Ed Note: Today, The Beatles’ Abbey Road celebrates its 45th anniversary. In light of the occasion, we’re republishing this story, which was originally posted in September 2013.
A few years ago, we named The Beatles’ Abbey Road as the greatest album of all time. Follow our breadcrumbs of reasoning and you’ll read about Paul McCartney’s final swan song: the medley. It’s a religious experience with an ensuing legacy that continues to influence musicians both new and old. Now, someone’s stripped away all the music and, instead, left its vocal tracks. What one should take away here is how synonymous the Fab Four really were, even amidst their forthcoming demise. “Match made in heaven” comes to mind, and really, aside from The Beach Boys, The Temptations, and The Bee Gees — it doesn’t get better than this. Stream below and lose yourself in the process.
The Doll Hospital is a Sydney-based repair shop for dolls, teddy bears, and other toys that was founded back in 1913. The shop’s employees (there are up to 12 at any one time) specialize in various aspects of doll and toy repair, including hair restoration and limb repair. The busiest period in the Doll Hospital’s history was World War II, when import restrictions caused a surge in repairs for old toys. At its wartime height, the shop had 70 employees and 6 workrooms. Photographer Jason Reed shot photos and video of the Doll Hospital for a fascinating Reuters feature.
photos by Jason Reed
The Shawshank Redemption came out 20 years ago and promptly bombed. Now it's one of the most popular movies of all time. Here's how it came to be made.
Filming on location is often something to be endured, and Shawshank's schedule was particularly brutal: workdays were 15 to 18 hours, six days a week, over three humid months inside the former Ohio State Reformatory, in Mansfield, and on nearby constructed sets, which included the huge cellblock. "We were lucky to have Sundays off," says Darabont.
A bakery in Mansfield now sells Bundt-cake replicas of the Gothic prison, which these days is a tourist attraction that draws Shawshank pilgrims. But in 1993 the defunct penitentiary-closed three years earlier for inhumane living conditions-"was a very bleak place," according to Darabont. Robbins adds, "You could feel the pain. It was the pain of thousands of people." The production employed former inmates who shared personal stories similar to those in Shawshank's script, "in terms of the violence of the guards and throwing people off the top of cellblocks," says Deakins.
Robbins remembers "going to that place inside for three months. It was never depressing, because Andy had this hope inside. But it was, at times, dark because of the situations that the character goes through." Deakins confirms that working on the film was "a very intense situation. Sometimes the performances really affected me while I was shooting it." The scene that gave Deakins "a tingle down the spine" is also Robbins's favorite: the prisoners drinking beer on the sunny license-plate-factory roof. Coming more than a half an hour into the movie-and two years into Andy's sentence-it's the first bright spot in a film heretofore gray in palette and tone. Andy risks being thrown off the roof by Captain Hadley in order to procure a few "suds" for his fellow prisoners-a moment when the character shifts from victim to burgeoning legend. That Andy himself doesn't drink is beside the point.
The scene was shot over a "hard, hard day," says Freeman. "We were actually tarring that roof. And tar doesn't stay hot and viscous long. It tends to dry and harden, so you're really working. For the different setups you had to keep doing it over and over and over and over and over."
I was one of the few who saw Shawshank in the theater (I watched at least two or three movies a week back in those days) and loved it immediately. (via @aaroncoleman0)Tags: movies The Shawshank Redemption
Improving local access to transportation funds would help build project’s like the multi-modal Atlanta BeltLine. Rendering: Atlanta BeltLine
When it comes to transportation funding, cities and towns occupy the bottom of the totem pole. The vast majority of federal transportation money goes to states, to the exclusion of local governments. That means state DOTs get tens of billions to spend on highways each year, while mayors and local agencies have to scrounge for money to improve transit, build sidewalks, or add bike lanes.
A bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate Thursday could give local governments greater access to federal funding. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced the Innovation in Surface Transportation Act — Senate Bill 2891 [PDF] — which would set aside some federal transportation money for states to redistribute to cities and towns on a competitive basis.
Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker says municipalities around his state want access to federal transportation funds. Photo: Senator Wicker
The legislation would devote 10 percent of federal surface transportation funding — or about $5 billion per year — to local-level projects. The funds would be split up between the states, and in each state a panel would distribute the money on a competitive basis to local governments, transit agencies, and regional planning agencies.
Senator Wicker said the bill is supported by localities across Mississippi as well as the Mississippi Municipal League.
“Local officials in Mississippi are on the front lines of America’s transportation challenges but often lack the resources to pay for critical improvements,” he said in a statement. “This measure would enable these local leaders to have a larger role in deciding which projects merit consideration. In doing so, leaders could implement the most targeted and cost-effective solutions to meet unique and urgent infrastructure needs.”
Three other senators — Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania), and Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi) — have also signed on as sponsors. The Senate bill has a companion in the House – HR 4726, which has been held up in committee.
David Goldberg, communications director for Transportation for America, a leading supporter of the measure, said he doesn’t expect the bill to be passed into law before the holiday recess. But support for the bill today, he said, could help shape the next transportation bill.
Transportation for America is asking supporters to email their senators and urge them to support the measure.
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The tarantula hawk is neither a tarantula nor a hawk. It’s a really scary Pepsis wasp. It can grow really large and has an extremely painful sting. From Wikipedia:
Commenting on his own experience, Justin O. Schmidt, entomologist and creator of the Schmidt Sting Pain Index, described the pain as "…immediate, excruciating pain that simply shuts down one's ability to do anything, except, perhaps, scream. Mental discipline simply does not work in these situations." In terms of scale, the wasp's sting is rated near the top of the Schmidt sting pain index, second only to that of the bullet ant, and is described by Schmidt as "blinding, fierce [and] shockingly electric".
The tarantula hawk is the official state insect of New Mexico. But they range all over, with around 250 species in South America alone. Redditor Gonolek found this wasp dead in the hotel he worked at in Brazil. You can put your hand up your screen with his to picture how big it is. I would hate to encounter a wasp that size alive.
POLL: How do you deal with a wasp this size?
L’artiste philippine Janus Miralles réalise de très beaux portraits abstraits en mélangeant la photographie avec de la peinture comme moyen de création. Souvent en noir et blanc, les visages sont effacés avec une certaine noirceur, comme s’ils avaient été brulés. Une sélection de son travail est disponible dans la galerie.
JUST REMEMBER! THE TECHNOVIKING DOESN’T DANCE TO THE MUSIC! THE MUSIC DANCES TO THE TECHNOVIKING!
technoviking captioned. remember a classic.
You see, Litchfield is an avid urban explorer who has been fascinated by scenes of decay found in countries that were formerly part of the USSR and the Eastern Bloc.
Photographing and exploring the old Iron Curtain isn’t the easiest thing to turn into a project, she says:
Not many explorers travel to Russia, where the rules are very different, locations are heavily guarded and a strong military presence exists everywhere. There are serious consequences for getting caught. We managed to stay hidden for all of the trip, we maximised our stealthiness, ducking and diving into bushes and sneaking past sleeping security. But on day three our good fortune ran out as we visited a top secret radar installation. After walking through the forest, mosquitos attacking us from all directions, we saw the radar and made our way towards it, but just metres away suddenly we were joined by military and they weren’t happy…
Fortunately for Litchfield, she was able to wiggle out of that tricky situation and continue her adventure through more than 10 different countries.
She says that her goal is to capture the scenes as they are, highlighting their beauty in decay, “like a memory hanging on that will soon be lost in a breeze, a museum that no one gets to see.”
Here are some of the haunting photographs in the project:
The photos in the project have also been published in a book that’s available from $28 over on Amazon. You can also find more of Litchfield’s work over on her website.
Image credits: Photographs by Rebecca Litchfield and used with permission
"I don't care about what these ankles were designed to do, I care about what they can do."
Here's your Friday Morning Dance Party to get you ready for the weekend—everyone imagines they're a good dancer, so let this guy be your new mental image of what you look like when you're out on the dance floor moving like a scarecrow with arthritis. Fortunately, it won't be hard to pretend, since his name is Fik-Shun.
Fik-Shun or not, this is as real as it gets. Unbeknownst to me and my demographic of lame-oids, Fik-Shun was the male winner of season 10 of "So You Think You Can Dance?" So, I think it's fair to say at this point that he knows he can dance. This video is from World of Dance Live, hosted at the Universal CityWalk nightclub in Orlando, FL, and featured performances from Jabbawockeez (those dudes in the white masks) and others, but it was Fik-Shun who was almost too good to be believed.
Oh yeah, this was also shot two days before his 20th birthday. Once again, Fik-Shun: you can't make this stuff up.
Want more pre-weekend dance to envy? Check out two cousins who merged Memphis Jookin and ballet to create the coolest dance of the year.
(by Johnny McNulty)
"Love, Grandpa and the baddest motherfucker in the game." (via)
If you've been wondering why your grandmother has been sending birthday and holiday wishes from herself along with Grandmaster Flash, don't worry. Your grandma hasn't left grandpa for the hip hop pioneer behind "White Lines." The puzzling signoffs are the result of one of those uniquely modern problems that make old people want to smash their giant monitors with a hammer and throw their 2003 Dell towers in the woods.
Because of Facebook's auto-suggest tagging feature, grandparents have been accidentally sending out messages without noticing that their signoffs include the Hall of Fame rapper. It has been happening so often that there's now a Tumblr page dedicated to collecting the messages along with the resulting confused responses.
The adorable SNAFU has been such a goldmine of unintentional comedy that Facebook will likely figure out a way to fix the problem. Until then, if you'd like to keep laughing at this technological plight of the elderly, you can do so here.
(by Jonathan Corbett)
Turd Wrestling 2014 Calendar
Super Mario: 1Up. Wedding Party: 1Down.
I've always loved Super Mario, foe to King Koopas and weird pelican things, hero to and Princess Peach. But now, I love Super Bad Mario even more. Thanks to Pastek, Mario has been digitally inserted into all the great fail vids to become a foe to middle aged dudes trying to ride a skateboard and a hero to me.
He's not just Super, he's Super Bad.
Oh how I wish this really were a game. I'd invest hours into Super Bad Mario Brothers if it meant that instead of knocking down a row of Koopa Troopas, Mario kicked turtle shells to knock fancy ladies off boats.
(by Myka Fox)