This is what a political ad should be. Gerald Daugherty is a county commissioner in Travis County, Texas. He’s either a pretty good actor, or else this is exactly how he is in real life. And his wife Charlyn is an excellent actor. This ad is for his re-election campaign this year.
What you want in a local office like this is someone who cares about the job and is willing to do the work. It helps if he (or she) knows what they are doing. This ad conveys all that in a 60-second drama that will also make you laugh. -via Digg
The first time a witch rode a broom in popular culture could have been in the illustrations of a book published in 1451. French poet Martin Le Franc’s Le Champion des Dames (The Defender of Ladies) shows two women flying with sticks between their legs, although only one is clearly a broom. At least, that is the oldest evidence we have of the legend of witches flying on brooms.
According to Witchcraft in Europe, 400-1700: A Documentary History, edited by University of Pennsylvania history professors Alan Charles Kors and Edward Peters, Le Champion des Dames has “the first such illustration in the pictorial history of witchcraft.” Le Franc’s long poem about virtuous women is interrupted by a discussion of witchcraft, and the covered heads of the two women marks them as Waldensians. This Christian movement emerged in the 12th-century. With its tenet that any member could be a priest, even a woman, and perform sacraments and preach, the bloody ire of the Catholic Church soon followed. That these heretics would also meddle with the supernatural was not a leap, but why the broomstick?
What people said about witches and what they did with their brooms is pretty suggestive, if not downright prurient. Read more about witches and their brooms at Hyperallergic. Link contains some art nudity.
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel about censorship and book burning was on the book club’s agenda for Banned Books Week. However, the school required a permission slip from parents before a child could read the book. Some parents had objected to the book because of a few curse words and a depiction of Bible burning. What could be more ironic than censoring a book about censorship? Milo requested a permission slip from his Dad, Daily Show writer Daniel Radosh. His response:
I love this letter! What a wonderful way to introduce students to the theme of Fahrenheit 451 that books are so dangerous that the institutions of society -- schools and parents -- might be willing to team up against children to prevent them from reading one. It's easy enough to read the book and say, 'This is crazy. It could never really happen,' but pretending to present students at the start with what seems like a totally reasonable 'first step' is a really immersive way to teach them how insidious censorship can be I'm sure that when the book club is over and the students realize the true intent of this letter they'll be shocked at how many of them accepted it as an actual permission slip. In addition, Milo's concern that allowing me to add this note will make him stand out as a troublemaker really brings home why most of the characters find it easier to accept the world they live in rather than challenge it. I assured him that his teacher would have his back.
Lisa Hix and Hunter Oatman-Stanford of Collectors Weekly went to Mercanteinfiera in Parma. It’s the largest antique fair in Italy, a country where antiques for sale can be several hundred years old. Over a thousand vendors filled the 45,000 square meter market space, selling goods with classic names like Murano glass, Fiat race cars, Fornasetti porcelain, and even reliquaries containing pieces of saints.
For first-time attendees, the fair’s crucial first two days can be a bit of a shock. “It’s like the Tsukiji Fish Market in Japan,” explained Iacopo Napoli, one of Mercanteinfiera’s project managers. “People wake up early in order to be there first, in order to grab the best pieces.” And grab they do, which is why Clark Haines believes serious buyers need a savvy local at their side, like her Diva Guides.
“In Italy, to get a good price, you have to have a conversation forever,” Clark Haines says. “As an American, when I want a price, I say, ‘How much is it? Will you take a better price?’ Deal done. That’s it—three seconds. But that’s not how you get the best price in Italy. For an Italian, before you even ask how much it is, you ask eight other questions about the piece. You’ve talked about the history, you know where it came from, you know what it does. You’ve talked about the vendor, where the vendor’s from, what the vendor had for dinner, what the vendor’s sister ate for dinner, is eating tomorrow for dinner, and then you discuss the price. It’s all about the conversation.”
The rumors have been going around the internet for about a week, and now General Mills has confirmed that, indeed, they are set to release cold cereal in the flavors of your favorite Girl Scout cookies, beginning in January. Thin Mints and Caramel Crunch are the only flavors confirmed, but there might be others. The bad news is that little corner that says “limited edition,” which could mean they are only going to be out while we wait for our cookie orders to come in each year, or it could be a test to see how many people will buy it. -via the Daily Dot
A lot of armchair politicians can see the solutions to society’s problem so clearly. If you were the leader, you’d fix everything, because it’s all so commonsense, right? Maybe not. No man is an island. Nor woman.
CGP Grey throws a wrench in your fantasies by explaining the complications of being a ruler. Even a dictator has a complicated path. It’s a longer video than he usually makes, but it’s a complicated subject. -via reddit
A photo posted by Josh Rossi (@joshrossiphoto) on Oct 21, 2016 at 5:02pm PDT
Josh Rossi is a commercial photographer and digital artist. He is also Dad to three-year-old Nellee, who is a big fan of Wonder Woman. Rossi splurged for a $1500 custom-made leather Wonder Woman costume for Nellee. You might think that’s going a little above and beyond for a preschooler’s Halloween costume, but this is much more. This is a photography project that will not only be a part of Nelly’s life forever, it will always be part of Rossi’s portfolio.
A photo posted by Josh Rossi (@joshrossiphoto) on Oct 19, 2016 at 9:56am PDT
Rossi and a team of assistants took Nellee into a studio for a full day of work (or at least until nap time), shooting body parts to be combined into scenes from the trailer for the 2017 Wonder Woman movie. Here’s a taste of what went into it.
In his workshop in Hakone, Japan, a master craftsman shows us the art of Yosegi-zaiku. You really should watch the video before you read the Wikipedia article on it, because you'll enjoy discovering what it's all about as he goes through the process.
Also, the video itself is beautiful and soothing, with lovely music. If you spot any finished Yosegi-zaiku products in a shop, or maybe in a friend’s home, you’ll be glad you can explain what goes into it. -via reddit
Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog
Our friends from Geeks Are Sexy attended the Quebec City Comic Con this weekend, and caught some awesome cosplayers doing what they do best. Yan and photographer Patrick-Michel Dagenais brought us back a nice gallery of images. These folks went all out, from Disney Princesses to the toughest warriors in pop culture.
The Chicago Cubs beat the Dodgers last night 5-0, which means they are going to the World Series. That hasn’t happened since 1945. They haven’t won a World Series since 1908, so I am assuming that’s the 1908 team who showed up as ghosts for yesterday's league championship game. The Cubs will be playing the Cleveland Indians, who last won the World Series in 1948. The 2016 World Series begins Tuesday. -via reddit
Living in a house that’s several hundred years old isn’t unusual in Europe, but in the U.S. it’s pretty rare. Your opportunity is listed in Hingham, Massachusetts, where the Thomas Lincoln Home is on the market. It was built in 1650, which makes it more than a hundred years older than the United States. It has four bedrooms, two baths, and five fireplaces. It needs a paint job.
To be clear, the whole house isn’t three centuries old—it had an addition in the early 1700s. Nor has it stood in the same spot for over three centuries—it was moved from its original plot of land.
In the winter of 1735, when the nearby marshes froze over, the entire house was dragged across the ice to reach its current address on Mars Hill. Its new hillside location allowed the Lincoln family to expand the home by adding a first floor underneath the original structure.
If you’re wondering about the name, Thomas Lincoln, who had the house built, was the brother of Samuel Lincoln, who was President Abaraham Lincoln's great-great-great grandfather. See more pictures at the real estate listing.
Stephanie Pokorny made an E.T. costume for her 2-year-old son Jack with a crochet hook and a good eye. She didn’t use a pattern, but just tried it on him as she went along and stopped when it was big enough! The costume is one-of-a-kind, so she won’t be making another, no matter how many requests she gets. Read more about the project at Pokorney’s website Crochetverse. -via Everlasting Blort
The 1970s were a weird time, as my children love to remind me. The ‘70s gave us The Exorcist, Jaws, Carrie, and a lot of other great horror films, but those just opened the doors for anyone and everyone to make horror movies, some that you’d swear were inspired by drug-induced hallucinations. Remember Night of the Lepus? Willard? Werewolves on Wheels? How about Trog?
Joan Crawford plays a scientist who discovers the missing link is alive and well and answers to “Trog,” short for “troglodyte.” Predictably, the creature doesn’t mesh well with the modern world. This very strange film marked the final on-screen appearance for Crawford; at the time, she probably had some regrets, but today Trog lives on as a wonderful curiosity.
During the 1970s, I saw just about every movie that came to the local theater. This list might brings back memories for you, or else you might see something worth checking out. The 20 weirdest horror movies the 1970s are presented in alphabetical order at io9. There are some trailers and video clips. -via Metafilter
Since 1879, residents of a quaint town in upstate New York have mediated conversations between loved ones—parents and children, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters. What’s so special about that? These mediators connect the living…with the dead.
TRAPPED IN TIME
Pastel-painted Victorian homes line the streets of Lily Dale, New York, leftovers from the town’s golden age at the dawn of the 20th century. It’s been called Silly Dale, Spookdale, and—in a 1997 New York Times article—“New York’s own corner of the twilight zone.” In winter, Lily Dale is as quiet as the ghosts rumored to walk its streets. But when summer rolls around, this town’s population blossoms—from a few hundred to around 22,000.
This gated community, founded by members of the Spiritualist church beside a picturesque lake in western New York state, was set apart in its original corporate charter as a place “for the discerning of the spirits.” When tens of thousands of true believers stream through the gates each summer, it’s not the lake or the Victorian homes they’re coming to see: it’s the women (and a few men) who claim to be able to deliver messages from beyond the grave.
Proofreading is necessary drudgery and, at least in my case, not done as much as it should be. Proofreading is absolutely crucial when a book is going to print, and that’s a long hard slog. Grant Snider at Incidental Comics finished proofreading files for his first book, which we will all look forward to. The experience inspired him to doodle about the process. Editors will be mystified to see these marks, so they might want to purchase a poster for future reference.
Cher, who is 70 but looks perfectly preserved, appeared on The Late Late Show with James Cordon and sang the classic Sonny & Cher ballad “I Got You Babe,” with updated lyrics for the Tinder generation.
Don’t you just love this scene spotted at Disneyland of a dog sitting for an artist to draw his caricature? He’s wearing a service vest, so he’s not only a good dog, but a working dog, too. Buzzfeed did some digging and found out that the dog’s name is Yahoo. He’s a pup in training with Canine Companions for Independence. His trainer and a friend took two service dogs in training to Disneyland for socialization, patience training, and fun. CCI provided an additional picture to show the finished caricature.
If you’re in the right frame of mind, like if you’ve seen a lot of horror movie because it’s October, you can find horror anywhere. Shadrach451 shared a picture he took of his daughters at the zoo. It turned out to look like a teaser for a creepy horror film. He even has a plot for it.
I like to think that it's about a Ghost Zoo, and their father is one of the exhibits, called "The Weeping Man". And these girls go every week so they can visit their dead father, but one day they show up and find that there is a new exhibit being built next door and they read the sign and it says "Children of The Weeping Man". In horror they turn towards their father, locked in the green chamber of torment and he says, "My daughters, oh my daughters... why do you think I'm weeping?"
You did it when you were a kid. Your parents did, too. Maybe even your grandparents. Kids love to get trucks to honk their horn, and that pumping gesture will do it is the driver sees you. This little girl tried it with a ship.
Halloween is our annual excuse for impersonating someone other than who we are. This guy was making his best effort, but was shot down for having motivations far beyond reality. He won’t try that again. This is the latest from Buttersafe.
Newspapers competed fiercely for readers in the late 19th century. One of the innovations of the time was the undercover reporter, particularly women, called “girl stunt reporters.” They could anonymously take on the role of the lowly victim and uncover injustice. Nellie Bly got herself committed to an insane asylum for a story. In another example, when publisher James J. West took over The Chicago Times in 1887, he wanted to turn the paper around and make it a respectable news source.
Nothing worked, though, until a schoolteacher-turned-reporter named Helen Cusack donned a shabby frock and brown veil and went looking for a job in the rainy July of 1888. In factories and sweat shops, she stitched coats and shoe linings, interviewed her fellow workers in hot, unventilated spaces and did the math. At the Excelsior Underwear Company, she was handed a stack of shirts to sew—80 cents a dozen—and then was charged 50 cents to rent the sewing machine and 35 cents for thread. Nearby, another woman was being yelled at for leaving oil stains on chemises. She’d have to pay to launder them. “But worse than broken shoes, ragged clothes, filthy closets, poor light, high temperature, and vitiated atmosphere was the cruel treatment by the people in authority,” she wrote under the byline Nell Nelson. Her series, “City Slave Girls,” ran for weeks.
Fifty years ago today, on October 21, 1966, the Welsh village of Aberfan lost 116 children and 28 adults when a slag heap from the nearby coal mines collapsed directly upon the Pantglas Junior School.
Down in Pantglas Junior School the lights began to flicker and sway; an ominous roar like “a jet plane screaming low over the school in the fog”.
The glistening black avalanche consumed rocks, trees, farm cottages then ruptured the Brecon Beacons to Cardiff water main, engorging it further and increasing the velocity of its murderous descent towards Pantglas.
Seconds after it hit, Cyril Vaughan, a teacher at the neighbouring senior school, said “everything was so quiet”.
“As if nature had realised that a tremendous mistake had been made and nature was speechless.”
It’s not right to make fun of someone who asks a question in order to learn something. It’s not kind to make fun of people who are low on the literacy scale, speak English as a second language, or can’t type well. At the same time, you have to wonder how so many people in the above categories end up on Yahoo Answers, asking the same questions. So enjoy this compilation of questions about pregnancy, and just be glad they are all anonymous (contains NSFW language). Oh yeah, do not watch this while consuming liquid. -via reddit
In the early 1980s, a piece of land in downtown Osaka, Japan, was due for an upgrade. The landowners wanted a big new building on the valuable real estate. The highway department planned an expressway through the neighborhood, and wanted to put an exit ramp across the property. The ensuing fight stalled both plans for years. But eventually a compromise was reached, and both were built on the same plot of land. You can see how they did that in the picture above.
The Gate Tower is one of the strangest buildings in Japan with a freeway running through the center in a tunnel. Plans for the building began in 1983 and because of difficulties in negotiations, it was delayed until changes in the building codes could be legislated and passed to allow its legal construction. Previously, buildings and highways were not allowed to be built in such close proximity. The building was completed in 1992.
Help! I’ve been eaten by the garage! Amanda Destro Pierson made this monster garage for her home in Cleveland. It’s proved to be so popular that she is working on marketing a kit to sell for Halloween next year, so that every garage can be monstrous. Meanwhile, here’s an Instructable tutorial to get you started on your own. -Thanks, hearsetrax!
Chairs at colleges take a beating and rarely get replaced. If there’s a shopping list, something else gets a higher priority. Poorly-paid professors are used to getting along with little and keep using old chairs, no matter what shape they’re in. The universality of these conditions inspired the Tumblr blog Sad Chairs of Academia. Here’s a recent post, illustrating the picture above.
This multi-denominational congregation of sad chairs stoically gathered in a former basketball court (which for the past 40 years has been re-purposed as the Art + Design department’s Foundation Drawing Studio) to greet new students this September. This gang of seats was deemed enough of an embarrassment that the administration sanctioned replacing them all with set of previously decommissioned chairs that were, at least, matching.
Have you ever wondered how artificial intelligence becomes intelligent? It learns. Jacob Werner caught a machine doing it.
The secret behind machine learning. This is how machines collect data. There isn't and won't be a more efficient way to gather information for machines. This is how artificial intelligence works and is created.
Have you ever dreamed of living in a haunted house? Making that dream come true is as easy as believing the home you are in is haunted. But if you want a haunted house that has been scaring other people for years, you can certainly purchase one. For example, there’s the Priestly House in Canton, Mississippi.
Originally built by physician James Priestley in the 1950s, this Greek Revival home stayed in the Priestley family until the 1990s. When new owner Frankie McMillan moved in, she became concerned that Priestley’s wife, Susan, hadn’t gotten the message to clear the premises. McMillan claimed to have seen Susan in hallways and in the bedroom where the woman is believed to have died. The home was restored in 2004 and is listed for $699,000.