England's Mary Anning, born in 1799, was a pioneer in the field of paleontology. Her family's property was near Lyme Regis, an area known for its wealth of Jurassic-era fossils.
Anning risked her life to recover fossils, as the area was suceptible to landslides, particularly in the winter months. The landslides would expose new fossils, but they posed a great danger to those who traversed the land. She lost her dog Trey in such a disaster.
Anning is credited with some important finds, including the first skeleton of a plesiosaur, among other firsts. Check out this SciShow video to understand how Mary Anning shaped the scientific study of fossils. -Via Laughing Squid.
England's Mary Anning, born in 1799, was a pioneer in the field of paleontology. Her family's property was near Lyme Regis, an area known for its wealth of Jurassic-era fossils.
Artist Robert DeJesus accepts photographs from the public and transforms them into these whimsical drawings in the style of anime, Disney and other animated characters. His drawings are done in pencil. Judging from the list of submission guidelines DeJesus has made, he must be getting a lot of requests. Visit DeJesus' Deviant Art site to request a commission or see additional drawings. Via Laughing Squid.
Older female elephant Faa Mai and baby Dok Mai share a joyful moment playing in the mud together at Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Sometimes it's the little things, for both animals and humans. Via Laughing Squid.
Los Angeles-based attorney Svitlana Sangary, on a website advertising her legal services, filled a page with bad Photoshop jobs of herself standing side-by-side with President Obama, George Clooney and Barbra Streisand, among other celebrities. Her false advertising now exposed, she faces a possible six-month suspension by the California Bar. In spite of being in hot water, Sangary has not removed the images from her website.
Sangary, in a nonsensical reponse to the charges, wrote,
“Also with regard to false statements and misleading advertisement, none other than Natalie Portman comes to mind. The online media extensively covers the controversy surrounding Natalie Portman’s performance in the film Black Swan. The ballet dancer who performed in the Black Swan, Sarah Lane, has come forward to revel [sic] a “cover up” and says that Natalie Portman’s head was superimposed onto Sarah Lane’s body, and that Natalie Portman lied…Despite the foregoing, Natalie Portman has won an Oscar for her performance in Black Swan.”
On September 11, State Bar Court Judge Donald Miles made a decision that read in part,
"The court has grave concerns regarding [Sangary's] demonstrated lack of insight and her contemptuous conduct during these proceedings," Miles wrote. Her "failure to remove the deceptive images from her website, even after the State Bar brought this issue to her attention, and her demonstrated disregard for the disciplinary process give little reason to believe that her misconduct will not continue."
The California Supreme court will make the final decision as to punishment for Sangary. Read more at the Los Angeles Times.
Tomorrow is George R.R. Martin's 66th birthday. In honor of the occasion, Dustin Rowles at Uproxx has compiled a list of facts about the celebrated writer/producer. The focus of this list is on Martin's personal life.
For instance, when George R.R. Martin was in the sixth grade, he impulsively decided to stop buying and reading comic books which, prior to that decision, was a significant hobby of his. At the time, young George had a collection of Superman comics, which he gave away. Just in time, and in what could be considered an omen of his future success, he changed his mind six months later, buying first editions of The Amazing Spider-man and The Fantastic Four. Martin now says they could fund his retirement.
Read twelve more facts about George R.R. Martin here.
Image Credit: Karolina Webb
Headlines: in the past five years or so, they seem to have reached a level beyond ridiculous. A writer may say that reading X will make the reader Y, when Y is to go insane, be unable to believe their eyes, scream, hide under their desk or some other dramatic presumption. Readers may be assured that a certain article will change their lives, alter the way they live them, or revolutionize the way they cook beets until the day they die. Readers may be told in advance that, in a list, number three will make them rip out their hair/laugh hysterically/do a jig/hug their mama.
Headlines for celebrity gossip stories are similarly absurd. Older celebrities are crticized if they have wrinkles or show other signs of age, yet they are constantly being monitored for signs of plastic surgery. Male and female luminaries who dare to wear swimsuits without being perfect tens have their bodies picked apart, feature by feature. Some headlines suggest that overweight stars have a lot of nerve to show their face in public. Starlets wearing baggy sweaters or who've just eaten big dinners may be described as pregnant.
The pictures here are examples of such exaggerated celebrity headlines. Summing up the photos in plain language may sound boring and state the obvious, but at least they are accurate. Via 22 Words.
Rumors have been going around about a Zoolander sequel lately, thirteen years after the original. Hard to say what Hansel, Mugatu, Derek and the gang could be up to these days. But for now, a blast from the past -- eight facts about Zoolander.
Here's a fun one: bizarro novelist Brett Easton Ellis (whose Twitter feed alone could probably get him committed for a 72-hour psych eval.) sued Ben Stiller, claiming he stole the Zoolander concept from Ellis'1998 novel, Glamorama. The book's plotline involved a model who turned terrorist. The case never made it to court, as the two camps reached a settlement. Somehow I think Stiller got ripped off in that exchange.
Read more facts about Zoolander at Uproxx.
For several years, Nadav Kander has explored Soviet cities that were once nuclear test sites, the locations of which have been historically kept under wraps. As Kander learned their locations, he traveled to multiple formerly restricted military zones, many of which did not appear on maps until the end of the Cold War.
At these sites, long-distance missiles were tested and numerous atomic bombs were detonated. The bombs were exploded in areas that, while secluded, had residents scattered along the periphery. Unknown to them, the inhabitants of these areas were studied as to the effects of radiation upon their population.
The bleak photographs that were the result of Kander shooting these desolate areas are being published in an upcoming book entitled Dust, which goes on sale October 31st. Visit Kander's website to learn more and see additional works. Via Juxtapoz.
Images Credit: Nadav Kander
Mountain Goat Kids, Mount Evans Wilderness, Colorado
Image: Verdon Tomajko
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Wilderness Act, The Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History is featuring an exhibit of photography from wilderness areas across the United States. Opening on September 3 and running indefinitely, this exhibited set of jury-selected photos is also featured on the Smithsonian website. Each month, a photo will be selected as the popular favorite, according to votes received by website visitors.
See all of these stunning captures and cast your vote for your favorite each month here.
Via Bored Panda.
Brown Bear, Katmai Wilderness, Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Image: Robert Amuroso
Aurora Borealis Over Honeymoon Rock, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wisconsin
Image: Jeff Rennicke
Although I'm not generally a fan of skull designs just for the sake of skull designs, even I think this armchair is pretty cool. Better yet, it's specifically built for comfort, not just for aesthetic impact. Designer Harold Sangouard used a steel base covered with resin, finished with glossy black paint, and a padded seat covered in velvet. Visit Sangouard’s website to learn more and obtain pricing information. Via Lost at E Minor.
Redditor kelhans, in an amazing display of resourcefulness, transformed a storage room in the basement of this home into what looks like a deep-woods cabin retreat. The price is right as well: he says he only spent $107 on the entire project, furnishing it with his belongings and using scrap wood.
This impressive DIY project had an amusing inspiration: the man is a father of seven children and desired a place that was all his own. I can only hope his wife recruits him to build her a woman cave next, so both parents have their happy places!
See photos that document the project from start to finish here. Via Twisted Sifter.
The storage room before the project began
James Whitbrook for Toybox i09 compiles a list of the most bizarre incarnations of Spider-Man, taking into account alternate universes, spinoffs and the like.
A shining example, pictured above, is the Spectacular Spider-Ham. First appearing on comic book pages in Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker the Spectacular Spider-Ham, circa 1983, this porcine Spidey was found in Earth-8311, a universe of anthropomorphic animal superheroes. The invention of Mark Armstrong and Tom DeFalco, Peter Porker was bitten by radioactive animal scientist (Aunt) May Porker, which tranformed him into the porky power seen above.
Spider-Ham joined forces with Nick Furry, Captain Americat, and Hulk-Bunny and battled villains Ducktor Doom, Buzzard and Hog-Zilla, among others. According to Whitbrook, the Ham is one of the most popular alt-Spider-Men. Pigs don't have to fly before I understand why.
See more bizarre manifestations of Spider-Man here.
Los Angeles-based artist and animator Lili Chin's personal project "Dogs of the World" features canines grouped by their areas of origin. Chin began the series in 2008 as a way to fund a local dog rescue called Boston Buddies.
Since the project's inception, its scale has expanded greatly, and its existence has proved beneficial to a number of pet rescue organizations. As Chin says,
"In the past five years, Doggie Drawings has evolved into a full-time (one-person) pet portrait and illustration business. So far, I have drawn over 800 unique pet portraits and donated a total of $13,242 to many dog rescue groups."
While I'm not a fan of rap music in general, this song has me charmed. Rapping about bitches has been put into an entirely new perspective. Via Laughing Squid.
Zomato, a website targeted at foodies, created these illustrations to promote themselves. In certain situations, most personalities are either A or B, where A and B represent ways and means of food consumption. Which one are you? Are you ever both? In my case, ketchup *and* mustard on my burger, please. See more examples of gastronomical dichotomies here.
A beagle and a banjo: while I've never considered the two simultaneously before, it just feels so right. It must feel right for this beagle as well, because he howls from the heart to the song of his human's banjo playing. At one point he seems as if he's sung himself sleepy, but he rebounds to chime in with those final notes. Via Tastefully Offensive
This Japanese video of a cat playing with his weasel friend is another example of two species that seem unlikely friends, yet actually enjoy each other's company. At one point, the cat runs off and the weasel is left with an adorable look of "wait... come back!" on his face. Don't miss their glamour shot at 1:05. Via Tastefully Offensive
A new article at io9 reveals some interesting stories from These Are the Voyages. According to its promotional copy, this hardcover book is a collection of memories "from actors, directors, producers, and production crew, capturing what went on from every perspective, including memos dictated by Roddenberry while reading drafts of the series scripts." It sounds like a fascinating read which, io9 reports, details a surprisingly high number of conflicts surrounding the scriptwriting, filming and everything in between.
Here's an amusing bit of trivia: Gene Rodenberry's vision of the future included men who had no chest hair. Thus, William Shatner was required to be shaved by a studio barber prior to any scenes in which he had to show his naked chest. According to These Are the Voyages, Roddenberry hoped that the men of the future would have "little or no body hair." Quite the visionary.
Read nine more facts about the original Star Trek here.
This sweet Labrador retriever has been trained in water rescue and evidently couldn't wait for an opportunity to help someone he thought was in need. He spotted this child playing in the lake and must have thought that was as good a time as any to save the day. The child looks alarmed, but that doesn't diminish the Lab's exuberance in pulling him to shore. Via Tastefully Offensive.
Dolphin used by the U.S. military to perform mine clearance in the Iraq war
Sadly, regardless of how barbaric it may be, war is a scourge of humanity that has yet to be eradicated. Since ancient times, military forces across the globe have used every weapon and strategy imaginable in an effort to gain an edge over their enemies. One such idea has been training animals for use in maneuvers from intelligence gathering to combat.
An animal trained for military purposes that recently made news is the dolphin. In the Ukranian conflict, Russia seized a number of dolphins from Ukraine that were trained by their military. For decades, the dolphins were taught to recognize enemy submarines, attack enemies via knives attached to their heads and carry bombs in "suicide" missions.
Currently the United States has 75 dolphins in San Diego that have been trained for military purposes. Historically, the U.S. has used dolphins in military operations in both Viet Nam and Iraq.
Read more about military dolphins and other animals used to fight human conflicts here.
This video gives us a breakdown of the elements that make up an iPhone. How many can you guess before learning the answers? As it turns out, the screen consists of some of the rarest chemical substances on the planet. Funny, the screen seemed to me to be the most ordinary part. Via The Presurfer.
The ultimate Christmas Story costume
Image: Ashley P. Ash
One of my favorite types of people are those who show grace in the face of adversity. If one looks, they'll find that the world is full of amazing people who fit that description. Some are incredibly courageous from the moment their life takes a bad turn. Some work to counsel and inspire others with the same troubles. One common thread that such personalities typically share is the ability to liberally apply humor, whether it's to lighten the tension their situation may cause during interactions with new acquaintances or strangers, to bring more joy to their lives, or in other instances.
The amputees pictured here are great examples of people who are handling their disabilities admirably, with openness and levity. See more pictures here.
Tattoo "in honor" of the shark that bit off his arm
Messing around at the beach
Prosthetic as a drink stand
This compilation shows a number of adorable puppies being introduced to howling behavior by their humans. This is part three of three video compilations; here are links to parts one and two. I enjoy these videos because my 1-year-old dog howls right along with the puppies onscreen. Via Tastefully Offensive.
Takeru Kobayashi of Guinness Book and award-winning competitive eating fame, and the tiny hamster, of tiny hamster fame, face off against each other in a hot dog eat-off. The hot dogs (made to scale, in fairness to T.H.) fly off the plates until one competitor makes it to 10. Who will take the title? Click play and see for yourself. Via Laughing Squid.
New Zealand-based Laura Hawker is a self-taught artist who does these excellent body paintings. Imagine the luck of Laura's closest family and friends when Halloween comes around! Designs like this would be ideal for such an occasion. See more of Laura's work at her Deviant Art page or her Tumblr. Via Laughing Squid.
Images Credit: Laura Hawker
Paul Smith has suffered from cerebral palsy since birth. Simple things that most folks take for granted, such as holding a brush or a writing utensil, aren't within the realm of possibility for him. Yet Mr. Smith did not let a disability stifle his spirit and desire to create art. As a young man, Smith began to "paint" with a typewriter. Using only ten symbol keys, Smith creates the impressive works of art shown in this video. Paul Smith may be confined to a nursing home in Oregon, but he has the power to inspire people all over the world with his talents, gracious demeanor and perseverance in the face of hardship. Via Lost at E Minor.
There are so many amusing things in this 1981 television report about getting newspaper content from the Internet that it's hard to keep track. The smirk and smug tone of voice of the reporter, as if she's informing the public of a quaint yet ridiculous idea that stands no chance of ever being embraced by the public. The opening line: "Imagine if you will, sitting down to your morning coffee and turning on your home computer to read the day's newspaper." Mind boggling! The CRT screens, dial-up connections using a phone receiver and hours of download time for a text file.
I think the thing that I enjoyed most was the picture of the pioneering gent who was receiving the San Francisco Examiner online with his name and a caption underneath that read "owns home computer." Ahh, the 80s. -Via Lost at E Minor.
YouTube user Vang Tsal filmed this large wasp nest outside his window. His footage makes for an interesting video. See Tsal's YouTube channel for two more videos of the nest, one with microphone added for sound and another timelapse version. (I'll be sitting in the corner, rocking back and forth while holding a can of pesticide.)
The Chinese city of Chongqing created what is thought to be the world's first pedestrian lane specifically for those using smart phones. In an effort to make a point that pedestrians who aren't paying attention to their surroundings are a danger to others, the city divided a length of approximately 170 feet to separate the phone hawks from the rest of the public who is interested in getting from point A to B expeditiously.
While any results from this social experiment have yet to be published, I imagine such a system to be similarly effective as the side-by-side bicycle and pedestrian lanes on the Brooklyn Bridge. While the bicyclists respect the boundary, countless pedestrians get so caught up in taking pictures of themselves or their companions that they regularly cross the line into the cycle lane, where they risk being knocked down by a bike. It seems to me that those in the phone lane would so frequently veer into the pedestrian lane as to render it ineffective. What do you think? Via Geek.com.
Irish pro golfer Rory McIlroy's tee off shot on the 14th hole veers toward the trees and ends up in the pocket of an audience member. During the second round of the Tour Championship, McIlroy's ball hit a tree and made a straight drop into the right pocket of a man's shorts. The game rules called for the ball to be played from a spot as near as possible to where it landed, but McIlroy joked that he had no plans to retrieve the ball himself. "I wasn't going in there. I know how sweaty my pockets are. I'm not going into anyone else’s," he said. Via Viral Viral Videos.
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