Board games are so much fun I've been hooked on them for most of my life and still wake up craving that cardboard BG crack every day- which is why I'm always trying to get my friends hooked on them as well.
Because board games aren't as fun when you play them alone, but it's also not very much fun to be the designated rulebook reader and rule monger either- which is why I demand my friends pay attention when I explain the game.
But as this comic by Jacob Andrews shows explaining the game to my friends almost makes me want to go in to rehab for gamers, because with friends like Dan the distracted and Mac the "wait, that doesn't make sense" guy playing board games can be a real pain!
We've featured the minimalist posters of Dutch artist Chungkong before, but it's been a while. His latest project is a series of posters for movies that have been nominated for this year's Academy Awards. Check out how little he needs to illustrate the ideas behind The Post, The Boss Baby, Dunkirk, Phantom Thread, Darkest Hour, Loving Vincent, The Shape of Water, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. You can see all eight posters in the series, plus Chungkong's earlier movie posters, at his website. If you have a favorite, you might want to buy one!
It's only human to adore animals, and meeting someone who doesn't like animals of any kind is like meeting a kid who doesn't like toys- totally mind blowing.
Since we all love animals we naturally want to wear our love on our chests, so we can share our love and meet others who feel as passionately as we do about animals, and the best way to do this is with a NeatoShop t-shirt!
You know what they say about headlines that pose a question -that the answer is always no. In this case, the findings are too complex for a mere yes or no, and the research itself is raising more questions. Some anthropologists believe that human sacrifice helped to establish and maintain the power of authority figures over the lower classes from whom sacrifices were chosen. Anyone who threatened that authority could be targeted as well. Societies that are structurally unequal are easier to rule and to hold together. To check that theory, scientists created databases that combine the many societies that practiced human sacrifice. One, called Pulotu, has information on 100 traditional Austronesian cultures. Another, called Seshat, contains data from 400 societies over 10,000 years. The idea that societies that practiced human sacrifice grew and became more complex appears to hold up -but only to a certain point.
The results coming out of Seshat—which have yet to be published—suggest that social control may not be the whole story, however. No society in Pulotu comprises more than a million people, while Seshat includes “mega-empires” whose subjects numbered in the tens of millions. Seshat’s founders therefore argue that it tracks social complexity closer to modern levels, and they find that, beyond around 100,000 people, human sacrifice becomes a destabilizing force. “Our suggestion is that this particularly pernicious form of inequality isn’t sustainable as societies get more complex,” says Whitehouse. “It disappears once they pass certain thresholds, because they cannot survive with that level of injustice.”
Rather than being an essential stepping stone to greater complexity, the Seshat team argues, at these thresholds human sacrifice became a parasitic practice—an attempt, often by military heroes who had transformed themselves into “god-kings,” to seize and maintain power, to the detriment of social cohesion. That’s because, whereas human sacrifice might have terrorized the members of a smaller, simpler society into obeying their self-styled leader, it could no longer do so in a large and ethnically diverse one. There, it was easier to disobey the ruler, or desert, and evade punishment—and the temptation to do so only grew stronger as societies grew larger.
When the good people of Annville, Texas joined Jesse Custer's congregation they had no idea why they'd come to such a podunk church to worship, but for some reason they felt drawn to the man despite his rough edges. And once things started going all haywire in town they found out why Jesse's church had been so alluring- because he had been chosen by God to live one hell of a wild life!
Show some love for your favorite hard-drinkin', fist fightin', foul-mouthed preacher by wearing this Jesse's Church t-shirt by Hulkey, and people will sing your praises wherever you go!
The Jaegers are back to kick kaiju ass in Pacific Rim Uprising, so it's only fitting that we follow up the MetaBallStudios comparison of giant movie monsters with their size comparison of movie robots.
And while some will argue that Jaegers, AT-ATs and the AMPs from Avatar (as well as others in the lineup) aren't technically robots, since they're piloted by humans, the distinction between mecha and robot isn't well known to the general public.
So if their inclusion in this lineup fills you with nerd rage then I apologize, and I implore you to look past the miscategorization and just enjoy seeing how all your favorite robotic characters, vehicles and mecha measure up to each other!
If you're lucky, you have fond memories of the wonderful dishes your grandmother used to cook. If you're even luckier, she wrote out those recipes so you could make them on your own. These traditional family recipes get handed down to a generations who believe they have something special that no one else could replicate. A restaurant owner gave his grandmother's secret potato salad recipe to his chefs to recreate, and they laughed because they knew that recipe came from the label of Hellman's mayonnaise. That happens more often than you think. Atlas Obscura's food section, Gastro Obscura, asked readers to send in stories of secret family recipes.
In response to our call, 174 readers wrote in with stories of plagiarized family recipes. Hailing from New York to Nicaragua, from Auckland, New Zealand, to Baghpat, India, they prove that this is a global phenomenon. The majority of readers described devastating discoveries: They found supposedly secret recipes in the pages of famous cookbooks, and heard confessions from parents whose legendary dessert recipes came from the side of Karo Syrup bottles.
Some people think an alien invasion is imminent, and that we're not doing enough to prepare for the little green or gray invaders who want to conquer our planet.
Others believe aliens have already been here, and that these extraterrestrial visitors left some of their DNA behind to infiltrate humanity from within.
Of course, both theories are silly because anybody who knows anything about aliens knows they only share their DNA with their own species- and if they want a planet they'll exterminate every life form on that planet to acquire it.
Our only consolation is that these aliens will inevitably exterminate each other at some point, leaving our planet free for the taking!
Invageddon is a cutesy looking yet totally twisted animated series by RiggXAnimation, presented here in its entirety so you can see the whole crazy story from out of this world beginning to ridiculous end!
Back in 1983, we were all anxious to find out what happened to Han Solo after he was frozen in carbonite and taken to Jabba the Hutt. Return of the Jedi wrapped the Star Wars trilogy, beginning with an action sequence where Han is rescued. Luke, Leia, Chewbacca, Lando, and the droids all show up at Jabba's headquarters at around the same time. We get the impression that our rebels had a plan, but no one can figure out what that plan was, since not one step of it worked, or even made sense. Mike Ryan lays out the timeline of what actually occurred. First, Luke gives Jabba the droids. We don't know what he expected to happen. Then Leia shows up.
Disguised as a bounty hunter named Boushh, Leia strolls in and hands over Chewbacca. So already three of our heroes have been captured as part of this, “Let’s just all surrender,” plan. Later that night, Leia unfreezes Han, but as they start to make their getaway, Jabba and all his friends are literally hiding behind a curtain and capture Leia and Han. (I’d watch a whole A Star Wars Story offshoot movie about Jabba planning this curtain surprise. I’d love to see him explain to Weequay, “And then we will all be super quiet and just wait there behind the curtain all night. It’s going to be great. Okay, yes, it might take a few hours, but the payoff will be worth it. We will all laugh.” I also picture Squid Head back there, “Ohhhh, I think I see someone moving. I think this is it!,” and the rest of the gang all shushing him. “Shhhhhh, Squid Head, you’re going to ruin it!”) Okay, so now, including Han, we have five heroes captured.
There are several more steps that appear to have been made up as they went along before our heroes get away. By the time the third movie arrived, I had given up any illusion that Star Wars would follow any sort of logic, so I didn't think about it much at the time. But trying to parse the sequence 35 years later only makes all the kerfuffle about The Last Jedi seem rather silly. Read the analysis of Han's rescue operation at Uproxx.
Mulan is seen as one of the most inspirational Disney feature films because Mulan isn't some helpless and demure princess who has to be saved by a tough prince- she's tough enough to take on any challenge by herself.
Add the fact that Mulan is also the first and only Chinese Disney princess and you've got history in the making, but the true history of the historical figure Mulan is based on plays out a bit different than the film.
And in the end the legendary Hua Mulan was even more of a badass than the cartoon version!
You’ve heard that clothes make the man? Meet the suit that made the woman.
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was born in Samur, France, in 1883. Her life got off to a rocky start. Her mother died shortly after Gabrielle’s birth, and her father took off, abandoning the five Chanel children. Gabrielle was raised in a local Catholic orphanage until she came of age, at which point the nuns found her a job at a local boutique, the House of Grampayre.
TALENT WILL OUT
The little shop assistant honed her skills as a seamstress, and soon she had a faithful following of customers who came directly to her for alterations. She also worked at a tailor shop once a week. And in addition to her two day jobs, did some moonlighting as a café and concert singer for a few years. She used to sing one of those sad French songs about a poor girl who lost her little dog, Coco -that’s where her nickname came from.
WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MES AMIS
She did very well in the male companionship department: two of her lovers -a military officer and an English industrialist- bankrolled her first millinery shop in Paris in 1909. It didn’t take her long to establish herself as a leading fashion designer.
Let this be a warning to you: if you receive an unsolicited vacuum cleaner, don't turn it on! By the way, the same goes for a mysterious stranger who tells you that pushing a button will bring untold riches.
We often discover some really strange facts about our family's past when we reach adulthood, as all the truths that our parents kept from us when we were young are revealed.
These revelations about our relatives often fill in the blanks in our past and make us feel closer to our family, as we realize that we've gone through quite a few strange experiences together.
But Pauline Dakin's childhood experiences during the 1970s and 80s are some of the strangest I've ever heard, and it all started when her family left Vancouver to vacation in Winnipeg- where their mother Ruth told them they were never going back.
"There was no opportunity to say goodbye, it was just this abrupt, severing of relationships," Pauline says.
When she asked her mother why she had done this, there was never a good explanation.
"She would only say, 'I'm sorry, I can't tell you, when you're older I will tell you.'"
The same thing happened again four years later - this time the family moved to New Brunswick, on Canada's eastern coast.
"I knew something bad was happening," she says. "I didn't know what it was, but there was always a sense of something dire that was unspoken."
Along the way Pauline lost touch with her father and anyone she'd ever known as the family sans father kept moving until, at age 23, her family put down roots for a while in New Brunswick. Now it seemed her mom was finally ready to tell her the truth:
"She said, 'OK, I'm ready to explain all of these strange things that have happened throughout your life.'"
Pauline was to meet her mother outside a motel halfway between the two cities they were living in. When she arrived, Ruth slipped a note and an empty envelope into Pauline's hands.
The note read: "Don't say anything. Take your jewellery off. Put it in the envelope. I'll explain, just don't talk."
"It was just the most bizarre thing," Pauline remembers. "I thought, 'Who are you? What are you doing?' But I did what she told me."
Her mother took her to a motel room where Pauline was surprised to find Stan Sears waiting for them.
Stan and Ruth told Pauline that for the past 16 years they had been on the run from the mafia and that Pauline's family had been targeted because her father, Warren, had been involved in organised crime. She couldn't wear her jewellery because it needed to be tested for bugs.
Did you watch Sesame Street in its first season, back in 1969? You might have seen a grouchy orange monster named Oscar. Yeah, he was orange, but somehow turned green for the second season and he's been green ever since. As Kermit would say, it's not easy being green. Other Sesame Street characters came on the scene over time and changed considerably. Some evolved from other characters, and some have mysterious origins that are lost to history.
In the latest episode of the Mental Floss series Scatterbrained, we learn all kinds of things we didn't know about the Muppets and the TV show Sesame Street. Whether you grew up with the show or maybe your children did, it's pretty cool to learn about the evolution of the show, its crew, and its characters.
By the way, the song mentioned that Carroll Spinney sang at Jim Henson's funeral is here.
In 1956, an albatross was tagged in Hawaii. She was estimated to be five years old at the time, and she came to be known as Wisdom. She is the world's oldest banded bird, and is still doing her part to replenish the world's supply of albatrosses.
Every year, Wisdom returns along with millions of other albatrosses to their nesting grounds at Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument on Midway Atoll. She's easy to spot - she always returns to the same nest site, and she has successfully hatched a chick every year since 2006.
This year, US Fish and Wildlife Services spotted Wisdom and her mate, Akeakamai, in November, and confirmed in December that the birds were nesting an egg, taking turns caring for it while the other searches for food.
The blessed event has now been confirmed. Bird watchers have announced that Wisdom has successfully hatched an egg at age 67! The new albatross chick emerged on February 6. Wisdom is estimated to have produced around 36 chicks in her lifetime -so far. -via Metafilter
Some people lose their minds over material possessions, but the poor hobbit who became the creature known as Gollum takes the cake in terms of materialism- because he fell madly in love with the One Ring, until death do they part! Gollum didn't have much of a life left once he'd declared his love for his precious ring, but it still seems a bit crazy to throw yourself into a pit full of lava in the middle of the earth just to try and save it from melting. I guess love really does make people do crazy things...
You'll be able to lord over your fellow fantasy fans when you wear this Precious Ring t-shirt by Daletheskater- because it's one of the hottest LOTR-inspired designs ever created!
How many horror movies have you seen? All of them? Then you probably have some idea about what makes a movie frightening. The things that scare you can be quite revealing.
In fact, we think we can figure out your most embarrassing secret with nothing more than a list of the horror movies you like. Are you a little too into your family members? Do you cringe at the thought of leaving home? Is your bed still fitted with a waterproof mattress cover? We think this quiz can reveal what you have hiding from the rest of the world.
So pick the flick you prefer and we'll guess what naughty little thoughts you have hidden from even your closest friends and loved ones your whole life. In the end, we may guess wrong, but either way, it should be fun to find out.
There are 60 movies in 30 matchups. Yes, I did the test, but I haven't seen hardly any of the movies, so it wouldn't work on me like it would on a horror movie fan. Try the quiz here. You might find some movies you haven't seen in so long that you'll want to look them up on home video!
What is reality, anyway? It is different for different people? Is it different for the various components of the self? While Brain is busy overthinking it, Heart is busy experiencing it. Heart's reality is nothing like Brain's, nor is it like your reality. Can we create our own reality? Well, we can think about it, or we can try it. But how would you know if you succeed? Whoa, there I am, overthinking it again. This is the latest comic from the Awkward Yeti.
They say to truly understand someone you've got to walk a mile in their shoes, but when it comes to understanding Emo kids you've gotta trade the shoes in for guyliner, some black hair dye and a lip ring to truly understand their angst.
So a group of parents who wanted to better understand their Emo teens actually agreed to let their Emo kids give them a makeover so they can see what it's like to dress like the owner of a permanently broken heart.
BuzzFeedVideo presents three of the bravest and most accepting parents ever expressing their love for their children by giving away all their dignity!
A group of artists and architects attending the 1933 International Congress of Modern Architecture (CAIM) dreamed of designing the perfect modern city to serve the people living there. They imagined that a planned utopia would function much better than the chaotic way existing cities developed over time.
The subject of this particular congress was city-planning. The members of CIAM thought that cities were too congested, noisy, polluted and chaotic. And they believed some of these problems could be solved by separating out the functions of a city into distinct zones for housing, working, recreation, and traffic.
Zoning wasn’t a new idea, but the architects from CIAM wanted to take it farther. The living spaces would be in high-rise apartments so that the ground-level was open for recreation and collective spaces—live in the sky, play on the ground. Cars would even drive on elevated roads so that pedestrians could have the space below all to themselves. There would also be separate districts for industry and shopping. Where old European cities were winding, cluttered and polluted, this new one would be linear, open, and clean, with everything in its proper place.
What could possibly go wrong? Due to the Great Depression, the plans were not made public until 1943. Among the entities that tried out the ideas after the war were Amsterdam's city planners, who began construction of a new city called Bijlmer in the 1960s. It wasn't long before unforeseen circumstances led to cascading disasters over several decades. Read about the experimental city of Bijlmer (including a horrible twist in the story) or listen to it in podcast form, at 99% Invisible: Part one and part two.
Gâteau Gato means "cat cake," but this is much more. Artist Alexandre Dubosc (previously at Neatorama) created a beautiful chocolate zoetrope that displays animated cats! Yeah, how could anyone combine chocolate cake, cats, and animation and not have a winner?
You'll recognize Maneki Neko playing the piano, Felix, Nyan Cat, and Yin-Yang Cat on this cake. There are other cats, plus mice, fish, and a big cat head on top with teeth! Notice the different language spellings of the word "meow" as well. -via Laughing Squid
You know that ZZ Top song "Legs"? Well Ariel the mermaid has legs now and she knows how to use them, only she forgot to specify what kind of legs she wanted so Ursula the sea witch stuck her with some sexy crab legs.
She seems to be fine with it, and Eric sees her sexy crab legs as a form of life insurance, guaranteeing he'll have a crab leg buffet waiting for him when Ariel dies.
But, as this Electric Bunny Comics strip shows, the townies aren't as open-minded as Eric so they ran poor Ariel out of town. Maybe if Eric had told them there was a possibility of all-you-can-eat crab legs they would have let her stick around...
The 1954 film On the Waterfront was about crime and corruption in a gangster-controlled longshoremen's union in New Jersey. The plot centered around rising star Marlon Brando as a young boxer and dock worker who is pulled into doing dirty work for the mob. The movie was a critical and box office smash, winning eight Academy Awards, including Brando's first Best Actor Oscar. Learn some more about the classic film On the Waterfront.
3. A lot of real longshoremen from Hoboken were used as extras.
It makes sense to get extras that know what they’re doing in order to make the film look a little more authentic. There were plenty of extras that wanted to be in the movie just for the experience.
2. Marlon Brando improvised a lot of his lines.
He would improvise a lot and as a result the director would take offense and tell him to knock it off.
Nobody is born shy, but as we grow older we find more and more reasons to be bashful and insecure, and for some that shyness can be downright crippling.
But it's hard to imagine a monster dealing with a crippling case of shyness because they're usually portrayed as such savage creatures, and yet even monsters who were made to be fearsome brutes can experience bouts of bashfulness.
Shyness was created by Les Drew and released by The National Film Board of Canada back in 1996. It's drawn in a sketchy style that reminds me of John Kovalic's artwork and the groovy shorts they used to show on Sesame Street.
Callie Khouri, a 30-year-old music-video line producer, was driving home to her apartment in Santa Monica on a spring day in Los Angeles in 1988. She didn't realize it at the time, but during this seemingly routine drive back to her home, Callie was about to experience an epiphany. The words came to her and hit her like a bolt from the blue: Two women go on a crime spree.
"That one sentence!" Callie recalled, "I felt the character arcs- I saw the whole movie."
Unlike so many others in Hollywood, Callie had never even tried to write a screenplay before, but thoughts and ideas kept flooding into her mind. "I saw, in a flash, where those two women started and where they ended up. Through a series of accidents, they would go from being invisible to being too big for their world to contain," she added.
Furiously inspired, Callie began writing, in longhand, and kept going, adding more whenever she had spare time, for the next six months. Like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, more and more of the story came together for her. She would write whenever possible, at odd, free hours, then type out what she had written on her office computer.
The story gradually fleshed out- two women from Arkansas, one older than the other, one a waitress, one a housewife, both in mediocre relationships, one married, one not. The two women want to escape and go off to a borrowed fishing cabin, have some fun, a few laughs, and maybe find a little adventure and excitement to spice up their fairly tedious, drab lives. On the drive to the cabin they decide to stop off at a roadside cafe and have a drink or two.
But things go off the rails at the cafe, one of the women has a few drinks and a guy she had been innocently dancing with tries to rape her. In what would quickly become a nightmare scenario, her friend sees the attempt and fatally shoots the man. The planned fun but innocent weekend escalates into full scale getaway from increasing numbers of various and sundry lovers, strangers, police and G-men.
Kuzma the Fennec fox and Zima the cat live together in Moscow. Kuzma is small, energetic, and has a little trouble with the slippery floor. Zima is relatively calm and placid, but he does enjoy playing with his fox friend. And in the end, he's bigger and will get his way! -via Tastefully Offensive
All kinds of strange things can happen to a person when they head to the Upside Down, but to see the weirdest effect that dark dimension can have on a body you've gotta see what it did to the symbiote known as Venom. When that wily alien bodysnatcher discovered there was an entire dimension as black as his soul sitting right on the other side of Earth's normal reality he got very excited, the wicked possibilities dancing in his head. But then he met the powers that be on the other side of reality, and they showed him things aren't as black and white in the land where darkness reigns supreme...
Add some stranger mashup style to your geeky wardrobe with this Demovenom t-shirt by Andriu, it's a scary good design that'll scare up smiles wherever you go!
While the Americans were hurriedly working on a nuclear bomb, so were the Nazis. If they had succeeded, the outcome of World War II may have been quite different. The Americans used enriched uranium, but the scientists in Germany used un-enriched uranium and heavy water to reach critical mass. They manufactured heavy water at the Vemork chemical plant in occupied Norway. Taking out the plant's heavy water lab was a critical mission for the Allies. British soldiers had attempted a raid, but they had been captured and executed. The Norwegian Royal Army stepped in for another attempt, called Operation Gunnerside. It was carried out 75 years ago, on February 28, 1943.
Rather than repeating the British strategy of sending dozens of men in gliders, flying with heavy weapons and equipment (including bicycles!) to traverse the snow-covered roads, and making a direct assault at the plant’s front gates, the Norwegians would rely on an alternate strategy. They’d parachute a small group of expert skiers into the wilderness that surrounded the plant. The lightly armed skiers would then quickly ski their way to the plant, and use stealth rather than force to gain entry to the heavy water production room in order to destroy it with explosives.
Six Norwegian soldiers were dropped in to meet up with four others already on location. (The four had parachuted in weeks earlier to set up a lighted runway on a lake for the British gliders that never arrived.) On the ground, they were joined by a Norwegian spy. The 11-man group was initially slowed by severe weather conditions, but once the weather finally cleared, the men made rapid progress toward their target across the snow-covered countryside.
The Oscars will be awarded this weekend. Most of the movies up for Best Picture came out late in 2017, which is the traditional time for epic dramas that get nominated, so Screen Junkies haven't done takedowns on most of them yet. They fixed that, by giving the Honest Trailer treatment to all nine nominees for Best Picture.
Having an infant son in the house has taught me the value of solid sack time, and he has shown me that I've spent my whole life taking sleep for granted- and now it's too late to get those years of good snoozin' back.
I've played the tough guy, telling people "I'll sleep whem I'm dead", but now that I spend my days shambling around like a zombie I really wish I hadn't tempted fate with those bold words.
And according to this Safely Endangered comic I won't be getting any sleep after I'm dead either...so much for my retirement plans!