The Olympic Games were canceled in 1940 and 1944 due to World War II, but athletic competitions went on just the same -in POW camps. The German POW camp called Oflag II-C camp staged what they called the Woldenberg Olympics in 1944, in which prisoners -Polish officers in this camp- competed in a variety of events, but were forbidden to try fencing, archery, javelin, or pole-vaulting, for obvious reasons.
Music, art, and sculptures were put on display. Detainees were also granted permission to make their own program and even commemorative postage stamps of the event courtesy of the camp’s homegrown “post office.” An Olympic flag was crafted out of spare bed sheets, which the German officers, in a show of contagious sportsman’s spirit, actually saluted.
Roughly 369 of the 7000 prisoners participated. Most of the men competed in multiple contests, which ranged from handball and basketball to chess. Boxing was included—but owing to the fragile state of prisoners, broken bones resulted in a premature end to the combat.
Another camp in the Polish town of Gross Born put on their own games as well. Read about the POW Olympics at Mental Floss.
Dolly Parton is an acclaimed singer, yet few outside the country music world know her as a songwriter. If she had never sung a note, she'd be a rich woman for a little tune called "I Will Always Love You." Dolly recorded the song and took it to #1 in 1974 and then again in 1982. And you probably remember how well it did in 1992 when Whitney Houston sang it in the movie The Bodyguard. But when the song was still fresh, she was approached by one Colonel Tom Parker about Elvis Presley recording the song she wrote. Dolly said no.
When the 1974 recording of the song was reaching number one on the country charts, Elvis Presley indicated that he wanted to cover the song. Parton was interested until Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, told her that it was standard procedure for the songwriter to sign over half of the publishing rights to any song Elvis recorded. Parton refused. She recalls:
I said, 'I'm really sorry,' and I cried all night. I mean, it was like the worst thing. You know, it's like, Oh, my God … Elvis Presley.' And other people were saying, 'You're nuts. It's Elvis Presley.' ...I said, 'I can't do that. Something in my heart says, 'Don't do that. And I just didn't do it... He would have killed it. But anyway, so he didn't. Then when Whitney [Houston's version] came out, I made enough money to buy Graceland.
People can select from hundreds of channels of TV, but only a small fraction of those show cartoons, and the major channels only have one or two animated series at a time. That means you can still peg someone's age by the shared culture they grew up with, as new and different cartoons are offered over the years. For example, Baby Boomers watched Looney Tunes, and Gen X watched He Man and the Master of the Universe. Jill Harness designed a quiz that tests the recognition skills of Millennials in identifying cartoon characters, although anyone is welcome to try it. Yes, some are from animated series aimed at adults, but few older viewers know them. If you are a Millennial and didn't score at least 90%, you haven't been watching enough TV. I did respectably well for a Baby Boomer.
It's funny how much cooler scenes from movies and TV shows look when we picture them in our minds, because our imagination and memory fill in the blanks and put characters together even if they don't appear in the scene.
We typically picture these scenes as a wide or full shot showing the entire surroundings and every character rather than the series of cut-together shots we actually saw on the screen.
So when you picture a scene from Seinfeld, The Empire Strikes Back or The Walking Dead you probably picture something like these video game-inspired pixel art scenes created by Argentinian artist Gustavo Viselner, only less pixelated and without subtitles.
Gustavo's awesome pixel art renditions capture the mood without bogging our eyes down with all that fine detail, and they're so retro fresh I wanna see more pop culture scenes through Gustavo's eyes!
Cats like to be the center of attention, running around the house breaking stuff and making a scene so their humans can see how cool they are, but when our kitties don't feel like being watched anymore they long to hide in their very own fortress of solitude. So we give them their very own cat tree in hopes that they'll find the privacy they need, and how do they return the favor? By using their tree as a launching pad for their aerial assaults...
This Fortress Of Solitude t-shirt by Hillary White is the cat's meow, and it's sure to make cat people super happy wherever you go, and it'll probably appeal to other types of animal people too!
The 1990 crime comedy Quick Change starred Bill Murray, Geena Davis, Randy Quaid, and Jason Robards. Murray robs a Manhattan bank dressed as a clown, and then deals with multiple difficulties trying to get away from the city. The movie didn't make much money, even though some critics said it was Bill Murray's best role yet. In case that tempts you to dig Quick Change out to watch on home video, you can first learn some trivia about the film.
10. Bill Murray stated that New Yorkers would really identify with this movie.
He believed that it showed them just how messed up their city could be at times. Strangely this statement was met with more approval than anything.
9. This is the only movie that Murray directed.
After the original director bowed out and no one else could be found he couldn’t make a decision on who to ask so he went ahead and did it himself.
Lots of people are shy about their dancing skills, so if you're hesitant to break out your patented brand of footloose fun in front of strangers then you're not alone. In fact, the only reason so many people go out on the dance floor at nightclubs, parties and weddings is because they've been drinking.
As you can see in this Poorly Drawn Lines comic alcohol is the key to unlocking your body's natural boogie potential, but beware of the dehydration caused by drunken dancing- or else you'll be stuck doing the Robot.
There's a big difference between the Hulk in the Marvel movies and the one from the classic TV show The Incredible Hulk, and that difference is Lou Ferrigno- the mighty man who portrayed Bruce's angry green alter ego.
Lou Ferrigno really brought the Hulk's rage to life, and he made the scenes where Bruce Banner Hulks out exciting to watch, as viewers sat wondering what he was going to smash next.
But before Bruce could turn into the Hulk he had to be provoked into having a full-blown Hulk Attack, and the reasons Bruce Hulked out were often pretty ridiculous:
Receiving a lethal injection, and then having the person say, “Oh. I just gave you a lethal injection. Sorry, David.”
Wandering around in the service ducts of a hotel (predating Bruce Willis) only to accidentally yank several of the pipes loose and get a full blast of hot steam
Being tied up and fed soup by an elderly Japanese woman who doesn’t understand words like “You’ve GOT to cut me loose!”
Being thrown under a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade float by a mean guy in a gorilla suit who gives David a few kicks for good measure
Receiving a speeding ticket
Wandering around inside a carnival funhouse, only to have someone turn on the machinery so that David is somehow caught in a rolling tumbler and flipped over a few times and then thrown down a convenient slide
Producer and creator of The Incredible Hulk, Kenneth Johnson, compiled a list of all 131 reasons Banner Hulks out in the series and posted it to his blog under the title Incredible HULK Provocations or "Ways To Make Dr. David Banner Angry". Here are a few more that made me laugh:
107. Tied up by the Japanese mob in San Francisco and thrown in his bathtub with the shower blasting scalding hot water on him (why he doesn't simply get out of the tub is a mystery)
92. Being trapped in the middle of a forest fire so that burning branches keep falling on him and setting him on fire, and a giant, burning tree falls directly on him as the last straw (Different from last forest fire predicament)
56. Somehow getting himself into a bellfry and then realizing that a bell is there, just as it strikes the hour
47. Being stuck in a cab in New York rush hour traffic - "You don't understand, I have to be there by 4:00!" - "Hey, mac, it's rush hour, we ain't gettin' there til five, so relax." - "BUT I HAVE TO BE THERE BY FOUR!!!"
52. Locked in a drunk tank with a crazy person who insists he is Ernest Hemingway and then beats the stuffing out of David
The Russian Olympic Team was barred from the 2018 Olympic Games because of doping. That doesn't mean there aren't Russian athletes in the games, but each had to register as an independent athlete, and they were not allowed to march under the Russian flag at the opening ceremonies. The IOC had considered letting the athletes unite under the Russian flag at the closing ceremonies, but that idea has been dropped for now. What could have changed their minds? A new doping scandal. After winning a bronze medal, Alexander Krushelnitsky failed a drug test. His sport? Curling. If you are surprised that curling has a doping problem, you aren't the only one.
Alexander Krushelnitsky, who competes in curling, one of the Games’ least physically taxing sports, is suspected of testing positive for meldonium, a banned substance that increases blood flow and improves exercise capacity.
“It’s stupid, but Alexander is not stupid, so I don’t believe it,” Russian women’s curling coach Sergei Belanov said.
He echoed a general bewilderment among curling athletes who could not fathom why anyone would use drugs that aid endurance in a sport that is a kind of chess on ice, needing steady hands and concentration rather than physical fitness.
Krushelnitsky, who won bronze with his wife Anastasia Bryzgalova in mixed-doubles curling in Pyeongchang, has not responded to a request for comment.
The Chinese New Year fell on February 16th this year, which means it's officially the Year Of The Dog and a good year for wearing purple and smelling the roses but a bad year for those born on a Dog year.
Over a quarter of the world's population celebrate the Lunar New Year and follow the Chinese Zodiac, but the rest don't understand why all those animal signs are such a big deal, which technologist ShaoLan Hseuh thinks is a shame.
So she gave an educational and fun TED talk explaining how the Chinese Zodiac works, including "how it's believed to influence your personality, career, marriage prospects and how you'll do in a given year."
Dye makers have been in search of materials that would produce rich, vibrant colors throughout history. There was a lot of money to be made! And when a better dye came along, or one that was easier to make, it instantly became all the rage among those who could afford it. Such was the case when Conquistadors brought back cochineal insects, which produce carmine red dye, back from the Aztec empire. Amy Butler Greenfield wrote the book A Perfect Red, and talks about how the Mexican dye took off in Europe.
Dye from the cochineal bug was ten times as potent as St John’s Blood and produced 30 times more dye per ounce than Armenian red, according to Butler. So when European dyers began to experiment with the pigment, they were delighted by its potential. Most importantly, it was the brightest and most saturated red they had ever seen. By the middle of the 16th Century it was being used across Europe, and by the 1570s it had become one of the most profitable trades in Europe – growing from a meagre “50,000 pounds of cochineal in 1557 to over 150,000 pounds in 1574,” writes Butler.
Discussing "the bathroom situation" is usually enough to resolve it before it gets out of hand, and if the one causing the situation needs a little push then their partner should work with them to get them on track.
But you should never ever leave a letter like Rosie's husband did because it makes you look spineless and you may not like the nasty letter you receive in return.
Rosie's husband left the wonderful letter "RE: The Bathroom" on the bathroom mirror for his wife to find, and it started off nice enough:
‘Babe can you remember 20 days ago, you said, ‘babe, I know my bathroom habits really piss you off, but I am gong to change this year I promise!’ Unfortunately, not much has changed.
‘In fact, it’s worse, to the point that I now suffer from Bathroom Surprise Anxiety.
But then Rosie's dear old hubbie went off, which is an understatement considering he got anal about covering all the bases, from the drawers to the toothpaste to the towels to the trash bin:
‘You have 4 drawers and I have 1. Do you have some sort of drawer FOMO that incites you to invade my only drawer area? Granted I do have the top drawer vanity – and this is so I don’t have to bend down as far to get MY things: remember I am 6ft effing 6, compared to your 5ft 7, and I have 2 titanium hips, so bending isn’t my strong point.’
‘The toothpaste: how effing hard is it to put the lid back on the tube so that the next person (i.e. me) comes along to use it and it’s not dry and congealed like roadkill. Do we need his and hers toothpaste?? If I didn’t love you quite as much I may be tempted to sabotage the toothpaste with some foreign matter (use your imagination) to teach you a lesson.
He wrote: ‘Bath towels: they belong on hooks not on the floor! For your well-educated benefit, the Oxford Concise dictionary defines HOOK as the device that protrudes from the wall for you to hang things on.’
‘Bathroom bin: tell me honestly, do you believe in some sort of bathroom bin fairy? We have been together 8 years = 416 weeks, with the bin emptied once a week by me = 416 by me and donuts, zero, Roy Orbinson by you – any chance babe?”
No one is serving lab-grown meat yet, but scientists are working on it. Would you eat it? It seems "unnatural" to eat an animal that could still be alive, but how is that worse than eating an animal that is dead? We have some time before we really must decide on a personal level, but maybe we should learn about the research going into it.
Lab grown meat may allow us to enjoy being carnivorous without using up the planet's resources, but overcoming the "ick" factor may be the biggest obstacle. It's enough to make you consider going vegetarian ...until you have a strong craving for a hamburger. -via Digg
You probably know that the “D.C.” in Washington, D.C., stands for “District of Columbia” and that the district is not part of any state. But do you know why America’s Founding Fathers placed such importance on creating a capital outside of any state? We owe it all to piles of unpaid bills.
EVOLUTION OF THE REVOLUTION
In April 1783, the U.S. Congress (then known as the Continental Congress) gave preliminary approval to the Treaty of Paris, which, if ratified by both England and the United States, would end the Revolutionary War after eight long years of fighting. Final ratification was still a year off, but it was clear that the war was all but over and that the American colonies had won. That was good news for the colonies… but not necessarily for the soldiers who’d done the fighting, because it wasn’t clear that they would ever be paid for their years of service and sacrifice.
The Congress had run up huge debts to finance the war effort, and it had no real means of paying back the money. The Articles of Confederation, which served as the American constitution from 1781 until it was replaced by the U.S. Constitution in 1788, gave Congress the power to declare war and the power to raise an army to fight it. But it didn’t give Congress the power to levy taxes. Without this power, it had no way to raise the money it needed to pay its war debts. The Congress could ask the states to contribute, but it couldn’t compel them to do it. The states had run up huge war debts of their own that had to be repaid.
BEG, BORROW, STEAL
Many soldiers had been paid with IOUs or not at all. Their material needs had often gone unmet as well. During the winter of 1777, for example, nearly a quarter of the 10,000 soldiers camped at Valley Forge died there -not from combat, but from malnutrition, exposure, and disease. “We have this day no less than 2,873 men in camp unfit for duty because they are barefooted and otherwise naked,” General George Washington complained in a letter two days before Christmas in 1777.
FREE… FOR NOW
Soldiers with the means to do so had supported themselves during the war, and when their money ran out, they had amassed debts of their own. Now, having shed their blood to secure America’s liberty, they faced the prospect of losing their own liberty in debtors’ prison as soon as they were discharged from the army. “We have borne all that men can bear,” one group of soldiers wrote in a petition to Congress in early 1783, “our property is expended, our private resources are at an end.”
In response to this and other demands for payment from the soldiers, Congress could offer only vague promises to make good on its obligations to pay them …someday.
After faking his own death and going into hiding the dark Sith lord they call Darth started to feel like his life lacked purpose, and since he had a chip on his shoulder as big as a Star Destroyer he decided to rebel against the Empire in his own way- by becoming a street artist. His force powers made it easy to tag and slap up posters wherever he wanted without getting caught, so he started hitting the sides of Imperial vehicles and on the backs of oblivious stormtroopers, Darth's equivalent of a "kick me" sign. This naturally pissed off the Sith powers that be, and soon Darth had a bounty on his head that made Fett foam at the mouth, but one of the perks of being a badass fighter with force powers is nobody wants to mess with you even when they catch you red handed!
Paint the town red while wearing this Darth Banksy t-shirt by Dr. Simon Butler and you'll be declaring your independence from the dark forces of boring fashion.
A blind date might be surprisingly good, especially if you've been set up by people who know you well. Or it can be a nightmare. Check out a bunch of reader-submitted stories about blind dates gone horribly wrong. The "happy ending" is when you never have to see that person again.
3. The date with a KISS-enthusiast:
"I was set up by a friend with a guy who seemed really nice at first. I soon realized that he was absolutely obsessed with the band KISS. He spoke at length about wanting to be buried in a KISS coffin. I was thrilled when the date was over, right up until the moment he asked if I wanted to go back to his place and test out his KISS condoms. No. No. No. I still shudder every time I hear a KISS song."
4. The date with a drug-dealing hustler:
"I was out to dinner with this guy when he suddenly went outside for a smoke break. Whatever, do you — but I looked out the window to see him talking to someone else. It looked a bit odd and ~sketchy~, so when he came back in I asked him who that was. He told me he sells meth as a side job. "
5. The date with a big spender:
"I was set up on a blind date and told to dress nice for dinner. We ended up at Famous Dave’s. He told me I had to choose between the kids menu chicken tenders or the half-rack of ribs because he had a coupon. "
If you ever cruise down to the Barra de Navidad marina and lagoon in Jalisco, Mexico, be on the lookout for a French baker peddling fresh bread and other baked treats boat to boat. Who could resist?
Chef Emeric Fiegen opened up shop, with his wife Christine, in this small laidback beach town over 15 years ago after a stint in Montreal. Early each morning, Chef Emeric still personally delivers his many breads, baguettes, croissants, pies, and quiches by boat. Not surprisingly, his pastries sell out by the time he's done making his rounds.
I've been going to the theater more often now that I can use a $5 senior ticket, but Pillsbury was confronted with the prospect of buying $12 tickets for Black Panther Friday night. What to do? He and a friend decided to try the old 2-for-1 deal by impersonating a tall man in a trench coat.
The ticket seller didn't buy it, but the line of movie patrons got a real show, and the hundreds of thousands of likes and retweets was worth the effort. You can see a longer video here, but you'll have to put it in full-screen mode to see it. -via The Daily Dot
When we try to rank movie franchises, we must remember that such a thing did not really exist until recently. Serials from the early 20th century weren't expected to be blockbusters, and after those died out, few movies had sequels before the age of home video. If you go by box office take, you have to keep in mind that the older a movie is, the less expensive the tickets were. Also, there's the problem of defining a franchise. The Spider-Man series is not considered part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe because those movies are from a different studio. The Marvel Cinematic Universe includes both the Avengers movies and Guardians of the Galaxy, even though one takes place on earth and the other in space. Yet X-Men is a different franchise, even though they are also about comic book characters produced by Marvel. Confused yet? Maybe it will be clearer when you see how the top ten movie franchises ranked, in a list at Mental Floss. Or maybe not. The list tells us that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is officially a part of the Batman franchise, but not tell us whether Suicide Squad or Justice League are included.
People have always and will always stereotype other people, hell we even stereotype animals, inanimate objects and entire religions so why wouldn't they stereotype other humans, right?
Attempting to characterize millions of people seems a bit strange, but sterotyping an entire country is bonkers- because a country's population is almost always made up of people from different regions who come together under one flag.
Is Romania really full of vampires? Are all Swedes tall, drunk Vikings? Does every Haitian know Voodoo? Does the Pope crap in the woods? Wait, don't answer that...
In this episode from the Many People From Many Countries Say Things by Condé Nast Traveler we meet 70 people who reveal the most prevalent stereotypes about their respective countries, most of which are truly laughable.
French artist and photographer Francois Beaurain has an extensive collection of hand-painted movie posters from Liberia. These were mainly produced for video clubs in the 1990s, painted on plastic tablecloths, using the image on a VHS box.
Tablecloth was preferred to primed cotton canvas because it was thought more resistant (posters were nailed outside on any kind of support, exposed to the sun and the rain) and cost efficient. It was not an easy task to find the posters as most of the video-clubs have long dumped their piles of posters. Most of the posters found here were found in video clubs, usually under a mattress or nailed on the tin-roof to make the projection room darker.
Look at this backyard bowling lane. It's ingenious, with strings to reset the pins and a sloped gutter to bring the ball back. Then you think about how the strings and pins laying around would interfere with the second ball. How would you ever get an honest spare? But that's really a moot point. The first ball would bounce around against the backboard and knock them all down anyway. And how would the wood hold up against the weather? Not well, if the wooden table on my deck is any indication. But it was the string pinsetter that got the most interest when this picture was posted at reddit. Some folks had never heard of such a thing, while others say it's used at all the bowling alleys where they live. Here's how a string pinsetter works in an indoor alley:
Guile is a noun in more than one way- it's a word meaning cunning intelligence and it's the name of a flat-topped street fighter who represents the good ol' U S of A. When guile is used in a fight a guy Guile's size can take down a bison or a mountain of a man like Sagat, but can we call doing a mid-air flip kick or throwing a sonic boom using guile? It's more like good ol' American ingenuity, and with his moves and his might Guile almost makes that flattop haircut look cool! Almost...
Show the world that Guile is your homeboy with this Fight With Style t-shirt by Ddjvigo, wearing it is a great way to meet your fellow Street Fighter fans and plan a tournament!
Visit ddjvigo's NeatoShop for more mighty cool designs:
H. Mayne Young, a Church of England cleric, was living in colonial India in 1906 when he saw a Bijli, or evil spirit. A wandering holy man had warned him not to use water from a certain tank, but he ignored that warning and used it to bathe. Young wrote an account of what happened later when he traveled to a camping spot in the middle of the night. His servants and even his horse fled when they saw a light approaching.
The situation was now getting exciting. Deprived of my horse, and two guides, and in the midst of pathless fields, I felt it would be difficult for me to proceed, so raising the rifle to my shoulder, I cried “Stand still, or I fire at you! ” Hardly had I uttered the words, when I was horrified to see that the figure, which seemed to fly along, and was now only some few yards distant, was no human being at all. All that was visible was a grinning, bony skull and eye sockets, with long lank hair, and a fleshless arm holding a flaming torch ; the rest of the figure being a mere trail of grey mist.
As I stood there, unflinching, with my finger on the trigger, the apparition, which was now only ten or fifteen feet distant, suddenly diverged from me, and rapidly sank into the ground, some twenty feet past me, so that I had a good view of IT. I rushed up to the spot where it had disappeared, but no trace of it was to be found. I stamped upon the ground, but the only proof of the apparition was a sprinkling of red hot embers, which a moment before had formed the flaming torch.
The Slo Mo Guys have an underwater camera and they have to do something with it. So they are going to give us an up close look at a belly flop from 15 feet up in slow motion. Okay, maybe 12 feet. From both above and under the water. Dan is a big, pasty, fleshy mess (Gav's words, not mine), so he is the one who gets to do the belly flop. But first we have to see him in his Speedos.
We all know it, and we all struggle with it. The worst part about listening to oneself is that there's always an argument going on. The id battles with the superego. The heart conflicts with the brain. Then our fears and doubts take over and we end up giving in to the tongue and the stomach. Maybe the real secret to discipline is to stop listening to our own bodies and take control. This comic is from Zach Weinersmith at Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. Go to the comic link for the hovertext and push the red button for an extra punch line.