A clever way around high school reunion small talk

So, you've learned you've got a high school reunion coming up. Well, if you've decided to go and want to stave off awkward conversations, take some inspiration from my author friend Benjamin Wachs. Last year, he went to his reunion in upstate New York and brought stacks of laminated flip books he made in advance. His "Benjamin Wachs Small Talk Experience" answered the basic questions about his life since high school and then prompted some more thoughtful ones. It made me smile.

Take a look (click on each image to see it bigger): Read the rest

'The Greatest American Hero' reboot will have a female lead

I have fond memories of watching ABC's early-1980s comedy The Greatest American Hero and was only mildly surprised to hear they are bringing it back (as a pilot, for now). What was surprising is that the "hero" will be a "heroine" in the reboot.

Deadline reports:

...Hannah Simone has been tapped for the title role in ABC’s single-camera comedy pilot The Greatest American Hero, from the Fresh Off the Boat duo of Rachna Fruchbom and Nahnatchka Khan. In the reimagining with a gender switch of Steven J. Cannell’s 1981 cult classic, the unlikely (super)hero at the center, played by William Katt in the original, is being reconceived as an Indian-American woman.

Written by Fruchbom, The Greatest American Hero centers around Meera (Simone), a 30-year-old woman who loves tequila and karaoke and has spent her life searching and failing to find meaning, much to the chagrin of her traditional Indian-American family. An inexplicable event occurs that will change the course of Meera’s life forever: she is entrusted with a super suit to protect the planet. Meera may have finally found purpose, but the world has never been in more unreliable hands.

Read the rest

Treasure-hunting diver finds a phone and returns it to its owner

Arizona-based scuba diver Dallas, the guy behind the YouTube channel Man + River, has a fun hobby. He dives with his buddies at local creeks, rivers, and lakes looking for lost treasures, recording these underwater scavenger hunts on his GoPro. He's found all kinds of things, including sunglasses, pocket knives, coins, jewelry, cameras, lots of phones, and even a gun.

In this video from late last year, watch as Dallas unearths an iPhone 6 buried eight inches deep using an underwater metal detector and a metal sand scoop.

The phone was found dry inside an inexpensive waterproof case, so Dallas brought it home and started charging it.

Long story shorter: The phone works, he contacts its owner and returns it to him. Watch!

(Likecool) Read the rest

Married veterans, John (100) and Jerry (72) share their love story

This is the sweet story of married military veterans, John Banvard (100) and Jerry Nadeau (72). John served in World War II and Jerry served in Vietnam. What makes their May-December love story extra special is that when they met in 1993, neither had ever been in a serious relationship with a man (as Jerry says, they were "sort of in the closet"). At that time, John -- a widower of 10 years -- was 75 and Jerry was 47.

At first, the two seemed worlds apart. John was a lover of art and theater, while Jerry was an outdoorsman. But they hit it off and soon became inseparable.

It's never too late, folks. Read the rest

Don these slippers inspired by Marty McFly's self-lacing sneakers

You probably missed out when Nike auctioned off 89 modern-day replicas of Marty McFly's self-lacing sneakers, but that shouldn't stop you from having a pair. While they don't tie themselves, these handcrafted slippers inspired by Marty's futuristic Back to the Future II Air Mags should do the trick. Prices start at $59/pair.

(RED, TIWIB) Read the rest

These glasses sport film strips rescued from vintage reels

To make their truly unique Cinematiq collection, Budapest-based eyewear designer Zachary Tipton and his team looked to vintage films for inspiration. Using 16 and 35mm film sourced from "old movie theaters, TV stations and private collections," they wedged short, high-contrast scenes into the temples of the collection's eyeglass frames.

Some of the films were labeled, others were so very much of indie origin we could not even identify their genre.

We’ve literally examined miles of films frame by frame to curate the final scenes that were ready to become more than just art living in the past.

Impressively, a man known for his distinct eyewear, Sir Elton John, is one of their first clients.

I don't wear glasses (yet, anyway), but if I did, I'd have a hard time choosing between these and Vinylize, the 'groovy' ones made from vinyl records. Both kinds are produced by Tipton's team.

(Mashable) Read the rest

For sale: A lavish artist's home converted from an old brick incinerator

Officials in Tulsa, Oklahoma constructed this incinerator building in 1939 to burn the city's trash. A short year later, according to Tulsa World, an ordinance was passed that prohibited trash from being burnt within city limits. The property sat dormant for years until artist and Oklahoma native Ron Fleming was able to get the city to accept his bid to purchase it in 1981. The winning bid? $5400.

"I took a shot in the dark on the price," he said. "I had no idea what it was worth."

The first step in converting the industrial site to living space was abundantly clear, as the lower level was nearly full of ash, mostly from burned medical supplies. It took nearly a year to carry it all out by wheelbarrow, Fleming said.

He and his late wife, Patti, camped out in a nearby tent on weekends to oversee construction. By Halloween night 1982, the two of them were able to sleep inside as residents.

Over the years, they turned this former municipal structure into a swoonworthy 4,600-square-foot, three-bedroom luxury estate, which is now for sale for just $275K.

Thanks, Greg!

(Neatorama) Read the rest

When Fonzie and the Happy Days gang time traveled

If you're a child of the seventies, you'll probably remember that while the sitcom Happy Days aired from 1974 to 1984, it was set in Milwaukee in the late fifties.

Ok, so in 1980, an animated spin-off series called The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang hit the Saturday morning cartoon circuit, lasting just two years. In those two seasons, they meet a "future chick" named Cupcake and are accidentally hurled through time and space in a janky spaceship with Mr. Cool, a talking dog. This quasi-educational show (which has Wolfman Jack as its narrator) chronicles their journey trying to get back to 1957, but first they jump to significant historical time and places, like the Salem Witch Trials.

So, it's a cartoon, made for early-eighties kids, of fifties youth bouncing around in time trying to get back to 1957. Sure... why not?.

If you have the time (heh), watch all of Season 1 and Season 2.

If you're wondering, this cartoon happened two years after Robin Williams landed a small role as Mork on the live-action Happy Days (which eventually turned into the spin-off, Mork & Mindy) and just three years after the Fonz jumped the shark.

Ayyy... Can you dig it?

(Weird Universe) Read the rest

Incredible footage from 1929 of old folks born in the 1800s

In 1929, from Maine to California, and spots in-between, some spry senior citizens were interviewed for Movietone newsreels. This video is a compilation of those interviews. Keep in mind when watching that everyone featured was born before the mid-1800s. In the reels, you'll hear them recollect stories from their past and see glimpses of what their life as an elderly person is like.

The footage is from the University of South Carolina's Moving Image Research Collections and was cleaned up and put on YouTube by guy jones.

Here's another one. It features similar interviews but moves into the year 1930. Watch for the farmer at the 2:10 mark, as he doles out some timeless wisdom about "work" vs. "play":

Previously: Listen: Voice recordings of black slaves

(reddit) Read the rest

Gâteau Gato, a zoetrope of cat confections

French food artist/animator Alexandre Dubosc has done it again. He's created another incredibly impressive zoetrope, this time with a cat theme (previously). It's called "Gâteau Gato" ("cat cake") and it is really quite a delight to watch. I'm not sure which I like better, the curling cookie tongues or the little white mice scurrying away. Fortunately, I don't have to decide.

Dubosc doesn't say how long the cake took to bake, assemble, and film on its "making of" page, but given how detailed the piece is, I'd say many, many hours. Read the rest

Watch this emotional moment when this woman takes her first breath after a double lung transplant

When she was nearly 30, Jennifer Jones learned that she had been misdiagnosed with allergies and asthma all her life. According to ABC 6 News, Jennifer discovered after the birth of her son, that she instead had Cystic Fibrosis, a disease that wreaks havoc (primarily) on the lungs.

"Last year in October she went in and it was getting so bad they put her on oxygen full time," said Jennifer’s Fiancé, Rob Ronnenberg.

Jennifer was put on a transplant list for new lungs in June, which is when things really got bad. In mid-October Jennifer’s lung function was a little over 10%.

But good news was headed their way.

"The nurse comes in the room and says hey you're going to get a phone call and then the phone rang and we're like okay, that's never happened so what's going on? Well, all of a sudden she goes are you for real, are you serious? Is this really happening? And that was it that was the call," Rob said.

Later the same month, she received that lifesaving double lung transplant. This video shows her taking her first unassisted breath with those new lungs. It's tremendously moving, to say the least.

By sharing this video on YouTube, she and her fiancé are hoping to inspire people to register to donate their organs.

(Twisted Sifter) Read the rest

If Siri existed in the 1980s

Leave it to Squirrel Monkey (previously) to imagine what Siri might have been like in the eighties. In this spoof called Wonders of the World Wide Web, they give the ancient alter ego of Apple's voice-controlled personal assistant a garbled, synthesized voice which I found particularly funny. Be sure to watch the whole video, as it just gets weirder as it goes along.

(Tastefully Offensive) Read the rest

Behold the cacophonous Furby Organ

Looking remarkably like the Mogwai creatures from the 1984 film Gremlins, Furbies first hit the market in November 1998, becoming an instant success. In just the first three years of production, over 40M of these fake fur-covered robotic toys were sold. Since their early days, the Furby has been re-introduced a few times.

That means there are a lot of Furbies collecting dust on this planet.

Well, musician and inventor Sam Battle of Look Mum No Computer salvaged over 44 of them and attached them to an organ. Watch the video to hear a cacophony of "Furbish" music (?).

I won't lie, as noisy as it is, I totally want a Furby Organ for myself. Read the rest

Shoes for your shoes

Never let your pristine kicks touch the filthy ground with these thick-soled shoe-sandals. They strap onto another pair of shoes, in this case a pair of military-style, high-top sneakers.

Both pairs are the latest offerings of Chinese fashion brand Sankuanz who unveiled the bulky combo on the runway at Paris Men's Fashion Week in late January.

NPR reports:

[Sankuanz] sent male models down the runway wearing high top sneakers — that never actually touched the runway.

"They're transformable sneakers that have an outer layer of protective sandal that you can enter Velcro into and you can strap them on or off," is how Sankuanz publicist Courtney Wittich describes the concept.

But ultimately, they look like big-cushioned, rubber and plastic orthopedic Birkenstocks — with Velcro straps — and you strap them on top of your existing shoes.

Or they look like open-concept galoshes. That's up to you... "You can walk totally normal in them and it gives you an extra layer of protection and then also height," Wittich says.

I wonder if they were inspired by these vintage Space Boots from the late sixties:

Or maybe by these Moon Shoes:

Either way, the shoe-sandals will be available in August for $355 and I don't think the sneakers are included in that price.

image 1 via Hypebeast, image 2 via Ebay, image 3 via Amazon

Read the rest

Press this bizarre kitty lamp's gold balls to switch it on

This is Felix, a super-weird cat lamp by Belgian design house Studio Job that switches on by pressing its tiny gold testicles. When you do, its eyes will glow. O...kay...

Australian blog So Bad So Good reports it will be available in three colors (black, white, and b/w combo) in April and will retail for £205. (~$284.).

images via So Bad So Good Read the rest

Bill Murray's bringing back bell bottoms with 'Bill-Bottoms'

The seventies called and Bill Murray answered.

When he's not busy being a Hollywood actor, comedian, and writer, he can found crashing parties, opening a restaurant with his brothers, or introducing his new retro-styled golf pants -- bell-bottoms -- at the Pebble Beach celebrity Pro-Am.

They're adorably called Bill-Bottoms and they're a collaboration with San Francisco clothing label Betabrand. Each pair features Mr. Murray's signature "Lucy the Caboosie" print of caboose blueprints and peonies (a tribute to his Mom who loves the flowers).

These handsome retro trousers are ready for all manner of gentlemanly pursuits, thanks to amazing four-way stretch fabric that stubbornly resists wrinkles while wicking away moisture like a thirsty St. Bernard.
For about $100 you can get a pair for your-bad-self. They ship in July, if enough folks crowdfund it. Read the rest

Take out your zit-picking obsession on this pimple-popping toy (and not your skin)

If squeezing pimples until they pop and ooze pus sounds appealing to you, then you'll want to check out the Pop It Pal. It's a fleshy, blemish-blowing novelty toy that lets you obsessively squeeze out "pus" without tearing apart your own skin.

The married couple behind it, Billy and Summer Pierce, came up with the idea one day while driving. Billy explains:

You see, one day, my wife and I were driving down the road.

She said:

"How awesome would it be if we could make a pimple that felt real and the pop was huge, just like those videos we watch?"

I thought: "You might be on to something Dear."

Maybe, just maybe, this means she would STOP picking on me all the time. Ladies and Gentlemen, I KNOW you know what I'm talking about.

So, I spent the next year figuring out how to make it happen.

It's now available in their online shop for $19.99. "Pus" refills are available for $5.99. Read the rest

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