Cosplayers have learned how to market themselves on social media, how to fund their art with print sales and crowdfunding, and now they're mastering the art of the superheroic self portrait.
But, much like the characters they portray, those epic self portraits are pure imagination, scenes set up to make the cosplayers appear to be fictional characters come to life.
Budding cosplayers should take note of the ridiculous(ly clever) ways these seemingly epic shots were created, so you can power up your cosplay photo game with a few simple tricks and a little help from your friends.
Nowruz is the Persian New Year holiday, which starts at the vernal equinox. Although it has a Zoroastrian origin, it is celebrated in a asecular way by Persian and Turkish people all over the world. These celebrations vary, but usually include public parties, food, dancing, parades, and a lot of jumping over fires. Shown here is a celebration in Astana, Kazakhstan. See a roundup of photographs from Nowruz 2017 at Buzzfeed.
While leading a wild life photography tour in Kenya, Sergio Pitamitz spotted something rare: a jet-black serval - an African wild cat that normally has cheetah-like spots. The black serval ambled into view of the group, then disappeared back into the bush.
"When you do wildlife photography, you're always searching for something rare and strange," Pitamitz said to National Geographic, "It was absolutely incredible."
Black servals have been spotted before - but it's quite rare. There are just six records of black servals in scientific literature, according to biologist Eduardo Eizirik of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil:
The animal is melanistic—its genes carry a mutation that creates more dark pigment than light pigment ... Though melanism is common enough among wildcats—it's reported in 13 of the 38 known species—the trait seems to be relatively rare in servals
Christine Dell'Amore of National Geographic has the full story (check out the large image of the black serval there. What a lovely creature!) - Thanks Kelsey!
The NCAA basketball tournament has so many great players and great matchups that people watching start to think that's normal. It's not. Fail Army is here to remind us that the rest of us aren't that good at the game. This video has some NSFW language.
Before playing basketball, you should know the rules: 1. Don't hang onto the rim, especially with a free-standing basket. 2. Do not use a folding chair to boost your jump. 3. Keep in mind that basketball can become dodgeball at any moment.
The beautiful wasteland shredding machines featured in Mad Max: Fury Road are custom made (and fully functional) works of automotive art, most of which were wrecked by the time the film was in the can.
But before they ended up in the scrap pile photographer John Platt was given the opportunity to photograph each of the 150 cars used in the production with proper lighting in his studio.
Platt's two part series "Before The Dirt" is an homage to the Angel of Combustion, who was clearly guiding the hands of the blackfingers who built the amazing vehicles who very nearly stole the show from Saint Max.
If you want to buy a house in San Francisco, you better have deep pockets. The median listing price of a detached home in the city is currently $1.15 million dollar according to Zillow (renting isn't much cheaper either, with median rent list price of over $4,000).
But deals can be found, like this house in the Excelsior District, which is currently listed for sale at a mere $499,000. It's a steal, if you're willing to overlook some negatives ... like being completely gutted by a fire, for example.
Take a look at what half-a-million bucks would get you in San Francisco, which Curbed SF identified as the cheapest house for sale in the city right now:
People are tired of waiting for the spring thaw, they're done dealing with those winter blues and can't wait to see some green start sprouting up around their house again.
But no matter what the weather's like in their neck of the woods the pics of this house in upstate New York encased in ice is bound to put their winter situation in perspective.
Photographer John Kucko captured these chilling images of a house on the shores of Lake Ontario that became completely encased in ice thanks to the bitterly frigid weather brought in by Storm Stella. Time to trade in the house keys and garage door opener for a flamethrower...
So many of the conventions that ruled how men and women interacted were "unwritten rules" that everyone understood, but were not legally codified. Conformity came from social pressure from the majority of people who just knew that "that's the way it is." Such was the dress code for the U.S. Senate that expected women to wear dresses long after those in other professions were wearing pantsuits, uniform pants, or jeans to work.
As the upper house in the U.S. legislature, the Senate has always been more formal and reserved than the House. Even during the 1980s, pants on women were apparently too much for that august chamber to handle. Individual Senate offices had their own rules, but on the floor, women wearing pants were verboten, which could necessitate quick changes. "We've heard from women staff that in the 1980s, if they came in to work—if they were called in on an emergency basis—they needed to keep a dress to put on quickly or they had to borrow one if they had to appear on the Senate floor," Richard A. Baker, Senate historian from 1975 to 2009, told The Washington Post in 2002.
While the dress code for the Senate was never officially codified, the norms were enforced by Senate doorkeepers, who controlled access to the chamber and served partly as security guards, partly as protocol monitors. Even today, they assess each person seeking entry, making sure they are supposed to be there and are dressed appropriately. The problem is that "dressed appropriately" has historically been up to the discretion of the doorkeeper on duty: Doorkeepers made determinations based on personal opinion or instructions from their boss, the sergeant at arms.
What did it take for the doorkeepers to back down over enforcing that dresses be worn by women senators? It took a critical number of concurrent women senators (six), and one breaking the unwritten rule in order to bring the entire subject up for discussion. Read how that finally happened in 1993 at mental_floss.
Chefs who only serve raw and organic ingredients in their restaurants go out of their way to advertise that fact, turning their fresh food philosophy into a branding element.
They call their eatery something cute like "Organically Yours", put images of fresh fruits, veg and grain on all their advertising and include a long list of things their dishes are free of, such as hormones or gluten.
But chef Robbie Postma is an odd duck, so he skipped all the cheesy name games and went straight for the shock factor, posing for portraits while covered in raw ingredients from his kitchen.
When creating these images, Postma and Harrison stuck to the same principles and values a chef would when creating a menu: paying a lot of attention to the details, the composition, the preparation and of course the ingredients. From cutlery to coffee bean, every component is painstakingly prepared to produce the ultimate effect. And every grain of rice was added by hand, without the aid of digital manipulation. MENU is hand crafted. Just like the best food.
The Monster had grown quite fond of reading how-to books, and he loved to watch instructional TV shows and tutorials online in order to figure out how to create things and better himself through learning. Science didn't appeal as much to him as it had to his father Victor, and his thoughts were still not clear enough to write a novel, but physical activities suited the Monster just fine. One day he was building a new bookcase and needed to cut a board down when he realized he'd left his saw in the storage shed, so rather than lurching all the way back he just chopped that board in half. And so the Monster's obsession with martial arts had begun...
This totally groovy Kung Fu Frankenstein! t-shirt by Chip Skelton is just the thing to kick your life into high gear, and the perfect shirt to wear while you're adventuring in real life or simply watching a Kung Fu movie marathon with friends.
We've all seen stupid people in restaurants before, but few can compare to those in Thrillist's most recent list of bad restaurant customers. From the woman who ordered steak tartare well done to the customer who ordered pizza delivery to the hotel across the street from the one she was actually staying at, these patrons might just make you feel embarrased for humanity.
It's happened to all of us. A family member, friend, or co-worker says something wrong, so you point out their error. But they are convinced you are the one who is wrong. We should just let it go at that point, but every once in a while, the argument escalates into something the two of you think is important, when it's not important at all. It's just dumb.
Are these examples of overthinking it, or just over-caring? Even if you manage to dial it back, those arguments and their aftermath will stay with you, so you can share it years later.
Mountain Butorac (yes, his name is Mountain) of The Catholic Traveler took his 3-year-old goddaughter to see Pope Francis. After waiting a couple of hours, they got to meet the Pope up close ... and the little girl stole his hat* after distracting him with a kiss!
Usually, when someone's hair got set on fire, it's not on purpose. But setting his client's hair on fire is exactly what Palestinian hairdresser Ramadan Adwan meant to do.
AP Photographer Khalil Hamra visited Adwan's barbershop to find out more about this unusual practice:
In his small shop in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Adwan uses careful application of open flames. His creative idea was born from Gaza's frequent power cuts preventing him from using a dryer. After cutting and combing, the barber applies what he calls "special" lotion and powder to client's heads to protect their skin before using flames from an aerosol can to dry the wet hair. "The experience strengthens the hair, but it's not permanent as with chemical products. It's just temporary to show a good and nice style," he says.
Bicyclists who ride around in big city traffic all day tend to get a bit salty, and in New York bikers have no problem cursing you out and telling you why they hate you while they continue to roll along.
So it's refreshing to see an NYC bicyclist doing something other than cursing and yelling at people to get out of his way as he crosses the Brooklyn bridge.
Even more refreshing? This guy's incredible singing voice as he belts out a Star Wars inspired song to get pedestrians out of the bike lane.
"You know, when junior scrunches his eyes up like that, he looks just like (insert famous movie actor)!" Yes, he does. The internet has an unlimited supply of baby pictures from proud parents, plus a revolving door of celebrities, so it stands to reasons that people will see an occasional uncanny resemblance.
Justin Cousson of Hollywood, California, converted over 30 instances of his roommate's messiness in the living room, kitchen, and laundry room into art pieces. Like this one above, titled "Cheese Knife".
"Knife left out on counter in striking distance of knife block, having been only used to remove seal of ice cream carton, which was also left on counter, leaving quite the sight as the last thing I saw before I gratefully leave town for two weeks." (mixed media 2017, $500).
"Sour cream covered spoon, left in sink before leaving town for four days"
(mixed media 2017, $3,400)
"Boxes left on couch because what even *is* breaking them down and recycling or leaving them not on the couch" (mixed media 2017, $6000)
That's how much the Grand Velas Los Cabos hotel in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, charges for the world's most expensive taco.
Created by Executive Chef Juan Licerio Alcala, the taco comes with langoustine, kobe beef, black truffle brie cheese, and Almas Beluga caviar. The tortilla is infused with 24-karat gold flakes and the whole thing is served with an exotic morita chile salsa and civet coffee.
The taco will set you back $25,000 - more if you pair it with the Ley .925 Pasion Azteca Ultra-Premium Anejo tequila (at $150,000 a bottle). But, you know by now, guac is extra.
Rorschach once decided to get with the times and change up his wardrobe to reflect our modern society, so he had a custom QR mask made with a code that led to the Watchmen's website. He'd forgotten to consider how annoying it would be to have people walk up and scan his face with their phones everywhere he went, and then came the endless stream of comedians who thought they were being clever by taking a selfie with him. It was enough to drive Rorschach to murder, but he found an easier solution to his problems- he simply unplugged his modem and started reading books again!
Isn't it time to update your geeky wardrobe? If you bring home this QRorschach t-shirt by Kgullholmen you'll not only be adding some cutting edge humor to your closet- you'll be giving your fellow fans something to smile about!
Forget about sports or comics. If Kay Powell wrote for your paper, you dove straight into the obituaries.
THE 10 A.M. MEETING WAS ALWAYS THE SAME. That’s when Kay Powell would gather her staff to comb through the death notices. These were the short, rote missives from funeral homes and chapels—no nonsense, just the unhappy facts, another birth date that now had its declaratory bookend.
But to Powell, a reporter at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, these were raw ingredients. She knew how to identify the subtle clues indicating a thread worth tugging on. In the skeleton outline of a person’s life, she could see a full portrait just waiting to be colored in.
When she found it, the meeting was over—and she hit the phones. Like any other reporter, she had questions to ask. Even though her subjects were dead, their stories were just beginning to come to life.
The Georgia native has a syrupy drawl that turns “ten” into “tin”; an easy, smoky laugh; and a policy of never leaving the house without lipstick and earrings on—“If I’m going through the drive-through window, the part of me that you can see looks like I’ve been a productive citizen,” Powell jokes. From 1996 to 2009, if you knew anyone in Atlanta who passed away, she probably knew them too. Death was her beat, her legacy built by ritually assembling profiles of what she calls “extraordinary ordinary people.”
In her tenure at the Journal-Constitution, Powell wrote poetic, funny, revelatory obituaries for the following: a moonshiner, the “King of Gypsies,” a lobotomy patient, a Tuskegee Airman, a lawyer famous for her cedar-smoked salmon, and a planet (“Pluto, the least of the major celestial bodies, never asked to be a planet,” the obit opened). She kept a sign on her desk quoting Washington Post obituaries editor Richard Pearson’s favorite saying about the profession: “God is my assignment editor.”
Surely you knew that braille is the alphabet and writing system used by blind and visually impaired people, but did you know that it was invented by a fifteen-year old boy who was accidentally blinded at a young age?
Maria Popova of Brain Pickings wrote a fantastic review of Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille by Jen Bryant. With lovely illustrations by Boris Kulikov, it is a children's book about how Louis Braille went blind at the age of three due to eye infection after an accident at his father's workshop, and how he went on to invent the writing system that is still in use today.
... the turning point in [Braille's] life came when he was three. His father was a leatherer specializing in horse tack in a small town near Paris. One day, while playing at the leather workshop, little Louis disregarded his father’s admonition not to toy with the sharp tools. ... Trying to imitate his father, he set out to puncture a piece of leather. But the awl slipped from his tiny hand and stabbed him in the eye.
The tree genus called Paulownia has several species, mostly native to Asia, that grow fast on difficult soil. They tend to thrive after forest fires, which kill its enemy fungus. It's also called the Princess Tree.
The genus, originally Pavlovnia but now usually spelled Paulownia, was named in honour of Anna Paulowna, queen consort of The Netherlands (1795–1865), daughter of Tsar Paul I of Russia. It is also called "princess tree" for the same reason.
Paulownia is known in Japanese as ‘kiri’ and as ‘Princess Tree’ because it was once customary to plant a tree of this kind when a baby girl was born, and then to make it into a dresser as a wedding present when she married.
Before you run out and find a princess Tree to welcome your little princess, consider whether you will realistically have the time and skills to actually build a dresser, or the money to pay a carpenter to do it. -via Nag on the Lake
In Tuesday's Wheel of Fortune episode, a contestant named Kevin was one letter away from solving the puzzle and winning the game ... but his dirty mind proved to be his undoing (and his ticket to Internet infamy).
After Kevin called for a "K" (with confidence, no less) and lost the game to a fellow contestant, Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak joked, "... although you got the right answer, I'd rather see Kevin's play."
We become nothing more than plant food when we're dead and buried, as roots grow through our flesh and wrap around our bones, but while we're alive we try to avoid letting plant life grow on our bodies.
And yet the fungi keeps growing in our cracks, the mold spores settle in our lungs and the moss begins to grow on our backs if we sit still for too long.
Humans don't like the idea of plants moving in on our fleshen territory, which is why these photos from French artist Cal Redback's "Treeheads" series make our skin crawl.
And yet there's something undeniably alluring about two lifeforms coming together in such an organic way, as Mother Nature's children meld into a new form of natural beauty.
There's a miniature stone village in Prospect Hill, North Carolina, consisting of 27 buildings and other small-town structures. It was all hand-made by one man: Henry Warren. When Warren retired from farming, he gathered white flint rock and lovingly crafted each building over the last nine years of his life. He decorated the buildings with flea market finds, such as jewelry, gemstones, colored tile, and anything he thought would make Shangri-La look good. Heather gives us her impression of the village after visiting.
Now this is just my opinion, but I believe Shangri-La is sacred. Henry, a retired tobacco farmer with no history in art or architecture, devoted his retired years to creating art; and this art was meant to simply make people happy. There’s power in that. For nearly a decade he poured love and creativity into these buildings, with the nothing more than the intention of making the world more beautiful. You can feel that energy there. You can feel that these buildings were made for you, simply to make you feel good.
Warren died in 1977, but his family maintains the village, and welcomes visitors who want to enjoy his work. -via Metafilter, where you'll find more links to explore Shangri-La.
Every year since 2011, the Takhini Hot Pools, a hot springs resort in Yukon, Canada, has held The International Hair Freezing Contest (Previously on Neatorama). Contestants would soak in the hot springs, dip their heads in the hot springs and wet their hair, then mold their hair into the most creative 'dos and let the cold winter air freeze it.
Take a look at the photos of some of this year's participants:
Just how cold was it there? Take a look at the temperature shown on the thermometer below:
The active ingredient in catnip that gives such pleasure to our kitties is nepetalactone. It doesn't have much effect on other species, but cats go wild -or at least some cats do. If you've had multiple cats, you've probably noticed at least one that didn't react to catnip at all. You have to feel sorry for those cats, while their housemates are enjoying a catnip-fueled high. However, there are some other substances, such as silver vine, Tatarian honeysuckle, and valerian root, that can stimulate cats. Molecular biologist Sebastian Bol performed an experiment to see how cats would react to these plants.
With 100 different cats, he rubbed the plant matter on a sock or a square of carpet, and set the material in the cats’ line of sight. Then he waited. If the cat approached and backed away, he considered that a denial. “Animals tend to move towards things they like, and back away from things they consider threats,” says Buffington. After each success or denial, he’d wait about five minutes for the cat to relax, then try again with another plant type. The response rate was striking: Almost 80 percent of the cats responded to the silver vine (a higher response rate than even nip, which got less than 70 percent of the cats high), and roughly 40 percent each for valerian root and honeysuckle.