The first working escalator was built and installed at Coney Island in 1896, and even though the stairs on the first escalator were made of cast iron later models made by Otis used stairs made of wood to reduce weight and production costs.
As rickety and scary as the ride would have been on a wooden staired escalator they're definitely visually appealing, and the rich, warm look of the wooden tread somehow looks far less terrifying than those metal fangs we have today.
Australian artist Chris Fox used 80-year-old wooden escalator stairs recently replaced by metal ones to create his amazing sculpture Interloop, and now those classic wooden stairs will live forever in the Wynyard Station of the Sydney Underground.
You can buy a replica of the necklace from the 1997 film Titanic from many vendors, but only one company got the rights to the design from the film: The J. Peterman Company. Their replicas were authentic, well-made, expensive, and best of all, officially licensed. Company founder John Peterman knew the movie would be big before it was released, and his gamble paid off.
But how did Peterman get his hands on such a valuable piece in the first place? “I remember it like it was yesterday,” he tells me by phone. “Someone in the company said, ‘I know this movie, Titanic, is coming up. It’s a period movie, and the same kind of stuff we always do. We should have a deal with them!” Peterman’s team reached out to 20th Century Fox a few months before the film was set to hit theaters in December 1997 and struck a deal: They’d buy some of the actual props featured in Titanic, in addition to licensing the whole lot for commercial reproduction. “This was the first time that had ever been done,” Peterman says of the deal, “and we ruined it for everyone else — because suddenly, [the studio] realized those props had value.”
The company sold most of the props they obtained, and replicas of the costumes from the movie. But the necklace, known as the Heart of the Ocean, was a big hit. It sold amazingly well. Too well, as you'll see in an article at Racked. -via Digg
Most people are looking forward to seeing the Porgs on the big screen this winter, referring to them as the cutest little aliens ever, but despite their wide-eyed cuteness there are a bunch of haters out there who keep screaming "down with Porgs!". Its unclear why they hate those adorable little hamster penguins so much, but perhaps they'll be singing a different tune when they finally see Episode VIII...
But if you're sure you hate Porgs with a passion for life then you need to grab this NO PORGS! t-shirt and wear it when you go see The Last Jedi so you can start a war in the movie theater! It's guaranteed to make you either a star of snark or hated like a Sith!
Life becomes more precious when you realize how precarious it is. Joy is celebrating the milestones of life. Hope means making plans in spite of your experience. In 2010, Randall Munroe's fiancée (now wife) was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer. Even after treatment, the only way to know if you beat it is to go on living.
A comment thread about snow dogs led me to an interesting interview with Dr. Susan Whiton, an Alaskan veterinarian who is married to a champion musher who runs a sled dog kennel. She talked about how Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Huskies, Malamutes, and other dogs bred specifically for cold weather are different from other dogs. Their ability to tolerate cold is amazing, as long as they are healthy, well-fed, and are in their prime.
Q. What diet should they eat if they are outside for long periods during the day?
A. The calories in most commercial dog foods come from carbohydrates. In very cold weather, the dogs do better with a higher amount of fat calories. A study indicated a sled dog racing the Iditarod required 10,000 calories a day to meet their metabolic needs. The only way to meet that high caloric need is with a diet high in fat calories. Most pet dogs do not need that many calories and may get very sick from a high fat diet.
When I ran the Yukon Quest in 1987 we encountered -55° F temperatures at night and -20° F during the day. The sled dogs did fine at those temperatures. They were being fed a very high fat, high calorie diet up to four times a day during the rest periods and often got fatty meat snacks during the runs.
Q. How are dogs with a thick undercoat able to keep warm when sleeping?
A. When they sleep they curl up with their tail over their nose, which traps the heat against their bodies. There are lots of photos of resting sled dogs covered with snow. They are holding their heat well since the snow is not melted. The dogs that are not doing well will have ice on their fur. It indicates that they are losing enough body heat to melt the snow. Because their coat is not insulating well more ice will build up making the hair less lofty and less insulating. The thick undercoat of the Northern Breeds provides loft, like a fuzzy mohair sweater, and keeps the warmth next to the animal rather than allowing it to escape. The Iditarod sled dog race only allows Northern Breeds in the race because other breeds can’t retain heat well. So when the ice hits their coat it melts and then freezes.
Rob Bliss (previously at Neatorama) lives in New York City, where "same day delivery" means someone will bring what you buy fairly quickly. What would be the greatest good he could use that for? He approached homeless people and asked them what they needed the most. Click, click, click, and someone was on the way to deliver what they told him.
Note: this video is NOT SPONSORED OR AFFILIATED WITH AMAZON. I'm sure this technique could be used with Postmates or whoever else too. I simply wanted to demonstrate how easy and convenient it can be to bring a person in need, what they need, and to encourage that behavior.
That said, Bliss was impressed at how the Amazon delivery guys (who are part of the gig economy, after all) were cheerful and respectful when they delivered the goods. It had to leave them with a good feeling, as well as Bliss and the people who received the warm clothing and other supplies. -via Laughing Squid
Kids love to act like their parents are totally unhip, uncool and out of touch, usually because their friends think the road to coolsville intersects with too cool for school lane.
But what these youngsters don't get is cool is a state of mind- it's not about bringing other people down, it's about elevating your parental coolness levels by setting the trend and wowing the wee ones who dare to talk trash.
Cool people know the power a new piece of tech can have over the unhip and underaged, but when their parents bust out a new device and say "yep, no big deal, just messin' with my cool tech from the future" the wee ones go "whoa".
DJ Earworm is back with the ultimate year-end music mashup. His mix for 2017 highlights the dance sounds of modern pop music. The 25 biggest songs of 2017 are all in the mix, which all together has a definite Latin sound. Honestly, it's more than just "Despacito."
The 1950s Cold War craze for fallout shelters was a serious undertaking for the US government. Nuclear war with the Soviets seemed inevitable, and the prudent thing to do was prepare for it. While public campaigns urged families to prepare their own shelters, stocking them with food for a long period underground was going to be difficult, especially in cities where people did not have adequate personal storage space. What were all those people going to eat in crowded municipal shelters?
That coldly logical approach, combined with an extensive 1958 study by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, led the government toward a single commodity as the foundation for its plan to feed a nation: The “parched wheat form known as Bulgur,” one of the simplest ingredients known to man. The main ingredient in dishes like tabbouleh, kibbeh, and pilafs, bulgur is nutty, nutritious, high-fiber, and supremely safe. “Bulgur was selected for this investigation because it is processed from a basic agricultural commodity, whole-grain wheat, which is plentiful in the U.S., low in cost, highly palatable, and reportedly very stable,” one government report explained.
That last thing stood out in particular, because it would need to hold up for years inside fallout shelters, awaiting the apocalypse. “Indeed a long shelf life may well be the single most important criterion for choosing bulgur in a stockpiling program,” the government reported. As part of its research, the USDA eventually landed on crackers as the best medium for bulgur-wheat rations in a bunker scenario; after 52 months of storage it reported merely a “discernible but inconsequential decrease” in flavor.
Bats got a bad reputation when they became associated with vampires, witches and horror movies like Cujo, but in reality bats are gentle, and often skittish, critters who just want to hang with their bat buds in peace.
So when a human offers to help them out they'll usually accept without a fight, but wild bats normally aren't as cute or patient about it as Harry the bat is while a human from Batzilla the Bat gently removes the netting
The Batzilla the Bat netting fund spreads awareness about how dangerous most netting gardeners use to protect their crops is for the wild bats of Australia and around the world:
As we live in a sub tropical climate we have massive problems with gardeners using cheap killer netting to protect their fruit trees from predation from bats, birds and possums and thousands of animals are tortured and killed each year in large aperture netting.
Never use any netting you can poke a finger through as it is deadly to wildlife.
The 2000 movie Almost Famous is a fictionalized account of writer Cameron Crowe's experiences as a teenager writing about 1970s rock bands for Rolling Stone. The film didn't do all that well at the box office, but really hit home with folks who remember the early '70s rock scene. Critics raved about it, and Almost Famous won several awards, including Best Screenplay for Crowe. Let's take a look at what went on using the filming of Almost Famous.
10. The music budget for this film was $3.5 million.
The average music budget for a film is around $1.5 million. This film had about 50 songs to go with it which was kind of insane but still great.
9. The actors rehearsed for quite a while until they looked the part.
The actors had to rehearse for four hours a night, five nights a week, for six weeks.
Coca-Cola is such a big hit around the world that some people refer to all colas as "Coke", and even though the syrupy brown beverage invented by druggist John S. Pemberton in 1886 is bad for your health it's still a classic taste people crave.
In fact, people like the taste so much they rallied to preserve the classic recipe when New Coke came out in 1986, and yet they kept selling New Coke as "Coke II" until 2002, hoping it would catch on because it was cheaper to make.
According to a recipe discovered by Atlanta historian Charles Salter, who found it among a pile of documents belonging to inventer John Pemberton, Coke contains lemon oil, nutmeg oil, vanilla, cinnamon caramel and coriander, among many others.
And one could say Coke also knew the recipe for success when it came to making oddball digi-character Max Headroom a star in the 80s:
The bizarre, pseudo-animated Max Headroom character was created as a virtual television star in the UK by record company Chrysalis in 1985. Sensing his appeal for young consumers, Coca-Cola licensed Headroom that same year and made him the center of their ad campaign with a series of commercials directed by Ridley Scott. According to Coke, the spots helped Headroom gain a 76 percent recognition rating among teenagers.
One quite valid way to look back at the year gone by is to see what people wanted to know more about. Search engines are not only the easiest way to get more information, but those searches are also documented. Every year, Google releases their statistics on what people searched for the most, which gives us an overview of the world's curiosity. The most asked question was "how," as in how-to, meaning that people were planning to do something, whatever it was.
Mabel wanted to leave the mystery hunting behind but the keepers of the mystery refused to let her go away peacefully- so they decided to make her life into a nightmare. It all started when she and Dipper uncovered a map that led to a vault with Bill Cipher's picture on it, a vault that contained a book full of secrets meant only for the eyes of the conspirators. Dipper took the book despite Mabel's warnings, and as they walked back to the Mystery Shack things started to get really strange around Gravity Falls, well, stranger than usual. Mabel couldn't shake the feeling that someone was watching them as they walked home, but since she didn't want anything to do with the book she figured the bad men would leave her alone...boy was she wrong!
Make people smile and laugh uncomfortably wherever you go with this The Head t-shirt by Trheewood, featuring a colorful design that'll make your fellow fans laugh their heads off!
Batsy isn't the only one who has witnessed, and done, some dark deeds in the DC Universe, because the Flash has quickly become one seriously dark dude!
(If you watch the CW show then you probably know some of these storylines already, but if not be warned there are spoilers ahead.)
Barry Allen has had his psyche damaged by a past he cannot escape (the death of his mother) and the earth shattering results of his actions (Flashpoint) but nobody got in to Barry's head like his nemesis Zoom.
Zoom made it his mission in life to take down the Flash no matter the cost, and as far as super villains without a conscience go Zoom ranks up there with the likes of Darkseid and the Joker in terms of body count.
But one kill in particular caused Barry to forego his heroic ethics and kill Zoom with impunity- the death of his wife Iris West.
Zoom murdered Iris because he was in love with her too, and because he had a psychotic infatuation with watching Barry suffer, but despite his anger the Flash let Zoom live- so Zoom showed up a few years later to kill Barry's new fiance on their wedding day.
Barry couldn't bear to see another woman he loved get killed by Zoom, so he took matters into his own hands- by snapping Zoom's neck before he could deliver the killing blow. It was a justifiable homicide, but it still took its toll on Barry's state of mind...
The eight-day celebration of Hanukkah began last night. It is tradition to publicize the miracle of the Maccabees by placing the menorah in a window for all to see. In 1932, in the town of Kiel, Germany, Rabbi Dr. Akiva Posner and his wife Rachel set their menorah in a window facing the Nazi party headquarters across the street. Rachel took this picture to document the juxtaposition of the menorah and the swastika. The Nazis took control of Germany the next year.
Rabbi Posner, Rachel and their three children left Germany for the Holy Land in 1933. Rabbi Posner managed to persuade many of his congregants to leave as well.
For 51 weeks of the year, the menorah belongs to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. But each year, right before Hanukkah, the family takes the menorah back and puts it to good use.
Rabbi Posner's great-grandson, Akiva Baruch Mansbach, now uses that same menorah every year. Read the Posner's story at the New York Times. -via reddit
(Image credit: Shulamith Posner-Mansbach/United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)
October 5, 1962 stands as a red letter day in the history of American pop culture. That is the day the Beatles' first record "Love Me Do" was released. It is also a landmark day in the history of motion pictures. Coincidentally, the fifth of October in 1962 happens to be the date the first-ever James Bond movie was released.
Dr. No was originally turned down by several film studios, on grounds of being "too British" and "too blatantly sexual." After United Artists finally decided to take a gamble and finance the film, the casting of Agent 007 was the most important matter to be taken care of.
Reputedly, Cary Grant was the first choice to play James Bond, but he would only commit to one film, and this, combined with his being a rather awkward 58 years of age, took him out of the running. Several other famous actors were also considered for the Bond role, including Rex Harrison, Stewart Granger, Trevor Howard, and Richard Burton, none of whom, for various reasons, passed muster. There was even a "find James Bond" contest, six finalists were chosen, and a 28-year-old named Peter Anthony was chosen, but Anthony lacked the acting chops and was ultimately rejected too.
Finally, a relatively unknown former milkman, coffin polisher, and mr. universe named Sean Connery was thrown into the mix. Producer Albert Broccoli had seen Connery in the 1959 film Darby O'Gill and the Little People and was impressed, particularly by the climax scene in the film, where Connery takes on, beats up, and dispatches the film's villain. Although Broccoli approved, he asked his wife, Jean, to watch the film, to get a female barometer of Connery's sex appeal.
The Olympic Torch Relay is underway in South Korea, even though the Winter Games in Pyeongchang are still two months away. One of the torch bearers in Daejon on Monday was a Hubo robot from the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. The robot, wearing a stocking cap and nothing else in the cold weather, took advantage of its time in the spotlight to show off a little, by using a tool to cut through a wall and hand off the torch to the next runner.
According to Olympics news website Inside the Games, it’s not the first robot in history to carry the torch—or even the first one in the 2018 relay. Earlier this year, an “undersea robotic craft helped carry the flame” for a separate stretch of the months-long relay, which involves some 7,500 volunteers. Once the competition in Pyeongchang does kick off in February 2018, approximately 85 robots will be “deployed as volunteers.”
Why is this cat so grumpy? Was someone a little late with the kibble? Or is he passing judgement on the photographer? The truth is that Merlin looks like this all the time, whether he's chilling in the sink, playing with his toys, or chatting with the dog. Merlin is a ragdoll/Himalayan mix with beautiful blue eyes that are always partially shaded by his overly stern eyebrows.
A post shared by Merlin (@merlinragdoll) on Jul 5, 2017 at 6:12pm PDT
You can see more of Merlin at his Instagram gallery, where he gives his many followers the stink-eye on a regular basis. Believe it or not, he didn't look grumpy at all when he was a kitten. If you go back far enough in the gallery, you'll find that Merlin's kitten pictures are quite charming. -via Bored Panda
You don't have to be a cinematographer to notice that soap operas always looked a bit different than the other shows on TV, and while most people chalk this up to cheap production values there's more to it than that.
Soap operas had to deal with a lot of problems other TV shows didn't have, such as evenly lighting an entire set so the characters can move around, and multiple cameras can be used, without resetting the lights.
They also shot soaps on videotape instead of film, which made the whole show look "off" when combined with the lighting:
Backlighting, part of the three-point lighting setup often used in television production, helps "lift" actors out of the background. This is especially useful for productions that are shot on a lower-quality medium and in small interior sets, which soaps often are. The problem is that shooting on videotape on a small set can reduce the subtlety of the lighting technique. Actors in the foreground often wind up very noticeably backlit, something that doesn't happen on shows with larger sets, or shows that are recorded on film.
Every Christmas, the British Medical Journal turns away from dry-but-new scientific research and has some fun with tongue-in-cheek articles. This year, one of them looks at the existence of "man flu," that horrible disease that makes men take to bed and require constant care, while a woman in the same household with the same illness tends to him. You , no doubt, are familiar with the joke, but some media outlets reported on the article as a research breakthrough.
The man flu paper in particular has led to a chorus of media headlines and articles proclaiming with a straight face that “new research” shows that the man flu is real, and credulously quoting the paper’s author, Kyle Sue, a Canadian family doctor, as he advocated for “male-friendly spaces, equipped with enormous televisions and reclining chairs, to be set up where men can recover from the debilitating effects of man flu in safety and comfort.”
Sue’s paper isn’t a new study though, the kind where we imagine lab coats shuffling around the lab testing mice and men. It’s just a review of some interesting research, in both animals and humans, that suggests men generally have weaker immune systems than women and offers some reasons why. The reasons range from plausible—testosterone and estrogen could weaken and strengthen the immune system, respectively—to seemingly tongue-in-cheek: Sue suggests that men could have evolved their man flu response because it kept our surviving paleolithic ancestors better protected against predators. He also cringingly turns it back around on women for choosing these high-T men to mate with in the first place.
So, the research is real, but we aren't meant to take it seriously? Yes, the research is real, but its inclusion in the December BMJ means it had a lighthearted presentation. A review at Gizmodo takes issue with the BMJ holiday issue, particularly in the age of "fake news" and media distrust.
Black metal fans aren't known for their sense of humor, and they seem like they'd be too busy applying corpse paint to their faces and adding spikes to every article of clothing they own to read comics.
But it turns out black metal fans laugh, cry and have hearts that bleed just like the rest of us, and they even form little black metal families that pray to the dark gods of metal before sitting down to supper.
Or maybe these black metal families only exist in the panels of these Belzebubs comics by Finnish artist JP Ahonen, because a real-life family of black metal fanatics would get far too many visits from social workers...and exorcists.
Just before we all go see The Last Jedi, Screen Junkies found it necessary to take a look back at the third Star Wars film from 1983. After we waited for what seemed like forever between movies (at the time), we found out in Return of the Jedi how the Rebellion defeated the Empire once and for all -until they were resurrected as the First Order and the Resistance. The one that introduced us to the Sarlacc, Luke's twin sister in a bikini, and the Ewoks.
Wait a minute- the special edition doesn't have the Yub-Nub song? It seems like the Star Wars you get is heavily dependent on your age, at least in the age of Lucas. Oh, well. Watch this and get a little more amped up for The Last Jedi, which is only three days away. If you count today. -Thanks, Lacey!
Morty wasn't a fan of anime before his life became stranger than a cartoon show thanks to grandpa Rick, but now he can't get enough of the stuff and often daydreams about being a hero in one of those strange tales from Japan. But Morty knew he could never become a hero without a little help, so he found a way to pack a powerful punch- by replacing his left arm with the mighty Armothy. Together the duo earned a reputation for knocking suckas out with a one-two punch, and Morty began to feel invincible for the first time in his life, until he came across a bald-headed man by the name of Saitama...
This Cosmic Punch Clash! t-shirt by Diego Pedauye is a real knockout, and it's a surefire way to make your fellow fans cheer with delight!
If you believe that a game of chess is just too simple, imagine the fun of keeping up with the strategy of two opponents at once! This 3 Man Chess board is circular, so you're all starting at the same disadvantage. From the product description:
Play chess with 3 people at the same time with this three player chess game. Without compromising any of the rules, strategy, or fun of Chess, this variant board has been developed that accommodates three players. The only changes from conventional chess are some protocol issues that must be followed to maintain order where the teams border each other, which is simple and necessary. The complexities of the third player are infinite. Your threatened piece may be allowed to maintain occupancy as your position is beneficial to the threatening player. But how long can it last? This scenario may exist all over the board. There are multiple trust and doubt situations among all players.
This board and 48 playing pieces (in ivory, black, and gray) is available at Amazon. Although I could see myself having a lot of problems with it, my first problem would be finding two other people who know how to play chess and who are willing to try it. -via Geeks Are Sexy
I've been a choco-gobbler since I was a kid, and I gobbled up novelty-shaped chocolate just like the rest, but some kids get a box of novelty chocolates and refuse to eat it because it looks cool.
Back in 1910 a little girl named Eileen Margaret Elmes received a tin full of Red Riding Hood themed novelty chocolates shaped like characters from the story, each of which was dressed in tissue paper clothing.
Eileen loved the little figures so much she refused to eat them, so she stashed them away and kept them relatively untouched throughout her entire life. She passed away in 2007 at 99-years-old, leaving her box of chocolates up for auction:
Inevitably, time has taken its toll on the chocolates made decades before sell-by dates were even invented. They display a white sheen of age that would put off the most ardent chocoholics but, when you open the box, the delicious smell of cocoa still fills your nostrils.And now, for the first time in a century, the chocolates have been publicly revealed at Hansons Auctioneers in Etwall, near Derby …The box of Little Red Riding Hood Pascall’s Chocolate Novelties will be sold on December 19 at Hansons Auctioneers, Heage Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire.
Let's take a look at the magical woodland creatures and how they prepare for Christmas! You've got the turkeys, and the candy cane-antlered deer, and the, uh, elusive Christmas pudding emerging from his den.
In 1966, Robert Lawrence, Jr. had a PhD in physical chemistry and was an Air Force test pilot. That made him eminently qualified to be selected as an astronaut. And he was, making Lawrence the first black astronaut ever. However, the space program he was selected for was one you've probably never heard of: the Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL).
The Manned Orbiting Laboratory had an official mission nearly everyone could get on board with; conducting experiments in space. The program was approved in 1962 and assigned to the Air Force. A 1963 press release noted that the program’s aim was to “increase the Defense Department effort to determine military usefulness of man in space.” Astronauts were going to explore the cosmos, or, more accurately, figure out if the military even needed to be exploring the cosmos. In a space-race-obsessed America, this program was, at least publicly, another noble attempt at touching the stars.
However, what the press release left out was the program’s main mission; placing a manned surveillance satellite in space so that the U.S. could spy on the Russians. The MOL was less about star stuff than it was about spy stuff. The program’s real goal, according to NASA’s National Reconnaissance Office, was to “acquire photographic coverage of the Soviet Union with resolution better than the best system at the time.” Lawrence wasn’t just going to fly into space, he and his MOL brethren were tasked with photographing Soviet missile targets.
The MOL project ran into trouble, not the least of which was NASA's race to the moon, which overshadowed any other space project. Even though they went through training identical with NASA's, Lawrence and the other pilots selected for the MOL program were not officially recognized as astronauts until 1997. Read the story of Robert Lawrence, Jr. at Atlas Obscura.
The 1999 film Big Daddy stars Adam Sandler as a man learning how to be a father figure to a 5-year-old boy. It was his first truly adult movie role and as of today it is Sandler's most successful live-action film. Altogether, that means that if you're not an Adam Sandler fan, this would be his one movie you might like. Let's have some details of the making of Big Daddy.
8. Having Steve Buscemi do a cameo is a Sandler trademark.
If you notice he pops up in a lot of Adam Sandler’s movies and is almost always there and gone within a couple of minutes.
7. The twins that played Julian were losing their teeth and had to be fitted with fake teeth during the movie.
They lost their baby teeth while filming and the replacements kept falling out as well.