Just before we all go see The Last Jedi, Screen Junkies found it necessary to take a look back at the third Star Wars film from 1983. After we waited for what seemed like forever between movies (at the time), we found out in Return of the Jedi how the Rebellion defeated the Empire once and for all -until they were resurrected as the First Order and the Resistance. The one that introduced us to the Sarlacc, Luke's twin sister in a bikini, and the Ewoks.
Wait a minute- the special edition doesn't have the Yub-Nub song? It seems like the Star Wars you get is heavily dependent on your age, at least in the age of Lucas. Oh, well. Watch this and get a little more amped up for The Last Jedi, which is only three days away. If you count today. -Thanks, Lacey!
Let's take a look at the magical woodland creatures and how they prepare for Christmas! You've got the turkeys, and the candy cane-antlered deer, and the, uh, elusive Christmas pudding emerging from his den.
If you believe that a game of chess is just too simple, imagine the fun of keeping up with the strategy of two opponents at once! This 3 Man Chess board is circular, so you're all starting at the same disadvantage. From the product description:
Play chess with 3 people at the same time with this three player chess game. Without compromising any of the rules, strategy, or fun of Chess, this variant board has been developed that accommodates three players. The only changes from conventional chess are some protocol issues that must be followed to maintain order where the teams border each other, which is simple and necessary. The complexities of the third player are infinite. Your threatened piece may be allowed to maintain occupancy as your position is beneficial to the threatening player. But how long can it last? This scenario may exist all over the board. There are multiple trust and doubt situations among all players.
This board and 48 playing pieces (in ivory, black, and gray) is available at Amazon. Although I could see myself having a lot of problems with it, my first problem would be finding two other people who know how to play chess and who are willing to try it. -via Geeks Are Sexy
In 1966, Robert Lawrence, Jr. had a PhD in physical chemistry and was an Air Force test pilot. That made him eminently qualified to be selected as an astronaut. And he was, making Lawrence the first black astronaut ever. However, the space program he was selected for was one you've probably never heard of: the Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL).
The Manned Orbiting Laboratory had an official mission nearly everyone could get on board with; conducting experiments in space. The program was approved in 1962 and assigned to the Air Force. A 1963 press release noted that the program’s aim was to “increase the Defense Department effort to determine military usefulness of man in space.” Astronauts were going to explore the cosmos, or, more accurately, figure out if the military even needed to be exploring the cosmos. In a space-race-obsessed America, this program was, at least publicly, another noble attempt at touching the stars.
However, what the press release left out was the program’s main mission; placing a manned surveillance satellite in space so that the U.S. could spy on the Russians. The MOL was less about star stuff than it was about spy stuff. The program’s real goal, according to NASA’s National Reconnaissance Office, was to “acquire photographic coverage of the Soviet Union with resolution better than the best system at the time.” Lawrence wasn’t just going to fly into space, he and his MOL brethren were tasked with photographing Soviet missile targets.
The MOL project ran into trouble, not the least of which was NASA's race to the moon, which overshadowed any other space project. Even though they went through training identical with NASA's, Lawrence and the other pilots selected for the MOL program were not officially recognized as astronauts until 1997. Read the story of Robert Lawrence, Jr. at Atlas Obscura.
The 1999 film Big Daddy stars Adam Sandler as a man learning how to be a father figure to a 5-year-old boy. It was his first truly adult movie role and as of today it is Sandler's most successful live-action film. Altogether, that means that if you're not an Adam Sandler fan, this would be his one movie you might like. Lat's have some details of the making of Big Daddy.
8. Having Steve Buscemi do a cameo is a Sandler trademark.
If you notice he pops up in a lot of Adam Sandler’s movies and is almost always there and gone within a couple of minutes.
7. The twins that played Julian were losing their teeth and had to be fitted with fake teeth during the movie.
They lost their baby teeth while filming and the replacements kept falling out as well.
Before it was called a kimono, which simply means "wearing thing," the Japanese garment was called kosode. As in other places around the world, it began as a very simple body covering that could be worn by everyone. How it changed from that point is what made it uniquely Japanese, just as clothing in other parts of the world were adapted for the cultures of their birthplaces. The Edo period (1603-1868) was when the kimono developed its most important cultural signifiers.
Like most societies, Edo period Japan was stratified. Since everybody wore kosode and the cut hardly changed during this period, messages were worked into the garment to announce its wearer. Style, motif, fabric, technique, and color explained who you were. They were also often subject to sumptuary regulations. This forged an intrinsic link between kosode and art and design.
Since the poorer classes wore their clothing to rags, almost none of their kosode remain intact. But the higher socio-economic levels of society were able to store and preserve theirs, and to commission new ones. And like other art forms—including painting, poetry, ceramics, and lacquerware — kosode adhered to aesthetic canons.
George Lucas made a little movie back in 1976. You may have heard of it. Star Wars was unwatchable to the few filmmakers who got to see it. But it was an important project for Lucas, one he'd already poured his best efforts into. So they went back and re-edited the entire thing. When I say "they," I mean the production team, but the magic that took place in the re-edit was due to the talents of Marcia Lucas, George's wife at the time.
David Welsh of RocketJump Film School goes through how the rough cut was changed into what we now know as Star Wars: A New Hope. You'll see a lot of the rough footage that was either deleted or changed -and even more important, why it was changed. You can see why Marcia Lucas won an Oscar for editing the movie (along with Paul Hirsch and Richard Chew). -via Metafilter
Kjell Robertsen lives near the coast of Norway. He set out his GoPro camera to record seagulls eating bread off his railing, but one kleptomaniac bird helped himself to the camera as well as the bread. The camera kept recording.
It was five months later that Robertsen finally found his camera with the data intact. Robertson called the incident his "seagull drone." The footage won him a GoPro Award, even though it was technically the seagull who filmed it. -via Tastefully Offensive
This picture is from a Tweet by @juliettebaba. It's not clear whether this is a deliberate alteration to accommodate a cat-centric household, an art piece, or possibly the natural result of having cats around a normal Christmas tree. But a clue came into the comments underneath that Tweet.
The 20th century had both storefront displays of goods and people walking around in sandwich boards; both proved to be effective advertising techniques. In the 19th century, these methods were combined in banner ladies. Vendors would show off their wares by hanging them all over a woman's dress and then taking her picture. Come for the pretty lady, stay for the spoons! Of course, it wasn't just spoons. Women were covered with candy, baked goods, photographs, bottles, toys, horseshoes, and even coffin parts, in a gallery of such images at Messy Nessy Chic. Do not miss the woman dressed as a Christmas tree.
Nineteen years after Viagra was made available to the public (by prescription), a generic version was released today. Viagra made a grand run during that time, becoming a household term even among those who never used it. The story behind the drug is told by those who were there, the scientists at Pfizer Inc., the doctors who prescribed it, the FDA that approved it, and the marketers that made it famous. It all started out in low-priority trials for sildenafil, which might have been a treatment for high blood pressure and chest pain.
David Brown (Pfizer chemist) : It was so close to failure that people weren’t coming to the meetings. I mean, you know how people sort of smell failure and disappear? It was that close.
I think it was June 1993. I stood up in front of the clinical development committee—senior management—and, as in previous quarters, got crucified for wasting money. And I was given an ultimatum, basically: “Come back in September. If you’ve not got good data then, we’re closing it.
Literally days after that, we were doing a study in South Wales on miners. At the end, there’s always kind of an open question: Is there anything else you noticed you want to report? One of the men put up his hand and said, “Well, I seemed to have more erections during the night than normal,” and all the others kind of smiled and said, “So did we.” That was the breakthrough.
Ian Osterloh (Pfizer research and development): At the time, no one really thought, “This is fantastic, this is great news, we’re really onto something here. We must switch the direction of this program.”
Scarface the jaguar is after a tasty meal of meat, and since he's the apex predator of the Brazilian rainforest, it doesn't matter who you are when he's after you. Caimans are swift and natural immerse, but the jaguar is even better at it.
The 1991 holiday road trip movie Dutch starred Ed O'Neil as a working class man (Dutch) trying to bond with his girlfriend's son (Doyle), a spoiled prep school student still hurting from his parents' divorce. As they travel from Georgia to Chicago, a series of unfortunate events helps them get to know one another. The movie wasn't a hit, but if you have fond memories of Dutch, you'll want to read some trivia about it.
3. Dutch gets Doyle’s name wrong on purpose throughout the movie.
In fact the only time he gets it right is when Doyle stages a car wreck and he’s so mad that he gets into a confrontation with Doyle.
2. Dutch admits to being a truck driver at one point in his life.
This is kind of ironic since at one point they have to hitch a ride on a truck carrying concrete pipes so they can get home.
Pineapples are sweet, tropical, and downright tasty. While they have always been a part of Christmas decorating, there's a trend this year for using them as Christmas trees. It probably started in places that have more tropical fruits than evergreen trees, but these pictures come from all over the world. Decorating a pineapple has certain advantages over a tree: they are small, portable, hold ornaments well, and you can eventually eat them.
A post shared by Kat Sutter Vero Beach Realtor (@keeping_it_real_estate_) on Nov 21, 2017 at 9:30pm PST
First, the pineapple Christmas trees took over Pinterest. Then they came to Instagram. And they look pretty cute with a pair of sunglasses, slightly reminiscent of Carmen Miranda and her famous tall hats of fruit. Continue reading to see more Christmas pineapples.
The cast of Star Wars: The Last Jedi traveled around the world to work in otherworldly places that could pass for a galaxy far, far away. That includes the Bolivian salt flats, Skellig Michael in Ireland, and Dubrovnik, Croatia. Yeah, it's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it.
In the coming years, these places will be on even more bucket lists than they are now. After all, people still travel to Tunisia just to see where the Tatooine scenes in the first Star Wars movie were filmed. We also get to see some scenes of The Last Jedi film shoot and a glimpse or two of the special effects we'll see in the movie, which opens this coming weekend. -via io9
Gus Johnson is a YouTube comedian with a short rap about pretty much anything you can think of. In this one, he looks at the campus phenomenon of that guy who never wears a jacket. You've seen him around, although it's more common in high school, as far as I can tell.
My kids, and all the kids I knew, went to high school all winter without coats (although most would wear a sweater or hoodie). They said it was because there are no coat hooks in their huge school, and people would steal a coat even if there were. Lockers are too small for winter coats, and security rules prohibit students from wearing coats in class. A story from opie2 gives us another reason.
I teach middle school. One day a 12-year old boy shows up in my classroom at 8:00 in the morning dressed in a t-shirt, shorts, and flip- flops. It's about 45F outside. He stands there with his teeth chattering, shivering like a leaf in the wind.
Me: Dude, you're cold because you're not dressed properly. You need pants, long sleeves, socks and shoes, and a jacket.
Kid: That's exactly what my mom said to me this morning.
Me: Well why don't you listen to her?
Kid: Because I can't let her win.
The jacketless guy on campus may be simply retaining his earlier habits, and might learn his lesson eventually as he trudges several blocks between each class on winter days. Unless he's just too high. -via reddit
My guess is that this was done specifically for an internet picture. But it's far from the only dastardly deed done to a pizza that didn't deserve it. Besides adding candy, there are burned, mis-sliced, and mis-handled pizzas, and pizza hybrids from hell. For ardent pizza lovers, it's a horror story. See 17 Of The Most Disrespectful Things Done To Pizza In 2017 at Pleated-Jeans.
The folks at Bad Lip Reading made the Netflix series Stranger Things into a retro family sitcom along the lines of The Wonder Years. The time period and the suburban setting is already there, and the addition of goofy fake dialogue sends it to the level of ridiculous.
You may have heard about the movie All the Money in the World because actor Kevin Spacey was replaced at the last moment with Christopher Plummer. What's even more amazing is that the movie will be in theaters December 22, which means that Plummer's work was done and edited in at astonishing speed for Hollywood. But the true story behind the movie is even more intriguing. Plummer plays John Paul Getty, the richest man in the world in 1973. That was when Getty's 16-year-old grandson John Paul Getty III (Paul) was abducted in Rome. The kidnappers demanded $17 million in ransom.
Initially, they suspected it was a hoax that Paul had contrived in order to ascertain more money from his family.
At the time, Old John told the media that he didn’t believe in paying kidnappers.
“I have 14 other grandchildren and if I pay one penny now, then I’ll have 14 kidnapped grandchildren,” he said.
After three months of silence from the Gettys, the kidnappers took action by cutting off the wealthy teenager’s right ear with a razor and sending it in a bag to a newspaper in Rome.
What do you know about bismuth? You know it's beautiful in its crystalline form, and it's one the active ingredients in Pepto-Bismol. Beyond that, there's a lot of interesting things to learn about this element.
Belly aches aside, bismuth salts have been used since the 1700s to treat such ailments as diarrhea and to alleviate the symptoms of cholera. As Pepto-Bismol it has saved more than human lives. During the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster sea birds were force fed the substance to expel the oil they had ingested while trying to remove it from their feathers.
Although it has been known since ancient times the word bismuth seems to have first appeared in the late 17th century. Alchemists made some use of it medieval times. The miners who dug out the ore called it tectum argenti. This literally translates as silver being made. They believed that bismuth was a half-way house form of silver – in the process of being formed but not yet finished. The beauty of the crystals is testament, most certainly, to why they may have thought that.
Okay, when you saw this, which band started playing in your head, Led Zeppelin or AC/DC? I have to admit that it was AC/DC first for me, despite being a Led Zeppelin fangirl through my formative years. What musical genre would the song "Mobility Scooter to Purgatory" fall under? Easy listening? You have to admit the concept has less punch than heaven or hell, since purgatory is temporary, if I recall correctly. This is the latest comic from Aaron Scott at TwoLeafClover. -via reddit
Michele Boudreaux set out a box of treats for delivery drivers who are working hard this Christmas season. The local wildlife noticed, and a squirrel decided the box was fair game. Boudreaux tells the story of the thieving squirrel at her blog.
On Monday, I put out this year’s treat table and—NO JOKE—within a few hours, ALL the Ghirardelli chocolate squares were gone. I couldn’t believe it. Why would someone do such a thing? And why would they take the most expensive chocolate on the tray? Why not rob us blind of all the Reese’s and Mini Snickers since I can’t seem to stop eating them because holy crap, trash candy is so damn good and I totally don’t choose Us Weekly over Time while in the waiting room.
But, no. This thief took the good stuff. And I wanted to cry. It was day one and already two packs, like 25 pieces, of Ghirardelli squares had been taken from us.
The first Christmas celebration in what would become the nation of New Zealand was in 1642 after Abel Tasman's ship arrived. The weather was bad and the crew ate a pig from the ship's supplies. The next such feast in New Zealand was over 100 years later.
The next celebration of Christmas in New Zealand occurred during James Cook’s first expedition in 1769. The crew of the Endeavour marked the occasion by feasting on ‘Goose pye’ for their Christmas dinner while battling heavy seas off the tip of the North Island. There were no geese, so the crew had to improvise – with the magnificent gannet that had been shot in preparation for the feast by the ship’s noted botanist, Joseph Banks.
Apparently the Endeavour’s crew spent Boxing Day ‘nursing hangovers’. The Boxing Day tradition of suffering from Christmas excess clearly has a long history in New Zealand.
The Last Jedipremiered last night in Los Angeles. It was a star-studded event with the cast, director Rian Johnson, and Disney/Lucasfilm executives front and center. Costumed characters such as droids and Stormtroopers were everywhere. The event, as well as the movie itself, was dedicated to the late Carrie Fisher.
"I do want to acknowledge and dedicate tonight to Carrie," Johnson said from the stage, looking to the sky. "I know she's up there right now flipping me the bird, saying, 'Damn it Rian, how dare you bring the mood down and make this night a solemn tribute.' So let's have a blast together for Carrie."
The Last Jedi is dedicated to Fisher with the inscription, "In loving memory of our princess, Carrie Fisher."
But what about John Boyega? He woke up in Atlanta Saturday morning to rare Georgia snow and went to the airport to find that his flight had been canceled. Twitter lit up with anxiety among Star Wars fans that he wouldn't make it to the premiere.
Trying to get back for the LA premiere! I actually NEED a pilot !!!
The 1988 movie Die Hard broke new ground in many ways. We had heartwarming Christmas family movies, and we had Christmas horror films, but this was a Christmas action blockbuster. It put comedic actor Bruce Willis into a heroic role we weren't used to at the time. And it introduced us to Alan Rickman as the attractive yet terrifying villain Hans Gruber. Die Hard holds up well 29 years later. And it has a long and really interesting backstory.
1. IT’S GOT A LITERARY BACKGROUND.
Think some action-loving Hollywood scribe came up with the concept for Die Hard? Think again. The movie is based on Roderick Thorp’s 1979 crime novel Nothing Lasts Forever, which is a sequel to his 1966 novel, The Detective. In 2013, Thorp’s long out-of-print book was resurrected to coincide with the film’s 25th anniversary.
2. IT WAS INSPIRED BY THE TOWERING INFERNO.
The idea for Nothing Lasts Forever was inspired John Guillermin’s 1974 disaster flick The Towering Inferno. After seeing the film, Thorp had a dream about a man being chased through a skyscraper by a group of men with guns. He eventually turned that snippet of an idea into a sequel to The Detective.
French artist Benedetto Bufalino (previously at Neatorama) is known for his absurdist stunts. This year, he came up with a rather ridiculous idea that turned out to be a lot of fun. He covered the rotating drum of a cement mixer truck with mirrors, turning it into a giant portable disco ball! Bufalino took his truck out into the streets of Lyon, where pedestrians were invited to come dance the night away. With some music and some well-aimed lights, a good time was had by all. -via Nag on the Lake
A group of Knights Templar are on a quest to "liberate" the Holy Grail from the fortress of the Frenchmen who have it in their possession. They'll have to harness their best weapons skills and ability to leap tall buildings! Oh yeah, and a little bit of trickery, too. It's violent, alright, but not too bloody.
This is what happens when you give Devin Supertramp a television production budget and access to a French castle. Its a promotional film for the History Channel series Knightfall. And it's pretty durn good. -via Geeks Are Sexy
compiled by Alice Shirrell Kaswell, Improbable Research staff
Marmite, the born-in-Britain foodstuff with a powerful taste and a whiff-of-superhero-comic-book name, is more than just a condiment. Marmite, together with its younger, Australian-born kin Vegemite, is an ongoing biomedical experiment.
Streaky dabs of information appear here and there, spread thin, on the pages of medical journals dating back as far as 1931.
Marmite and Pernicious Anemia The 1930s were a sort of golden period for Marmite. A steady diet of Marmite reports oozed deliciously from several medical journals. Likely many physicians ingested them whilst munching Marmite on toast.
Dr. Alexander Goodall of the Royal Informary of Edinburgh regaled readers of The Lancet with a case report called “The Treatment of Pernicious Anæmia by Marmite”. Dr. Goodall told how a British Medical Journal article, published the previous year, had inspired him and benefited his patients:
“The Treatment of Pernicious Anæmia by Marmite,” Alexander Goodall, The Lancet, vol. 220, no. 5693, October 8, 1932, pp. 781-782. Dr. Goodall reports:
The publication by Lucy Wills of a series of cases of ‘pernicious anaemia’ of pregnancy and ‘tropical anemia’ successfully treated by Marmite raises many questions of importance.... Since the publication of Wills’s paper I have treated all my maintenance’ cases with Marmite. Without exception these have done well.
Here’s a holiday tradition that you may not have heard of if you’re not a bird-watcher. It’s more than a century old and still going strong.
Frank Chapman was an ornithologist, publisher of Bird-Lore magazine, and curator of birds at New York City’s American Museum of Natural History at the turn of the 20th century. He enjoyed Christmas as much as anyone, but there was one yuletide tradition he abhorred: “side hunts,” in which groups of people divided into teams and spent the day roaming the countryside shooting every animal they came across. The hunted included rabbits, foxes, squirrels, and plenty of birds. Not for food -hardly any animals were eaten- but for sport. At the end of the day each team counted their kills, and the team that had the most animals was the winner.
Chapman wanted to come up with a replacement for the side hunts that wouldn’t involve the pointless slaughter of so many animals, especially birds. Why not count the birds without killing them, in a “Christmas Bird Count”? He published his idea in Bird-Lore magazine and on Christmas Day 1900, 27 people (many of them Chapman’s friends and colleagues) in 25 locations around the United States and Canada went out and counted all the birds they could find.
LOLcats are much older than the internet, and even older than current copyrights. The children's book Kittens and Cats: A First Reader (1911) was written by Eulalie Osgood Grover. The simple captions tell the story of a cat throwing a party for all her friends.
The images are attributed to the Rotograph Company, which lead us to believe they were the work of a young Harry Whittier Frees before he began selling cat pictures under his own name. His talent for posing cats in clothing would develop far beyond what is contained in the 1911 primer.