Going on right now: Tokyoflash Treasure Hunt #26. Win a Tokyoflash watch and neat stuff from the NeatoShop. It's fun and easy to play: Link
Clint Eastwood wore the same pancho through all three Dollars Trilogy moview without washing it. Arnold Schwarzenneger was paid approximately $21,429 per word in Terminator 2. The run time of the movie Titanic is 3 hours, 14 minutes--the same amount of time that it look for the ship to sink after it struck an iceberg.
These are just 3 of 31 rapid-fire facts about famous movies rounded up in this BuzzFeedPop video. Enjoy.
-via Daily of the Day
Three years ago, we looked at trivia about the famous action television show Xena: Warrior Princess. That show was a spin-off of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. It aired from 1995 to 1999. Here are some facts that you might not know about it.
1. Series creator Christian Williams looked at how Hercules had been presented in both the Greek myths and modern films, such as the 1958 Steve Reeves movie Hercules. He decided that the show should present Hercules with “a completely American persona.” His model for this character was Joe Montana (left), an American football star.
2. The franchise was conceived of as a series of televised movies, not a regular television show. The title role was offered to Dolph Lundgren (right), who was most famous for his portrayal of Rocky Balboa’s Russian opponent in Rocky IV.
3. The title role was given to Kevin Sorbo. He wasn’t the most muscular actor to audition for the role, but he conveyed the right personality for the character. Producer Dan Filie said that Sorbo’s Hercules seemed like “a guy you wanted to hang out with . . . a regular, good guy.”
4. The role of Zeus was offered to Charlton Heston. He passed. The producers then offered the role to Anthony Quinn, who accepted it.
5. Producer Eric Gruendemann searched for the right place to shoot the show. He wanted someplace in the southern hemisphere in order to get longer daylight outdoor shooting hours. He considered South Africa and Australia. But then another producer suggested New Zealand.
He and his colleagues explored New Zealand and found that it was an inexpensive place to film that offered great scenery. Gruendemann said, “Within two or three hours of Auckland, we can do so many different kinds of looks.”
6. Each pair of Hercules’s woven leather pants took multiple craftsmen 6-7 days to make.
@KenJennings if you do get pulled over, please don't try to eat your stash.— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) March 8, 2014
It was kind of the Seattle Police Department to prevent Jeopardy! star Ken Jennings from doing anything rash.
Just play it cool. Don't mention the pencils and they might not even notice.
But we librarians would like to have a talk with you. Please report to the reference desk.
(Photo: 1987, Soviet Air Force Tu-95 escorted by US Navy F-14A)
In 1952, the Soviet Union flew its first Tu-95 "Bear"strategic bomber. This turboprop plane was designed to fly great distances (up to 10,000 miles) to drop nuclear weapons inside the United States. During the Cold War, these planes occasionally flew with their deadly payloads menacingly close to US airspace.
Now obviously you're thinking: "I've got to own one!" Well, it looks like the mysterious German seller has pulled it down from eBay. Hopefully this is only a temporary measure and it'll be back online soon.
Sean Gallagher of Ars Technica says that the plane is a Tu-95MS built in 1987. It's a variant designed to fire cruise missiles. It was owned by the Ukrainian Air Force and comes with only 454 flight hours on the odometer.
The bomber is a fixer-upper. The seller says that "It is necessary to make a technical service and prolongation of the data limit." But that's nothing that a good shade tree mechanic can't tackle.
-via Glenn Reynolds
In 1903, William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson built their first motorcycle--the first of what became a great American tradition. Their factory was a crude wooden workshop that measured just 10 x 15 feet. Though it may have seemed presumptuous to paint such a grand title on their shed, Harley and Davidson's later accomplishments would justify it.
We've seen a custom-built bacon alarm clock before. But this one comes with the all of the portability of a smartphone.
The Oscar Meyer Institute for the Advancement of Bacon--wait, let's stop right there.
There's an Institute for the Advancement of Bacon. It exists. The mission of this esteemed organization is "creating a better bacon strip and forging a better bacon future." No matter what depressing news you may encounter from around the world or your own personal life, go to bed tonight secure in the knowledge that there is an Institute for the Advancement of Bacon. There are people out there making the world a better place for you and me.
Okay, back to the bacon alarm clock. It's a smartphone app and hardware peripheral that shoots out puffs of bacon-scented air at a time selected by you. For me, that would mean constantly. But presumably the device cannot be used as frequently as that without refills.
You can see the dramatic and hilarious promotional video below:
(Photo: Janet Galore)
In a fascinating article for Tablet, a Jewish magazine, Liel Leibovitz argues that playing Dungeons & Dragons is a good analogy for the Jewish religious experience:
The first thing you need to know about D&D is that it takes place entirely in your head. It’s not a computer game. There’s no board, no visuals, only a manual, a few chewed-up pencils, and stacks of papers on which to record your statistical progress. Everything you do, from attacks on monsters to attempts at magic spells, is determined by the aforementioned dice. It’s hopelessly procedural, deeply detailed, wonderfully abstract, and decidedly conducive to argumentation. It is, in other words, a wholly Jewish experience.
Leibovitz remembers one gaming session in which some players argued with the Dungeon Master over the legality of one of his decisions. They cited the rules at length and ultimately persuaded the Dungeon Master to reverse his ruling. This experience, Leibovitz asserts, is quintessentially Jewish:
It hardly occurred to us at the time—adolescents aren’t known for their facility with insight—but we were engaging in more than a mere pastime for the socially awkward and the romantically inept. In the best tradition of rabbinic Judaism, we were studying in a small group, with an authoritative but by no means infallible scholar as our guide. We were being told a story—all good Dungeon Masters craft compelling ones, often based on existing campaigns but sometimes largely innovative—and the only way for us to follow that story, to be a part of it, was by following the rules. Or not following them: In the proud Jewish tradition of questioning and defiance, D&D allowed for, even encouraged, players to query one another, to cast doubt, to demand satisfaction. It provided a codex but acknowledged that the game only got interesting when players sought to interpret, adapt, or reject the rules, not follow them blindly. It offered clearly prescribed campaigns but allowed both human ingenuity and blind luck, represented by all those funky dice, to meddle with and reshape destiny. You don’t have to be a rabbi to realize that these are precisely the things religion does; in Avi’s room, strewn with pizza crusts and thoughts of monsters, we got the finest theological education.
-via Jeremy Barker
Jane Labowitch, an artist in Chicago, makes permanent images on Etch A Sketches. Her niece found this unusual heart-shaped Etch A Sketch at a thrift store. Labowitch knew just what to do with it. Here's that romantic and tragic couple, Ellie and Carl Fredricksen, from the movie Up.
Labowitch works extensively from pop culture. You can view her DeviantART gallery for photos of more of her Etch A Sketches. She's taken inspiration from He-Man, Pokémon, My Little Pony, and Super Mario Bros. In an interview with Nintendo Feed, Labowitch described how she got started in this medium:
I started playing with an etch a sketch when I was about 4. Like most kids, I tinkered with it a lot, but I guess the main difference is that I pretty much never stopped tinkering with it. I started with the staircases and blocky houses like everyone else, but not being able to draw certain things never discouraged me.
I was bored a lot as a kid, so playing with my etch a sketch really helped to kill the time. I just practiced A LOT. I used to have an etch a sketch at my grandma's, and I'd visit her every other weekend. She had a TV, but wouldn't let my siblings and I watch it all that often. Thankfully I had an etch a sketch there because that is what I would usually do to keep myself occupied. Looking back, I'm really grateful that my grandma didn't let us watch television because I'm sure I wouldn't have played with my etch a sketch nearly as much.
(Photo: Emma-Jane Hetherington)
That was my first thought upon seeing this photo of a waterfront home remodeled by Dorrington Architects & Associates. It's located in Auckland, New Zealand. You can see more photos of this modern design at Arch Daily.
Or is it Or Vincent LEGOF? The correct pronunciation of Vincent Van Gogh's name is not entirely clear.
We can, however, be reasonably confident about one thing: this minifig is missing an ear, as the 1889 self-portrait which inspired it was from that period of Van Gogh's life.
Like the original, this painting by Martin McNally is a work of oil on canvas.
Anke Klempner's teapot cozies make me want to squee! These cute friends belong in not just your garden, but your kitchen, too. You can find her pattern on sale and more photos here. Other people knitters have made variations, including some with frills and extra colors.
These snails remind me of the martians from Sesame Street.
I do like the idea for the design. It would make any Browncoat proud. But being on the losing side of a war--and one that lasted only one season--may jinx a relationship. It will be a truly beautiful and memorable relationship. I'm just not sure it's going to last long.
Maybe Etsy seller Sarah Mineur has a friendly return policy.
At her shop, you find other pieces of silver jewelry, including works inspired by Doctor Who and The Legend of Zelda.
-via Fashionably Geek
Jim Andrews's teleporter has a simple interface. You begin in the control room of the TARDIS (naturally). Click on the teleport button to go somewhere on Earth. You'll promptly see the nearest photo in Google's archive.
Andrews calls himself a "programmer-poet," so this device is a work of art. It's also a way to explore the world, albeit not in any particular order. His inspiration for the project was a game in which people are shown panoramic photos from around the world and are then invited to guess the locations. You can do the same thing with the teleporter. Just click on the Map button to see the location of each photo.
Dress in layers. You may end up in a hot desert or in the Antarctic interior.
-via David Thompson
SockPuppetDinosaur answers with the Large Hadron Collider on the French-Swiss border:
The first time we collided two atoms in the LHC. Two atoms smash together and a duck happens. Can you imagine the panic?
AFrenchLondoner considers the first Easter morning:
When Mary and co. went to check on Jesus' tomb, but instead of finding it empty, there's a rubber duck sitting there.
jvtech suggests the duck distracting President Kennedy immediately before his assassination:
Shortly after noon on November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was struck by a rubber duck as he rode in a motorcade through Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas, Texas.
Crowds of excited people lined the streets and waved to the Kennedys. The president's car turned off Main Street at Dealey Plaza around 12:30 p.m. As it was passing the Texas School Book Depository, an object struck the president's neck and head and he slumped over toward Mrs. Kennedy to retrieve the object from the floor of the car. Gunfire suddenly reverberated in the plaza. Bullets struck the car hitting governor Connally but narrowly missing the president and first lady.
The car sped off to Parkland Memorial Hospital just a few minutes away. Though seriously wounded, Governor Connally would recover.
Police arrested Lee Harvey Oswald, a recently hired employee at the Texas School Book Depository. He was being held for the attempted assassination of President Kennedy. The source of the rubber duck is still a mystery to this day.
President Kennedy is quoted as saying, "I think I'll keep this duck, it's good luck. But if the owner would like to come forward, I'd be happy to return it and give my thanks."
Could the duck also save President Lincoln? thedudethedudegoesto thinks not:
Jon Wilkes booth rushes up behind Lincoln, and pulls out his...rubber duck? Confused, he hurls it it Lincoln and ruptures his eye. It gets infected. Lincoln dies anyway.
sunofabeeeyetch imagines the duck at the atomic bombing of Hiroshima:
On August 6th, 1945, the Enola Gay flies high above the bustling city of Hiroshima, Japan. The pilots glance at each other, each giving the other a grave and solemn nod. In the back, the bay doors open, and the bomber releases its immense and devastating payload of...a giant rubber duck.
Below, the citizens of Hiroshima are bewildered as the immense object crushes a merchant's wares, letting out a mighty yet comically high-pitched squeak. Its beady black eyes stare soullessly into the people's eyes as the local police scramble to identify the object.
Where and when would you place the duck?
Slovenian men, pat yourselves on the back. You'll pulling your load. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Slovenian men do the most unpaid housework per day. India is at the bottom of this chart, which Matt Phillips of The Atlantic suggests may be due to gender inequality in that country.
American men score about 82 minutes a day. That's probably close to my time.
I am curious how the researchers defined housework, which may vary from culture to culture.
-via Nag on the Lake
(Photo: US Fish and Wildlife Service)
Who's higher on the food chain? Let's just say that I don't want to cross an otter in the future. Staff at the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge in central Florida photographed this scene in 2011. You can see more photos of the incident here.
The agency says that the otter dragged the alligator onshore and ate it:
Yes, the otter eventually pulled the alligator up on the bank and proceeded to consume it, as evidenced by crunching noises. They were no longer visible at that point, but the alligator was done resisting when dragged out of the water. Despite their disarmingly cute appearance, otters are the apex predator of many freshwater habitats.
Now let's match the otter against the snake that ate a crocodile.
Go Team Mammal!
Here's an original approach to interviewing (warning: auto-start video). The Guardian sat children's books authors down with kids. The kids asked questions while dressed as the characters created by the authors.
What other authors (adult or children's literature) would you like to see interviewed this way?
(Photo: Eden Pictures)
The researchers were precise in their methodology:
We excluded cases in which injury was related to swallowing items other than swords, such as . . . jack hammers.
As well they should!
Brian Witcombe, a physician, and Dan Meyer, an executive in a professional organization for sword swallowers, published an article in a 2006 issue of the British Medical Journal. It evaluated the health risks of sheathing a sword inside the human esophagus. They surveyed 46 sword swallowers and determined that performers increase the likelihood of injury by “adding embellishments to their performance.”
Who engages in this performing art? Amy Kraft of The Week attended a meeting of sword swallowers. It was one of many held simultaneously at Ripley’s Believe It or Not locations around the United States. She writes that sword swallowing originated in India about 4,000 years ago. It requires careful and rigorous training:
To get there, you must first learn to suppress the gag reflex in the back of your throat, which sword swallowers work on for years. Then you have to flip back your epiglottis and relax several other involuntary muscles in the esophagus, which winds past major organs, including the heart. Finally, to get the sword into the stomach you have to relax the lower sphincter muscle and repress the stomach's retch reflex.
-via Joe Carter
(Photo: IBM Research)
Watson is famous for crushing human opponent Ken Jennings on Jeopardy! in 2011. Now it’s putting its computational power to work as a chef.
(Photo: IBM Research)
IBM calls the project “cognitive cooking.” Chefs often think of combining different ingredients in different amounts and cooking them at different ways. Watson can do that, too, but much, much faster. IBM researcher Florian Pinel says that Watson can contemplate the effect of trillions of culinary variations in order to devise optimal recipes. The result of Watson’s efforts are a Swiss-Thai asparagus quiche and an Austrian chocolate burrito (above photo).
IBM is exhibiting the recipes with a food truck that it takes on the road. Recently, it was at the IBM Pulse Conference in Las Vegas.
-via Marginal Revolution
Imgur user caitrose writes, “i should buy a lottery ticket.” Indeed. It’s her lucky day. It appears that she poured a bowl of Lucky Charms cereal and found the leprechaun’s greatest treasure.
Some commenters suggest trying to sell the rainbow bacon on eBay. Yes, definitely. There’s money to be made in a treasure like this. Then caitrose can retire in luxury.
Artists Davide Luciano and Claudia Ficca set mouse traps that could easily trap humans. Luciano came up with the idea after spending a week photographing cheeses for advertisements.
Ficca, a food stylist, designed the miniature dishes. Together, the couple made ten images of traps for mice with sophisticated tastes. You can see more of them at Foodiggity. I’ll probably break my finger in the sushi one pictured above.
P.S. Be sure to check out another inventive project by Luciano and Ficca: using potholes as an artistic background.
Get caught up on your favorite show to hate this weekend. Netflix, like so many internet applications, makes life faster and more efficient.
Chris Hallbeck, the cartoonist who draws Maximumble, adds:
“I’ll give it 2 more seasons to get better or I’ll start yelling at twitter while I continue to watch it!”
(Photo: Ice Castle Fish Houses)
The sturdier fishermen of the Upper Midwest of the United States are fond of venturing out to iced-over lakes. Fishing requires time and patience. Ice fishing requires both while enduring cold temperatures. That’s why many drag shacks onto the ice, where they can enjoy essential amenities, such as beer and heaters.
But now these ice fishermen can enjoy shacks far superior to crude wooden structures. Ice Castle Fish Houses, a company in Montevideo, Minnesota, builds veritable ice fishing mansions.
They come with full kitchens, showers, satellite television and beds. There are even air conditioners, which could really come in handy down here in Texas.
When it’s time to actually fish, just pull up a comfortable chair, open a plug in the floor and drop down a line.
I love these lamps! They're charming, functional and probably terribly hot to the touch. I'm not sure who made them, but my friend Marilyn Bellamy thinks that they can be traced back to a company called Balloonatics Enterprises.
Redditor bitsAndBites01 offers an intriguing discussion topic:
Ladies: Name a fictional male (book, TV or movie) who encapsulates as many of of the qualities you'd like to see in a man.
That's a great way to look at relationships and what you want out of them. Peevesie offers an answer from the Harry Potter series:
Arthur Weasley (an age appropriate version) - he is strong, kind, brave, caring, loving, capable, curious, respectful, intelligent, responsible, and so many other things. He clearly didn't have a dead bedroom considering the number of off spring. He was an excellent father who nurtured his kids with a gentle and firm hand. He was an equalist. He has his faults but is by far the most real family man I have encountered in fiction. Molly was super lucky
RockOnChicago wants Indy:
When I was little I wanted to marry Indiana Jones, and that pretty much still stands today.
HtheOtherAlex thinks of The Princess Bride:
Unsure why Westley/ The Man in Black/ Dread Pirate Roberts hasn't been mentioned yet...
Pirate + true love + kiss that blows away the best five kisses since the invention of the kiss + "As you wish" + eyes like the sea after a storm = Yes, yes, very much please. Yup.
For me it's his principles, and the fact that he's so gentle and emotionally insightful. IDK good single dads just do it for me. His brilliance and sense of humor are gravy.
Little Lion continues on that theme about Atticus Finch:
Oh, yes, there are a lot more. His compassion, his drive, his defiance of stereotypes about men (and humans) at that time... sigh
He's so dreamy.
Mypsychoticself has her eyes on Hannibal Lecter:
Hannibal Lecter. He's polite, intelligent, and a good cook. There's the small problem of eating people, but everyone has their flaws.
Which characters would you choose?
-via Super Punch
(Images: Warner Bros., Lucasfilm, Universal Pictuers, Orion Pictures)
(Great Vocab Didn't Save the Thesaurus t-shirt now on sale at the NeatoShop)
In a fascinating article for NPR, Alan Yu writes:
Lera Boroditsky once did a simple experiment: She asked people to close their eyes and point southeast. A room of distinguished professors in the U.S. pointed in almost every possible direction, whereas 5-year-old Australian aboriginal girls always got it right.
They weren't the only ones. Linguist John McWorter explains how using cardinal directions seems to indicate greater intelligence in spatial manipulation:
As an example, he refers to modern speakers of a Mayan language, who also use directions that roughly correspond to compass points, rather than left or right. Researchers asked people, most of whom only knew this language, to do tasks like memorizing how a ball moved through a maze, which would have been easier had they thought about it in terms of left and right, rather than compass points. The participants were just as good at these tasks and sometimes better,leading the experimenters to conclude they were not constrained by their language.
Some linguists think that language can constrain or liberate our thinking, opening or closing mental possibilities. For example, the Russian-American novelist Vladimir Nabokov wrote his first autobiography in English. When a publisher asked him to translate it into Russian, Nabokov started to do so. But he promptly found himself writing a different book. Yu quotes linguist Aneta Pavlenko:
"When Nabokov started translating it into Russian, he recalled a lot of things that he did not remember when he was writing it in English, and so in essence it became a somewhat different book," Pavlenko says. "It came out in Russian and he felt that in order to represent his childhood properly to his American readership, he had to produce a new version. So the version of Nabokov's autobiography we know now is actually a third attempt, where he had to recall more things in Russian and then re-translate them from Russian back into English."
This reminds me of studying Koine Greek, which has a grammatical concept called "aspect." Nothing really corresponds with it in English. The experience made me wonder what invisible mental barriers were in my mind simply because of language.
Moschino is an Italian fashion house that produces everything from high class dresses to luxury handbags. At the recent Milan Fashion Week, the designers unveiled a line of clothing inspired by fast food, especially the iconic shapes and colors of McDonald's.
Other items look like huge food wrappers (complete with nutritional data), beer cans and SpongeBob SquarePants. You can see photos of these fashion wonders at Moschino's Facebook page.
The prices are substantially higher than you might expect for the central theme. The McDonald's-styled handbag that you see pictured above costs $1,265. Or rather, it did--the bag has already sold out.
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