Social media was designed to help us network with colleagues and stay in touch with our friends and relatives, but these days there's more snooping going on than staying in touch.
Former lovers, friends of friends, long lost relatives, potential employers and the people we meet while we're out and about are all potential snoopers, and they make us want to polish up every photo we post.
Which is where Photoshop masters like Chinese digital artist Kanahoooo, dubbed "Photoshop Holy", come in- they make people look pretty by request, transforming them into an ideal version suitable for exposure to the masses.
Kanahoooo knows a thing or two about digital deception, and she warns against believing every profile pic you see online-
"Don't believe the perfect thing you see online!" she says. "If you want to find out about somebody, then see them in real life."
Records stores are one of those places where the "hep cats" and "cool kids" shop and therefore they look daunting to people who don't think they're cool enough to be around that crowd.
Then the music lovers and record collectors who muster up the nerve to walk into the store have to deal with the pretentious clerks who make the whole experience a pain.
Some of these clerks are using their knowledge of music to boost self esteem and help them cope with their social anxiety, but most record store clerks are jerks because the customers made them that way.
Christopher Bickel of Dangerous Minds worked at a record store for over a decade and kept a notebook under the counter the entire time he worked there- so he and the other employees could write down the dumb things customers say:
Customer: “Do y’all have any cuban music? Like Kenny Chesney or Jimmy Buffett but without the Kenny Chesney and the Jimmy Buffett.”
One of our employees is eating a bag of chips when a customer comes up and asks “whatcha eatin’? Rootbeer?”
Customer: “Do you have CDs for turntables?”
Customer: “Do you guys buy records? I have a Lou Rawls album that my wife looked up online. It sells for $800. You can sell it for me and take a cut.”
Customer: “Why are there only 12 songs on this CD?” Clerk: “Uh, that’s just how many songs are on it.” Customer: “So, there’s six songs per side?”
(phone call) Customer: “Is this the record place?” Clerk: “Yes.” Customer: “Could you tell me how to get a record deal? I do rap.”
Customer: “Do you have any Van Morrison? I didn’t see any under ‘V’.” Clerk: (politely) “Well, it would actually be under ‘M’.”
When people hear "artificial lifeform" they think of robots or androids, but technically any magically animated object could also be considered an artificial lifeform and would therefore have a lot in common with robo-sapiens.
But the odds of a factory built robot and a farm scarecrow ever meeting is a million to one, except for at outdoor music festivals apparently, where the two strange beings are free to be themselves.
Robot & Scarecrow was written and directed by Kibwe Tavares for Factory Fifteen, and I must say they did a really good job of blending the 3D robot character in with the live action footage, it looks so real!
Cindy Crawford is one of the most famous and successful supermodels of all time, but beyond that she's one of those people who seems to hold the secret to immortality- because she doesn't seem to age.
And to make the matter of Cindy Crawford's unfading beauty even more unreal the photo above was taken when she was just 16 years old, and it was shot in her high school boyfriend's backyard.
Cindy revealed the story behind the shot from 1982 that launched her career in her book Becoming:
“When I was 16, Roger Legel, a local photographer in my small town of DeKalb, Illinois, asked to photograph me for the college newspaper. I agreed, and he shot this picture at the backyard pool of my high-school boyfriend. I was still a teenager and dreamed of becoming something big—a nuclear physicist or the first woman president, the two biggest jobs I could think of. Doing this first shoot changed my life.
“The photographer encouraged me to go to Chicago to try to find an agent. At the time, my dad thought modeling was a nice word for prostitution, so my parents were very protective of me. I went to Chicago, ended up signing with Elite, and from there started doing catalogue shoots as well as working with Victor Skrebneski—the most important photographer in Chicago. This one photograph opened my eyes to a whole new world and started me down the path of modeling.”
When animal lovers Polly Lushchynskaya and her husband Panya rescued Jay the fox from a fur farm they instantly knew they had a buddy for life- because Jay wouldn't leave their side.
Luckily Polly worked from home so she had lots of time to spend with the cute little girl, and Jay quickly adapted to life indoors with her humans.
But when Polly took an office job she feared Jay would be lonely at home alone, so they went out and found her a little canine friend around her same size and age named Saimon.
Now the two spend their days hiding their humans' stuff, helping keep the family cat "entertained", and when their mom gets home they show her what perfect angels they've been all day.
But what they don't know is their mom Polly has been recording the stuff they do and posting it to Jay's Instagram account @jay_red_fox, so we all know how bratty that little red fox and her doggy pal can be!
Nick Offerman is a multi-talented guy who is equally good at growing a moustache, delivering a deadpan burn and playing a less jolly version of himself on TV, but when it comes to wood Nick's a master planer.
It's virtually impossible to read any article about the Joel Schumacher film Batman & Robin without hearing mention of the nipples added to the costumes, which some have referred to as "nipplegate".
The choice to add this bit of anatomical correctness to the Dynamic Duo's costumes was seen as questionable by pretty much everyone, and for years people have been asking who thought that would be a good idea.
[The costume] was made by Jose Fernandez, who was our brilliant lead sculpture. If you look at Batman and Batman Returns, it was the genius, Bob Ringwood that created those suits, so by the time we got to Batman Forever, the rubber and techniques had gotten so sophisticated. If you look at when Michael Keaton appears in the first suit, you’ll notice how large it is. It was brilliant but the best they could do at the time. By the time Batman Forever came around, rubber molding had become so much more advanced. So I said, let’s make it anatomical and gave photos of those Greek status and those incredible anatomical drawings you see in medical books. He did the nipples and when I looked at them, I thought, that’s cool.
Look, I apologize. I want to apologize to every fan that was disappointed because I think I owe them that.
Just imagine how the Bat-Nipples would have looked in 3D!
You know why the baby elephant parade business went belly up? It's not because of PETA or the death of the circus, it's because those little buggers really like to throw a fit. And trust me- you don't want to be on the wrong end of a little pissed off elephant's tantrum, because they will trunk you down!
The little guy in this video flailed around in frustration because he couldn't keep up with the speedy herding dog he was trying to play with, so he wagged his trunk and went waaah.
But the two interspecies pals who met at the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand probably would have gotten along with one another if only they'd taken turns giving each other piggy back rides.
Pizza is one of those foods that you can forgive for melting your mouth when you bite into it, unlike those sneaky tater tots that are scolding hot and hanging out with the rest of their buddies who are regular temperature for some reason.
And when a pizza is "that good" (and trust me you know when a pizza joint is dishing out a pie that is "that good") the burns and scarring can be seen as part of the dining experience.
Or at least that's what we tell ourselves when we're reconstructing our faces sucking on ice the next day.... Comic by the fantastic Mr. Lovenstein!
Sometimes comic book covers are paintings created by guest artists, other times the covers feature finely detailed full color pen and ink panels, but they don't do nearly enough baloon sculpture covers.
Or I guess you would call it a "photo of a balloon sculpture cover", but at any rate these recreated covers by Phileas Flash made me smile.
His whimsical recreations of classic covers of issues like The Fantastic Four #1, Batman: The Killing Joke and Superman vs. Muhammad Ali are surprisingly detailed and very pop.
Here's more from Phileas on his "Balloon Heroes" project:
Over the last few months, I have been recreating classic comic book covers whenever I had time. These balloon sculptures are larger than life (fitting in a 10 foot by 10-foot space) and take many days to make. I even made had to make one in two sections (Superman vs Muhammed Ali) to allow me to visit New York in the middle of making it.
After I finished the main sculpture I use photoshop to add in the lettering (which are un-inflated balloons with wire inside). I'm just learning the program, so forgive any mistakes. I tried to keep digital manipulation to a minimum, so what you are seeing is mainly just latex and air (renewable resources). The balloons I use are all biodegradable and responsibly disposed of, so these sculptures were also super environmentally friendly.
Fashion designers just can't accept that when it comes to clothing there is nothing new under the sun, so they keep trying to make bold moves in directions nobody should and keep creating strange items nobody wants.
Do people really want to wear clear plastic jeans that'll turn their lower half into a hot, sweaty mess? I seriously doubt it, and even the people who do will find once is enough.
So why do fashion designers keep creating such crappy looks?
Because they can, and they believe any press is good press, which may be true for some fad-worthy fashion, but what self-respecting cowpoke would be caught dead in a pair of cowboy boot sandals? Perhaps some city slicker from New York City...
I doubt Adam West knew what an impact he would make on pop culture when he played Batman on the original TV show, but the outpouring of tributes after his death shows us his contribution to geek culture is timeless.
And here's the thing about Adam West's Batman- big name celebs were lining up to be on Batman even though the network wasn't sure if the show was even worth making, all because of Adam West.
The best place to spot celebs on the old Batman TV show was during the "Batclimb" segments, where random celebs would pop out of a window and react to Batman and Robin climbing up the wall.
And thanks to this old video by YouTuber A. Pennyworth you can see all the celeb Batclimb cameos in order of airing in one Bat-tacular compilation video!
It's no surprise most movies made for geeks feature a nerdy relationship far too good to be true, since roping the audience into the storyline of a movie is a textbook tactic to make viewer's feel invested in the film.
But movies also reduce real life to black and white generalizations, so their portrayal of nerd culture makes us all seem like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, which is an insult to nerd diversity.
So illustrator JHALL created this cute comic strip to show all the ways the movies get nerd love wrong, from the epic Con adventures to the male chauvinist friends to the drama of moving in together.
Animator Nina Paley (previously at Neatorama) has a real knack for bringing tales of history and mythology to life via animation, and her entirely self-made films may take forever to make but the end result is always awesome.
If you're a fan of Sita Sings The Blues then you'll be pleased to know her newest film Seder-Masochism, which deals with Christian mythology, is looking to be every bit as fun to watch as Sita.
So, while Nina takes a short break from production to learn some new software, let's take a look at a bit from Seder-Masochism entitled "Death Of The Firstborn Egyptians", trust me it's much more fun to watch than it sounds!
Cats have cast a spell on humans that we cannot dispel, and as we become ever more enchanted with the little furballs we look for more ways to express our love of kittehkind.
There's truly no better way to share your love of cats with the world than by wearing a t-shirt with some colorful cat-inspired artwork on the front, and the NeatoShop is full of cool cat designs you'd be crazy not to love!
When we're in full blown feline mode there's nobody we'd rather hang out with than our cats
Most people saw RadioShack as little more than a place to buy new batteries or a cheap RC car to give as a gift, but the Shack's main reason for being was as a store that sold supplies for electronics hobbyists.
And for a long time RadioShack was the only place to go if you were a CBer, computer user or basically did anything involving a soldering iron and a circuit board.
And for the ultimate RadioShack nerds out there who have fond memories of shopping in the store and admiring their unique wall art there's this RS Logo In Hurricane framed print, so the memories can live on forever:
I'm sure you've heard about Fidget Spinners by now, since they're super popular with the wee folk and on the news daily as schools ban them and people claim they were injured by these fad toys.
They were supposedly created to help people with ADHD by keeping their hands busy, but as soon as they became a full blown toy trend people started sharing "cool fidget spinner tricks", all of which look pretty lame to me.
Which is why these Kwist fidget sticks will probably take over for the spinners when the fad mania dies down, because they're not pretentious, they're virtually unbreakable, and "Kwisters" can do some pretty sweet looking tricks with them.
Kwists are pieces of rubber-tipped cherry wood cut into a special cylindrical shape that "allow it to turn, jump and twist in many different ways while retaining a surprising amount of kinetic energy."
Dance crews are typically known for their fancy footwork, but the performers from the Japanese Xtrap Dance Crew are looking to expand their repertoire by including fancy fingerwork in their performances.
And since their competition isn't hip to the finger jive the Xtrap dancers are pointing the way with their incredible choreographed digital display.
Check out this mesmerizing video by Status Silver featuring the Xtrap Dance Crew creating hypnotic kaleidoscopes with their hands.
Kawaii characters are so cute we can't help but think of them in a positive way, and when we see an image of a kawaii character we picture them doing pleasant things and speaking with a syrupy sweet voice.
That's why one of my favorite stylistic mashups is the meeting of "kawaii cute" and "violently bloody" because it doesn't seem like a combo that would work but the two really do go well together.
Case in point- Bloody Bunny, a series that's so kawaii it will give you cavities yet so bloody it might give you nightmares, plus frenetic martial arts mayhem!
There are two things every human civilization needs- potable water and a way to dispose of our waste, and every successful community places these two things far away from each other.
Unfortunately these two things come together more often than you think, and polluted drinking water can cause sickness, death and force a community to move and start over again.
To raise awareness about water pollution and how it affects people three students from the National Taiwan University of the Arts created "Polluted Water Popsicles"- strangely beautiful popsicles made from raw sewage.
Here's how the "Polluted Water Popsicles" were made:
Hung I-chen, Guo Yi-hui, and Cheng Yu-ti, three students at the National Taiwan University of Arts, collected sewage water from all over Taiwan and and turned them into popsicles for a project titled “Polluted Water Popsicles.” The project is intended to spread awareness about water pollution and its deep effect on our world’s population. The 100 pieces, which also included designed wrappers, was nominated for the Young Pin Design Award.
Hung and her teammates visited 100 locations across Taiwan to collect waste. They then placed the samples—complete with dirt, bugs, and trash—into a freezer, turning them into popsicles. In order to preserve them, they encased the popsicles in a polyester resin.
Surrealist art is harder than it looks to create because if the piece is too subtle viewers won't get those magical mystery feels, and if it's too strange viewers will dismiss it as incomprehensible.
So Wroclaw, Poland-based photographer Konrad Bąk has chosen to keep his surreal portraits simple and elegant, with just a hint of the bizarre.
Konrad's beautiful portraits bridge the gap between fashion photography and fine art, and each one tells a tale that's open for interpretation by the viewer:
“In my opinion, the camera lens should express feelings, tell stories,” he says. “In my photographs, I try to capture the fleeting beauty, the mood of the moment. In my images, I try to capture the sensuality of the female body, the uniqueness of feminine beauty, fluctuations in moods, The possibility of showing it all in a durable form is “that something” that drives me to arrange my photoshoots,” says Konrad.
Some people cannot start their day without a cup of coffee, feeling like a zombie until they kick-start their brain by sipping on some warm java.
Coffee becomes an even more valuable commodity in an office full of employees who need that cuppa joe to stay awake all day, since their job is so boring they'd fall asleep at their desks without coffee.
But something tells me no coffee is needed to stay awake in an office where people are battling in the hallways all day long...
People love to break ocean stuff. The Fish Hammer empowers fish to break people stuff.
As Smashie swims around the aquarium, his position is tracked with a webcam, using software written in C++ using openFrameworks and OpenCV. The hammer follows him around the tank on a carriage powered by an Applied Motion [applied-motion.com] stepper motor. The software calculates the velocity that the motor needs to be moving using a PID algorithm that takes the motor's encoder position as input and gives a velocity as output. This velocity is then sent over UDP to the stepper motor. The hammer head drops based on the slow rotation of a cam that the hammer rests on.
The Fish Hammer was designed using Autodesk Fusion 360 and Autodesk Inventor. Instructions on how to build your very own Fish Hammer actuation device at instructables.com/id/Fish-Hammer-Actuation-Device. This project was created as part of Autodesk's artist in residence program.
When somebody close to you commits suicide you're left with more questions than answers and can't help but wonder if there's something you could have done to prevent their death. This is a normal thing to wonder when you're given the bad news, and from there you start to wonder how well you really knew the person and what drove them to take their own life.
42-year-old Lori Ruff ended her life on Christmas Eve in 2010 leaving her husband Blake feeling devastated and full of questions- had Lori committed suicide because Blake filed for divorce, or was there a more sinister reason?
As Blake went through Lori's possessions he came across something suspicious- a sealed lockbox buried in the closet, which Lori had warned her husband to stay away from:
The grieving husband recognized the box. In life, Lori had warned him to stay away from it. Upon opening the container, Blake discovered why: inside was a birth certificate and IDs belonging to several different people.
His wife was not who she claimed to be. She was an accomplished identity thief.
Blake Ruff married the woman known as Lori in 2004. Her suicide came after Blake had filed for divorce and moved back in with his parents. Lori's behavior was highly erratic in the time between the separation and her death; she sent threatening emails to Blake and his family, and might have even attempted a break-in at Blake's parent's home.
Lori left behind two suicide notes, one of which was addressed to her husband and the other to her young daughter. Authorities inspected both letters, which they described as "ramblings from a clearly disturbed person." They contained no reference to Lori's life as an identity thief, nor a confession of her true identity. With little to no clues about who she might actually be, the woman once known as Lori Ruff was registered in the federal government's database of missing and unidentified persons as a Jane Doe. Investigators then began to search of her true identity — a process that would take six years to complete.
Their flowing manes make the critter competition look wheek by comparison, and whether the guinea pig is sporting strawberry blonde locks, a jet black Mod 'do or curly hair the color of honey their hair game is always strong.