Candace Payne, who went viral with her unboxing video featuring that Chewbacca mask, was on The Late Late Show with James Cordon last night. They did a skit in which Payne recreated her original reaction while she was supposed to be driving Cordon someplace. He was a bit annoyed at the delay. Then a surprise guest shows up to calm things down.
Humans have a tendency to turn any activity into a competition. Otherwise, we wouldn’t ever see an eating contest. This one looks like a lot more fun. Combat Juggling is not exactly new, but it still hasn’t gained a foothold in the U.S. The goal is to keep three pins in the air while at the same time trying to cause your opponent to drop his.
The video documents what is said to be the “semi-final” of combat juggling at an event called NJF 2016 Fight Night. For the uninitiated (read: nearly everyone), that’s Nederlands Jongleer Festival, an annual juggling convention held on the Feast Of The Ascension in the Netherlands. So combat juggling, it turns out, is a Dutch diversion.
Oh, I believe Americans would flock to it, if we didn’t have to learn to juggle first.
This is just a picture of two people hugging. It has a nice beach background. But wait, something is a little off about their legs. The more you look, the stranger it gets. How did her legs end up on the other side of his body?
The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research, now in all-pdf form. Get a subscription now for only $25 a year!
by Stephen Drew, Improbable Research staff
Victor Gabriel Rocine’s Heads, Faces, Types, Races, published in 1910, is a book about people who, in Rocine’s opinion, need their head examined—examined in the way that Rocine considers proper for examining heads. Rocine (fig. 2) introduces his subject with exuberant turgidity:
There is perhaps no science that can do more good for the people, in the various avocations of life, than phrenology, when it is thoroughly understood. A phrenologist who is well versed in his science, can do good to the public, the individual or the nation, in hundreds of different ways…. This is an age of specialists and inventors. When the talent or genius of a man is discovered and directed, he succeeds.
Rocine lavishes attention and detail on different parts of the head. Consider his treatment of the forehead. The table of contents lists 16 separate subsections about foreheads. Four of Rocine’s forehead varieties—the low, the high, the square, and the retreating—are shown here in figures 4, 5, 6, and 7.
Have you ever noticed that the quality of a YouTube video drops immediately when snow falls or confetti is thrown? I honestly never did, but my eyesight is not that great. The HBO intro was given as an example of how noisy background affected video quality. And there are examples in this video.
You’d think the explanation would be very technical, and it is. But Tom Scott (previously at Neatorama) explains what happens in a simple, concise way that left me feeling smarter about video in the digital age. -via reddit
The fourth feature film of the Star Trek franchise, The Voyage Home, was released in 1988. It immediately stood apart from the first three films, and its magic has never been duplicated. Conceived and directed by Leonard Nimoy, it highlighted each main character from the Original Series and used plenty of humor to contrast the 23rd century with 1980s San Francisco. And what little violence it contained turned out to be counterproductive. Who was responsible for straying from the formula? Well, three writers got credit for the screenplay.
So it was a team effort, in front of the camera and behind the scenes. But it was a team effort with a leader. And the leader wanted to make a different kind of film. Nimoy later explained the core concept: “No dying, no fighting, no shooting, no photon torpedoes, no phaser blasts, no stereotypical bad guy.” His previous Star Trek film had all those things, and outer space, and aliens, and sets. Nimoy wanted to make a movie about Earth, right now, shot on location, with human people.
Earlier today, the freshmen class at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis performed the annual ritual that ends their time as plebes. Every spring, the class rushes to “climb Mount Herndon,” meaning to scale the 21-foot-tall Herndon Monument, which is covered in grease for the occasion. The goal is to remove a "dixie cup" plebe hat on top and replace it with an upperclassmen’s hat.
The plebes first try to remove as much grease as possible, becoming covered with grease themselves. That makes climbing the monument, or each other, quite difficult. Today’s climb took one hour, 12 minutes, and 30 seconds. The cap at the top was removed with a thrown projectile, but it still had to be replaced. Chris Bianchi, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, finally placed a hat at the top, ending the grueling mission.
If you were watching Game of Thrones, Fear the Walking Dead, The Preacher, or The Billboard Music Awards last night, as I would imagine covers a vast number of people, you may have missed The Simpsons. The couch gag was provided by Polish artist Michal Socha, and was rendered in the style of IKEA.
The explanation of the universe starts with the very basics and grows from there. It's a rapidly expanding subject, after all. You probably won’t understand any more about the universe than you did once it’s done, but you will enjoy a few laughs.
And because an explanation of the universe is quite complicated, exurb1a must jump from one subject to another, which is only more opportunities for puns. I mean, really, who thinks of rhyming ebola virus with Miley Cyrus? Physics can be funny, as well as astronomy, biology, geology, etc. -via reddit
A modest house in San Francisco or Sydney will set you back at least a million dollars, but if you’re looking for a bargain, you can buy an entire town! Allies Creek, Queensland, is listed for just $750,000. That includes a town hall, a sawmill, a power station, a water purification plant, paved roads, plumbing, a dammed lake, and 16 houses. The town was sold as a unit in 2008 after the sawmill went out of business, and the widow who now owns it has reduced the selling price. It’s not a ghost town; half of the homes are occupied. Read more about Allies Creek at Housely.
Wadded up aluminum makes a great ball to roll around on a wood floor, and Rey follows it almost perfectly just by the sound. She also plays with boxes, climbs her cat tower, and wrestles with her sister. She doesn’t chase a laser light, but likes to play with the chain attached to the laser pen! You can follow Rey at her Facebook page or at Instagram. -via Digg
The Crazy Russian Hacker bought thirty pounds of dry ice just to throw it in the pool. Which, of course, makes it wet ice. It looks pretty cool, but what is surprising is how long it lasted. -via Viral Viral Videos
Since the 1965 debut of A Charlie Brown Christmas, Charles Schulz’s Peanuts characters have appeared in more than 40 animated specials. The classics leave us feeling warm and fuzzy; others leave us wondering, “What were you thinking, Charlie Brown?”
Charlie Brown’s All Stars! (1966)
Plot: A recurring storyline in the Peanuts comic strip is Charlie Brown’s woefully bad management of his woefully bad baseball team. In this special, Charlie Brown quits baseball for good after his team loses by more than 100 runs. He’s coaxed out of retirement by Mr. Hennessey (voiced by a trombone, of course), a hardware-store owner, who offers to sponsor Charlie Brown’s team and give them new uniforms. But there’s a catch—the league is “boys only,” so he’d have to cut Lucy, Violet, Frieda, Patty, and even Snoopy. Unwilling to sell out his friends, Charlie Brown turns down Mr. Hennessey. To cheer him up, his teammates make him a new uniform…out of Linus’s security blanket. (Linus is traumatized.)
He’s Your Dog, Charlie Brown! (1968)
Plot: After becoming increasingly annoyed by Snoopy’s getting into mischief, the Peanuts gang insists that Charlie Brown take action. Caving to their demand, Charlie Brown arranges to send Snoopy to the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm for obedience training. Instead, Snoopy runs off and hides out at Peppermint Patty’s house. After he wears out his welcome by using her pool and drinking all her root beer, Peppermint Patty forces Snoopy to earn his keep as her maid. A few days later, when Snoopy breaks some dishes, Peppermint Patty sends him to the garage. He realizes he’s better off with Charlie Brown and runs away, back home to his doghouse. Everybody’s happy to see him again and assumes he’s learned his lesson, but he soon returns to his bad behavior. No lessons are imparted.
The Knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem were a group of elite knights from Europe’s nobility who banded together to defend Jerusalem and the Catholic Church from the Ottoman Empire. They lost Jerusalem, then they lost their next base at Rhodes. They settled on Malta, and in 1565 withstood a siege by the forces of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, although quite a few of the knights died.
In 1572 construction on a grand cathedral was begun, now known as St. John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta, Malta. The knights who died in the siege were reburied in the cathedral, and magnificent marble tombstones were inlaid over them, forming the floor of the cathedral. Other nobles were buried in the cathedral until sometime in the 19th century. St. John's Co-Cathedral is an elaborate and intricately-decorated Baroque structure, but the marble floor of tombstones is its most popular feature. Read more about the cathedral and see lot of pictures at Amusing Planet. -via the Presurfer
How do you make an eggplant tasty? Some would say you barbecue it, while I think the sauce of garlic, onions, oil, and spices will do the job. Others would say you can’t make an eggplant tasty, but this demonstration from Guangzhou makes it look delicious.
She’s demonstrating how to cook while her Australian husband provides the dry wit in his English translation. Their YouTube channel sarcasmo57 has quite a few other cooking videos with comparable translations. -via reddit
You’ve seen dogs dance with humans in canine freestyle competitions, but have you ever seen a goat dance with a human like that? Or a chicken? These goats do, and more besides. They run agility courses, and have learned to, uh, help Marie take her clothes off.
Grant Woolard, who gave us that awesome Classical Music Mashup a few months ago, is back to give the same treatment to Disney songs. he mixed 49 different songs into a pleasing mashup that highlights how similar some of them are, illustrated by musical notes made from icons of the movie, to make it easy for you to follow along.
In 1979, George Miller released a low-budget film in Australia called Mad Max that set profitability records and began a worldwide franchise of four movies (and one on the way). If you know anything about the first Mad Max movie, it’s probably that young Mel Gibson’s voice had to be dubbed for American audiences because of his thick Australian accent, even though he’s an American. That’s only partly true: all the actors were dubbed for the American release, and it had more to do with the Aussie slang than the accents. But I bet you didn’t know that director George Miller was a medical doctor.
1. DIRECTOR GEORGE MILLER WORKED AS A DOCTOR TO RAISE MONEY FOR MAD MAX.
Since the film only had a budget of $350,000, Miller scraped together extra money as an emergency room doctor to keep the movie going. “It was very low budget and we ran out of money for editing and post-production, so I spent a year editing the film by myself in our kitchen, while Byron Kennedy did the sound,” Miller told CraveOnline. “And then working as an emergency doctor on the weekends to earn money to keep going. I’d got my best friend, and friends of friends of friends of his, and Byron ditto, and I thought, ‘Oh my God, we made a film and it won’t cut together and we’re going to lose all their money.’”
Miller’s medical training is all over the film: Max Rockatansky is named after physician Carl von Rokitansky, a pathologist who created the Rokitansky procedure, a method for removing organs in an autopsy.
4. REAL-LIFE MOTORCYCLE CLUB THE VIGILANTIES PLAYED TOECUTTER’S GANG FOR MAD MAX.
Forget the money required to train stuntmen; Miller and crew hired real bikers to professionally ride into production. In an interview with Motorcyclist Online, actor Tim Burns said about working with them: “[The Vigilanties] all wanted to ride the bikes as fast as possible, as often as possible, by their nature. Their riding was individually and collectively superb.” Additionally, stuntman Dale Bensch, a member of The Vigilanties, recalled seeing the ad for the shoot at a local bike shop, and took a moment to clarify a mishap that had happened during production. Bensch said, “There’s an urban myth that a stuntman was killed, and that was me. The scariest thing was dropping the bike on that bridge. They took the speedo and tach off because they didn’t want to damage more than they had to. They wet the surface to make it easier, but I hung onto the bike too long and it flipped me over with it; that’s why it looked bad. But it’s a famous scene, so it worked out all right!”
It turns out that the group is already way more diverse than you would expect in a historical era in which such gangs were usually quite homogeneous -all criminals and all kind of dumb. Well, they got that part right. -via Digg
Without a word, John McNamee of Pie Comic manages to explain the evolution of cetaceans. The timeline may be a little off: cetaceans had returned to the sea by about 30 millions years ago, while humans developed agriculture about 12,000 years ago. But you get the idea. The little critter in panel 13 looks a lot like the Pakicetus pictured in the Wikipedia entry.
Phantomsurfr presented this picture and said, “I've been going for 27hrs straight trying to seed as much as possible before the first cold front of the season hits, but I had to stop to take this picture of the sunrise. Wheatbelt -Western Australia.” It’s stunning, with the light bouncing off the clouds, silhouetting the Mad Max machines in the foreground.
But then I thought, wait, seeding? Isn’t it fall now in Australia? A little digging revealed that you indeed plant wheat in the fall in the Australian wheat belt. It’s too hot to do the work in early April, and the rainy season begins in June.
Phantomsurfr said working that hard and that long makes you sleep really well. -via reddit
Janeen recently attended her daughter's college graduation ceremonies (congratulations, Janeen's daughter!) and took many pictures. Another graduate at the school showed off her decorated mortarboard. She majored in respiratory therapy, not English. Still, you'd think that the one word a respiratory therapist would be expected to spell properly would be "breathe."
George O’Donnell died last week, leaving three daughters and dozens of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His family wrote wrote his obituary, which runs ten paragraphs and tells quite a tale. It begins:
George O’Donnell died at his home in McKinleyville, California on May 12, 2016 at the age of 86. He left behind gallons of bourbon, vodka and gin that we have no idea what to do with as we are all sober. He was self-indulgent, kind and curious, fond of jokes and unexplainable phenomenon. He believed in UFOs and liked to contemplate the vastness of the universe. He was very proud of the dysfunctional family he left behind.
The rest is a description of the life he led, full of drinking, gambling, and womanizing, all of which he was apparently very good at.
Moving to McKinleyville to live with his daughter, he continued a consistent routine of washing down his morning vitamins with screwdrivers, starting on martinis at noon and finishing each evening with Manhattans. He called his friend Mickey almost daily to bet on a game. He loved football, the Padres, chocolate, Amy’s toaster pops, Sidney Sheldon novels, tabloids, game shows, the Playboy channel, and Lifetime Movie Network. His fondness for John Wayne movies was surpassed only by his love of fried chicken and reruns of Johnny Carson. His favorite show, Deal or No Deal, combined his major life interests of beautiful women and gambling.
Google has its hands full in developing a self-driving car, and that includes trying to mitigate the damage if a car hits a pedestrian. The company has filed a patent for a scheme to save such a pedestrian from further injury after being hit. It’s a sticky hood. See, a pedestrian can be hurt from the primary impact, when the car hits it, and then by a secondary impact, when the person is thrown onto the street. A sticky surface, “similar to flypaper, or double-sided duct tape," that grabs and holds the victim can prevent a secondary impact.
Stanford School of Law professor and autonomous car expert Bryant Walker Smith praised Google -- once he stopped laughing about the patent.
"The idea that cars should be safe for people other than the ones in them is the next generation of automotive safety," Smith said. "Manufacturers have gotten remarkably good at protecting the occupants of the vehicle, but there's been much less attention to protecting the people outside. I applaud anybody for thinking, as they should, about people outside of the vehicle."
It sounds like one of those crazy patents we often make fun of here, but this one has yet to be proven a failure. In fact, it just might save your life someday. -via EnGadget
The last of the Napoleonic Wars was fought in 1815. Napoleon died in 1821. The first photograph was taken in 1826, but portrait photography was developed in 1839. So photographs of the veterans of the Napoleonic Wars are a real treasure.
Each year on May 5, the anniversary of Napoléon's death, the veterans marched to Paris' Place Vendôme in full uniform to pay respects to their emperor.
These photographs were taken on one of these occasions, possibly in 1858. All the men — at this time in their 70s and 80s — are wearing the Saint Helena medals, issued in August 1857 to all veterans of the wars of the revolution and the empire.
18,000 people live in Kiruna, Sweden’s northernmost city. It’s a mining town in the Arctic Circle. There’s a lot of interesting things to learn about Kiruna and its charming people, but the big move is the most interesting. Iron mining has turned the ground under the city to Swiss cheese, so to speak. To avoid the entire downtown falling into a sinkhole when it collapses, they are moving the town square and the surrounding buildings two miles away.
Although the move is still a couple of years away, preparations have been going on for quite some time. It won’t be easy, but there’s really no alternative. The mine is too profitable to close down, the huge operation needs the town to sustain it, and the people who live there love their town. -via Digg
It’s a familiar tale, with a coda that may leave you a bit sad over the "happy ending." Sometimes one person’s great fortune is a tragedy for the next person. This comic is from Pedro Arizpe of the webcomic Port Sherry. -via Geeks Are Sexy
You only have to look at a still image from the HBO series Game of Thrones to know that it’s an expensive production. The cost per episode in 2011 was estimated at about $6 million. But episodes for season six are up to $10 million! Where does the money go? We can assume that the actors are paid well, and it’s a huge cast. Location expenses are understandably high. And as the series goes on, there are more and more special effects. You might think that computer-generated effects are a bargain, but that’s only in comparison to practical effects. There’s no way that practical effects could replicate what Game of Thrones is doing now, no matter what you spend on them. And CGI is not exactly cheap.
The CGI industry acts as an assembly line with a team of 10-12 who processes shots through several stages: Modeling, Tracking, Animation, Dust Busting, BgPrep, FX, Compositing, Lighting, etc. The average time for this process within the team is at least four weeks if not more. This equates to around 1,600 man hour at a minimum without overtime. At $50 per hour, per person, that equates to a minimum of $80K per shot. If a Game of Thrones episode has 10-minutes of CGI, which equates to $800,000.