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Bored Animators During Quarantine

Unexpected free time does wonders for people! It’s amazing to see people get their creative juices flowing given the current situation (but absolutely no pressure). One animator decided to share a small clip of their animated characters reacting to them, as if the characters really see what’s happening.

image screenshot via Twitter


The Sims Reality Competition Show

The Sims Spark’d is a reality competition show where players take on challenges as they play the Sims 4. The show is made in partnership with Eleague and Buzzfeed Multiplayer, and will be aired on TBS. The winner of the reality show will receive a whopping $100,000. Would you tune in? 

image via Polygon


What’s The Secret To Getting Rich On TikTok?

It’s no surprise that a lot of trends and challenges are rising in TikTok, now that a lot of us are in our homes during the pandemic. But besides the fun, there seems to be some challenges that yield more income than entertainment. A pump-and-dump scheme involving Dogecoin, a joke currency made of memes, has been paying off quite well. Gizmodo has more details: 

The plan is kinda paying off: As of this morning, Dogecoin had risen 27.7% since July 5.
The leader is jamezg97, who started posting about the bid on June 28, and subsequently began the #DogecoinTiktokChallange. The mystery TikToker, whose bio reads “STONKS,” tells users:
Alright here’s a crazy thought. What if everyone watching this video bought some Dogecoin? Could they really stop us? Could they stop us all?
The splitscreen shows that you could increase $1,000 to $426,985 if you held it from a price of $.00234 and tapped out at $1. A second video, posted five days ago and now with nearly half a million views, issues a bolder missive:
Let’s all get rich! Dogecoin is practically worthless. There are 800 million TikTok users. That’s just $25. Once it hits one dollar, you’ll have ten grand. Tell everyone you know.

image via Gizmodo


Lego Millennium Falcon Builds Itself Using the Force

If you've always wanted to build the LEGO Millennium Falcon, but you didn't have the time or the patience to put 7,541 pieces together, nor the $800 to buy the set, this is the next best thing. Watch as the ship assembles itself in stop-motion! Also notice there's some interesting toys doing stuff in the background occasionally, and the music is darn near perfect. -via Geeks Are Sexy


I'm Not a Cat Person...

"My husband is not a cat person. We adopted a cat yesterday. Here is him figuring out how cats work."

It's a common but adorable story. A man or woman will tell you they are not a cat person, and they might even express a preference for dogs. But sooner or later they meet a cat or two and their story fall apart. Yes, they are a cat person after all! They just had to meet the right cat. Yeah, right, every cat is the right cat, once you get the know it. Read 15 posts about people who swore they weren't into cats at Buzzfeed.

(Image credit: chocoflavor)


What Was Hygiene Like In The Victorian Era?

Today’s generation has been blessed with sanitation technology developed years before them. In addition to the technology that aids us in our hygienic practices, we are also quite meticulous in our personal hygiene. But have you ever wondered how people from past eras maintained their hygiene? Check out this video from Weird History as they discuss the hygienic practices of the Victorians. Spoiler alert: despite their lavish clothing and jewelry, they were apparently gross.


There’s Pink Snow!

The Italian Alps are now covered in pink snow! The beautiful but unnatural phenomenon isn't a surprise snow mutation, it’s actually a bad sign. The pink color comes from blooming algae, which speeds up the rate at which snow melts away, as Futurism details: 

It’s not so much that the algae is melting the snow itself, Earther reports. But rather, turning the snow into pink “strawberry snow,” as it’s sometimes called, makes it absorb more heat from sunlight, which causes it to melt sooner.
Blooms like this aren’t unheard of — they’re a relatively common occurrence in glaciers in the spring and summer. It’s not yet clear if rising temperatures linked to climate change will mean more blooms in the future, Earther reports, but there is the distinct possibility that more heat will mean more algae and less snow.

image via Futurism


Where’s The ‘Magic Box’?

The magic box is an apartment designed by Raúl Sánchez architects. The company refurbished the ground floor of an old three-storey family house in Spain. The company redesigned the 110 square meter apartment for a young couple and their two daughters in a unique way, as Designboom details: 

upon entering one can observe the spacious hall made up of a series of planes/partitions. this area showcases the new design language, while also generating openings in the upper part, allowing natural light to brighten the interior. a common kitchen and dining space connects to the outside garden, with lush vegetation, through a longitudinal bench that slides into the window opening. the window itself was placed on the exterior face of the facade plan, turning it invisible from the interior, creating the feeling of being in close contact with the exterior.

image via Designboom


Ants Trying to Steal Mail

ants trying to steal my mail from r/WTF

You have to wonder what's in this package- maybe candy! A time-lapse video shows a colony of ants carrying an envelope to, I don't know, somewhere. They are apparently great at teamwork, but a little fuzzy on the directions. This was posted by okcoolmachine at reddit.


Video Games vs. Movies: Which Is The Better Format For Superhero Comic Book Adaptations?

With the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) now having over 20 films, with more films coming in the future, superhero comic book adaptations have indeed taken Hollywood by storm.

Using loosely serialised storytelling and logistically impressive crossover elements, the MCU has bent the very medium of cinema to its whim, liberally borrowing from the conventions of TV. With at least 14 more MCU films planned, as well as countless TV series to stream on Disney+, this is a road with no end in sight.

But is the big screen the best medium that we can use to give life to the superheroes that we once saw on comic books? For some, there is a better medium that could be used, and that medium is video games.

The suitability of video games as the ultimate platform for superhero adaptation has been obvious for decades; as far back as the late 1970s and 1980s, savvy developers were churning out crude 2D games featuring Superman, Batman and Spider-Man.

Unlike superhero movies which offer you the opportunity to view the narrative through the lens of a spectator, superhero video games offer you the opportunity to don the superhero’s suit. In other words, you get to be the hero, and you watch the story unfold through the eyes of the superhero himself. Such is the case of the recently released Iron Man VR and other games like it.

Superheroes have always been rooted in wish fulfilment and fantasies of power. Video games are perhaps the fullest realisation of this, giving players the agency to use unnatural abilities as they see fit...
Perhaps the watershed moment for superhero games came in 2009, with the release of Batman: Arkham Asylum. Set within the boundaries of the fictional Gotham prison, Asylum was engrossing, unfiltered Batman. Whether you were beating swarms of enemies to a pulp, gliding around environments with batlike stealth, or deploying one of several mechanical gadgets, it all felt right – more authentically nailing the tone of (some of) the comics than any film has ever managed. The Independent called it and the first of its sequels, 2011’s Batman: Arkham City, “two of the best action games ever made”. Superhero films may often struggle for validation in the world of cinema, but in games, they have shown they can spar with the best of ’em.
Compare this, for instance, to The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan’s Michael Mann-inspired DC Comics adaptation, released in 2008. The Dark Knight’s reputation has stood the test of time, more or less – Heath Ledger’s tic-heavy posthumous-Oscar-winning performance is still held up as the gold standard of onscreen supervillainy, and the film proved monumental in legitimising superhero fare in the eyes of the cinema-going public. But it was also overstuffed, and criticisms often focus on the difficulty of balancing two distinct supervillains – Ledger’s Joker and Aaron Eckhart’s Two-Face – both competing for screen-time and attention.

More about this over at the Independent.

What are your thoughts about this one?

(Image Credit: TheXomil/ Pixabay)


This Cat Loves To Play Dead

How far would you go in order to get attention? For this cat, named Lolly, he would die, or at least pretend to be.

A cat owner has been forced to post notes to her neighbours reassuring them they haven't killed her cat due to the moggy's continuous attention-seeking pranks.

According to Lesley Southam, the cat’s owner, Lolly would lie down so still that people would stop by to check if he’s okay.

"He's literally famous at this end of town. Everybody knows Lolly."
It's not the only prank 14-year-old Lolly is known for, as he often enjoys jumping into stranger's cars and making himself at home after wandering into offices.
The note posted around the neighbourhood includes a picture of the prankster cat and reads: "Hi, my name is Lolly.
"My favourite thing is people and pretending I am dead at the side of the road.

He’ll probably be good at movies.

(Image Credit: Triangle News/ Mirror)


Should We Be Eating Insects?

When she was an undergrad, MacKenzie Wade, along with her roommate, would bake cookies made out of mealworms. She would then take some of the cookies to a party, and, surprisingly, people loved the cookies. The cookies also turned up to be good conversation starters. Wade is not the only one promoting insect eating.

Their arguments are legion: Edible bugs are better for the environment and can help slow climate change, they can alleviate malnutrition and ease food insecurity. Also, they’re delicious.
“June beetles are fantastic,” said [Wade], a doctoral candidate in anthropology at UC Santa Barbara. “They truly taste like bacon.”
...Her research specializes in insects as food, and the cultural aversions to eating them.
What’s clear, Wade said, is that edible insects have tremendous potential to feed a growing population in an increasingly damaged world. Some 2 billion people, mostly in the global South, already eat insects, many species of which contain as much protein as beef, more iron than spinach, as much vitamin B12 as salmon and all nine amino acids.

Now that is nutritious, but I’ll take meat, fish, and vegetables, thank you very much.

More details about Wade’s research over at The Current.

What are your thoughts about this one?

(Image Credit: Lipso_Kozerga/ Pixabay)


The Soviet Bomber That Was Reverse Engineered From Stolen American B-29s

It has often been said that World War II was won with British intelligence, American steel, and Russian blood. The Soviet Union was crucial in defeating Hitler's military, but that didn't mean they were friends with the US. The Americans sent Stalin tons of weapons, military hardware, and food, but one thing the US did not want to share was the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, the most advanced aircraft of the time, and the ultimate war machine.

Luckily for Stalin, B-29 crews were instructed to land in Russia in case of emergencies, and in the summer of 1944, exactly such an emergency befell three B-29s during a bombing raid to Japan. The three aircrafts—General H.H. Arnold Special, Ding How, and Ramp Tramp—landed in Vladivostok, and at once, the Soviet whisked them away to a facility in Moscow. The crews were sent back home, but not after desperate pleas from the US. Demands for the return of the planes were ignored.

With these three aircrafts, Soviet engineers began one of the most complex and audacious reverse-engineering projects ever. Of the three, one was dismantled. To keep track of the growing mountain of parts, the second one was use as reference. The third was used for test flight.

The massive project was more work than they anticipated. Find out how the reverse-engineering turned out at Amusing Planet.

(Image credit: Flickr user Andrey Korchagin)


In Italy: The Colorful Fields of Castelluccio

People visit Italy every year during summer. While some go to the country to visit the Colosseum, the canals of Venice, or the Leaning Tower of Pisa, others go to the small village of Castelluccio, found in the Apennine Mountains of central Italy, to see what may perhaps be the most colorful masterpiece painted by none other than Mother Nature herself: the fields of blooming lentils and poppies.

See the photos taken by photographers Antonio Masiello and Tiziana Fabi over at The Atlantic.

Now this is epic.

(Image Credit: U9POI57/ Wikimedia Commons)


He Found an Entire House in His Attic

Redditor CatchingWindows posted a picture of what he found in his attic. It's an entire other house! He then shared a gallery of images from the discovery. Some investigation revealed at least parts of the story behind it. But it's far from the first such discovery that shocked people looking around the home they just bought.  

The unsettling discovery brings to mind strange and dark history of “Disappointment rooms”. The term was attributed to what was until fairly recently, a tragically common practice for keeping family members (usually children) suffering from mental or physical disabilities out of sight from the public eye. Until well into the 20th century in the United States and England, a Disappointments room might have been found in the attic or top floor of a house, cruelly depriving a family member of special care, dignity and respect, while the rest of the household continued to live freely under the delusion that the arrangement was for the good of society and the unwell. Amongst elite society, these rooms became one of the world’s best kept secrets.

Messy Nessy Chic gives us the story of CatchingWindows' attic, which appears to be a simple case of architectural shortcuts, and some famous cases of disappointment rooms for good measure.

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