The Simpsons couch gag intro has been recreated, interpreted and totally transformed by many of the greatest animators in the world, including Bill Plympton, John Kricfalusi, and the crew from Robot Chicken, and now Sylvain Chomet has applied his signature style to the gag for an upcoming episode.
Sylvain is best known as the director of The Triplets of Belleville and The Illusionist, and when Matt Groening asked him to create a couch gag sequence for an episode which will air on March 9th he jumped at the chance to do The Simpsons his way.
Sylvain’s incredibly unique style may make the animation on The Simpsons look pretty crappy in comparison, but nobody watches The Simpsons to be wowed by the art style, right?
Artists Davide Luciano and Claudia Ficca set mouse traps that could easily trap humans. Luciano came up with the idea after spending a week photographing cheeses for advertisements.
Ficca, a food stylist, designed the miniature dishes. Together, the couple made ten images of traps for mice with sophisticated tastes. You can see more of them at Foodiggity. I’ll probably break my finger in the sushi one pictured above.
P.S. Be sure to check out another inventive project by Luciano and Ficca: using potholes as an artistic background.
Artist Irma Gruenholz creates illustrations in clay, which may lead to the question- doesn’t that mean she creates sculptures?
The answer is yes and no- yes they are clay sculptures, all three dimensional and stuff, but these dioramas are meant to be viewed as a full scene like an illustrations so no, they’re not what you would normally think of as a simple sculpture.
Irma’s whimsical scenes are full of colorful characters, silly humor and intriguing imagery that is enhanced by the sculptural quality of the elements in each scene. And although these scenes could have been drawn in 2D, or created in a 3D program, there's something much more endearing about the fact that Irma chose clay as her medium.
You may have heard the news that the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is getting an overhaul. The essay portion that was added in 2005 will be made optional, and the rest of the test is going back to the old 1600-point scale. Questions will be replaced to bring them more in line with what students are being taught in the classroom, to try to level the playing field that has been upset in recent years by students who can afford test tutoring. Why? Because students, parents, teachers, and even colleges don’t like it. It’s stressful, interferes with regular classwork, and doesn’t even predict college success.
A growing number of colleges and universities, frustrated by the minimal change to the SAT when it was revised in 2005 and motivated by a report issued in 2008 by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (Nacac), began to eliminate the SAT and its competitor, the A.C.T., as admission requirements, following the lead of several small, liberal-arts colleges that did so years before. The authors of the Nacac report cited a University of California study, which characterized the SAT as a “relatively poor predictor of student performance” and questioned the tendency of colleges to rely on the SAT as “one of the most important admission tools.” (Many of the schools that dropped test requirements saw spikes in their applications, at least in the first year.)
Around the time the report came out — and following the publication of “The Power of Privilege,” by the Wake Forest University sociology professor Joseph A. Soares, an account of the way standardized tests contributed to discriminatory admissions policies at Yale — Wake Forest became the first highly rated institution (it regularly appears as a Top 30 university on the U.S. News & World Report college rankings) to announce a test-optional admissions policy. Follow-up studies at Wake Forest showed that the average high-school G.P.A. of incoming freshmen increased after the school stopped using standardized-test scores as a factor. Seventy-nine percent of its 2012 incoming class was in the top 10 percent of their high-school classes. Before going test-optional, that figure was in the low 60s. In addition, the school became less homogeneous. “The test highly correlates with family income,” says Soares, who also edited a book that, in part, examines the effects of making the SAT optional at the University of Georgia, Johns Hopkins University and Wake Forest. “High-school grades do not.” He continued, “We have a lot more social, racial and lifestyle diversity. You see it on campus. Wake Forest was a little too much like a J. Crew catalog before we went test-optional.”
The new test will not be introduced until the spring of 2016 -too late for all my children. Only time will tell if the changes are an improvement. The New York Times has the story of how the SAT became something other than what it was intended to be, and how the changes for 2016 came about. -via Digg
What kind of companies top the list of political campaign contributions
in your state's last election cycle? Mother
Jones took the data from Follow
The Money, a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization that compiles
a database of verifiable campaign finance contributions across the 50
states for the 2012 election, and came up with the map above.
The data is admittedly incomplete: Mother Jones limited their search
to the top business in each state and excluded contributions from unions,
law firms, nonprofits, and PACs.
It's not surprising that gambling dominated the political contributions
in Nevada, but I was surprised to find that it also dominated in Rhode
Island. I'm also surprised to find that finance companies dominated the
political contributions in only 4 states - why did I think it would've
been in more places?
Real Estate companies pay the highest corporate campaign contributions
in 14 states, health-related companies in 13, and energy companies in
12. Tech and telecom dominated in 3 whereas manufacturing in only two.
See which type of company dominated your state's politics over at Mother
I love these lamps! They're charming, functional and probably terribly hot to the touch. I'm not sure who made them, but my friend Marilyn Bellamy thinks that they can be traced back to a company called Balloonatics Enterprises.
The agency says that the otter dragged the alligator onshore and ate it:
Yes, the otter eventually pulled the alligator up on the bank and proceeded to consume it, as evidenced by crunching noises. They were no longer visible at that point, but the alligator was done resisting when dragged out of the water. Despite their disarmingly cute appearance, otters are the apex predator of many freshwater habitats.
A girl and her dog take a look backward at the life they’ve shared growing up together. You may want to get a hankie before you watch. The ad for Chevy was directed by Lloyd Lee Choi. Yes, believe it or not, it’s a car ad. It should send you right out to buy a car adopt a dog from the local shelter. -via Digg
You've probably heard a lot about Bitcoin recently - from the incredible rise (and subsequent crash) in its value, to the implosion of Mt. Gox - the playing card trading website turned world's largest Bitcoin exchange.
The invention of Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that became the darling of the Internet, was attributed to a mysterious man (or group of men) called Satoshi Nakamoto. The name was widely believed to be a pseudonym, until Newsweek reported that it had found him. Astoundingly, he is actually named Satoshi Nakamoto, and that he's been living in plain sight.
Leah McGrath Goodman of Newsweek wrote the story of the (supposed) father of Bitcoin, including this illuminating exchange with a brother she tracked down:
"You want to know about my amazing physicist brother?" says Arthur Nakamoto, Satoshi Nakamoto's youngest sibling, who works as director of quality assurance at Wavestream Corp., a maker of radio frequency amplifiers in San Dimas, Calif.
"He's a brilliant man. I'm just a humble engineer. He's very focused and eclectic in his way of thinking. Smart, intelligent, mathematics, engineering, computers. You name it, he can do it."
But he also had a warning.
"My brother is an asshole. What you don't know about him is that he's worked on classified stuff. His life was a complete blank for a while. You're not going to be able to get to him. He'll deny everything. He'll never admit to starting Bitcoin."
Dominique Ansel, the mad genius creator of the croissand/donut hybrid Cronut, is back with yet another culinary masterpiece. This time, the chef and owner of the Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York, has created an edible mash-up of chocolate chip and a glass of milk.
Ansel molds an extra-aerated cookie dough into the shape of a shot glass (it seems that he also lined it with chocolate to make it hold liquid), then fill it with ice-cold milk.
Ansel told TODAY that the inspiration of his latest creation actually came to him when he tried an Oreo for the first time (it was just "not a natural combination in French culture," he admitted). Everyone told him that he had to try it with milk, and so why not combine the two, he thought. "I love a good cookie, and it's funny because I never had one until I moved ot the U.S. This is my version 2.0," Ansel added.
You're the leader of an African expedition and danger lurks from every corner. Your team depends on your ability to spot the threat - it may be closer than you think ... can you find it in the photo above, before it finds you?
The ad copy is mundane, but the images are stunning. In the 1930s, the Japanese railway system distributed beautiful art deco posters encouraging tourism by train. A collection of these rare posters in pristine condition were found rolled up in storage at an antique furniture store. Antiques Roadshow appraiser Rudy Franchi was stumped as to their origin. Even museum poster curators had never seen anything like them.
The veil of mystery surrounding the posters probably has something to do with Japan’s place on the world stage in the 1930s. While much of the Western world was struggling from the effects of the Great Depression, Japan was expanding, with a growing economy and territories that included Taiwan and Korea, which was a popular destination for Japanese tourists. The 1930s was also the decade when Japan established numerous national parks, many of which featured natural hot springs and were accessible by Japan’s growing system of railways. “It was like putting up posters for Yellowstone and encouraging tourists to get there by train,” Franchi says.
Although no one can be 100 percent sure, Franchi says the posters were probably printed in editions of 2,000 or fewer. “We think the numbers were fairly limited,” he says, “because there were only so many places to distribute them at the time. They’d put them in railway stations, send them to classrooms, things like that. The marketing wasn’t very sophisticated back then. Low thousands is typical of what the Japanese would produce for domestic posters. You see tons of Japanese posters from the ’30s meant for international distribution, but these were internal.”
The new hit show True Detective features stellar performances by Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey and a gritty noir inspired storyline, but what the show doesn't have is a website that makes fans wanna yell "alright alright alright!"- until now.
A fan site created by Nigel Evan Dennis recently launched called We Keep The Other Bad Men From The Door, and this fun "updated graphic tribute to HBO's True Detective" is full of information on the characters, clues and a detailed map of Louisiana showing where the events in each episode take place, among other things True Detective.
But be forewarned- the site contains spoilers, so if you aren't caught up on the show you might not want to visit the site just yet.
Both my brother and I became parents in middle age. A few years later, he expressed astonishment that kids can watch the same movie enough times to memorize it, which was unthinkable when we were kids. It’s a way of life for children of the 21st century. And every parent has a movie or song that has been played, seen, sang, or acted out enough to make them sick. To this day, my husband can’t stand The Lion King. Oh, he agrees it’s a good movie, but his son watched it a few (hundred) too many times. For me, it was Sleeping Beauty.
And now a generation of parents are feeling the same way about Frozen and the award-winning song “Let It Go.” Joshua Elson sings a parody of “Let It Go” that he wrote with Scott S. Kramer, Tovah Kramer, and Molly Elson. I feel for you, Buddy. Don’t miss the punch line at the end. -via Viral Viral Videos
When UK Prime Minister David Cameron posted on Twitter a photo of himself talking on the phone to President Barack Obama about the tense situation in Ukraine and looking super serious doing so, he inadvertently started a chain reaction of parody photos.
As the ramen craze continues, I am left to ponder if there is nothing that cannot be made of ramen. We have seen ramen tacos, burgers, pizzas and sandwiches. Could we not have a ramen car? A ramen house? An entire army of ramen soldiers ready to march at my command and conquer the world in my name?
The last one may go too far, but a ramen submarine sandwich roll is not. Hugh Merwin of Grub Street made one by softening ramen, mashing it into a baguette pan, then weighing the noodles down with a wine bottle for a few hours. After baking it in the oven, he had a fine sandwich roll perfect for a cheesesteak.
UniverseProjects told us about his Russian wife trying to ask for a tape measure. He knew what she meant. Learning a different language is hard, and it takes years to learn enough words to express everything you need to express. Meanwhile, you do the best you can with the words you have. And we can usually figure out what you mean, but the effort can be amusing.
It’s located just south of Suzu, Ishikawa, Japan. According to legend, the Eighth Century Japanese monk Kōbō-Daishi named the island after its resemblance to a warship. Mitsukejima measures about 30 meters high, 50 meters wide and 150 meters long. Visitors can reach it over a rocky causeway built from the shore. It’s considered a romantic place for couples to go.
A little dachshund caught an inflatable shark that’s way bigger than he is. The dog clearly wants to stash his catch in his cubbyhole (a pet carrier) but it’s too big! You think he’ll never be able to do it, but preserverance and a can-do attitude bring surprising results. The lesson here is: Never give up on the things you really want to accomplish. -via Uproxx
The art studio L’Atelier d’Orel upcycles old objects into fresh, hip pieces of furniture. Among other projects, the artist has taken the spinning drums from clothes washing machines and turned them into coffee tables and bar cabinets. The artist responsible also offers workshops on how to make your own. It’s a bit unclear where L’Atelier d’Orel is located, but my best guess is Roubaix, a town on the border of France and Belgium.
W00t! It's time for another contest collaboration with the excellent What Is It? blog. Can you guess what this odd item is? This week, we are looking for funny and clever answers, not the correct one, but if you guess correctly, you'll win our undying respect. If you have one of the two funniest answers, you'll win a T-Shirt from the NeatoShop!
Place your guess in the comment section. One guess per comment, though you can enter as many guesses as you'd like. You have until the answer is revealed on the What Is It? Blog tomorrow.
Please write your prize selection alongside your guess, so visit the NeatoShop and take a look around. If you don't write your prize selection, then you don't get the prize. I think you'll like the selection of funny t-shirts and science t-shirts -or even t-shirts of your favorite blogs and websites.
There's another image of this thing, along with other mystery items, at the What Is It? blog. Good luck!
Update: This thing is a Sadlak M1A, M14 USGI Combination tool for use on military rifles. See it’s many uses at the What Is It? blog. We were looking for wrong but funny answers, and jasennesaj had one: an S&M bicycle seat with a built in fart muzzle compensator. Ha! That wins a t-shirt from the NeatoShop! ColShorts had a great answer, too, “The Exhaust Piper.” Replace your car's exhaust with this and sound like Scotland as you drive! Congratulations to both. There are a lot of other funny answers; you should read them all. See the identifications of all this week’s mystery items at the What Is It? blog.
Tired of the white, generic picket fences that line the streets of everyone's favorite idyllic suburbs? Then you might just love this mirror fence by artist Alyson Shotz. Granted, you probably won't want to install one where there are a lot of deer running around at full speed and you wouldn't want one in front of your house both because it's hardly durable and because keeping it spotless is a nightmarish task, but even so, it's a clever idea that is certain to catch they eye even as it blends in.
Lera Boroditsky once did a simple experiment: She asked people to close their eyes and point southeast. A room of distinguished professors in the U.S. pointed in almost every possible direction, whereas 5-year-old Australian aboriginal girls always got it right.
They weren't the only ones. Linguist John McWorter explains how using cardinal directions seems to indicate greater intelligence in spatial manipulation:
As an example, he refers to modern speakers of a Mayan language, who also use directions that roughly correspond to compass points, rather than left or right. Researchers asked people, most of whom only knew this language, to do tasks like memorizing how a ball moved through a maze, which would have been easier had they thought about it in terms of left and right, rather than compass points. The participants were just as good at these tasks and sometimes better,leading the experimenters to conclude they were not constrained by their language.
Some linguists think that language can constrain or liberate our thinking, opening or closing mental possibilities. For example, the Russian-American novelist Vladimir Nabokov wrote his first autobiography in English. When a publisher asked him to translate it into Russian, Nabokov started to do so. But he promptly found himself writing a different book. Yu quotes linguist Aneta Pavlenko:
"When Nabokov started translating it into Russian, he recalled a lot of things that he did not remember when he was writing it in English, and so in essence it became a somewhat different book," Pavlenko says. "It came out in Russian and he felt that in order to represent his childhood properly to his American readership, he had to produce a new version. So the version of Nabokov's autobiography we know now is actually a third attempt, where he had to recall more things in Russian and then re-translate them from Russian back into English."
This reminds me of studying Koine Greek, which has a grammatical concept called "aspect." Nothing really corresponds with it in English. The experience made me wonder what invisible mental barriers were in my mind simply because of language.
Published by Abrams, Earth From Space features more than 150 magnificent satellite photographs provided by European aerospace technology company Astrium as well as NASA. These photographs are much more than beautiful pictures of our planet - the detailed images can inform us about the health of our world by making clear the impact of deforestation, farming, pollution and urban sprawl.
Here are 10 Most Striking Images of Earth From Space.
Are you quietly dismayed by all the requests, nay demands, made on your time? Tell everyone they can kiss your (fill in the blank) with the Kiss My Socks from the NeatoShop. This cheerful pair of neon yellow socks features a black arrow and the text Kiss My. They are a delightful way to tell people you have no intentions of fulfilling their wishes.
Be sure to check out the NeatoShop for more fancy Footwear.
Moschino is an Italian fashion house that produces everything from high class dresses to luxury handbags. At the recent Milan Fashion Week, the designers unveiled a line of clothing inspired by fast food, especially the iconic shapes and colors of McDonald's.
Other items look like huge food wrappers (complete with nutritional data), beer cans and SpongeBob SquarePants. You can see photos of these fashion wonders at Moschino's Facebook page.
The prices are substantially higher than you might expect for the central theme. The McDonald's-styled handbag that you see pictured above costs $1,265. Or rather, it did--the bag has already sold out.