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I've Found My New Look: The Manbraid

Instagram member Lukas Robin Hood (tagline: "Psychedelic, Kaleidoscopic, Iridescent, Wonder Being") shows the new look of the season. Manbuns are so last year. For the spring of 2016, you need to coil your long locks into a braid wrapped around your head. It's called the manbraid. And it's fabulous. Check it out and remember to be the change that you want to see in the world:

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How to Make Friends

(Fowl Language Comics/Brian Gordon)

I've heard my kids have this conversation on the right almost verbatim. And I've had the one on the left in my head many times. Is it awkward? Do they think that I'm awkward? Do they actually want to be with me or are they just being pleasant in order to have a calm working environment? Oh, no, now they're reading my weird facial expressions!

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Man Throws His 15-Year Old Poodle a Quinceañera


(Photo: Mike Chesworth)

Some Latin American cultures celebrate a girl's fifteenth birthday with a quinceañera--a party that welcomes a girl to womanhood.

In dog years, 15-year old Angel of Phoenix, Arizona was already long past adolescence. But it was only recently that she had her own quinceañera.

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If Classic Children's Books Were Written Today

Arnold Lobel wrote Frog and Toad Are Friends in 1970, which was thankfully a different world at the time. What would the most famous works of children's literature be like if they were written in 2015? Kristi Olberding of Distractify has 9 photoshopped covers to show you. I can't even . . . .

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Man Takes Engagement Photo Shoot with a Burrito

(Photos: Kristina Bakrevski)

Theirs was a love built on not just passion, but true relationship compatibility. Sure, you can embrace each other for an evening. But if you want a lifelong companion, then you have to fit together. David Sikorski and his burrito, a carne asada from Taqueria La Cumbre, are truly made for each other.

That's the official story. But the truth is that Sikorski saw his Facebook friends posting relationship milestones and grew anxious. When was his special someone going to come along? His solution was to ask Kristina Bakrevski, a friend and professional photographer, to show Sikorski and his favorite burrito in tender, romantic moments. You can see more images from there series here.

-via Pleated Jeans


Pirate Treasure Found in Grandpa’s Attic

Maria Lopez of Tampa found a box in her grandfather’s attic a few weeks ago. That’s not at all unusual, but the contents of the box were certainly unusual. It contained old coins, a family picture, a map, and a severed hand wearing a ring. Could it be pirate treasure? Mike Lopez joked that his great-grandparents might have been pirates.

When Maria and Mike were children, their grandfather would tell them stories about his father, Ernesto Lopez, finding Jose Gaspar's pirate treasure. They took the box to a few antique stores around Tampa and the contents were described as "gruesome and authentic."

The map is estimated to be from the 1930s. It shows the Tampa area. Lafayette Street is labeled on the map. That road's name was changed to Kennedy Boulevard later.

The coins are believed to be Spanish and Portuguese from the 18th century. The ring on the hand's ring finger is expected to be from around the same time period.

The Lopez family says the hand may belong to Jose Gaspar, the legendary Florida-based pirate who called himself “Gasparilla.” See more pictures of the treasure at WTSP. -via Time


Guy Flips off Monkey and Gets His

YouTube Link

When a young man impulsively flips off a rhesus macaque monkey, the monkey doesn't take it lightly. In fact, he jumps the guy, apparently just to let him know that he's fluent in international symbols. -Via Tastefully Offensive


Don the Border Collie Takes off on Tractor Ride, Crosses Busy Highway


Whoever says farm life is uneventful hasn't hung out with Don the Border Collie, who lives on a farm in Scotland with his human Tom Hamilton. Don had a wild adventure this morning, starting when he was riding on a mini tractor with Hamilton, who left it to tend to a lamb headed in the wrong direction.

Don hit the dashboard controls of the tractor and took off, crashing through a fence and cruising across one half of a busy highway before stopping in a grassy median. The photo of Don's joy ride, above, was captured by Traffic Scotland. Don was fine after his solo tractor race. Unsurprisingly, due to the characteristics of his breed, witnesses said Don remained calm.

Via Gawker | Images: Traffic Scotland


The Dr. Seuss House--A Towering Home in Alaska

(Photo: Jovell Rennie)

It's an oddly-shaped towering structure that looks like the product of a children's book illustrator, not an architect. That's why local residents call it the Dr. Seuss House. They explain that it was built shortly after a forest fire stripped the area of trees. That deforestation gave the owner a wonderful view of the surrounding countryside.

But the trees grew back. So the owner built another storey onto the house. The trees grew higher, so he built another one.

The eventual result was this elaborate tower stretching into the sky. You can see more photos and a video of this wonderful house at Colossal.


The World's Fair That Raised San Francisco From the Ashes

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, held in San Francisco. Most people just called it the World’s Fair. The purpose of the exposition was to celebrate the Panama Canal and the ease of travel it brought, but the fair also celebrated San Francisco rising from the ashes of the devastating earthquake of 1906. What would amount to an entire city elsewhere was built for the fair, only to be torn down afterward.

All these structures and their lushly landscaped courtyards were united by an earth-tone color scheme devised by muralist Jules Guérin, the Director of Color, to reflect the California landscape. “I saw the vibrant tints of the native wild flowers, the soft brown of the surrounding hills, the gold of the orangeries, the blue of the sea; and I determined that, just as a musician builds his symphony around a motif or chord, so must I strike a chord of color and build my symphony on this,” Guérin wrote. Architect Bernard Maybeck, who designed the Palace of Fine Arts, likened the entire assemblage to a cloissoné brooch, with its many Italianate, Islamic, and French-inspired buildings all clad in faux-travertine.

The most eye-catching bauble of all was clearly the 435-foot-tall Tower of Jewels, a mishmash of architectural references whose exterior was covered by 102,000 two-inch cut glass “Novagems.” Constructed to hang on small hooks and sparkle like a coating of colorful sequins, these oversized glass “gemstones” were also sold as souvenirs of the PPIE. Emily Post described the building as a diamond and turquoise wedding cake. The Novagem gimmick was put forth by the fair’s lighting director, Walter D’Arcy Ryan, who referred to their effect as “augmented daylight.”

There were also several fabulous light shows to dazzle visitors, exhibitions of modern technology, pavilions of foreign culture (some of which were quite offensive), stunt pilots, art, music, and a 5-acre scale model of the Panama Canal -that worked! Collectors Weekly talked to curator Erin Garcia and author Laura Ackley about the fair and what it meant to San Francisco 100 years ago.  


The Girl Who Gets Gifts from Crows

(Photo: Lisa Mann/BBC)

Blogger David Thompson calls her "an eight-year old queen of the crows." So far, Gabi Mann of Seattle, Washington is using her super power modestly. It's been developing for the past year. What is her power?

Crows bring her things.


(Photo: Katy Sewall/BBC)

Wild crows fly up and drop small objects in front of her. They're gifts. For the past 4 years, she's fed them scraps for fun. Now they're expressing their loyalty. The BBC reports:

The crows would clear the feeder of peanuts, and leave shiny trinkets on the empty tray; an earring, a hinge, a polished rock. There wasn't a pattern. Gifts showed up sporadically - anything shiny and small enough to fit in a crow's mouth.

One time it was a tiny piece of metal with the word "best" printed on it. "I don't know if they still have the part that says 'friend'," Gabi laughs, amused by the thought of a crow wearing a matching necklace.

How should Gabi use this power?


Strangers on a Beach: The Origins of Tom Ripley

Patricia Highsmith's most memorable supervillain was inspired by a chance encounter. But how fictional was he really?

Early one morning in the summer of 1952, Patricia Highsmith awoke in a room at the Albergo Miramare hotel in Positano, Italy. The 31-year-old author had been traveling through Europe with her girlfriend, Ellen Blumenthal Hill, and the two weren’t getting along. Leaving Hill in bed, Highsmith walked to the end of a balcony overlooking the beach. It’s not as if things weren’t going well for her—her novel Strangers on a Train had just been adapted for the screen by Alfred Hitchcock. But the tumultuous relationship was taking a toll. As she gazed out at the sand, pulling on a cigarette, she watched “a solitary young man in shorts and sandals, with a towel flung over his shoulder, making his way along the beach. There was an air of pensiveness about him, maybe unease,” she recalled in a 1989 issue of Granta magazine. She started to wonder: “Had he quarreled with someone? What was on his mind?”

The intrigue stuck with her. Two years later, while living in a cottage rented from an undertaker in Lenox, Mass., Highsmith drew from that image as she began a new novel, about a man named Tom Ripley. Even then, she sensed that she was onto something special. “She considered [The Talented Mr. Ripley] ‘healthier’ and ‘handsomer’ than her other books at its ‘birth,’” Joan Schenkar writes in her excellent biography The Talented Miss Highsmith.

Highsmith’s instincts were correct: With the charming sociopath Ripley, she’d created a new type of character entirely. In five novels over the next four decades, he’d become not only her most acclaimed and memorable creation but the prototype for a new kind of antihero: the unlikable, immoral, cold-blooded killer we can’t help but like anyway. Ripley was a character so fully realized, so simultaneously compelling and disturbing, it seemed as if he were based on someone Highsmith knew intimately. In a sense, he was.

An orphan unhappily raised by an icy aunt, 23-year-old Tom Ripley is living in New York City when we first meet him, trying his hand at casual extortion. In a bar one night, he’s approached by the wealthy Herbert Greenleaf, father of an acquaintance, Dickie. Greenleaf is looking for someone who might persuade his son to return home from the bohemian life he’s been leading in the Italian village of Mongibello, and Tom seizes the opportunity. But what he finds when he locates Dickie is something he hadn’t expected: a glimpse of the privileged existence he’s always dreamed of.

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Woman's Bra Stops a Bullet


(Photo: Reprodução/TV Liberal)

Ivete Medeiros of Belém, Brazil was shopping at a supermarket one day when she was accidentally shot by a criminal who was robbing another person. The bullet struck her in the chest, impacting along the underwire of her bra. Medeiros attributes her survival to God and her bra. The Guardian reports:

Her husband told the Globo channel, he feared his wife had been killed because she had been shot in the heart. She told reporters that all she felt was “a little burning sensation” thanks to divine intervention.

“It was not just the bra wiring, which softened [it] a little, but God who saved me,” she said, showing the small hold made in her blouse by the bullet.

The manufacturer of her bra now has a great marketing opportunity.

-via AP


A Tiny Violin Shop inside a Violin

(Photo: Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniature)

During her lifetime, Tucson, Arizona philanthropist Pat Arnell has collected a wide array of ornate, high-quality miniatures. Five years ago, Arnell opened a museum to exhibit her collection to the public: the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniature. There, visitors can find this beautiful work by the American miniaturist W. Foster Tracy. It is a 1:8 scale representation of an Eighteenth Century violin maker’s workshop set inside a full-size violin. This is 1 of 6 copies that Tracy made in 1979.

-via Messy Nessy Chic


Ray Bradbury’s Home Demolished

The house where author Ray Bradbury lived for over 50 years went on sale last year. You can get a good look at it in the real estate listing photos. Renowned architect Thom Mayne and his wife purchased the house for $1.67 million. And Friday they had it torn down.

The discussion under all these stories, and the post at Metafilter, divides fans into two camps: those who don't want to see history being demolished, and those who say this is no big deal. Both have valid points.

Those who regret seeing the house torn down are sad that it wasn’t preserved for its historical value. It could have been made into a museum. It was a perfectly habitable house, built in 1937, with some interesting architectural details.

Others say the house was outdated and not particularly significant in its architecture. Bradbury’s legacy lives on in his writings. And no one wants to live in a house with only three bedrooms. If fans wanted to preserve it, they should have bought it. One commenter pointed out that if every home in Los Angeles where a celebrity once lived were preserved, there could be no new homes built.

(Image source: Redfin)

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Profile for Lisa Marcus

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