Maria Lopez of Tampa found a box in her grandfather’s attic a few weeks ago. That’s not at all unusual, but the contents of the box were certainly unusual. It contained old coins, a family picture, a map, and a severed hand wearing a ring. Could it be pirate treasure? Mike Lopez joked that his great-grandparents might have been pirates.
When Maria and Mike were children, their grandfather would tell them stories about his father, Ernesto Lopez, finding Jose Gaspar's pirate treasure. They took the box to a few antique stores around Tampa and the contents were described as "gruesome and authentic."
The map is estimated to be from the 1930s. It shows the Tampa area. Lafayette Street is labeled on the map. That road's name was changed to Kennedy Boulevard later.
The coins are believed to be Spanish and Portuguese from the 18th century. The ring on the hand's ring finger is expected to be from around the same time period.
When a young man impulsively flips off a rhesus macaque monkey, the monkey doesn't take it lightly. In fact, he jumps the guy, apparently just to let him know that he's fluent in international symbols. -Via Tastefully Offensive
Whoever says farm life is uneventful hasn't hung out with Don the Border Collie, who lives on a farm in Scotland with his human Tom Hamilton. Don had a wild adventure this morning, starting when he was riding on a mini tractor with Hamilton, who left it to tend to a lamb headed in the wrong direction.
Don hit the dashboard controls of the tractor and took off, crashing through a fence and cruising across one half of a busy highway before stopping in a grassy median. The photo of Don's joy ride, above, was captured by Traffic Scotland. Don was fine after his solo tractor race. Unsurprisingly, due to the characteristics of his breed, witnesses said Don remained calm.
It's an oddly-shaped towering structure that looks like the product of a children's book illustrator, not an architect. That's why local residents call it the Dr. Seuss House. They explain that it was built shortly after a forest fire stripped the area of trees. That deforestation gave the owner a wonderful view of the surrounding countryside.
But the trees grew back. So the owner built another storey onto the house. The trees grew higher, so he built another one.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, held in San Francisco. Most people just called it the World’s Fair. The purpose of the exposition was to celebrate the Panama Canal and the ease of travel it brought, but the fair also celebrated San Francisco rising from the ashes of the devastating earthquake of 1906. What would amount to an entire city elsewhere was built for the fair, only to be torn down afterward.
All these structures and their lushly landscaped courtyards were united by an earth-tone color scheme devised by muralist Jules Guérin, the Director of Color, to reflect the California landscape. “I saw the vibrant tints of the native wild flowers, the soft brown of the surrounding hills, the gold of the orangeries, the blue of the sea; and I determined that, just as a musician builds his symphony around a motif or chord, so must I strike a chord of color and build my symphony on this,” Guérin wrote. Architect Bernard Maybeck, who designed the Palace of Fine Arts, likened the entire assemblage to a cloissoné brooch, with its many Italianate, Islamic, and French-inspired buildings all clad in faux-travertine.
The most eye-catching bauble of all was clearly the 435-foot-tall Tower of Jewels, a mishmash of architectural references whose exterior was covered by 102,000 two-inch cut glass “Novagems.” Constructed to hang on small hooks and sparkle like a coating of colorful sequins, these oversized glass “gemstones” were also sold as souvenirs of the PPIE. Emily Post described the building as a diamond and turquoise wedding cake. The Novagem gimmick was put forth by the fair’s lighting director, Walter D’Arcy Ryan, who referred to their effect as “augmented daylight.”
There were also several fabulous light shows to dazzle visitors, exhibitions of modern technology, pavilions of foreign culture (some of which were quite offensive), stunt pilots, art, music, and a 5-acre scale model of the Panama Canal -that worked! Collectors Weekly talked to curator Erin Garcia and author Laura Ackley about the fair and what it meant to San Francisco 100 years ago.
Blogger David Thompson calls her "an eight-year old queen of the crows." So far, Gabi Mann of Seattle, Washington is using her super power modestly. It's been developing for the past year. What is her power?
Crows bring her things.
(Photo: Katy Sewall/BBC)
Wild crows fly up and drop small objects in front of her. They're gifts. For the past 4 years, she's fed them scraps for fun. Now they're expressing their loyalty. The BBC reports:
The crows would clear the feeder of peanuts, and leave shiny trinkets on the empty tray; an earring, a hinge, a polished rock. There wasn't a pattern. Gifts showed up sporadically - anything shiny and small enough to fit in a crow's mouth.
One time it was a tiny piece of metal with the word "best" printed on it. "I don't know if they still have the part that says 'friend'," Gabi laughs, amused by the thought of a crow wearing a matching necklace.
Patricia Highsmith's most memorable supervillain was inspired by a chance encounter. But how fictional was he really?
Early one morning in the summer of 1952, Patricia Highsmith awoke in a room at the Albergo Miramare hotel in Positano, Italy. The 31-year-old author had been traveling through Europe with her girlfriend, Ellen Blumenthal Hill, and the two weren’t getting along. Leaving Hill in bed, Highsmith walked to the end of a balcony overlooking the beach. It’s not as if things weren’t going well for her—her novel Strangers on a Train had just been adapted for the screen by Alfred Hitchcock. But the tumultuous relationship was taking a toll. As she gazed out at the sand, pulling on a cigarette, she watched “a solitary young man in shorts and sandals, with a towel flung over his shoulder, making his way along the beach. There was an air of pensiveness about him, maybe unease,” she recalled in a 1989 issue of Granta magazine. She started to wonder: “Had he quarreled with someone? What was on his mind?”
The intrigue stuck with her. Two years later, while living in a cottage rented from an undertaker in Lenox, Mass., Highsmith drew from that image as she began a new novel, about a man named Tom Ripley. Even then, she sensed that she was onto something special. “She considered [The Talented Mr. Ripley] ‘healthier’ and ‘handsomer’ than her other books at its ‘birth,’” Joan Schenkar writes in her excellent biography The Talented Miss Highsmith.
Highsmith’s instincts were correct: With the charming sociopath Ripley, she’d created a new type of character entirely. In five novels over the next four decades, he’d become not only her most acclaimed and memorable creation but the prototype for a new kind of antihero: the unlikable, immoral, cold-blooded killer we can’t help but like anyway. Ripley was a character so fully realized, so simultaneously compelling and disturbing, it seemed as if he were based on someone Highsmith knew intimately. In a sense, he was.
An orphan unhappily raised by an icy aunt, 23-year-old Tom Ripley is living in New York City when we first meet him, trying his hand at casual extortion. In a bar one night, he’s approached by the wealthy Herbert Greenleaf, father of an acquaintance, Dickie. Greenleaf is looking for someone who might persuade his son to return home from the bohemian life he’s been leading in the Italian village of Mongibello, and Tom seizes the opportunity. But what he finds when he locates Dickie is something he hadn’t expected: a glimpse of the privileged existence he’s always dreamed of.
Ivete Medeiros of Belém, Brazil was shopping at a supermarket one day when she was accidentally shot by a criminal who was robbing another person. The bullet struck her in the chest, impacting along the underwire of her bra. Medeiros attributes her survival to God and her bra. The Guardian reports:
Her husband told the Globo channel, he feared his wife had been killed because she had been shot in the heart. She told reporters that all she felt was “a little burning sensation” thanks to divine intervention.
“It was not just the bra wiring, which softened [it] a little, but God who saved me,” she said, showing the small hold made in her blouse by the bullet.
The manufacturer of her bra now has a great marketing opportunity.
During her lifetime, Tucson, Arizona philanthropist Pat Arnell has collected a wide array of ornate, high-quality miniatures. Five years ago, Arnell opened a museum to exhibit her collection to the public: the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniature. There, visitors can find this beautiful work by the American miniaturist W. Foster Tracy. It is a 1:8 scale representation of an Eighteenth Century violin maker’s workshop set inside a full-size violin. This is 1 of 6 copies that Tracy made in 1979.
The discussion under all these stories, and the post at Metafilter, divides fans into two camps: those who don't want to see history being demolished, and those who say this is no big deal. Both have valid points.
Those who regret seeing the house torn down are sad that it wasn’t preserved for its historical value. It could have been made into a museum. It was a perfectly habitable house, built in 1937, with some interesting architectural details.
Others say the house was outdated and not particularly significant in its architecture. Bradbury’s legacy lives on in his writings. And no one wants to live in a house with only three bedrooms. If fans wanted to preserve it, they should have bought it. One commenter pointed out that if every home in Los Angeles where a celebrity once lived were preserved, there could be no new homes built.
The Nile is a ribbon of water--of life--through the desert. You can see this especially clearly from orbit. At night, the lights of human settlements shine through the darkness, like a crack in the universe.
A court case involving Sandra, a 29-year-old orangutan in Argentina may have ramifications for other apes, or even other non-primates. An animal rights group filed a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of Sandra, alleging that her rights were being violated by her confinement at the Buenos Aires Zoo.
In a landmark ruling that could pave the way for more lawsuits, the Association of Officials and Lawyers for Animal Rights (Afada) argued the ape had sufficient cognitive functions and should not be treated as an object.
The court agreed Sandra, born into captivity in Germany before being transferred to Argentina two decades ago, deserved the basic rights of a “non-human person”.
I am a 28 year old felon with no high school degree, and a dirty old van one year younger than me painted like Eddie Van Halen's guitar. I can play anywhere between the ages of 20 and 29 depending on if i shave. I'm a line cook and work late nights at a bar. If you'd like to have me as your stictly platonic date for Thanksgiving, but have me pretend to be in a very long or serious relationship with you, to torment your family, I'm game.
In exchange for a free dinner, he would also:
talk about politics and religion
openly hit on other female guests
pretend to get really drunk
start a fistfight with a member of your family on the front lawn in full view of the neighbors
I just bought celery and olives yesterday. I always buy them for Thanksgiving, but rarely any other time of the year. Olives are a special treat, and the adults in my family love them. I use celery in my cornbread dressing, and the rest of the stalk is served alone or stuffed. However, I did not know that the two were traditional on everyone’s Thanksgiving tables for almost a century, and then faded out in the 1970s. It all started when fresh produce began to be transported across the country to be enjoyed whatever the season.
The pairing of the two was both a result of the fact that they were introduced and made readily available around the same time and they served a similar purpose: both celery and olives were palate cleansers, and ones that didn’t require a servant.
“People were looking for a palate cleanser in between Thanksgiving’s richer courses,” explained [Rick] Rodgers. “At a family meal where you don’t have servants, the tray of celery and olives could be put on the table and you didn’t need a servant to serve a sorbet course.”
If you're trying to get between Point A and Point B as quickly as possible, then South Africa's Rovos Rail isn't for you. It offers luxurious tours across southern Africa, hauled by one of several restored antique steam engine locomotives. It takes 15 days to travel from Cape Town to Dar es Salaam--a journey that takes only a few hours by air.
Now put your cellphones away. There are no televisions, radios, or Wi-Fi on this train. Travellers are not allowed to use electronic devices outside of their suites. Instead, you're supposed to, well, talk to each other.
Redditor senekafalls commissioned the creation of this, the world's greatest car window sticker. Car Stickers did the actual work, but it was senekafalls's idea--and a brilliant one at that. S/he says that it's printed on 70/30 transparency plastic, so it's translucent from the inside and therefore legal.
I hope that, someday, before I pass into the next life, I am overtaken on the road by Nick Cage waving to me.
This pineapple looks much more frightening than an ordinary jack-o'-lantern! Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing saw it at a Trader Vic's in Portland, Oregon. It would be great for a Halloween party with a Tiki theme.
When Rosecrans Baldwin, the author of Paris, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down, took a copywriting job at a French advertising agency and relocated from Brooklyn to the 3rd arrondissement, he imagined a life of baguettes, croissants, and other fine carbohydrates. The reality of expat living in Paris, he soon learned, was a little bit more complicated.
1. There’s an actual psychological disorder called Paris syndrome. It occurs when a tourist arrives in Paris and is so distressed to find the city does not meet his or her romantic expectations that it causes a breakdown. It strikes about a dozen people each year. Japanese visitors are particularly susceptible, possibly due to the über-romantic image that Paris holds in Japan. The Japanese embassy once repatriated several sufferers with a doctor or nurse aboard the plane.
2. Parisian doctors work from home. Not all of them, of course, but the physician I saw did. It’s unsettling to walk through a doctor’s living room, past her children’s things, to reach an examination room full of medical equipment. She also answered her own phone and could always see me within a few hours. At the time, I wondered if she was really a doctor.
3. McDonalds is perceived by lots of people to be a wholesome restaurant. But the French still eat their takeout in classic French style: over several courses. Lots of my French co-workers would get takeout from there nearly every day. A few chicken nuggets to start. Then a burger, possibly two burgers -un Big Tasty or un Royal Deluxe- plus fries and perhaps a beer. This was followed up by a small house salad, then dessert (no French meal is complete without dessert). All of this was consumed over the course of 45 minutes, with plenty of time for casual conversation.
4. The French are very polite, especially to one another.
The first weird film I ever remember seeing was Eraserhead when I was just a teenager, and man did it mess with my head. What I had noticed days after watching it was, unlike most films, Eraserhead stuck with me. It seeped like black oil into my subconscious and just seemed to stay there. From that moment on, I have had a bit of an obsession with weird movies. Movies that are not afraid to tell unconventional stories. Movies so strange and surreal, most would ignore them. So you can only imagine my delight when I found the site 366 Weird Movies. I feel lot like Charlie when he got his golden ticket today.
On most sites, you may get one or two top ten lists of weird movies, but this a site devoted to them. Now if you don't mind, I need to go spend the rest of my life going through this website and finding wonderfully twisted movies to lose myself in.
Occasionally, as you surf the internet, you may encounter thoughts and opinions that are different from your own. You should have a plan in place so that you can respond properly at the time. Some people feel a duty to correct faulty assertions. What will be the outcome of such an encounter? Julia Lepetit and Andrew Bridgman of Dorkly offer an interactive game on the subject.
Personally, to prepare for such a disaster, I keep a large supply of ponies just one click away.
And that was the day my dog saved my life. If he had not torn up that pillow and pooped on the floor, I would never have made it hope. Thank you, Beagle Cop, for responding to my dog's emergency so quickly and intelligently.
Lately, cartoonist Jim Benton has been working on a series called Beagle Cop--the dog with a badge. So far, there are three cartoons in the series.
Which would you prefer: carry a couch down two flights of stairs, negotiating tight corners, or would you rather just throw it off the third floor balcony and be done with it? These guys came up with an alternative scheme that’s somewhere in between those two extremes. What could possibly go wrong? I might call this Southern ingenuity, but the lack of accent in the narration makes it seem more like Yankee ingenuity. -via reddit
The comic strip Peanuts was made into several feature films that are regularly aired on American television--even today. Most prominent among them are A Charlie Brown Christmas and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Over nearly 50 years, ABC, CBS, and Fox made more than two dozen Peanuts specials. Some proposals for others were, though, rejected.
#rejectedpeanutsspecials is a funny hashtag currently trending on Twitter. It’s filled with ideas for Charlie Brown stories that were, thankfully, never put into production. Here are a few examples:
When someone comes into my office, I want that person to adopt an attitude most conducive to a productive working relationship. And now I know what is the perfect design for that purpose: the Scorpion Chair (translation) by Vyacheslav Pakhomov. It costs 230,000 rubles, which is about $5,749 USD.
Sometimes I come across an intriguing story and decide not to post it here because it doesn’t pass the smell test, meaning it might not be true. Such was the case when Jasmine Tridevil’s story went viral Monday of this week. The massage therapist from Tampa said she spent $20,000 on plastic surgery to have a third breast added, Total Recall-style. She is also trying to put together a reality TV show about her life. Of course she is. The first question everyone had was “What plastic surgeon would do this?” Tridevil said she went through dozens of surgeons before one would agree to give her a third breast, and then only if she promised never to reveal his name (link is NSFW). That’s a big red flag.
During a visit from a local TV news reporter on Tuesday, Tridevil was reticent about showing too much or talking too much. She said it was because she’s saving the details for her reality show. In the same news report, a plastic surgeon speculated that Tridevil may have psychological issues.
Then TMZ got into the act, by digging up anything they could on Jasmine Tridevil. What they found was a report of some luggage stolen from her at Tampa International Airport. Tridevil’s black bag was recovered, and inventoried. Among the items it contained: three breast prostheses. You draw your own conclusions from that.
But wait, there’s more! I decided to post this story at this late date because now there’s a punchline. Like many internet memes, it’s been turned into a Halloween costume! No, theres not enough time to get this to the manufacturers and back for the holiday, but HalloweenCostumes.com did the next best thing: they posted instructions on how you can recreate the costume using their inflatable fake breasts and a few accessories.
The real question is, will anyone remember this by the time Halloween rolls around in five weeks? Or will Jasmine Tridevil’s fifteen minutes be up before then? Who knows, but there is always the possibility that some TV network somewhere will pick up her reality show. -via Uproxx
After the terrorist attacks in the United States 13 years ago, all television programming went to news coverage and commentary 24 hours a day.
But it couldn't remain that way forever. Eventually, we all had to go back to our daily lives and resume our work.
For comedians and talk show hosts, that work was making us laugh. But how do you make people laugh after what happened? Should you make people laugh? These are questions that comedy providers had to answer thoughtfully and tastefully, sensitive to the raw feelings of their audiences.
I was especially impressed with Conan O'Brien's address to his audience. I've never met him, but O'Brien has long struck me as a decent and well-grounded person. This video demonstrates his ability and willingness to be both caring and professional.
There's a common proverb on the internet: "Don't read the comments." Often online comments may make you despair for humanity.* This is especially true for recipe blogs, where comments commonly demonstrate an inability to follow instructions or general objections to the concept of food. Mallory Ortberg of The Toast has helpfully listed all of them so that you need no longer gaze into the abyss. Here is a sampling:
“I didn’t have any eggs, so I replaced them with a banana-chia-flaxseed pulse. It turned out terrible; this recipe is terrible.”
“Could you please give the metric weight measurements, and sometime in the next twenty minutes; I’m making this for a dinner party and my guests are already here.”
“Have you thought about making a sugar-free version of this?”
“Can you give us a calorie breakdown for this?”
“a warning that if you cook this at 275°F for three hours instead of at 400°F for twenty-five minutes its completely ruined. do you have any suggestions?”
“I didn’t have buttermilk, so I just poured baking soda into a container of raspberry yogurt. It tasted terrible.”
“If you use olive oil for any recipe that’s cooked over 450°F, the oil will denature and you will get cancer. This post is irresponsible. You should only use grapeseed oil you’ve pressed yourself in a very cold room.”
“I just started Paleo yesterday, and I’m wondering if there’s a way to make this without the ingredients.”
“Have you considered making a version of this margherita pizza for your readers who are trying to avoid gluten, dairy and nightshades? What if I shoved a roll of basil leaves in my mouth, do you think that would taste good?”
“If you don’t soak the seeds for at least fourteen hours before using, the phytic acid will give you cancer. Just thought you should know.”
A few months ago, we told you about the largest dinosaur fossils ever found, discovered in La Flecha, Patagonia, Argentina. The bones unearthed have proved to be a treasure, comprising two dinos, the larger one with 115 bones and a tooth -a much more complete set of bones than most fossil finds.
Today an international team of paleontologists unveiled the newest Mesozoic badass: Dreadnoughtus schrani. Weighing in at an astonishing 65 tons, standing two stories high at the shoulder, and measuring 85 feet long, this titan is the heaviest dinosaur we've ever (accurately) measured. And its discovery represents the most fossil mass ever found for a single organism—a paleontologist's dream.
"For the [largest] dinosaurs, which we call titanosaurs, finding anything around 20 percent of the fossil is usually considered a home run," says Kenneth Lacovara, the lead Drexel University paleontologist behind the find. "Normally you only find a handful of bones, and the previous record was a 27 percent complete skeleton. With Dreadnoughtus we found 70 percent."
It’s bad enough when you open a door and see a spider. How much worse is it when you open a door at night and a three-foot-long hairy spider rushes at you? Relax, this is a dog in a really nice tarantula costume. Doesn’t make a bit of difference to strangers who are pranked by seeing him emerge in the dark. This prank was pulled off by SA Wardęga. The fact that most of the prankees have their faces blurred tells me they have yet to forgive him. -via BroBible