In 1971, John Cleese--the actor and comedian from the Monty Python troupe--stayed at the Gleneagles Hotel in Torquay, Devon, UK. He noticed that the owner and manager of the hotel was foul-tempered and rude. In fact, he possessed such an extraordinarily foul personality that he would be a great television character.
This is how Cleese's sitcom Fawlty Towers was born. The show aired for two seasons in 1975 and 1979. It was about a seaside hotel and its dysfunctional staff: the temperamental owner, Basil Fawlty, his wife, Sybil Fawlty, and the Spanish waiter, Manuel.
Cleese played Basil Fawlty, a man capable of remarkable rudeness to his guests.
Would you like to be verbally abused by Basil Fawlty? You can get your chance. Messy Nessy Chic tells us about Fawlty Towers: The Dining Experience--an interactive dinner theater experience in which actors serve you food while in character as Basil, Sybil, and Manuel.
If you attend a performance in your city, come prepared for good food but questionable service.
Gerry Judah and his family are originally from India. They relocated to London when Gerry was a young boy. He went on to receive a BFA from Goldsmiths College and did post-graduate work in sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Arts.
Pictured here are Judah's creations for the 2014 festival and several years prior. Each year a different luxury car manufacturer sponsored the event and was the feature of that year's sculpture. See more photos at Twisted Sifter.
Since Robin Williams's tragic passing yesterday, many people have stepped forward to share their stories about him. Many of them talk about how Williams was, by habit, kind to people--even complete strangers. He went out of his way to be nice to people who could not reward him.
One of those people was a young Canadian comedian named Norm MacDonald. When he first met Robin Williams, MacDonald was just getting started with his career. Williams did his best to help MacDonald get ready for his big break into the comedy business:
It was my first stand-up appearance on Letterman and I had to follow the funniest man in the world. #RIPRobinWilliams
She was born Betty Joan Perske in 1924, but the whole world knows her as Lauren Bacall, the woman who taught Humphrey Bogart how to whistle. Bogie and Bacall only made four movies together, but shortly after she starred with him in her first film, To Have and Have Not, they married. Bogie was 45 and Bacall was 20. They remained together until Bogart’s death in 1957.
Working with Bogart, 25 years her senior, the 19-year-old was so shy that she was often photographed with her head down, her eyes cast up— but that pose became known as The Look, a sultry trademark gesture to go with the equally sultry Voice. The chemistry between the pair was evident, unfolding on-screen as it did in real life. Within three weeks, the stars were having an affair. Seven months after the picture premiered, Bogart split from his third wife (actress Mayo Methot) and married Bacall. Their marriage produced two children and the most productive period of her career, including three more pictures together. There was The Big Sleep, the Raymond Chandler mystery in which society dame Bacall send's Bogie's sleuth Philip Marlowe reeling. There was Dark Passage, an innovative thriller in which the first half of the movie is seen from Bogart's point of view, so that pretty much all you see is Bacall through Bogie's eyes. And there was Key Largo, a sort of rewrite of their first movie, with Bogart and Bacall falling in love while standing up to gangster Edward G. Robinson. And that was all, but those were enough to ensure that Bogart and Bacall topped the all-time list of couples who sizzled on-screen as much as they did in private.
This Gallifreyan love story is brought you to by T.J. and Timmy, who dressed up as the Ninth and Tenth known incarnations of the Doctor. Shaun and Shannon Menary, photographers in Dallas, shot them perfectly costumed in front of a TARDIS that they had built specifically for this purpose.
And, you know, because having a TARDIS is always a good thing.
T.J. and Timmy explain that Doctor Who is a refuge from the stress of their busy lives. Watching it together is an opportunity for them to re-connect:
Between running a business together, living together, and traveling through time and space together… an unhealthy obsession with a TV show is what keeps some sliver of sanity in our lives!
Comic artist (and introvert) Gemma Correll draws a map of the introvert's heart. This introvert thinks she pretty well nailed it. Are you an introvert? If so, what do you think? Would you add or subtract any regions on the map?
Dan Souza, Senior Editor of Cooks Illustrated, makes a fantastic case for cooking steaks from a frozen state as opposed to taking the extra time to thaw them. Were you unaware of any way to improve upon a juicy steak? Check out this video for the sensible rationale.
The city's most famous busters had a really hard time battling the giant version of that marshmallow advertising mascot, but when they discovered his tiny offspring sleeping in a candy store nearby they snatched that puft little man up in no time. He was cute, in a horrifying ghost monster kind of way, but he had to be trapped and put into the containment unit, but that didn't mean they couldn't have a little fun with the little guy first...
Show the world your fun and geeky sense of humor with this Puff Pinata t-shirt by Manny Peters Art + Design, it's far from whack!
Due to increasing concern with regard to the environmental pollution caused by the manufacture and discarded waste of petroleum-based plastics, in recent years, much research has been conducted on bioplastics. Bioplastics are made from renewable biomass materials, which decompose without polluting the Earth.
The idea of bioplastics captured the imagination of Turkish teen Elif Bilgin, 16, of Istanbul. This smart, resourceful young woman spent two years experimenting with banana peels as a primary ingredient of bioplastic. Her hard work and perseverance paid off, as seen in this video. Bilgin won the 2013 $50,000 Science in Action award in the Google Science Fair. Via Viral Viral Videos.
How does a cat become a DJ? Practice! Although I think this one may be born to do it. There are training programs for kitten DJs, though, where they learn to scratch and mix. Here’s one session caught on video:
Architectural partnership Gijs Van Vaerenbergh was founded by Pieterjan Gijs and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh. One of their projects is this structure in the countryside of Limburg, Belgium. The installation resembles the architecture of churches in the region, yet this "church" becomes semi-transparent depending on the viewer's location and perspective.
The beautiful design, called "Reading Between the Lines," is constructed of 100 layers and 2000 columns of steel. It stands nearly 33 feet high. From their website, the architects state the meaning they ascribe to their architecture:
"Their work consists of site-specific interventions, installations and constructions that generate a mutual reaction with their environment. This results in a artistic practice devoted to a research into the fundaments of constructing itself and their impact on the spectator. Next to these experimental projects, Gijs Van Vaerenbergh also creates architectural projects in which they make use of the results of their experimental works. As such, they follow a trajectory in two directions: from experiment to architecture, and the other way around."
Sir David Attenborough brings us a nature documentary like no other, as he observes and introduces us to the herd behavior of …the Fangirl. Warning: this creature can be terrifying. When asked about the full documentary, one of the subjects had this to say:
Director James Gunn pushed to incorporate plenty of practical and makeup effects into the production of Guardians of the Galaxy to give the film a classic sci-fi flick look, and now that the film’s out we get to see all the amazing behind-the-scenes work that went into the film.
Makeup effects is an area of production popular with film fans, and there’s plenty of goodness to be found in special effects artist Dave White’s amazing alien makeup designs.
From White’s original interpretation of the Guardians characters Drax and Gamora, to the incredibly detailed character designs created for supporting roles throughout the film, Dave White's fantastic makeup effects are a major part of what made Guardians of the Galaxy such an amazing film.
A Turkish farmer has built a scarecrow that rivals the Terminator in terror. To be honest, this terrifying mannequin was developed to keep bears away from crops. In addition to walking, or actually rolling around, spewing siren sounds, shaking its arms. and flashing its glowing eyes, it can also send 25,000 volts of electricity into an intruder! (Let’s hope that’s with low current, very painful even so.) Channel 9 has the story:
Inventor, Mustafa Karasungur, 46, told the Doğan News Agency his creation can also be used "as a mobile power supply", which is handy if you need to charge your phone between bear attacks.
"It can light a lamp for four hours," the inventor who has been tinkering with electronics over the past 30 years said.
Mr Karasungur's hopes of mass producing the robot may not come to fruition. There are fears the robot could attack and electrocute innocent passers-by because it is unable to tell the difference between animals and humans.
Which makes me believe the reporter in this video needs a substantial raise for going above and beyond the call of duty. -via Geeks Are Sexy
For over a decade, Brooklyn-based artists Lisa Hein and Robert Seng have traveled across the country, building jello brick walls because...well, why wouldn't you? If you have acquired this awesome skill, you must put it into action.
Pictured above is a wall that they build last year in Seattle. It's hard for them to measure all of the materials that they use, but they brought 500 pounds of dried gelatin to start. The gelatin is hypothetically edible, but I'd advise against nibbling on the mortar: it's made of Structo-Lite plaster.
Hein and Seng's walls are temporary. They decay over time, so you'll have a clean up job after their work is done.
As a kid growing up in the 80s cartoon heroes didn't come much buffer, bolder, or more exciting than He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.
He-Man was a toon descendant of the sword and sorcery fantasy subgenre that made Dungeons & Dragons obsessed kids like me go squee, and in a clever bit of marketing the characters on the screen matched toys available for purchase at your local toy store, sparking many lifelong addictions to toys and action figures.
He-Man isn't all muscles and might, and now thanks to io9's 12 Insane Facts About He-Man and the Masters of the Universe you can discover fun facts like- Skeletor's relationship to He-Man, the geek icons who started their career on Masters, and why Teela is more important than He-Man in the overall storyline.
We often say, “You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.” And that’s the case for Robin Williams, who died yesterday of an apparent suicide. From standup comic to TV alien to comedic movie star to dramatic actor, here’s a look at some of Williams’ most memorable roles. IMDb lists 102 acting credits, and his Wikipedia filmogrpahy lists 81 movies. There were so many, you probably couldn’t list them off the top of your head, so here’s a reminder. -via Digg
This is clever! It had never occured to me to use pineapple as a cooking tool. I should definitely try this the next time I have access to a grill.
Kristen of the food blog Make the Best of Everything sliced the bark off a pineapple, then bound it with twine around slices of mahi mahi. It takes a bit longer to cook than directly over the grill. But I suspect that it's worth it to infuse the fish with pineapple juice.
Cloud had survived seven battlefields and every kind of fantasy monster imaginable, but now he faced a different kind of final foe- the evil exes! They were fighting to ruin his fun, but he wasn't about to put down his buster sword without going head-to-head with every last one of them, for the love of a gal named Aerith...and one named Tifa. Sheesh, no wonder he's up in arms! Such strife!
It's a geeky mashup vs. the world on this Cloud Pilgrim t-shirt by CJ Boucher Media, throw it on before you battle the evil exes in your life.
Chloe Giordano is a self-described "illustrator, avid reader, history lover and dreadful knitter" from Buckinghamshire, England. She may not be a great knitter, but her embroidery is more than up to par. Shown here are her tiny embroidered animals, done freehand. Giordano's mixture of multiple colored threads adds detail and dimension. See more of her creations or request a commissioned work at her tumblr site. Via Colossal.
Pleated Jeans has rounded up 18 culinary obscenities that will kill you if you look at them directly. So, as when combating a Gorgon, use a mirror.
Pictured above is a pizza of imprecise origin, but known around the internet as a "real American pizza." Because it obviously is. Burgers, fries, and chicken nuggets are great as individual food items. So, logically, they would also be great pizza toppings.
I'll mentally stash this idea for the next time it's my turn to cook on date night with the wife.
As we reach further and further into the depths to come up with new shark movies and shark TV shows to fill out Shark Week, Funny or Die has opened an entirely new can of worms by mashing up a terrifying shark with old TV characters we know and love. In Sharklumbo, the shark is a shark, but he’s also detective Columbo.
I've always been a big fan of liquid soaps, especially when it comes to hand soap. That's largely because I can't stand the soggy mess that soaps become after sitting in a wet soap dish or on the corner of the sink. As if the mess it made wasn't bad enough, sometimes the soaps get so soggy that your hand sinks right through them when go pick them up.
But the Idea Works Waterfall Soap Saver solves that problem by letting the water drain out right into your sink, keeping your soap usable much longer and your soap dish less crusted with soap goo.
The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research.
Selected by the Ig Nobel Board of Governors Commissioned by Wired News and the Annals of Improbable Research
by Marc Abrahams
In a century crammed to bursting with screw-ups, a century that gave birth to Murphy's Law ("whatever can go wrong, will go wrong"), it is difficult to choose a mere twenty outstanding screw-ups. Inevitably and unfairly, several hundred thousand worthy achievements were left out. We chose for style and symbolic value, as well as for substance or lack thereof. We kept in mind that technology is a combination of things, techniques, and the people who devise, make, and use them.
The people mentioned here had reasons -- in many cases very good reasons -- for doing what they did. (In at least one case, that of Corrigan, some contend that the entire screw-up was cleverly planned as such.) These screw-ups can serve as fodder for thought, argument, or pure, unabashed wonder.
* * *
1. In 1903, physicist Prosper-René Blondlot of the University of Nancy, France, announced a great scientific discovery: a new kind of radiation called "N-rays." X-rays had been discovered just a few years earlier, causing worldwide excitement, and Blondlot's N-ray announcement caused a sensation. After seeing a demonstration of Blondlot's N-ray detector, American physicist R.W. Wood secretly removed the guts from the machine and then asked Blondlot to repeat the demo. Blondlot, using the broken machine, insisted that he was still seeing N-rays. Almost everyone except Blondlot then concluded that N-rays do not exist. This became the science community's great example of why extraordinary claims ought to be tested before people accept them as valid.
3. During World War I, nearly all the world's technological innovation was poured into the battlefields of Europe's Western Front. Both sides expected their technology would quickly break the impasse. Instead, it produced three years of deadlocked trench, barbed wire, rifle, grenade, machine gun, artillery, gas, tank, and aeroplane warfare, and the deaths of millions of people.
In this series by Japanese photographer Mako Miyamoto, "wookiees" abound, in all sorts of everyday situations and casual recreations. The photos, featured on his websites Neon Werewolf and Mako Miyamoto.com, even have a companion video called The Wookie Boogie.
Why Miyamoto chooses to give his subjects wookiee masks but no other costuming is unclear, although he has been quoted in a prior interview about his affinity for masks. A variety of pop culture references can be found in Miyamoto's photographs; his work is an amalgamation of many artistic influences. He explains,
"Growing up I was always fascinated by comic books; spending countless hours pouring over the art, savoring each line and stroke. Sam Keith, Todd McFarlane, Dale Keown, Stan Lee, Frank Miller, Jim Lee… the list goes on and on. Drawing was an obsession for me, and the weird, monster infested world that these artists created was my inspiration. In college I pursued a major in fine arts, but changed course halfway through to design, which took me into the world of advertising. Later on, I picked up a camera and found that I enjoyed capturing the world around me, and with it, I could bring some of the magic and mystery back into the world I love so much as a child...
I get my inspiration from all over; thrift stores, books, movies, open spaces, the coast, clouds, Stanley Kubrick, Portland, John Carpenter, the golden hour, the way that reflections create an unreachable reality, things that are orange, and the ocean. But not necessarily in that order."
An adult tantalizingly holds the remote control just out of reach. The baby boy sees it and is filled with rapturous wonder. Behold, eternal joy is here! All he needs to do is keep fresh batteries inside.
Maisie Williams is quickly becoming a Game of Thrones cast favorite not only because of her amazing portrayal of Arya Stark on the show, but also because of her amazingly charming personality in real life.
She's a teenager having fun with her friends and her life, a young lady who just happens to be one of the stars of the biggest TV show in the land, but there's one thing missing from her life- exposure to television from the 80s and 90s.
Like many teenagers these days she hasn't been properly introduced to the magic of television that we grown folks grew up with, but thanks to the video series Teens React To... she can now spread the gospel of Saved By The Bell:
On September 26th, 1957, herpetologist Karl Schmidt became the first human on record to die after being bitten by a boomslang snake. His colleagues in the scientific community were shocked, as prior to Schmidt's death, boomslang snakes were thought to be harmless. Wihin 24 hours of being bitten, Schmidt died in his home of respiratory arrest and severe brain hemorrhaging.
The venom of a boomslang snake is a hemotoxin, meaning it destroys red blood cells, loosens blood clotting and causes organ and tissue degeneration. Anyone unlucky enough to be bitten by this non-agressive tree snake native to Africa will eventually suffer muscle and brain hemorrhage. Blood seeps from gums and nostrils and mixes with fecal matter, urine, saliva and vomit until the victim dies.
There's something to be said about being the last in line, and when you're a boss monster there's no one more powerful, more deadly, than the Final Boss. They're the one the heroes have to get past to beat the game, the one that lies between the gamer and video game fame, and Bowser is one of the guys who started it all.
He's the biggest, baddest turtle shelled monster in the mushroom kingdom, celebrate his gaming legacy with this Final Boss t-shirt by AutoSave.