A group of men working on the Sindi dam on the Parnu River in Estonia spotted a dog in distress in the icy river. It was obviously cold and unable to negotiate the clumps of ice surrounding it. So the men did what any animal lover would do- they went in, cleared a path through the ice, and pulled the dog out.
Speaking to the Estonian newspaper Postimees, one of the men, Rando Kartsepp, said: "We had to carry him over the slope. He weighed a fair bit."
"He was calm, slept on my legs. When I wanted to stretch them, he raised his head for a moment," he added.
Veterinarians had some suspicions over the large dog's true nature, but it was a local hunter, familiar with the region's wolves, who finally confirmed it for what it was: a young male wolf, about a year old.
The vets decided the prudent thing to do would be to treat the wolf and quickly put it in a cage before it fully recovered from the cold. They then contacted the Estonian Union for the Protection of Animals (EUPA), which paid for the treatment, fitted the wolf with a GPS, and released it into the wild. See more pictures of the wolf at BBC News. -via Boing Boing
(Image credit: The Estonian Union for the Protection of Animals)
The White House's state dinners are a formal tradition for greeting world leaders on official state visits to the United States. While the feasts are bound by tradition and etiquette, the foods that are served vary greatly over time, as culinary trends change, and by the personal tastes of each president and/or their first ladies. There are subtle menu differences that reflect the purpose of the occasion, too, depending on whether the aim was to show off America's prosperity or taste or to make the guest feel at home. When Nixon hosted Leonid Brezhnev, the menu was definitely a Cold War gambit.
Nixon hosted 40 state dinners before he resigned. Perhaps as a typically Nixonian attempt to convince others of his status, 13 of those dinners were in his first year alone. He was also the first president to host a leader of the Soviet Union—General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev on June 18, 1973—since the 1950s. Brezhnev was served supreme of lobster en bellevue (chilled lobster removed from the shell and decorated with aspic, truffles, and green leaves, according to Ruta, the former executive sous-chef), contre-filet of beef bordelaise, paillettes dorées (a very Gallic way to say “cheese straws”), pommes aux amandes, eggplant and green beans orientale, a bibb lettuce salad with Port Salut cheese, and vacherin glacé aux framboises for dessert.
The dinner was a fitting coda to Nixon’s “kitchen debate” with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in Moscow back in July 1959. During a series of discussions over the relative merits of the United States and Soviet Union at the American National Exhibition in Moscow (which Brezhnev also attended), America’s then-vice president stressed to the Soviet premier, “In this day and age to argue who is stronger completely misses the point. With modern weapons it just does not make sense. If war comes we both lose.” Despite the military advantages held by the Soviet Union, Nixon argued, the United States provided a better quality of life for its citizens.
Foreign Policy has collected the menus of 392 state dinners over 14 administrations, and present the data in several interactive graphs you can explore, plus an article about state dinners as a whole, and a section for each president from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Donald J. Trump -all on one page. -via Everlasting Blort
(Image credit: Alex Fine)
You might never have heard the name of prolific film director Lois Weber. She got in on the ground floor of cinema before the studio system and investors solidified the ground rules, and therefore made her own rules. Weber ran her own film studio that produced 153 films, and by the 1930s, she was making $17,000 a week. She also brought a number of other women into cinema as both actresses and filmmakers.
Weber’s films are primarily domestic dramas, stories about family ecosystems and the financial and emotional obligations that bind people together. Behind these narratives are the social and political issues that divided Weber’s audience: abortion, drug addiction, capital punishment, prostitution, anti-Semitism and birth control. emboldened by a medium without traditions or conventions, Weber saw no reason why film should aim to merely amuse when it was possible to change the world.
Weber was called a “propagandist,” but she resisted the word. Propaganda, she said, was too simpleminded. A man would shift his thinking on birth control, for instance, not because Weber advised it, but because he came to feel obligated to remedy the distress of a specific young woman who worked as a laundress and wore her hair pinned at the nape of her neck. Weber understood social change to be the sum of tenderness meted out to individuals. Her films were a concerted experiment to coax this tenderness from viewers reluctant to extend it.
Weber's obscurity today lies in the fact that her films were silent, and only 16 of her movies survive today. In addition, while she sold a lot of tickets, her films spoke to women, and film critics and journalists (who were men) didn't understand. For example, her dedication to realistic details and focusing on repeating motifs as analogies was seen as overblown and unnecessary until a couple of decades later when a male filmmaker did the same and was lauded as a genius. Read about Lois Weber's groundbreaking movies at Lithub. -via Digg
Some of Weber's work is on YouTube, mostly in short clips, but Where Are My Children (about birth control) and The Hypocrites (which is detailed in the article) have been uploaded in their entirety.
Thrillist introduces us to two new Frankenfoods this week. The first is Honey Chicken and Waffles Pizza, the winner of a poll at Papa John's Pizza. This recipe beat three other concept pizzas the chain proposed as a new menu item.
As you already surmised from the headline, none of those three were top of the class. The new pizza will be Hot Honey Chicken and Waffles, which sounds like a passably adventurous pizza to which a large chain might be able to do justice. It took home more than 70% of the total fan vote. It features crispy chicken, waffle crumbles, bacon, cheese, and a drizzle of spicy honey.
Since chicken and waffles was already a Frankenfood, this is just the next step. The Ice Cream Taco is really just an extreme dessert with no savory Tex-Mex ingredients. The shell is made of cotton candy, filled with ice cream and more candy. Sweet, but you'll still have to wash your hands.
(Image credit: Papa John's)
I used to read MAD Magazine, beginning in 1961 and ending in 1976. By that time I was working a real job, bought a house, and had no time for such things, although even today I can fondly recall the names - Gaines, Feldstein, Jaffee, Woodbridge, Martin, Davis, DeBartolo, Drucker, Berg, Aragones, Rickard, and many others.
The artists and writers, all but the first two names above, were referred to as 'The Usual Gang of Idiots' and today they are with few exceptions just about all gone, as was almost the magazine itself. In the Internet Age, MAD lost its mojo, even losing out to longtime second-rate competitor, Cracked, in the website races. And since today's millennials expect everything online to be free and fast, and contemporaneously funny, MAD was nearing extinction.
But all that was then and this is now. Beginning June of 2018, MAD rebooted itself, as seen in the illustration above. Wired.com has an article that gives the details, as we see here in an excerpt:
The new MAD—which will be published bimonthly, and goes for $5.99 an issue (kinda cheap!)—will never be able to compete with online comedic first-responders (though the magazine does have plans to launch a Twitch channel, as well as a new podcast). But to succeed in 2018, maybe it doesn’t have to. There’s so much pop culture now, and so much commentary about that culture, that a six-times-a-year spoof-filled digest almost feels like a relief: a safer, saner vantage point from which to view the world.
The new MAD takes a similar approach. The magazine’s redesigned logo is a nod to the one it launched with in 1952, and the issue features such writer-artists as Sergio Aragonés and Al Jaffee—both original members of MAD’s “usual gang of idiots,” and both as scampish and clever as ever (it’s a genuine delight to be reminded that Jaffee, now 97, can still stump you with one of his fold-ins).
Wow. And I remember paying $0.25 an issue. I just hope that I'm not working when I'm 97. For those who care about such things, MAD made its debut in 1952, the same year as did WTM. Sadly, I'm not rebootable, but you can still enjoy the newly rebooted MAD if you will.
For most of the first half of her life, Elizabeth "Libba" Cotten lived in obscurity, outside the life of fame. But during her childhood years, she had been a lover of music and instruments. This she carried with her well into her adulthood when she became a domestic for a family of musicians, the Seegers. It wasn't until the 1960s when Libba Cotten would get recognized, record her own albums, and go on tour singing in various music, mostly folk, festivals. Her career began at the age of 66 and only at the age of 93 did she win her very first Grammy.
(Image credit: John Chen/Smithsonian Institution)
Ganbreeder is a web toy that will remix photos until they are terrifying. Select a creature (or an inanimate object; they don't care) and crossbreed it with other creatures. You can take a sea slug and "mix in genes" from a dog or a building or a plate of beans. You even control how much of each new addition goes into the finished picture, but nothing will prepare you for the horrifying results. Or you might end up with something completely normal, like when I mixed some mashed potatoes with a lobster and it just looked like dinner. Yeah, you have to sign up for an account in order to use it. -via Boing Boing
I'm ashamed to say that I remember just about every one of these things. Vampira was after my time.
Is it ash or soot? What's the black snow that has blanketed Siberia? Well, it's actually coal dust mixed with the air and the snow. It has afflicted three cities of the coal-mining region of Kemerovo.
In grim scenes uploaded to social networks and described as "post-apocalyptic" by Russian media, Siberian residents in the cities of Prokopyevsk, Kiselyovsk, and Leninsk-Kuznetsky have shared images of their soiled, shadowy landscape – prompting at least one Twitter user to ask, "Is this what snow looks like in hell?"
The director of the Prokopyevskaya coal plant claims the black snow was the result of a broken shield at the facility, which exposed coal powder to the atmosphere – but has also said emissions inevitably escape, and "we can't tackle coal dust in the streets".
(Image credit: voilok/Instagram)
Cats don't seem to understand the concepts of personal space or privacy. When they want attention, they want it NOW. Whether you're doing your homework or brushing your teeth, they will get between you and whatever tasks you are trying to finish.
Britain's 99-year lease on Hong Kong was up in 1997, but it's not easy to integrate a British colony into the larger China. You might recall the fireworks at the handover, but there was a lot more involved in the celebrations of the day, and plans for a transition that continues today. Wendover Productions explains what happened during the handover. They don't touch on the most noticeable conundrum: Hong Kong traffic still uses the left side of the road, while cars in China travel on the right. -via Digg
Karl Lagerfeld, the creative director of the fashion empire Chanel, passed away Tuesday at age 85. He left behind his beloved companion Choupette, an 8-year-old red point Birman cat. Choupette has a modeling career, her own line of makeup, two personal maids, a chauffeur, a bodyguard, and 243,000 Instagram followers.
Ashley Tschudin, the manager of Choupette’s blog and social media channels, released a statement to People detailing how the cat is coping.
“During this time, Choupette is coping with the loss the best she knows how to, but at such a young age (and being a cat), that is challenging. Karl Lagerfeld is and will always be her ‘Daddy.’ She is choosing to put her best paw forward and hopes that her loyal fans and followers will continue with their outpouring of love to help ease the pain,” the statement reads.
Ze Frank has another edition of the delicious and ridiculous True Facts series, this one about various species of lemur. These relatively small primates are both amusing and endangered. Warning: contains potty humor and brief glimpses of lemur genitals and mating. -via Laughing Squid
You know all those movie scenes where the main characters walk away from a huge explosion? How accurate could that possibly be? And how about that time Indiana Jones hid in a refrigerator to survive a nuclear blast? Columbia University explosives engineer Rodger Cornell goes through quite a few of these famous film scenes to rate their accuracy and explain how real explosions work and the damage they can doing in real life. -via Geeks Are Sexy
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