For the first time in ten years, a Western Lowland Gorilla has been born at Zoo Basel in Switzerland. On May 19, 26-year-old mom Joas and 16-year-old father M’Tonge welcomed their newborn. The baby, whose sex has yet to be determined, has been cause for excitement in the entire troop of Western Lowland Gorillas at Zoo Basel: Faddama, Quarta, Zungu, and Goma. Like a family, they all embraced the youngster.
As is evident from the video below, mom Joas keeps her baby close and handles it lovingly and gently. Infant gorillas are wholly dependent on their mothers, suckling at least once an hour and sleeping with them in the same nest. Fathers don't take an active role in caring for the young, but they help socialize them to other gorillas and protect them from aggression.
Read more about these fascinating animals and see additional pictures at Zooborns.
Images: Zoo Basel
Image: CZ marlin
This is the time of year that new car models are being released, and some of us may be looking to make a trade or purchase. Unfortunately, that entails dealing with car salesmen, an interaction with some of whom isn't the most pleasant experience.
The article linked below talks about various practices and facts surrounding car dealerships and their salesman. While reading it won't help you get a good deal on your next car, it does contain some interesting facts. For instance,
9. THE JOB IS GOING THE WAY OF THE DODO.
In 2015, more than a million Americans work at car dealerships. But that could change. Thanks to the Internet, people now walk into dealerships with their minds already made up. They don’t need—or want—a salesperson’s pitch. It makes sense that some dealerships are trading in their inflatable gorillas for online ads, as the Internet is by far their top referral source. In 2013, brand activity on Twitter alone drove $716 million in car sales, according to marketing analytics firm MarketShare. In other words, for better or worse, selling cars is becoming less of an art that involves human interaction, and more of a science that doesn’t.
Read more "Confessions of Car Salesman" here.
There is a ton of trees in the 365 feet between the disc golf basket in the woods and the place from which the shot originates. But that didn't stop disc golfer Dave Feldberg as he competed in the Maple Hill Open in Massachusetts. Fredberg, with the help of a fortunate bounce off the ground near the basket, made this most unlikely hole in one. His final score was -12; he tied for seventh place, taking home $1,175. Via Uproxx
Belle | Image: Disney
The article linked within features an account of a woman who played Belle at Disney World in Orlando. She described her perspective on the benefits and downsides of her job. While she enjoyed the admiration that playing a popular princess at the theme park brought, other aspects of her employment weren't as pleasant. She writes,
"We couldn't spend too much time playing with the kids though, because we had to greet 172 guests per hour. Disney decided that was the magic number. An attendant would have a clicker to count the number of people we met, and if we went under, we would get a reprimand. If you get four reprimands, you get fired. It sucked to have a really sweet kid that's waited in line for three hours come up all excited and have to say, 'OK, let's hurry and take our photo' and shove them out the door. When they left the room where we greeted kids at Toontown, they went straight into a massive princess store. I think Disney felt like, 'Well, we want them out of the room and into the princess store to buy some stuff.'"
There are ups and downs with every job, and this is just one woman's account. But due to the high visibility of the job, it's interesting to hear about the real days in the life of Belle. Read her story in its entirety here.
Summer is the time for vacations, and as you can probably tell from your social media feeds, most people tend to take boring and uninspired vacation pictures. This video presents some ideas on how to crank up the interest level in your vacation photos. Have mercy on your family or Facebook friends and pick up a few tips. Via Viral Nova
Joey Ramone and his father
Sometimes when rock stars and celebrities create such larger-than-life images, we sometimes forget that they are just human beings, most of whom had childhood experiences very similar to ours. The article linked below contains wonderful shots of famous musicians from that key developmental range of time: early childhood. From sweet and sassy country music legend Dolly Parton to self-destructive, impetuous Sex Pistols guitarist Sid Vicious and everywhere in between, the collection is eclectic and fascinating. Check out all of the photos here.
Images via Dangerous Minds
Jimi Hendrix and his father
VinePair's 26 Honest Wine Labels poke fun at the mini melodramas that often come up when one gets closer and closer to the bottom of that wine bottle. Feel free to pour another glass while you pour over the easy reading material that is the label on these beauties. Check out the entire collection at the link above to see which bottle is right for your discerning tastes. -Via Fooddiggity
A UK woman has her 38JJ-cup boobs to thank for avoiding serious injury when she was involved in a car accident, according to the Daily Mail.
Sarah Foster was on her way to a christening with her partner Marie and their children Steven, 13 and Megan, eight, when they pulled off the highway to a rest area at the side of the road. Foster was making a phone call and having a cigarette when a Mini Cooper crashed into the concrete median at 80mph, veered in her direction and ploughed into her.
Foster was smashed face down into the front end of the car before rolling off and landing in the highway. Her partner dragged her out of harm's way as their terrified children watched. Foster was briefly knocked unconscious and was taken to the hospital, where personnel found her to have no major injuries and released her later that day. Said Foster of the accident,
"The doctors told me if I wasn't so big-chested I'd probably have died... The paramedic who treated me on the scene later told me I was really lucky to be alive and that I should be grateful for my airbags. That was the word she used."
Read more and see additional pictures at the Daily Mail.
Image: Ross Parry / SWNS
Seinfeld Episode 142: The Chicken Roaster | Image: Sony Pictures Television
Since it was announced that every Seinfeld episode is now available to stream, the show is getting paid a bit of added attention, with episode guides and rankings, feature articles and the like. The article linked below is a list of ten stories on Seinfeld that were taken from real life, as writers Spike Feresten, Jeff Schaffer and Andy Robin (and particularly co-creator Larry David) were often wont to do.
One example is the hilarious episode "The Chicken Roaster," involving Kramer and a red light of addictive doom shining brightly into his apartment. As the list states,
"1. Like Kramer, a law firm actually hung a sign that said "bad food" over a Kenny Rogers Roasters because the smell was going into their offices. Schaffer, who wrote the episode "The Chicken Roaster," explained that the idea of Kramer having a problem with a Kenny Rogers Roasters came when he walked past one of the restaurants in New York. "It was below a law firm, and I guess the chicken waft from the chicken factory was venting into this law office. So they did what any rational person would do, just hang a giant sign that said 'bad food,'" said Schaffer."
Read about more Seinfeld storylines that were based on real life here.
This often hilarious, 12+ minute long compilation of sex-related news bloopers is proof that sometimes the reporters' and anchors' minds may be somewhere else. Judging from the Freudian slips, that "somewhere else" may be the proverbial gutter. From unfortunately drawn weather patterns to misused words and phrases to background shots that showed far more than was intended, have a look at the news at its most awkward. NSFW language, sexual imagery. -Via Blame it on the Voices
Jon Stewart on The Daily Show | Image: Comedy Central
On February 10, 2015, Jon Stewart announced that he would be leaving his hosting gig on The Daily Show; later it was announced that Trevor Noah would be Stewart's replacement. Stewart's last show will be on August 6, 2015, but in his time as host, he's won much praise and acclaim. The Daily Show has won numerous awards, including two Peabodies and 18 Emmys.
Yet in his first days after taking over for previous host Craig Kilborn, Stewart nearly quit. As noted in the linked collection of facts about The Daily Show,
"In an interview with Stephen Colbert, Stewart admitted that he had a hard time adjusting to working with Kilborn’s team and that he very seriously considered quitting the show altogether. Though he had some definite ideas on how to take the show in new directions, they were met with strong resistance. 'I walk in the door, into a room with the writers and producers, and the first thing they say is 'this isn’t some MTV bulls*** … And then I was told not to change the jokes or improvise,' Stewart recalled. Immediately, he called his agent and told him to get him out of the deal. 'I had to be talked down from a moderately high cliff,' he admitted."
Read sixteen more facts about Stewart and The Daily Show — including who he rates as his best and worst guests and what disgraced politician he used to room with — in this article.
This adorable brown bear named Bruiser jumps into a swimming pool with gusto in this footage. His delight in the cool dip is wholly evident in both his expression and body language. Bruiser enjoys daily swims where he resides at Single Vision Sanctuary in Melrose, Florida. Via Mandatory
French artist Pez imagines sinister versions of popular characters in this series of illustrations. These dark, shadowy reinventions, under the series name "Distroy," are surprisingly satisfying, in an irreverent way. See the artists' treatment of Disney, Simpsons, Pixar and other characters here.
Via Beautiful Decay | Images: Pez
Image: Fred Hsu
This massive creature is known as the ocean sunfish. It weighs up to 2,200 pounds and can grow to be the size of a small car. The female of the species has the distinction of producing the most eggs of any vertebrate: three-hundred million.
The ocean sunfish eats only jellyfish and is harmless to humans. Among its few predators are orcas, sharks and sea lions. Scientists aren't completely sure why, but the sunfish frequently swims up from its feeding depths and lies flat on the surface.
Check out a video of the ocean sunfish below, and read more about the species in this article.
Under the Instagram nick @FoodBabyNY, two-year-old Matthew Chau and his father Mike are tearing it up on the Instagram foodie scene, with 45,000 followers at present. Mike began posting restaurant reviews to Yelp in 2012. In 2013, Matthew made his first appearance in one of his father's food photos. It was then that a baby foodie legend was born. Said Mike,
“Even before Food Baby became what it is, I would take pictures with him in the shot because with him in the pictures, it’s funnier... I love to eat. I love to spend time with my family. And that’s what I do every day. We get to be together. I can’t ask for more than that.”
Internet fame may not win the growing family (Chau's wife is pregnant with a girl) free meals at every restaurant, but they have saved a huge amount by getting many meals comped at New York eateries. Way to eat, Food Baby!
Check out more amusing photos here at the FoodBabyNY Instagram account.
Via Business Insider | Images: Mike Chau via Instagram
“Proton arc over Lake Superior” by Ken William, Clio, Michigan
Second Place, Weather, Water and Climate Category
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association announced the 2015 winners of its annual Weather in Focus Photo Contest, which recognizes photographers who have captured images of weather or the science used to forecast weather, water and climate. A panel of judges selected the winners from more than 2000 entries taken between January 1, 2014 and March 31, 2015.
The contest is divided into four categories: Science in Action; Weather, Water & Climate; In the iMoment and Professional Submissions.
See the other spectacular photos from the winners here.
“Fire in the Sky over Glacier National Park” by Sashikanth Chintla, North Brunswick, New Jersey
Honorable Mention, Weather, Water and Climate Category
“Rolling clouds in Lake Tahoe” by Christopher LeBoa, San Leandro, Calfornia
Third place, In the iMoment Category
According to the New York Times, a "large new data set" exists that indicates how geography can indirectly affect one's odds of marrying. Due to the political leanings of geographic areas, the likelihood of marriage varies. For example,
"Spending childhood nearly anywhere in blue America — especially liberal bastions like New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and Washington — makes people about 10 percentage points less likely to marry relative to the rest of the country. And no place encourages marriage quite like the conservative Mountain West, especially the heavily Mormon areas of Utah, southern Idaho and parts of Colorado."
Residents of the United States, see how your area fares in this context by viewing the charts and interactive maps here.
The female cat in this video is a resident of Alaska. When she saw that a black bear had approached her home and was on the front porch, she — with the added oourage of the heavy door between them — sprang into action. Her owner Darlis Elliot told KTUU news that the bear hasn't returned since. Via Gawker
The Wave Cabinet, by New York-based artist and designer Sebastian ErraZuriz (previously), is made of approximately 100 pieces of birch wood. Set in place, these wooden slats open and close in a fanlike motion that is endlessly pleasing to watch. The piece is available in white lacquer and natural finishes.
Check out the video below to see this hypnotic piece move, and visit the designer's website here. I don't know about you, but I'm glad I probably can't afford one; otherwise I'd likely be tempted to play with it far too often.
This precious baby pygmy hippopotamus named Obi recently went for his first-ever swim under the close and caring watch of his mama. The hippos, who reside at Melbourne Zoo, are especially dear to zoo staff and visitors due to their endangered status. According to the zoo staff,
"The name Obi means heart in the Nigerian Igbo language, and he is certainly melting a few hearts here at Melbourne Zoo. Obi has grown quickly from his birth weight of around 5 kilos, putting on roughly 500 grams a day and now weighs over 13 kilos. He has been leaning to swim in the nursery yard pool and passed with flying colours. Today marked an important milestone for Obi as he ventured into the deeper water of the exhibit. Wild Sea Manager, Justin Valentine said ‘he loves the water and spends hours in the small pool, so he is ready for the next step."
Hugo Weaving | Image: Warner Bros.
Art imitates life in that just as man has a healthy interest in artificial intelligence and the way its various forms may shape our future, our media presentations reflect that interest. As such, movies and television are filled with portrayals of artificially intelligent beings. This article looks back at A.I. representations in film, evaluates and rates them. See what you think of this writer's choices. On his best-of list is a performance by a favorite actor of mine, Hugo Weaving. Here's what he has to say:
"8. Agent Smith in The Matrix (1999) Forget about the sequels for a minute—it shouldn’t be hard since everyone else has—and just focus on Hugo Weaving’s performance in the 1999 original film. Delivered with a thin veneer of monotone indifference that hid his boiling contempt underneath, Smith’s cadence and line readings have a lyrical quality that purely make him a wonderful villain.
On top of that attribute, however, is that Smith is a program that exists solely to execute hackers that have figured out the system. He is not supposed to be able to develop feelings like revulsion, disgust, and perpetual hostility for all humanity, but he does. The Matrix might be a reworking of Philip K. Dick and James Cameron tropes, but for such a personal and vindictive personality to unpredictably manifest among sentient programs was a fun wrinkle that gave this action film a supremely entertaining antagonist that is literally reinventing the cyber world and cinematic clichés around him into something special."
Disagree with the list or feel it's missing something? Comment away.
Henry Rollins performing with Rollins Band, 1993 | Image: Pelle Sten
Musician Henry Rollins and his best friend Joe Cole, son of actor Dennis Cole, stopped at a grocery store on the evening of December 19, 1991. They were picking up a few things before returning to the house they shared in Venice Beach, California.
Just steps away from their home, they came face-to-face with two armed men. They pushed Cole to the ground and Rollins to his knees on the grass in the front yard. The gunmen demanded money from Rollins and Cole, and were angered when they only had a combined $50. Ordered to enter their house, Rollins was on the way in when he was horrified to hear the gun discharge and see that Cole had been shot in the face.
Rollins was able to make a run for it and escaped out the back door, but his friend wasn't so lucky. Cole died from his injuries, and his murderers have never been caught. Rollins remains haunted by his death.
Read about other instances in which celebrities are somehow linked to murder in this article.
Game Over Cycles is shop in Poland that specializes in vintage cars and motorcycles. An ongoing project for them is this cool Batmobile-themed trike motorcycle, reminiscent of the vehicles in the Batman films. Sure would be an eye-catcher on the road, would it not?
Brandon Cohen decided to make a video of him wearing heels all day long in order to “prove that girls are huge complainers.” As swiftly as you can say "Goddess of Retribution," Cohen's feet were struck with something that likely every woman has felt once in her life: the ever-increasing, sheer pain of uncomfortable high-heeled shoes as the hours drag on. Via Uproxx
This naturally sweet little sugar glider apparently has an innate response when he feels the wind from a fan rushing across his fur. He gets in flight simulator mode and takes a practice run. So far, it's a breeze. Via Tastefully Offensive
In this image thought to be taken by photographer Jules Antoine, it has been suggested that Vincent van Gogh is seen here, in conversation with Paul Gauguin, Emile Bernard and Félix Jobbé-Duval. André Antoine stands between the artists.
This recently discovered 1887 melainotype is what some experts believe to be a photo of Vincent van Gogh, in fact the only photo of him as an adult. Van Gogh hated photography and supposedly refused to sit for any photo portraits throughout his life. The only two known photos of him are taken at ages 13 and 19.
Though the idea that it is indeed van Gogh in the picture is controversial — van Gogh museum in Amsterdam says that it can’t be the artist due to his acknowledged hatred of photo portraits and “because it simply does not look like him” — nevertheless, others disagree. The photo generated enough interest to be sold at auction this past weekend. Though the sale price hasn't been made public, an estimate was between $136,000 and $170,000.
See a close-up of the man thought to be van Gogh in the photograph and read more on this story at Colossal.
French photographer Sacha Goldberger (previously) is back with a follow-up to his 2014 Super Flemish photo series. His latest, Family Portrait, was created by dressing models as pop culture and comic book characters and posing them together as family portraits. The result is, again, an odd and intriguing mix of new Western culture and 16th century Flemish art.
Sse the photo series in entirety on Goldberger’s website and Facebook page.
For a recent episode of the series The Watercooler, author Chuck Palahniuk reads his Fight Club for Kids. This tongue-in-cheek effort — which Palahniuk explains by saying his readership is now "growing older and having kids and... dying," thus he wants to introduce Fight Club to a new generation — is an illustrated children’s book version of Fight Club. Have a listen to Palahniuk's "child-friendly" club, complete with bedtime-storyish music. Via Laughing Squid
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