Monday, October 31, 2016

Pelicans

This Halloween in Dance



You know what horror films are lacking in? Dancing! A nice dance number always makes a movie more memorable. Ellen Degeneres rectified that grievous omission for quite a few classic horror movies. because you can use a few goofy laughs after dealing with hordes of trick-or-treaters. (via Tastefully Offensive)

Albert and Frank

(via Fark)

Big Cat Rescue Halloween



The lions, tigers, and panthers of Big Cat Rescue always get pumpkins to play with for Halloween, but this year, they also get their own haunted houses! To the cats, they are just balls and boxes, which is just what a cat wants to play with! (via Tastefully Offensive)

School Segregation



This is not a historical retrospective. Schools are very much segregated in 2016. A lot of that has to do with local funding, usually with property tax, which not only segregates districts, but also causes one school to have many times the funding of the next school. John Oliver addresses the subject on his HBO show Last Week Tonight.

Naked Goblin

(via I-mockery)

Cat and Cat Costume

The cat is either terrified or just baffled. (via reddit)

Happy Halloween in Dominos



Hevesh5 set up a Halloween greeting using 12,000 dominos for a chain reaction that incorporates a few Rube Goldberg-type transitions. Neat! (via Tastefully Offensive

The Haunted Hospital

Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Kentucky  is supposedly one of the most haunted places in the world. Why? It's because of the hospital's history, as so many people suffered and died there for different reasons. It has been a TB hospital, a nursing home, a failed religious monument, and now a paranormal investigation site. Read the sad history of The Haunted Hospital in a classic mental floss article I wrote in 2007.

Miss Cellania's Links

What Do Zombies Really Eat?

For Halloween every year, Mark Williams and Heidi Loutzenhiser of Portland, Oregon, turn their home into an attraction called The Doll Asylum. See some rather gruesome images of the Doll Asylum here.

The Pseudoscientific History of Ghost Hunting Gadgets. (via Digg)

About Those Witches and Their Broomsticks

35 Awesome Homemade Matching Pet and Owner Couples Costumes

A Definitive Ranking Of The Walking Dead Villains.

 It's Alive! 13 Forgotten Frankenstein Movies. There are plenty to watch besides the classics.

Beyond Halloween: 8 Holidays Spirits Love. Most are for remembering the departed, but some are for fun. 

Where to Stream the Best Horror Movies This Halloween. Because the night is long after trick-or-treat is over.

The Spellbinding Stories of 6 Historic Witches. Back when being odd could get you burned at the stake.

Chicken

(via Fark)

SNL Celebrates Halloween



Your favorite Saturday Night Live characters and guests have a great time celebrating Halloween every year. Here's a compilation of the some of their better holiday clips. Sadly, David S. Pumpkins is not one of them.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Mumbo Jumbo

The Return of Dracula



This 1958 movie has been titled The Curse of Dracula and The Fantastic Disappearing Man. From Wikipedia:
It is set in a small town in California in the 1950s, where Count Dracula arrives in the form of an artist named Belak Gordal (Lederer) who has traveled from Europe to visit his cousin, Cora Mayberry (played by Greta Granstedt). The story revolves around his interaction with Cora's daughter, Rachel (Eberhardt).[2]
The Return of Dracula was overshadowed by The Horror of Dracula, which came out about the same time and starred Christopher Lee.

Spoiled Children

From Dan Piraro at Bizarro.

NASA's Hi-Tech Pumpkins



They have a workplace pumpkin-carving contest every year, but this are no ordinary pumpkin art, because the workplace is NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. These pumpkins are out of this world! The ones that do things are impressive, but I particularly like the cow abduction pumpkin. (via Metafilter)

Halloween Greetings

(via I-mockery)

What's for Dinner?

(via Buzzfeed)

Dog's Chew Toy Comes to Life



Jolene the golden retriever loves her Gumby toy. It's her favorite! So how do you think she'd feel if it came to life? Watch and see!

Ben Mesches selected his Halloween costume because of Jolene. At first she's incredulous, but then she's the happiest dog ever! (via Metafilter)

Halloween Decorations

(via Fark)

Skeleton Frolics



Skeleton Frolics is a spooky Ub Iwerks cartoon from 1937. Iwerks did the classic Skeleton Dance in 1929 when he was at Disney. This is a sort-of remake for Columbia Pictures, upgraded and in color.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Halloween Special

(via Bad Menu)

Horror Express



The 1972 Spanish/British horror film Horror Express stars Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Alberto de Mendoza, and Telly Savalas. From Wikipedia:
In 1906, Saxton (Christopher Lee), a renowned British anthropologist, is returning to Europe by the Trans-Siberian Express from China to Moscow. With him is a crate containing the frozen remains of a primitive humanoid creature that he discovered in a cave in Manchuria. He hopes it is a missing link in human evolution. Doctor Wells (Peter Cushing), Saxton's friendly rival and Royal Society colleague, is also on board but travelling separately. Before the train departs Shanghai, a thief is found dead on the platform. His eyes are completely white without irises or pupils, and a bystander initially mistakes him for a blind man. A monk named Father Pujardov (Alberto de Mendoza), the spiritual advisor to the Polish Count Marion Petrovski (George Rigaud) and Countess Irina Petrovski (Silvia Tortosa), who are also waiting to board the train, proclaims the contents of the crate to be evil. Saxton furiously dismisses this as superstition. Saxton's eagerness to keep his scientific find secret arouses the suspicion of Wells, who bribes a porter to investigate the crate. The porter is killed by the ape-like creature (Juan Olaguivel) within, which then escapes the crate by picking the lock.

The creature finds more victims as it roams the moving train, each victim being found with the same opaque, white eyes.
There's more to the plot summary, but you don't need it. Just watch the movie.


Waiting

(via Eddie Deezen)

Simon's Cat in Halloween 360



Simon's Cat has an interactive video! Use your cursor to scroll around and keep up with the creeping cat. You can also scroll up or down, or use the switch at the top left to spin the scene around, but you might lose the cat. Still, it's a video, you can always find the cat again. 

Halloween Conga Line

(via I-mockery)

11 Recipes For Creatively Creepy Halloween Cocktails

A Halloween party for adults needs special drinks to highlight the occasion. Try some of these cocktails in a list I compiled for mental_floss to really impress your guests. Or maybe just frighten them! 

Vampire Kermit

(via Fark)

Beaver Dam Collapse



Rick Smith took drone footage of this lovely beaver dam and pond in northern Minnesota. Beavers worked on this dam for seven years. Then it collapsed.
The water from the pond drained in about four hours. Smith said,
We own the property that this dam is built on and were totally heartbroken when this dam gave way. The beauty of this natural setting is why we bought the property in the first place. We had no part in the destruction of this dam. It merely could not take the pressure of two week of heavy rain draining into beaver pond flood plain. Also, the beavers built it too high, 9 Ft. It was an engineering marvel. Double decker beaver dams are not that common.
But the beavers didn't give up. Within six weeks of the collapse, they had rebuilt the dam to about four feet. Smith has another drone video showing their progress from May of this year. (via reddit)

Who Was Dr. Frankenstein?

Was there a real Dr. Frankenstein? Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus is considered by many to be the first science fiction novel. It was written in 1816-1817, during a time when bringing the dead back to life was a serious endeavor in scientific circles. Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (later Shelley) wrote the book as an exploration of the ethics of such experimentation and brought the question to a wider audience. The model for the character of Dr. Frankenstein could have been any, or several, of a number of actual people. Meet some of those people in a classic mental_floss article I wrote in 2008.

Costume Party

(via Fark)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Not the Smartest Criminal

A Stranger Things Christmas



Yes, I am well aware that it isn't even Halloween yet. I saw the first Christmas ad on TV ten days ago. But you wouldn't want to miss out on seeing this mashup of Stranger Things and A Charlie Brown Christmas. Will Byers takes the place of Charlie Brown and his angst as he tries to return to the real world. Eleven is now Lucy van Pelt, and Dustin is Linus. Wait until you see who takes Snoopy's place. You can thank Leigh Lahav for this spot-on parody. (via Uproxx)

Specialized Election Map

(Thanks, Margaret!)

Max Lynx



This cat is being petted by someone with tiny, tiny hands. No, wait. It's the cat that's so big! This is Max Lynx, a Canada lynx who was born and raised in a zoo and is now an animal ambassador. Listen to that purr! He's got a subwoofer as big as his feet.

Masks and Faces

Cleaning the Empty Nest

When I was a kid, I was impressed by how clean Grandma's house was. Our house was always a mess. You probably had the same experience. When I grew up and got kids, it became clear that my house was going to be a mess for some time. Not only do kids constantly make a mess, they take up the time you might have spent cleaning house (even though it feels like you're always cleaning). By the time you attend to emergency spills and pick up general clutter, you are too exhausted to mop. Besides, someone needs a band-aid or help with their homework. I made sure to apologize to my mother (whose house is now spotless).

Then the kids grew up and went to college. I knew I would miss them, but looking at the bright side, I could now have a clean house like Grandma! There's only one snag in that plan. I have to clean it up.

You might recall that we put an apartment in our attic a few years ago to house the preteen daughters. The older I get, the less likely I am to go upstairs, and it's been quite some time since I really inspected up there. It was shocking. I asked Princess when was the last time they mopped the bathroom floor. She just looked at me funny over FaceTime, because apparently they had never mopped the bathroom. That's been seven years. It's taken me a month to sort and classify the mess of things she left on her bedroom floor when moving out. The bright side is that she moved to an apartment, so half the furniture is gone. Gothgrrl is a professional health care worker, but somehow never noticed how much toothpaste she slung around. How does one get toothpaste stuck in the baseboards? 

My plan was to do something every day, even if it's just a partial project, instead of tackling it all at once. It took over a month before I felt I was making any progress at all, but after two months, I can see a real difference. The upstairs won't be ready for human occupation for another couple of weeks at least (I am also working on the downstairs), but should be really nice by the time they come home for Christmas. And then it will start all over again.  

Waste Your Life

Miss Cellania's Links

"The Monster Mash": The Most Popular Holiday Novelty Song. Eddie Deezen has the story.

31 Horror Days in animated gifs.

The gig economy has grown big, fast -and that’s a problem for workers.

A Eulogy for the Pavilion, the Worst Movie Theater Ever.

Female Doctors Speak Out About Racism and Sexism During Airplane Emergencies. More here. (via Metafilter)

13 Episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 to Watch on Halloween. Since you need some laughs to go with your thrills.

The Psychology of Scary Movies. Knowing why we get a kick out of them won't stop you from getting a kick out of them.

Realistic Disney Villains. Finnish artist Jirka Väätäinen puts the bad guys in the flesh.

There Are 5 Types of Haunted House Visitors. Which One Are You?

The Mystery Behind the Missing Corpse of One of the Richest Men Ever. His  body was never recovered -or was it?

Offer

(via Fark)

Thursday, October 27, 2016

I Think So, Too

Teen's Head Stuck in Pumpkin



Kristy Ralphs recorded her family's pumpkin-carving evening. The kids are showing off for the camera. Her daughter Rachel thinks she can fit her head inside the big pumpkin. Yes, she can, but then she couldn't get her head back out! Everyone had suggestions, like calling the fire department or using a sawzall. Kristy eventually put the camera down to help out. In case you are wondering if Rachel is still in there, here's a clip recorded just a few minutes later.


Dad: Why were you putting your head in there, anyway?
Rachel: I just thought it would be fuinny.
Mom: It was funny!
Funny enough for a viral video. They never said exactly how she got out of the pumpkin. I like to think that she ate her way out. (via Uproxx)

Don't Be Selfish

(via reddit)

Spooky Club



Brothers Joe and Lloyd Stas bring us a goofy Halloween short film that delivers in a hurry! The Spooky Club is a group of guys who have eerie but useless talents. In this video, they are on a mission to find Vincent Price's skull and cremate it as he had wished.
We got an email from Vincent’s daughter, Victoria saying how much she liked it and how her Dad would have loved it too. It made us feel super proud! It’s 23 years this week since he died.
Read more about Spooky Club and the making of the short film. If you want to join Spooky Club, sign up here. (Thanks, Joe!)

Sheets

Puppies in a Pumpkin Patch



Devin Supertramp takes a sideways turn from his usual extreme sports videos to play with delightful puppies! Here they are in their Halloween costumes, cavorting in a pumpkin patch at Cornbelly's farm in Lehi, Utah. There's no pop culture tie-in, no plot, and no voiceover, just a soothing adorable sequence to make your day better. (via Tastefully Offensive)

Miss Cellania's Links

Anatomy Research Review. Research on bedbugs, nipples, rodents, and bra sizes.

When comic book superheroes confront real-world stuff, it can get pretty weird. (via reddit)

Vintage Halloween pictures.

Science confirms rich people don’t really notice you—or your problems.

How to Read The Secret Language of Starfleet Uniforms

What it’s really like to scare people to death for a living. HAuNTcon brings professional haunters together for a one-of-a-kind trade show.

How do pumpkins grow? Visit a farm that grows both the kind we carve and the kind we make into pies.

Willow the Squishy Cat has more Halloween spirit than you. She even has an "avacato" costume.

What’s A Woggin? A Bird, a Word, and a Linguistic Mystery.

Historic Vampires. Real monsters from history who contributed to the legends.

Skeleton Cat

(via Fark)

25 Halloween Life Hacks



Everywhere you look on the ‘net, there are tips for making your Halloween celebrations easier or even more fun. As he does sometimes, John Green takes some of those ideas and tests them to see if they really work the way they are supposed to. He doesn’t take a lot of care, so your results may vary, but you get the idea. My contribution: use a large rubber glove, cut the glove off with scissors, including each finger. But his result is funnier, in the Halloween episode of the mental_floss List Show.

PS: I have never found a better way to carve a pumpkin than by using a hole-boring drill bit and a sawzall. Done in two minutes.

Dirty Divorce Trick

"Country Bill” White was a country music singer and a “living corpse,” a stunt man who was often buried underground for weeks at a time. Those stunts don’t seem that outrageous to us now, because he had a chute to send down supplies and a radio for communication, but he made somewhat of a splash in the 1960s and ‘70s doing it. He even set records, although Guinness no longer keeps records for dangerous stunts. In 1966, he married a woman who was also into being buried alive, so they had something in common. But when they divorced in 1968, she managed to time the proceedings in order to cause him the most pain, as you can see from the above clipping. Read about "Country Bill” White and his strange career underground at Weird Universe. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Double Dutch Bus



Nostalgia time! Here’s that funky “Double Dutch Bus” by Frankie Smith. From the YouTube page:
"Double Dutch Bus" is a 1981 funk song by Frankie Smith, made famous for its extensive use of the "izz" infix form of slang. The song title represents a combination of two institutions in Smith's Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, neighborhood: the double Dutch game of jump rope played by neighborhood kids, and the SEPTA bus system that was a backbone of the local transportation network (and for which Smith had unsuccessfully applied for a bus driving position; the Transpass referred to in the song is an actual SEPTA pass). Smith and co-writer Bill Bloom persuaded contacts at WMOT Records to finance the song, and it was recorded in the summer of 1981, engineered by Gene Leone. The song rocketed to popularity in a matter of weeks. On the U.S. Billboard R&B chart, it held the number one spot for eight weeks. It also crossed over to the Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at number 30 in the summer of 1981.[1] The record has received two separate gold certifications, one for sales of the 7" edit, and a second gold record for sales of the 12" single.
This is not all that old, either, because 1981 was not that long ago.

Odd One Out

(via reddit)

Princess Cumulus



You recall the LED Stickman costume that Royce Hutain made for his toddler daughter Zoey in 2013. He improved on that to make it a Minnie Mouse costume for her in 2014. This year, he and Zoey collaborated on a new costume: a thunder cloud! She is “Princess Cumulus.” The costume is an adapted inflatable suite with Arduino-controlled LED strips underneath. The fart sounds for thunder are Zoey’s contribution. While they had fun with this one, it is impractical for going door-to-door, so she will trick-or-treat as Wonder Woman. (via Tastefully Offensive)

Give the Devil Your Head

Tweet of the Day



I believe someone is cutting onions in the next room. (via Buzzfeed)

Smartphone

(via Buzzfeed)

Urban Geography: Why We Live Where We Do



Cities are all cities, but they differ greatly in everything else. You know European cities are older, but you probably don’t know how much that affects everything else about them. One big difference is how dense they are. Modern technology, particularly in transportation, affected how cities grew. Wendover Productions tells us all kinds of interesting things about cities that you never thought about before. (via reddit

Miss Cellania's Links

The Spirits of Lily Dale. The town where Spiritualism survives.

22 Food Jokes That Are Just As Funny As They Are Ridiculous. Bone app the teeth!

How do two different movies about a fairly obscure news story from 1974 end up being made at the same time? The Writers of Christine and Kate Plays Christine on One of the Strangest Cinematic Coincidences in Recent Memory.

Snow Leopards and Humans Are Competing For Food, With Tragic Results. There may be as few as 4,000 left in the wild.

Singular or plural? It's complicated. “Quantifiers” are not adjectives and are only sometimes numbers.

The Police Killings No One Is Talking About. Native Americans are being killed by police at a higher rate than any other group in the country. (via Metafilter)

Where Rococo Meets Space Age: Treasure Hunting at Italy's Premier Antiques Fair.

The First Known Depiction of a Witch on a Broomstick. Link contains some art nudity.

The Strange Tale of an X-Rated Haunting. Cambridge-based parapsychologist AD Cornell conducted a set of experiments designed to study how seeing a ghost affects people, by dressing as a ghost with a sheet pulled over his head.

How Donald Trump spectacularly failed his supporters.

My Luggage

(via Fark)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

An Honest Trailer for The Nightmare Before Christmas



Get ready for Screen Junkies to ruin your childhood with an Honest Trailer for the 1993 Tim Burton movie The Nightmare Before Christmas. They say they are doing this for Halloween, but isn’t it supposed to be a Christmas movie? I have my suspicions that this trailer contains things that aren’t really in the movie. Or was it really a Hot Topic ad? (via Tastefully Offensive)

9 Spooky Halloween Events Worth Traveling For

Halloween is becoming a bigger holiday every year—Americans are expected to spend $8.4 billion on spooky loot this year alone. And though you’ll find haunted houses, parties, parades, and costume contests almost everywhere, some places go the extra mile to celebrate Halloween in extraordinary fashion. These huge celebrations are a great excuse for an autumn road trip or vacation. Read about some of those are are still to come in a list I posted at mental_floss. 



The Devil Drives a Saab

(via reddit)

Please Re-Elect Gerald



This is what a political ad should be. Gerald Daugherty is a county commissioner in Travis County, Texas. He’s either a pretty good actor, or else this is exactly how he is in real life. And his wife Charlyn is an excellent actor. This ad is for his re-election campaign this year. What you want in a local office like this is someone who cares about the job and is willing to do the work. It helps if he (or she) knows what they are doing. This ad conveys all that in a 60-second drama that will also make you laugh. (via Digg)

Halloween Cake

(via Buzzfeed)

Obama Reads Mean Tweets



President Obama was on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night, reading mean Tweets about himself. HuffPo described the recurring bit as people reading “some of the nastiest things said about them on Twitter.” I guarantee that no network TV show would air the “nastiest” things said about Obama on Twitter, but these were funny. The prez had a couple of good burns for them.

Miss Cellania's Links

11 Spooky and Totally Tasty Halloween cocktails. Bottoms up!

The Strange Secret Behind the Tragic Deaths of Oscar Wilde's Half-Sisters.

The Oldest House for Sale in the U.S.

The 30 Weirdest Horror Movies of the 1970s. (via Metafilter)

America's First Woman Police Officer. Marie Connolly Owens was an officer in the Chicago Police Department for 32 years beginning in 1891, but her employment wasn’t seen as a breakthrough for the history books, and was forgotten for decades.

The Secret Behind Italy’s Rarest Pasta. (via the Presurfer)

The Greatest Teen Job in the World Might Be Reopening Italian Catacombs. They are also revitalizing Rione Sanità by welcoming tourists.

Scientists See Signs of Learning in a Ball of Dough. This is not an expose of earlier faulty experiments, but shows how training can change an inanimate object.

The kids were reading Fahrenheit 451 for Banned Books Week, but first they needed a permission slip from their parents. Father and Daily Show writer Daniel Radosh reveled in the irony

8 of the Undead from Around the World. And here are 9 more of them.

Brains

(via Fark)

Knight Rider 2016



The TV show Knight Rider aired from 1982 to ’86, and was a product of its time. Michael Knight was a cool cop with an even cooler car, chasing the bad guys like a real hero. But that was thirty years ago. Kitt, the amazing car, has updated to a Lamborghini. Kitt would like Michael to update his looks a bit, too. Troy Duffy and Sean Patrick Flanery appear in this updated version by Sam Macaroni. Duffy also co-wrote it. (via Geeks Are Sexy)

16 Adorable Halloween Costumes for Non-Traditional Pets

We’ve seen plenty of dogs and cats dressed up for Halloween, but they aren’t the only animals getting into the holiday spirit. Check out some other critters who have dressed up for the occasion, even if they don’t go door-to-door begging for candy. There are hedgehogs, guinea pigs, turtles, horses, snakes, and even a spider in this list I posted at mental_floss.

Monday, October 24, 2016

11 Fun Halloween Projects You Can Do With Your Kids

Halloween is lots of fun for kids, from decorating a pumpkin to trick-or-treating. But there are plenty of other Halloween projects you can do in between. Here are some fun family activities for children of all ages, in a list I posted at mental_floss.

What Scares You?

(via reddit)

The Parking Ticket



British comedian Joe Lycett got a parking ticket and decided to fight it. He told the story of what happened on the TV show 8 Out of 10 Cats. (via reddit)

Spirit of Halloween

The Morning After


Oh well, they faked us out again. As you can see from the picture, none of the folks we cared about died, and The Walking Dead wound up with a happy ending. Even though the table is laden with salad, antipasto, and spaghetti, it must be a Thanksgiving meal. Or spaghetti Tuesday served on a Wednesday, in honor of Herschel. 


If you want to know what really happened on last night’s episode of The Walking Dead, or you saw it and need to discuss, you can get a rundown of what happened at Mashable, the A.V. Club, The New York Times, and Rolling Stone.

On Opoids



America has a problem with opiods. They are probably the best thing nature ever gave us to kill pain, but they are also addictive. Where do you draw the line? John Oliver tells us about where we are, and how we got there.

(I got spoofed by a unofficial channel earlier today and posted a year-old video from Last Week Tonight. This is from last night's episode.)

Our Favorite Vampires

This classic mental_floss list went up for Halloween in 2007. I made a list of famous vampires from pop culture, totally unaware of the three Twilight books that were starting to take over the bestseller lists. It was another year before the first movie came out. Still, in its initial posting, commenters raked me over the coals for not including the Twilight vampires. I don't know why I didn't include the vampires from The Lost Boys; it may have been that the list was supposed to have ten entries. That was a long time ago. But these vampires have stood the test of time, so enjoy a look at Our Favorite Vampires.

Miss Cellania's Links

A Formal Undertaking: The Mortician’s Job Title

She Never Spoke of It to Her Husband. Then She Heard the Trump Tape.  The best thing Trump has done was to bring subject of sexual assault out in the open.

How Girl Stunt Reporters Changed Journalism.   

How The Truth Set Snopes Free. A little background on the fact-checking site.

George Washington’s Halloween. And part two.

Meeting Donald Trump. Sir Richard Branson weighs in on the US election. (via Uproxx)

The Bleeding Heart of Dracula. How the Count went from a horrifying monster to a sexy beast.

How Frankenstein's Monster Works. A look at the ideas behind Mary Shelley’s unnerving creation.

The Ballet Girls Who Burned to Death. Tutus and gas stage lamps were a deadly combination.

Six Seriously Spooky Cemetery Stories. You decide how much is true.

Dinosaurs

(via Fark)