Laura Gilbertson has multiple sclerosis, so her husband Carl wanted to give her something extra special for their 10th anniversary. He arranged a flashmob made up of singers from the Liverpool Media Academy to serenade her with Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are.” Try to get through this without crying, I dare you. -via Uproxx
Buzzfeed put together a gallery of 31 movie stars in one of their earliest roles side-by-side with their latest role, to see how much they’ve changed. What’s really striking is how little most of them have changed, except for those who started their movie careers as children, and those who’ve had very long careers, like Jack Nicholson and Judy Dench. Then there’s Johnny Depp, who only goes on camera underneath tons of makeup in this century.
Two residents of Laurel County, Kentucky, were surprised when they crashed into a fence Tuesday night, and surprised again when they were attacked by a hive of bees! Neighborhood resident Gary Lee Anderson heard a big ‘boom’ and then saw that a Geo Tracker had crashed into fence, and apparently disturbed a beehive.
"And the guy came out, screaming and squalling, and running around about like a chicken with its head cut off," Anderson said.
Then Anderson says they ran up the road, grabbed a hose outside his home and started trying to spray off the bees.
"I told him, 'You need to get out of that water,'" Anderson said, "but I didn't know he was getting eat up by bees, I thought he was just high."
Noah Elkins and Priscilla Simpson were taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries from the crash and for numerous bee stings. Anderson was stung as well. Elkins was cited for DUI and Simpson for public intoxication. -via Arbroath
(Image credit: WKYT)
The Tonight Show is the world’s longest-running talk show, and has only had six hosts since it debuted in 1954. You may have grown up with Johnny Carson or Jay Leno, but since 2014, the host is Jimmy Fallon. Here’s some background on the 21st-century comedian.
1. At the end of his eighth grade yearbook, Jimmy Fallon’s teacher listed her predictions of what would become of her students. For Jimmy Fallon, she wrote this line, “James Fallon will replace David Letterman on the Late Night Show.” Apparently, Jimmy Fallon was destined to become a famous celebrity comedian, even at a young age. Seriously, how many of these predictions have ever come true in the history of the world? This one’s awfully impressive.
2. Jimmy Fallon inspired Ben & Jerry to create his own ice cream flavor. Upon the completion of his first season of the Tonight Show, Ben & Jerry revealed The Tonight Dough as an act of celebration. Jimmy Fallon’s face is featured on the ice cream carton and all proceeds from this special ice cream flavor go to charity. The ice cream consists of caramel and chocolate ice cream, swirls of chocolate cookie, peanut butter cookie dough, and chocolate chip cookie dough.
And those are just the first of 20 things to learn about Jimmy Fallon at Money Inc.
Nicolas Denton went to Walt Disney World with his family. For the Hollywood Studios Star Wars Experience, he dressed up as Kylo Ren. When a couple of Stormtroopers saw him, they went right on duty, escorting him around the park, parting the crowd, leading him right into the Launch Bay their, past crowds of visitors in line, and right into the presence of a much-taller Kylo Ren!
As one of the commenters said, “A fast pass is no match for the power of the dark side.” A good time was had by all. -via reddit
Marna Gillian and Sean Purdy had a cat named Moon Unit, until she disappeared from her home in London as they hosted a New year’s Eve party in 2007. They searched for her, and posted notices, but after a few months decided that Moon Unit was not coming home. Fast forward to 2016, and Gillian received an email from a French animal rescue group that they had identified Moon Unit from her microchip!
"She was found in Essonne, a suburb south of Paris," Gillian explained. "We have no idea how she got there. Our best guesses are that she stowed away, or found a new family, was brought over by them, and then ran away? The stowaway theory seems the most likely i think.
"She didn't get there legally, we do know, because her microchip would have been checked in that case."
Gillian and Purdy are no longer a couple, but they took a train together to collect Moon Unit in Paris. They say she is adjusting well, and will soon be introduced to one of her adult kittens. -via Uproxx
(Image credit: Marna Gillian)
Are there more rats in Vancouver than ever before, or are people just more aware of them now? There has been very little research on rat populations in cities, and the Vancouver Rat Project aims to change that. Veterinary pathologist Chelsea Himsworth is leading a team that captures, analyzes, and tags rats to see where they live, how they behave, in what diseases they may be carrying. One thing they know is that rats thrive in urban areas because rats always thrive where the natural world has been disrupted.
Which brings into question the constant human quest to disrupt rats and their habitats. As much as rats thrive in disrupted environments, Byers says, they’ve managed to create very stable colonies within them. Rats live in tight-knit family groups that are confined to single city blocks, and which rarely interact. The Rat Project hypothesized that when a rat is ousted from its family by pest control, its family might flee its single-block territory, spreading diseases that are usually effectively quarantined to that family. In other words, the current pest control approach of killing one rat per concerned homeowner call could be backfiring, and spreading disease rather than preventing it.
Photographer Carol Highsmith began donating her works to the Library of Congress in 1988, and continues to do so. She also posts images on the website of her non-profit photography foundation This is America! But Highsmith received a copyright infringement notice and a bill for $120 from License Compliance Service for hosting an image she herself took.
Highsmith then had a 27-minute phone call with LCS, where she explained that she was the author and that she found it baffling that she had to pay a license fee for a photograph that she not only took, but donated to the public.
Two days later, she got an e-mail from LCS, saying that it considered the matter “closed.” However, according to the suit, the photo in question remained on sale by LCS and Getty.
And it isn’t just Getty Images. Highsmith also found her images for sale at at the image licensing company Alamy, which was named in the notice she was sent from LCS, and Picscout, too. All are named as defendants in a one billion dollar lawsuit. The coming suit will be quite interesting, and will possibly uncover the photo licensing companies' methods for selling licenses to publish public domain images. In fact, it may be an important, precedent-setting case. Read more of the details at Ars Technica. -via Metafilter
(Image credit: Carol M. Highsmith via the Library of Congress)
Did you have a treehouse when you were a kid? Mine was a few boards placed across some branches, just a platform, really, but the neighborhood kids had fun climbing up and sitting in the tree together. Thanks to professional treehouse builders and/or parents with free time, some kids have more. Much more.
This extra large treehouse very closely resembles a modern day lake house retreat. The beautifully detailed staircase has natural branch supports that make it have a sophisticated quality. The large porch area is big enough to play with several friends. The main part of the house has a skylight and has a large metal double roof. The builder used natural wood for the exterior just like a lake cabin would have. There is two extra large sectional window for that have great views. Under the treehouse are two playground style swings. The whole structure is held securely by two large pine trees.
See more fabulous kids' treehouses at Housely.
Big Bird channels Will Smith as he and the the usual suspects from Sesame Street do the song “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince. It’s a product of the editing skills of Adam Schleichkorn, also known as Mylo the Cat (previously at Neatorama).
It will take you back to the summer of 1991, or in some cases, back to the days of watching Sesame Street as a kid. -via Uproxx
Believe it or not, this is a live parrot, and not a squeeze toy! Kanji has not only learned how to make the exact sound of a squeaky toy, he also knows the appropriate time to use that talent. -via Tastefully Offensive
Wheeeee! A little bird landed on the handrail of a moving walkway and was carried down to the end. It must have been a fun ride, because he went right back to where he was to start all over again!
If only we could all spend time enjoying the little pleasures of life. We don’t know where this is, but the walls sure could use some artwork. -via Laughing Squid
We read about various conflicted communities in which the locals did not side with the rest of their state during the Civil War, but Town Line, New York, was a puzzling outlier. This town is nowhere near the South- it’s near the Canadian border, just east of Buffalo. There weren’t any slaves or slaveholders there. The citizenry was almost entirely German immigrants. But for some reason, they voted in 1861 to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy.
According to New York: A Guide to the Empire State (Federal Writers’ Project, 1940), the dissenting minority referred to the town as a “nest of Copperheads,” threatening them with arrest under charges of sedition and even lynching. Nonetheless, according to oral history, at least five members of newly-Confederate Town Line headed south to join the Army of Northern Virginia, even as twenty residents stayed put and fought for the Union Army.
There are few records about Town Line’s secession, and the names of those who voted for it were not recorded. Add to that the fact that the federal government dealt with Town Line mainly by ignoring it, and you’ve set up somewhat of a historical mystery. Read about the New York community that joined the Confederacy at Atlas Obscura.
(Image credit: Chriskyddwr)
Motoki puts his heart into his lip-sync performance. And his sense of humor, too! For safety’s sake, his mother is driving. She's seen it all before.
You’d expect to see something like this on a dance floor or stage, but the clear view and intimacy of an automobile gives us a better view, and his mother nonchalantly driving gives a find counterpoint to his goofy antics. -via Viral Viral Videos
The oceans make up vast areas of the earth’s surface that are under no governmental control. That’s where maritime law comes into play. There are zones of the oceans that are controlled by the country on the nearest shore, but which laws they can enforce vary depending on how far away from the beach you are.
In international waters, some things depend on what country your ship is registered in. Other matters are rules agreed on by various nations, but it’s rare to get all nations to agree on anything. It gets confusing, but Wendover Productions makes it as simple as they can as they explain maritime law to us. -via reddit
So you’ve taken what would be the perfect group picture, except that Uncle Roy is staring at your sister-in-law’s bosom. A new technology called DeepWarp can change that part without making Roy look unnatural.
In this work, we consider the task of generating highly-realistic images of a given face with a redirected gaze. We treat this problem as a specific instance of conditional image generation, and suggest a new deep architecture that can handle this task very well as revealed by numerical comparison with prior art and a user study. Our deep architecture performs coarse-to-fine warping with an additional intensity correction of individual pixels. All these operations are performed in a feed-forward manner, and the parameters associated with different operations are learned jointly in the end-to-end fashion. After learning, the resulting neural network can synthesize images with manipulated gaze, while the redirection angle can be selected arbitrarily from a certain range and provided as an input to the network.
I didn’t understand any of that, but that’s not what’s important. What’s really interesting are the examples given on the project page. You can pull up any of 16 pictures of faces and move their eyes around. They can look you up and down, they can shift left and right right, or they can roll around. It’s a shame they can’t move independently of each other, but what you will see is creepy and funny enough as it is. -via Metafilter
In the wild and crazy history of rock music, many strange, bizarre and quite unbelievable things have happened.
Elvis being shot "from his waist up only" on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1957, the Beatles and John Lennon's “We're more popular than Jesus" controversy of 1966, and the Bing Crosby-David Bowie duet of “The Little Drummer Boy" for Bing's 1977 Christmas TV special.
It was in this world of insanity that seems to define rock, that the most uniquely odd, almost surreal, tour in rock history took place.
From September 8th to September 16th, 1967, Jimi Hendrix went on tour with the Monkees.
In 1967, the Monkees were the hottest rock act in the country. They not only had a hugely popular hit television show, but, incredibly, they were at this time outselling the Beatles and the Rolling Stones- combined! In fact, by the end of '67, the Monkees had become the only act in the history of rock music to have had four number one albums in the same year (The Monkees, More of the Monkees, Headquarters, and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.).
By September of 1967, the Monkees were also seasoned stage performers, having become a "touring act" in December of 1966 -and yes, playing their own instruments.
Micky Dolenz was the first Monkee to discover Jimi Hendrix. Micky was told by a friend that there was this black musician who "played the guitar with his teeth.” Fascinated and curious, Micky went to New York's famed Village and witnessed Jimi playing guitar with the John Hammel Band, indeed, with his teeth.
Micky and fellow Monkee Peter Tork were both to see Jimi play live later that year, at the Monterey Pop Festival.
Redditor terrafarma lives on a small farm, so my guess is that he is responsible for this sign. If you don’t get the joke, you might want to listen to the song. If you get the joke, you’ll love the comment flammablepenguins left underneath.
When the celery is in the Seventh House
And arugula aligns with Mars
Then spinach will guide the planets
And turnips will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the Age of Asparagus
The Age of Asparagus
Pumpkin and understanding
Sorrell and tomato abounding
No more gherkins or derisions
Golden living dreams of onions
Mystic shallot revelation
And the leeks true liberation
When the celery is in the Seventh House
And arugula aligns with Mars
Then spinach will guide the planets
And turnips will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the Age of Asparagus
The Age of Asparagus
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in, The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in, The sun shine in…
Dolly the sheep was the world’s first cloned animal to survive to adulthood, while 277 other attempts failed. She was born 20 years ago, and lived for six and a half years. When she died of a not-uncommon sheep lung disease, there was some speculation that Dolly might have been suffering the effects of old age because she was cloned from a six-year-old sheep, or possibly that clones age differently from natural-born sheep. However, a few years later, Dolly’s cells were used to produce four more clones. Those clones were assessed at nine years and found to be aging normally and were as healthy as natural-born sheep of the same age. Michelle Kuepper of Research Gate talked to the study’s lead author Kevin Sinclair about Dolly, her clones, and the future of animal cloning. -via reddit
(Image credit: Nottingham University)
Monday in Tavistock, UK, a 33-foot man wearing a Cornish miner’s helmet woke up, waved to the crowd, and starting walking across Cornwall. He is the Man Engine, and he’ll be walking or crawling a 130-mile route for two weeks until he reaches the Geevor Tin Mine on August 6th. Along the way, he’ll stop at all ten Cornish Mining World Heritage Sites to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the mines’ designation.
The Democratic National Convention is going on this week in Philadelphia, which brings to mind the conventions of 1948. Three major parties held their conventions in Philadelphia that year, and there was something new and special happening that year: the presence of TV cameras. It was the first year that the Republican and Democratic conventions were televised. There was a relatively small audience, since few people had TV sets, but the spectacle of the broadcast made the entire convention ritual different.
So, what, exactly, did viewers see? A lot of sweat, for one thing. The Philadelphia conventions that year were the last time political conventions were held in a venue that didn't have air-conditioning. And in video of Truman's speech at the convention, convention-goers are seen getting creative in how they fanned themselves, many using what appeared to be programs, mostly in vain.
On stage, things were considerably worse, mostly because of the lights. If the convention was to be televised, networks told convention organizers, the dais would need to be lit up. And, because of the primitive camera technology of 1948, that meant highly lit up. As a consequence, convention speakers, many of whom could be seen with visible sweat stains, probably had it the worst of anyone. (Their wives, sitting behind them, didn't have it much better.)
Of course, that changed everything forever. Not only did air conditioning debut at the next political conventions, there was also makeup, staging, and meticulous planning to make the television broadcast acceptable to viewers. Read about the clash of the old ways and the how television change politics at Atlas Obscura.
You might not know the name Marni Nixon, but you know her voice. Nixon was a singer, actress, author, and music professor, with an extensive filmography. The strange part of her film career is that she was often uncredited. Nixon sang the songs that made other actresses famous.
Classically trained, Ms. Nixon was throughout the 1950s and ’60s the unseen — and usually uncredited — singing voice of the stars in a spate of celebrated Hollywood films. She dubbed Deborah Kerr in “The King and I,” Natalie Wood in “West Side Story” and Audrey Hepburn in “My Fair Lady,” among many others.
Her other covert outings included singing for Jeanne Crain in “Cheaper by the Dozen,” Janet Leigh in “Pepe” and Ida Lupino in “Jennifer.” “The ghostess with the mostest,” the newspapers called her, a description that eventually began to rankle.
While these musicals went on to win multiple Academy Awards, Nixon was under contract to keep her involvement a secret, which bothered her more and more as time went on. She eventually vowed to never sing in secret again. It’s Nixon’s voice you hear in these songs, courtesy of Metafilter:
- "Getting to Know You", for Deborah Kerr in The King and I
- "Tonight", for both Natalie Wood and Rita Moreno in West Side Story
- "I Could Have Danced All Night", for Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady (listen to Audrey's version here!)
- "Honor to Us All", as Grandmother Fa's singing voice in Disney's Mulan
- "How Do You Solve a Problem like Maria?", as Sister Sophia in The Sound of Music, one of her only on screen roles
- Bonus Sound of Music footage: Marni singing all the songs in a screen test for foreign dubbing
- "A Spoonful of Sugar", for Julie Andrews on an LP of songs from Mary Poppins
Ms. Nixon died of breast cancer in Manhattan on Sunday. She was 86.
(Image credit: Flickr user John Morton)
To be honest, this scenario could apply to anyone with a diet designed to make them appear superior to the rest of us common folk. You might know someone who is vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free by choice, grain-free, sugar-free, paleo, or all-natural, and won’t hesitate to make you feel awful about your inferior food choices.
The attitude makes all the difference. A relative offered me a soda pop once, and I replied that I don’t drink soda. She asked why not, and I said my teeth are too sensitive for cold drinks. That put her right at ease, because it let her know I wasn’t going to lecture her about her soda habit. To each his own. This is the latest from Sarah Andersen.
Every year, Adam Savage wears a costume to San Diego Comic Con in order to get around without being recognized. This year, he was a bear. No, he wasn’t trying to be a furry, although that’s what quite a few people assumed. He was supposed to be the bear from the movie The Revenant.
[ (YouTube link)
The particulars of the suit construction are in another video to come; this one follows him as he wanders the halls of Comic Con. -via Digg
Instead of water, some lakes are filled with the gooey petroleum substance known as asphalt, tar, or bitumen. It forms when crude oil thickens due to long contact with air. How thick is it? That varies, which is why animals can be trapped in it. At Pitch Lake in Trinidad, you can walk on the surface, but if you stand still, you’ll eventually begin to sink. That fate befell the ancient animals trapped in the La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles.
In addition to geologists and oil barons, asphalt lakes are objects of interest for naturalists and paleontologists too as well, because hidden beneath the sticky, gooey layers are remains of unimaginable amount of prehistoric life. Over thousands of years these lakes have swallowed saber-toothed cat, dire wolves, bison, horses, turtles, snails, clams, millipedes, gophers, mammoths and hundreds of other species of vertebrates and invertebrates. These animals had wandered too far looking for food perhaps, and became trapped in the asphalt. The trapped animals attracted predators who became stuck as well as. Death came either by suffocation or hunger. It’s a terrible way to die, but a fantastic way to preserve fossils.
The following article is from Uncle John’s Factastic Bathroom Reader.
Here’s something to think about next time you open a box of crayons. We take it for granted that the pigments used to color our clothes, dishes, and art supplies are clean and safe— but as these colors of the past reveal, that’s not necessarily so.
(Image credit: Zubro)
Color: Mummy Brown
Made From: Actual mummies
How Did That Become a Thing? Long before there were art stores, the most reliable source of powdered chemicals of all kinds was the apothecary. Europeans had gotten it into their heads that Egyptian mummies were powerful medicine, and from the 1300s to the early 20th century, ground mummies were prescribed for everything from headaches to gout to epilepsy. Adventurous artists discovered that when mixed with oil paint, powdered flesh from mummies made an excellent light brown color. It was used extensively from the 1700s into the mid-1920s.
True Colors: Despite the belief that mummies were indestructible, it turned out that flesh in paint tended to shrink and crack with time. But the thing that really doomed Mummy Brown was the dwindling supply of mummies. By 1964, it was officially as dead as a pharaoh; an article in Time magazine quoted a representative of a major art supply house as saying, “We may still have a few limbs lying around somewhere, but not enough to make any more paint.”
Color: Chrome Yellow
Made From: Lead chromate
How Did That Become a Thing?
Fiction is full of spooky weird stories that will give you chills, but truth is stranger than fiction. There are plenty of cold cases from the past in which the murder was never determined, but some stand out for their complete weirdness. Some leave evidence that doesn’t make sense, some have several possible explanations, and some are the stuff horror films are made of, like the series of five murders and three near-murders in 1946 in Texarkana.
The first attack came on February 22, when the killer ambushed Jimmy Hollis, 25, and Mary Jeanne Larey, 19, in their car. Pointing a flashlight at the couple's faces, he ordered Hollis out of the car, told him to remove his pants, and proceeded to beat and stomp him so badly that he would spend days in a coma. In a way, Larey was even less fortunate: The attacker ordered her to run, and soon chased her down, beat her, and assaulted her with the barrel of a gun. She managed to escape this deadly game of cat and mouse, and in true horror movie style, ended up pleading for help at the door of a house half a mile away, sure to the last second that she was being followed.
A few weeks after the first attack, another young couple was attacked in their car. This time, after an unknown sequence of events, the Phantom shot both victims execution-style. Another couple of weeks later, yet another two kids were found dead. They had made it out of the car (or had been forced to leave it), attempted to struggle and perhaps escape the murderer, but were shot several times nevertheless. The final victims were farmer couple Virgil and Katie Starks, and for them, the killer significantly changed his modus operandi, straight-up gunning them down through their window. Despite taking two shots in the head, Mrs. Starks didn't die in the attack. After a terrifying chase with the killer inside the farmhouse, she managed to escape to the neighbors' house before collapsing. A trail of blood and pieces of teeth marked her trail.
While the case spawned a movie and an entire genre of slasher films, the case has never been quite solved, although there were a couple of suspects. Read about that case and four others at Cracked.
When you bake a birthday cake for someone celebrating a substantial number of years, say more than 12, the easiest way to do it is to put one candle on top, or use those candles that come in the shape of numbers. Or you can put all the candles on and have someone stand by with a fire extinguisher for a good laugh. But these folks went all out. Redditor OyVeyzMeir posted the cake from a friend’s 40th birthday in which firetrucks were standing by for the expected conflagration.
What’s the cure when you're overcome by work? A little play! Better follow Dr. Feelgood’s orders, and shake, rattle, and roll, those blues away. This is the latest from Lunarbaboon.
In mountainous areas of Europe, you might enjoy the breathtaking view of a snow-covered Alp in winter. But in summer, the snow melts and the infrastructure underneath is exposed. These are avalanche protection fences, designed to mitigate the effect of sudden slides.
Strangely, the purpose of this kind of fencing in mountainous regions is not to stop a snow drift but to cause one. The fences (usually referred to as snow fences) are positioned so that drifting snow is blown in to a place where it presents the least amount of danger. By forcing a drift on the side of the mountain, it is then less likely to cover the transport routes below.
Over many centuries, communities have learned, often to their great cost, where the initiation zones of avalanches are located. This led to the very human desire to stabilise the snow and it was the idea of a fence which was found to work. No doubt there was much trial and error but the idea was to help absorb the force of the snow-pack through a system of fences – and to transmit that force to the ground, keeping the snow in its place.
See a gallery of avalanche fences in summertime images at Kuriositas. -via the Presurfer
(Image credit: Stephan Möller)
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