perfection and he stimulates your mind. Physically I get that feeling that people in relationships get – that you know they are the right one.
‘I love him so much and get an immense sense of satisfaction with him. I have a strong connection with him and have invested so much in him.’
‘I want to say I’m married to Tetris and have a legitimate ceremony,’ says Fractal. ‘I want everybody to be there.
‘I feel like that would be an official thing which would set it in stone and say “I love you and want to prove it to you” by making it permanent and calling myself Mrs Tetris.’
The TV adaptation of Westworld has given us all kinds of weird and interesting feelings about AI, virtual reality and the inevitable battle between humanity and our robotic overlords. And as Beth Elderkin of io9 discovered they're gearing up for the return of the show by sharing some dark and creepy guerilla marketing online via the Delos Incorporated website.
There fans will find a new employee handbook that is covered in bloody handprints, scrawled warnings and a possible hint at characters we'll be seeing in season 2:
Whoever has smuggled out the handbook looks to be located in Manufacturing, where hosts are created. This could be a hint at a character for season 2, since we didn’t really spend time with any host creators besides Robert Ford.
Bonus: For anyone looking for an extra cool tidbit, you can visit Discover Westworld and ask its AI Aeden about the guidebook.
Another interesting section of the guidebook called Training hints at an upcoming Westworld mobile game, which a Redditor claims to have played already saying it's a base management game similar to Fallout Shelter. And hopefully the creators will add more fun new stuff to the site in the future, as season 2 of Westworld begins sometime this spring.
The Man Of Steel has bridged generational gaps like few other characters ever could, and he continues to capture the imagination of kids who read his comics or watch his cartoons just as much as he did back in the early 20th century.
And over the last 80 years of Supermania the character has made people truckloads of money, but did you know the creators originally sold the rights for a mere $130?
Creators Siegel and Shuster sold the rights to DC without any future right to royalties, and although they continued to write and illustrate Superman comics as he became a huge hit they didn't get another dime. They tried to sue DC comics for royalties and were summarily fired in 1947.
But despite the enmity between creators and publisher Superman has found a lot of love over the years, and for some strange reason almost every single one of them has had the initials "L.L.":
Lois Lane, a reporter who tends to pine after Superman while rejecting his meek alter ego, Clark Kent, has been around since Action Comics #1. Competing with her for Superman’s attentions are Lana Lang, his high school sweetheart from Smallville, Kansas; Lori Lemaris, a mermaid he dates while attending Metropolis University; and Lyla Lerrol, an actress from Krypton who meets him when he travels back in time before the planet’s destruction. Numerous other supporting characters also have the initials L.L., including Lex Luthor, Lucy Lane (Lois Lane’s sister) and Linda Lee (Supergirl’s secret identity).
Airlords of Airia is a stylized sci-fi short created by visual effects artist Dirk Müller, and what started as a teaser has been expanded into a fifteen-minute-long short film that Dirk hopes to make into a feature length movie set in the same universe.
Imagine the Earth's continents were drowned by a biblical flood some years past, and mankind was collectively forced to move to the skies to survive, then make it a Steampunk setting and you've got Airlords of Airia in a nutshell.
You don't need fancy dice to play a tabletop RPG, and contrary to popular superstition fancier and more expensive dice don't roll more successful saving throws and critical hits.
However, some gamers just enjoy spending money on their obsession, and their gaming kit doesn't feel complete without some shiny and expensive dice, so their group will see them rollin' and get super jealous.
But if you're looking for dice that will both make your group jealous and make it impossible for them to tell what you rolled take a note from this Dork Tower comic by John Kovalic and grab some Elvish Dice of Inscrutability!
Artists who create artwork using only paper run in to one major problem with the medium- the flatness.
Without ink or paint to create the illusion of depth, shading and shadows those cut up pieces of paper end up looking way too flat, and flatness in artwork is far from impressive.
The geeky and colorful scenes created by Brazilian artist Nathanna Érica are anything but flat, and although she does use a little ink or paint here and there for texture her pieces are pretty much all paper and absolutely awesome!
Nathanna sells prints of her artwork and the pieces themselves through her Etsy shop, but if you want to look at it all over and over again 32 of her works have been collected in the art book Samba.
Have you ever felt like those arcade machines that give out prizes seem like nothing but a money munchin' scam?
You drop quarters and shove dollars in the slot yet the claws refuse to pick up those plush toys, the razor refuses to cut through the string and the light never stops on the right spot when you hit the button no matter how quick your reflexes.
This isn't just paranoia, these machines were made to sucker people out of their money, and inventor Mark Rober was sick of losing money to these greedy machines.
So he created a device to beat a redemption game called Cyclone and ended up discovering the arcade's dirty little secret- the game is totally rigged, so your chances of winning tickets from Cyclone are virtually nil.
Social media has allowed us all to put our thoughts, feelings and favorite memes out there for the entire online world to see which, as we all know, is both a good and bad thing.
For the average person this social freedom allows them to rant, share pics and thoughts from their day and basically act like they normally do with their friends, but for celebrities social media gives them the chance to go bonkers.
Norm Macdonald is a bit of a goofball, so you'd expect his Twitter feed to be full of jokes and funny observations, but instead he uses the power of the tweet to dump hours of sports play-by-plays on his followers:
Is it a joke? Is Norm drinking heavily again? Nobody is really sure, but I guess if you hate comedy, love sports and don't have a TV or a radio then Norm's your guy!
But if you prefer social media feeds related to food then you might enjoy the Instagram account @onionringsworldwide, which was started by the singer Lorde as an inside joke.
There you'll get to see "every onion ring I encounter, rated" and absolutely nothing about Lorde or her music, which may actually expand her fanbase to include chefs and foodies who respect her opinions on onion rings.
Plus Lorde isn't above eating onion rings "from the service stop Burger King near Hatfield", now that's what I call adventurous eating!