When it comes to satire, there's so much about the movie business that can be used as material. One great example is David Mamet's 2000 comedy State and Main. A fantastic ensemble cast including Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy, Alec Baldwin and David Paymer deliver lines that hilariously cut Hollywood's disingenuousness and pomposity to the bone.
Travel is maybe the finest way to lend perspective to our lives and remind us of the wonder of the world. One doesn't have to spend a lot of money and time to travel, either. There are magical views of natural, architectural and other scenery within a day's drive of all of us; it's simply a matter of making the time to explore our surroundings.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China In ancient times, this forest was deemed inaccessible, but it is now a must-see destination in Hunan, China. The mountains are often compared to the floating mountains of Pandora from the movie Avatar.| Image: Gil.K
Petra, Jordan Built into the mountains over 2,000 years ago, Petra is the most visited tourist attraction of Jordan. Petra is also known as the Rose City due to the color of the stone from which it was carved. Image: Flickr / dietpoison
In a story that brings to mind The Aviator Howard Hughes, Paul Allen's project, the largest airplane in history, has materialized. With a wingspan of 385 feet, the aircraft is designed to carry and launch rockets into space. This behemoth of the sky has been dubbed the "Roc."
Paul Allen has combined forces with Gary L. Wentz, Jr., former Chief Engineer of the Science and Mission Systems at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center on the project.
Neatorama has featured a number of modern innovations with regard to people's end-of-life choices on dealing with remains. We've seen companies that offer to transform cremains into everything from diamonds to bullets topencils.
Itallian designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel have conceptualized a more natural solution with their project Capsula Mundi. The client's remains are encased in an organic, biodegradable burial "capsule," from which a tree eventually takes root and is provided nutrients. Bodies are placed in a fetal position into a pod, and a tree or seed is planted above it. Clients would be provided with choices as to the type of tree planted.
Because such a burial is currently illegal in Italy, the project is merely at the conceptual stage. The designers' vision would be to create memorial parks filled with trees, and rather than using and burying wood as coffins, new trees would be grown.
Evan Robertson is an illustrator based in New York. Working with design studio Obvious State (previously at Neatorama), Robertson has expanded his series of black-and-white posters featuring compelling quotes by revered authors.
View the full series and purchase poster prints of the collection atThe Bazaar.
Ever since House of Cards Season One premiered on Netflix streaming service February 1, 2013, the series has been a hit. In honor of today's release of Season Three, let's mark the occasion with 21 facts about the celebrated series.
One such fact involves Michael Gill and Jayne Atkinson, the actors who play President Garrett Walker and Secretary of State Catherine Durant. The pair is a married couple in real life, yet House of Cards director David Fincher (who also directed Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac, The Social Network and Gone Girl) and the rest of the staff were some of the last to know. Gill told the New York Post,
"I had four auditions. All on tape. Never met Kevin, never met David [Fincher]. We both got it within four or five days of each other. And then towards the end [of the audition process], they realized we were married. When we got to set, none of the cast knew we were married.”
Photographer Jonathan Nimerfroh has been documenting these nearly frozen waves washing ashore on Nantucket island, Massachusetts, approximately 30 miles south of Cape Cod. One publication, Stay Wild magazine, dubbed the fascinating photos "Slurpee waves."
See Jonathan Nimerfroh's photographs of this icy phenomenon on his Twitterand Instagramaccounts, and on his website. Nimerfroh's photos are absolute eye candy, particularly for fans of nature and landscape photography. -Via Buzzfeed
KFC (and much of its fast food competition) is no stranger to gimmicks. Before the publicity on the infamous Double Down is even dead, it seems their team in charge of special promotions has revealed the latest odd offering designed to reel them in: edible coffee cups. The product, which they've dubbed the "Scoffee Cup," is designed to coincide with the launch of Seattle's Best coffee in KFC's stores across the United Kingdom.
The Scoffee Cup is a cup-shaped cookie coated in white chocolate and sugar. In a corporate explanation that makes my mind scream "What Could Go Wrong!?" the cups are designed to "slowly" soften after the coffee is poured inside them. But perhaps the strangest thing about this new offering is the fact that it's scented with various fragrances, including coconut suntan lotion, freshly cut grass and wild flowers, scents that a representative of the designer told Grub Street,
"[The smells] have a natural ability to evoke the positive memories we associate with warm weather, sunshine and summer holidays. Things that make everyone smile."
"The original Millennium Falcon bodies are always in good condition, some even perfect – it varies considering they’re from anywhere between 1979 and 2004. Some also never had any lights included and so plenty of blue LEDs are expertly installed by myself and are run from a handily concealed battery pack that is easy to get to.
A custom-built flight case can be added to the order to not only give it a perfect home, but to also safeguard it during shipping."
Jeffrey Linn, a designer and urban planner, made a series of maps illustrating how cities might appear if sea levels rose dramatically. The maps are also filled with tongue-in-cheek name changes for the waterlogged areas, such as "Central Shark," "Middrown" and "Flushwick" instead of Central Park, Midtown and Bushwick.
See the rest of the series, which includes Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, London and other cities here. The artwork can be purchased in poster form, and can be ordered with and without the place names. Follow the artist on social media via Twitter. -Via Laughing Squid
If ghosts existed, particularly angry spirits embittered about the unfair ways their lives ended, I imagine they'd be huge fans of forensic science. It's easy to picture ghostly victims of murder and injustice cheering for such scientists in the process of obtaining revelatory findings as if watching a playoff game on which they had bet a large sum.
One such historical mysterious death surrounds 17 skeletons at the bottom of an old well. The remains were discovered in 2004, when an area in Norwich, England was excavated in preparation for building a shopping center.
The skeletons were initially thought to be plague victims, yet carbon dating of the remains placed them between the 12th and 13th centuries, before the time of the plague in England.
Analysis by DNA expert Dr. Ian Barnes revealed a DNA sequence in five of the skeletons that traced them to a single family of Jewish descent. While exact circumstances surrounding the deaths are impossible to learn so long after the fact, experts who worked the case believe the deaths were linked to religious persecution. They are thought to be the result of either mass execution or mass suicide, as the possibilities of natural deaths were scientifically discounted. The remains were eventuallylaid to rest in a Jewish cemetery.
Read about eight other cases of mysterious deaths of old that have been clarified thanks to modern forensic testing here.
It's been a growing trend over the past five years or so: living "small." Clutter-free. Tiny houses in which everything is compact and/or capable of being folded and hidden away. It looks so cute and delightfully sparse in the design layouts, but what would day-to-day life in such a structure be like? Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein give us a sneak peek at micro living, from an upcoming Portlandia episode that airs on IFC this Thursday. -Via Gizmodo
Redditor Toastedchilliesposted a story of lunch theft and revenge to Justice Porn subreddit. The poster explained that, since he loves to cook, he packs his wife a bag lunch every day for her to take to work. But after awhile, his wife informed him of her lunch being stolen once every couple of days. He writes,
"I’m a bit of a chilli head. Love my hot sauces. I also love to cook. I also cook my wife a delicious lunch each day, She kept complaining that someone was stealing her lunch every couple of days out of the fridge at work. So I made her some buffalo wings for lunch to put in the fridge. They are really popular with her colleagues, but I spiced them up just a little with some Blair’s 4am Reserve. (I note you are meant to dilute it with 1 drop per 5 litres of liquid.)
So I added a couple of drops of Blairs 4am Reserve per wing with nice dusting of Ghost chilli powder for good measure. I did eat a couple to make sure it didn’t kill anybody, they were real hot. Even cream doesn’t cut the heat: and Ghost chillies keep getting hotter for about 5 minutes.
Needless to say just before lunch, there was a shrill from the kitchen, a young male colleague decided to help himself the my wife’s lunch which was clearly marked with her name. He ran to the toilet and vomited over and over. Apparently the moans sounded like he was dying. My wife just sat there innocently pretending nothing was wrong. Needless to say she has not lost a single lunch since."
Read more about Blair’s 4am Reserve — which is more than 7,000 times spicier than Tabasco and one of the hottest substances that exists — here. See a video about Blair's below.
When a Boston man who had been drinking dozed off behind the wheel at 6:21 Sunday morning, he hit a snowbank and then drove his Toyota Tacoma off of the upper northbound deck of I-93 onto the southbound deck of the highway below.
The man survived the accident without serious injury and was charged with DUI. Luckily, the roads had very little traffic on them at the time of the crash. See three views of the car's fall in these videos. Learn more on the story at MyFoxBoston.com.
These breathtaking photographs of frozen waterfalls from all over the world make up a collection that is worth the short time it takes for readers to peruse it. When such powerful forces of nature — flowing water and freezing temperatures — meet, it makes for some awesome sights (and treacherous exploring).
See the entire collection, as well as brief descriptions of each location, inthis article.
Starved Rock State Park, La Salle, Illinois | Image: Todd Rybaum / flickr.com
Louise Falls, Alberta, Canada | Source: flickr.com
One old adage that's certainly true is "One man's trash is another man's treasure." One person sees an ugly hunk of metal, another sees a sculptural work of art. One woman's Pollock is another whose Kid Could Paint That.
Most collectors are well aware what the ultimate prize of their type of collection would be. But people who aren't familiar with collectors' items may be completely oblivious to the value of such items. That's why flea markets, garage sales and the like will always have their treasure hunters.
The article linked below lists what the author estimates to be the most valuable items for ten different types of collections. For example, the book in the photo above is the most valuable printed book, the Bay Psalm Book. Said to be the first book printed in English in North America, this volume is the interpretation of the original Hebrew script of Psalms by the Puritans. Publication began in 1640, with approximately 1,700 copies printed. Eleven copies are thought to be currently in existence.
Old South Church in Boston once owned two copies of the Bay Psalm Book, one of which they sold in order to pay for ministries and repairs. The book sold for $14,165,000 on November 26, 2013 to David M. Rubenstein of the Carlyle Group.
Read about nine other most valuable collectibles of their types here.
Photographer Roger Kisby, in his second year shooting the Adult Video News Awards, decided to go a different route in covering the event. Kisby said in an interview with Refinery 29,
"I wanted to do portraits of the performers, to do something that was authentic and honest that would strip away — no pun intended — their outer performer aspects and [get at] who they are.
It was a challenge. I only had a few minutes with the performers, and I was trying to do a lot in that time — introducing myself, telling them what I do, and making them feel comfortable, so I could grab a real, natural moment. A lot of them have go-to 'porn poses' or 'porn faces' for lack of a better term, and that was something I tried to get them to not do."
To achieve his goal, Kisby used a simple light setup and traditional, "face-to-face" shooting angle, which presented the subjects' features in a way that was genuine.
See all 25 of Kisby's portraits here, and visit his website to see more of his work.
There's a place in the UK to which the letters OAP are of utmost importance. The acronym, which to them stands for Old Age Pussycats, is their clientele. This charity, called The Lincolnshire Trust for Cats, believes itself to be the only kitty retirement home in the world.
The cozy home has everything to please finicky felines in their twilight years. The features include seven acres of land, heated beds, sofas, a fireplace aflame, and a southerly facing orientation, allowing for "a lot of sunbathing options," according to a staff member.
Some resident cats' owners have passed on, others have moved. The founder Jain Hills says,
"I know of some charities that have a few elderly cats, but they are not doing it on the scale we are. For cats to come to us, people have either got to make a provision in their will, or people come to look round. I don't think anywhere else does it because people come all the way from London with the cats to come here."
An initial payment of £850 ($1,307.45 US) is necessary for a cat to relocate to the facility, which is located near the village of Osgodby, in Market Rasen, Lincolnshire. After the first payment, the trust covers the cost of living and veterinary care (including necessary surgeries) for the cats. Staff members are present night and day to care for the animals. Now that's even better than a giant cardboard box! Aging humans should have it that good!
Many internet users turn to Wikipedia as a quick reference when they're looking for an overview of information or a starting point to seek additional sources. The article linked below lists 47 other valuable online references for individuals looking for information. One can never have too many reference options to compare and use as bridges to additional sources.
Suggested resources include the Encyclopedia Smithsonian, a collection of all offerings from the Smithsonian Museum. The site consists of more than two million records with accompanying image, video and sound files, electronic journals and other museum resources.
Also suggested is HyperHistory, a database spanning 3000 years of world history, presented with interactive timelines, graphics and maps.
See the full list of 47 information sources to use as Wikipedia alternatives here.
In her most recent project, Costa Rica-based artist Maria Jose Da Luz transforms pictures of infants and toddlers, which are adorable in their own right, into appealing cartoon characters. Taking the basic expressions of the children and tones of the photos and accentuating them, Jose Da Luz may also make slight changes, such as turning dad into a superhero. Why not? The result couldn't be more engaging and sweet.
YouTube user Porsche Indrisie, an Australian from Applecross, captured this footage of an octopus surprising a crab by snapping it up and making a meal of it. The video was filmed in Yallingup, Australia. Indrisie was so shocked that she blurted a NSFW expletive at the end.
The group consists of 55 student musicians, ages 7 through 12, all from the Louisville, Kentucky metro area. Each group member achieves proficiency on several instruments including marimba, xylophone, vibraphone, drums, timbales, congas, bongos and piano.
The group likely was thrilled when none other than Jimmy Page linked to this video from his Facebook page on Friday, with the message “Too good not to share.” Now that is the stuff of a "band geek's" dreams! Congratulations, kids! -Via Dangerous Minds
These red pandas at the Cincinnati Zooseem to grin from ear to ear as they playfully tumble in the deep snowfall of the area. Shown in this footage are the two red pandas in residence at the zoo, two-year-old Lin and nine-year-old Rover. What an incredibly cute species — they always appear to be smiling. -Via Tastefully Offensive
Office Space is a film to which everyone who's had a monotonous, thankless job as a cube dweller can relate. Released in 1999, the film's popularity slowly but steadily snowballed into the cult classic it is today. Who can forget the incomparable Michael Bolton grimace? Or Lumbergh's way of finessing his employees into extra hours?
Even minor characters like Peter's neighbor Lawrence are memorable. The actor who played Lawrence, Diedrich Bader, also played Oswald Lee Harvey on The Drew Carey Show. Bader had a succinct vision of Lawrence that he brought to the table: he wanted to make him look like “somebody who loved the Allman Brothers.” Aaaand bingo.
A lot of Americans, particularly those on the East coast, are likely wondering what good could possibly come out of snow. It's hard to blame them, though judging from these pictures, some people dream up creative uses for snow after every storm. Whether their sculptures are for fun, function or both, many are smile inducing. Check out this photo gallery of people making the best of a snowfall.